Mate Rating: A different angle

Discussion in ' Site Help' started by vincetylor, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. If we can report lowball ratings to, and IF they are
    indeed proven malicious or just plain dishonest, then they are
    simply deleted. This has happened on my own images too many times to
    remember. In fact just this evening another fairly significant
    amount of ratings were deleted without my prodding (many higher ones
    as well). Brian has often said that as long as ratings are given in
    good faith, then regardless of the actual numbers, high or low, they
    will stay put. If proven otherwise however (bogus account, to get
    even...or whatever else) they are deleted.

    Why then can't the opposite apply equally?? If people are just
    rating away 7 after 7, over and over to the same people, isn't this
    another form of abuse? Why not simply report those cheaters to, explain why we believe these are another type of
    *bogus* ratings. Then if management sees the situation similarly,
    they can promptly delete every one of that photographers ratings. Or
    at the very least each of the 7s. I can tell you this much, having a
    members ratings entirely zapped away would get some major attention
    very quickly. In some cases tens of thousands of ratings could be

    In the past, regarding the lowball ratings, it has never been easy
    to prove ulterior motives, or insincere intentions, especially in
    the beginning. Usually these manifest themselves after a measure of
    time elapses. Only then can all of us (management included) see the
    true colors, true intentions and only then they are zapped away. In
    the case of bogus mate-ratings, many of these have been going on for
    such a long time, there really is no doubt as to who is really
    handing out these HIGH mate-attracting ratings. The hand out the
    same ratings to the same people over and over again, even if the
    work is average or below. In my opinion it is much easier to prove
    because it has had time to manifest itself conclusively, sometimes
    over years. I suggest then rather than waste time in the forums -
    yes, just like this- lets instead just start reporting these obvious
    maters to abuse, and see what happens from there.

    Last month one lowballer not only had all of his ratings deleted,
    but so were his images as well. In the most obvious cases, deleting
    everything, ratings AND images would absolutely put these mate-
    raters on notice in quick fashion. This way the ratings system
    remains (since management seems to really like the system) and only
    the abusers of the system are dealt with.

    It is obvious these cheating maters are not being honest here and
    all dishonest ratings should be deleted. Let all of us then start
    sending these abusers to the proper department (
    just as we would lowballers or mechanical bots and get them out of
    here once and for all. Once a few heads have been rolled so to
    speak, everybody should start thinking twice before handing out more
    of the same.
  2. i am considering writing a Proxomitron filter that hides all threads with "rating" in the title
  3. Vincent-

    Deleting Low-ballers, Mate raters, Revenge rating, etc. sounds too extreme for me. Rating is so very subjective to the individual. Who decides what is each of the above? As the old adage says, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder". When you "like" someone, you tend to over look the intimate, annoying, imperfect details and conversely so when you dislike someone. I believe this may just be human nature. What to do? Maybe we are just not capable of being impartial. Maybe we need "Big Brother" to watch over us and keep us in line. Hummmm........! I think this is where the human spirit of freedom of choice (bad & good) kicks in and says "I don't think so!"

    There will always be good and bad, joy and despair, high and low, love and hate etc. Without opposite opposing forces, we would not be able to appreciate the other. How can one recognize "hate" without experiencing "love"? I believe it is not possible to mandate change in others. More laws do not make us safer, they only insure that more individuals will beak a law. I believe that we all are inherently "good". Extenuating circumstances are the determining factor. But then, that's what makes the world and it's people so intriguing instead of mundane and boring. Sure, I'd like to see everybody get along and be honest and caring, but (and this is a big but) I doubt this will ever happen, history tells me differently.

    My opinion? It's people like you and me that do effect change eventually. My advice? Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
  4. NOT... here's a better idea: scan the TRP pages for early-rated and over-rated dubious quality photos. then, instead of reporting these or even rating them, simply give each one a very sobering and honest critique of its faults. say nothing of a personal nature. don't even attempt to smooth over the critique. keep it dry and to the photographic points. just stick to the business of the image itself.

    then observe how subsequent ratings of the photo suddenly reflect your honest appraisal of the image. herd and halo-effect maters want to be seen and heard in order to ingratiate themselves with the high ratings cliques, so they comment and read other comments. as ratings gather on a pic, it becomes less clear who gave what, so there becomes safety in higher numbers (of ratings). many raters simply need a reason not to dole out a 7/6. so, you just give them the reason to rate the image 6/5 or perhaps 5/4. isn't that the goal here? then lead by example instead of playing cop.
  5. Howard, I've happened upon a couple of images you have critiqued, but you mention you do NOT rate, but IF you did, you would give 3/3 or whatever. I don't understand how that will help much if you do NOT rate. If we all did what you are doing, it wouldn't drop the average scores at all and the image would still remain in the TRP. Plus someone who tends to rate based on the average score so far would rate higher than if a few more "honest" critiquers knocked that score down a bit.
  6. Kim, I've too settled on Howard's approach - more recently without even mentioning what I'd rate it.

    I do this when coming across the obviously mate-rated pics in particular, because on several occaisons my mere mentioning of the low numbers I'd give it resulted in a vindictive assault on my own posts.

    So, I'd then have to report the vindictiveness to

    Then, I'd have to read in reply that regardless of my perceptions, the people may just have not liked my photo as they have rated across the number spectrum (3,000 "6s" and "7s" offsetting the few hundred "4s" and "5s," and a few dozen "3s", but no matter).

    THEN, I'd have to read in this forum that people who complain about abuse are noted by the moderators and seen in poor light as "whiners."

    SO. Not feeling particularly like a martyr this year (should scores of virgins and riches be bestowed, perhaps I could be swayed to change my mind), I just leave numbers out of it. If they're egomaniacal enough to rate blurry photos of weeds with 7/7 because the person is their reciprocating Photo Mafia pal, the they're also petty enough to devote time to reducing my posts' ratings, which in turn reduce their visibility, which in turn keeps me from getting feedback that I need to get better at this hobby.

    It's kinda like working in a corporation. You must feel out the politics, choose your battles wisely, and still try to find an island where you might remain content as the system craps all over you.
  7. I'm surprised at how many people don't seem to understand that mate rating is officially encouraged. Sorry I can't find the quote at the moment.
    The official limit placed on mate rating is defined as preventing more than eight 7s on the daily uploads. .
  8. mg


    I'll give you the Gold for this post...:)
    Although another way would be to continue rating, and not care at all about retaliations and other consequences...
    P.S: Silver goes to Jayme's last sentence: "Be careful what you wish for..."
  9. > Although another way would be to continue rating, and not care at all about retaliations and other consequences...

    People who do not have an axe to grind and who care for this site should do just that. If TRP visibility matters to you a lot, for professional or commercial reasons, you probably shouldn't (and that's OK).

    A lot of folks keep mentioning that ratings on their own photos don't matter to them, and these people should rate with brutal honesty. No reason not to. Also leave a critique, though in most TRP cases, it serves the readers of the image thread and not the photographer.
  10. Vincent, I'm afraid that we are "milling water"., and not the law-ballers and mate-raters are going to disappear from the net, what ever way will be chosen to deal with.I agree with Jayme, it is the human nature, and many feelings emotions frustrations and ego are parts of that place.Maybe the reason the moderators are not taking actions about it, is because there is no way to realy change the human nature....

    Another problem is the melange of different levels that are practicing the photography medium, and most of the 2 levels are rating each other, add to it all the emotions, frustrations etc...

    Reading all the solution offered, I'm skeptical.
  11. Pnina, let me ask you something. Seeing that your own top-rated photos consist of the same photographers over and over and over again, each of their uploads receiving a 7/7, how do you feel Human Nature plays into your own rating patterns? Also, do you consider that 'mate rating?'

    Since you're posting on this string and mentioning "solutions" and your own personal skepticism, I'm really curious as to whether or not you see your own behaviors as part of the problem. While many of the photographs you've rated highly are lovely, I simply do not see how one sunset after another can receive an objective "7/7" from you time and time again - especially when you factor the likelihood of those sunsets being taken by the same photographer.

    There are a lot of sunset/sunrise photos on this site, but only a few photographers who post them - some quite arguably medicore- receive consistent 7/7s from you? Is that objective rating, or mate rating?
  12. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Reporting the instances of mate-rating to the abuse department is a good step towards a resolution of the problem. It is certainly better to do that than to publicly accuse the person of abuse on his posted photograph's page. That is what I see happening now on several recently posted photographs. Unlike Howard's idea, which also has merit, these comments are not addressed to the photograph but to the photographer. They are literal ad hominem attacks and will be viewed by the adminstration as such. This tactic will only damage our position.<p>
    Unfortunately, it is also true that the response from the administration on reported abuse will be similar to Christopher's all-too-familiar scenario elucidated above. Specifically, those who report abuse without absolute proof will be looked on as low-credibility whiners. Mottershead et al made that clear when the Golarka Subjugation was being resolved.<p>
    With that in mind, it is understandable to me how one could believe that this abuse is being sanctioned by the administration. Regards.
  13. You can do all of these things above (critique, honest lower ratings etc..) in addition to sending what one perceives as clear abuses of the ratings system to Abuse of the ratings system doesn't have to be just for lowballing, but can also apply when somebody hands out 7 after 7 to the same people and then have the same in return given back to them. Neither you nor I will be deleting anything. If the abuse department sees the obvious in a particular case, THEY will be the ones taking the proper measures. Mate-rating is just another form of ratings abuse, and should be sent in to the department specifically designed for this purpose.

    As for the "you might get what you wish for" insinuation; If my ratings are considered mated and deemed abusive and subsequently deleted, then great for! The long list of others in addition would be miles long. A good cleansing might work wonders for all.

    My point in short form is; since they're not going to change the ratings system here, then lets focus on the ones taking advantage of the ratings system. "Abuse" does handle lowballers, and can do the same with very obvious, proven cases of mate-raters! In the past we've been *accustomed* to strictly using this department for lowballing, when in actuality it should be used for both lowballing and mate-rating since BOTH are clearly forms of abuse. What part of this don't some of you get??
  14. Christopher,I personaly like sunset photos, and am not tired of looking at them and scoring them accordingly( and not all of them rated by me 7/7) Christopher,The times I met your name at my folder it was always as far as I remember average rating, last time I went to see your folder and liked what I saw,and rated it according to what I thought and it was not average, so?

    I think that there are a group of photographers that like my work,and I appreciate theirs as well, so please look the my body of works, there are names that wrote me and are not scoring me and I don't score them.I will not praise my work,but I know that in general it is a good work, (I'm an established artist in my country with a lot of " reciept"). So are you ready to assume that if you think highly of a photographer(s), you will follow his/their work? Thats what I'm doing. I rate and comment on most of the photos Ilike. You don't have to like my work, but not everyone must think like you.I think I rate honestly, I do rate/comment photos that I like.
    and last,I rated your bird photo that I liked, do you know how many similar birds photos there are on the TRP? but that does not change the fact that it was a good one in that category.
  15. Kent, I have answered you yesterday, that is enough, you can think what you want of me , I have written you what I think of your work, I have nothing personal against you.and I don't like your style .
  16. Pnina - I would know I was doing something wrong if you liked my style. It's actually OT to this discussion though which is your participation in the mate-rating scam.
  17. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    At the very least, the Brian should write a program similar to the low-ball remover but aimed at the high-ball. Regards.
  18. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Kent, respectfully, the topic of this discussion is not Pnina but how to properly deal with mate-rating. Public accusation is not an answer; it will get this thread removed. Regards.
  19. It's not an accusation but a statement of fact. And I was referring to the discussion between Pnina and me.
  20. Thank you Walter.
  21. I just don't think Brian is going to do anything about this. This is not a new phenomenon. I think we should figure out what we can do to change the rating games and leave Brian out of it. Go tell them what you think of their photographs as critique. It's what critique is meant for. And shine a light on their games whenever you get a chance. What will happen is those with a modicum of integrity will stop.
  22. Yeah, but what if they can't see their integrity's shortcomings? As of very recently, I'm starting to think that's part of the problem, too.
  23. Christopfer I rated it because I thought that the background with the colors of the bird were original. I'm not going to defend my way of thinking, thats my taste and thats what I think and thats the wayI rate/ comment. BTW, let me thank Kent, that went right now to my folder and rated my photo 3/3 It is your privilege Kent..
  24. It's what I honestly think of your photo. You shot the subject with her eyes closed and the focus is soft. It's not even average.
  25. i've read this thread with interest. i like the work of virtually everyone who has posted here, and take that work on its own merits. i'm sad to see people writing in anger to each other. each of you is a committed photographer, and i benefit from viewing all of your work. for me, that's the bottom line of participating here. the rest is gravy. why get so worked up over it? what many term "mate rating" is an inevitable result of people trying to bond with each other and, perhaps, losing some objectivity as a result. flattery can work. in the end, if the poster seeks warm regards and high ratings, they may get it by using flattery, posting their ratings with their comments, etc. if they seek honest critique they may be disappointed. it may dilute the top photos pool somewhat, but to be honest, most of them are still very well done photos. i don't think the integrity of the site is badly threatened as a result. but more importantly, with all respect to all of you, time is precious, life is finite, lets spend more time taking pictures and commenting constructively on each other's work, and less trying to restrain or reform the rest of the crowd (ironically, maybe that's what i am trying to do by this message, eh?). i have very fond feelings for so many of you. let's try to get along. going back and forth and up and down and sideways on this "abuse" issue over the last year, i see the wisdom of reserving the label of "abuse" for the more extreme examples. so that's my two cents. peace, my fellow artists, there are enough judges in the world as is.
  26. Pnina, when ones friends constantly rate ones photos 7/7 without even looking for a second for any shortcomings in the work, they provide nothing but an inflated sense of skill. When the aforementioned photographer's pictures are then commented on honestly, the photographer feels insulted. I think that any photograph rated 7/7 should have a good chance of winning a competition and that is what I base my application of that score on. You make specific reference to your latest portrait of the African lady: to be brutally honest, and I think you know it, it wouldn't get a second glance in any photographic contest anywhere in the world.

    If you also feel strongly about mate rating and wish to do something about it, make a statement on your next upload that you appreciate your friends dropping by but would appreciate more their honest appraisal of your picture. I'm sure it could help you to become an even greater photographer if you get a better sense of perspective about which images work or not.
  27. The first four of six images on page one are from the same photographer. Go to that photographers comments if you will. The last twnty all said the same thing, either "7/7" or "Excellent 7/7". Not a single additional word. I stopped even looking after the last 20. It could be perhaps 50 or 100.

    Do you think there might be a connection with his having four of the six highest rated??

    This is the kind of abuse I am talking about. This is why something should be done once it gets sent in. It is also why the gallery is skewed significantly.
  28. I applaud your bullet-dodging, Pnina. Well done -that's some fancy footwork.

    So back to Vincent's remarks...I agree. High-rating is indeed abusive, and certainly AS abusive as low-rating.

    Vincent, what are your thoughts, if it were confirmed, as Niranjn suggests above, that one were. . .how did Pnina phrase it? ... ah yes... she said that she was " established artist with a lot of "receipt," and participating in a mate rating circle?

