This is like one of those things where by the time you find a solution to a problem it has already fixed itself (see also, rebooting). And it hardly merits a blog post, but heck, I can write about what I want to write about.

If you’ve been around the blog a while, you might notice I bark a lot about flickr. I seem to be searching it for photos frequently mostly using the still valuable 10 years later, thanks Chris Lott, the Gift of Time where I can type f TAB cactus snow in the URL bar and instantly search my own flickr photos for one of those desert plants I adore in the white frozen stuff.

For a few days this week I have been noticing this unwanted, strip of not my photos sitting atop the search results I wanted, under a heading of “From the Print Shop”. WTF are you doing flickr? Always the same photos.

What is this “Print Shop” cruft, flickr?

I ignored it a few days, but after seeing it again today (and the same 3 photos) I took a sniff in the flickr help forums and read of others asking the same question, Can you disable “from the print shop” in searches?

The answers seemed to be “no” – but also it was a beta feature, and as described in a blog post, it seemed as others pointed out inserting ads into the interface of Flickr Pro members, who pay for, amongst other things, to not see advertisements.

I decided to investigate, and in the Browser inspector I did find that putting a little bit of CSS in, I could hide it at least in principle.

But that won’t stop it everywhere. I remembered Tom Woodward making use of the browser extension Stylebot, which allows you to create custom CSS to apply at a domain level (and more fine tuning with patterns).

I installed it, created a new pattern for the url flickr.com and entered the CSS above, and BOOM! The Print Shop cruft was gone.

Victory!

I posted my “solution” (aka internet duct tape) in the help forum and anticipated/hoped for some adulation or maybe a thanks or a wow.

As it turns out a few hours later there was a report that Flickr had heard the outcry and removed the Print Shop from search results.

So yes, my Stylebot cleverness was now rendered obsolete, pineal eye and all.

But the gain in all of this is a wee bit of hands on knowledge and better awareness of Stylebot. Somewhere down this line, I will need it again. And just in case I forget some details, my blog has this record.

And, as well, because I can, some snow on a cactus.

The Obligatory Snow on Cactus Photo
The Obligatory Snow on Cactus Photo flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

And that was how I spent my lunch break today. In and out of a shorter web rabbit hole, maybe without a significant find, but a good little shred.


Featured Image: Mine! Found with flickr search and nary a Print Shop bling in sight.

delete or enter?
delete or enter? flickr photo by cogdogblog shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com 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.

Comments

  1. Stylebot seems to be like the old (and very badly named) Greasemonkey extension for Firefox. I recall that Google pushed through changes to how the web works to prevent any sort of preprocessing like that. I wonder how Stylebot does it. (Total idle curiosity; I won’t ever pursue the question in detail).

  2. I need a like button for you. Have so done this and had similar things happen. I’ve had the tenacity to try to fix something that bothers me only to have it resolved by magic elves at a later date.

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