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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Magic Donkey made an ass out of me

Jack relaxing in the sun
Explore, the flickr photoblog showcase is difficult to enter. As near as I can figure the math, only 500 in about 10,000,000 photos possesses enough "interestingness" to be inducted. "Interestingness" is determined by a patented algorythm, which is subject to change, and a closely guarded secret. Flickr keeps track of how many views, comments, and thumbs up a photo gets, where the traffic comes from, and how fast it flows, along with (supossedly) the photographers current level of exposure, and gives it a rating, along with the other photos, about 10 million uploaded that day.
Explore is dynamic... your picture, in relation to the other 10 million recieves a new rating daily. Every day, the photo can make it into the Explore, or lose its place.
The interestingness algorythm works real good, a casual stop on the explore page will almost always be interesting, but the algorythm works by community response statistics. This means it can track popular opinion, not artistic worth.
I have one picture in explore:

It has little artistic value, and is far from my best, but was weird enough to generate traffic at the right speed and intensity to make the cut. I would love for one of my photos to make it just because it was a great picture.
This is why I was dumbfounded when I logged into scout this morning and was informed that 1008 of my pictures had made it into Explore. I had completely forgotten about April Fools Day.

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