Exclusion from the Gallery Rating System

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by mottershead, Jun 28, 2003.

  1. We have decided to institute a policy under which the Gallery
    moderators will be able to exclude individual portfolios from the
    photo rating system. This will be done when in the judgement of the
    moderators this exclusion would be in the best interests of photo.net
    and the Gallery.




    In particular, it will be done when an individual portfolio is at the
    center of too many claims and counter-claims of abuse, "mate-rating"
    and retaliatory rating, and where in our opinion the ratings on that
    portfolio have lost any possible objective meaning or usefulness or
    where the continued inclusion of that portfolio in the rating system
    would be divisive, time-consuming for the moderators, and an ongoing
    distraction from the aims of the Gallery. We expect such exclusions
    to be quite rare.




    Photos that are excluded from the rating system in this way will still
    be available for view and comments, and may be submitted for Critique
    Requests. But the photos will not be ratable and will not be visible
    in the "Top Photos" feature, and any prior ratings will not be
    visible.
     
  2. Hurray!!!
     
  3. Absolutely.

    Now if I could only SEE anyone's portfolio (something's broken today).
     
  4. another feather in your cap, Brian.

    Steve, until the folder thing gets fixed, you can work around by adding "&ratings=true" at the end of the folder url. this is akin to viewing the folder with details.
     
  5. g|1

    g|1

    That's certainly a constructive and efficient action to take IMO. One question though Brian, will an excluded portfolio photographer still be able to rate others? Because disabling ratings of their work might then stimulate them into an all-out retaliation without fear of damage back in their folders. It would in effect be a case of having 'nothing to lose'.
     
  6. I assume that some sort of warning would go out to an individual
    before the ax falls.

    Mate rating and retaliating should perhaps be defined in very
    concrete terms - both quantity and quality.

    I can think of several people who should be very worried about
    regular high rates from groupies who have received no
    encouragement at all and over whom they have no control.
     
  7. Carl, this action will be taken as a last resort.

    In some ways it will not always seem fair, since we may remove a person's portfolio from the rating system because of the behaviour of other people which might not be within the control of the person in question. (In any case, he or she will always be able to claim that this behaviour is not within his or her control.) However, when a person's portfolio becomes a battleground between warring factions, and a high percentage of the ratings are not related to the merit of the photo, the rating system has ceased to operate in any rational way with respect to that person, and it makes more sense just to remove that person's photos from the rating system. In the end, it seems to make much more sense to deal with "singularities" in the rating system in this somewhat arbitrary way, involving moderator judgement, rather than trying to come up with complex rules and heuristics to ensure that no singularities can ever appear.
     
  8. It would seem that depending on the time frame, Tony's and
    Marc's would be prime candidates. Would that be good for the
    site?

    I guess I'd rather see the people handing out excessive sevens
    and ones prevented from rating rather than assume that the
    recipients are at fault..
     
  9. Carl, it will be only done when it reaches a point that we feel that the ratings on a particular person's portfolio have become almost meaningless. That is not the case with either of the people that you mentioned.
     
  10. I find this discrimination fully illegal, arbitrary and detrimental to a PN member.




    I will take severe measures to protect my rights.



    Anna Pagnacco
     
  11. Anna: I'm not looking for a flame war so please take my comments as sincere and not meant as a personal attack. They are written in the spirit of respectful candor.

    "I find this discrimination fully illegal, arbitrary and detrimental to a PN member. I will take severe measures to protect my rights."
    Since May 2002 you have rated 3425 photos on this site, with average ratings of 5.93 for originality and 6.03 for aesthetics. This is a perfect example of why something needed to change. Giving everyone high marks makes it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Please tell me know where I can find the legal references to support your contention that excluding someone's gallery from the rating system is illegal. My understanding is that we have no rights other than that given to us by the administrators. And what "severe measures" can you take? Quit the site? Give Brian a bunch of 1s on his photos?

    We are powerless to force changes to the site. We can only persuade the administrators to see our way of thinking. I am willing to thoughtfully listen to an explanation why Brian's plan is poor. And since you don't like his suggestion for stopping the abuse of the rating system, how would you suggest he change the system to prevent the buddy system from ruining the rating system? Can you help me understand why your ratings are so high?

    Sincerely, Christopher
     
  12. Interesting. Why not just remove the ratings system all together?
    It serves no useful purpose. At least without comments. Why
    not require anyone leaving a rating no matter what level to leave
    a comment. And require comments to be of a certain length.
    Summation: If you rate, you comment, if you comment, it has to
    be yeah long.<P>

    You already have this mechanism in place. (Commenting
    required for certain ratings) We may get less ratings but who
    cares without constructive critism?<P>
     
  13. """And what "severe measures" can you take? Quit the site? Give Brian a bunch of 1s on his photos""


    It is a matter of "discrimination".




    My lawyers will answer...

    Anna Pagnacco
     
  14. I would like this thread not to become a discussion of whether the ratings system should be eliminated. That is not on the table for discussion and the rating system isn't going to be eliminated. If you think the ratings are stupid, then ignore them and surf through the Gallery however you please, or ignore the Gallery entirely if you prefer.

    The reason that we have the ratings is to help people find the better photos from the more than half million that are uploaded. Since we started counting views, photos in the photo.net Gallery have received more than 740 million views from literally millions of people. We want the time people spend here to be rewarding. We want to provide them with some reasonable entry points into, and paths through, the Gallery. If they are drawn to the site, and spend enough time here, eventually they will find their own paths through the Gallery.

    But our computers can't read and understand comments, any more than they can look at photographs and decide which ones are good. We could let elite gatekeepers decide which photos should get attention, as we do with the Photograph of the Week, but that isn't how we generally do things on this site. Rather, we let the members of photo.net decide which photos deserve the attention of others -- through the rating system. When you rate one picture higher than another you are saying: "I recommend this picture to the attention of other Gallery visitors more than this other picture." That is all. If you rate only the photos of people who have befriended you on the site, and rate them uniformly high, your ratings aren't helping anybody. It is not our intention that the ratings be a form of communication or social interaction between the rater and the photographer, a way for the rater to flatter, solicit, or thank the photographer for the attention given to the rater's photos. The ratings are there for the benefit of the entire Gallery audience.

    One might argue that *none* of the ratings on *any* of the portfolios are meaningful in the slightest way -- that it is all a fun little social/political game that some people play better than others. I do not agree. While the behaviour of some participants supports this argument, generally, the rating system works. It breaks down in certain cases. Rather than adding rule upon rule, restriction upon restriction, twist upon twist, to try to compel everybody to be judicious and reasonable, we prefer to keep the system simple -- stepping in only in isolated cases where, for whatever reason, it does not work.
     
  15. It's sad that you deleted all ratings from Anna's photos. Though I have read your posts I don't understand the reasons. Let it be. And let people rate as they want. Don't try to educate them. Me too rates mostly between 5 and 7. Jim McNitt and others do too.<p>
    Hey, and she's a paying member. Don't you think you should have asked her at least? I think at the point where you have paying members you can't take a position "only the admins can decide whatever they want". At least I would recommend not seeing it this way. I really appreciate all your work, Brain, but this move was a fault.
     
  16. I think this is a very difficult one, and I don't think there is an easy solution.
    I think the rating system works on some levels and not on others, some photographers pay a lot of attention to the ratings they get for photos and other photographers don't see ratings as important.
    Having read a lot of the threads on various photos it is evident that there seems to be 'mini wars' going on.

    Critique of a photo is an important way to learn, I have learnt much more from posting photos on this site than have from any book read. Looking at great photographers work is inspirational, on photo.net I think as a community we have a fantastic wealth of amazing images from around the world.
    Forming friendships on photo.net is easy, I think that is the beauty of the site and because of those friendships 'mate-rating' is inevitable to a certain extent.
    Often it is not from a favouritism point of view that people rate certain photographers, it is because something drew you to their photos in the first place and when they upload a new one it is exciting to look at and to rate/comment on it.

    I think that Anna Pagnacco brings a lot of attention to the site. I don't always agree with the ratings she is given and there are times when they are not justified BUT she has a lot of EXCELLENT work and I know that as a photographer she is a source of inspiration to many many people. I don't know to what extent mate-rating or retaliation has gone on in this case but I am sure there are just as many people that will give an honest critique to her work.

    I understand that there is probably no right or wrong outcome and appreciate that you have had to come to a difficult decision and one that you have not taken lightly, I just think it is a shame that it has come to this.
     
  17. I cannot rate the photos of Anna Pagnacco.<br>
    I would like to know whether the person who rate photos with a 1/1 without leaving any comment are also excluded from rating .<br>
    I think it is not the best way to patronize members. <br>
    May be, this poor policy will prevent users to get a paying member.<br>
    I also think that photo.net needs money to keep this growing system running.<bR>
    But when this system will stop growing then there is no need for money.<br>
     
  18. Superbissimo Brian!
    This is an executive decision made by one of the Executives of this site. As far as I am aware, these decisions are to be made by the people who own and operate the site. I think they have been patient with all of us for long enough. In that regard I would suggest anyone who wants to rehash all of this go and read this forum, for one, (there are numerous such forums) where they have tried to get people to pay attention to the purpose of this site. a rating reform
    Speaking as one who has lost her equilibrium on this site recently and behaved in an extremely childish and outlandish manner totally foreign to my nature, I think it is time we all stood back and had a look at our reasons for being on photo.net and the actual reason for the existance of the site. Let's try and give our Executives a chance to run the site in the manner it is meant to be operated. Let's give them a chance to get some enjoyment out of their time and money spent on this, too. Let's have a look at all the other information on this site, other than the top photos pages. You may be pleasantly surprised to find how much fun is going on in other places, and how much excellent information is available on this site. Check out some of the forums that actually address any number of problems to do with PHOTOGRAPHY. Check out articles on the site. You can use the search feature in forums to find anything you need. Try 'monitor calibration' in that search box. Just that one item will keep you occupied in a usefull manner for quite some time. From having had a look around these 'back pages' of photo.net recently, I am convinced that they are the real reason people actually come to photo.net, not the gallery or the few faces in gallery who are perpetually making a big noise. Quite a few of the comments in some of these forums that I have come across simply imply that the ratings system if a 'wank'. Brian has tried to fix it by appealing to our adult reasoning abilities. No one has been listening, so extreme measures seem to be the answer to children. Until we learn to behave like adults, we can expect nothing else.
     
  19. Lawers? You gotta be f-in kidding me.
     
  20. Brian...I'm very disappointed that Anna Pagnacco's photo ratings were removed from her photo’s here on the photo.net site. I feel Anna is constantly one of the most prolific contributors of hi-quality work on the site. Yes there are shots she produces that I don't like, yes she may date rate (I pay NO attention to that), yes she may come across as rather stilted and yes she probably makes some of the biggest anti-Anna squawkers quite jealous But in the everyday scheme of things she contributes much more good than the average photo.net squeaker...pardon me, user contributes. <p>Brian I believe this to be an unjust decision and I ask that you reconsider. Respectfully...jim vanson
     
  21. It has never been clear to me if the people who exchange high
    rates and frequently appear on the top pages understand what it
    is that so many of us are concerned about. Do you not
    understand or simply disagree, becasue the debate that will
    ensue for the next few days will be a lot less constructive if both
    sides find they are unable or unwilling to recognize the position
    of the other side.
     
  22. gib

    gib

    I just took a wander through the photos that I have rated (top rated photos by this person function)and looked at my history of 7s.

    I found too many....but anyway.

    I found two or three of Anna's photos.

    here is the url for one: http://www.photo.net/photo/901695

    The comments are still viewable and the number of viewings.

    I suspect that my use of 7, although not too bad or too heavy, was in part influenced by the use of 7s by others.

    I must confess that I have had the odd worry, that there are several photo netters who through the great flood of phots I have found there work to my taste and in some cases they have liked my work as well...a good example is Stephen Hickel. I have gotten to the point now where if I see he has rated my photos with a 6 or maybe even a 7, I almost cringe because I wonder how the moderators will view this. So I go less often to look at his work, and I do not rate his work as often as I used to. Not to pick on Stephen, but I find that he posts a lot of photos, some to my eye are average, and a few are well above average. On the basics of technical merit, focus, exposure, tonal range, etc. he knows what he is doing.

    I am not complaining, I hope, I do too much of that from time to time on here....I just thought it might be worth adding the effect for me, and if it is affecting me, then I am sure it is affecting others....

    I am going to try and comment more and rate less, and certainly rate less highly..... I imagine though that I will always find it difficult to rate average or below average photos.

    I absolutely agree that the gallery and ratings are the important tool to allow photonet millions find a variety and range of good to excellent photos and I hope useful, educational comments that can help that viewer of the image to understand how their photos work well or less well and how to improve their technique.

    regards and good wishes to all from

    Bill
     
  23. Carl...surely I misunderstand what you’re saying as it appears that you are accusing me of exchanging high ratings...would you please clarify?
     
  24. You should feel free to rate your friend Stephen's photos. If you
    feel some not to be as strong as others, have you ever given that
    image a 4/4 - or lower - and explained what you though could
    have made it better? If you have been reluctant to do so because
    he may somehow think less of you and not visit your portfolio as
    often, then you have succumbed to the all too common social
    pressure that defines the problem. If you have given an
    assortment of ratings and comments to the same member, then
    we need you to be more active with both your rates and
    comments, not less.
     
  25. I don't know what your rating habits are. (The only one who can
    easily check for patterns is Brian). I'm pointing out that if you are
    surprised or take exception to the action taken against Anna,
    then I'm wondering why because many of us can give you a long
    list of reasons why this was considered to be in the best
    interests of the site.
     
  26. Speaking generally and not specifically in relation to Anna Pagnacco, I applaud Brian for his implementation of this new policy.
    As to the debate about high ratings, giving high ratings is fine when an image deserves it, exchanging high ratings is simply abuse.
     
  27. gib

    gib

    Carl, I did a little exploring and grabbed my ratings of Stephen Hickel and threw into the mixmaster of excel, which shortly thereafter blew up. : )

    Aesthetics and Originality average was about 5.75

    I picked ratings generally 5s and 6s, a few 7s, and maybe just one 4 for originality.
     
  28. Brian, i am not sure how you and PN are going to set the practical rules but i do think that is an excellent initiative and encouragement for many photographers. <p>
    So I decided recently to review one by one and with evidences (systematic and -as much as possible- consistent ratings), entire portofolio of some photographers. You just give power to that type of initiative, reduce the fear (because there are threats) of some to do the same and limit the risk of some ridiculous `civil war` in this site.

    <p>Few bad loser, whom happened also to be IMO good photographer in average, (although there is nothing much to win, and in some cases it is just fake win of ego) called it a `crusade`. I am not surprised to see here the same people, who were wondering why I take rating so seriously, to be very seriously commenting with retaliation warnings and other usual pathetic threats.
    <p>To pay a subscription have nothing to do with rating. You pay, you can upload a high number of pictures and benefit from extra services, but it shouldnt certainly be a guarantee of `cocooning` in a Hall of Fake.
     
  29. Additionaly, moderators` decision is a constructive and progressive answer to that thread recently intiated by Doug.
     
  30. I sent this as a personal e-mail to Brian before recognizing this thread. So am now posting it as public.

    Dear Brian,

    I am briefly writing you on the situation with Anna P. I noticed you cut her ratings today. I contacted her as to the reason, and if some warnings were given. Her reply is pasted below. I just have one very simple request....please give her a warning first. Give her the opportunity to correct her actions so that they are acceptable. If you told her that this situation was a mess, and you guys were tired of dealing with it, I am certain she would adjust. I believe this would be a very reasonable thing to do. As a moderator, you know and we know you can ban, edit, delete whomever you wish. I just think that some warning first would go a long way in maintaining peace and understanding. In fact many other users, may now be cautious about even defending their arguments because of fear the axe could come suddenly and without warning. In my opinion, she was attacked as much as she attacked. I would just suggest that for the sake of peace throughout the site, you consider giving her a warning, and another opportunity. This is totally on my own and not encouraged by her. I do believe her work is generally outstanding. Nobody else can put up close to 400 images and maintain the quality she has...nobody. By taking away her ratings her views will be minimized very significantly. I just ask that one warning be given first...that is all. Thanks for your time and attention.

    All the best,

    Vince
     
  31. Robert, in the end there won't really be practical rules. If I could delineate reasonable rules, I would do so, and the software would enforce them. The problem is that any set of rules could be circumvented or would be overcomplicated and vexing for visitors to the Gallery.

    So, we are deliberately leaving it vague, with the expectation that it will be a very rare thing to suppress rating of someone's photos. When it happens it will be based on seeing patterns in the database over time, observing the commentary on photos, messages to the abuse mailbox, what people tell us, etc, and none of that can, or should be, reduced to a rule.

    The Gallery is supposed to be enjoyable and we have drifted too far from it being so, for too many people. At present, the way rating goes in the Gallery is very enjoyable for those fortunate to be included in the various mutual-rating grouips, but it makes many or most people feel that they are left out in the cold unless they play along, which many are not willing or able to do.

    The site went from anonymous rating to the current system about two years ago because there was so much abuse from anonymous people and bogus accounts that the moderators needed help to identify it all. We hardly have those problems any more, and when some idiot trolls through the site with stupid ratings and sarcastic comments, it is very quickly identified and dealt with. Making a bogus account look authentic is also now a lot more difficult.

    However, now that the ratings have become public they have become social currency within certain groups in the Gallery, which has become a kind of gift-giving economy. To the extent that this is allowed to continue, it renders the rating system meaningless for its intended purpose. That is what we would like to see end. If we cannot then we will need to go back to anonymous ratings and try to tackle that set of problems, because so far we aren't having a lot of success with this set.
     
  32. Carl...I must back up a step here and apologize as I knew what you were attempting to say. I should have been more forgiving cause I knew you were totally screwing up in the way you were saying it.
    And to clarify; I don't believe I'm favoring one person over another (unless you want to complain that I've rated 8 of Anna's photo's and only 6 of yours...).
    An observation; I haven't critiqued very much in the past couple of months, for several reasons...one being I too do not like the way some things work. Interesting thing though is an awful lot of my photo's are still being critiqued albeit with a lot of 4's, & 5s (although maybe they really are average photo’s).
    Two things to close...First I agree with Vincent; throw an offender in the photo.hell dungeon. Give them a public dressing down/warning, put them on probation, make them prove that they have seen their sinful ways…once…one public warning. If that doesn't work then take an extreme stance. And second, Brian...thank the Gods that photo.net has someone like yourself. Agree or disagree with what you do or your decisions, you still get a gold star from me.
     
  33. if nothing, this measure would atleast enforce the principles behind the rating guidelines and reinforce the awareness among members, that one should evaluate photos objectively and award numbers in a much more responsible fashion. after all, these are the numbers that constitute the critical gears on the PN machinery, unfortunately or not, in deciding whether a budding newcomer, or a stunning work from a small-time player, fades into oblivion after gaining no attention or if every good piece of work gets the much deserved attention, and prevents things from taking the now all too familiar bias-ridden route that undermines the foundations of the site.
    paying members should be exempted from this rule?
    why? a rule is a rule and everyone obeys if they want to play. paying $$$ doesn't buy anyone special back-doors to work around a rule. furthermore, the very idea is disgusting. and how can a clean and a simple rule devised in the best interests of PN would work against its attracting membership. one of the best things i like about this site, from a ethical/phil. standpoint, though it may not make much business sense, is that it doesn't discriminate between paying patrons vs the non-paying members, unlike many many others that keep select privileges reserved for paying members and constantly bombard others with solicitations for membership. but that's not the case here, nor, given the popularity, did it switch gears to become acessible on a pay-only basis. and it makes a striking statement about the operating principles of the site, that it's not a mere money making commercial website, and that it's all about photography, although one wouldn't ever mind revenue to help keep the site running.
    besides, the gallery section and TRP, no less significant entities in themselves, are only a part of what PN is and there is a wealth of information embedded in the forums and there's much, much more to this site. and it is run by people who are indefatiguable in their commitment to their vocation, from its day to day motoring to its grwoth and success.
    as for the claim about how one may have had no control over what went on his or her pages and still may end up getting the axe, it's often the case that a photographer, who is showered with unreasonable adulations without consideration to the merit of the work in question, often, if not always, reciprocates the action in much the same way. and by doing that, fosters a polarization and a change of values that is totally uncalled for, and by doing so becomes accountable one way or other. i personally don't see any pitfalls to this rule, at all.
     
  34. I have no problems with banning people, or their work. The simple fact is that some WARNING should be given first. Before Sunset Man was banished from the site, he was sent a warning that he was hanging by a thread. He broke that thread obviously, but at least the warning was given first. That was a fair and reasonable decision on your part to warn him. Where is the warning here Brian?? She can be fiesty, so what!! I can tell you this she never mate-rated me. She also never asked or even insinuated I do the same. She is banned from ratings because there was too much controversy as you say. This is certainly not justice nor reasonable actions in my opinion. A simple written email letting her know BEFORE you take such drastic actions would be the reasonable and kind thing to do. Now, whose next?? Can we defend our own images?? Is the axe waiting for me too next time I debate??
     
  35. Sunset Man was banned because of specific behaviour on his part. This is not that situation. If it were, we would simply ban the person in question, perhaps after a warning.

    This situation is one where there is a pattern of behaviour within a whole network of people, that results in excessive work for the moderators and produces an overall bad effect in the Gallery. What it comes down to is this, to be blunt: the person in question has made too many friends who seem to automatically rate every photo she uploads to the skies, within hours of them being uploaded. At the same time, many other people feel intimidated about rating the work "low" (meaning 4 or 5) or making critical comments, because whenever they do a bunch of people come out of the woodwork to rate their work low. The person has hundreds of photos uploaded, with amazingly different styles, genres, and subjects, and many of them are indeed exceptional, but many of them are only so-so. It doesn't make any difference: they almost all get super-high ratings.

    In addition, there are about 20 accounts that concentrate more than 30% of their ratings on this one person, and I am not talking about accounts with just a handful of ratings. They are not obviously bogus accounts. Some of these accounts concentrate as much as 80% of their ratings on this one person. The moderators have spent the last year regularly deleting these sort of accounts and/or the ratings. More of them always appear. The person in question almost never rates another photographer more than once or twice unless it is reciprocated.

    I just don't see how this is a situation that is amenable to a final warning. How would that go: "Stop hypnotizing people into rating your average photos high, but its ok if they rate your excellent photos that way? Stop whatever it is that you might be doing that is making people feel intimidated about rating your photos honestly. We don't want to see any more accounts where 40%, 50%, 80% of the ratings are on your portfolio. Stop complaining all the time to the abuse mailbox whenever somebody makes the slightest negative comment about your work." How would that work?
     
  36. Vincent, I just read in your comment something I wanted to clarify. Anna isn't banned from rating or commenting or even uploading more photos.

    Effectively, everybody else is banned from rating her photos, and all the previous ratings are hidden (not deleted). The reason for this is that I just I don't believe that between the fan-club ratings, and the ratings of all the people now out to make a point, that a high enough percentage of those ratings can be honest, objective ratings for me to want to showcase this work on the site based on those ratings. It is really that simple.
     
  37. Well, an effective final warning in this complicated situation would sound something like your comment above. In other words you have to do something about this, or we will have no choice but do it ourselves.
     
  38. Yes true Brian she can post, but the visibilty will drop like an anchor. When there was a glitch last week with the system, the number of views dropped very significantly because there was no "Top Rated Photos" to showcase them. The one image of mine that was in that mix has a much lower number of views than any other image....very significant differences here. I will also agree that this is much more complex than initially thought or understood. Still, when you take someone as talented as Anna, or anybody else for that matter, some forwarning or communication beforehand could possibly be quite effective as well as just be an old fashioned Goodwill gesture. It still appears she is the one being penalized to a large degree, for the actions of others. Thanks for being specific in your reply.
     
  39. I wanted to clarify my previous comment. It should have said

    "Well, an effective final warning in this complicated situation would sound something like your comment above Brian. In other words you have to do something about this Anna, or we will have no choice but to do it ourselves".

    Just making it clear, someone else thought I meant the "WE" is us P.Net members, instead it is you the moderators.
     
  40. People tend to rate what they like. Not everyone is like Marc cruising around to see what he can improve. I confess that I don't like the whole idea, and it offends me to see someone like Anna come under this kind of attack.

    Sieg heil!
     
  41. I don't rate images with no potential, but I figure I can best help
    the site, and the site can best help me, by concentrating on
    images that have some merit to start with, like the POWs. The
    idea is to give the maker and other lurkers the opportunity to view
    his or her work in a new light with helpful feedback from
    thoughtful viewers. That approach should be the norm, but
    instead it's still rare.

    You're either part of the solution or part of the problem. Please
    reread the rating tutorial.
     
  42. Brian: I think you had a plan at one point to normalize an individual's ratings of others' work. Taking Anna for an example, she has rated 3423 photos with an average rating of 5.93 for originality and 6.03 for aesthetics. Photo.net would then take each of her ratings and multiply the originality rating by 3.5 / 5.93 and the aesthetics rating by 3.5 / 6.03. This would result in her overall ratings of others’ work to be 3.5 for originally and 3.5 for aesthetics. Maybe this would take an inordinate amount of programming resources or too much computing power to execute. However, it would seem to force people to make thoughtful ratings and prevent the buddy system.

    I’ve looked at a lot of the photos that Anna has rated 7/7 and it demonstrates the problem very clearly. How can a simple head and shoulders portrait be given a 7 for originality? It make a mockery of the rating system.
     
  43. There was a time when there was talk of abolishing the separate rating for originality. Then, when the new system came out, there was still the old rating for originality. I think that many persons simply ignore it by tending to give the same rating. I don't personally think that the rating system is the core of the site, nor crucial for its survival. Abolish it and watch the site continue. Leave it alone and watch the site grow. But start making inferences about persons' motives for rating high or low and watch the place become unlivable again a la March, 2002. Let us all remove all of our pictures tonight and it will have tens of thousands more in a short period of time. Frankly, the entire discussion makes me sick.
     
  44. Remember the "bannings" of March, 2002? This isn't as total, but it's about as irrational. I say bring Anna back with full rights.
     
  45. Brian,<br>
    Every member on photo.net can rate all photos in the range 1..7.
    He can be a newbee or an experienced photographer. He can be
    a person who has no idea of criteria how to estimate a picture, but also
    he can be a experienced censor, or a low-rate-guerilliero.<br>
    When somebody is excluded of rating on the portfolio of a
    photographer, or the previous high scores are deleted,
    the system can go out of balance.<br>
    When a picture gets a high rate so it can be balanced by an other
    lower rate. So the system remains balanced.<br>
    That's why , there is no reason to intervene using an "Order by Muffti".<br>
    For those, who enjoy to be on the top pages, every rating is a good rating.
    The pages, having high number of ratings, are displayed on the top automatically.<br>
    The temporary "war", between the "7/7 crowd" and the "honest censors",procreated
    some unrealistic scores.<br>
    Now, the day after the "Bomb without Warning", the intervention may have the effect that
    the members of the so-called "7/7 crowd" will think "Oh I hope I'll be rated <br>
    with a neutral 4/4 to prevent my former High-Scores
    from being deleted, and may be my beautiful picture will still remain
    at the top page " :)<br>
    So keep cool, don't be enthusiastic with 7/7, slow down by rating low.
    Beware of concentration on special individuals. Be an objective lens.
    Try to react on ratings like a digi-cam and pray not to get excluded
    from the system.;-)<br>
    Let the world know how generous you are, accepting critics from everbody and rating
    from guerillieros ( having no pict published) )who enjoy downrating all.<br>
    Conclusion:let the system remain self-regulating and "every rating is a good rating"<br>
    best robertO ( still being in a good temper and enjoying the "beautifullness of life")
     
  46. At the risk of trying to be helpful again and getting my head bit off again....(I'm guessing you guys have been fighting over this for a long time so become automatically defensive).
    < Feeble >
    Would it be helpful to make the "Top Photos" default something other than "Top Ratings?" Say, "Sum of Ratings." How I see it right now. Hypothetically, I can piss 50 people off, get them all to 1/1 me and voilà! Because it defaults to "top ratings" I'm at the top because I have the most ratings. Of course they're crap. But I have the most. So with Anna, she has "friends" AND the "rating-balancers." The TWO groups put her in the top even faster. I know my idea doesn't help with a bunch of 7/7s but it's a thought (?)
    Sidenote: All I ever wanted when I joined was some good feedback so I could improve my skills. I didn't realize that the ratings were so important. I guess I just don't understand the system either because I just can't figure out how to improve my work with ratings. The gallery is no big deal to me. Critique Requests, THAT's a big deal to me. That's what I don't get. I make a request, I get rated. Never critiqued. Am I missing something?:( Seriously. It doesn't make sense to me.
    < / Feeble >
    Brian will probably get upset at me for the second half so please email me.
    Thanks!
    JB
     
  47. excellent move. You got my full support for this. Just as you said, the reason for the rating system is to help people find good photos. But there are some people who really don't need that help anymore. Anna's work is so well known and valued enough by enough people, they will surely find their way to her portfolio and can leave comments and Anna' can upload new pics. If I wanted to keep track of Anna's pics I'd add her to my list of friends and directly go to her page. No need to include her work in the top photos page and cause trouble for everyone. That's the place where I want to discover new interesting work.

    Maybe you could set up a seperate page for those people who obviously transcended the rating system because of their constantly high appreciation beyond belief in the ratings system and rose to the Olymp of photo.net. This way their work would still be visible for newcomers and Anna and possibly other could still get input and appreciation through comments.

    Again, congratulations, Brain you're best thing that happened to photo.net since I know the site.
     
