One Simple Tip to Boost Flickr views and Twitter Mentions

My Twitter Flickr mentions have leapt using this tip.
Here's a tiny tip that has proved really powerful for me to get more views and mentions on Twitter of my Flickr pictures.

I went from having about one mention a month on Twitter to daily referrals to my pictures and photo stream. Its such a simple little trick, but I'm amazed so few people have switched and tried it.

All you need to do is add the '@' symbol to your Flickr screen name. So, for example, I'm @doug88888.

Using this one simple change, I hugely accelerated my number of views on mentions via Twitter. It's a great way to raise your profile on Twitter and Flickr at the same time.

If you combine this with automatic posting via If This Then That, you can really supercharge your Flickr / Twitter interface.

How do you change your Flickr profile name? Just go to your Profile page, the select Edit your Screen Name. Add an @ symbol to your name. Done.

Try it, and let me know how you get on. You can comment below. Why not share your new Flickr profile name.

I've not tried this with other social media sites. Would this work on Tumblr or Instagram?

By the way, you can see more of my ideas on how to increase your Flickr views here and ten more here.

How to Increase your Flickr views

So you want to get more views on Flickr? Who doesn't? Its an amazing feeling when strangers take the time to visit your best pictures.

How many visits do you currently get?

First question - do you know how many views you are currently getting? On your Flickr Photostream page, you should be able to see how many Photostreamvists you have had. (It will be written in grey next to the number of pictures you have uploaded). This is a great first indication on your visits but its not the full picture.

On your Photostream, click through on the Popular link and then choose Views. You should now see a list of every picture in your Photostream in order of views. If your a Pro account users (and you should consider it if you want to get the best out of Flickr), also go to FlickrStats to get the full low down on everything from number of views to the sources of each visit.

Now that you know the metrics to look out for, here are a few of the tips I've picked over the past few months. Try them out, and let me know any others that you come across.

Top 10 Tips for increasing your Flickr visits
  • Take pictures that people want to see
I know this might sound obvious but if you want to get the most out of Flickr, and boost your visits, improving your photography should be your number one priority. That means your family snaps are not appropriate for sharing unless there's an artistic edge. Selecting pictures that people want to see come with time and experience, the right equipment, some sound research and inspiration. The Good News is that Flickr is the perfect place to hone your skills.
  • Comment on other Flickr users images
There is no better way to get visits than to visit other people. Leaving a comment or adding their picture as a Fave lets them know that when they had a party, you dropped in to check it out. Leaving a comment is easy, don't feel shy. You can say whatever you like, but I encourage you to treat people with respect. Remember, they have bared their souls to the Flickr world so be gentle
  • Join Groups
There are tons of different Group's on Flickr. Experimentation is the best way to find a Group that's interests you. When I uploaded this picture of Stonehenge I searched for Group's that included the keywords "Stonehenge", spotted that English Heritige was one of the most relevant Group's for that keyword, joined the group and added to it. Easy.
  • Tag your pictures
90% of Flickr users don't upload pictures - they are voyeurs - they want to look at the best Flickr has to offer. One of the most common ways to do this is by searching for tags or keywords. So if your picture has a Rabbit in it, tag it "Rabbit". And whilst you're at it tag it with "Lapin", "Animal", "Mammal", "Pet", "Big ears", "Fluffy Tale" and so on. Any words that you think someone might think of and search for. Tip: Google and Yahoo will also search these tags so even people not directly using Flickr might find your image.

  • Make contacts
When you spot a picture that you like, after you've commented and fave'd the picture, take a look at the rest of their photostream. If you like what you see, add them as a contact. Every new picture that they add to their photostream will then be reported to you on your home page. This will help you up visits in two ways, first, it means you'll see more pictures from the people you like so you'll feel more compelled to visit and comment on them. Second, they may well visit yourphotostream and may even add you as a contact too.

