Last night I read Flickr's patent on its interestingness algorithm. Patents are not easy to decipher sometimes, especially if they're written well as this one is, but I think I have some interesting things to share...
(Note: Please don't confuse the following with a discussion about Explore. Explore depends on interestingness, but getting into Explore depends on a lot more than just interestingness.)
From reading the patent, it seems to me that the entire "Flickr System" is largely built around this notion of interestingness, so anyone who says that popularity and interestingness are not important in Flickr universe is dead wrong. My intuition is that Flickr was designed first as a means to provide superior search results to seekers of "media objects", and second as a social network. It's interesting to see that the patent description forsees video and other objects, as well as launched advertising specific to the content of the media object (i.e. image).
The basics of the "interestingness score" that Flickr calculates for each of your images have been discussed here and many places: how many faves, comments, notes, views, and where the views come from (e.g. an award group versus an outside search engine). Also discussed elsewhere is the "how many groups" question (answer: 1-5 good, +5 perhaps penalized).
Here are some tidbits from the patent that perhaps are less intuitive...
--Interestingness is affected by how long it's been since your last upload (it doesn't say how it takes any of these factors into account by the way!)
--The EXIF camera data is important to have. If you are uploading scanned images (e.g. film) it likely won't have such data. My recent lomos didn't get into Explore until I added the EXIF data (I use a Mac, so I used some freeware called "Reveal 1.2").
--Other metadata is important to have. I haven't done "controlled experiments" on this, but my guess if the title, description, tags, or sets are empty, that decreases interestingness.
--Interestingness is decremented over time (e.g. 2% a day); and is decremented in the presence of metadata (in the title, text, tags, comments, notes) of blacklisted words (you can guess what those are!)
I also found it interesting that an image's interestingness score can be customized to the requester of the score. For example, if you've faved a lot of my pics with a particular tag, then other pics that you haven't faved but which have the same tag will show up to you as "more interesting".
Of course, in the end, faves and views and comments and all that stuff is the outcome--the cause is having an interesting photo to start with!
sometimes i golf..
HAT: Army & Navy SHIRT: Hathaway TIE: Supply Sargeant SWEATER: Club Monaco PANTS: Club Monaco SOCKS: Costco GLOVE: FootJoy SHOES: Exit L.A. BAG: Taylormade CLUBS: Select
black and white
Canon Powershot G7 review
Subtitle: My own damn fault (Explore)
I had a hard time deciding when I bought a new camera a year ago whether to go with DSLR or "single body". I knew from experience that carrying around a camera that can't fit in your pocket was a pain in the ass, but I also sensed I might be interesting in higher end equipment at some point. I decided on the single body Canon Powershot G7, which I viewed as the best single-body available. (Yes, I bought the best of the tube Sony TVs rather than a big screen and I think my picture is better!) Since some of you may be considering a G9, this review may be still useful.
* Not a lightweight, but can indeed fit in pants pocket (barely).
* Very good landscape photos.
* Absolutely killer macro mode.
* Good battery life.
* Nice "manual" controls, easy to learn and use
* Lens fully retracts
* Incredible dof at f/2.8 in macro mode
* Very good image stabilization, autofocus
* Great digital zoom
* 10MP really helps when cropping
* No swivel screen
* Mediocre DOF at f/2.8 on regular mode
* No RAW (they fixed this--G9 has RAW mode)
* Can only buy a few add-on lenses
* Can only go to ISO200 reliably; built-in flash sucks
* Reliability issues?
The final "con" I don't know who to blame. In the last two weeks the damper on the zoom switch has busted (have seen this complained about elsewhere on web); and autofocus seems to fail now sometimes, which freezes all the other controls and usually means a reboot. All of these problems started when I brought the camera on this golf outing. I put it in the golf cart unprotected and I think I underestimated how much bouncing around there was... Oh well, now I have an excuse to upgrade...
The summer has come. Events in the city. These are the lights of small public subway for pedestrians with techno music. As found on the 'Breminale' festival at the river Weser.View On BlackThis image is licensed under the Creative-Commons-Attribution license. So you are free to use it for your pupose as long as you put for the use on the internet a backlink to this image. For other uses please add an attribution to my Flickr-account or contact me first. Thank you - and be welcome!
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