This is getting ridiculous!

Discussion in ' Site Help' started by johnmyers, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. It's simply ridiculous what lengths some people will go to to ruin
    other people's ratings and what not on this site. Is there anything
    that the admin can even do? Even if they ban IP's, that doesn't
    prevent the moron from using a proxy. I suppose a script could be
    written that requires a comment for ratings of 3 and below. I feel
    sorry for you admin, it must get frustrating for you too fighting all
    the idiots that somehow figured out how to use a computer.
  2. John,

    You probably know already but most of those people who rated your recent photograph are works of fiction.

    It's been said before, but only Subscribers should be allowed to comment or rate photos - the abuse has gone too far this time.

    The benefits of membership between Subscribers and non-Subscribers is too slim to justify signing up for many.
  3. mg


    Agreed. With both of you.
  4. Yes, yes, yes. I guess the right attitude would be to ignore the rating and just rely on the constructive critiques and comments. However, since the rating is such an important fundamental of my ego is getting upset by this embarresment to ... Or I just post some porn on my album to boost my ratings again.

    Phil G: If you are reading this: More than two people have complaint, more will come, please address this issue.

    Some constructive ideas:

    I don't like the idea of paying members only, this is against free speech and the open idea of

    However, an alternative would be to require every new member to give 5-10 constructive feedback comments on some pictures. The comment can then be evaluated by others already aproved (something like amazon's "was this review helpful" sort of thing) and if they added X many useful comments they can be trusted to rate and critique other people. With the amount of users has getting trusted if you can write a decent comment should take no time at all, so it is not a real hazzle to new people, but would be a relief to the rest of us.
  5. Oskar,

    I don't like the idea of paying for any service I receive - but I accept it as a fact of life.

    When you can get the same benefits as somebody else without paying, why would most people bother?

    If taxes were optional, would everybody pay?
  6. I can appreciate your frustration John Myers. I've only been on here a short time. I love the opportunity this site offers to view so many wonderful photographic images from all over the globe. It's nice to see what other people, throughout the world are doing in the craft. Here's my take, (doesn't mean that I'm right, but this is how I feel.) There are some EXTREMELY talented photographers on this site. Then there are some EXTREMELY talented artists on this site. It's wonderful when Art and Photography come together. But it's not necessary for a great photograph to be also a great work of art. I'm a professional photographer who earns his living in photography. I also teach photography, both film and digital. I've noticed the low scores also on some work that is technically excellent, from a photographic stand point. My FEELING is: there are many on this site that have NO idea about the technical aspect of a good photograph and focus on THEIR own ideas of what THEY like. Most of THESE type people are novices and what I call wannabees. However, they are still entitled to their opinions. I've also noticed after some investigation into this subject, that there are four individuals on this site who "sabatoge" new postings on this site. That leads me to believe that these individuals probably are buddies and do this collectively. In other words, they may get a low rating from someone, so they email their buddies and tell them WHO gave them the low rating, then they all go and attack that individual with low ratings. That's happened to me. But here's the way I look at it: SO WHAT!! If I like my photo and KNOW it's quality, what do I care? I have put a disclaimer under the comments of all of my entries as such: "Please leave a comment, as ratings are meaningless to me, unless I know your level of expertise." Hope this diatribe helps you to feel better. Best Regards, Michael Harris
  7. Yes, it is getting ridiculous...
    I happened to come across a recent upload from Momo Vuyisich, near the bottom of the 24-hour Gallery. Only four of the 12 raters are genuine photo.netters, the rest are all from newly created accounts.
    I've said it before and will repeat myself one more time. 100Mb of image space for PN subscribers is very generous - i.e. a great incentive to pay your $25. As an additional feature, it should not be too much trouble to stop non-subcribers from rating, imo.
    In another thread, spaghetti western has pointed out that this recent flood of bogus raters might well be a deliberate attempt at trying to force changes to the current ratings system. That may be so, but whatever is behind this flood of new accounts, something has got to be done about it.
    I'm currently in 'summer holiday mode' and usually don't take much notice of what's happening at PN during this time, but this is simply ridiculous alright!
  8. When signing up for email accounts or similar we are often asked to enter a code that is seen in graphic form. This stops (pretty much) automatic sign ups. A similar system 'could' be used for rating a picture. I am not sure of the practicalities of such a system but entering a 3 or 4 digit code to have your rating accepted is something I would be more than happy to do!
  9. Robert Janevski have more of 15 false accounts. I reported it to abuse Yesterday.
  10. I was a member of P.N for approximately 2 years before becoming a paying member. I found the site very helpful and so decided to subscribe. I do not think that the opinion of a non paying member is any less than a paying member. That said, the present system as is, is ridiculous. How about paying members can rate at will and non paying memebers are required to enter a code to have their rating accepted?

    I do not know how easy this would be to implement but it does sound sensible to me. What does everyone else think?
  11. What is going on with this place? Someone is good and pissed for sure. Last night I got hit with 3 2/2's and 3 3/3's on one of my images...

    Brian. Do something please. This place just isn't fun any more. 30 people control the TRP. Really valued members hardly participate. Robot raters. Ghost raters that don't contribute financially.

    I support all of this with a 3 year subscription?

  12. Well - I had one guy with 6 accounts give me 2s and he actually has basically a tastless porno shot on the site. Will will bet (and I make a living at poker) that Mohan Al-Granhi Stan Blanford Candy E Markus G Demoutis Ghatun C Tahalem Gill Thomas are all the same person
  13. Something has to be done, that's for sure, but I don't agree with limiting the ability to rate to paid subscribers only.

    I was a member of this site for about 2 1/2 years before I paid up. I had wanted to pay, and indeed had tried, but not being a US citizen, and the hassles/impossibilities of joining Paypal when you're an Australian living in Taiwan made it impossible to do so. It was only with the kind help of one of the mods (thanks Jeremy) that I was able the pay-up by proxy.
  14. You folks are getting all hot under the collar about 7 people out of the 980 people who rated photos yesterday. The ratings of those 7 will all be deleted automatically this afternoon at around 3:00 PM, without any intervention from me. Two of the seven were a bit more persistent than normal, and gave a total of 400 low ratings between the two of them, out of 4700 photos that were rated in the last 24 hours.

    This is not a sudden huge onslaught of bogus low raters and we are not under any kind of attack. I think some of you are perhaps overreacting now because of the incident this weekend. This is routine; we have been deleting bogus ratings like this automatically every day for months. We get a few malicious low raters every single day -- and their ratings are deleted automatically in 24 hours.

    By the way, of the 7 people whose ratings are going to be culled, 4 of them were people who had registered more than a month ago; so the flood of "new" members "attacking" photos amounts to 3 people. To put it in perspective (which seems to be a little lacking), there were about 280 people who registered yesterday.

    Recently-registered people have always been responsible for the majority of ratings. Didn't you realize that? If you set up obstacles for new people to rate photos, you would reduce the number of ratings dramatically, and increase the influence of mate-raters, etc.
  15. Neither subgroup of raters is valid. One because they are unfamiliar with the gallery as a whole, and the other because they rate people.

    Don't you realize that?
  16. Regardless of whether things are out of control in statistics or perception alone, I think there have been some valid suggestions for improvement in this thread. I would find it valuable to be able to mark critiques / comments as valuable or bogus.

    If that were available someone's ratings and comments could be in a "pending" state until they had submitted some number of valuable critiques. This might cut down on some of the static, but more importantly I think it could be an incentive for someone to spend more time thinking about an image than speed-rating.
  17. C. G. I have no evidence that "speed rating" is bad. Of course, it is bad if the person is a troll and leans on the "1" key. He can create a lot of crud in a short time which doesn't get clearned up for a while. But such behaviour is rare, and we do deal with it. I don't think it is a good thing to slow everybody down just to stop that behaviour -- not when we can fairly easily delete those ratings after the fact.

    Apart from trolls, it isn't clear to me that the rating that someone gives in 10 or 15 seconds is worse or even, on the average, different, from the ratings that are given after what you might consider a reasonable length of time.

    Yes, there are some photos that reward a longer look. In the famous Cartier-Bresson photo of the man leaping over the puddle, you might not notice the poster in the background in a quick glance. But how many photos are like that? Besides, how many people never notice the poster no matter how long they look, unless it is pointed out by someone else? The vast majority of photos are not that subtle, and when the photographer thinks otherwise, often the subtleties are only in his or her mind.
  18. Well, I'm new but I'm joining. Sending im my check though after a bad incident with Pay Pal on Ebay. It's a great site. Wish I'd found it sooner. Perhaps requiring comments WITH a rating would eliminate the drolls, as one member tagged them.
  19. Adding my 2 cents- (It's probably worth less that!) I have to agree with David, Dave and Carl.

    Brian- bringing things into perspective is interesting, however, I do see the overall effects Dave mentions. I find myself contributing less and less and moving on to other sites. All these same complaints can be seen in thread, after thread, after thread on PN for eons. What to do? I don't know the answer, but I feel it's dragging PN. It's such a shame too, PN really is a wonderful photography site for both professionals and amateurs to communicate and learn without costing you an arm and a leg.