You can add me as a contact here, if you like.
  • Message people
Flickr allows you to send messages to (almost) anyone on the site. Experienced users know that most of these messages are simply people becoming your contact (see above) or inviting you to join groups. Why not send a personal message saying how much you love someone'sphotostream - I'll bet you they'll visit your site to check it out.
  • Allow others to Blog your photos
Flickr allows you to make your pictures available for others to include on their sites. Its calledCreative Commons and giving your photo a Creative Commons licence is a great way for people to visit you and potentially share your picture with the world through their blogging or creativity. There are several licences depending on how willing you are for people to play with your images, the more flexible you are the more likely you are to get visits.
  • Get Explored
One of the most entertaining aspects about Flickr is to get Explored. That means your picture is in the top 500 pictures that day (based on a mysterious algorithm), and is also known asInterestingness. This is always guaranteed to lead to more viewings. No-one knows the magic recipe for success for sure - I recommend taking a good look at other pictures that make it to theexplored list and try to determine what makes them special.
  • Pick your subjects
Some image subjects seem to entice people to view again and again. If you were to happen upon one of the following, I recommend taking a snap of it for Flickr use - Kittens, Cats, Puppies, Dogs, Flowers, BokehAngsty Teenage Girls, HDR shots, pictures of cameras, beach/ocean scenes. Again, research what makes it to Explore to find out what's in fashion.
  • Be active
Its a simple equation, the more time you spend playing around in Flickr, the more views you'll get. Why? Because you'll inevitably be commenting, faving, being active in Group's and leaving your mark.

Most importantly, have fun - Flickr can be surprisingly addictive if you choose to let it take a grip over your life!

Want 10 more ideas for how to boost your Flick views?  I've added more ten more ways to boost your views here.

Links to some more ideas on views
The Flickr Views HOWTO - A very insightful essay on the topic

Top 10 Tips for Getting Attention on Flickr - Thomas Hawks excellent discussion on increasing Flickr views

Increasing your Flickr Views: The Basics. - Alexia Cournoyer fascinating view on views - Part 1 - here, more is promise...

P.s. If you've seen this before somewhere, its a repost. I've forgotten the login to my old blog.

Feel free to drop in at my photostream -

Ten more ways to increase your Flickr views

Many moons ago I posted on how to increase your Flickr views. That post proved quite popular. Since then I've stumbled across a few more ways to increase your views on Flickr. Flickr has also changed itself to make it easier than ever to share. So I thought I would share with you a few more ways to add views and visits.


My original post how to increase Flickr views is here. Since I joined Flickr, I have had over 5 million views of my Flickr pictures to date (5,369,049 to be exact) so I thought I would share you some more tips on how to maximise visits to your photo stream.


Show your picture across social media.

You can now easily share your picture noweasily on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and on your own blog. About that Flickr have made is really easy to do. After you’ve posted your picture, jump up abovethe picture and you can immediately click a link to message as an email post on Tumblr or posts via twitter.


Hidden in the share button section you canadd even more links through Facebook, Pintrest and Blogger. What’s more if youclick more ways to share you can add LiveJournal and WordPress to that list.


If you’re feeling brave you can also grabthe link and use this to post on any site with HTML activated in the comment section. That could also be other Flickr members comments or group comments.


This increases your views because more people might stumble upon your picture and every time the picture is a link directly back to your Flickr site.


Create a Flickr group


This is actually really easy to do and a novelway of linking back to your Flickr page. Just go to groups then choose Create aGroup. Create a public group that anyone can join, then pick a name, add a quick description click okay twice and you created a group. Don’t worry, you can always change the details later although you are stuck with that name. If you don’t like that, you’ll have to start another group.


So, for example, 18 months ago I created agroup called Flower Flower Flower. It now has a membership of over 13,000 andis growing fast. It was so easy to set up. I posted a few flower pictures I’d taken, invited a few others and momentum soon picked up. As well as discovering some brilliant pictures and also let some people back to my photo stream. Not a bad thing at all.


Add your picture to link sharing sites


So there is a brilliant sites like Reddit and StumbleUpon. In their own way thereand they are fantastic discovering new pictures. They also brilliant way toshare your pictures. I have had literally thousands of views each from each of these sites. It’s easy to set up an account and there is no rule against posting around pictures. Obviously you should also share what exciting picturesyou buy from across the web. Have a go. It can be an amazing way to add extra views to your photo stream. Especially if one of your pictures goes viral.


