Rating System Proposal & Vote

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by G-P, Mar 27, 2017.


Like or dislike the proposal

  1. Like

  2. Dislike

  3. Indifferent - don't care for ratings much

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.

  1. Now we're back on topic. This points nicely to the problem with ratings. You believe that opinions reveal. I believe that, as long as you or whomever receives my opinion doesn't know, or respect or listen to what it is an opinion *of* then that opinion reveals nothing at all.

    Ratings as expression of opinions: I think it is a very common belief that we are rating the same picture. We're not. There's a common belief that a critique is not really necessary because we both know what we're looking at: DUH! the picture! It's right there! DUH!

    When, in fact, what I see is *never* the same as what you see when you look at that picture (see, for example any of the PoW discussions). My descriptions of what I see and am made to feel when looking at a picture are not opinions. They are what I see. My opinions are then drawn from what I see; my opinions are dependent upon, are a result of what I see. Since what I see and what you see are different, without a description of what each of us is seeing, the opinion or the rating is utterly meaningless.

    My opinion is *of* some thing; it's meaningless unless you are able and willing to hear my description, to hear MY "of," and not assume that it's a mistake or a delusion or a fantasy or just baloney as opposed to YOUR "of" which is, of course, right there, how can I disagree? it's that picture DUH !. Even when done without rancor, that assumption of the invalidity of seeing that does not jibe with your own because DUH! we're looking at the same thing, leads to a lot of useless, worthless miscommunication. IMO, ratings are one such. I don't mind the existence of ratings, I just think they're meaningless.

    [The "you" and "your" in the above is directed at the general audience, not at Supriyo in particular.]
  2. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    they're not meaningless. a like, admire or rate is highly suggestive of something. it's not necessary to spell out what that something is or even if it is even the same thing that caused me to react.
  3. They are descriptions of what you see. When you and Supriyo look at the same picture, unless you're each living alone inside your own heads (which you're not) you're seeing the same thing and thinking about it and describing it differently. I've read some descriptions of photos and I know as well as I know anything that the description is simply a bizarre pretense and has very little to do with what the viewer is actually seeing. Sometimes the description is a flight of the viewer's imagination based on, but not descriptive of, what the person is seeing. People can also interpret the same thing differently, slightly different from describing it differently. These are all a step beyond seeing.

    We share a reality, helped along by our communities and culture, our shared language, values and symbolism. We are not as isolated as it may seem. A photo is not whatever you make it out to be, want it to be, or force it to be. It's what the photographer made.

    Go to an exhibit of Roman Vishniac's photos sometime. Not in a book or in your head. Go to a real live exhibit that exists in the real live world. Look at people's facial expressions and body gestures. You'll see that people are very much seeing the same thing. Their reactions will vary in nuance but rarely in overall tone and demeanor. Social interaction reveals a lot. One thing it reveals is that we're not all walking around cocooned and consumed by some sort of exclusive inner life.
  4. I have good, intelligent friends for whom I have every respect who voted for Donald Trump. I did not vote for Donald Trump. When they describe what they see around them, it bears almost no resemblance to what I see around myself. It would be lovely if we all saw the same things as the same things: the evidence does not support that claim.
  5. Let's stick to photography.
    Gup and Ray House like this.

  6. Exactly.

    It is necessary *not* to be cocooned in order to realize that other people see things differently than you do. It is necessary to have asked for their description of what they see in order to realize that it is different, rather than assuming that it is or must be the same. And it is necessary to honor and respect that person's description just as the other person will, in a best of all possible worlds, honor and respect your description of what you see. From mutual respect may come understanding.
  7. Just because I mentioned some cases where descriptions are a matter of pretension doesn't mean I think all or most are. I mentioned imaginative descriptions which I highly respect and love to hear. But I understand that they are descriptions and not what the person is seeing. Relate this to photography. A photo is not the same as the thing photographed. A description is not the same as the thing described. A description of what you see is not what you see.

