Posted tagged ‘flickr’

A good way to annoy your audience

November 4, 2008

If you’re writing blog posts, uploading videos on video sharing sites, photos on Flickr (et al) or providing any other content within social media, you need to know the one way to drive away your audience.  It all comes down to tagging.

I was just browsing through a gallery on a popular sailing site, looking for photos of the boat I’ve just bought (it’s a racing dinghy, nothing fancy or expensive!).  So I start with a search, and tap in the class of boat (RS800).  For some reason, the owners of the site decided to tag all photos of boats built by RS (200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800) with the same tags.  So rather than getting 20 photos returned of the subject I’m looking for, I now have 500 photos of several different boats to wade through.  Why do people do this?

Why do people do this I hear you ask (or was it me who asked)?  It’s because they think that filling the tag column with several hundred random tags will pull a large amount traffic back.  It’s the blunderbuss approach, and it doesn’t work.

key-west-2007-1763The blunderbuss aproach involves filling your wide barrelled shotgun with bird shot and blasting a wide area hoping to kill a duck.  The problem is, it’s so unspecific it drives off new audience members quicker than Ronald McDonald at a Vegan festival.  You’ll annoy your users, new members will run away, your site will choke with so many search results being returned, your wife will leave you (probably) and you will regret ever trying the blunderbuss approach.

Only ever tag your content with the correct tags.  If you want to reach more readers, then write more blog posts, upload more photos of a wider range of subjects, vary your videos, and just generally supply a wide but interesting (and by that I mean in depth) range of content, correctly tagged.  Don’t be tempted with over tagging, it is a quick fix solution that fixes nothing.

How to lose your audience: Two bug-bares of Twitter

November 3, 2008

Whilst the hardest part of building an online community is getting the audience, once this is achieved it’s not uncommon for for the owner’s to get above themselves and start to dictate what their community should and shouldn’t do.  A good example is Facebook’s recent redesign.  After introducing the new look Facebook, they received a huge backlash  from members wanting the old style back.  Rather than bowing to the demand of their members, they made the new style compulsory.  A big two finger salute to their members, and a move that risked their position as top social networking site.

Below:  Several Facebook groups requesting the old style back

Another online institution, flickr, has begun to attempt the famous Myspace “annoy your audience ’til they leave” trick.  For some reason, logging in to Flickr has become such a chore that I’ve almost stop bothering.  Rathering allowing users to log in using their normal email address, Flickr insists you use a Yahoo! id.  This is fine if you have one and regularly use it, but those of us without one have to create a random email address solely for the use of Flickr.  The annoying bit comes when you want to log in (and being Flickr, this is only required every time you upload images).

Below: Must I use Yahoo? Really?!

For the life of me, I can NEVER remember the email address I use, as I have several Flickr accounts and therefore several emails set up specifically for Flickr.  What’s wrong with just accepting ANY email address?  Surely they must drive away prospective new members?  i asked my Dad recently to upload his holiday snaps onto flickr to save him sending 40mb files via email.  The Yahoo! email address turned him off Flickr straight away, and now I have a clogged email inbox.  Thanks Flickr…

Yes people will say this is a petty thing to affect me, but in the highly competitive market these sites have to be exquisite to use, and Flickr just isn’t.  It’s good in many areas, but lets itself down in one or two.

The final annoyance from Flickr is a new one.  So many sites feel they have to change things to get a bigger audience, when really they need to work on awareness within social media.  Anyway, as usual, a managerial bod at flickr decided to try to make a bit of extra cash, and decided to make it virtually compulsory for users to download an “upload tool” to upload images.

Flickr (in days gone by) let you upload on their “upload images” page by simply selecting the batch you want to use, and then clicking the upload button.  However, the new idea makes you select each photo individually (batch upload is gone) OR alternatively requires you to download and use and upload program that leeches bandwidth and no doubt informs Flickr about your web usage.  The old adage of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” is never more true than online.  Something so simple as an upload system doesn’t need to be fixed, so why make it harder to use?

Below: Download the upload tool, or else..

If you’re interested, have a look at my Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryanv49er