Punking Chevron’s We Agree Campaign in Austin, TX

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Punking Chevron’s We Agree Campaign in Austin, TX
Network advertising
Image by Rainforest Action Network
Thanks to the activists in Austin, TX who posted these spoof Chevron posters!

When Chevron rolled out a fancy new ad campaign, we were ready for them. We had only a fraction of Chevron’s budget — the company won’t say how much it spent this time around, but typically spends as much as million on an ad campaign like this — but we had the element of surprise, and we were determined to press our advantage. Go here for the full scoop.

That’s interesting
Network advertising
Image by kevindooley
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!


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