Photo Rating Suggestions

Discussion in ' Site Help' started by services_photonet, Aug 2, 2001.

  1. We'd like to hear about your suggestions for what to do with the photo
    ratings systems. We'd like to use this thread to record what the
    thoughts are as many of you have emailed us.

    We can't promise that we'll implement everything.

    Also just like with the bboard system we'd also like to clean things
    up a bit through moderation. So for now if you feel like a particular
    set of users are using bogus email addresses or are problematic please
    email those users user_id or name to the alias
    and we'll take a look and decide what to do.
  2. Just to be clear this message is from rajeev, lisa, audrey and philg
  3. 1. Users can't create accounts unless they have a valid email address. If you need suggestions on how to implement this let me know. I can give you the logic but I'm not a Tkl programmer.

    2. People seem to be complaining about "self ratings". If the consensus agress that this is wrong delete all the self ratings and prevent users from rating their own photos.

    3. Consider getting rid of the top member rated photographers page. Maybe something else instead. Maybe something like photo of the week but instead there is more than one? The runners up? Or have a different scoring system.

    4. A photocritique forum that has thumbnails at least for the first few photographs in the sub categories.

    5. I have to run soon but I'm sure I'll have more.
  4. Just drop the numeric rating system entirely!

    1) The last few weeks have clearly shown it is infinitely prone to abuse, spoofing and hacking. And it has created large amounts of ill-will within the coummunity. It was a nice idea, you tried it, it blew up in your face.

    2) Comments are a preferred way of giving feedback on peoples' artwork. There is an inherent silliness in assigning quantitative ratings to artistic expression.

  5. wow, finally you guys brought it up, i was thinking of posting this myself--kudos for doing it first! here's my suggestion: if someone leaves anything lower than, say 3, make it mandatory to leave comments, not just a numerical rating. i've seen ppl go thru rating 1/1 just for the heck of it. used to be anonymous, couple weeks back it was made possible to see who rated how, and now the logical progression is make comments mandatory for very low ratings. the idea being the person rating should tell the photog why he's rating it so, how to possibly improve the image, etc. i suppose you can implement the same at the opposite end of the scale, for anyone rating higher than, say 8 or something, but not too many ppl rate up, they rate down :) just my suggestion, looking forward to hearing what others have to say. keep up the great work, and looking forward to seeing a better!
  6. Is this community really that insecure that there must be some kind of bogus numerical rating system? The change I recommend is a forum called Critique/Warm_&_Fuzzy where every picture is rated 11.5/10 and never a bad or critical thing is ever said. Then I think everyone would be happy. People who are just looking for reaffirmation of their goodness would know where to post, and people like me would know where to avoid. All the Best, Joe Oliva
  7. I think the rating system should be eliminated completely. It sucks up bandwidth on the discussion forums, creates bad feelings, results in bogus posts like the one recently removed from the unmodersated forum, and is subject to manipulation. <P>

    Now granted, I don't use it myself - I neither submit images to be rated, nor do I rate others. But I see the colateral damage on the forums from it all the time. So I say terminate it.
  8. I think Acer has good intentions but a bad idea. You'll see a lot of ratings like.... Aesthetics 1, Originality 1 asdf Aesthetics 1, Originality 1 you suck. Etc. Can we possibly do something about people posting images that don't have anything to do with the topic? Like take away their right to do so if they abuse it? I think being able to post pictures that help the discussion are great! But not when people just use it to promote their work. Nothing personal Joe but this picture pretty much sums up my feelings on that issue.
  9. Currently all photos are given a rating of 1-10 in two categories -- "cleverness" and "aesthetics." I'm sure these two categories have meaning to the people at services photonet -- but I don't think they mean the same thing to every visitor who logs in here...I also think 1-10 is too big a spread --- a "7" might seem like an average/good score to me, but to someone else (especially a student enrolled in one of our grade inflated universities), a 7 might seem terribly low. The meaning of the numbers themselves is open to interpretation...and since we all obviously don't agree maybe a smaller spread (like poor-average-good) would be less subject to the whims of interpretation.
    In a perfect world, I would only want to see written commentary on the photos. Then again, if I ran the world, universities wouldn't give grades, either -- hopefully then people would be encoraged to learn rather than attempt to achieve high grades or good scores. That's probably unrealistic, though. Maybe scores of 1-3, 1 being low (or poor), 2 being average and three being good. And maybe more categories -- like "technical excellence," "interesting vantage point," "novel idea for a photograph," "good title," "good use of the frame," and so on -- I'm afraid I don't have very good ideas for categories --- but hopefully if more ways in which to rate a picture were introduced, we could get a better idea of why people did or did not like a photo. Right now I have one photo in critique which has been rated 5 or 6 times --- one person gave it a "10" for cleverness, another gave it a "1." All that means to me is one person liked it and one didn't --- but it doesn't help me by teaching me anything about the photo. If participants were invited to justify, whenever possible, the ratings they gave then maybe that might make us at least understand why we got the ratings we did. For example, if there was a rating for "technical excellence" and I gave it a low score, I might write: I gave a low score because the picture looked underexposed to me. Then whomever got the low score could decide A) Stephan is crazy -- the picture is fine, or B) Maybe I ought to work a little harder in the darkroom or really read the scanner manual...
    I think we need more criteria in which the scores people give are justified or explained. I wouldn't submit pictures if I wasn't interested in opinions -- but when opinions are only a number, I get a little frustrated -- people are trying to send me a message when they give my photo a "3" or a "9" but I never really know why they gave it a low or high score.
    Maybe there could also be a limit to how many photos a person could post...and a photo which did not get a certain number of ratings within a certain time period could be bumped from the critique --- right now there are far too many photos in the critique and the few which I might like to see get lost in the crowd; I think a lot of members should be discouraged from posting a picture every day just because they can...maybe post when you really feel that you have a photo that can spark interesting discussion or illustrate a point. After all, if people want to just see my photos, my web page is availible...
  10. Let people indicate easily, on all pictures, whether they "hate it", "it's ok", "I love it", and leave it at that.

    The goal of the rating system should be to allow pictures that lots of people like to be found and held as exemplars.

    Maybe, just the simple options "I love it"/"It could be improved by..." should be allowed, plus a comment field.

    KEEP IT SIMPLE AND SEAMLESS !! Ask Philg how to do this. He will know.
  11. I have never submitted my dismal pictures to be rated but neither have I rated others (not neccessarily dismal). Instead of abandoning the rating system entirely (for there would be those who find it useful), could the good folks at perhaps leave it up to the person to decide whether he(epicene) would like the picture to be rated. If so, the rating bar appears; if not, the rating bar does not show.

    In the tradition of Spinal Tap, an indication for '11' would be appropriate :p
  12. My guess is the majority of people don't really care that much about ratings as they do getting their pictures seen and commented on. More people go to the top of the list to look at photos than the bottom. For the behaviour I've seen it's more about exposure than ego. Find a better way for people to get exposure and I think a lot of the problems will go away.
  13. I disagree with abandoning the numerical rating. Nobody is forced to pay any attention to it, the bandwidth issue is IMHO not signifigant, If you don't like, lighten up and ignore it. It does give some, even if wildly imperfect, measure of what photos people like and dislike, and thru the other side of the window, of what critiquer's profiles are. ie if someone gives consistently skewed ratings. My 2c.
  14. Remove the ratings altogether.
  15. Glad to see this thread. Here's what I wrote just before it popped up in the the "not archived" forum:

    "In case you missed the deleted thread, someone has decided to go through the folders of certain people and systematically deposit scores of 1 on all the pictures. I am one of those targeted and suspect it's some kind of revenge related to my recent criticism of certain members who'd created false accounts to rate their own work.

    Even before this most recent episode, I'd pretty much concluded that there really isn't any kind of numeric rating system that can work and now side firmly with those in favour of abolishing it. Its only usefulness was to highlight some interesting photographers, but I think there are other ways of doing that, like starting threads here to praise/discuss their work. It's probably better that way considering how someone like Jo Voets can find himself at number 703, with novice hacks like me hundreds of positions above him."

    That said, if we must have ratings, then at least consider allowing only those who have posted at least 10 photos of their own to give ratings. This is in addition to having proper e-mail verification of members, as suggested above. Not allowing membership creation with hotmail-type accounts would be another good step. Whatever is done, with all the fraud that's been exposed, all current ratings will have to be deleted in order to ensure a level playing field, so why not take that necessary first step immediately?
  16. Ditch ratings; keep comments.
  17. Another one for ditch rating, keep comments.

  18. 1 - Require new users to be registered for a time period (1-3 months?) before they are allowed to rate anything.

    2 - Have a team of pro's rate the photos.

    3 - Use a simple 1-10 rating system: 1 = I really hate it; 10 = It's incredible!

  19. is an online learning community of people improving their photography expertise.
    I don't understand how a number 1-10 will help anybody, anywhere, improve their photography expertise. When I'm about to click the shutter should I stop and think, "Wait a minute, I'm about to take a 5, maybe I should try for 7 this time." It is silly and useless from a pedagogical point of view.
    It may not be useless, however, as a tool for sorting though the gazillions of snapshots here if you want to see some fine work. It is really nice to see work that other people value. The top-rated photographer's list does serve this purpose but it clearly introduces an unwelcome competitive element to the entire enterprise. In fact (not that it matters) the day the top-rated photographers list went up I removed all my pictures from I was interested in sharing pictures and reading comments but was not interested in participating in a competition--especially one based upon these random numerical ratings.
    My suggestion would be to scrap the ratings and the top-rated list. In it's place incorporate a system where people may pick others' photos that they particularly like. Maybe a link that says "Add this photo to your favorites" when I am looking at another member's work. Then, when you look at somebody's profile there will be a section that says "Pictures Mark Meyer thinks are interesting" or "Photos Mark Meyer thinks are worth looking at" or whatever, with thumbnails that direct you towards the other member's portfolio. So not only would my profile have a section with my own portfolio, it would also show work of others that I liked. This would create a synergism between the portfolios and the Q&A forums because when somebody took the time to give a good answer to a question you might be tempted to click on his/her name. This would in-turn point you to the kinds of photos that this person finds attractive and interesting--probably a step or two above snapshots. Then you might be able to see what this next person thought was interesting leading you down a path of interesting photos. A favorite photo of a new member wouldn't get as much attention as a favorite photo of a long-time or frequent contributor. Iif I wanted to see some interesting work that is a cut above the rest I would find somebody who's opinion I valued in the Q&A and see what they liked. Also note that there is no "least interesting photo" option so nobody needs to get their feelings hurt because snapshot they took get a 1/1/ rating. The trick would be avoiding the temptation to publish an aggregate list of the most favored photos because this would encourage people to try to make the list by manipulating the system. Perhaps a private function that does this for moderators and elves might nice to help them in sorting through photos for the POW and random picture selection; just keep it private.
    If anybody thinks this has even a small element of usefulness, please feel free to elaborate or suggest variations. It would be nice to see some brainstorming and ideas rather than a bunch of complaints about the current system.
    To Services Photonet: thanks for asking.
  20. 1) Numeric ratings
    I agree that numeric ratings don't give much useful feedback to the photographer, and that the "top rated" page probably inspires all kinds of abuse. But the ratings also drive the photo critique filter, which I love, even if the picture which, as I write, comes up first is apparently a fake.
    Asking it for all uploads scoring more than 6+6 off 5+ ratings in the last week has led me to more good photos and good photographers than everything else on this site put together. I came here as a total beginner for the tutorials and the forum archives, it's the filter that keeps me here and has persuaded me to rate 2000 odd pictures by way of thanks.
    You couldn't run the filter off textual feedback, it has to be numeric.
    [On the matter of the filter, could we have some option to page throught he results? There might be 45 pictures meeting those criteria, or 200 beating 5+5, but it will never show me more than 30.]
    2) Ratings abuse.
    I think daylight is the best disinfectant here. I suspect that a few people who've been rating all their own uploads 10+10 will be embarrassed into stopping. [Hint, folks, you can delete them using the "manage your ratings" link on the "My Workspace" page.]
    Of course, you can't stop a really serious ratings abuser, but the likes of Tom Meganatos (who's running just now) or " conscience" (self-appointed judge/jury/executioner) may at least find it harder to ply their trade with public ratings and some elven policing.
    3) The ratings system, in normal use
    I do have a couple of minor nits to pick with the bulk rating system (which I think is pretty decent on the whole).
    Firstly, it shows roughly quarter sized images. It seemingly downloads the normal "medium" picture and then uses a browser feature to resize it at the client end, so no bandwidth is saved. But it militates against pictures which depend on fine detail -- a crowded bar with two pairs of eyes meeting across the room, the texture of stone in a building, etc etc. Many a photographer will tell you that every picture has its own right size and photo.netters get to choose it when they upload, but they're then rated at some other size.
    OK, once you've see the small version in the rating system you can then launch the original and it will load immediately from cache, but how many people will do this? They'll just give low ratings to pictures that depend on detail.
    Secondly, it would nice if the selection algorithm for people who are rating could somehow avoid showing them pictures they've skipped before. I used to skip over flower macros (I irrationally loathe the things, and feel a bit uncomfortable about rating them), but it just showed me them again the next day so I started rating them.
    Thanks for asking about this, by the way.
  21. I agree with the posters saying ditch the numeric ratings.

    The photo critique forum and in general to me is about getting advice from more experienced photographers and helping me continue to grow as a photographer. A numeric rating does not help me become a better photographer in any shape or form. Well thought out, honest, constructive and critical comments will.

    Just my newbie $.000002 worth ;-)
  22. IMO,

    The ratings issue is a tempest in a teapot. Tweak it if you must, remove the ability to self-rate (a sensible tweaking I think), and leave it alone otherwise. Its just not that important.

    I'm a recent member of this community although I have been part of many on-line communities. It seems that as the communications technology has improved so has the frequency and velocity of griping!

    In my short time as a member I have rated several hundred images myself, yet I do not have any of my own uploaded. Frankly have been too busy with my business and not had the time to deal with scanning and posting images. Yet. Does this make me unqualified to rate?

    I personally don't think so, I rate anyones images in the same way I cull my own. Have been a serious amateur and occasional paid photographer since the 70's.

    What about the neophyte photographer just starting out? Should that person be banned from ranking? No. The process of looking and reviewing images (we all do it mentally whether there is a "rating button" or not!) is a useful learning process for all, especially the beginner.

    It is impossible to implement a conscience using technology, and sure, some folks will abuse any system. Given the huge diversity of the community - even if only all serious, experienced amateurs and pros were allowed to rate - there would still be big variances in rating approaches. The perfect mouse trap doesn't exist yet already exists.

    Live with it as is, more or less, is what I am suggesting. I believe that the benefits on balance outweigh the downside. People get to expose their work to a broad audience of mostly intersted observers. Terrific!

    Whatever's decision is, I hope they make a policy and any changes soon, stick to the decisions made, and find some way of putting closure on the issue so that the community can, hopefully, find something more productive to discuss! Cheers all - Mike
  23. Here's another vote for dropping the ratings system, but still allowing people to post comments and put photos up for critique.

    The whole ratings business has turned into a giant pissing contest, with numerous people abusing the system to (I can only assume) see their name in lights on the top rated photographers list and top-rated photos list until the next idiot comes along with a dozen mediocre snapshots which they and their friends all give "10/10" scores to. The only thing more ridiculous than this practice is the fact that so many people put credence in the ratings system and get upset when an anonymous fool gives their beautiful photo 1/10. Scrap numeric ratings, keep the comment system, and you will avoid wasted bandwidth, abuse and aggravation.
  24. Wayne,

    On what do you base your opinion the the bandwith isn't an issue? I don't mean on an individual basis. Sure if you don't go into the rating sections your personal bandwith won't be affected but I'm talking about at the server side. In addition to that there are other server resources, cpu, memory, hard drive space and don't forget the time it takes to maintain a system that gets beat on so much. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the majority of the systems resources go towards rating/critiquing related activities.

    I'm sure the top member rated photographers page gets a lot of hits. It seems like there might be some caching involved and I don't know how often it's refreshed but I'm sure there's a significant amount of work down to process all the users and see which ones are going to be on that list. Now that the names of raters are being displayed that table probably gets joined with the user table to get the userid and name of the user. Time gets spent by developers working on ratings related pages instead of things like the forums or a better search engine.

    A lot more complaints about "Server not responding" and slow page loads are being reported much more frequently.

    If you don't like the numberical rating system you can go to It's a great site without ratings, just comments. A lot of the same people from here are on. But there crappy photo's usually get ignored, you can only post 3 photos a week. Though the babies that complain about bad comments here may have the same problems there. Your photos don't get any better on a different website.

    Granted the added traffic is probably a good think since more traffic can increase money gotten from sponsors. But is it working?

  25. Here's my response to the comment Vuk made above and in the other posting

    I agree with you completely.

    Especially the second paragraph. That was the reason I did what I did with my three buts photograph. Partly to help raise awareness. Not that I consider you a hack by any means but neither you or I are Jo Voets. I don't think the rating system was causing too many problems until the Top Member Rated Photographers page showed up.

    -- Tom Menegatos, August 02, 2001; 05:33 P.M. Eastern

    And here's the message I posted with the associated responses. Can we delete those two other messages so that all the ratings related comments are in one place?

    Awe... I missed it. Another new coward.

    I went to look at the community page for them and by the time I got back the message was gone :(

    those threads are fun time wasters. People get all riled up.

    So we have photonet observers, photonet conscience, this new one and based on what's been happening on my portfolio recently the Evil family. The pappa Black Evil, momma, Green Evil, junior Grey Evil and the stupid should-have-been-still-birth You Evil that didn't pick a color.

    At least the person that attacked laundauer with the fake names was amusing.

    Oh and just to clarify. That "trick" I did a few days ago was aimed at these types of stupid people that think they're trying to make things better but are actually making things worse. I had posted numerous times and even stated it in the photo that is was an experiment and that I was going to get rid of it when I was done. After I was done I was also going to email everyone but thanks to mr Vuk^2 that was taken care of already making it seem like it was meant to trick people to boost my ratings. Also let's not forget Ian MacWhatever with whom I've been having an email conversation regarding his ratings views, of which we disagreed. He took our conversation public on the first day we started talking and I did the same yesterday. It's also a strange coincidence that a lot of the ones that rated me 1/1 (the Evils) appeared after he stopped responding to my emails :) That must be a coincidence because Ian, who preaches to everyone about ethics and morality couldn't do something like that?!?!?

    In the end what do a lot of these people bring to A large number don't seem to do anything but post photos and rate photos. Some people don't even bother looking at other photos. Some people probably haven't read any of the pages, may not even know there's more to then the top member rated page.

    Does all this bandwith, processor utilization, used diskspace, etc. result in anything that benefits Are these people even contributing at all for all the resources they are consuming? Are they subscribing? Buying through links with merchants? Providing useful information to other photographers or are they responsible for the lazy and stupid questions that are driving away some of the long timers?

    -- Tom Menegatos, August 02, 2001; 05:29 P.M. Eastern

    I think the whole rating program here should be eliminated. Now granted, I don't use it; I don't post images to be rated, not do I rate others. But I do see how it consumes bandwidth on this forum (including this thread, and Vuk's below) and creates bad feelings. is great as a forum for excanging information and opinions on various topics. And having galleries where people can display their work is fine too. I really do look at other photographers' work quite often. But I think we should lose the whole ratings thing.

    -- peter nelson, August 02, 2001; 05:38 P.M. Eastern


    Oh come on Peter - be reasonable. If we didn't have the ra(n)ting system then people like Tom might have to spend their valuable time on trivial stuff like taking photographs and helping newbies, rather than moaning and finding ways to cheat the system.

    ps Tom, I'M KIDDING - personally I've never uploaded anything for comment (Don't have the time or the ego) and I never look at the ratings system, only the unarchived posts, where I help where I can and annoy where I think fit.

    -- stuart whatling, August 02, 2001; 06:45 P.M. Eastern


    Stuart good one. You were about to get the flame of your life...

    I've spent more time in the forums and have answered plenty of newbie and not so newbie questions than I have in the rating part.

    I have tried to take the time to comment and rate as many photos as I could because people have been nice enough to do the same for me. The comments especially help.

    -- Tom Menegatos, August 02, 2001; 07:00 P.M. Eastern

  26. Just a vote to ditch the ratings, but keep the comments. Mark Meyer's idea of a "photos this member thinks are interesting" link from members' pages is good. I'd like to see that.
  27. Get rid of the rating system, it's pointless. How does one assign marks out of ten to a piece of art? Do you see people in art galleries comparing Turner's works and saying, "well, that's a 5", or, "he could have put less cows in that one, I'll give it a 7"?

    One idea is to have two text boxes, one for technical criticism and one for comments on the artistry of the image, respectively, "you under-exposed, so the shadow details in the doorway are missing", and, "if you'd cropped more radically and placed the door off-centre it would have made the image more dynamic". Whatever, you get the idea. I'm no critic. ;o)

    Another issue is that criticism itself should be recognized as part of the photographic process, and people should be given credit for being good at it. I, for one, would like to practice and improve, because how is my photography ever going to improve if I can't look at another photographer's images and learn from them? One worry is that an ivory tower mentality could be creeping in, and the really good photographers out there may feel it beneath them to discuss the work of us lesser mortals. It isn't, it's something you should be doing, because how are the rest of us even going to improve if you don't, therefore how can you call yourself a good photographer if you can't hand over your skills to the next generation? Unbiased, well crafted criticism is a vital part of that, and should be as much a part of a photographers repertoire as compositional ability or skilled use of equipment. Recently someone posted a letter written by Ansel Adams in which he critiqued an image that had been sent to him - fantastic stuff.

    How about if the good critics out there, they can be selected by reading back through the critique pages, were asked to make a page on how to write a good critique? Not everyone on the forum is a native English speaker, and even those who are can be at a loss as to appropriate descriptive terms, so why not explain some of the words and terminology that are appropriate? People who write, "yes, I like it, the blue bits are nice", are wasting their time and that of everyone else.

    PS/ Looking at the critique page at 7.45am (Japan time, whatever the hell that is in the real world), all of the images presented are, IMHO, worthy of comment! There are no 'holiday snaps' in there.
  28. No ratings without a critique, no critique without a rating. It's ok to rate a photo poorly, and a rating is a good reflection on a person's opinion and whomever doesn't like it can always ignore it but all ratings should be justified with a comment. (I know this could provoke "asdf or ..." comments, but it's a start).
  29. - Ditch numerical ratings<BR>
    - limit uploads to 3 a week (nothing worse than getting 20pics of the same subject in a row)<BR>
    - limit folders to 5 pics (so when you click on a folder it doesn't take forever display)<BR>
    - overall total of 20 pics per person (might help people edit their work to good shots)
  30. I think your rating system is a good idea. However, how useful it is really depends on the quality of the community members. I've seen some good and helpful ratings + comments and _many_ bad ones. If only you could screen out those "immature" ratings via a report-warning-privillage suspension system. But then again, we all hate censorship...
  31. Principles/my operating assumptions:
    1) Quality filter is valuable for those wishing to learn by viewing examples of good work.
    2) Feedback is more important than ratings.
    3) Ratings still have value for feedback (at least to me).
    4) No ratings is better than abused ratings.
    Suggestions (original or other)
    a) Eliminate self-rating (direct or spoof)
    b) Verify email address or other anonymity eliminator
    c) Require membership in order to post anything (ratings/comments/msg/pics/etc)
    d) Make rating system simpler - I like J. Watmough's idea or alternatively - Novice, Amateur, Pro
    e) Do not separate rating and comment process - if one rates, one must comment also.
    f) More limits on photo critique postings - maybe once per week?
    g) Require 2 (or n) comments on other's photos before a user is allowed to submit for critique.
    h) Have a process (no good ideas in my noggin right now) to delete comments without content (eg, "asdf").
    i) Establish cross-rating algorithm to auto-identify abusers (I'm sure there are some smart people at MIT that would love to put their collective noodles on this project)
    Lastly, I agree with just about all Tom has to say above with regards to improvement ideas.
    Ta ta for now...
  32. The numerical rating system is causing people to focus on the wrong things. It should be eliminated, and if people want to engage in constructive dialogue about their work, they should exchange comments or email.

    I've said it before, and I will say it again. I am a college professor. If I could stop giving my students grades and could give them only narrative comments, I would do so immediately. I don't see why we should employ such a system here.
  33. Get rid of the numerical ratings, keep the comments.
  34. Why doesn't the "Services Photonet" people take a second to share their ideas to be critiqued by the community?
  35. After much thought, I'm also for getting rid of ratings but keeping comments (even though seeing who rated you and what they thought is kind of fun). Certainly get rid of the "top rated photographers" list.

