Not 100 years, but 100 images that have been featured at one time or another on Flickr’s Explore pages. For those of you who don’t have accounts on Flickr, the Explore pages feature 500 photos selected from Flickr’s membership each day, based on the criterion of something they call Interestingness.
No one knows for certain how “interestingness” is assessed, but it’s done algorithmically based on some unknown combination of hits, groups photos are posted in, and perhaps a little crescent of the moon factor thrown in to smooth out the ratings. People who have a large following on Flickr and who consequently receive a lot of hits end up in Explore more frequently than those who don’t. Unfortunately, in some ways then Explore is something of a popularity contest.
For folks like me, who have a very moderate following of friends and acquaintances, getting into Explore always seems like voodoo. Why was this particular image selected, but not that one? Many of my images selected for Explore are ones I particularly like, but others make me shake my head. In particular, shots of gear — like my ongoing “camera and coffee” images — tend to reach Explore more often than my other work. Is there a geek-factor gearhead bias in the algorithm?
I’m not knocking Explore. I’ve seen some stunning images there. I’ve also seen a lot of images that didn’t seem more than average, or images that were cliches. So I don’t really know that it’s an honour to appear in the pages.
But, being human, I can’t help but feel validated by having 100 of my images appear there. I’m weak.