The Day Flickr Exploded

I don’t use Flickr much any more. I tend to use it for storing images of local interest. Not much more. Typically an image gets about 30 views if I am lucky. A few stalwarts comment and sometimes we stray off topic. My lotus image was a typical case. Until late yesterday evening.

Flickr for some reason e mails me when someone comments on an image or marks it as a favourite. I was bemused to see my inbox suddenly clicking up Flickr notifications like there was no tomorrow. And it continued all night and into this morning. A few minutes ago this is what it looked like on the site:

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 13.52.39If you look in the bottom right hand corner you can see 37 comments and 228 favourites have been logged. It has had 3,871 views. In a day. Some of the comments baffled me. This one for example:

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 14.00.17

Er, Explore? What is zees thing called Explore? I still don’t know for sure but it seems Flickr’s black box runs a few algorithms and works out which images are popular that day. Then they go on Explore and lots of people pretend they are impressed and click ‘favourite’ and, like TalariaMoonspell, say congratulations. Well whoop-dee-doop. I am famous. Flickr’s Explore has exploded on me.

What really makes this a nonsense is that not one of these people who were so impressed that they favourited (is there such a word? I suspect not) my lotus bothered to look at any of my other images. None of them showed the slightest movement. Dear old Brian the snail has 34 views, no comments and no favourites. I am nothing if not consistent. What a load of old codswallop.

Am I being churlish? I hope not.

My blog is rather more active than my Flickr account and I take criticism seriously. So much so that I felt I had to do something about the allegation that I had posted a non-compliant dragonfly. The Indigo Dropwing wasn’t indigo. So back I went today, in rain and wind, to try and find a Dropwing that was indisputably indigo. And here it is:

IMGL0237

Levi’s blue if ever I saw it. Indigo. I rest my case. I also found another tiny damselfly. This is a Prodasinerura sp. – I am told it cannot readily be identified to species level in isolation.Β ProdasineruraHere is a blow up of the head:Threadtail-closeup

And that is all I have time for today. If you are feeling left out, do hop over to Explode on Flickr and explore the lotus again. You may even meet Ms. Moonspell. In the time it has taken me to write this the view count has gone to 3,998. Go one. Be a devil. Make it 4,000. You know it makes sense.

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39 thoughts on “The Day Flickr Exploded

  1. Love this and it says so much about the internet generation. We feel like we have to take it seriously because…… well who knows, because everyone is doing it? I had a similar experience last year when one blog post in particular went viral (in Estonia anyway), and was possibly seen by the whole population (which isn’t all that much really). Like you the traffic never went beyond that article and I think I may have had a couple of new likes on the Facebook page. So why do we do this? By the way, I like the Lotus. Do I really need to click the like button?

  2. Someone, no names mentioned, was about to say that back is yellow not orange. Someone also notes that flickr photo has a rather nice crop to it …

    Criticism? Critique? Or just comments? Criticism always seems to me to imply there is something wrong. Being a reluctant touchy feely, I would go for comments and feedback (much as I loathe the word). I wouldn’t dream of criticising anyone’s photos. Well, unless they were worse than mine.

    That is a very stunning indigo. I think it lives up to the name. Unlike the orange one πŸ˜‰

    I can’t remember the last time I flickred. Can’t even remember my log-in. That Explore thing sounds distinctly like Freshly Pressed where you get 2000 meaningless comments in a day which you feel obliged to reply to, and drop down to three again the next day. I do my best to avoid being freshly pressed by persistently criticising wordpress. Seems to have worked so far πŸ™‚

    Not sure the bottom of the eye is blue either. Pale cyan or turquoise?

    • It is indeed the RSITM crop and jolly good it is too. I am glad you like the indigo. The book says the eye is officially ‘pale blue’ but who gives a t**s – unless you are another Threadtail. I have never been Freshly Pressed. It sounds rather fun. And of course I am now well over 4,000 views so no need to try and be Ms. 4,000.

      • But I did. And I left a comment. And it didn’t show so I repeated it and now I am in duplicate. Stupid Flickr.

        I am equally pleased you like the crop. ‘Tis better I think my modest self.

        I also think you should update your post so that us kind persons no longer feel obliged to up your viewing stats. Unless you want to get to 5000 of course. FWIW. Which seems to me to be very little.

  3. Have you tried 500px? The mindless liking/faving is very much the same, but you have to bear in mind, that, to most people, this is the fastest means to get any sort of exposure for their own work. It’s too easy to not have your images looked at at all.

    • I haven’t tried 500px, Kenneth. I’ve seen some of the work and it looks above my level. Maybe I should look again. Thanks for visiting.

