Although it's a bit early for spring cleaning I thought it might be a good idea to check out my Flickr site and see which groups I had joined, thinking that I would delete a few of them.
I was aghast to see that I had joined over 50 different groups, most of which I had forgotten what they were and why I had joined.
I was reminded about the first few months after joining Flickr being really excited about being invited to join various groups and the fact there was seemingly a group for everybody!
My main aim for joining Flickr was to be able to improve my photography and after about a year of getting comments like "That's great", "Wow!" or the occasional "It sucks" I came to the conclusion that Flickr was a social photography site, which meant that the majority of the comments were about the "feel good" factor. None of the comments, positive or negative, were particularly helpful in making me understand what I was doing right or wrong.
I know that Flickr has a great role to play in the social e-world that we live on and I have seen many great shots made by some amazing people, but in the end I moved away from Flickr to some other sites to get my "education".
It was because of this education, that I have returned to Flickr. I have started a course currently being run on strobist.com called Lighting102 and they have an amazing Flickr Group. Because I am now using my Flickr site as part of my education, I decided to clean up my groups.
At first I thought "it doesn't matter, I'll just ignore the ones I don't use...", but as I clicked on some of the groups it became apparent that many of them were "dead" or at least 'very dormant". Then, slowly at first, I removed myself from some the groups that had been inactive for over 6 months. Then as I saw that I had only one or two images posted for many of the groups, it became easier to be more ruthless with quitting the groups.
I ended up with a healthy crop of 20 groups I kept. These are groups that I have a healthy interest in , e.g. abstract, strobist, flowers, etc. This will help me keep focussed on the genre's of photography I like the most, as well as those that are most helpful to improving my skills.
I now feel liberated in a funny kind of way; Free to choose, free to decide what "I" want to be interested in. So go ahead and ask yourself "Am I Flickr group Addict?".