Ridiculously simple suggestion on ratings/Image posting

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by efusco, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. The insanity about ratings and ratings abuse and people who are upset
    that they got ratings when the just wanted comments and people who
    wanted both and etc... have made me wonder about a few simple
    suggestions. There are probably sound reasons they haven't been
    implemented and probably have been considered before, but not in the
    time or threads I've been following. I propose the following:

    When one uploads an image he/she must also select a category for the
    image:
    1)Rate and/or comment--plus a sub-menu to request rating/comment.
    2)Comments only--plus a sub-menu to request comments.
    3)Post only, not available for comments or ratings.

    Then, under the gallery pull-down menu viewers could select to see
    'highly rated images' as under the current system (though highest
    average seems a much better default). They could select to view
    random images to comment and/or rate, they could select images for
    comments only, or they could select images for viewing only.

    Potentially, given the manpower/initiative some 'elves' could select
    the top 100 images each week from the non-rated categories--that's a
    potentially volitile and labor intensive thing I understand, but
    anyone posting under those two categories would have a paragragh on
    the posting page explainig that without ratings the determination of
    'best photos' is subjective and they will, likely, recieve fewer views.

    I dunno, seems simple, the beginners (and those with delicate egos)
    who don't want to be forced to see their photos getting the
    discouraging 1's and 2's but who still want to learn from comments
    would be provided that opportunity albeit with the likelyhood of fewer
    views. I'm not a computer/internet/webmastering expert, but these
    changes seem relatively easy to implement considering the complexity
    of the system in use.

    A final word not necessarily related to the above: I wasn't around
    with all the growing pains regarding the ratings options so please
    don't flame me if this is old old hat, but there are a lot of us
    that've been around for a while and weren't involved. But, I think
    that originality is a good category for rating, but not worth 50% of
    the value of an image. Aesthetics is so ridiculously broad that it
    inhibits even defining the term. If the ratings required one to rate
    multiple things such as 1)'technical quality'[would include
    exposure/sharpness/DOF, etc] 2)'lighting'[choice of
    direction/quality/use of shadow/highlights, etc] 3)'composition'
    4)'originality' 5)'cropping/presentation'[would include
    framing/sharpening/compression, etc] 6)'emotional response'.

    I think delineating that many categories would eliminate and/or make
    much more obvious any 'mate-rating' by seperating the more subjective
    components from the more technical/objective ones. I realize this
    will bias somewhat toward the 'technically perfect/stale' images and
    against the 'capture the moment/journalistic' shots that may lack in
    the technical quality, but everyone realizes there's no "perfect" system.

    I almost dread posting this, but the system seems so embroiled in
    controversy right now, it might be the best time for a drastic overhaul.

    Flame away...
     
  2. While you have put a lot of thought into this, I think the answer is far more simple:

    If one does not want comments or ratings, then one should not post to photo.net.

    period.

    If people have a problem with it then they can go and host their own photos.
     
  3. Rob,
    I respect that point of view, and for a number of people that concept might be shared. However, that is an exclusory approach, IMO. My suggestion would be more inclusive. Why should those who's feelings might be hurt by low scores, or who simply don't feel compelled to be automatically placed into "competition" (which is, at it's core, what the ratings system is) with everyone else be excluded from posting the images they're proud of or recieving helpful/eductional critiques on those images. I don't see the ratings and comment/critique issue as being a single entity. The ratings system lets those of us who are more narcissitic a means of showcasing and showing off our finest work. Not everyone shares that competative spirit yet seek to display for those who might wish to see and for purposes of learning. I don't see that concept as being counter to anything that PN is about. We each have our own reasons for posting or not posting, my suggestion would allow each of those personality types to post here and recieve the type of feedback that the desire.
     
