Additional May 2013: check out this new study that investigates in more details how Explorer chooses explored photos.
Getting explored on Flickr… So many people have already written their thoughts, tips and tricks about the subject, although for the time being I've never seen any actual data. Therefore, instead of trying to figure out yet another recipe, I’ve tried to come up with factual statistics about explored photos using the data provided by the Flickr API.
I have accumulated data for the first 100 photos every day or every
second day, over the last 2 years (Dec. 2010 to Nov. 2011), that is at
least 1500 explored photos analyzed every month.
The statistics focus on 3 parameters:
- the time it takes for a photo to get be explored after it's been uploaded;
- the users whose photos are explored (number of contacts, of photos);
- the groups the explored photos are posted in;
- the tags that explored photos have.
Lots of other metrics could actually be figured out, like about tags, I've got a bunch of ideas but I lack time... However the Flickr API provides rather limited data. In particular, it provides no history record of what happened to a photo, for instance: date and time of comments and favs, date and time a photo is added to or removed from a group, etc. Anyway suggestions are welcome!
The following is a set of observations of what explored photos have in common, along with my interpretation. The reader must understand what it means: what explored photos have in common may be (i) accidental, (ii) a consequence of being explored (e.g. a photo is in a group called "Explored only" because it was explored, not the opposite), (iii) or eventually it may be the reason for being explored. Obviously, the latter is what most people seek, since it would mean to have a clue about the Flickr Interestingness algorithm!
CONCLUSIONS (IF YOU ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN TRICKS!):
If you don't care about statistics and just want the conclusions, here are a few advises that MAY help you get explored (but that may not be very original):
1. Make a good photo (!)
2. Upload your photo between 12h and 18h GMT.
3. Post the photo to 5 or 6 groups, not more.
4. Pick up the groups from the list given at the end, that MAY increase the number of viewers.
5. Generate activity around your photos: browse, comment and favs others'.
6. (long term): have many contacts, upload photos regularly, comment, be active, BE SOCIAL!
Have I tried that out? Yes, for two photos recently. One was explored, the other was not...