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FLICKR INFRASTRUCTURE: former crop duster disperses a new cargo
This airplane was built to disperse chemical fertilizers and insecticides over farmed fields and fulfilled that roll for three decades. Now, however, it has a new purpose, thanks to some sharp-thinking employees in Flickr's Public Relations Department.
It seems that some Flickr members are more interested in paying their rising utility bills than continuing to seek ego gratification via the posting of photos on the World-Wide Web. Enough members have this attitude that the rate of subscription renewals has taken a nosedive (is that a pun?). Management is concerned about this and with good reason: management's annual bonuses are affected by the rate of subscription renewals.
To stem this disconcerting tide of abandonments, Flickr's Public Relations Department is using all means at its disposal to boost Flickr's image in the minds of penny-pinchers. This conspicuous, colorful converted crop-duster is part of the plan: pilots fly it over urban areas, "dispersing" promotional leaflets that are intended to enlighten the surfing-posting public about the benefits of becoming a Flickr subscriber and a re-subscriber. Some leaflets extol the glories of Flickr's "interestingness" concept. Others trumpet the beautiful structure of the Photostream. Still others explain that the frequency of system "hiccups" is at an all-time low.
It is too soon to tell if these measures have the intended effect, but Flickr's Legal Department is dealing with a development that was not anticipated: some communities have sued Flickr for littering.
Photographed at the airport in Ephrata, Washington, a hub for dispersals in the eastern part of the state. A closer view of this IDU (information dispersal unit) is not permitted, as it would reveal some proprietary technology.
FLICKR INFRASTRUCTURE: facility due for refurbishment
Nothing is permanent, except for Flickr's commitment to its customers. This regional office and service center in Oregon used to be a state-of-the-art facility, but budget constraints forced a closure. (By the way, that closure produced the first in a long line of system "hiccups" that persists to this day.)
This photo, shot from the employee lunch garden area, shows the main generator plant that powered the Fratostatic Image Collection Redundantator (FICR). Some time after the shut-down, the facility was cannibalized when equipment shortages elsewhere became acute. An upswing in the economy---whenever that happens---will allow the building will be completely refurbished. When rehabilitation is complete, a "back in service" photo will be added.
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