Flickr – Deep Thoughts

I was listening to a photography podcast yesterday and they were talking about the lack of importance of Flickr.  It got my attention.  I have been on Flickr for a few years now. There is no super in depth way to see how posting affects your business.  Yes, you do get many views on Flickr and maybe some search engines find your pics…but is it really worth the time?  Up until recently I would post a photo…make sure it was in its proper group, then put it in many groups trying to get as many views as possible.  Then as always being kind, as most on Flickr…if my friends commented…I would glady comment on their photo.

So all this work on a site to me that is antiquated.   Flickr rarely updates and expands new services.  It is the same to me as when I joined years ago.   Social Media is important to us photographers…but to what extent?   My thoughts last year were that all photographers that want to grow need to have a web site, blog, Facebook, Twitter and be on Flickr.   Now everyone has their own ideas and preferences…now I think only a website, blog and Facebook are needed….maybe Twitter?   But Flickr may be a waste of time?

Yes, I did get into a few magazine articles and get to work with Getty Images from Flickr….and most of all meet some great friends.  But I am contemplating not posting on Flickr any longer.  It is worth a photographers time?  I’d like to hear your comments as well.

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14 comments on “Flickr – Deep Thoughts

  1. Hello, I strongly agree with your views on this. I used to use Flickr as a “gauge” of images. If I had a couple that I wasn’t sure about i’d post it up and add it to a few groups (not the post one comment one nonsense). End of last year I began to spend lots of time looking about on flickr. I made new friends and put much effort into comments of images that caught my eye. In the last couple of months I starting thinking….why? I spend a lot of time here and its not increasing my presence, nor my own image view rate. Contacts would comment if I commented on theirs and this because frustrating and forced. Its a great place for inspiration and for gathering idea’s but is it worth the time uploading, entering groups and enhancing ego’s? I don’t think so. I now spend the flickr time on my blog, find that much more rewarding and fun. May be i’ll go back and post the odd image, chasing them explores…….

    Keep up the tweets and the blog, always a good read

    • Thanks Richard! I agree…better to spend your time taking pics, processing them and working on your site/blog than worrying who says “Wonderful photo” or you get the “Best Pic of the Day Award” on Flickr! I am now stopping all posts on Flickr as of today and will see if it affects anything. Cheers, Pete

  2. exileimaging says:

    Pete, I recently renewed my ‘Pro’ account on Flickr, but had been seriously contemplating dropping it altogether. When I first joined a few years back, I spent a great deal of time on Flickr, checking others photos and watching my hit count climb. Now it’s 5 or 10 minutes a day (or every other day) to look at photos from contacts, and perhaps post a comment or two. I don’t remember the last time I looked at my stats. I am frustrated that Flickr hasn’t changed, and is falling further behind the explosion of social media on the web. This will probably be my last year with Flickr, as I prefer to put the effort into my blog.

  3. I post on Flickr regularly, into a lot of groups. I never read the comments because Flickr feedback always sounds like ‘I’ll say something nice about your work, and you say something nice about mine’. I continue to post on Flickr because it’s easy with the Lightroom Publish Services, some of the groups I post to hold contests – several from which I’ve won valuable prizes, and it draws traffic to my blog and website. I know many people who don’t feel the way I do and have dropped out of Flickr. I’m happy to see that happen. Better for me.

  4. Marie says:

    Pete, this is the conclusion that I’ve reached too. I find it useful for events like photo walks, b/c then you’ve got a central location that many on the walk can post to, and that’s a good thing. But as far as it being a tool to publicize your work, I think that facebook is far more effective. And, as you state, they have done little to evolve their site. I find that I have only limited time to spend maintaining my internet presence, and I’d much rather spend it on my web site and fb than flickr. And while I still think that it’s a terrific site for the individual to share photos with friends and family (and the world), as a marketing tool the value the photographer gets doesn’t warrant the time spent maintaining it.

