Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr

UPDATED: Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr Updated article here.

Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr

At present over in the Flickr Central forum at Flickr (almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world) there is a debate going on between those who look at Flickr as a “numbers game,” and those who find the “numbers game,” a distasteful and unfortunate side effect of popularity on Flickr.

I’ve been using Flickr for about a year now and during this time one constant I’ve seen is regular bickering amongst Flickr members about this topic. I suppose any time you put a bunch of people in a room somewhere there will always be those who get more attention and those who get less attention. Inevitably, just as it is amongst the various online conversations regarding A,B, and C list bloggers and the popularity inequity there, you will have those in communities like Flickr who, whether for valid reasons or not, jealously regard their peers who might be seeming to get more than their fair share of attention. By the way, do a Google search in quotes for “a list blogger” “b list blogger” and “c list blogger” and you get 46,300, 2,350, and 354 results respectively. We certainly are obsessed with popularity — despite our denials to others and even ourselves. Particularly attacked for popularity on Flickr are female photographers who engage in provocative self portraiture. You can read more on this at the Flickr Central thread, “Tired of all the Self Picture Whoring.”

Of course admitting that we are obsessed with popularity is a somewhat unpopular thing to say in the first place as we all are fond of saying things, like, sure “I get lots of traffic, views, comments, favs, mentions on blogebrity, etc., but it’s not my motivation, my motives are pure.”

Despite our denial of participating in the popularity contest ourselves, the game marches on. So this rather lengthy introduction to top tips for getting attention on Flickr hopefully will be read before I begin to get my first critical attacks for promoting yet even more popularity on Flickr.

I would remind those who find these tips distasteful that getting attention is indeed pretty much built into Flickr. Caterina Fake one of the founders of Flickr recently wrote on her blog, “What is more thrilling than an entire hall of expectant eyes, what more overwhelming than applause surging up to us? What, lastly, equals the enchantment sparked off by the delighted attention we receive from those who profoundly delight ourselves? – Attention by other people is the most irresistible of drugs. To receive it outshines receiving any other kind of income. This is why glory surpasses power and why wealth is overshadowed by prominence.”

Indeed.

At present my photostream on Flickr has been viewed over 400,000 times. While Flickr provides no rank of their photographers this would probably put me in the top 1% of photographers viewed on Flickr. Certainly others have been viewed more but I’ve received more than my fair share of attention over the course of the past year. Hopefully these tips below will provide you some ideas on how you can better promote your work on Flickr.

So on with the tips.

1. Take great pictures. Ok, first and foremost, quality does matter. If you want people to look at your stuff, make your stuff worth looking at. Practice your craft as a photographer, buy good equipment (and lenses count more than anything), actually read your owners manual and understand the basics of how your camera works (little things like ISO settings) — and don’t underestimate the power of Photoshop. Despite the purists who will tell you that Photoshop is whoring, don’t believe the hype. Virtually all my photos are Photoshopped and you can significantly enhance any photo by doing very simple post processing things like bumping up contrast and saturation and using the healing brush to blot out distractions in your work.

2. You get one shot a day. You have a single shot each day that matters. Choose it wisely. Don’t randomly upload your last 20 shots. Make sure that the last shot you upload is your best. The reason why this is the case is the concept of contacts on Flickr. Your contacts on Flickr have two ways that they can view their contact’s photos as they are uploaded. They can view one from each contact or five from each contact. If they choose one per contact they will only see the very last photo you uploaded. You can still upload five as some will see five but all will see one — the last one. Uploading more than five shots in a single upload all but relegates any beyond 5 to obscurity. If you upload more than 5 at a time make sure your last five are your best and your last one is the best of the best.

3. Interestingness. The single greatest tool for garnering attention on Flickr is to have your photos appear in the “Explore” section of Flickr’s interestingness stream. Interestingness is a secret sauce formula algorithm on Flickr whereby they post what their algorithm says are the 500 most interesting photos on Flickr each day to their Explore section. The higher the rank, the more people see it. Despite the top secretness formula of interestingness, it is really not that complicated to understand in broad terms. Your photos are deemed interesting when they have activity. When people tag your photos, comment on your photos, view your photos, leave notes on your photos, and especially when they favorite your photos you increase your interestingness rank.

