On sharing pictures online

I have been using Flickr to share pictures online ever since I signed up in the fall of 2005. I have been renewing my pro account every year, and have accumulated over 10,000 pictures in the past seven years.

But lately, I have been unsure about renewing my subscription again when it comes up for renewal next month. I still use Flickr to upload pictures but a few things are having me hesitate to keep Flickr:

1) I don’t know if anyone actually even looks at my pictures on Flickr anymore. It appears that my friends used to be more active and many of my pictures never get any views. So even if I share them on Flickr, who am I actually sharing them with?

2) I really do not like the vanity URL of my Flickr account. When I signed up for it, I liked it, but it’s not really me anymore, and you cannot change the URL.

There are also things that are having me want to renew my pro account:

1) I do like sharing my pictures online, and I really like Flickr. I do use Facebook for sharing pictures as well, but couldn’t imagine relying on it exclusively. And I cannot think of another service for sharing pictures that would give me as many features as Flickr does, and most importantly, unlimited space. At the same time, that is only good if there are people to share the pictures with.

2) My Flickr account holds pictures chronicling the past seven years of my life. It’s good to know that my pictures are saved and backed up there and that I could look through them whenever I want to. It’s hard to let go of that much “history.”

3) I am considering just starting over. I find having an account with 10,000 pictures a little overwhelming, I know that I never tagged or re-named most of my pictures, and while I have my pictures sorted into sets, I feel like it is one big mess that I will never get on top of. Maybe starting over and going for “less is more” would be an option. That would also solve the problem of my vanity URL.

I remember having the same thoughts a year ago, but ended up going for the “easy” solution and just renewed my pro account, thereby deferring my decision by a year. I am just not sure I want to do that again this year. With my moving abroad, this has become more important to me again. I will be further away from my friends and family, and pictures are a great way of sharing my life with them, so I really want to find a solution I am happy with.

How do you share your pictures with friends and family? Do you use Flickr or another service? If so, could you recommend any?

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