    Would the aiding of self-promotion be viewed as coincidental to an operational business, or as advertising? Isn't advertising against the terms of agreement? I guess this question is for the moderators?
  29. Mark, I have answered you at that image of mine,I'm a grown up persone, I have a lot of experience in the arts.I know exactly to evaluate what I'm getting, and what I'm giving.Thank you , I will be glad to get your critique when you will feel like writing it.
  30. chris, vincent, i don't disagree that mate rating goes on, or with much of your analysis of examples here. but why does it matter so much? any action invites reaction. i do not believe in the long run that you can regulate people's desire to "win" at the numbers game or be tickled endlessly under the chin -- instead, tempers flare, people insult one another, some leave, etc.. chris, even if someone uses it to show prospective clients, how does this have a dramatic impact on each of our use of the site to learn from each other? doesn't that come from commenting back and forth in the end anyway? i understand rating abuse when someone rates unfairly low and does not leave a constructive comment -- because we post for ideas and not for judgment. i hesitate to say ratings abuse when someone rates high cuz of flattery or reciprocity though -- sure the poster can be lulled into complacent belief they are better than a panel of educated strangers might think. but the rater is not insulting them. yes, deluding, yes perhaps manipulating the system -- but to regulate it severely would harm the motivations and spirit of many good photographers who share their work here greatly. even if what they post should be a 5 instead of a 6. numbers are secondary; to focus on them so greatly will lead only to collective frustration. my best advice: live and let live, let it go, rate honestly, leave constructive comments, keep shooting.
  31. Just a thought:

    I read these "ratings" threads every day. It's clear that things aren't going to change. I suspect they'll just get worse. For most of us that are frustrated with the ratings issue, it isn't because we want to be on page one, it's because we want some real feedback. (OK...sometimes we want to "show off" an image we're particularly proud of).

    If we don't get exposure, we won't get feedback. Well, I personally don't care if I get any feedback from the mate raters. They don't evaluate photos objectively. The rates in general are meaningless as well. As Chris stated above, most of us are looking for thoughtful critiques and suggestions for improvement.

    Perhaps a group of Mate Rater Haters could get together and form an informal group that critiques each other's work. I've sort of done that by choosing who's photos I critique based on that persons pattern of critique (I rarely rate anymore). If over time, that photographer doesn't return the favor of a critique, It's likely I won't continue commenting on their photos-not because I'm looking for praise. I just want the greatest return on my time investment here on PN. For me, the "return" is constructive feedback (not empty praise). The majority of the comments I post are on a group of about 15 photographers who's work I'm attracted to and whose comments on others photos are thoughtful, critical, and courteous. They also respond to constructive criticism in a positive way (even if they disagree).

    If someone is willing to do the work and invite individuals to be part of a group, I would be willing to participate. I think the only guidelines would be that comments must be constructive, each participant should agree to critique at least three group member's photos for each photo critique they request. Since we all agree that the rates really don't matter, it's feedback we want, NO rates are to be given. Each member of the group would simply add the other member's names to their list of those they're "interested" in and make it a point to check in on the other members' uploads on a regular basis.

    I believe another group "Picture This" has set up something like this. I don't even propose anything as formal as that. Since we all state we want feedback and don't care about the rates, lets get together as a group and help each other out. The Mate Raters can have their meaningless TRP. We'll get what we really want. Who knows, maybe over time, we'll be able to grow large enough that we could revisit the TRP and help it evolve into a more meaningful tool.

    Sort of a passive resistance revolution.
  32. Nice one Ben 7/7 :)
  33. Ben and Laurie ,twice 7/7. wise and to the point.
  34. "chris, vincent, i don't disagree that mate rating goes on, or with much of your analysis of examples here. but why does it matter so much?" Ben S.

    Why does the fact it DOES matter to me and others, matter to you?? Which is worse, the fact that cheating, mating, false flattery decides to a large extent the gallery, or the fact that a few people say something about it? Obviously this here matters enough to you that you cared to stop and place a comment here. So then, if something matters to me, why question my doing the same?

    If you "don't disagree that mate mating is going on" then why not address that issue Ben, rather than telling others what to and not to do. Isn't that a bit like the pot calling the kettle black?
  35. Ben, I guess it doesn't matter. But then, negating one Term of Agreement leaves them all open for negation, doesn't it? Or? I'm really not even aggrivated - just can't shoot pics right now - I'm rooted here at the computer. Trust me, I'd rather be clicking the shutter than making arguments for the Good Fight.

    Laurie, your idea is grand, and sensible. I might suggest, though, that too it's submission, resignation to the idea that opposition to a form of tyranny, if you will, is futile. The system purportedly was born of this ideology, but the abuse of that system has us forming subgroups to do it, too? Hm. Is that the only solution?

    I mean, while we're at it, let's go tell the Feds that they should quit whining about Mafia racketeering, that everyone whose work is dismissed over work that's bought and paid for isn't worth the hassle. A little dramatic of a comparison, granted, but still valid.

    Another 7/7 from Pnina! How out of character! ;)
  36. vincent you are way too angry for me. later.
  37. Sorry Ben, but "angry" is not the correct description. However if you do care to call into question "why we care so much"? Then at the least expect a direct reply. Sorry if hat reply knocked you off balance.

    Chris is right. You don't just let those undermining the systems we are a part of, do whatever they want.
  38. thanks chris, thanks vincent, i appreciate that. like chris, i'm rooted at the computer. i resisted chiming in here until i saw some harsh words flying between people whose work i deeply admire, including yours. i acknowledged in my previous message the irony of my speaking up in the way i have here. i am, perhaps in an overly patronizing way, asking you to reflect on why it matters so much. i think this is a road that leads only to frustration. i'd rather you be make the best of it cuz i enjoy your work so much and don't want to see it diminish on the site. given my family, job, dog walking, etc., this is about my only chance to learn, including from people like you. to me, looking at your work and chris' is like being in high school but being able to sit in on a master class at the university down the road for free. and that also includes others like pnina, from whom i've gotten a new sense of what it means to photograph light and shadow. so that's about it vincent. oh, one more thing. i was on a crusade for months of my own to persuade the site to encourage comments more. it went nowhere. brian never responded to perhaps a half a dozen of my posts. so some of my motivation comes from the pessimism that you can get anywhere with this. okay, hope this gives you some insight to what causes me to chime in.
  39. Thanks Ben, I fully understand where you are coming from.
    Nobody can really understand why allows others to take advantage of the system like they do. My hope is that perhaps this way, by sending these blatant examples to abuse, they will have to deal with it one way or another. By doing nothing (if that indeed is the case) then that too will be the action, so to speak, of choice.

    Thanks again for clarifying your thoughts.
  40. The first four of six images on page one are from the same photographer. Go to that photographers comments if you will. The last twnty all said the same thing, either "7/7" or "Excellent 7/7". Not a single additional word. I stopped even looking after the last 20. It could be perhaps 50 or 100.​

    If you're referring to who I think you are, I noticed that he introduced a friend to last month who shoots with him (either that, or it's a second account of his, as some of the shots they've uploaded are from the same shoot, with the same model), and virtually all her top-rated photos are of this first individual -- all with 7/7 ratings of his photos. Not only that, but this individual has far more than the permitted number of uploaded photos for someone who is not a paid member. Much of his work is oversaturated, or selectively desaturated, or hamhandedly Photoshopped (some of his other photos can be very nice, I should add) -- and he quickly deletes a photo and re- uploads it immediately if the first rating or two is less than a 5/5. My experience is that he also sends abusive emails if he notes you rate him and are not sufficiently appreciative. is quite aware of his work, and his longstanding history of this person, who's rated more than 8,000 photos with an average of higher than 6/6. But Brian has stated in so many words that individuals who significantly draw people to their photo areas (and ads) get a break on some of the rules.
  41. But Brian has stated in so many words that individuals who significantly draw people to their photo areas (and ads) get a break on some of the rules.
    Clearly then, we could use more of the same. Has no-one yet suggested that we have two TRP's? One for "Best pic in the Universe" and another for "Most interesting photo on P.Net."
  42. mg


    Laurie, I like your idea. What you are suggesting in fact is to revive "critique circles". Not sure whether you know what they were. Imo, they were just great, leading to many very interesting discussions, in a friendly POW manner... They were great, EXCEPT for one thing: members of a critique circle could stll rate each other.
    "Picture this" was indeed a very good idea, although a bit too formal for my liking, but critiques circles with no ratings at all among participants/members would be perfect imo. We could (and should) still feel free to use the words "fair", "good", "very good", "excellent" in our comment titles, but at least, no worries, no counting, no retaliations, no power games...
    What do we need to get this going ? Someone who can help setting up with a bit of htlm or such - unless PNet can help to get it started. I wouldn't mind helping to take care of such a circle if necessary, and I'd love to participate.
    We could even put it up and have, say, 30 or 60 days trial period, and after that, this critique circle could be reserved "for paying members only". Etc. Well, Laurie, why don't you start another thread about this project? I'll support it fully. There is a "critique only" gallery already on, but it was set from its onset as a "subscribers only" feature, and somehow, didn't have rules at all, so that people seemed to be more interested in receiving comments, than in writing them.
    So... Can we do better...? New thread on this topic...?
  43. i'd be interested too Laurie. i'd offer to contact people but almost every time i try to get an email address out of the system, i fail . . . feel free anyone to email me about this if you would like if i can help or if it gets going; my email address is on my portfolio page of whatever its called.
  44. I'm in favor of anything WE can do to make this place better. And this idea is interesting. It's sort of the way Leica Forum works.
  45. I posted a photo last night which I would rate myself at best 4/4. I received a handful of ratings.
    I have to say the BEST part was the critique by Ben S and the subsequent understanding that I already knew what was wrong with the shot but maybe needed somebody to confirm my thoughts. Even better was that Ben did not rate - he didn't need to as the input was enough.
    I think we need the rating system as well even though I have a small mental list of people of people that I know get mate rated. It used to bother me but not now.
    Some of these photo's have a staggering amount of ratings and comments. I think there is a degree of home nation commitment to the ratings as well, eg many Italian photographers have many many comments from other Italian raters. Belissimo.
    I don't think we can get rid of this problem, I've learnt to ignore it. This site is the most amazing resource for photographers of all levels and we should all give and take the most from it.
  46. Chris, I agree with you that my suggestion doesn't really fix the problem. Since the site can't or won't fix the problem, it seems to me we have to find ways around their flawed policies to get what we want (and what the site claims to offer).

    I'm still amazed at the lengths the Mate Raters go to for a placement that gives them no prize, except the dubious honor of being lumped with all the other mate raters. It doesn't take long for someone new to the site to see what's going on. The individual referred to above with all the photos on page one really confuses me. Here's a guy with some terrific images that would make it to the top on their own merits. Yet, he seems to perpetuate a practice that lessens the satisfaction of a high placement. I have been tempted to comment on some of his images that I thought were quite nice. I refrained for fear I would be lumped with all the other 7/7ers.

    I'll do my part to report obvious Mate Raters to abuse. I don't care if they think I'm a whiner. They know what's going on. If they choose not to facilitate a solution, they'll have to put up with all the reports to abuse.

    I'd still be interested in forming a group to exchange meaningful critiques. The first one to write "Nice Photo" is out!
  47. No need to start a new thread or anything formal. I'm going to add everyone that has commented here to my list of interesting people (several of you are already on it). I'll make it a point to go to each persons site and critique at least one photo. If we all do the same thing, we have a "Critique Circle" If folks want to rate, go ahead. Personally, I'll refrain. I don't think we need to do any moderating. Those who participate will naturally get responses, those who don't won't. Whenever one of us "meets" someone we think would want to participate, just provide them with a list of names. We can each take it upon ourselves to gather e-mail addresses if we want to communicate directly with other members. I think the looser things are the less likely we'll create new problems.

    If someone has the time and desire to put together something more formal, go for it. I'll certainly be supportive.
  48. Laurie, I'll toast to all of your fine points. You have consistently commented on my pics with wonderfully helpful suggestions for improvement, and I would look forward to more in a forum such as' as the one you describe.

    Laughing, here, re the "...first one to comment 'Nice photo!' is out."
  49. This must be what the annual Magnum meetings are like.
  50. mg


    I find it quite amusing, as it repeats the same nonsense as always. Some folks are trying to "come clean" after some pretty having mate-rating times - and I'm glad to see they do... Some folks, like Ben S here, seem to be very generous and smart, yet fail to see the obvious frustration (expressed here by C. Appoldt for example) today's system means for those who, simply, genuinely, want comments to help them improve. Then, there is the wagon of frustrated folks like Chistopher, and finally, they are people who dream of a fair world. As for me, I stupidly belong to the last 2 categories, and can't get the right pill to cure the disease...:)
    Now... What do we do middle of such a mess...? Brian seems to think that we all shouldn't care much, and basically would here agree with Ben, I suppose. Perhaps for the reasons Bailey mentioned... But then, Many Pnetters still don't get the comments they wish to get.
    Some "established artists" (to me it's almost a contradiction to read these 2 words together) have shown, that even when offered 150 ratings along with 75 comments, they'd rater get a one-liner and be done with it. Well, these folks are certainly not after in-depth comments, but what about those who are...? Can't we give them something too ? That's what Laurie was suggesting to do, and I'm all for it.
    That said, here's what Vincent wrote, above: "If the abuse department sees the obvious in a particular case, THEY will be the ones taking the proper measures. Mate-rating is just another form of ratings abuse, and should be sent in to the department specifically designed for this purpose."
    This is NONSENSE - although I agree with you, Vincent. It is nonsense simply because I KNOW, for a fact, that Brian is perfectly aware of the incredibly sick mate-rating profile of SOME members. I know for a fact that he has had all the figures in hand. Yet, nothing happened. So, what's the point of sending mate-raters profiles to him ? HE HAS THEM. Please do keep that in mind and you'll save ink.
    Then, Vincent also wrote: " "Abuse" does handle lowballers, and can do the same with very obvious, proven cases of mate-raters! In the past we've been *accustomed* to strictly using this department for lowballing, when in actuality it should be used for both lowballing and mate-rating since BOTH are clearly forms of abuse."
    This, again, is wrong. The abuse department will tell you that they can't handle anything more than what they are already handling - it's just ONE man, Jeremy Stein. Besides that, Brian has already stated so many times, that to him, mate-rating is very difficult to find evidences of: yes, high rating averages with many high ratings to the same photographers are indeed A SIGN, but not necessarily an evidence of FRAUD. A rater can be silly and like absolutely everything on stupidity is not prohibited (is that a good thing by the way...?) :)
    So... Brian knows but... Lacks evidence of fraud... He probably measured as well how dangerous it could be to go for this "ethical cleansing" (no no, not ethNical, no N here...) without a clear evidence... And well, so far, he sees many clicks and many subscriptions, and you don't rock a boat that's winning the race.
    So, the question is not "what to do?", but rather: are Brian's reasons for letting it all be valid, or not. We can express opinions, and he can ignore our opinions because he's in charge, and we are not. And that's that. My opinion: in the short term, Brian does the right thing. But some day (perhaps quite soon), it will all blow out of proportions, and either the boat will sink, or it will change its course. All good reasons for honest members to post pictures will soon be gone. I can tell you that I surely learned a lot more from my comments 3 or 4 years ago than I do now... and I suspect, many other photographers would have a lot more reasons to complain than I do... When they'll be fed up, they leave. Many other knowledgeable members already left or quit participating; more will follow - some day... and what will be left of PN's gallery will be a place for reciprocal congratulations. It will soon or later have consequences on the contents AND on the income... When, I'm not sure. I just hope Brian will see it happen early enough and save the boat...
  51. " . . . . Brian has stated in so many words that individuals who significantly draw people to their photo areas (and ads) get a break on some of the rules."

    The only relevant comment that I recall is that portfolios larger than those permitted for non patrons will not be deleted if they have a certain number of rates, comments, etc.. I have never seen a reference to attracting traffic to personal members pages or portfolios.

    And if he did, one might ask how he could be sure those views represented a net gain to site traffic. Instead of of 1000 views to member MR, why wouldn't we expect 200 views to five different members?

    Incidentally, we do have a test case. When AP was booted, if there was no noticeable drop in traffic, then the argument that favoring popular photographers increases site traffic fails.
  52. There are many members who are more clever with their mate rating habits than those in the 7/7 club being discussed here. These covert mate raters liberally throw out 6/6 and 6/5 ratings to average and below average photos in the hope of receiving inflated ratings in return. Some of these covert mate raters actually have the nerve to complain about the less discrete 7/7 mater raters commonly discussed in this forum.

    Here is an example of the kind of rating distribution that a covert mate rater might display:

    # Ratings Given:


    Originality:__1 0 0 104 2015 6359 207

    Aesthetics:__1 0 8 90 1344 6280 963

    Very amusing, isn't it?
  53. <<<<simply give each one a very sobering and honest critique of its faults. say nothing of a personal nature. don't even attempt to smooth over the critique. keep it dry and to the photographic points.>>>>

    Howard are you talking about these exact comments that YOU are CUT AND PASTING all over my images? Yes and over 5 images you have yet to even say 1 dam thing about the image itself. If you have some misconception i am a mate rater why are they holding near top of trp and were run through RFC ?

    don't see point of manip
    Howard Foto, February 10, 2005; 07:11 A.M.
    don't see the point of this poor manipulation, nor it aesthetic. no knock on the photographer, mind you. strictly on the image's photographic merits I would rate this 3/3 but I don't rate and it's just one humble expert's opinion.
  54. paul, marc g., thanks for kind words. marc g., after about three years of hanging around here (jeesh, i didn't know i was that old!) i've felt, expressed and been through many of the emotions expressed here. this site has become like "groundhog day" to me. the only thing i can change is me. after posting hundreds upon hundreds of photos and recieving comments well into the 4 figures, i have reached the conclusion that when i have been among the top photos (no wisecracks! it happens once in a while!) does NOT lead to measurably more comments. commenting on others photos with something specific to say -- including constantly reaching out to new people, to people who do similar work and share similar interests, AND to people who are so darn good that they intimidate -- being politely honest, sometimes blunt and, when moved, not being afraid to figuratively stand up and applaud joyously -- while maintaining an overall portfolio that has some interest to others -- seems to work the best. slowly, what goes around comes around, never in enough amounts i suppose, cuz there can never be enough for something we all love to do and share.
  55. If you don't rate. What makes u think u have the right to broadcast your "theoretical" rating in comments on my pics?? Man talk about full of yourself........
  56. Annabeth, Welcome to Pnet. I'm amazed at how quickly you discovered the Mate Rating and as you put it the "covert" rating here on Pnet :)
  57. I'm amazed, too, Annabeth.

    About as covert as an elephant in a trenchcoat.
  58. Annabeth,
    That's also a similar distribution to me and I don't have any mates.
    Mark "No friends" Grant, they call me.
    I think, many new people to photography, like myself, when starting
    out, are just not able to make a meaningful comment on anything that
    they don't like instinctively and certainly don't feel able to say an
    image is average. It takes a while before you know the average
    quality of images on PN.
    Also, it takes time to find photographers whose work moves you in
    some way. These people I rarely rate but do leave comments, but only
    because rating them somehow demeans them in my view.
    As I have become more experienced, I sometimes go through the last
    few pages of the TRP and find pictures that the photographer
    genuinely seems to wants an honest opinion on. Usually the average
    rating is around 3/3 or less. I don't feel able to give them another
    3/3, I'll give what contructive advice I can and any encouragement I
    can. I have found a couple of young photographers whose images, to
    my eye, are well below average technically and aesthetically but you
    can see a passion for experimentation in their shots. You almost
    know that given a few years they could be masters of their trade. I
    don't think I can offer what limited advice I have and also
    rate them below average.
    I realize the site aims for a 4/4 average and I recognize the sense
    in that but for some of us it isn't easy. Doesn't make us all
    covert mate raters. For me, that casts doubt on the validity of some
    of the non-covert mate raters.
  59. PG - you were the unfortunate exception to my rule. but fortunately now, you have earned sufficient PNG points to be placed on ignore. :)
  60. Laurie, I've been looking in on this site for a few months now. I don't know exactly why I decided to sign up today. I guess I just can't stand hypocrites and felt like speaking out here. Hope no one holds it against me if and when I get up the courage to submit my first photos for critique. (-:
  61. Dang....the critique circle is falling apart before it ever gets off the ground. Oh well, no matter. I have added you all to my list and will make it a point to offer meaningful critiques to the best of my ability. I may not get around to everyone before next week. (going away for the weekend).

    Annabeth, my apologies if I've offended you. If you've been poking around the site for a few months, you probably know that it's not uncommon for someone to create a new account with an alias to make "anonymous" comments. I thought that's what was going on in your case. Apparently, I was wrong. I look forward to seeing some of your work. Please let me know when you're posting and I'll add you to my list.
  62. annabeth, come on in, the water's warm (enough)!
  63. Annabeth Smith looks to me like another bogus account. No images posted, no ratings, no comments, just signed up today. Those ratings listed are my own. He/she does not even have the courage to say that, or post it under their own name. Probably one of the maters in fact.

    However my ratings distribution is laid out is completely irrelevant IF those ratings are honest. And honest they have always been. I always make a point to go to the folders of those who've taken the time to rate my work and do the same. There is nothing wrong with that in any shape or form *IF* you rate anothers work in honest fashion. This is the reason the names are posted at all, so we can visit the work of those that have already taken the time for us. Mate-rating in the context we are talking about, and that damages the site and even the photographer, is when you hand out nothing but inflated ratings over and again to the same people expecting (and usually receiving) the same in return. TRP becomes skewed, beginning photographers think they are masters, and that their snapshots are now masterpieces. A messed up system I'd say.

    Just as many on this page have expressed an interest to create a circle of friends that offer honest, critical comments trying to help others improve, so too has the mate-raters CIRCLE only grown and grown to the point of taking over the galleries top pages every day. This type of circle needs to be busted up. Instead when changed the default Top Rated Photos pages to highest average ratings they then began rewarding the maters with top visibility continuously. The incentive (and thereafter the activity) to do this has only become worse since that point. It is worse now and will become even more so shortly.

    Yes Marc it is true Jeremy is one man. However Jeremy, Brian and whomever else deleted so many accounts that were bogus (just last month) that over one percent of all ratings ever given were deleted. And more have since followed. I still believe this is at the very least the correct approach in trying to handle this situation. Just send them in, as you or I see these obvious underhanded tactics.

    Fine let's form helpful groups too. Fine let's focus more on perfecting our craft. But, at the same time let's also do whatever we can to help get rid of this practice of mate-rating that is more or less like a cancer, slowly destroying the integrity of the gallery, and eventually will spread to the rest of the site. Just a matter of time.
  64. And what a surprise, Annabeth Smith has a hotmail account to boot. Her first activity is in the hot forums?? Okay, sure.
  65. It becomes clear that there are different definitions of mate rating, and I would be the first to admit that mine is more stringent than most to the point where I assert that nearly everyone with decent images to upload has mate rated. It's human nature and the site does its' best to encourage it.

    The question is, how do you change your rating comment practice once you understand the correlation between the rates and comments you give and those you get. The correlation is undeniable and works 1:1 and across the spectrum of all the photographers you interact with.

    Many photographers who I admire have reached the conclusion that the influence they have on the numbers they receive is so strong that they realize they no choice but to stop rating pretty much entirely.

    When I look at someone's favorites and see photographers that I know rate seldom if ever, then I know they are looking for an honest unbiased exchange, but if they're filled with popular images by people who rate highly and often, then I know you've been the recipient of some of those rates and are recognized as a nice generous person rahter than an honest helpful critic.

    In short, you've bought it. . . . . sold your soul.
  66. watch it, AS. having a separate hotmail account - so that crud mail doesn't intermingle with good mail - automatically makes you suspicious to town bullies and town criers, especially if you have no photos uploaded. suspecting that was the case (this ain't rocket science, you know) was why I uploaded as quickly as I could request critiques on each of them. I suggest you do that too.
  67. carl, that's an interesting view, and may be some of what happens. so i don't mean to challenge the analysis, but to step back and question, as i have throughout this thread, if it matters. i would have said nothing, except for your "sell your soul" comment. two points, one utilitarian and one cultural. i've knocked around a bit, and included in my background is extensive work teaching and motivating volunteers. my experience is that if i want someone to get from point A to point M, i must encourage them to go one step at a time (B, C, D, etc.). So giving constructive feedback to someone at A is different than to someone at J. To "rate" either of them could be very discouraging and i tended to avoid such a thing at all costs. Instead, i learned (from wise people training me) to try always to tell people first what they were doing right, and second what they could do better -- and to avoid saying what was bad. Why? Because teaching the "right" way and motivating people to strive, to commit to the effort, are not always the same thing. i think i differ with people like Vincent here perhaps because his eye is on the integrity of the site more than mine, which is more frankly on encouraging artists i like and learning back and forth from them. i've gone through periods of no rating and only commenting and every other variation. there's some correlation between my numbers and those i give out. but getting a rating is nothing compared to an substantive comment, and that's what i'm hoping for.

    the second point is cultural, and perhaps a little controversial. but i have a suspicion that those of us raised in the United States emphasize "fairness" more than in other parts of the world, in part because our culture is more competitive by nature than many other parts of the world. we are raised to be long on individual achievement and shorter on collective loyalty. i suspect this mate rating concern has some roots in that particularly "american" sensibility. hope this doesn't offend anyone. i love the international flavor of the site, and live with the fact that such a thing brings different views, including some i dislike myself, about how to make use of it.
  68. Sorry Howard, read the comment again. She just opened an account today, she has no ratings, no comments, but goes right into this hot forum with my ratings. Wake up Howard, smell the coffee. In fact Howard, it surprises me very little that YOU of all people would say such a thing. We know who you are, many of us know who you WERE. We've also said IF you behave will not turn you in. The "no ratings" and "not interested in visibility" was a good start. Just a final reminder...
  69. I guess I belong to a group of mate-raters; I have about 73 photographers marked as "interesting", including Vincent. I like to go and see what new work they have posted and most of the people I have marked interesting get rated by me anywhere from a 4 to a 7 (probably an average of 6) because I feel like they do good/interesting work most of the time. I try to critique honestly and sometimes it's not well received, but I do it anyway (two people who sometimes take offense at my critiques have also posted comments here, but shall remain unnamed). If someone leaves me a comment, I try to visit some of their photos and comment in return. I don't visit the raters (only) because I try not to get caught up in the numbers game and just give my ratings a quick glance after a few days. I've noticed some people can tell you what rating you've given them which tells me they are totally obsessed with the ratings and keep track as each one comes in. I'd rather be taking pictures!
  70. Ben, I posted this same idea a while back and the light bulb went on for several people. I think your focus on cultural differences is important and frankly think that Brian's concept of fairness on this site is based on a cultural norm that not everyone shares. People keep saying that it isn't a contest and that people shouldn't invest so much in getting and giving rates instead of trying to understand what is really going on and take steps to control it even though they don't understand the personal and cultural basis for the behavior.

    You also seem to talking about some sort of separation between rating (selecting) images and offering constructive criticism. I wholeheartedly agree.
  71. Ben, as an ex-educator myself, I find your theories fascinating.

    "Injustice," of course, hitting a particular sore spot. It does admittedly irk the hell out of me. From recent International affairs to the office mutt who takes credit for an idea, the hypocrocy seems to know no bounds sometimes. Having gotten so much out of this site, it makes me nuts to see it abused, taken advantage of - become like so much else in this world that's marred, impure. I'm such an idealist:)

    It's not just "injustice," though - it's dishonesty. That stinks, too. However, above, today, I think I learned that even THAT angst I must take with a grain of salt. After seeing the above, I think I now feel that some of these mate raters seriously believe that they're NOT mate rating. Ignorance doesn't make it right, but that means my wish for them to knock off a conscious act is really a wish for them to not be so lacking in the ability of introspection. I may be an idealist, but I'm also a realist. I ain't gonna get THAT wish!

    Vincent - don't forget that too, she pulled a screenshot of a rating curve in and posted it. Annabelle, my sincere apologies - as you may have noticed, paranoia around here is rampant, and sadly, often justified. Should your name and intentions be genuine, more power to you - and see you around. So, you're gonna have to do better than that:)
  72. Kim, may I ask you if a new system was set up to redistribute the exposure to include other photographers who aren't as generous with their rates as your friends are, would you find that acceptible?
  73. Kim, for what it's worth, in my often kooky, but usually humble, opinion there's not a person out there, after reading your comments on your posts and others, that could deny that you're a good person with a kind soul. Last I saw, you're a free spirit - a well-meaning independent - not a follower or a leader of Photo Mafia hoardes:) Don't change a thing - I don't believe any of the above applies to you.
  74. So if thats the case Howard remove your snotty comments and save me a letter to abuse. I got tons of ps work ahead. Cheers.

    Its curious how u just started Pnet yet do a beeline for my port and won't lay off...
  75. Carl, I'm not understanding what you mean. For all I care, the ratings could go completely away, leaving comments only. The TRP could be compiled by revolving critique circles that change weekly/monthly. I have no idea how these critiquers would be selected and how they would wade through the many images posted, but it would be nice to think a bigger variety of photographers would end up on there.
  76. christopher, your last comment goes to the heart of why this thread takes on a very tough issue: "abuse" implies the intent to do harm; otherwise we'd be punishing people for being stupid or delusional (btw, that's how i've been able to continue to pick up a camera). and one of the values i bet you and i share is "innocent until proven guilty." site wouldn't work if it were otherwise; the venom and intimidation levels would go up to high. so there's a larger wisdom to giving people the benefit of the doubt until they hang themselves, despite the frustration. if we're going to point fingers, its better if we do it to get the subject to look in the camera (oh, i forgot, better to let them look away . . .)
  77. Agreed, Ben - it's tough until the motives are discovered as deliberate- if there even are any motives.

    From where I sit, earlier I watched and read as a mate rater hung themself - and STILL doesn't get it. "Following work of those that appreciate and praise mine and liking theirs in return..." Is that punishable? I'd say no, if the perpetrator is oblivious to the way it undermines a critique forum and hurts rather than hinders growth -especially their own. (I'd say what I DO think it is, but there are ladies present.)

    There's nothing that indicates to me that abuse enforcement is going to deflate a pedestal-mounted ego and "correct" the attitude. Only life expereince will do that, and I ain't holding my breath.

    Different cultural morays? Yup...I'll buy that.
  78. "so there's a larger wisdom to giving people the benefit of the doubt until they hang themselves"...Ben S.

    This is exactly what we are talking about Ben. Many, many are involved in mate-rating to a degree. However some are blatantly abusing the system, and have been doing this for many years. It is only these ones that we would hope management would address. Once the bad apples are dealt with, everybody that is involved to a lesser degree would surely take some notice quickly. There needs to be something done, some type of example where management shows the axe. Doing nothing at all only allows those gaming the system to become even more bold, more obvious, more underhanded. We all know who those obvious mate-raters are. They have already identified themselves... hung themselves so to speak. Just there is no rope yet...
  79. I think the problem in itself is not mate rating, after all, who cares if some peoples whish to gatter to scratch each others back??? the problem is that the system is made in a way that because they mate rate their photos are more likely to make it to the TRP. After a while it feels like this site belongs to a handfull of peoples and all the others are left with this forum to beg for a fair system but hey, who gives a damn about what we hope for??? certainly not the admin.
  80. I have been in and out of PN for the past few years and can honestly say it has been a growing experiance to watch and learn.I have pretty much given up trying to put anything up for critique anymore because the chances of me getting any feedback of substance is nil.There are the exceptions though and you know who you are and are much appreciated.Case in point...Over the last few days I have commented on over twenty images,most in depth,but have not recieved any constructive words on any of my work,this is frustrating to me and because of this I have deleted my portfolios completely more than once.The saddest thing for me is that I have been trying to expand into other genres(some contain nudity)but most of the photographers who I respect simply do not critique these images for whatevr reasons they may this rate I ask myself why continue?I would love to get involved in some of the new suggestions mentioned above and would support in any way I was asked.I just want good constructive fedback,no matter what genre I participate in,and could care less about the ratings thing.Marc,Carl,Chris,Vincent,Kim.Bailey...anyone?Sign me up please!!
  81. Hi this long post and i'm too tired to read it. Bout mate raters i think..anyway.

