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%
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%
Flickr Stars (older one), 20%
I Think This is Art, 7%