    I realize this will make the random non-POW photo on the front page difficult to choose, so maybe get rid of it, too, or make it random from previous POWs or from Phil's photos.
  36. I knew you services people were really working down in the bunker below Harvard Square subway. You know where I stand vis a vis numerical rating. Rating system= 1/10. If something's worth fixing,do it. I predict the value/discontent ratio is going to be minus, whatever the "fix."... A critique is what? Statement of informed opinion by someone who cares to help- via words- of how one sees an image,accompanied with ideas (See some of the comments on Mr Hald's recent figure work for example.) If you get words, you reflect, go back and say, well I tried that but it failed, how would you eliminate that distraction. How do I get this kind of mood,impact,etc by use of color, composition, digitization and the like. What was the emotion I got from you vs what I sought? How would you out there do it to achieve what I think I was hoping to achieve.Where did I succeed. Where did I really go ploof?... The thinking person's critique. And even more, others can participate by proxy in the dialogue! Without, pray, the hostility which is creeping into other parts of the site. As you get more complex, then it becomes a challenge to defeat the system for- you know-er, those lovable rascals. It syphons off energy that could be spent in doing good stuff (for those who are eating their fiber daily and want to enjoy the company of others in the online experience).Consider just keeping written comments and no ratings. If you must have ratings to sort wheat from chaff, use a PANEL of raters. Enlist a panel of the week from members who have the wit, temperament, and experience to judge other's with interest and affection. Ladies and germs, idea is to keep photonet civilized and serious. Has a two factor,10 scale rating system helped or hindered?.Rhetorical yes. It seems painfully obvious with unacustomed sniping and fudging going on. Someone has to keep the dialogue high class.Good luck for trying. Rajeev and Lisa and Dr Strangelove and whoever else is down there with you :))
  37. I thought someone had better kick-off a strong "pro-ratings" case, as most of it so far has been pretty "anti".

    Call me "Wet" about this but the Ratings System has done a lot for my own photographic self-confidence since I started posting pictures in January after 25 years wondering if I was any good (or, "Did I make the right choice of a day job in 1980?"). It probably has done the same or similar for others. It's also made me a few good friends too (amazing the number of people you meet on the road in Europe who subscribe to and when two people with cameras get talking in a taverna....). These are all positive things.

    The "Drys", on the other hand, who would abolish the system, characterise anyone who participates in the ratings (and worse, succeeds in rating well) as ego driven, impure beings who do not subscribe to the lofty goals of "sharing" and "learning" and other such nice New Age concepts. Some of these above have even proposed that introducing pictures to the site ruined it! So let's get rid of JPEG posts and then we would have a photographic site (some say the best in the world) with NO PHOTOGRAPHS! Wouldn't that be a great idea?

    Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Reform the system.

    One of the main ideas behind photography is to get others to actually see and appreciate real photographs ("Drys": please keep that foremost in your minds). We aren't all mired in the finer points of Dektol, Rodinal, T-grain emulsions, the such-and-such f2-point-whatsername lens as opposed to the OTHER f2-point-thingmybob lens, ENDLESS discussions as to why film is dead/alive and incident/reflected metering. We like others to see our pictures and we enjoy some (however inaccurate and prone to abuse) feedback as to how we're going. In my own case a lot of this feedback somes directly to me via email and, if it also involves matters technical, I always answer as accurately as possible. I also post a lot of technical stuff next to the photos. But I enjoy the appreciation too. What's wrong with that?

    Where does all the "Dry" purist nonsense come from? Usually people who have not posted any of their own pictures, or if they have done so, rate averagely in The Big List. Does this mean they're not "sharing" their best with us, not "teaching" us how to achieve their lofty levels of expertise? Live and let live, "Drys".

    As to a "comments only" forum: Comments are fine, but there are too many "wows" and "just superbs" etc. Don't really tell ya much, do they?... fairly inarticulate. Also, comments about photographs (and indeed about any visual art) remind me too much of Art School weekly assignments. Sometimes you can't say "why" you like a picture... you just like it and wish to give it a high numeric rating... or the reverse, of course. That method of appreciation should be allowed in parallel to commentary: photography's a visual medium. Writing about a photograph never substituted for looking at the real thing. If it did, we wouldn't take photographs, would we?

    Some suggestions as to how to improve the ratings sytem:

    1. Delete and prevent patterned ratings (all consistently "1/1" and "10/10" ratings would be a good start, especially from obvious bogus members). This does not include self-ratings as this is one way for the photographer to say what he/she thinks of their own work. If the system is abused, then only the photographer looks a fool.

    2. Prevent more than one rating per set time period (say once per 30 seconds - then the blitzers would need to stay on line for a long time to wipe everybody out like "DA BombeR" did yesterday).

    3. Up the limit of photographs for "Top Member" from 3 to 10, or maybe 20. It's too easy to score high with three flukes. The proper place for these photographs (they can hardly be called "portfolios") is in the traditional "highest rating photographs" filtered gallery.

    And I agree with Vuk about Jo Voets - except for the "he" bit. She's a girl, Vuk.
  38. Ditch the numerical ratings. If the mission of is to provide a forum to interact with others wishing to become better photographers, I don't see how a numerical score helps anyone. The number only acts to boost or shatter ones ego.
  39. Make it so you have to leave a comment with the rating. Months ago a few of us caught a "professional" using kids and fake email addresses to raise his ratings. What I think is funny is when 2 people have had a difference of opinion on any subject, you look now and see 1's across every picture by that person you sparred with.
  40. Here's a listing of ideas I'd think are good. Some are from others and summarized here, others are from me.
    • Reducing the spread to something like 1-5 or 1-3 (aka poor/average/good).
    • Increasing the number of rating dimensions (categories like "exposure" for example).
    • Make the rating system go away. I'm not too in favor of this one, but should ratings prove (reasonably) unfixable, this would probably be preferable to keeping a stupid system.
    • Make the "do not submit this photo for rating" checkbox actually do something. What the heck does this checkbox do?!? When I check it on a picture, people can still rate them, they are still listed among my choices when I want to submit a photo for critique. I didn't notice whether they go through the "rate yesterday's picture", too many pictures to find out conclusively.
    • Make the "do not submit this photo for rating" checkbox checked by default.
    • Eliminate self-rating.
    • Require a working e-mail address to create an account on
    • Do not allow 1/1s and 10/10s, as they clearly are wrong (ever seen a perfect photo? or a perfectly bad one?).
    • Allow rating only by subscribers. This would kinda defeat the idea of leveraging a lot of people in the community though.
    • Add a "mark as interesting" feature to photos that will list it on the public home page of the user, so that the world can see what I find interesting (and for me, so that I can go back and check out details or whatever). Maybe this could be used as an alternative/replacement rating system ("N people find this picture interesting"). Note that this is only a positive system: you cannot say a picture is bad, only that its interesting.
    • From the oh-my-god-that's-crazy department: add a meta-critique system similar to what Slashdot has. This would indicate failure of the community to me, as it previously seemed (to me) to be a community of serious photographers, and didn't waste too much of my (or others) time.
  41. Since numeric ratings are highly subjective (beauty lies in the eye of the beholder) scrap them altogether. Keep the comments.
    Failing that, give the ratings numbers some meaning. Like
    1. Poor
    2. Average
    3. Good
    4. Excellent
    • As mentioned in comments above, 1 to 10 is too wide a spread for a meaningful judgment.
  42. 1) Mark Meyer's suggestion is excellent--as it should be given that I had similar thoughts recently ;-) To accompany it, perhaps a "random photographers" list alongside "random recent" photos, with a formula to enhance frequency of appearance as a function of web-depth (the intricacy of interconnection to other photographers--I'll be glad to donate free statistical services to accomplish this)

    2) The people expressing sentiments along the lines of "it's not perfect, but it's still OK" have probably not seen the kind of damage the ratings system can inflict on an individual. Have a look at the bogus negative ratings on one of Tom's photos or go through my folder and see what happened there this afternoon. Top member-rated aside, a visible average score is likely to bias the next rater in the same direction and provide ultimately flawed (skewed) feedback (I have carried out graduate level research on this sort of thing, so trust me). Similarly, making the entire list of raters and scores visible has all kinds of other potential biases associated with it--for example, just the other day I found myself spontaneously going over to the portfolio of someone who'd given me a nice score/comment and looking around for a picture that I could be generous with. This sort of thing invalidates all "psychometric" validity of the numeric ratings.

    3) Competition brings out the worst in people, especially men (who seem to be the majority here) and any sort of "top list" will encourage it. If photonet wants to do that, then they must ensure an iron-clad system to protect people from the sort abuse described above.

    4) I spoke to Rajeev earlier today (actually urged him to start this thread) and noticed he kept referring the site photo dot net, whereas I and everyone else I've ever talked to simply call it photonet.

    Thanks Rajeev!
  43. I'm a newbie and I can't say for certain that I know what the gallery area is intended to be for. For instance, last evening I uploaded 6 photos of not my best, but just some stuff that was scanned before my scanner bombed. My intention was primarily to give an example of 'here's what I'm interested in photographically' and share a few photos. But, perhaps that's not the intended purpose and some would prefer that the area be left for exceptional work. In some ways I think this topic is just as germaine to discussion as the ratings system itself. I get the impression that some may feel there is too much posted to the area and the sheer quantity of material affects the ability to rate, comment, and discuss.

    So, (and perhaps this is implemented and I am not aware) is it feasable/desireable to have an area for 'hi, this is what I do' photos and a seperate area/mechanism for persons to display photography that they consider to be worthy of and desiring serious critique? Just a thought; if it sounds off topic or far fetched, please excuse. Best, Greg
  44. Greg, I think you should save postings for your absolute best, especially if you do not feel you are very accomplished. The more expert/artistic people will pay little attention if there is no spark --- whether technical ability or artistic vision --- in the picture, and you will gain nothing.

    When you will do something of which you are truly proud, then take a chance on other's opinions (I am still terrified to do so). Then you will learn something.

    Best regards.
  45. If the rating system stays... and I don't mind if it does if there are some changes that include a total removal or reform of the top photographer page... I would argue that we need a larger scale not a smaller scale. There are a lot of good photos on here and a lot of bad ones. When I first started rating photographs a nice photograph would be a 5-6, a great one 7-8. I felt I needed to leave room for a photograph that really blew me away to deserve a 9 or 10. And there were a few. That is why I didn't feel right rating a photograph that was nicely lit and composed and technically correct higher unless I could see that picture hanging on my wall or someone else's wall if it wasn't in my taste but still a good photo. After a while you realize that not everyone was using the same system. If there's a pretty girl in it it gets at least a 7, if there's nudity and it get's me stiff 8, I think it's pretty 10. There's no standard.

    The only protocol for rating is outdated, insufficient and most people probably don't even know how to get to it let alone know that it exists.

    I liked the idea of a panel. That sounds cool. Give them directions on how to rate. Some people have given some great examples of how to rate based on how photo clubs judge photos. It's in focus +1, it's properly exposed +1, etc. Maybe instead of aesthetics and originality there should be technical and aesthetics. Technical at least isn't that subjective.

    Some people have made suggestions about passing the numbers through different algorithms but I personally don't think that would help. What I think might be useful is to judge the rater taking into acount his rating vs the average and standard devation for each photo s/he rated then averaging them all. Then maybe even replace the top member page with the most "fair" rater page then you would go in and see a listing of the top photos that the rater rated based on how fair he rated them and they couldn't be his photos.

    Uhm. That sounds confusing but it seems to make sense to me. It needs to be hashed out more but I'd like people to think about that last paragraph and try to make sense of it and see if it could work.
  46. Have only "photo of the day, week, or month." Do away with best rated photo ever conceived or delivered by mankind. And also- end self-ratings. That is terrible. Love your site. Love your show.
  47. Substituting a ten-level rating system with a tri or quad-level system would simply substitute "3/3s" or "4/4s" for "10/10s" and "BADs" for "1/1s".

    The Ratings system has its benefits for those who participate (either as viewers or photographers) and does no harm to those who don't. It just needs reforming and tightening up.

    I never read such a bunch of negative comments as some (many) of the above. Would you abolish democracy because it is abused? Or because you couldn't get into office? Or because you personally didn't want to be President or dog-catcher or whatever? Would you get rid of money because some people are poor and others rich? And the Professor wants to censor long as they don't come to me looking for a job, Prof, armed only with a touchy-feeley "narrative comment" and a new suit.

    If you don't like the ratings system or the Big List, don't participate. If the site is being corrupted, elves, you should (and can) fix it... don't trash it because of the above Puritans (we call them "wowsers" in Australia).

    BTW: a previous thread (about 2 weeks ago) suggested charging a small membership fee. Why not?
  48. >Whatever is done, with all the fraud that's been exposed, all

    >current ratings will have to be deleted in order to ensure a level

    >playing field, so why not take that necessary first step



    >-- Vuk Vuksanovic

    Seconded! Seems futile, counter-productive, and a waste of time to carry on with the existing system whilst we are debating it's flaws and value to this community.

    Deleting all current ratings and freezing the rating system would provide an opportunity to observe the effectiveness of the "comment only" suggestion whilst carrying on an effective debate about what should be done in future.

    On a purely technical level, for beginners who are still developing their skills I feel there is a need to retain something which can demonstrate a "measure of excellence" to which we can aspire. How about changing POW to "Technical POW" to highlight and critically appraise a particular photographic technique used to produce a particular image? I like to see a "nice" pic as much as the next person, but doing so doesn't assist my own photographic development unless there is discussion of precisely how it was achieved with specific details concerning use of aperture, metering, exposure, filtering, Photoshopping and such.

    At the end of the day, aesthetic opinions are like assholes, everybody has one however useful or relevant it may be... at least when discussion gets technical, aesthetics are put to one side and we can usually get a gut feeling for whether or not the person who posted a reply is talking complete s*** or not...
  49. "And I agree with Vuk about Jo Voets - except for the "he" bit. She's a girl, Vuk." -- Tony Dummett (Australia)

    No way, dude! Now I'm really interested. Jo, are any of the shots self-portraits?

    "As mentioned in comments above, 1 to 10 is too wide a spread for a meaningful judgment."-- Anoop Iyer

    The empirical data from numerous published studies suggests very clearly that you are incorrect in your assumption. The reliabilty of a scale will improve all the way up to 9 or more anchors/points, although the gains beyond 7 are minimal and drop off very steeply. It is also best to have and odd (rather than even) number of choices.

    "is it feasable/desireable to have an area for 'hi, this is what I do' photos and a seperate area/mechanism for persons to display photography that they consider to be worthy of and desiring serious critique?"-- Greg Sindewald

    This is an excellent idea, very much along the lines of having a useful check box to determine whether or not one is seeking ratings/critique. Maybe a "newbie corner" would be a good thing to implement (and perhaps also a dog-with-frisbee-in-back-yard snapshot jail cell).
  50. I think there is some value in the numeric ratings. In general, higher rated photos/albums are better than lower. So, how do we keep the bozos from polluting the well? I vote for:

    * Requiring that critiquers (either numeric or textual) to have posted some of their own work first. I think this is essential so that you can rate the raters. If you respect their work, you will respect their comments or ratings. It also raises the bar to creating bogus accounts. I guess there is a danger of tit-for-tat rating but that will happen regardless. (I practice what I preach here. I did not dare to comment on other photos until I had uploaded some of my own.)

    * Go back to 1-5 and add make the values more clear (e.g. 1 = trite, 3 = Canventional, 5 = Imaginative) Image the fun discussions we can have coming up with names for each value!

    * I also agree that the default size for the "batch" ratings is too small. In addition, there is not enough context. I also want to see the photographer's comments to see what they are intending with the photo. But I *don't* want to see the current ratings -- that always biases me. In fact, remove the "batch" rating altogether. It encourages skipping comments. Also the juxtoposition of widely different techniques and subjects is jarring.

    4. Restrict the number number of photos submitted for critique per person per week. If someone is posting that often, they are probably just talking and not listening or thinking. (But it's easier to upload in batch. Is there any easy way to submit an already upload photo for critique?)
  51. There is nothing inherently wrong with having the “community” rate images. I understand arguments regarding the arbitrary nature of assigning a subjective rating to someone’s “work of art”, but it has been my experience that healthy competition brings the collective quality of images to a higher level. When I was in music conservatory in Manhattan, we had to perform recitals that were adjudicated. You may say, “How on earth do you grade a performance of a Mozart concerto or an improvisation on a Charlie Parker composition?” Well, nobody came un- prepared or gave a sloppy performance. That stupid grade, that arbitrary number made people work harder, and pushed them to excel on a higher level.

    I proposed to the staff via email a system where the lowest grade is thrown out, deleted. This would halt the 1/1 hit and runs raters who either think it’s funny or some kind of perverse strategy to prevent someone from getting a decent score. Just because there is abuse within the framework of the rating system doesn’t make the system inherently flawed. People need to grow up and use the critique forum with intelligence and compassion. Many people enjoy the critique forum and for those who don’t have any images posted to gruffly say “Get rid of those damn ratings” is not entirely fair. If you don’t like the critique forum and posting, there is plenty to keep you both occupied and happy at You can sit for hours and talk about lens sharpness and ballheads. And the people who enjoy looking at and writing about images and technique can have their area of interest as well in the form of the Critique forum. Obviously it needs some tweaking but to do away with it would be completely unfair to those who enjoy it. Lastly, please do not put too much importance on the “comment” section. Comments from someone with experience who knows what they are talking about are invaluable. But many of the comments sometimes miss the mark – things like “Have you considered cropping 2/3’s of the image or all of the area around the subject?”
  52. I don't think that people without photos online should be banned from rating/critiquing photos. Some people may not have the time or equipment but their input isn't necisarilly any less valuable. Also some people have admited their images suck but that doesn't mean they can't point out what doesn't work in other's photos. They obviously recognize the flaws in theirs :)
  53. "Seconded! Seems futile, counter-productive, and a waste of time to carry on with the existing system whilst we are debating it's flaws and value to this community. Deleting all current ratings and freezing the rating system would provide an opportunity to observe the effectiveness of the "comment only" suggestion whilst carrying on an effective debate about what should be done in future --shiu wan

    A 10/10 for intelligence and comprehension!

    "If you don't like the ratings system or the Big List, don't participate. -- Tony Dummett (Australia)

    Tony, although I love your photographic judgment, I think you need to think a little more carefully about the influence of "top-rated" status on your perceptions of the system. Being at or near the top of the pile ensures numerous ratings and, consequently, a lot less vulnerabilty to revenge raids, not to mention the bias involved with assuming the system works when it places one at or near the top; this, of course, is not to say that you don't deserve to be there (you know what I think about your work), but are you realy anywhere near 700 positions ahead of Jo, with all the "cuddly puppy" and "Velvia canyon" people in between? Most importantly, your suggestion to not participate in ratings isn't choice right now!!! It's all or nothing for posting viewable pictures.
  54. (1)throw out the two low ratings and the two high ratings..makes it a little tougher to cheat
    (2)change it to a 1 part 1-10 i like it or not.1= i wouldnt wipe my,nose with it,10=i would hang it on my wall if i could afford it(even if it isnt tack sharp and it IS alittle dark/light)
    (3)make it anonymous,i do not want anybody giving me a high or low rating because i gave them one
    (4)get rid of the rate yesterdays uploads takes absolutely no thought to zip thru and rate these(hoping to get to something you might find interesting)
    (5)limit raters to those who have shots posted
    (6)do not under any cicumstances take the rankings so seriously(after all we all shoot for ourselves..haha)
  55. I have also had my work panned by "members" with dead rock star names and hotmail addresses. They have posted no pictures and display a rather limited vocabulary. This is not a simple problem to fix (just as I have noted some members rating their own work as 10/10 to inflate their ratings, I guess the new format which shows who rated your work will put a stop to that one).

    My only suggestion is that members should have posted pictures before rating others (I know this will not solve the problem but it may wave off the casual "crank call" types). I don't think any photographer should be able to rate their own work EXCEPT in their own comments about the work, I see the rating system of a way to guage others reaction to my work, uninfluenced by my own opinions.

    I realize these suggestions have all been made but I feel that the biggest problem with the system is getting your work noticed in the first place, and this is not a problem to solve, just an unfortunate situation which is not easily dealt with. Maybe if there were defined categories of work, even such broad ones as "black and white", "portraiture", or "manipulated digital" so your work would be seen by people interested in that particular area... oh well I guess that just opens another can of worms, if it ain't broke (too bad) don't fix it.!
  56. I actually like the rate yesterdays uploads. It gives me a chance to view photographs and photographers I might have never seen. Although I hate it when I have to scroll through a whole roll of someone's birthday party pictures. There should be some sort of restriction on this. I think it has the possibility of being a great feature. As someone suggested earlier it should have more information.

    It would be nice if there was a feature similiar to that for the photo critique forum that allowed you to go through all the current photos in the forum or subsection of the forum you haven't rated.

    I remember when I wanted to rate all the concert photos. Click on the picture rate it, comment on it, go back 4 pages start over. After the second one I realized you can do Open in new window, rate it comemnt on it close it. But not nearly as convienient as the rate yesterday's uploads thing.
  57. As to posting photos to be allowed to rate take a look at this person's average ratings then look in his portfolio. Do any of the photos look familiar? Can you guess who he's been giving his average ratings of 9.55 to?
    This really cracked me up you have to Check it out!
    Also the user's name should be recognizable to most.
  58. Getting rid of grades or ratings is not "touchy feely" at all. The object is to get people who want to learn to focus on what is wrong with their work, what they can improve, and what they do well, so they can maximize their strengths. I teach at a pretty elite institution, and for better or worse the students get there by being ultra-grade conscious. I want them to think hard about difficult ideas, not about their grade point averages. Narrative comments potentially convey useful information. Ratings convey virtually no useful information. They harm the entire community, because they cause people to think about the wrong things. If you think the rating system has helped you, then it has already numbed your mind. existed quite productively for a long time without a ratings system. It is still quite new. I say nip it in the bud before it gets worse.
  59. I'm in 100% agreement with Tony from Oz. And...

    >> Vuk - "The people expressing sentiments along the lines of "it's not perfect, but it's still OK" have probably not seen the kind of damage the ratings system can inflict on an individual." <<

    If a photographer is that influenced by what a crowd of virtual strangers think, especially the 'thought-less' ones abusing the system, then its probably best that the photographer *not participate*. Very simple.

    >> Vuk - "Top member-rated aside, a visible average score is likely to bias the next rater in the same direction and provide ultimately flawed (skewed) feedback (I have carried out graduate level research on this sort of thing, so trust me)." <<

    I use the photocritique page the way I imagine it was designed - you do not know what others feel about an image until *after* you critique it. Seems fair enough to me. Why not use the system in the way it was designed? It solves exactly the problem you describe.

    >> Vuk - "Similarly, making the entire list of raters and scores visible has all kinds of other potential biases associated with it--for example, just the other day I found myself spontaneously going over to the portfolio of someone who'd given me a nice score/comment and looking around for a picture that I could be generous with. This sort of thing invalidates all "psychometric" validity of the numeric ratings." <<

    And are the ratings designed to be authoritative, I might ask?

    I still see nothing wrong with the basic system as it now stands. Sure, make it more difficult to cheat, but do not change the fundamental principles behind the rating methodology today. The system allows for rapid and broad participation. The system was not designed to support serious competition.

    Methinks people are taking this far more seriously than the issue warrants. Just my opinion.
  60. A moderation system seems to work well enough for slashdot ( The idea of 'karma' - those users that post useful information earn you points that you can use towards rating others. Rating points are a resource that you have to earn.

    Wouldn't your ratings mean more from people the community admires vs. joe blow shooter or mean shmuck (aka anonymous cowards).

    I also propose that you can also gain karma points by posting highly rated photographs (kind of a self propegating system).

    While we are on the topic of moderation, I also propose that we add a moderation system to the user comments, so that if someone gives obviously bad advice (or potentially dangerous advice as sometimes happens) it can be moderated down. Again, I point to you slashdot to see how this works (and works VERY well). FREELY available code exists (slashcode - as written in perl) exists that could be modified to fit in the framework.

    See for more information on how the moderation system works at slashdot for ideas. We would of course have to tailor the system to, but I think it would result in a much more meaningful rating system!

    Plus, it encourages people to invest time and effort in answering questions and gives people reasons to post only their most excellent photographs! (Charge people karma to post pictures, this would prevent people from posting TOO many photos).

    Oh... one more thing. I propose that Tony Dummett and Ellis Vener start with +50 points, and the rest of us shmucks at zero. <grin>

  61. "Tony, ..., I think you need to think a little more carefully about the influence of "top-rated" status on your perceptions of the system. Being at or near the top of the pile ensures numerous ratings and, consequently, a lot less vulnerabilty to revenge raids."

    I copped it the other week Tom (as did a lot of others) and dropped off the Big List screen for a while. When I was able to look at the ratings (a few days later) I saw patterned "1/1s" and patterned "10/10s" on most of my images. I have (and others have too) "friends" and "enemies" (although sometimes I think it's a case of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend") - respectively annoying and embarassing to me. My suggestions above in this thread included detecting and deleting these patterned ratings (good and bad).

