The Great Flickr experiment – Part One

Tay and Leesee 1So as we all know, Flickr is a requirement for any blogger these days. Whether it be as part of blogging requirements for official bloggers groups or as part as getting your pictures seen to get views on your blog or even as your main blog, Flickr seems to be one of the main social networks for bloggers in sl.

There’s a lot of debate on if the requirements  on Flickr views are fair or if they’re easily skewed etc. Before receiving a lot of comments on a previous post I had been tackling the views requirements myself. I have a few favorite people I follow on Flickr and see them with 3000 odd views and 99+ favorites and would sit there and think “how the hell do they do it? How do they get these views, favs  and followers? How can I get the same?” So I started looking closer.

I’d look at the picture, what style of picture they’d take, I looked at what groups the pictures were in then I looked at the person themselves and how many people they followed and how many followers they had.

At this stage I was only getting 100-200 views per picture. This was way below most requirements and it was driving me nuts because I wanted to be better but I didn’t know how to get there! I started by joining a bunch of groups. I searched second life in the group search section and joined up every group I could find. At first I would add my pictures to groups using the add to group section on the picture page, this was when I would upload straight to Flickr from firestorm. I HATED adding pictures to groups. Maybe it’s just the Aussie in me (we love shortcuts, just look at our slang we shorten everything!) but I hate it when I have to spend hours adding two or three pictures to groups, it makes me want to pull my hair out, I get bored. I thought to myself “there’s got to be an easier way than this!” There is. Don’t upload straight from firestorm. Save to your computer and upload from there! I’m telling you, best decision I’ve ever made!

For those who aren’t familiar with the upload screen on Flickr I’ve provided a screen shot below. This screen is great. You can upload more than one picture, add them all to groups, add tags and even add people all from the one screen. This has been invaluable in saving time for me. Just be sure to go through your tags if you’re like me and take a few pictures that show different designers items close up etc as you don’t want to tag a designer when you can’t see their item in the picture!

Flickr Upload page

I take my tags from my blog once I’ve posted it and paste it straight into the tags section of the upload page then take out names once I can see the pictures preview (If there’s an even easier way than this then let me know!). I then add people if I remember to and then add to groups and put my blog link in the description.

flickr Upload page groups

Groups. This is something I find interesting. I’ve joined up to a lot of groups. I usually add my pictures to over 300 of them. There’s spam groups, there’s forced comment groups then there’s views and favs groups. I’ve been messing with groups a lot. At the moment I’ve stopped using forced comment groups and am just using spam groups. Next I’ll do the opposite. For my last lot of pictures I’ve used spam groups only, I’ve left out views and fav groups as well. The reasoning behind this is I want to know what works. It’s great to just add to every group and get 1500 views (I’ve got this many views on many pictures now. It’s doable) what I want with my pictures though is genuine likes and views, I want a clear representation of how many people like my pictures I want to be able to see which pictures are more popular in terms of style. I want to market my blog to its best potential. I’ve got the views but this still isn’t turning into hits on my page. I want the designers I advertise for to make sales I want those clicks. This is totally the marketer in me because that’s what marketers do in real life. They get paid to get a product sales (that’s not to say marketers are sales people far from it but bottom line, it’s about the profits)

So far I’ve noticed that the forced comment groups get more views, maybe it’s the sense of community they give by the forced comments. I personally find it a bit of a chore at times when I feel lazy to go through groups and comment on pictures but at the same time I have to admit it’s the main way I look at pictures. In saying this though the views and favs groups may be the missing link with the 1000 views I’m missing at the moment. I shall revisit this topic in a future post as I’m also going to stop groups all together to get clear results between groups and followers. Which brings me to my next topic.

Flickr people tab

Following people on Flickr is easy, at first I didn’t know this, I saw the small suggestions list at the side of my main page and would refresh to get new suggestions. I laugh at that now. Again I knew there had to be an easier way and there is in the people tab. In the people tab there’s a find people section, you can add people from this section that flickr will suggest for you based on who you already follow, you can also follow from your yahoo email, gmail and facebook. This is a fantastic tool, spam it and spam it as much as you want, I go through my feed and unfollow anyone who has pornography and such after the fact as I don’t want to see it, but for the most part I’ve found some really cool second life photographers/artists this way.

