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2 Million Views

Back in August of this year, I posted on Flickr that I had just passed 1.5 million views (or, as Dr. Evil might say, “Wun point five MEEEELEON” views). It had taken me 5½ years to get to that point.

Well, today I realised that I have just passed 2 million views. I must confess that I’m slightly surprised by this because I have observed that since Flickr changed the way that the main page works, people are more likely to star (mark as a favourite) a picture than to click through to it, which can result in the rather bizarre situation of having more favourites than views on a picture. So to take 5½ years to get 1.5 million views and then just under 3 months to get another half million, when views are harder to come by, is a little bit of a puzzler. But clearly I’m doing something right. 🙂

2,012,648

Partly that may be down to you, as a follower of my blog and/or my new Twitter account, becoming a follower on Flickr as well. If so, then thank you very much for viewing my pics and I hope you enjoy them! I certainly enjoy taking them and it is always nice to hear that they are appreciated. Fortunately I get almost entirely nice and positive comments, and only very, very rarely (as in literally only once or twice) get horrid trolling transphobic ones. Those are very quickly deleted and reported – I’m more than happy to accept positive criticism but I don’t see that I have to stand for transphobic insults from poisonous people.

In case you’re wondering how I generated the statistics graphs, my Flickr account is still a Flickr Pro. It used to be that unless you were happy with a load of restrictions on a free account, you needed to pay $24.95 a year for a Pro account. In May 2014, Flickr removed most of the restrictions on the free account and rendered Flickr Pro pretty much obsolete. You can read more about it all in this post on Mashable. The only real benefit that Flickr Pro still gives over a standard free account is the aforementioned statistics and referrals information (ostensibly it also gives you an ‘advert-free experience’. But so does Adblock Plus). Since I find it interesting to see the statistics I continue to pay my $24.95pa for it. I’ve let my other two Flickr accounts lapse to ordinary ones though, as the statistics are of less interest to me on those and also I can’t really justify spending the extra money to maintain Flickr Pro on those accounts.

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Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Diary

 

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She’s not so dumb

I had been planning on going to the Flea and Collectables Fair at Woking on Sunday, but when I got up the weather was a little grotty and I decided that I really couldn’t be bothered. Besides, it was the final rounds of the BTCC and also there was a F1 race. So I decided to stay in. But I told myself I would get into girl mode and take some pics of the other of the two wigs; which I have not yet photographed.

Back in Black

Back in Black

I looked in the wardrobe for something to wear, and came up with a little outfit that I’m quite pleased with. The top is a semi-sheer shirt from Next, with a black cami-vest underneath, and paired with a simple black bodycon skirt. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out and it’s a cute little outfit.

Lisa Loeb?

Lisa Loeb?

A while back I bought some fancy dress glasses with an intent of doing a “sexy secretary” look with them, which I’ve never got round to doing. But I thought I would give them a go, and I really liked how it turned out. I think I look like Lisa Loeb.

I then went back to the wardrobe to see what else I could try, but nothing else seemed to grab me apart form a unisex retro t-shirt that I recently bought. Also, I have a “retro wall” in my house where I have retro posters, metal signs, and the like.

Retro

Retro

I thought it might be fun to take a photo of me in the t-shirt with that as the backdrop. The only downside is that it’s in the kitchen and the light is very harsh in there.

If you look carefully at the pic, at the parting of my hair, you can clearly see the lace front in action. It does an amazing job of making it look like a natural hairline, doesn’t it!

Keep Mum, she's not so dumb

Keep Mum, she’s not so dumb

You can’t really see the poster to the right of the picture, but it’s one I like very much which I bought at Bletchley Park. It’s a wartime poster cautioning people not to give away secrets – saying “Keep mum, she’s not so dumb!

On the face of it, it seems typically misogynistic in keeping with the era, but I find it strangely empowering. The woman looks very intelligent, confident and composed. And although the caption implies that men of that time considered women as stupid and of no consequence, the poster is pointing out that women can be intelligent and could be using their position to manipulate Top Brass in the Military (you’ll notice that the 3 men represent Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force) into giving away secrets. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but that’s my take on it and from that point of view it’s empowering women.

 

 

 

 

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Fashion update

Baroque Print Skater Dress

‘Baroque Print Skater Dress’ by Tenki on Flickr

As I mentioned in a recent post, I recently bought the ‘Baroque Print Skater Dress’ by Tenki but had not taken a photo of me wearing it. I’ve now taken one, as you can see. I can’t say I’m totally happy with the way it sits on me, though; especially in the under-bust area. Definitely not a favourite, although it’s ok I guess. I think I’m not alone in this opinion because it has gathered below-average views, faves and comments on Flickr.

