Thoughts about flickr

Do you use any online photo communities? I do. I am a Pro member of flickr. Disclosure: I used to work for the big corporation that acquired flickr in 2005. And that is why I initially became a “Pro” member – it was a company perk. And before you sneer: I credit that – and the company’s policy of supporting their employees’ non-work related skills – with my eventual path towards professional photography. It was on flickr that I realised “I can do that!” And my enthusiastic participation in comment-and-critique groups honed my photographic skills to some degree.
These days I merely use flickr as a cloud service, really. I upload my best photos to flickr not for showing off but for safe-keeping outside of my own PC-network. Most of these are private and cannot be seen by anyone but me. I find that flickr is also handy as an online space from where you can link your images into blogs and boards.
Incidentally, today is my flickrversary: This day six years ago I joined up. And below  you see the sad state of my photography with which I started off. Not anything that stands out (in a good way). But at least I can say that I have come a long way…
Posted April 18th, 2006
I am obviously not alone in my appreciation of flickr. According to latest statistics there are currently more than six billion photos stored on flickr. Six billion. A six with nine zeros. *gasp* In March 2012 alone more than 88 million photos were uploaded.
Let’s take a look at flickr’s users. According to statsr.net, the average flickr user has 253 contacts and 1628 photos. Their photosite gets viewed 359 times a day and they upload four pictures a day. Does that ring true? Here are my very own stats: I have 60 contacts (oooh, saddo), but 4062 photos. My flickr stream was viewed 40 times a day and I upload 1.85 images per day. Firmly below average, eh? Well, I am glad that I am not following the trend in one respect: I am firmly sure of my gender identity – something that 94 percent of flickr users are not, otherwise they might have set their gender in their profile…
Love or loathe it, online-photo-communities have found their place on the web. And even with Facebook trying to make inroads into the photo community after upgrading their photo display and lately acquiring Instagram, flickr, picasa et al. are still going on. If you are starting out in photography it is a great place to learn, to test your photo-analytical skills and to build a network of photographers. Who knows – it might bring you to a place you never thought you would go…
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