As part of my 52 project I decided to try and take advantage of one of the award groups available on Flickr. The idea is that you post you picture to the group and in return you use some provided HTML code to give an award to 5 other photos within the group. This is mandatory, if you are found to have skipped the award process your photo can be removed by the admins. I've never gone any further with this group, but decided to see how far my images could go if I played the game.
I got 7 awards before my photo effectively dropped off the radar by reaching page 5 of the group, users looking for stand out photos to give one of their mandatory 5 awards to probably wouldn't go much further than this. To help you get further there are then two discussion threads especially for users that didn't quite reach the 10 awards required for the next level. The first is for 0-5, the second for 0-9, so basically anyone who felt they missed out on awards they deserved. In order to post your own photo in the thread you have to award two other photos already there, this is where I don't agree with the whole concept of these groups.
If you go to add your photo to one of these threads and there are only two photos there, you have to award both photos otherwise risk your own been deleted for breaking the rules. What if I don't think these photo deserve an award? This trend continues right up to the 6th level, but it gets hard as you go as the number of legitimate awards you have to receive before being allowed to post in a special discussion thread gets higher and higher.
At the time of writing my 02/52 - I've been framed! photo has reached the 4th level and received the necessary 10 awards, but they've decided not to invite me to the 5th level. No explanation provided, just removed from the invite thread.
I've decided I won't be using this kind of group anymore, people only award to abide by the rules. If you like my photos I welcome any and all comments providing they're at least constructive at the very least. Don't advertise your own photos, I'll delete your comment.