‘Smoky Floral Lace Skater Dress’ by Select Fashion on Flickr

Far more successful was this lovely Smokey Lace Skater Dress by Select Fashion that I bought during a recent shopping trip to Camberley. I love how it appears sheer yet has strategically placed modesty panels. It’s really comfortable and I absolutely adore it. I think the colour and design really suit me. Again, it seems I’m not alone there as the above-average views, faves and comments on Flickr reflect. Even better, it was only £14.99 – barrrrrgain!

Browns & Whites

‘Browns & Whites’ on Flickr

Another success, bought during the same shopping trip, was a really cute brown biker jacket that I bought in H&M. It’s meant to look like leather, but close up it’s not fooling anyone. But that’s hardly surprising as it was only £34.99 and you’d expect to pay 10 times that for proper leather. But I think it looks pretty cute (as do my Flickr followers, it seems). I paired it with a skirt and belt that I bought years ago, a top that has appeared in previous pics, and my favourite Timberland boots. To be honest, the boots are a little dark for this outfit, but never mind.

Moving on to New Look I bought a nice floral body in the sale, reduced to £7. You don’t tend to see them to buy that often (unless they are as a really expensive ‘shaping body’) – certainly Marks & Spencer haven’t stocked them for ages. That’s a pity because I find them really useful and they really flatten and shape the tummy far better than a camisole or vest do.

Short Sleeve Pointelle Knit Shrug

Short Sleeve Pointelle Knit Shrug

I also bought a cute little black Short Sleeve Pointelle Knit Shrug which was also reduced to £7. I bought it because I thought it could be versatile and useful for going out, especially as the weather cools into Autumn.

Topshop earrings

Topshop earrings

Yesterday I was out shopping in guy mode for some stuff, and visited Farnborough Gate because I needed to go to Halfords. Whilst there I popped into Boots to get a liquid eyeliner, and decided to try a liquid eyeliner pen. It looks for all the world like a felt tip pen. Perhaps I could have saved some money and used a Sharpie marker instead? Anyway, I’m planning to have a go with it this weekend (the eyeliner pen, not the Sharpie marker!) and will let you know how that goes.

Whilst at Farnborough Gate I also popped into Topshop, and saw these absolutely gorgeous earrings. I love how they have an Art Deco (or possibly Art Nouveau) vibe and the chains are really delicate. Also I really like how they have mirror symmetry – it really annoys me when asymmetric earrings don’t.

 
 

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Does a rose by 58 other names smell as sweet?

Facebook recently vastly expanded the gender option you can select for yourself on your profile, adding a bewildering 56 additional gender declarations to the more traditional “male” and “female”. Well, for users of US English anyway; those of us who use proper British English (and variations thereof) they are not yet available.

As a transgender person who considers themselves “gender fluid”, you’d think I would be very happy about this. But the truth is, I am completely unmoved by it. As a programmer, I know that if I offer methods on a “light bulb” class called “Illuminate”, “Incandesce”, “Turn On”, “Activate” and “Energise”, users will quite rightly ask what the difference between them is and which one they should use. And even if I was to assure them they were all equivalent, there would still be continuing confusion.

I know that cisgender friends have initially been even more confused than me about these new options, perhaps perplexed by the fact that “male” and female” appear not to be listed (but “cis female”, “cis woman”, “cis male”, “cisgender female”, “cisgender woman” and “cisgender male” are, although giving people the option to state this seems counter-productive to me). For the record, though, these are additional options; the existing “male” and “female” remain.

I believe that you can give people too much choice, though. Why do we need these 56 new options when a majority of them are synonyms or subtle differences to the point of hair-splitting? My experience is that transsexuals who want to transition from one gender binary to the other will want to identify as their chosen gender. And transgender people like me will simply want to say “other” or “gender fluid” or “none of your damn business” (or whatever). Basically, 99.9% of people will simply not want to split hairs the way Facebook is offering.
I rather suspect that Facebook had a number of Focus meetings, or otherwise garnered suggestions, and then just accepted every single suggestion.

I had a look on Flickr and Google+ to see what they offer, and I think their approaches are far more sensible.

Flickr gives you the following options:

Flickr Gender options

Flickr Gender options

and Google+ is even more streamlined

Google+ gender options

Google+ gender options

Personally, I like what Google+ is offering because it does not scream “I am different” like Flickr’s does. But I suppose that depends on how “in your face” you want to be about your Gender Identity. I suppose that if you are completely militant then you may love Facebook’s approach, but personally I think it is pants. It’s a case of going from one extreme to the other.

