Sunday, March 2, 2008

Why reinvent the wheel?

Here is a cool example of how to use existing resources to create your own social network.

To attract new visitors, Georgia Aquarium's Web team identified a treasure trove of existing photos of the aquarium on the photo sharing site,

They used these photos to create a Flickr channel for the aquarium and put the photos on an interactive map to prove that the attraction was hot with international visitors. After all, the point wasn't only to display pretty pics but to get pretty hits --- and attract visitors online and offline.

Thanks to this post at hyku, "Starting Small with Social Media: Georgia Aquarium Flickr Photogroup," I got on to Andy Mills at What's Up Interactive in Georgia who worked on the project.

He says as result of some social networking, the new Georgia Aquarium Flickr photo group generated a lot of buzz.

In one day, the map got close to 7,000 visitors directly related to people digging it on

One of the keys to success was identifying active diggers. You know, the reigning royals on any social media site --- the people who say, "Off with their head" or "I love it!" These folks exist on any network, from business groups like Linkedin or ITToolbox to Facebook and MySpace.

Cruising around Flickr this morning I saw lots of potential for all sorts of companies to do something similar. For example, Kimtech has just finished a contest for its prospects, lab technicians, etc. called Love that Glove. It is easy to imagine a follow up photo competition, even a collection of interesting gloves taken by some of the company's customers, whipping up some interest among prospects and existing users. There are already a few weird glove photos that could be fun.

For more info on how to use Flickr to market your Web site, read Matt McGee's article at

By the way, readers of our print publication, The Internet Marketing Report, March 7 issue, can read more on page 7 about how Andy Mills and Georgia Aquarium harnessed the power of Flickr.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report online blog editor Julie Power Sunday March 2.



Dave J. said...

Last weekend's 'On the Media' had a piece on social media and described how to work backwards with Flickr to create things like what you described the aquarium doing. I was really surprised at the idea, its so organic, you only need to organize it a bit.

Dave J. said...

Sorry, here is the story, People Power

Here is the bit I was referring to:
"And in 2005, Flickr added something called tags, which are just freeform labels, ways of reminding yourself who’s in a photo or what it’s about or whatever. The interesting social side effect of tags is that although people are doing this out of a personal need to keep track of their photos and so forth, the aggregate social effect is that if you go onto Flickr today and you look for all photos tagged “Mermaid Parade,” you’re going to get tens of thousands of photos taken by hundreds of individual photographers.

What Flickr did is it said if everybody shares, then after the fact we can identify the group that was taking photos of the Mermaid Parade. And so media becomes not something you have to coordinate in advance, but rather a tool for discovering other people who care about what you care about.

And that’s a really big change, because it allows people to create groups that would have been hard to form in any other way."