Flickr contacts

Flickr contacts are what makes Flickr “Flickr”. We can post our pictures on the web in any number of places. Flickr is about photography, but it is also a social network. Our interaction with our Flickr contacts determines how much we get out of our investment in Flickr.


Flickr contacts do a lot of things for us. They provide us a mini art gallery of new work each day to look at--an art gallery where we have 100% control of the artists in it. They give us words of wisdom, friendship, humor, and sorrow. Their art provides us with new ideas that improves our own work.


The nature of Flickr creates a unique environment by which to enjoy art. The everyday blog nature of Flickr links Flickr photos to the everyday rhythm and pace of the artist’s life—the ups and downs, the moments of extreme excitement and boredom, the life transitions, the seasons. Coupled with the ability to interact with the artist in a reciprocal relationship makes Flickr a “hot” medium.


I am convinced that Flickr contacts are the most common reason people leave Flickr. You have to nourish your network constantly. Keeping up with the social network aspect of Flickr takes a lot of time, and for any number of reasons this can become impossible or undesirable. Flickrites who can’t figure out how to create and engage an effective social network don’t get the level of traffic and comments on their pictures they expect and give up on Flickr.


I have 3663 total contacts: 239 are two-way (i.e. they are contacts with me and I am a contact of theirs), 33 are one-way from me to them (i.e. they are my contact, but I am not theirs), and 3424 are one-way from them to me. I have managed as many as 400 and as few as 150 contacts, but for me 250 is about the sweet spot.


I want to THANK the 31 Flickr contacts that I have had as contacts for three years or more: Hazed, ilsebatten, fotoaparatas, I'mMurphy'sLaw, losy, Anne Strickland, crowt59, brynmeillion, peggyhr, bryanilona, Sir Cam, Tailer's Family, André Pipa, LukeOlsen, i_love_u_get_away_from_me, tengtan, setsuna, abuela pinocho, jotKa26, Zé Eduardo, goorn23, the-father, spkennedy3000, Sati Kobashi, Celia, Zinni, ~lala~(Lisa), Steve-h, Lady Smirnoff,, Pisces Romance, and {maeve}. What joys you have given me!


I manage my network size through occasional purges—if someone doesn’t reciprocate my comments for a long period of time I have to make a judgment whether to keep or not. I do keep some contacts who never look at my work, but not many. When new contacts connect with me, I consider two questions: Will I like looking at their art every day, and will they be a good, reliable contact?


I have observed many different types of Flickr contacts over my three years of Flickring:

* The Reliable Contact—One or two pictures a day, every day, always reciprocates.

* The Weekend Contact—Posts one or two pics a day, and then catches up with their contacts on the weekend.

* The Haphazard Contact—Posts haphazardly, visits haphazardly. Still can be good contacts, they just are at a different activity level with Flickr. Sometimes Reliable and Weekend Contacts go through this phase.

* The Contact Who Dumped You—Won’t visit you even though you notice they’re visiting others.

* The Dead Contact—Isn’t visiting anybody.

* The Experimenting Contacts—Of course I love them! Always trying to push the boundaries with something new.

* The One Trick Pony Contacts—Yes I love the 1000 pictures of {Insert Obsession Here}, but could you try something different!

* The Blogging Contacts—Contacts who have as much to say as they do to show.

* The No Hands Contacts—Contacts who only fave, won’t comment.

* The Lurking Contacts—They don’t comment or fave, but they still may be viewing your work.

* The On the Cusp Contacts—They’re on the cusp of quitting Flickr… beware the drama!

* The Photo Dump Contacts—They post a lot of pictures every day. If they’re not good artists they won’t remain a contact very long… but if they’re really good artists, I don’t mind keeping up with the volume. Few can pull it off but there are some gems.

* The Teaching Contacts—Their art teaches us constantly how to improve ourselves.


Here’s Three Cheers for Contacts!

innerMt, Jürgen and 99 more people faved this
  • João Paulo Almeida 5y

    This photo is a good sample in the flickr. It is awarded the flickr Award!

    flickrAward (post1 – award 5)
    Please Tag your photo with “flickrAward” and visit the flickr Award Gallery
  • jan kench 4y

    Hi Kevin - not been posting for ages - sorry about that - but thanks for the mention and will be back as a good contact soon:)) Take care:)
  • Dawn Woodhouse 4y

    wow kevin, I was thinking you talk like a teacher then I check and you're a professor................ thanks for the interesting explanations
  • asianz 4y

    You have summarized all the possible contacts out there. What an entertaining read this is.
  • Tony 4y

    excellent observations kevin!
  • ^ Missi ^ 4y

    Very interesting and pretty much on the dot, Prof!
  •  Handala HAMIM 4y

    Like this magnificent shot !!
    and the text too,
    I could not figure out which category I fall to your list, :D;D;D
  • Al_HikesAZ 4y

    Interesting photo and I agree with your description. It's the contacts that enhance the enjoyment. Plus it's how I get ideas on what to look for. I've been thinking about going to the Musical Instrument Museum - with a camera this time. Your photos are masterful. The last time, my wife and I were there as guests at a reception hosted by Northern Trust and she wouldn't let me take a camera.
  • Jason 3y

    Here is another sort of contact. The sort who used to post regularly, had images looked at regularly and even has some with 5, 10 and even 20,000+ views, gave up on Flickr due to loss of mojo and a severe lack of time and camera, is trying to come back in but isn't sure where to start.
  • Ken Bosma 3y

    @jasmic you are so right. The Flickr mojo waxes and wanes. For me it is waning right now.

    Kevin, You truly have been one of my most loyal contacts, for which I can't thank you enough. Even when I don't like one of your photos, I still look forward to seeing what you are up to and am happy to frame some kind of response.
  • cavarica 3y

    + Seen in the Ministract pool +
  • Bluesrose 3y

  • mark hungsberg 3y

    wonderfully seen and composed...

    well said too!

    Seen in

    Minimal Black&White
  • pannaphotos aka Anna Leporati Serrao 3y

    great image, I love it and I've read all your essay about Flickr, I've found it really very interesting!

    Thank you for sharing your magic in the Magician's Square
  • Juan Francisco 3y

    Very instructive.
  • buddhadog 3y

    Simple and beautiful.
    Upside down W
    Admired at Minimalist Matt
  • Vilmos Vincze 2y

    There seem to be two types of people:
    one type typically categorizes everything.
    The others - like me - never care about that... :)
  • Johanna Hoffmann 2y

    Sadly, I am a Flickerite who went from being a reliable/weekend contact to an almost dead contact. The reason is lack of time and priorities. I have to do LinkedIn and Twitter for work, and, after resisting for many years, have become active on Facebook, mainly to have an ongoing relationship with family all over the world and with my elementary & high school friends. I really miss being a regular on Flickr, where I met incredibly nice people and hope to come back to being regularly active when I have more time. In the meantime, I am trying to figure out a way of still being somewhat active, which really has to include interacting with people, but it's not the same as being fully engaged. I miss the visual inspiration and the generous friends I have met.
  • Inna Berezkina 2y

  • @petra 1y

    oh, I am really not one of the best contacts
    and I wish I were...
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