Use If This Then That or IFTTT


Even though Flickr gives you some easy waysto share your pictures there are even easier ways if you set up sharing with if this then that. You can share with Facebook, Twitter or even your blog automatically as soon as you post. This is especially good if you like automation or just plain lazy.

Here's some more on How to Share your Flickr Pictures Automatically with IFTTT.


Cross Promote through 500px

Many of you will be using 500px already,but if you aren’t get on it. Its free! And it's arrival has really up the challenge to Flickr. 500PX encourages you toupload your best pictures, and gives a really beautiful sharing photographic experience. It also finally allows you to link to your Flickr site. So uploadyour best pictures, be so social, and wait for the visits. In fact, you may find yourself starting to get obsessed with 500PX visits as well as.


5 more obscure ways to mount up those visits and views

- Post your pictures square.

This gives thelargest picture Flickr allows creates mass impact.

- Create sets so that there are morethumbnail pictures visible and more pictures are easily accessed by visitors toyour photo stream. Just select Organize on your photostream and create a set.

- Send Flickr members that you would liketo see your picture. I hate this by the way…

- Include a picture of you choosing when commenting on others pictures. Just grab the link, by copying the HTML under the share button. Sometimes a pleading message about returning the visit helps too. By the way, I hate this one too but it can work.

- Always keep your picture on the front page thatyour contacts see. This is easy to by editing the time and date so that picturealways looks as if it’s new. Thanks to Steve H for that tip.

- Post more public pictures This is probably obvious but took time for me to realise. The pictures you have on your site, the more chances that you'll get a visit. And the more times you get a visit, the more chances you have that your visitor will explore other pictures on your site.


There you go then - a few more ideas for increasing views. Let me know in the comments if you've got any better ideas!




How to Share Your Flickr Pictures Automatically using IFTTT

How to Share Your Flickr Pictures Automatically

You can easily share your Flickr pictures and posts to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox and your Blog using IFTTT.COM is really simple.

IFTTT works by watching your Flickr account. When you post something new, it then follows any automatic rules you've asked it to follow.

How to do it? Choose which action you would like to get up and running and follow the link below. You will need to create a username and allow IFTTT to access your Flickr postings. Easy.

Sharing Flickr posting with Twitter - tweet your Flickr pictures quickly and easily here.

Sharing with Facebook - share with friends and family on Facebook.

Sharing with Tumblr - if you Tumble, this will post to your Tumblr easily.

Saving posts to your Dropbox - you can also share to GoogleDrive or SkyDrive at IFTTT.COM

Sharing with you Blogger blog - if you run your own blog, this is the perfect way to push your Flickr content to it.

How to keep your work space tidy

I'm the sort of person who could never keep my desk tidy. There were always piles of paper, past-lunches post-it notes, a staplers or two, and books strewn across my workspace.

I stared jealously at some of my colleagues and friends who seemed to effortlessly breeze in and out of the office without leaving so much as a biro on their desk. For a long time, I had concluded that I was "Just not a tidy person" and never would be.

But, I was wrong. I later discovered that I could be a tidy person. But to get there I had to move one step at a time.

So to achieve this uber tidyness, I acted on a simple piece of advice. Here it is:

Don't try to keep you whole office tidy. Pick one small area, and focus on keeping it clear at all times.


Don't bite off more than you can chew. Just pick a small area of space and take control. This could be one part of your desk if you are open plan. An area the size of an A4 page. If you have an office, how about the spare table in the corner? Anywhere will do, but ideally it will be a place that you can see and touch from where you sit.

Follow this piece of advice and things start to happen:

First, whenever you feel out of control or manic at work, look at your tidy space. This alone is often enough to clear your mind for a moment - you are in control of this space.

Second, you realise that this kind of discipline (and it is a discipline) is achievable. Actually, if you can achieve this simple objective how many more simple steps can you take in making your work life more organised and controlled.