  5. michaeltuuk says:

    Agreed. If I had all the time in the world I’d view pictures on flickr all day and I’d be happy to give lots of comments. However, life is short and I’d rather spend the time *making* the pics. Dont’ know if I’ll drop off flickr altogether but I certainly don’t spend the time on it that I used to.

  6. Bob Fisher says:

    I think, in general, I’d tend to agree that the relevance or usefulness of Flickr is basically nil.

    One of the important pieces of data in the whole ‘new/social media’ landscape is to be able to drill down and find out who’s looking at content and where it’s being shared. Can’t do that with Flickr. Flickr’s ability to record and track IP addresses seems quite weak. So much so that many of the views on my photos show up as ‘Unknown Source’. So while the ability to track back and see where the photos are being linked from is limited there’s also the concern about how the images are being used. Without the ability to track back it becomes very difficult to determine if there are any copyright violations taking place.

    Like you, I’m rethinking my use of Flickr in the broader new media landscape. I think at one point people looking for stock images may have used Flickr somewhat (I did get a request for an image that someone had seen on the site) but anecdotally I think that’s dwindling as well.

  7. Peter, like you I have been thinking about the time I put into flickr with little return. Though I cross link flickr to my blog and visa versa, there is little cross over when it comes to people. Blog has it’s followers and my flickr account has its. I have made one sale because of flickr but mostly get requests to donate photos for free.

    And, yes, flickr has made little strides in updating their service. It’s a bit easier on the eyes now and I can post directly to my blog from a flickr photo which I am using. That’s about it over the 4 years I have been there. It could be so much more. Hard to track comments like on a blog so you can return to a photo. Very hard to carry on a dialog as you can on FB. Though, FB has it’s own issues with its Terms of Service. You upload, they can use it, scott free. I post very few photos and only link to blog posts.

  8. atmtx says:

    Pete, very interesting conversations. It does take a lot of time and energy to do the social thing on Flickr and I am finding a bit more difficult to do the constant commenting that seems to be required. I also rather put energy into my blogs since I feel like its my personal site rather Flickr which feel like it’s someone else’s site. But that said, my blogs and such are not as established as yours. All the sales I’ve made so far has been through people finding my work on Flickr first so yes I’m torn. A part of me would like to reduce some energy on Flickr though for me the exposure has been good. Maybe someday, if my blog gets a larger following, I may be more tempted to reduce Flickr drastically.

  9. […] I said I was inspired by Pete Talke of Places2Explore and his recent discussion on flickr and wanted to put my twp pennies in, for what it is worth.  The […]

  10. hdrexposed says:

    Great read here Pete. Meant to comment a few days ago, just wanted to get mine written up! Other than a few good contacts, flickr is so tiresome. Lame comments that say “Great”, “Awesome”, “Nice”…what do these do for me? Just a waste of time. Glad to hear it hasn’t really impacted the blog. I’m going to start weening off flickr and see what happens. Like Andy, I don’t have your following yet, but maybe this will help! Thanks for the inspiration man!

    • Thanks Dave! Exactly! I have one member…every time the same post…”Great Shot”. Just a coined response. Stuff like that makes you realize how unimportant Flickr really is…just a “Attaboy” site. It is what it is…and did allow all of us to meet. But as soon as you become a serious with photography…it becomes difficult to keep up with all social media outlets. Time to cut out the ones that are not worth our time. Flickr to me is that one. It is sad to let it go as it has become a part of my daily routine. Always tough..but later on down the line….it will be all worth it. Time to take more pics and sell them instead of posting Flickr comments. =) In sales for over over 20 years…we are always told to spend our time on the most beneficial leads. The amount of time I spent on Flickr is def not equivalent to the payoff in my opinion.

  11. […] and its place both in the larger photography world and in my own new media strategy. Then I read an article on another shooter’s blog about his thoughts on Flickr and it seems I’m definitely not alone in questioning the use or […]

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