    While I don't much care for ratings, there's something basic and more simple in a rate than a description. A rate, being an abstract numerical shout-out, may just be closer to what one sees than a critique, which is more descriptive and therefore more about what one is adding to what one sees.
  8. Fred, I agree with you that individual ratings carry a meaning and it can connect to a person's thinking and way of seeing. However when multiple ratings are averaged into a single statistical quantity like PN does, thats where I have a problem. The statistics is flawed and the sampling is prone to bias. It may be helpful to see who is giving what rating, but that is not allowed for valid reasons. However, without that, for most of my photos except a few predictable ones, I simply have to ignore the average ratings or be left scratching my head.

  9. Ratings are unreliable if you want them to mean something, for all the reasons labored over in these columns. Nevertheless,
    irrespective of the numbers given, they are effective when used to float images to the top of a collection, like in the old PN where visibility was increased by inclusion in a list of "most rated". In my experience, they more or less doubled the number of views in the short term of approx. one week.
    Landrum Kelly and Ken Ratcliffe like this.

  10. I agree, very much. There's all kinds of useful social interaction that has no clear meaning, yet is valuable (or even lovable ... ). Ambient sound has flavor and worth; all the little things that say "we're here."
    Landrum Kelly likes this.
  11. I got much support when I posted an old photo of a friend who passed away in January. Yes, this meant more than any numerical rating.
  12. John,
    That helps those whose photos get consistently high ratings and unfairly suppresses those that don't. Picking on your first sentence, that ratings don't mean much, then a meaningless quantity is being used to highlight images to receive more visibility, while many potentially good photos (some with lateral thinking involved that may not seem attractive at first glance) are sent backstage. I think that's harmful for new learners who gain a lot of insight by seeing quality work.

    Ratings usually highlight photos with aesthetics that cater to prettiness and familiarity and leave out the whimsical, the eccentric, or the ones involving some sort of acquired taste.

    I am not saying ratings should be abolished, but it needs serious overhauling from it's current model if we are to expect any meaningful use out of it. Even in the modern world, if one pits Duchamp against Ansel Adams in a popularity contest, it's not difficult to predict who will win by a large margin. That doesn't mean much because the statistics is flawed.
  13. I agree with Supriyo. Ratings, Likes, and Admires should have little, if anything, to do with visibility.

    I haven't thought the next part of this through completely, so there may be a flaw I'm not thinking about. What about tying visibility into participation? The more one contributes to the community, the more one's photos get an increase in visibility. That would seem to encourage participation and lessen the notion that ratings, likes, and admires have any substantive meaning beyond the social interaction they may provide.
    Supriyo likes this.
  14. Good that you brought us back to topic. Thanks for that. I don't think rating is an opinion at all. It may seem so, but in reality it is just a readout of someone's feeling of a photo at a particular instant. That may have its own merit. Opinion deserves some thought or lingering over a photo that most people don't while they are in a state of flux, rating multiple photos.
  15. I like it, at the same time I think participation can also mean, someone uploading his whole sd card full of family photos on PN daily and thereby gaining visibility. We wouldn't want to see such photos or people highlighted. May be the visibility that the computer decides from the participation statistics can be filtered through the site moderators before actually using on the site.
  16. Good point. Yes, I was thinking not in terms of number of photos uploaded but in terms of number of critiques given and number of forum posts. There may be other means of contributions that could be considered as well, if the administration wants to go this route.
  17. I wrote above on the effect of ratings on visibility. It was not a judgment value, whether one considers it a good thing, fair or not, is for each one to decide.

    Personally, I do not approve of ratings on PN. They are not of a sufficient number or variance to be plotted in any meaningful manner and are therefore of no statistical interest. When the subject was first discussed, I voiced my opinion against ratings as I did again through my vote in this column.
    Supriyo likes this.
  18. We had visibility with participation in the old site where those photos popped up at the bottom of every thread according to who posted. I got thoroughly sick of seeing the same photos by the same people over and over again.
  19. Not quite, Julie. Visibility at the bottom of threads was only granted if a photo had been submitted for ratings, which severely limited the pool from which those photos were chosen. I am trying to untie visibility and ratings, which is precisely the opposite of the way old bottom-of-the-thread system worked.

    Besides, I think we're talking here about a specific area where photos would be given visibility, similar to the old top-rated photos area, only without the tie to ratings. So if anyone were to become nauseated by what they were seeing, they could easily avoid that area of the site and protect their sensitive tummies. ;-)
  20. Thanks for making it clear.
    John Peri likes this.

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