  48. The current "number of ratings for photos posted in the last three days" is flawed in my opinion. The problem is that it mostly allows photos that are "jumped upon" by mates to get on the top pages. Have a look at this photo of mine, not a masterpiece but not a horrible picture either. In the first three days it picked up 7 ratings and thus was very low in the ratings, probably at least not until page 8. But then the next day it was gone, poof, not interesting anymore. The day after, for some reason, it picked up steam a little and for a three day period, it had 13, good enough for second page any day and it being a slow week, would on the last day have been on the first. But it having been more than three days since it was posted, there was no way it would get noticed in the galery anymore.
    In my opinion, this is a loss. There are many people who check out peoples portfolios for new stuff and rate it. This isn't "mate rating" per se, but it does make it harder for people without a following to show up, if you don't get the rates straight away, you can forget about getting up there at all let alone stay there for a little while.
    I can't analyze rating habbits, but try to see what the effect would be of a query that does put a limit on how "new" a photo needs to be to be in the galery (say a week) and during that time take something like a "best of three days" poll for each photo. Although still open to abuse, it would need a bigger team of mates and a coordination effort of timing ratings (which I doubt many would be smart enough to do). It could gives people whose ratings don't go up that fast a better chance.
    Just a thought,
     
  49. I don't see that this is any different or worse than what the power brokers do to celebrities everywhere.

    When a celebrity's mystique overwhelms the artistic work he or she created that drew all the attention to begin with, you can bet the power brokers (which includes the media machine) will drag them down a peg or two.

    It helps keep things in check, reminds celebrities that they aren't in charge, and makes room for the Next Big Thing.

    Who cares if Anna P. and Madonna are suddenly irrelevant? Make room for Pink and her equivalent in photography. Photo.netters are like the typical MTV crowd - in a week, they won't even remember. "Anna who?"
     
  50. n_p

    n_p

    While there are problems with the current ratings system. Overall, it is just about as close as we can hope to "getting it right".
    Although I am not new to this place, I have spent some considerable time filling my personal highest rated photos in the last couple of days.
    Eventhough, I am still less than half-way there, I hope to present everyone with the most diverse selection of the best that photo.net has to offer everyone...
    How did I do it? Well, I used the ratings system to find some of the best and some of the more neglected images in this place.
    Brian has made a good decision and we should all be thankful for this step foreward.
     
  51. I smoke. I know it's a disgusting habit and one of these days I'll stop. But every now and then I find myself in the no smoking section of a restaurant. When I am in that position I do not smoke, but I could easily decide to light up anyway. I could smoke my cigarette and listen to my fellow customers complain about it to the manager. I could hear the restaurant manager discussing my smoking with these customers during which he CLEARLY STATES that this is a no smoking section, and that he WILL do something about this problem. Yet I could continue to smoke one cigarette after another because no one has specifically warned me not to. I could ignore the fact that I am lessening the enjoyment of my fellow customers while endangering their health. I could snub my nose at these people, and at the restaurants policy regarding smoking even though I knowingly sat my butt down in the no smoking section. But if I did this, what would you all think of me? Should I, as a responsible and considerate adult need a warning to stop smoking in the no smoking section?

    Since I joined photonet last August there has been an almost constant series of threads in the site feedback forum concerning the issues Brian has addressed here. Brian himself has communicated to all of us in those threads many times to say that he understands mate rating exists and that he would like to end it. He has CLEARLY STATED that mate rating is detrimental to the health of the gallery, and lessens the enjoyment for many. He has also CLEARLY STATED many times that the only thing preventing him from taking action was finding a workable solution. It's from reading these threads soon after I joined that I came to understand that the ratings practices described by Brian earlier in THIS thread are not in keeping with the original intent of the gallery section. It was very clear, and easily understandable. Anyone who's read those threads yet continued mate rating has essentially snubbed their noses at this site, its administration, and the entire community! What should we all think of this?

    In my opinion those threads provided ample warning. It was simply ignored.
     
  52. I do see the reason why people are trying to do somthing. Bravo. How about this: introduce the period of time when the uploaded photos are not visable in photographers portfolio : someting like 3-7 days. They could be viewed in critics forum but no name of photographer would be shown. No name ! Not easy to get mates rates! 3-7 days are gone photos secured their position in the charts and they apear for everyone to view in photographers portfolio. So , critics forums with photos but no names . Last 24 hrs and 3days ups but the only order would be the date and time of upload. Then , we look at the photos them self not photographers , even when gone to photographers potfolio it wont be wisable till the 3-7 days period is gone....no mate rating. Still, I think you should retur an otion of rating to everyone ( Ann is the onl one I tried to rate and was not able to) and find better alternative. Regards PK.
     
  53. Piotr, if you search around you will see that I have suggested something similar to what you describe and in fact, I have even set something similar forward as the thing I am going to implement when I have the opportunity to do it.
    Unfortunately for my credibility, I have announced my decision to implement several different solutions to the rating problems on this site. Each time before I have the chance to implement the solution, I realize that it won't work or I see the need for an "interim" solution.
    While I appreciate the support that Bob Hixon and others have given my decision in this thread, I must admit that I believe that some of them state the case against "mate-rating" too strongly. It is a problem for the site and for the Gallery: I believe that it increases the enjoyment of many people in the Gallery at the expense of making the Gallery seem unfair, especially to newcomers.
    But I don't believe that the people who engage in "mate-rating" are evil, dishonest, corrupt people who are plotting in dark cellars to dominate photo.net. I think the amount of corrupt brokering of ratings taking place via email is so vanishingly small that it is not a problem for the site at all. Most of the people who are involved in "mate-rating" probably don't even realize what those who are up in arms about it are talking about, and they certainly don't consider themselves to be "mate-raters".
    Here is an example of mate-rating. It is an average case; there are many that are much worse that this.
    This person has rated 1200 photographs on the site, all of them 5-7, with 6-7 being the most common. The person has rated 370 different people. So far, so good. There are certainly 1200 photos on the site that are worth a 5-7 rating, and 370 photographers is quite a lot. But dig deeper. Here is how the ratings break down:
    • 1200 on 370 people
    • 929 on 185 people
    • 720 on 90 people
    • 500 on 30 people
    • 350 on 20 people
    • In short, high percentages of the ratings are concentrated on a small percentage of the total. If you dig deeper, you find that the 30-40 people who received nearly half of this person's ratings were the people who rated his/her photographs. If you dig still deeper you find that those same 30-40 people are spending a high percentage of their time rating each other -- that it is a group.
      The person in the example is not evil. On the contrary, he/she is a nice person, making only encouraging and helpful comments on the photographs. He/she is a subscriber to the site, with work that is often very admirable. This person would totally reject the label "mate-rater". He/she would say "I rate the work that I like", but it turns out that work he/she likes comes from a tiny, tiny, fraction of the 25,000 photographers with work on this site. Why is that? Is it because there are only few good photographers on the site, and naturally the recognize and rate each other more than everybody else?
      While sometimes people get over-enthusiastic about their friends' work, generally the mate-raters are talented, and nobody can really argue that the ratings are undeserved. It is just that there is equally good, or better, work that is not getting showered with high ratings, and that work becomes buried.
      This is an average case. There are many far more egregious than this. The main thing that is wrong about this is that it makes "succeeding" in the Gallery a matter of getting friends. When large numbers of people are concentrating their ratings on a relatively small number of other people, you have to break into one of those groups in order to get ratings and visibility. If you are in one of the groups, the Gallery is a nice, friendly, social, place (as long as you aren't targeted by the "balance brigrade"): you see your photos with high ratings on the Top Photos pages regularly. If you aren't in one of these groups, it seems like the "mate-raters" have a stranglehold on the Top Photo pages. Since the "mate-raters" are pretty talented on the whole, this is not a total disaster, but it is not the outcome for which anybody would consciously vote, at least I don't believe so.
     
  54. Brian, I agree that the majority of people involved with "mate rating" are indeed very nice, friendly, and supportive people. I also agree that there is a lot of talent represented in that group, and I have rated some of their work highly in the past. But as we all know there are varying degrees of talent in any group.

    My comment was directed at a small subset of that group. But if I were to extend my smoking analogy to include a person who is so caught up in the fun of the moment that they truly didn't see the effect they are having on others, then I would agree that a warning would be called for. But I don't think that was the case in this instance.
     
  55. Brian, I think the development of "groups" is totally normal given the high number of photo posters. Sure I look at the portfolio of people who rate my photos. And sure I more often give them ratings than any other people who never took a look at my pictures. I often give higher rates than they gave me. Sure Marc Gouguenheim or Jim McNitt are pros. It's understandable that I more often look at their portfolio than of some others. But I do rate unknown posters also but not quite as much as some others. What's wrong with it? The emerging of this a normal social pattern.<p>

    The "Your Friends" section is exactly one of the basics for that.
     
  56. It may seem normal and natural. However, when you aggregate this "normal" behaviour across many individuals, the result is cliques, whether or not the clique-members recognize themselves as such. And that produces a Gallery that is much less fair and open to all comers than it should be.

    So, if "normal" behaviour leads to cliques, how about doing something "abnormal" -- like rating a broad range of photos fairly, trying for consistency, without regard to whether or how the recipient has rated you? If people aren't going to do that, then I don't see any real advantage for a democratic system over one where I just decide which photos are shown.
     
  57. "Thank you for offering constructive criticism on my image. I know
    you like other ones of mine better. I'm not sure I agree with all
    your suggestions, but I appreciate the time you spent, and will visit
    your portfolio from time to time to return the favor."

    I think that's what we're all supposed to be doing. It's mate rating,
    but in a limited, critical way.

    The goal is to discriminate between stronger and weaker images in any
    given portfolio, and to try to find as many images that are worthy of
    critique from as many different photographers as possible.

    Right?

    . . .
     
  58. Brian -

    Except for the scores, the ratings distribution you described could easily be mine, and to a degree the site design encourages this through the favorites list and highly rated photos list. I frequently revisit pages of people who's work I appreciate because I want to see if they've posted any new gems. I also surf the random uploads and new critique requests, but I still only dig into the portfolios if I see work I like.

    I think it would be interesting if we had access to the type of statistics you've shown, at least for our own ratings and possibly for anyone's ratings. At present, the only way I have to determine if I'm concentrating ratings on a select group is to go through all 1100+ of my ratings and hand tabulate them. That's a considerable chore to say the least, and one I'm certain not to undertake. If I could see the stats, however, it would certainly be something I'd watch.
     
  59. Brian, this is clearly a systemic problem. Focusing your attention on individuals is
    only going to be a temporary fix that makes your job harder and makes folks mad by
    punishing them for acting human. If your goal is to weigh the prominence of photos
    based on their merit maybe the current system is just too simplistic to work. I know it
    isn't exactly helpful, but it seems obvious that if you really want to this to work, in the
    end you will need to scrap the system and find a new paradigm. Maybe taking a page
    from slashdot's book would help.

    Given the choice people will pay more attention to people they know than strangers.
    If you want to keep people from giving ratings only to the people they know, you will
    need to remove that choice. How about something like this:

    At the top of the gallery pages is a link called 'rate photos.' When you click this you
    are offered a random photo to rate. This is the only way to rate photos and it would
    be anonymous. Maybe you could make the ability to rate photos only available after
    you have been here a while too. You could offer an adjective rating as well so
    someone could rate a photo with a number and also mark it as 'inappropriate' or
    'snapshot'--or anything else you want to track. This would allow you to single out
    people who load their portfolio with 1000 vacation shots and enforce whatever policy
    you would like. You can eventually drop the bottom percentage of photos from the
    rating system after they have accumulated enough poor ratings to be confident they
    are not interesting to your users. Everyone would have an equal chance to be rated
    and people would be forced to rate poor photos as well as good ones making your
    data more useful

    This would certainly upset some people because a subset of users enjoys the
    personal aspect of rating their friends and enemies accordingly; in fact that is
    probably why they are here. It is my understanding, however, that the rating system
    doesn't exist to provide entertainment for these people but has a very specific
    purpose of filtering the good from the bad. The people you piss off will be the very
    people you intend to piss off--those who like rating their friends.

    I'm sure their are some considerations I haven't thought about and this system would
    have its own problems, but I am convinced that it is this type of solution that you
    should be aiming for rather than singling out individual users as a sort of photo.net
    law enforcement.
     
  60. Very good, this initiative has my full support :)
     
  61. gib

    gib

    I dont understand what the ratings system is supposed to be or be used for. Sorry, I dont get, let me try to explain why I dont get it.

    According to Brian's normal and abnormal, it is wrong for me to choose a subset of the photos, I should somehow view, rate and comment all photos, I dont understand.

    It is a natural tendency for people to see photos they like and to return to look at photos by the people who made them. I spend my time the way I want to on the system because the aesthetic in my head reacts to certain photos. I dont care about some neutral perfect equal splitting of my time.

    I have in fact worked back from the comments of the people who have rated my photos and found other photographers work that they also rated or commented on and have found new work, not just new work that is similar to mine, but new work of different quality and subject and aesthtic sensibility and that is a good thing.

    I have spent lots of time on the random posting display looking at whatever comes up and seen new good work, and new less good work. I am not interested in spending my time in meeting some platonic, soviet, swiss neutral even statistical distribution. I come in here to look and play and enjoy. I look for new work. I dont give a damn about making the statistics work out to some ideal curve.

    When I go to a museum or gallery or exhibition, I pick what I want to spend my time looking at.
     
  62. Frist of all I wish to say that I love this site. When getting back into photography in a serious way in 1999 after a 30yrs absence this site and Lumiouns Landscape brought me up to speed and gave me much information. In the winter I have more time to be more engaged in this site. But the BANNING OF ANNA I CAN NOT SUPPORT!!! I have looked at a lot of images on this site since 1999. And I still can remember the first time I saw some of her stuff here and thought...Wow! So I put her on my list of people's work to watch....I have rated her more times than any other photographer on this site and there are a lot here I like. The other person I rated a lot was Hide Ishura. Why? Because I truly loved there work!!!! Anna to me has a great gift and she has worked hard at it. She can "see" in so many differnt ways! That it just stuns me. The best of her work is first class! Those are the ones I rate the most. So I guess I am a "fan" you might say. But only because much of her work moves me more offten than any others I have seen on PN. I do not feel I am playing a mate rating game. I only rate work I like or some rare times show a person how I think an image can be better. I and others I feel truly love her work. To take her off this site is wrong. I have been in the arts for 30yrs and in all groups of people there is back stabing, petty shots etc. etc. And of course it is strongly in the arts as well. Artist's can have very strong ego's or run the other way as well. It is a shame that many take the comments of other's to hard. As I told Marc once "Let the monkeys howl" me, we, you in our work are never going to please everyone. We can't and never will nor should we. As artists we must "follow our bliss" we create images or what ever or should to please our selfes and find self expression and thus find deeper meaning in our own lives. Artist are a wierd lot. Just do some research on some of there lives, great and small. Look up a book by Kay Jamison called "Touched with Fire" and see the price many artists have to pay for there work.
     
  63. William, nobody is saying you can't look at whatever you want to look at. But when you rate photos keep in mind that you are helping to decide what is going to be visible on the site. A high rating on a photo increases its prominence. There are only so many slots available on the Top Photos page, so when you act to increase the prominence of one photo, you are simultaneously acting to reduce the prominence of other photos.

    Those rating decisions multiplied 3000 times per day are the only curatorial mechanism that the site has. Do you want to submit your photos to a Gallery where only the work of friends of the curators are on the walls? Or one where every work of merit has a chance to be seen, even if one submitted by a stranger? You are one of the curators -- you decide.

    If I can't get people to see that this "natural" human behaviour of rating their friends is a problem, I'm afraid the rating system really is pretty meaningless and is only working at all because people want to be friends with the good photographers.
     
  64. Let's consider this another way...

    Earlier this year the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, which inherited the Eliot Porter collection, devoted an extensive display to his work.

    When the curator took the work down to make room for an entirely different genre of work, should Porter's relatives have screamed that they were going to consult their attorney or seek a court injunction?

    Nope. Presumably they understood that the museum retained the rights to display the Porter collection as they saw fit. (For the purposes of brevity I'm ignoring the obvious legalities involved.)

    Frankly, I believe the photo.net administrators should retain the same rights and exercise the same judgement as museum curators do. If they choose to make certain adjustments to give prominence to other photographers that can only be a good thing for the site.

    Nothing is hindering visitors from viewing any photos they like. And nothing is hindering photographers from establishing their own websites, advertising their work and clawing for whatever prominence and attention they seek.
     
  65. I applaud Brian for this decision. Although I feel bad for Anna's situation, I too think it was the best thing that could be done under the circumstances. We collectively have borne for too long the slings and arrows of the practices which Brian's decision have now addressed. But I hope Brian's decision also calls on each of us to scrutinize our own individual practices on the site and to ascertain whether we have been guilty of the same or similar sins from time to time. I know I have. But let's also look at this decision as a clear call to each of us to embark on a civilized, reasoned and (as much as human nature will allow us) critically sound approach as we roam through the site in the future. Whether we look upon this decision as just or unjust is less relevant than the big-picture issue of what led to the decision: a failure by a lot of members to keep the purpose of the site in view. If one can't feel good about one's work by drawing on the learning process this site has to offer, then that person ought to re-assess why he/she is here. In my opinion, this site is not here to validate me as person or to whip my ass into abject self-pity, its here to help me learn how to do what I love to do a bit better and to look to the examples of others' work to learn from both their successes and their mistakes. When that process gets perverted by ulterior motives, however well intentioned they may be (and I think most of the poor practices were driven by good intentions), then its time to fix the problem and move on.

    There's an old saying among lawyers that "good cases can make for bad law". I'm not saying that Brian's decision was a bad one, but it sure was, in my opinion, the best that could done given the facts of the case. Ever think of becoming a jurist Brian? You did pretty good yesterday. Well done.
     
  66. William:" I pick what I want to spend my time looking at". Yes you can but I can't, because Brian excluded me of Rating of Anna's folders.
    Brian I try but I have no time to go through all portfolios to comment a rate photos. So I prefere a group of phtographers I find interesting . It is not a clique but it is grown naturally by exchanging comments and critique. I hope every day I can get a new person added to this group learning from him/her by discussion and...and... Somtimes I make spontanous rating using the request for critique and somtimes I pick out photos of the top pages or from the random pages.
    The problem, that many good photographers or newcomers are not on the top rated pages can by solved by:
    a) all active members who must look,rate and comment outside the groups of friends
    b) by the active commenting of those person who like to be on the high rated pages ( using the mechanism of comment exchange described above)
    But the problem cannot be solved by banning persons who recieve too many high rates or by prevent others to rate high.
    As Dennis said above Anna has a lot of very good pictures and I like her work. So BANNING OF ANNA I CAN NOT SUPPORT!!!
    I am here not only to be (high)-rated but I want to learn and want to know how other photographers see my pictures. I like good critique. I like serious discussion but also I try to have some fun here.
    Brian's action shows me that it is not easy to keep all the things together.
     
  67. I think it is counterproductive to single out a single person in this way, someone who has dedicated a lot of time and effort to the site, and whose work is obviously widely appreciated as well.

    I don't think the rating system works very well. On my own work I have had certain images completely ignored, which I know are my best work, and more "popular" subject matter ( pretty girls, for example ) somewhat overrated...

    We are never going to see edgy exciting work coming to the fore with the rating system as it now stands. We are going to continue to see the "people's choice", with all the limitations of appealing to a wide, conservative audience. Mainstream, as it were. I don't see how excluding Anna's work is going to change the look of the top pages, there will simply be other work of the kind, perhaps less good, taking its place....

    Live and let live is what I would suggest. I think it is quite impossible to control how people critique/rate images.

    An editorial page featuring interesting work would be a positive addition to the site, I think.

    I am unable to see how treating a photo.net subscriber in this way is a positive move.
     
  68. No matter how you slice it, once you get some authority figure involved in (1) deciding what is a valid rating and (2) policing persons' ratings, any system of ratings is going to tend to become bogus: persons who care about their standing in the eyes of the administrators of the site are going to tend to stop rating by their own criteria and are going to start trying to please someone else. I will continue to turn on the machine, go to the site, and either click on the random gallery OR see who among my favorites have posted recently, and go from there. The result of doing these two latter things might result in the illusion of "mate rating" over time, unless I DELIBERATELY decide to take it upon myself to be one who randomly evaluates photos on the site, irrespective of whether I like them or not--and I have better things to do. I refuse to spend much time fooling with photos I don't like, and I intend to continue to go back repeatedly to the sites of persons whose work I have appreciated in the past--always keeping an eye out for someone else's work that I have not previously noticed. As long as I am allowed to be on the site, that is what I am going to do, and I don't care what the effect is on the top-rated photos section. The top-rated photos are not necessarily the best or the most interesting according to one's own tastes, and most of us are here to indulge our tastes, not preserve the ratings system.
     
  69. Yes, some of us have their own websites. But we are here to discuss,learn,compare,wrangle and may be have some fun!<br>
    We can support this site , you can make it work well.
    <br>
    But banning and punishing photographers because they are not d'acore
    with your imagination of a system of rating, appears to me strange.
     
  70. As if it mattered. . . .

    http://www.photo.net/photo/1237592
     
  71. Lannie, as I keep on saying, nobody is trying to regulate which photos you look at or how you surf the Gallery. When you rate photos, though, you are acting as a curator of the Gallery. One of the things about photo.net that sets it apart from traditional museums and galleries, is that everyone is potentially a creator, a critic, a curator, and a visitor. What we are asking is that when acting as a curator (that is, rater of photos) that you try to keep this apart from the friendships that you have formed on the site.

    If this is really so unreasonable and impossible to understand or accept, or just plain too much like work, then perhaps we have to abandon the idea that everybody is a curator -- because the result of that seems to be that the site becomes increasingly daunting to penetrate for those outside the existing circles of friends.

    Incidentally, people keep referring to Anna having been banned. It looks like Anna might abandon the site on her own initiative, but she was not banned. Her photos were removed from the rating system because she was so much the beneficiary of mate-rating and also so much the target of the "balance brigade" that the ratings ceased, in my opinion, to have any validity at all. But her photos are still there; she can upload more; anybody can look at and comment upon them; and Anna can look at, rate, and comment on the photos of anybody else.
     
  72. Lannie,

    You celebrate the violation of human dignity in reference to the upload of the woman's masturbatory actions. By taking recourse to photography as the merit of its own aesthetic you are holding up a mirror which reflects your own objectification.

    I wish you well and thank Brian for reaching such a difficult decision.

    Regards;
     
  73. To the contrary, Jason. I celebrate nothing by pointing up this photo. If you had read my commentary, you would have seen that.

    To Brian regarding Anna: I don't blame her for leaving. How much abuse is too much?
     
  74. Brian,

    Everyone understands that photo.net is undermanned so take this with a grain of salt.

    At some point you need to ask yourself which option is easier:

    1. Convince all 225,000 registered members to use the system in accordance with the
    wishes of the management, in spite of the fact that those wishes are not in
    accordance with human nature and the system allows counter-productive behavior.
    Then spend your time policing the system to weed out individuals that break the rules

    2. Change the system so that it can only be used properly.

    Seems like a no-brainer. Ever noticed that nobody breaks the laws of physics?
     
  75. I just want to say that I respect you, Brian, and I always have. This is the first substantive thing that we have disagreed on, and it won't change the very high level of respect I have for you. You are truly one of the greatest assets that this site has ever had, and I hope that you'll continue to administer the site.
     
  76. I ran into this string a few minutes ago and I must say it makes me very sad. As a new
    member who is bewildered by all this, I felt I had to commment.
    I discovered pd.net only a few months ago. I roamed the portfolios of photographers
    whose images appeared on the "best photos" and "best photographers" pages. I
    found a lot to like and was inspired by the creativity of many photographers on this
    site--Anna Pagnacco was certainly one of those whose work particularly impressed
    me by its variety and quality. I looked forward to every new posting of hers...
    So I joined the site and posted my first photographs about 5 or 6 weeks ago (partly so
    my family could see the images from my first show). I started submitting photos for
    critique and immediately started receiving comments, some of which were laudatory,
    others critical and almost always constructive. I commented on other's photographs
    and kept track of the photographers whose work impressed me so I could see (and
    sometimes comment on) their new work. It was such a positive experience - I was
    inspired to work harder at my photography and to try new things.

    In fact, I am one of the new photographers who is supposed to be discouraged by a
    broken rating system. I have no personal friends on the site and certainly have not
    exchanged emails with anyone; yet I have had several photographs appear on the first
    page of the 3-day "best photos". It never bothered me that Anna had several photos
    next to mine - on the contrary, I found it encouraging to have my work next to hers.
    So, in my apparent naivete, I thought everything was pretty democratic on the site.
    I also thought I was using the system the way it was intended. The workplace
    specifically provides a place to keep track of certain photograpers; I marked those
    whose work I particularly liked and, naturally, I tended to look at and rate their work
    more frequently. I also went through the critique pages whenever I had time. I tended
    to rate photos that were more interesting to me so my average ratings were fairly
    high- isn't that the intention? After all, the fact that "best photos" are guaged by the
    number of ratings suggests that photos should be rated selectively (otherwise the
    page would be meaningless). So I just left comments on photos I thought were less
    deserving... Sometimes I looked to see who had rated my photos and looked at their
    portfolios (it means a lot to me when my photos are applauded by someone whose
    work I admire). I found a few more photographers whose work interested me and
    sometimes stopped and rated some of their photos...

    It was all so inspiring... Then I started seeing the vituperous exchanges on Anna's
    site and now this. I respect people's concerns, but is it really worth this? There is no
    ideal way of setting up a community like this and there are bound to be squabbles,
    but I thought it worked pretty well. Now people are worrying about being black-
    balled and the atmosphere has become distinctly unfriendly. I used the site the way it
    seemed to be intended -- now I'm just confused.

    I am not a professional photographer although I am serious about my photography. I
    have a demanding day job (I am an oncologist by profession) and, although I am
    aware that the art world is not immune to this kind of squabbling, I am sorry to see it
    illustrated so graphically here. Although I respect the role of the administrators and I
    understand their concerns about the statistics that have been quoted, I wonder
    whether this action might not do more harm than good, particularly if it leaves
    members feeling that they have to be second-guessing every step. You have such a
    good thing here. I hope it continues to thrive.
     
  77. Why only Anna Pagnacco is excluded from the rating system and banned from the top pages?
    There are mate-raters all over the system.
    She was very often on the top pages. Is this the reason?
    Are there some people who cannot accept this fact?
    Is it a pure chance that she was aim of the action of the "honest raters"? What are the true reasons for this single decision to exclude only her?
    Or does she has to many files on the system and you cannot afford a new hard disc? What has she really done to be treated that way?
     
  78. No Lannie,

    You are wrong (and I cannot put it more bluntly than that).

    When you point, you make your mark. Just as when others read images (or your commentary for that matter, a significance which goes beyond your own understanding may be opened.

    That is the "punctum" whose significant you fail to apprehend and reflection before action would not go amiss.

    Kind regards,
     
  79. Mark, there are basically three problems with your modest proposal: (1) I can't think of a system that would lead to a Gallery that would be fair and open to all, but could not be misappropriated, misinterpreted, or abused. (2) If I could, it would have to implemented, and that would presumably take a fair amount of time. Meanwhile, we have the current system. (3) There is no guarantee that the ideal, fair, etc, system would be something that would be popular with the current participants or attract new people at a higher rate than the current participants left, and which people would find fun enough to be involved in to the degree required.

    Contrary to what you say in your comments, I am quite aware that what I am asking runs somewhat counter to human nature. It is obvious that in the current system, in which ratings are public rather than anonymous, that the ratings will become a form of social currency to some extent and that it is basically impossible to get people to rate strangers as much as their friends. The current system replaced an anonymous system that was more subject to abuse, and was not as much fun or as socially stimulating. The ratings and photo submissions have easily tripled since it was replaced by the current system.

    But the rating system does not have to be perfect to be good enough. All I am really asking people to do is to ease up on the mate rating. I don't expect people to work for hours every day rating thousands of dreary photos or photos that they don't "like" solely to satisfy me that that their ratings are normally distributed across a random sample of the 25,000 photographers. What I am asking is only that people be somewhat more fair to people beyond the circle of friends that they chance to form on the site -- that they rave a bit less about the people they always rave about and spend a bit more time helping to let worthy newcomers in.
     
  80. "What we are asking is that when acting as a curator (that is, rater of photos) that you try to keep this apart from the friendships that you have formed on the site."

    Brian, do you think museum curators don't show works that IN THEIR OPINION are good works and/or are the works of friends? Likewise they show works that IN THEIR OPINION sell. They do not show what does not interest them or that they can't support. That is how I rate images,,, I rate what I think are good works that I can support. If it happens that the same photographer gets rated by me on a regular basis, that doesn't necessarily mean I am abusing the rating system does it... couldn't it just mean that I like their style? If I don't want to give a low rating to someone... am I an abuser... or someone who just plain doesn't want to their waste their valuable time making negative comments? (If a curator doesn't show works he doesn't support as good, is he doing a diservice to the art world or just being a smart business person? ) The human element of ratings will always be there.... we are in fact human.

    I must say I agree with the comment above by Mr. O who said , leave it alone... it will balance itself.
     
  81. Regina C and Robert O (and some other ) will be 7 and 7 rate for comments here
     
  82. You suggested that emails that notified friends of uploads is
    probably extremely rare. I agree. I suggested it only because it
    is a way around a particular limit that you might set on site
    behavior. Only a very few members would consider doing it.

    Mark's proposal is to limit site behavior and you say it will be
    abused. Yes, but as you said, the cases of abuse will be few
    and far between based on my reading of the tone of responses
    so far.

    You have limits right now on the number of critique requests.
    You've indicated that you are reluctant to place similar
    restrictions on the number of uploads and number and value of
    rates. You're relying instead on acceptance of a site philosphy
    which runs contrary to human nature and contrary to site
    interfaces.

    Even though it is clear that many here don't share your
    philosophy, I don't see them setting up false accounts to get
    around upload and rating limits and I don't see them leaving in
    droves either.

    I don't understand your reluctance to put real limits on behavior.
    Those of us who vote in elections understand that we can't stuff
    the ballot box. The same behavior should apply here.
     
  83. Regina, I think people missed a couple of the elements of the mate-rating scenario that I put forward. The example I gave was real, and not the most extreme one I could have given. In it around 50% of the ratings of the person went to only 40 of the more than 300 photographers that the person had rated.

    You could say, well, those 40 were just the people whose work the person "liked" who he/she had found so far. Of course they got more ratings than the others. But it also happened that those 40 were much the same people that had most frequently rated the person in question. Further, if you looked more closely at those 40, you would find that they are all heavily rating each other. It is a group.

    There are 25000 photographers on the site, and probably hundreds, if not thousands of them are good, or at least have a significant number of photos that are good enough to be rated by the "I only rate what I like" people. New photographers who are good arrive all the time.
    Yet here are 40 people who are spending a significant amount of time rating each other's photos with mostly 6's and 7's -- not exclusively, but predominantly. In part because of reliable support from others in the group, most of them end up on the Top Photos pages all the time.

    You could say, well, there are only 40 photographers who are really good on this site, and natually they all rate each other highly and appreciate each others' work. That is a possible explanation, but I don't think that is it. What I see is that there are 40 or so photographers who so consistently rate each other's work higher than equally talented photographers who are not in the group, that nobody else has as good a chance at visibility on the site as the 40 do -- unless he or she can break into the group. This is not impossible, but to do it you have to be somewhat talented and give out a lot of 6's and 7's and flattering comments to the 40, and wait for them to be reciprocated.

    Not all of the 40 are equally involved, and within the 40 there are different sub-groups. In fact, my example person was somebody on the fringes. There is no doubt that this group of people have talent, and it includes some of the best photographers on the site, in my opinion. But it also includes many who are only on par with other photographers who are neglected. Also, not all the work of even the best photographers is equally fabulous, but you can't tell that from the ratings.

    To be quite honest, I would like to see this group broken up and the limelight spread around a lot more.
     
  84. With all respect to those who are trying to make the rating system more rigorous, I think these recent events are sad. There is too much resemblence of witch-hunting. Not too long ago I thought diversity is the greatest achievement of this site. Banning ONE person from the rating system can hardly change something. Or, perhaps, the question is indeed "Who is next?" If PN becomes much less democratic or less devirese, I would see much less sense in renewing my membership. Isn't it controversy that often constitutes the essence of artistic minds?
     
  85. Brian: I ask again, what happened to the idea of normalizing ratings from an individual?
     
  86. have watched this thread with interest ... and feel great sympathy for those attempting to run the site in a fair and even handed manner. it seems that no matter how the ratings system is run an "elevated few" will dominate the top pages. gallery positions do not particularly bother me as i am looking for critique, but i do agree that the ethic of the site is drifting somewhat because of over exposure of the few. on reflection i feel bernhard's solution appears to best fit the bill.

    rather than trying to swim against the tide perhaps we should try to go with it and form an elite gallery section where the crème de la crème can be rated against their peers. the awards to this section could be made by consensus, the elves or individuals could just pass to the prestigious gallery after attaining a higher average of ratings on works over a period of time. this would provide them (and us) a showcase of excellence without overwhelming lesser mortals.
     
  87. I'm sorry Brian but I think you are misinterpreting the reasons for these statisitcs.

    Of course there are many good photographs on the site from many photographers.
    However, only a modest subset of the contributers (I would guess less than 10%)
    produce steady streams of consistently excellent work. These photographers are
    bound to receive many more ratings than those who have less consistent work or who
    upload images less frequently.

    Moreover, there are many different types of photography on the site. It was
    apparently organized to make it easy for people to selectively critique certain kinds of
    photographs -- portraits, nature, etc. I think this is a good thing but it further limits
    the number of photographers who are consistently rated by a given individual. It is
    inevitable that an individual will wind up giving a large number of their ratings to the
    subset of photographers who share their interests and who are most prolific and that
    groups of photographers with similar interests will tend to rate each others works.
    Despite this, the "best photo" page shows a remarkable degree of diversity.

    I think you are trying to fix something that wasn't really broken and in the process
    may be seriously damaging it. Can't we just get on with photography???!!!!
     
  88. Lannie, I saw your comment above and the link to that photo. Let me say first off that I think its excellent work as well. However, if I take your comment at face value, you seem to illustrate the problem rather than the solution. As you state in your comment on it "could never place high in terms of aesthetics. It will thus never be among the Top Rated Photos, but its value is beyond price as a social commentary." Yet you turn around and give it a 6 for aesthetics. So if that's the case, why not give it a 5/6 or even a 4/6, hell even a 4/7? Personally, I would give the image a 6 for aesthetics because even though it has a "rough edge" so to speak, the aesthetic conveyed is perfect for the message or story being conveyed. This is ultimately the problem Brian is trying to address: when the rating is not consonant with making reasoned distinctions between great, good, average and poor, the rating has no meaning. And if, as you say, you believe the TRP has become a place that is a reflection of the tastes of the collective membership of this site, that's rationalization I simply can't buy after seeing what's been going on here for the last couple of weeks.
     
  89. There have been a few comments here and there about this "war" that's taking place. I never had any intention of getting involved in a war. My intention was to simply start commenting and rating images that I have previously avoided. I've stayed away from these images in the past because I knew that even a polite and honest critique with a 4/4 rating could very likely result in rude responses in threads, retaliatory ratings on my folder, and angry emails. But when I saw people begin to speak out and voice their opinions of these images I decided that I would do the same. Even if I had to endure some 3/3's and angry emails, which I have. Why does it have to be this way?

    My attachment is essentially the same one I've used on another thread just yesterday. I'm not attempting to single anyone out, or embarrass anyone. I'm only attempting to make a point. One of these photographers is within the group Brian has mentioned, the other is not. Look at the two images, and the ratings for these images and see if you can tell who is in the group and who isn't.

    One other point to make. The photographer who is not in the mate rating group has received 13 ratings for their image since it was posted 6 months ago. The other photographer who is in the group received their first 16 ratings within 3 days of being posted. Look at these two images objectively, and then compare their ratings. Is one image really that much better? Then consider the speed in which these ratings have arrived and you may begin to understand why Brian and so many others want to see changes.
     
  90. I recognize the contradiction, Andy. Insofar as we do have everything conveniently pigeon-holed as "aesthetics" and "originality," however, I will do whatever I can to keep that rating system from penalizing a photographer for producing a good piece of documentary work. The photo is actually quite revulsive, but it is a good photo as documentation and social commentary. If we had ONE NUMBER to assign, then I could give it a 6 and be done with it. As for Stephen, he fails to recognize my pointing to this photo as a critique of the practice, not an endorsement of it. I am a social and political philosopher, not a photographer, and I have my own agenda for rating and commenting. I'm no aesthete, but I don't consider my rating to be the problem. I consider the rating system to be the problem, and, if it ceased to exist today, the site would still flourish if persons still posted photos and comments.
     
  91. Firstly,

    Suppose we were each given a choice, right now, to choose either comments or ratings. One, or the other.

    Which would you choose?

    Wouldn't we all choose comments? Haven't we all at one time or another voiced a preference for comments over ratings?

    In light of the fact that Anna's last recorded critique request was on November 26, 2002, a case could be made that this executive action is not such a terrible fate on the grounds that she does not need the TRP: So many have her on their IP lists already and inspect her page for new images at every appearance of her name on their workspace. Could it therefore be said that ratings are in fact superfluous for her? It is a bit insulting to have them removed in this fashion, that's true, but I believe it's plainly obvious that ratings are not necessary for her visibility, which is arguably the very purpose for ratings in the first place.


    Secondly,

    As a show of support, would those protesting this action like to stand beside Anna and also have their own images exempt from ratings?


    Thirdly,

    Anna's accomplishments are well known, as are the accomplishments of certain other members. Could these members be inducted in a Hall of Fame of sorts, for instance, for members that have achieved [some set number] Highest Rated Photo of the Day? Or [some set number]of images with over 10 ratings and averaging over [some set value], perhaps as a consolation for the removal of the ratings option?
     
  92. Your point concerning that photo is something I can comprehend. What about this one:

    http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo.tcl?photo_id=1579140

    Here you gave it a 7/7 saying simply, "I like the warmth of this one, too." I need help here. Maybe I'm completely dense, but I just don't see the connection between the comment and the rating. Believe me, I'm willing to be persuaded by you that this is an all-around flawless masterpiece. I'd personally give it 4/5 or 5/5 because its quite pleasant to look at and seems to have take a bit of a satiric poke at the art world with the use of the paint brush. However, I'm not sure about how the eggs and the checkerboard (or chess board) play into the over all point of the image. I agree its got warmth, but the warmth isn't the sole catalyst for driving my rating. What else propels it to a 7/7? Or even a seven under a one-category system that you would propose? I'm not attacking you, I just want to understand it.
     
  93. Andy, according to the rules, a seven means "excellent," not "flawless." My comment addresses the question as to whether or not the color or B/W version is better. I could have gone on and on about the egg-shaped shadow, etc., but what really did strike me viscerally was the warmth of the tones. I could be critiquing Richard Rorty or Jacques Derrida right now, and I am defending why I gave a 7 on photo.net.
     
  94. Well, I guess you're right. I could be listening to the Ramones, but I'm defending my 5 on that image. Well my favorite song, "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" is on, so I gotta run. Toodles.
     
  95. Doug - your suggestion would be fine if the site never expanded but how would new
    photograpers learn about these special folks if they had no ratings and no longer
    appeared on the "best photos" page?" I am aware of Anna's work because I joined the
    site 6 weeks ago. If instead I joined a week or month from now, how would I know to
    look for it? If all the individuals whose photos attract attention are removed from the
    ratings, what will be left? How would you decide who is being too successful?
    Comments are most helpful, but let's face it, it also is exciting and encouraging to
    know that one of your photos has enough impact for a number of people to give it a
    good rating---after all if that isn't the case, what is everyone so upset about?
    Rather than develop some arbitrary method of exclusion, it probably would be better
    to do away with the ratings altogether--although I predict membership would fall off
    drastically. I suspect one of the main reasons people come to the site is to browse
    great photographs --without the ratings, who would pick them?
     
  96. Patricia, I have no answer for the second part of your comment, but I think osmosis is the closest word I can think of to answer the first part. The idea is to have some sort of archive whereby these people can be recognized and I don't think it would be very difficult to have it linked from a page somewhere in the gallery, much the same way there's been a link to Phil Greenspun's photographs on the gallery's first page. Adding another link would be a piece of cake, after the page was built, of course. The real question would be what criteria to use to qualify.
     
  97. Brian, since those who are subject to this ratings exclusion will still receive comments on their photos, will their photos still show up on the High-Rated Photos page if the filter is set to "# of comments"?

    To those who don't understand what is wrong with going back to view and rate the photos of certain people whose work you enjoyed in the past -- you're right, there's nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when a few of the people doing this seemingly lose their objectivity and start handing out nothing but 7's and some 6's to the same people over and over, regardless of the relative quality of each photo and without explaining in their comments why they consider that photo so extraordinary compared to others. And when it happens to be the same people who are giving them the same treatment in return, it starts looking a bit fishy. I grant you that there's a big blurry line between mate-rating and straightforward rating, but obviously there are enough egregious examples of mate-rating that it has caused the consternation we have seen from a section of the community over these past weeks.

    Since "4" is "average" in this ratings system, it implies that "7" is relatively extraordinary and rather rare. If you have handed out hundreds of 7's to a small set of people, perhaps it is time to recalibrate your definition of "average" so that there is more differentiation at the high end between those photos you think are truly rare and exceptional, and those you consider merely great. Personally, I find that I'm continually refining my rating "calibration" and also starting to rate photos more broadly after an initial period where I mostly rated only what I considered "above average." Taste is personal ... there's nothing to say that you have to think the same as I do. But for the edification of others, explain sometimes what you find so extraordinary about those "best" photos -- so many of us, myself included, are here to learn as much as we can from this community.
     
  98. Patricia, well spoken. Your contributions are very balanced and sober - and true IMO.<p>

    The more I read this thread the more I think this thing will damage PN heavily. Not only that newbies will stay away and "old cracks" get excluded. Moreover if Anna is serious about her announcements - and I don't doubt it - I see the possibility of high lawyers fees PN would have to face. I don't believe there are financial ressources for this.
     
  99. Anna's photos will still be visible (and are still visible) in the Top Photos. New photos will still appear in all the categories like "Number of Comments", "Views" and "Folder Views" that are not based on ratings. And the ones with existing ratings will be visible in the applicable periods. For that matter, if Anna uploads more photos, they would appear in the 3-Day and 24-Hour "Number of Ratings" views, since these include photos with 0 ratings, although they would be at the end, so this is probably not the place to look for them. Her portfolio will also be visible via a feature which I just added to the Gallery Main Page.

    Concerning the question of 7's, I don't think people have really considered how rare they should be. Consider that the capacity of Top Photos is a few hundred photos per month at the most. About 30,000 photos are submitted per month, with about two-thirds of those being rated. No more than 1% of them can be in the Top Photos for the month. This suggests that 7's should really be quite rare - on the order of a couple, at most, per hundred ratings. 6's should also be much more rare than they are, probably around 1 in 10. Remember that the ratings are relative to what is uploaded to photo.net. photos aren't being rated relative to every photo taken in the known universe, but relative to the others on photo.net, and they can't all be "very good" and "excellent". 5 is a perfectly fine rating for a photo that you "like". Keep 6 and 7 for some kind of "Favorites" concept, perhaps reserving "7" to mean something like Top Photo of the Month and "6" to mean something like Top Photo of the Week.
     
  100. Peter, while it is true that people can sue you for anything, you do have to have some kind of case in order to get anywhere. Otherwise, why not sue your way into a much more prestigious place than photo.net -- like the MOMA Photography Department? Do you think that photo.net does not have the right to curate its photo exhibitions how it chooses?

    You might think we administer the Gallery stupidly, and apparently a few people in this thread do think so. But stupidity isn't illegal, and I don't doubt that we have the right to include or exclude portfolios from the rating system, or the entire Gallery, as we see fit.

    People have made reference to Anna being a subscriber, but that is not actually the case, since her subscription has expired. We only remove the icons after a couple of months. She also purchased "extra photo quota", but that only entitles her to have more space. Even if you could work the extra photo quota purchase up into an argument that we are obligated to keep the photos in the rating system, the extra quota expires in August, and we are surely not under any compulsion to extend it. Would a few more weeks of ratings be worth a lawsuit? She already has 10,000 of them, way more than anybody else.
     
  101. Patricia, well spoken. Your contributions are very balanced and sober - and true IMO. The more I read this thread the more I think this thing will damage PN heavily. Not only that newbies will stay away and "old cracks" get excluded. Moreover if Anna is serious about her announcements - and I don't doubt it - I see the possibility of high lawyers fees PN would have to face. I don't believe there are financial resources for this.
    There is no discrimination or illegal singling of Anna P here. If she agreed to the terms of use she should be aware that this is a private site and Brian is free to do as he wishes. This talk about hiring lawyers is just one more temper tantrum from this lady.
    Since I am what Brian calls a "freeloader" I do not upload, download or do critiques, mainly to avoid using band width and to be fair with the site. I don't pay but I confine myself to the forums. But this thread is funny, so I followed it with amusement. Since Ms. P is often involved in this kind of thread I was curious and checked her photos here and on usefilm. Frankly I can see why Brian is not amused and the reason of this move. Many of her pictures are of flowers in front of a black background. Now how original is that? why do these pictures deserve a 7 in originality? Anybody who has used a camera for more than a few months has tried a flower shot, tell me, what was the background you used?....black! right? Sure the colors are nice, and the flowers are in focus...but c`mon, 7 in originality? 7 in aesthetics? I don't think so. What is wrong with giving people 3 or 4? As I understand it these are middle of the road marks, why do people get upset when they get them?
    Ultimately if Ms. P is so offended because her portfolio is not available for rating anymore, instead of hiring lawyers I would suggest to her that she spends her time and money submitting her work to magazines for publication and to galleries. Given that her work is so outstanding (7/7 all around)and has such a mark of excellence I am sure magazines and galleries will snap up the opportunity to show/sell her work, as a matter of fact the photographic room gallery is taking submission during the month of July. If this happens then she will become famous overnight and rating her work on PN will become meaningless. If it does not then perhaps the ratings were not as accurate as she would like to beleive....no?
    God knows Brian and I have had our disagreements, but this move can only be good for PN. Bottom line he is trying to give the site more variety and expose its members to different kinds and degrees of skill in photography. How can that be bad to PN? I am glad I am a "freeloader" and have not done any ratings or critiques, I would probably be the target of death threats from the Anna P fan club since I would have rated her photos much lower, in the 2, 3 or 4 range. If every time I clicked the most rated photos I got to see one more flower in front of a black background it would even be a lower rating....hmm..perhaps I can become an honorary member of the "balancing brigade," I certainly understand their frustration...
    Cheers to all...let me know when you all come to a conclusion...so far it has been fun...
     
  102. Brian,<p>
    no talk about stupidity. Really. I said a couple of times before that I worship and appreciate your work. I only believe in this case you are going in the wrong direction.<p>
    It's not very helpful leaving the subscriber icon "a few months longer". Well, the expiration of her subscription (did she try to renew?) doesn't change my view about the rating arguments but about the announced legal actions.
     
  103. I joined this site, like most of us, to learn from other photographer´s works and comments. So I think that the solution is quite simple: why don´t we get rid of the rating system? I rather comment a photo than giving a rating. And a easier way to navigate through the best recent shots could be using the more commented feature, or more views.

    It´s easier and faster to rate a shot, but to leave a comment or a good critique you need an extra-time. So in the end, we would only comment those shots that, from our “very subjective” point of view, deserve it. And yes it´s true, when I comment a shot I first take a look at the photographer if he/she is an active member of this site, I´ll leave a comment but if that member´s here only asking for ratings, and hardly gives any feedback, then even though his/her work deserves it I simply look for another photographer... so probably, in the end there is a group of photographers, sort of, that are very active and that you become addicted to... just because you get some critique back.

    Comments my friends, that´s what we all want...

    By the way, I don´t think that banning Anna is the best solution... why don´t you ban all of us?
     
  104. I won't take part in this thread anymore. The decision has been made anyway.<p>
    What really is dumb and outrageous are the Jorge-type of words. She (disparaging: "Ms P") mostly shoots flowers (like me), what can be 7/7 about shooting flowers, why don't she go anywhere else, there are lots of places?<p>
    One of the first posts in the thread (meanwhile deleted) stated to another poster: your pictures are (analogueos) trash, not worth to be shown, better delete them all. Gee, these are the people who should be banned who insult other posters with good will.
     
  105. I think we're on the wrong path with this discussion and the real problem is another...

    I remember that some months ago the rating system has been changed from "average ratings" to "number of ratings" to give more visibility to the other photographers who couldn't reach the top pages due to " few people always high mate-rated " . A lot of prices have been received for that change.

    Now photos go in top page because the number or ratings , good or bad, but again I see complaints with the level of ratings and a lot of statistics on average.

    I think something's wrong.

    I wonder if the decision to exclude the capability to rate Anna's pictures is due to the fact that she often got high ratings ( 6 or 7 ) or due to the fact that she often got a high number of ratings. With the actual system we shouldn't complain with the average level of ratings so....where's the problem ?

    I still remember the enthusiastic comments on the change and now if the system doesn't work the answer seems to be the easiest one , remove not the problem ( people don't rate photos they don't like ) but remove the photographer.

    best regards
     
  106. Here is an Idea. Rather than change the rating system ban people or such like (bad ideas) why not change the way the gallery displays picture. Instead of highest rated photos why not highest rated photogs. eg todays highest rated photog instead of todays highest rated photo, yes I know that there will still come the same favourites appearing in the top spots but they will only take 1 spot instead of 3 or 4 so then other photogs would have a space too and everyone is happy. There is a filter photogs highest and photogs average and this is much better way to find things as you don't get presented with many photos by the same photogs just 1 then you can go to their folders and look at everthing else. This would be much fairer because one gallery page would feature 21 diferent photogs thats 63 photogs over 3 pages much better IMO. I must add that most of the pictures in the gallery are of high standard and deserve to be there, but the present system does not allow exposure of so many photogs.
     
  107. Without tools to surf around this website would be a jungle. What tools are at our disposal to find our way here: RATING and COMMENT. Rating is quick and easy to operate, good comment need more attention
    <p>
    Rate mating is quite natural, and rate-what-you-like (... who you like...!?) is also quite human, so is retaliation.
    <p>
    But if some are being the most active in rating their friends whatever they achieve, and ignoring others, then starts a big problem, many rating are becoming totally meaningless and are extremely polluting the database when searching for really interesting, original and god picture. So if those mate or retaliators get too much abusive in their appreciation, if they cannot discipline themselves, I do think that is the role of moderator like Brian to implement such corrective action.
    <p>
    What apply to rate also apply to comment. If sort by number of comment is also very much biased (so many WOW, Great catch,...).
    <p>
    And I personally think that it is helping photographer to rate them with more attention, if you dont want to see their pictures excluded from rating. Then also, those high-mate-rated photographers wont be mad and shock when then they get a 3 or a 4 in a while. Wake up can be hard for whom living in wonderland.
    <p>
    So for the sake of smooth searching in the database and discovering new talent and picture, let's try to not pollute it with too many nice and easy ratings and comments to always same people whatever they might achieve. I you love them send them an e-mail, create a web fan club and ask them autographs...
    <p>
     
  108. The discussion about the "Exclusion from the Gallery Rating System" is now a discussion about the rating system and how to behave as a censor/user. Here my suggestion for newcommers .
    How to get to the High Rated Pages (cook recipe)>
    1. look who is the most active rater and commentator in this forum->rate him/her low and high leaving a comment<
    2. look who is the rater giving the most 7/7->rate him/her with 7/7 leaving a comment like :beautiful
    3. look at a picture with a low rating ->comment it: Oh I find this is rated too low
    4. break into a group of friends->comment in a friendly and critical way, rate carfully
    5. look at an interesting picture ->comment in a high sophistic way
    6. if you have difficulies with the english language->comment short, rate high
    7. help newcommers with advices,critic and rate them honest
    8. make walk-through interesting portfolios rating low and high pictures you like or dislike
    9. laugh sometimes
    10. do not forget to post your own photos and be aware of getting a 7/7
      or don't play the game,enjoy the photo.net,read the articles,comment without rating,discuss a lot and use the portfolios to order you work, and make a link to it from your own home page.
      ;-) robertO
     
  109. 1.After joining photonet be sure to rate 2000 images within the first month. This shows you put a great deal of thought into your ratings, and people like that.

    2.While rating these 2000 images remember to use only 6's and 7's.

    3.If any photographer repays you with a 6/6 or 7/7 on one of your images remember to continue rating that photographer with more 6's and 7's.

    And that's it! Within a relatively short time you will establish friendships with people who will continue to rate all of your work highly. Every image you post will be rated as one of the best of all time!

    See, this photography thing is easy! :)
     
  110. You are right, I only wanted to limit my recipe to 10 point.:)
     
  111. I hope this b>turns the bold off.
     
  112. Marcdon't forget the fact that Anna used to delete low rated photos. somtimes I could see how fast her postings disappeard after geting a low rating. This effect can be observed also on other portfolios. So only photos with rating 5 and higher are in the folders. You mentioned my name as a member of the group of friends. I become frien after I saw the discrimination of her. I don't like when people are treated that way. I have no proble to delete all mate-ratings when Ann could come back
    Bob if you refere to my rating of more than 2000 works during the last 8 weeks so consider the time I spend in photo.net looking and commenting. in average more than 2 hours a day. That makes pro rated picture some 10 minutes per picture!? And there are a lot of people having an average rate of more than 5.6 !?
    But you are stil right it's PR-work and Show-Bizz ;-)
     
  113. Some people don't like Emil's work. Some people really do think in
    their heart of hearts that Anna'a work is of the highest caliber and
    deserves to be in galleries. It boils down to personal taste. What I
    know about personal taste is that when I have visited four living
    rooms every day for the last thirty years in the course of my work, I
    make note of what goes up on the wall.

    . . . . and it ain't pretty. Actually I mean it is pretty, and
    that's all. Anyone who has studied art even a little bit knows kitsch
    when they see it, yet that's what people put on their walls. We're
    having a good discussion about 'essence' over on Mike Spinak's page,
    yet I'm sure you agree that essence is very much lacking in your
    opinion and mine from many of the popular images on the top pages.

    By now several of you are really ticked off at my elitist tone because
    I've implied that my taste is somehow 'better' than yours. All I'm
    saying is that my tastes, and those of many other members judging from
    what I've read, tend to run in a different direction from what 'most'
    people like. If you want to listen to Brittany Spears and I want to
    listen to Charles Ives, how do we resolve this?

    The solution is to let Elves or Curators play a much more active role
    in determining the visibility of more images on photo.net. They won't
    flood the site with Emil's work. They won't ban all the flowers with
    black backgrounds. But they can achieve a much better balance in
    terms of number of photographers represented and types of images
    viewed than the current 'pop' photo views permit.

    When long time members whose work appears in REAL galliers and other
    venues where professional standards apply start to reconsider
    uploading photos onto this site for general viewing, only then will we
    have accomplished what this forum was really intended for. . . . . . .
    . . . . . . .
     
  114. Mr. Gouguenheim

    I never gave the idiot to anyone. My comments I think have been always polite. I never used the worlds you normally use. I never rated nor commented one only of your photos. I wrote a comment and I see ( and everyone can ) the level of the answer.
    Coming to personal : yes I'm proud to have had Anna Pagnacco as teacher and I will always thank her for the emotions she has been able to give me.
     
  115. mg

    mg

    No, sorry. Don't force me to prove you wrong, or this thread is going to turn really nasty, but let me just tell you this: no, not all mate-raters rate honestly what they like all the time - not at all - and it's very obvious. And yes, I agree that "some people don't like Emil's work" and yes "some people really do think in their heart of hearts that Anna'a work is of the highest caliber". And that's fair, I suppose, but there are limits to blindness that would surprise even someone like you who can see...:) I'd almost refer you here to the example posted in the present thread by Bob Hixon, but I've seen even more convincing cases. I just don't happen to believe that someone who takes fairly good pictures would actually love such image to the point of rating it a 7. I just don't. Everybody has a brain and 2 eyes, and subjective tastes don't justify EVERYTHING. Sorry.
     
  116. Oops<br>
    Marc :"who takes fairly good pictures would actually love such
    image to the point of rating it a 7"
    so-called good pictures taken by professional top photographers appear often in the
    photography journales. Some of us would rate their picures with 7/7
    others with 3/2. You can look of so many examples of different styles of
    prominent artists and you can be sure the rating scala would range from 3 up to 7.<br>
    sorry it is not only a matter of brain and two eyes. But the matter how you use it.
     
  117. n_p

    n_p

    "I would like this thread not to become a discussion of whether the ratings system should be eliminated. That is not on the table for discussion and the rating system isn't going to be eliminated. If you think the ratings are stupid, then ignore them and surf through the Gallery however you please, or ignore the Gallery entirely if you prefer."
    It appears that many have failed to take note of "the bottom line", which has been spelled out at the top of this thread - the ratings system is here to stay!
    Sorry to spoil the fun for everyone!
    Personally, I am thankful for that, because it has assisted my search for the very best and the more neglected images in the PN archives.
    It is unfortunate and amusing, at the same time, that newbies are ignored in these sorts of threads. "nude photographer" only joined photo.net recently, but this member is very much aware of the "ratings gangs" that frequent these pages. My contribution here, is to demonstrate (in a positive way) that it is all too easy to "abuse the system" by opening up new membership accounts under a different name.
    Nevertheless, I think that my efforts to "dig out" some of the best that this great site has to offer, is as objective as one can be. I apologize for including my particular choice of an Anna P. image in my highest rated 300. It is actually not her best upload, but I was in somewhat of a 'hurry' trying to be "inclusive". AP has (had?) her place at PN and we should all try to be more critical in our analysis of what is on offer in the Top Rated Gallery.
    Not convinced that we should salute Brian with a "sieg heil". He's doing a marvellous job and should NOT be up at 3am, trying to answer/justify his decisions about the ratings system!
     
  118. zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
     
  119. Actually, Carl and Marc, I don't see that the two of you are that far apart in your views. I don't think Carl is saying that its all purely subjective. Taste can be built upon objective factors as well. When I joined this place in July 2002, I think all my ratings and comments were driven by subjective things: primarily how the picture made me feel. But now, after getting my legs for photography, I've found that my taste is being molded by a number of objective factors too: how well does the image show control over exposure, is the lighting right for the image, are the colors too saturated, etc. It all plays a part in my views now. Judging Carl by the comments I've seen from him, I'd say that's also going on with Carl's views as well, although I don't pretend to be speaking for Carl. I think, Marc, its the same with you too, but I SURE don't pretend to be speaking for you either.

    Oh Carl, you also asked an interesting question: "If you want to listen to Brittany Spears and I want to listen to Charles Ives, how do we resolve this?" Easy, listen to John Coltrane or Thelonious Monk. :)
     
  120. Sorry, n.p., that snooze was not directed at you. I actually enjoyed your tour.
     
  121. You would never see the photographic versions of Monk and
    Trane on this site. At least you didn't pick Kenny G. or whatever
    his name is.
     
  122. n_p

    n_p

    Guess what l.k?!,<br> You've just been included in my highest rated selections. No offense taken to your snooze! ;-)
     
  123. Brian, et al.: I withdraw my protests. Certain facts have been brought to my attention. It appears that I came bumbling into the middle of an ongoing fight, much like I did in March, 2002, after which I was banned, unbanned, and then threatened with being banned again by the power that was.
     
  124. RobertO and BobH you did write THE recipe.
    May be i should restart from scratch again using another name but your system.
    a great LOL and some fresh air in this never ending discussion. the more I read this thread the more I think Brian Has the final but right approach...
    <p>
    And i quite agree with JacquesH conclusions ...

    <p>So i keep on my initial Quest (i prefer `quest` than `crusade`!!)
     
  125. I said I have issues specifically with the WAY Anna was cut off. I do also believe that taking anybody as talented as her off of the top rated pages will only hurt the site as well. However, to make this bold move without any real notice beforehand just does not sit well with me personally. I have also agreed to let it go and move on since this is certainly out of my hands.

    [ deleted by moderator ]

    I do also have to disagree with something you said above Brian. Each photographer should hand out far fewer 6s and 7s. That is IF you rate all of the average images from the average photgraphers on this site...some 25,000 as you say. I will occasionally go through these images, clearly just snapshots to be sure. However, you also know what happens next. I will get the same in return. So after a few rounds in that area, you remember, and stick to the top rated pages. There is a good reason why these photographers are on those pages. There work IS very good! I believe very good means a 6. And some of these are even excellent...I think that brings with it a 7. Just a thought.
     
  126. Just for the record after rating 2389 images on this site, only 50 have received 7/7..... Just over two percent.
     
  127. mg

    mg

    This, at least, was in accordance with your respect for Anna, and perhaps - hopefully - with your repect for photography.
    <p>
    I quote you: "I have no problem to delete all mate-ratings when Ann could come back"
    <p>
    Perhaps any other members of the group would find here some inspiration and join you on this fair proposition...?
    <p>
    Then it's Brian's call, but to save the gallery, I believe exagerated mate-ratings just need to go to the trash... That's all. Imo, we do not need Anna to go IF mate-ratings are deleted. I understand that Brian wants a fairer gallery, and so do many of us. But if that can be achieved by deleting suspect ratings, even I, would rather have it that way than to see Anna leave...
    <p>
    I suggest you all think about this, and perhaps add your name next to Robert's and give up on all these meaningless 7s, to try to get Anna back. And I'm sure even nasty fellows like me and Anna could have some good times together analyzing weaknesses of our respective works. That's what this site is all about. It's an exchange of opinions, and nothing else. Each of you should unplug the rating wire once and for all. No you aren't excellent, neither am I. Perhaps Emil is, but even then, there are still far better photographers than all of us on our little planet ! Let's all remember this ! Why would we need to fight over silly figures ? Think about it. There are young photographers joining this site everyday and all they want is that their best pictures get seen and commented on. Let them have it, I say... Anna, Robert, Valter, me, we have all been 20 years old, right ? So why do we need to behave like kids when we have grown older ? Makes no sense. Delete all the mate-ratings, Brian, please, and delete all of MY ratings on these folks's works as well, and you folks give a green light to Brian to do so, and opt for criticism in the future, not for blind admiration. That's how all of us will improve anyway, and that's how I see a chance that Anna comes back to photo.net with her full rights. ALL IT TAKES IS A BIT OF GOODWILL, HUMILITY & GENEROSITY.
    <p>
    There is no price to be won, this isn't a competition. We'll all be happier if we get meaningful ratings and good critiques rather than useless ratings and a "wow"... We all know that. So move it, give Brian your consent to the deletion of all mate-ratings - let him be the judge of that, and all of us let's do our part, and perhaps Anna can come back...
     
  128. May I suggest that the default search of highly rated photos display only one (1) picture from any given photographer at any time (not only on the first pages but on all the following pages as well). This will already make some space for photographers that don't get millions of rates. I think it should be quite easy to implement.

    Another one, a bit harder to implement maybe, is to limit the appearance of a photographer in the default search to once every 10 days or so. That way, photographers that keep uploading pictures that consistently get billions of ratings will not monopolize the place.

    Also, I think banning a photographer from the site could have been done by allowing rating on his pages but preventing his pictures from appearing in the search on the gallery. Not that it matters much, but it is an option.
     
  129. There is some mate-rating to be sure. I do not care for it nor participate in it. And, it should be addresed. There is also low balling taking place, it too should be addressed the same. As long as humans have free will there will always be these two issues to some degree. If you truly want to elimate it completely, then simply abolish the ratings system altogether! Until then, there will never be a system to completely eliminate it.
     
  130. Vincent : I agree 100%. Eliminate the ratings !!
     
  131. very good solution you have my full support. I know my mate-ratings on all photos I rated during the last 2 weeks so I can help find it.
    <br>best robertO
     
  132. the low-rate-bombs can be disarmed by the person who have put it.
    When not, so this rating will remain as a personal public memorial of this "war";-)
     
  133. Since the notion has been tossed around that the ratings system makes all photo.netters curators, of a sort, why not pursue that notion to its logical conclusion?

    Instead of allowing numerical ratings to give a handful of photographers long term, practically permanent, prominence on gallery views, try a system that is dependent upon a single individual rather than a group.

    Each day one photo.netter will determine whose works are prominently featured on all of the various gallery views.

    Photo.net can notify each member a week, a month or longer in advance by e-mail, informing them that their turn at curating the site is fast approaching so start preparing a batch of photos that reflect their personal aesthetics.

    Would a curator-for-a-day choose random images that he/she likes? Or go for a thematic approach and include photos that may not necessarily be at the top of his/her list of favorites but which are compatible with a theme?

    It might also be interesting to allow viewers to rate the curator-for-a-day on the choices he/she has made. One can only imagine the comments that might follow.

    As for numerical ratings figuring into a photographer's prominence on the site, photo.net could merely offer a text-only listing without any thumbnails. This would at least acknowledge that some photographers are more highly regarded than others - for whatever that's worth to anyone - while not stealing attention from the curator-for-a-day experiment.

    It might at least be considered as an experiment to last a month, or to be implemented intermittently. For example, Mondays could be reserved for the curator-for-a-day, and only thumbnails of that person's selections would be visible in any of the gallery views.
     
  134. May I politely ask to come back to the subject ?
    may I kindly ask to reconsider the fact to not exclude Anna from the gallery rating system ?

    Please if agree give your OK

    Thanks
     
  135. i'm not too excited about the direction this thread is getting steered into. the issue at hand is not entirely about mate-rating, while it's certainly no meager contributing component, nor is it about Anna or any other individual. and certainly not about whether we need ratings or not.
    if an assessment of a body of work doesn't take into consideration its qualitative merits, and is predominantly based on grounds of social kinships and other sundry frivolous reasons, it loses objectivity, and such assessments unmistakably interfere with those that are non-biased and render the whole system meaningless. i thought Brian was articulative enough. as for the proposals to amend the rating engine and its mechanisms, i personally have hope in the current mechanism. besides, no system can be fool proof and change should come at an individual level. and unless that happens, i don't see any end to this idiocy.
    this rule here is to underscore the accountability, or lack thereof, when someone hands out a pair of numerals for a shot. this is to underscore the fact the each one of us has a moral responsibility when you rate someone's work, in the best interests of the photographer of the shot, and all the rest of the photographers and ofcourse, photo.net.
     
  136. "Exclusion from the Gallery Rating System", using Anna as an example. So we can find a solution ( Marc's Idea) or we can stop this thread openning an new one where we can discuss the rating system.
     
  137. Since the practices that are causing this trouble seem to be quantifiable (as reflected by one of Brian's earlier posts) and since it is assumed that (at least in some cases) mate rating is an unrecognized phenomina by the participants, couldn't an "error message" be generated after a suspect rating that would simply warn the participant that their recent rating "may be falling into the category of mate rating... ...while you feel that you are aiding the photographer by rating many of their photographs you actually may be hurting them because of the potential for disiplinary action... " or something of the sort?
     
  138. Your Portfolio
    Add photo
    Guidelines on Allowed Number and Size of Photos

    You are a "SUBSCRIBER", and your quota is currently 1200 photos. With a Gallery portfolio of 375 photos, you are within your quota.

    If this form doesn't serve your needs, try customizing this system.


    File to upload




    THIS IS WHAT IS WRITTEN TODAY JUNE 30 June on my page and what I read if I want to add a new photo to my portfolio
    SO.....I ASK TO THIS FORUM.....AM I WRONG IN BELIEVING TO BE A SUBSCRIBER?





    My ICON as PATRON has been showed until today.....


    .

    How many people in PN have this priviledge due to me for paying not only my quota but EVEN an EXTRA quota some months after my first subscrition?


    Anyway Photonet in the person of Mr. Brian Mottershead has already got copy of my lawyer's letter.







    I will do everything to protect my rights both from Italy and USA.




    Anna Pagnacco
     
  139. g|1

    g|1

    Brian said: "5 is a perfectly fine rating for a photo that you "like". Keep 6 and 7 for some kind of "Favorites" concept, perhaps reserving "7" to mean something like Top Photo of the Month and "6" to mean something like Top Photo of the Week."
    This I am in total agreement, and it is so simple I fail to see why anyone would have such a problem in understanding it. If members cannot understand it, or refuse to honour the idea voluntarily, then perhaps the solution is to ration 6's & 7's in exactly this way. We only get one [or other set quota] opportunity to place 7 within the month, and only one [or other set quota] to place 6 within the week. I know rationing has been suggested before, but the more I think about it, the more I am convinced it is the only possible way to go. At least worth a pilot test Brian? It would be interesting to see how it affected the gallery after a couple of months wouldn't it?
     
  140. - "Coffee, cappucino, chocolate, ice-cream...?!"<p>

    - "Please one cream tart, not to eat, but to throw it away at somebody`s face!!"<p>
    :eek:))))
     
  141. Every personal insult on this page will be added as proof as detrimental and offensive to a PN member ("public defamation" on Internet, there are very severe laws ) if allowed by a site's webmaster.

    Anna Pagnacco
     
  142. I'd also like to add that I find it interesting that there are above posters who admit to "mate-rating" openly... perplexing.

    And Anna, your gallery is still up for everyone to see. I suspect that if/when you post a new image you will get many more visitors to that image offering their "valuable critiques" ("wow", "you did it again", etc) than I would if I posted a new image AND filled out a critique request. What's the problem? Are ratings really that important to you that they are worth the threat of legal action?
     
  143. gib

    gib

    renameing the site after you is not an insult, just to show that you are the most important member of the community
     
  144. gib

    gib

    As for closing www.photo.net, there is no sustainable business plan, the $25 subscription is not sufficient to keep photo.net running. It will close, it is just a matter of time. A one month warning period is a fair practice. Free lunch on the internet always runs out.
     
  145. Anna must never have heard the expression that the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.
     
  146. Getting back to the problem of the rating system,
    I personally find the `bombers` worse than the `friends`.
    What to do with a 3/4 rating on a not so bad picture?
    Rate the bomber 7/7 on his weakest offering....
    and let the gallery pay for its system...?

    Internet Libel laws do exist outside of the USA,
    but I hope Anna will reconsider.
    ( after all, she now has her very own hall of fame...)
     
  147. please another cream tart!!
     
  148. I have given this problem considerable thought and although I'm sure I don't
    understand all the issues, I would like to make several suggestions for consideration.
    As I understand it there are several needs:

    1) To have greater visibility for "emerging" artists
    2) To continue to have very accomplished photographers appear on and enjoy the site
    without letting them dominate it entirely
    3) To facilitate constructive commentary for new and experienced photographers
    alike
    4) To improve the consistency of ratings

    Possible improvements:

    1) Use more realistic descriptions for the numbered ratings. There are many more
    photos with excellent qualities than can fit on the first few pages of the ratings
    search. This confuses raters. How about 7= "outstanding" [i.e., it belongs on the first
    page], 6 = "excellent", 5 = "very good", 4 = "good", 3 = "needs work" and forget
    about 1 and 2 --- "bad" is such a pejorative word.

    2) Require comments for "needs work"?a low score alone is little help

    3) Change the "originality" rating to "originality/impact" --- this would allow people
    to express their appreciation of photos that are particularly striking even though they
    fall in fairly established categories.

    4) Rank photographs according to the number of ratings that exceed some
    determined high combined score (e.g. 11). This would combine the level of the rating
    and the number of ratings, eliminating "low-balling" and reducing the impact of one
    or two inconsistently high ratings. It would also stop the current problem that
    critiquers are unwilling to give constructive low ratings because all ratings are treated
    the same way in the gallery.

    5) However, only permit any given photographer to have a limited number of photos
    on the gallery pages. I would suggest 1 (the highest ranked image during that
    period) on the 24- and 36-hr pages, 1-2 on the week page, etc. This would
    eliminate anyone monopolizing the page. So what if some people give each other
    inappropriately high ratings--the raters and photographers will only look silly if they
    have poor photos appearing alongside great ones and surely they will only want their
    best work to make it to the top if only one photo will appear in the gallery.

    6) Include a special icon on the thumbnail of work from "emerging photographers"
    who make it to the gallery pages. These could be defined as new members or even
    better, members who have had fewer than [?3] photos in the top 20. This would
    highlight them and encourage critiquers to look at their portfolios and rate their
    work.

    7) Include a special gallery page for "emerging photographers" with less stringent
    ranking requirements and limited to new members or those who have had fewer top
    rankings. This would provide a place for committed critiquers to meet appraise the
    work of new or less experienced photographers.

    8) Continue the front page which features unrated work from new members or
    emerging artists but consider featuring a few more (maybe 4) so they stay on a bit
    longer.

    9) Encourage Anna to return and ALL the members (including Anna) to participate
    FULLY to showcase their art and share their talents with the rest of us.
     
  149. You have no legal case, Anna.
     
  150. Here is one recent comment of AP to one of my picture after I rated her entire portfolio (with many 4/5/6 few 3/7 average close to 4.7 which is quite good IMO) like I started to do to many photographers (I receive many private e-mail from many of them and they appreciated the time I spent in nuancing my appreciation).
    <p>
    "Robert, take notice we are using a system rating that can not give full justice to the images. (...)
    So we must take it not too seriously. "
    <p>
    Isn`t it funny!! So Anna say what you think and do what you say. Please post nice pictures and dont take rating too seriously!
     
  151. Was that cream tart aimed at me, Robert ?
     
  152. We have received an email from Anna which purports to be a copy of a letter that is now in the mail from her lawyers. This letter, which is from a person who presents herself as an Italian lawyer, asserts claims of discrimination, defammation, and non-performance of contract. I will post my response to this letter, for your information, in this thread a bit later today. Without permission, I think it best not to post the letter itself.

    I would greatly appreciate it if people would be very circumspect in what they say concerning Anna from now on, and if anybody recalls a statement that seems defammatory here in this thread, or elsewhere on the site, I would appreciate an email on that subject, so that I can remove it. I remind everybody that defammatory statements are against the site policy, and it is the site's policy and duty to delete them when we learn of them.

    I have not read every post in this thread (believe it or not), although I have read a lot of it. I don't recall any statements that I would consider to be defammatory. But I am now going to reread all of this thread, and I might delete some of the posts, even a few that might not be defammatory in a strict legal sense. I regret the need for this. If any of our friends are lawyers with some knowledge in this area, and would care to help us out, perhaps you could review this and any other threads that you recall and let us know if you see any problems.

    As for Anna, as far as I am concerned her presence on this site now has a fixed end date, which is in six weeks time when the "extra photo quota" for which she paid expires. As I said above, her subscription has already expired, despite the fact that we have not yet removed her icon. Until then I believe the site's interests are best served by permitting her to continue to access the site. After that, her license to use this site will be revoked along with all her photos.
     
  153. What really is dumb and outrageous are the Jorge-type of words. She (disparaging: "Ms P") mostly shoots flowers (like me), what can be 7/7 about shooting flowers, why don't she go anywhere else, there are lots of places? One of the first posts in the thread (meanwhile deleted) stated to another poster: your pictures are (analogueos) trash, not worth to be shown, better delete them all. Gee, these are the people who should be banned who insult other posters with good will.
    Ah Peter...you are way off base here. I use the "Ms. P" because I dont know how to spell her last name, nor do I know if the lady is married, single, divorced etc. It is not ment to be disparaging, it is only an identifier.
    As to the rest of your post, that is you putting words on my mouth. I never said nor implied for people to go somewhere else, or that there is no place for this kind of photography on PN. I merely said that IMO her photographs were not deserving of the 6 and 7`s given to them. As the pictures showed a clear lack of originality. This is exactly the problem.
    For one I am nobody to decide what kind of photography should be on PN, or who should be here or not, that is Brian and the other PN staff turf, second since I dont post, review or rate photos I could not care less what is posted here. What I do care about is the continued smooth running of PN simply because the forums are contained in this site and I enjoy them a lot. It saddens me to see that now we are going the lawyer route for something so silly as this. I see Ms. P chose not to rise to the challange of having her work published or sold through galleries but rather decided to use lawyers and the threat of lawsuits to get her way. I have no idea why is it so important to have ratings of 7/7.
    This is a clear case of abuse of litigation, where the person complaining is essentiatilly saying "if you dont do as I want I will sue you!". I am not a lawyer but if I was I would certainly help PN and I do hope there is one among the memebership that will be willing to donate some of his time to resolve this.
    Brian, now you know why they say "No good deed goes unpunished."
     
  154. This is my response to Anna regarding the letter she forwarded to me. To be honest, at this point, I am not sure that it really was from a lawyer, and the person didn't actually say that she was a lawyer. In at least one place in the letter, Anna is referred to as "me", suggesting that Anna had a hand in writing at least part of it herself, and the other person's editing/translation didn't blend Anna's text in very well. Certainly, the letter was not from a person who is very fluent in written English, and even making allowance for that, the language seemed quite disconnected and not very lawyer-like. But perhaps I am underestimating the language problem. If it was indeed from a lawyer, which seems at least possible, I do appreciate the effort taken to send me a letter in English.

    Here is the text of my response:

    Anna,

    When we receive your lawyer's letter in the post, we shall consider it.

    However, I point out that your 1 year $25 subscription already expired on May 20, 2002, and we do not intend to renew it. Any claims made on the basis of a contractual relationship between you and photo.net arising from your expired subscription are therefore without merit. You also have purchased, for $100, "extra photo quota"; but this gives you only the right to extra photo space. Incidentally, we also do not intend to renew that quota, which expires in about 6 weeks.

    Even if your subscription were still in effect, there is nothing in the subscription terms or "extra photo quota" terms that commits the site to maintain the rating system as it was when you subscribed or enrolled for "extra photo quota" or which limits the site's curatorial rights with respect to your photos.

    When you subscribe to a print magazine, you don't have a cause for legal complaint if a feature that you like is changed or removed by editorial decision. If you become a paid member of a museum that is exhibiting your work, you don't have a cause for legal complaint when the museum moves the work to a different room that you don't like, or even takes down the exhibition entirely, unless it was specified and agreed as a condition of your membership that it would not be moved or removed.

    The ratings are the site's curatorial system for determining which photos will be given the most prominence in the Gallery. We consider ourselves free to arrange the rating system to suit our own purposes, as we see fit, to eliminate it, or to decide the conditions under which photos will be eligible for inclusion in the rating system and in the site features which are based on the rating system. We have made many changes to the rating system and the features that exploit the ratings, including major changes, since your membership started. For example, "Top Photos" did not even exist on the site when your now-expired subsription started.,

    We will continue to make changes to the rating system in order to achieve photo.net's goal of presenting a diverse, instructive, and high-quality sample of the photographs that are submitted by members of the site. The latest change is that we have altered the rating system so that portfolios that exceed a threshold number of ratings (currently 10,000), and/or which receive an excessive number of ratings that in our opinion are not valid or well-considered will be removed from the rating system. Your portfolio objectively meets the first of these criteria, and in our opinion (which is definitive) also meets the second criterion. Indeed, over the past year, we have repeatedly deleted ratings on your photos because they came from accounts which had clearly been created solely for the purpose of inflating the ratings on your photos. We did not hold you responsible for these accounts, or rebuke you; nor did you protest when we deleted these ratings.

    Your portfolio has therefore been placed /hors competition./ As a result of your involvement of lawyers in this dispute, our intention is to remove your account and photos, and withdraw your license to access the site, when your "extra photo quota" expires in six weeks. Meanwhile, there is a link to your entire portfolio on the Gallery Main page, a prominence which until now was enjoyed only by the site's founder, Philip Greenspun. Visitors may view the photos and submit comments. Your photographs that have previously been rated are still visible in the "Top Photos" for the relevant periods and ranking criteria. If you choose to submit any new photos during the six weeks, they will be eligible to be in the "Top Photos" under the "Number of Views", "Number of Folder Views", and "Number of Comments" criteria.

    Your threat of legal action concerning our decision is futile and bizarre, and an American court will doubtless dismiss any lawsuit that you may pursue as frivolous. Even supposing that you do have a contractual right to receive ratings on your photos until your "extra photo quota" expires, we are not under any legal obligation to maintain the current computation of "Top Photos" and other features that use those ratings, as they currently exist. Were you to prevail in legally compelling us to allow the rating of your photos to continue (which is highly improbable), there would be nothing compelling us to maintain the "Top Photos" feature to your liking. For example, it would be quite reasonable to alter the Top Photo algorithms to disregard ratings made in excess of a certain number on one person's portfolio, which would have the same effect as placing your portfolios /hors competition. /Indeed this is a change that we have seriously considered making independent of this case.

    Even if you were to prevail in all your strange claims about the current relationship between photo.net and you, and a court enjoined us to delay our actions with respect to your portfolio, no American court would find that your $125 payments to us a year ago gives you the perpetual right to a prominent presence for your photos on our web site and a permanent veto over any editorial or curatorial decisions that we might make regarding the site. The most you can possibly hope for is that your remaining six weeks of "photo quota" can be turned into a six week delay of our decision to remove you from the rating system. When you already have 300 photos on the site and 10,000 ratings on your photos, is the remote possibity of a few extra weeks of ratings on your photos worth the expense and trouble of legal action?

    As for the claims of discrimination, in many situations American law prohibits, as illegal discrimination, the making of adverse decisions against a person on the basis of his race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, or religion. It is true that our new curatorial policy in the Gallery singles you out, in that you are the only person so far who has 10,000 ratings on his or her portfolio, and you are the only person who we have so far determined to have received an excessive number of ratings that are invalid in the opinion of the moderators. It probably will not come as any consolation to you to learn that at least on the second point, you may not be the singular case for very long. Discrimination is not mere singling out of a person. Nor is this one of the situations in which discrimination by a private person is illegal (such as a housing, medical care, or employment decision), nor is it one of the prohibited forms of discrimination. We don't even know what race or ethnicity you are, how old you are, or what your religion is. We presume you are an Italian woman from your name, your address and your portrait, and we can speculate about the other attributes, but none of these played any part in our decisions with respect to you. I would be amazed if you could find even the appearance that these factors ever play a part in our decisions on the site. I completely reject your discrimination argument.

    As for the claims of defamation, I am not aware of defamatory statements made concerning you by representatives of the site. The statement that I made in the referenced forum thread was, in essence, that in my opinion the ratings on your photos have ceased to be valid because of excessive enthusiasm and automatic high ratings on the part of your admirers and excessive antipathy on the part of your critics (whom I referred to as the "balance brigade"). This is not a defamatory statement. It is a statement of my opinion about the validity of the ratings on your photos. You may feel that this implies a criticism of your photos, which may well be true. Criticism of your photos is not criticism of you, and even if it is not all criticism of a person is defammatroy. In particular, I would be amazed if the critique of an artist's work is defammatory, especially in a venue where you have voluntarily posted your work for critique. No statement has been made by officials of the site concerning your character, honesty, morals, or any other attribute of yours which might give rise to a defamation claim. While I alluded to instances in which we have removed accounts and ratings that were clearly fraudulent and apparently created solely for the purpose of inflating the ratings on your photographs, I took care to state that we did not hold you responsible for these accounts, presenting them only as an extreme case of the "excessive enthusiasm" of your fans. Indeed, I stated that our actions relative to your portfolio did not have anything to do with "abuse". [I should have added on this point, that no statements were made about Anna at all in this thread, until she came in and announced that the policy had been applied to her and threatened legal action. ]

    Sincerely,

    Brian Mottershead
     
  155. This is my response to Anna regarding the letter she forwarded to me. To be honest, at this point, I am not sure that it really was from a lawyer, and the person didn't actually say that she was a lawyer. In at least one place in the letter, Anna is referred to as "me", suggesting that Anna had a hand in writing at least part of it herself, and the other person's editing/translation didn't blend Anna's text in very well. Certainly, the letter was not from a person who is very fluent in written English, and even making allowance for that, the language seemed quite disconnected and not very lawyer-like. But perhaps I am underestimating the language problem. If it was indeed from a lawyer, which seems at least possible, I do appreciate the effort taken to send me a letter in English.

    Here is the text of my response:

    Anna,

    When we receive your lawyer's letter in the post, we shall consider it.

    However, I point out that your 1 year $25 subscription already expired on May 20, 2002, and we do not intend to renew it. Any claims made on the basis of a contractual relationship between you and photo.net arising from your expired subscription are therefore without merit. You also have purchased, for $100, "extra photo quota"; but this gives you only the right to extra photo space. Incidentally, we also do not intend to renew that quota, which expires in about 6 weeks.

    Even if your subscription were still in effect, there is nothing in the subscription terms or "extra photo quota" terms that commits the site to maintain the rating system as it was when you subscribed or enrolled for "extra photo quota" or which limits the site's curatorial rights with respect to your photos.

    When you subscribe to a print magazine, you don't have a cause for legal complaint if a feature that you like is changed or removed by editorial decision. If you become a paid member of a museum that is exhibiting your work, you don't have a cause for legal complaint when the museum moves the work to a different room that you don't like, or even takes down the exhibition entirely, unless it was specified and agreed as a condition of your membership that it would not be moved or removed.

    The ratings are the site's curatorial system for determining which photos will be given the most prominence in the Gallery. We consider ourselves free to arrange the rating system to suit our own purposes, as we see fit, to eliminate it, or to decide the conditions under which photos will be eligible for inclusion in the rating system and in the site features which are based on the rating system. We have made many changes to the rating system and the features that exploit the ratings, including major changes, since your membership started. For example, "Top Photos" did not even exist on the site when your now-expired subsription started.,

    We will continue to make changes to the rating system in order to achieve photo.net's goal of presenting a diverse, instructive, and high-quality sample of the photographs that are submitted by members of the site. The latest change is that we have altered the rating system so that portfolios that exceed a threshold number of ratings (currently 10,000), and/or which receive an excessive number of ratings that in our opinion are not valid or well-considered will be removed from the rating system. Your portfolio objectively meets the first of these criteria, and in our opinion (which is definitive) also meets the second criterion. Indeed, over the past year, we have repeatedly deleted ratings on your photos because they came from accounts which had clearly been created solely for the purpose of inflating the ratings on your photos. We did not hold you responsible for these accounts, or rebuke you; nor did you protest when we deleted these ratings.

    Your portfolio has therefore been placed /hors competition./ As a result of your involvement of lawyers in this dispute, our intention is to remove your account and photos, and withdraw your license to access the site, when your "extra photo quota" expires in six weeks. Meanwhile, there is a link to your entire portfolio on the Gallery Main page, a prominence which until now was enjoyed only by the site's founder, Philip Greenspun. Visitors may view the photos and submit comments. Your photographs that have previously been rated are still visible in the "Top Photos" for the relevant periods and ranking criteria. If you choose to submit any new photos during the six weeks, they will be eligible to be in the "Top Photos" under the "Number of Views", "Number of Folder Views", and "Number of Comments" criteria.

    Your threat of legal action concerning our decision is futile and bizarre, and an American court will doubtless dismiss any lawsuit that you may pursue as frivolous. Even supposing that you do have a contractual right to receive ratings on your photos until your "extra photo quota" expires, we are not under any legal obligation to maintain the current computation of "Top Photos" and other features that use those ratings, as they currently exist. Were you to prevail in legally compelling us to allow the rating of your photos to continue (which is highly improbable), there would be nothing compelling us to maintain the "Top Photos" feature to your liking. For example, it would be quite reasonable to alter the Top Photo algorithms to disregard ratings made in excess of a certain number on one person's portfolio, which would have the same effect as placing your portfolios /hors competition. /Indeed this is a change that we have seriously considered making independent of this case.

    Even if you were to prevail in all your strange claims about the current relationship between photo.net and you, and a court enjoined us to delay our actions with respect to your portfolio, no American court would find that your $125 payments to us a year ago gives you the perpetual right to a prominent presence for your photos on our web site and a permanent veto over any editorial or curatorial decisions that we might make regarding the site. The most you can possibly hope for is that your remaining six weeks of "photo quota" can be turned into a six week delay of our decision to remove you from the rating system. When you already have 300 photos on the site and 10,000 ratings on your photos, is the remote possibity of a few extra weeks of ratings on your photos worth the expense and trouble of legal action?

    As for the claims of discrimination, in many situations American law prohibits, as illegal discrimination, the making of adverse decisions against a person on the basis of his race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, or religion. It is true that our new curatorial policy in the Gallery singles you out, in that you are the only person so far who has 10,000 ratings on his or her portfolio, and you are the only person who we have so far determined to have received an excessive number of ratings that are invalid in the opinion of the moderators. It probably will not come as any consolation to you to learn that at least on the second point, you may not be the singular case for very long. Discrimination is not mere singling out of a person. Nor is this one of the situations in which discrimination by a private person is illegal (such as a housing, medical care, or employment decision), nor is it one of the prohibited forms of discrimination. We don't even know what race or ethnicity you are, how old you are, or what your religion is. We presume you are an Italian woman from your name, your address and your portrait, and we can speculate about the other attributes, but none of these played any part in our decisions with respect to you. I would be amazed if you could find even the appearance that these factors ever play a part in our decisions on the site. I completely reject your discrimination argument.

    As for the claims of defamation, I am not aware of defamatory statements made concerning you by representatives of the site. The statement that I made in the referenced forum thread was, in essence, that in my opinion the ratings on your photos have ceased to be valid because of excessive enthusiasm and automatic high ratings on the part of your admirers and excessive antipathy on the part of your critics (whom I referred to as the "balance brigade"). This is not a defamatory statement. It is a statement of my opinion about the validity of the ratings on your photos. You may feel that this implies a criticism of your photos, which may well be true. Criticism of your photos is not criticism of you, and even if it is not all criticism of a person is defammatroy. In particular, I would be amazed if the critique of an artist's work is defammatory, especially in a venue where you have voluntarily posted your work for critique. No statement has been made by officials of the site concerning your character, honesty, morals, or any other attribute of yours which might give rise to a defamation claim. While I alluded to instances in which we have removed accounts and ratings that were clearly fraudulent and apparently created solely for the purpose of inflating the ratings on your photographs, I took care to state that we did not hold you responsible for these accounts, presenting them only as an extreme case of the "excessive enthusiasm" of your fans. Indeed, I stated that our actions relative to your portfolio did not have anything to do with "abuse". [I should have added on this point, that no statements were made about Anna at all in this thread, until she came in and announced that the policy had been applied to her and threatened legal action. ]

    Sincerely,

    Brian Mottershead
     
  156. """To be honest, at this point, I am not sure that it really was from a lawyer, and the person didn't actually say that she was a lawyer. In at least one place in the letter, Anna is referred to as "me", suggesting that Anna had a hand in writing at least part of it herself, and the other person's editing/translation didn't blend Anna's text in very well. Certainly, the letter was not from a person who is very fluent in written English, and even making allowance for that, the language seemed quite disconnected and not very lawyer-like. But perhaps I am underestimating the language problem. If it was indeed from a lawyer, which seems at least possible, I do appreciate the effort taken to send me a letter in English. """


    THIS IS AN ISULT.....I INVITE MR: BRIAN MOTTERSHEAD TO CONSULT THE LAW SOCIETY OF PADUA ITALY
    (ORDINE DEGLI AVVOCATI DI PADOVA _ ITALIA ) WHERE MISS MONICA PATTI , MY LAWYER IS REGULARLY ENROLLED.