Tay and Leesee 2

Now that I’ve spoken about how to mass join groups and follow lots of people I’d like to talk about the experiment I’m doing with my friend Tay who started on Time and Lace with me but who has now moved on to The Dark Lotus which better suited her style.

Tay has a flickr and while looking at her pictures I noticed that she was an awesome candidate for my experiment. Her pictures have an average of 400 views, she follows 1.5k people and has 555 followers at the point of writing this post. Her pictures are not added to any groups, apart from a few designers groups. Today I got Tay to join 100 second life spam groups. I got her to add the following pictures to those groups.

HazyProfessional GriefersHair Fair 2015Love Fade and Walking With A Ghost. These pictures had the following views at the start of writing this post (I started two days ago):

Hazy – 98 views

Professional Griefers – 98 views

Hair Fair 2015 – 422 views

Love Fade – 380 views

Walking with a Ghost – 382 views

For this study I have asked Tay to leave it at just those groups for two days. At the moment her average blog views per day is 20 and her best is 54. Her highest referrer is Flickr. After two days her results look like this:

Hazy – 250 views

Professional Griefers – 272 views

Hair Fair 2015 – 514 views

Love Fade – 481 views

Walking with a Ghost – 473 views

As you can see, this is a noticeable difference. Her posts have had a significant increase in views but how does this convert into blog hits? So far there has been no change in Tay’s blog hits over the past few days since adding these pictures to her group. This I find interesting as it shows that while her views are up this doesn’t directly correlate to people visiting her blog. I wonder why this is and I will look into it more over the next few weeks to work out what gets those blog hits when it comes to Flickr as this is something that I really want to get to the bottom of for myself and for other Flickr users out there.

I’m going to get her to add the same pictures to 100 more groups and monitor the results from that, after a week we’ll tally the results of those pictures and see how her views are faring compared to no groups. After this I’m going to continue the experiment by getting her to add some of her “pile up” pictures to comment groups with links to her relevant blog posts in the description. This will monitor how comment groups compare to spam groups. Each of these changes will be created into a post so you guys can follow along! The last thing I’ll get Tay to do in relation to groups after doing comment groups and spam groups is add her pictures to fav and view groups to see what difference this makes to views and favs.

After we’ve studied the groups, I’ll get Tay to follow a bunch more people and once she has followers not add any new pictures to groups to see what difference this makes. If any of you wish to follow her, feel free to do so!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Skin – [Pink Fuel] Doll V2 <Crystal> – Pure (brownbrow)

Hair – TRUTH HAIR – Essena (Group Gift!)

Eyes – .Insufferable Dastard. – Wayward Eyes – Leaf

Necklace and Earring – {Secret Love} – Gumballs

Nose and Lip Piercings – PUNCH – Diamond Nose Stud, Basic Lip Piercings II

Septum Piercing – PUNCH – Capella / Clip-On Septum {true gold} (Common) @ OMGacha

Top and BeltUna – Julia Top and Belt @ The Secret Affair

Pet – Nana – Hachi Black (1) Common @ OMGacha

Ring – POMPOSITY – Diamond Studded Peace Ring

Shorts – SexicalMoi – open button cut offs

Shoes – [whatever] – Chain Flats – nude

Pose – .snaphappy. – My Cutie Kawaii

Backdrop and Candles – *PaperMoon* – Tapestry: Eastern Oceans – Gold, Dripping Candles – Cream @ The Fantasy Collective

Tay’s credits can be found at The Dark Lotus

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This entry was posted by leesee79.

