One way to get lots of people to see a photo of yours on the image sharing site Flickr is to take a good picture. That requires talent, skill, and dedication. A few of my pictures have become popular simply because they're good photographs—at least I think so.
But my most popular pictures on Flickr aren't like that at all. They're nerdy: pictures of wacky guitars or geek conferences, of old computers or Linux running on a Mac.
And what do you do to attract huge numbers of viewers and comments and favourites? Simple, go full nerd: just make a picture of a whole bunch of cameras and encourage people to argue about them. More than 38,000 views in six months, 208 favourite votes, and dozens and dozens of comments:
State of the DSLR market - June 2008 (old)
An earlier attempt of mine at the same thing even had commenters threatening to kill each other about the kind of camera they like! But my favourite comment was from Axl Van Goks: "I like the black one with the buttons and stuff."
Since the digital camera market changes like crazy, my big collage from June 2008 was out of date within weeks. I waited for all the pre-Christmas camera introductions to shake out, and now I've made a new version that includes all the current digital SLR cameras I could find (almost 40) from Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, Leica, Samsung, Sigma, and Fujifilm:
State of the DSLR market - January 2009 (new)
I expect the arguing to begin soon in the comments. The picture has 139 views and 4 favourites since I posted it three and a half hours ago. And yes, yes, I know, I know: they're not all strictly SLRs, but I think they're all of interest to SLR buyers.
Ah, art. Have at it.
UPDATE: My thesis appears to be correct. As a rule of thumb, the more cameras you put in a picture on Flickr, the more popular it is:
Links from John Gruber and 37signals didn't hurt either.
Labels: canon, controversy, flickr, geekery, leica, linkbait, nikon, olympus, panasonic, pentax, photography, sony