    Anna Pagnacco
     
  157. I'm very disappointed at the direction this issue this has taken. I’m not convinced that the initial decision was the correct one; I feel a warning should have been given. More then that I’m disappointed at those of us that just had to get our two bits worth in knowing it was adding fuel to a foolish fire. And most of all I’m disappointed that the lawyers are called into play as the possibility of an amicable solution has all but been destroyed.
    Now I have a question that I hope we will think long and hard over; What have we learnt from all this? I hope we can introduce a clearly defined policy that will help prevent a repeat of all this. I’d also like to introduce the concept of a “parole board” of say 5 independent people. They will decide if a patron is abusing the system and if such abuse is occurring what steps will be taken to stop that abuse from continuing.
    In closing I want to make it very clear that this is in no way a criticism of the great job Brian is doing. Rather I view it as removing a part of his job that never was meant to be his job. Let Brian administer the system, let him set the policy but keep him out of these rather draining pis***g matches.
     
  158. This is the letter I got from Mr. Mottershead AFTER he had ALREADY taken away my right to be rated without any previous warning and the reason why I consulted my lawyer.





    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Brian Mottershead" <mottershead@direcway.com>
    To: <anny_pa@tin.it>
    Cc: "Jeremy Stein" <abuse@photo.net>
    Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2003 3:09 PM
    Subject: Your Photos on photo.net


    > Anna,
    >
    > I have decided to exclude your photos from the photo.net rating system.
    > This means that the existing ratings will not be visible on the photo
    > page and that people will not be able to add new ratings to the photos.
    > Your photos will still be visible in the Gallery, and people will be
    > able to add comments only.
    >
    > The reason that I am taking this step is that while we have no direct
    > evidence of abuse on your part, the inclusion of your photos in the
    > photo.net rating system seems to give rise to a great deal of abuse and
    > controversy. We have therefore concluded that the continued inclusion
    > of your photos in the Gallery rating system is not in the best interests
    > of photo.net.
    >
    > Some of the reasons for this are:
    >
    > (1) The inclusion of your photos in the rating system requires too much
    > moderator time. We have frequently had to ban and/or delete ratings
    > from user accounts that were clearly created for the purpose of rating
    > your photos, usually with very high ratings. There are many other
    > accounts which were suspicious which we did not delete. Even with all
    > the accounts and ratings that we have deleted, there are still many
    > where a very high percentage of the ratings are on your photos, again
    > usually 6 and 7 ratings.
    >
    > (2) You have a large circle of people who seem to rate many of your
    > photos very high without a great deal of judgement, in my opinion. I do
    > not know why this is so, but it is evident to many other members, and it
    > infuriates them, provoking them to engage in quasi-abusive behaviour,
    > even though their behaviour on photo.net is not basically abusive. The
    > Gallery has divided itself into pro-Anna and anti-Anna camps and this is
    > wrecking the Gallery.
    >
    > (3) You spend a great deal of time attacking and complaining about
    > people who give you ratngs lower than you think are warranted or who
    > write critical comments on your photos. So many people complain to us
    > that you instigate retaliations against them when they rate your photos
    > low or write critical comments, that while we have no direct evidence of
    > this, we cannot help but believe that it may be true to some degree.
    >
    > You are welcome to continue posting photos on photo.net and to receive
    > comments on these photos. Your own rating and commenting priveleges are
    > not changed.
    >
    > Sincerely,
    >
    > Brian Mottershead
    >
    >



    >
    > Anna Pagnacco
    >
    >
     
  159. g|1

    g|1

    Anna, if you read the benefits listed which are attached to 'becoming a patron' when you subscribed, you will notice it does not offer a guarantee of rating ability. In fact, it does not even mention rating options at all. So where precisely, has PN committed an illegal act? Because this is all that happened when you first threatened lawsuit.
    Regarding libel and defamation of character, defamation must be a lie or claim that is presented as 'fact' about a person, and which damages their reputation, it is not the same as merely commenting an opinion on whether a person is considered this [subjective adjective] or not, and which may offend your sensibility. Nobody is accusing you of any criminal activity or such thing, nor making claims or statements of fact which are not true, in order to misrepresent the facts. Whereas you have outrightly accused PN administrators of illegal proceedings, which could be construed as slander if unfounded, and libel laws might then be applied for damage against you, yes? It's a sure possibility you may not have considered.
    It is not a personal witch hunt against one invidual. It is about statistical data. The ratings mechanism had become redundant on one members portfolio, and therefore the ability to rate it had been disabled by editorial decision. As I understand it, editors maintain rights to change or introduce policies. That's about the top and bottom of the issue here, and the rest is superfluous.
     
  160. Geraldine Allen
    Portrait: SP_B&Wsml.jpg
    A member of the www.photo.net community since April 16, 2001

    Biography: My educational background is primarily art based. I studied Art History, Photography, and Graphic Design at Salisbury College way back. I have since had two sons, graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, and more recently returned to education at Salisbury where I have just completed my finals with a BA (Hons) in Photo Media. ...................................





    Are you a competent lawyer...by chance?


    Until now only mine is a true one and following her suggestions this will be MY LAST COMMENT:
    Lawyers will go on.......only them.....



    All others are only "personal opinions".....that everyone is free to give....at least on a democratic country and on a polite manner.









    Anna Pagnacco
     
  161. I point out that Anna has posted a private email from me to her, without my permission. However, there is nothing in there that I don't stand by, although I was apparently more discrete than Anna herself concerning these issues. Regarding the timing, I don't recall whether it was sent immediately before, or immediately after the software was changed. But the two events were minutes apart, and I can't see that the precise sequence greatly matters.

    I'd also like to point out again that no statements, even indirect, were made specifically about Anna until after she announced publicy in this thread that the new policy had been applied to her and threatened "severe" action. Even after that, I do not find defammatory statements, and I am still waiting for Anna to draw our attention to the specific defammatory statements, which I will delete if I think she has a point.

    If people are talking in general terms about a new policy and the behaviour to which it relates, without mentioning anybody in particular, and somebody jumps up and says, "This policy has been applied to me and I'm insulted", causing the discussion to then turn to that person's situation, I don't see how the self-declared "insultee" can them make out a case for defammation, even if there were a lot more specific and harsh things said than have been said in this thread. It seems Anna has a huge chip on her shoulder. She seems so impatient for a fight that she doesn't even wait for somebody to knock it off. She just declares it knocked off, and starts the fight, then keeps claiming to be insulted by and defamed by things people are saying.

    By the way, I take back the comment I made about Anna being referred to as "me" in the lawyer's letter. I think I read it wrong. It really is very broken up and hard to understand, like it was translated from Italian to English by a very bad Babelfish type program. Maybe legalize never translates well.

    Anna, for your future reference: when you are impatient to forward your lawyers letters by email, before the letterhead, etc, can be seen, it would be a good idea if you and your lawyer tried harder to make them seem more authentic. Like, maybe the lawyer should say somewhere: "I am a lawyer representing Anna Pagnacco". Just a little tip. No charge.
     
  162. What puzzles me is that anyone whose work occasionally shows fine artistic potential would want to waste resources on arguments and legal actions that would accomplish absolutely nothing toward furtherence of their presumed goal of becoming successful, whether artistically, financially or both.

    It would make more sense to expend precious resources on the necessary equipment, additions to our educations in photography and securing agents, representatives or business partners to promote our work. A reputation is also a valuable resource, one that is too easily frittered away. Defamation is too often self inflicted. I trust I'm not being too abstruse?

    I don't believe any of us who understand the purpose of photo.net ever regarded it as a gallery with which we had any form of contract to promote our works. The fact that subscribers get premium space on the photo.net servers is more akin to getting coffee mugs, tee shirts or tote bags from public radio or television for donating during their fundraising drives. If my tee shirt shrinks or I drop my mug should I pitch a hissy fit at the public station?

    Granted to analogy is strained. But what photo.net offers to those who choose to display their works for criticism is not and never has been a guarantee of prominence or of public validation through numerical ratings or written praise. What photo.net has always offered is the opportunity to learn from the critique system. The critiques themselves have no intrinsic value and the numerical ratings, in my humble opinion, have negative intrinsic worth.

    The only element that has any value is what you, the photographer, learn from the shared experience. If you learn nothing then the critiques - whether positive or negative - and numerical ratings are less than meaningless. They are detrimental to your growth.

    Sometimes the best thing any artist or creative person can do is take a long sabbatical from public scrutiny or his/her work. If being continually subjected to negative feedback is detrimental to one's growth, relentless adulation may be worse.
     
  163. You did the same Brian, posting the mail above....I did not get any request from you to do it, even though you wrote you would have done it before posting....so....

    I followed your example

    Anna Pagnacco
     
  164. g|1

    g|1

    Anna, I thought it was to be your last post and then you post again!! In answer to your question no, I am not a lawyer, but law is integrated in many study programmes because it is an important knowledge base to have. It has been covered extensively during my studies on Psychology for reasons relating to counselling issues and such like, but more relevantly my degree in PhotoMedia has the name 'Media' attached to the end of the name because it relates to media. That includes papers, magazines, digital publications, television, film and so forth. Law is a fundemental consideration in the media, and students are required to cover aspects of law in their first year, before even embarking on their own personal journey. I tell you it's great to be able to see a wider world than my own little headspace!
     
  165. No, Anna. I posted MY letter to you, for which I don't need your permission. YOU posted MY letter to you, for which you needed my permission, though you didn't have it. See the difference, Anna? MY letter is MY letter, not YOUR letter. Get it?
     
  166. Anna, you raised the issue of whether Geraldine was competent to explain the law of defamation to you because she isn't a lawyer. Well, I'm a lawyer and I think Geraldine did a pretty damn good job of explaning it. Well done, Geraldine. Wish you had been my law school professor in torts. I wouldn't have slept through the class then. :)
     
  167. Photo.net is a great community with many great photographers. It´s my opinion that Anna Pagnacco is one of them. This is really sad.
    I think a warning should have been made before this. Best regards, Baldur
     
  168. From this point, I don't think there are any more useful contributions that can be added to this thread.
     
  169. mg

    mg

    Now that Vincent apparently said sorry for posting again the same sort of insults that the moderator of this forum had deleted once, I guess this means one more post needs to be deleted and I won't waste more of the moderator's time to answer nonsense.
     
  170. Thank you for deleting Marc's entire original post. Maybe now he will learn to be more discreet!

    I am saddened to see the direction this has gone. As I have supported the idea the Anna be given a warning before taking such a strong position, and supported her in general... to a large degree. However, to go through this legal wrangling that has been mentioned above, is just not reasonable in my opinion Anna. I love your work and consider you as one of the premier artists on this site. Much outstanding work indeed! But I simply cannot support your position at this time, especially only one day later. The only winners will be attorneys, if it ideed goes down that road. I do wish you great success wherever you go! Time to move on.....
     
  171. g|1

    g|1

    Thanks Andy, in Anna's threats of lawsuit it is not clear what or to whom she is even referring, so if she cannot be specific I would assume her claims to be groundless. At the first mention it appears to be directed to Brian on grounds of discrimination. Later it seems to be referring to something or someone entirely different on grounds of defamation. I have not yet come across any action or written comment that brings her into disrepute, whether it be based on misrepresented fact or subjective opinion. As to the non-performance of contract, I can't see any grounds whatsoever.
    To be clear for others about my post above, I'm not saying that the law is restricted to only accept defamation when misrepresenting a fact, but rather that misrepresentations of fact would be the cut and dry case that would warrant such confidence of success. Obviously law varies not only between countries but also across states. Subjective opinion may in some circumstances be considered defamation if damage and disrepute are plainly evident, but IMO it would need to be a very unambiguous case in order to be upheld. Anybody who has ever dealt with childrens squabbles will know that you cannot easily discern the perpetrator from the victim without witnesses or evidence, because in practically all childrens minds it's never their fault. Emotion overrides objectivity.
    If Anna has specific points of reference with genuine grounds (and it is not simply retaliation for a perfectly lawful editorial decision which she does not like), then let's hear it and deal with it. Where is discrimination, where is defamation, and which bit of the contract has not been honoured? Only then can anyone take these claims seriously and communicate effectively about it.
    If on the other hand, it is just a matter of so and so calling me such and such, then surely editors and members on this site also have a case, and we could all sue each others **** off! You see it's so ridiculous, and we're only going there because Anna has made very serious allegations that she will not even substantiate.
     
  172. For those who say there have been no warnings, may I quote a comment of Brian's on Anna's photo titled 'my walk'. This photo has been deleted but Brian's comment remains. There have been many other 'warnings' over time. There has been a great deal of restraint and patience shown by the Administrators of this site, it seems to me.


    "April 18, 2003 This is nice enough but it does not warrant a 7 or even a 6. Some of Anna's photos definitely do merit such high ratings, but all of her friends do her no favors as an artist by raving about everything she posts. They also do no justice to other photographers whose work stands no chance at visibility on photo.net when Anna automatically gets 25 high ratings for a photo that is only a little better than average. I must say I am getting fed up with this sort of thing and I will take steps to block it soon -- precisely because of the rating behaviour being evidenced on this photo.
    -- (April 18, 2003) on My walk "
     
  173. Thanks for finding and sharing this. While it certainly does add support to the Photo.net moderators (Brian in particular) it is still far too vague in my opinion to be considered as a true warning. It was a comment and somewhat general at that. I would just think a firm e-mail directly to Anna as well as some public announcement before cutting her ratings would have been an appropriate measure first. That is all. Then we could all say, he told you so! As it is, she is history now, and the feeling of injustice by lack of a clear warning, I believe, is what has fueled this to the point of those dreaded you know whats?? Rhymes with Foyers.......
     
  174. Brian is not obliged to spell out everything in detail regarding
    consequences for consistently flaunting behavior that runs
    contrary to the goals of the forum. There are a lot of people who
    have chosen to ignore pleas from Brian - as well as quite a few
    of the rest of us. At some point, you have to take responsibility
    for not heeding these directives and warnings.

    I am amazed at how many people still fail to fully digest the
    behavior patterns that have lead us to where we are now. For
    starters, this is a photo critique forum. The hostile responses to
    virtually all critiques should have been halted long ago.
     
  175. Sacrificial lambs, sacred cows and a plea for inter-species harmony

    All of what follows are opinions only. Sorry if appears blunt, but I hope and believe it is objectivity based on a lurker's observations.

    Going back to the beginning of this thread and restating the obvious, this new action was another in the ongoing attempts of the site to fine tune the rating system and legislate against human nature. The goal is admirable, the battle impossible, the process slightly rough-edged, and the result ...well, the Roadmap to Peace has better odds of success, and less collateral damage.

    One might opine that Anna was put up as a sacrificial lamb in order to encourage others to modify their own behavior. Where this all ran into trouble is that it cannot help but appear inconsistent and specifically directed, and thus prima facie discriminatory. Reading through this thread, and recalling the many comments which have subsequently been deleted, Anna is/was by no means the only one who could be "accused" of ratings' abuse, nor the only one who some (but not me) might call a divisive element. Therein lies the appearance of inconsistency, and perhaps one might say the existence of sacred cows.

    Enough of the animal metaphors, as much of this is closing the barn door after the horse has left.

    Does Anna have a case? Well, there does seem to be enough "meat on the bone" to cause, at the very least, the site to incur legal expenses it can ill afford.

    If there is no express statement where the site lays claim to retention of the right to randomly alter and apply the rules, then there may be an implied contract on top of which Anna can build a case.

    Additionally, if Anna were so inclined, she could search the ratings behavior evidenced by other highly rated photographers, run some statistics on them, and see if she is indeed an "outlier" deserving of being singularly charged, or else just someone who benefitted from the natural human tendency to form alliances, exercise free will and "spend their money where they choose".

    Perhaps Anna just did this better than anyone else, and in what was the truly democratic part of this site, she was the greatest recipient of the peoples' right to vote. Indeed, there had been kind of a separation of powers on the site: the operators and "elves" controlled photographer visibility through the PoW and Featured Portfolio, while the great unwashed masses controlled it through ratings "votes", even if the electoral turnout was not as high as some would like. It's one-person-one-vote, and no one can complain if their personal favorites don't always rise to the top. (Personally, I don't understand why Britney Spears or U2 are richer than Croessus, or why humans fall all over themselves for wizards and woodnymphs, either written or visual, but I respect the free will/free market system which puts them all where they are.)

    No one could argue that Anna is not prolific, nor that she is not highly dedicated to the pursuit of photography. Even her most vocal critics would probably admit she has talent relative to the universe of photographers on this site.

    Another point: if Anna either retained, or else had forwarded to her, evidence of abusive behavior (verbal or ratings) on the part of individuals on this site who have not come under the operators' axe, or who have not been moved to the gilded penalty box, she can only enhance her case. Again, the site may be in no danger of losing, but it may be in danger of incuring unwanted expense.

    If I ran this site (or if it ever came up for sale free of this latest contingency, please run it by me to the email address I recently forwarded), I would either go back to the situation ex-ante, or else uniformly, and in a statistically justifiable manner, apply the policy across the board, no matter whom it impacted. (Then I'd turn off my email.) I would also state (in a highly visible place) what rights the site's operators retain. In fact, I would have members electronically sign a memo of understanding as a prerequisite for membership, thereby obviating most possible future headaches.

    Finally, I would consider the suggestion from Patricia Eifel above, as it seems to address this ongoing problem in the most workable manner so far.

    Oh, and I would respectfully ask Anna to work privately with (overworked) Brian and the site to find a solution with which all could live, so that her talent, and the talents and hopes of all who enjoy this site, could continue to be showcased.

    Sorry for the length and bluntness, but I fear the site's death throes might well be upon us, and I wanted to add a two cent proposal in the event the lights do go out for good.
     
  176. Read the Terms of Use, Andrew. Doomsday is far from nigh in my opinion.
     
  177. Andrew, I clarify once again that Anna has not been accused of ratings abuse by anybody connected with the site. If there were sufficient evidence of such abuse, we would simply ban her from the site, as we have others.

    Her portfolio has been taken out of the ratings system because (a) she has already received 10,000 ratings (far more than any other person in the history of the site); and (b) in the opinion of the moderators a very large number of these ratings are completely unreliable -- based on excessive enthusiasm or hostility. She was not accused of anything. If anybody was accused, it was her fans and critics -- of being so indiscriminate in their ratings of her work as to render those ratings useless by the site in determining the ranking of her photos in the Top Photos. It is true that I expressed some other reservations concerning Anna, which partly motivated our actions, in my private email to her explaining the decision. These have been made public by Anna herself.

    Moreover, by commencing legal steps against us, Anna has made any "starting over" option impossible, as we are not prepared to have on the site a person who will force us to incur significant legal expenses in order to bullet-proof our Terms of Use and membership/subscription procedures against individuals inclined to sue us. Therefore, since her subscription is at an end, and her "extra photo quota" is nearly at end, her license to visit and use the site will soon be ended and whatever contractual rights she claims to have, she has for no more than six weeks, at which time any contract that might exist between her and the site is terminated, along with whatever implied priveleges she alleges it gives her. Nobody can say that we must admit to the site anybody that we do not care to admit. For contract infringement, she has at most a very weak claim that we are depriving her of six weeks of ratings that she is entitled to.

    Concerning the "discrimination" claim, apparently this term is being used in the sense that we are singling out Anna for special discipline to which others are not being subjected, without there being an adequate justification, and even though there are alleged to be other portfolios that are similar to Anna's portfolio. In answer to that I have three points:

    First, this is a private site, and such discrimination is not illegal unless it violates some contractual terms. Discriminating between competitors for prominence in an Art Gallery is inherent in the operation of a gallery, and a private Gallery operator is not even under any obligation to follow consistent or rational procedures. It is not illegal to make curatorial decisions for reasons of taste, or nepotism, or to get the artist in bed (although you could argue this one). If you don't like the way a Gallery operator decides which photos go on the walls, your recourse is to stay away from that Gallery, not to file a "discrimination" lawsuit. Nobody gets to sue MOMA because the curators pick somebody else to be famous instead of them. If a Gallery's decision-making process is deplorable, you get to deplore them, not sue them.

    It is true that some forms of discrimination are illegal in many situations, such as racial discrimination (as it should be). But nobody is saying that this is one of those situations or that the discrimination in which we have allegedly engaged is one of the prohibited forms.

    Second, while no other person has the number of ratings that Anna has, it may well be true that the ratings in several other portfolios are as suspect, perhaps more so, as the ratings in Anna's portfolio. However, the law surely does not force us to adopt an all-or-nothing posture that obliges us to identify and act upon all the problem cases, in one fell swoop, because we cannot "discriminate" against only one of them. If everybody on the highway is speeding, the person who receives the first traffic ticket has no defense of "discrimination" even if none of the other speeders get a ticket that day, or ever.

    Third, where are these portfolios that are alleged to be the same as Anna's? I have said repeatedly that "mate rating" is a problem on this site and that it has many beneficiaries and victims. But one must still produce the portfolios that are completely invalidated by it. Marc and others allege they exist, and mention names, but these people do not speak for the site, and those who do are still analyzing. Roberto put forward his "recipe", implying that getting lots of high ratings is a formula, essentially claiming that the entire rating system is bogus and a game played by everybody. He implies of course that this makes it discrimination to single out Anna's portfolio, since her portfolio is no different than anybody's, just more visible. This is a form of the speeding ticket argument, which I already dealt with, but I would also say: produce all these portfolios that are beyond redemption, and we will see about them.

    On the defamation claim, I'm still waiting for somebody to point to the defamation. As far as I am aware, there have been no defammatory statements made against Anna, and it would seem to me that the only person impugning Anna's reputation is Anna herself -- by claiming that defammatory statements have been made without producing them, leaving people to think that she has been accused of something without knowing what that is.
     
  178. Brian’s post above deals with all the wrongdoings I believe Anna has alleged. The law does not concern itself with discrimination; only unlawful discrimination, namely discrimination based upon grounds of race, sex, disability and the like. Her plea, disguised as discrimination is simply that she has been singled out. I seriously doubt that Anna will be able to frame a claim in discrimination in any one of the recognized grounds.

    Regarding defamation I would point out that even if Anna had been accused of mate rating (which she hasn’t and I have no idea whether there may be a case for suggesting as much) I would argue such an accusation within the context of a members’ club could never constitute an actionable defamation. The test is whether society at large would think poorly of Anna for mate rating not how such behaviour appears to PN subscribers. Indeed judging from comments, there are many many people here on PN who do not find that so scandalous. Put it this way, it is rather like the case of the club member accused of reporting his club to the police because they held an unlicensed striptease. Plainly not the done thing to grass up your own club. Within the club the club member is likely to be despised and ridiculed, but he has no grounds for bringing a claim in defamation even if he hadn’t reported the striptease to the police, because the law would find that right minded people would not hold such persons in contempt for bringing unlawful activities to the attention of the authorities. Anna would have to show that making favourable ratings of one’s friend’s photographs would horrify society at large.

    On an aside and to demonstrate how Anna goes out of her way to create potential for harm, I was astonished that following Brian’s query concerning the professional capacity of whoever it was that wrote on Anna’s behalf (a person whose identity was not disclosed by Brian), it was Anna herself who announced the simple query as being an “insult” to a hitherto anonymous individual but who then proceeded to take the trouble to identify the writer as Monica Patti, a person duly enrolled with the Law Society of Padua, Italy.

    Regarding contractual rights as has been pointed out, Anna’s subscription has expired. She is therefore reduced to a user whose fee for use has run out; to the status of a non-subscriber. Most legal systems approach contract on the basis of benefit and detriment (or consideration). Meaning for example, you give me your apple (my benefit) in return for which I will give you one dollar (my detriment) and vice versa of course. Any contractual rights to the facilities offered by the site are now unenforceable for want of sufficient consideration.

    There is no need to run off incurring sizeable legal fees. It is one thing to allege and a completely different thing to prove. Far better to wait for the writ to hit the doormat. It will never happen. It has as much prospect of success as I might have if I were to allege that Michael Schumacher ran me over in Trafalgar Square yesterday morning.

    All this is based upon my understanding of English Law. Whilst not identical to that in Massachusetts, I dare say that there are number of crossovers on principles.
     
  179. Hold it there, Phil.

    Are you a competent lawyer...by chance?
     
  180. Doug - he may not be able to answer if he's in the hospital recovering from his Trafalgar Square injuries and preparing his lawsuit...
     
  181. Prosecuting and defending civil lawsuits is what has put meat on my table for the last 25 years. Only in England though. I’m yet to find myself involved in a case in Massachusetts. Which is a bit of a pity. If ever it got off the ground, Pagnacco –v- Luminal Path would contain the kind of frivolous fresh air I haven't tasted professionally in a long time.
     
  182. hmmmm, I noticed some spots on my monitor whilst reading your comment, Phil. Could they be saliva droolings? Knaw markings? Is the prospect THAT savory? : )
     
  183. Hey Doug, can you please stop this? I’ve only gone and knocked over the vase of flowers Farrari sent me, the water’s gummed up the first three pages of my draft writ and in my comical attempts to prevent this misfortune I pulled out half my stitches! I’m on nil by mouth and I’m supposed to be recuperating! Any one got a cream cake they’d like to chuck my way? :)
     
  184. uuuuuuuh..... (chucks the cake) SPLAT! Got Milk?
     
  185. I like the rating system. It provides me feedback. I put photos on this site for the feedback. I'm not always happy with the numbers, but at least it lets me know when I affect someone enough for them to take a minute give me a number. I also look at the number of views and the comments. All of this is what I love about this site. It is all valuable feedback. Why else would you post on this site but for the feedback? If you didn't care about the feedback, you woundn't be posting on this thread.

    You could just as easily argue that a comment of “cool” or “nice” is useless feedback. Should we get rid of those as well? Maybe have a set of only10 pre-canned comments you can only apply to a photo? What fun would that be? Where does this end? No matter what is done, someone will complain about it.

    I wouldn't mind if the "top photos" did not show the name of the photographer. Let the photo speak for itself, not the name under it.

    If people abuse it, oh well. That's what you get with the freedom that the site provides. If you don't like the ratings, don't use them. I admit that I see photos getting 7's that I wouldn't give a 7 to, but I also see 1-3 given when I don't think it should be (especially when the rater has no comment to go along with the number).

    When I see the system being "abused" (at least, in my opinion of that particular photo, I might feel the ratings are not warranted – too high or too low), I just ignore it and move on. Who cares? That’s going to happen when you have a flexible system like this with thousands of users. I’d vote to keep the system and ignore the people who I want to ignore.

    The system is there for everyone to use or ignore. Use the parts you like, ignore the parts you don’t. Don't ruin it for those of us who like it, please.
     
  186. VERY SAD!
    And more so coming from what is believed to be the land of freedom... Or should I say "What used-to-be the land of freedom"?
    Extremely sad!<p>BTW, I do request all fellow photo.netters to abstain from rating my photos!
     
  187. I totally agree with Alberto Condo in his comment about the freedom. And for me no more ratings for my pictures too. It is very wrong that Anna Pagnacco has been punished this way.
     
  188. People sure have funny ideas about what "freedom" means! Freedom does not mean that any and every form of behavior must be tolerated. Freedom does not mean freedom to act without consequences. Freedom does not mean that private individuals and private enterprises cannot set limits of various kinds that they enforce, within the bounds of public law. Most freedoms have built-in restrictions on their appropriate expression.

    The administrators of this site have specific objectives in mind in operating this site. Apparently they have determined that certain behaviors have emerged that are thwarting the objectives of the site, and they have taken steps that they feel are within their legal rights as a private enterprise. This is freedom, too.
     
  189. And the freedom they make the rules afterwards .....
     
  190. I just have one thing to say.
    PhotoNet is not a public company, with directors and shareholders. If it were so, then it would only be legal for the directors to give the shareholders some rights and involvement in decision making processes.
    But - PhotoNet is not this nor should it be expected to be. People contribute money to support the service, and in return PhotoNet gives them added site functionality and somewhat of a reputation amongst the PhotoNet community.
    Paying money does not purchase you shares nor give you any rights to run this place. There are people who have been appointed to run this place and it would be awesome if everyone respected the hard work they are doing here. If you disagree with some of the decisions they make, then this is a country of free speech and you are entitled to express your opinion for or against their decisions.
    But one thing that really pisses me off is people threatening legal action against PhotoNet. That is just totally unethical and against the principles of online communities of this sort and I do not condone the throwing of big words like "lawyer" and "sue" around on these forums.
    If you don't like it, leave - no-one is forcing you to stay. Otherwise build a bridge and get over it!
    If you feel that you CAN'T go because this is the only place that allows you to display your photos online, then why not contact a web designer (like myself) who would be happy to give you a quotation for the development of a small online photo gallery.
     
  191. If you feel that you CAN'T go because this is the only place that allows you to display your photos online, then why not contact a web designer (like myself) who would be happy to give you a quotation for the development of a small online photo gallery.
    Why would they want to call you when PN gives them free space. A good example is Ms. Jansen here, bitchin and moaning about freedom, but whom also has more than 500 photographs on this site, and by the way has not become a contribuitor....NOw that I call a freeloader.
    And Ms. Jansen, freedom carries repsonsibilities as well...you dont get to do whatever you like just because you want to...
    Brian M wants evidence of other AP style portfolios? just look at those from people who are so upset about Ms. P. A great example is Ms. Jansen, giving 6 and 7 to AP and other italian guy...Valter something...Hell you dont need to have all that statitistical info from the site..just click on the people who are moaning about freedom and you will see the problem....
     
  192. For the sake of fairness, I'll just point out that Ms. Jansen has rated ~500 photos on the site but has only uploaded ~66, which is within the limit of a non-subscriber.
     
  193. I said it once before on Doug's thread and I'll say it again here- (Margaret also said something along the same lines) People just need to grow up. Photo.net is a company, they provide a service and sometimes they make money off of it. This service is not ethics training. Many people here at PN just need to grow-up, take a dose of common sense and try to understand what is expected from them, As stated by the T&C and expressed by society. To understand the purpose of this site. Brian and Co. are not hear to teach that, they have a very specific purpose for the website/service they offer and they can go to "any" means necessary to preserve that purpose.

    They can not and should not have to teach people how to behave in a professional adult manner. If you are unable to behave this way and flagrantly abuse other members of the PN community as well as the T&C and PN administrators, you have no reason to complain when the administrators take action.

    They have done nothing currently or potentially illegal. They are striving to preserve Photo.nets purpose and direction and they have every right to do so, by any means they feel necessary.

    If you don't like the actions they have take- just realize they are not here to teach us how to behave. That's up to us. If you think there is something inherently wrong with what Brian and Co. are trying to accomplish here- than perhaps you need to step back and take a look at your own portfolio, your own list of "friends" and your ratings.

    And then think about what you want from PN, and why you signed up to begin with. If what YOU want are honest critiques and ratings- then give them. And believe it or not Doug, Marc, Anna and Co. are not the only good photographers on this site. Spend some time exploring the gallery, giving ratings and feedback to those photographers you've never heard of. Like Margaret said earlier- immerse yourself in the actual content here. You may be surprised at what you find.
     
  194. Could someone please explain the current site policy/objectives ?
    They are no longer clear to me.
    Where is the all the bitterness, the envy and jealousy going to end?
    The current witch hunt is horrifying.
    Where does the administration stand on this ?
     
  195. n_p

    n_p

    Exactly! Well spoken, Grasshopper.
    I've had enormous fun discovering and recovering long lost favourites from the Gallery in the last 5 days. This awful mess with AP has blown up, after I started compiling my inclusive search for finding 300 top rated images. I say "inclusive", because for some unfortunate reason I wanted to recognize that AP was one of those 300 (as well as some of her 'friends') - wish I had not done that now.
    Anyway, since the membership drive started in June, I wonder what has become of this thread. With the new servers installed, is the proposed limit for non-subscribers in place? I know Lex keeps referring to his limit of 20 images and Philip's comment above (66 uploads) made me think of it again!
     
  196. I have my own website.
    Any single image of mine posted into the database of
    Photo.net via the No Words threads, is worth far more than $25
    in model fees alone.
    While I am on the subject, any future abuse of my copyright
    to these images will definitely see me taking legal action.
    The shifting sands of current site policy have me psychologically
    prepared for the worst.
     
  197. As one of the old Internet users, Gopher, FTP, and Email, I was there at the very begining of the WWW revolution, and had great expectations. Finally an international forum for free speech and interchange of ideas with the bonus of images to illustrate concepts and creatitvity.<br>
    How sad that Mr Berners-Lee's vision has become clouded by the fog of law. As some one mention above, when this last bastion of free speech is choked by the threat of law it is a very sad day.<br>
    People that threaten legal action (no matter how bizzar and unfounded) not only threaten the site they are unhappy with but threaten the whole system, by setting prescedence in law that may never be over-turned.<br>The WWW is all ready a far to commercial affair, big buisness flooding our web browsers with adds emails selling every kind of aid from sex to pension. <br>Call me old fashioned but I hark back to the old days, when inline image where a controversay in themselves and the web had a pioneering spirit.<br>So to all you would be suers, remember that each threat is like a nail in the coffin of freedom, thank you.<br>I find it a little odd that the preponent of this action is not from the land of litigation, I guess this at least makes it less likely to have a bigger effect.<br>PN is commercial, but only in the sense that it needs to generate income in order to survive, in this highly commercialised Web, the cost of an Internet bandwidth has become so prohibitive that many smaller groups can no longer survive, the threat of legal action can only make this situation worse.<br>
    So in a few years when every decent site is sponsered by Choke and Popsie, remember these early days with fondness, 'cos I don't think they will last much longer, and for that I am very sad.
     
  198. Respect for the ethics of our craft,
    our profession, our names and professional reputations.

    Is this asking too much ?

    I don`t see the point of passing on photographic
    knowledge to potential new photographers,
    if respect for their own work and that of others
    is not taught as well.

    These are rights worth defending, and internet or not,
    these rights are recognised by international law.
     
  199. I'm an old user of photo.net and I've learn a lot from it. Few years ago, there was easy to find any good photo posted - few users, just some hundreds of new photos per day. Now, the things are totally different. Zounds and zounds of postings per day. In this situation, I found some solutions to "detect" valuable entries in the gallery: the list with users whom I've marked interesting, their ratings, even random browsing, and not the last, the "top photos" gallery.

    Well, lately this top was flooded (because of mate rating system) by Anna's photos, which IHMO often are not above the snapshot level of quality, or they are just kitsch. Plain photos of flowers? Come on! Is this all that you expect from photography? Do something new, something interesting and original; at least try it! I have A LOT to learn, but I have nothing to learn from such photos, sorry...

    Last weeks I give up to browse this top in search for good entries. I found it monopolised by a group of mate ratters. It's that fair for the rest of the users? Everybody here talk about Anna's broken rights (rights to do what?... mate rate?). How about the rights of rest of the photographers here? They have the right to learn from here, to grow up by browsing the top photos and find really great images there. They must have the chance to appear in this top. Why any user of photo.net to be forced to see day after day one group of mates photos? Come on, people, if Salgado in person will post something on photo.net, his entries will stay burried, in shadow because of that group.

    I think the moderators did the right thing by breaking the circle. In this way, there is a possibility again for one to learn something from this site.

    Regards., and sorry for my english.
     
  200. Leanne, are you saying your copyright in one or more photographs uploaded here has already been infringed? If so, infringed by what means, by whom and with what loss? If on the other hand you are simply apprehensive of a situation where your copyright might be infringed because of what you describe as the shifting sands please explain precisely what you understand by the shifting sands and what it is about the shifting sands that causes your apprehension. Lastly, what steps have you taken / do you propose to take in preparation for the worst and in order to protect your copyright? As someone who finds it necessary to give advance warning of the legal consequences which would follow an infringement, wouldn't you say it would be irresponsible of both you and the administrators of photo.net to allow your photographs to remain on photo.net a moment longer?
     
  201. Phil. No. My copyright has not yet been infringed.
    Judging by your post to the `rude replies to criticism thread`
    you should read up a bit on copyright law and intellectual property rights, though..
     
  202. What I want to know, is ; what is the administration`s
    position on the current bitterness, jealousy and hostility.
    I understand that everyone wants to be a popular photographer,
    but let us be realistic here.
     
  203. I'm a bit in the dark as to the rights under international law that you seem to indicate are at risk of infringement. I'm even more in the dark about your comment to Mr. Morris and your concern over intellectual property rights and copyright law. I confess that in the early hours of the morning, I tend to be a bit of a thickie. Please connect the dots of your argument for me because they seem a bit off the wall at this point.
     
  204. Oh and as you may be able to tell, I tend to use the term "a bit" a bit too much. Its a bit because its a bit too early for me. Looking forward to seeing your response in a bit.
     
  205. Ho ho, good one Leanne. Don’t you think this last post of yours, about bitterness and hostility, sits rather uneasily against your earlier one today threatening legal action and your dig at my understanding of the law of copyright. Assuming you realize I’ve been a lawyer for quite some time now (just look a few posts up), I suppose you might get rather hot under the studio lamp if I suggested you should go seek out a book explaining which end of a camera to look through. So excuse me if I’m a little intemperate.

    That aside, we all have much to celebrate! Your copyright has not been infringed (or “not yet” as you prefer to say - I see you like to add superfluous words – “future” being another - in order to create a state of apprehension at PN). I guess you feel uncomfortable in answering the remainder of my question to you though. Regarding my post to the rude replies thread, specifically in the context of critiques that might rank as educational, if you were to take care you would have noticed that I referred to the need to obtain consent from the photog for a picture to be utilized in the way I suggested. That's a fairly important oversight you made wouldn't you say? Further and no doubt owing to your extensive working knowledge in the field you will have come across the notions of [1] fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review and [2] legitimate educational instruction and examination. Were you never supplied with a copy of a photograph at college for study purposes? The idea I suggested was a million miles from commercial exploitation. Thankfully it is concepts like these that have lead to the foundation of places called lending libraries. Most have a very useful section marked "LARGE PRINT".
     
  206. I am very concerned about the current bitterness and hostility in the Gallery.

    For one thing, if you have read my posts in this thread, you will have seen that I have referred to BOTH the excessively enthusiastic ratings on Anna's photos AND the hostile ratings of her critics in combination as rendering the ratings on her photos invalid.

    The hostility comes about because there is a basic disagreement between two main groups of Gallery members about the rating system. One group believes that it is "normal", "natural", and "human" for people to rate generously the photos of people who have become friends and for them to help each other's photos to the Top Photos pages. As Robert O's recipe made clear, many seem to believe that the rating system is a kind of high school popularity contest with little to do with the merit of the photographs, and the Top Photo pages are no more than the malt shoppe where the most popular kids hang out.

    The other group sees this as a misappropriation of the rating system, which was intended by the site as a method for visitors to find the best work. They want people in the first group to be more critical, to stop rating their friends all time, and they want to stop seeing the same people all the time in the Top Photo pages, especially when they post work that isn't "top". They want other people, including new people, to have a chance at visibility. Some of people in the second group go overboard and in their posts imply that mate-rating is a horrible offense that ought to be a federal crime and that the people who engage in it are contemptible.

    I am basically in the second group myself. I believe that mate-rating is destroying the rating system as a useful method for determining which photos should have prominence on the site. It has always been a problem, but lately it has gotten out of control.

    I part company with the people up in arms about mate-rating when they start implying that it is an enormous scandal, that engaging in it is a moral fault, and start calling on John Ashcroft to send the perpetrators to Leavenworth. I think there is truth in the arguments that it is natural, human, etc to rate your friends, and I largely agree with Mark Meyer that the fault lies with the system, and that without changing it we are never going to get people to rate strangers more than the people who have become their friends. I recognize that part of the attraction of the Gallery for many, perhaps the majority, are the social interactions, and I am sure many of those people are perplexed, vexed, and confused, suddenly to find that behaviour that they thought was completely normal is being questioned.

    I will probably have to change the system in order to diminish the effects of mate-rating. But meanwhile I would like to see it diminish significantly through people moderating their behaviour. I don't mind admitting that one of the reasons for the actions I have taken is to communicate the idea that when people rate photos they are acting as curators of the site, and that if a portfolio seems to the moderators to have been curated to the Top Photos pages by too many undiscriminating curators (both critical and adulatory), we will simply remove it from the rating system entirely.

    I would also like to see the balance-brigade be a lot more measured in their efforts to educate people about why mate-rating is bad for the site, and to stop making a federal case out of it.
     
  207. Wow.. I can't possibly read this entire thread - hot issue. <p>Brian - Kudos. I've been watching the top pages with interest. I long ago gave up my battle cry against mate rating. It used to be a lot worse with people down rating people high on the top photographers list and up rating others to try and change the order. Additionally there were fake accounts that were used to manipulate the list etc. etc. I used to purposefully leave honest critiques pointing out flaws and expressing amazement at the 10/10's (which used to be the highest rate). I finally concentrated on other things the site had to offer thinking that there was just no solution to the problem. I felt it was a problem because those top images are supposed to represent excellence and quite often they did not. That is a disservice to newbies who actually believe the ratings as well as truly talented photographers. <p>As to Anna...I saw that she dominated the top pages consistantly. Some belonged there and some did not. She clearly has a "fan club" which may or may not have been nutured by her actions .. Her work rise immediately upon loading - probably faster than any other images on the site. I know she sometimes sent thank you e-mail when you rate her well. I have rated some of her work well and on others made some honest critiques which were not well received. She clearly has a problem accepting constructive critiques and got very nasty with me. I've witnessed that same nasty attitude often on her portfolio pages. I responded - kindly - but honestly and stuck to my position. She left for a short while after that - but came back. I've also recognized that some of her work was quite creative and told her she is more of an artist than a photographer. What bothered me is that her images dominated the front pages at the expense of others and if it was purely on merit - that would have been ok. But...the consistant multitude of 7's were not warranted in too many cases and a sprinkling of technically bad images. At times my mouth would drop in shock when I'd see an average or bad image with all 7's and 6's. <p>People who love her work can still see her images and make comments... Anyway - Brian - maybe this action will help people realize that sprinkling 7's all over the images of their "friend" "family" or favorite photographer's stuff isn't doing them or the site any favors. Unfortunately for Anna - she was just the straw that broke the camel's back. You have my full support and I don't think people realized how high maintanance this issue is for you! Anotherwords the huge amount of mail and complaints you have to deal with when this sort of thing occurs. Some may not like the decision you made - but they are not in your shoes. I wonder what they would do if they were ;-)
     
  208. Thank you for replying so fully, Brian.

    It is important to me to know that this episode is being approached sensibly.

    Andy, and Phil. It is not my intention to enter into debate with you at this moment
    on the subject of copyright law.
    If you would like to begin a new thread, I will contribute
    to the best of my ability.
    Any and all information can be found on the web. A simple Google search should be enough for anyone
    to find out all they need to know on the subject.

    My reference to the importance of photographers` rights was in response
    the concept that the internet should be a realm of free speech and
    thus possibly exempt from the normal laws of conduct.

    I am all for free speech, but with respect for the individual rights of the people involved.
    Not only regarding legal issues such as copyright,
    but also ethical behaviour regarding
    human dignity.

    About my work posted, this is with my consent - I posted it myself.
    It is clearly stated that no work may be used `without the written consent of the photographer.`
    It is my faith that this will always be respected.

    Forgive my lack of legalese - I am a photographer, not a lawyer,
    and we are not in court.
     
  209. Ahmen to that!
     
  210. Well listen Leanne, that’s fine. I got on my high horse because ... well everyone who’s read this far down knows why. I’m right behind you on protecting literary, musical and artistic works from misuse. Likewise free speech (the courteous kind of course), respect for one’s fellow man and all those other things that ensure society is made up of nice people. I’d like to think I’m one of those nice people and I reckon you are too. So here’s my hand. What say we shake eh? :)
     
  211. Done. Good to meet you, Phil.
     
  212. Alexandru....What's wrong with flower photo's?? That's all I have besides Lauren..Everyone else runs away when they see me with my camera! I now have a bird for a while, so that's different. I love flower photos & Anna's were some of the first I rated. I was finding this site quite enjoyable til yesterday I stumbled upon this thread. Last night I dared to upload "silly" flower photos, & OHG! one ended up on the TP page! Some people here,,Bob Hickson for one...worked to help me improve my Iris boquet. This is fun for me. Richard B. Has also been quite helpful & many, many others..But I get somewhat offended by all the negative comments about flower photos. What about all the silly bridges, mountain, waterfalls & lakes I have to look at. Some I like, some I dislike. Every once in a while as I'm crusing the recent uploaded, I come across a "wow" photo. I like it, , I don't know why, but now I'm hesitant about commenting "WoW"..7/7..Or great job, 6/6....I think I'm taking my bat & ball & going home,,,I'm not having fun anymore. Just a joke! But seriously guys,,lighten up! I will be uploading more flower photos tonight. Be forwarned!! FREE ANNA, FREE ANNA, FREE ANNA! Elizabeth
    005Pnl-13411684.JPG
     
  213. Another favorite of mine are digitally enhanced, or totally changed PS photos. They are also highly critisized..boy I wish you had spell check here! But, you get my point..nit picking about soo many things, enjoy life! I don't like the term "mate rating" either. Some of the people here I consider my friends even though they are in other countries & states. I recieve many emails regarding my health & photos. They are not my mates, they are my friends, & I don't give them high ratings on photos I don't like. I don't like Anna's mountains, therefore I don't rate them. According to the definition of Asthetics, don't rate something you don't like, such as french poodles. O.K. I'm done venting. Have a great Day! Elizabeth
    005PoB-13412084.JPG
     
  214. There is nothing wrong with silly flower shots, what is wrong is rating them 7/7 when they are clearly not that original or that well presented. In the case of your photo, you seem to have taken a shot of a flower, heavily applied a photoshop "pointilist" effect on the crown and post it here. The final result is nice ( not my prefence but that is unimportant) I would have rated this a 3 on aesthetics and a 2 on originality. This is certainly a much better shot that those from AP which are just simple flower shots in front of a black background but still, it shows a clear use of photoshop and is not very original. I think those who use photoshop effects on their images should use them so that it enhances the photo and they should be used in a way that it blends with the image. If it is easily and markedly obvious that it has bee used (like many in AP portfolio) then I think it is merely an example of how to use the filter, not a finished photograph. I say all this as a person who would have critiqued this image, OTOH I have no idea why this photo ended in the TP page. Seems people are failing to really see the images and are just going by first impact.
     
  215. Elisabeth, the term "mate-rating" started, I think, because of the strong Australian contingent on the site. In Oz, "mate" means "friend".
     
  216. Get a life you lot. Jesus. You STILL really think all this is important? You should get out more. If you don't like what's happening, pull your images, and piss off. I did. I maybe drop by once a month now if i'm lucky - instead of being constantly here. You really don't get it Anna, do you? It isn't a pissing contest. And while I pulled my pics over something Brian did, I believe he acts with photo.nets best intentions. Perhaps those of you who have been here a while can remember just when, how and why Brian got involved.

    I want a big red 'Delete' button to hit. Then I'll hit it.
     
  217. Brian, since the concept of rating on this site is meant to applaud good photography, of course it's wrong to simply rate your friends higher and your enemies lower. There goes any impartial judging and we're just trying to make our buddies visible. I hate it.

    I've got friends on this site (some who gave up when rating started to go crazy) and we do rate and comment on each others photos. But there's a difference between mate rating and providing concise criticism. I'm sure I've told several of my friends "I don't like it and here's why..." and given an appropriately low rating. The only people I dare rate any more are my friends here, I just write comments for everyone else. It's become too dangerous to rate other people's photographs because they might retaliate and while I'm not particularly worried about my ratings the thought of having to put of with someone going nuts like that isn't appealing.

    I saw rating normalization per person mentioned on the thread and that's an interesting idea. Unfortunately some people do only vote on photos that they like or don't like.
     
  218. I understand where you're coming from now. My apologies for anything I said that was perceived as being testy or obtuse. Having not had my required fourteen gallons of coffee at the time I wrote the earlier note in the thread, I may well have come across as testy or stupid or both. Sorry to have inadvertently gotten in your face as it wasn't intended on my part.
     
  219. Cheers Doug. Was that done on a digital?
     
  220. pure photoshop, hope you didn't cut your hand whilst hitting the screen. The 3-D could have been better, as shown with this version. red background, white words, flatten. Duplicate layer, select top layer, bevel and emboss: hard light, twiddle the sliders. Flatten, save jpg.
    005PsC-13413484.jpg
     
  221. Thought so. Would have been better on film - might have got 7,7 off your friends. As I don't know you, its a 6,6 (and it gains 2 points on each in fear of what you may do to my blue recycle bin).
     
  222. I am curious about your requests to have people stop rating your photos, yet you both continue to rate others as recently as today. I am curious as to your reasons for these strange actions.
     
  223. Silly me, I've always had a great time cruising the forums, posting and critiquing photos, and engaging in stimulating conversation that frequently made a problem I was working on become suddenly solvable.
    I was unaware of all these earth shaking political issues, except for a few unsolicted emails from "offended parties" which only make me reach for my small grey delete button. Another problem "solved". One of the nice things about photo.net is that any problems that occur here actually do disappear if I ignore (and delete) them!
    The only reason I even knew about this thread is because I keep Leanne on my favorites list, and I saw she had no pictures, but several comments on this thread. Now I will retreat, back into obscurity, whistling past the graveyard... t
    P.S. Please do not rate my pictures. Thank you.
     
  224. I think its highly immature when someone doesn't like the technique of a photograph and says so in an intelligent manner, but then they turn around and bully you by writing "I don't understand...avoid rating" on your most recent photograph uploaded....which is what was done to me.

    And the irony is the next person came by RIGHT AFTER and gave a 1/1 and said "I don't understand it."

    Then 20 other people came by a few weeks later after I said "uh...what is going on here? WTF" and said they understood it and actually liked it somewhat, although I dealt with a weird topic/presentation.

    I rate very high. You'll look at my ratings and see they teeter in the mid to high 6's, like 6.3, 6.4. I explain my ratings in my bio. I say that I rate high because I do not feel I have the right to bully/discourage others from their practice. However, I also say that I do not want people to feel like they have to give high ratings because I liked their work. Not only do I feel embarrassed if they start gushing over ALMOST ALL of the stuff I do, I begin to get that self-conscious, self-discrediting feeling deep in my gut...though on the other hand I don't want people to leave me 2's and 3's without comments or "Avoid rating!" out of spite either!

    I am also easily amused, which is why I leave high ratings when I become captivated. When I come across something I do not like, I just give some pointers for improvement, nothing more. I occasionally snap here and there at people who just leave 1's with no explanation, or occasionally I'll write to someone who left me a high rating and ask them to explain a bit.


    I would actually love some sense of normalization for the ratings I give. I can't see bringing down my "average" to keep up appearances by going on a ratings spree of giving 3's and 4's without any deep thought.

    I think there are a lot of excellent artistic people on here who get very little attention on the "Top Rated Photos" page. They become hard to find as a result. I'd like to see more of them!
     
  225. Have been following this 'drama' from the sidelines this week. Not many took any notice of the fact that I had expired and departed from photo.net.<br>Innocently answered an AP question about who picks the POW and next thing, there is this incredible storm raging in this thread - obviously necessary, but very sad, PN!<br> Laura is correct in pointing out that many of the great photographers go unnoticed in this place. Not everyone has the necessary time (or friends) to solicit feedback by leaving comments (and ratings). Have all but given up on the idea of rating, comments usually attract far more feedback because they are more visible in your workspace (for instance). Sometimes I get a surprise to discover that one of my uploads received some new ratings. You won't know unless you check the numbers game regularly. Conclusion, just ignore the numbers and carry on commenting. I never came near AP's work much, figured plenty of others were there to give her attention. Ever since the Hot Links initiative, I continue to search for newbies and neglected folders. Oh, and visiting the portfolios of my army of friends at PN! Have a great day all...
     
  226. What does avoid rating mean? That they want to say that they
    don't like it but fear revenge if they rate or something?<P>

    Oh no. I hope that's not what it means because I was teasing
    someone in that manner that I felt to be a friend. This sucks. I
    hope I didn't piss him off. I didn't know there was a clique
    meaning to this... :(<P>

    I need to write him now...
     
  227. I received about 3 or 4 of these avoid ratings and didn't think anything of them. Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought it was just a transalation problem, that it means "abstain from rating" because of a lack of understanding concerning the intent/meaning/aesthetics of an image. You know, you see one that is just so different from anything you've seen before that you can't decide whether it's great, or terrible. As in, I will avoid rating this because I don't understand it sufficiently to judge it.
     
  228. OK, yeah that's how I personally meant it plus teasing. But I
    wrote him anyway just in case. You know how us artists can get
    easily rattled sometimes. I'm one. I admit it. :)<P>

    Ok off to see my shrink now. Toodles!
     
  229. Hmmm... I saw these "Avoid rating"s and thought them to be something much more deliberate. In fact I saw it as an instruction to the minions to not rate these particular photos good/bad because either way they'd potentially rise to the TRP.

    Maybe I'm reading too much into it... which could come from spending too much time trying to get meaning out of slight photographical implications. I better go do some real work.
     
  230. I absolutely agree..

    Lawyers? Anna, please get back on planet earth, come on, can't you understand any reasons more than those of your self-centered world?

    Freedom.
     
  231. Lets go to the National Gallery and let us rate the pictures. And then tell me what an "objective meaning" is.
     
  232. Hmmm... I saw these "Avoid rating"s and thought them to be something much more deliberate. In fact I saw it as an instruction to the minions to not rate these particular photos good/bad because either way they'd potentially rise to the TRP.

    Maybe I'm reading too much into it... which could come from spending too much time trying to get meaning out of slight photographical implications. I better go do some real work.


    This was my comment, and I was mistakenly logged in to the Picture This account when making it. I do not speak for the group as a whole and apologize for any confusion this may have caused. If the above comment has been deleted (as I requested) when you read this, Its place was 3 comments up from here.
     
  233. It's very sad, very demoralizing, very disheartening, to observe that an American site of photography is the exact opposite of freedom, democracy and free expression of art.............I'm a new user, but this will be the last time for me, I believe in art, I love photos and i can't bear to share this site with such a DESPOTIC MANAGEMENT.
    Shame on you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  234. Laura you are right. What they do is censorship of our ratings. And what is "objective meaning"? Their "objective meaning" or mine "objective meaning"? I prefer to look pictures who I find interesting, pictures I like. And then I want to rate them high.
     
  235. Laura if you had been here long enough I think you'd have more mixed emotions. While I don't regularly partake in the ratings system, it's fallen apart and the poor Photo.net elves are trying to find a way to fix it.

    How they go about that I don't know, perhaps dropping the ratings system entirely, or a drastic redesign. Maybe each number 1-7 could have a description. For originality 1 being "seen it too many times before" and 7 being "wow, I've never seen this in my life!"

    Calling this a lack of freedom and against what America stands for is silly, it would be good though if we could find away to get everyone to play fair and by the rules. Photo.net has rules to play by but many people have ignored them deliberately and thats why the ratings system has broken down. If you've got a great idea on how to fix it then that would be great but unfortunately Brian still hasn't found something that works and every time he tries something someone comes out and complains. Even if photo.net held a site wide vote on what to do, only some would come out and everyone else would come out of the woodworks thinking they should get to complain even though they didn't vote or add to the idea pot in a constructive manner.

    Seems to me it's not the administrators that are the problem, it's some of us.
     
  236. Now it's like this little britches; All you gotta do is look for the bare neccessities.
     
  237. g|1

    g|1

    Laura, first of all I think you ought to see photo net as the global site that it is, and being located in America doesn't mean anything to the users that visit from elsewhere. Secondly, I think you ought to look up 'democracy' in a dictionary; it is about governments being elected by the whole population. This however, is an independent internet site run by overworked programming staff and not elected politicians. I have seen the current administrators participate on threads, ask the members views, improve the system, improve it again etc etc, but at the end of the day all they can do is try to find solutions that will please all of the people all of the time. It is simply impossible. So, apart from your misunderstanding that this is a public sector property run by elected representatives of the American people, what would you like to see change here specifically?
     
  238. g|1

    g|1

    ps Laura, I forgot to add that I love art too, but my understanding is that this decision appears to have been made on the basis of both statistical data, and on the observation of behaviour from participating members in an interactive community. Democracy does not mean freedom for the individual at all costs, to behave how the individual should like regardless of the greater good, of the aims, the people of the community, or it's future. Where I come from that kind of "freedom" philosophy that dismisses the wider community is known as "out for number one", ie ME.
     
  239. The only criticism one might level at the administration of this site
    is that it has been naive. It assumed a level of maturity and an
    understanding of the role each member was being asked to play towards
    realizing the goals of this site. The notion that you can spell it out
    in numerous threads and somehow word will get around is only now being
    seriously reexamined.

    Too many people posting on this thread don't understand that the photo
    critique forum is about making a conscious effort to spread bonafide
    critiques around to as many people and images as possible. This is
    not the same thing as rating the people you think are the best. And
    it sure as hell isn't about drawing attention to your portfolio using
    every trick you think you can get away with.
     
  240. Laura, I see that you've been a member since 2 June 2003! Do you really think that you have actually discovered what photo.net is all about?
    I think not... If you're mainly interested in the artistic/aesthetic side of photos, rather than photography in general, I suggest you go to a 'real' gallery, or museum. This is an online community, you have to participate to appreciate its value. Get the feeling you haven't given it much of a chance.
     
  241. Carl (the other one) Root, I think you're right. They didn't anticipate or maybe didn't want to what would happen. Personally I think I wouldn't have accounted for the inability of the public to "play fair."

    As it is I think that the admins here have done a superb job with what is really a huge site and are still trying to work the kinks out. If the site didn't keep growing it'd be easier to handle the problems but this site hasn't stopped and doesn't seem to plan on stopping in the near future.
     
  242. Peter, what's the difference betwenn gallery and "real" gallery? 90 % of the people using PN show you every day with their comments and ratings, that they don't want what a minority wants.
     
  243. Peter and tell me what is more important than artistic/ästethic? WHEN THIS IS UNIMPORTANT WHY ARE WE ASCED FOR ORIGINALITY AND ÄSTHETIC? Good night when we don't need photo's with originality and/or ästhetic.
     
  244. I can see a little higher up this thread that you agreed with Laura's statement, so it comes as no surprise that you have picked me up on my last comment. The choice of words in my last contribution could perhaps have been a little better, but essentially I was trying to address these words Laura wrote:
    I'm a new user, but this will be the last time for me, I believe in art, I love photos and i can't bear to share this site with such a DESPOTIC MANAGEMENT.
    Very assertive words, but it doesn't add up. Photo.net is MUCH more than just a Gallery (eventhough it accounts for the majority of site traffic). Like Laura, you have only been here for just one month. There are some extremely helpful and educational features/columns/presentations/forum threads to be found at this site. So, I am NOT convinced that Laura has done herself any favours by concentrating on the DESPOTIC MANAGEMENT. If new members would spend some time searching and reading through the forums, there would be a major decrease in the number of Help and Feedback forum postings.
    Mind you, there are many fellow PNetters, who are very happy to volunteer some of their time to help out new members and point them in the right direction. After all, this is not just a Gallery it is an online community. If censorship of ratings troubles you, I suggest you just ignore the ratings and concentrate on commenting. Stick around for the next 12 months and you might get an appreciation of the difference between photo.net and a 'real' Gallery. Never said that artistics (originality), or aesthetics are not important. You take these aspects into consideration when you compose a comment, or leave a thoughtful critique. Handing out numerical values on images doesn't require a lot of skill - unless you were Bailey Seals (R.I.P.)!
     
