Tutorial

  • Tutorial

    Photoscape take 3 – Tutorial

    It appears that every five years I do a tutorial on Photoscape. It was not a planned thing, the first time was for the Bloggers event that occurred 11 years ago, the second time was 5 years ago, with me in preparation for Skin Fair. It is that time of year again, where the Annual Skin Fair event is about to open its doors wide, so I decided to do a brush up post. Going from no posts to two in a row, and one on video, was a challenge, because I am definitely out of practice.

    So here is me spinning through some of the features of this FREE software, that I have been using for over a dozen years now, and honestly it makes like much easier for all types of users. You can download the software from here. Take it for a spin, because when doing lots of images of the same thing, especially in different colours/tones, this drag and drop ease of use is fantastic.

    For more information on the upcoming Skin Fair 2024, check out Juniper Events Website

     

  • Tutorial

    Flickr Stats – PRO Accounts – Are you doing more than needed?

    It has been a long time since I’ve put words to this site, and I have definitely missed it. I have many ideas for posts nearly every other day, but they do not come to fruition. I hope this is the kick-start I need. Since I felt it was really important to share, that was more motivating for me.
    I have never been motivated by views, stats, or likes with my own blogging, and I’ve never felt it was something to enforce on others. However, the other day, I was about to reply to a comment someone made in a group I am in about groups on Flickr, which led to a bit of investigating.

    When we old-timers started blogging, Flickr was merely an embed tool; it was all about the blog. We did not browse Flickr much at all in those first years. The Planet – those who know, know – was everything, followed by IHeartSL.com, which is still going strong, and other feeds that have come and gone.

    Blogging is done in many ways, and Flickr seems to garner a lot of attention from those who are aware of its existence. Second Life hosts a diverse range of users, some of whom do not venture outside of Second Life. They will not click on links that lead to external sites, and others will not log in until they have spent a good hour on social media, browsing through their Flickr feeds and groups.
    Whether it’s to follow bloggers or just to see what their favorite stores have been up to, users might be checking on their own daily, or they might be directed by links in a notice in-world or on other social media platforms. This information concerns all users, including bloggers, stores, events, photographers, and everything else. If you take a picture of something Second Life-related and add it to Flickr, this may apply to you.

    Now, this information is directed only to Pro accounts for Flickr, as you cannot access your statistics if you do not have a Pro account. But that does not make the information any less interesting.

    As mentioned, I was not looking at my stats; I actually thought the feature just provided the same thing shown in the picture: the Views and Faves, with more of a detailed breakdown of how many views a picture gets today versus a week ago. It does do that, but it offers much more, which is the essence of this post.

    One of the very popular activities on Flickr is adding your picture to groups. These groups can be store-owned, blogger groups, advertising groups, or even themed groups. For example, there might be a group like “Green Eyes of SL” – yes, there is one, or “Redheads of SL” – and yes, there’s one of those too. It could also be an event group or even a competition of sorts, where you submit your picture to be included in something that may win you prizes. With the numerous Second Life groups out there – I even own a few myself – the opportunities are vast.

    It is very important to still add your content to event groups you are in, designer groups you own, groups that are a spin off of your content – heads and bodies groups get a lot of traction as they are the guarantee that something will work for the person viewing, so it is good to be there if your picture is meant to be – meant to be is also really important, do not just add pics to every group you do, if you do not follow the rules, even if your picture is not moderated out, it is still visible to members as not belonging and that can work against you. It is also true that people will go to event groups to find information on something they may have see months before but cannot remember where they saw it, and want to buy it now – I have seen that come up in group chats dozens of times in Second Life.

    This is not a hit piece on groups, not by any means, my stats show groups that send me traffic years later, because just like me, people end up going down rabbit holes and it leads them all over the place, so if they hit a group you added to five years ago, that can bring views to your whole photo-stream for the next 15 minutes and more stats. I have blurred out the info on group names, as again it is not a hit piece, or to say this group will give you these hits, because it will differ from person to person.

    What I found really interesting about the Stats, once I opened it up, was that it isn’t just the views of the picture that day or any of the previous days since its posting, but so much more. This realization made me think about the heading of this post – are people overworking themselves for less outcome than they expect. It’s important to understand that while one individual might post a photo and receive thousands of views and numerous likes, only a few might actually go to the store and make a purchase. While another person may get fewer views but convert a higher number of those viewers into buyers. So how people get to you is always interesting.

    These are the stats for an individual picture, located just beneath the image. There is a “SHOW MORE STATS” button. The detailed overall stats for your entire account can be accessed through a different dropdown. This feature provides a quick snapshot of how your latest images are performing for you. I enlisted the help of two lovely people, Sydd Sinister and Salt Peppermint – I am all about the S’s lol. Sydd is an incredible Blogger, and if you have not been following her for well over a decade like I have, now is the time to start. Salt is the creative soul behind Salt and Pepper a very well rounded fashion brand, who also loves stats for how she creates for, who is wearing what etc, so she was a natural go to for me.

