Friday, December 11, 2015

Domain names and photo hosting

Today, just for laughs, I looked at the dpreview "discussion" webpages. There's not so much discussion going on as puerile ranting, chest beating and nugatory, gratuitous posting. Mostly the issues raised on dpreview are along the lines of "waah. I just read this (from an unconfirmed or incomplete source) and think its the end of the world" or "how/what/where do I do/buy/get this" where the answer is usually easily available via online searches or better by putting down the damn tablet and heading to the library. Remember libraries? They have books and books have information in them. Better than that even, books don't need batteries so you can keep reading without having to plug them in. Of course, I'm talking about dpreview posters that usually will be found hunched over an elderly computer, surrounded by a sea of burger wrappers, empty coke cans in a foul smelling unventilated room with curtains closed so long that they're sticking to the wall.

Anyway, I digress. One of the posters asked an interesting question, namely what to do for photo hosting and domain names. For some bizarre reason they considered a domain name as a $35 purchase. Really - $35! Are they off their rockers? I've seen domains going for $3.99 and even free. Only a real schmuck would pay more than the minimum for the kind of skanky con trick that domain names represent.

"Hold up", I hear you say. "What do you mean by calling domain names thusly?" Well, in today's world, domain names are irrelevant. Do a web search in a few days for "$%4545454%$" and you'll get right back to this blog entry. Now, imagine - assuming you are not a dpreview "contributor" ergo compus mentus - you can come up with a memorable catch phrase for your photo pages. Something as memorable as "Arbeit Macht Frei" or "Wein, Weib und Gessang" would work. Poof! Your need for a domain name has vanished as too has any associated cost.

What about photo hosting? Who in their right mind actually pays to host photos? Actually the cretin that made the posting on dpreview seemed to believe that right-click protection would stop people downloading their photos and wanted it included. It's really rather sad that anybody should be stupid enough to believe anything online cannot be easily copied or easily have copy protection removed. Ebooks are a classic example - they're just zipped html folders. But back to the point - why pay to host photos? Free sites such as Picasa, Flickr, Instagram etc exist. The important thing to realise is that as soon as an image is available online, somebody will copy it and use it. I've seen it done. I've seen really grotty sub VGA images downloaded, printed and used as table decorations at functions.

So, domain names and paid hosting? Don't make me laugh! I've not paid for domain names nor for hosting for years. I don't have to worry about bills nor renewals. Of course an interesting sub issue is that having a paid domain and website does not mean anybody is ever going to visit it! I had a photo website for several years and no matter what I did would attract more than a pitiful number of visitors. I gave up on trying to sell snow to the Eskimos and stopped throwing money away on domain names and websites. Like as not nobody will visit your website so don't throw money at it.

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