  245. mg

    mg

    "Photo.net has rules to play by but many people have ignored them
    deliberately and thats why the ratings system has broken down. If you've got a great idea on how to fix it then that would be great but unfortunately Brian still hasn't found something that works and every time he tries something someone comes out and complains. Even if photo.net held a sitewide vote on what to do, only some would come out and everyone else would come out of the woodworks thinking they should get to complain even though they didn't vote or add to the idea pot in a constructive manner. Seems to me it's not the administrators that are the problem, it's some of us." - Carl Smith.
    <p>
    I agree and disagree at the same time with this paragraph, Carl. Yes, some of us are the problem - those who are not using the rating system as it was meant to be used, for what ever reason that may be. BUT, in every school, when the kids don't play by the rules,
    they get told once, twice, three times if necessary, what are the rules, then if that's not good enough, they get punished, and after a few punishments, they might even be "excluded". Please note that it is exactly the same in our cities, no matter where we live.
    <p>
    There will always be complains BEFORE ANY proposed reform and AFTER the implementation of ANY reform. But how does this surprise us ? IT'S NORMAL ! IT HAPPENS WORLDWIDE AFTER ANY REFORM OF ANY KIND.
    <p>
    "At the end of the day all they can do is try to find solutions that will please all of the people all of the time. It is simply impossible." - says Geraldine...
    <p>
    Solution: stop trying to achieve what's impossible to achieve !
    <p>
    Each time management tries A REFORM to solve these problems created by a few, SOME people complain. Then PN says "WE CAN NEVER WIN". (How many times have we heard this...!?) Well, in life, you can't have it all anyway: why expect photo.net to be any different ?
    <p>
    Photo.net administrators, stop worrying about pleasing all people, because, generally speaking, YOU ARE RIGHT ! Plain and simple.
    <p>
    1) You are right to try to get the rating system to be fair.
    <p>
    2) YOU ARE RIGHT TO SAY THAT YOU CAN'T PLEASE ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME !
    <p>
    YOU JUST CAN'T !! Full stop. SO, WHAT...?
    <p>
    Here's the good news: YOU DON'T HAVE TO PLEASE ALL OF US ALL THE TIME !!
    <p>
    Does the government of a country care, SHOULD it care if 2% or even 25% of the population disagrees with a new law ? IMO, THE ANSWER IS NO. Or else nothing ever gets done and it leads to anarchy,
    and at the end of the day, we'll need the police force to "exclude" some citizens - which is just another kind of problem, that will of course generate a few complaints as well...
    <p>
    PN can never win indeed for as long as they worry about 3 or 10 or 30 complaints posted in the forum. They have to analyze the situation globally and find a global solution that's logically sound : it doesn't matter if a small percentage is unhappy with the reform, as long as a majority of folks don't mind the reform.
    <p>
    ADMINISTRATORS, DO WHAT YOU THINK IS RIGHT. LISTEN TO OUR OPINIONS, BUT IF WE DON'T CONVINCE YOU, IGNORE US AND EVERYTHING ELSE. Chances are that doing what's right will anyway get you the consent of the majority. That's exactly the responsability of any government: nobody has the right to blame you for making decisions - especially on a private web site.
    <p>
    PN administrators need to understand that they CAN'T satisfy all the people, they need to ACCEPT that idea, and they need to make editorial and structural decisions ACCORDING TO WHAT THEY THINK IS RIGHT, not based on any vocal minority, or silent majority, or whatever.
    <p>
    Photo.net is not a democracy, and it shouldn't become an anarchy. Photo.net's government has to rule and set the rules, and that's not despotism: it's called government. Governments rule, people complain - that's life...
     
  246. mg

    mg

    Please note that my previous post is meant as a GENERAL comment about management philosophy. Brian has ignored most of MY opinions for ages, and it doesn't bother me. I've said what I thought, so did others, and at the end, it's up to Photo.net's administration. Then each member is free to decide whether he wants to be a member of this community or not, and to decide to what extent he wants to participate in this community. And it ends there.
    <p>
    And I believe Photo.net's management should stop worrying that any new rule or reform may cause some people to leave. That may well be the case, but for each reform, a person (perhaps even a suscriber) walks out and another one walks in. If this reform is good, chances are that more people will walk in than walk out. That's at least the faith any government should have imo.
     
  247. Well, well...human definitely imperfect....unlike rating system... Just to explain for 125th time how to use the system and it should work... If not? Just get rid of all mate raters and everybody, who looks suspecious. That's simple. And, eventually it should work!
     
  248. I'm not sure what you're trying to say. For openers, your rating
    average is 5.83 / 5.9.
     
  249. Some of the best photographs on the site get 3's and 4's. Robert Frank would get low ratings from some idiots here. Just because Ansel Adams isn't within the mainstream of my interest, does that mean I can justifiably pronounce his work crap?
    Wonderful photographs are spoiled by accompaniment of a 3 rating, given by someone who doesn't have an education past pop photo aesthetic. People should be able to share their work without it being accompanied by a judgement of an averaging system of the lowest common denominator. A photograph should be looked at with the only judgement being in the mind of the person doing the looking. I wonder if some of the people who spend hours of their time rating photos can even articulate why they feel what they feel.

    Ratings and comments should be requested or allowed for, not imposed.
     
  250. No photograph can be "spoiled" or improved by a rating! The photograph presented is what it is; good or bad, likeable or dislikeable, attractive or ugly, exciting or boring...

    The rules of the site are that photographs, with very few exceptions, are available for comment and rating by all who care to do so. Not everyone agrees that Ansel Adams' works are great, nor that Robert Franks' are either. Everyone on this site may express their opinions of the photographs by ratings or comment or both. That's the way it is, that's what you signed up for when you joined the site, and it seems pointless to rant about it now. If you don't like it, perhaps you should seek a place where your views are held by the management!
     
  251. Good job dealing with a difficult situation Brian. While it's unfortunate that it came to this, something had to be done. I hardly visit to the Top Photo pages anymore because I kept seeing the same photographers with the same types of photos dominating the top pages. Hopefully this whole situation will make people more aware of their rating habits and help curtail abuse of the system. Keep up the good work.
     
  252. I think we ought to rename ratings weapons of maths destruction; which reminds me - you can have these tailor made
     
  253. Maybe every month the system should just reset, then allow a rating frenzy. The top photos in that frenzy each month are gone through by people with common sense and the best is put in a "best of the net" gallery. Obviously don't let folks see before decision time what wins becuase otherwise the solid purple cartoon will get voted on and there will be an uproar when it doesn't win. (an uproar of the insane minority but nonetheless an irritating uproar.)
     
  254. 100% agree with u Jeremy. Everybody here is here to find out what others think about their works, what others are doing and eventually accept or give rating or/and comments. I am not not sure about the order. It depends... <p>If you think you are too good to get a 2 from `of course a beginner or a crap`, or some negative critic over your picture, from whom, whatever his objective, spent time to look at your picture, I wonder what are you doing here? You think you are a champion, the king of the composition, the son of Nicephore and Ansel if they could meet each other, just because your inflated ego feel comforted by some generous donators, exchanging `WOW`, 6/7, `great catch`, `you hit again`, .... what`s a theater!<p> Robert Fleming used the world of "pathetic", I think he was kind! <p> and I also agree with Jack Lang, Brian has dealt a difficult situation with a good common sense, which seems quite unusual in this kindergarten for diva. <p>People here should accept the rules and the tool, make constructive proposals to improve it if needed and stop crying and retaliate like spoiled baby-child each time they receive a 2 or a negative comment. <p> sometime I really feel that photography is just an excuse here, a pretext, ... the `sideshow` (as I could read earlier on a smart bio), .. the little horror picture show of human comedy... indeed very interesting this little comedy with rating and comments. Definitely not boring!
     
  255. No, I'm not here to see what some moron thinks about my work. I'm here to share it with like minded people, who can relate to what I'm doing. If you don't like the stuff then go look for a photo you do like. Arrogance is when people think they've the right to tab my photo with their stupid judgement, when I never asked them. Everyone has tastes, so what? What relevance does it have to my work, to be judged by someone who doesn't even appreciate the entire genre I'm working in?

    Jeremy, I like it here, and I'll say what I honestly feel. In case you didn't notice, this is the FEEDBACK forum. Maybe it's you who needs to seek another place- where everybody follows, and nobody is allowed to speak their mind.
     
  256. Near as I can tell, you've been here a whole year, yet you have found
    only one other person whose portfolio you can relate to, so why not
    just remove your images and share off line? Seriously.

    I am sympathetic to some points you are making, but it's hard to get
    people to be receptive when you use such inflamatory language. I
    think there are quite a few photographers who have more to give than
    receive on the photo critique forum. They share inspirational images,
    give thoughful critiques, and let others make adulatory comments about
    them. When you hold yourself above the crowd with few others to
    support your claims, it sounds like every one's out of step but you.

    I am sympathetic about the genre issue. It would be nice if those who
    wished to could upload into a specific category and get feedback from
    other like-minded souls. Unless and until that happens, you are going
    to have to accept that many raters will look at your images who don't
    have a clue what your style is all about. Maybe you could give a
    detailed explanation on some of your images that separate yours from
    run of the mill versions. Then we can all learn something. . . . .
     
  257. Carl, I've related to many people here. It's just not a habit I have of going around and sticking numbers on people's photos. I've given several thoughtful comments to people's works that moved me. The only time I can remember being critical of somebody is when they were specifically asking for a critique or feedback. It would seem really strange to me to arbitrarily search photos and see ones I thought were below average, by a person I hadn't a clue what they were about, and place a number rating on it without any explanation.

    Sorry for the language. It's just that I'm a little testy after finally deciding to upload more than a small sample of my work, and having it receive numbers before I could even finish uploading the photos in the folder! I didn't upload it so somebody doing commercial work and who has never even seen my name could give an impersonal assessment. I uploaded it so that people on the forum I hang out on can have a reference of where I'm coming from when I make a comment. I uploaded it so that people doing simialar things can see what I've been up to. I want to make it clear I appreciate the ability to do that here.

    I respect the difficulty of your job and understand the purpose of this system. I just can't figure why people who've been photographing for 25 years and should know themselves pretty well by then, and don't have any ambition to be awarded a photo of the week or other award, shouldn't have the option of sharing their work and excluding numbered judgements by strangers. This is just my opinion, of course I respect I have to follow the rules, if those rules are what the general consensus is...
     
  258. Brian, could you please remove me from this thread? I selected to be notified when there is a new response, but this is too much and I don't know how to stop getting the emails.

    Thanks, and I still love the site!
     
  259. Arrogance is when people think they've the right to tab my photo with their stupid judgement...
    Goodness, had I known this I'd have forwarded all of my comments and ratings to you for your personal approval before I posted them.
     
  260. Ray,

    Perhaps you noticed that both of us are free to say what we want on this site and in this thread. I was not censoring you; you may say whatever you wish in this forum.
    I was pointing out that you joined this site knowing the rules for comments and ratings (if you read the FAQ and if you lurked for a while first). In any case, as you have no doubt already seen, your griping about others rating or commenting on your photos is getting you nowhere. And none of this interferes with people doing similar things looking at your photos and commenting on them.

    Furthermore, as you said:

    ” Jeremy, I like it here, and I'll say what I honestly feel. In case you didn't notice, this is the FEEDBACK forum. Maybe it's you who needs to seek another place- where everybody follows, and nobody is allowed to speak their mind.”

    I am not preventing you from speaking your mind, and you are not going to prevent me from speaking mine. And I think you may also already have learned that not “everybody follows” here. As for me seeking another place, I’ve been here more than six years now, and I’ll likely stay as long as both photo.net and I exist! That’s my FEEDBACK!
     
  261. First, I have no official function on this forum. Jeremy, on the
    other hand, is in charge of the handling charges of abuse. :)

    No one is seeking you out for the purposes of rating your
    images. All new uploads go into a list and anyone can rate
    those images in the order they come up on the screen. This has
    served the purpose of a first filter to assist in deciding which
    images get visibility on the top pages. Please go back and read
    all of Brian Mottershead's posts in this thread.

    The last is a very popular misconception. It doesn't matter what
    the 'consensus' is. If it's site policy, your job is to try to
    understand it and abide by it. If the majoirty does not agree with
    it or understand it, it's beside the point.
     
  262. Obviously I have no choice but to abide by it, if I want to have photos people can look at when they click my name. I'm sure there are some awfully good photographers who refuse to submit to this contest system in order to share their work. As to consensus, it's funny there might be a policy the majority of users to the site don't approve of, but if you say so...

    In any case I'm not speaking for just myself here.

    I can't figure one reason why you couldn't have grading an option instead of a requirement, and still serve the purposes you intend. There are plenty enough people who WANT this feedback. I don't.

    Joe, yes, you can forward your comments beforehand for my approval. At least then we'd have some connection before you crap on my photo, and I don't have a clue whether you're the curator of a photo museum, or Elmer Fudd. ;)
     
  263. Peter, why did I know that you would write "You are a here only since a month"? You are wrong! I'm a visitor of PN since a longer time and you must not tell me what happens in PN out of the galleries. (Did you read "Berlin and Prague"?) What I don't like is that here some people think they are the gods of photographie and they don't accept that people are different and every one sees the world with his own eyes and that cause of that there is not the "one and only" 7 or 6 or 1. Let them rate their own 7, 3 or what else. What's wrong when they do so? I see that and I'm old enough to get my own meaning of that without crying for rules how to rate. There is not "that" rating.
    Regards Franz
     
  264. gib

    gib

    What's wrong with Elmer Fudd?
     
  265. Carl,

    I'm trying to say, that this 'blurred' statistics can hardly be a basis for strong actions. It may indicate, that on somebody's opinion, who's average say 3.0/3.0, I'm mate-rater, and you, with 5.33/5.23, probably too, or at least, look very suspecious. On my opinion, 3/3 rater may look like a sadist, who enjoying downrating. To avoid all these mutual suspicions, frequent 'verbal' threats, maybe it's a good idea to change system accordingly, instead of hundreds of attempts to change human nature by explaining how to use current rating system. I guess, anonymous rating would be good, however it has been rejected already by PN practice. Another approach maybe weighing ratings relatively overall average to minimize subjectivism, mate rating, whatever. For example, if overall PN average say (randomly) 4.5, but Anna's is 6 (supposed to be inflated), after weighing any certain Anna's rating, e.g 6/6, it converts by a statistical software into (again arbitrarily) 5/5; accordingly, ratings from a '3.0 person' to be converted by a software, say into 4.0. Maybe than, the balance would be achieved without any dramatic and actions like now. Otherwise, the 'justice' should win, even the world will be destroyed. Just my deeply subjective opinion, I may be wrong.
     
  266. You are all acting like a bunch of *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* artists. Clearly none of you have laid on stocks of pringles, beer and hard drugs. Choose life.
     
  267. Geez - starting to see multiple exclamation marks in this one. Sure sign of an unstable mind. :)

    Don't think I've weighed in on this one yet, so since I'm home sick with a cold on the 4th of July (ARGH!) and at least for the day don't feel up to choosing life (thank you Mr. Crane), I might as well drop in my two cents.

    First off, since when is photo.net a democracy? It is a benevolent dictatorship (thanks, Brian and Marc!) that generally respects free speech. OTOH, it's a moderator's job to step in when things have gotten out of hand - as they have.

    Now I will not dispute the quality of work that I've seen here, by Anna and several other photographers. The top photographers on the site certainly deserve recognition for their work and skill. I'll be sorry to see Anna go, but from everything I've seen, she's not been banned - she's walking on her own. More power to her.

    The more I think about it, the more I think the way to put a brake on "mate-rating" and "revenge-rating" is to simply disallow ratings without comments. Make it take more effort to rate photos, and maybe those ratings will be more thoughtful and significant?

    Or maybe not - after all, we're a bunch of "artists." :-D
     
  268. Sorry - Mr. Crame, not Crane. Apologies.
     
  269. Hi All,
    I have found that one must be brave to rate poorly on this site. I have not at least been the victim of SPAM Rating/Comments but my partner has. I also don't understand when some photo's get 6/6 as an average and then someone goes through your portfolio and gives 4/4 or 3/4 etc. I would like to see a system where deviating more than 1 from the average rating requires a comment. I have nothing against my photos being rated lowly but if it deviates significantly from the average I really want to know why. After all this site is about improvement.
    Cheers
    Jamie.

    Ps. When ever I have been involved in any litigation the first thing my lawyer says is "Shut your mouth" and the lawyer handles everything from that point onwards and I have to admit that the "Shut your mouth" advise has been the best $100.00 I have ever spend ;-)
     
  270. Eric - Requiring a comment doesn't generally work - I assume that's why the requirement to leave comments for 1, 2, and 7 ratings was removed. You just get a long run of people that leave "Wow!" or "another great shot!" and similar stuff. If you make them write 20 words, they either write wow 20 times or paste in stupid boilerplate comments.

    Ray - Actually, I'm the curator of the Elmer Fudd Museum of Photography. :)
     
  271. it would be a bunk claim anywho
     
  272. Dear Peter, only numbers? The numbers have a meaning 6 = very well and so on. And I don't think that most of the comments are helpful. Cut here, cut there use PS. The photos i take don't get better in this way. And when someone rates a photo 5 or 6 I know there is someone who likes that photo and doesn't find it bad. And 3 shows he has another meaning. There are varity of opinions and you can not rule opinions. And that is what happens here.
     
  273. Franz, I agree with you regarding "There are varity of opinions and you can not rule opinions. And that is what happens here."

    This is what discourages people from offering their opinions when they feel the image is anything less than 5. When someone does have the courage to say: "This image is a failure in my opinion, etc, " you can sometimes hear the lynch mob forming as everyone begins to question the judgement of this person, especially when their opinion is counter to all those posted beforehand.
     
  274. The problem Doug, is it's the same few people that put these lower numbers on others work.....most all of their work! What I also find very ironic, is that the work of these lower raters (also called the "balance brigade" by Brian) is really not very good at all. Once somebody goes through your entire folder, you naturally want to check out their work, to see how good this lower rating photographer is. (He must be at least pretty good right, since he is rating your work quite critically). Interesting that people with very average work, feel so compelled to go through the folders of those with above average work. Kind of Funny, actually!
     
  275. one doesn't have to produce masterful work in order to appreciate the works of a master. none of us would be able to utter a squeal about works of the Masters then, because in order for someone to say that he or she could care less about, say AA, he or she should surpass AA in terms of excellence and perfection.
    one doesn't have to excel in producing art in order to appreciate it, as long as one is not talking through his/her hat, ofcourse. and as long as a rating or an opinion is backed by a solid logical and technical reasoning, there's absolutely no need for further questions or a need for the critiquer to prove his artisitc credentials by showing his own work. and also with the new "highest rated photos.." link one can always decide whether to listen to someone or not. besides, one may fully know the technical nuances and what it takes to make a good shot and still may have not yet attained the results that he or she wishes, but that doesn't stop him/her from saying what he or she thinks is an imperfection or showing excellence, in a given shot.
    besides, the level of work posted here at PN is hardly 'complex' artistically, excepting a few photographers. and i sincerely think anyone can express their opinions.
    this thread has meandered into subjects that have hardly anything to do with the topic?
     
  276. Vincent, the text of your reply has brought credence to my assertion, that posting a low rating will by consequence call out the dogs against you. There are few with the courage to be consistent in expressing unpopular low ratings, I agree, so it will naturally appear to be a small number of individuals on a mission. However, there are plenty that would agree with them, however, they choose not to vocalize their opinions because they haven't either the fortitude to withstand the onslaught, or don't care to express an opposing view possibly out of politeness or some other cultural or personal preference.
    I reject utterly and entirely the position that masters of photography, or photographers of unquestionable talent, are the only ones qualified to issue low ratings. Arguments in opposition to this idea are legion. It does not require a Master's talent to be able to recognize an image of low quality. All it requires is an understanding of what photography is, and how photography is performed: The quality of a photograph's sharpness, composition, color, lens choice, etc, are all objectively determined, for the most part. However, the ratings system requests a subjective response: Does the image work? What does the image convey to me?
    In a sense, we are not even asked to evaluate the quality of an image, but rather the effectiveness of an image. Aesthetics is a subjective issue. I don't think it can be defined, and if it could, you would have as many definitions as you have members. Originality is a subjective issue. What's original for one person is old for another. What, for example, is original about photographing a horse? Renditions of horses on cave walls comprise the oldest art in human history.
    Although there are many aspects of a photographic image that are objective and can be scientifically measured, the ratings system does not call for a scientific measurement. It calls for a reaction. Unfortunately, reactions by definition, are subjective.
    I ask: What if Ansel Adams, Joel Peter Witkin, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Richard Avedon were members here and part of a panel of experts, curators, who were tasked with setting the standard. Would their ratings be consistent?​
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Above are the four top rated images from today's TRP under All/Average Rating. Would the four experts cited abouve rate each of these images identically?
    I don't think so. Each of these individuals have different aesthetics, and a different sense of what is original. In fact, I would argue that the only difference between a 3 from either of these four masters and a 3 from the average photonetter is that the work of the masters is uncontestable. Suppose Avedon rated the portrait a 2 in aesthetics, and a 4 in originality. Suppose also that I posted the exact same rating. Is my opinion wrong and his right because he's got more experience, or more talent, or a bigger name? What if I posted a 2/4, was called into question for it, and then Avedon came and posted the exact same score? Is mine suddenly right? Has it been vindicated?
    Of course not. My posting of a 2/4 in this example is as right and honorable as any 7/7 or 6/6. My posting a 2/4 may hurt someone's feelings, or raise a few eyebrows, and I may or may not post out of consideration for that, but it is within my privilege as a member to post a 2/4 on any photograph I don't like, regardless of the quality of my own work, or whether I have any work posted at all.
    The problem is not, in my opinion, with those that post the low ratings out of a sincere dislike for an image. The problem is with those who receive them that can't tolerate the idea that their work is not universally appreciated. With that understanding, I would rephrase your final sentence as follows:
    Interesting that people [whose work I consider] average ... feel so compelled to go through the folders of those [whose work has been rated] above average [even if those above average ratings originate from a fraction of a fraction of a fraction* of the total membership.] Kind of Funny, actually!​
    *as of April 2003 the site had 225,000 registered members. An image with 100 ratings represents only .0004444 of the membership. (1/2250)​
     
  277. I value ALL that take the time to rate and share opinions, ideas suggestions etc etc. And yes, of course you and every other Photo.net member can express any rating and opinion desired, on mine or any other persons images. What I want to make clear however, is that when another GROUP of members (and the SAME ones at that) go through the entire folders of others, rating practically every single image significantly lower than the average of 25-60 other members, then YES, you do wonder about a hidden agenda or improper motives. Actually it is no different that the claims and accusations made against the mate-raters. (in which I agree does exist, though as Brian M. stated above, is also overblown in my opinion) If the mate-raters have an agenda so to speak, and are clearly being questioned, then how about the "Balance Brigade"?? I simply disagree that your purpose as a group is to rate honestly, rather it is to bring ALL ratings down. Specifically those that have high ratings....usually from the beter photographers. You need not know Rocket Science to see the truth!
     
  278. There has always been some debate about how we are supposed to
    integrate technique into the aesthetic / originality options. Some
    seem to feel it can not be integrated at all and I have a '1' in
    aesthetics on an image where the rater said it deserved a '7' for
    technique. I think that's a misinterpretation and that technique must
    be considered an integral part of the evaluation process.

    What photography is is the capturing of light, yet there are many 'top
    rated images' where that very basic aspect is not handled very well.
    Sometimes the colors are off, sometimes the highlights are blown out,
    sometimes the composition is awkward, sometimes the DOF choice is
    suspect, and on and on. Sometimes these are conscious artistic
    decisions which some viewers don't find appealing. Other times, it's
    less subjective.

    Does it require some sort of master title to recognize these things?
    No, but neither is it inborn. There are a boatload of people rating
    each other's mid day shots high while boatloads of other members know
    very well that the shot would have greater impact at a different time
    of day and with a different shooting anlge. Put the same shots side
    by side and there would be little doubt, but without these similars
    next to each other, a lot of people don't see it. The 'balance
    brigade' understands this, but how much the mate raters understand
    this is not clear because we can't tell if they are unable or
    unwilling to consider the images' flaws.

    From what I've seen, many of the 'balance brigade's images have a
    greater chance of being published or otherwise having value in the
    real world compared to some of the mate raters' images. Any challenge
    to this assumption would have credibility if it came from someone who
    has a habit of including critical analysis in their comments that show
    that they understand what aspects of an image contribute to it's
    strengths and weaknesses.

    Much of this is arguably beside the point of this thread. Regardless
    of how much you like someone's portfolio, Brian has made it clear in
    earlier posts that he wants us to use 6s and 7s very, very rarely -
    like once a week and once a month respectively. If people don't
    volutarily change their rating habits to conform to that frequency,
    then you can count on some significant changes in how we view images
    on this site. . . .
     
  279. And your recent stomp through Marc's portfolio, Vincent? What was that?
     
  280. Must have been a rocket scientist.
     
  281. Furthermore in my opinion. The real motivation behind this movement, is that this group significantly receives low ratings themselves. They are rarely on any of the top rated pages. Sure there is some truth behind curbing the mate-raters...but I seriously doubt those are the only reasons here. As I have looked carefully at the work of these "lowballers", I am quite surprised at how very average and even poor their work truly is. In other words, how can a photographer, whose work really is only average, feel compelled to go through entire folders rating low and giving their negative opinions. A few images here and there perhaps, a more humble approach maybe, but when they speak as experts as well as form a clan doing the same thing to ALL whom they visit (and I am not talking about just my folders, but MANY others) then the motives of such ones in my opinion is NOT sincere.
     
  282. Margaret,

    I simply looked at his images the same we he did mine. He invited me to do so, by going through each one of my images. Your point is what??

    Carl,

    I disagree with you so thoroughly about whose work would get published it's meaningless to debate. You are speaking into the wind. No offense.
     
  283. I have to go for a few hours, but as Arnold said....I'll be back! Should be interesting.
     
  284. Aloha Vincent, when you come back, this sentence needs clarification:

    "I simply disagree that your purpose as a group is to rate honestly, rather it is to bring ALL ratings down. "

    Speaking for my self, I don't belong to a group that purposes to lower ratings. I do, however, belong to a group of 1 that purposes to express my opinion about photography, whether the photograph in question is "good" or "bad." If others happen to agree with me, and express their opinion at the same time, that doesn't mean we're in a "group"

    But, suppose it were true. Suppose there were balance brigade? My answer to that is that if there is a "group" of members that promote an image (mate raters), wouldn't it be natural for there to be a "group" of members that feel the opposite? If not natural, then how about appropriate? Why can one group exist and be excused, and not the other? If Mate Rating can exist, yet be denied by those who practice it on the grounds that they are simply rating images they like, what is wrong with a Balance Brigade doing the opposite to the same images because they don't like them? How can one accept and excuse the one and condemn the other? The answer is because one can benefit from one, but not the other. And so anyone not liking an image is accused of being jealous, or of having a grudge, etc. It's not always the case that one is jealous, or has a grudge, etc. Sometimes they just don't like the image, or the portfolio.

    I agree with you here, Vincent, that it is natural to wonder about these things. But the dynamics are more complex, I think. The issue is not that these low raters have an agenda, it's just that it's unpopular to be negative, and so it's not practiced. When it is, it gets a lot of attention. Some of this attention is in the form of retaliations, portfolio lynchings, challenges, etc, and some is in the form talk, forum threads, etc. I don't think the problem is in those that give the ratings so much as it is in those that don't like to receive them and take measures to even the score.

    I don't believe there are "mate rating groups" that meet in secret to determine to elevate an image to the top with overly generous ratings. Likewise, I don't believe there are "balance brigade groups" that meet in secret and determine to bring an image down with overly negative ratings. I can't speak for anyone else except myself. I have rated images low that I felt were worth low ratings.

    And this statement: " I am quite surprised at how very average and even poor their work truly is" is strictly your opinion, and needs to be stated as such. It is not a FACT that the work you have in mind is average or poor. It is your opinion. Just as it is the opinion of any one who rates a work high. Being a top rated photographer on Photo.net is, in my opinion, no great honor and I am quite surprised to find reasonable people defending it as such. When the top rated photos have over 1000 ratings each, then I'll listen. But to show in the TRP with 30 or 40 ratings, even twice that number, and then to think of myself as the best is self delusion.
     
  285. I think another way of looking at photographs that will help one to accept a low rating is to understand that all photographers are not after the same thing. We're not all after the same "market." Our goals are different and so our output is going to be different. For some of us, work that Vincent would call "average" is more than adequate. For others, work that Vincent would consider excellent is useless. I always chuckle when someone claims their work is more valuable, or better, because it has been published, or purchased. That's ridiculous, in my opinion. All it means is that someone with money liked it. If it's still being published in 50 years, that's a different thing, but because it's published once, or twice, that's meaningless.

    I would say that the measure of photography is whether it appeals to the viewer. If 40 people say yes, and 1 person says no, what's the problem? It just means 40 people saw the same thing, and one person saw something different.
     
  286. Doug, you are right with your opinion.
     
  287. Thanks Franz. And your hidden rules of rating were fascinating. Thanks for posting them. I will include the link here for the benefit of others.
     
  288. Furthermore in my opinion. The real motivation behind this movement, is that this group significantly receives low ratings themselves. They are rarely on any of the top rated pages. Sure there is some truth behind curbing the mate-raters...but I seriously doubt those are the only reasons here. As I have looked carefully at the work of these "lowballers", I am quite surprised at how very average and even poor their work truly is. In other words, how can a photographer, whose work really is only average, feel compelled to go through entire folders rating low and giving their negative opinions. A few images here and there perhaps, a more humble approach maybe, but when they speak as experts as well as form a clan doing the same thing to ALL whom they visit (and I am not talking about just my folders, but MANY others) then the motives of such ones in my opinion is NOT sincere
    Out of curiosity I went and checked both your and Marc`s folders. I agree with I think is Doug who expressed that the "average" work is your opinion. Both of you are certainly talented photographers, but if I was to "rate" a folder, Marc would beat you hands down, he has demonstrated abilities in portrait, lanscape, modeling fashion etc, while yours are merely landscapes, albeit well done landscpaes but not very original.
    I have to admit I am a B&W photographer and color does not do much for me so I am basing my opinions merely on "aesthetics and originality" whatever that means. You certainly have some winners in your folder, but so does Marc. I was amused to find that Marc has some of the POW that I was really impressed with and which "stuck" with me. Even if I did not pay attention as to who did them.
    But see, here is the thing, and I think the problem Brian has. Given a cross section of "tastes" and opinions a folder or image should really have an "average" of ratings if the ratings are done impartially by a cross section of the membership. IOW some might say...wow what a great pic, 7/7 and I would give you more if they had bigger numbers. On the other side others might say....Ah, boring..just another calendar sunset shot...3/3.. or 2/2. And then your Folder/picture would balance at around 3,4 or 5. But to see a folder or picture that only has 7/7 it is meaningless.
    Your taste does not run to the kind of pictures Marc takes, and I imagine neither does his taste run to the kind of pictures you take. But to call his pictures "average" or ordinary just because you dont like them is unfair. He sure has some great shots and so do you, but by all means not all of yours are great and neither are his.
     
