A change in the way that the critique forum is presented - IMPORTANT

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by joshroot, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. To eliminate the issue of images getting shoved down the critique forum too quickly, we have changed the way that
    it is presented.
    Critique forum images are now presented in a random order. For 24 hours after an image is submitted for critique,
    it stays in the critique "queue". The server then randomly chooses 100 of those images to display on the Critique
    Forum. Those 100 images are re-chosen every minute.
    So you may not see your image instantly after you submit it. But your image WILL appear many many times over the
    next 24 hours. Which is a large improvement to getting high visibility for 30 minutes or an hour, then getting
    buried down at the bottom of the page.
  2. Good move, Josh. With the new change, now everyone would have an equal chance to see the images submitted in every 24-hr cycle. So for myself, I won't miss any images submitted last night at 3 a.m. when I was deep asleep. Thanks.
  3. Fabulous idea.
  4. Brilliant. Great idea.

    This is how I handle my voicemail, too. :)
  5. Great solution to a tough problem!
  6. Josh, et al., very, very cool idea! I noticed that something was up as I saw a couple of my postings that I had put up last night. This will benefit those who post for 'Critique Only.' Keep up the good work, and thanks! Chris
  7. I seldom submit images, but agree that this is an excellent improvement to the Critique Forum and Rate Photos queue. Keep up the good work.
  8. That explains why I have 0 views after several minutes :)<p>

    A good move in the right direction!

    Some quick calculations: If we assume 25 requests per minute, we have a 0.278 % chance, that our picture makes it
    in a given minute (1440 minutes per day). Obviously, average exposure per day is 4 minutes. Chance to make it
    into the top 10 of the queue: 34%. <br>
    Positive: <br>
    The system is much more balanced among all photos submitted. <br>
    People don't have to worry anymore, when to submit the photo<br>
    Negative: <br>
    The chance to be in the first 10 of the queue decreased from 100% to 34% <br>
    Since on average, each photo is only picked 4 times, there is still a wide spread and a slim chance to make it
    into the "rush hour" of the critique forum. If we assume the phase of high activity to last 6 hours a day, you
    have a 37% chance you won't make it in that phase.<br>
    There is a 2% chance your picture will never be shown.
    I repeat: This is all valid under the assumption of 25 requests per minute. The less pictures submitted per
    minute, the better the new system.
  9. The less pictures submitted per minute, the better the new system.

    Which makes the case for a quota-based submission system all the more compelling, to be sure.
  10. Certainly a great idea for the whole bunch. But for fellows like me who go through te categorized critique queues this can be somewhat disturbing, in particular for low traffic categories. How about defining a minimum number of photos to be displayed per category, say 40 or 50?
  11. "If we assume 25 requests per minute" The total queue indidcated on the right has currently 6250 pictures. It dates back days afaik. This makes about 0.6 requests per minute, not 25.
  12. Thomas: Thanks for pointing that out. I really had no reference, since it is impossible now to find old submissions. Clicking on "astrophotography" for example reveals only 2 images right now. Let's assume there are 4.34 submissions per minute (all 6250 from the last 24 hours).
    Here are the adjusted values:<br>
    1.6% chance for an image to appear in a given minute<br>
    Average exposure per day: 23 minutes<br>
    Chance to make it in the top 10 of the queue: 91%<br>
    0.3% probability picture will not show during high activity phase<br>
    Near 100% probability that picture will be shown<p>

    As stated earlier, the system is drastically better with less requests. But even with 25 requests per minute the system scales in the sense that easy adjustments could be made such as changing pictures every 30 seconds or showing 150 per cycle.
  13. Folks, without knowing it, you are mixing up a few things. I'll clarify at some point. But at the moment I'm waiting for my steak
    and visiting with an old college friend.

    Trust in me on all this stuff. We're moving forward, but I need your patience while we do it. And help keeping others correctly informed.
  14. On another note, I wonder how the total number of ratings given is influenced by the fact that now, submissions are distributed equally throughout the whole day while ratings still are given mostly during peak time.

    In other words: More pictures than before are shown during times with few rating events, and less pictures than before are shown during times with many rating events.

    Depending on the ratings/submissions-ratio this could or could not affect the total number of ratings.
  15. Come on people, let me eat my (undercooked) steak!

