Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Hoboes Bum Rushed from 700 Hoboes Project.

There seems to be some controversy brewing around the 700 Hoboes project.

Apparently, a few illustrations have been either banned or removed from the Flickr set. This includes all of my drawings, but most notably, all of the wonderful drawings by illustrator Ape Lad were removed from the Flickr set. This comes on the heels of a Boing Boing story from earlier in the week that the 700 hoboes project had reached 100 drawings. Not only that, but Ape Lad's drawings were being used to illustrate the stories on BB and on Drawn! Talk about a slap in the face.

Now, I understand that the original call to action by Boing Boing was for 700 different illustrators to draw one hobo each. But come on now. Would it really be a terrible thing to see more than one version of the same hobo? Would it be awful for one illustrator to draw more than one hobo? Would the world be worse off if there were two or possibly three versions of Crane T. Eyebrow Smeller? I think not. In fact, I think it would be rather cool to see different interpretations. IMHO, it makes the set better and more interesting than it already is.

So I think I'll try drawing one more and see if shows up in the set. I've been promised by the Flickr staff that my drawings are again public. In any event, Ape Lad has started his own group to showcase all of his phenomenal hobo drawings. And some other artists are joining this renegade "bum group" as well. As fas as I know, this is the only place where you can see the missing Hobo drawings.

Check out the group here. And in the spirit of the holiday, let's give thanks that you can still see the drawings on the net. For now.

UPDATE: Looks like BB has taken notice of this travesty as well.

UPDATE #2: Here's a clever one -- take a photo of your hobo and upload it to Flckr! Brilliant!

UPDATE #3: We encourage everyone interested in contributing to the 700 Hoboes Project join the Flickr 700 Hoboes Group. Unfortunately, we can't do anything about the other hobo illustrations that aren't NIPSAed on Flickr. But with any luck, this project will go on much longer than the original 700 expectation.


  1. I'm guessing the reason for this is that Flickr marks accounts that are predominantly drawings/digital art/etc. as "NIPSA" (Not In Public Site Areas), which results in your stuff not showing up in public tag searches, etc. This practice has been the subject of much discussion.

  2. It might just be technical flickr issues. I know they've been working hard to scale the service to it's ever increasing demand.

  3. Dammit, I just noticed that my drawing (
    #465) was "nuked" from the pool as well!
    I'm not sure about the NIPSA thing, as my account is actually much more photo than art, drawings, and such. If they did tag me as such, I think I'm gonna have a fit...
    As for the "photos only" thing; that makes me question why the majority of the hoboes reamaining in the pool are not photos.
    Thanks for the heads-up,

  4. Damn, Pickled Noggin Nettles was one of the best ones!

  5. That flickr 'set' is not a set, but a listing of public photos tagged with a particular tag. Because flickr is a site for sharing photos, some accounts and images are not included in the public view.

    You are better off creating a flickr group and having an actual group 'pool' where it does not matter whether the images are private or excluded from public tag searches. Any member of that group will be able to view all images in the group pool.

    This looks to be a fine project, but the fact that you used a photo sharing site was not such a wise choice. I think it's unfair of you to portray this as some sort of censorship.

  6. It's true, making a 700 hoboes group will solve these problems. Once added to a group, pictures will remain viewable to everyone. Plus you can use the slideshow feature for fun times.

  7. Kallese:

    See this post bby Mark from Boing Boing:

    It was Mark who suggested that the images be tagged as 700 Hoboes on Flickr. Apparently, Flickr didn't get the memo about Mark's suggestion. We were just merely following Mark's lead.

  8. There was no memo for Flickr to get. This is how Flickr has always worked since it has always been meant for photos not illustrations. Anyways, theres discussion at Flickr about this here:

  9. Kallese said:
    This looks to be a fine project, but the fact that you used a photo sharing site was not such a wise choice. I think it's unfair of you to portray this as some sort of censorship.

    How did they get the drawings into flickr? Last time I posted a drawing, I had to photograph it and upload the photo. I could have scanned it, but I don't have a scanner, only a camera.

    And this is absolutely some sort of censorship. They just happen to be censoring in a private place.

    banubula said:
    This is how Flickr has always worked since it has always been meant for photos not illustrations.

    This is not how flickr has always worked. The NIPSA policy was introduced recently, and without any explicit contact to the people it affected.

    This policy change is also pretty lame on their part. They have not defined what a "photo" is for the purposes of enforcing the policy, or for any other purpose. What exactly is the difference between taking a snapshot of your art project on the screen and posting the digital file or scan directly? Uploading the original file is higher quality...

  10. Why not use a site intended for sharing illustrations, such as Ars Graphica?

  11. I don't have a reason not to post to Ars Graphica. But I do have a few reasons to use Flickr instead: Tags, notes, search, creative commons, sets, groups, etc.. Flickr has worked hard to have some very cool and unique features, not to mention massive servers and lots more exposure.

    And I do thank you for the link, I might have to start using Ars Graphics, but your comment is beside the point. Flickr has not been clear about what they want until now, and even now it's very ill defined and not properly enforced (or even properly enforcable). Many artists on flickr have been posting their images until the recent policy change, and flickr is now revoking exposure that they used to have. If I had paid money for my flickr account, I would be pissed rather than just mildly annoyed.

  12. could the reason for not allowing non-photos be to prevent people from using flickr to host the graphics for their personal websites? seems fairly plausible.

  13. I'm glad someone figured this out. I was wondering where Ape Lads pics went. As for Flickr... is posting drawings somehow hurting them? I'm very confused. It's sort of as if Blogger suddently decided that it was only for discussion of sports, and started nuking non sports blogs.

  14. Has anyone suggested posting photos of the sketches? Perhaps with the artists hand and pen at the bottom... they cant complain about that one.