If you want to see if any of your photos have made it to the top 500 for a given day you can check out Scout. Scout lets you put in your Flickr email and will show you any of your photos that have made interestingness. At present I’ve got 198. You can see them here. Type in your own Flickr email and you can see your own. Making interestingness is not so formidable as you might think. Flickr recently changed their algorithm and now uses a weighted average for photographers. Thus it is much harder for me to make interestingness than it might be for you. If I average 5 favs per photo then only my photos that greatly exceed 5 per photo will be included. If your average is one fav per photo though, a 5 fav photo by you very well will make it in.

4. Fav lots of photos. Be very liberal with your favs. I’ve got over 13,000 now myself — and believe it or not I genuinely love them all. If you see a photo you like on Flickr, fav it. Don’t be shy. It’s as easy as clicking on the little star above someone’s photo. Favs mean more to other
Flickr users than comments or tags or notes or anything. Numbers of favs is more than just recognition, it counts most towards interestingness and allows them possible access to many prestigious groups at Flickr like 10 favs and 100 views or top f 25 fav minimum, or even the “100 Club” (100 favs or more, ohhhhhhhhh, ahhhhhh) Don’t be disingenuous, but if you like a photo, by all means, let the photographer know by faving it. By faving their photos you will find that many will click on your link and check your stuff out. If they like it, they may fav yours as well.

5. When you post counts. It used to really, really count, but less now that the interestingness algorithm has changed. Flickr basically begins posting top interesting shots from each day as the day gets going. I don’t know the specific time, but the earlier you post your shot each day, the more traction it can build for consideration for the interestingness stream. If you have the choice between posting a photo at 11:59 at night (with virtually no time left to make that day’s interestingness stream) or 12:01, choose 12:01.

6. Blog your photos. If you have a blog, post your best photos to it occasionally through Flickr. It doesn’t consume any bandwidth as Flickr is hosting the shot and when people click on the photo it takes them to your Flickr stream. Although non Flickr users hardly ever fav or comment on photos, the views help you and sometimes they do actually. If you don’t mind people having high res copies of your photos, let them know that they can download these from Flickr. And encourage your blogger friends to blog your photos too. If you are at an event and take a photo of a blogger on Flickr send them the link. They will appreciate it, most likely fav the shot and blog it themselves, and if it’s a good shot, email the link to tons of their friends.

7. Tell everyone you know about Flickr. Tell your friends, your family, your co-workers, heck, even complete strangers. Get them hooked (and many will get hooked). You will of course be made a friend and find them faving and commenting on your photos all the time.

8. Post your photo to lots of groups and participate in some of the game groups on Flickr. Don’t spam the groups, but if you have a photo of a bridge, put it in the bridge group. If you took a photo of San Francisco, put it in the San Francisco group. You can search the groups on Flickr and you will find that almost everything you could photograph already has a group to include your photo in. While labor intensive it will give your photography more visibility. If you can’t find a group for one of your photos then make up a new group yourself for it. There are also a number of game groups on Flickr. These are groups where you comment and vote on others photographs and they comment on yours. I participated in these groups before interestingness mattered — by including your photo in a group where it will by nature of the game get lots of views, tags and comments you will increase the potential for that photo to make interestingness. My favorite group is deleteme uncensored where photos are voted on by the group members. 10 save votes and your photo is included in a special lightbox. 10 delete votes and your photo is voted out of the pool.

9. Make everyone who makes you a contact a contact back. Don’t be shy about making everyone who makes you a contact back. It’s not just polite, but it makes sure that as they are seeing your work, you are seeing theirs. Flickr still has a mechanism where you can distinguish between contacts and familiy/friends and filter out only your family/friends when you want. It doesn’t hurt making them a contact and it’s the least you can do to let them know you appreciate them making you one.

10. Tag your photos religiously. Flickr allows users to search by tags (and especially to then rank their search by interestingness). If people search for “San Francisco” right now on Flickr my photo will come up as the top most interesting photo. If I had not tagged this photo “San Francisco” (and remember it’s “San Francisco” or sanfrancisco not San Francisco or you may end up with the top shot for both “san” and “francisco” respectively) then people would not see it when doing searches for our beautiful City of St. Francis. Especially if you have a top ranked interestingness photo tag the heck out of it. Is it a photo of a “snake”? Is it at the “zoo”? Is it at the “San Francisco Zoo”? That’s in “San Francisco”? That also happens to be a “boa constrictor”? That also looks just like “Paris Hilton” (just kidding about that last one). If you can tag it, do. It will increase the visibility of your photo in Flickr search (which will most likely be spread to broader visibility in Yahoo! Image Search down the line).