    I got this friend and pretty soon they gonna name page 1 after him. So in honour of that was gonna make him a comemoritive thing for Valentines day. Been messin with ps a lot latley and dunno can't find the ps forum so hope this is it....just wondering if someone here can tell me how to match the front white hues with that back how do u desaturate white?...thanks in advance and sorry to interupt ...
  82. whoops forgot the upload sorry to hog cyber space.
  83. Thanks all! I've been seeing this and wondered "What the!?" because, while I know most of my pictures are average, there are one or two that I think are pretty good and yet the ratings are so much lower than photos I've seen in the TRP that are, frankly, crap. So I just decided not to pay much attention to the ratings, and mostly I can do that. But now and then it rather ticks me off. I've mostly stopped rating other photos because of it. The comments are more useful anyway, and I leave plenty of those. I want to take better pictures... having someone fawn all over me is great if I deserve it, but otherwise I'd rather hear an honest list of faults. So sincere thank you's to those of you here who've given me your time and suggestions! I'm much happier to have that than slaps on the back and meaningless 7/7s.
  84. "We know who you are, many of us know who you WERE. We've also said IF you behave will not turn you in. The "no ratings" and "not interested in visibility" was a good start. Just a final reminder..."
    that is quite an admission. so also know that I am not interested in what little town minds (with their email cliques and boycott brigades?) with nothing better to do than to demonize any newcomer who dares speak their mind... believes, nor their threats.
  85. Kim, you've rated over 6,000 images with a 5.8/5.6 average. You have given 7/7s to many of the most popular photographers on the site, so according to my definition, you are a mate rater. I agree with Chris' post that asserts that you are nice person, but my opinion on this issue is that everyone is either part of the solution or part of the problem. You would definitely become part of the solution if you stopped rating completely because most of the people you like are, in my opinion, already getting more than their share of visibility on this site.
  86. I am in absolute agreement that Mate Rating is an insidious virus that has struck this site. Most of us have been "courted" by these people with 7/7-beautiful shot posts on multiple occassions. This is especially true if, against all odds, you've managed to get a photo near the top of the TRP. If you make the mistake of commenting favorably on any of their photos, their "yours" for life.

    Before labeling someone as a "Mate Rater", I think it's more important to take a look at how they critique other peoples' work. Kim is a great example of a potential victim of a witch hunt here. She's been on this site for a while, posts many photos, and frequently comments on the work of others. She can't control how people rate her photos. From what I can see, she's honest in her critiques and doesn't hesitate to offer suggestions for improvement or point out imperfections. She's also very gracious in accepting constructive criticism. These are not the actions of a Mate Rater, at least not my definition of a Mate Rater.

    The real Mate Raters stand out without any doubt.
  87. Laurie, you're spot-on. Kim is straightforward and honest with her comments, and her critiques always helpful and coaching. Sorry Kim - meant to write that earlier.
  88. Laurie, there are different degrees of mate rating. There is no witch hunt going on here. Kim and I comment on each other's images from time to time and our relationship is cordial.

    My point is that many, many people get sucked into this practice of using rates as social currency and turn a blind eye to the effect that it has on the distribution of views.
  89. . . . . so I go to Laurie's favorites page and there are FIVE of Chris' images on page one. Then I go to Chris' front page where I see two of Laurie's.

    Don't you all get it?
  90. Carl, thanks for the clarification. Perhaps I misunderstood your earlier post. Regardless, I do feel caution is important in Mate Rate labeling. We could all be guilty by some definitions. Personally, I limit the label to those who clearly rate for return rates and pour on the atta boys without any substantive comment. From my observation, there are plenty who fit this definition.

    Thomas, I've added you to my "circle".
  91. I agree that substantive comments are a distinguishing factor. I also think that there's tons of rationalizing going on when it comes to handing out numbers. I speak from experience. As I said before, mate rating is a natural reaction to the way the TRP is organized. As Brian said himself quite recently, rating is an addiction.
  92. Through contstant interaction and preferences of styles, this site is designed specificialy, that groups of people can easily monitor their friends. Similar interests...birds of a feather... i asked in the last post, nobody could answer.

    Define the line between friends and mates.
  93. I'd say "guilty," Carl - save the X factor.

    First off, you're gonna have to admit that my 7/7s are pretty random in both photograhers and times, not slanted to particulars. (In reviewing, I saw Dave N. too shares two high rates from me. The guy blows my mind sometimes.)

    Second, while I haven't counted, I'd say that I've rated less than 3% of Laurie's portfolio pics.

    Third, if you trace Laurie and my posts on each others' pics, you'll see a lot of Laurie's earlier advice on my birds being practiced in my more recent shots. You'll also see my tracking of her body of work for her husband's vet clinic, and my frank advice on what I feel would improve them.

    You'll also see my delight in her blatant successes, and I'll not apologize for it nor feel ashamed.

    The "X" variable is going to have that happen from time to time. I hope you're not trying to group me in with someone who's handed the same 14 photographers 60 7/7s each:)
  94. Carl,

    If you look at the photos I've "rated" you're likely to see most of them are from only a handful of photographers. This is for two reasons. stated before, I limit myself to a small group of photographers whos comments I found helpful and constructive. Read the comments we've exchanged on each others photos. I think you'll find they're not gratuitous. You'll also note photos in there taken by a few photographers whose work you seem to follow. I know because I see your comments on their photos above or below mine. After my first few weeks on PN, I became very cautious of whose photos I rated (for the reasons listed above and several others). So yes, most of my "top rated photos" are from only a few photographers. Do you feel I've over rated them?

    You'll also want to take note of the number of photos I've rated since joining this site. It's pretty low. Many folks would rate that many photos in a single sitting. I've commented on a hell of a lot more photos than I have rated. I have repeatedly received ratings from a few people on this site that I know to be Mate Raters. It would be very easy to reciprocate if that's what I was after.

    Carl, I have noticed your comments on other photos and found them to be well considered and presented. I was looking forward to a healthy reciprocal exchange of thoughts on photos with you. If you truly believe me to be a Mate Rater, I will refrain from commenting on your photos.

    I invite anyone to disect my activity on this site. Well....not my boss, I might get fired for spending to much of my "work" time on the Internet.
  95. Like I said, there are degrees and we're all most concerned about the extreme examples you mention.

    There is also the issue of similar interests. If you both like birds, it would be silly NOT to offer comments frequently. It then becomes a matter of being conscious of selecting the very best efforts from your friends, as you've mentioned. In my opinion, five on page one is a lot, but I think we agree in principle. I think I have given more than two on my favorites to only one photographer . . . in part because he's not a mate rater!

    Ideally, it would be great if you could go to everyone's portfolio and pick a couple of images you like best. Then comment the rest of the way unless they really, and I mean REALLY, outdo themselves.
  96. Laurie, mate commenting is always welcome.

    I guess I'm just trying to alert people to the addictive aspect of this. We all agree that the problem is a combination of rating high and often, restricting those rates to friends who you expect will reciprocate, and the lack of thoughtful comments.

    I'm also concerned about popular tastes, but that just makes the issue more complicated.
  97. Carl: yup!
  98. Carl, I think we're singing the same song here. I'm looking forward to exchanging ideas with you. Yes...popular tastes can be a concern. I do comment more on landscape and wildlife shots than portraits etc. It's the subject I'm most experienced with. I do try to push myself in other directions. It's just easier to wear the comfortable shoes most of the time.

    Just for the record, I checked...I've rated a total of 4 photos with 7/7 since joining PN. Three of them were in my first week or two.
  99. Carl, like you said there are differing levels of mate-rating going on. I would not classify Kim, Laurie or Chris as abusers of the system by any means. People are interested in certain types of images. I've rated a few of yours you a few of mine, so what? An abuser will rate a very high percentage of a photographers images all basically 7/7. Laurie gave Chris none of those by the way. Chris only a couple to Laurie. Kim often offers honest suggestions on people's work. We are talking about the example above, of cut and paste comments. The worst offender in my book basically says nothing more than "Nice shot" or "Excellent" and that is IT! (plus his usual array of 7/7s...of course). These are the ones needed to be removed. And I doubt we will see them here in this thread. The person whose example was mentioned above earlier, with several right now on the top pages, has now the highest rated image of all a mile. It's a nice shot of a bird, need I say more??

    If management completely refuses to do anything about it at all regardless of all the complaints about unfairness, gaming of the system etc.. then this site will self destruct in my opinion. I agree with Marc there. Hopefully before it gets much worse Brian will do something. It already is on the road to greater problems as we can clearly see. Hopefully all of us will be even more mindful and can learn from all of this nonsense.

    Ratings/posting can be addicting, that is true. But only certain idividuals go as far as they can, rating 7 after 7 over and over, pasting meaningless false flattering comments and as always rising to the top of the TRPs. They are sure easy to find nowadays.
  100. Vincent - haven't you been reading all the feedback threads for the past couple years?
    Rating just doesn't matter. You are not supposed to have FUN with seeing how others rate
    your photos. The whole rating thing at has become an anathema. It is, after all, NOT
    for YOUR selfish enjoyment. Rating here at is done to provide the newby a semblace
    of excitement and wonder.

    You aren't supposed to care. The PTB will do with what they will. It all vastly too
    complicated and confusing for regular whining photographers. What did you expect for a
    lousy $25 bucks?

    And there is no real cheating on There simply cannot be cheating on It is
    NOT a contest. There is no prize. So how can there be cheating? After all, ratings don't
    MEAN anything.
  101. heh....

    Needed that.
  102. There's no accounting for taste... I don't know if they'll ever fix the rating problem. From day one I saw that the ratings system was almost universally hated, and yet the management seems to have no desire to change it. Management that's blind to the clients issues is going to start circling the drain eventually. It's just a matter of time. The more serious, more dedicated, more knowledgable and *helpful* ppl will go elsewhere - and they're why I joined.
  103. James, truer words could not be spoken. When you are brand new on here, you can hardly wait for the ratings to pour in. How disappointing when they don't. Then one day, there's one of your pictures on the TRP page! What a rush! You want it again. It's only natural. But after awhile, you realize there is more value in that comment that says "Your horizon is tilted", "Crop out the left side" and so on.

    I judged photos at our last Camera Club meeting and found a lot of my judging skills had been formed from what I learned on PN. You can't imagine how hard it was to sit with two others who looked and judged without much thought - a blurred butterfly on a cluttered background was judged much higher by them than a sharp (ugly), well-composed frog, blowing bubbles in water. They rated high, I rated low; they rated low, I rated high. A picture taken of a doorway, using light and shadows effectively, was commented on by one of them - "If only that sharp shadow wasn't down the middle" - the whole point of the picture! But you know what? We're all different in opinions and tastes and that's what makes the world go round. There will be people who love what I do and those who have different tastes and don't like my work. It's when you DON'T love what I do, but pretend you do that is wrong.
  104. Yo - Kim. You judged a photo club show with 2 or 3 judges and saw the tremendous
    disparity between yourselves. That's good. That you saw that I mean. However - think of
    the disparity of talent you were judging. Each and ever one of those photographers who
    entered that contest or show wanted to know what the JUDGES (read: Experts) thought of
    their photos.

    We keep hearing how there are millions of viewers / thousands of users / and what? ...
    there are only two dozen members here at

    Regardless of what those members who are just here to learn (see: "people who
    don't care about ratings but just want to read honest critiques") think, there is no
    argument ever presented here or elsewhere throughout HISTORY that can overcome the
    plain and simple fact ALL HUMANS want to feel important. That instinct to survive, to do
    better, to grow - is just part of everyone's psyche. It's NO BIG DEAL until you try to explain
    it away with cynicism or try to ignore it. THEN it REARS ITS UGLY HEAD.

    For the LOVE OF GOD - just let people rate the damn pictures and remember there are
    supposedly thousands and thousands of people looking at these pictures from all over the
    world. If you get 9 ratings - regardless of the average number / high number /
    whatevertheF number - you got 9 people somewhere on earth with enough PATIENCE to
    look through this site to actually CLICK on your dam photo. Maybe that's 9 more than
    someone else's picture got an that makes you feel good after a hard day chopping trees in
    Siberia or kissing a__ in the office. Who knows? what motivates that photog? Hell, you can
    always wite 'em an email or leave a note in the critique if you're curious about something.

    But the complicated, convoluted, disorganized bs about ones and twosies and sevens are
    no longer deserved unless it's this good or that good blah blah - that's what kills the spirit
    of this deal if you ask me.

    The thrill is in finding out IF ANYONE GAVE A DAM AT ALL ABOUT YOUR ONE STUPID

    And I've been a professional photog for over 35 years! I am still thrilled when a photo
    editor chooses one of my pics to run in his/her mag. And you know what? I get that same
    fun excitement here (or I used to anyway) when I see one of my pics get some dam
    ratings. The critiques I find mostly to be asskissing and jealousy. I'm at the point in my
    photography where I learn by LOOKING at others photos. And I'll tell ya - I'm dam tired of
    looking at pictures of birds and flowers and kittly cats sunsets.
  105. thought you were gonna mention dogs there for a moment, james!
  106. James, I took a look at your site. You have some truly compelling images. It looks like you don't suffer for comments or volume of rates. You obviously have a clear vision in your photos and I'm glad I took a look. I'll revisit often. I'm afraid you won't find much of interest in my portfolio. It's mostly flowers, cats, birds, and sunsets.
  107. Hi Everyone,

    I've been following the discussions quietly for a while. The subject is annoying to me as well. I've been brain storming about it and came up with an idea. Probably it won't solve the problem but might be somewhat helpful:

    Photo.Net has became quite international lately which is I greatly enjoy because of the different flavors it brings together. On the other side I am sure there are many people out there that don't quite understand how this community suppose to work, and feed this recent trend without knowingly. The critique and rating guidelines are not very visible on the site. I was wondering if they could be more accessible and translated to different languages. I also think that is why we see some of these generic short praise comments so often instead of real critiques. We cannot help them write elaborate critiques, but having them understand the rating system is relatively easy. Personally I would be happily willing to translate anything to my native language Turkish if I were asked for help, and many others would do the same. The new multi-language guideline also can explain how the problem becoming worse and ask for cooperation. I am sure many many people appreciate this tremendous service given by Photo.Net even without any payment in return. They would want to contribute to improve it, but I am not sure many of them even aware of the presence of this problem. These forum pages are read by only few.
  108. What a generous offer Sevtap.
  109. Marc, coming back this morning , I read your hint about your offer to critique my work. I have asked you to do it on my presentation because it was that series of works that was on the TRP and recieved scores/comments from many participants,So I was interested.
    Now, there are certain subjects that are photographed time and again all over the world by many photographers, professionals and amateurs like: birds, landscapes, sunsets flowers, street shots etc.They are the most presented and prominent here and in other sites I have visited.

    I think that if people will be asked to define Aesthetic and Orginality, answeres will vary by each person that will be asked.

    There are people that think that their definition is the right one, and others that think differently is no good.

    It is an elitistic appraoch. A site like PN with so many international participants, with different levels of knowledge,tastes, creativity and ability of judgemet as well as different cultural and personal standarts, that approach is hard to implement.
    and Marc, you can start working, I don't need the rating comments will do, I'm always ready to learn, when it is done in a constractive polite way.
  110. Vincent-
    "Be careful what you wish for......" Absolutely no insinuation was implied. Rephrased, if you throw out the low-ballers and then throw out the mate raters, (both of whom appear to cancel each other out) the end result? "Nothing has changed" except now, WE are manipulating the ratings! BORING! Geeez......! (SMH&RME) :)

    To All-
    Occasionally, there comes a time when "acceptance" and "tolerance" may be the best option. I will continue to rate and critique as always, nothing will change. I LOVE freedom of choice. I tend to look at and critique/rate what I prefer, this too will not change. I will not make a point of critiquing an image because "I" think it is over-rated & made it to the TRP via mate rating. I'd probably be wrong. (Just because I HATE the color orange and others don't, does that make me wrong or them?) Just kidding, I kinda like the color orange! ( I think my dislike stems from when I tried to highlight my own hair and it turned orange! LOL Some of the best advice I ever got from my beautician mother: "This is why God made some people beauticians & unfortunately, you're not one of them!") Nor will I barrage PN abuse with "MY suspicions" of malfeasance. I choose not to participate in this behavior. I think it's unhealthy. But of course, as always, this is just my opinion, and I could be wrong. (Sign me: Just an average, independent, wishy washy thinker, who likes to error on the side of caution) :]
  111. Jayme, from the many voices and points of view I have read here, there are some voices that have expressed good reason.( imo of course)Thank you for being one of them.
  112. James, forgive me for pointing out a few internal inconstancies in your argument.

