The Future of Communities Blog — Social browsing vs. technology-enabled navigation – The future of communities points us to an interesting academic research paper done analyzing behavior on Flickr.
The paper, written by Kristina Lerman at USC and Laurie Jones at Mills College, looks at how views, faves, and comments are generated at Flickr.
Reverse contacts (how many people have made you a contact on Flickr) count more than anything else. Their research would also indicate that both tags and groups have much less influence over having your photo viewed. They do recognize the significance of having one of your images appear in Flickr’s Explore section as being dramatic, especially views coming from users outside one’s social network, but still conclude that the number of reverse contacts that you have would seem to be the single most important factor to "success," at least as defined by views, faves, comments, etc., on Flickr.
An interesting read.