    Seriously though, this currently only applies to the critique forum. The ratings aspect will wait for another day.
  16. Josh, enjoy your dinner and many thanks for a great improvement to Photo Net.
  17. GO JOSH GO! (I would have put in more exclamation points, but I'm told that one is sufficient!) Wonderful idea. I've
    stumbled across many nice photos tonight. It made my rating/critique "quota" more
    palatable. Thanks!
  18. "On another note, I wonder how the total number of ratings given is influenced..."
    Oh, he shoots, he scores! Yes! Less than 4 hours between an improvement to the critique system and the inevitable digression into the totally unrelated ratings system. Well done. My faith has been restored in the ability of photo.netters to turn any and every topic back toward the ratings game. Even the blogosphere takes longer than four hours to turn a news report about a bigfoot sighting into a rant about the presidential campaign.
  19. Sorry Lex. Originality 1, Aesthetics 4. (You got uprated for including a bigfoot reference.)
  20. I hope it will work well.
  21. Lex:
    I'm sorry, I have used the terms "rating" and "critique" completely interchangeably here. Probably, the fact that I am not a native English speaker plays a role too. For this discussion, please just read it as "opinions given" since for the system it really doesn't matter whether it's critique, rating, or anything else.

    Just look at it on a more abstract level :)

    PS: also note I have not rated - I mean criticized - the new system :p
  22. OH! Now I get it... I was about to submit a feedback about "critique forum behaving weirdly"... <p>
    On top of my mind, I would say I like the idea, I have to sort out the numbers a bit, but just now I'm not sure I share some concerns I read in the thread. <p>
    I hear mentioning "the 6 hours of forum rush". I had the feeling there is something like this, but I do not know when they exactly take place: I would be curious to know a figure of this (I mean observed figure, not guesswork) if admins have one...<p>
    Ciao L.
  23. Excellent! These improvements are what I love about pnet.
  24. It sounds like a good idea. However, since I have a life outside pnet, I have yet to see either of the two shots I posted last night. I did check during slow times last night while watching "Ghost Rider," very guilty pleasure. It doesn't bother me all that much, since I'm still getting critiques/comments.

    If that steak isn't still making noise, you've overcooked it.
  25. Lex, I'm guessing that your glass is half empty.
  26. acm


    Hi Josh,

    The new system looks very promising. It will certainly give more exposure to a given picture. Another advantage, which I experienced before a few minutes is, if one finds a particular critique queue uninteresting, all one has to do is to press the 'refresh' button!

    One minor disadvantage: I generally mark in my mind several pictures to critique once I see the queue. Now with this new system I won't find that picture which I have decided to critique next so easily!

    I had an idea about improving the critique system which I had shared in this forum several months ago. Instead of adding new incoming pictures at the top, the system should add them at the bottom. Most people critique the forum top down. Pictures coming in bottom up, will have more time and chance to be critiqued.
  27. acm


    On the lighter side: How about offering stock options of PN stock to those who critique the maximum?
  28. "One minor disadvantage: I generally mark in my mind several pictures to critique once I see the queue. Now with this new system I won't find that picture which I have decided to critique next so easily!"
    Funny you should mention that problem, because we have a solution coming in the not too distant future. As part of my effort to increase critiquing on the site, we are improving the interface in a couple ways. One of which is that you will be able to create a "shopping cart" of images to critique later. You will click a checkbox or button to "add to my critique list" and do that for as many images as you wish to critique. Then at your leisure, you can run through the 5 or 10 or 100 images you have chosen.
    DISCLAIMER: Jin is still programming this feature, so the final result may change a little bit. But the concept will be the same. Please do not try and hold me to the letter of my words. I don't have time to argue with people over silly things like that. We're busy improving the site.
  29. Apurva: WIth browsers like IE7 or Mozilla you should be able to open an image from the queue in a new tab. Just right-click on the picture and select "Open Link in New Tab". This way the pictures you have marked mentally won't be gone as long as you don't hit the refresh button in the original tab. HTH
  30. Perhaps We could add a Button that would enable travel on Pns Jet Plane .....

    System seems to work as far as bringing new images to forefront ......Although Ive scene a Noticable lack of activaty at my site since activated ......

    Nice to see you improving site , Keep up the good work ....I kind of like the idea of images loading at bottom .....Too bad its not possible to have a set of buttons perhaps 6 that would each have a 4 hour block of images from that time frame ....
    then when reviewing you could go from set to set ....
  31. I am glad you guys kept the "Success" message that indicates the image uploaded okay. Please keep that feature.
    Thanks. J.
  32. acm



    I fully appreciate your efforts to improve the exposure and visibility of the pictures. I also realize how difficult the task is. This is not nit picking from my side, just sharing of my thoughts.


    Thanks for the tip, I will follow this advice henceforth.
  33. Great changes, with the random and future shopping cart.
  34. I'm so new to this site. I'm game for any type of improvement. I did realize your picture could get lost very quickly down at the bottom of the page. I can't wait to check it out. Good Job, Josh
  35. but i feel its not better than before.today, I post a pictire into forum,it got no viewers no comments no rates when I post it after almost 3hrs!
  36. So a 3/3 rater will have several cracks at my images within that time span? LOL

    Seriously though, nice idea - let's see how it goes ..... it did throw me off at first.

    Thanks and keep up the great work.
  37. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    As long as we are going to have the Rate Recent interface in the Critique Forum this change is absolutely necessary. I have said time and again that the orderly manner in which the photographs were being presented was too ripe for abuse. Brian was wrong in how he programmed the interface and should have changed it to a random order during his tenure. It was way too easy for the few miscreants we had, and continue to have, on this site to cheat the system and abuse the other members. Now, with a randomized selection being presented, a more fair system should exist..at least I hope so. Regards.
  38. I do command you on your effort to improve the critique forum. However in my humble opinion this new system is less friendly for people who want to critique or rate pictures because one never knows if he has seen all the photos that are for rating and has to go through several cycles of random changes to get to see most of the photos. Some photos seem to appear many times and other less often. If i see a photo i want to comment on but dont get to it immediately, i may have to go through serveral cycles before it appears again, and sometimes i just get tired and give up. On the long run if it is not friendly for the rater/commentator, it will result in less views and comments however often the picture appears on the forum.
  39. totally agree with Michel :
    I tried to submit 3 diferent pictures into forum after you changed it.I got less rates,views,comments...but more 3/3 issues!
  40. Sounds like a step in the right direction....I just wish there was some way to convince PNers to rate and critique more images. It is stunning when you view the portfolios of many of the top photogs on PN and compare the number of critique requests vs. the number of ratings/critiques. Thanks Josh, et al, for the caring enough to keep improving the forum...I encourage everyone to take 15 minutes at the beginning of every PN session and critique a few images.
  41. This is great, an excellent improvement! Way to go.
  42. I think this is an improvement. Now I don't need to try to figure out if many people are on the site and what is a good time to submit, it's only a matter of the day of the week now!
  43. Josh I have a question about the programming. Is it truly random or is there some mechanism to ensure that each photo actually does get displayed and further, that images are displayed a similar number of times? I have been going to the critique forum and have been seeing the same photos over and over and since random is, well, random there is the possibility that images will not be selected for display at all in a 24 hour period.
  44. "there is the possibility that images will not be selected for display at all in a 24 hour period."
    I suppose in theory that is possible. But it is highly unlikely given the number of times that the view is calculated every day.
  45. Sweet
  46. Now, I have experience from the system and I've changed my mind somewhat. No comments in the first 24 hours although a very good photo. One problem is that e.g. in sports the visible list is too short. Right now the list was 16 photos long. I think it could be at least 25, may be max 30...36 long. .... may be there could be page 2, 3 and so forth in every category. ... I mean, if you'd like to study sports photos, say go thru a thousand photos, how can you actually do it ... there is a caption search method but it is not the same.
  47. Ok, I found the way to browse thru a category.
  48. Dear people,

