I’m none too convinced by social networking, but I’m a happy advocate of Flickr and Last.FM, both of which are built around something I care about. Even there, though, people are sometimes unfathomable.
Take this picture of Toyota’s iQ climbing a wall in Paris. It’s good enough that we used it in a blog post about the car, but it isn’t the only shot I’ve seen of the same scene, and it’s hardly breathtaking.
Yet in two days it’s been viewed 197 times, favourited 16 times and has received 123 comments – roughly two for every three people who saw it. Many commenters have bagged it for various Flickr groups with the usual gushingly sycophantic invite: “Wonderful find. Absolutely The Perfect Photographer…You Deserve Another Perfect Photographer Award!!!” etc.
I’m not the only one who finds that kind of invite embarassingly insincere, am I? Some Flickr groups have collections of amazing images, and many showcase active and talented communities, but I wonder about the ones that put this kind of spam into people’s photo comments and I’m dubious about their invite criteria. The iQ photo (of a car, indoors) has been invited to ‘Nature Photos HP’, for example.
The only invite I’ve had was for what I think is the weakest of a similar set. It’s been viewed just once, by the person who invited it, who didn’t bother looking at any of the similar ones I posted at the same time.
So I reckon something’s up with these groups, but I’m not sure what it is. Flickr doesn’t pass on authority with links, so it’s not a crude SEO trick. Anyone got any ideas, or am I just a little too cynical?