On Flickr Explore

I’m on Flickr. I’ve been on Flickr for well over 10 years.
I have never made it onto Explore.

What is Explore?” I hear you ask…

Users who aspire to the ultimate level of recognition within the Flickr community will certainly become aware of something called Explore. Explore is a daily stream (viewed by thousands of people) of the top 500 photos as selected by Flickr’s “interestingness” algorithm.

Explore is somewhere I go to view some of the best photos uploaded in the last 24 hours. And it’s good that they cut them down to 500 because going through all 25,000,000 daily uploads would be a bit of a pain.

And there are some absolute gems in there, as there should be with a 99.998% rejection rate. But it’s clear that there is a huge difference between “bestness” and that intriguing but ultimately flawed “interestingness” algorithm. I mean, look at this from this morning:

Nine wonky photos of school buses? Is that really the best we could do?

Those images made it in to Explore simply because about 20 people clicked the “favourite” button on them. Evidently, the school bus spotting fraternity in the US had been waiting for something to get excited about for… well… quite a while. And then nine came all at once*.

How ironic.

I’d love to get onto Explore: photography, after all, is meant to be seen. And every view increases the potential of more of this kind of thing. I like this kind of thing.

There’s a good thread about Explore here, and there are plenty of sites around where people with far more time than me have looked at common features of Explored photos and kindly shared them with us. Apparently, things that can influence your chances include the time of your upload, how many followers you have, whether you pay $25 to be a member each year etc etc etc.

It’s taken me no time to work out that if I am going to get Explored any time soon, I need to make some fairly radical changes to how I use Flickr. I’m not there just yet.


* and there are over 5000 more where they came from…

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