    I don’t know what the meaning is of the new of a sort of random, but I don’t like it.
    Because you must surfing a lot more, cost you a lot more time to see what is going on.
    And isn’t good to see a photo more than ones or not at all!
    If a photo is interesting, you look further than the thumbnail.
    It is impossible to see everything, but this system slows it down.
    And now I spent my time more on the contacts I already have.
    So it shut out a lot of photos and to meet new people or new good work.
    I surf now on photonet at other way.
    Because, I want to photograph and not sit hours at the internet.
    If I want the updates as in the old system I must spent a lot more time!
    For me it works the other way around.
    I think when I refresh the forum several times: ooo not again this photo. All the photos, not only the ones I don’t like! Even to see my own photo more than once. No it doesn’t work.
  49. Josh
    I understand the reason for doing this, but I still disagree with you.
    It is impossible to see all photos every day, unless you spend the entire day on photo.net.
    Trough photo.net I got some new friends and our photos are our way to stay in contact with each other, I know many members have this same experience.
    For me and many others it is therefore important to have easy access to our friends photos.
    The old critique forum page was ideal, because it simply turns out that almost all my friends live in the same time zone as I do and are online the same time as I am.
    People on the other side of the world will recognize this, I am sure of that.
    The new critique page gives one the opportunity to see many more photos than in the past, but it also makes it a lot more difficult to find the photos of friends.
    You mention it yourself: “But your image WILL appear many many times over the next 24 hours”.
    And you are right, every photo appears many times in the new critique forum.
    For me about 80 percent of all photos are not interesting and I am not going to give it a comment, simply because it is on de screen again. On the contrary, it annoys me to see it again.
    Of course, the new system makes it possible for me to see photos that I otherwise would have missed or (as in the past) discover weeks after posting, but the argument of easily finding photos of friends is more important to me.

    Ed Heuvelink
  50. Josh,
    A new proposal.
    Why not make the old critique page longer than the 100 photos it used to contain?
    Make it all the photos of the past 24 hours. This will give everybody the benefit of seeing more photos than in the past and still not the annoying double/triple photo
  51. "Why not make the old critique page longer than the 100 photos it used to contain?"
    Because, for the most part, people do not scroll and pay attention to the images further down. It has been proven over and over again that once an image is pushed down the page, it gets very little attention.
  52. I hear you Josh. It means that I am then an exception. I always look thru the whole page. Sometimes the pages have felt a bit long but now the more passive categories tend to be far too short. I think an ideal number of presented photos is ... say 30... 35, definitely more than 20, definitely less than 50.<p>
    What if at the bottom of the page there would be an array of even smaller thumbs .. say a 100 from the past days. Just an idea. I'd love to see the commercial banners go away, but I am dreaming :)
  53. Right now, sat at 20:22 hrs in Finland (2 hrs east of Greenwich) there are two photos in the Events category gallery. Come on! You need to add a few if or case sentences to keep the lists at rational length.
  54. Hi Josh, congratulations on shaking things up. But there seems to be problem with the number of pictures shown in the categories eg in "News/Journalism" there are supposed to be 19 photos but I can only see one - and it's the same one after I reload. How do I get to see the others?
    Could you not just randomize the order but still show all of the last n days' photos? - that way we could be confident we're not missing shots in the category we're interested in.
  55. Even after I wrote all that, which took several minutes, it's still the same one photo in the "News/Journalism" category when I reload!
  56. I thought I would give the new system a go. So far, I cannot see any change in the number of critiques or the
    number of ratings. It is too soon to arrive at any definitive conclusions so I guess I will clog up the
    overloaded CF with a few more images to see if any patterns emerge.

    I suppose that I am now getting 3/3s from people on the other side of the planet who were usually asleep when I
    posted under the previous system, but since they are anon. I cannot even be sure of that.
  57. acm


    "Because, for the most part, people do not scroll and pay attention to the images further down. It has been proven over and over again that once an image is pushed down the page, it gets very little attention."

    That's my point all along. Again, I suggest, the new incoming pictures should be added at the bottom.
  58. Dear All,

    After wondering "too long" why the critique forum was behaving strangely I eventually found the explanation... ;-).
    While I appreciate the reason for, it disturbs me a bit. I understand that there is a "rush" hour, but did not noticed it, I live
    in Asia. I appreciate that some members were calculating when posting their creation for giving it the "best chance" and
    that the new logic is to give more "exposure" to each photo.
    It disturbs me because it takes me far more time to look at the same amount of picture that I could see before. I see
    several times the same picture instead of seeing new one. But a lot of my colleagues here find it an improvement and I
    fully appreciate the efforts spent for improving the forum.
    So please, would you please tell me, I'm new to photo.net, how I can see all the pictures that have been posted for
    critique for a certain period of time. I mean all not only the best rated. Is such a function available?

