Goodbye to all that

I managed a quick visit to the Taj Mahal after a work trip to Delhi in 2005

It’s amazing how technology changes, and how technology changes us.

After I got my website first set up, mainly to promote my books, I also decided to use it to share photos with friends, or strangers that came upon them.

Facebook wasn’t really as popular as it was then; I’m not even sure we used them to really share photos.

The other thing is that, at the time, it felt pretty harmless to have photos up of one’s family, friends and travels. You could direct friends to see them, and they weren’t easy to stumble on.

Now, the world has really changed. We do make conscious decisions to share photos, but specifically choose our audiences for them. Facebook will be for our friends. Instagram for the public. Or just send photos across by email.

I spent some idyllic time hanging out on the coast of NSW, close to the Queensland border, around 2003.

The other thing is that there are stories of photos being stolen by others and used without permission, and photos of people used for identity theft, and these days, yes, we all make choices of how public and private to be, and what digital footprint we leave in the world. So while it was great to share photo of my niece and nephew growing up at the time, they’re old enough that they probably don’t want photos plastered all over the internet.

So, the whole concept of having albums of photos on my website is rather obsolete, not to mention that technology from the time means the photos aren’t even of very good quality. There’s no reason to archive them for the sake of it. People in the photos might not be happy that they’re appearing in a public place. It’s not the right medium for photos to be shared. Another thing is that I’ve moved on… It was great to chronicle travels and work trips and book launches. But all of that was a very long time ago.

Because I met so many people at international meetings for my work in HIV, it was fun at the time to chronicle the events and share photos (this, an ITPC meeting in 2003)

Over the last years, I have finally been taking the photo albums down, mostly from around 2000 to 2005. I had basically hidden the links to most of the photo albums, but due to technological stupidity, I couldn’t figure out how to delete the photos completely, though it’s been on my list of things to do for the last six months or longer.

A pal wrote to me on yesterday asking why his name was linked to a photo of me with someone else (google was pointing not to the specific photo, but just grabbed one of the photos of an album I had up of me with various friends). So that was the impetus I needed, and it only took an hour and a half with my hosting domain helpdesk to solve the problem…

So goodbye to all that. If you’re ever wondering if I have photos of you back in the day, just ask. But for now, I let go of these chronicles and archives and past days.

A scene from Margaret River in 2003


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