Getting more out of Flickr – Part III
Flickr-time again, after Part I and Part II, this will be the last blogpost in my series of ‘How to get more out of Flickr’, unless of course things change, questions arise and there is need to explain some more, I may come back with another Flickr-related article. Which leads me to a different subject without trying to sound arrogant: thanks for all the input and feedback I have received in private messages! It is of course always possible to directly comment to a post on a blogpost as this, but for all kinds of reasons people find it easier or more comfortable to do it out of the public. I will come back to ‘commenting on blogs and why it is not a bad thing’ in an article in the future, this post will cover Flickr “groups” – or communities, captions/titles of your images and how to block unwanted individuals from your stream. As always, still assuming you as blogger are familiar with Flickr and well, I found out by now this blog is being read by non-bloggers as well, so…for all you people on Flickr, here we go – I will post images in this blogpost to illustrate what I mean here and there!
So many groups, so little time..
Groups in Flickr are best to be described as ‘communities’ which share collections of images relating to eachother. There are hundreds, maybe thousands!, of groups for images regarding Second Life, so it is no wonder it gets confusing and at times, in some groups, even messy and frustrating.
There are groups for literally everything, I am sure if you come up with a topic, chances are there is already a group for it. I will try to keep it short and comprehensible so I will give some examples of the most used categories by bloggers to add their pictures in, knowing this short list is by far not covering all of them:
* Second Life in General, vague, but usually large groups that collects and shares all kind of images as long as they are made in Second Life.
* Fashion Groups, a wide variety of groups all collecting/sharing images from Second Life as long as they are featuring fashion. I include in this group also groups made by designers, to (have)show off specifically their works.
* Destination/Landscape groups, seems simple: Second Life pictures from cool, interesting places, buildings, art installations etc.
* Home and Garden Decoration Groups, need I say more?
* Artistic/Photography groups, filled with pictures – works of art even – by SL photographers, graphic designers and such, often with a specific theme and ever so often known for their ‘award’ system (more about that later…).
Groups are excellent to share your work in, as lots of people use those groups to look for things they have interest in, so you know upfront the audience is the right one for what you have to show.
And this is also where many frustration comes from.
A group always has an owner and in most cases also one or more admins, since most groups have rules/guidelines, to make sure the collection of images reflects the purpose of said group and keeps it interesting for their members/viewers.
A much heard sigh of frustration comes from admins/owners (I happen to be both for several groups) and is:
‘ people who just dump their pics in a gazzillion groups without bothering to check if their images fit the theme, topic and/or rules, guidelines ‘.
On the other side I have read the frustration of bloggers about adding pictures to up to 200 groups and how time consuming that is.
I can only ask you, as a blogger, do you really….really! need to upload your pictures in over a 100 or 200 groups?
Are you sure all those groups, every click you make, helps in your blog getting attention? How many of those groups are actually alive and kicking? Do you actually know all the rules and do you think on every ‘tick in the list’: yeah, this is definetely a group that will appreciate my work?
I have made mistakes, they happen…when busy, not paying enough attention it easy to just click on your group list and voilá, pic is in, while it wasn’t appropriate to the theme and such. Mistakes aside, I am sure – as admin and group owner and after having spoken to fellow admins of other groups, most of the non-topic added pics are no mistakes, but well..how to say it nice…not paying enough attention to adding images and appear to be mindless adding to as many groups as possible.
And this does not help your reputation. At. All. In fact, it works against you. You don’t want to be remembered as the ‘repeat offender dumping pics in a group without sticking to guidelines’? I may hope not, I would like to think you post images so people appreciate you and your work AND click on the links to your blog!
So, in short, as the images in this post show:
* Check the groups description and rules, make sure joining is not only good for the group but also for you (why post in a ‘Adult Fetish BDSM For Furries’ group if what you do is Kawaii fully clothed cute girls fashion? Or why post a landscape in a group dedicated to portraits?)
* Check the groups photo-pool, this will give you a good idea on the managing of the group, if it’s a mess of random off-topic pics, who would want to follow that? Are you the only one posting recent stuff, that would be sign to leave.
* Don’t random tick all groups when uploading, give it some thought. Don’t be that repeat offender!
Award groups, P1/C2 with sweeper active!?
Award groups are groups, just like others, in which their rules require you to give ‘awards’ to other groupmembers. It is to encourage views on pics of their member and to show appreciation. Often these are groups for artistic works, not so much for bloggers or destination-pics.
P1/C2, is Flickr-speak for: ‘if you post 1, you have to comment on two other pics in the group’. Often those groups have the warning : *sweeper active*, which is Flickr-speak for: ‘we check if you comment as you should and if you don’t your picture and you will be removed‘ .
I am not judging or saying this is a bad thing, it is a way of managing groups and if you willingly and knowingly join an award-group, you have to follow their rules (as you do for other groups) and yes, this means time and effort.
To be honest, I very much doubt the Award groups are suitable for blog pictures, be it fashion, tech or destinations.
Captions/titles and blocking
A short paragraph to end this lengthy post.
Captions/titles of your images are more important than you may think. An image titled “untitled”, “IMG_23456″ or “Snapshotbrkfjt_0034k” does not exactly give the impression you care about your work. You don’t need to be overly clever, but give it…again, some thought. A colour, the day of the week, the weather, a song-title, the title of your blog-post, the name of an item or the location you posted. It shows you care and show you think about what you post and it triggers people to look and maybe click to your blog.
And last, I promise, it is possible to block someone from your stream in case you really do not wish someone to comment, favourite and/or share your work. Simply go to their stream and open their profile (top right in bar) and choose: block.
They can always see your work, but they cannot Flickr-mail you, they cannot follow you (but yeah, they can look you up and look at your pics) and commenting and sharing is no longer an option. Not a perfect block, but it is something.
Thanks for reading, my next topic will be about Facebook and Twitter and why they are not so much TeH EviL as they may seem!
Happy snapping and uploading!