    A server-based filter to disable or delete these irrational "friends" and "enemies" would solve a lot of the current ratings system problems. If it's easy for my addled brain to intuitively detect false high and low ratings, why can't the Math PhDs at MIT do the same? (In fact I bet they already have mapped this out). To simply just abolish ALL high and low ratings ("patterned" and "genuine") because they're there smacks to me of censorship, totalitarian style. Get rid of them and we could then all live in a Wonderful World where all people are perfectly equal and get to talk about lenses and emulsions all day.

    As to your comment re. unavoidable ratings, "It's all or nothing for posting viewable pictures", what's the problem here? If you don't care about ratings you could just ignore them. Anyway, the elves could sure fix this bug, couldn't they? After all, we're talking about future solutions here, as well as current problems.
  62. Michael.

    You've been a member for about 3 weeks and you haven't uploaded any photos. Perhaps some newbie reserve is called for here.
  63. TOM
    My comment on bandwith was referring to the concept that sending a couple radio buttons clicks for numerical rating would take no more internet bandwith than a textual comment. That does NOT mean I know what I'm talking about, just a flippant opinion.

    Indeed I don't have any idea of "the kind of damage the ratings system can inflict on an individual".
    What kind of damage can be inflicted? Are you referring to (commercial) damage to a professional's reputation? Surely the photonet community is not a major determinant in that respect is it?
    Or maybe it is. Not being a pro any more than a bandwidth expert I don't know.
    Are you refering to ego bruises from lowered averages?
    That is a self-inflicted wound from choosing to care about the numbers. Solution as I said before: don't read'm.
    I suspect that you meant something else & I just missed the point, but thru in these 2 opinions anyway.

    Thank you for providing your defense of the numerical ratings.
    I did not have any real reason to form an opinion either way when I commented earlier, just wanted to lip off about the option to ignore the numbers rather than get upset, but you pointed out how it allows expression of wholistic reaction to a photo without reduction to textual analysis of a visual experience. Good point.

    All take me with a grain of salt now, eh! I have no axe to grind on either side of the issue. Live & let live.
  64. Leave Mike alone,!

    (Note: this has nothing to do with his "100%" endorsement of my own comments).

  65. As to your comment re. unavoidable ratings, "It's all or nothing for posting viewable pictures", what's the problem here? If you don't care about ratings you could just ignore them.-- Tony Dummett (Australia)


    If it were just me viewing, I could ignore it, but my mother looks at these photos too (doesn't rate!!!) and a Montenegrin mom is roughly equivalent to a Jewish one. How could I ever explain these bad scores? What a shame for the family! ;-)
  66. >Just because there is abuse within the framework of the rating

    >system doesn’t make the system inherently flawed. People need to

    >grow up and use the critique forum with intelligence and compassion

    >-- Markus Arike

    I think the evidence shows that there is abuse within the framework because people are not using the system with intelligence and compassion, which renders the framework inherently flawed.


    Think the elves need to evaluate whether the intrinsic value of the rating system is greater than the effort required to minimise it's abuses to acceptable levels. As it stands, the current system is being undermined by a small minority who seem intent on "damage"

    The elves should also consider that nothing requiring an opinion is foolproof because fools are so ingenious when it comes to finding ways of cheesing off others. If you enforce the requirement of email addys prior to rating, fools will create additional aliases. If you track IP addresses to cut down additional email addys, fools will log in elsewhere. If you restrict the use of extreme values in calculating a rating, fools will adapt to it. If you introduce a complicated algorithm to limit the effect of foolish intervention, fools find a way to circumvent it. If you create a panel to rate pics you get Big Brother Fool and his elitist, foolish opinion. If Big Brother Fool says your carefully silhouetted pic is under exposed, his foolish opinion becomes gospel...

    Fools are everywhere, but even a fool has to admit that 1+1=2 ... unless they're a moron which is something else entirely ;)
  67. Andy Graham: throw out the two low ratings and the two high ratings..makes it a little tougher to cheat.
    I'm somewhat puzzled by the suggestions to discard low ratings. Say I upload a photograph, and someone rates it 9/9 (hah!). The next person who comes along and rates it lower has their rating discarded, and the next, and the next. There's no way the photo will ever get a lower rating. Unless I'm missing something it makes the whole system pointless.
    Aaron Helleman: A moderation system seems to work well enough for slashdot (
    Aaron, moderation sounds like a good idea, except that the sheer volume of the images posted to and the number of members able to rate each one makes it impracticable. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of work involved in overseeing it.
  68. Vuk, just in case you feel I was singling you out, I wasn't, its just your comments caught my attention and I initiated a reply. Frankly the rest of the comments were coming into this thread far too quickly for me to bother scanning them for other relevant points. Nonetheless, your comment back to me deserves a quick reply.

    > You've been a member for about 3 weeks and you haven't uploaded any photos. Perhaps some newbie reserve is called for here. <

    I pointed out in this same thread earlier that I recognized that I'm a recent member without having contributed. However, those two points do not make me a 'newbie'. I've spent some time using as a resource prior to signing up for posting priveledges, have read hundreds if not thousands of postings, and feel I have a decent sense for the community. Otherwise I'd not have commented at all.

    The issues being discussed here are not unlike those found in other on-line communities, and I've been involved in a number of them, some quite actively, going back in time before most users on this system ever heard of the Internet.

    As long as people are civil and being constructive, I see no reason why a 'newbie' should refrain from joining in on a discussion if a person has an honest and thoughtful comment or contribution to make. It is exactly this open access to contributors from around the world that the terrific resource that it is.

    PS to the person suggesting Slashdot, not a bad idea. At least the community has a hand in floating worthwhile commentary to the top. - cheers all.
  69. I don't care for the rating system-all is has done is brought bad feelings to this site. I'd get rid of this whole competitive thing which seems to bring out the mean spirit in people. People rating there own stuff as a 10 to try and be at the top of some silly list-what is that? Other people rating every image they see as a 1-1, I think these must be the same folks that get off by keying other people's cars. I never even asked anyone to rate my images and still some of them in my portfolio have been attacked by the hidden critics (whose have now been named so I can know who these idiots are) I don't see any benefit whatsoever to the system where a bunch of strangers are rating images like this is some kind of Olympic event. I don't need it.
  70. IF ratings are going to be kept, I might make a few suggestions:

    A. I like the idea of a probation period where new members can't rate images. It would mean folks would have to be more industrious to beat the system.

    Secondly. How 'bout a cumulative ratings floor and ceiling? I've noticed that most really low ratings come from folks with average ratings in the 3-4 area, and some really high ratings come from folks in with averages in the 8s. I've seen fewer of the latter, and I'm inclined not to see that as so much of a problem; one might be compelled to rate and comment only on outstanding images, but what kind of person is the other way 'round?

    They (them - you know who they are) could institute such a floor, so that after, say 10 ratings, if the numbers were below the threshold, a warning could be displayed. Or better yet, the ratings by those people could just suddenly not be counted in the overall numbers.

    Of course, then one could use the same bogus ID to bump up some images' ratings and murder others. But then THEY could implement a filter that finds such IDs, which only have extreme rankings, without middle-of-the-road ones. THEY could implement a series of criteria, without publicizing them, that could severely impair the non-sophisticated cheaters' ability to affect rankings. Of course, the clever cheaters will always be able to foil any such system, but hey, we're not all Tom M. (joke - don't flame me!)

    (Aside: today I found a former Picture of the Week winner who has four 'fans,' all email addresses on his domain, that have ranked all 20 of his images 10/10, and have no other rankings. Such behavior surely merits the removal of his image from the past POW page, doesn't it?)

  71. Tony in your "Response to Tom" comment above you quoted Vuk not me. I didn't say anything about you.
  72. Rachel: The beauty of the moderation system is you make it user run. No work involved by the maintainers, it runs its self.

    How you ask? When every someone posts something, others in the community that find the information valuable (that have moderation abilities) can mark the posting as +1, +2 up to +5. Or, if they feel it is bad advice, can mark it as -1.

    How do you become a moderator? At first, people well respected in the community could be approached to be a moderator. As time goes on, those people that visit regularly are randomly asked to become moderators automatically. The system tracks users and their habits and those that qualify randomly are asked to moderate.

    This works very well for the tens of thousands of visitors daily to slashdot.

    The score of a posting is public, and users can choose to view all comments or set a threshold viewing level (ie I only want to see postings who's moderation level is higher than 2 to weed out junk). Or for those who are short on time, they could set their level to 5 to see only the GOLD postings, really juicy stuff.

    If you get your postings moderated up, this earns you karma. Also, being a regular visitor earns you some karma. Also, posting highly regarded photographs earns you karma.

    Then, when you go to post pictures OR rate photographs, you have to spend your karma.

    Cool, hey? And the best part is once it is set up, it runs itself !

  73. What's wrong with you lot? Rating photos and having a league table of "best" photographers makes perfect sense. You can see who's doing good work in the eyes of the majority - it is a learning forum afterall. Besides, it's fun.

    Yes, some people will abuse the system - that's human nature. And of course a numerical system can lead to differences in interpretation - but this isn't the Olympics. There isn't fame and fortune waiting for those who rank in the top ten. It's an internet site for crying out loud!

    Maybe it could be improved if there was a little random validation from the moderators from time to time to confirm scores - especially if things look suspicious. But to abandon it because of a few idiots or for fear of the nastiness of competition??! C'mon, lighten up. The fools will get sick of playing dumb games and we all can tell who the cheats are and who's being targeted.

    My vote - keep the rating system and the highest rated photographers list and let the moderators do a little validation from time to time. I also say let a photographer rate there own pics (once) - isn't it interesting to see what a photographer thinks of there own work?
  74. Can't read them all, but good thread. I'd vote to abolish the numbers (it's ART! everyone to their own thing!), keep verbal comments, and create categories for photos so that all the folks interested in architecture can go there, etc. I think most of us would sample several areas and occasionally all of them. I also like the idea of pro's being involved in the comments somehow. Perhaps also a moderator's group by invitation only? And, I would think the idea of neither posting or commenting for at least three months after joining, is a good idea to foster community. And anything else that's reasonable to keep down the B.S. and junk posts.

    As far as clogging the message board, categories are really badly needed. How many can even scan all those headings usefully, and then, there are so many meaningless subject lines that people use. So, thanks for a great site!
  75. I mostly agree with Michael Watkins.

    I like the entire system as it is, some people are taking it too seriously. Ratings are obviously subjective, somewhat arbitrary, and can occasionally be rigged.

    I like all the changes made in the last months- the once a day posting rule, the top rated photogs, the viewing of ratings and of those who have rated and what their average rating is.

    I think that Photo dot Net HAS SHOWN A LOT OF WISDOM in how they have set things up.

    Perhaps a rules and etiquitte page.

    Scammers and anonymous flamers will always be with us, let's hope they don't pollute the site. They haven't for me, yet.

    Quit trying to conrol the web, it's not yours. Many of your issues are free speech issues. The increased knowledge of your critics, their nature, and their e-mail addresses are full compensation for any disargreements you may have with them.
  76. John G.

    One does not necessarily have a proper e-mail address of raters in this system. You can type in whatever you like when registering--there is no verification (not to mention how ridiculously easy it is to circumvent any problems by setting up a hotmail account).
  77. I agree with many of the comments already offered. While I agree that rating art on a 1-10 scale for aesthetics and originality seems a bit arbitrary, I feel that it has helped me get a better idea of what aspects of my work are preferred by the masses. I am not saying that pleasing the publics should be the goal of any artist. However, I think that knowing what aspects of my style are preferred may help me in the future should I decide to pursue a career in photography.
    But having said this, I would like to add that as a result of rating the work of others on this site I have received “nasty” emails, been subjected to “attacks”(1,1 ratings on all my photos) by members who signed up for a membership on the same day that I received the nasty emails, and been falsely accused of rating my own photos.
    So what is it that I see as the most logical course of action? I think that the rating system is worth having as a part of I feel that it helps those of us just starting out to get a general idea of how we are doing, as well as serves as a useful way of filtering photos for critiquing (an activity that I usually partake in just to see what else is out there) But I think that the system could be improved by only allowing members with at least five photos in their portfolio to rate the work of others. I think that this would make it more of a pain to set up a false account. Hopefully this would make it enough of a hassle that fewer individuals would create a false profile, whether they are attempting to rate their own photos or “attack” someone else’s work. In addition, I agree that people should have to write in a comment in addition to their numeric rating of a photo, as I love when someone actually takes the time to write a comment, but I fear that this will only lead to fewer people receiving any feedback at all. I think most people are more inclined to give someone a numeric rating because it is quick and easy to do, But if they have to think of a specific comment in addition to the numeric rating they may be inclined to say “well, I’m not going to bother on this one” Perhaps we could change the categories on the numeric system to something like: COMPOSITION, TECHNICAL, ORIGINALITY, and ASTHETICS. This would allow people to get more of an idea of what was liked or disliked about their photo, while still making it easy to rate a photo.
    To sum it up, whenever you allow someone to critique your work you will sometimes be delighted by the opinion and other times be disappointed. And by allowing the free exchange of email addresses on this site it will always be possible for an individual to receive nasty comments. I look at it like this, the few bad experiences I have had are the price I pay for being able to freely communicate with other photographers, view their work, and receive feedback from them. In my opinion, the price paid is well worth the goods received.
  78. I disagree with the whole notion that it's only a few people abusing the system. It's obvious that a lot of the best photos and photographers aren't perkolating to the top of the list. The concept of seeing the best photographers is a good one but the methods employed now don't work.

    At one point I bet you couldn't throw a rock at the top 50 list and not hit someone that had some sort of ratings abuse. Whether it's them rating other peoples photos much lower, creating phoney aliases and rating themselves, getting friends to rate them higher and others lower, "I've gotten 4 really good ratings on this photo after posting this 3 times to the critique forum. If I create a fake account and rate this It'll make the top photos list. Well while I'm at it might as well give it a high rating just in case." Same goes for the 11'th position that gets it applied to the top member rated page rating. It seems that some of it has been cleaned up recently now that everyone can see a photo's ratings. But that also hurt the system too. I've been in the same position Vuk's been in. Being asked to critique or at least rate someone's photos and to know they can see my ratings is tough. "Yeah I think it's a 4 but maybe we'll make it a 6 since they've been giving me a lot of 8's"
  79. Can we have a 'WORST 1000 Photographers' page.. I might make that one!<P>To Tony, some of us do generally ignore ratings and the Top Photographers list but can see that overall, the value of the ratings system is minimal. I would add this is probably a recent thing, brought on by a few bad eggs.<P>I've viewed a few of the portfolios in the 'good' list and once you get out of the top few, things get very average (not average and in poor, just as in nothing should be better or worse than the next one) This is all personal taste anyway, some of the folders look very ordinary to me, cause they have stuff they I don't care for.<P>As far as my own pictures go that I've uploaded, most have been loaded for a specific reason and I 'unclick' the 'rate this' option (even if it does no good). I even delete them on occasion! For stuff I want a critique on, I post elsewhere, for stuff I'm happy with, goes on my wall and then into a box.<P>P.S. I'm so far off topic that it's funny!
  80. I'd vote to drop the numbered ratings all together. If nothing else, maybe it might promote the writing of comments instead, which I find much more useful.

    Something that I've wondered about for quite while though is this: how do you guys pick out the photos of the week out of the hundreds of photos that come in per week. Is it by the top rated and then filter from there? Or top viewed and start from there? Or how about how the photos are chosen to be displayed on the opening page... which numbers determine that? Just something to consider in case it was by ratings... maybe it's time to rethink how that is done.
  81. I'm very new in this community, but I've used the rating system quite a bit and find it useful overall. First, it's great way to look at all kind of different pictures, with different styles, etc, in a few simple clicks. Second, I like my work being rated - it gives me an idea of what works and what doesn't. True, comments are better. But they are more time-consuming so you can't expect to receive so many. And many of us don't speak English as a first language and have a hard time expressing complicated ideas.

    In my opinion, current problems stem from competition (top-rated photographers and the like). Remove that a much of the incentive to cheat is lost.

    Many suggestions are excellent. I'm not sure about reduced scales, but limiting ratings to one picture a week per photographer insures that only the best stuff will be shown. Also, photographers who don't post anything should not rate. I often check the picture of those who gave me very high or very low ratings. If I get a good one from a guy who posted great pictures, I'm very happy. If I get a bad rating from a guy with awful photos, I don't take it very seriously. But when I get a bad or even a good rating from someone who posted nothing, I don't know what to think.

    The idea of an "interesting" or "worthy of notice" rating to make up lists of pictures worth seing seems nice and it should be tried.

    Some people here think that only our very best pictures should be posted, that 5 pictures per photographer, for instance, should be a limit. I don't agree. First I don't necessarily KNOW what are my best pictures. Some that I didn't like so much got me very positive comments here. Maybe they were better than I thought, after all. Also, if the object of comments is to provide a tool for amateurs to improve, then it's obvious that even not-so-good photos should be posted. Finally, when I like a picture very much, I often check the portfolio of the guy who made it. When there are a lot of pictures, you find variations on the same theme, other ideas, etc, that are often a good source of inspiration. Please don't ban the pictures from the photo site!
  82. "I've viewed a few of the portfolios in the 'good' list and once you get out of the top few, things get very average (not average and in poor, just as in nothing should be better or worse than the next one)" --Nige Buddy

    You either have no taste or (as I suspect) have made far too little effort. Have a look at:
    and this

    All below the 200 mark.

    While compiling the URLs, I noticed Jo Voets climbed 20 spots--perhaps due to references in this thread.

    On another note, I think the elves have cleaned up a considerable amount of "false account" rating damage tonight, at least as far as my portfolio is concerned (and Tom's to some extent). This is the sort of thing we need to make it fair. For those who don't understand why photographers would be extremely upset about (or find it difficult to ignore) nasty, vindictive and fabricated ratings of their work, I suggest you consider an extended trip to a Mediterranean country to (re)learn what it means to be human and passionate.
  83. It's always interesting to hear all the different points of view. I am disapointed with the rating system mainly because it does not give me the kind of feedback I want. After reading the posts I have concluded that people must have very different motivations in life than I do. I take photographs mostly for my own pleasure as I had imagined many other people here do. It's not that critical to me what others think of my work (or play). Sometimes it is nice to connect with people who have some of the same interests as me and even those who have different ones. I am mostly here for enjoyment and inspiration. Too bad some people see this forum as a competition.
  84. I found early this year, when I was searching for
    information on cheap digital cameras. A few cameras and lots
    of money later, I read now about every day.
    has been my primary instructor for learning photography. I have
    posted a few photos, and appreciate the little bit of feedback I've
    received. I've gotten ratings I don't agree with, and some I do.
    Maybe my perspective would be different if I was a pro, but to me,
    if you're offended by a crappy rating, then you're into photography
    for the wrong reasons. I've gotten photos back from a lab, that
    made the people there honestly say "wow", and then had them
    rated pretty poorly on Guess what, both are valid
    ratings. I have put a lot of time, effort, and money into my
    photography, and some of it is good, and some of it really sucks,
    and not everyone is going to agree on which category each piece
    is going to belong to. I do think the ratings system could be
    improved. The category of "originality" doesn't do much for me.
    For me the challenge of good photography is maintaining both a
    high level of, and a balance of, technical skill and artistic
    expression. I think the ratings system should be geared more
    towards those two things. Making comments mandatory with a
    rating, I think would just reduce the number of ratings, and I don't
    think that's productive. I do think that making a comment
    mandatory for an extreme rating would be good. Rating a photo
    1-3 and 8-10 should require an explanation of the rating from the
    critic. This would hopefully cut down on the number of casual
    1's and 10's. I don't think any system will completely eliminate
    ratings noise like self-rating or revenge raters. Anyway, that's my
    opinion. Many thanks to the community, and to Phil, for
    making such a great resource for me.
  85. i simply meant in averaging....the low ratings would be there just not used in the average.....i do not comunicate very well sometimes..well ok almost never......
  86. I think that making a comment a requirement for any numerical rating would help, then let the owner of the photo remove any comments/ratings he desires. Hopefully, most Photo.netters will be mature enough not to just delete a rating because it hurts their feelings, but only because the content of the post is somthing like "your feet stink and so does your camera."<p>
    Do away with the top rated photographers page, but have a page where I can filter for highly rated individual pictures - for that day where I just want to find a few good shots to help better my photographic vision.<p>
  87. Vuk, a few is a few.. ie. not many. But since you've decided to bring up specifics here's my summary on your examples
    1 - Nice B&W's... otherwise garlish manipulated colours, including that Red Ball POW!
    2 - Excellent!
    3 - couple of interesting ones...
    As far a 'no taste' I have my tastes, you have your's and I don't pretend to tell the world what your tastes should be.
    Now, how about you look at...
    All above your listed ones... P.S. c was humour!
  88. In addition to aesthetics and originality, add a third catagory to be rated - CONTENT.
  89. I'm in favour of the ratings system, despite the increasing abuse (which I think could be greatly lessened by implementing some of the ideas already posted; disabling the ability to rate your own photos, having some sort of 'Slashdot-esque' logic involved, etc).

    As someone already said, the "top rated photos" from the previous week/month etc is, for me, the best thing about the site because you do get some great photos in there that would otherwise be hard to find. The volume of images on this site necessitates some sort of numerical ratings system to find good images.

    While the Top-Rated Photographers" page does promote a negative competitive aspect, the ratings system that drives it does at least give you quick access to some undeniably good portfolios - e.g. with a comments-only system, it would be much harder to come across the likes of Tony Dummett, Dan Heller, David Julian - all 3 are regulars in the Top 10 or Top 20 and this is a fair reflection of their ability as photographers, IMHO. That's not a defence of the Top-Rated Photographers' page, but a vote for the ratings system.

    When I first came to 6 months ago, I spent hours refreshing the home page to view the randomly-generated photos that came up because you knew that they had either been hand-picked by the elves or were there because they were consistently highly rated. Again, another vote for ratings because, overall, the standard of these shots is high.

    Restricting the number of photos that a user can upload per day / week is a good idea and might prompt people to only post their best images.

    Restricting rating / commenting rights to new users should be based o
    on length of membership as opposed to portfolio content because there are some, like me, who haven't got their portfolios scanned yet but enjoy commenting and rating photos.

    I'm rambling now, but you get the drift. I think the ratings abuse should be the number one target, not the system itself, because that is plainly against the spirit of as a whole. But if you are going to change the system, we do need more criteria to rate by than just Aesthetics and Originality. Personally, I'd take Originality way completely; how many truly original photos are there left?
  90. Rajeev,you ask "what to do with the photo ratings systems?" One arguable option is scrap it. And that is still on the table I see. They do it with laws once in a while in a democracy. Die after a time unless someone reestablishes value and reenact. Back to zero, make it justify against objective and operating cost.(So,lets see if I got a few opinions clearly. Tony and Tom, both experienced and vocal gents- and venerable and prolific photographers,-like or favor the system and use to their benefit). Stirred their confidence even. Some others just LIKE it and its now part of the family and not to be flushed down the drain. Voted to tweak it. (Rajeev wants to know what parts to tweak, but that is coming out) Tony says the comments he sees are pretty blase throwaways. Hmm.Are they insufficient perhaps to the majority of critiqueniks. Another issue Rajeev? And,- hope I paraphrase riht,Tony,-heck-we may meet in a taverna one day over a Fosters :)- You wouldn't hire a job applicant based on a blabby reference without looking at numerical grades. OTOH Dave sees numerical grades have been prostituted in academia. Another poster: even pianists are rated numerically. The credibility there is I believe is that the judges are qualified,selected, confer and their results are not usually all over the scoreboard. I think this is not a poo poo item Michael and hope a few more users come in with some persuasive reasons on what they get out of numericals. I have no doubt les elves can manage-away some of the more egregius abuses.Aside to Michael: Personally, Mike I set up a portfolio for some examples of my work. I haven't posted in the critique for own good reasons. But I critique regularly when I find a shot interesting. You may want to use your workspace page to put up things you aren't submitting for competition. And competition and the "high" it entails is not to be dismissed. Just kind of feel that broad participation from an anonymous lot is not the best way to enter a competition for excellence.I could be wrong on that. Popularity maybe which has its own logic. Even Bush's pollmeisters use a random sampling process tho.)Thanks photonetskys for listening to us all. GS
  91. The rating system that is currently here on might be simple and flawed, but it is also easy and fast. People are lazy, and the vast majority of uploaded pictures never get even a simple rating.

    Removing the rating system or forcing people to leave comments will drastically reduce the number of photographs that get an expressed opinion from the already low rate.

    I believe that in order to keep the level of feedback level high, a very simple rating system is needed. I would even suggest removing the originality/cleverness rating and only retain an overall rating for the photograph. Especially since members often confuse what exactly they are voting for. I believe this rating needs to be numeric, if for no other reason than to make it easy to compute an average.

    In addition, I would suggest that a list of check boxes be added below the numeric rating, allowing members to leave quick feedback on a photograph. These check boxes might contain entries like "No foreground", "Weak composition", "Lack of depth", or any list of maybe ten items that capture the most basic problems with a photograph (I'm no expert, so don't put too much weight on my choice of examples). And at the bottom, a comment field would allow members to add further comments.

