Thursday 7 January 2016

Photo Websites Are Spoilt by "Gaming the System"

I realise that this is not directly about cats but I want to get it off my chest. There are many photo websites where genuinely good photographers can publish their photographs.

One of the sites is the well-known Flickr. The trouble with Flickr is this: the most viewed photographs are not always the best ones. The photographs which are viewed the most are the ones which are heavily publicised the most.

The way photographers publicise their photographs is to "game the system" which means they join hundreds of groups and promote their photographs there or they follow thousands of other photographers and in doing so the photographer who they follow feels an obligation to return the favour and/or they favourite lots of other photographs so once again that photographer often returns the favour.

Tree Hugger

You can see, therefore, that photographers game the system and in effect through their efforts "buy" views and favourites and suchlike. On these photo website you can't just put your photograph up on the site no matter how good it is and expect it to receive lots of views unless a Flickr editor picks it whereby it is then promoted by Flickr itself. But that is relatively rare and they don't always pick the best photographs.

500px is a more professional photo website with a higher standard than Flickr and there is less gaming the system in order to obtain views on this website but it still exists to a certain extent. I would expect that all photo websites to have this deep flaw, which is disappointing because only the best photographs should receive the most views and that certainly isn't the case.

For the record this is not a personal moan because my photographs have been picked by editors before and they have received thousands of views. I'm just making the point that I don't think these photo sites should allow users to game the system so flagrantly and so frequently as it undermines the integrity of the website and the quality of the photographs presented to the public.

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