Dear flickr,

We have been friends for so long, like since March 2004. I have shared with you over 27,000 photos, and stood up for you when other people were saying you were a has been.

I still love you.

But you are getting weird o senile and I am getting confused. Our ds106 students are correctly tagging photos for their Daily Create assignments. They are tagging correctly, but their photos are not showing up consistently.

And now you are doing it to me.

This photo is tagged tdc234

Red Dog Gazes Over the Hill

yet when I click my tag for it, it says:

  (You're the only person who has used "tdc234" as a tag.)

Yes this is not true, just look at, there are four other photos there (?)


I am so confused, so I am mailing you a letter. Please do not let us down. Didn’t you hire that cool Google lady to help tidy things up? Why are you breaking down on us?

(click for full size)

Oh, flickr, I am worried about you. You are getting so old in Internet years. Are you losing it? Please say no. I want no other photo sharing service.

Please write back.



UPDATE: August 30, 2012 Flickr write back:

Hello Alan,

Thank you for writing to Flickr Customer Care.

I understand that you have noticed that tags are behaving inconstantly. I apologize for the inconvenience this issue has caused you. I am glad to assist you with your concern.

I have checked your issue, and I see that it is working normally as intended.

For information in this subject, please see our FAQ at:

I hope the information I have provided to you above will help answer your question. Please let me know if you still need assistance so I can help you further.
Thank you again for contacting us.

I hope you have a nice day!



Well yeah, it works when its a day later. But at the time I wrote, it clearly did not and it confuses the heck out of our students?

The answer Lydio links to is:

Even though it’s confusing, the updates you are making around the place do work (mostly sub-second actually), it’s just that there’s a short delay in them showing up.

if you see this sort of behavior happening, the best advice we can give is just to leave it for a while and then come back.

“Short” might be 36 hours.

If this kind of stuff has value, please support me by tossing a one time PayPal kibble or monthly on Patreon
Become a patron at Patreon!
Profile Picture for cogdog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I’m beginning to worry about Flickr’s “mental” faculties a bit. She’s never let me down when I tag once the photo has loaded and I tag from that page. But my TDC 234 seemed to take forever to load so I tried to save time by “pre-tagging” [form to left available as image loads]. No go. No image, period. So then I tagged my regular way and all was well. Could Flickr be experiencing some senior moments?

  2. I was confused about this too. I noticed that if I hover over the tag before clicking I get a little pop-up with the choice to ‘View photos from you or from everyone’
    Clicking ‘from you’ goes to
    so it just shows my stuff with that tag,
    clicking ‘from everyone’ goes to
    so I see everyones pictures.
    If I click without waiting for the popup, I get the first destination and the message that I’m the only one using the tag.
    I don’t know if it works the same with other browsers, I’m using Firefox.
    I’m not a Flickr employee; I’m just sharing my observation.

  3. I’ve actually see this problem in Flickr for a while — when I look at a tag I’ve used it says I’m the only one using it, but when I go to the tag page, there are others.

    Wish I could say what the cause or fix is!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *