As you 'like' it

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by jordan2240, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. I have not been active on for some time now, but do still lurk because I enjoy some of the forums and the conversation. The main reason for my inactivity has been a wane in an interest in photography. I've become more interested in golf, which I equally stink at. But I also disliked the addition of the social convention of 'Likes' when was revamped. I mentioned this in a thread in the nature forum, and the thoughtful responses made me wonder if it might not be an interesting topic of discussion to avail to a larger audience. I realize this isn't going to change a thing, so it's merely a discussion for discussion's sake.

    I do not like the 'like' feature for picture-focused forums. For discussion forums, it has a bit of a different connotation for me, and merely indicates you agree with what someone else has stated, but for the picture-focused forums, I think there is a tendency for it to breed cliquish and reciprocal behavior, and don't think it really provides any benefit. If I have a picture on flickr, for example, that is 'faved' by someone, I feel somewhat obligated to look at that person's work and 'fave' something in return, just because it seems the nice thing to do. I'd actually prefer that people not 'fave' my pics, but comment if they feel I've done something notable (or crappy). I think we all know people who 'like' other entries in hopes of getting 'likes' in return. There is a local wildlife photographer who does some nice work, but she'd also get hundreds of 'faves' for a snapshot of dung as well.

    In one of the forums I follow on here, there if a very small participation base, and it seems that nearly every entry is 'liked' by the regulars, and I really think it's done more to encourage participation than express an opinion of the posted shot. However, I've seen some new participants on occasion that don't get the same number of 'likes,' and I think that proves to be discouraging to them.

    So just wondering, what do others think? Is the 'like' liked by many? Would the effort and thought that goes into a brief comment be more appreciated?
    danny_o' and Moving On like this.
  2. You don't like like and you want to know who likes not liking like like you.
    Would you like them to use the like feature to respond even though you don't like it?
    Like minded people would like to know.......
    Uhooru and danny_o' like this.
  3. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    speaking from experience, i’d say the opposite is true. when likes were first introduced i didn’t receive any likes but that just forced me to work harder & harder at my craft sometimes staying up all night in order to get everything just right.

    (i ought to add that i still don’t get many likes but that is because i post my worst photos in the hope of encouraging others.)
    gordonjb and Norma Desmond like this.
  4. jordan2240 is on to something. I've spent (wasted?) a lot of time in art photography: critiquing photographs, writing reviews, assessing portfolios, giving formal lectures on photographic aesthetics and never did the concept of "like" come up. The problem with "like" is that it says nothing useful or interesting about a photograph. Rather, it merely describes the state of a particular viewer's innards.
    Commercial photography, not art, is different. "Like" can represent an exchange of value. The photographer gives the viewer a photograph that the viewer likes. The viewer gives the photographer money. Both parties are gratified.
  5. I LIKE a fair amount of Norman's stuff because I like unlikable stuff. :)

    The LIKES system is actually very encouraging. When we get a LIKE that means our photo is good because others appreciate it. When we don't get a LIKE that means our photo is good because it's ahead of its time or outside the box. Either way . . . we win!

    On a slightly more serious note, I don't necessarily like all the photos I LIKE, or for that matter all the photos I post. Sometimes, I'm just responding to a theme with something appropriate or even cute that I don't necessarily think is a very good picture, and I assume others are doing the same. In those cases, the photos are more fun than good and I may LIKE them for the fun of it. Also, I often LIKE photos I don't like because I may still recognize the degree of accomplishment a photo I dislike may represent or I may appreciate the creative force behind something I don't necessarily like or I may think a photo represents some growth for the photographer who made it even though I don't particularly like it.
    john_sevigny|2 likes this.
  6. We have a local photographer who says he will photograph your wedding in a "photojournalistic style"! Where does he fit in?
  7. The bachelor party.......
    john_sevigny|2 and Sanford like this.
  8. What puzzles and a bit disturbs me on this subject are those that think they're hurting people's feelings by not Liking or Liking enough as if this is meaningful social interaction which IMO it isn't. is about photography, not making friends and like minded associates. If I want a meaningful interaction or relationship with another human being I'ld do it in person, not as invisible pen pal. There's no skin in the game with online social exchanges. And a Like certainly doesn't mean both parties are the best of pals. These concerns sound like personal issues with perception by placing too much meaning into relating to another person that requires very little risk and effort. Relax! It's just a click. Did you break a nail doing it?

    Why can't "Like" be taken the same as a physical "Thank You" or "Acknowledgement of Appreciation" post card? At least the card communicates the person went to the effort of going to the store, purchasing the card & postage and writing some quick note and mailing it. A Like can be seen as just that without the obligation of responding with equal amounts of sacrifice. Again, it's a click and it has just as much thought behind it as one wants to project into it unless one loves paranoia and conspiracy which can be a fun way to do one's one self analysis without the expense of a psychiatrist.

    Do you Like yourself? Might want to check that before you judge what "Like" means on a photography forum.

    Remember there's over a billion images online taken by a wide range of people from kids to long standing professionals. Very few if none are looking or even care about your photos. You should care about your own photos or else why do you photograph?
    Moving On likes this.
  9. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Gotta tell you, after decades in Corporate America, I am solidly Anti Golf. Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden"? Many "scores " that bear no relationship to performance. I always felt it would be a much more interesting / challenging game if there were Paintball Snipers on the course to enforce strict rules of the game.
    Photography, at least is show & tell.
    john_sevigny|2 likes this.
  10. In response to Tim (and I don't know that he was specifically addressing his response to me), I like myself just fine, and while I haven't posted on pnet under the new format, I have posted on flickr, where a 'favorite' is similar to a 'like.' But I never posted anything there in the hopes of it being 'faved,' as I agree that photography is a very personal pursuit, and unless you are doing it or plan to be doing it for money, shouldn't care what others think of it. But I can assure you that many people, some not legit, mass fave photos in hopes that you will fave thiers as well.