Above all, have fun on Flickr. Never take it too seriously. Don’t confuse popularity for artistic talent and resist the temptation to tear those more popular than you down. Just because someone gets more views, favs, etc. than you don’t be bitter. If someone attacks you or gets worked up by your work or opinions ignore it. Water off a duck’s back. _Rebekka, a very sexy Icelandic woman, is perhaps the most popular photographer on Flickr at the present time and probably attacked more than anyone I’ve seen. In addition to some unbelievable shots of Iceland she does some really amazing self portraiture work as well. Technically she is outstanding. Still, she (and others who post similar style self portraiture) are frequently called out for this work. Whether under the guise of some sort of feminist sentiment or artistic Puritanism, for whatever reason people object. If you don’t like the art fine, but it only sounds like bitterness when people complain about the attention that women who take self portraits on Flickr get. Best not to judge others or make comments about them “needing” attention, etc. And if you are a photographer and artist never apologize for your art. So bonus tip number 11. If you are a sexy woman and your thing is self portraiture work, by all means, you go girl.

Oh and as a disclaimer, all of my thoughts on how interestingness works are just my own. I have no inside information and as I’ve said, the “secret sauce” formula is just that. I very well could be wrong about some of interestingness’ constructs.

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148 comments on “Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr
  1. Jeff says:

    Hey Thomas

    I was about to digg your post and noticed you had done it like 1 min before me :) I think I will still blog about it on my site. Thanks for the tips.

    Jeff
    teknokool.net

  2. BigFrank says:

    Dammit Thomas, You lost me on item #1.

    :-/

  3. Richard says:

    Regarding #10, I think you’ll enjoy this game. Start at the end. Enjoy. ;-)

  4. JC says:

    good stuff. common sense, but i suppose even common sense stuff needs to be said out loud for some to think of it. :)

  5. dextr says:

    This is a great list. I always preach #2 to everyone (at least everyone who’ll listen)

    Thanks Thomas

  6. HyperBob says:

    In the future everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes

  7. BillyWarhol says:

    funny*

    i agree with Caterina’s comments & yers Thomas*

    especially the one about taking the time to Fave & also taking time to comment on people’s photos*

    Social interacion is definitely a strong point of Flickr & the incredible amount of awesome photography & very nice people*

    Cheers!! Billy ;))

    p.s. thx fer popping by the other day & also thx fer thinking of me when U were in Las Vegas at CES* (or was that the “other” trade show!! ;))

  8. BillyWarhol says:

    LOLLLLLLLLLLL @ hyperbob’s comment!!

    can i borrow that one!!

    ;))))

  9. Stuart says:

    Hey Thomas thanks for that kinda “justifies” all those hours whiled away on flickr :)

  10. John Piercy says:

    Thanks for sharing the tips and tricks
    Thomas

    Really Enjoy your Photography

    JP in Canada

  11. Ravinder says:

    Amazing tips. Thanks.
    Another useful find is these huge list of Flickr tools.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Latest changes in algorithm make #8 a bit dangerous :)

    SilentObserver

  13. jennybunny says:

    You pretty much summed up everything I had a hunch about — chiefly, that the “interestingness” concept had been tweaked recently. Given the glossy, professional nature of many of the photos featured on the Explore page, I never thought I’d make it there. Imagine my surprise when I actually did. I think it had alot to do with the zeitgeist of that particular moment — my photo was taken the day of the recent blizzard, was tagged with “blizzard” — so my daughter became the face of the blizzard.

    So I got what I worked towards for almost a year — attention and validation on Flickr. For a slightly-above-average user like myself, it was thrilling. But this attention came at a price — I had alot of people looking at my daughter, which made me very uneasy. I’ve been following the debate about photos of children on Flickr for some time, and am aware of the implications. And while 98.4% of Flickr users have good intentions (by my absolutely non-scientific estimate), it brought this issue to the fore. I am now a more cautious user.