      • No, I can assure you it’s not. There are people new to photography, just as there are pros trying to sell their work. The site is just doing a good job at presenting the cream of the crop – which in turn helps to provide inspiration and won’t allow you to be satisfied.

  4. Like you Andrew, I take Flickr with a pinch of salt. The same happened to me, suddenly an image was getting loads of views and favourites, but no one visited anything else. I don’t like the new format of Flickr and if it were not for the fact that I am completing a 52 challenge I wouldn’t use it at all. Nowadays my photographs for my blog are hosted through google+ and Picassa. I use Windows Live Writer to write my blog offline and with a plugin I can embed my photographs from google+ straight into the blog. That way I’m not using up the space that WordPress provide, except for the featured image which is only about 50k in size.

    By the way great set of photographs…

    • Mike, thanks for the tips. I am using Google + but haven’t tried Windows Live Writer. Can it be used on a MacBook? I must do some research.

      I don’t understand why Flickr needed to change so drastically. I gave up my paid sub and pretty much ditched it.

      • Nasty indeed. Mrs Ha has just acquired a Sony notebook with Windows 8. I don’t understand how it works. The only MS product I use through choice is Office for Mac.

      • Mrs Ha would have been well advised to choose an Apple product then we could all advise happily.

        So you do double up? Not for me. DOS and my IBM were OK. But I always lusted after my personal apple except the wretched IBM wouldn’t die until it got killed in a power outage in Spain. Hurrah! finally I could buy me an Apple, which failed rather too quickly. Regardless of that, I will still buy them as I loathe those nasty windows. Takes too long and is too fiddly.

  5. I think Roughseas has hit the nail on the head with the freshly pressed comparison to Flickr.
    Just WOW to your images, in fact I let out a vocal wow to the Dropwing, it is stunning πŸ™‚

  6. The dropwing is really beautiful. I am curious about its perch.
    I have stayed away from Flickr, any site that spells that badly should be avoided.
    You churlish! I doubt it…

    • Thanks Rod. The perch is a small sign with the name of a plant on it, written in both English and Chinese. I passed the pond where I took this a few times and the dragonfly would cruise around but never changed its perch. It was disappointing it did not choose something more photogenic.

  7. Congratulations on Explore! Please add your image to Shimmery Dimmery Do group(mentally add an crazy avatar here)….lol….kidding of course but it certainly was a nice image Andrew.

    • Barry, with one or two exceptions I adopt a ‘Decline Invite’ policy. I refuse anything that tells me I have to comment. I was born a rebel.

  8. I’ve usd Flickr sparingly. When I initially posted on Flickr there were too many glitches and I only put up maybe 40? or so. I never advertised/promoted my photos. I found a few photographers that I like with the majority of them being British, yourself included. My pics hardly rate in comparaion to most that are on Flickr and that is why I have not tried to expand my horizons.

    With those gripes expressed, I don’t like what Flickr has done to its so called “improved format.”. I detest the new format and when it changed “for the better” the few comments and likes that I had were all erased.

    Andrew, I think you were wise to move over to Google+ but I’ve not tried to join G+ for I have no intention of posting any photos anymore. I just need to get on the site to view your photographs and I’ve not put any effort into joining/signing in so that I can support/view your work.

    ~ Yvonne

    • Yvonne, I think Flickr is a real mixed bag. There are some really top rate photographers on there but you and I can hold our own with the many and indeed probably do a little better than many. Most of what I post on G+ you will see through the blog so as long as you drop in here occasionally we won’t lose one another! I check Pets, People & Life too even for reposts πŸ™‚

      • Thanks Anfrew for the reply re: more thoughts about Flickr. It is indeed a Mixed bag as you have written.

        I appreciate the feed back and thanks for saying that you look in on my blog at times. I’m workking toward getting butterfly pics edited and ready for posting.It’s a drawn out process since I am so behind on editing photos, etc. My aim is to get back to posting hopefully on a weekly basis.

  9. My flickr is about the same, but last week a Stargate forum on reddit.com found a photo I took of a prop mask I saw at the Seattle EMP. More than 20,000 views in a day. Of all the art I’ve ever tried to make, the masses obsess over a quick snapshot of a sci-fi prop in a museum. Go figure.