    Most photographs on this site are by definition average, and often suffer from at least one, if not several, basic flaws. A simple suggestion, by checking off one or comment entries, might go a long way for the learning photographer. And for the well executed photograph free from obvious flaws, the comment field at the bottom leaves room for more subtle suggestions.

    The checklist also serves as a reminder to the viewer to evaluate the photograph with a critical eye, and might inspire the viewer to write further comments, achieving the goal so often mentioned in this thread: more comments on posted photographs.
  92. Don't have time to read the entire thread so perhaps this was said before, but here's my opinion:

    1. Introduce some form of ID check (such as entering a valid credit card number and checking the name). This will slow down bogus user registrations. While you're at it, make it possible do donate money via those credit cards (don't want to use PayPal in Europe).

    2. If it were up to me, drop the rating system because the figures don't really mean a thing. If you want to keep the ratings, make it possible for people to turn them off. And thirdly, if someone submits a rating, it should at least be commented.
  93. I can'r say for the whole thing, but here are two suggestions.
    • With critique or rating system, it is important to maintain high ratio of people wanted to comment or rate to the number of works submitted. You should set limits necessary to maintain this ratio, the harsher the better.
      For instance, one image per month for critique sounds like the right number to me. Then the works submitted will get a decent review, and it will be more interesting to go through them. Also, there should be a limit of, say, 15 images per three months where you can uncheck the box "not to be submitted for critique".
      • There should be checks hindering creation of multiple accounts. One thing that comes to mind is IP check. If somebody wants to create a new account from IP already actively used by two or more accounts (show him these accounts), let him explain the reason (e.g. "this is the proxy server for our 10,000 employees corporation") and wait for manual review of his answer by elves. No 100% reliable check is possible, but I believe simply having basic checks in place will clean things up radically. Hopefully this won't be much burden if the checks are sufficiently lax.
      • I think it would be a bad idea to completely remove a service, e.g. ratings, top list, critique. You should only modify them, preserving if possible already accumulated information.
  94. Get rid of the numerical rating system, keep the comments. In addition to Photo of the Week, introduce a Portfolio of the Week. That way, it will be easier to spot the aspiring Tony Dummetts and Daniel Bayers who haven't made it to the top of the Member Rated page.
  95. Keep the ratings system - currrently the only filter for those like me who can only make very short visits to the forum, and don't have time to wade through all that's submitted. Perhaps clarify the ratings system - eg: 1: absolutely no merit; 2: barely adequate beginner's effort; 3: promising amateur effort; 4: hey, this is starting to be interesting; 5: worth submitting to local photo contest; 6: etc

    Vadim Makarov had some good suggestions. Particularly that regarding checking IP addresses to prevent bogus flooding. However, hotmail-type email addresses would not be amenable to checking using this? Also his suggestion for limiting the number submitted has merit.

    Earlier poster mentioned everyone having a "photos I like" section. I think this would be fantastic if it included reasons for liking them. Then we beginners could really start to understand.

    Perhaps also, if egos permitted, a section on "photos that are good but get no cigar" for some simple technical or other reason - photos with a flaw that has ruined an otherwise good shot.
  96. IP addresses aren't worth the trouble. The majority of service providers use dynamic addressing for their clients. Most major networks only have a small number of shared external ip addresses for thousands of users. On my home dsl line there have been plenty of times I've had for computers and users online at the same time. Not to mention this other stupid thing I did for a couple of friends that somehow got public and people were using my proxy for god knows what :(
  97. I think that the more complete information of the member contributions, the better. We would spot manipulation/orientation easily.
    Suggestion: Lower the number of ratings per day on the same member?
  98. Comments. At least you know how your image is perceived.

    Possibly rating as poor, reasonable, average, good, very good. (but more relevant photographic terms) on SPECIFIC things - perhaps technical competence, aesthetic qualities, and one more.

    Possibility of applying to have certain ratings/raters removed/blocked from your images if you feel they are abusing the system (not just because they think your work is not very good - its easy to see how they generally score people)

    Remove the element of competition - this is not about winning prizes as far as I am aware (or perhaps I missed something?)

    Thats my 2 pence worth (Sterling) for now. But, a question, what does everyone have against hotmail addresses? I am a Hotmail user, I have (too many!) pics uploaded, have been here a little while (and visiting a LOT longer)
  99. I don't know how bad the situation with dynamic IPs is, but a can collect IP profile of the member, i.e. the set of IP addresses he's accessing from, with number of visits from each address. To reduce server load, IP can be recorded only when the member contributes something (a vote, posting, etc.).
    Then it would be possible to publish a statement like this:
    This account shares IP profile with these members who also voted on the same photos (and had no other contribution than voting, had skewed/discrete distribution of votes, etc.)...
    Checking distribution of votes is another way to spot possible abuse, i.e. if low and high votes prevail in the distribution.
    Of course, it would be more fun to devise a system that wouldn't require such police-style enforcements (not very efficient anyway), but self-regulate. Hopefully we can find the system that is perceived as fair by the majority and that nobody feels urge to abuse.
  100. I have read many times that the comments are considered of (much) more use than the ratings, but the fact is it takes a lot of time to write a good comment. Therefore the number of ratings is much, much higher. I have a few photos with 25 or more ratings and only 1 or 2 comments. Doing away with the rating system will therefore give a lot of photographers very little or no feedback - I don't expect the number of comments will increase after the rating system stops. Of course what you learn from these ratings is very much a personal thing, but for myself I have definitely learned from it and I certainly wouldn't want to miss it - despite the few problems it is experiencing.

    A few alterations I would suggest: increase the number of photos needed for a listing from 3 to 10 (that has been suggested earlier). Also I would suggest that only the 10 best photos (with >10 ratings)in someone's portfolio are used to calculate the average. (but still all the photos with >10 ratings are shown)
    The reason for this is: there are quite a few photographers with very good photos in their portfolio but their average is lowered by their 'lesser' photos. Some choose to delete the photos that get lower ratings, others don't and that seriously influences one's ranking. For instance: if I was to delete all but my best 3 photos my rating would go from 11.78 to (app.) 12.7 getting me to no. 20 - a place where I definitely don't belong :(
  101. Drop the ratings, keep the comments. Good photographs will inevitably draw more comments, so change the "top-rated" for "most popular".

    It would be nice to have categories too (portrait, landscape, wildlife, sport, etc).

    Sounds like, doesn't it?
  102. A lot of people have suggested things I really like, but I'll echo them here anyway...

    - Assign some sort of "value" to the numerical rating. 1=waste of electrons, 2=well, could be worse, etc.

    Why: Well, I do like to see, when people rate my photos, how I stand in relation to other photos they've rated. But it's hard to quantify "try cropping the top 1 inch, and I think it would be better," isn't it? If each number has some sort of a "value" like this, it would to some extent help standardize the process, but it would give more information about that person's opinion at the same time. I like the actual numerical rating because it can be quantified. Sure, what does it mean when one of my photos gets a 1/1 from one person, and a 7/7 from another? One person didn't like it, one person did (within reason), which brings me to another point...

    - someone mentioned "photos this person found interesting" or "photos this person rated highly", or something similar, that could be added to a member profile. I LIKE IT!

    Why: If someone rates one of my photos with 1/1, unless s/he give a reason for it, I know they didn't like it, but I don't know why. If I find that all the pictures they like have dogs in them, and mine was of a cat, well, that gives me a clue of how their mind works. If all the pictures they like have cats, but they still rated my cat low, maybe I'll even write to them (or my cat will!) and ask them how to improve.

    - standard deviation on the "this member has rated X photos, with an average of Y for originality and Z for aesthetics." Please.

    Why: Someone rates a photo of mine, for example, with 7/7. I look at his/her profile, and find that s/he has a mean of 5/5 for the 100 photos they have rated. Now, that could reflect 50 photos that got 7/7, and 50 photos that got 3/3. That still would yield a mean of 5/5. But, if it says mean of X and SD of Y, that tells me more about where I stand in relation to their likes/dislikes.

    A couple of things that have been suggested, either here or in other threads, are not among my favorite ideas. The top ones are:

    - require a "real" (non-hotmail, non-yahoo) e-mail address in order to be able to rate photos.

    Why: I have one computer. It belongs to my company. I can take the laptop home with me, but if I want to surf, I have to connect through the company's server, and use the company's software. Which limits my non-work e-mail use to ones that are on the web. I have Yahoo at the moment. Why don't I use my work address for my membership? Because I'd prefer to limit the number of non-work e-mails I get at work.

    Suggestion: Prefer, but NOT require, that if one uses a hotmail, yahoo, etc. account, one also provides, FOR CHECKING PURPOSES ONLY, and only at the time of registration, a working "real" account.

    - "you can't rate anyone else's work until X of your photos have been rated."

    Why: If a photo of mine is not rated, there might be at least two reasons: 1. Low "visibility". If it doesn't get seen, it ain't gonna get rated. 2. it's not a good photo.

    If no one has rated my photos, does that mean that my opinion does not matter? Or, to really throw fuel on the fire here, does that mean that I don't have a right to an opinion?

    Suggestion: Please, don't put on this restriction. In my opinion, that will actually lead to shenanigans, as people who want to act like DaBomber will get their "cohorts" who can rate, to rate their photos, so that then they can be DaBomber and give everyone low ratings. Did that make any sense at all?? :)

    I'm sorry this got so long. But I think this is a question that needed to be asked, so thank you for asking it.

  103. It seems to me from my perusal of this thread that the general consensus is to either do away with the ratings, or significantly change the process. I have also seen a majority talk about how comments are helpful/appreciated and ratings are either not helpful, or certainly not as helpful as the comments. I would suggest that the ratings be set up in such a way that a significant (or at least pertinent) comment must first be posted and that comment becomes your "ticket" into the rating page. (I personally don't even so much as glance at the ratings, but I do read and take into consideration ALL of the comments.)
  104. Keep a free, public site, but why not move accounts to a subscription-based service, with a fee for those who wish to set up an account. Wouldn't that cut down on the abusers, duplicate accounts, and number of hit-and-run artists? That way the ratings and comments system becomes more valuable, and can stay as is. With the money I spend on annual photo magazine subscriptions plus others I buy on the news stand, having the community is worth at least $10 to $20 a year to me.

    p.s. Mark Meyer's suggestion of "Add this photo to your favorites" is a good one.
  105. Subject: Response to Photo Rating Suggestions

    This thread got too long, so these suggestions may have already been made, but here's my vote:
    1. Eliminate the numerical rating system entirely.

    2. Require comments like in the nature critique forum.

    3. Limit postings to one a week, like on the nature forum. This will eliminate mass postings and cause people to be more choosy about what they post.

    4. Limit the option to post to people who have first made at least five comments anywhere within (except the unmoderated forum and the classifieds) before they can post a picture for critique. You shoud have the technology to do this, as you can already search for comments and other contributions within when you click on someone's name. That way, you are limiting the option to post pictures to those who contribute to, while eliminating people who merely want to take from

    I rarely look at the galleries. The shear volume and the arbitrariness of it all discourages me. I usually will view someone's gallery only if one of their shots pops on my screen and I really like it. Only when I am really bored will I search for top rated photos after I have changed the search criteria to >7, >7. If you implement these changes (and throw out all the old fluff), I will start looking at the galleries.

    Thanks for asking for feedback.
  106. There will be no concensus until we agree what the problems are. I would propose an issue list.

    What are the general solvable issues?

    1. Remove abuses
    2. Promote USEFUL discussion in image reviews, feedback to posters
    3. Minimize time impact on philg and gang

    Does everyone agree that these three items are the key to finding a resolution to the photo rating system?

    How do you resolve 1? User moderation system
    How do you resolve 2? Provide insentives for people adding USEFUL feedback on images... ie. User moderation system
    How do you resolve 3? User moderation system, no fixed moderators.

    Just my 3.5 cents.
  107. Vuk has noticed that the elves seem to have done away with all "1/1" ratings. True.

    But they have failed to recalculate the resultant averages correctly, giving wrong numbers of ratings and then wrong results as the averages underneath the picture. The average rating for a particular picture seems to have remained unchanged (?).

    Is this a plot? or just a bug?

    And I agree with Mike Spinak... it's useful to know what kinds of pictures "sell". The Ratings System gives an inkling of this to those who are interested. Sometimes we're not the best judge of our own work. This assumes of course that it's "OK" to want your work to be judged. It's the old "Noble Artist Shivering In His Garret" vs. "Show Pony Who Goes to ALL The Openings" syndrome rearing its ugly head again. Some of us revel in the attention and others declare, "I vant to be alone". All I can say is, "it takes all kinds" and stopping the ratings smacks of puritanistic censorship.

    Let us shallow, vain, deluded dilettantes have our fleeting moment of glory (and sometimes it's not so glorious either). You idealists out there (and above) can hack off your ears in disgust at our naiveity and do the hair-shirt and ashes hermit thing - no one's trying to stop YOU. Why should you try to stop US?

    Reform the system (and fix the calculations while you do it) and get on with Life in the fast or slow lane - whatever takes your fancy.
  108. How about only allow people who have uploaded photos to rate
    photos. Sometimes I get low ratings from someone on a shot,
    and I think it just might not be their cup of tea. But when I check
    them out, they have nothing posted, so I can't tell if my picture of
    satan just clashes with their kitten shot sensibilities.
  109. Get rid of the ratings. Completely. Personally, I like the way it used to be -- allowing photo uploads and comments to them, but without a forum dedicated to critiquing and without numerical ratings, both of which have torn apart the community rather than brought it together IMO.
  110. I don't think the rating system or the top-rated page should be scrapped as I think that they are useful to a lot of people. I'm a beginner and like to be able to get examples of good photos and going through the top-rated page, while imperfect, is one of the easiest ways to do this. Without ratings it would be very difficult to find the best and I would probably give up trying.

    I like the "photos this person likes" idea, which also gave me another idea. Why not have a list of all the photographs a person has rated along with the ratings instead of just the average? Then when someone gives you a rating you can actually see how and what they rate, giving you a better idea of the worth of their opinion. If they give bad ratings to photos you think are good then you can ignore them. It would also give you an idea of what photos they do/don't like and maybe show you if your stuff is/isn't what they are into.

    Just an idea. Lisa.
  111. "There is an inherent silliness in assigning quantitative ratings to artistic expression." Yes!
  112. 1) replace the numeric rating with the number of comments.
    2) verify user login has valid email address, when a login is created.
    3) only allow one comment per user login per image.
    4) provide a list of most-commented images.

    Comments are the most valuable piece of information that a creator can get. Roger Ebert would be writing obits in Onarga, IL if he didn't back up his star rating with informed criticism.

    Yes, people can abuse the system by putting in acronyms or mono-syllabic flames, but they can only do it once per image.

    Tighter control of user logins would be widely beneficial to

    Thanks for for the good work.
  113. Problems noted here include: critiquing by members who don't themselves have any photos posted; targeting of members by others with punitive or "revenge" ratings; and photos not getting rated at all.
    Something that would help: Limit the ability to rate photos to a feature which would be inserted into the photo uploading process, that would require a member to rate 1 photo (or more) for every photo of theirs that they upload. Also, make the photographer anonymous to the rater at that stage – i.e., you just see a photo, and the rating box and optional comment box. Also, don't show ratings already given to that photo. Set it up so that you can't upload your photo, until you rate the displayed photo(s).
    Advantages: You have make a contribution to the forum (by helping somebody else get an idea of how they're doing) in order to get a benefit from the forum (getting your own photo seen). It's fair, it may deter some folks from just posting stuff for the hell of it, and it will contribute to everyone who has posted a photo having a chance at getting some feedback. Also, at the time you make your rating, you don't know who the photographer is, so you can't nail 'em out of personal spite or puff 'em out of personal friendship, and you don't know how other folks have rated the photo, so you can't just follow the crowd (or be an intentional contrarian).
    An important aspect of this has to be: This is the only way photos are rated. Sure, it's random, but if there's really all this anguish about people targetting other people, that's the only way you're going to effectively address it. If you want to specifically comment on the photos of someone you wander across, use the "Comment" option. Also: no capability to go back later and "adjust" your rating. You ought to have to live with it. Maybe that will make people think a little bit harder about what they drop on somebody. Also, leave in place the current system by which the identity of the rater is disclosed.
  114. A killer may kill u once but a hacker have this chance as long as you live.
    Sorry, photonet conscience, but I missed something. When hacking is worse than death, you may as well put a gun to your head, because you've lost the meaning of living. If you're using a bogus username to protect the customers in your business, than get a personal, separate email account to write more direct commentary. Using the tactics of "hackers" only legitimizes hackers.
  115. Although not specifically related to ratings per se, one of the interesting and overarching ideas I've picked up in all this is a mechanism to limit the number of photos that a person posts. Given the junk one has to wade through, I think this is an excellent way to improve the site in general and it should also provide a tighter sense of community here that may promote greater honesty in evaluation. I would also gladly pay a $20 yearly fee for advanced member privileges.

    Also, as I've said before, if any changes are made to the ratings system, the current totals will be rendered invalid--in fact they already are: my educated guess is that making everything open to view has probably led to some substantial overall scoring inflation (one is less likely to leave a low points and face retaliation, confrontation or simply looking mean-spirited), which is going to favour more recent pictures over old, established photos that have received most of the rating they can expect. How is this going to be dealt with? Will everyone have resubmit everything? I don't see a simple solution, perhaps someone else does.

    BTW--Tony is correct in spotting the current calculation error: I am getting a phantom pair of scores (1 and 1) added to the tally even though they don't show up in the list of ratings for the picture. For example, it will say that picture has been rated 7 times, but if you look at the details only 6 are listed; plus, the phantom 7th is being used in the average.

  116. Please do not change the top-rated photographer page and take away the most important goal in my lif right now -- catching up to Mr. Potato Head the Travelling Tuber.
  117. I was trying to figure out why I object so much to the numerical ratings, since I don't participate. However, the problems from the ratings spill over into the forums. Who needs that?
    A member gets a 1/1 rating from another member, and writes to find out the reason for the rating. When he receives the reason, he gets hurt, feels oppressed, and starts a thread of more than a hundred contributions that have little to do with photography.
    One of the most useful things about is the rating of sellers by members. We don't use numerical ratings for that. Why not? Because they are useless.
  118. I think its useful to draw a distinction between provding critique and feedback to aid learning and giving ratings to indicate approval, provide encouragement and to help identify worthwhile/interesting photos. I think the former is much better served by comments but for the latter numeric ratings are also very useful if only to allow a search/filter facility for finding the better pictures (assuming that that many come here, at least in part, to look at, enjoy and learn from good photographs and that noone wants a fcaility to search for bad pictures).

    Therefore I would like a ratings system where the ratings are either not to leave a rating or to rate on a scale of 5 to 10. This is not to discourage criticism (quite the opposite) but to confine it to comments which would would hopefully make it more helpful and constructive than simple low scores whilst still retaining the advantages of a numeric rating.

    Such a scale would also solve a lot of the abuse and acrimony as you can't really give be malicious with a 5 (or at least not as effectively as it is implicitiy some kind of approval). If you disagree with a picture's high rating you can still register disapproval via a comment but have to back it up with your reasons.

    I'm also in favour of a requirement that you rate and comment on (say) 10 photographs for each of your own you submit for review. Overall I'd rather have a reduced number of high quality and instructive/encouraging reviews than the current random number of often unreliable numeric ratings. Also submission for rating should be an explicit opt-in to accomodate those don't want any part of the ratings system.

    I would keep the "top rated photographers" list but I think its primary benefit is to draw attention to the interesting porfolios and its current incarnation promotes the sort of competetiveness that leads to lot of the problems with the ratings system at present. I would make its entry criteria more stringent, order it alphabetically and not publish the overall scores. It could be a sort of "Highly Commended" section (or two or three sections with increasingly stringent requiements for entry).

  119. By the way, Spud (the travellin' tuber) has not created any custom data fields.
  120. "Please do not change the top-rated photographer page and take away the most important goal in my lif right now -- catching up to Mr. Potato Head the Travelling Tuber." -- Jeff Moag

    Jeff, I understand how you feel. Until a revenge ratings bomber got me, I enjoyed several days directly atop Amy Powers.

    Matthew, you've brought up some good suggestions, but how do you propose we deal with ratings on pictures already uploaded and rated if switching to a new 5-10 system?
  121. The top-rated photographers list, which contributes to "ratings fever", relies on ratings which implicitly assert a degree of precision that is unjustifiable. Anybody remember "significant digits"? If you measure something only to the degree of precision represented by an integer, you can't take your data and average it out and then assert that you can distinguish a difference between two things that come out at, say, 5.01 and 5.02. Given the degree of accuracy in your measurement, that distinction is simply not significant.

    <p>The top-rated photographers list, if it is retained, should be "banded". The simplest and most defensible way to do it would be to have 10 "bands" (i.e., avg. 0.00-0.99, 1.00-1.99, 2.00-2.99, etc.), and to then list people alphabetically within bands. It would give a general idea of how peoples' work is assessed, without the wholly unrealistic sense of exactitude that the rating averages now imply, with their significance pushed out to the .01 level.
  122. We seem to have two camps here on those who think the ratings are worthwhile and those who don’t. How can we make them both happy? Opt-in.

    Make participating in the ratings game a per user variable:
    * No! You can’t reduce Art to a mere Number.
    * Yes, I wanna race with the other rats!

    Until you opt-in, you cannot rate other photos/galleries and no one can rate yours. Comments and commenting would be unaffected.

    Just because we cannot make ratings perfectly free of abuse does not mean that it’s useless to try making it more difficult to abuse. So, you can’t opt-in until certain criteria have been met:
    * you have a validated e-mail address (hotmail, etc. OK if validated)
    * you have uploaded at least N pictures

    Why have the posting requirement? Well, with comments your words stand on their own (but see below). But with ratings, we need something with which to calibrate information (the Satan/Bunny conundrum). For those of you too lazy^H^H^H^Hbusy to contribute any of your own works, you can still contribute exactly as you do now with comments. Optionally, a “photos that I like” section could substitute for posting, but there would have to be a minimum number of different photographers represented.

    You can opt-out at anytime. If you do, then all of your ratings, both of your photos and ratings you have given to others, are erased. It’s all or nothing. You can always opt back in again (perhaps after uploading at least N new photos?)

    Comment feedback: For each comment on a photo, the photographer can indicate: this comment was helpful/interesting/useless/insulting. Aggregate data on this goes into a user’s profile. Suggesting little stars next to the commentor’s name based on this feedback is probably a little too crass, but you get the drift. While this is somewhat subject to abuse, you will at least have an indication who is tactful/helpful and who is thin-skinned/vindictive.
  123. Vuk wrote:

    "Until a revenge ratings bomber got me, I enjoyed several days directly atop Amy Powers."

    Whereas I have until recently been directly atop Spud the travellin' tuber. I think you got the best of this deal.
  124. Matthew,

    I hate to say this, but if the scale is from 5 to 10 then the blitzers will give 5/5s instead of 10/10s. Think about it....

    I really don't care too much if someone gives me a genuine very low rating. If they don't like a pic then good for them! It's the blitzers that pattern-rate who make the skin crawl (this goes for the 10/10ers as well - and yes, I have a few of THEM in my ratings lists, to my great embarassment).

    I've also been "guilty" of irrationally rating pictures low in the past just because I don't like the genre or the subject matter. That's my prerogative, ain't it? I've also rated many pictures highly and the average aesthetics rating I dole out (according to the elves) is about 5 - near enough to average. Sometimes I'm in a bad mood and sometimes I'm in a good mood. Sometimes I'm just tired. Sometimes I don't look carefully enough at the details (because the thumbnails are so small). But that doesn't mean I'm a blitzer. The other raters will correct any mistakes I made with the Law of Averages.

    But I've also posted the first or second rating on POWs a few times, well before they were adjudicated as such. So it's swings and roundabouts.

    All this stuff about trawling for IP addresses, and publicly shaming people who rate low, freezing their ratings etc. is getting very totalitarian indeed. What do you guys want? Everyone gets a 10 and a teddy bear?

    The thing that started all this was a few stupid blitzers who had a hack into the system because it was easy to do so. Photonet Conscience has identified a few (they stood out like dogs cojones anyway, but his analysis and defense of it was masterful). Many of these guys and gals have disappeared from the site or deleted their offending images. Good result!

    If Mr. Conscience can do it, why can't the moderators of this site? (as noted above, they've tried, but the last attempt fell a little short on the math). The answer is of course they CAN, and I hope they do. But I vote against getting rid of the system altogether (do I, do WE even have a vote?).

    One of the things I discovered from the ratings system was that B&W "street" shots are well-commented, but poorly rated. Color shots of pretty landscapes rate better, but excite more gushy comments (i.e. flattering but generally of lower analytical standards - not that I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth or anything ungrateful like that). Anti-B&Wism is a site-wide phenomenon - there certainly seems to be a bias against B&W candid photography. This is important if you're considering re-envigorating a career in professional photography. You have to know what "sells" (again, as proposed above). As a direct result of the ratings game I've consigned my B&W efforts to the "private use only fine art" domain of my photographic efforts. Disappointing personally, but pragmatic.