    Sources:

    Flickr :

    • Feed – This one is tricky, because it is either the feed of your whole account of images, or it is the number of people that are shown your picture on their own personal feed, the home page for Flickr if you are logged into your account, so it is a collection of all the people and groups that you follow. That being said, depending on how many follow you, they may never see your pictures that way, because they may only skim the feed. However from my own numbers – and my Flickr pics are few and far between these days, it is still the highest numbers for me. Either way it is what is bringing you the most hits.
    • Mobile – ios and android, so this is how many visits you are getting from what I can only assume is a Flickr app? I am not absolutely certain on that, but again decent amount of views my way that way. I can imagine that if you have Flickr installed on your phone or tablet that you are a dedicated Flickr viewer, so it makes sense that those would be good numbers.
    • Groups – This is the main reason for this post…I see people adding to hundreds of groups, the time to do that is not minimal, it takes a lot of work to not only add to them, but to find all the right ones you want to join. Then you also have to wait for some of them to be moderated, and even accept that your image may for some reason be rejected. What if you are wasting a lot of your time each day/week, because it is entirely possible that more than 50% of that hard work on adding results in nothing! I do not mean to be a downer, but if you look at this section of your stats and see that over time, out of the 158 groups you have added your picture to, you are only consistently getting views from 27 of them. Wouldn’t that be really important to your time management. There are some groups that are an absolute must to not only add to, but to also visit. Body/Head Groups for instance, kind of guarantee as a viewer that the items you see in them may be exactly what you need, there is much less risk that it is not made for you, that it wont come in your size etc. Then the Store Groups, These are usually a mix of not only the vendor image of the actual items released by the store, but also the images taken by bloggers and sometimes even customers of those items in play…seeing how someone else wears an item you already own, or have interest in, can sometimes give you that extra push you wanted to justify spending on it – not that we ever really need that push ‘oh look I accidentally tripped over a fatpack, that means it is mine now right?’. So regardless of how you add pictures to your Flickr, making sure they are in the right groups for the proper amount of exposure is important.
    • Favourite – This is a mind-blowing feature. At first I thought it was just telling you who has favourited you, and it is in one sense, but it is also telling you that those people brought your image traffic from the people that visit their favourites, and then click your pictures…many people like to see what people they like also like, if someone is very fashionable, and/or creates amazing content, it is a good chance that they also like and appreciate the great work of others, so you can spend your whole time in flickr exploring the things that you find through other peoples exploration. That people that like you also bring you attention is just a really fantastic thing. This is a really strong reason also to favourite images of people that you really want to see succeed and get more attention.
    • Photostream – These are views obtained by people actually coming to your own account feed, they have come to you via links in your profile perhaps, an inworld notice that linked directly to your flickr page etc, they are yours, you earned them in your own way.

    Social:

    Content from this section should show how you’re able to track visitors coming to your site via various social media platforms – you may notice that Instagram isn’t listed, but this could be due to a setting elsewhere.
    These stats provide a useful tool for experimenting to see what strategies are effective. Whether you space out your posts or share everything all at once, you can monitor where your visitors are coming from. Spreading out your posts can be beneficial – by posting on different social media platforms on separate days, you’ll be able to see which ones continue to drive traffic after their designated day. If some platforms aren’t yielding results, you can reconsider your posting schedule, trying different times of the day or week, or occasionally do a roundup post of ‘what’s been happening at ________ in the past weeks’ to provide updates.

    Search:
    if someone has directly sought you out, your items, items that may be similar etc.

    Other:
    This is by what other links people may have been brought to you, so if you have your own website/blog, if someone Blogged you and linked to you, and that brought them to your image. This can also be helpful if it shows you that someone that blogs you is bringing attention to you, which for many that do have bloggers would be important to know. As shown in my stats, Other showed Plurk sending me views.

    There are other categories, like tags, albums, galleries etc…but they differ from direct picture to overall stats.

    There are different results for different pictures, some do not get any traction some days at all, others get more, but it is really important to see what it is that is working for you, and what may be a good reason to just stop doing some things you have believed were beneficial, like adding to many more groups than you need to, or even worse paying for a tool that adds to hundreds of groups when you are not getting traffic from any of them.

    As I have said, my own info currently is all over the place, because I have not been taking pictures like I did in the past, also stats only go back to 9 months, which is shockingly a new feature, and does not seem to be working correctly. It was originally much shorter length of time, but if working correctly should give you a good enough visual on what will work for you, and where you need to put your focus.

    I hope if nothing else this post also helps those of you that have wondered if all the adding helped or didn’t. I know personally I have added to 40 groups, added to 8, and added to none, and my numbers are pretty consistent either way. If you are running a Business how you approach this is going to differ greatly, because that groups one view could be the customer that buys out your whole store, but if you are getting 0 views over and over again from some groups, just consider not adding to them, or adding to them a week or so later, so you don’t give yourself finger cramps trying to do too much at once.

    Please be mindful of letting this overwhelm you, this post was to hopefully free up some time, and maybe move it to something that benefits you more, like reading my posts, which with how much I have written today may take up a lot more time than planned for.