Many thanks to Emma J. Williams from Schmap, who came across our images of the Miami Design District on Flickr.
As flattered as I am, there’s no money involved – only kudos and street cred. Who would say no to that? It helps people, and it appeals to my vanity – I feel honoured and proud.
I remember being contacted by Schmap before in regards to our images “being shortlisted” 4 weeks earlier. I was deslighted even then. However, the more I think about this, I can’t help but see this as a very clever method for web traffic generation.
Think about it: I’ve never heard of Schmap before, and I’m pretty sure neither have you. Since it’s an online guide, there’s no expensive printing involved – it’s only an online thing. You still show plenty about the area that you’re reviewing, but don’t have to shill out licensing fees to buy in pictures. Add to that free Google Maps and some decent ads, and you’re on to a winner!
Don’t get me wrong here: I’m not knocking the idea, and I’m not having a go: I’ve immediately tweeted this and included the widget on Miami Beach Huts straight away! I’m happy to be included, and I’m impressed on how you can advertise and drive traffic to a project with very little resources. I might incorporate this into some of my own projects in the future.
Here’s the winning formula:
- scour Flickr for images you want to use
- send the owner an email, detailing your project, and that “his photo is shortlisted for inclusion”. Appeal to their vanity, and give them a chance to say “no way” there and then
- let a few weeks pass, and if they haven’t responded, send them a “congratulations” mail – with a link that shows where their photo is included
- easy sharing is important: add a widget and link to share your project, showing the contestants picture – he’ll share this among all his friends, and pop that widget onto all that’s dear to him (website, Facebook, Myspace, etc)
- voila – you’re probably getting an easy few thousand hits and viral marketing for free