    I really don't care about the ratings of my personal images, I enjoy looking and learning from others much more. However, I do respect the fact that others do care about ratings. I feel that both rating and commenting on PN is a privilege, not my God given right. I've learned if you give some one something for nothing it becomes worth nothing. However, if it is treated as a privilege and it is earned, it becomes valuable. I admit I don't know what the answer is. The rumor factory flies with rumors that the actual PN staff is behind most of the bogus ratings. Say it ain't so Brian? I flatly refuse to believe this. It's just a darn shame that people like Dave N., who is a wonderful photog., not forgetting to mention David and Carl, have to resort to forum postings to air their frustrations. This should tell you something. Oh well, good luck. I'm off to to take a few paid on-line classes. (Cost me one of my legs, but I was able to keep both arms, propping myself up now with an old Ries wooden tripod leg) I hope sometime soon life settles down to a low roar on PN.
  20. All these same complaints can be seen in thread, after thread, after thread on PN for eons. What to do? I don't know the answer, but I feel it's dragging PN.
    Make complaints about the rating system off-topic in this forum. If people don't like how the Gallery is set up, there is nothing that compels them to participate, and giving them a platform to complain about it all the time just makes others dissatisfied.
  21. One thing common to the robot rates is that the distribution of their responses ALWAYS falls into a non-normal curve. I've run through the ratings of legit raters and, once they have done enough ratings, their distribution ALWAYS is normal. Since the robot raters always hit with a few hundred ratings very quickly, some sort of data-base trigger when a user hits, say, 300 ratings that checks for abnormal distributions should catch the robots within minutes of their appearance.
  22. Brian, sent you an email...
  23. Brian, You see the same complaints time after time in thread after thread. Does that not tell you that the paying members are not happy? I really do believe I have suggested the best solution, so far, to ease this problem. Paying members can rate at will and non-paying members are required to enter a code to have their rating accepted. Surely, but surely this keeps the P.N policy as you want it and stops the majority of Robots and Trolls who are upsetting the paying members.
  24. David,

    As I posted earlier - what are you getting for your $25 that a non-subscriber isn't? Yours and my opinions are worthless and treated with disdain - "if you don't like it, go away" (or don't bother paying anything at all would seem to be their message).

    Regrettably, I can only conclude that on a site that has a high percentage of income from advertising, any members are welcome, whether they be bogus mate raters or revenge raters, the administration simply don't care!
  25. Mark, How right you are. However, what if all the paying members:-

    1. Demanded their money back.

    2. Posted messages all over the site discouraging new members from subscribing.

    I do get a lot from the site but I am fast becoming disillusioned and frustrated with it. Maybe we ALL should be asking for our money back unless something is done about it. I really do believe I have come up with a very good solution to this problem in my earlier posting. I would be grateful to know what you think about it.
  26. Mark, my point being..... if I go away as you suggest, do I get my money back?
  27. The going away part wasn't my suggestion....but you realised that?
  28. "Make complaints about the rating system off-topic in this forum"

    Geez Brian, what kind of remark was that? Shaking my head! David & Mark, I think you're right, maybe we should demand our money back! Or maybe we should call B&H or Adorama. Maybe they'd like to know our opinions!
  29. David McCracken: yes it tells me that some people are dissatisfied enough with the rating system to complain if given a place to do so easily. I'm not surprised by this, since the system is a set of compromises, like any social design.

    So what? I am sorry to be rude, but so what? The number of distinct people complaining is a fraction of a percent of the total number of people participating. Moreover, many of them are the same people all the time, and it is not exactly difficult to complain. Not much of an effort is required. The complaint level is more or less constant, and despite that level of complaint, the Gallery is growing at the rate of about 100% per year.

    Overall satisfaction, participation, subscriber revenue, and the overall quality (by my eye) of the photos in the "Top Rated Pages" are the only things that I care about it. The level of complaints is not a key success factor for me, especially since I facilitate complaints (which is probably a stupid thing to do). If you were running an operation, would you turn it on its ear based on the complaints of less than one percent of the "clients"? Besides, even assuming that it made sense to listen to these complaints, the people complaining don't agree among themselves as to what should be done.
  30. I paid my $25 to open myself up to more opportunities to have my pictures critiqued. It doesn't offend me at all if somebody doesn't like one of my pictures and gives it a low rating. I'm actually appreciatave if they explain why.

    The problem, in my view, is that pictures that average a rating of less than 5/5 don't get ANY comments. So, when I post a picture, I hope that at least the first few ratings average to better than 5/5, otherwise the picture is destined for the backend of the TRP and, therefore, total anonymity and obscurity. I gain nothing from the experience of posting the picture. When a few malicious non-paying subscribers blanket rate photos with a 1/1 or 2/2, it puts my picture in a position to not get seen, and not get commented on. And, it irritates the crap out of me and makes me feel like I wasted my $25.

    As somebody mentioned, the real problem to pnet is PERCEPTION, and my perception is that the atmosphere for learning at pnet has dramatically deteriorated over the past few months. For that reason, I haven't been posting. And, for that reason, unless things change, I'll likely not re-up.
  31. I have a suggestion, why not email all the paying and non-paying members with an over all PN satisfaction survey. Maybe most don't complain because they feel intimidated or fear retaliation or just plain don't feel the urge to rock the boat! I feel PN may be out of touch with it's subscribers. Send us a survey, find out what the majority of us think.
  32. I have a suggestion, why not email all the paying and non-paying members with an over all PN satisfaction survey. Maybe most don't complain because they feel intimidated or fear retaliation or just plain don't feel the urge to rock the boat! I feel PN may be out of touch with it's subscribers. Send us a survey, find out what the majority of us think.
  33. "If you were running an operation, would you turn it on its ear based on the complaints of less than one percent of the "clients"?"

    If you foresee it as a problem that can grow and cause damage it is the ONLY time to turn it on it's ear.

    Any later is a formula for disaster. Of course you have to see it as a threat and as you have made it abundantly clear, you don't.
  34. Brian,

    I've complained three times at my local supermarket recently about them selling out of date produce.

    You know what? The Manager never told me "so what?" He never told me "don't shop here then", and he never told me "I don't care".

    Each time he told me how he would take my complaint on board and how he would strive to ensure the problem was rectified. He never once told me that he has 10,000 customers a day through his door and they never complained.

    Now, he may not actually do anything about it but,above all, he wasn't rude.

    We all know that, whilst a large percentage of people can be dissatisfied with something, only a small fraction will actually do something about it and complain.

    If you want to know the true level of feeling about this from people that pay towards the upkeep of this site, have a vote on the front page asking whether rating should be a privelege of paid members. (Of course only paying members should be able to vote on this)
  35. Brian, you say, and I quote, "the people complaining don't agree among themselves as to what should be done....."

    What do you think of my suggestion to allow everyone to rate, but to insist that non paying members have to enter a code.... OOPS! Sorry! You don't care about that!

    People complaining on this site do so because of their dissatisfaction and their complaints generally relate to their own images. What I have suggested is not perfect but is fair to ALL.

    To quote you further, "... the photos in the 'Top Rated Pages' are the only things that I care about it." Isn't it great to know that the images in the TRP are not the best and you are happy with this.........
  36. Brian, you say, and I quote, "the people complaining don't agree among themselves as to what should be done....."

    What do you think of my suggestion to allow everyone to rate, but to insist that non paying members have to enter a code.... OOPS! Sorry! You don't care about that!

    People complaining on this site do so because of their dissatisfaction and their complaints generally relate to their own images. What I have suggested is not perfect but is fair to ALL.

    To quote you further, "... the photos in the 'Top Rated Pages' are the only things that I care about it." Isn't it great to know that the images in the TRP are not necessarily the best and you are happy with this.........
  37. Sure, Dave. But the complaint level has remained constant for the 3 years I've been working on the site, and the nature of the complaints has basically stayed the same.

    During that time, the Gallery has increased by about 500%, and the growth is accelerating, not dampening down. Some of the complainers have been doing so for two years, while continuing to participate steadily! So, you might see why I am pretty jaded when it comes to complaints about the rating system. Finally, I've said in this forum many, many, times for at least the 18 months that I don't pay attention to complaints about the rating system and that people complaining about it are basically wasting their time -- that the last thing that will drive evolution of the Gallery design is complaining in the Site Feedback forum. So my attitude can hardly come as a big surprise to anyone.
  38. End of story? So where does someone complain that you actually listen Brian?
  39. Brian, To quote you again, "I don't pay attention to complaints about the rating system and that people complaining about it are basically wasting their time..." so why place this comment at all? I think the key word in the above is 'basically'
  40. Is Pn a product that you make a living off of?
  41. Jayme's suggestion about a customer satisfaction survey is a great idea. You have the subscriber's email addresses, Brian; a carefully crafted survey could give you direct information, which *might* be more reliable than the inferences you make from statistics (e.g., 100% growth in the gallery year-to-year, etc.).

    Of course, if the people who generally don't take the time to complain or participate in the Site Feedback forum don't do so mainly because of apathy, then they will not submit to the survey, leading it to fail. It might be worth the effort, however.
  42. Brian, irrespective of your thoughts on rating system "reform", it makes a lot of sense to take away the ability of automated mechanisms to rate and comment. And that's what most of the people here are trying to say.
  43. Oh, I forgot one very important aspect of my store manager story - he NEVER ignored me!
  44. I listen to many complaints, problem reports, suggestions, etc in the Site Feedback forum. As concerns abuse, we have an abuse email box and we respond to specific cases of ratings abuse that are reported to us by email. Generally, we delete abuse reports that are made in the SF forum.

    The photo rating system is the exception. Basically, you don't have any input on the rating system because experience has taught me that:

    (1) most/many of the complaints are from people who would like to have higher ratings on their photos, or avoid low ratings, or keep other people from getting "undeserved" high ratings; or have other suspect reasons for complaining. Most people do not see the big picture, but simply are reacting to the ratings on their own portfolio and their own standing in the system, or to isolated incidents.

    (2) the few people who do see a big picture, see the wrong big picture. That is, they think the Gallery should have different goals than it actually has, and their complaints are not based on its actual goals but on the goals they believe it should have. In general, these people are a lot more elitist than I am, and want more restrictions on who can rate. has been successful by not having a lot of restrictions.

    (3) people don't agree on what should be done about the system, and even if they did all agree, they wouldn't be responsible for the consequences if they are wrong. I've had experience of implementing ideas that people proposed before. That did not stop the same people that proposed changes from complaining about them once they were implemented.

    So, when it comes to the photo rating system, there isn't anywhere on where you can complain with the commitment that you will be listened to, and most probably your input on the rating system will not be listened to. If your enjoyment of the Gallery hinges on your having a say in how it will be designed and how it will evolve, you are in the wrong place. Just so you know.
  45. I know all of this must be so frustrating, and I am not here to complain. The problem with ratings is that they are done by people, but that is the last of my editoralizing. I have one little suggestion. You may either discarded if you don't like it or put into the back of your mind to be pulled out when you update the gallery system if you do. You know those randomly pulled images of a alphanumeric code that you get when signing into some sites or, more often, when signing up for a free e-mail account? You may want to use a system like that. I know, anyone with enough free time create and use 5 or 6 accounts to rate won't see it as much of a problem, but it may slow down abusers and stop any use of macros to carpet bomb a photo. I also don't know how much work it takes to impliment or system resources it takes to run.

    Thanks for all of your work on the site. I know that there is no way to make people stop being people (see above. all of the above), but figured my little suggestion was worth 5 minutes of typing.
  46. Your rude!
  47. Here is my input from my perepctive. It's a business issue and a quality issue.

    From a business perspective as long as the gallary is growing then revenue is growing and that's the primary purpuse of the site, grow revenue and grow particiaption.

    From the quality side, the better more serious image makers will drift away over time moving to other competitive sites. The current system does not take into account the human equation where ego drives behavior.

    It is possible to grow revenue and participation while seriousley decreasing the overall quality of submissions. We could be 10 times as big in five years with a million or so mediorce images.

    So what are the goals? Are the members goals and the site managers goals in alignment. Here a fact. The majority of disatisfied customers do not complain they just go away. So be very careful with the assumption that only the same few complain about the rating system so things are okay. Just ask all the Business Icons that have closed their doors over the last 10 years.
  48. "The majority of disatisfied customers do not complain they just go away."

    It's worse than that. The majority of dissatisfied customers go away and tell all of their friends about their bad experience.

    I preached the virtues of pnet (specifically the value of the TRP) to two of my friends who recently got into photography. Now, I'm embarrassed to have recommended it because the TRP gallery is such a joke.
  49. John, I was just looking at the summary of the ratings you have received, and it looks to me like a fairly normal distribution. What exactly WAS your complaint? Is there a specific photo in question?
  50. Dave N. makes one of the most driving points here, Brian - that the TRP is - or at least often seems to be - dominated by the ratings of a very small percentage, whose dedication is fueled by getting each others' photos there. . .This is important as it's knocking back many that don't agree with that perspective, and burying others' photos on a larger percentage rate than would be if that weren't the case.

    <p>This "Mate Rating" circle is permitted to exist, and hey really, who gives a flip - if these guys (and a few gals) want to tell each other how great they are, they can sit around and blow each other all day for all I care.

    <p>But the problem then becomes, as mentioned by Carl and others, that newbies - who surely ARE rating more frequently - will likely never see their own work grow - because their photos will get less visibility as it's buried at the end of the TRP - ergo, fewer constructive criticisms. And that is, imho, one of the best facets of the Gallery pages. What I propose, to enlarge your statement's ramifications, is that the newer members rate more frequently because they have yet to be FRUSTRATED and DISCOURAGED.

    <p> You could find out how they really feel if you did on fact perform a survey. I mean seriously, Brian - it's a valuable tool. You say that the gallery is growing regardless...but what if, through a customer satisfaction survey, you found you could make it grow THREE TIMES as much? Think about it. How many people take the time to complain vs. how many take the time to rave about the site? Or, are you judging log-ins as positive-only? What's the criteria?

    <p> It's really speculation on your part that only the small vocal vote is dissatisfied - it doesn't account for those who silently push away from their keyboards, too non-computer savvy or clever enough to figure out how to voice their opinion, dismayed, their newly-posted photo devoid of constructive comments and buried by "the elites" with mediocre rates. I have worked in customer-focus oriented jobs enough to know that surveys really do give you valuable information. Again, what IF you could have the site grow even more, but didn't know it? What if you were suddenly handed stats that would open up all sorts of new possibilities, from advertising to member retention?

    <p> And finally, in response to your assertations about the motivations of the people actually DOING the complaining here...I don't see your 1-3 argument as wholly valid:

    <p>1. "Isolated Incidents?" You've got to be kidding - I despise math, yet the patterns have been crystal clear to me for months. You've got Mate Rate Clubs, vengeance raters, and dummy accounts everywhere - now even Bots. It's no longer "isolated." It's becoming the institution.

    <p>2. can be as successful as it wants to be. Successful with a vocal - and who really KNOWS how silent an amount of non-vocal dissatisfied customers...or who knows how much MORE successful if it actually asks its entire client base to answer a few questions on a survey. You'll get about a 30% response at best, but at least you'll know if more than 1% are not coming back as often as they would if things were different in your gallery.

    <p>3. Whether they'll be happy with the changes that follow or not, ignoring that the people ARE speaking aloud is a very dangerous thing to do, when you can investigate with the likes of a survey.

    <p> With that all said, I'll never voice another peep here about this subject, I swear it. I know you've got a tough job there, and love the site. But could it be better? Yes, imho, YES. Will I leave? Nah. I learn too much in spite of the gallery rating crap - but I sure do wish I could get more feedback sometimes (hitting 'critique only' doesn't help when they come through and rate new posts before you do it). Bet your new members do, too.

    <p> But it's not right, man - that behaviors are allowed to continue as they are does no one any good at all.
  51. "Stephen H , jan 04, 2005; 02:00 p.m.
    John, I was just looking at the summary of the ratings you have received, and it looks to me like a fairly normal distribution. What exactly WAS your complaint? Is there a specific photo in question?"

    You must have seen the photo ratings after the 7 2/2 ratings were deleted. I send an email to and they took care of it.

    What I can't believe is that those clones haven't gotten their accounts deleted yet (though I would keep their email addys on file so they can't register again). But then again, I suppose the admin doesn't particularly care about this issue, though it has been going on for years apparently.
  52. Brian: "Overall satisfaction, participation, subscriber revenue, and the overall quality (by my eye) of the photos in the "Top Rated Pages" are the only things that I care about . . ."

    I wonder if there are any long time members who fully participate in the photo critique forum whose judgement you would value on both the quality of criticism and the quality of the TRP. I suspect that difficulty in coming up with a short list would be a negative indicator of 'overall satisfaction.'
  53. Christopher Appoldt, I totally agree with what you just said. I hope it gets taken into account.
  54. Crap, I have to break my swear. Brian, PERCEPTION is very, very important to a customer, vocal or silent. How can you begin to assume what they're perceiving? It's pretty important to find out in business of any kind, don't you think?. . . <tips his hat>. . . 'Nuff said. ;)
  55. One of the problems with this thread here (and other threads running concurrently with this one) is that there are several issues actually being lumped together into one. They need to be separated. If I was a brand new site manager and read all of this, I'd probably just want to go to bed. It is confusing.

    The *hackers* issue is a bit overblown from my own point of view. Brian mentioned that some of them WERE subscribers. I had my latest image bombed by twelve of these robots a few hours after posting. Went from the first page down to nowhere-land. The next morning they were all removed and ultimately deleted completely. Sure I would have preferred an instantaneous deletion, who wouldn't? But twelve hours later is still very decent, all things considered. I would suggest we give a little more slack in that department. They really seem to be "on it" in my mind.

