What has happened to the identification/links of raters on the ratings grid?

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by bens, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. Suddenly I cannot identify/link to the individuals who rate
    photographs that I have posted. Has this been permanently disabled?
    Its a great way of building relationships, since people who rate your
    photos are often interested in the same genre as you. What's
  2. The same here. I think (hope) it?s temporarly.
  3. I turned it off as an experiment.

    Ratings used to be anonymous and there were many fewer problems with mate-rating, revenge rating, etc. The reason they were made public was so that people could report low-rating trolls and people who seemed to have multiple accounts. That seems to have turned many of the active participants into vigilantes so I think we'll try to deal with that ourselves for a while and see how an anonymous system works two years on.

    It might be gone forever. On the other hand, maybe I'll turn it back on every few days, just for fun. As for building friendships etc, that isn't really a good application of the rating system. Maybe you could write some comments.
  4. I hope its NOT permanent. The great value of this site (and it has been a great value) is the ability to move so easily through it to view other works and connect with other photographers. Any inhibition of that takes away from the the site's core, affirmative value. If the site managers are trying to defend people against tit-for-tat bad ratings and the like, it is a serious mistake to value that over the connections that are built by giving free access to each other. It is a defensive action against the negative, rather than an affirmation and facilitation of the positive. Let freedom reign . . .
  5. gib


    another dumb move
  6. Ben, perhaps you missed the part where he said he might turn it on again just for fun. . . . meaning to reveal the identities of people who started to rate honestly, or dishonestly, or . . . . (this is going to get interesting.)
  7. ...and stick in "1's" & "2's"!!  I hope everyone knows I'm joking. It's funny, recently I've been engaging in my own experiment. Which is simply to comment more, and only occasionally rate. I read the threads 'round here, seems many photographers rather hear feedback than see a number, anyway. Besides, I'm not a photographer, so if I'm "unsure" of a photo, I think it's best all around if I write vs. rate. After all, I can't tell anyone what to do to "fix" something, I can only say what I see, feel, and would "like to see".
  8. Brian its good and bad, more good i think. lets wait and see what happens now. I agree with Carl this is going to get interesting to watch now. cheers!
  9. The only regret I have is that I'm now unable to view portfolios of those who've rated me, who I haven't had a chance to view/comment on their work. Since I've not yet been a victim of revenge rating or poor comments left in retaliation, this is disappointing. But it may be for the best, as it seems this is a constant topic in the forums. I do think it may encourage people to check in with the site more frequently. Also, I like the new descriptions as to what's expected of critiquers vs. photos on display just for viewing. Turning it on and off every now and then might be fun, too!
  10. Brian, I'm really glad you turned off the rating names--perhaps this will encourage some honest ratings. Over the past year, there's certainly been some very cliquish rating going on, along with the rampant rating inflation.

    I think it would be nice to take away the photographer's name for the first 3 days, too! The top-rated pages would look quite a bit different!
  11. Brian, I write TONS of comments, and I've been an advocate of comments only critiques as you may remember. But I get about twenty ratings for every comment on my photos. So what do I do? Sometimes I go to a rater's photos and write a comment and no rating, and attempt to guide them in that direction. Sometimes, I look at their work and like it and make them an "interesting person." Sometimes I look at their work and discount their rating one way or the other because I don't care for their work. Sometimes I realize the rater has trouble with the English language, so don't mind a rating without a comment. In each instance, though, something good happens, I think. So its a VERY useful feature for learning and connecting. Taking it out does NOT encourage comments and I seriously doubt that it will reduce abusive ratings. As for vigilantism, you have to live with that the same way we all live with indiscriminate or harsh raters. Its just a part of the mix and a thick skin helps. But it makes no sense to increase isolation, reduce learning and connection via one of the most used vehicles of the site, if not the most used --ratings. SERIOUS mistake in my view. I encourage others to speak up on this one, one way or another.
  12. Yeah, let's have fun and turn on and off the ratings and turn even more people against each other.

    Ben, you can always follow people who left comments on your pages -- those who leave ratings only are either a software Brian so cleverly designed in support of his 4/4 average rating system or, these are actuall people who have nothing to say about photography, so why bother to get to know them.

    Why not abolish the rating system altogether, Brian? Oh, sorry after three years of saying this I must sound like an old record ...
  13. M. V. you do sound like an old record, but at least you're a fine photographer!
  14. And besides, Brian, you have always said ratings are for the site and comments for the photographers. So why take an action regarding ratings that deters being able to follow people interested in your work and comment on them? Whether the ratings are "honest" or not, you've preached that we de-emphasize them. Your action cuts against this approach. As for inflated ratings for "friends", what about having a "friend" rate your work, which reminds you to check their portfolio because you haven't for awhile? Isn't the site's primary mission regarding photographers to develop connections and encourage learning, to develop community? No insult intended, but to paraphrase James Carville, for me "it's about access, stupid." Whatever your encouragement about comments, the fact remains that MOST people rate. And if you can't see them, you cannot connect, learn from them. So this change really disturbs me.
  15. Robert and Ben both seem to be right. What Robert suggests is a very good idea and sounds interesting. Carl Root, maybe the solution you never came up with is here after all :) But at the same time what Ben says makes a lot of sense too, so Brian you have a task in hand now, wonder what you will land up doing now - to show or not to show, that is the question :) cheers!
  16. I think it is a very good idea to have it turned off. I also believe the photographer's identity should be hidden. These 2 pieces of information could be hidden for 3 days. THEN I think we will see more meaningful ratings.<p>

