I have only recently noticed the little “Popular” tab on my Flickr page. Selecting it supposedly let me see the most “popular” photos from my pool. Most popular among the general society, I deduced as I duly clicked on the tab. It could only be a useful reference.
Digging further, I discovered the following four subtabs under “Popular”: “Interesting”, “Views”, “Favorites” and “Comments”. The latter three were clear; indeed, they ranked my photos according to the number of views, times favorited by other viewers and the number of comments, respectively.
How could one define “interestingness”, however? Surely it would be too cumbersome for whoever is running that Flickr establishment to go through half a million of photos uploaded on a daily basis, selecting the ones they considered the “most interesting”? It would not be particularly objective, either.
After some thinking, I assumed that “interestingness” was a sort of a blend of the other three parameters. A closer look at my own pictures signalled me otherwise though. The correlation there was far from perfect.
I then searched for the answer in Flickr’s Help Forum. I wish I hadn’t. The matter turned out to be a real can of worms, with fellow Flickrers complaining left and right about how their best photos were not deemed “interesting” and how the photos without any views were suddenly on top of the list. As if on purpose, Flickr staff did little to allay the users’ suspicions. Indeed, the website seemed to draw certain pleasure in maintaining a veil of secrecy over the algorithm defining the notorious “interestingness”.
The bottom-line is, I failed to find my answer. I may never find out how my photos were selected as “interesting” and who made the selection. I am also clueless about what I personally could do to affect the popularity of my pictures. Other than taking good pictures in the first place, of course.
Disregarding all that, I thought Flickr’s selection was in fact not too far from the truth. And today, ladies and gentlemen, I present you the Top 50 Most “Interesting” photos by anjči! Enjoy.
#50 Many tourists and locals gather on Puente de Piedra to watch the sunset over the Basilica and the Ebro River. Zaragoza, Spain. October 2009.
#49 Greenwich Park is a popular family weekend spot in Southeast London and offers a panoramic view over Canary Wharf. London, UK. April 2010.
#48 4:35 am. I often catch this pre-sunrise winter view from Tower Bridge during my early morning walk to the airport coach. London, UK. May 2010.
#47 Vukovar’s Water Tower was never renovated after its near destruction in the early 1990s. Vukovar, Croatia. March 2010.
#46 Nowhere is the choice of Tito-inspired memorabilia better than here. Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina. August 2009.
#45 “The soul to the skies, the body to earth, the heart to you”. Graffiti is a popular self-expression tool in BiH’s capital. Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. August 2009.
#44 The Seurasaari Open-Air Museum is a popular outdoor getaway spot for the local residents. Helsinki, Finland. September 2008.
#43 Heavy snowfall accompanied the past winter in many parts of Europe. Riga, Latvia. January 2010.
#42 The Strokkur geyser in the Haukadalur part of Iceland erupts every 4-8 minutes on average. Haukadalur, Iceland. May 2010.
#41 The best sunset over the Arno River is from Ponte Vecchio, in the company of sweet-voiced buskers. Florence, Italy. July 2010.
#40 The Skansin lighthouse is a favourite meeting spot for couples in love. Tórshavn, Faroe Islands. August 2010.
#39 Often served with chopped onions and ajvar, ćevapi are the national dish in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia. Kravice, Bosnia & Herzegovina. August 2009.
#38 The Porporela (Old Harbour) of Dubrovnik offers a view over the Lokrum islet and is a popular sitting spot. Dubrovnik, Croatia. August 2010.
#37 A developed summer resort, Budva receives over 300,000 visitors every year. Budva, Montenegro. August 2010.
#36 One of most renowned Bosnian poets, Aleksa Šantić is buried on the Orthodox cemetery in Mostar. Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina. August 2009.
#35 Life never quite stops in Canary Wharf, London’s second financial district after the City. London, UK. February 2010.
#34 Korčula is Croatia’s second most populated island, a major summer destination and an alleged birth place of Marco Polo. Korčula, Croatia. August 2009.
#33 Türk Telekom is Turkey’s major fixed-line service provider with a telecommunications network covering almost 100% of the Turkish population. Istanbul, Turkey. July 2010.
#32 Djellaba is a traditional long robe worn in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Lighter, colourful textile versions are very popular among the local women. Tangier, Morocco. May 2008.
#31 Sarkandaugava is a district of Riga traditionally known for high industrial activity and older buildings that served to accommodate factory workers. Riga, Latvia. December 2009.
