News and Views from Dave Wilson

Archive for April 21st, 2008

Flickr Explore

by on Apr.21, 2008, under Uncategorized

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ve probably seen me mention Flickr Explore. This is a list of the 500 “most interesting” photos uploaded to Flickr each day where “interestingness” is defined using a secret algorithm known only to a small number of Flickr insiders. The general consensus is that it is some weighted measure based on the number of times a picture is viewed, the number of people who mark it as a favourite, the number of comments it receives with, possibly, some additional factors related to number of groups it is added to and the particular users who look at it.

Regardless of the actual weighting, though, I would expect that photos added to Explore would have to see some kind of traffic, whether that is views, comments or favourites. This image, however, has me really confused. It jumps into and out of Explore on a day-by-day basis. When it is in the list, it is generally near the top (currently it’s at position 30, for example) but then it will drop out of the top 500 completely. The weird thing, however, is that it gets practically no traffic (total of 3 comments, 109 views as of this writing) and can jump into or out of Explore with absolutely no change in its viewings.

The only conclusions I can draw from this are that something is happening to the other photos uploaded on that day that is reducing their interestingness enough to let mine pop back into the list. Given the lack of interest in this shot, I can also assume that February 5th, 2008 was a slow day for Flickr uploads if this is the 30th most interesting photo for that day.

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