The formula sucks…

107/365, originally uploaded by ♥ Kristel.

Saw this in Flickr’s Explore. Really? This is one of the 500 most interesting photos posted on Flickr during the last 24 hours week? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing the picture or the photographer, outside of the fact that there are probably hundreds of “chicks taking pictures of themselves” and “people doing the picture a day” photos posted daily. I’m just not seeing what makes this rise from the flotsam and jetsam to be one of the most interesting photos.

Why do I care (sour grapes… Ed)? No, really, why do I care? Well, every environment builds it’s own currency, it’s own value system. In Flickr currency is views, comments, faves and pictures in Explore. Views are easy (show some boobs), but not really worth much if you’re not a pro or selling something. Faves are worth something mainly because they drive up your “interestingness” score and make a picture more likely to end up in Explore. Pictures in Explore have much more worth to the amateur. A picture in Explore will instantly get several hundred views and a ton of Faves. But the best part is the algorithim used to determine interestingness weights faves, comments, and views from people with pictures in Explore more heavily than ones from ordinary users. Wrap your mind around that. Get a picture in Explore and your viewpoint now counts for more. The pages on how to game the interestingness system begin with commenting, faving, and adding the photographers of Explore images as contacts, all in the hope that the mutual masturbation of driving their interestingness score higher will at some point pay off with enough of the chosen ones returning the favor to get you into the club. And why not? Who wouldn’t want the value of their opinion increased?

 The problem is, the process seems sort of hit and miss. Again, I’m not ragging on the about photo but what about this one, this one, or this one (selected from the first page of results of a search for “self portrait” on 1/18/08@17:20 EST) ? Is it so head and shoulders better than those photos, as to merit increasing the value of the photographers opinion? If it is, I’m not sure why. And if it’s not, then you’re randomly assigning the weight of people’s opinions, which basically means the whole thing is a glorified crap shot. 

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~ by junyo on January 18, 2008.

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