#30 Tourism is the most important activity in Killarney, an Irish town second only to Dublin in the number of hotel beds. Killarney, Ireland. June 2010.
#29 The Polytechnic University of Tirana is the oldest and the second largest university in Albania. Tirana, Albania. March 2010.
#28 The Raghadan Flagpole in Amman is formerly the tallest flagpole in the world (now third) and can clearly be seen across the city. Amman, Jordan. May 2008.
#27 Crowned by the Raghadan flagpole, Amman is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Amman, Jordan. May 2008.
#26 A substantial part of Mostar was destroyed or damaged during the 18-month siege in the early 1990s. Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina. August 2009.
#25 The 16th century Stari Most (“Old Bridge”) in Mostar was destroyed in 1993 and fully reconstructed 11 years later. Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina. August 2009.
#24 The most remote Greek island in the Cyclades group, Donoussa is an infrequent stopover for major ferries. Between Donoussa and Amorgos, Greece. July 2010.
#23 The Golden Horn is a inlet of the Bosphorus and a busy natural harbour. Istanbul, Turkey. July 2010.
#22 The Greek island of Patmos appears in the St. John’s Book of Revelation in the Bible and is a Christian pilgrimage destination. Patmos, Greece. July 2008.
#21 The historic city of Trakai is surrounded by lakes, of which Galvė is the deepest. Trakai, Lithuania. January 2009.
#20 The Vanšu Bridge (“Shroud Bridge”) is one of five bridges crossing the Daugava River in Riga. Riga, Latvia. December 2009.
#19 The Killarney National Park is a beautiful getaway spot right in the centre of the town. Killarney, Ireland. June 2010.
#18 In the summer season, the high Caucasus temperatures ease comfortably by sunset. Tbilisi Tbilisi, Georgia. July 2010.
#17 One of the best known works of George Zongolopoulos are the “Umbrellas” (1998) on the seafront of the city of Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki, Greece. March 2008.
#16 For a major megalopolis, New York City offers a surprising choice of birding locations. New York City, USA. May 2010.
#15 Vječna vatra (“Eternal Flame”) is one of Sarajevo’s many monuments to those fallen in the Second World War. Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. August 2009.
#14 Stockholm Arlanda Airport is well known for its über-cool design and hosts regular art exhibitions. Stockholm, Sweden. May 2008.
#13 The Belgrade-Bar railway journey was originally designed to take seven hours, but now often exceeds 13 due to the obsolete infrastructure. Near Bijelo Polje, Montenegro. August 2010.
#12 The Brankov Bridge is one of Belgrade’s nine bridges over the Sava River and connects the historic downtown Belgrade with the newer areas. Belgrade, Serbia. September 2009.
#11 London’s Chelsea Bridge boasts spectacular night-time illumination. London, UK. January 2010.
#10 The number of tourists Florence receives annually is around 2 million and is significant for a city of its size. Florence, Italy. July 2010.
#9 One of the oldest suspension bridges in the US, the Brooklyn Bridge connects the New York City boroughs Brooklyn and Manhattan. New York City, USA. May 2010.
#8 Kėdainiai is one of the oldest cities in Lithuania. Kėdainiai, Lithuania. December 2009.
#7 The bird fauna of the Faroe Islands is dominated by sea birds and is typical for North Atlantic. Klaksvík, Faroe Islands. August 2010.
#6 The US capital is instantly recognised by the Capitol Building, the meeting place of the US Congress and the legislature of the US Federal government. Washington, DC, USA. May 2010.
#5 The flag of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has become a rarity these days. Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina. August 2009.
#4 The Capitol Reflecting Pool in front of the Capitol Building could not have had a more descriptive name. Washington, DC, USA. May 2010.
#3 “Always with you” may appear as a romantic message, but is in fact part of the fan song for Belgrade’s major football club, Crvena Zvezda (“Red Star”). Belgrade, Serbia. September 2009.
#2 With 70 thousand species, the sheep outnumber the human population on the Faroe Islands. Near Funningur, Faroe Islands. August 2010.
#1 The Brooklyn Bridge is among the world’s most popular sunset viewing spots. New York City, USA. May 2010.
The morale is that I do not seem to travel enough outside Europe. My planned trips to Mexico, Vietnam and Syria over the next nine months will hopefully balance the case. Stay tuned!