Images on the Forum

I think we’re obviously going to be referring to images a lot on this forum. It’s also good that fora handle inline images really well — much better than Facebook, and sort of similar to Discord.

Anyone that used a forum back in the day, though, might remember that images could be a finnicky issue. I recall that small forums really tried to discourage inline images (even though platforms like phpBB supported them), because the hosting and bandwidth overheads could, at scale, really cripple a site. This was one of the main use-cases for image hosts like imgur and Photobucket: you could link to those sites, whose whole business model was based around providing hosting capacity and bandwidth. On today’s Internet, this sort of capacity management is simply a day-to-day operational expenditure for the big platforms.

What’s our policy going to be with inline images, then? Who is hosting the forum (and prospective booru?), and where are the costs falling? I suspect that, nowadays, both bandwidth and storage have gotten a lot cheaper, so it may turn out that, at this level, there isn’t much of a scale problem at all.


We don’t have a lot of space, and posts with many images (viz. “meme dumps”) will probably be not very pleasant to browse at any rate.

Anything that goes beyond typical blogpost levels should be hosted elsewhere, and I think a booru would be ideal; the added benefit is that this is a form of research! Collecting and tagging images is actual research, and so are the discussions that would accompany the activity!

Imgur or some other free host that’s easy enough to use and link will be stopgap measures that will be replaced with a good booru sooner or later, so if we can set things up to work nicely from earlier on that would be good.

As for hosting, I’m just paying out of pocket at the moment. I’ll look into whether we can plug in an Amazon S3 bucket to the booru (and the forum) so that storage is cheaper. I don’t think we have to worry about that to begin with for the booru though.