Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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Commons on Flickr – one month later

May 6th, 2008 by Seb Chan

Our experiment with the Commons on Flickr continues and barring a few hours delay we have managed to keep to our promise of 50 new images a week. We’re up to 400 images now with the most recent 50 going live this morning. 158 of these have been geotagged.

Some statistics:

– we’ve been added as contacts by 230 people
– our images have been viewed 39,685 times to yesterday. That’s more than an entire year on the old Tyrrell website (which, incidentally, has more images and is better indexed by Google)
– the most viewed image is ‘Woman inside a settler’s hut’ with 1109 views
– 75% of our traffic comes from within Flickr, 13% direct, 10% from other websites linking, and less than 1% from search.
– of the 400 images, 31 have been commented on
– 109 have been favourited (the most favourited are the ‘Woman inside a settler’s hut’ and ‘Bondi Bay’.

Tonnes of tags have been added and they have been of a quality that we’ve not experienced in our other tagging projects. I am firmly of the belief that the quality is a result of the Flickr environment (lets call it ‘culture’) and its userbase.

Here’s our tag cloud.

Some notable interaction highlights include –

– user tagging of image content (the copious use of notes to identify features) on images like Sydney Harbour from Government House

– addition of extra information in the comments field such as on the HMS Undine from Fort Macquarie along with copious tagging

– discussion of possible image locations like this long demolished pub in the Rocks. I like this one especially because the discussion takes place over at Yahoo Answers. This also happens within Flickr as in this example from Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains.

I will post a three month update when the time comes. We are currently in the process of contacting local historical societies and libraries to spread the awareness of these images beyond the Flickr community as well as linking up with groups within Flickr. This takes considerable time and effort and once again raises the issue of ongoing resourcing to keep up the level of interaction and audience engagement.

If you any specific questions leave them in the comments. Otherwise go over to take a look at the latest photos we’ve uploaded and start tagging them!

Tags: 3 Comments

  • Yee har! Congratulations, Seb and team! These are fantastic numbers, and I still find myself wandering back to those gorgeous pioneering images in the Tyrrell Collection. YAY!

  • Angelina

    Hi Seb
    That’s an interesting comment about the quality of the tags. Is there something there about the specialised community that engages with Flickr and the way that it differs from a more general museum-type audience? Is it worth considering Commons as a casestudy for the ESM project?
    Angelina

  • Seb,

    I’ve noticed that the Tyrell pics on flickr are starting to come up quite high in Google searches.

    What exactly do you mean when you write, “…the old Tyrrell website (which, incidentally, has more images and is better indexed by Google)”? By what measure is it better?