    " . . . just let people rate the damn pictures and remember there are supposedly thousands and thousands of people looking at these pictures from all over the world. . . . . ."

    Looking at whose pictures? not yours our mine. Only those who game the system.

    " . . . The thrill is in finding out IF ANYONE GAVE A DAM AT ALL ABOUT YOUR ONE STUPID PICTURE THAT DAY."

    Getting a rate does not mean they care at all. Most rate each image from the queue and it's just as easy to hit two numbers as it is to hit "skip".

    "I'm dam tired of looking at pictures of birds and flowers and kittly cats sunsets."

    Then do your part to keep less discriminating photogs who ignore the 'originality' rating from determining what you get to see.
  113. As I said in a previous post - it's become a joke. Is this really the 4th best photo uploaded in the last 24 hours (6.50 / 6.38)?

    I guarantee that if I had uploaded this it would struggle to get 6 ratings in 24 hours and would average about 3/3.
  114. Good grief, Mark - get a grip, will you? Look at that image! It's AMAZING. How could you be so negative?

    Originality? Definitely a "7." Look at the inventive angle the potographer approached the subject with. Who dares get so crazy and go "flat on" like that anymore? In fact, no one posts photos of infants any more. Never really did. The striped shirt, too - the way it's been blurred? Wickedly creative. Sepia, too! Jumpin' Jesus in Chickenbasket that's unique!

    Aesthetics! Well c'mon...7/7! The catchlights are so complimentary! And the eyes in general - black, soul-less pits are IN in '05, babe. And those CHEEKS. Don't you want to just pinch and kiss them all day? Look at the mouth - it's going to release four tablespoons of drool any second. That's so beautiful. And the choice of sepia is SO complimentary! Jaundice yellow? Bah! Go orange-brown!

    Also, I'm really, really glad he signed his name on it - that image is likely to get used on Internet ads all over the planet if it isn't obviously copyrighted. Hell, more likely? People will print it out and claim THEY took the photo themselves, and that it's their child. I say, "GOOD THINKING."
  115. Mark, you are so right... I did post a baby shot last december, Maybe not better but certainly not worst than the one from your link... i also was experimenting sepia and was not expecting much. out of 10 ratings average was A 4.3/O 4.1 that's ok, that's probably what it's worth but i think this is a fine exemple of double standards that mate raters created. here... Pascal
    game1 ʊ ʐʊʐronunciation Keyʊ(gm)
    An activity providing entertainment or amusement; a pastime: party games; word games.

    So far as I can see, and believe me - I'm looking - the most enjoyable part of is
    watching the watchers on who seem to have made this site into a place where,
    unless you don't have a life, one can look at tons of gorgeous sunsets, kittly-cats, flowers,
    bugs, birds, and other copy-cat pictures.

    Perhaps such pretty pictures cause major advertisers to throw money at powers
    that be? I don't know.

    What I do know is this:

    There is nothing inconsistant about where I am coming from. What I perceive to be
    inconsistant here at is the purpose of it.

    Whatever the problems are here they are caused by not understanding basic human traits
    and desires and needs and wants.

    My OPINION is that if all new images uploaded on were to remain ANONYMOUS
    (no photographer name or visible identification) for at least the first three (3) days, AND
    AND AND were all RATINGS / COMMENTS / CRITIQUES given to any photo during this time
    period ALSO ANONYMOUS (rating / comment giver NOT identified) we might see a lot
    more variety (then again - we might not). But there would be A LOT LESS COMPLAINING
    and a LOT LESS mate rating (sure - some peeps would still let their buddies know which
    pic was theirs- but so what). At the end of the day - MOST people would soon realize - at
    least for those first 3 days - their pictures got a fair shake. As fair a shake as they are
    going to get anywhere on a web site like this.

    AND AFTER those 3 days EVERYONE'S names should be REVEALED. Both the photog's and
    the rater/critique giver's names REVEALED.

    My opinion is that if this were done JOE and JOANNE PUBLIC could upload a picture and get
    a reasonably assured HONEST
    feel for what others who use think of their picture.

    NOW it becomes a GAME. The prize being seeing whether or not other users liked
    your stupid picture that day.

    It would be great if pictures could cycle through / like a slide show. So ALL the pictures in
    group are seen on the top page for X amount of time everyday. Not just 10 or 12 images
    for a few minutes everyday in a gallery but the top pages themselves. So everyone gets
    some exposure. Either that or make the gallery / critique view last longer and larger.

    If someone needs to see only pretty pictures of flowers and kitty cats, set up categories for

    And another thing - if $ is what this site needs to do things in such a way to make more
    USERS happy / ergo attractive to more and more users and advertisers / then CHARGE
    SERVICES. STOP allowing those who do not pay to DO anything EXCEPT LOOK at the
    pictures of those who DO pay. If ya wanna PLAY ya gotta PAY. But you need to have
    something WORTH PAYING FOR. Maybe allow newbies ONE upload per day / week but DO
    NOT give them ability to rate or comment.

    And if it ain't FUN - why would anyone RESPECT the site? Make it valuable to people and
    they'll not only pay, they'll respect it and defend it. $25.00 is wAy too cheap.

    Bottom line (IMHO) is that the thrill is gone here. Bring it back and make it simple and stop
    interfering with it.

    Personally I like to look at what I ENJOY looking at. If a picture just sucks, then I MIGHT
    feel compelled to, as kindly as possible depending on my mood, give some suggestions in
    my critique. I would NOT leave a low rate without a reason, but that is just me. If I didn't
    PAY, then I won't respect rules or desired of administrators. And if I didn't pay, I shouldn't
    even be allowed to
    rate or comment by the software. But that is another isssue here. Nevertheless - as a
    paying member,
    I should be allowed to give a rating to someone's picture that stands. If I give a 7/7 it
    means I want that photo hanging on my wall. And any picture I see that deserves to hang
    on my wall deserves the highest rating I can give it - and if I feel that strongly about it and
    SAY SO (which I have indeed done many times) - then by GOD I do NOT want someone
    TAKING THAT rating away from that photographer.

    From what I can see on the top pages now - a certain STYLE has been proliferating. A style
    that is copycatted. It's the PRETTY PICTURE SYNDROME. And few top page images
    would ever be worthy of hanging on my wall.

    But since this site isn't about selling wallart - it seems to me that leaves the GAME of
    finding out what others think of your picture that day. As I've stated before - that's where
    the real FUN is here - or could be - if everthing weren't so complicated and convoluted.

    KEEP IT SIMPLE - even if it's difficult. THAT'S where the payout will come from. Create
    something people really ENJOY.

    Ya gotta realize all the complaining is CAUSED by something that isn't kosher.

    These are just my opinions. jvk
  117. thomas b> Over the last few days I have commented on over twenty images,most in depth,but have not recieved any constructive words on any of my work, [snip]

    I suspect that this is a common complaint. A lot of users don't seem to realize the importance of reciprocating comments, or at the very least, acknowledging the comment. If this happens too often with a given user (except the mate raters and the really good photographers, I don't really expect Tony D or Ed L or Yuri B to visit my pages), I usually stop commenting on their pages, even though I may drop in to view.

    A very big reason why the "critique only" forum is languishing...
  118. People, have a look at Brian's comment in this thread
    Personally I'd love to see Brian changing the rules as he sees fit and not disclosing what the rules are.
    Go Brian!
  119. "if you throw out the low-ballers and then throw out the mate raters, (both of whom appear to cancel each other out) the end result? "Nothing has changed" except now, WE are manipulating the ratings! BORING! Geeez......! Jayme Hall

    That makes no sense Jayme, sorry. So you are really saying that "WE" would be "manipulating the ratings" by getting rid of cheaters. You are also telling us that two wrongs cancel each other out and make a right. This is some kind of unusual reasoning in my book. You feeling okay today?

    The extreme lowballers for the most part HAVE been thrown out! That was a different thread, remember?? The Faith Cohen's, the Golarka's, Yanni Luv Ya and so many others that Brian eventually told us one percent of ALL ratings were deleted and these members banned. Anybody like to see these guys and their ratings brought back?? Anybody missing them?? Anybody feel like their deletions were the result of manipulations?

    Why did it take so long then if these manipulating lowballers were just wreaking havoc on the site? It took so long because management did not believe it was a problem. These names were sent in long before they were actually deleted. After *allowing* the problem to continue to grow (just like now) these guys just became more and more bold, new bogus accounts continued to be created until management had NO CHOICE but to get involved and finally see the writing on the wall. By the time management did anything, many had already left the nonsense.

    It is not really any different here and now, only in the opposite direction with bogus, inflated, slap each other on the back mate-ratings. Management obviously does not see it as a problem...yet. These mate-raters will only become more emboldened to go further and further in their desires to get to the top of the the imaginary hill. Prominence, desire to be the best, notoriety, visibility are all the motivating forces pushing this issue to disturbing levels in my opinion.

    The very obvious cases should be dealt with by management in some fashion, just as the lowballers and phony accounts have already been. Just sitting by watching these cheaters fill the TRP pages is irresponsible for anybody in any position of management. You are bringing harm to the site by doing nothing at all. Wouldn't be a bad thing to publicly address this issue somewhere on the site. Wouldn't hold my breath though...
  120. "Wouldn't be a bad thing to publicly address this issue somewhere on the site. Wouldn't hold my breath though..."

    Thanks Keith for posting that link. Perhaps there is hope after all!
  121. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    I have never conciously mate rated another PhotoNet member. And yet some consider me to engage in that practice. I would draw your attention to my recent posting seen HERE. In addition to Carl Root's blanket statement that everyone is a mate rater in degree, it would seem that the PhotoNet administration views a few of my ratings as dishonest. I noticed that there is a process running that is removing selected ratings from the overall average on a couple of my best photographs. I have never given these ratings out with the hope of a return favor, nor have I returned them as a favor. They amount to perhaps one rating per photograph here and there.
    But because I chose to highly rate another member's photograph, that member's rating of my work is being disqualified. I looked at a some other member's pages (I suggest that you all do this). And I found considerably greater rating deletions. Kim was one person I visited. There is no way in heaven that Kim Slonaker is a mate rater. But she, too, is being treated as one by the administration. There are many other examples.
    Is this a solution? I am not sure. On one hand it is vaguely similar to a statistical method of throwing out the extremes (but it is only happening with the high rates). On the other hand it is slapping me in the face for my honest contributions.
  122. Walter, how can you tell whats been deleted??
  123. When I look at page one of the TRP, I see one photographer has four of the first six top rated images. So no change there.
    Perhaps a matter of time?
  124. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Aloha Vince! Well, if you look at my own example in the link above, in the DETAIL view there are 87 ratings. If you click on that number and look at the distribution chart, the number of ratings are 88. This also matches the number of members below the chart. One can not tell from this which ratings are deleted (except for very small fractional changes in the overall score of A & O). But Mottershead just told me that he is selectively deleteing the 7's. Regards.
  125. . . . gosh, and this is what i do for fun!

    after reading and participating in this thread, i'm thinking of moving to italy! but i can't afford it, can't afford hawaii either, and i don't have access to presidents to photograph. my car is 17 years old and it can't make it to yosemite. so a lot of times, i just get louie, dear sweet, barking louie, at least when he's on the leash. and some flowers IF i'm lucky walking around the neighborhood. once in awhile a friend or a neighbor lets me snap off a few frames, and then there was the time i walked around downtown in between dropping off and picking up the kids, on a day off from work. oh, there's the train ride to and from work too. guess there should be a rule about letting me have a camera, and certainly one about me posting pictures.

    i have a confession to make. i've held it back all this time. umm, i'm a MATE COMMENTER. that's right, in the spirit of jason giambi week, i confess it. i don't lie, but i ADMIT it, i love -- can't resist, adore -- leaving comments for photographers who i admire that make them feel good, that let them know that one lousy stinkin' amateur photog without the money for a decent car who is chained to a desk as a wage slave most of the time he isn't helping kids with their homework or doing the dishes actually LIKES their work. yep, i do it DELIBERATELY. you know why? cuz its fun, cuz it helps me enjoy life, because it just might cause that person to pick up their camera in a semi-delusional state and try again and create something beautiful.

    legend has it that armed oppressors once asked one of my idols, a religious scholar, to state his religion's beliefs standing on one foot until he was done under penalty of injury. he lifted up his foot and said something like, "treat others as you would like to be treated yourself," and put his foot down.

    oh, louie's barking again . . .
  126. " But Mottershead just told me that he is selectively deleteing the 7's. Regards."

    THIS comment offers real promise! At least something appears to be happening. If this is true, Thank you.
  127. Not necessarily dishonest. Lately, I've been running a program that disqualifies the mutual 7 ratings between people when there are too many of them. I'm not going to say how many is too many. I'm not going to say whether they will stay disqualified. I'm not going to say how often this program is run or how it works exactly. One reason I'm not saying is that I don't want people who might try to game it to know. Another reason is that I might change it if it doesn't seem to be having the desired effect. If people stop mate-rating, I might turn it off. Right now, it has a relatively light touch. I've been running it for a while, and nobody even noticed until today. If people don't stop mate-rating, I might up the settings a bit. I might have it include sixes. We'll see.

    The purpose of this is to frustrate mate-raters. If two excellent photographers who receive lots of sevens from everyone happen to rate each other a lot, then their mutual sevens will be disqualified too because they will look like mate-raters to the current heuristic. However, it shouldn't affect the standing of their photos in TRP since, being excellent photographers, they will receive plenty of high ratings from people who aren't excellent, and with whom they therefore aren't exchanging many seven ratings. (Right?) If they don't, well maybe they aren't so excellent, after all. What this means is that if someone gives a photo of yours a seven, there is a cost to reciprocating, since if you do it too much, it might cause the sevens you received from the other person to be disqualified. Everyone might want to think about that.

    I have some other software running and am doing some other things also. It will be interesting to see if anybody notices.
  128. Patience is a virtue, so they say. I will certainly be patient as you employ this new system Brian. The best news for the many on these threads is that you do recognize the problem, and are taking corrective measures. Many of us have wondered if it even mattered anymore. I guess it does. The more teeth this system has the better. I think we could all live with that. Thank you.
  129. brian, as you know i think a major part of the solution to "mate rating" is for the site to incentivize people making constructive comments on each other's works within the present system. i won't repeat the lists i've posted over the past six months unless you'd like me too. any additional plans for encouraging text critiques?
  130. Brian I applaud your efforts to make the system more fair.
  131. Brian , I know you're overworked and underpaid, but.....

    Firstly, thanks for acknowledging the problem, I think I speak on behalf of most of us here to say that means a lot.

    Secondly, is it possible to post, in a prominent place, perhaps at the beginning of the critiques section under a photo, the importance of rating honestly and how you do nobody any favours by over-rating? Just something brief that could automatically appear there.

    I don't know if this is a good idea or not, but at least nobody could say they misunderstood the ratings system - could they?
  132. Brian,

    Thanks for the move toward a positive solution :) It may only be a light touch at this point, but anything at all is helpful. It's a shame you can't rig a program to administer an electric shock through the keyboards of mate raters and lowballers <g> A little operant conditioning... <evil Calvin smile>
  133. In all seriousness, thanks Brian. My faith renewed. Three-year sub next time.
  134. Can I suggest changing the words "Rate Recent" to "Critique Recent"
  135. Hanna Reitsch , oct 05, 2004; 12:03 a.m.
    Faith, you might want to consider getting a life. Boo hoo, let the tears flow Faith. You bring absolutely zero to the table.

    Dear Hanna, perhaps you can apply your own words written toward another (since banned member) to yourself. Good day to you too dear.
  136. Brian, I haven't read all of today's posts, but I wanted to thank you for your attempts to address the issue. The best part - and I'm serious - is that you aren't telling people exactly what you're doing.

    Shoot me if you must, but I suspect the halo effect will keep the rankings intact, having an effect on only the longest views.

    A change that would have at least as much impact as what you seem to be attempting is to include only RFC images in the TRP. Wouldn't that also increase subscriptions?
  137. Yes Vincent, you cry just like her. Everyday it's a new Vincent complaint. Get off that high horse, ratings God.
  138. Can I just ask you folks a question here?
    When you rate or leave feedback do you tend/always goto Gallery/Critique forum or Gallery/Rate recent or Gallery/Top photos?
    Or do you just check 'Your Friends' and rate their recent photos?
    I'm maybe suggesting the more experienced photogs would only bother to view the top photos rather than spend time wading through all uploaded pix.
  139. paul, i respond to people who leave me comments first, go to people whose works interest me, mostly from them marking me or me marking them as interesting, follow up on prior comments, use rate recent and go to the critique forum, all in roughly equal amounts (of time at least) in the course of a week.
  140. Thanks for briefing us all here, Brian. Lets, "Calvinball!" (Ben Stiller in it, or is that only in, "Dodgeball?")
  141. Thanks, Brian - sounds like a possible solution. I don't mind a few ratings (of mine - on mine) deleted if it helps solves the problem. I follow pretty much the same course as Ben for critiqueing back - commenters first, others I've marked as "interesting", seldom even look at the raters, sometimes follow other comments on other pages (a great way to find new photographers). If I have time, I sometimes visit the TRP and usually find ones I want to comment/rate on, but not often on the first page. I usually do a selection for originality, rather than average because I find some really great shots that way. This site has a lot of value just in the sheer number of images and ideas to inspire us all. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find them, but they are there.
  142. Applauding your efforts and at the same time question it somewhat. We are rating art here and art is highly subjective. Example theres a few people i have never seen produce less than a tru 6/6 image...they clump together as friends. I'm sure you have good judgement on this but the very point is those adjustments in the end come down to one persons final word. No human can be put in that position and not make mistakes... besides all that it must be a whole lotta work. My view is a system mod could virtualy eliminate the prob and if i may run it by you here.

    In my view, the biggest factor is initial ratings. Like 8 7/7 on a brand new image sets it to position #1. The general populataion is very learly to go stick a 4/4 on it if deserved...thug intimidation. So they go 6/6 or 5/6..shy down a bit. The uninformed see it on page #1 and figure its a masterpiece without too much question, so escalate the rates.....The actually rate mate action on the TRP is more obvious once its been there awhile and much harder to manipulate,,,. So a manditory feed in to random member rating system is the idea.

    Duplicate the present TRP or expand the RFC. Every new upload feeds into this system, term it the RFC in this example,, but its not sorted by rate just in order of upload. It has a property that it can only be rated on the RFC. Once it has 10 rates say, its property changes and it enters the TRP as per its rate order and remains with that property forever.... if a traffic jam backup due to more uploads than raters it could be easily overcome by adding a "must rate 10 other images before their image changed properties", attribute on the properties.

    New images go to the back of the line. So we open page 1 and considering this would be the only place to rate new.. each image should get its dose within minutes then hit the TRP. Only deal would be a rater starting page 1 must rate every image there before advancing to page 2 etc., if it was in thumbs. If done like rate recent same skip image.

    Mate raters could work it, sure, but would have to sit for hours to wait on a given image. Just as you stated you used to hand pick them well basically the same only we all do that..... just an idea.
  143. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    This thread is now fading into the sunset but I thought I would answer your question. The condition of the TRP has evolved (devolved?) to the point where I very rarely rate or comment on anything on the first two pages anymore. When I do visit the Gallery, I invariably click on the PREVIOUS click box and start at the very bottom. After viewing a few pages that way the site bogs down and will not serve any more pages. The site always bogs down when I do this.<p>
    With my frustration level now fairly high, I resort to viewing what the people in my MOST INTERESTING member list have done recently. I start at the top of that list and work my way down, as time permits. This is probably to the detriment of those interesting people. I say this because they are the only ones who now get my highest rates. With rare exception, I find someone at the bottom of the Gallery who has posted highly rateable work, but not too often. To the best of my ability, and when I can, I offer as much help as I can give to those who look like they need it. But my highest rates end up with my interesting people list. <p>
    That is the problem. I do not particular like the way the Rate Recent system is set up, so I hardly ever visit it. I am brought almost literally to the point of nausea when I look at the first page of the TRP, so I try to avoid that too. Therefore, I only have a handful of people that I care to visit on a regular basis, those that I have marked as interesting in the past. Why else would one mark someone as "interesting" if not to revist them and appreciate their work or offer and ask for help? <p>
    It is natural that when these interesting people see that I have visited that they, too, would like to see what I have been up to. Some of them, I am proud to say, are friends. Infrequently, when I have posted a photograph that has merit, these interesting people may rate it highly. Some here construe that as cronyism and mate-rating. Undoubtedly, the Calvinball heuristic will see it as such. Iti s a conundrum. That is a problem that I have with it.<p>
    In conclusion, Paul, I hope that this answers your question. I fully appreciate the problem that Mottershead has on his hands; not only with the topic in this thread, but with other ones as well. I think that it is great that he is trying to solve this. But only time will tell if this solution works. Regards.
  144. Your correct about that imo. Maybe mate-rating/cross-rating paranoia, is seen as the downside to a system designed to encourage groups clumping together in the first place....the "most interesting" list being the centre point. Even the function of it sorting to "latest" posted friend speaks "come rate me". We shouldn't get guilty from taking advantage of an inbuilt function.

    The inter-rating amonst the friends list is a great thing. You choose people who you respect for quality and good morals. Least you know the person is going to give it decent consideration as opposed to someone seeing it on rate recent and nails a 2 to a beutiful flower cause they didn't want to see a flower of any kind. When a rating "friend" tells you of a flaw, or something else they don't like, its a lot more meaningful than a stranger.

    The criminal element uses email to mate rate and can bypass the systems cross rate "machine" easily by some fixes i wont elaborate on, but just saying mutual rating is the best thing going and the vast majority don't abuse it. Real obvious who does.

    And speaking of page 1 i don't get "nausia", usually, Walter... theres most times some great stuff there... but slow page speed ya sometimes. My friend whos got 56k a lot of times can't even get the next page loading and gives up, but enjoys rating pics way back in the trp normally.
  145. Paul, like all the other mate raters who have responded to this thread in record numbers, you're rationalizing. All of the group benefits that you have mentioned will remain even if you had limits placed on the number of sevens you offer, whether self imposed or by the site.

    Or will they? Maybe you haven't had the experience of seeing a dramatic reduction in the number of high rates received coincidentally because you stopped rating. Then you rate a few, offer some comments . . . and presto, amazing how much better your photography gets!
  146. Well your first line implys i'm a mate rater which is far from the case, maybe the wording? Anyway my rates actually improve drasticaly when i DON'T comment. Probably because am still learning the fine art of saying something negative to oversensitve people who can't seem to be objective about a picture.

    I do comments and rates over 4 hrs a day Carl and have learned its best just to pick ones from mid trp and offer advice if possible or dont say anything bad and just see the good. Its not the best scenerio but then again lots here just post for fun or folder content and really don't aspire to be great photogs.

    My above wasn't written in the light of endorsing mating..just pointing out the system is designed for people to cross rate so how can you blame them. Its all relative.

    Lets say we formed a group of F5 friends ..rated each other. So we base scores on what an F5 can do... another group does the same with disposibles and would have the same criteria. Its only when the 2 groups meet in the real world the great indifference would be apparent. So we would say look at them rating that garbage 6/6 all the time. In reality they are thats really great for a disposible.... 6/6.... and their being honest too.

    So how u gonna go critque a pic from a beginner with a $150 digit? Well its lifeless, too much contrast, real way to fix that. Fire out that cam and buy a real one.3/3.... suddenly having told the absolute truth your port is shedded. So i just keep my yap shut unless its someone who really wants to know objectivly.
  147. (continuing rant) unless its someone who really wants to know objectivly... or someone like the "king" of page one, who posts ok stuff, some excellent... just the devices to get there, so point out the massive flaws in the pic and he runs straight to my folder and 3/3's all my new ones for the effort. Now he has even cloned himself and the prob is 2 fold. How can he put 5 new pics up a night and get 20-30 rates on those within hours?? And real curious so many of the raters are faily new accounts with no pics..Its so blatent and ripping off every member here, yet nothing is done, somehow this guy is out of jurisdiction it seems . I don't see any of your comments on the trp Carl on major mate rated pics either, but seem to be pointing the finger here.

    I don't see anybody in this post as being a mate-rater as u mentioned Carl. They just have their own values and are some of the most honest here. You just have a more old school set of values for a photograph which is actually the correct one, but unknown to a lot of them. Maybe i don't see it cause they wouldn't want me in their group, if there was such a thing, cause i speak my mind and most don't want that.
  148. " Maybe you haven't had the experience of seeing a dramatic reduction in the number of high rates received coincidentally because you stopped rating. Then you rate a few, offer some comments . . . and presto, amazing how much better your photography gets!"
    Very true, but I'd take it one step further. Everyone who rates images on receives biased ratings. The same applies to comments.
    Catch 22
  149. well, I have read that the site's mantra is that ratings are for the site and comments are for the photographer. and since I am for the photographer then my choice to eschew ratings altogether seems quite the right thing to do.
  150. In my opinion, a comment should be REQUIRED to leave ANY rating.

    Furthermore, unless a photo was submitted FOR RATING, no one should be able to rate it!

    This would result in fewer bogus ratings, and a lot more exchange of information in comment form.

    This doesn't address all the problems, but it would be a terrific step towards improving things.

  151. Site needs new SUBSCRIBERS all the time to grow and to earn $.

    ALL people have EGOS. - ERGO: TOP PAGES & RATINGS.

    Okay - if one understands these are simply the basic facts of this site, then surely the
    following must make some sense to most of even the most cynical here.

    A. Only paying members can rate others photos and this only after signing electronic
    agreement stating rules have been read and understood; which rules you ask? The new
    simple rules, of course!

    B. If you want to rate you first must comment according to ethics rules stated in rules of
    the site. No swearing / No wow thats great! / No personal attacks.

    C. EVERYONE'S newly uploaded images will NOT BE IDENTIFIED until AFTER first 3 days.
    This way, no one know's who shot which photo until they go into the week view of the Top

    Do these simple things and everyone will have a lot more fun and a lot less complaining.
    imho anyway.
  152. Do these simple things and ad revenues will take a nosedive, participation will drop, moderators will have a few hundred additional hours of work per day deleting all those comments that don't follow the rules, and there will be a flood of complaints about the "new" system.
  153. . . . and all the photos with names on the mats/frames will be . . . what? . . . . deleted?
  154. Calviball appears to be having zero impact on the TRP as of 2/22/05. It appears the only thing accomplished has been the slashing of many honest ratings on photographers that do not cheat the system. The same mate-raters with many images posted are once again plastered all over the TRP with no adjustments to their ratings whatsoever.

    Patience for your new Calvinball system is waning...
  155. I've noted this odd lack of logic before, but it's funny enough to point it out again: The reciprocal high ratings are being removed from the system, so those images in the TRP (whether you like them or not) are getting high ratings from a variety of people who are not receiving high rates in return. One would think that, by definition, they're no longer "mate raters." Unfortunately, the definition of "mate rater" is now "anyone who has images in the TRP."

    As I've noted before, some of the complainers care nothing about the system fairly representing the views of the majority who participate in ratings--until the results conform to their personal opinions, the system is "broken." [Of course, this is nothing new. It's been the same old story since ratings on began. And it's the reason that most of the "veterans" don't take the ratings controversies too seriously.]
  156. No disrespect Mike, but you is dead wrong!! Perhaps a cup of very strong coffee may help, but I doubt it because your mind is already made up. ANYBODY that posts in the forums is just a selfish complainer, right?? You offer nothing to this site from what I have seen and read. That would be a big zero in my opinion. Eight comments (TOTAL!), zero ratings given yet 32 images posted. And plenty of whining in the forums.

    Not one image on the first page has one rating deleted. The most obvious gamers of the system, are right there, side by side with sevens on each others images. When you then go look at the number of ratings, verses how many are actually counted, they are the exact same. Meaning not one rating is discounted. Meaning either Calvinball is turned off, or it just is not working.

    Sure I know, blah blah blah...
  157. You offer nothing to this site from what I have seen and read.
    Perhaps if you ventured outside of the ratings and feedback forum . . .
  158. Sorry Mike. I am sure there are things not visible. But rather than complain because I make a point, why not look at the posssible validity of that point??

    Calvinball was implemented because Brian finally acknowledged mate-rating has been through the roof. Well, it appears to be off, because the same old song and dance continues...
  159. mg


    "Calviball appears to be having zero impact on the TRP as of 2/22/05. It appears the only thing accomplished has been the slashing of many honest ratings on photographers that do not cheat the system. The same mate-raters with many images posted are once again plastered all over the TRP with no adjustments to their ratings whatsoever."
    I haven't checked, so I will suppose for a moment that you checked carefully and that what you are saying is right... Now, have you checked on older images...? I have had a look, at random, a couple of days ago, and saw a couple of images with 3 to 5 ratings missing, and even one image with 10 ratings missing out of less than 30... So, could it just be that Calvinball was turned off for a while, or that it would only be turned on after a couple of days - not immediately after the picture was uploaded...?
    Another thing I had noticed about that picture with 10 ratings missing out of 30: its average had gone down after deletion of ratings from, say, 6.5/6.6 to somethinglike 6.3/6.4... Not really a major difference... What does that tell us...? It tells us simply that there might not be enough honest people rating images they consider weak. If all 30 ratings this picture had were 6s and 7s (as it was more or less the case), deleting a couple of 6s and 7s won't make a major difference, right...? The difference will appear only if they are people who rated these images low as well. So here is my question: what have you done and what have honest raters out there done to help the system...?
    I have, for quite some time, on and off, done my fare share of rating images as I found appropriate, and you are the one who called it abusive... Meanwhile I have received my fair share of retaliations, and it still goes on, trust me - a couple more 1s and 2s in the last few days...:) Yet, nothing will stop me... Have 100 raters express their opinions everywhere like Bailey Seals or like me on regular basis, and suddenly Calvinball + a collective effort will solve the problem once and for all... The problem at present may be the lack of "balance-raters", but then, people like you said that balance ratings were abusive... So, what exactly do you want ? A world with no low raters and no low ratings, and where Calvinball would solve all problems...?
  160. "So, could it just be that Calvinball was turned off for a while, or that it would only be turned on after a couple of days - not immediately after the picture was uploaded...? Marc G.

    That would defeat the purpose of "Calvinball" in my mind Marc. If these mated images receive three or even seven days of TRP exposure BEFORE the system kicks in, what's not to like about that if you are playing the mate-game?? Sure they will just delete plenty afterwards, as has already been the case.

    "I have, for quite some time, on and off, done my fare share of rating images as I found appropriate, and you are the one who called it abusive..." and "The problem at present may be the lack of "balance-raters", but then, people like you said that balance ratings were abusive"... Marc G.

    Well Marc, I've tried to avoid having to get into this again with you, because it would only embarass you as it did before, a couple years ago. Since you keep asking for a spanking, you just may in fact receive one. I will let it go one last time. Your ratings were not honest ratings before. It was proven. They were just as you have labeled them "balance-raters" ratings. One high (unfair-dishonest-cheating) rating is "balanced" by a low (unfair-dishonest-cheated) rating. I can understand why many did participate in that lowball party, but it was not right. Even if it was acceptable, do you really believe it will make a difference with the biggest abusers?? I will not participate in that type of dishonesty either. And why should I, you, or anybody have to?? This is an issue BRIAN has agreed to do something about. HE should indeed be the one to take some drastic measures against the ones who've been taking advantage of the system. HIS gallery and HIS website suffers because of this problem. As it is now, his "Calvinball" (having high ratings cancel out each other) absolutely eliminated many honest ratings. There is no way around that fact. He instead should just focus on the obvious abusers, the ones clearly cheating the system, in my opinion.

    It is getting to the point where it's an old boring problem not gettin handled properly. Like you, I am beginning to just not care anymore. It's not my problem. Thanks for the thoughts.
  161. mg


    "Your ratings were not honest ratings before. It was proven"
    Oh yes...? Nowthat's interesting...:))) Proven by whom and how, please...? Could it proven by the fact I disliked some of your over-saturated and poorly composed pictures by any chance...? :)
  162. It had nothing to do with me. Does Francis Toussaint ring a bell?? Don't make me get the paddle out Marco. It hurt last time, probably hurt again...

  163. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    The TRP is a stinking joke, they are not even subscribers for God's sake! The photographs do not even have RFC's. Yet the inflated mate rating orgy continues on and on at the expense of those members who help support this bloody site. The mutual 7's are being exchanged with impunity. This isn't "gaming" the system; it's a putrid hijacking of it. This is sick.<p>
    This site does not need vigilante justice (aka balance rating). Normalizing the ratings by placing dishonest low rates will add further insult to a corrupted system. Even more importantly, why impune your own integrity by doing that? When you see something is wrong you don't fix it by removing what is right. The only solution is to grab a hold of these people and make them an offer that they can't refuse.
  164. mg


    Please do take out your paddle, Mister Smartguy...
  165. mg


    When you write "Normalizing the ratings by placing dishonest low rates will add further insult to a corrupted system"...
    I think you are just repeating what your heard from Mr Smartguy... Again, who told you about a "normalization" ? And who told you that "low rates" were necessarily "dishonest" ? What a nonsense... You and your good friend Vincent may be interested in reading again the "balance" thread started long ago by Doug Burgess, and in which you should read the real definition of what a "balance rating" was supposed to mean in the first place. THEN, if you still believe that some low ratings on some pictures (yours or not, makes no difference)were abusive, either write to the abuse department, or show some evidence to support your accusations. Feel free to post links to pictures that I supposedly rated "abusively". I have never made any mystery about what I think of a given picture, and have no problem explaining a rating I gave. On the other hand, I'm getting a bit tired of ad hominem attacks which are not substantiated by any evidence.
    You and Vince may want to realize at some point in time, as Mike said, that low ratings are NOT ALL NECESSARILY ABUSIVE...
  166. I have taken some heat for recently defining the term mate rating very broadly. This bothers people who need to make a distinction between people who blatantly exchange high rates and those who simply rate high and often. The idea that I haven't been able to get across clearly yet (at least to most of the high-and-often crowd) is that there is no distinction between the two subgroups in the high raters category because the result are the same in two respects.

    1) High raters' images appear much higher on the TRP than similar images uploaded by photographer's who don't rate high or often. Bob Dixson uploaded two similar images some time ago and showed the huge disparity in the average of that clearly demonstrated this point.

    2) Photographers whose images routinely get to the top TRP pages almost without exception believe the high status of their images to be justified and therefore are offended when someone expresses an opinion to the contrary in a comment or a rate. This is further reinforced by those inflicted with the halo effect running to the support of these high rating / prominent photographers and responding in a way that characteristically has no comment worth reading (which shows it to be the knee jerk reaction that it is and reveals its true motivation and lack of understanding of the social dynamics involved.)

    Vincent, as an example, I find the use of a sunset filter to be tacky and lowers my aesthetic appreciation of an image where it's used, regardless of who uses it. I also take the 'originality' rating seriously instead of applying it as a piggyback number to the mostly inappropriate subject-as-aesthetic rate.

    The ratings tutorial makes perfectly good sense, but it is rarely applied in a way that shows a reasonably sophisticated understanding of its' content. The fact that most popular photographers are complicit in perverting the process does not alter what actually constitutes an image that is aesthetically presented and has an original component, personal tastes not withstanding.
  167. Well Marc, you just do not know how to humble yourself and be quiet do you? It seems as an older person you'd start to learn a little from experience here. I read this about you somewhere last week; "I've always found him to be a pompous, bloviating blowhard with way too much time on his hands, shmaltzy taste, and a thin skin stretched tight over an outsized ego." I admit, I still get tears in my eyes from laughing so hard... But here we go again.

    I do not know how or what you rate today since of course the ratings are now semi-anonyous. I would have to guess you are still lowballing, since that is exactly what you were doing a year and a half ago! Interesting then, how you only sought out photographers on the *TOP PHOTOGRAPHERS PAGE* to pull your little stunts. You would go through the entire folders of at least a dozen (or more) of these photographers slamming down ratings that were not only 1-3 points below their listed averages, but you were also rating these a full point or more lower than YOUR OWN listed averages. Francis Toussaaint (remember him Marc?) was where you hung yourself for all to see. Remember the "BURIED BY HIS OWN NUMBERS" proof?? I laid out for all to see that BEFORE Mr. Toussaint was on that top photographers page, you rated his images altogether (approx 15 at the time) OVER a 6/6 average. Then, AFTER he made it ahead of you on the top photographers page (around number three all-time) you slammed him by rating another 16 images with an average in the low to mid 4s. Now, did poor Mr. Toussaint actually digress THAT MUCH as a photographer in such a short period of time Mr Gougenheim?? Or were you on another one of your "lowballing" missions?? And remember, you were rating all of these photographere much lower than YOUR OWN posted averages. Poor Adam was getting regular 2s and 3s. Remember those. You even said yourself, he was hammered by you. It was a long list Marco. Remember too your quote "These people cannot be better than Emil"?? You were going to try to rearrage the order of the top photographer to fit your likes. At least you tried.

    Now for the hypocrite of the month award (or another OSCAR MAYER, FULL OF BOLOGNA STATUE): Here comes the comment from you just last week. Carl Root said this:

    "You wrote: "If there was one person on this site who understood that portfolio visits can be abusive in a way that won't be corrected, I would have thought it would be you." Carl Root

    Your hypocritical reply sir Marco was this:

    You are bloody right here, Carl...:) I have had dozen of times people going through my folders with average ratings as low as 2.XX and such. :) And many times, indeed, these ratings (which I assume, perhaps wrongly, that they were abusive) remained. BUT... Lately, I saw that many abusive ratings were deleted on the site - and on my pages as well... " Marc G.

    Well, well, well, so some people had the nerve to rate YOUR images almost 2 points lower than their averages did they?? They were "abusive" (in your own words) were they?? Then tell us Marc, if you did this very same thing, what does that make YOUR ratings?? Abusive?? Lowballing?? Or are you trying to tell us that ONLY when it was done to your images it is abusive?? Of course when you do it, they are sincere, they are honest, they are true! Sure pal, whatever you'd like to convince yourself. But Marc, we know what you are really doing. And the fact that you have the nerve to be a hypocrite about it to boot only makes your actions even more lowly. At least Doug was willing to admit the balance brigade was actually using lower than honest ratings. So why not learn from him and at least be honest about your lowballing tactics towards photographers rated higher than you??

    Since as you tell us, you are still getting hammered by others, I venture to say, you are still doing the same today. Most of us try to learn from our mistakes. "Those that refuse to learn from history, are destined to repeat it". Welcome back to, why did you leave again??

  168. "At least Doug was willing to admit the balance brigade was actually using lower than honest ratings."

    Vincent, that is not my recollection. Please show me where he said that.
  169. Doug Burgess , jul 05, 2003; 02:29 p.m.
    "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?"

    Doug Burgess , jul 05, 2003; 08:03 p.m.
    "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."

    My reply then:

    Vincent K. Tylor , jul 05, 2003; 07:17 p.m.
    "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!"

    Will that suffice Carl?? Perhaps do your own homework next time.

    "Vincent, as an example, I find the use of a sunset filter to be tacky and lowers my aesthetic appreciation of an image where it's used, regardless of who uses it." Carl Root

    Carl, since I did not reply the last time you said the exact same thing (just last week) on Richard's image, you surely must know that your opinion on my using a filter on an image carries very little value. I do believe one can benefit from such a tool designed for photographers. I do not use one all of the time, but often will shoot with and without from any given location. It just so happens as you gain experienece, the images with one applied correctly are often (not always) aesthetically more appealing. And since this is not a hobby for me, I will often use these images in our print/gift lines. If you have an issue with that, I can respect your point of view.

    I can see why Doug stopped posting in all forums but one. What a waste!

    Walter, I couldn't agree more with you. Word for word!
  170. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    I am not attacking you personally, you just have to settle down and collect your thoughts. I won't change your opinion of me, nor will I try. I agree with you unequivocally that low rates are not by themselves abusive. They are as necessary to the system as any other rate that is given, as long as they are given honestly. But if I, for example, should visit one of the mate-rated photographs and lowball it because it is being artifically pumped-up in the TRP, I would be as guilty as the mate raters. I do not believe in smoothing of ratings, whether here or anywhere else in life. <p>
    You quote my phrase on nomalizing, but I direct you also to the rhetorical question that followed it. I restate it here: why impune your own integrity? If one rates, or comments, using any motive other than one that was specifically initiated by the work at hand, it is false and corrupting. I am actually unfamiliar with how you yourself rate and comment on photographs. I assume that it is done honestly. I am completely unfamiliar with your involvement with Toussaaint. I will have to take a look at that because, if memory serves, I thought that he had some pretty nice work.<p>
    My reason for posting the previous comment was that it is obvious that Brian's method is not working. It seemed to have a good effect soon after the first implementation of it, but it is not working now. A more direct approach is needed. <p>
  171. mg


    "You were going to try to rearrange the order of the top photographer to fit your likes. At least you tried."
    This is, Vincent, the only sentence in your long nonsensical post, that I may agree with. Assuming here you mean the following...
    I was indeed going regularly, for a couple of years in fact (and I'm still doing it these days), through the top photographers list, and indeed I saw pictures that I liked a lot, and others that I liked, and others that I did not like at all.
    As far as I am concerned, this is not a crime: it's MY taste. Never rated, as far as I recall, any picture by Fred Vnoucek a 2. 3s on very rare occasions, lots of 4s and 5s, some 6s, some very rare sevens. The same for you. Again, you'd get such ratings by LOADS of photographers, if only they took the time to post on your pages.
    Please try to realize that any rating to any picture on the site contributes either to promote this picture to higher visibility, or to demote it. I did rate many pictures, sometimes by the same photographers, indeed, to DEMOTE them. Why ? Because I thought they didn't deserve the visibility they had. I believe I am entitled to think this way, and entitled to cast my vote just like anybody else. That's what I did. I casted my votes (ratings) in order to contribute (but honestly) to rearranging the ratings to MY LIKING - and certainly not to help my own standings here or there - what a ridiculous hypothesis...
    Nana Souza, Emil Schildt, J. Gründler and Richard van Hoesel (although Richard's work is perhaps less original) are 3 photographers I have great respect for. They are not my "mates", hardly ever rated my work, and they were in the top 10 photographers on this site. Yet, I rated their work much higher than you would, and certainly higher than I rated your's or Igor L's. Sorry, but that is just MY taste. And Adam was not low-balled at all. Ask Tony Dummett, Ian McEachern, Emil Schildt or even Brian Mottershead for example (or carl Root!) what they think of the pictures by Igor L. or Adam that I rated a 2, and you may be surprised to hear the heat that will fall on these images all of a sudden. The word "garrish" exists for a reason, and you haven't seen much of it, Vincent, but trust me, I've done my fair share of "garrish" PS work. It got slammed at some point in time here and elsewhere, and slowly, I have the feeling I have improved (a little) my capacity to distinguish "garrish" and "original" or "interesting" works.
    All you do in your silly paragraph, is to induce what you believe my goal was, but you have strictly no evidence - of course. You are basically lending me thoughts that you can't demonstrate I had. Show me pictures, and I'll justify my ratings, and you'll demonstrate that my ratings don't make any sense - if you can. And I'd try to call a couple of people in to give you THEIR opinions of these images. Don't hide behind words, Vincent, don't be scared about talking photography for once... The rest of your polemic can't bluff anyone - well, not anyone with a reasonable mind, at least.
  172. Although I've been tempted to "balance rate" on more than one occasion (on both the low and high end), it seems it will just exacerbate, or at best perpetuate, the current problem. Lets say I see an image with a pile of undeserved 7/7s. I give it a rate obviously lower than it deserves in hopes it will put that average closer to what I consider an appropriate rate. That will likely result in someone else giving an inflated rate to "balance" my low rate. Eventually, it will become impossible to get any honest or appropriate rates on an image. It will simply turn into a war between the raters and have nothing to do with the merits of the photo. Of course, there is always the retaliation rates that will inevitably follow. It looks to me that the only sensible approach, considering the variables out of our control, is to rate honestly, if at all, and forget the TRP. As it is now, the TRP with a few exceptions is populated with so many images from the mate rate crowd that the honor of being at the top has been diluted to such a degree that it's meaningless. It's especially regrettable for the photographers whose images make it there on true merit.

    I'm not sure what happened to Calvinball. Perhaps Brian put himself in the penalty box and isn't playing right now. It did seem to have some positive effect for a brief time.
  173. mg


    you wrote: "If one rates, or comments, using any motive other than one that was specifically initiated by the work at hand, it is false and corrupting. I am actually unfamiliar with how you yourself rate and comment on photographs. I assume that it is done honestly."
    I agree with the first line. Thanks for having the humility Vincent seems to lack, and not judging me or others based on assumptions.
    Now... The story about Mr Toussaint... If I remember it properly - and I do, more or less - Vincent's story is roughly correct, yet probably a bit exagerated. Saying that all my ratings to Mr Toussaint's work were 6s at the beginning is probably wrong, but yes, I rated some pictures of his that I liked at 6/6 or 6/5, or 5/5... Vincent forgets to mention that Mr Toussaint was already at that time a "top photographer". Later, indeed, I went to inspect his folders more closely, and yes, I did find some weaker pictures - imo. Is that really so surprising ? I believe I have weaker shots too. I believe they are weaker pictures in about anyone's folders in fact: even Tony Dummett and Emil Schildt have slightly weaker pictures - and they are well aware of that, I'm sure. Imo it really takes a very self-sufficient, closed and ignorant mind, for someone to believe ALL his pictures can only be excellent or very good.
    For example, Walter... I recently rated one of your shots, with a 6/6. I have gone through your folders already, but haven't rated many pictures of yours at all so far; but I did see images that were imo worth a 3/4, and many 4s or 5s. I don't see the point of rating much more of your works right now. But if tommorrow you are one of the most featured photographers on this site, then I'll rate more of your pictures, and post a couple of comments - including harsh ones on the pictures of yours I find weaker. Why ? Because more people will then read my comments, and because I'd always say so if I see an Emperor with (imo) no pants. What's the problem with that ? I would do the same with absolutely anyone on this site. I wish Brian Mottershead could for example show you all my ratings to Doug Burgess so far. You'd see some 3s, and plenty of 4s and 5s too. He never complained about such ratings... I no longer complain about ratings like 3/4s and such on pictures which are "risky"... I did, long ago, but I later realized "it's like that". Some people don't see clean technique as a sufficient reason to rate a shot at a minimum of 4/4 - even I don't, in fact... So what...?
    When I talk about low raters nowadays, I talk about folks rating pictures 1s and 2s. And yes, sometimes I see or i even know there is malice in such ratings. And I don't even bother writing to abuse - haven't done so for about a year... Where Vincent is mistaken is to think that his cute shots are necessarily worth more than a 4/4. Rating Vincent's present pictures a 1 or a 2 makes no sense, but 4s are meant for "fair" pictures, and are not "low ratings" - unless you are used to nothing but 6s from your friends of course...:)
  174. mg


    I can't agree with this: "Although I've been tempted to "balance rate" on more than one occasion (on both the low and high end), it seems it will just exacerbate, or at best perpetuate, the current problem. Lets say I see an image with a pile of undeserved 7/7s. I give it a rate obviously lower than it deserves in hopes it will put that average closer to what I consider an appropriate rate. That will likely result in someone else giving an inflated rate to "balance" my low rate. Eventually, it will become impossible to get any honest or appropriate rates on an image."
    If you think carefully about what you just wrote, if you rate a mate-rated picture a 4/4, how could any of the "mates" possibly COMPENSATE for your rating - they already applied a 7/7, and there are no eights...:)) Nobody needs to balance anything. Just rate a picture for what you think it's worth. It's THAT simple. If they want to, they can still create fake IDs to make their points-count raise of course... Well, let them...:)
  175. "I did rate many pictures, sometimes by the same photographers, indeed, to DEMOTE them. Why ? Because I thought they didn't deserve the visibility they had. I believe I am entitled to think this way, and entitled to cast my vote just like anybody else. That's what I did. I casted my votes (ratings) in order to contribute (but honestly) to rearranging the ratings to MY LIKING -" Marc G.