    The mate-rating, lowballing, skewed, TRP is an entirely different situation. I could not agree more that many photographers whose images are on the top few pages are there solely because of mate-rating, or because of being part of a clique of friends, that have ulterior motives when rating other photographers. When posting my latest image, I followed it carefully as well as others around me on page one of the TRP. It was a rather sad experience to be honest. I saw other photographers who *regularly* have images on that first page rate my image very low (even though they also rated their own friends very high...friends with snapshots in my opinion). At the same time these exact same "snapshot-friends" also rated my work as well as anybody ahead of their photo-buddy on the TRP very low marks. There is an outright conspiracy or movement to down-rate images, simply to move their buddies up. I also saw photographers give the flattering "great work, have a happy new" year remark on hundreds of images, seeking the same in return. This is in addition to the typical mate-rating clubs that still exist in full force. Basically they hand out high marks to the same people regardless of the actual image quality, expecting the same in return. The fact is, it works! Now, because the default page TRP is based on over-all *average* score instead of *number* of ratings, these maters, cliques, lowballers have even greater incentive with the added exposure they receive. The fact that ratings are semi-anonymous only makes the situation worse in my book. Unless you want to carefully monitor your ratings (something I do not plan to do in the future) there is measure of protection to those with insincere intentions. They can hide.

    The fact Brian that mate-rating, lowballing, cliques etc DOES work, that it DOES alter the TRP and the visibility that follows, is what I believe motivates to people to ask you to do something about it. Marc, Carl, Dave, myself and many many others all over the forums are asking you, the *Head Honcho* out here to try to do something to eliminate the degree of dishonesty that obviously permeates the gallery on this site.

    By allowing a limited number of 7s on one day to eight, there is obviously some action to try to limit the maters effect. I would also suggest putting the names back up next to the ratings. This way all can clearly see who's up to what. There is more accountability when the truth is exposed for ALL to see. At this point people are asking you to do something, almost anything would seem to be better than nothing.
  56. as you know, i suggest more actively incentivizing and encouraging comments to photos, and making them easier to make; i've left you lists of suggestions in the past about this. i urge you to consider this route as a way of dealing with concerns. serious photo posters not overboard into the ego/visibility created by ratings will find a lot of satisfaction by maximizing comments, whatever the ratings. and you don't need to change or inhibit the ratings system to do this. maximizing access is important; guiding people into what it means to be a "good" citizen is also a part of the process if you want to maintain a stable base of quality photographers, which i maintain is important in the equation along with growth. what do you think?
  57. "...I would also suggest putting the names back up next to the ratings. This way all can clearly see who's up to what. There is more accountability when the truth is exposed for ALL to see..."

    really? and how would you propose to have specific members be held accountable? give em the wet noodle treatment or...? of course you know that the real answer to that question is the reason why PN now has semi-anonymity
  58. You are correct Mr. Spaghetti Man! But I believe you must choose between the lesser of two evils at this time. Just look around the site right now. These issues are not imagined. Also, the names made the site more interactive. And certainly the experience was more fun in the opinion of most.
  59. "...serious photo posters not overboard into the ego/visibility created by ratings will find a lot of satisfaction by maximizing comments, whatever the ratings..."

    nice thought. but nice thoughts require bold action to bring them to fruition. "IMAGE-ON THIS" is one idea of mine that is unique because it requires absolutely NO SITE INVOLVEMENT to get it started. when i have the time i will explain it (again) and attempt to launch it
  60. much is true sir vincent k. cept for nasty retaliatory comments and emails and complaint emails they generate to abuse, or a lot of the fun you dont get to experience
  61. Haha! This is getting pretty funny now. I upset Guillermo Gonzᬥz by giving a real critique to his "top-rated photo". So his buddy, Pedro Arroyo S. rated my own most recent photo with the same rating I gave Guillermo. I swear, people are so stupid/silly.
  62. "cept for nasty retaliatory comments and emails and complaint emails they generate to abuse"

    And this past weekend?? Far more people are jumping out of their skin right now that at any other time since I have been here. It all has to do with mate-ratings, lowballing and the like. At least by putting the names back up, a measure of frustration can be remedied by taking matters into my own hands, by using my own pistols, aka Charles Bronson. Just kidding Brian! By putting the names back up it will lessen the degree of these problems Spaggy. Never has it been so flagrant and ridiculous as it is now. Never!
  63. What John just experienced is happening all of the time now. Sorry John. The cliques are in full force.
  64. Not only is it detrimental to rate other people's photos HONESTLY, now we can't even critique them without fear of some ill-mannered retaliation.
  65. refreshing to read such honesty, vincent k. dont agree, but is good to read that
  66. Or maybe we should call B&H or Adorama. Maybe they'd like to know our opinions!
    Now that's funny! After you do call up B&H and Adorama to complain about the ratings system on, please post a transcript of the conversations here. I'd love to hear the reaction of a typical B&H salesman to such a call, though I suspect it would make Brian's responses look like the model of patience and civility.
  67. I've just spent the last hour reading this thread (there goes my lunch time) and I still didn't finish it completely. Can you imagine trying to administer and reply to this flow of forum postings along with the stream of e-mails that Brian must recieve? Information overload, or in this case, complaint overload. Brian, if you ever need help, let me know. :)
  68. Mike- the referrence to B&H & Adoroma was just a little tongue in cheek humor. I think Vincent is right, putting back the names next to the rating is one way of making people more accountable.

    I really like PN, I've met a lot of wonderfully talented people on here. But the way things are going, makes me wonder. But it is nice to be able to voice an opinion, even if it makes no difference to Brian. And Brian- you are pretty rude sometimes, maybe toning down your frustration with our complaints would help defuse the situation a bit. Just a thought.
  69. Jayme, you can think me rude, if you like. But would you prefer that I pretended to listen to the complaints and then ignored them?
  70. The mere fact that Brian is answering the posts in this forum show that he is concerned, and is giving a level of commitment to the users that larger websites never do!
  71. Regarding the last changes done in we can see Brian concerns:
    Retaliation ratings
    -> (semi)-anonymous ratings change is a big success! The comments like "you rated my photos 4/4 how can you, you ignorant" are now nearly history. Increasing newbies perception of
    Mate ratings -> limiting the number of 7/7 + changing the TRP photos rules (from number of rattings to average of rattings) decreasing the influence of mate ratings. Improving a bit the TRP galleries.
    Any ideas to make the system more fair will be more than welcome especially if it will not add efforts from the newbies, not increasing the number of action they do.
    So here is my suggestion: from my own experience I would say that people give too much importance to the ratings game, it is really insane. Especially because the results are imediate. Me too I can't help to check it from time to time the first day. So why not display the ratings after a delay of 3 days? During these 3 days the one who rates a photo will not be influenced by the previous ratings, mates raters will not fool themselves with a "7/7 I can believe my eyes or other 7/7 I had seen god face" to discover that the photo after the 3 days had scored only 3.2/3.2
    Moreover the photographer will care less about the rating because he will discover them when the games is finished (it is the difference between watching a football match or just listen the final score in the news)
    But to be effective it will require that the photo will not be displayed on the TPR gallery before that 3 days. This way if people want to mate rate they still can do but their influence will become minimal. The 1/1s will be deleted as right now but will be unoticed by everyone.
    This formula can be tested quite easily - not too much work to be done, no drastic changes, and it will certainly benefit to most of us. Just one thing it will certainly decrease the average rating but we can all live with that. well maybe not all ;-)
    Any other one wants to support this idea? As Brian requested from us to first agree about a proposition before he will think about it.
  72. To summarize the idea: keep the ratings confidential the first 3 days. But what to do if people mate-rates then submit for critique the 4th day? Each request for critiques should reset the previous ratings!
  73. Yvonne and I have just quit, and asked Brian to give us pro-rata refunds because we've been subscribers for such a short time...about one calendar month. We are not among the (to paraphrase) few who've been making the same tired old complaints for a long time. We are new customers who are extremely discontented with a flawed system and with Brian's lack of interest in fixing it. We read that he puts much value in 'honor', so I'm hopeful that he will give us refunds. I will hit the unsubscribe button tomorrow whether or not I get an acknowledgment from Brian.
  74. I am here becuase I can see my ratings, Ratings are why I am here, I have had very few comments on my photos. So ratings are important. I see no problem with the way PN works right now. I could see no point in submitting a photo if I had too wait three day for my rating, If that was the case I would leave PN and just ask my wife what she thought of my photos or try a new site.
  75. Brian says limiting ratings would encourage the mate raters, that may or may not be the case but I don't understand why this site has in effect has endorsed a group of vandals who hang around the TRP and rate low just to bring ratings down. By the way this group or more likely one person is a non-paying member. It's seems this site is more interested in appeasing these people who bring zero to the table. FC, GW, YL and friends have some pull here. It?s a joke and it derogates the site.
  76. Brian Daniels, your numbers teach you nothing.

    When you get a comment you should do two things. Acknowledge it and try to discuss the point(s) made. Then return the favor by visiting the commenters portfolio, pick an image that you especially like, and explain why it works for you. That benefits both parties.

