This evening I took some photos with my camera and sent them to Flickr. And when I went to Flickr, this is what I saw:
Vodafone, my mobile phone provider have started to turn all outgoing e-mails that go through their system into image-full HTML e-mails, dripping with highly-branded bullshit advertising crap that clearly they believe I’ve been clamouring out for. Except of course it breaks Flickr completely. Each photo I post is now complemented by spacer gifs, little logos, gif text and dumb bloody icons. Flickr treats each as a separate image. The act of posting four photos makes pages of empty marketing guff appear across my photostream – and by consequence all over my weblog. Effectively, with one flick of a switch, my camera phone has become useless and my desire to use Vodafone immediately and effectively zero.
What kind of cretinous organisation does this kind of thing? I mean I’m already paying to send multimedia messages and e-mails via their service – and they still want to cover it in advertising? I mean – I’d leave for the advertising and the HTML e-mails alone, but to make me pay for it too? Excruciating. I’m also an evangelist – promoting picture messaging via the Flickr box on my site – and a good customer. I pay more for data transfer each month than I do for making phone calls. What on earth were they thinking?
I rang up in a fury and they’re looking into it, but if I don’t get a satisfactory response I don’t think I can stay with them any longer. No doubt there is a way around this stuff, but mobile phone connectivity is excruciating to set up, and covered in proprietorial crap that seems designed to do nothing but confuse. And if it’s confusing me a lot, then I’m assuming that other people will be as or more confused by the whole thing. Therefore, at this precise moment in time, I’d say if you were thinking of using your cameraphone to post to your weblog or to Flickr, then you should seriously consider staying well away from Vodafone. And if you’re stuck with them already – ring them up, shout at them or send them e-mails telling them to stop trying to milk every last penny of value from every picture message that someone sends, because it’s sure as hell going to start hurting their bloody business if it’s not possible to use these services in the way that see fit…
In the meantime, if anyone knows how I can get photographs onto Flickr using my Nokia 6230 without getting all these vile guff, then please post in the comments below. In return, I’ll give you my first born child. Unless I actually have a child. In which case, maybe I’ll get you a coke.