Fortunately, for me, a good while ago I subverted Facebook by recording a null value for my gender in my Facebook profile. Not only does this give me the gender ambiguity I desire, but it also leaves Facebook’s targeted advertising at a loss as to what to deluge me with, And that suits me just fine. Let’s not prevaricate about the shrubbery here folks, Facebook wants you to to choose the granularity it is offering so that it can fire targeted advertising at you. Facebook wants to know you are cis-female or trans-female so it knows whether or not to deluge you with adverts for feminine hygiene products (for example). It has absolutely nothing to do with freedom of expression or being “right on” with the LGBT community.
Personally I am going to stick with my subverted value and remain genderless to Facebook and leave them scratching their head as to what gender-specific adverts they should vomit forth to me.

How did I do this? Well, I’ll leave it to you to google that as it is a constantly changing thing, but basically it involves using web developer / debug tools to inject a bad value into the appropriate field that Facebook uses so that it is interpreted as “not set” or “invalid”. And when that is the case, Facebook reverts to using “their” instead of “her” or “his” which suits me just fine.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Opinion, Transgender

 

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Image

Friday on my mind

On one of my recent fashion updates I mentioned that I had bought a lovely Rockabilly-style dress from Friday On My Mind. Well, now have photos of me wearing it. Woot!

This pic is a close-up that doesn’t really show the whole dress, but I liked it a lot so decided that this would be the one I would post to Flickr. If you look closely (or zoom in) you can also see my experiments with liquid eyeliner that I have applied to my upper lids above the lashes. I’m quite pleased with how it came out.

Friday on my mind

Friday on my mind

As a bonus, and not currently on Flickr (although I may add it at some stage), here is a pic showing the whole dress too. Isn’t it lovely?

The whole dress

The whole dress

 
 

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Follow you, follow me – Flickr changes

I see that today Flickr has renamed ‘Contacts’ to ‘Following’.

I know a lot of people hate change, but this makes a lot of sense to me because that’s what it has actually always been in all but name. Contacts on Flickr have always been initially unidirectional (ie. not actually contacts) and it’s only when the other person makes the conscious (and optional) step to reciprocate that it becomes an actual contact in the true sense; up until that point you are merely following them. All Flickr have done is make it more obvious. It also eases the pressure that people feel to reciprocate when people add them as a contact.

‘Friend’ and ‘Family’ appear to be unchanged.

One thing that does seem to be a little clumsy though is that in your ‘Contacts List’ (Flickr obviously haven’t finished updating everything yet!), it only lists your contacts as ‘Following’, ‘Friend’ or ‘Family’. There’s no indication as to whether it’s reciprocal or unidirectional.

I’m sure Flickr will tweak it a little more, but my initial feeling is this is a long-overdue and positive change.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Opinion

 

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Image

Strictly plant inspecting

I had a great weekend just gone. It started off with a bit of drinksitting on Friday evening and staying up into the early hours of the morning talking drunken rubbish to friends on Facebook and IM, and then a lie in on Saturday morning and a little bit of a hangover (a far more mild one than I deserved to be honest). I watched the F1 qualifying (I’m a big F1 fan), pottered around a bit. and before I knew it, it was early evening and Strictly Come Dancing came on the telly. Now, I have a confession to make; I have never watched it before. But I know several of my friends love it so I gave it a go and I am absolutely hooked now. I loved it! ha ha. I smiled, I laughed, and I even cried at one point, but mostly I had a happy grin on my face and felt very entertained and happy. And that can’t be a bad thing can it.

Plant inspecting

Plant inspecting

Sunday saw me in a much better disposition, so after I had watched the F1 race, I got my makeup on, experimenting with liquid eyeliner which worked really well for me. I also tried on this lovely dress that I got from La Redoute that I mentioned in my last post. It fits beautifully and I’m really pleased with it. In fact, I decided to pop out down to Marks & Spencers wearing it. And then took my car through the car wash after.

Girl Racer

Girl Racer

I was a bit bored whilst in the car wash, and I had my trusty little Panasonic compact camera with me that does great selfies so took this pic whilst I was waiting. I’m quite pleased with how it came out. Can’t say the same for the car though; the automated car wash missed loads of bits. Still, it’s better than it was.

When I got back home I decided to try on some more outfits and take some more pics. I’ll be posting them up on Flickr over the next few days so be sure to keep an eye on my Flickr if you don’t already!

 

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Yours insincerely

I’ve long noticed that on Flickr, the comments all seem to be predominantly very polite and positive. People tend not to post anything rather than post something negative.

I’ve especially noticed this on pics of t-girls. Even when, to be brutally honest, they don’t actually look very good (to the extent it’s clearly a guy who has pulled on one of his wife’s dresses and plonked a wig on his head) people feel the need to build them up with gushing praise about how fantastic they look.

However, the corollary to this is that people then tend to get an artificially positive feeling about their pics and I’m not sure that’s particularly productive.

It also throws doubt onto all of the positive comments on my own Flickr.

 

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Opinion

 

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