    If at all possible, join a local camera club.
  77. brian, your bluntness is admirable on the one hand; on the other hand, it has an abrupt, dismissive tone that i think is reflected in the feedback culture, to the negative at times. as more and more internet resources for photographers emerge, i think its important that you view posters less like captive clients and more like suppliers, and do what you can to address concerns somewhat more. you don't have to change anything, but for example, articulating whatever's goals are to the membership if you think they are misunderstood, conducting a survey or two, those kinds of things keep the trust of the "community." and as the leader, you have to remember your tone and willingness to explain things is crucial to the collective tone around here. your comments here are more along the lines of saying "that photo stinks," than explaining what it is that could be improved. i know its not the same -- you could do this feedback stuff endlessly i'm sure and take your eye off of important stuff. but it does matter. and remember, for every complaint you get, there are many who feel the same way and speak with their feet . . .
  78. After a while, I don't believe the 'giant sucking sound' of NAFTA could hold a candle to this forum. It goes on day after day after...
  79. I'm not clear on the rationale behind having the site administrators bend over backwards to politely explain things which have been explained over and over and over and over again (just check the archives!) in a way that won't offend the current round of vocal complainers. If you do check the archives you'll see that, while they are only a tiny percentage of the site's members, people who like to make a lot of noise about what they think is wrong aren't really a scarce resource.
  80. Brian- I think we all get the fact that you are not interested in our complaints or ideas. I guess I just find your attitude a arrogant. As some one mentioned above about complaining to their local grocery about out dated produce. I run a very successful business, if someone came in to voice a complaint & one of my staff members replied to their concerns in the manner you reply to our complaints, I'd fire them. That's the end of the story. You'd be packing your stuff and gone before you could utter another word. I know lots of successful business people and your way is not the norm. Customer satisfaction is important to a successful business. You sound as though you own this business and at all cost will have it your way. I own our business, I don't respond like you. Your sign up level might be high, but it is people like those above that are consistent posters and feedback/raters. You must certainly realize we make your site a success, not you personally. Our posts/rating/feedback are the back bone of your success, not your gruff, "my way or the highway" personality. They come here to learn and receive feedback from people like us. I know I am personally responsible for at lot of your new members. And possibly many more I do not know about. So who is your supervisor, Rajeev Surati CEO/Chairman of the board of PN? I've emailed him with a link to this page. Maybe he will be interested in your behavior/ maybe not, but it's worth a try. I know as an owner and board member of our business, I would be interested & concerned over your behavior. Maybe you are burned out, maybe you need a vacation, maybe you need to listen, maybe you need to move on.

    For the record, with over 7 thousand patients registered in our office. I had 2 or 3 members complain about one of our staff members. I personally supervised her and advised her on our policy. After a few weeks I decided it was best to let her go, she was not consistent with our policy. After I let her go, several hundred patients voiced their opinions & relief she was gone, telling me multiple stories of her misbehavior that they were hesitant to voice while she worked in or office. If they had complained before, I would have fired her sooner, but they chose to stay silent. Why? Because they were nice people and did not want to appear as complainers. Get the analogy?

    So from one not so nice person to another, if you loose you major posters/raters/feedback members, you will most certainly not continue to succeed, you will fail like so many /.net companies. There arrogance got the better of them too.
  81. jayme, great stuff, but i've come to temper criticisms of brian and the staff because i am guessing that he is overworked and underpaid, aided by a largely volunteer force, seeking to accomplish a yet-unachieved mission of building a financially viable site in a fiercely competitive, ever changing field, hoping that this site makes it as an institution, rather than as a memory of something that was ahead of its time. i wouldn't want his job. having said that, my comments above speak for themselves. brian, i think you will find that honey beats vinegar most of the time in building "brand" loyalty. i hope you have an experienced people in marketing and the like to help you.
  82. Mondiani, I'm in. I think it's a good idea. Anyone else?
  83. <P>It is sheer arrogance to try to knock down Brian. This is crowd mentality. I am not impressed with how successful you are in you business. From the tone of what you have written, I am sure you have a full staff supporting and helping you. You are lucky.
    <P>Meanwhile, Brian is trying to please thousands of people everyday, most of them are rehashing old, stale subjects, or just bitching without better things to do. It is not fair. Try to imaging running you great business all by yourself and while you yourself are grossly under paid then you'll know. Be thankful.

    <P>I, for one, am not impressed by how successful your business is. I also own a business that is in the high ten figures, so what ? and what has that got to do with PN? I may be impressed if you tell me you have just acuired a fleet of Challenger 604's, if you know what they are.
    <P>Count your blessings, guy. If anyone of you were in Brian's position, I am sure your'll either quit or bitch like hell.
    <P>Be thankful.
  84. Sorry Jayme, I just cannot support your point of view either. Totally out of line in my opinion. Sorry.

    Brian does communicate at times in what sounds like a cavalier-ish tone. Much of it is tongue and cheek actually. But the fact that he IS communicating, and trying to express his points of view over and over (even though I may not agree with those points of view) tells me he is doing what he thinks is best for the site. To threaten to find superiors, to threaten his actual position, and at the same time tell us publicly just how great YOU are at something (once again) is just plain arrogant. I've seen how far you'll go to get your way Jayme. That last situation is still fresh. Thought you'd know better by now. Too bad. Perhaps another apology is in order like last month. We'll see.
  85. For God's sake people give the Man a break!

    From what I can gather Brian works his guts out here for a fraction of the income he could attract elsewhere and has also personally invested a considerable sum to secure the future of is simply the best online photographic resource available today. There is far more to than the rather silly TRP page and the ratings game. If I were Brian I'd have walked away long ago, but the fact that he is still here reflects his belief in this wonderful website.

    Frankly Jayme I know what I would do if I were Brian.
  86. Brian didn't say he don't listen to the few minority who complain over and over about ratings he said if he will apply the many changes they request to please this tiny percentage this will affect the way that near 100% of people use the website. The already little number of ratings and comments they give will decrease which will certainly affect the number of photos uploaded to the site. I may be wrong but this is what he fears. That's why I made the proposition above. None read it? even not the short version?
  87. Sorry People- I deal with health insurance companies everyday, please don't tell me about rude, ok. I'm the guy that gets YOUR health insurance bills paid. I DO KNOW what it's like to deal with chronically complaining, ill, easily irritated, over worked, underpaid, and redundant people all the time! I may complain to myself, but I am always pleasant to my patients (customers). I have a small staff (3)and absolutely NO volunteers at my disposal. Unlike Brian, I actually see my patients face to face, not via email & cyber forums. I deal with real life issues, like terminal cancer, COPD, heart failure, chest pain, Flu, Alzheimer's, depression, anxiety, drug addiction and death. Not just minor irritations like, cyber robots, mate rating & low-balling trolls. I think I CAN put this into perspective. So please don't admonish me for being disappointed and expecting better responses from Brian. Sorry, but when we accept a job, we should pretty darn well know what the responsibilities are and if you can not accept the responsibilities and do them well, then we should find another job! Brian does not even have to respond on this forum or any forum. It would be pretty darn difficult for me to walk away from a patient looking me in the face and not respond.

    I am really tired of people NOT taking responsibility for their actions. I make mistakes just like everyone else, and.... I admit to them and try not to make that same mistake again. Thanks for reminding me Vincent. I am eternally sorry. Hopefully I won't make the same mistake again, but I might. Making excuses for others is not my job, making excuses for myself is unacceptable.

    So Sandy, assuming I have a lot of staff supporting and helping me is an error. The total is 3. So the next time your health insurance company decides to deny to pay a claim at your physicians office for a "cold" because it's a pre-existing condition, you call the insurance company an get it straightened out! See how that goes, ok? You spend 15 minutes going through their round robin answering machines to wait on hold for 20 minutes to get a "claims specialist" who tells you, in order to determine if this is NOT a pre-existing condition you must mail in 2 years of prior office notes and wait for it to be sent to review, 60-90 day process. Now how ignorant, a simple "cold" being a pre-existing condition. This actually happens, oh yeah, I kid you not!

    Brian implies that we are chronic complainers. In my mind, a chronic complainer is someone who complains about everything. We repeatedly complain about the SAME things. I've repeatedly stated "I enjoy PN & it's a wonderful site". But it does have room for improvement. Brian on the other hand, repeatedly states he's not listening and our same old "stale" complaints aren't going to influence any decisions regarding PN and if we don't like it leave.

    I reiterate, this is NOT a good business practice. If he's over worked and under paid, go to management and insist he get more help & pay. According to him, the site is growing by leaps and bounds. Yahoo! So they should be able to afford more help for Brian, he has the stats to back him up.

    I may not like the way the US government is run, but I'll be darned if I'm going to pack up and move to some other country. I will stay and voice my opinion and vote (during every election), write my Congressmen and my state Representatives, that is my God given right as an American. So until PN makes offering suggestions and voicing complaints off limits, I will continue to state my opinion. You can count on that. Change never occurred by giving someone an "at a boy" pat on the back every time they did nothing.

    Sorry if I have offended anyone, but that's my opinion and I'm, sticking to it! I don't think I'm alone in my thinking, if I were we'd still be paying taxes to England and woman would not be able to vote! Conflict usually leads to change, which in my opinion would be good!
  88. Oh and one more thing...... Sandy, I work for my husband in his physician's office, I do not take a cent of pay! I prefer it that way! He'd go out of business if he paid me my usual salary. So I guess he does have one volunteer, Me!
  89. Jayme, you are rather missing the point with your doctor's office analogy.

    If I went to a doctor's office with a complaint about the service I had received, and someone told me that my complaint wouldn't be listened to, I would also be upset.