Third, people might start to comment on your new found control. This is a really visible way to change how people in the office perceive you. You could even try telling some people what you are trying to do and ask them to point out to you if they spot your tidy space messy. This adds to the fun as you try to outsmart them, and maybe they'll adopt the practice too.

Lastly, you might find that that small tidy area begins to grow as you tend it and take pride in it. Next thing you know, you've started tidying that shelf above your desk too. Then the area by the printer. Before for you know it, your whole desk may be tidy and in control.

Having a tidy space helped me get control of my work life. You can adopt it as part of a continuous improvement in your approach to work.

It worked for me - give it a try and let me know if it works for you too?

Thailand Buddha

Richmond Winter

Thailand Buddha


Richmond Winter


Richmond Winter

Richmond Winter

Richmond pub

Richmond pub

Richmond London

Richmond London

Eaters cheaters. Why do dieters cheat?

  • People cheat. But only a little bit. A small amount.
  • There's the incentive to cheat. Short term fix to satisfy hunger. But also the inner voice of self esteem.
  • So people on a diet might not gorge, or stuff their faces, but they may eat just a little bit more than they should. One small chocolate. One sneaky glass of wine.
  • Does this matter?
  • Well yes. That small amount of cheating. Maybe 200 or 300 calories. That may be enough to tip the balance from Losing Weight to Maintaining Weight. Or Maintaining Weight to Adding Weight.
  • Not good if you're real goal is to lose weight.
  • Is there a solution to avoid cheating instead of eating when your are dieting? You bet.
  1. Weigh yourself everyday. If the evidence says you added weight or maintained your weight, you ate too much! Knowledge is power. By measuring your weight, you can manage your weight loss.
  2. Be aware of your cheating. You now know, because it is human nature, that you are likely to cheat. Just a little bit of cheating. So, be aware of what it is. Know your weakness. For me it's complex carbs. That means bread, pasta, rice, biscuits. If I see one, I want one. Because I know that I'm always tempted by these thing, I'm especially vigilant around them and look for ways to avoid the,. carbs are the enemy.
  3. Cheat safely. The great news is that there are low calorie cheats. They might make you feel guilty, but they are good choices. Diet coke is top of my list. Sure, it may rot your teeth with carbonic acid, make you more hungry from sweeteners and dehydrate you from caffeine, BUT diet coke also staves off your hunger. If DC isn't your poison, it might be low cal crisps (sub 100 calories), a piece of fruit, or protein of any kind.

So. Eaters are cheaters. Watch your own tendency to cheat. recognise it and combat it when you can.

Dictation on MacBook Pro

I am absolutely loving dictation on MacBook Pro. I'm using it right now to type this message. I won't edit any errors they can see how accurate it is. Perhaps it will soon drive me mad to have the sound of my own voice ringing in my ear continuously. Right now, perhaps its the novelty, but I'm typing everything I possibly can using dictation.

Yes I can touch type yes I'm pretty fast but there's nothing quite like sitting with my eyes closed and knowing that the computer is typing for me. This is wonderful. What a strange feeling. I think it feels like I'm Don Draper in the 50s with my secretary writing down in shorthand every word I say then wandering to type it up.

You simply double tap the function on the Apple MacBook Pro after activating dictation in pretty much any windows and the typing starts. I believe that the words are actually translated at Apple Central via Wi-Fi. This has one limitation which is that you can only write about two sentences before Apple dictation freezes and hassles send the words you've said to Apple I could get used to that though I think at this moment I can get used to anything because I am about to write so many long emails and annoy so many people it is untrue. You have to say phrases in order to get punctuation. Now I can't tell you what those phrases are because if I say them the punctuation will come along. So four example if I say. Eight. Appears and if I say, I, appears. If I say

I wonder if

Will appear if I say! Doesn't! Appear how exciting so it almost becomes like a riddle but I'm not going to type anything to correct this. You will just have too work out what I've been doing through what the computer is done. As I write this it makes me wish that I had a wider vocabulary so I could marvel at the possibilities of all the magical words I could be spouting. Unfortunately, my vocabulary limited despite having read more books than I really should have at my tender age.

