Sunday, July 31, 2011

In the Picture

 Over the week-end I had the pleasure of a visit from a Melbourne Navigator builder and his friend, who came to see Annie, and to chat about the progress of his build- it is roughly at the stage shown in these pics from Annie's Flickr set. I'm hoping that our boats might sail together one day.

Reflecting on some of his comments made me realise how powerful  photo sharing sites like Flickr are in  very real and practical ways. Making something like a boat is a transitory experience that involves lots of imagining and tricks and mind games to stay motivated. It also presents a lot of small problems to be solved in your own particular way. Amateur builders are nearly always going about these things in a context of family or career or local issues of space or money- very few have the perfect budget, endless time and ideal spaces and tools.

So for most of us the process passes, the boat is built and  then enjoyed, but the building becomes something from a time before, and just an experience to be remembered- unless the story of the build is recorded and shared. The ability to add notation and comments to the photos takes the process to an even more powerful level, as do the little interactions that inevitably occur between fellow photo-sharers who keep an eye on each other's progress.
I looked at my Flickr statistics to-day and found that although I only have a few sets of any interest, there have been an astonishing 145,000 (now in 2016 there are more than 1.3 million hits. ed.) hits, increasing some days by as many as 600 views. This absolutely dwarfs any interest shown in this blog, which is interesting because it tells me quite clearly that people are rightly much more interested in what we do than the things we say. I find this a bit ironic or perhaps revealing, because I struggle much more to say something coherent than I do to make something!

I'm sure I could stop blogging to-day without causing much concern to anyone, but the Flickr photos will be of use as long as I keep them up there because they allow us to understand a difficult process visually, and to reassure ourselves that if something can be done by someone else, we can do it too.

My Flickr sets


  1. Do RSS feeds count in the blog hits stats? I keep tabs on your blog that way, and only come to the site itself as time and interest permit.

  2. Nice to hear from you frabjusday, I don't think RSS feeds would count, but it's good to know you're out there checking in.

  3. Only you could combine the technical skills, a voice, and the generosity to share what you do with others.

  4. Google Images has a lot to do with the statistics in Flickr, which might be irritating if you have any concern for copyright. For that matter, Google Images has a strangle hold on your blog stats, too.
    I'm in a race with my Flickr account for numbers. The image is only part of the story.

    Thank you for all the effort you put into chronicling your work and sharing your thoughts.
    You are an inspiration. If it helps, I spend a lot more time here than on your Flickr site. It's like visiting an old friend.

  5. Well, I'm not too fussed by the size of the readership-I still feel a bit presumptuous posting anyway, but the numbers have limited meaning too. The blogger stats for each country are more than twice the size of the ones on the clustermap, for example, and the view counter at the bottom of this page is bigger again, so they only indicate a spread of interest and I'm happy to feel part of a small circle of folk who maybe think in similar ways, or just want to plug into something positive and creative, and often salty.

    But the point remains that an annotated picture set of a boat build becomes a technical and inspirational document freely shared and particularly for that, in a greedy modern world, it is a wonderful thing. But it is fixed in time once the build finishes, and that's where I continue to hope that it is worth continuing to look for a more general commentary on being and thinking like 'us', and maybe having something to say.
    And thanks old friend.

  6. Love that mosaic thing. I think you underestimate the quality of your photography.