Just in case you’re unfamiliar with Unsplash, it is a website where you can find and download high-resolution photography for free. You can use the photos for personal and commercial purposes. It’s also an amazing community.
Being able to contribute my photography to Unsplash brings me great joy. I love that designers, developers, bloggers, and business owners are benefitting from them. Many people still wonder why I would provide my ‘work’ for others to freely use. Because of those questions, and a few other reasons, I got more interested in tracking the data a bit closer.
This journal entry isn’t going to touch on any goals, dive deep into the whys, or analyze what the data means to me at this point. It’s about how easy it is to track, log, and measure your stats if you want that data for further insight. I’ll be posting another entry to discuss analysis, goals, whys, and how the stats help me – don’t miss it.
If you missed my post at the start of this year, I shared crazy metrics for my photos on my @scottwebb profile. This was only part of my overall statistics because I have another account that is for my pineapple photos: @pineapple. I did share the specific stats for pineapple photos only on the Pineapple Supply Co. blog.
I want to go a step towards greater transparency with the spreadsheet I’m using right now.
I’m sharing it with everyone of you and hopefully it provides you some value.
But first, please excuse this short interruption for a humblebrag.
I recently learned that my photos have crossed a couple of huge milestones on Unsplash.
My photos reached over 1,000,000 downloads and more than 125,000,000 photo views.
[insert funny celebratory gif]
If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.
— Peter Drucker
Easy tracking of Unsplash photo stats
To track and measure my Unsplash photos, I’ve created a simple Google spreadsheet with 2 tabs. The first tab is just to show me what happened in a specific month. The second tab is for the overall photo totals, the change each month, and seeing my year to date data.
It takes no time at all once the spreadsheet is created.
Unsplash does show your image stats for the previous 30 days (as seen in the top feature image), but you don’t have a way to visualize how it compares to other months. Tracking my stats at the start of each month allows me to see the changes month over month. You could compare whatever you want that may help you out. I like seeing results in relation to the number of photos uploaded, so I made sure to add that into the spreadsheet.
Keep in mind, this way of tracking is most likely a short term hack. In the future, Unsplash may update the stats page that doesn’t require any of this by incorporating the ability to export data. I could also see ways for contributors to visualize and analyze the data directly with graphs and charts.
With two profiles, manually tracking my overall data will be required regardless.
There is no shame in creeping
View the spreadsheet I’ve created if you’d like to look at it in real time. You can also copy it into your Google account and add your own metrics if you’re also sharing photos to Unsplash.
You can return to my spreadsheet from time to time since it’s publicly viewable. I am not sure how exciting that would be for you, but who knows. I may add new categories to measure over the year. There is no shame in creeping.
Is tracking for you?
The ‘Photos Total” may be enough for most of the contributors in the Unsplash community right now. Other photographers may never look at their statistics, period. It depends on your interest level. I have seen a number of people asking about the ability to see their number of followers since the feature rolled out. Unsplash says it’s coming with a revamped stats page.
What about you?
If you happen to be an Unsplash contributor that finds tracking and analyzing your photo stats to be helpful, how’s it helping you? Share in the comments or shoot me a message. I’d love to add your insight in a future post!
Also published on Medium.