    Thanks for your entry — wise words that I hope reverberate throughout the blogosphere in the time to come.

  14. Thomas Hawk says:

    Silent Observer. What makes you say that?

  15. simpologist says:

    In case Silent Observer doesn’t get back to you, I think they mean that the algorithm may deduct “interestingness points” for widescale group spamming. If I were in charge of interestingness, that’s what I’d do too.

    Post to relevant groups, draw people in from them and I don’t think number of groups, per se, is going to count against your picture’s interestingness.

    All the tips are great, Thomas. 4 and 9 are the ones I’m going to do differently from now. Not because I care about populatity, of course ;-) but your right – it’s the nice thing to do! Anyway, with 400,000 under your belt, I’ve got a long long way to catch up ;-)

  16. Lynn says:

    Thomas,

    When I view a set or group photos in “slideshow” mode, does each photo get credited with a view?

    Thanks for the tips!

    Lynn

  17. jonny says:

    i’m fairly new to flickr – signed up at christmas. have been intrigued by it and found myself telling everyone about it. came across your photos i think because i posted some in sanfransisco group or tag. these are great tips – thanks. i’d kind of begun to work them out. i love your photos and blog – thanks…

  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m ambivalent about popularity in Flickr since it means tight control of every aspect of photo posting to be good at the game. It also often seems to imply a “photos as art or sex” approach.

    One of my best friends had a picture taken of her t-shirt by another friend and it was posted to Flickr by him. It was instantly favorited by way more people (all male) than any of his other photos. It was apparantly mostly popular because of the breastage shapes beneath the t-shirt. The subject of the photo was horrified and was glad her face wasn’t shown in the photo. She didn’t really want the leering kind of male attention she seemed to be getting.

    It’s confusing to say what kinds of photos to post when there are many purposes for which people take pictures. Many people use their photostreams as a communication device with friends (or sometimes a memory device) rather than a medium for pure artistic expression or popularity.

    I find both types of uses valid so I’m never sure what to do. Do I post some random snapshots that are technically inferior, but communicate something valuable to friends or help me remember something in the future? Do I only post my meticulously taken and photoshopped items? Do I get two accounts? One for my sloppy but meaningful photos for friends, and one for my artistic photos for my life as a photo diva? It’s all confusing.

    When I explained why I posted other than perfect photos to a friend, he haughtilly replied that he had no need to remember what he had done, or communicate events in his life with friends. I suppose he’ll be popular on the Internet, but people he knows in real life will get annoyed with his superiority and won’t want to go out for drinks with him.

    What to do?

  19. Mr. Chalk says:

    Don’t believe him….Flickr will destroy your life

  20. Claudio says:

    Question: I search the font of flickr. Which name has the font? Thx for answer. (claudio.schwarz@gmail.com)

  21. JADED says:

    I believe the Flickr font is Frutiger…

  22. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting and, for the most part all the tips/observations seem to hold a fair amount of “truthiness” :)
    Flickr, and the “social web” for that matter, seem to be quite an embodiment of the age old human primal need to seek various degrees of peer acceptance, i.e. “popularity”.

    At some point in Flickr, I came across a very interesting thread (which I can not longer find) where one Flickr user was attacking a successful “Image Peddler” by pointing out that the his/her images were stylistically and thematically shallow, just “Eye Candy”.

    This “Eye Candy” notion, made me realize that users seeking popularity by posting images in groups should analyze carefully the group selection for their images. Groups created with the desire of analyzing, criticizing photographs tend to be heavy on comments, but members rarely favorite photos. They seem to be either more visually discriminating and with higher standards, or just not into “faving” images.

    The secret is to find of groups that seem to have high “faving” rates, lots of members who liberally fave anything “catchy” (eye candy).

    At some point I developed this funny mental image of photographers hanging outside elementary schools waiting for kids to come out on Thursday nights to peddle their “eye candy”…and kids, gobbling the candy up.

    Very good write up!
    Congrats on your Flickr popularity.

  23. romaniashots says:

    Your comments all make sense and many had occurred to me as well. I do enjoy visits, faves, making Explore, and the like, but with time, I’ve come to realize that the greatest value of Flickr is the ability to learn from very talented photographers and to train one’s eye. I have learned so much about cameras, lenses, lighting, etc., and there is still so much more to learn. So while the faves are fun and momentarily gratifying, the long-term gratification comes from mastering a new art and going somewhere with it…

  24. Anonymous says:

    I really wasn’t into generating traffic to my photostream until recently. Now, I can’t get enough people to visit.