    I see nothing wrong with subjective ratings or voting in general. If the voters are reasonably genuine then there's no problem. Most of the traps suggested above would slow the process down. There MUST be a way to eliminate the rogues as they're so easy to spot "manually". Surely some software whiz could do it without turning into Fort Apache, The Bronx or (worse) some kind of therapy page for sensitive souls or (the WORST) a photographic site where photographic appreciation is confined to only being allowed to say nice things about others' work. Sometimes a photographer needs a blunt and brutal kick in the ass to get him or her to realise they're on the wrong track. I've sure had a few and "thanks" for that whoever you are. It did me good.


    A section of the "Services Photonet" post that has received little or no discussion is the proposal for we photo.netters to provide private lists of blitzers. Surely they aren't serious? This is straight out of Stalin's text book. The elves should be able to detect these themselves without the use of anonymous "informants".

    Goodnight all...
  125. Dave.

    It doesn't work exactly that way in psychometrics. What you would have to define instead are ranges of significant differences from a fairly elaborate calculation that considers number of votes, mean scores and standard deviations (although you'd be violating all kinds of statistical assumptions like homogeneity of variance, random sampling and equal cell sizes, given how the system functions here). In any case, I don't think it would really do away with competitiveness, as people would probably be clawing and scratching their way into a higher division, and then stomping on those at the top of the lower one to avoid relegation. I can just see distrubutions of scores with everyone clustered near the top and bottom of groups. (Then just imagine those final decisive games at the end of the season and all the bribery/fixing/shaving we'd have to deal with ;-)


    The eBay-style character assas^H^H^H^H^Hrating is a great idea! Have a section in the member profile where others can leave comments about the person as photographer, critic and contributer.
  126. yeah, ditch the ratings. i see why plenty of people want them, but i
    think those have more to do with finding 'good' photos and photogs (a
    function of contests) than with learning, sharing, discussing, or
    questioning (a function of web communities). i am a huge fan of mark
    meyers' suggestion about introducing a feature through which i might
    see what shots/photogs another member recommends. i am far more
    interested in having shots recommended to me by members whose opinion
    i respect than in seeing what the general masses (obviously including
    the fakes and jerks) rate highest. maybe you could choose a panel of
    respected members or guest judges each week to choose some
    particularly good shots or portfolios to serve the function that the
    top-rated photogs list serves now. good luck and i look forward to
    hearing your decisions. * b
  127. Yeah, Vuk, the "banding" I suggested would definitely be a "quick-and-dirty" version, not up to any real statistician's standards. But as far as the "distributions of scores with everyone clustered near the top and bottom of groups", maybe the scores would be there, but we wouldn't see it -- what I meant to suggest, was that within these rough "bands", there would be only the names - no individual ratings. Thus, John Doe (5.01) and Joe Dirt (5.99) could be listed right next to one another in the 5.00-5.99 "band". All anybody would be able to tell, though, would be that they both had average ratings somewhere in that band.
  128. I would keep the ratings AND the best-photographers list. Try to get rid of bogus ratings, there are many ways of discerning them. The system will never be perfect, but it can be made to work well enough.

    I think most of the ratings are sincere and such are better than nothing, which is what most photos would get if the fast-and-easy number rating system was abolished.

    The "top photographers" list allowed me to see some of the best images here. Also, I found it very usefull to look at the portfolios of people who are ranked near me.

    I'm in favor of limiting the number of submitted photos to a reasonable number per day per photographer.

    I would also like to be able to separate newly posted photos into (broad) categories so that when critiquing recent uploads I don't have to go through a lot of photos whose subjects I don't care about and therefore have no desire to critique.

    One last suggestion - the criteria for the selection of the photocritique image on the main page should be loosened - I often get an image that I have already seen several times. I wouldn't worry about selecting a low-rated image from time to time.
  129. Ratings are useful. Why? Because you then find out whether or not other people like the work you are doing. OK, so it's evidently open to abuse, big deal, so is every system. If you don't like it you don't have to participate. You can opt not to have your images rated.

    Now comments on the other hand are fantastic - particularly if they give suggestions as to how to improve a picture, what's wrong with a picture etc. Even WHY you like or don't like a picture. I take the time to send a quick e-mail to the user who sends me a comment - just to say thanks for taking the time. I usually also take the time to look through their portfolios as well, even if I don't rate or comment on any of them. Everytime I see a new comment on one of my photos I let out a sub vocal wooohooo and check it out. I even get excited when I come across one of my photos that has actually received a rating. It seems strange to see a photo has been seen 19,000 times and recived only like 10 ratings (not that any of mine have yet reached (or will ever?) such peaks.

    Is it ridiculous to subject "art" to a rating system? No! But we can't expect everyone's ideas of what is art and what is good art to be the same. It's a subjective thing by its very nature. Photography is not always art - it may "just" be a record. An aesthetically pleasing one at times, but is for example landscape photography "art"? Or is it "just" a record of a beautiful view? What about photojournalism?

    "Art", although conventionally percieved as so is not necessarily aesthetically pleasing (take much of Damien Hirst's (sp?) work. Rotting meat and flies, cows and sheep cut in half, bottles full of dead fish. Is that art? It's certainly not altogether aesthetically pleasing! Well, it gets displayed in renowned art galleries, and acclaimed by the experts, so I guess it must be.

    I can't see why someone would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a piece of canvas bigger than most people's houses because it has an arbitrary pattern in the middle of it (like a square in one colour) in the middle of it, a catchy title and because for some reason "art critics" like it. Well, that's the way I see a lot of modern art. =\

    sorry meandered off topic a bit there =)

    How do I rate images? I look at the image, decide if I like it and how much I like it. I go on gut feeling. As for originality - have I ever seen anything like it before? Oh, look at that, it's a kid with cake on his face. Originality pretty low =) Originality of my images? Well, pretty low too I guess. Aesthetics? Some of them I rather like =)

    Now I wouldn't hold any of my photographs up as being great; some of them I personally rather like, but I would never consider myself an artist. A lot of the images in my portfolio I have only uploaded because I want to show others a lot of views of a country I happen to rather like (hence my guide to it). And I'm a rank beginner at this game, having had a camera for a grand total of less than 7 months or so (if we exclude a second hand manual camera I bought when I was 15 for the (to me) staggering price of $60 - it broke irreperably after I put just two rolls of film though it. Topcon was a good brand name for the product!). OK, some of my pictures are far older than 7 months (they were taken with disposable cameras), but they are literally just "snapshots". So I think I might have to create a folder of images I think are good. =)

    I wish there was a delete all ratings button in the manage your ratings section, as reading the comments above has basically meant I have a better idea of where other people stand and I want to start again. Going to take quite some time over my connection to do that one by one...

    So, keep ratings yes! Encourage (make compulsory?) comment Yes! (I have been pretty guilty of just rating an moving on - I (and everyone else) know just how much more interesting and useful comments would be). I would rate more photos, but my connection is pathetic - so in a way coming along and giving "karma" points would disadvantage people who lack the time or bandwidth resources to rate a lot.

    I think it is quite nice to be able to see what other people have rated you, but I think it definitely means if you don't like an image, someone will come along and slate your images, just because they didn't like the fact that you rated their photos lower - it's human nature I guess. This is going to lead to people not rating photos low in the scale (even if they perhaps deserve it).

    But don't make the ratings anonymous again, as it is nice to be able to go and look at the other people who have looked at your work and reciprocate (positively, folks!) by doing the same for theirs.

    As for restricting number of uploads, it could work, I guess, but many people would disagree with it. I don't know what the largest number of member uploaded photos is (excluding Mr. Greenspun of course!), but I saw one user in the high 700's the other day... That's only a few rolls of film in the scheme of things. Best way to conquer the critique bloat rather than restricting uploads it to restrict critique numbers.

    Do I think is great? Yes! I have learnt a lot by coming here, and look forward to the day when a lot of people (or even a few) decide my work is worth something (i.e. appreciated) - and along the way, having other people help me grow (by criticising photos, giving advice etc.), and if I can, helping others. It's always a shame when really pretty minor things incite huge "riots" - I've seen it happen often online.

    Can you help financially? Well, there is a nominal subscription fee you can pay for photocritique alerts - and I paid it to support You also get a rather snazzy alias too =) By buying from the associated retailers (if only some of them were in this country!), you will support it. But in a way, you will also help it just by being here and contributing your time, knowledge and photos - putting back into a website or any community by giving it something (content) is perhaps the best way to support it. Write articles, read the forums and participate as much as you can. More content = more visitors = (more referrals = more cash) etc.

    Finally, a brief vote of thanks to the staff, and all the members, both of which go to make what it is. =)
    (incidentally, I pronounce the dot in "photo dot net" too).

    Hope someone finds this useful.
  130. Let me give you an example of why I think the numerical ratings suck: You have just finished having "intimate relations" with your partner... he/she says "I give it a 6 out of 10" without any other comment. Hmmm... kinda leaves ya guessing, and out in the cold. Well, how do you get a higher "score" the next time? Try harder you say? Darn, this time you get a 5... when they finally explain the reason the ratings were low, it's because "you were trying too hard!" Actually, my biggest problem with the numbers game is that it makes it very easy to throw ratings out without explaning, or "backing up" your statements. Critique is a personal thing and requires communication, besides it's very difficult to clarify what the scale means, with each of us having our own idea of what a number represents, both when critiquing, and when being critiqued! Thanks very much for bringing this up.
  131. it seems people raise two main problems with the rating system.

    1) its not very instructive, and 2) its rife with abuse, trolls, etc

    I don't know how to help the first one, but as for the second, how about adopting a google-style ranking system? Google ranks a web page based on how many other pages have links referring to it. Each of those referring links is weighted by the ranking value of the referring page. Similarly, you can weight the ratings people assign a photo with a combination of the rater's own ratings, the number of people who have "marked this person as interesting" etc.

    A side benefit of this is that all the people who trash others' photos without submitting any photos of their own for critique would have their ratings count less. I'm not sure how well this approach works when only a few people rate each photo, and I don't know how you would transition between the current system and one like this, though.
  132. Vuk said: "Matthew, you've brought up some good suggestions"

    Thank you -- I shall immediately trawl through your postings desperately searching for something I agree with and lavish it with praise ;-)

    "but how do you propose we deal with ratings on pictures already uploaded and rated if switching to a new 5-10 system"

    Don’t know -- seems a shame to just throw them away when, by and large, many people have put in the effort and provided an honest opinion. Possibly just batch convert the old ratings to a static comment on each currently rated photo and switch over to a new system (whatever that might be). Otherwise have the higher rated photos converted to equivalent ratings in the new system with some kind of moderation from the powers that be as required.

    Tony D. said "I hate to say this, but if the scale is from 5 to 10 then the blitzers will give 5/5s"

    Granted the malicious could still bring a picture down a few points, but if a 5 is defined as "above average" or "worthy of note" and this is well known then it’s less open to abuse. If one thinks of 1/1 as the equivalent of someone just shouting “Crap” for no apparent reason then the people given to such behaviour would probably be less inclined to do so if the worst they could shout was “Pretty good actually”.

    My point is that ratings are a blunt instrument but do have certain advantages and uses and can be rewarding and fun (lets not forget that). High ratings might actually, as you rightly pointed out earlier, say little more than “Superb” suffer less from the obvious disadvantages and can be of value for various reasons. Low ratings by contrast are at best unhelpful and often, as we have seen, just cause arguments and bad feeling and comments are a far more appropriate vehicle.

    BTW If anyone’s interested I run a 1/1 Survivors group that meets on Tuesday’s in the church hall. We have group hugs and burn effigies of DaBomber ;-)
  133. It's NOT true that the elves have thrown out all of the 1/1 ratings. I've still got my share of them. And just today, all of my photos were given a 1/1 by someone called the "Pink Evil," which happens to be the same name as a woman I knew briefly in Amsterdam...but that's another story.
    My suggestions. Lower the rating range from 1-10 to 1-5. List everybody in the top photographer list, making it a total list with the higher rated photogs at the top. Throw out the current ratings and start over.
    Or, throw the whole thing out.
  134. Quite a long thread. Just a few observations.
    Self-rating is pretty lame. Probably should be removed.
    I like the way we can now see who's been doing the ratings; the anonymity of the previous setup was far too easy to abuse. I especially like the way it came without warning.
    I think the most ratings I've had on a photograph is about 35. To me, that rounds down to zero. For that matter, 150 ratings rounds down to zero as well. The only photos that have any degree of statistical accuracy, in my mind, are those that are rated by a number well outside the bell curve. I've used the sorter a number of times, and invariably when I ask for high numbers and LOTS of ratings, I get a selection of damn good photographs. And as for the "top-rated" photographer list, I probably haven't looked below #10. Again, I see no signs of tampering there: Tony Dummett's work is the kind of stuff that makes me want to sell all my gear on eBay tonight; the difference between ranking 655 and 656 is meaningless to me.
    I don't think can regulate or legislate maturity. Unless you limit ratings to those who pay for the web site, you're going to get shills and trolls. I'll confess it bugged me the first time I found a troller. I shoot some sports on occasion, which I understand is not everybody's cup of tea. Nor, for that matter, am I by any means a professional sports photographer (I shoot from the stands at pro football games for chrissakes). So why did one fellow meticulously come along and give me a 1/1 on every sports photo? Who knows. Who cares. Maybe he's a Cowboys fan. But at least I know have the knowledge that he's a troll, and will, if I see some recommendation from him in the forums, or a product for sale from him in the swap shop, know to approach him with some caution.
    Someone else mentioned opting in (or out) of the ratings game. That's fine with me as well. Let's tweak the process, not kill it. And I like the idea of a third rating for content as well.
  135. If the elves think that a "rate the comments" mechanism would get out of hand and lower the tone of discourse, it can be simply reduced to a single yes/no: Was this comment helpful? Record the "yes" and ignore the "no". When you lookup a user you might see s/he has made 100 comments, and 30 were noted as helpful. That tells you positive information while leaving any lack of feedback ambiguous. If someone has 100 comments and none were noted as helpful you can deduce either that either this person never has anything useful to say or s/he only comments on photos of users who do not care enough to give feedback.
  136. I think I remember hearing that in beauty contests they weed out the top and bottom rating from the judges to remove the bias factor. Is that a good idea? Please dont get all hot on me for comparing
    photography to a beauty contest. I am just suggesting one algorithm for reducing skewed ratings.

    Also, DEFINITELY drop the possibility of self-rating. That is plain silly. I am surprised it was even allowed in the first place.

    I became a member several months ago and I visit this site pretty much daily. I uploaded my first picture a few weeks ago and was thrilled - THRILLED - when someone wrote a comment and rated it.
    Since then I have tried to request a photo critique - almost daily - and ask for comments and faithfully tried to follow-up to see if anyone left comments. My hope was to break into the top-rated 1000+ or so - so that I'd atleast know for sure that I did not suck big-time. Ok maybe I still suck but I hope not too badly. When I did break in ( at some 600+ ) I was really satisfied. Now I want to buy a 80-200/L lens for 500-1000 bucks but am I really going to be able to take good photos? If all I will do is take bitingly sharp lousy photos, then I might as well stay with my 28-80 EF for now. The rating system tells me - even if a bit inaccurately - if I have any talent for photography.

    I like the top member rated photos page. I like the way Heller and Dummet and Bayer rotate around the top 10. Sort of like those Edberg-Becker Wimbledon years.

    I also want to react to some other suggestions :

    1. Pay up some $ before you can rate? Bad idea. What about people who cant afford it from other parts of the world? Or, like in India, where the govt is very reluctant to give out foreign exchange? Also what prevents me from investing $75 and getting 5 accounts and then screwing the folks I dont like with five 1/1s or 2/2s on all their photos? Nothing. So : drop the idea. I bet Greenspun opposes it.
    2. Only people with uploaded photos can rate others' photos. Is that a good idea? Sure, people in glass houses... etc etc but what about the goal of an online community and its resemblance to a fair democracy? Can only those who have been/stood for class president vote for the President of the US? No.

    In any free society/free online community there will be a fair number of bozos/malicious people. I think the solution is not to kill an abused system but to use some intelligent programming to correct obvious imbalances. My ideas :
    1. Use the beauty-contest idea of removing the highest and lowest rating(s).
    2. Disallow self ratings. Delete all such current entries.
    3. Try to allow only valid email IDs but I am not sure how you can do that effectively.
    4. Weed out junk users if you can effectively identify them.
    5. If you folks are running out of space then allow only x uploads a day per person. Maybe even restrict critique requests to once in x days. You decide what x is. If my photo is any good at all, then people will come to my portfolio and see the rest of my efforts.

    You cant want people from 50 countries see your photo the same night but at the same time be protected from Joe Schmuck who rates you 1/1 because he couldn't get it up. For the big boys - say Dan Heller - one or two bad ratings cant really affect them. For me - what if I am #600 or #650. Makes little difference. No set of rules will plug all possible abuse but hey folks - lighten up a little! This is not your credit history or your criminal record. If you are rated very very low it does not materially affect your life. Get over it! As long as there are more 'good' people in than 'bad', we are ok with some smart programming.

    Rajeev/PhilG et al - Superb site. Sincere thanks!
  137. Get rid of the rating system completely. It's become the armpit of
    I've read the posts from people above who think they are useful. The purpose of is to improve your photographic technique, not to showcase your work or make you feel warm and fuzzy. There is no way ratings by a bunch of random people with unknown qualifications can mean much. You might as well stand on a street corner and ask people to rate your work. The only way you are going to get useful feedback is when it is from somebody who knows what they are talking about.
    As for the competitive nature of this system, it seems to have attracted the dregs of the world who think nothing of cheating, sending viruses and sabotaging the ratings of others. And, indeed, it does spill over onto the other forums. This is a serious problem that can only be eliminated by eliminating the ratings system itself., at least in my mind, has become alot less respectible than it once was because of these people.
  138. As a new user (about a month - maybe a month and a half) I may be a part of the problem to which many of you refer. I didn't realize until I read this thread, that the ratings were related to some sort of "top dog" contest. (That helps explain a comment Mr. Photoconscience attached to one of my lesser photos.)

    I think that sort of competitive "Top Dog" nonsense is a horrible thing to to to people who are trying to produce art. The next thing you know, there will be some sort of dopey Photonet awards show on cable TV.

    On the other hand, as a photographer, I appreciate the numerical ratings - particularly the very high and the very low ratings. When I see someone has rated my photo in the extreme, I go their portfolio and study THEIR photos. Sometimes you can learn a lot from people who REALLY hate your work(or love it, I guess - I get more hate than love)

    I have given 1,1 ratings and I have given 10,10 ratings. And I for sure have recieved 1,1's Mostly, I guess, I give ratings in the middle. But always, they are a reflection of my genuine regard for the photo. The solution to this controversy is simple, allow photos to be rated, but QUIT KEEPING SCORE on the photographers! let each individual photo stand or fall on its own merits.

    You know, there are many technically excellent photos that are aesthetic duds. And MANY original, creative ideas that could be lifted from the quagmire of mediocrity with the application of better technique. If you are going to rate aesthetics and originality, you need a technique rating as well.
  139. Compare to

    1. is a lot more fun! More ways to interact with fellow participants, the ratings are a prime avenue for that.

    2. The Web is uncivilized. You can't expect complete integrity even if you could define it. Sorry.
  140. I'm new as a contributor but have checked in to photo dot net for
    years now. I'll be brief :

    1. Keep the ratings please, many find these useful.
    2. NO rating panel - e.g. studio-only photographers trying to
    appreciate the intricacies of landscape lighting or vice versa!
    Photographic purists rating DMI specialists would be like
    Classicists rating Cubists! Prudes having a roll in the hay with
    nudity? Let's stick with democracy.
    3. Only contributors can rate. Define contributor - preferably 5 or
    more images but also those who give so generously to
    discussion forums. If that's impossible, then at least permit
    non-image contributors to comment.
    4. NO mandatory comment for rating - aaaaaaaaggggh222@@3
    is a perfectly logical comment to a computer.
    5. Membership fee - good idea, just make sure non-US citizens
    can remit. I can't get PayPal to accept the funds I've tried
    submitting over the past week. With a fee, could then
    become credit card merchants and this problem overcome.
    PayPal is not such a pal in my experience.
    6. Up top member rated entry from 7 to 8 points, and maybe 4
    images to qualify.
    7. Introduce a maximum upload per week - a thumbsuck, 5.
    8. What's with the hotmailism? Thousands use it and would be
    unable to participate if hotmail addresses were barred.
    9. Self-rating : I haven't as yet but appreciate that it's a way of
    correcting an unjustified 1/1. Let it be, fun in a way - and makes
    little difference in the long run.
    10. Portfolio ceiling - introduce one, and each photo gets to hang
    no longer than 6-12 months. Maximum 50 or so images. This
    might keep photographers on their toes, encouraging them to
    submit the new, and to experiment.
    11. Worrying about rating (being popular) has a detrimental
    effect upon one's creativity. We oughtn't to lop off an ear just
    because no one rates/buys our work. Be mature, be humble, live
    and let live.
    12. REPORT A CHEAT hotline to the elves - YES! Excellent idea.

    No disrespect to current ( high performers, but some of our
    most imaginative photographers aren't even in the top 100 - so
    treat the "league" as a guideline only, and don't take it personally
    if you're not rubbing shoulders with the POPULAR - this might be
    a good thing. History proves that many great artists go
    unappreciated during their lifetime.

    Apologies, I wasn't that brief after all!
  141. 1) drop the numbers.

    2) enforce valuable comments (i.e. longer than "asdf", not the same cut-and paste answer that have been posted for the last seventeen photos)

    3) add a "I would recrop it like this". This would be more complicated to implement (java :( ), and possibly a big server hit (server side image map clicks). :( But, it should be very useful. I often find myself (when hanging out in the darkroom with friends) reprinting their last neg with a few changes that they may not have seen (and usually having them agree that it's better for it).

    3.a) if several people recrop it similarly (suggesting a good improvement), offer an automatically generated crop of the picture to others who want to suggest a different crop. (i.e. many respected people have looked at this photo, seen potential, but wanted to enhance, and more than 10% picked a crop that was similar within 5% (of the other people selecting "enhanced crops"), so when Joe Blow looks to add his $.02, he sees that others have already said "this is how many of us think it should look", and he can either agree or disagree with them.)

    The uploader should be able to disable various parts of this (no, don't show other people versions of the photo that aren't mine is the biggest that comes to mind).

    4) there needs to be a way to downgrade the significance of bad advice. If someone says something that's just plain wrong, there needs to be a way for people more knowledgeable to slow the spread of this information. (i.e. "You should have used 800 speed Max film because it gives you the best pictures" could be countermanded by enough people saying "no, 100 speed film generally delivers better color and can show finer detail...". "corrections" should be emailed to the poster of the wrong/bad information. That is, comments should be rateable as "agree", "disagree" (and should be forced to say why, so that the information is actually useful...).

    (Let me clarify there: there should be 2 types of comments, as someone else mentioned, technical and artistic; wrong technical information should be stopped and corrected; wrong artistic information should just be disagreed with but allowed to propagate. I've seen more people get 'riled up' and ready to add their insight when trying to correct something wrong than would offer advice on something that isn't interesting. Turn people's flaming instincts to good. :) )

    I hope the situation works itself out. I'd love to post pictures, but... I just don't feel that it'll do me any good right now.
  142. It would be nice to have a search engine to display an actual list what sections I've posted to. I am somewhat befuddled at times and often forget what sections I have posted to so I can't always look to see if there are any new comments.
  143. what prevents me from investing $75 and getting 5 accounts and then screwing the folks I dont like with five 1/1s or 2/2s on all their photos? Nothing.
    Well, nothing other than $75, a little time, and a real axe to grind. Will the trolls spend money in order to try and have an effect on people? Some will... but I think very, very few will. As it is, with unlimited potential accounts and basically no checking, it's far too easy.
    But once again, I think the number of trolls is insignificant versus the number of honest participants. And even the ones who aren't so honest have, I believe, a right to be here. Here is an interesting example. I happen to like some of this fellow's work. What's disturbing is that he rates all his own photos 10/10 or 9/9, and I've never see him rate anyone else's work above 1/1. Hence the low averages. While this sort of behavior probably gets social workers all excited, I simply shrug it off as sad and move on to the next person. The point is, should spend resouces developing some kind of aritifial intelligence system to keep ratings fair, or simply let the fringe mentality types, who are, once again, a statistical anomaly, excercise their right to be jerks? I guess I'm a Libertarian, as I favor the latter.
    The "report abuse" button is a good idea. If the elves delete an account that has no photos, has never made a comment, but has only ranked folks 1/1 (or, conversely, has ranked one and only one photographer 10/10), then it is their right to delete it without explanation. OTOH, the example I used above is, I think, a perfectly "valid" member. He's made comments, uploaded many photos, and has (IMHO) some talent. He's just not particularly mature, which is his right. I would protest vehemently his removal from I think before we start making suggestions about how to improve the software, we get some consensus about what the problems are. A lot of what I see being complained about on this thread are not problems at all, to me, but just the way the web works.
  144. I would be more than willing to pay a subscription fee to upload photos for rating and to participate in the rating system, which I basically like.

    Regarding the Top Photographers list:
    (1) being on the list should be based on 5-10 photographs, not 3.
    (2) the ranking should be based on the member's top 5 photos, not all, even though all qualifying photographs should be shown when you click on a particular photographer. The rankings currently have as much to do with how the photographer manages his portfolio on as how good a photographer he or she is. For example, if I winnowed down to my highest-rated 3, I would currently be about 100 places higher.

    Regarding the ratings:
    (1) Just have one rating number. Don't label it "originality" or "aesthetics". Just rate how "good" you think the photograph is.
    (2) Provide some guidance on how the ratings should be calibrated.
    Should 10% of the photos be rated 1 (or 10)? Or is only 1 photo out of a thousand that bad (or good)? Show the distribution of all the ratings somewhere on the site.

    Regarding the rating system: document the method for submitting a photo so that it will be rated.

    Regarding the search by rating feature: Remove the limit of 30, perhaps let people page through them N thumbnails at a time, with N not more than 30. Allow search also by how many times a photograph has been "viewed". Let people classify their photograph by one or more pre-defined keywords (Nature, Street, Portrait, Nude, Landscape, Architecture, Child, Pet, Wildlife, Macro, etc.) and include this as an attribute in the search.

    Other ideas:
    (1) There should be a top-ranked Folders feature.
    (2) Let people pick their "Most Interesting/Best" photographers/folders/photos, and provide site-wide search features based on this data. Who is on the "most interesting" list of the most people? Provide access to these lists. Who does Tony Dummett think are the most interesting photographers (if he dares to say).
    (3) Let each member have his own Photograph of the Week, Folder of the Week, etc and provide access to this. Use this data to put photographs on the front page of the gallery.
    (4) The idea of generating rankings/ratings by asking people to randomly indicate which of 2 photos they prefer is fascinating. It would probably require a lot of comparisons, but the results would be much more accurate.
  145. I come here to look at images. I know many others who do just the same. I like the numerical ratings system. I like the discussion and critique systems better. But how else besides a numerical ratings system can you cull the good images from the myriad bad images? If their are people here who rate their own highly, then after a while you get to know who is doing it. Sometimes when looking at an image it is easier to just rate it high or low depending on what you think of it. My high rating of an image may be a low rating for someone who doesn't like the subject matter. That's what critiquing is all about. Opinions. That's all. But I would recommend limitng posters of images to a couple a day or something. I get tired of seeing someones travelog or evening at the fireworks show. I don't like the idea of limiting someone just because they use a free server. I use a hotmail account because it is free and I can't have a paid account due to my computer being owned by my employer. If some idiot wants to go through the trouble of setting up ficticious accounts to give themselves a better score, well that's that. No big. We ain't in this for the money. What I would like to see is all the images to be critiqued on a thumbnail page so you could go directly to the images that appeal to you and skip the snapshots all together. 12 images per page? It would make it a lot easier to find what you like. Those images that don't get looked at would be dropped. Again, I like the numerical system. PSA, PPA, most other salons use this system and it works except for the purists among you. But most purists don't produce good images anyway. They're to pure. James
  146. I got bored of this's a part of a comment queue in one of my photos that I had to remove it because of this stupid conversation...
    I hope someone will understand surely...

    To Photonet Conscience
    You are right.I felt ashamed of being at no:4 , being over many guys that are surely better than me...but I can frankly say that and you can check them,only 2 guys rate me high Aslan Oguz and Haluk OZOZLU(Turkiye);they surely are my friends. I don't mind and know the others...
    And as the "Photonet Conscience" if you care these things! why don't you try to ask the ones rating people 1/1 all the time? and many times maybe with the clones you mean. Got what I meant? Wanna do something for that?

    Now thanx for you deep interest especially on me and please take me down to wherever I belong to for You.I really want that. And ignore the others...

    But please do something for the "1/1 raters". Personally I think there is no photo that belongs to 1/1. Even 2/3 might be acceptable if you hate it..

    If you can do it clear!! but surely!!! I can take off all my portfolio as a promise and log off . It's your turn now. OK? Are you in? thanx again

    -- Nejat E. (edit your comment)

    Consciences reply
    Thanks for your answer, first of all you are not my enemy as I'm not yours. This is a war I declared on misusers of rating system. 1/1 raters will also have my replies sooner.
    You get my attention as you were at the top of the list with 14+ rating points. "Oh my god" I said to myself and I want to see your photos again. First thing I decided in the ones that rate your photos was, they joined community at the same day they give the votes and they give similar rates (more then 7 points) one after the other, and they visit your all photos. Here are some names of that kind, may be you know them; Paul Kesser, Mandy Lawsonn, Glenn T.W., Frank JULGER, Tuna Reeves, T-Rex, Brett Adams. And kosta stepanovic and Zeynep Erdem may be your friends too. Yes you may worth such big points as all photographers do, I'll do my best for preventing such bad usages from now on.

    One more thing about the names you given; Aslan Oguz, Haluk OZOZLU(Turkiye); they have also some suspicious raters in their photos, but before talking on that or taking action on them I need to make a deep observation. And we have so many other people needs inspection before them.

    My last words; I want you to be in with all of your portfolio as you have different creative ideas, as some other photographers who deserve more rates and top places then you.

    -- photonet conscience

    To Photonet Conscience 2
    To tell the truth...I was shocked to see myself on the top.The clone rates (if they are so) really bothered me so...The reason of my second entrance to was; when the rating breakdown system was on I noticed the ratings were not so usual or normal for me and other users... I had so many 10/9s and 1/1s. I checked out the raters' infos and realised that they had joined the community on that day(both 10s and 1s)...That seemed quite stupid and so many people had these rates even the ones on the top and the others.Then I decided to delete my folders...The other day I had some mails from friends that I should join back the community whatever happens...Here I am...The truth is I had some quick climb...But I don't feel good enough even with these rates...I rated 3-4 of my photos because they were my favourites...but not as good as 10/10 (you can see that) you know that I could rate all of them 10/10.But that was not fair.also you can see some people rating themselves 10/10.And there are still 1/1 raters altough "rating breakdown show"... There are some photos that I rated 10/9 or 10/10 just because I loved them. That's all.
    A.Oguz and H.OZOZLU were just examples...Many members have also 1/1 raters joined on the same day...and unfortunately real 1/1 raters/users still that dunno the breakdown system :)

    To come to are right.this is not a war but there is surely something you must fix out. My suggestion might be that to rate someone the user should have at least some photos or users can only rate with their comments...

    I am really tired of this conversation on me...I am really busy enough with my job (but even for 5 minutes I try to look up for comments). And the worst; this is really breaking down my photolove.


    -- Nejat E. (edit your comment)

    To Mr Aslan Oguz and other peoples still interasted in this discussion
    First of all I am NOT a worker or REPRESANTATIVE of PHOTO.NET. For that reason I choose "photonet" in my name field without the dot (not I DONT have any relation with "Evil Princess of Domm". I'm here acting myself as "Photonet Conscience".
    After I write my reply to Nejat E. a man named himself "Michael O'brein " come and voted all of Nejats photos with 10/10. This may be nornmal if he feels the photo worths this, but as you decide I may be like the "crazy people" as you said you see in your everyday clinical practice (its not a good thing a pyschology professor to call his patients as crazy people) and I have some feelings forced me to do a little research who is "Michael O'brein ", the one who writes his name wrong without the Capital "B" letter after "O'". I find he rated Osman Gagavuz's photo ( - the image still couldnt seen when I'm writing this), technically which is not appearing at the time he rated. Osman Gagavuz renamed himself like this but we know him as "Sadi Can Oguz(turkey)", yes he is Mr.Aslan Oguz's son. I afraid this case will grow bigger and bigger that I cant take care of it with my little time.

    I also want to write about some other people who rates Mr.Aslan Oguz's photos named: Mustafa Karacagil, Fadil fidil, Fabio Souza, Valeria Souza, cem oguz, nilgun oguz, osman gagavuz and yes the "Michael O'brien" again. I am sorry to write this much but this was what I called suspicious ratings. I am sure you are Aslan Oguz the photographer of that great photographs.

    One more thing I want to say that: yes Nejat E. and Haluk OZOZLU (Turkiye) may be good photographers and yes they may worth to be at top ten of the list (may be the top two person LOL) but all I want to see is honest rates. I am sorry that I give 1/1 to this photos as I think they worth at least 4 - 6 points, but this is just for taking your attention on this subject.


    -- photonet conscience

    My comment on the photo
    The camera position of this photo must be a little down from where it was, to have the perspective feeling much stronger. But the creative idea in this photo is good. Technically the DOF is a problem for me as it doesnt help us to percieve the hand is a photo in a photo. I love such discussions more then the one above and dont want to write both in the same box. This is why I write a second comment.

    -- photonet conscience

    to Mr Aslan Oguz
    more then 2000 visitors doesnt mean all of them see the photo, this is just meaning they click the link to that page. I know the best photo is the one which is not grabbed yet, should it be Sadi Can get this mystical photo? LOL
    And I will not use my identity in this job of conscience, just like a firemen, doctor or soldier whose name is not important then his/her aim.

    And I wish you and your family a happy browsing in Of course Mr. Karacagil too, but one thing he must take attention to do not give two ratings with the same name for a photo (like in: )

    I am sorry for filling this page with long comments Nejat, but I know you prefer comments then ratings ;)


    -- photonet conscience

    Have fun dear LOL
    I am okay with myself...the problem is that I don't wanna be marked as something that you wanna mean...try not to disturb my visitors with your comments...I am okay anyway :)

    -- Nejat E. (edit your comment)

    Last words for Mr.Aslan Oguz
    Its pitty that you think my comments are stupid. I really dont deal with what you think because you are not thinking healthy.
    Think once more; can anyone believe this photo of Nejat have 1448 visitors for 5 days total and Sadi Cans invisible photos have over 2000 only for yesterday? 2000 visitors per day is really outstanding! and its ok for me until someone rates this invisible images with 10/10 and spoil the game.

    Everyone is invited to ( and for seeing I am not the only one thinking about Mr.Oguz and companies (who hates 1/1 for their photos) jobs in I am sure this is a bad smelling thing and you can find more untill you stop digging.

    I cant wait to see rating breakdown in community member pages, I am wondering why so many people give high rates and only to 13 - 11 photos (they are at least 10 photos belongs to Nejats). You can look at " " where it says "This member has rated 13 photos on this site, with average ratings of 10 for originality and 10 for aesthetics."

    I'll not write you from here Mr.Oguz, I dont want to disturb Nejat's visitors anymore with the problems about you. Anyone who is interested in you and my conversation can visit .

    And Nejat: what do you think about my comments on your photo?

    -- photonet conscience

    This must be what they call "fostering discussion". :) I do like this photo by the way.

    -- Dennis Keizer

    to photonet conscience and Randy's comments...
    thanx for your comment of's a photo in photo as you was the most suitable camera position for me...It was a photo in a magazine and I had some other photos around that already can see a piece at the top and I did not want to see them so the position was okay for me...You know I don't prefer so much DOF at least in my macros...Mention this if I had a DOF problem I would have it in some of my photos...But check that I don't have so much DOF in all of my portfolio.So doesn't this seem to you a kind of style or choice?

    -- Nejat E. (edit your comment)

    to Vadim Makarov
    I did not understand your must have been rated me before I delete all my folders...sorry but I wonder why 1/1 this time?

    -- Nejat E. (edit your comment)

    Haluk Ozozlu (Turkiye) and his old/best friend 1973 VW

    As Mr.Aslan Oguz deleted his stuff your and my last words disappeared, so I want to write them here because I dont want to be rude, by giving no answer to kind men like you and Mr.Ozozlu. I wish to see Mr.Oguz's and Gagavuzs photos here again soon, As I have so many words for them to improve their photos.

    This is your words for me:
    hi this my last message I hope to you and I am on my way again...
    1- I use a greek mail.That's right.I am Greek but I live in istanbul. So nothing is more normal than a Greek's using a Greek mail.. Okay?
    2- Nejat E. and Haluk Ozozlu enters the critique forum at the same time...Right! H.Ozozlu is a photo journalist as seen and he has to travel the country for his job.So someone has to manage his photos..And It's me. As you say, whenewer I have time to post a new critique I call him and say "what's next sir?" that's why we have them at the same time...And also we like to see them together...Or some weekends we meet and do this as now :) But, the rates and comments of H.Ozozlu are real... He generally sends me a mail or phones me to do that...Because his english is not so good and he cannot use the computer well...He just tours around and writes down his notes...Translation and practice is my works for H.Ozozlu. Now..why do I do this? I like this and he is the one made me start shooting photos. Is Haluk a real person? if you think of this check out and discover his works...maybe it helps you to realise -if he has time to work on or not... Haluk Ozozlu (the person next to me now) wants me to translate this.. "If you are bothered by Nejat's helps to me, we can quit it.I am busy enough with travelling the country and someone has to do it for me."

    So...everyone may know that Nejat E. manages H.Ozozlu's portfolio like, translating and entering the photos critique section, and translate back the comments they have.

    to come to end...H.Ozozlu sends you his VW that has made 500.000 km's for touring all Turkey. and surely his best regards.......

    And My reply to you:

    Thank you for your kind reply and make something clear for the community. I have no problem with you or Mr Ozozlu or Mr Oguz and Mr Gagavuz personally. I think you understand why I feel uncomfortable in this situation. Visible four guys enter the community and all the ratings changed (by the invisible suspects) all the thing gone out of order. And I have no problem with anyones nationality until he/she uses for this to make supporters from his nation. This is a thing I cant afford as this place is not a war area, this is the place for improving ourselves. I dont want to be in your place, I'm (my own ID I mean) is still under 700th place, and I know I have a very much way to go, so please do not take my words as jealousy.

    Its ok that you write for Mr Ozozlu, but one more thing I cant understand is your problem with Emmese Gaal. You think she gives 1/1 to you and Mr.Ozozlu writes extra good things on her photos (may be you are joking on her as Mr.Ozozlu?, if so its also a bad thing as Mr so called O'brien do).

    You said "But, the rates and comments of H.Ozozlu are real... He generally sends me a mail or phones me to do that..." and this happened to me think about it, he can send emails but he cant give rates? or he phones and tells you to vote a photo he didnt even see? Again I dont want to know the answer, so please do not write an answer. Every answer makes my paranoia go deeper, and I dont want to be Mr. Oguz's crazy patient one day, just for getting some honesty in this forum.

    Greetings to MrOzozlu and his lovely VW.

    Bytheway why he is not sitting inside of the car? isnt it his car ... LOL ... paranoiaaaaaaaaa.....

    -- photonet conscience

    huh you are a real paranoia man...LOL H.Ozozlu is new to computers.Really.I alost laugh at him for this but that's the truth...Sorry I have no other explanation for that...The thing with Emese Gaal is he realised Emese giving him 1/1 and he said "let's be gentleman and maybe she can be ashamed of herself." that's the it? the other thing is he may really like some of her photos. That's all. Now my dear photonet conscience, my request from you is now to delete your comments from this page...Not because I am afraid of something but my visitors are getting bothered I think and this has been really a nonsesse conversation at least under this photo..If you still have any questions in mind we can continue it somewhere else or my e-mail is available. thanx for your kind understanding...Or I am planning to make this photo "invisible to public" but I know that you are not to do this to me... thanx anyway...

    -- Nejat E. (edit your comment)

    First may I want you to delete the ratings that boosts this and other photos in your folder. I'll give you the names again to make your job easier : Andrew H., Paul Kesser, Mandy Lawsonn, Glenn T.W., Frank JULGER, Tuma Reeves, T-Rex, Brett Adams, Osman Diker (as known as Mr O'brien).
    After this I'll remove all my comments and ratings (1/1's I mean) from your photos.

    I know you are a kind person and you dont want to be in the place you dont deserve.

    You can get help from Mr.Oguz or his teenager son for reaching the teenagers thay may give the ratings (As Mr.Oguz said).

    -- photonet conscience

    To my watch dog!
    I erased my photos because Vuk Vuksonovic (He insulted me more than criticised me, but since he uses his own ID, I will not insult him, I hope he will be sorry because of his behavior)told me as an honest man what I am supposed to do and I did that. But You are still attacking me on this page and you disguise your ID as all filthy people, and I swear you again and again because you deserve this always, whenever yo disguise your ID. About the quality of my photos, so many people saw them, some of them praised and some of them constructively criticised, or did not like at all, but no one nows about the quality of your photos because you disguise youd ID. The quality of my photos is none of your busines. I am a doctor and scientist and I make my living as a doctor. I spend thosunds of US Dollars to photography as a hobby of mine but I did not earn even a penny from photography and I would not lost any think if my photographs are not good enough, like I did not earn anything, when I was on the Top Member-rated list, on the upper or lower ranks, no matter. As you know I am not such a kind man like Nejat, and whenewer you attack me, I can swear you at any time, because that is the language you understand best!

    -- Aslan Oguz

    photonet conscience
    I wish I could if so.. but I can't manage things that don't belong to me...the only person I could reach by mail was Z.Erdem and she accepted to low down her rates... asking someone to lowdownd the rates seems already stupid but I did it :) that's all I could do... I thought you could kindly understand that... but you did not. I will prefer to make this photo invisible... that's really poor for it... also mind that you are starting to damage someones portfolio... I am sorry and that's poor for this photo... thanx

    -- Nejat E. (edit your comment)

    Ignore this filthy man who disguises his ID, please do not take him serious. I will not decrease non of my marks because you and Haluk deserve those and he, even if he he accuses you two, he unconsciously appreciates that you are both great photographers and I will continue to rate your photos as much as I like,
    Take care and ignore such "Pucht!" people.

    And "the watch dog!", please do not site my name on this page, I do not have any relations to Nejat on this matter, apart from we are friends. Please use my e mail, but you can not do that; because of your filthy hiddin name!

    -- Aslan Oguz

    To Nejat
    I thank you for your understanding, and as you see I didnt mentioned Zeynep Erdem's name. She has photographs in this community. The names I mentioned are the ones who entered the community, give you and the ones (who didnt want me to write their names here at the message above) high rates, and low rates to the ones who give you low rates then disappeared. They have no real interest in photography, just rate boosters as can be easily seen.
    You can simply delete all your photos effected from that virus and resubmit them. I promise me and your actual friends and the comunity can rate your photos more healthy after that.

    As in my messages before, I want you, Mr. Ozozlu and the other persons who effected from this "rate boosting" virus to be a part of the community. I dont want to damage anyones portfolio, but your portfolio is damaged by the rate boosters.

    And many thanks to Mr.Oguz (I know he didnt want me to use his name here and write to his e-mail- and sure I will- but I want everyone to know my good wishes and appreciates to him on his behaviour) for acting like an honest man and cleaned the virus from his photos. I'll also want to critisize his photos and will be happy to help him improve his photos. Bytheway I believe I was his motivation during his last weekends photo adventure.

    Greetings to all photo lovers!

    -- photonet conscience

  147. Mr. photonet conscience and other members..
    these were the last words of mine...
  148. Reposted from another thread.

    Hello all. I started a thread on this subject last week. Though it had many responses, I think it was too political to make the permanent archives. Some of the individuals mentioned above have rated some of my photos as well. Some of them quite favorably, some not. The problem: It is too easy for people to make multiple names. The 1/1 raters and the people who create multiple names to rate their own photos 10/10 as well as having friends and family members rating their photos are what is destroying the integrity if the ratings system. Among some possible solutions that were suggested was to charge for a subscription. This might work but would discourage participation. I thought my suggestion was better. Here it is again.

    In order to rate photos, one must have at least 5 (five) uploads AND at least 3 (three) of them rated by more then ten members.

    If they don't meet this criteria they would still be able to comment and use the rest of the site. This also encourages two -way participation as well as making it more difficult to create bogus names.
    It would not be difficult to incorporate this simple code in the server.
    I hope is listening and considers my suggestion. The alternative is to scrap ratings all together because as it is now, they are meaningless. There is too much abuse.
  149. Congratulations. You've reached the bottom of the longest thread. Just hate to add comment #155, consuming 236th kilobyte.
  150. a response i am seeing a lot (see the post before mine) is "the ratings are meaningless so we should get rid of them" well, it's clear that some people get a kick out of being highly rated, and of course searching by highly rated photos is a great way to see excellent stuff. so...keep everything the way it is. if the notion of being numerically rated offends your artistic sensibilities, don't look at your ratings! just because you don't find something useful doesn't mean other people don't. If someone is greedily rating themselves 10/10s ... is it hurting you? Do you feel deeply and profoundly offended about their fake photo ratings on this one website? Live and let live. If you know someone's ratings are wack...don't pay attention. Look at photos, rate them if you like, leave meaningful comments. Improve things for yourself and make your photo dot net time better.
  151. I tried to follow you, Nejat E. but got lost,sorry. I just hope not the beginning of a conflict between Greece and Turkey over picture ratings (just kidding).Aloha.GS
  152. It might be "suggested" that each photonet user take time to seriously rate and comment on at least 10% of the photos they view. Many of the photos here have been viewed thousands of times and have only received a sprinkle of ratings and a handful of comments- if any.

    It would be helpful if you could rate AND comment at the same time without having to go thru 2 screens- if that is possible to consolidate those efforts.

  153. Well, quite a thread here...
    I like the opt-in ratings suggestion, although I am sure people will type in numerical ratings in the comment box the way they do now, they just won't be averaged. And I like the "photos I like" link idea.

    Otherwise, I'm not going to fuss too much about whatever happens. I got pissed off at one point by someone who had gone through my entire portfolio to 1/1 me, but I sent him an email, and he wrote me back after having removed the ratings. I won't say we had a meeting of the minds, because we didn't, but at least we communicated relatively reasonably about it. And there are still some 1/1s in my folders, but you know, who cares?

    Although there is the little matter of my, ahem, position on the TRP list, and the matter of who is atop me - or below me, for that matter. Vuk remarks
    "Until a revenge ratings bomber got me, I enjoyed several days directly atop Amy Powers."
    Several days? Good lord...And Jeff replied
    Whereas I have until recently been directly atop Spud the travellin' tuber. I think you got the best of this deal.
    Thank you, Jeff - I think - although I would say that atop a travelling tuber, one might get an ever-changing view of the world. I feel positively static by comparison.
  154. Well this is my first post to a thread:
    But it is a fascinating, if somewhat difficult topic. As a relatively recent poster of photos, I am surprised by the range of scores. On the other hand, I do this because I am looking for a larger audience; the 10 photos in my Master portfolio each earned me at least 26 of 30 from 3 independent expert judges (that is, e.g., at least 2x9's and an 8 or 2 x 8's and a 10 by each of the 3 judges); so it is enlightening (if not discouraging) to see such low scores here - but still interesting because I want to factor in the larger audience. And of course some allowance has to be made for the loss in translating to digital; but still ...
    I want that input.
    But I am offended by marks of 1 from people who have no photos posted, so I cannot see how relevant their criticism is.
    I would like to see more comment, though I am guilty of not commenting enough; which takes me to the notion of how much is put up; I don't enjoy looking through a long series of ordinary travel shots for example, and tend not to rate them.
    I suspect that I am like many others, and rate only those that have an impact on me, primarily positive.
    Anyway, I generally like the idea of ratings, but think something can be done to improve it; ditch the highest and lowest ratings for example.
    I don't agree that you must post photos to rate; why shouldn't the person (non-photographer) who paid several hundred dollars for one of my photos be able to rate it highly?
    If the idea of disregarding highest and lowest is adapted, it shouldn't matter if self evaluation is permitted; though having done it once and abandoned it, I can't imagine who would have the gall to do it now that others can see that you've done it.
    Thanks for asking; keep up the good work.
  155. I've already left my opinion on the rating system, but I thought I'd mention something else that bugs me about the photo critiquing system -- when you leave a comment, the photo isn't visible. You have to back up if you want to see the photo again. It would be easier to leave a comment on an image if it didn't go away. Perhaps leaving it above the text entry would help (like the "original question" from Services Photonet is as I type this).
  156. Just dump the ratings. They don't help the photographer learn anything and are too quick and easy to do which means that raters don't spend time to think about the pictures. I've been very guilty of giving a quick rating without looking properly at the photograph.
  157. I spent a long weekend camping and listening to a few of my favorite bands way out in latrobe, pa. Hung out and drank with some old friends and new ones. Didn't think once about ratings or this thread and I really don't care to other than I got so many emails on the subject. I do have one question and one comment though.

    So Jo Voets is not a chick?

    If you're running an ISP and you're not prepared for hackers you're not one hell of an ISP.
  158. Advertize security of your house and invite burglars try it.
    In case of ISP, you as well may publish an Open Letter and then close the business.
  159. I've always believed that the great benefit of the internet is that
    like minded individuals can easily get together and non-like
    minded individuals can easily ignore them. It's no skin off my
    nose if people like and use the ratings system, and abolishing it
    because its non-users don't like it seems bizarre.

    That said, the saddest thing about most of the ratings fans is
    their lack of consistency. They claim that boosters and dumpers
    are trivial to spot, but spend countless kilobytes whining on
    about how someone else should do the spotting for them. Trust
    your own judgement. Ignore the idiots. Your life will improve.

    The second saddest thing about most of the ratings fans is that
    they want to confine the power to rate to nice people like
    themselves. The whole point of asking for critique on a site with
    lots of users was to get a diversity of opinions. Otherwise, why
    not just rate yourself on your own harddisk?

    Every two year old goes though a phase of standing up in
    crowded rooms and shouting "bumtitwillypoo" as loud as thy
    can. It's only the few who do it incessently who need to be
    thrown out, and for me at least, those who shout back
    "peepeedoggydoo" from the moral high ground are far more
  160. Wow. A lot of emotion on this topic, and a lot of good ideas.

    There is some value to the numeric rating system. It's a form of comment, albeit less meaningful than an explanation of what made the image good or bad in the commenter's eyes. It does take a lot less time and thought, though.

    In the past, has had one of the better photo critique systems (disclaimer: I've viewed it, but I haven't posted images to it myself). was good for a long while, but it had degenerated into a "feel-good", 11/10 (if they had numeric ratings) board for a while. (It seems to be slowly recovering.) Many photo sites seem to go through a "feel-good" phase, and some never go anywhere else ;-)

    For me, the main point of photo posting sites is critiques: what worked well in this shot, or what can I do better next time? A numerical rating doesn't tell me that, other than in a coarse sense of "this worked well" or it didn't. A little ego-stroke every now and then doesn't hurt, but comments can do that just as well as numbers, unless you're in to the competition, my number's bigger than your number, etc.

    So where are my ramblings leading? Let's see:

    - keep the rating system

    - take steps to reduce abuse; there are lots of good ideas above: i.e., verified email address, must have photo posted before you can rate another, no self-rating, no multiple ratings, i.e., enforce that you can only rate a photo once

    - make the rating system "opt-in", and if your photos aren't rateable, you can't rate others' photos.

    - don't fudge the stats. has restaurant ratings, but they aren't a straight average. While it apparently helps combat abuse, it also makes the average less useful. What I do find useful there is an system of "if you like this, here are some other things you might like".

    - reset the current counts and start over with the new system. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water, but do get rid of the poisoned well...
  161. If you do an opt in thing you have to do something where once a photo is opted in it can't be opted out. Otherwise people can post a photo, have their friends rate it, then prevent others from rating it.
  162. I must admit that I haven't had time to read *all* of the answers above, but what I'd like to see is some kind of reputation system, where the weight of a person's opinion is adjusted by some kind of sane reputation metric. I'm personally much more interested in someone's rating if other people consider them to be a "good" photographer.

    The Advogato trust metric is a really good system that seems to work well in practice. See for details of how they implemented their system, and for information on how to get their code.
  163. I'll throw my two cents in here. Allowing only those that post images to critique and rate images is a bad idea. I can't post images due to not knowing how, not wanting to put my images on the net until I can post them to look exactly as they do in print, and not having the equipment to do it. I teach photography and photographic printing workshops. Large Format to be exact. I judge salons and portfolios. Some of us old timers aren't up to speed on the digital revolution but can photograph circles around most of the posters here. So allowing only posters to critique others work is kinda dumb. If you read through my critiques then you'll get an idea how valuable some of the old timers critiques can be.
  164. I too have no images on I don't have a scanner (or a
    budget) which gives me a digitised quality that I feel represents
    my photography as My Photography. I do insert images into
    threads where I feel they illustrate a point, and I do participate in
    other forums where people are more willing to make allowances
    for cheap scans.

    Even if all that were not true, I prefer to keep my images on my

    Those of you who want critiques only from a narrow subset of the
    world are in danger of shooting yourself in the foot. Master
    classes are a well-established feature of the arts world, but it is
    also true that many of the great arts educators are not first rate
    artists themselves. In sports and other competitive fields it
    would be nonsensical if the coach could beat the champion.

    Writing a good photographic critique is an art all of its own, and
    is an entirely seperate skill from taking photographs. Don't let
    anger with those who can do neither eliminate those whose
    advice and insight the critique forum is supposedly designed to

    The people here who care deeply about the ratings
    shennanigans are already detecting and naming-and-shaming
    the perpetrators. I suggest the programmers make a account which formalises the appeals
    process, and recruit moderators who are willing to take on the
    task of examining cases and deleting the silliness.

    Eliminating self-rating is probably also a good move, but
    changing the range of grades will only change the problem, not
    solve it.
  165. I just knew it had to come down to this...

    Recently, I exchanged in some email with one of the "top-rated" photographers (he's in the top 20) after noticing that each of his submissions had quite a few 10/10 ratings. These were, incidentally, all submitted by addresses which were non-contributors.

    His latest email states that naturally he entered the ratings himself, as everybody did that, and that "I did it ti me myself
    in order to be in equal conditions with the other people ! Can you say
    this is no true ??"

    Solution? As I see it, you either continue the ratings but DON'T INCLUDE A RANKED LISTING, just an alphabetical one (can you imagine how crushed the little cheat mentioned above would be if he had to get out the calculator to see how many more ratings he had to send in to keep up with Tony Dummet, Dan Heller or WHOEVER in the list was truly the number 1?)

    Perhaps allowing only photographers who had already submitted a portfolio or two should be allowed to vote on other members' portfolios and presentations. I can't see this as too difficult to program into such a well thought-out site as

    Lastly, let's all bow our heads and give silent thanks that we are not all that desperate to attain recognition for a talent we might not have in sufficient quantity to be ranked at the top of the heap.
    I'm sixty now, and have run two photo businesses and have taught photography in high school and community college for the last twenty-five years, off-and-on, but it honestly doesn't bother me that I'm not ever going to be the second Ansel Adams.
  166. Struan Gray wrote:
    "I too have no images on I don't have a scanner (or a budget) which gives me a digitised quality that I feel represents my photography as My Photography. I do insert images into threads where I feel they illustrate a point, and I do participate in other forums where people are more willing to make allowances for cheap scans.

    Even if all that were not true, I prefer to keep my images on my server.

    Those of you who want critiques only from a narrow subset of the world are in danger of shooting yourself in the foot."

    Straun, Your comments sound a bit elitist to me. Having those who wish to rate other's work be required to have some of their own posted makes perfect sense. Every person that leaves a comment on one of my photos gets an email response and a "thank you" from me. It's common courtesy for one thing. Also in order for me to better understand their comments it is usefull for me to have a look at their folders to see what thier "style" is. This helps lend creedence to their point of view. is a two-way street. Your way is like playing a baseball game where you are always at bat and never have to take the field. You also say that..."Writing a good photographic critique is an art all of its own, and is an entirely seperate skill from taking photographs." True. My mother could write a good critique but if she cant take a decent photograph herself then what is it worth? Don't get me wrong, I encourage comments and ratings on all my photos from everyone wheather they have posted their own or not. I just consider comments from those who have taken the time to "share" their own work more seriously. I hope you share some of your photos with us someday.

  167. A few inflated nickels and dimes worth of opinion:

    First, the ratings systems has its advantages and disadvantages. If it wasn't prone to abuse, it would be a very succinct form of critique, and an easy way for someone to *begin* to evaluate their own work. Problem is that abuse exists. I have read many - not all - of the posts left here and can see merit in many of the suggestions both pro and con. Personally, I like the idea of adding "weight" to a numerical rating if the person doing the rating has somehow established him/herself as a photographer/critiquer/user of merit. My suggestion would be to start every user with a weight of "10" and reduce this weight if abuse becomes apparent. Obviously, this would require some sort of filter, and I'll leave it to the administrators of this site to determine if - and what kind - of filter should be implemented. (The previous poster seemd to be onto something.)

    Second, why not a nominal fee for membership? Presumably most of the users of this site have the the resources to purchase a camera and provide for ongoing film/development expenses. Would a fee - say $10? - be so onerous as to exclude those who seriously value this hobby/profession and/or would like to learn more? I don't think so. Yet, at the same time, surely it would prevent people from maintaining multiple memberships with/without valid email addresses (and yes, a valid email address should be mandatory). I suppose it could be argued that those with sufficient resources, and who are vain enough to make an effort, could still thwart such a system, but I think the abuse in general would be greatly diminished. And for those who persist in abusing the system, hopefully their impact upon the integrity of the system will be minimized through the previously suggested "weighting" filter.

    On a completely separate note from the ratings systems, I AGREE WITH THE POSTER WHO SUGGESTED THAT THE PHOTO BE VISIBLE ON THE SAME PAGE AS THE ONE ON WHICH YOU TYPE YOUR CRITIQUE. It is very annoying to have to go "back" to the image in question while trying to formulate a coherent - and hopefully useful - critique. I think this small convenience may aid in improving the quality of some critiques.

    That's it. (Okay, maybe I contributed quarters instead of nickels and dimes)
  168. We'd like to hear about your suggestions for what to do with the photo ratings systems.
    I think the best way to improve the status of the ratings system is to revert back to 1.0 (not, circa 1998-99. Weren't them the good ol' days, anyhow?
  169. If you do an opt in thing you have to do something where once a photo is opted in it can't be opted out. Otherwise people can post a photo, have their friends rate it, then prevent others from rating it.

    Or make it so that once a rated photo is opted out, its ratings get deleted.
  170. Revised opinion:

    1. Shelf life - once an image has hung for 3 months beyond its
    10th vote it's automatically hidden and no longer counts towards
    the TMR list. The artist or photographer can then re-submit. This
    will ensure a freshness to the site and encourage CERTAIN
    PEOPLE to experiment outside their established formula/e
    (we're learning not churning.)

    2. Membership fee - I repeat, in favour, but please ensure that
    PayPal isn't the only remittance's a very frustrating
    "service" that hasn't worked in my case.

    3. Hidden images - shouldn't count towards average TMR rating.

    4. Rate-blocked images - I find the system does that
    automatically sometimes, so the opt-in angle is often overridden
    by "The Robot."

    5. Contributors only - in light of recent abuse, I feel that non
    image contributors ought not to be able to rate (though I would
    welcome their comments.) This suggestion is not directed at
    recent rational correspondents like Struan - it's to prevent the
    unreasonable from skewing things.

    Thanks, regards to you all
  171. Wow, a lot of fervor over this one. <br>
    I'm going to side with Tony and the rest of the wet ones ;) <br> Although the rating system is flawed and open to abuse it does perform a function and has value. <p>
    Those that claim to not upload their photos for rating can probably just ignore those pesky numbers and those of us looking for feedback on our photos will determine what we can from the ratings. <p> I even enjoy the top photog list, and that is speaking from waaaaaaaay down at the bottom of the well. I couldn't tell you who I'm on top of, and don't put a lot of weight on the ratings the create the top ratings... but they do show what other photographers find the most interesting and it makes it easy to find good photos to look at. <p>
    It's been mentioned several times the small injustice of better photographers not getting their due and being placed higher in the top rankings. A big part of rankings if visibility. Vuk is placed highly not just because he has talent but because he is a very active member here and his photos are seen. Some of the more talented and experienced photographers are suffering from lack of visibility and or less attractive content. I've noticed girl photos *always* do better than equally creative and technically competent photos. <p>

    Lastly a comment on competition. I believe it is good. The common public is usually quite thrilled with my sunset photos and crap like that. You guys are bored silly with it. Heck, I'm getting bored with flower macros taken by digital cameras, even though it's something I've taken a lot of and received very good feedback on from other sources. Photo dot net is my peer group that pushes me to new heights of excellence. The rating system is an integral part of that.
    <p> Well that's enough of me flogging this topic to death. <br>
  172. Seven, I blush.

    Dennis, I'm sorry if I come across as elitist, I truly thought I was
    being anti-elitist.

    No simple, mechanically-implemented rules are going to stop
    the wallies. Under the proposed system, if I want to spray 1/1's
    about all I have to do is put a minimum number of random
    images into a folder. If you insist they be rated I just rate them
    from one of my other hotmail accounts. If you inist on a posting
    history I just go and add short 'me too' comments to long-dead

    Whatever you do, I can find a way round the block faster than the
    programmers can implement it. Human moderation and the
    active participation of responsible users is essential -
    no system will work if you don't have that. But if you have that,
    and I think we do, you can dispense with most of the mechanical

    I don't understand your comment about your mother. If she can
    write a good critique, she can write a good critique. My mother is
    a wilful dunce when it comes to photography, but she has a fine
    sense of composition, and on that I take her advice seriously.
    That's not a trivial point. Any comment worth caring about will
    contain within itself the clues you need to judge its relevance and

    I suppose it comes down to what you want from the system here.
    Pats on the back from photographers you admire, or illuminating
    critique which helps you improve your photography.

    Yes, that's a false dichotomy. Which is my entire point. Limiting
    rating to those who have images on lobs the baby into
    the outfield, and does so without doing anything effective to
    address the problem it is supposed to solve. I'm not preventing
    people from using others' portfolios to put comments
    into context. *They* are trying to prevent *me* from doing
    something they say they ignore anyway.

    One more suggestion: most photographers are able to read a
    histogram these days, so why not allow users to call up a
    histogram of ratings, both those given to images and those
    handed out by other users. They make it easy and intuitive to
    judge the ratings' worth and/or bias, and to tell if an average
    value actually means anything.
  173. "I don't understand your comment about your mother. If she can write a good critique, she can write a good critique. My mother is a wilful dunce when it comes to photography, but she has a fine sense of composition, and on that I take her advice seriously. That's not a trivial point. Any comment worth caring about will contain within itself the clues you need to judge its relevance and significance"

    There is an old saying; Those that can do. Those that can't teach. :)

    Sorry if you can't understand my pount as I explainrd earlier. I don't know how to make it any more clear. Nothing personal, but my point is simply two way participation. Cheers.
  174. The improvement I would like is to have is more photo's on the front page or maybe on a competition page. Perhaps a few photo's of the week and month and categories (landscape etc....). has something original with the numerical rating system. I think it should be expanded.
  175. I like the "Top Rated Photographers" concept as it provides direction for those pointless perusals through the galleries.

    However, it seems to me that the desire to be near the top of the "Top Rated Photographer" list drives many to exploit the current numerical rating system. Perhaps the metric used to determine the top-rated photographers could be improved upon so that it was not easily open to bias.

    I would suggest normalisation of each photographer's scores - BUT ONLY FOR CHOOSING TOP RATED PHOTOGRAPHERS - not for general perusal (ie the normalised scores would not be published, just used internally; the raw scores would be published for all other uses).
  176. Recently, I exchanged in some email with one of the "top-rated" photographers (he's in the top 20) after noticing that each of his submissions had quite a few 10/10 ratings...His latest email states that naturally he entered the ratings himself, as everybody did that...
    Have we gone completely mad? I have yet to see, and granted I didn't read all 300 posts, a reasoned defense of the ratings system. What real, concrete benefit does anyone derive from it?
    There is an old saying; Those that can do. Those that can't teach. :)
    That's because those that can are rarely able to teach. Teaching is an art/science of its own (yeah, I'm a teacher and a teacher trainer). Dean Smith, one of the great college basketball coaches of all time, was a benchwarmer for Kansas. Artists are notoriously bad at writing or otherwise commenting on their own or other's work. Obviously there are exceptions and counterexamples, but I believe it is generally true. The author that I wrote my thesis on (Jurek Becker) compared the artist/critic relationship to that of the bird/ornithologist relationship. The most important difference being, in the context of this thread perhaps, that the bird is oblivious to the ornithologist. Oh, and of course precious few of us are actually artists, present company excluded :>)
  177. Okay, I read through ALMOST all of this post....

    A few comments. I like the ratings system. When I first came here a few months ago, it frustrated me to no end; gradually as I came to understand how people here generally rate photos, I appreciated it. I REALLY like the new feature that lets you see the average rating a person gives to the photos they critique. If someone rates me 7/7 I'm usually elated but if I go and see that they're average rating is 7/7 then I take it with a grain of salt that they think the photos average (normally I'd think a 5 is average). I've rated over 1000 photos and it still averages pretty close to 5/5.

    Some thoughts on the above:

    "Not allowing membership creation with hotmail-type accounts would be another good step."

    Some of us only HAVE those type of accounts. It's often more convenient/cheaper to have a Web-based account (if I'm traveling in Russia I can still access my Yahoo accout pretty easily).

    "Do not allow 1/1s and 10/10s, as they clearly are wrong (ever seen a perfect photo? or a perfectly bad one?). "

    Yes, and yes. But regardless that would be pointless because 2/2 and 9/9 would just become the new 1/1 and 10/10.

    "such as entering a valid credit card number and checking the name"

    Enter a CREDIT CARD number to verify???? To a Net site you maybe know nothing about? I hope not...Not to mention there really are still a few folks out there to don't have credit cards and are actually thus free of debt...

    I definately vote to keep the ratings. As someone pointed out, sometimes you just can't put into words. Also, if someone says "It's really good" you have no way of knowing whether there's a "for an amatuer/novice" tagged on the end. Numbers help quantify this (the difference between a 5 good and a 8 good).

    Frankly, the ratings system is one of the reasons I'm still involved here. It gives me relatively fast feedback from numerous sources, all of whom have an interest in photog. Which is good because I'm not able at this point to actually enroll in a seminar/course/workshop to get "real life" feedback.

    Having a limit on the number of photos people can post into their own gallery would be highly obnoxious. I sometimes have a chunk of time to scan and upload a bunch of photos, but I don't have time to do one or two every day/week. Also, as people upload more and more photos, it gives you more of a feel for what they're style is.

    I see no reason why people have to post photos to critique others. Some folks (highly qualified photogs.) simply don't like mucking about with scanners and PS.

    As for group interaction - when I'm out to critique some photos I usually will go to the galleries of people who have critiqued and/or rated my photos. I also like to go to the "Top Member-Rated" and randomly chose names from the list, one from every hundred (one from the 200s, one from the 500s, etc). This seems to work best for me.

    So, anyhow, there's my vote. Take it as you will!;)

  178. Ok, some of these posts are getting my goat so much I have to toss something in and blow off some steam.

    Elaine's opinions on how to proceed largely mesh with my own.

    I would make one other proposal; that is there be TWO sets of rating criteria, say "A" and "B". The "A" group is for snapshots, novice photogs etc. "B" is for when you get too big for your britches and want to be rated on a professional basis. You pick where to put each of your shots.

    The reason for this proposal: at one time, I was putting on a few ratings, thinking maybe it was useful to people. Eventually, I quit because I don't think I was doing anybody any good. I felt that I should rate on a constant basis across the board. I decided to use halfscale (5) for a shot that I (personally) would not be embarrassed to have on my wall (on a quality basis). A '1' would be unbelievably bad and a '10' equally good. Here's the rub; if you are a novice, needing encouragement, you'd likely get a 2 or 3 from me; not very encouraging. If you do serious good work, about the BEST you'd get from me would be 8 or 9; for the most part my ratings would pull your average down; not doing you any good again. So I generally don't rate photos anymore.

    Regarding this line of thinking: "Having those who wish to rate other's work be required to have some of their own posted makes perfect sense."; I think it is nonsense. Struan already made some good arguments related to this, so I will not repeat any. I would personally be well pleased to hear Struan's opinions of my work (and about a dozen other photo.netters; many based only on the strength of their text postings) and I would like to think that I am substantially more qualified in general photography than most of the persons wanting to restrict comments to photo posters. I realize this is a "low blow" without showing anything, so here is a link to the only photo of mine I have ever scanned; it's from a 5x7 print, I did it for "relevance" (New Orleans) and I would personally have rated it about 7 aesthetic and maybe 5 or 6 originality.

    Regarding requirement of a paid subscription first, I would probably simply depart this site. Not to act egotistical, but it's easy to suggest that when you have a lot to gain. Maybe the volunteer moderators could also pay a fee? That was very tongue in cheek; I have great respect and thanks for all the moderators, the only ones I specifically know of being Bob A, Darron and Russ. I apologize if I'm acting like a jerk, but I'm getting really toasted by what I see as a lack of respect (by a relative few) for many of the well qualified people who have contributed greatly to over the past few years.
  179. The misuse of the rating system is the ONLY problem. The misuse by very little few abusers is the only problem we have here prople. KEEP THE TOP MEMBER PAGE THE WAY IT IS. You cant put a carrot up there and not expect unscrupulous individuals to abuse it. Top Member page is not a problem so lets keep it. I won't ever get up there anyway but legitimate users do like it, use it, and don't abuse it. Let's just solve that one problem without taking anything away from the site and by ENCOURAGING participation and not DISCOURAGING participation by charging for subs. I would like to add that I think an email verification before allowing members to just create multiple new names at will, is a good idea also. This cost nothing and hurts no one as well. We legitimate members don't have to give up ANYTHING to solve this problem. Please read this carefully!!! It will only effect the ratings abuse without in any way penalizing legitimate comtributing members. READ READ READ. This IS the answer.

    Reposted from another thread.

    Hello all. I started a thread on this subject last week. Though it had many responses, I think it was too political to make the permanent archives. Some of the individuals mentioned above have rated some of my photos as well. Some of them quite favorably, some not. The problem: It is too easy for people to make multiple names. The 1/1 raters and the people who create multiple names to rate their own photos 10/10 as well as having friends and family members rating their photos are what is destroying the integrity if the ratings system. Among some possible solutions that were suggested was to charge for a subscription. This might work but would discourage participation. I thought my suggestion was better. Here it is again. IN ORDER TO RATE PHOTOS ON THIS SITE THE MEMBER MUST FIRST HAVE A MINIMUM OF FIVE (5) UPLOADS OF HIS OWN AND THREE (3) OF THEM MUST HAVE BEEN RATED BY MORE THEN TEN (10) MEMBERS
    If members don't meet this criteria they would still be able to comment on all the photos they want, and use all the other features in the rest of the site. This also encourages two-way participation as well as making it more difficult to create bogus names. It would not be difficult to incorporate this simple code into the server. For the people that are legitimate contributing members that "choose" not to upload their own photos, this will in no way exclude you from participating as that is not my intent. I believe that most of these people (the legitimate CONTRIBUTING members who don't have any uploads), not the phoneys, are NOT interested in ratings anyway, but more interested in sharing constuctive critique. Am I right? If they feel they have to rate photos as well as critique them then let them upload some of their own work. TWO WAY PARTICIPATION! This is really the way by which we all improve, by sharing thoughts and photos, not by trying to climb some meaningless ladder. I hope is listening and considers my suggestion. The alternative is to scrap ratings all together. I would bet that my suggestion as well as the email verification will solve the problem and stop 99.9% of the nonsense. Email verification by itself is not going to work. The real screwballs can create as many hotmail accounts as they like. The verification only slows the process down a little for them. I have has the same hotmail account for seven years but there is nothing to stop people from using multiple personalities is they so desire.

