There it is: 2,000,043 viewings. I'm proud of that.
This is of course the grand total since I began to put shots on Flickr in February 2009, nine years ago. But I didn't start getting a lot of viewings until mid-2012. Then things took off. I suppose you need to build up a 'critical mass' of photos placed online, and then - poof! - you suddenly get noticed. And occasionally I have really popular days. For instance, two weeks ago, there was a day with over 16,000 viewings. I seem to be most 'popular' after uploading my holiday snaps, but there is often a surge of interest with no obvious reason behind it.
I wish I knew what the secret of a great photo is. I can see which are the most popular shots, but they seem a bit run-of-the-mill to me, and wouldn't be in my personal Top Ten.
Flickr and Blogger are the two halves of my creative effort online. So far as popularity goes, the 21,000 pictures on Flickr have won hands-down in the viewing contest, generating two million viewings, whereas the 1,900 blog posts have generated only 880,000 viewings in the same timescale.
That said, my most popular blog post has had over 80,000 viewings, whereas my most popular photo has garnered only 4,000.
All these figures are dwarfed into insignificance when compared to what the most popular photographers and bloggers achieve on a daily basis. I don't mind. I'm thinking that excessive popularity is the enemy of genuine creative freedom. When you are chasing big viewing figures, there must surely be a compulsion to please the crowd above all else, so that you stay in the lead. That would mean churning out shots and posts using well-tried and unadventurous formulae. I'm not suggesting that my own pictures and posts are 'adventurous', but they are at least taken or written with nobody telling me what to do, nobody putting a curb on using certain ideas, nobody insisting that I depict or mention this product or that, and without endlessly reiterating those hackneyed themes that are bound to make the viewing figures leap upwards. It's nice to be noticed, but there is such a thing as selling out.
Gosh, what if each of those two million Flickr viewings had popped just one penny into my bank account? I'd be £20,000 richer. Less income tax, of course. But still...
Hey ho. I'd only have frittered it away.