    I’m averaging about 42,000 views a day, and Flickr members are insatiable. If I don’t post every 48 hrs, traffic falls off, but that much posting becomes very time consuming. So now, I post once a week, sometimes twice, and traffic spikes for two days. Recently I discovered a correlation between the number of photos posted and the increase in viewership. I don’t know what the ratio is but here’s an example: Posting about 100-250 images generated an uptick to about 70,000 views. Posting 500 images generated an uptick of 130,000 views in one day.

    However, it is a good idea to keep postings down to a dull roar. For example, 20-50 images and front load your top 5. Posting as many images as I do, most are lost, and that’s disappointing.

    Honestly, I don’t know if I can keep this up. I’ve been at it since November, 2006 and it’s eating into my social life, if you know what I mean.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Thomas…Your points were worth noting and to my surprise, I got my first pic explore, altho the rating was not very high but still I got through..THANKS :)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/exzibit_abdullah/

  26. Nate Balcom says:

    I just started optimizing my Flickr images since the integration within Yahoo! Image Search. Thanks for the article. Some good tips I hadn’t considered.

  27. Marcello says:

    Hi Thomas, nice tips. But just one comment: Be carefull with “game communities”. It seens that the interestingness algorithm recently has suffered some changes and the adding the photo to such communities can have a negative impact on interestingness calculation.

  28. Forrest says:

    I haven’t heard anyone explicitly say Photoshop is whoring before, but I’ve seen the sentiment. It’s a little bit absurd; photos need to be developed. Old Ansel famously spent ten years on the negative to Moonrise … if only people today put that much care into their artwork!

  29. Anonymous says:

    anybody got radiohead tickets for Miami?

  30. mikaman says:

    so make me popular:
    im 15 and purty good

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikaman/

  31. GLSmyth says:

    Just came across this entry. There is a lot of good information here, but there is something I would like to point out, and it may be something that has changed in the year plus since this was posted. Joining DEL*TE ME! may not be a good idea if you are expecting civilized behavior.

    I am averaging about one view per image and took the advice to try out the group. Not knowing how to post an image to a group, I apologized for this (I only joined flickr a couple of weeks ago) and asked for help. Big mistake. This is really too bad because I feel that I have a lot to offer, but not at the expense of abuse. You can see for yourself by going to http://www.flickr.com/groups/deletemeuncensored/discuss/72157604915248098/

    Otherwise, thanks for the information. Somehow I’ll find a way to get someone to look at what I have done.

  32. Dr Chewbacca says:

    I’m late, posting a comment on a 2006 article. Anyway, thanks for the tips !

  33. Nathan says:

    Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing, us beginners appreciate it.

  34. Anonymous says:

    This is really interesting. I’m glad I read it. Thanks. I’ll link to it from my blog. I make stained glass. So, do you lot know, do i tag for sun catchers, sun catchers, suncatcher, suncatchers.. or is just suncatcher enoughH? Flickr and picassa tags are a great way to increase page ranking on google images. all the best
    Lesley

  35. Camille C says:

    interesting tips…
    i personally love flickr and use it as a means of learning more about photography. never thought i would actually get a photo on explore until recently.
    it’s true that it’s not all about the popularity and such but the feeling of knowing that someone thinks you are doing a good job is overwhelming and motivating.

  36. ALina says:

    hello. thank you for article. may you advice me how can i make the same flash side bar mini Flickr gallery, as yours?

  37. kookimebux says:

    Hello. And Bye. :)

  38. Michael .L says:

    Very helpful

    Thanks

  39. Ethan says:

    This is such a helpful post. I learned tons about my flickr page from it. I’ve definitely seen an increase in traffic since I implemented most of his suggestions…

    My photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ethancrowley/ Maybe that link’ll generate me some more traffic….:)

  40. Thomas,

    As so many already said: This is an awesome post. Very insightful tips. Thank you and Cheers!

  41. ian says:

    very nice tips !

  42. JVPhotog says:

    Thanks for the tips. I don’t seem to have that many views yet, but am getting more contacts all the time.