  4. I think ratings from people I do not know, and have no idea the level of respect to have for them, is useless. Add to that the silly games of newly created user names giving revenge ratings and it gets even more silly and meaningless. I've been suggesting for a long time the ability to post an image and ask only for comments and the ability to disable ratings if one wants it that way. Why should I be forced to accept ratings on my images? It's comment and discussion I want and hopefully meaningful comment. Unfortunately the way it is now you can post a critique on someone's photo, and no matter how well meaning you may have been someone will eventually take offense (because let's face it. Most do not want "real" comments/critique or ratings, they want to hear how great they are) next thing you know your photos get bombed by 1/1 and 2/2 from newly created accounts. Ludicrous! <p>The current rating system is worse than useless it foments bad feeling and misunderstanding while having little to no statitical purpose or meaningful defintion. Unfortunately, for some reason, having ratings brings traffic (the wrong traffic if you ask me) and the photo.net staff have decided that's more important than the integrity of the site.
     
  5. Richard,
    I have no personal insight into the intentions or the PN staff, but I suspect the truely do want to build a welcoming all encompassing site friendly to everyone. From Brian's responses to prior posts on this and similar issues I believe he's aware of the problems and has sought to address them but has been trying to ride the line behind having a means of 'seperating the wheat from the chafe' and avoiding the problems inherent in any rating/critique system.

    I proposed this solution and posted it here for discussion of the pros and cons of my proffered solution. Please, I beg, let's not turn this into a rant against the hard working well intentioned staff of PN or a rehasing of the problems with the current system--those issues have been dealt with exhaustively elsewhere.

    I gather that you concur with my proposition to allow exclusion or to elect to be included in the ratings and or critiques when posting images...any other thoughts on my proposal?
     
  6. Evan Fusco,

    photo.net is a giant swimming pool. In the pool there are Olympic swimmers and in the pool there are three-year-olds (and everyone in between). Why should I care one bit when a three year-old complains that they can't swim as fast as the Olympic swimmer and that someone just told them that?

    Photo.net is not a feel-good-every-photo-is-great site. That's what photoSIG is and that's why it's so popular. It is stated, on a number of different spots on this site: if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    I'm sorry but I don't like coddling to people that can't handle criticism when they post their photos on a site like photo.net. It smacks of immaturity at every level.

    You said it yourself in your first sentence:
    "The insanity about ratings and ratings abuse and people who are upset..."

    It is insanity. I don't care one bit about ratings. I do care a lot about comments; if the comment is constructive, so much the better. I'm not saying the current system doesn't have some problems, but bending over backwards for a few squeaky and immature wheels doesn't seem like a good use of photo.net resources to me.

    Perhaps allowing users to select if they want to allow comments/ratings or whatnot is a good idea. But if this is allowed, then I think the same users should be restricted in other ways. If they don't allow comments on photos, then perhaps they shouldn't be allowed to comment on others photos? That seems needlessly complex but why should someone have the "right" to critique someone else's photos without also allowing criticism of theirs?

    As for increasing the choices in how to rate a photo, I think this is a poor idea. The only logical result if this were done would be either 1) to eliminate ratings all together [hey maybe this isn't a bad idea] because of how time-consuming it is, or 2) to have even more users complaining that they should have gotten a 5 on sharpness instead of a 3 which would lead to even more of a mess.
     