    Thanks for your time. Best regards, Jean-Marc
  59. Now that I know why things changed I see Josh's reasonings. I would add my two cents by saying with the old system, if I knew I was online on 9/14/08 and looked through the catagories that interest me, I would only look from the next time I was online back to 9/14 as I already saw and critiqued those. Now everything is a mish mash and I have to look through the entire list at that point in time and will see many I may have already commented or rated on, again.
  60. If people don't pay attention to the photos further down, then what is the digfference with the new system, I find my images are just as liable to be further down most of the time.
  61. I get the idea, but for me this is an interesting experiment, but not much more. When I look at the critique forum now it looks OK, but subsequent viewings minutes later show several of the same images, but placed elsewhere in a jumble. I think I'd rather have the option of using the new critique forum system or the previous one when I want to look at critique offerings.
  62. Well, my two cents.
    I'm not one who comments a lot of photos. But I look at them a lot.
    I find myself quitting seeking new photos. I always have to go through the whole page to see something I could have missed. And every time I have to, because I never know what's being showing up next.
    I STRONGLY prefer the old way. Especially as I always filter the photos by category.
    I'd rather let people choose how they want the photos sorted. It'd be just a flag in the cookies :)
    This way, I'm quickly losing interest. Who cares, you sould say... and you'd be right. If this is what majority likes, this will be.
    Again, just my two cents...
  63. The critique forum should not be used to simply peruse new photos, nor should it be used to connect with your friends and see their images. That is what the search feature, portfolios, and the "Off-Topic" forums are for. (Or Flickr, for that matter.) The critique forum is supposed to be here for photographers who are seeking to learn from others through garnering comments on their photos. It is an educational tool, not a social tool and not a catalog of new images. The only reason to go into the critique forum at all is if you are looking to learn or looking to teach. If you are using it for anything else, you are using it for something other than its intended purpose and should not be surprised by feeling disappointed that it doesn't do what you want it to.

    Josh: Thanks for all your hard work and dedication. It is very much appreciated.
  64. Almost forgot...I mentioned this in a related thread, but since this appears to be the main thread on this topic I will mention it here as well. Suggestion for the future: It might be useful to know how long a particular photo has been in the critique forum. Please consider adding a timestamp to a photo when it is submitted, along with the date. Thanks again!
  65. I agree completely with what Jeff H. said which was this: with the old system, if I knew I was online on 9/14/08 and looked through the catagories that interest me, I would only look from the next time I was online back to 9/14 as I already saw and critiqued those. Now everything is a mish mash and I have to look through the entire list at that point in time and will see many I may have already commented or rated on, again.
  66. Nice to get a response from Josh to the points raised since 4th Sept...
  67. Totally agree with Michael Latendresse. After I summit my photo, I hardly see my photo again; make me wonder if my photo ever shown or not. I prefer we can choose the new system or old system.
  68. All I know, is that activity on my submitted photos has gone down, not so much rating wise but definitely critique wise, even from regular visitors. I know it might take a while to work the bugs out. Feedback like this though hopefully will help get it tweaked in the right direction. On a positive not my 3/3 ratings have increased, so apparently more people with poor taste in photography are seeing my submissions. So I got that going for me............Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga
  69. The new way of running the critique queue is a great idea. I was surprised to see an image I submitted
    yesterday morning on the list for critique today, now I understand why.I like the idea of being able to tag
    images for review at a later date as well.
  70. I suppose like any change in website behavior it's going to have it's fans and critics. Although I understand the reason
    for the change for those of us who are use to navigating and contributing (critique-wise) to the site in a certain way it's
    become a real pain in the rear.

    One could argue the solution to this is to change the way we use the site, and I have already begun to do so, but I must
    confess I would have much appreciated if a prominent notice had been put in the header of this screen immediately after
    the change for those who didn't notice the text change in the sidebar, and furthermore that perhaps this behavior could
    be changed with an additional drop-down or setting in my profile.

    That said I recognise and thank Josh + people for continually looking to improve the site - good stuff! :)

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