Getting Discoverd on Flickr

One of the benefits of uploading photos to Flickr and tagging them (including geotagging) is the serendipity of others finding you. Flickr now has stats to show you how many times your photos are viewed, and other times comments are left or there are other interactions with the community.

I’ve had three interesting moments of note lately, all within the past month or so, from being discovered by others:

1) After posting a photo of a happy cow from my India honeymoon collection, I received this comment from the user whose alias is “goateatingshirt”: Hi, I’m an admin for a group called goats,cows,antelope,wild sheep and deer, and we’d love to have your photo added to the group.

Who knew what kinds of groups there were on Flickr? Note I only discovered this comment because the homepage of the Flock browser, designed for easy social media integration, includes a feed from my Flickr account, which it set up automatically after I logged into Flickr from Flock

2) Treehugger, the #1 environmental blog, posted a photo I took of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg on a recent story. I’ll add that their attribution, where they not only posted my name but linked to my photos, was especially upfront, a great way to go above and beyond with social media citations. The photo was reposted in linked stories on Frozen Toothpaste (also credited to me and linking to my Flickr account) and Climate of Our Future (with the photo attributed to Treehugger – no big deal there).

3) I got a note from the managing editor of Schmap.com that photos of mine on Flickr from the Stein Eriksen Lodge, taken during MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit, were included in their

Salt Lake City guide. You can see my contribution as #10 of 19 in this widget of deluxe hotels.

As an aside, the widget offering’s one of the best I’ve seen anywhere, making it incredibly easy to customize the widget’s size and colors, as well as choosing the source of the map (Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft). Anyone offering widgets would do well to make it that easy to share content.

With this blog and with my personal adventures into social media, it’s much easier to experiment when I don’t need to achieve some kind of return on investment, but marketers, and those looking to market themselves, can find great value in making more concerted efforts on Flickr. Including descriptive titles and tags and then geotagging the photos is a great way to start. Then you’ll want to link the photos from other sources to help improve the search engine rankings (without really trying, my Flickr bio ranks #2 in Yahoo, which owns Flickr, for the term “david berkowitz”).

As for sharing photos, I still don’t use Flickr exclusively. In fact, I actually share photos in four places. Flickr’s great for long-term exposure. Kodak’s my favorite spot for printing, as I’ve found they have the best quality compared to other sites I’ve tried like Snapfish and Shutterfly (it’s easily worth paying a bit more on Kodak). I’ve found Picasa Web’s easiest for non-Internet addicts, and it integrates perfectly with Picasa, so I use that for sharing photos with family and friends. And then there’s Facebook, which tends to get the most visibility among friends, so when I want random connections to see them, plus I want to tag other people within the photos, I’ll put some photo highlights there.

Flickr’s still what’s going to lead to the serendipitous exposure on sites like Treehugger and Schmap, and I hope in time it’s easier to share photos from there and print to Kodak as well. I’ll still have to divide and conquer in the meantime.