    • Hell Fred, I wish I’d known. I’d have been on to it in a flash!! 20,000 is a huge number but not very productive if it leads nowhere. Still, I’d take it on my lotus, currently on 4408 πŸ™‚

  10. I’ve not tried Flicker and, as you know being the guilty perpetrator, have only just got into G+. But lately I have been asking myself why. At some point it becomes tiresome posting for the likes and comments when few are meaningful. However, as I mentioned the other day, if it were not for Social Media you and I would not be friends which I would consider a great loss. Flicker strikes me as very similar to G+. If I had to say something good about FB it is that relationships can be built in a way I don’t see with G+ and possibly Flicker as well, but I could be wrong…an all too common case with my assumptions. At any rate, I am weighing retiring to my blog and dispensing with SM but there are some folks I would miss.
    Ah, but I wish to say something about these images. Hard to beat “indisputable indigo”…that is a luscious colored dragon and it’s eyes are the perfect complement. πŸ™‚ Very nice damsel too. If identifying them is anything like identifying the orthoptera…dissecting the genitalia…then I would guess this one would rather remain anonymous. πŸ™‚

    • Steve, I think SM are only as good as the people who use them and how we use them. I agree that FB has brought me into contact with some people I am very grateful to have met. It also has a strong local element for me on natural history / wildlife, local social issues etc All to the good. There is though a lot of dross and my response is to do less on FB. Each of the channels has served a good purpose for me but times change. So I do much less on Flickr too. I think G+ can build relationships but it is less spontaneous and as far as I can tell a more focussed approach is needed. You need to work at it. I think that can be a good thing as it cuts out a lot of the flaky stuff I see on FB. I think the question to be answered is why do you use each channel and what do you give up if you withdraw only to your blog. What do the marketing gurus say?? If that is the aim, to market your work then that again is hard work and time consuming. No free lunch I guess!

      • The gurus say to use SM to it’s fullest. I guess I need to promote sales on my website before telling everyone to go there and buy prints. πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t mind the extra work if I actually knew what I was doing.

  11. First of all Andrew, lovely images…that lotus is really gorgeous. I like it a lot, and I mentioned my love of dragonflies to you…dare I say I swoon when I see a great image like yours.

    Also, congratulations on your 15 minutes of fame on Flickr. I haven’t experienced that on Flickr, although I’ve had 1 or 2 images take off on Facebook, and I must admit it’s really quite exciting. I saw a blog comment the other day in which the commenter mentioned a struggle between being true to one’s artistic self and being “liked” on the inter web. I think we all struggle with this to some degree or another. That said, I hardly use Flickr any more, I use 500px and Pinterest a little bit, and I do use Facebook and Twitter quite a bit, mostly for the camaraderie and image sharing than anything else.

    I don’t offer a whole lot of criticism (constructive or otherwise) on these social sites, mainly because they aren’t officially critique forums and you can never be sure how one will react to that (I once got reprimanded harshly for offering critique on a Flickr photo). I used to be a moderator of a landscape photography critique forum, but stepped out of that role a little over a year ago, for lack of time among other reasons.

    However, for you, I did log into Flickr and get you one view closer to 4000. πŸ™‚ Looked at a few others while I was there.

  12. I think it’s blooming marvellous that you’ve had that great flurry of excitement over your spectacular lotus picture – Good for you Andrew, you deserve it, it’s an absolute beaut. I love the dragonflies too – let’s face it, I love all of your photographs. You’re a damn fine photographer. πŸ˜€

  13. Damselfly head close-up – Great.
    Merits of Flickr…. Don’t know.
    “Talaria Moonshine” looks like an alias to me. I think I saw her on a “Wanted” circular, circa 1987.

  14. My brother’s on Flickr, (or last I heard he was) Andrew, makes you wonder what’s going on, (I joined but as I don’t rate my photo taking abilities I stopped using the site) also the problems on WordPress seems to be magnifying. One after another are reporting not being able to access sites and when they finally do, they can’t comment. At least every one I’ve commented on today has posted ok, so that’s one in the eye for the ‘Viral errors’ that’re messing us about.
    A non-compliant dragon fly? Sounds like one which argues that you’re taking the photo on it’s less photogenic side. πŸ˜‰ xPenx

    • My WP problems are usually confined to the Reader, and particularly on mobile. Often posts appear late or sometimes not at all and I find them by accident. You at least seem to be back from the slough of despond. Welcome back, Pen.

  15. I really enjoyed this post, Andrew. I even “explored” most of your many comments. Your pictures are drop dead gorgeous here. My first thought was that they “bug” me! But that’s way too corny to say out loud! I enjoy FB a lot more than I did when I started. I think the more friends you have and the more you use something, the more you like it. I don’t use Flickr at all, but I think I have an account and put a few pictures in it and forgot about it. I have some in picassa, and I don’t use that much either anymore. Most of my pictures are just on my computer which is dangerous. I have a back-up hard drive, but haven’t taken the time to load them all up yet. I may even have to check out your Flickr pictures. πŸ™‚

    • Oh Marsha, please back up your images. They probably could be recovered but the time, stress and maybe cost would be horrible. Storage is so cheap now. I still put the odd image on Flickr bit not so often. Thanks for the visit!

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