How does the Flickr “Explore” feature select photos?

Flickr’s Explore feature provides users with a quick look at photos that have been selected by Flickr for presentation to a wider audience. Many photographers would like to see their photos selected, obviously, to obtain a wider audience for their work.

How does Explore select photos? The specific details are not disclosed to avoid “gaming” the selection process. But there are hints in a 2006 U.S. Patent filing by Yahoo:

These rankings may be based at least in part on the quantity of user-entered metadata concerning the media object, the number of users who have assigned metadata to the media object, access patterns related to the media object, and/or a lapse of time related to the media object.

via United States Patent Application: 0060242139.

It appears to do with a “scoring” process that evaluates the “tags” assigned to a photo (e.g. “County Fair”, “Cow”), their relevance to the image, an “access pattern” (presumably an association between the searched for keywords that led to viewing the photo, and the tags assigned by the uploader), the number of click thrus and views of the photo, and the relationship of the viewer to the photographer (e.g. “friend”, stranger). There are likely other factors that go into this process (8 years after the patent was filed).

Panasonic and Olympus Micro Four Thirds Deals

I am a big fan of micro Four Thirds because of their excellent image quality yet small size and weight, and affordable lenses. Both the Panasonic Lumix and Olympus cameras are excellent.

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Youtube seeks higher quality content to charge premium ad rates

I will have more to say about Youtube and the business case another time:

The talks underscore Google Inc’s desire to complete YouTube’s transition from a repository for grainy home videos to a site sporting the more polished content crucial to securing higher-priced advertising.

via Exclusive: YouTube weighs funding efforts to boost premium content – sources | Reuters.

Not surprisingly, its all about the ad revenue now. Those that deliver ad

YouTube Censored
YouTube Censored (Photo credit: dannysullivan)

opportunities for Youtube will achieve prominence and the rest  (most everyone else!) may find themselves disappearing in search results and recommended lists.

Youtube previously announced it had modified search results and recommendations based on its “big data” analysis, to drive more minutes of viewing. Consequently, these changes are not secret.

This may have repercussions for those us interested in 3D. 3D has not – yet – delivered significant online audiences for Youtube (except for one person). Youtube has been an early proponent of 3D by offering a reasonable 3D delivery platform but how long will that last?

(I produce short 3D videos as a hobby, not as a profession. But like any hobby producer, I am gratified that people wish to watch what I create. But if they can’t find the videos, then they will not be watching either.)