POW forum format

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by dale m, May 27, 2006.

  1. I want to throw some ideas into the air regarding the POW, which I think will
    make it a richer experience and more useful to contributors, readers and the
    photographers themselves.

    Perhaps the POW session could be broken down into stages. First, the photo
    could be displayed but critiques are not possible. Perhaps this stage can
    overlap with the previous POW, a kind of preview into next week's POW. This
    will force people to contemplate the image more before they are able to post.

    Another stage might be a blind critique stage, where critiques can be written
    and submitted, but do not appear, so that the critiques are written completely
    independently (unless the authors exchange notes by e-mail).

    The next stage would then open up the discussion, as is the current situation.
    Here, all the blind critiques would be exposed, and replies and further critique
    can be made.

    Finally, I think that the photographer could be allowed the last say. Let him
    make a final posting, and then close the forum down and preserve it for posterity.

    I wonder if it would also be a good idea for someone to synthesize the
    discussion after it has closed. Unfortunately I can see this becoming a bit
    political and contentious, but it would provide an overview of the photograph
    which is coherent and concise, and more accessible to visitors to past POWs.

  2. What problem(s) are you trying to solve?
  3. I don't have statistics to back this up, but my observation is that many times the POW is a Monday-Wednesday event, with lively exchange taking place in the first couple days, then by Wednesday afternoon the discussions have run their course and are replaced by lengthy periods of silence and sporadic comments and responses.
  4. I just think that a photograph will elicit a richer set of responses in the first place if a) reviewers are forced to spend a little more time thinking about them instead of racing to be the first to post, and b) if reviews were not conditioned on each other. Further, I think the discussion will be more interesting when these blind reviews are revealed.
  5. I think you make an awful lot of assumptions that just don't ring true to me.

    I don't think anyone is going to spend more time than they feel is necessary with an image. And if it takes you a day or more to read an image you have to wonder about the value of the read.

    Any guest is free to do a synthesis of the views presented, but if you are into the discussion, you've already got a sense of what's what and an official view of what's what would really be seen (I think) as kind of silly, if not intrusive. The elves select the POW, for them to also give a consolidated view as well could cause a riot.

    It'd be time consuming for staff also.

    I think you'd see a marked drop in participation if these ideas were implemented.
  6. One premise of the site is that there are no recognized experts, so forget the summary idea.

    For reasons mentioned here and in numerous other threads, a POD would attract a lot more participants per week than a POW, not to mention a much greater variety of images for discussion.
  7. Yes, I agree that the summary idea might cause real problems. It's just that I feel it would be nice to be able to scan all the previous POWs and read an interesting but not too long synopsis of the discussion that took place (I'm here to learn about what makes a photograph good). You are right about it taking up staff time. Another idea might be to ask the previous POW photographer to provide the service, as kind of repayment for giving him the POW? Just another thought to toss around.

    As regards 'if it takes more than a day to read a photograph...', well it is not the reading that takes time, but the composing of a useful critique. My opinion is that forcing people to take this time _might_ produce more deliberated and better quality critiques.

    I think a POD would make the situation worse - the forum would turn into a lot of witty one-liners and `critic-dissing', I think.
  8. It's just that I feel it would be nice to be able to scan all the previous POWs and read an interesting but not too long synopsis of the discussion that took place (I'm here to learn about what makes a photograph good).
    You know, you could take the time to read each POW discussion, carefully consider the fundamental points made, and distill the discussion down to a concise summary, then post it at the end of each POW thread. You have the power to implement your idea yourself, and in the process, you might gain a better understanding of what makes a photograph good (at least you'd have a better chance of gaining that better understanding than you would be just reading the summaries).

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