    The "cliques" will figure out a way around this also, but it might return PN, for a while, to the quality site it was some time ago. The "rating" game has dragged PN into the same kind of "personal" popularity contest that has affected so many lesser sites.<p>

    I don't think there is any way to really change the behavior of those who misuse the sysytem, and I don't attach any significance to the rating system at all. Its misuse is simply annoying.<p>

  17. It's another good move, with its down side:

    - I will miss the chance to visit anybody's portfolio starting from the rate that person left on any of my shots. Sometimes I discovered interesting people behind. Anyway, that's not lost at all, the TRPs are another good starting point.

    - The other is the possibility of giving abusers another weapon to hurts everybody's average ratings. That's easy to work out: delete constant low rates (or even raters). I mean: that would imply that the "vigilantes" (is that spanish?) should be p.net's staff. That's not so bad after all.
  18. I think it is a mistake to abolish the identification of the raters.
    For me it is important to know that the "7/7" i got ( if i ever get one) comes from a good photographer or from somebody who does not distinguish the front end of his camera from the back. The same it's true with low ratings as well.I believe other photographers feel the same.
  19. It all depends on whether or not you think most rates are valid, and whether or not you think making them anonymous will improve the number and/or quality.

    The only obvious benefit is that retaliatory comments on portfolios will stop.

    It won't stop fan clubs who will continue to use comments to alert their friends, and it won't encourage serious photographers to rate more or offer critiques since there's no new incentive that I can see.
  20. What Andreas said.
  21. Yes they are hidden. This could works pretty fine and could discourage mate-ratings and revenge ratings... BUT... the other side of the coin is, in my opinion, that in such a way - an anonymous one - self rating accounts will be boosted because it is a free lunch.
  22. I've prosed the three day anonymous upload idea before. Although it can be subverted by using emails, it gives a clearer message that we want you to rate images rather than people.

    To the rest of you: If someone wants you to visit their portfolio, they can darn well leave you a comment. I don't care how bad their English is.
  23. carl,
    about the validity of ratings -- if i get a high rating from a photographer who just signed on to photo.net and posts dark shrubs, i discount the rating. but if it comes from someone with (imho) talent, then i learn something -- that maybe i am on the right track. (i have learned, for example, to increase the contrast in my photos from studying the portfolios of people who rate me, whose work i respect.) the point is, since there are ratings, i can gain something from knowing who leaves them. i can't determine the validity of a rating per se without knowing its source. so now, ratings will only be more irritating and incomprehensible. but my big point: photo.net is about access, access, access. this cuts directly against it and is a terrible move because of that. if someone is going to leave a rating and not a comment, at least let me be able to view the work of, connect with, learn from that person. yea, its nice to have honest ratings, but for crissakes, the greatest value of this site is not if I have a rating of 5 or 6 -- who cares in the end? -- but that i am connecting, learning, sharing with others who share my passions and interests in photography.
  24. Nestor, we do automatically delete all the low ratings of anybody who has too high a percentage of them. In fact, we just did it yesterday. We also delete ALL the ratings of anyone who gives too high a percentage of his/her total ratings to only one person. We also did that yesterday. About 50,000 ratings deleted in all. We do it every month or so. Probably I'll start doing it more frequently.
  25. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    I did not have the problem with the rating system that some people seem to have. I've already said this before. The ratings/comments that my photographs receive seem, at least to me, to depend on the quality of the posted photograph. I've had a few that skyrocketed in ratings and comments. I expected them to do so because I knew that they were good. I've had some that sank out of site. I expected that reaction as well. And many got a comfortable 20 or so ratings with some helpful comments.

    Concerning changing the system to anonymous ratings: this is a bad idea. If I get a rating of, say, 6/6 from someone such as Hakon Askerhaug, I don't need to see a comment from him. I know the kind of work that he does and the philosophy of his methodology because I've visited his works and commented. A good (or bad) rating from him speaks many, many words. If a comment is given it's icing on the cake. This can be said similarly for ratings from photographers such as Morey Kitzman, Rich van Hoesel, Jim McNitt, Marc Gougenheim, and many other PhotoNetters who have been kind enough to visit my work. To reduce the ratings to an anonymous number is ludicrous!

    And consider this. PhotoNet enjoys a world wide audience. Not all of the members understand English and will not leave a comment; at least not one that I can understand. If I can visit their folders and see their work I can understand what they meant by their rating of my photograph. Anonymity disenfranchises me by taking away that ability.

