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I find Flickr really bizarre...

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Ray Sachs, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I love Flickr in the sense that its a good, cheap place to host a LOT of photos, at whatever resolution you want, its easy to link to from just about anywhere else, and its an easy way to share stuff with other photographers who's taste you somewhat share - ie, the contacts list.

    But there's this whole other dimension to Flickr that I find amazingly random and confusing. SOOOO many "groups" for every sub-genre of photography, for example. And so many other things I've never heard of that suddenly can take hold of one or two of your photographs. I posted a bunch of shots yesterday from some street shooting I did Thursday in Philly. I haven't linked them to any other web sites yet - I probably will at some point. But SOMEONE found one of these shots and added it to something called "Explore", which I'd never heard of. And suddenly a zillion people are evidently seeing it and adding it to their favorites list and commenting on it and stuff. I like the shot well enough - I thought enough of it to process and post. But I like other stuff I've done more. And suddenly this has been sort of launched. First of all, who goes through and finds all of the photos for "Explore" - there are hundreds that make their list each day it seems. And then, WHO is spending the time to go through those hundreds of shots every day to stumble onto mine? Something similar happend to another shot of mine a while back - it wasn't explore, it was something else I don't even remember now. And suddenly my email box was full of all of these Flickr notifications.

    Very strange. Its like there's a whole world there that I don't even know about and then once in a great while I get grabbed by one of its tentacles and sucked into it for a few days. But that stuff must be happening every day! A lot of people are spending too much time on this stuff - they could be out shooting! I'm sure the storm will subside by tomorrow when there's a new batch of photos to "explore", but for now, I'm inundated... On the one hand, I suppose I'm slightly flattered, but I'm mostly annoyed that all of this can happen without any say on my part other than to just post a bunch of photos like I frequently do...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 7
  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    ah the Explore experience ... yep, there's no rhyme or reason that us yumans can understand to that, it's a Flickr thing that's done on some combination of views, favouriting and so on (algorithmically) ... it can be especially irksome when you see what else appears in Explore (those weird big-eyed dolls for a start)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Ray, I remember the first time it happened to one of my photos I was also totally bewildered. It's actually all "random". Well, not random really. It's based on an algorithm (the formula they use is a closely guarded secret so that people can't "force" a photo into Explore). It factors in things like how soon people click on it after you add it....how many faves and comments it gets, are they by contacts or strangers, etc. It's an unscientific, but fairly accurate, way of finding photos that are of general interest to many people.

    There are many ways that people can use to only view the 500 photos that end up on Explore each day. I don't use any of them. Many people plan their lives around "Explore" and just live for it. It is nice to get such wide exposure, but I think most of it is just self-reflecting. Some people just fave every shot on Explore and hope their shots get faved back.....raising the chance that their next shot may end up on Explore. It's sort of a creepy popularity contest where you get to stuff the ballot box.

    Enjoy the glow of flickr fame. It's fleeting and fickle (and a bit of fun).

    For what it's worth, I actually enjoyed that photo much more than most of your other recent ones. Not that they were bad in any way. For me, it was more "classic photography" than street photography (which is a genre that increasingly leaves me cold). The lines are so cool. Post it up here for everyone to see.....nice and big.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I don't know why, but I feel like Photoshopping Ray's flickr icon head onto the body of the bicyclist. Maybe my coffee hasn't kicked in yet.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Oh, well thanks for the explanations. I'm glad to know there's no actual HUMAN behind it - that guy would just seriously need to get a LIFE!

    Anyway, here's the shot. Its kind of funny because I first put it up in a batch of other stuff, but it somehow had acquired all sorts of digital noise/characters in its "TAGS" area - no idea how it got there but I couldn't get rid of it, even by replacing the photo. So I had to delete the whole thing, export it from LR again, and re-upload it from scratch. And THAT'S when the fun started. So if it had just stayed in its normal position within the batch of 20-25 other shots, probably wouldn't have happened...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/8080306344/" title="Philly 10-11-76-Edit-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr"> 8080306344_d4bdfced2b_b. "1024" height="1024" alt="Philly 10-11-76-Edit-Edit"></a>

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 7
  6. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    I don't use the service much (in fact I don't post many of my photos online), but I do look occasionally. I get the feeling that it is similar effect as other forms of social media; for some people, the engagement in the site is more important than what is posted. Some people are, for example, obsessed with Facebook, while others use it to keep in touch. I also believe I would rather be out shooting, but in the end I suppose if people like this sort of thing, then it's all good. What I am not so keen on is things you have posted being shared around the site out of context. In most cases it likely doesn't matter, and it seems if you sign up then your stuff is fair game unless you make it private. But if you shoot a series that kind of tell a story, it's a pity to lose that thread.

    One online place I do like to cruise around is 500px.
     