    But that is not what regularly goes on in this forum. It is more like one of your patients coming in, not with a complaint about the service that he or she had personally received (which is the analogy of our abuse mailbox), but with "complaints" like: I think your service should be free; I don't like the fact that your parking lot is always full; you should charge more so that your waiting list for an appointment isn't so long; I think you should prevent smelly people from being patients here because they stink up the waiting room; when are you going to get rid of all these noisy little germbag kids who come in here (it being a pediatricians office); how come you don't go into the Dentistry business -- we need a dentist around here.

    You might listen politely to these suggestions the first couple of times, but if the same people persisted, and stood around your office making their "suggestions" unendingly, so that new patients arriving were exposed to all the loud complaining, eventually you would get fed up and let them know that their suggestions were unwelcome, and after a bit more time, you'd call the cops.
  90. if i may paraphrase what i was reminded in a past thread by giving yas the ol' one-two punchline:

    this is not getting ridiculous because THIS IS PHOTO.NET

    thank you, bailey 'Z' seals (re 'this is spinal tap')
  91. i'm sorry brian, but i hope you can hear this. you read like someone overworked and too isolated. many of us have been where you are. calling the cops is the lose-lose scenario. i hope you can find a way to a winning approach that enables you to separate wheat from chaff and use the resources of people trying to help. i suggest that rather than responding negatively to the negative, that you find that affirmative direction and lead with your actions and words as much as possible in that direction. i think -- from my own significant, successful experience -- you will find that it will clear the air and make the experience more enjoyable for you and many others. please try to reflect, and understand that your actions contribute to the dynamic that you dislike, and that a change in your own actions is about all you can do. i write this out of respect and hope that you find it useful.
  92. Brian-I think your analogy is a little off base, but then things like this happen everyday at our office. We do listen, we do try to accommodate our patients. For examples:

    I do have people that think they should be able to drop by, get their blood pressure check, have it evaluated by the physician, change their medicine and give them samples, all for free. I politely explain this is not going to happen. I don't tell them I'm not listening and I'm tired of them complaining. I tell them well, if they follow their diet and watch their salt intake, they may be able to stop their medicine. Then they can drop by anytime they like and get a free blood pressure, as long as they are not on meds. It works!

    We put in hours of work assisting indigent patients so they may receive drug assistance through most of the major drug companies. We spend hours and charge them nothing. Our staff gets paid, but the patients don't pay us for these meds, they are free! We don't mind because it provides a wonderful service to those that can not afford their medicine the keeps them well.

    In fact we moved our office about 3 years ago because the parking was atrocious. People were calling us on cell phones to say they were sorry they were late, but they couldn't find a parking place. We listened, we moved.

    Yes, we get our share of unruly children, I do politely ask the parents to keep them under control, plus we provide an area just for the kids with toys and games, etc. It solved the unruly children problem.

    We do listen when people complain about waiting too long. Usually there has been some sort of patient emergency that has put us behind, I politely explain to the remaining patients that they are welcome to wait, however they are also welcome to reschedule. Most wait patiently. We provide up to date magazines and since we are a small office, we generally know the patient and carry on informal conversations with them about their families and such.

    For those that are disruptive in the waiting room, like they are vomiting or coughing all over the other patients, we place them in a patient room immediately. Now as for smelly people, I'm sure we have a few, but our waiting room is large and open aired, so another patient can move to another area and not be bothered.

    I have only once asked a patient to leave. They were demanding I do something illegal, and I was not going to do it. We discharged that patient immediately.

    Now as for the dentist, you may laugh, but we've had our share of dental patients that came to us because they couldn't get into their dentist until 2 weeks from Thursday. Unfortunately, Health ins and Dental ins are 2 separate things. So we can file a claim for "jaw pain" but not for "abscessed tooth" go figure. Antibiotics are the treatment and then they go to their dentist for the remaining root canal? Who knows, not a dentist.

    So you see, we do deal with these and many more strange and bizarre incidents on a daily basis, but we have always listened and tried to come up with a solution we could all live with. If I told someone flat out I'm not listening and they were just a chronic complainer, yep.....they would become disruptive. We just do not allow this to happen. We deal with each individuals problem as it arises. Therefore, they know we do care about what they think and they do have some control over what happens. Some of their suggestions have been wonderful. I was glad I listened.

    Obviously, Brian, you must think you have a rare situation, when in fact it's pretty common. So maybe listening and offering solutions instead of complaining back might be a help. Some people have come up with wonderful sounding ideas to alleviate the problems. Please listen. Stop the "my way or the highway" thinking.
  93. brian makes a good point. ironic that not once have i read any post pointing to the abuse dept of PN as a problem requiring site feedback redress. am i to conclude either that the abuse dept of PN works expeditiously, fairly, and nearly perfectly if not always satisfactorily to the complainant OR that most of the complaints made to this forum about ratings abuses do not get reported to abuse at PN and therefore are allowed to fester? case in point the user who goes by the moniker 'd s' -- -- who continues to shower high uniform ratings in a methodical but arbitrary and capricious manner in the ratings queue which makes a mockery of how an individual ought to rate photos. now will anyone report this to abuse at PN? dont look at me cuz i jus the messenger who folks say has no legit standing in PN as in 'dont post, dont rate'
  94. Spaghetti,

    I take it you took note of the fact the person you refer to is NOT a paid member?
  95. mg


    Well... Could anyone please update me on these "clones" ? Are we sure that they are clones, and if so, what has been done so far about them/him...? I've just received little presents from 3 of them myself:
    Mohan Al-Granhi, Markus G, Gill Thomas.
    So I'm just wondering what's the status...? *If* guilty as charged, is there any reason why these accounts have not been nuked...? Regards.
  96. mg


    As for the rest, well....... I guess most of you already know what I think, and since we are never listened to anyway, I will simply keep quiet...:)
  97. mg


    Maybe just this: Somebody suggested a survey to find out who is satisfied and who is not about the rating system and the gallery... Well, do you really have anything to lose...? A survey would bring you all the information you need and even the information that you didn't need, or didn't know you needed... So, what can possibly be wrong, about having such a survey...?! I suppose it feels more comfortable to assume that 99% of the people are happy, but... why not find out ?
  98. "...I take it you took note of the fact the person you refer to is NOT a paid member?..."

    you mean to say that if that person was a paying member then his rating modus operendi would be considered legit??? this is why i applaud site policy to treat every member with equal respect according to an unflappable business policy standard and just give subscribers more goodies (but no more 'say' than the next member)
  99. No, it seemed that you took umbrage with his ratings. The point is, were rating for members only he wouldn't be able to rate.

    Anyway, what exactly was your point - he's not the worst by a long way. Marc G and I have pointed out many fictional raters in the past, invented to boost individuals ratings and deny me and you access to the TRP (where comments are more likely to be received - like it or not) and nothing has been done about it.

    I think the only answer now is to give myself a Spanish name.
  100. Dear Jayme. Asking Brian to stop the "my way or highway" approach is reasonable enough. Sharing your opinions on what you or I think is good for the site is also fair. Sharing your own stories/experiences as examples to illustrate your points have always been an effective means to do that, so no issues from me there either. I do believe (if it matters) that your intentions are sincere and just looking out for the interests of the site. It is HERE that I felt you really crossed the line:

    "So who is your supervisor, Rajeev Surati CEO/Chairman of the board of PN? I've emailed him with a link to this page. Maybe he will be interested in your behavior/ maybe not, but it's worth a try. I know as an owner and board member of our business, I would be interested & concerned over your behavior. Maybe you are burned out, maybe you need a vacation, maybe you need to listen, maybe you need to move on."

    That sounds a little like somebody on a crusade to "let's get rid of this bum altogether" simply because he does not agree with my point of view. That in my opinion is excessive. Wonder how your husband would feel if one of his long-time patients tried to get his medical license revoked because simply because he was not as *polite* as he thought he should be. Or perhaps because he does not open on Saturdays. Or did not like his magazine selections....

    Let's just agree to disagree then. But there is no need to go to extremes. Not for this anyway. Hope you and yours are doing well Jayme. Have a great day! Aloha.
  101. I suppose the "" service really is fast and accurate. Thank you for the well-done implementation of that idea.
  102. Marc, I don't think a survey would tell us much. I have some experience designing them, and have found it to be more difficult than it appears to be. But let's be honest, it would be designed only by Brian, and its' purpose would be to collect data to support his policies. If it didn't, he wouldn't publish it (and if he did, you could always say that the sample was skewed.)

    Brian sees a TRP gallery that contains a high enough percentage of good images to meet his requirements for attracting people in sufficient numbers to browse through it. The fact that many of us feel it could be much better seems to be countered by the concern that any changes could as easily make it worse as better. For example, if we substantially reduce the ability of the rating whores to promote each other, they'll go elsewhere and the quality of images could drop below an acceptable level. (Some of them do upload some good images, after all.) That's why the limit of 7/7 ratings per day was set at a very generous eight and there seem to be several loopholes even in that limit.