19 thoughts on “The Great Flickr experiment – Part One

  1. Pingback: The Great Flickr Experiment | The Dark Lotus

  2. Interesting! I avoid forced comment groups, because I don’t want someone to comment/like my photos just because they want a reciprocal one. When I started Flickr, I didn’t put my blog post links in descriptions of the photos. I have started doing that, but I have seen no uptick in views because of it.
    I have never uploaded to Flickr directly from SL – I’ll have to try and see how it works. I’ve always just uploaded using the Flickr uploader, and it is easy to tag and add groups that way.
    I just read a blog post about getting more views on Flickr and this is the sentence that leaped out at me: Don’t confuse popularity for artistic talent. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Interesting! I avoid forced comment groups, because I don’t want someone to comment/like my photos just because they want a reciprocal one.” I’ve never really seen it this way I think this is because when I’m commenting on most comment groups I’ll only ever “award” a picture I like. “Don’t confuse popularity for artistic talent. :-)” truer words have never been spoken, although I’ve never seen a picture with over 2000 views and over 100 favs that I haven’t thought “wow that persons pictures are amazing”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for mentioning the “Find Friends” section in the People tab! I’ve never noticed that before, what a cool feature! I love that it shows me how many “mutual follows” we have so I know the person is definitely Second Life focused before I even click their profile. Such a cool idea!

    It’s interesting to hear the various Second Life groups referred to as “spam groups”; I suppose they are in a way, but I never really think of them like that because they’re such an awesome way to find new people to follow. I was disappointed that Flickr doesn’t offer a way to aggregate all of your groups into one feed, so I use the SL-related groups to find people to follow, and by doing that I effectively have created my own aggregated feed of people who post in the same groups I do. It’s worked out really well! And while the more people you follow, the longer it takes you to see all their wonderful photography, I can happily bliss out scrolling through the photos in my People feed for hours while I’m working on other things.

    I really do try to catch up every day, but inevitably I miss photos posted by friends, particularly if they’re in a significantly different time zone (hellllllo, Australia!) So I never mind it when people repost a photo once or twice; I personally sometimes upload a photo to Flickr with a “post coming soon” line in the description, so I can grab the link to embed in my post while I’m writing it, working out the credits, getting SLURLs, etc. Then a few hours later or the next day when I update the description and add all the designer groups and tags, I may repost the photo since the link to the blog post, with all the vital credit information, is now in the description. I learned about that option from some of the most well-respected SL bloggers and photographers on Flickr, so I don’t see it as an untoward practice at all. If someone is doing it egregiously, many times a day or several days in a row, then they may have different motives.

    Really fascinating too to see that some people’s stats clearly show the Flickr click-throughs, while others don’t. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen Flickr in my referers, but people have mentioned that they clicked through to check item credits, so I know it’s actively happening. Maybe the stats on a free WordPress account are less robust? That’s something I’ll have to check into, really curious about that.

    Thank you for this wonderful post, Leesee! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Thank you for mentioning the “Find Friends” section in the People tab! I’ve never noticed that before, what a cool feature! I love that it shows me how many “mutual follows” we have so I know the person is definitely Second Life focused before I even click their profile. Such a cool idea!” You’re welcome! I didn’t know about it for ages either and found it by compete chance one day so I’m glad that it’s helped someone find the same feature!

      “personally sometimes upload a photo to Flickr with a “post coming soon” line in the description, so I can grab the link to embed in my post while I’m writing it, working out the credits, getting SLURLs, etc. Then a few hours later or the next day when I update the description and add all the designer groups and tags, I may repost the photo since the link to the blog post, with all the vital credit information, is now in the description.” I used to do it this way too but I leave putting my pictures up on Flickr until I’ve finished my post now so that all views are potential blog hits. A lot of people won’t click on the same picture twice once they’ve seen it and faved it so I maximize my views that way.

