Tim’s brief guide to Flickr groups

I’ve recently spent some time thinking about and subsequently altering some of the groups I’ve created on Flickr. In part this has come from me adapting to a new ‘user generated content’ internet but also in response to difficulties I’ve been having with new members in some of my groups. While I can deal with the former by wielding my administrator powers the latter is a bit more difficult.

As such I present the following loose guidelines to getting along in a Flickr group. These aren’t rules and they’re heavily biased to what I like to see but perhaps they’ll provide some food for thought. I welcome commentary on them as I’m keen to learn more about how to approach all this.

  1. Always read the guidelines of the group before joining. Some groups are free-for-alls and might not have guidelines but other’s are quite strict about what should be posted or added.
  2. Lurk for a bit. There’s no easier way to get a feel for a place than to see what the existing members do.
  3. Don’t get upset. Maybe your offering to a group isn’t what it’s interested in but that’s not a personal attack.
  4. Look for another group. If you don’t like how one group is run there might be a similar one with an atmosphere you prefer.
  5. Make your own group. If there is nothing that suits your tastes go make your own. It’s easier than whingeing about something someone else has made.

Anyway, that’s my five step program to getting along in flickr groups. I await the comments.

9 comments on “Tim’s brief guide to Flickr groups

  1. TooMuchCaffeine

    I agree with all these points, but have a suggestion for group owners/mods around point 1: If you have got guidelines for your group, and you want people to read them before submitting, then please make them easy to find.

    I joined one group recently, submitted something, and got a couple of comments back criticising me for not reading the guidelines. However, there was no clear communication that there were any guidelines to read, and the guidelines themselves were buried in a discussion thread that had fallen off the front page.

    I don’t need to be told twice, but I do need to be told once in the first place…

  2. Joz

    I agree on all points. Guidelines, precedents and lurking especially. Though if one decides on starting group, I would recommend keeping it simple to follow – you can use an option where someone has to agree to the rules and guidelines prior joining. Also, as a “founder” you should be prepared to make the group as you envision it. Communicate positively. Alternatively you can set the option to moderate the content before it’s accepted int the pool. Don’t expect everyone to just get “it”. If they don’t, be supportive by writing to your group members about the content you’d like to see flourish in the pool. There’s my two bricks.

    Also, whilst on the Flickring topic, has anyone set up the new “Gallery Option”?

  3. Thanel

    Very good advice all around, both for admins/mods and users. My only issue is with a small portion of #3. Sometimes protection of the group’s integrity seems to take the form of a personal attack, or at the very least is less than moderate. A little too much throat-jumping and reactionary stuff going on. I worry about balkanization.

    To a certain extent it’s important to differentiate between how to interact and manage photo pools and discussions. Taking the axe to photos that don’t match the pool doesn’t bother me at all, it’s when discussion threads go sideways and otherwise sensible people turn into ogres that I get a bit peeved.

  4. gambort Post author

    “Taking the axe to photos that don’t match the pool doesn’t bother me at all”. It bothers the hell out of some people.

    Thanks all for your comments on how to improve the running of a group. I left that topic out of the post because more people join groups than make them but I’m glad to have some discussion on it.

    From a group ‘owner’ perspective there is a compromise between being welcoming and keeping your pool/group useful. Personally I think I do enough welcoming by writing for TBB to sacrifice some of it on Flickr.

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