    -- Dennis Keizer, August 04, 2001; 02:38 P.M. Eastern

    Ok flame away, but I think this is the best answer and suggestion given to date toward solving the problem without giving up any of the wonderful features of this site that makes it the best of it's kind on the net. That is all for now. Whew. sorry no time for spellcheck.
  180. I will try to offer my comments based on the constructive thoughts of the last three contributors.
    1. Elaine Robbins, August 09, 2001; 10:50 A.M. Eastern: If someone rates me 7/7 I'm usually elated but if I go and see that they're average rating is 7/7 then I take it with a grain of salt that they think the photos average (normally I'd think a 5 is average).
    Elaine, I would disagree with that thought. When I first started rating photos randomly, I gave overall markings from 1 to 10. I recently found out that my average was around 3/4. But I had rated too many photos. Then I deleted my ratings on the more irrelevant ones (which were actually not worth looking at) and my average changed to almost 6/6.
    That means that a member may tend to rate only the "better" photos and ignore the rest. His/her high average would not necessarily mean that he/she is way too generous. In this respect I would be in favour of Struan's latest suggestions with the histograms.
    2. Bill C, August 09, 2001; 09:04 P.M. Eastern: I would make one other proposal; that is there be TWO sets of rating criteria, say "A" and "B". The "A" group is for snapshots, novice photogs etc. "B" is for when you get too big for your britches and want to be rated on a professional basis. You pick where to put each of your shots.
    This proposal is sound and appears to be close to a real life situation of any photographer. When editing our photos we make selections, automatically divide our keepers and file them differently. Not all our photos are made to meet the same standards. Some are aesthetically and technically great, others have a subject which is more interesting than the execution of the photo as such (see for example Dennis' current POW, a superb photo which would deserve an originality rating of 12(sic)) and still others are valuable "snapshots".
    The members sharing their photos would not have any difficulty uploading them in separate groups A and B and would possibly welcome such a division. Novices needing encouragement would be rated according to their ambitions and would not be compared to the pros uploading their best, serious work.
    3. Dennis Keizer, August 10, 2001; 02:41 A.M. Eastern: IN ORDER TO RATE PHOTOS ON THIS SITE THE MEMBER MUST FIRST HAVE A MINIMUM OF FIVE (5) UPLOADS OF HIS OWN AND THREE (3) OF THEM MUST HAVE BEEN RATED BY MORE THEN TEN (10) MEMBERS If members don't meet this criteria they would still be able to comment on all the photos they want.
    This is a bad idea and I would rather agree with Struan's reservations. As an alternative variation I suggest that
    in order to be entered into the "famous list"a rated member must first have a minimum of ten (10) uploads of his own and five (5) of them must have been rated by at least 25 members.
    This last approach would ensure that:
    1. The legitimate contributing members that "choose" not to upload their own photos are not excluded from rating/participating.
    2. The "illegitimate" phoneys are slowed down and discouraged by being forced to create many hotmail accounts and multiple personalities.
    3. The uploading members deserving high rankings are judged on many photos and not just three or four accidental successes. The "famous list" would include only members with a high average.
    Final remark: The requirement of a paid subscription will be difficult to enforce and could scare away many contributors, who would stop sharing their experience and valuable advice.
    Thanks to all the moderators for their great efforts and contributions over the past few years. And many thanks to who is patient enough to read this complete thread and evaluate the members' opinions!!!
  181. If anybody is currently curious about the reasons for these ratings discussions, here is an open invitation to see what is happening right now in the Top member rated photographers list. I personally like the newcomer's "creations" very much, but this Blitzkrieg reminds me of the other recent invasion from the Near East.
  182. I don't know if this has been mentioned (I stopped trying to keep current with this thread a long time ago - best of luck to the administrators), but when browsing through the gallery today, I thought how nice it might be to have a content filter. For example, when someone uploads their photos, they could select from a drop down menu the TYPE of photo it might be... i.e. B&W, landscape, portrait, street-candid, nude etc. It may even be helpful to have sub categories (i.e. B&W would be the main category, then maybe landscapes under that, then maybe sunsets under that etc.) Just an idea.
  183. I'd like to see it be mandatory to make a comment when someone rates a photo 1 or 2. It doesn't help the photographer improve his/her work if people express their dislike of a picture but don't explain why. If others are giving the same photo 6 or 7, a 1 or 2 just doesn't make sense, unless there is something specific the person who gave the low rating noticed that others did not.

    I also don't think that there should be any requirements other than being a member to rate a photo, because someone without the equipment or who doesn't take pictures themselves can still appreciate photography.
  184. Apparently, my comments about the ratings system offended a member, who systematically came by and ranked every singe one of my photos 1/1 in a span of 15 minutes -- boy, he sure showed me! Woe is me, someone without the guts to address my words directly has decided to snipe me. Whatever will I do? (btw, Denis, you missed one. I wouldn't want you to miss your full sweep).
    This is exactly what I was talking about earlier, and the fact that it was targeted at me is immaterial: It's impossible for to legislate maturity. It's impossible for them to perform an age check. I still maintain the percentage of Denis' in this community amounts to less than 1%. I'd hate to see the other 99% of the members, who are almost entirely composed of rational, mature, creative people looking to exchange knowledge and ideas, be denied a potentially useful tool because of some undermedicated miscreant. It's worth it.
  185. Mark, I love your sense of humor. I had the same thing happen by someone who didn't agree with my opinion, but he gave me all 2's :)
    I still like looking at the ratings, but think that rating should only be allowed with a comment. As someone who does photography for fun, the low ratings don't bother me as much as they do others. I am a beginner and expect low ratings, but would prefer comments to go with them. I have received a few high ratings and comments from some of the better photographers on here, and that has given me inspiration.
  186. 1. Go to a 1 to 5 scale.

    2. Three rating parameters: 1. Content.

    2. Technical merit.

    3. Beauty.

    3. Improve text entry format by enabling indents and paragraphs.
  187. Well it appears that someone really did not like my suggestions in this thread. They went through the trouble of creating names to rate all my photos with 9's and 10's and immediatly posting comments accusing me of rating my own photos. You can view it here. . Maybe the Top-Member Page is not such a great idea after all. I think my suggestions would have eliminated this problem. I don't need to contribute my own photos for any kind of compitition. I shared them to learn how to improve them. I will no longer rate or critique any photos here and I have deleted all my photos except the POW and I won't upload any more as long as this stupid rating system is in place. To the friends I have made here over the past few months It was a pleasure to help and learn from each other. Good-bye all and keep shooting.
  188. There's a malevolent force operating within that
    threatens this community like a cancer.
    Why should top rate people like Dennis be forced out by ill-bred
    non-contributors or aliases?
    Please admin reassure those following this thread
    that remedial action is being taken.
    Fellow members I trust your silence on this outrage will soon be
    broken, and that your support is on the way........whatever
    consequence it might have on your precious ratings. I promise to
    10/10 any image that "picture man" happens to 1/1 - just speak
    out, Dennis is one of us - a crime against one is a crime against
    the whole.
    Dennis my thoughts are with you, we'll get there my friend.
  189. Before you, I was attacked by some one who disguises his or her ID like all cowards and I deleted all my photos and reloaded again and I am at about the same row now on the top member-rated photographers before deleted. Yes I accepted my photos were contaminated in this or that way and I did the correct thing but as to the photos. of yours, one can not suspect any contamination by you or your entourage. Before you, I told and wrote many times, this sistem is open to abuse and must be corrected and your proposal is one of the best solution to me as well. I would like to state some of my ideas about this sistem. These are taken from a letter which I sent to a member:

    "As you see, I am No.-- at the moment in the row of top member-rated photographers and no one cliaim that these ratings include any phony ratings. There are some others photos of mine better than these ones and when they got ratings more then 10 (some of them are about to) this situation can change on behalf of me. This just prooved me one thing, "I am not someone loafing with an expencive camera in his hand and taking snapshots and boasting on the"

    That does not mean that I am a good photographer, or better than the other photographers who have ratings less than mine. These are only numeric values and vice versa could be correct. But now I would like to ask you what is the rivalry problems between the top member-rated photographers. Have they got any benefit from this list. I am an amateur and being on the is just a hobby for me. I spent and can spend thousonds of US Dollars for photography as a hobby, and I did not earn a cent from the photography and I do not intend either..."
    I would like to share my feelings with the members but I am painfully sorry about things happened to Dennis and I want to see him soon on the again...

    Aslan Oguz
  190. g|1


    I was until recently blissfully unaware of the toplist of photogs, and any competition amongst fellow members for placement there. It was not until climbing the toplist I received some congrats which brought my attention to the list. Coincidentally since then, I have been vulnerable to private email abuse. I have been sent dozens of infected files from a Greek person who has a connection with 'Jetoil'. This may or may not be related to my position in the toplist, but the coincidence is there. I don't feel anything ought to be changed in the ratings system except making individual rating records visible to others. What I would like done is to have a specialised investigative team appointed, in order to protect members from competitive abusers. Should this incur a fee I would be happy to pay.
  191. g|1


    I review my previous statement from further experience. Members with no uploaded photos should not be able to rate. Furthermore, the number of uploaded photos should not be less than ten.
  192. I completely agree with Geraldine Allen!
  193. First let me give a big deep belly laugh! Ha! There are a lot of good suggestions, and a lot of silly ones too. :) I really like the rating system and would definitely like more comments/feedback but that is dependent on the user community at large so I agree with the person that said if you try to enforce them, you'd get "asdf". I also like the idea regarding dropping off photos from the critique that get X number of less than X for ratings. It's a pain in the ass to look at 50 pics of someone's camping trip before you get to a pic that someone put a lot of work into. It'd be nice if after X number of poor ratings if they'd just kind of stop showing up. Of course that'd eliminate half my stuff but so much the better! Tee Hee.
  194. ic



    show some liberalism, for Christ sake:

    1. Accept diversity of opinions: some people like the rating system some don´t. I think keeping a sort of rating system is the smallest-harm-solution. Maybe one single grade to replace the obscure cleverness & aesthetics would not be so bad (bad-could be better-ok-good-excellent).

    2. Do regard any kind of rating as a simple expression of an opinion, nothing more. Maybe the administrators of the server could make somehow that fewer things should depend on rating (i have the impression that some members are more concerned with what rates they and others receive than with what air they are breathing, which reminds me of my most annoying colleagues in the primary school who were taking notes of other people grades and of the occasions i was skipping this and the other class). Anyway the last week debates which turned into bloody fights, horror images of red-faced-with-veines-pulsing-on-their-forehead outraged guys ready to stab enemies or even sue the s**t out of them are a clear example that tolerance towards opinion is not exactly the strong point of many fellow members.

    3. have some understanding with sensitive egos: IGNORE THEM. Most of the rating-related problems are rooted in egos of participants, deeply sensitive in their infantilism, they go to fight on a you-rated-bad-i-take-revenge kind of attitude which drops over their eyes a thick veil behind which photography is nothing but a pretext for showing their byceps of vanity.

    4. i think restricting access of new members to the site is deeply discriminatory and would be a worst consequences situation, first of all because ghost-rating will anyway continue to exist and second because it would associate the photo net with the immage of a self-sufficient are-you-good-enough-to-be-one-of-us exclusivist community which would be against the very principle of it: LEARNING. And Vuk, many people don´t have any kind of e-mails than web based (i for example have a bussiness e-mail which i rather don´t use for private purposes and, becuse i am always moving from a place to another i have no reason to contract a dedicated private e-mail account, for the simple reason that in the last two years i lived in four different countries) you can´t put that against them.

    5. rating involves a combination of so many factors that are not only impossible to quantify, but their action differ from individual to individual: no matter how many criteria you will formalise to make rating better: experience, age, own photos, studies, race, richness, if you get my point, or hell knows what else, there will always be one criteria you didn´t think at and that will overrule your system: mood is worth to mention, along with taste (de gustibus...).

    6. choosing a jury every week among members of the pn community, on a random basis, to vote for the POW in a system in which, let´s say, their votes are calculated in an algebrical average with average of all the votes of all the other members, could be a way to make the choice of the POW more openly, but i personaly have nothing against the way it is now.

    in any case, show some tolerance use some generosity in aproaching debates here and don´t forget that many (i´m one) members just want to learn how to make good pictures.

    take care,

  195. First maybe I'm confused. I see such intense displays of emotion regarding the possibiltiy of tampering in the top photographer ranks. Did I miss something, is there a prize or a cash award for being the top rated photographer on I guess since I am an amatuer I cannot fully appreciate the intensely competitive nature of professional photography.

    Secondly and more importantly I believe you there would be more comments and ratings if there were a convienient way to do both at one time. I for one sometimes choose to do one or the other because if you rate the photo you have to wait for the screen to reload before you can then add a comment. Now with the upgrade to the way the database is displayed you have to change tabs to rate the photo to begin with then add the comment. If it were possible to do both actions in one place I know I would personally be more likely to do both.

    Mind you I think it should be an option not the only way to do it. I know there are times to go through and rate an entire folder and you don't want to have to leave a comment every time.
  196. Can't there be a simple software solution to this? Why not scour the registered members list for duplicate IP Addresses? My guess is the cheaters are using the same computer anyway, and this would weed them out real quick.

    I have been a target of some of these attacks, and suspect that there are also some that are giving their own porfolios high ratings in conjunction with bombing others' work.

    An IP address ban from this site should be enforced for anybody caught cheating, IMHO.
  197. Chris I empathise with your situation, many of us have been
    "attacked" by accounts that seem valid (i.e. they have 5 or 6 pics)
    but are probably secondary and tertiary accounts for a "front
    man." What to do?

    Your solution is flawed. Consider this one example : a
    photographic lab employing 10 people. 3 are members of and using the same ISP and computer/ network. Run a
    search for same IP and then accuse these 3 of being 1 and ban
    them from the site?

    I don't think so. I have said I too was attacked - let me add, I am
    no poorer for it, no blood was spilled, there are no contusions on
    my body, my ego is much as before - in a way I took it as a

    As someone stated, there are no prizes for being #1.
  198. Before I begin, two things need mentioning. First, I have not read all of the above, but I do know that many (valid) arguments have been made both for and against a rating system. Second, whatever may ultimately be done, the fiasco we are presently experiencing on the POW page is a clear indication that the system MUST be completely overhauled or eliminated. While I have advocated the elimination of ratings, this need not be the path chosen, but PLEASE elves, do something. In any event, the following is reposted from the POW thread of this week:

    First, I have been involved in photography for about one year, and a registered member of this site for nearly as long. I am pleased with my progress, but readily admit I am not even close to the caliber of some of the better photographers here (Dummett, MacEachern, Julian, Bayer, Heller, Allen, Spinak, Vuksanovic come to mind - but there are MANY others). For me, this site has proved an invaluable tool in learning, recognizing, and appreciating the fundamentals of photography. It has shown me the possibilities that this wonderful medium can offer. And I truly appreciate the fact that I have an opportunity to *interact* with quality photographers such as those I have mentioned.

    For me, I find myself somewhat neutral to the *idea* of ratings, but given the exponential growth in abuse of the system, and the generally lowered atmosphere of this site as a result, I now find myself absolutely opposed to the *practice* of ratings. Many on this site will know who I am by the comments I leave, but none will know me by my ratings *because I do not rate*.

    Now, I recognize that ratings *can* serve a useful purpose in directing people towards some of the more generally acclaimed work that can be found here, but it seems to me that, at this point, the negatives far outweigh this meagre benefit. As such, why not simply *stop* rating. Tris has talked about the absurdity of ratings, yet continues to practice this dark art. Again, why not just stop? I have benefitted greatly from this site without rating a single picture and without receiving a single rating since I don't have any uploaded photos to rate (a matter I hope to rectify by this summer since I think it a valid assertion many have made about the diminished credibility of a critique by a photo.netter with no uploaded photos (me), vs. a critique by a contributor with uploaded photos of marginal quality (Tris) vs. a critique by a contributor with a magnificent portfolio (any of those photographers previously mentioned)). So if I can benefit from this site without giving or receiving ratings, why can't others? (BTW, when I do upload photos, I intend to attach a disclaimer discouraging, although not necessarily prohibiting ratings if the photo.netter feels compelled to rate). The bottom line is that the benefit of this site comes from the discussions it stimulates, and the exposure it offers. Ratings, while theoretically intriguing, have become an absurd reality.

    I'm not sure if I can encourage a ground swell of support or not, but I would propose that the core group of contributors to this site simply stop rating. Through a considered disassociation such as this, perhaps we can encourage quality photographers to remain active and valuable contributors to this site. That is my hope.
  199. Should you have an interest in a couple of 24 hour discussions on this subject they have been retained here.
  200. The only thing I think will work is what I've suggested to photo net and what many other members have supported. A 15 member jury made up of an honest, talented, and diverse group of anonymous members. Anonymous to us and to each other... that take a look at "nominated" images (with a special box where any member could say they nominate this image) and the 15 or so vote on whether the image meets the tough standards to get on a separate list of "Best Photos". That would be a true list and would also be under greater scrutiny just as the POW is. Some would agree with the choice and others would not agree and there would be great/stimulating debate in the comments. There would be no silly worries about how the comment/rate would effect the standing on the Top Member List which would just continue to be the farce it is....OR maybe, just maybe people would go out and shoot really good images and hope and try and learn and improve and be honored for their effort with a spot on the honest list. We, as members could benefit from a list of voted top images where we could go when we want to learn from the best. That is something I'd like to see.
  201. I like Mary's faceless committee idea a lot. The "chosen ones" would be anonymous but members would at least know that the selection committee was drawn from among the ranks of consistent and trusted contributors to the site -- and therefore less likely to moan about an elven conspiracy!

    As already mentioned by others, I think the rating system has merits. In the main, the Top Member Rated photos are of a very high standard and the top 200 of the Top Rated Photographers contains some excellent stuff.

    But it is clear that things really got crazy once the rankings page was introduced so I would suggest scrapping that and maybe tweaking the rating parameters to be a bit more intuitive than just "originality" and "aesthetics".

    More than anything, though, the site should be about the pictures. Increase the number of random high-standard photos on the homepage from 1 to, say, 5, and categorize the POW selection to reduce the amount of in-fighting between the various factions (e.g. landscape, people etc).

    The system ain't that broke, but the level of competition needs to be reduced and the focus of POW needs to be diluted.
  202. It is a very great pleasure to see that, as of today, the top rated list of photograpers no longer provides competitive ratings, and that each photo posted to can now be judged on its own merits without considering the effect the rating will have on the photographer's ranking. I hope that this is the beginning of a return to confidence in the ratings system. Thank you elves.
  203. Well I checked out for the first time in eight months. Had a look at the POW and saw the same old juvenile antics by the same
    people. Looks like nothing has changed. I'll keep watching this thread but I won't hold my breath. There are a lot of good ideas buried
    and forgotten in this thread. See you all in another few months. DK.
  204. There are many good answers to this question from so many dedicated people on what is lost is not only getting low ratings from people but high ratings from friends...and comments like " nice image" ...etc....honest comments that can lead to more creative and technically better photography is mostly forgotton...I joined and I thought highly of this forum...and still think so....but like all other clubs...have ( few ) people who spoil a good thing...
    I am rattling on....
    make people comment on each image they want to rate and make them have at least 10 images posted...
    this will not totally solve the problem ..but maybe I think (hope)
    this will discourage the bad element for giving real low votes...
    now ...what about the friendly game ( high rating ) between people?....I have no answer!
    anyways...its Easter and I wish YOU ALL a HAPPY One!!!....detlef
  205. I too, like Mary Ball's suggestion. How implementable is it? I don't know. The folks behind the site will have to decide.

    I disagree with earlier comments I read asking to get rid of the "Top Rated" area. It is not perfect, but on a site with SO many images, (many, lets face it, not worth the download), it helps to have a place like "Top Rated". As for the ratings system itself. It too is far from perfrect, but it could be used by Mary's 15 member jury to select "guest" members (or say a 10 member jury to pick 5 guest members every month or so). The jury could look at ratings from users and decide on that if the people are being realistic, or childish, or whatever.

    I would also like to see (forgive me if it exists and I haven't seen it) the ratings by folder. Even with a fair amount of gamesmanship in individual ratings, etc. I have to believe that a person with 20 pictures in a folder whose folder gets a high rating must have something worth looking at! I guess this is behind the "top rated", but I'd like to be able to see users by folder ranking.
  206. "Aesthetics" to most people implies beauty. Now I have nothing
    against beauty, but why should beauty be the measure of a good
    photograph? I can remember several photojournalistic
    masterpieces in Life magazine that were not aesthetically
    pleasing, but they were outstanding photos. In the era of the
    Vietnam war, one was of a close quarter execution by pistol shot
    in a man's head. It was brutal and completely unaesthetic but it
    is one of the outstanding pictures of the war. Some of the WWII
    pictures of Nazi deathcamps also come to mind. We don't
    evaluate movies by the criterion of aesthetics because we realize
    that other ideas are more important. Think of Shindler's List.
    Was it aesthetic? Can we open the discussion to what criteria
    are worth rating in photographs?
  207. Jerry, "aesthetics" has a variety of meanings. It's primary meaning is not beautiful or soothing, as your post implies. It is closer in meaning to "artistic value".
  208. yeah, the way that i have interpreted "aesthetics" when making a critique is to just follow the elements and principles of design, following the rule of thirds, making sure someone or something isn't "falling" out of the picture.... and for gods sake please check your pictures for trash, dust, hairs when submitting them! i know half of you praise the wonders of photoshop, but even the simplest, and cheapest, photo editing programs provide ways to clean that up.
  209. It is true that the plural word "aesthetics" as a philosophical
    subject refers to more than the beautiful, especially as pertaining
    to the fine arts. However the singular word "aesthetic" and the
    word "aesthete" are both defined in my dictionary in terms of
    beauty. I really believe that the majority of ratings are given by
    viewers of as though aesthetics means beauty and
    nothing else. I suggest that anyone who disagrees with this
    position, try submitting a perfectly crafted, well exposed and
    color balanced photo of a disagreeable subject and watch what
    kind of ratings it gets.
  210. I enjoy giving and receiving ratings - maybe we could just clarify the scale for people a little, or get rid of the numbers and rate them from "snapshot worthy of putting in family album but not much more" to "hey you should try to get that published!" I really appreciate the input I get - although I've had people get mad at me for giving their photos poor ratings and retaliate. There are lots of photo critique websites out there which aren't as popular as photonet, and I think the numeric ratings system and the top member-rated photographres section are what sets it apart.

    I liked it when the "top member-rated photographers" page included more photographers and gave everybody a number - that way I could check my progress and see if I was getting any better. I new I'd never make the top 100 but at least I could guage whether or not I was improving.
  211. Points is like money (destructive), comments is like reason (constructive)
  212. I'm new on and posted just a few pictures but had noticed something very interesting. The lowest ratings I have I got from people without any record of taking a single picture.

    For example

    Baily Seals - 0 uploaded public photos, has rated 16855 photos on this site, with average ratings of 4.38 for originality and 4.64 for aesthetics. Great ratings Baily, but hello, do you know what are you talking about or you just know how to use your mouse?

    Jack Roberts has rated 1046 photos on this site, with average ratings of 3.83 for originality and 3.85 for aesthetics. Jack has 0 pictures in his profile. Jack, thank you for rating my work, I'm sure you have lots of to share, can I see something?

    Sandra Dhee - has rated 227 photos on this site, with average ratings of 4.43 for originality and 4.59 for aesthetics. Hello Sandra can I see a picture of yours?

    I understand the human nature and I'm sure there are more people like that but I'm curios why this problem is not fixed by – it is so simple to avoid. Is there any kind of a link from to these individuals?

    Just curios.
  213. I started a new thread with suggestions for improving the utility of photo-critiquing. Here's what I wrote.

    Two Modest Proposals.

    I have two suggestions that I think would improve the feedback that people get on their photos.

    First the very unlikely. Change the rating categories to Technique, Composition, Tonality, and Gestalt. Aesthetics is too broad a term. I factor in questions of technique, composition, tonality and my gestalt to a critique of a photograph. Originality is highly over-rated. There have been thousands of photos of Half Dome made. Few are original. Quite a few are very good photographs.

    Second the possible. Eliminate all forms of criticism except the random critique and make sure the random system is biased in such a way to give every photo at least some minimum number of critiques. Also remove the option of "skip to the next photo". Remove all names from photos to be rated. Remove all names from comments made about photographs. In essence, remove all possibilities of retribution. Photosig, for example, from a critical point of view is dreadful, partly because of the tit-for-tat and retributive critiquing.

    Just some food for thought.
  214. OK, here's my two cents:
    I realized the flaws in the rating system since day one I joined this site. I sent 4 E-mails to the administrator which were not responded to, I gave up.
    I don't think we should ditch the rating system, this is what drives most users and increases participation and traffic flow. It's nice tohear someone say "terrific" but we all like to know how terrific.
    Now, we all know that there are users who have no idea of how to rate an image and some just click-rate out of boredom, etc. None of us want our image to be rated by someone whom we think is not qualified to do so, but still users put out their images to be rated because not that many people would take their time to leave a substantial, constructive critique.

    Here's what I think should be done:
    1- PN should have a comprehensive guide on how to critique an image. This will provide a guide and educates users on what to look for when critiquing.
    2- Eliminate the rate recent thing, IT IS NOT WORKING.
    3- Make it mandatory to leave a comment of minimum legth and encourage them as to why the person likes, dislikes, gives a 7 or a 1 and the next step is the crucial one..
    4- Have an anonymous rating system for people who leave critiques. Here, other users will decide, if they chose to do so, if the user who left the note is a good critique, on a scale of course. You may also want to, something like the balloon you have for paid membership, highlight their names as how good a critique they are judged to be. This will create a lot of incentive for good and responsible judgment and will encourage users to participate.
    5- The new measure for stopping mate rating IS NOT WORKING. This measure dissuades users from rating and besides, no two good photographers can rate one another's images with a 7 unless they wait a month or something like that. You should allow people to rate as many times as they'd like to, rate as high as they want to, but the real value of their given numbers will be evident in the "Judicial Value" other users put on them. Let's say if I'm a bogus account and there is an average value of 0,1, or two has been given to me, my rating will automatically be eliminated, or something like that. Or maybe a 7 given by someone with a value of below let's say 3 or even 4, will automatically be adjusted for. These are simple algorithms and can easily be applied. Sure, this might not be the perfect solution but every single user can participate and do something about it to make it work better. I have my own details worked out and will be happy to share it.
    6- Here is where the doors of possibilities open. You might want to have a page for CRITIQUES of the week, which is being decided by the participation of all users. Then, one could look and browse through the images they have critiqued. I think this will eventually serve a better purpose than "the picture of the week" thing. It will encourage users to understand photography and be better critiques. If you want to get nasty and vindictive, you may want to have a list of worst critiques of the week as well!!
    7- You probably want to keep membership as high as possible and keep the traffic flow as much as possible. These measures, I think, will be self correcting, will keep the excitement level high and will eventually satisfy users as a whole. You may want to keep the records as they are but in the new chapter users may want to resubmit their images if they chose to do so.
    Best wishes.

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