Award study

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You probably thought what I did: If I post to an award group that requires 3 awards, then I should expect 3 awards, on average. Obviously, any given photo will get more or less, but you figure on average you should get as much as you give, right? WRONG!!

I’ve done a systematic study of how many awards the different award groups give out, and the bottom line is this: The half of Flickrites who do actually give out rewards get nothing in return from the other half of the Flickrites who post and run.

If you’re posting and running, shame on you. If you’re posting and being honest, then you should check out the list below to see which award groups are best and worst.

Details of the study are below; I welcome any data that the group admins wish to share, or from anyone would like to validate these findings. I realize my sample is small and would like to get more data...
Purpose: Do you get as many rewards as you give in Flickr award groups?

Method: Sample 20 Flickr award groups. Go to page 24 and count the number of awards given to the first 12 pictures; this is deep enough in the pool that awards have stopped, but not so deep that many images have been pulled. I validated a sample of 12 was sufficient.

Result: From a total sample of 240 images posted to award groups, you get 59% of the awards you give out, or roughly you have to give two awards in order to get one. There is huge variation amongst the groups, as you’ll see in table below.

Discussion: At a practical level, it appears that there are two things that contribute to a higher percentage of reciprocity. First, group cohesion makes a difference—for example Shining Star has a relatively higher percentage because many of the members are contacts with each other. Second, a mechanical pool sweeper, if properly used, makes a HUGE difference, e.g. Global Village 2 and Flickr Hearts. The results also show that there are lots of Flickrites who don’t play by the rules. In the case of group awards, without a pool sweeper there is absolutely no penalty for posting and running because there’s no way to get caught.

Group averages… For example, A+++ has 70%, meaning that for every A+++ award you give, you get 0.7 back… Some of the averages are above 100% because of sampling error, and because of multiple invites.
My Winners, 116%
Better Than Good, 116%
Global Village 2, 110%
Flickr Hearts, 88%
A+++, 70%
The Other Village, 70%
Shining Star, 68%
Music to My Eyes, 64%
Dragon Fly, 63%
Flickr Stars (newer one), 62%
Flickr Rose, 60%
Flickr Special, 56%
Perfect Photographer, 40%
Abstract Art Awards, 40%
Photographers Gone Wild, 37%
Peoples Choice, 37%
Colour Art Awards, 30%
Eperke, 24%
Flickr Stars (older one), 20%
I Think This is Art, 7%

NordicHeart-OFF, jeh182_2nd, and 345 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. rj california 65 months ago | reply

    outstanding essay... Brilliant...

  2. aimeeern 65 months ago | reply

    I am intrigued with photos that bring a striking image out of what most would consider "nothing"... a few drops of water.

    Thanks for posting your series of essays. I've had some invitations to award groups and after posting with them a bit, I've decided not to play the game. I have found that often people don't even leave a comment with their required "award" leading me to believe that they are choosing a couple thumbnails that catch their eye and dropping their code and moving on to the next.

  3. CameliaTWU 63 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Best Images Ever (ADMIN Invite Only | Award 2), and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  4. i n i m i n i 63 months ago | reply

    this is kinda magical....

  5. mgw_wgw 63 months ago | reply

    The turquoise bokeh both above and below the coloured droplets make this a really appealling image :)
    Seen in your sigma 105mm set. ( ?² )

  6. QuietStorm... 63 months ago | reply

    Gorgeous bokeh, thats the kind of shower I'd love to soak in!

  7. Zzdarlight 61 months ago | reply

    great bokeh!!!

  8. Camerons Personal Page 58 months ago | reply

    This proves.what a collosal waste of time awards.groups are. None of this is real now go outside and shoot!

  9. jomak14 57 months ago | reply

    A very interesting study you've done here! Great shot, too!

  10. -------------Виктория ----------- 47 months ago | reply

    Обожаю ваши структуры.

  11. Ania.Photography 45 months ago | reply

    great effect! beautiful work.

  12. pv32082 37 months ago | reply


  13. DarkAura 32 months ago | reply

    Very interesting, this should be an article on a website or something!

  14. ilsebatten 6 weeks ago | reply

    Well you are always full of analytical thought and often make clear what the rest of us are only griping about. Well done, this was an interesting read. Have you noticed that there is less time?

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