The rise and rise of Flickr | connect.educause.edu This article points to the success that Flickr is having with members entering meta data in their community and universe of photography. I do believe that much of the future success of Flickr and to a more ultimate end Yahoo! Image Search will be the success of tags and metadata in the Flickr universe.
The article brings up the point that at present 143,707 photos at Flickr have been tagged as dogs. The ultimate value of Flickr’s library, however, will not lie in the 143,707 photos of “dogs” that this article references. The ultimate value of Flickr will be in the 5% of their photos that represent superior photography. To this end, Flickr’s interestingness is an evolution towards identifying the most important works in their library.
Flickr should take this a step further however. Flickr should do more to stress the importance of tagging to their community and they should also begin to hire low wage employees (even part time employees or work at home types) to begin to go through the top 5% of their photos and add additional tags manually to these photos where allowed by the owners. Flickr wouldn’t have much difficulty selling this program as an added bonus feature to their members who desire to have this suplemental tagging and it will further enhance the richness of their image library.
In addition to an extremely successful online community (which they should continue to develop as well) this metadata and a corresponding very high quality image library is where the ultimate value of Flickr can best be achieved.
Flickr should also consider creating a sort of VIP Rewards Club — similar to what TiVo has done with TiVo rewards. Members could be encouraged to bring referrels (especially talented photographers) and possibly have their own Pro fee waived based on referral activity or receive points or gifts or schwag or whatever. It’s less about what people get and more about the acknowledgement. Flickr could for instance create a top 100 taggers list or top uploader of personal photos with at least 5 fav rank list or other types of things or ways to within the Flickr community acknowledge the type of behavior that will benefit them in the long run.
Similar to TiVo, Flickr has a highly devoted and committed fan base — this is a valuable asset. They’d do well to continue to find ways to encourage their most committed members to participate in promoting the growth of the company. This is the best inexpensive organic marketing that money can buy.
Perhaps a good prize might be letting someone drive around that Yahoo! car in the garage for a week once it’s been washed.