In exchange, my pictures have become part of the vast web of photo images people access when a topic is googled... That's how some people arrive at my blog.
I don't think I have a large readership - though I do get a lot of spam comments (which I monitor and delete before they can be published.) But thanks to my blog, family and friends can see what I'm up to. It leads to interesting emails between us. It helps create a web of contact I really enjoy and keeps us in touch. I have an opportunity to tell my children family stories I would probably never tell them otherwise.
It's a personal diary for me - trips taken (with photos to remind me of details...)
In fact, blogging is one of my favorite things to do...
But last week, I hit a crisis!
I was merrily creating a blog post - uploading photos - when suddenly the photos disappeared and a message popped onto the screen:
Whoops! You're out of space. You are currently using 100% of your 1 GB quota for photos. Upgrade storage
Photos are stored in your Picasa Web Albums account and are included in your 1 GB free quota for photos. Additional storage you purchase is shared between several Google products and is in addition to your free quota. Learn more
What? After almost 4 years of free blogging, I have to pay... for photo storage?! I have reached my free maximum and now it's $2.49 a month to Google forever...? (Or until I cancel my account and my blog is deleted?!)
I didn't see this coming! Why was I not warned a while back: You have used 80% of your free photo storage space? When you reach 100%, you will have to pay a monthly fee... That would have given me time to process all this information.
Part of me said: It's only $2.49 a month... for now. (Like everything else, it could go up.) What's $2.49? The cost of one good cup of coffee a month? I can surely afford that...
So what is bothering me about paying $2.49 a month?
I guess it's knowing that somewhere "out there" - wherever "out there" is - my credit card information will be stored, and I will have lost control of that little bit of privacy in my life.
So I have to decide... to pay or not to pay. I assume I can continue publishing posts (for free) as long as there are no photos in them... Or as long as I re-use previously published photos.
What will I do? I'm not sure yet... But if you see blog posts with new photos you'll know I have succumbed!