April 26, 2007

I finally found what I am pretty sure is a foolproof way to show you pictures without leaving a trace–sort of.  If I upload the photos to flickr, then send you to the picture’s address on flickr (but not post the photo itself here), flickr will only show you the photo if I’ve added you and your flickr account as a friend.  I don’t like asking you to create a flickr account merely to view my photos, but I’m willing to make you make a bit of an effort to protect my own security.

If you don’t already have a flickr account, go here to create one.  Then request to add me as a contact.  If you don’t know how to do that, search (upper right corner) for my e-mail address (top of the blog’s sidebar).  View my profile, then add me as a contact using the link on the right.  They will send me an e-mail letting me know you’ve added me, and I’ll add you right back as long as I can tell who you are (e-mail if you don’t think I will be able to).  This will enable you to see all my private pictures on flickr.

I have my first practice picture here.  I will leave this post up so that you can check whether all this is working by clicking on the link to the picture.  You won’t be able to see it until you’ve signed into your flickr account and I’ve added you as a contact.  (Incidentally, if you’d rather not add me as a contact but want me to add you, e-mail me with that information and your flickr account name or e-mail address so that I can find you.)  Oh, and if you know an easier way to add a contact, please tell me.  I’m still kind of a newbie to flickr and don’t know all the tricks yet.

Questions?  Problems?  Found something I’ve overlooked?  Please let me know in the comments or by e-mail.

Not Sure What to Say

April 26, 2007

Did you know that if you google “afterthoughts,” this blog shows up on the first page of results?  A week ago or so when I tried, it didn’t show up in the first twenty or so pages, which is when I finally gave up looking.  According to my computer-savvy husband, google lists their results by the number of links to that name.  That means that the word “afterthoughts” links here about the sixth most times in all of Internet-world.

I thought that if that ever happened, I would be thrilled.  It would mean the popularity of my blog had radically increased.  All of a sudden that’s not such a good thing.  I love having lots of readers, but I’ve determined I’d rather have a few devoted readers instead.  You guys who read regularly are my friends now.  I feel like I can trust you.  That’s why I post pictures like the ones I’ve posted here.  As long as only my close, trustworthy friends see those pictures, I feel secure posting them.

But the fact that I am suddenly google-able sent off warning signs today.  M used some of his computer skills to test just how safe wordpress is with their password-protected posts to see if that one post could be the reason for my sudden popularity.  In a matter of a minute or two, he was able to bypass the password and see the pictures anyway.  (You could also see my full name in the address bar, but that was a mistake of mine to use my name as my photobucket username.  I didn’t realize every picture I posted there would show that name.  At least that’s relatively easy to fix.)  That terrifies me.  These pictures that were meant to be private were instead wide open to the public for anyone who really wanted to see them.

Now I’m doing damage control.  First and foremost, I deleted the pictures off photobucket and will be cancelling that account soon (to be restarted under a different, anonymous username).  I deleted the link to the non-existent pictures off the posts themselves.  I’ve left the posts in the hopes that I will be able to find a truly secure way to post those pictures eventually.

If I can’t find a way to post those pictures, I’m faced with a huge decision.  Do I stay with wordpress or switch back to blogger?  The two are much more even in my eyes if I can’t do password-protected posts to show you guys pictures.  Sure I like the customizable header, and the templates are more interesting…but I feel betrayed by wordpress.  I was led to believe if I posted pictures I was uncomfortable with the general public seeing that I could post them safely under the protection of a password.  And that’s not the case.  So now what?

Update: Still trying to find foolproof ways to upload pictures without leaving behind a specific address to the picture that people can access without a password.  In the meantime, I will only be uploading innocent pictures and I will change the password to any already protected posts.  I will forward the new password to all of you who have asked, but please, if you doubt you can keep the password an absolute secret, let me know right away.  Do not share the password with anybody without checking with me first.  Sorry to set such firm ground rules, but I’m quite paranoid now (lol).

Okay, I need your help apparently.  This is what I’d like to do ideally, if it’s even possible: I’d like to find a site to host photos that will let me set up a completely private profile.  That means that even if someone directly types the address to a specific photo, they will be forced to enter a password before they can see it.  Photobucket doesn’t do that, and I’m fairly confident flickr won’t either (may still play around some here to see for sure).  Does anybody know of a photo-hosting site that would do this?