  7. Rob, Thanks again for your feedback and insight into this matter. I won't try to talk you out of your point of view, but I thought I'd address where others might take exception or view things in a somewhat different light.
    photo.net is a giant swimming pool. In the pool there are Olympic swimmers and in the pool there are three-year-olds (and everyone in between). Why should I care one bit when a three year-old complains that they can't swim as fast as the Olympic swimmer and that someone just told them that?
    I'm a bit unsure what you mean by the "why should I care one bit when a 3-y/o complains that they can't swim as fast...." It hasn't been my experience that the beginners are necessarily complaining about the low scores so much as the low scores without a usable critique. If you're an Olympic swimmer in your swimming pool metaphor then I think there are a few ways you could approach the problem of the 3 y/o. You could swim around them and let them flounder away until the learn on their own or from others more willing to teach. You could choose to belittle them for their lack of skill and give no insight at all as to how to improve. Or you could take an active roll in telling them where the problems lay and how they could begin to improve. Why should you care? I'm not saying you should...but some of us do. If the bullies in the pool scare all the beginners off by belittling them then the opportunity to learn will be lost. But I don't see any reason your personal perspective (not caring a bit about the complaining beginners) should be forced on everyone any more than I think it's fair the rating system should be forced on everyone.
    Photo.net is not a feel-good-every-photo-is-great site. That's what photoSIG is and that's why it's so popular. It is stated, on a number of different spots on this site: if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
    I adressed this partially above, I just don't understand the fraternity hazing mind-set that there must be 'heat in the kitchen'--why can't it be a welcoming educational environment. I agree with you 100% that I do NOT want this a touchy-feely feel-good-every-photo site. The site would die. But why can't it be set up to allow for solid critiques for those who desire them without the puntative rating system.
    I'm sorry but I don't like coddling to people that can't handle criticism when they post their photos on a site like photo.net. It smacks of immaturity at every level.
    Again, mainly addressed above, but I don't see how you equate eliminating or allowing one to elect to be deferred from participating in a completely bogus rating system that can be discouraging to someone already frustrated with improving their photography is viewed as 'coddling'--I'd like you to elaborate. I do not want nor intend that with my suggested approach. Remember that those who choose not to have their photos critiqued are going to be very very limited in the views that they get. I find it hard to believe, also, that very many people will go through the 'critique only' images just so they can spread around a bunch of "cool", "nice", and "bravo" type comments...
    You said it yourself in your first sentence: "The insanity about ratings and ratings abuse and people who are upset..." It is insanity. I don't care one bit about ratings. I do care a lot about comments; if the comment is constructive, so much the better. I'm not saying the current system doesn't have some problems, but bending over backwards for a few squeaky and immature wheels doesn't seem like a good use of photo.net resources to me.
    Hmmm, I don't see this as either having the limited scope that you do (I could easily be wrong) nor as 'bending over backwards'--it seems a simple change that could facilitate more people using the site in a way most useful/productive/meaninful to them. I would guess that the vast majority of people do not want or care about the ratings but would love to have the ability to share and have their images critiqued. As I understand it the ratings were a bit of an afterthought as a way to select out the superior images for others to view. For those who don't care about the popularity contest part of the site they shouldn't have to participate (IMO) in the ratings--who's that coddling?
    Perhaps allowing users to select if they want to allow comments/ratings or whatnot is a good idea. But if this is allowed, then I think the same users should be restricted in other ways. If they don't allow comments on photos, then perhaps they shouldn't be allowed to comment on others photos? That seems needlessly complex but why should someone have the "right" to critique someone else's photos without also allowing criticism of theirs? I really hadn't thought about that, but that would make it difficult...what if I posted a small portion of my photos for rating (obviously those would be the ones I felt were the best/most competative), a number for critique only, and a few for viewing only? Would I still be allowed to rate? I guess I don't see any reason to restrict who could rate/vote--there's no such restriction now and it just smacks of the old revenge fear thing all over--which is what I'm trying to eliminate. It's as if you want to be able to retaliate if someone gives a harsh critique/rating. I'd prefer to see that activity curtailed and leave it to the administrators to deal with.
    As for increasing the choices in how to rate a photo, I think this is a poor idea. The only logical result if this were done would be either 1) to eliminate ratings all together [hey maybe this isn't a bad idea] because of how time-consuming it is, or 2) to have even more users complaining that they should have gotten a 5 on sharpness instead of a 3 which would lead to even more of a mess.
    I don't think that what you suggest is the "only logical result"--but it is a plausible one in some cases certainly. I do not suggest (and did not try to) that my suggestion is perfect--It doesn't exist and never will. But, it would allow for more practical application of the scores by the individual who's photo was rated and more critical evaluation of unfair rating practices--a photo that was clearly out of focus or underexposed but got a perfect 7 on technical would call into question the scorer's motivations. I concur, problems with this system will arrise...not everyone will be magically happy with their scores nor will everyone agree, but the rainbow effect(some 1s and some 7s in the same category) should be tempered a bit by that approach.
    Thank you again for your reasoned input, it should help give the forum administrators food for thought.
     