    Feel free to be one of them…
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jvphotog/

  43. losthope says:

    yea well I hate it when one person takes a nice picture and another takes an exact or worse shot, and just because that person has a cult following she gets like 5000 views,600 favs, and 400 comments and EXPLORE while the other girl with the better shot gets 20 views, 10 comments, and 2 favs and she has to end up putting it in a group which = NO EXPLORE

  44. curious says:

    One thing I really don’t understand and find a bit confusing on flickr (otherwise a great site) is how some people seem to get tons of good comments and favs for photos that clearly have no real value except maybe as a souvenir for the owner and/or the subject:
    Example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/willemdegroot/2624627246/

    On the other hand you see some great photos with tags, titles and everything that get much less attention.

    Another example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/willemdegroot/2560647592/ – where you read comments like “awesone” ” beautiful” “great shot”… did I miss something??

    I’d like to have your opinion!

  45. nycandre says:

    Well I have to mention that criterion (1) take great pictures really does work. Somehow I think the algorithms have been improved greatly (or they have hired gremlins behind the scenes).

    And I am glad that the hyper saturated photos no longer have such a following .. it was getting *boring* much like overdosing on candy. If some is good, more is NOT better.

    As an experiment I have uploaded recently a few pictures that by most standards were exceptionally “good” photographs – no HDR (High Dynamic Range) manipulations, no specially alluring subjects. And, lo and behold, even after a handful of visits, not even from “prestigious” flickr contacts, it popped into Explorer.

    I was not too sure if that was a fluke or not, but so far I think it is not, since I did repeat the experiment twice. ( I don’t have all that many special photos I ‘m willing to put out there! )

    FYI that one was the first of my experimental ones.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycandre/3470083052/

    Cheerios
    nycandre

  46. th0i3 says:

    Here are my stuff. I like my photos and would like to share them with you all :)

  47. Vic says:

    I have done all these tips, and still get nothing. I have 130 photos and less than 10 views a day overall.

  48. alex says:

    I’m guessing that all this info is still valid in 2009? Great of you to share! Great images BTW!

  49. Georgia says:

    another tip on how to get more photostream views on this link:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gwiggs/

  50. I didn’t know about that 11:59pm vs. 12:01am posting time. In my own experience I felt that if you post at anytime late at night, you might get less views because no one in your time zone will be looking at your photo in the groups you posted to as your photo will get bumped out of the front page of the group as others post throughout the night and morning.

    I have been very, very selective with which photographs I fave, but I will be more liberal now as Thomas suggests.

  51. Idiotwon says:

    The only thing I haven’t figured out is: Why would I want to be popular in Flickr? Why would I want to use several hours to be active in Flickr where every single photo seems to be “Awesome!” “Great pic!!” “I love it!!!!” etc.. All this when in my oppinion most of those photos are just average. There are lots of great photos on Flickr but I just don’t see what the hype is about with the majority of the photos. I prefer to spent that extra time I have fine tuning my skills rather than favoriting random photos.

  52. jon says:

    Great tips by which even I may get a few people to see my ‘umble stuff.
    Thanks,
    Jon

  53. Jeff says:

    Would a photo that has an impressive thumbnail, maybe high contrast and strong colors, get more views and so more faves, and therefore do better on Flickr?

  54. Lindsay H says:

    Yes! I have been looking for info on this. Thank you very much for sharing :)

  55. Thanks for the flickring info you’ve shared!

  56. Andrew says:

    I can’t speak for every Flickr member, but for me, when it comes to people who post pics of scantily-clad women, the negativity is not because it’s not artistic or because it’s unprofessional or anything like that. I don’t see any reason why a nude or semi-nude is unable to have artistic or professional merit. Rather, it’s because it’s a very easy way to get attention (racking up high numbers of views and comments and favorites) that I don’t have at my disposal, as a man. I mean, I could post topless pics of myself, but I don’t think that would have quite the same effect ;) I read another opinion several months ago that said it basically boils down to sex appeal, and I think that’s true. But I suppose people could counter by saying that I, as a man, have different advantages when it comes to photography (haha, if there are any, I’d like to hear them, actually!)

  57. Thanks so much!! Great advice!!

  58. john says:

    As a new user of flickr these tips are going to help me allot, many many thanks.