  289. Well, this is the kind of nonesense that you're going to get when you have 200,000 or more photographers on a site, each with an ego and a personality all their own.

    And don't everyone say "who, me?" Yes! YOU! Each one of us is posting here (admit it) because there's a part of us who wants to be praised and wants to show off. Of course, there's a lot of us who also want to learn and do want honest feedback, but come on... getting those pats on the back and those 7/7's and being a top photographer here, where you can tell yourself "they really like me" is part of why we're all here posting photos, or at least commenting on them.

    Given all that, I'm surprised the system works as well as it does. In fact, I'm a little surprised it works at all - but it shows that, contrary to what people might believe after reading some of the posts I've seen lately, most of us here are adults (or at least can act that way) and have reasonable expectations of what we want to get out of photo.net.

    When I get a rating that's good, I think to myself "cool." I think "VERY cool" when they comment on why they think it's good. I'll look at their portfolios and try to rate honestly, but it's hard to kick someone who's just said how much they like your work.

    When I get a rating that's crap, I think "ugh." If they've not left any comment, I get fairly annoyed. I'll look at their portfolios and try to rate honestly, but it's hard to be generous to someone who's just told you that your work is no good.

    Either way, it's mate/revenge rating. I try to avoid it, but it's a tendancy that exists in people. The natural back-scratching built into people so I won't try to say I'm totally innocent of it. I don't think many people are.

    I'm not sure I agree with Brian's action concerning Anna P. and removing her from ratings - but he's got the right to take action on anything perceived as a problem. But he's certainly right in saying that when someone's portfolio has become a battleground between mate-raters and the "balance brigade" the ratings become meaningless. Neither side is rating honestly or fairly.

    Someone who's impacted this way doesn't like it? Try to resolve it. If you can't? Make your own site. That's what freedom of speech on the internet is really about people. It doesn't mean that you can do or say anything you want on photo.net - it means that if the administration here does something that doesn't sit right, even if it is within their rights, you can go to one of photo.net's competitors or - if you want - make your own website. No one's going to stop you.

    I don't think that mate-rating and the "balance-brigade" is anything like organized movements, so I'll agree with you on that Doug. I think that they're just tendancies that happen - and I'm not sure what, if anything, can be done about it except to try and continue to remind people to be as honest as possible in their critiques - both negative and positive.

    There's a tendancy to be positive. Most of the portfolios I see have people who rate generally "above average" - If this is understood, I don't think it's a problem. I don't jump for joy every time I get a five, because I know the rating is a little generous as a rule.

    Anna is, in a sense, a victim of her own success. She's posted a lot of good photographs - some are VERY good. She's rated and commented on a lot of photographs, and people have a tendancy to respond to that by rating and commenting on a lot of hers. She has a tendancy to rate very good (5.93 for originality and 6.03 for aesthetics) - which is higher than most people I see on photo.net - so she probably gets a fair amount of ratings goodwill in return.

    Is this conscious? Probably not. Does excluding her from the rating system seem unfair? Somewhat.

    Does Brian have the right to do it? Certainly. He's dealing with a problem, and there isn't a way to do it that isn't going to seem a little unfair. No matter how you cut it, it means limiting someone's right to do something. We can't rate Anna's photos - her photos cannot continue to receive ratings, and ratings effect visibility on the site.

    But it comes to this - Brian's letter that Anna quotes says that there seem to be accounts made who's sole purpose exist to give positive ratings to photographers. Whether Anna's responsible for them or not isn't the point - when stuff like that happens, things have CLEARLY gone too far.

    The thought that some kind of legal action may be (or perhaps has already been) taken over this sickens me (and I already have a nasty cold).

    Everyone's going to have their own opinions. To expect that people won't take that into account while rating is ... unbelievable. That being said, I think people need to be a lot more conscious about just why they're rating things, and try to limit their rating to the work. I'm an optimist in such things, so I try to believe that most people do that.

    Make no mistake. If anyone bears the responsibility for these rating messes that occur from time to time, it's US - the photo.net community. It is going to happen, too - so when it blows up like this, it shouldn't come as a big surprise.

    Just keep the lawyers outta it if you can, people... Right or wrong I like this place too much to see it get buried under legaleze and legal fees, and I like to think there are a lot of people who agree with me on that, if nothing else... and it wouldn't do anyone's reputation any good to say they sued photo.net and shut it down or damaged it cause the defense cost too much.
     
  290. Don't be ridiculous!

    So there. :)

    Money is not an inconsequencial measurement of value, and you know I
    didn't suggest it was the only one. You say it's simply a matter of
    what one viewer thinks, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt -
    something you didn't do for me - and assume you meant that the viewer
    is hopefully not carrying any baggage that prevents them from being
    influenced by anything other than the picture itself. One could argue
    that we all carry baggage, but the whole point of this discussion is,
    or should be, that mutual rating makes objective viewing far more
    difficult than it would be otherwise. . .
     
  291. "What I also find very ironic, is that the work of these lower raters (also called the "balance brigade" by Brian) is really not very good at all."

    That's a very bold statement Vincent! And a rather broad statement as well! Of course you realize that if even the most photographically inept member of "the balance brigade" started rating all the right people with a constant flow of WOW! 7/7's, that they would find themselves as one of the top rated photographers on this site within a month! And if you don't see this then you aren't really paying attention to what's been going on around here.

    "The real motivation behind this movement, is that this group significantly receives low ratings themselves. They are rarely on any of the top rated pages."

    ???

    Vincent you are making out like Photonet has been attacked by a group of jealous snap-shooting photographically inept babies out to take revenge on the true geniuses of our little community. My motivation Vincent is to rate what I feel to be truly good work higher than I would rate what I feel to be lesser work. Period. You may want to write me off as a jealous hack, because I'm sure it would be convenient for you to do so, but you would be wrong. It appears you are all to willing accept all 7/7's as true statements on your work, but are all to quick to assume that 4/4's are a result of jealousy. Very convenient indeed. The world is full of different people with different tastes. My tastes are no less valid than yours, or anyone else's.

    As for the top rated pages that you mentioned? Well I've addressed the issue of being a top rated photographers with you before Vincent, so to save some time I've copied and pasted a portion of my previous comment here.

    "Laying claim to the title "Top Rated Photographer" does not come with an insurance policy against honest critiques, although some people seem to think so. Being considered a Top Rated Photographer could indeed be a measure of achievement, it all depends on how it’s achieved."

    How can one achieve the title of "Top Rated Photographer"? Well that is painfully easy and does not require very much photographic skill at all. I posted my recipe for becoming a top rated photographer earlier in this thread. It's a very simple recipe, and it never seems to fail.
     
  292. Carl, no insult intended. I apologize if it sounded that way. What I mean is that the difference between much of what is published and much of what is not published is the simply the wealth of the publisher, not his or her taste or ability to identify quality work. I've seen the idea many times here on photonet as if it is to say that a work that is published is all of a sudden a work of unquestionable quality. I've had plenty of work published because the buyer has a deadline, the buyer doesn't care, the budget is shot, there is a space to fill, etc. The point is that published work often has little to do with the quality of a work. The same is true for purchased work: It's not the quality of the work that sells it, it's the appeal the work has in the eyes of the buyer.
     
  293. Interesting comments, but certainly mostly expected. I think Doug basically summed up my point very well he said the following.

    "Suppose there were balance brigade? My answer to that is that if there is a "group" of members that promote an image (mate raters), wouldn't it be natural for there to be a "group" of members that feel the opposite? If not natural, then how about appropriate? Why can one group exist and be excused, and not the other? If Mate Rating can exist, yet be denied by those who practice it on the grounds that they are simply rating images they like, what is wrong with a Balance Brigade doing the opposite to the same images because they don't like them?"

    I can agree with your comment in both principle and as a current fact Doug. Let's at least call a spade a spade here and agree that the balance brigade DOES rate to balance the mate-raters, NOT just to rate honestly. Fine if you wish to balance it all out, I can accept and live with that. Some high rated images are overrated. Mate-rating exists and is wrong as you say....I agree. So then, the balance brigade is wrong as well...dong the exact same thing but the opposite way. However I wish ALL would be upfront with what the brigade is truly doing here. You might for example see an image that in your own opinion deserves a 5/5. Yet because the mate-raters have given some 6s and 7s, the temptation will probably cause the balance brigade to give this a 4/4. NOT an honest rating....perhaps on both sides. My argument is that this balance brigade movement is also not rating with complete objectivity. THAT is my point exactly. At least Doug is agreeing that's the case!

    I also agree with different backgrounds and personalities seeing images differently. I personally like some of Marc's images and have rated plenty of them with high ratings. However, because he did go through my entire folder with a host of significantly lower than average ratings with often very weak comments, I felt compelled then to look at ALL of his images. I said to myself, let's see what makes him such an authority. Normally, I will not rate an image I think is not very good. In his case, I simply returned the favor of commenting and rating each image in the given folder. I also rated honestly...WITHOUT bitterness, or with the motive of getting him back. I personally was surprised that in my opinion his work was really not as good as I had originally thought. Some are truly outstanding, many were very ordinary. If others think it is better than my own, I am not at all offended, and fully respect that opinion as well. I make a living doing this full time. I have prints in over 135 galleries and gift shops throughout the islands, websites and online galleries in other countries, as well as stock agencies. I do not need high ratings to make a living in this profession. I post to showcase on Photo.net. Many images have over 50,000 views and I have indeed recieved many offers and actually signed contracts for stock simply because of posting on this site. In turn, I try to comment with meaning and will share secrets, opinons as well as take the time to make adjustments to an image and upload to show somebody another idea. Perhaps my opinions have little meaning to someone else, but I am a full time professional doing what I truly enjoy. Maybe it's worth something to a few, but that is my contribution to the site....for what it is worth.

    As for your comment Bob, you stated

    "How can one achieve the title of "Top Rated Photographer"? Well that is painfully easy and does not require very much photographic skill at all."

    So are you saying Bob that all 50 or so raters that make an image a highest rated image and perhaps a top rated photographer, are ALL full of hot air and mate-rating?? If this is indeed how you feel, it is sad, but nevertheless again proves what I have been saying all along, that top rated images and top rated photographers are the ones that are being targeted solely with the sole purpose of bringing them down. They are minced meat according to your stated opinions Bob. I doubt you truly feel this way but perhaps I have put a few on the defensive with my sourgrapes comment. I can ammend that as well and perhaps back off to a degree. Perhaps Doug's comment above is the real reason....to balance out. I guess the images of those in the brigade are not that really that poor. But when I look at images like Anna, Ken, Yuri (who was bumped from number one to OFF the entire fisrt page) Valter, Ivan etc etc, I see a great creativity that I simply do not see with the Brigade. THAT is simply my opinion. Yet, if you look at the ratings, it is the opinion of many others as well. I do encourage ALL to rate honestly. If an image deserves a 7 give it a 7. But I deserves a 5 lets give it that 5 as well. Regardless of what happens from here on out we have already lost...a true artist is leaving Photo.net permanently. That is a shame and certainly not in the best interests of any site. Aloha.
     
  294. Eric makes some good points, especially with regard to human nature and the feeling one experiences when rating the work of someone who has just rated them either high, or low. I agree it's hard, if not impossible, to be objective with a portfolio by someone who has just rated half your work with 3's......or 7's . It has to influence your ability to be impartial.

    For this reason, I seldom rate anyone who has recently rated me. In fact, I am probably considered rude by many who have rated my work, yet I have not returned the courtesy. It's because I find myself experiencing the very things Eric has observed, a desire to reciprocate. As a result, I tend to avoid many that have rated my own work, especially if their ratings have been with very high, or very low. I agree that a trip through someone's folders is suspect, but so should be any reciprocal action. That is, if an initial visit to a folder can be construed as jealousy, then any return ratings below 5 should be considered retaliation, if one were to allow the same logic to be applied.
     
  295. Right Vincent, and this is why the word is "balance" and not revenge, or attack, etc. Both "groups" strive for objectivity, but are subject to human nature, so if one rates high by virtue of fallible human nature, then the other's being low by the same virtue is still a balance. The result should be a more accurate assessment of an image's true worth, I would hope. As it is, thinking in terms of groups or teams, the Mate Raters have little to be afraid of as the Balance Brigade is woefully out numbered and the affect of one or two balancing opinions has little overall effect on a portfolio.

    I agree with you also, Vincent, that the loss of even one member is a pain we should all feel. It is a drastic measure and hopefully one that will not be repeated. But bear in mind that the expulsion was a result of Anna's reaction to being taken out of the ratings game, not as a result of anything else, so far as I can tell.

    You mentioned Ivan in your comment. I'm not sure of the exact facts concerning what I'm about to say, and I admire his work, but Ivan's position on the top page occurred overnight by the deletion of a significant portion of his portfolio. One day he had, I don't know, 50 photographs, then the next day he had 20. What had happened was that he had deleted all of his lower rated images. The software did the rest and PRESTO, he's on the TRP. I could do that, too. I could delete all of my lower rated images and catapult my name to about the 2nd or third page, depending on how many images I axed. If I did this on a continuing basis: Delete any image that doesn't rate at least 6/6. I would have less work visible, sure, but I would be higher in the rankings.

    The difference is that the rankings are not all that important to me and I have chosen to leave the images I like online, rather than to tailor my portfolio according to how it is received and rated. I notice that some of the top rated photographers only leave their best work posted, and this is fine, but it is not an accurate portrayal their abilities as a photographer, rather it is a reflection of their abilities as an editor, and sometimes, as a shmoozer. Your work is overall very good, in my opinion, but I haven't seen any of your portraits, or still lifes. I haven't seen any still life's or journalism from Ivan, only landscapes from Valter, etc. Would variations in subject matter make a difference?

    Is there anything wrong with this, with a portfolio that only showcases pretty girls, or Tuscan landscapes, or Hawaiian landscapes? No, of course not. We're allowed to post what we want. As examples, Valter, Ivan and yourself post your forte' work, that which you're best at doing. That's great and I'm glad to see it, and I enjoy evaluating it. Keep in mind however, that others are posting for different reasons. I post a lot of work that I admit is average, but it is beneficial for me to do that, reason being: The ratings are not the primary objective. Feedback is. I have today over 180 images posted. You have about 50. Are these images the best work we've ever done? I don't know about you, but these 180 are not the sum of my life's work. Nearly 100 are from my first year with a camera! Over half of the remainder are from testing a new camera. Still others are experimental in other ways.

    My point here is that the TRP are easily manipulated and that they foster their inhabitants with a false sense of worth. In my opinion, a little shaking of the TRP is healthy for the site as a whole, so long as it's done without malice, and so far as the shakers are not struck on the head by any loose coconuts.
     
  296. mg

    mg

    1) Would it be possible NOT to delete the accusations posted here by Vincent Tyler against what has been called "the balance brigade" ?
    <p>
    2) Would it be possible NOT to delete the personal attacks posted here by Vincent Tyler ?
    <p>
    3) Would it be possible for me to give a comprehensive and factual reply to Mr. Tyler's accusations without having it deleted either ?
    <p>
    I am prepared to put some time to collect the data necessary to prove a few points. But if I spend that time, I would like to have a guarantee that I won't spend it to see my reply deleted together with Vincent Tyler's pamphlet within 5 minutes after my next posting in this thread.
    <p>
    What I would post here are facts that would speak for themselves. Once and for all, the site at large deserves to know the truth about the things we have read in this forum so far. If truth is never told and if accusations of all sorts prevail without any solid facts to back them up, I don't see how this community could possibly understand what's going on. And meanwhile each and everyone may tend to believe what ever they read, whether right or wrong - and I believe that just isn't right.
    <p>
    Do I have photo.net's permission to go ahead. Can we for once play with all the cards on the table ? If the moderator grants my requests, I'll go ahead and look for the facts we need. If not, fine by me, and I'll just let the water flow under the bridge. Some people may for ever want to accuse each other back and forth, but I personally won't jump on that train again. Time for facts or nothing. <p>
    Best regards.
     
  297. Marc, please don't waste your time gathering personal information on Vincent. The photo.net forum threads are not for that sort of thing.
     
  298. I agree with Cindy. Instead of a point by point rebuttal of one person's opinions, lets try to keep the dialogue focused on the issues, rather than the person, or people, behind the issues. If it will bring fruit from discussion, I'm willing to take a few insults in order to further the conversation. No one here is perfect and I would hope we are all willing to absorb a few mischosen words in favor of the greater good.
     
  299. Yes Marc, you have my permission. By the way just for the record, it is Tylor, not Tyler. Go get em tiger! Find your data.....

    In the meantime I do appreciate your reply Doug. I believe a happy medium has been reached that would agree that there is too much mate-rating, and also lately a bit of lowballing to try to even things out.

    Ivan e-mailed me personally, (I personally pushed him to come over here a few months back, so we occasionally keep in touch) and told me he simply cleaned up a few images that he wanted to get rid of. He could not believe he went to number three. I truly believe him that it was not done intentially. Even if so, no big deal if you ask me....a bit more visibility cannot hurt. I am a total fan of his work, and do not mind saying so. I could delete about 7-10 images and be number one myself if that was my intention....which it is not! Perhaps one thing that makes some photographers higher rated is that they have a specialty. Emil, Jorge, Ivan, even myself. I do try florals and lately seascapes along with some wildlife. Portraits, NO WAY! I did two weddings that were simply not what I enjoyed. I quit that job permanently! Aloha for now.
     
  300. Dear Franz, this thread has taken another turn since our last postings. I accept the point that you made about the numbers - they do carry meaning, but it is my choice to ignore them. The DESPOTIC MANAGEMENT has on numerous ocassions (pun intended) advised all of us to ignore the numbers, if we don't like them.<br> Ironic how this thread started as a result of a certain group abusing the numbers.<br>Marc, don't waste your time to gather data, you've done it in the past and nobody pays much attention to your efforts in this regard, despite your best intentions.<br> My thoughts are currently very similar to those of Mark Crame. Goodbye!
     
  301. Finally, I have nothing to hide Marc. If there are inconsistencies in my ratings I would actually like to see them. I know that I rate honestly. I simply will not give a 7 to an image in reply to a 7 given to me, if it is not deserving. That is the truth! After looking over my top choices there might be one or two that I would change. But, I feel it's better to leave as is. If you do not want to post here as suggested by others, then simply email me privately. All the best.
     
  302. I didn't mean to imply that Ivan did something underhanded. There's no rule that says you can't to what he did, and in my opinion, it shows a clear aesthetic to be able to get rid of your less important work. You're right. He, others, yourself, have specialties, and in these specialties lie your success, even, in your case, your living.

    Mate rating will not be eradicated, I'm convinced of that, at least not within the current software. Because of that, there has to be room for a balanced opinion on any page within the database, whether from an individual or a brigade. I think, in the end, that mate rating will be the dominant force simply because it is nicer to be supportive of a work by posting high ratings than it is to be supportive of the worker by bluntly posting low ratings. The low ratings poster will pay a higher price, too, I've found. Whether or not he or she is honest is not considered.
    Aloha
     
  303. mg

    mg

    To Brian:
    <p>
    "Marc, please don't waste your time gathering personal information on Vincent. The photo.net forum threads are not for that sort of thing."
    <p>
    Ok, point taken, and I certainly agree. I'll save my time. Thanks for your reply. Glad you let Vincent's posts stay at least. I think they speak a thousand words.
    <p>
    To Doug,
    <p>
    "Instead of a point by point rebuttal of one person's opinions, lets try to keep the dialogue focused on the issues (...) If it will bring fruit from discussion, I'm willing to take a few insults in order to further the conversation."
    <p>
    Fine by me, all the best. :)
    <p>
    To Vincent,
    <p>
    "Yes Marc, you have my permission. (...) Go get em tiger! Find your data....."
    <p>
    My request was adressed to the moderator of this forum. I find amusing that YOU give me YOUR permission as a response. I don't think I need it. :)
    <p>
    Have fun.
     
  304. Brian has asked all of us who rate and comment in the photo critique
    forum to back off. It will require significant adjustments by
    different people in different ways. I think that most of us agree at
    this point that getting enough people to do it volutarily isn't going
    to happen. We need to make everything blind and hope that enough
    people who say they are interested in photography will prove it by
    dealing with images without regard to who makes them. The software
    can do it, although not perfectly, so yes behavior will have to be
    moderated to put a cap on volume rating.

    Would you prefer this? Do those of you who have been active in this
    forum see any other alternative? .
     
  305. Hehe....I was being sarcastic Marc. I know you were asking permission from Brian. Sometimes I can be irritating....so says my wife. Whom by the way with my daughter, I am about to take to the beach for some BBQ and perhaps a sunset. Probably should even leave the gear at home, but just cannot seem to do that!

    Your point of my comments speaking a thousand words is probably close to literal now. I said what I believed...and am certainly not alone. Even Doug agrees there. The Balance Brigade is doing what the mate-raters are doing in the opposite direction. True there are more of the former than the latter.

    Doug, you are probably correct. As long as there is free will, there will always be some abuses. Hopefully they can addressed so that they do not get totally out of control. That seems to be what Brian is asking. I will also try to support this even more fully as well. Aloha and good day!
     
  306. Just managed to dig this out of the archives...
    Almost 10 months old, so many of you have seen it. Thought is was appropriate and should be posted again. Have fun everyone!
    005RDt-13456584.jpg
     
  307. A new Axis of Devil to be exterminated! <p>come on boys, cure your Bush conspiracy syndroma.<p>Somebody found one of your picture average while he found another one very nice. WHAT A BIG DEAL! <p>
    I (i dont feel I belong to a special Group so I dont say we) found quite strange that I should justify far more my opinion and rating if I am more balance, sometime average, sometime high, than other people rating systematically high? I rate in average 4.6 wich is not low, which actually above both the average of this site and the scale of rating available. People who rate in average above 6 or below 3.5 should explain a bit more I think.<p>
    And I quite desagree that you should not be entitled to appreciate something you cannot achieve yourself. I am even not sure there is any correlation between the fact that an excellent photographer is able critic another photographer and vice versa. And that is true for many corporation and other arts.<p>
    And I agree with Doug about the healthy shaking before everybody get sluggish and goes sleep. <p>There is no battle, at least for me, if I come to your folder Vincent, as I came to Marc and Doug and Carl one recently, be sure I will look at the picture and only at it and will appreciate them without bitter nor sweet in mind. And you can come to mine and express freely yourself on my picture like some people did. For sure you be ready to receive my answers, but without noticeable impact on my appreciation of your picture.<p> Appreciation of human being is a different story... and deplore the interaction of both appreciations which I can see sometime in both "brigads".
     
  308. Robert, if (or I should say) when you go through my folder, I hope you can add some thoughts that will help me to improve. If you do like something I also hope you share that with me and perhaps if possible, tell me WHY you like it.

    There was a time on another site when I posted images, that others would offer valuable counsel. Such as for instance using a tripod to blur falls as well as seascapes, learning to use Photoshop and many other ideas. Because these suggestions were given, and because I was enthusiastic about applying them, it helped me to grow as a photographer enormously. On your bio you clearly state exactly whose portfolio you have been through, and that the list will grow. It honestly sounds like a threat to all photographers to look out. When I also notice that your ratings are indeed much lower than the averages, it only adds support that you are perhaps on a mission to bring down ratings and are a part of the now famous (or infamous...depends whose side you are on) Balance Brigade. As stated above I accept the reasons given for bringing the scores down, simply because many are over-rating these same images. However, just keep this point in mind. Your average ratings of 4.6 or whatever it is, is not on average images. They are on images from the Top rated photographers. One would think that an average rating would be based on a mixture of all photographers both good, average and below average equally. But since you are rating specifically the sites top images and photographers, one might assume the average scores would be at least a bit higher. That of course is simply my opinion. Feel free to take a tour. Best, Vince
     
  309. Hi Vincent. No problem and I almost entirely agree with your last comments. But where you are mistaken is that I am NOT rating the rating nor adjusting them. I am just trying to find among the so-rated top-rated, which ones are my (with all my subjectivity) favorite, and which are less. That 's all. I never, I shouldnot, ever take anything for granted. You have to proove always, that is the 'Market's Law'. then after you can rate, disagree and comment on my comments... but that is the real world. Dont feel agressed nor idolatred, keep cool. <p>I, we(?), are not part of any brigade.<p> Like a star, you make the frontpage, you have to accept the rule of democracy. there are papparazzi, there are rumors, there are also critics, as far as you want to be part of the show. <p>You cant stand it, fine then leave the stage,... you want to stay and the brush up yourself in contact with people that can answer your natural expectations for getting answer when you feel spoiled, that is sport.<p> but dont worry in any cases, at least I speak for myself, there will be no retaliation of your art.
     
  310. And I will add something, Vincent, which is also available for any other PNetters, If you feel that one my pictures,in your mind scale, is worse a 6/6 tell me (what you did, thanks) but tell me also if you feel one is worst a 3/3. I wont get mad. <p>I think its helpfull (as far as its not lead by other consideration than your intimate feeling about the photography itself). That is just as simple as this. You wont get anything bad in return, may be my consideration for spending time visiting and leaving trace of your visit. <p> The value of your rating cannot be discussed, whatever you are good or bad rated photographer within the small world of PNet. Its one view of one people who like enough photography to spend time to see and stopby others'works.<p> No discrimination.<p> An if I started to rate from Top Gallery page, it is not discrimination also, it is just because I need to start somewhere and that Gallery shows up where to start to everyone...
     
  311. The value of a rating CAN be discussed. I think every rating should
    include a comment, but especially on an image that you know to be
    popular, ie on the top pages. I'm still not sure who benefits from a
    sweep through someone's portfolio with only one brief comment for
    every ten images.

    Part of Brian's goals is to get people to spend time looking at as
    many different portfolios as possible regardless of whether your rates
    are above average, below, or spot on.

    Like I said in my previous post, it's going to take some significant
    behavior changes on the part of most participants in this forum to
    achieve the results that Brian has in mind.
     
  312. FREE ANNA!
     
  313. YES! One free Anna for me please... where do I pick it up?
     
  314. Thomas, before that try it with brain.
     
  315. Sorry, just a little dizzy from keeping up with this thread.

    Well Doug you were wrong on at least one point

    From this point, I don't think there are any more useful contributions that can be added to this thread. - Doug Burgess

    The last 1/3 of this thread has been much more interesting with a more level-headed mature discussion than the first 2/3.

    The thing is, generally the people who are still involved in this thread have a way of rating that they consider "fair" and are not the problem. The hit-and-runers who slap on a 7 and a "wow!" likely don't have the commitment or the attention span to stay with this thread.

    The best solution I saw was the idea of subjecting ratings to an averaging multiplier. If someone only uses 5-6-7 keys on their keyboard, the 5 has the same value as "bad" the 6 is "average" and the 7 is "good". If they only use sevens, they count just as "average". But as has been said before, people will always find a way to abuse any system that is instituted.

    Vincent - I feel no sympathy for someone who lives in Hawaii making his living taking photographs!!! (just kidding)
     
  316. Forget 'normalization' of ratings. Brian tried it several months ago
    and all hell broke loose. Some people actually do think that a five
    means 'good' and use 6s only rarely. Adding a bunch of 4s to random
    images could make your average look good, but has nothing to do with
    solving the problem.

    Everyone involved in the last third of this thread needs to modify
    their behavior on the critique forum to some extent. That's the
    problem. Everybody thinks that it's everybody else that has to
    change. . . . assuming they're aware of what's really been going on.
     
  317. Carl, "normal" is for everybody another level. And why not? Do you want "Einheitsrating"?
     
  318. Vincent, while addressing Robert you said.

    "Your average ratings of 4.6 or whatever it is, is not on average
    images. They are on images from the Top rated photographers."

    From your statement you seem to be saying that these are top
    rated photographers so their images must be better than
    average. You're putting the cart before the horse I'm afraid. There
    is some truly brilliant work showing up on the top rated pages,
    and some very average work as well in my opinion. This average
    work is getting the ratings they get for some very understandable
    reason, such as friendship, mutual support, and the hope for a
    return of these high ratings. Unfortunately none of these reasons
    have much to do with the images themselves.

    The fact is that many people view some of the top rated
    photographs as average, and at times below average. We've
    seen that very clearly as of late. The sad truth is that until recently
    very few people with differing opinions about these images
    spoke up. Why is that? Well some people find it hard to go
    against the tide, and be the lone critic. Others haven't spoken up
    out of fear of retaliation and angry emails (I've gotten both). So all
    that remains are the WOW 7/7's from that same cast of
    characters.

    I had a brief email exchange with a fellow member some
    months ago. A very nice person, who's heart was in the right
    place, and this person admitted that if he/she stops rating that
    "certain group of people" then his/her ratings dry up. At which
    point he/she is off the top rated pages. What this means is that
    none of the people that this person is referring to gives a rats
    ass about the image. It's all about the ratings.

    I've visited the top rated for the last 24 hours page and seen a
    flower macro on page one with an originality average of 6.5 and
    another flower macro on page three from another photographer
    with an originality average of 4.5! Aesthetics are one thing, but
    originality? The image with the 6.5 average continues on as one
    of the top rated images, while the image with the 4.5 average
    fades from view. Anyone who is willing to take a step back and
    look at the situation objectively will see the problem very clearly.
    Photonet is turning into one of those "other sites" where
    everybody loves your work, as long as you play the game.
    Objectivity and substance are fading just as quickly as an image
    with a 4.5 average.
     
  319. Please read this thread on 'normalization.'
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=003opA