Dries Buytaert

A photo stream for my site

A underground subway tunnel with an incoming train.

It's no secret that I don't like using Facebook, Instagram or Twitter as my primary platform for sharing photos and status updates. I don't trust these platforms with my data, and I don't like that they track my friends and family each time I post something.

For those reasons, I set a personal challenge in 2018 to take back control over my social media, photos and more. As a result, I quit Facebook and stopped using Twitter for personal status updates. I still use Twitter for Drupal-related updates.

To this date, I still occasionally post on Instagram. The main reason I still post on Instagram is that it's simply the easiest way for friends and family to follow me. But every time I post a photo on Instagram, I cringe. I don't like that I cause friends and family to be tracked.

My workflow is to upload photos to my website first. After uploading photos to my website, I occasionally POSSE a photo to Instagram. I have used this workflow for many years. As a result, I have over 10,000 photos on my website, and only 300 photos on Instagram. By all means, my website is my primary platform for sharing photos.

I decided it was time to make it a bit easier for people to follow my photography and adventures from my website. Last month I silently added a photo stream, complete with an RSS feed. Now there is a page that shows my newest photos and an easy way to subscribe to them.

While an RSS feed doesn't have the same convenience factor as Instagram, it is better than Instagram in the following ways: more photos, no tracking, no algorithmic filtering, no account required, and no advertising.

My photo stream and photo galleries aspire to the privacy of a printed photo album.

I encourage you to subscribe to my photos RSS feed and to unfollow me on Instagram.

Step by step, I will continue to build my audience here, on my blog, on the edge of the Open Web, on my own terms.

From a technical point of view, my photo stream uses responsive images that are lazy loaded — it should be pretty fast. And it uses the Open Graph Protocol for improved link sharing.

PS: The photo at the top is the subway in Boston. Taken on my way home from work.

Also posted on IndieNews.

— Dries Buytaert

1 min read time