    In short, he does not have faith that the quality of uploads would be high enough if we disenfranchised the cheaters. Add the idea of identifying and promoting a variety of good images, rather than the repetative lowest-common-denominator popular images, and it all looks too risky to change.
  103. "...I suppose the "" service really is fast and accurate. Thank you for the well-done implementation of that idea..."

    perhaps you should have taken a deep breath and notified abuse at the outset before starting this 'ridiculous' thread. and perhaps the least you should do now is to start a new thread with your statement above as the lead-in because it seems rather buried here
  104. Mark, I refer to them as The Spanish Photo Mafia (language spoken, not necessarily origin). There's the lesser but still formidable Middle Eastern Photo Mafia, too, but they don't seem to be as violent in their retribution.
  105. Oh Vincent, now you've got your panties all in a wad again. I think everyone should have a counterpart/supervisor. No one should go unchecked, not even ole GW. OK? Sometimes, if left to their own devices, people tend to get a little extreme. GW is a perfect example! I was not threatening any ones job. I know Brian has a tough job, so do I, possibly so do you. But again, it is the extremes that need checked out. Re-read what he says, he basically is telling us to shut up or he'll not allow any complaints on the site feedback forum. I know it was probably a little tongue in cheek hunor, but geezzz, a lot of these people take the whole thing really seriously. And then if we don't like the way things are run, hit the road. I paid my membership dues, I like the darn site. It just needs a few improvements, that's all. But no one is suppose to mention that, we're suppose to act like good little boys and girls and behave, yes sir! Mr Brian. Oh this is all too much for me. I'll shut up and ignore the whole thing. This actually reminds me of the one and only PTA meeting I attended some 20 years ago. All these people sitting around trying to decide what fund raiser they'd devastate next. After 2 hours no one could agree on a decision. Then someone remembers, "Oh, we forgot to decide what kind of cookies we'll bring next time." Oh my God it's another hour decussion. Save me please!

    When Brian took the names away from the rating, I agreed and said it was a good idea. It obviously has not helped a bit, it has left the raters unchecked. So now he throws out the 1/1. What good is that? Now the low-ballers use 3/3. I personally think it's funny. They adapt like a virus. Brian is probably right, there is nothing to do. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. And then they wonder why mate rating flourishes. Give me a Break! It's the big picture, the big picture! I see it now! LOL
  106. Spaghettiman, I have every right to start a thread in this forum, just as you have every right to post in it. Did I foresee the outcome of such a thread? No. Do I care? Not really.
  107. john, you mistook my post as chastisement (i wrote 'ridiculous' in quotes being 'this' is the topic!), but i see now that you started a good thread re kudos to brian for stuff that works right and without fanfare
  108. Ah, thanks for clearing that up.
  109. The problem is that with an ever increasing number of members there is enough critical
    mass to support many different specialist groups who feel shoehorned into a very narrowly
    focused procedure for getting visibility for their images.

    People who consistently complain are doing so because they genuinely like the site and do
    not want to leave. Others see this as a negative I don't.

    There is only one real way to get good visibility on the site and that is thru ratings and that
    is the reason for all this heat.
    The cure is to create other ways of improving visibility for images. I suggested having an
    option to see in a gallery each month ALL the images that MY "interesting Photographers"
    had commented on in that month ie the same way I can see all the images they rated 7/7
    or 7/6 etc. This would totally bypass ratings and give great visibility to images worthy of
    comment by people I trust and respect.

    Brian I sympathise but you are wasting your time "rising to the bait" so often. Consider not
    replying but just leaving a note such as "Points noted" if you wish to let us know that a
    discussion has not passed you by.

    Brian you might also consider having a place on the site where you communicate with us
    all either weekly,fortnightly or monthly. You could then state what is currently in progress
    (problems, new facilities etc.) and what you hope to be working on over the next 3?
    months. You could also take the time occasionally to say what you will not be doing and
    why plus also what new ideas you have added to your list of things to do/consider.

    I wonder if others would be happy with the above which would give us all a better idea of
    the work being carried out and plans for the future. Maybe when some people see the
    workload they will better realise the unlikeliness of their "new" suggestions being
    implemented in the next 12? months and stop pushing so hard.

    PS I am not saying go away just deal with us in a more structured and formal way.
  110. well said louis. a couple of other ideas -- perhaps brian can put some "stickies" at the top of the feedback forum that people can read explaining certain policies -- does this. yes, you can check archives, but not everyone appreciates this. the stickies could cut down on some of the repitition. second idea -- perhaps its time to create a two-tier feedback forum -- one, with limited text space, say 50 words, for non-subscribers, and this more traditional one for subscribers. the first will allow the site to get alerted to things that go wrong, etc., and does not have to be monitored necessarily by brian. the second allows members, with greater commitment to feel heard a bit more and does some separation of wheat from chaff, in that generally subscribers will have been around longer and have a deeper commitment to the site.
  111. Well said Louis! Makes good sense to me.
  112. . . . sort of like a monthly newsletter, perhaps? I like Louis' approach.
  113. Louis & Wilson- you're on to something, a monthly news letter to let everyone know what's happening. That just might be the solution. Brian could feature a section for a volunteer photographer, someone different every month, to say a few words. I think that would be great. And maybe 2 different opinions like "Point/Counter Point". They could even include a referrence to the new reviews and help the newbies around the site. Excellent ideas! I hope Brian is readng, this is some good stuff Brian and it could be all volunteer. Less work for you and decreased anxiety for us "regular" complainers.
  114. It's been suggested before. . . . .
  115. i'd settle for an annual report.
  116. I would keep it as simple as possible to lighten Brian's work. I feel sure that he would
    enjoy the feedback more in this more structured method. Then we would have a set place
    to thank him for the improvements eg the new browse by category gallery for critique
    requests, the gallery of a members top rated images etc.
  117. Louis- I agree keep it simple, let the volunteers do the work. For example:
    1-Choose one volunteer PN Photographer monthly to write a short summary about their experiences on PN. Pros/cons.
    2-Choose one PN photographer each month as a monthly mentor to Newbies. Someone they could ask questions and get explanations about the site.

    The more one knows the better off they are! Right?
    Actually, all of this could be done through a forum. I think it would be neat! If Brian ok's it, we could just start a new forum. Maybe call it the Newbie Forum.

    Brian would only have to monitor for correctness. Now all we need are some volunteers! So come on PN photographers volunteer! And of course Brian's OK.
  118. Just don't ask for Vespa Pictures.....and point out that repetitive images from Tuscany and Venice are boring....I barely made it home in one piece...
  119. You have strayed away from my point which was about Brian and his thoughts on where
    the site is and how he is developing it plus his involvement in this forum.

    Your newbie suggestion is an extension of the FAQ. If wanted this could be a CATEGORY in
    each forum.
  120. You are right. Sorry, my mind was wandering. As ususal. LOL

    And John, Huh? Are you posting something on every forum? I saw your forum posting. I'm not sure how to respond. I'm thinking before I type his time.
  121. The loooong thread has said it all. It is a BIG problem for all of us.

    I think one way to solve this is to have a different *default* filter, in which only good member's rating are being counted.

    Just as an example, good member can be defined as
    1. has been with for at least x months, and
    2. his rating curve is not too far to nomolized curve as all other good members. and
    3. himself have number of photos and the ratings he received is above, say, average.
  122. "But the complaint level has remained constant for the 3 years I've been working on the site, and the nature of the complaints has basically stayed the same."

    So, only a set number of people have the time and personality traits to air their grievances at any given time. This very consisitency seems to show a problem.

    The fact that the members have increased 500% is due to marketing tactics and I think, the fact that membership is optionally free.

    Why not post a survey on the site to get real input from members and put this debate to rest? Is there a fear that the survey would come out in a way the shows the more work is needed to improve? Why not post one? It's easy and would be enlightening to everyone involved. I'd be happy to do the work of throwing a simple input form together to gather this information for you and I'm sure others here would be too.

    A lot companies (especially those who work with the public) have some kind of similar survey in place.
  123. definately think that only subscribing members should be allowed to rate - surely this would get rid of most of the bogus raters??
  124. Quite an interesting forum topic, obviously keeps many otherwise gainfully employed peoples stimulated. Stick to your guns Brian I honestly doubt that the aforementioned survey would do anything but waste your time more. PN is a great site and low ratings add to the controversy and entertainment value of the site. more members, more ratings, more reality.
  125. Did anyone after reading this whole thread, then look again at the subject from the intitial post, as this whole thread seems to echo the original statement...

    The problem seemed to be that people were upset about robo raters. I dont blame them, BUT Brian has explained that most of these ratings are automaticaly deleted in anycase with out any intervention from him. No Problem. It just doesnt happen immediatly, but after a little while, once the system has evaluated the problem.

    The abuse reporting system works very well in my opinion. The few times that I have had to use it Brian has investigated my complaints quickly and responded sensibly. What more can you ask?

    Yes I realise that I dont support Photo.Net financially at this time. But by not allowing people to rate just because they dont support the site finanically would hinder the site more in the long run. Im sure that more then a few people have utilized the site for a while, become hooked and then signed up. If you restricted peoples ability to rate just because they didnt subscribe would substatially drop the number of ratings receieved, as well as the amount of comments. On my latest image that I uploaded 2/3'rds of the comments were from people who dont subscribe, as well as over half the ratings.