      “I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen Flickr in my referers, but people have mentioned that they clicked through to check item credits, so I know it’s actively happening. Maybe the stats on a free WordPress account are less robust?” If you go to your insights tab on your stats page and scroll down there’s a referrers section. You can change see these in day, month or year. Flickr should show up on this if people are clicking your links and going to your page from your pictures. 🙂 if you need help at any stage finding it let me know and I’ll gyazos where it is for you! ♡

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Leesee! You make a very good point about people not viewing the same picture twice (assuming, of course, that they’d already seen it when it was initially posted). I’m guessing that I browse Flickr much differently than others do: I go to People You Follow and select the first (most recent) photo shown, and then I use the keyboard shortcuts to browse the entire feed of photos that my contacts have posted (I usually try to go back at least 12 hours, if time allows). So I do effectively open every single pic in my feed since I view them sequentially; it never occurred to me that people might just look at that page and give out stars without opening the photo (didn’t even know you could do that!), or open them selectively. I wish there were a “Flickr For Dummies” book – I feel like I could learn so much! 😀

        And you were totally right, I had to go to Insights and then choose the year, and then I saw where Flickr had been the referrer. Surprisingly, my search engine traffic is considerably higher than Flickr traffic, so I may have to try some Leesee-style tests and tweaks to see how to increase click-throughs. You’re inspiring all kinds of wonderful conversation and insights, girl! You rock! ♥

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It amazes me when I see an image on Flickr in over a 100 groups, or the wow factor of 200 groups, and in some cases over 500 groups. My first thought is how in the world do they find the time to do that and then I wonder is it really necessary……. then my thoughts drift to things like; should I be doing that?, am I not promoting my blog/designers effectively?, would it benefit me?, How do they find all those groups?, Is this considered spam?, does it irritate viewers to see the same image in group after group, or does it entice them to open the image and look at it more closely? are they just trying to get more likes on their pictures? are “favs” and “awards” what they are after, or is this promoting their content? do I filter which group to put my images into in too extreme of a manner?

    For bloggers promotion is paramount, so I was excited to find your experiment and am interested in your future findings. I’d like to find answers to my above questions and this may be the tool to fuel that vehicle.

    I get a lot of traffic to my blog (wordpress platform/self hosted) from Flickr, second to Goggle Image Search. I put my images in about 40 groups and that number increases as the images are invited to other groups. I get around 150 to 300 favs and the images are seen by a couple thousand or so people and that number grows over time. I have 3.1 followers and I follow 1.9.

    The number of views is easy to raise by simply dropping your picture in a group or following a lot of people. From what I read on the Flickr forum, It does not mean the picture was opened and looked at….. it means it was on the front page when someone who follows you opened their page or someone opens the page of a group that contains the image, either to look or to add their own picture. So do we want to concentrate on that number? (I don’t know….possibly???) Comments in the form of “awards” do not seem like a good indication either as those appear to be given out quite liberally, especially if the “award” groups are not even SL based. So when I look at my Flickr I judge the social media value based on favs and comments that are unsolicited (meaning not forced comments from award groups) and the number that visit my blog from Flickr – and ultimately… the number of clicks on the SLURL to the shop or event. Is this correct, I dunno. If I knew I wouldn’t have so many unanswered questions LOL

    One number I do see on the rise on my blog are people coming over from Facebook. I find it hard to promote on Facebook since my account is a “fan page” and not a personal account in order to adhere to FB’s rules. But in recent weeks I have been commenting on Facebook posts and have seen a substantial indication that FB is a good place to promote your blog.

    I am going to stay tuned to your test and am hoping you can shed the light on all the questions I don’t even pretend to have answers to…… 😛


    Duchess

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m totally in awe that someone who has an established blog still has all these questions too! haha! I find the whole blog promotion thing interesting, considering all we have is social media to advertise our blog I think it’s important to work out which social media works the most effectively and how.

