Thursday, July 26, 2012

EXPLORE - The Monster That Ate Flickr

I'm still not so sure what Explore actually is, or how it's generated but many people still seem to think it's worth getting excited about. I  recently searched at Scout , a site which compiles thumbnails of photographs which have qualified for inclusion on Explore   and found a selection from my photostream.  Inclusion on Explore is meant to be a measurement of 'interestingness' in Flickr talk, which in itself is an obscure term. 

Now these images are actually ones I quite liked, but had varying degrees of visits, 'favouriting' and comments so I'm still unsure how it works, and how these images could be regarded as any more interesting than other images of mine which appeared to be far better received by my contacts. I've seen images which have made it to Explore with 5 visits, no favourites and 2 comments. I'm wondering how 'interestingness' can be equated given these stats ? There is a veil of secrecy about the "secret algorithm" used to select these images which seems to add to the allure, but for me adds to the frustration, the lack of any definable criteria. 

What concerns me is that many people become driven by Explore, perceiving it is a measurement of the quality of the photograph (which it is not), and which Flickr itself states. Flickr itself is addictive yet harmless ( unless you count lost hours as harmful), however addiction to Explore is something that Newbies frequently experience. They can fall victim to the euphoria generated by hitherto unknown contacts visiting their stream and posting effusive comments about the worthiness of their image. Fuelled by " Congrats on Explore !!!! " they investigate links which explain what to do or not to do in order to have an image score a position on the daily Explore.

I speak from experience because I've "been there, done that "! But it no longer holds the same appeal, in fact it frustrates me, because it changes the behaviours of people and fosters a culture of "Quid Pro Quo".

 Have you become driven by Explore ????
1. Do you check Flickr Scout every day to see if one of your photos is featured ? 

2. Have you favourited hundreds of shots in an endeavour to generate return favouriting ?

3. Do you post to a multitude of groups which carry a "post 1, comment on 5" demand which promotes gratuitous commenting ?

4. Have you collected thousands of contacts which you could never hope to maintain ?

5. Have you elected to post 1 image at a time to maximise the number of comments?

6, Do you comment on a multitude of image prior to posting one of your own ?

If you answer no to each of these questions I would think that Flickr will retain its magic for you and you will gain much joy from the genuine responses to your images, positive or otherwise.   You can jump for joy again ! Forget about Explore.

No comments:

Post a Comment