On not hosting everything yourself


· photography · archiving ·

I've been attempting to get things straight with my system of storing and sharing photos:

  • Let go and stop thinking of my photos as all of one set; they're no more a set than all text files should be stored together.
  • Upload everything possible to Wikimedia Commons, and download a backup of all of those. For this I have an mwcli script.
  • Create annual manually-curated printable private photo albums of the best ones (of mine and anyone else's). This is LaTeX and although slightly annoying to produce it ends up being far better than any programmatically generated thing.
  • Use Flickr for sharing with family and friends, and public photos that don't belong on Wikimedia Commons.
  • Digikam is the local marshalling ground for tweaking/describing/uploading, and then is also used to index the Commons and Flickr backups (actually, it has four collections: a local working temp directory; the two local backup directories; and the photo album directory).

So I think all this gives me a system that works well for everyday sharing etc. and which also can be pretty much given up on at any time and ignored for months on end with zero maintenance. There are some things, such as monitoring Wikimedia Commons for deletion nominations, that cause a bit of bother, but my main goal is to not have to think much and still have a system that's resilient and doesn't rely on me not stuffing it up.