      I started adding to groups to maximise exposure but I always try and make sure that the groups are relevant to the picture. The “spam” groups are where anything goes, but then you have groups for things like tattoo’s or close ups etc, it can be quite time consuming. At first I started joining just because it was the only way I knew how to get views up and I knew that a lot of designers saw views as important. I have to admit when putting in that much work to put pics in groups (with views groups I’ll go through and take pictures out every day from level groups such as 101-200 views etc and then put it in the next level) I did somewhat feel a sense of accomplishment because I had put work in, so if it generated views then I would be all “Awesome! it works!” but then when I looked closer, the amount of views and favs didn’t match up with the amount of blog clicks so that’s what made me do this experiment 😀 Facebook is definitely a tool that works, it’s my third largest traffic generator, I’m going to start adding to spam groups on there again to see how that goes for views on my blog as to get likes on my page it didn’t do much

      Like

    • I’d love to know how you effectively use Facebook with a fan page, Duchess! Does that mean you have to set up a RL account and then create a fan page, or can one set up a page directly without having a RL account first? I’ve read that pages have distinct limitations versus accounts, and I had no idea that you could comment on Facebook posts from your “page” account. Your experiences would be wonderful to read about!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh wow that is interesting indeed, and a really awesome picture! Did you add it to other social media like facebook? Interesting indeed. I’ll have to look into that more I’ll have a look at your groups etc in more detail and see if it’s the groups you’ve put it in

      Like

      • I have a lot of the same questions as duchessflux. Does anyone really know how views on Flickr are counted? It doesn’t seem right that just because someone’s photo showed up in your feed it counts as a view. It would make more sense to me if I actually clicked on the photo and THAT was counted as a view. If the former is how views are counted, no wonder putting photos in a bajillion groups creates a huge upswing in views.
        I did find her comments about Facebook and her page interesting – I don’t personally like FB, but I may have to reconsider having a presence/page on it if it really has that big of an impact on blog views. :/

        Like

      • I’m pretty sure that views are only counted when you click on a picture, but you can fav a picture straight from your feed. So fav’s aren’t an indication of views and views aren’t an indication of blog hits.

        Looking at the stats of Tay’s pics today and her views have gone up a lot after adding them to more groups, her favs haven’t changed and her blog clicks haven’t changed. So far, all that adding to the no forced comment “spam” groups are good for, is to meet view requirements for blogger groups. There is absolutely no change in blog views. She was up one or two views from the day before, but they were from this post XD. It really is interesting. I can’t wait to see after a week if there’s any change to blog hits at all. Even more interested to see if putting her more artistic pile up picks in comment groups and “awarding” people’s pics will result in blog clicks!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I find it good to know that putting a photo in lots of groups doesn’t result in additional blog traffic – something time-consuming to do that didn’t seem to accomplish anything. So now I can focus on other things! I’ll be interested to see what things result in additional blog hits, because to me, that’s what should matter, not Flickr views, or how many feeds you’re on! Great topic!!!
        Looking forward to your posts about other social media as well! 🙂

        Like

    • Hi Duchess! ♥ I read somewhere that when your Flickr image is embedded elsewhere, subsequent views of that webpage will result in increased views on Flickr. So my guess would be that someone use the “Share Photo” button on your image to grab the embed code so they could post the picture on a website, forum, or similar. If all of the views had come directly from Flickr, your number of faves on that pic would certainly be significantly higher (because it’s an absolutely gorgeous photo!), so the views that carry over from embedding would be my guess. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, very interesting Ever! Then more than likely they come from my blog since I use the code. I think I am going to do an image search on the web and see if others shared my picture. Thanks! (and ty for saying my picture is gorgeous 🙂 )

        As for Facebook, you set up your Fan Page using your personal account. They are linked (but only to you – you have to gather peeps to like the page and follow you) and you can use the page for comments on other fan pages/store’s/event pages and share posts you find. Many people have their avatar as their personal page so they are able to comment a heck of a lot more than me…. but I lost my Duchess FB account due to it being an avatar of mine and not me, by Facebook. So save the time and frustration….. gah! However, if you don’t have an account on Facebook already…. I’d probably attempt to make my personal account, my SL avatar’s account………

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Pingback: Thoughts on my first mesh head and some event items | Time and Lace

  6. Pingback: Thoughts on my first mesh head and some event items (Post-257115) - [O.L.D.] Old London Docks - Best Second Life Fashion and Lifestyle Blog Feeds!

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