I'm slowly starting to explore Flickr again and am enjoying "catching up" with the handful of active contacts I still have there. My steep downturn in activity surely coincided with feeling like the place had just changed so much from when I first started using it, that the community feel and early-web2.0 vibe of discovering and making a place together, that had made it really special -- just wasn't there anymore.
Scrolling through friends' timelines I'm struck by how much good stuff there still is, there, but I'm also a little sad that most of the people I used to feel a lot of shared affinity with have similarly dropped away. Of those who remain, I sometimes wonder, what's left for them that may not be here for me, anymore? I explore my own timeline and think wow, there's a lot of my own history here, at least history prior to the current part of whatever era my life is in the past couple of years. There were photowalks, 365s (well, attempts thereof), deep dives into groups and attempts at particular communities, documents of life transitions (Seattle for MSR, moving to Flagstaff, moving to our current home), and just lots and lots of photos, almost every one of which sparks a thought of time and place that's still really resonant. It's really something to wade back into that.
On the practical technology side, a tools change probably explains some of my declining use of Flickr, too: I heavily used Lightroom for many years, and had a nicely-tuned process of selecting, editing, and exporting to Flickr, but a year or so ago LR just became unstable and started crashing on me all the time. Eventually I just kept it closed and browsed my photos in the finder. Having never really gone back to iPhoto, I mean Photos, I have used Photostream2Folder to copy everything from my iPhone photostream into a directory that would be auto-imported into LR; since I stopped using LR, that folder just stays open on my desktop all the time so I can scroll through my pics. I copy files from my occasional X100S sessions right into that folder now, too.
Getting back into Flickr may prompt me to re-explore some workflow, once again, at a time where my home Mac use has become pretty simply and unadorned. It's probably a good opportunity to re-establish better cataloguing, meta-data management (groan) and backup practices that I used to center around Lightroom, too. Should that be in Lightroom once again? Or in Photos, or ... maybe there's something even better now for the onetime high-volume enthusiast/hobbyist amateur photographer in me.
It's winter vacation around here, so just maybe I'll get this figured out before the new year steamrolls in and the wide open horizons of winter days slips away, as it always does.