Right, well, this has been a lot of fun. Trust me I'm going to use this some more. Let's see how I get on. Perhaps I'll write a novel using this strange system. I wonder how many words I've posted already. Love it. Bye.

Red Monkey

Red Monkey

Glacier Argentina

Glacier Argentina

I lost 8 pounds in 8 days

I lost eight pounds in eight days. Following some key rules. Some new stuff too.

Rule 1 : Weigh Yourself Every Day

Ive started using a brilliant app to track this. Lift. Yes Lift It's so simple. Just add 'weigh everyday' and the checkin every day. Measure to manage yourself. There is something about the big green reassuring tick that tells me I've done a good job. And something so simple. And people give me Props! Try it.

Rule 2: Make mistakes but learn from them

I put on 8 pounds in 8 weeks. I hadn't followed. Key learning - change was necessary, otherwise I wouldn't lose another gram. If you stuff you puff. Feed equals greed. Jelly equals belly.

Rule 3: Lean-Protein, vegetables, water in first 48 hours

As much lean-protien as you like, same for veg and water. But nothing else. I'm not a scientist so I don't know why this works, but I do know that this magic combo flushes out two or three pounds over two days. Try it yourself. Two days is nothing.

Rule 4: Under 1000 calories before dinner.

This is hard. I find it easiest to achieve when I'm working all day. I'm too buys to guzzle. Trick for me is to not eat until I'm hungry. That means no breakfast. Then only eat small and drink lots of water or caffeine beverages. Both work together. By the time you get to dinner your body has had a long time to use up the spare carbs from yesterday. You will have burned some fat.

Rule 5: Watch for your Feeders

You know. The loved ones, friends and family, who like to encourage us to eat. Sometime subtle "it's only one slice of bread" sometimes blunt "I've cooked you a nice bowl of pasta". Do you know who yours are. Don't let them get this better of you. My tactic? I tell them that I know their evil plan, and I tell them that I want to lose weight and I know what I'm doing and it's not that I don't lave their apple crumble but I love having a narrower waist that 36 inches even more

That's it.

Try it. Let me know. It's only 8 days. And 8s a lucky number.



New Year binge 2013

Yes. 2013 has arrived. And yes, I have added 8lbs over December.

I've been SO good all year, but the combination of parties, presents and play destroyed me.

So: rule 2 is 'learn from your mistakes'. Luckily, mistakes are allowed. We didn't evolve for nothing. (incidentally, rule 1 is: Weight yourself every day!). I cant emphasise that one enough.

What went wrong in December:

  • Too much booze. Alcohol is calorific and dangerous in large numbers (like cows perhaps). One hangover led to another over December. Especially compounding pint after pints.
  • Booze is of course a snowball drink. (not to be confused with the drink called a snowball). One sip, becomes a gulp, becomes a barrel, becomes a burger. In fact, on my worst night I ate in advance to 'line my stomach', then ate crisps with drinks, then had a Cornish pasty to 'help avoid a hangover', then had a kebab. And yes, I did still have a hangover.
  • Too much food. In particular, family is dangerous. They gift a lot of food via presents, around the Christmas table, in little take-this-off-out-hands gifts.
  • Food too high in calories. Yes, there is protein galore available during the Yule. But it's surrounded by deep fired yes pleases, and soaked in butter don't mind if I dos.
  • Low activity. It's dark. It's cold. It's wet. There's nothing to do. In fact I celebrated that lethargy and dormancy at the time. Oops.
  • No weigh ins. I couldnt face it. I broke rule 1. Guilty. I know I have to weigh myself everyday. If I don't, things go wrong. And they went wrong.
  • New years coming. I couldn't shake the psychological kicks that December means indulge and new year is another chance to succeed. Weight loss ahoy.
Ah well. 8lbs added, and trust me, there wasn't any muscle included in that. I hadn't fully realised quite how dangerous December could be. My warning to all - be afraid, very afraid of December.


Right. Mistake made. No need to be too gloomy. Instead, I will pick myself up, brush myself down and start all over again. Time to try a Crash Diet!!