5 Steps to Getting that Flickr Group off the Ground

Flickr is everyone's favorite online photo-sharing service. It may be beta, but it has more than enough features to rival many other photo-sharing services in their final state. One of these features is groups, which allow you to share photos and discussions with people. Dozens of groups are made everyday, but only a few can survive. Today we'll explore creating a flickr group that can grab anyone's attention and become a thriving virtual destination. To see a completed example of a flickr group with all of these properties, visit my Mint Show and Tell flickr group.

1) Have an Idea

You can't start a flickr group with out a killer idea. Find something that interests you and make sure it is not overly-niche subject matter. Slightly broader topic areas make it easier for you to find people interested in your flickr group. By comparison, I had made a flickr group for people to display their scratched iPods. It didn't turn out too well. So now that you know what your group will be about, brainstorm and find a great name. A good rule of thumb is the shorter the better as long as people can still know what you are referring to without too much thought. Also, double-check to see if there is not already a similar group. If you pioneer a group, you'll be in good shape.

2) Have an Icon

Giving your new born group a fly icon will lure people in immediately. Try to make it something unique. That icon will become synonymous with your flickr group, so choose wisely. Make sure the icon is easily distinguishable, similar to your group name.

3) Start a Thread

Jump-start discussion with a welcome thread that briefly describes what the group is about. It will make newcomers feel at home. It is also a good idea to fill out some of the "about" info on the front of your flickr group page.

4) Post Photos

Similar to above, posting photos makes people feel welcome and gives the sense that your group is active and that someone has at least tried to start it up properly. Photos also clearly define what your group is about if the welcome thread, icon and title didn't make it clear enough already.

5) Publicize

No one will join your group if they can't find it. List your group in three flickr categories in the admin options and invite all of your flickr friends... well, the ones you think would be interested. If you are a member of any forums that might use your group, post about it on there but be careful that it doesn't come off as spam or you will be subject to some flamage. The last thing would be mentioning it on your blog. I waited to mention my flickr group here until there was a decent user base and had some activity already built up.

Go for it!

Take those suggestions in mind and give it a shot. I'll even let you post your flickr group links in the comments to help you publicize. :-D