  59. grace says:

    Okay, some of this may be good advice, but not all of it. As for the supposed formula for getting onto Explore…….uh..all I can say is that is a joke. I have read posts from people who state that they have had many, many comments, favs, and views yet never get onto explore. I have also noticed that there are some people who make it onto explore multiple times a week. How is that possible???? I have also read posts by people who say that they have had a photo in explore that didn’t have many views, comments, or favs. So, the “formula” is a load of crap. And I have seen many photos on explore that are just plain stupid and boring ( a photo of a poster of Britney Spears???? Interesting????? what a joke.)
    I know people who just upload there photos for the fun of it and aren’t obsessed with wasting their time doing everything they can to get noticed on flickr.
    Funny thing is, I respect my photography teachers opinion of my photos a lot more than I respect the fake comments that I use to get on flickr.
    I usually added someone when they made me their contact, but yet they never made a comment on any of my photos even when I made it a point to go through their photostream. To me, most of the people who are obsessed with getting attention on flickr don’t really love photography. They just want attention.

  60. jerm says:

    cool tips tough i found it a bit late (4 yrs later lol) and unfortunately i’m not an attractive woman with a flickr account full of self-portraits. hehe..

  61. Jeroy says:

    great topic!Helpful tips and worth reading.

  62. Interesting. I sometimes get frustrated that my own favourites do not reach Explore. A sunset often gets so many more views and favourites. I have had quite a lot of success with bluebell photos. I enjoy HDR at present and people either love it or hate it.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosyrosie2009/

  63. Michael says:

    Good read, and nice tips! PS: I really like your web layout for this site.

  64. Great blog and info. I do mostly Florida travel photos and add them to Flickr. But I also shoot affordable marketing and travel videos for websites all over Florida, and these are included also. The videos really showcase my products and business, so I love this venue. Flickr is an excellent site. All the best.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rinehart-video-productions/

  65. dlep says:

    Good article here, with lots of good suggestions. In noticed a big change in Explore in 2009, haven’t had a photo in the top 500 in almost a year, but had 15 or so before that. It is totally baffling to me. I see such crap, and I do mean crap, make explore. Self whorring is rampant. If I were to take the same shots, I’d be considered depraved.

    As far as Rebekka,I’ve seen her work online and she is definitely talented. I congratulated her on 2 millions views based on a previous comment and she corrected me and told me she was up to 6 million views. I was very content with 100k views, which took about 2.5 years to accumulate. At my current rate, it would take 30 years to reach a million views. I don’t consider myself a slouch, and rarely post more than 4 or 5 shots at a time. But there are certain realities we all need to accept.

    I find Photoshop a definite necessity. Cleaning up other idiots trash, or correcting for contrast, saturation, exposure, etc, makes the difference between amateur and professional results. With out proper instincts, you can turn any shot into garbage so self restraint is key. Think about how many comic book shots you’ve seen on Flickr where somebody just got a copy of Photomatix. But in the right hands, it’s a great tool.

    Good luck to all and always remember to shoot for your most important critic, yourself!

  66. Anders says:

    Great article, Thomas.
    Have you thought of updating it? I wonder how much Flickr Explore have changed in the last 4 years.

  67. Kurtis says:

    Great help. Thanks. I’m new to Flickr and was wondering what I have to do to get ‘more interesting.’

  68. mark says:

    great tips, thanks!

  69. Wow! Now that I’m into photography, I need these tips very much! Now I’m ready to conquer Flickr!

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  71. Scott says:

    This is a perfect way to share my pictures. Thank You!!!

  72. ab says:

    what you’re suggesting is to kiss a lot of ass so that yours can be kissed in return. the popularity complex.

  73. disco dave says:

    I registered flicker this month and I’m already hooked! Thanks for your tips, I’ve been trying to read as many as I can so I can develop good flickr habits early.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/give_us_barabbas/

  74. Pat in Jersey says:

    Fascinating piece! I started on Flickr a few years ago.. kinda la deee dah about, it, but then, started in earnest uploading pics in groups.

    First, I LOVE to see pics of places I have never been.. especially see pics of birds in other parts of the US and world.

    When checking out this group called “Supershots” that has over 40,000 members, I first said– sure.. this is fun.. a bit of competition.

