Sex sells, but who’s searching?

“Sex! Now I have your attention…..” so says the classic introduction to so many advertisements and ham-fisted office emails. But it is true. Nowhere better than the vastness of the internet proves this very fact time and time again. There is an adage that if you put a man alone in a room with a tea cosy, it is a fundamental guarantee of the Universe that within no time at all, that tea-cosy will be resting firmly atop his head. Seemingly it is the self-same truism with the word SEX and its multitudinous alternatives and derivatives. Add the words, “naked” and “lady” to this and there is no end to he potential audience. 

But why am I stating the blindingly obvious? I am stating the blindingly obvious to register my genuine surprise about the photographic community and the art of tagging, in this instance on Flickr. Some photographs are born great and some become great, but not all photographs are created equal. I have my chosen photographs, the ones I love and the ones I think other people should love, but don’t we all. I share them on Flickr and hope that others will love them just as much as I do. I upload them and then let them fly free to become what they will become, all of them equal. 

Except they aren’t all equal, far from it. I choose the tags carefully to represent what the image is, what it is telling people and largely where the image was captured. I try to give a good, fundamental understanding of the photograph, but then one day my trust in the world of photography and photo sharing sites was shaken to the very core. 

A photograph of gloriously ruinated Bank sign in Manchester just so happened to have a turn of the century carving of a lady on the side of it and this lady just so happened to have a breast or two exposed. In fact there were two ladies, so double the nudity. All very tasteful, all very modernist in its thinking and all very artistic. As a chap does, I represented the images (different angles and all in the best possible of taste) with the appropriate tags, one of which was nude and one of which was lady. Now, I take an interest in the volume of views on my photos and within 24 hours these 6 shots had received over 2500 views between them. Not bad for a bank sign eh! The next highest number of hits for a photo in the same set was 26. 

Some photos are born equal, it’s just that some photos are born more equal than others. Some photos have the tags “naked” and “Lady” and some weren’t born quite so lucky. So as a rule of thumb, if you want to increase the volume of traffic to your photos, just think like a 14 year old boy when it comes to your tagging. I apply it to the most urbanised, industrial hell-hole images now and my photos have never been so well visited!


Honestly Flickr viewers, I thought better of you!



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