  7. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    Now that is a good photograph. Great timing Ray. Just look at the light, and the shadows. Love the PP too.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    Ray,

    I have also been completely perplexed by the "Explore" phenomena. I have a good friend who is very active in Flickr, who has apparently fallen in the sweet spot of the "Explore" algorithm, in that almost every single shot he uploads (regardless of subject matter or even relative quality) gets explored. It's a running joke amongst our group. I, on the other hand, have had exactly one (1) photo featured in Explore.

    However, if I ever saw a photo that deserved to be "explored" it's yours. Beautiful light and excellent composition, lines and sense of movement. Superb in every sense.

    Cheers,

    Antonio
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    This was one I'd set up the composition beforehand and waited for people to pass through the scene, rather than the more spontaneous "moment" shots I tend to do more of. I had another shot of the same scene a couple of seconds with the two women front and center. It got ZERO notice and this one seems to be jetting around the world. I actually took the other down after this one got so much attention because I didn't really need two of more or less the same shot once one had become world famous - it was like the poor step-child or something. I initially posted both because I wasn't sure if I preferred one to the other and I figured I'd let the universe sort 'em out. Which it did... :biggrin:

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Lili
    congratulations Ray!
    Been there too a couple of times and have yet to figure out the rhyme or reason
    but your shot deserves it!
     
  11. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    Congratulations Ray. There's a website you can use to check whether any of your other pictures have appeared in explore. Just type in your flickr username:

    http://bighugelabs.com/scout.php

    Great to read that other members here have also featured on flickr's explore. It would be great to see them posted here.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    you can check anyone's explore with Scout.
    Ray has been blessed with 7 entries, 5 of which are current!

    and our Luke 53, 22 of which are current ...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Karen
    I just checked Luke's, he's had 22! He's been well explored! :wink:
     
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    You're kidding? I guess I'd noticed a few comments and favorites from folks I didn't know before on other photographs, but never enough to make me really wonder about it. This one really must have touched a nerve because I wasn't aware of the others. Weird. Not at ALL sure how I feel about this. I don't want to make my stuff private, but I didn't join Flickr to have my stuff being gone over by ANYone...

    Just went through and looked. Man, if I was choosing my own stuff, those aren't generally what I'd have come up with... But the cool thing is that one of my wife's very few photos that I just helped her process and posted for her is among the seven. She'll get a good laugh out of this for sure.

    Wow, even more bizzarre than I'd realized...

    -Ray
     
  15. Gary

    Gary SC All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    I won't use Flickr due to political/humanitarian reasons/conflicts I have with the owner Yahoo.

    G
     
  16. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I LOVE that shot! Long shadows, moody, well exposed, great PP!

    I never see Explore so I'm not even familiar with it. I suppose if I had been explored I would have noticed. LOL. You're in with a special crowd, Ray :)
     
  17. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'd never seen Explore either before today. All of these comments kept saying they found it there so I had to see what the heck they were talking about. Its a world I never knew existed, let alone that I seem to reside there, at least part time - we'll call it a vacation home. But I don't think I like the involuntary nature of this particular beast. When I started using Flickr, I knew there were groups you could join and post photos to and I even tried a couple for a while before getting quite bored with that aspect of it. But they're VOLUNTARY - you get to choose to play. Or not. Since my earliest days there I just saw it as a convenient way to store and link to photos and share them with friends and family. I didn't know there were these involuntary groups or clubs or whatever they are that can just grab your stuff and highlight it for the world...

    I might have to start using the friends and family only feature, but then I'm gonna have to keep track of who those people ARE, which sounds like even more work.

    My inbox finally seems to be slowing down a little bit - maybe another day's worth of shots are pulling everyone away. Thankfully...

    -Ray
     
  18. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I just checked my own photo stream and have 6 pics, 5 more than I thought. Aren't they supposed to let you know?
     
  19. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'm sort of curious, but I'm not sure I want to know, which is a terrible attitude. But if I stopped doing business with all companies that I had political and/or humanitarian disagreements with, I'm not sure I could exist in our society. Like Apple, which I use every day despite the horror stories about how their stuff is made. And where would I have had bad chicken sandwiches for the past couple of months?! (this last part is a joke, but the underlying point isn't). But if you feel like pointing me toward some info in a PM, I'm game. I already don't use Yahoo for anything else, but I'm so damn familiar with Flickr that it would be a big change in my workflow to change at this point. Then again, this Explore business really kind of makes me uncomfortable on a few levels. Its sort of like the old Groucho Marx line about not wanting to be a member of any club that would have me as a member, but times two because they make you a member without even telling you they exist...

    -Ray
     
  20. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    When I checked my gallery here, most pics garner a few views but three have 526, 201 and 276 views. Is there something wrong with the software dare I ask, it seems rather odd!