Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Flickr Spike, Why?

On Friday night, December 19, I had a big spike in traffic to my Flickr page:

flickr 12-20-14 8-31 AM

I took that screen shot at 8:31 AM Saturday morning (the 20th). I’d had 16,407 views since 7 PM the might before. These days I’m running, on average, over 1000 views a day. So that’s way high, as you can see.

A Note on Time: Flickr time-stamps its viewing data with Greenwich Mean Time, which runs five hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time, which is what I’m on. So, when Flickr’s clock rolls over from 12:59 PM on December 19 to 00:00 AM on December 20, it’s going from 6:59 PM to 7:00 PM on December 19 for me.

I’ve never had a run like that before. I believe the most single-day views I’ve had before this spike was somewhere between 7000 and 8000 the day I posted my photographs of the damage Hurricane Sandy left in my neighborhood of Jersey City.

Here’s a screen shot I took at 10:50 PM on Saturday night (3:47 AM GMT):

flickr 12-20-14 10-50PM

So I’d gotten 17,619 views between 7 PM on the 19th and 7 PM on the 20th. Which is to say that I only got 1212 views between 8:41 AM and 7:00 PM on Saturday. Most of those views, then, came during the night. That is, they came during my night.

I've been on Flickr since 2006 and I've just gotten 2% of my all-time views in one night.

And I’m quite sure that many of them came during the GMT night as well. For I did check my Flickr states very early on Saturday (between 12 PM and 1 AM I believe) and, as I recall, the count was closer to 8000 than 7000. So that’s 7000+ views by 5 or 6 AM GMT.

Who are all these people and where did they find out about my photos?

I haven’t the foggiest idea.

One could imagine that some high-traffic website showed one of my photos and a lot of people came streaming to my Flickr page to see it and perhaps a few more. But if that were the case, then you’d expect to see lots of views concentrated on a very small number of photos. That’s not the case. Here’s the top 10 “most viewed” photos from the 20th:

flickr 12-20-14 10-51 PM most viewed

See those view numbers: 16, 15, 14, 13, and 11. Those are not high numbers. Since some photos were viewed 16 times, we know that at least 16 people visited my Flickr site. If it was only 16, then each of them must have viewed a lot of photos in order to run the total views closer to 18K than 17K.

But that’s all we can guess from the stats. At least 16 people ran up 17,619 views. It might have been a 100 people viewing an average 176 photos each, or 1000 people looking at an average of 18 photos each. There’s no way to tell.

But why did that happen?

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