  8. Evan,
    You seem to have changed thoughts mid-stream here. I'll pick out the two key-phrases I picked up on from your original post, and one from your last comment:
    upset
    delicate egos
    old revenge fear
    First you're talking about abuses of the system and users complaining about ratings they do not want and then, in your last post you accuse me of not helping beginners.
    Whoah. Where did that come from? Where did I ever say beginners should be left to die in the deep end of the pool? Where did I every say that I /wasn't/ one of those beginners? It's pretty obvious that I'm still wearing water-wings myself.
    You seem to be twisting the post to form a view not originally expressed.
    Do I think beginners should be helped? Yes. Of course yes. Absolutely.
    Do I think beginners should be criticized? Yes. Of course yes. Absolutely.
    Do I think beginners should be coddled? No. Of course not. Absolutely not.
    Do I think beginners should be prepared to have their images, posted in a public space, degraded? Yes. Of course yes.
    Do I think beginners should be subjected to hateful comments with no redeeming quality? No. Of course not.
    Does criticism need to be civil? Maybe. Probably.
    Is a valid criticism invalid just because the tone is not civil? No.
    I was under the impression, from your original post, that you wanted to provide a solution to users who didn't want their photos rated at all. I disagree with that concept, without limiting the same users ability to also rate others photos.
    But I never ever said beginners should be left floundering.
    Finally, from your last comment: I would guess that the vast majority of people do not want or care about the ratings but would love to have the ability to share and have their images critiqued. As I understand it the ratings were a bit of an afterthought as a way to select out the superior images for others to view. For those who don't care about the popularity contest part of the site they shouldn't have to participate (IMO) in the ratings--who's that coddling?
    If they don't care about ratings then they don't look at the ratings to begin with which means any ratings their photos get are meaningless to them which means they are not participating in the rating system. I don't understand how people not participating in something are being coddled? If they don't care about the ratings then why would they care if their photos are rated or not? If someone wants to go after my photos and rate them all 1, I simply do not care. But somehow this is photo.net coddling me? Please help me understand your logic with this one.
     
  9. Rob, First of all I'll apologize if I've misconstrued your comments...that certainly wasn't my intention...I tried to use your own words/quotes and address them directly. But, as is often the case with the internet, without a specific frame of reference comments can easily be misinterpreted.
    First you're talking about abuses of the system and users complaining about ratings they do not want and then, in your last post you accuse me of not helping beginners.Whoah. Where did that come from? Where did I ever say beginners should be left to die in the deep end of the pool? Where did I every say that I /wasn't/ one of those beginners? It's pretty obvious that I'm still wearing water-wings myself.
    I got that from the following comment you made, again, I may have misinterpreted your meaning:
    Why should I care one bit when a three year-old complains that they can't swim as fast as the Olympic swimmer and that someone just told them that?
    To me, the tone of the comment suggests a very Darwinian concept. Later in your last post you mention that beginners and those who don't care about ratings can simply ignore them...I agree that that seems reasonable, but it clearly hasn't worked out that way.
    You seem to be twisting the post to form a view not originally expressed.
    I had no intention of doing that, I was trying to address specific issues you'd raised in response to my original post. I still stand my my original suggestion and the main motivations behind it. There are, obviously, lots of other side issues that will eventually be influenced by any change--both for good and bad. I simply feel that my suggestion would be more inclusive and allow all participants to use PN in the way they feel is most effective for them. I fail to see how that is a bad thing and why you take exception.
    Do I think beginners should be helped? Yes. Of course yes. Absolutely.
    Do I think beginners should be criticized? Yes. Of course yes. Absolutely.
    Do I think beginners should be coddled? No. Of course not. Absolutely not.
    Do I think beginners should be prepared to have their images, posted in a public space, degraded? Yes. Of course yes.
    Do I think beginners should be subjected to hateful comments with no redeeming quality? No. Of course not.
    Does criticism need to be civil? Maybe. Probably.
    Is a valid criticism invalid just because the tone is not civil? No.