    But I think the whole social media convention of 'liking' something is a means of fostering, shallow, meaningless interaction between people, which I find to be one of the major flaws of social media. I don't think it's far-fetched to claim that the self-esteem of many people is based on how 'successful' they are on social media, and success is measured in part by how many 'likes' you receive, so I was quite disappointed when applied this same convention, because I never thought of it as a 'social media' site, and don't particularly like such sites because of the shallow relationships they foster (I do not have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. accounts). To me, if you really want to show appreciation for someone's work, you will make a meaningful comment.
  11. Sandy, I am a count-every-stroke golfer, and I don't take 'gimmies' no matter how close the ball is to the hole (because I know I can miss most any putt).
  12. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.
  13. Maybe nitpicking but worth saying that I may not care whether or not others like my photos but I do care what they think of it. For me, photography is not simply a solitary pursuit (though that's certainly an aspect of it). It's something I share both with the people I photograph and the people I show my photos to. So I want to hear reactions, want to hear what people think about it. It's not something I do just for myself. It's something I do for myself and often with and for others.
    Fostering it, sure. But shallow, meaningless interactions took place long before social media was even a concept. Remember discos and bars in the eighties. That was our Facebook and it was just as bad, though not as readily available. You had to go out and put on a stupid outfit to get there instead of it being right at your fingertips. And those disco balls, don't get me started! And long before discos, dinner tables and cocktail parties were filled with shallow, meaningless banter. It's as old as humankind. Though it can be grating at times, shallow, meaningless banter can also often be the thing that leads to other places, so I wouldn't count it out completely. It can also be a hoot in itself, if you approach it that way.
    I kind of was at first as well. I've grown used to it and don't mind it anymore. I participate in No Words a lot, which I like because we communicate with each other in pictures. LIKES just seem like a little verbal exclamation accompaniment, no big deal really. On quite a few occasions, when I've run across a photo I find particularly compelling, I will contact the photographer via Private Conversations and let them know what my response is to their photo. That has always been appreciated and it feels good to do.
  14. I don't see the "No Words" forum as a critique. It is a streamlined fast moving flea market where I can see many examples of different iterpretations of a simple tag line.
    Half of the fun is in the imaginative responses. I simply scroll down and smile. If I smile, identify in some way or am otherwise interested or see something in a new way, the like button is there for a quick nod.
    I see no need for a "really honestly unbiased like" button.
    There is certainly a PM function to communicate any details one wishes.
    If people manipulate the Like feature as you suggest it certainly does not affect me in any negative way.
    And I think that is what Tim was pointing out
    As he points out it is a simple internet forum.
  15. And why is this important to know? Do you think this is unfair? If so, why? I judge people more by their decision making only by how they show it in their photos, not how many Likes they get.

    And you have evidence that these are real relationships whether shallow or meaningful? How do you even know they're real people and why should you care? You seem to be way too concerned that what you see happening on social media is a real reflection of how photographers become successful when in fact very few can make a living and even less become famous considering what I said previously about how many images are online to the amount of people who give a sh*t.

    Why do you care whether someone gets way too many "favorites" or "Likes"? How do you know anyone's keeping score? And even if the score is way too high, what will it lead to, what does it matter? How will it make others make better photos?

    I think you haven't let it sink in about my point that none of this is a real relationship and it's not going to make you a famous or successful photographer.
  16. Fred G., valid point about the clubs of the 80s. Once I started realizing I was seeing the same people week after week, and they were in-turn seeing me, I bagged that scene. Certainly there have always been means for creating shallow relationships, now more than ever (a swipe of the thumb can now determine your dating life), but I try to avoid them, which is why I was disappointed when opened itself up to such more than it had been.

    Tim, I'm sure your opinion is shared by many, which there would be no discussion without. As I commented to Fred, I think the 'Like' option cheapens some of the forums by creating greater opportunity for cliquish behavior. Why does it bother me - I guess because I never much cared for cliques and don't think their judgement is particularly fair. If I was still heavily involved in photography, the 'Like' option would not necessarily keep me from posting in picture-focused threads here, but it's simply an addition I am not fond of.
    john_sevigny|2 likes this.
  17. Mark, points taken. It is indeed a simple internet forum in which participation is voluntary. But I am interested in how many folks have been deterred by pnet fostering a more typical 'social networking' format.
  18. "Be courteous to all, but intimate with few,
    and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence."
    - George Washington

    I don't see any format online superceding that advice.
    As for cliques, that is and always has been a basic human social trait, defined by personal taste, experience, and accomplishment. The all inclusive obsession of political correctness is more detrimental than some perceived or actual clique trait online. Every internet forum by nature is cliguish. Over in the Nature forum there are the anti-gun, environmental, anti-hunting, vegan posters that make very clear their aversion to the politics of others, and that's no big deal by me.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
    DavidTriplett and Sandy Vongries like this.
  19. I "like" the images that I like. If I don't like an image it doesn't mean that I dislike the image, it only means that I don't like it enough to "like" it. I try not to overcomplicate my likes because I then begin to not like, liking.
  20. I dislike the overuse of this phrase. If someone dislikes cliques or guns that may be their genuine position, not adopted because it's politically correct. In any case, while I'm sure people over in the Nature forum have made their political views known, people in this forum have as well, including you.
    This turns what seemed to me a decent concern for others' feelings into an all inclusive obsession. I'll leave it to you to find a label for doing that.

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