    Well… It was harder than giving birth! First you have to get your pic in a thread, then if it gets chosen, you have to delete it from the thread, then you have to award other folks, then you have to invite. It was so convoluted and confusing, that I asked questions after my photo was deleted for doing some wrong move.

    What, I ask, is the true purpose of these groups? Just to promote themselves? Or is it a phoney way to get folks to think they are truly exclusive for a good reason, by making it hard to get into?

    I was so frustrated I pulled the plug on that group. Needless to say, it’s an amazing phenomenon. I thought the internet opened up a new world to a freedom where we are all equal. Not so, I found! We are the arguing, petty people online that we are off.

    Thanks again for your broad-minded look into this.

    pat D
    The Jersey Shore..
    and… er… jerseyred on Flickr!!!

  75. Marcel says:

    hey, thanks for this very good article! really more than the usual blahblah and fun to read!

  76. marco says:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/morti/

    be free to check it out :) working with iphone 4 lately

  77. Asif says:

    Great tips man! Thanks for sharing!!

  78. I have had quite a lot of photos in EXPLORE although it is still a mystery to me. Sometimes every photo is in EXPLORE and then some of my most popular are not. Check out my photos. Comments are appreciated.

  79. jim says:

    Ive been on flickr for 3 years now and have not had 1 image explored. Kinda lame. I dont get it. I think I take some decent pics.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22176685@N07/

  80. The algorithm changed round about 23 January this year. A lot of us had all our photos on EXPLORE and now we get none in Explore, despite taking good photos and having more favourites than before. It seems to be time for someone else. You may be lucky this year Jim.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosyrosie2009/

  81. adnila says:

    thank you for your advice. i agree that most viewed/commented/faved photos are of girls. i often get jealous of popular people on flickr but since i’ve joined flickr, i’ve learned a lot of different perspectives and styles of photography and i’m still learning.
    visit my stream, please! i think i have some potential :P
    http://www.flickr.com/adnila

  82. Laura says:

    I love your work :)

  83. samtarps says:

    Hey can anyone give me some feedback, not getting anything explored…

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/samtarps_pics

  84. Andrey says:

    I want to publish many beautiful pics of Russian ladies we have accumulated on our dating site http://www.bridesandlovers.com
    Thank you for the articles, a good way to start.

  85. Good post. I study one thing tougher on different blogs everyday. It’s going to at all times be stimulating to read content from other writers and apply a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content material on my weblog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll provide you with a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  86. Flickr keeps everyone guessing. Sometimes all my photos are in EXPLORE then they all my uploads are all out. The standard remains the same, some very good, some good, some ok. I do not do anything differently. I do not mind. It does bring lots of views to your phototream. My most viewed photo is generally viewed from outside sites as I have included the type of lens used. I uploaded an extremely similar photo which did not make EXPLORE and is not included on external sites. Include a tag of the type of lens used. This is useful whether you reach EXPLORE or not. When my photos are not in EXPLORE I use it as a time to looks at other site, maybe Twitter, Tumblr etc. Blog occasionally, it is fun and stops you worrying about Explore.

    View my photostream. I also have a successful P&S group with great photos and useful information. P&S cameras have moved on a lot and should not be ignored.

    Rosie Spooner

  87. unknown says:

    also posting on twitter helps, i put a link for one of my pictires on twitter so my friend could see it and i got 10 more views in 7 minutes

  88. 9. Make everyone who makes you a contact a contact back:

    This is the worst thing I have read in a lot of time.

    So…… what is art? You make great pictures (point 1.), but you add everyone, everywhere.
    And… after this, you make comments?

    It is ridiculous to have thousands of contacts, because:

    1) There will be contacts that you add ‘em, but then you will never do a sad comment? Just adding by adding? (This happened to me: some people add me and then they never comment, neither favorite… neither mail…. nothing. They are like ghosts, lol.)

    2) The people’s pictures that you really love will be lost in these thousand of people’s pictures that you don’t love (but you have added ‘em because of….. point 9., lol)…. and then, if they’re lost, you will never see ‘em. Or just in case you’re online when these people upload images. Just by chance!

    And….

    By, the way, is It so important to get attention using these…. “cheats”?
    I don’t think so.

    Just the point 1. it is great for me…

    Cheers.