One of the great joys of running a modern newspaper—and yes, I am being extremely sarcastic—is dealing with the technical side of running a good, functional news website.
While I am mostly happy with how we’ve done with CVIndependent.com, we’ve certainly faced challenges over the years. One of those challenges involves how we’ve dealt with photo galleries.
For the first three years or so of CVIndependent.com, we posted all of our event photo galleries on Flickr, and embedded them on our site using a plug-in program. (Why? It worked well; it saved disk space. It seemed like a good idea at the time.) Well, at some point in 2015, the Flickr folks changed something (eff you, Yahoo!), meaning the plug-in stopped working. The galleries were still visible on Flickr, but not on our own website … which was kind of a problem. From that point on, we hosted our own photo galleries, and I put the task of going back and fixing the now-missing photo galleries on my to-do list.
Then, well, four years went by. You know how it goes.
I was finally spurred to act when Flickr was sold to a new company, and that new company decided it was capping the number of photos for users at 1,000—unless said users ponied up some cash. Well, I didn’t want to pony up some cash for a service we weren’t really using anymore. So about six weeks ago, I started the process of retrieving all the archived photos from Flickr; sorting all the photos back into their proper galleries (because the mass download from Flickr was just huge files of hundreds of unsorted photos each); resizing the photos for our website; and, finally, uploading the galleries into our website’s archives.
I am about two-thirds of the way through that final step. The process has, been in a word, tedious. (Sympathetic? Free to send bourbon.) However, it’s also been oddly nostalgic. Yeah, we’re only talking about photos that are four to seven years old—but, my, how some things have changed. I’ve teared up upon seeing photos of people who are no longer with us … and I’ve grimaced when seeing pics of people who have been disgraced. (Like those photos of Kevin Spacey yukking it up with Will Ferrell at a charity tennis tournament back in March 2014.Or that piece about then-Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet and developer John Wessman appearing together in February 2013 at the beginning of the Desert Fashion Plaza’s demolition.)
This task has reminded me of that old saying that newspapers are the “rough draft of history.” We’re proud of the rough draft of the Coachella Valley’s history we’ve been doing since October 2012 … and we look forward, with your support, to continuing that draft for many years to come. Want to help? Go to our Supporters of the Independent page, and consider throwing us a few bucks so we can continue producing this free-to-all rough draft.