    So to "rearrange the ratings to YOUR LIKING" (in your own words Marc) you are in fact manipulating the system to a large degree. You should rate each image according the the value of THAT particular image itself and NOT according to where you believe they belong. Now that this *absurd* type of thinking is printed for all to see, it would not surprise me if all of your ratings were deleted. And what makes your actions even more contempable, is the fact you have decided to go into entire folders to accomplish this very purpose. Your one sentence critiques were obviously a sham as well, just used as a coverup so your real and true purpose (that of rearranging the photographers location on the TRP) was not so obvious.

    For some reason your preoccupation with the Top Photographers Page has corrupted your activities on this site. If I were Brian, you'd be banned just from your comment above! And none of that includes all of the other nonsense you bring to this site. I think Brian asked you and Carl; "Why do you keep showing up like a pair of smelly socks"??

    Yep, sounds about right.
  176. "You are bloody right here, Carl...:) I have had dozen of times people going through my folders with average ratings as low as 2.XX and such. :) And many times, indeed, these ratings (which I assume, perhaps wrongly, that they were abusive) remained. BUT... Lately, I saw that many abusive ratings were deleted on the site - and on my pages as well... " Marc G.

    Sir Marco, why is it that if somebody rates your images "two points lower" than the current averages they are what you called "abusive ratings", yet if you do the very same thing to others they are "honest ratings?? Although in fact now, you are not even saying that, but in reality have admitted trying to "demote them" or arrange to "your liking".

    A grand case of hypocrisy perhaps??
  177. Marc,

    In response to my post, you state "Nobody needs to balance anything. Just rate a picture for what you think it's worth. It's THAT simple."

    In my post, I stated "It looks to me that the only sensible approach, considering the variables out of our control, is to rate honestly, if at all, and forget the TRP"

    I don't see an argument here (not looking for one either) :)

    I have read older threads (several months ago so I don't have links) where some of what I think was called the "balance brigade" commented that the mate raters had gotten together and were posting more high rates to offset the balance rates and were also posting retaliation rates.

    I haven't the time to do the research myself. Perhaps I shouldn't have believed the comments that were posted in the old threads. Either opinion is if I rate an image, even an over rated one, I'll give it a rate based on my reaction to the image not the other rates that have already been posted. Mostly, I will probably comment instead of rating since everyone seems to have a different take on the rating scale despite the definitions posted by PN.

    On that note, I'll step out of this discussion and let you guys continue your battle.
  178. Laurie, I believe many would agree with your comments here. This is the problem that seems to go on and on. Marc is not the problem in my opinion. However, I think many of us can agree that lowballing (his way of handling the issues) is not the solution either, but in the end only complicates everything.

    The solution lies in the lap of Brian. Either he will find a more meaningful solution or many of us will just move on to something better. It's old and boring for anybody to read these same old complaints. When something was being done a couple weeks back, we felt a measure of relief, because at least it was being addressed. Now, with everything seemingly back to where it just was (minus a few HONEST ratings) the frustration levels are coming back as well.

    Who needs it. It's Brian's problem and unless it bites him directly on the fanny, there appears no urgency to do anything substantial. So the question is, why should we care, if he's fine with it??

    Another waste of my morning...

    To stay out of the forums, I need to not read the forums either.
  179. mg


    "So to "rearrange the ratings to YOUR LIKING" (in your own words Marc) you are in fact manipulating the system to a large degree. You should rate each image according the the value of THAT particular image itself and NOT according to where you believe they belong."
    You are so blinded by your own silly assumptions, that you can't even comprehend a single thing. Here is what you are suppose to understand - assuming you get a brain later...
    Rating "each image according to the value of THAT particular image" is exactly what I always did, and this is NOT INCOMPATIBLE with the fact that I chose to also rate the pictures I disliked and rated them in order to demote them. Get it, now...? This was your last lesson, hopefully...:)
  180. mg


    Rating an image you dislike with a 3 or a 2 or an image you find average (4) with a 4, is by no means abuse, although ANY such rating by anyone will always demote a picture which had an average of 6 or so. Anyone rating any picture a 4 KNOWS HE'S DEMOTING SUCH A PICTURE: that does not make him an abuser.
    Now pack your bags and get that brain home, will you...? :)
  181. " . . . you surely must know that your opinion on my using a filter on an image carries very little value."

    Really? Why not? I actually like landscape shots and have some opinions about them that are shared by quite a few photographers who understand this genre quite well. It sounds to me like you are guilty of exactly what I said earlier. You've bought this whole TRP thing hook line and sinker without daring to look too closely at the analysis that supports the conclusions that various people have reached . . . . . unless they disagree with you.

    "I do believe one can benefit from such a tool designed for photographers. I do not use one all of the time, but often will shoot with and without from any given location. It just so happens as you gain experience, the images with one applied correctly are often (not always) aesthetically more appealing."

    Obviously you believe that or you wouldn't continue to use them. What you're doing is using the postcard market as the ultimate judge of aesthetics, ie if it sells, it's good. There are other benchmarks that I consider more useful (not that I expect you to embrace them given your financial involvement.)

    On the subject of the balance brigade, it is not at all clear from what Doug said that his rates were dishonest, although he clearly allows for the possibility that the motive for rating the most popular images on the TRP could be less than pure. He did not say that the rates he gave to those images were in fact less than what he would have given had they not been given such visibility. There's a difference. You seem to be implying that the act of rating established images even though we may not like them is dishonest. There is actually some truth to that, which is why NO ONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO RATE TRP IMAGES - PERIOD. You rate RFC images off the queue in the order they come up without skipping.

    There's plenty of smelly socks to go around, Vincent. My reason for inserting myself into this argument is to try to get across the idea that it is virtually impossible to rate images in a completely objective way, given the current dynamics of the TRP sort and, most importantly, given the complete freedom to rate whomever we want with virtually no constraints. You want to separate your thousands of high rates given from those who, in your opinion, somehow have more sinister designs on their own visibility than you do. I think you're kidding yourself.
  182. I see Marc just made exactly the same point regarding "downrating" TRP images with an honest lower rate. The fact that many others share your views only reinforces mine regarding the whole rating process.
  183. Sorry Marc, my brain may need help that is true, but I'll pass on help from you. Blinder leading the blind...

    Your ratings were not sincere then and because you have stated your true motivations here above for all to see, they certainly are not sincere today. Case closed. Enjoy lowballing and most importantly, have fun at it! I am sure the retaliations from those lowballed will be even more fun for you. Aloha
  184. mg


    You quote me saying to Carl "I have had dozen of times people going through my folders with average ratings as low as 2.XX and such. :) And many times, indeed, these ratings (which I assume, perhaps wrongly, that they were abusive) remained".
    First, please note that quantities (28, I think) of ratings averaging 2.5 is really MUCH lower than I ever rated even the worst folders by the photographers whose work I really disliked. Now...
    Secondly you ask: "why is it that if somebody rates your images "two points lower" than the current averages they are what you called "abusive ratings", yet if you do the very same thing to others they are "honest ratings??"
    Here comes the lesson ofmathematics for you... I have already rated images 1/2, which had averages above 6.2/6.2... Now that'snot two points below their average, but respectively 5.2 and 4.2 points lower than their average. Now again, let's post the pictures here and let's see whether I can defend my opinion, and whether anyone would agree with me, with you, or what...? Are you going to force me to find an example myself...? :)
    Thirdly, I have a few 1/1s ratings left in my folder - one of which I trust is the only 1/1 left by Mr. I.M. on this site - yes, your mate, sorry. :) Now... That's not 2 points below the picture's average either... So get your figures straight please...
    4thly... Now... Do I believe this 1/1 on one of my very best images (best imho) is abusive...? YES. Call me an idiot if you like, but my past issues with Mr. I.M. on this site (and my modicum of understanding of photography as well as people's madest likes and dislikes) explain in my view this rating on my "Little Prince".
    Finally, please note, I wrote this, too: "these ratings (which I assume, perhaps wrongly, that they were abusive)". "Perhaps wrongly"... Meaning that if I think a rating is abusive, I am aware it is still VERY difficult to demonstrate that it was an abuse.
    You obviously don't need any demonstration of anything to be 100% sure that you are right and that your pictures and your friends pictures are all very good...
    And then you talk about hypocrisy... yet you are or at least have been 75% of a mate-rater yourself, and still, you shout now now after your own kind...:) Let's all laugh about it and close this discussion - which was probably yet another waste of time trying to make you understand a few basic things that your logic can't seem to start understanding... See Ya.
    Note to's administration: this is what happens on a web site when the terms of use are not respected and when ad hominem attacks are not removed on time... You end up with silly verbal battles.
  185. Carl, why do I place little value on your "I believe using a sunset filter is tacky" comment?? Well for one thing that is just your opinion. For another, the word "tacky" certainly does not even make sense here. I also DO take and post images without any such filters, take a look. The way you approached the subject was not in a sincere manner quite frankly, rather you were trying to incite/flame etc. Which didn't work because I know you and know how you operate. But the greatest reason I hold your opinion on this subject in very little regard, is because you have very little expertise in this type of shooting. Sorry if this may not be what you want to hear, but you asked me a direct question. There are no such worthy images in your folders.

    "What you're doing is using the postcard market as the ultimate judge of aesthetics, ie if it sells, it's good. There are other benchmarks that I consider more useful (not that I expect you to embrace them given your financial involvement.)

    This comment makes little sense, in fact is quite the oxymoron. The fact that I use these images solely for my living is what dictates which images will be used, how they are used and at times how they are created. I know how to take an image that will be appreciated by purists to the craft of photography. But i also know from experience that the public does have a different taste. By recognizing these differences Carl, I am able to do this for a living. This and only this. If I hope to continue down this road for the rest of my years on this earth, then yes, the *buying public* offers the pulse I am most interested in. For what it's worth, I am still looking to improve my craft every day and have a very diversified portfolio. Just have yet to post some of my more recent work. Life is busy. Too busy for this, which is why I will have to just stay out of the forums altogether.


    You can always point to one image here and there to support your claims of honest ratings. How nice of you. The fact you have gone into ENTIRE FOLDERS trying to as you put it to "Re-arrange the ratings to my liking" or "indeed to demote them" as well as the fact your averages to those *select* or better yet *targeted* individuals are significantly lower than YOUR OWN RATINGS average. Coupled with your confessed "The story about Mr Toussaint... If I remember it properly - and I do, more or less - Vincent's story is roughly correct" that your numbers fluctuated greatly because he was then on that page and you wanted to bring him down, only proves the case again and again that your ratings have not been honest. Sorry if this is a revelation to you.

    Yes, sure, lets end this boring waste of time discussion. But facts are facts and your lowballing tactics are not what the site needs. To get up on the stage and tell the site how many people have lowballed you with abusive ratings, while at the same time knowing you have been, and still are doing the same, should warrant you a trip into the Hall of Shame!

    May I be your inductor??
  186. Marc, old boy, I thought I'd seen you at your most charming when you were getting banned from PhotoSIG for (here's a surprise) rating down "undeserving" photographers who had too much success from the silly masses, but you're outdoing yourself today! I'm gonna grab me a bucket of popcorn and sit back to watch Mt.Gougenheimius blow tonite! It may be an annual event, but like a good lunar eclipse it's still fun to watch.
  187. Banned from Photosig too?? I never knew that. I was at Usefilm when he was banned from their as well for the same egotistical reasons. Guess now we know why he keeps coming back here, nowhere else to go...
  188. mg


    Just to set the records straight afterall these lies...
    1) I was not banned from Psig for the reasons Kocha stated above. There are only 2 people who know the reasons: Willis Boyce and myself. The only fact you might have known of is that I removed all my pictures from Psig a week or so before I got banned. The actual reason for the ban was an email exchange you never got to read. Yet another way to distort the truth.
    2) Usefim...? Same story, exactly.
    P.S: Lucky you, I might soon be banned from as well, because I'm right now opening a thread asking the management why libel/defamation, and ad hominem harassment are now permitted on's feedback forum. By the way, this is exactly what triggered my deletion of pictures on Psig, and the subsequent ban. I have absolutely no respects for people like you Kocha or you, Vincent, who manipulate the truth for the sake of their personal agendas. Over and out.
  189. Well, when one gets banned in two separate photo websites, and then his visits here gets compared to "a pair of smelly socks" by the guy that runs the place, the common denominator in all three is who??

    You just had to show up here tooting your horn. I warned and warned you to let the hatchet remain buried. Just couldn't let it go could you Marco?? Just had to come over here using both six shooters at once. Giuess you might want to aim before shooting next time. The foot is always the likely target otherwise.

    Wish you well.
  190. Hey Monsieur Magnificent, I am getting the world's smallest violin right now to accompany you on your effort to have management have sympathy for you. Surely the thought that you might depart (again) (or is it again and again and again), leaving PN without your daily dose of logorrhea will be enough to send Brian to his knees crying "Oh God, dear God, why did you forsake me?"
  191. oh, and you can spin your getting banned from PSIG as a matter of some deep, dark philosophical exchange known to only two people (did you have a secret handshake too?), but I saw it, and it was nothing more than you throwing hissy after hissy when you saw photographers you thought had less talent than you getting higher scores than you. Management had enough of your incessant complaining about ratings-- theirs and yours-- in the forums and you leaving snarky comments on their photos and threw you out. Hmmm...
  192. seems to me quite reasonable that if one were truly serious about rating images under a broken system that elevates, by hook or by crook, popular genre images, that one would go about it much in the way that Marc G does, provided that the rater is true to his own tastes and system of rating images generally. and I don't think it matters whether he applies those ratings to the critique queue or to the TRP pages or to particular portfolios, provided that those ratings are generally consistent as aforementioned. if the system permits that, then it is valid, even if that system is broken, bankrupt, corrupted, or whatever. makes me glad I don't involve myself with ratings, dirty biz and all.

    that said, however, the moment you put yourself totally "out there", Marc, as the don quixote of a photo website, you cannot be surprised or chagrined when others call you on your public behavior, especially if you have positioned yourself as a "public figure" on this (and apparently on other photo) website(s). such "attacks" are NOT ad hominem, since it is not you, Marc, who is being attacked in order to sway others to one side of an issue argument that you may be a participant (the definition of "ad hominem" is a personal attack to advance an argument!), but rather that it seems you are quite simply disagreeable to others regardless of whether they agree or disagree with you on a particular issue. how do I know this? because recently I took a detour down that same sort of silly road (in this thread and one or two others) and people called me on my behavior while ignoring the positions I raised. so I backed off and put out the blaze rather than relight the fire.
  193. Wow.
  194. Oh Markie, I know this thread is like a sore bunion for you, 'cause you've been whining almost non-stop for two weeks about the injustice of it all "verbal abuse" and all.... boo hoo.

    By the way, smart boy, it ain't "verbal" since it's written, and it ain't "abuse" since it's true. I am really enjoying your frustration, though, Lord knows I can't deny it.

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