I will not follow you if you're following thousands of other people...
Since joining Flickr in 2005, I've enjoyed viewing the images of many talented photographers who publish their work here. I've followed the photographers who inspire me the most. Obviously, the more people I follow, the more time it takes to keep up with viewing their respective photostreams.
I used to be flattered when someone else started following my photostream, but lately I've noticed that a significant number of people who have started following me are also following thousands of other people on Flickr. If you're following thousands of people, you can't possibly be viewing all the images they're publishing on Flickr. There's not enough time in the day.
There's only one reason you would follow thousands of people on Flickr: you're promoting yourself, and you want others to follow you. What better way to get followers than to follow others -- as many as you can. In fact, one of the people I used to follow has written ebooks about street photography and how to use Flickr to achieve your goals as a photographer. He recommends following as many people as possible, and he describes the methods he uses to acquire followers.
I don't use Flickr for the purpose of acquiring as many followers as possible, and I don't respect that disingenuous approach. I'm interested in quality, not quantity. If you're following me just so that I'll follow you, please look elsewhere. I'm not interested in being part of your numbers game, no matter how much I might like your photos.
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