I Feel Taboolaad – My Image Became Part of Clickbait


Another Image of that Eerily Abandoned Place 

So, this morning I’m doing my usual web browsing and stumble upon an article on one of the larger photography websites. You know, one of those that writes way more than it should and then adds even more stuff that you can click on. All for the pretty penny.

This site offers ‘recommended reading’ links, those little thumbnails with captivating headlines that promise endless fascination. One promised images of ‘Eerily Beautiful Abandoned Places.‘ I like those, so I clicked on the link, which was provided by content farmer Taboola.

It took me to the Conde Nast Traveler website and a little slideshow interspersed with ads for some kind of car. I forgot which car, because web advertising hardly works on me.

The moment I landed on the Conde Nast site, I had a feeling that I was going to feel used. I say ‘used,’ because I actually hate the clickbait that those ‘recommended reading’ links really are. Clutter mostly to make a bit of extra profit.

And ‘used’ because I already knew that one of my images was originally published on the Conde Nast Traveler website a while back in a series of photographs of abandoned places.

It’s a picture of an airplane on Nicosia airport, unused since 1974 when the Cyprus conflict tore the country apart. I took that picture in 2006 and submitted it to Alamy stock agency. I have only 35 images listed on Alamy, but some of those are pretty unique, so I do get a bit of traction out of those few.

I got paid of course, so I’m not really serious when I say I feel used. Fair’s fair. Conde Nast bought the rights to publish and can do what it wants to promote its slideshow and make a bit of dough.

Still, it’s a bit wry that my own work showed up in a web feature that I hate. That’s why I feel taboolaad.


© Image copyright John van Rosendaal

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