    I can only offer this advice: If you want real feed back on your images from people you feel you can trust, join your local club and deal with real people! Any system that is as anonymous is open to abuse.

    Brian, Thanks on running a fantastic site.

  126. okay, so its a fantastic site, you've been around almost a year, and you can afford a canon 16-35/2.8 lens. so why not support the site financially?
  127. Hi there Ben,

    Thanks for looking at my Portfolio!

    Good point.
    Check out:
    It is probably about time I upgraded my membership, but my use of the site over the past year can definatly be described as infrequent. Therefore I havn't. This is probably about to change, as I will be in a position to use the site more frequently, but thats not the point.

    Oh, and I dont own a 16-35mm lens.... The bank does!

  128. Or however it is said :) <br>
    I think that idea that only paying members should rate is not at the present good idea.<br>
    Just because that there are many of us who can't use pay pal services to pay.<br>
    If there were some other way - that would be maybe different.<br>
    (personally, this is the first site I would like to be member - not to achieve some benefit for myself, but to help this great site to exist - unfortunately, I can't pay via pay pal, PN is not accepting credit cards....)<br>
    But, the beauty of this site is just for having so many members- from novices up to old "wolves" in photography.<br>
    This rating is not quite good. But I haven't heard of completely good rating system anywhere...<br>
    However, I do have an idea - just idea, since I'm not familiar with software behind<br>
    How about that rating system becomes like posting photos system - one can rate only one (or few) photos per day if he is not subscriber.<br>
    Plus, new accounts can not rate let's say for first 3 days.<br>
    It would lessen malversations, at least, it seems to me...<br>
  130. I would report it to abuse but, all someone needs to do is read these threads to know that if they give a some high rates they are free to abuse others at will and their abusive rates will stay because it they're balanced. silly. anybody could figure that out.

    sigh... I guess the abusers win and it's our job to accept it.
  131. Okay, I've read about 1/3 of this thread, and there are valid complaints, and valid responses from

    ...I *do* take issue with Brian's "So What?" comment, but the simple fact is that is a rather unique site, and he has a monopoly so he can get away with it.

    HOWEVER, if *I* were in his position, I'd DEFINITELY do a customer satisfaction survey, maybe even incorporating a list of suggested changes for the person taking the survey to rank, that way he would have a good idea what some of the less vocal people think (errr, I think that the rating system is fun, but take it about as seriously as finding a nickle lying on the sidewalk...I also realize that in art, photography, and music, that you are NEVER going to be able to enthrall ALL of the people and SOMEONE is ALWAYS going to *hate* what you do....hopefully the odd person now and again will like it....

    BUT, this is my official vote for a customer satisfaction survey, it would only provide good information and metrics to management, and would give them a statistical defence instead of a "go to hell" defence of "So What?"

    Personally, I'm still undecided as to whether or not I'll renew my membership, probably...the ratings are worthless to me, as I can no longer see who is giving the rating (a low rating from a great photog is USEFUL to me, a low or high rating from someone shooting snapshots of his/her own navel with a disposable camera is one that I used to ignore).
  132. That has to be one of the most fascinating studies I've seen on ratings...on two occasions, I've deleted and re-uploaded a photo (errr, both times because I'd somehow missed a HUGE cat hair or something like that which had gotten onto the scanner, I really should not post process under the influence of exhaustion). What surprised me was the HUGE difference in average ratings (both times was a long enough ago that I can't remember the exact numbers, or even if it was 2 or 3 or 4 shots). My recollection is that in some cases, the new ratings were appreciably higher, and on others appreciably lower, but I could be wrong (still working on my second cuppa coffee here, gimme a break :-D)...

    My point is that a different set of raters will give different ratings averages, BUT, that being said, I do notice that ratings averages drift over time, almost following the moon phase or something from my knothole....some months averages seem higher, some months lower...I dunno, that's one reason I use ratings as a general thing, not really that important...

    However, the down drift that seems to appear in your folder is significiant, as is the fact that some idjit would rate ANYTHING there a 2/2 is mindboggling (okay, I admit it, if I was to become a mate rater, I'd head for your portfolio, I love it....and I *do* have a tendency to look at shots that I initially like from the thumbnail and have a bump at the higher end of my curve as a result, but why on earth would I look at something I didn't think I was gonna like? There are only 24 hours in a day, and life is too short to spend an awful lot of time looking at things I don't like)...
  133. I did this with my top image = Feb 2003 got 158 - 5.38/5.74 and the second time round
    Feb 2004 it got 25 - 5.88/5.32.
    It is still up in people folder

    When I remarked on this before Brian deleted the comment!!
  134. Brian and All,
    There is considerable interest in this problem evidenced by the book written above. To say this has been this way for so long and being happy with the status que is sad. I want a site that wants to improve, to find ways to be better. Consider what might be! PN could be much more successful. Many of us say we are not concered with ratings, if that were so, none of them would have written in responses, we are all impacted by the nonsense, some more than others. But, what is important it is impacting PN.

    Number one rule about customer comments is you only hear from about a few percent of those actually concerned about an issue. That implies there is a much larger population on PN that are concerned about this issue of false ratings.

    PN should consider what could be, this is an easy issue to fix... So I make my recommendations: a.) if a rating of less than 3 is entered, a critique is required. b.)The rater must be identified and PN contact information provided. In this way a dialog can be generated between the receiver and sender for the purpose of photo improvement.

    If this is to much of a hassle to the low raters then their rating is not worth the bits and bytes of memory. Those honestly rating are likely and pleased to link a low rating with their critque. I would say this should also be true for ratings of 7 as well.

    The code is not so difficult to write, so what is the honest resistance to this on going issue. To be the status que photo site, no I think not, so what is it, budget, staffing, know how, profit, lets put the real issue on the table. I hope for a PN site that thinks about what it can be.
    Scott Jenkins
  135. Damn! And I thought all those 2s I was getting were real and I was getting really inspired to finally get my act, I find out they were fiction...all that inspiration wasted!
  136. If I may (playing a bit of devils advocate here)
    I would like to over-simplify by saying that Brian is overworked and most likely has difficulties with the tremendous growth rate. I have to admit at first I was angered by some of the ratings (and complained... grins at Brian) because it did not teach me anything. Now I have adapted to my own interpretation of the rating system (and leave Brian alone), because (and with help, indirectly) of some good people I have had the privelege to listen to and even meet some of them (Thank you, Brian for that platform). There are some folks here, within PN who have formed a, lets call it an association, that is open to anyone who wishes to escape the rating stuff. I loved reading their outline under which they critique and rate. Among them you post anonymously (generic name for all) and critique under your name.
    Very constructive!!!

    I can promise a few things:
    there will always be trolls on public forums!(deal with it!)
    servers will always bog at some stage!
    and my ego will take a pounding here and there... over there too... (grins).
    But with the help and encouragement of some folks here, I am learning to cope. There are a lot more good people here than bad. The evidence is right here in this thread. Some very good thoughts have been expressed by many of you and your basic willingnes to communicate compliments your intent.

    May I offer the idea (I always poke a little fun at things if I can get away with it and its really not my idea)to start a photo gallery, open to all, with the starting theme: "anger at internet trolls". I will gladly offer some of my alotted PN space to do this (or Brian could allow a small gallery alotment... hint hint.. on a rotating image basis with maybe a 100 image max or so (once the limit is reached, it pushes the bottom picture out). Here is how we could do this: First you post your contribution to your own PN home page. I'll create the gallery on my PN space and post the starter picture. You access the folder through my PN home page and open the starter picture. Click on "Contribute a critique" and post your image with html. For those who don't know how or don't want to know how, I'll furnish a template where all you would have to do is cut 'n paste the url into it (its really not hard) or you can make your own. Better yet, Brian has all the templates for this in place... (hint again... grins). I think I've rambled enough... Live long and prosper!
  137. Cleverly disguised as non paying (my check was in fact sent 2 weeks ago but i know checks take forever), i found this thread informative. These last 3 weeks of browsing some, rating some, commenting some,and posting some (2) pics has confirmed my suspicion that,yes, the 68 bucks for 3 years was going to help my photographic skills.
    I have received one comment. A nice fellow helpfully pointed out feeling in a picture that i had taken for geometry and light. I will recognize the emotion more readily in the future.
    I have received a total of 15 ratings on the 2 pics both from subscribers and non subsribers alike. I have rate 18 pics, commented on 6 or so. I no longer rate without comment.
    What i would find helpful are the two following changes:
    1. attach names to ratings.
    I understand the concern over revenge ratings and the "TRP" issues, and the math of eliminating low and limiting high ratings, but I beleive that the value gained by the poster from being able to view the works of a rater as insight for the rating given outweigh those concerns.
    2. present the option to see the "lowest rated pictures" by any member in addition to the "highest rated pictures".
    This allows the poster to learn from those photos how the rater critically views photos.
    My understanding is that is a place in which learning is emphasized and personal growth encouraged. These two options would aid those goals.
    For those good enough to be attacked, my sympathy. If the rater is identified at least then you can publically post a comment on your own picture asking for the 'why' of it from that rater. If there is no response, others will notice its lack of existence.

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