    You are certainly welcome to your views, but I don't think those views are shared by everyone. I concur with you in part. If by "criticized" you mean an honest, direct and constructive criticism then I agree completely. If you mean "criticized" in the sense you suggest in the fourth line by the term "degraded" then I completely disagree. Why should anyone have an expectation of degradation? Should one be mature enough to deal with it should it come--Yes. Should those who would degrade anyone be permitted to exist in this forum--Hell No! Again, your tone, to me, almost seems to favor the rights/priviledge of the abusive over everyone else--I find it hard to believe that you honestly feel that way, but how else am I to interpret your comments above? Why put the word "maybe" after 'should comments be civil'--why shouldn't civility be the default expectation? Do you somehow equate civility with coddling? I don't--I critique photos from time to time here (maybe 100 or so) and am quite direct in my criticisms. I don't mind going against the tide. Would I ever tell a beginner or anyone else "Your photo sucks"--No way, never. Would I say "You really don't seem to have a good grasp of composition and balance in this image, look at the way the dingyflopper is cut off at the edge while the dohicky is uncomfortably centered. The image is under-exposed, notice the lack of shadow detail at the edge of the dingyflopper". Wow--I said the image is not very good but explained why and how it could be improved--is that coddling because I didn't use a degrading term in your view? If so then perhaps that's exactly where the root of this entire issue lays--a broad interpretation of what a critique is. Nuf said on this, I am straying from the original intent.
    I was under the impression, from your original post, that you wanted to provide a solution to users who didn't want their photos rated at all. I disagree with that concept, without limiting the same users ability to also rate others photos.
    You'd mentioned that previously, and you're entitled to that view and I appreciate that others may share it as well. I addressed my concerns about that concept and repeat that there is no such restriction now. I can go through and rate all the photos I want any way I want...I only have 2 images in my gallery here--not even sure why I put them in there. I use another server for image hosting and don't find the current system of ratings/critiques on PN useful to me. I come here primarily for the forums. In any case, I can quickly delete those 2 photos, go through and rate all your photos with 1s and 2s--what will you do? Probably report me to abuse@photo.net right? Ok, now let's say I upload a few folders from my computer of images. Now I go through and rate all your photos with 1s and 2s. How do you respond now? I hope you'd do the same thing, but by expressing this desire to limit others from rating if they don't allow rating you seem to want to keep the window open for allowing retaliatory rating...what other reason would there be?
    But I never ever said beginners should be left floundering.
    That's true, you didn't.
    If they don't care about ratings then they don't look at the ratings to begin with which means any ratings their photos get are meaningless to them which means they are not participating in the rating system. I don't understand how people not participating in something are being coddled? If they don't care about the ratings then why would they care if their photos are rated or not? If someone wants to go after my photos and rate them all 1, I simply do not care. But somehow this is photo.net coddling me? Please help me understand your logic with this one.
    I don't think I suggested that this PN coddling you. As I said above, I agree that people should ignore the ratings if they don't matter to them. However, it is clear that it is against the nature of many here to simply ignore them, they take them personally. Maybe I am coddling those delicate egos a bit by allowing them to be excluded from being rated...so what. Who says you have to be a 'tough-guy' to learn to become a better photographer. Of the many thousands of visitors here do you really thing a significant number expect/desire to 'make it' in the competative profession of photography? I doubt it. I think most just want to learn something so they can take better pictures for their own satisfaction. If they post a photo here should they have to accept a terrible rating without constructive comment--essentially a cheap shot? You might think they should (and you seem to feel that way)--I personally feel that that is not constructive or useful to anyone in any way. Others will share both of our views and have many other views to boot.
     
  10. Those who feel strength in their beliefs and talents do not smack down others.

    I'm not saying that people shouldn't react negatively to an image, but there is a tactful, mature, intelligent method of doing so. Perhaps instead of attacking ratings or critiques, people should attack the method in which ratings and critiques are left, which are often retaliatory and immature as to instigate other members for whatever reason.

    Perhaps if there was a "community watch" on the site (maybe elect a few volunteers? :) ) whom people could report to about people excessively abusing ratings or bullying via critiques, people would not get hung up about others rating or critiquing images.
     
  11. n_p

    n_p

    Well spoken, Laura E. Napolitano!

    Does it really take so much time to be conside-rate?
     
  12. Evan Fusco,

    I'm not sure how to respond. You have repeatedly taken many things that you and I /agree/ on and some how interpreted them as being 1) negative 2) the opposite of what you think.

    I don't understand this. I will re-read your latest response tomorrow when I have an internet that works better than the current one. However, please, perhaps you can explain to me why you have interpreted some of my more terse and direct comments to be the opposite of some of the ideas you have suggested? To me, what I've said is fairly clear, but I'm guessing this is not the case.
     

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