    Since I am not a member of any of the above mentioned "clubs", this experiment is going to ruin my PhotoNet experience. Brian, it is a bad idea. Regards.
  26. Brian says "I just did it for fun"... IMHO, this is not respectful to paying members. I think we have some rights, since we appreciate and support the site. I guess nobody gives two shits here, so just move on...
  27. I'm going to miss the thrill, if that's the correct word, of seeing that one of Photo.net's all star photographer's has taken the time to look at and rate one of my pictures. I have gotten over most of my own annoyance at the 1/1 crowd (especially those who do not post their own pictures), and have tried to do my part in encouraging new members to accept that phenomena as one of the few bad aspects of this wonderful on-line community. I have, however, reported a couple of possible abusers myself, increasing the work load of this organizaton's minimalist staff, and therefore helping to bring on, I suppose, the current state of affairs. I can see where Brian is coming from, but there is the real possiblity of unintended consequences in this action. I for one, without meaningful, occasonal intraction with the serious photographers here, may soon tire of being actively involved. And I, and others like me, tend to be paying members.
  28. About the "friend"/friend issue.
    Whats wrong if some PN users like the work of particular other PN users? Does this new measure will make them stop rating favorable/unfavorable those people?
    Or does this measure will make malicious raters to come to their senses?
    I think not!Nobody can identify those "friends"/friends anymore,not even the honest admirers of others.
  29. i of course agree with those who do not like this. but i want to emphasis, because it cannot be overemphasized, that i think this is a serious mistake. brian, if you did this on a whim, i urge you to reconsider for that reason alone. restricting access to each other is a real deterrent to participation on the site for me.
  30. imho it'll only cause lot's of drive by ratings by people with phony accounts. unless u hide the photogs name and make it untraceble to his/her folder for a couple of days. regards,
  31. or better months. :)
  32. The only way this system might improve the ratings situation, is if you do switch them back on often enough. This way all of the raters KNOW that they will be accountable. I also see potential value with the change, in that comments should become more abundant. After all, this would be the only way one could leave tracks. The comments could however be the ridiculous "great shot" variety as when they were mandatory for 7s. That helps minimally.

    Getting to know other peoples work will still suffer over-all in my opinion. How easy it is now to simply check out the one that visited and rated your own work and in turn do the same likewise. That will no longer be able happen so easily. I also cannot quite see how this will deter the mate-rating much if at all. If you do take the name of the photgrapher that posted the image off as well, it might make a bit of a difference in the mate-rating department. But at the same time it would also limit the exchanges throughout the thread that promote learning. Plus I'd immagine that when somebody posts an image publicly, they would not want their name removed...especially so for copyright purposes. All in all some interesting moves. I am sure the hope is always for improvement. Possibly a move or two too many. Maybe not. Guess we'll have to find out!
  33. I've added a feature where you can see the list of names of people who rated the photo. You can't see who gave what rating.
  34. Just a word " glasnost"
  35. Wow Brian that was quick!!! How about a "comment only" capability if the user wants? You seem in a coding mood... :)
  36. thanks brian. i think that is at least a step in the right direction (back!). i'll kick the tires and go for a test drive with this one.
  37. Thanl you, Brian. that sounds better !
  38. That helps Brian. I also think if we really wanted the photographer know what we thought, why not just mention it in our comment. I did this at Usefilm.

    Example: Nice tones, wonderful image etc.....6/6. We can certainly articulate that if we really wish.
  39. It will mainly stop revenge rating. People will still be able to take revenge for comments. I don't know how to stop that. It will slow down mate-rating, although people can do deals to exchange ratings through email. But that kind of dealing sounds like a lot of work, and I don't think outright corrupt brokering of ratings is really that much of a problem. It is the soft corruption of over-generous exchanges of ratings between people trying to be "nice" or "friendly" that is the main problem. And I think that will largely stop. I'm a bit afraid that the reward for photo.net for many people is all that friendly rating swapping. We'll find out.

    Basically, I'm fed up with the endless flow of email complaining about low ratings and revenge ratings. Maybe I can live with the email, but this type of thing pollutes the comments threads as well. At this point, I realize I can't really win. Over the past three years, we've seen a stream of good photographers leaving the site. Some of it was normal attrition, and many of them would have left anyway, but many of them SAID at the time that it was because they were fed up with rating misbehaviour. People do burn out on the the rating system rather quickly because of revenge rating.
  40. I had a look at a recent upload, clicked on the rates, then clicked on the raters (alphabetical! . . . clever, but yet one more database sort. :))

    How anyone can learn anything from a set of numbers - and I include the site - is beyond me.

    How much time do you think someone spends looking at an image prior to rating it if s/he has no intention of leaving a comment? There is evidence to support that newbies, especially, often sign up and rate a hundred or more in one sitting.

    Get serious. If you want to talk about images, do your best to articulate what you're looking at and ask people to do the same. That's how you learn to be critical of your own work as well as others.

    The numbers are unfortunately the best way to influence what others see and to promote discussion, but that's it.
  41. Revenge rating is NOT the primary type of ratings misbehavior that causes people to leave.
  42. Know what ? I really think you're going round in circles ! You KNOW the solution of all this ratings bullshit. what about making photo.net a full paying site ? I am sure you could solve many problems (revenge ratings at least) in this way !
  43. CORRECTION - not the kind that causes 'good photographers' to leave. Revenge rating is common among new members who trash each others' snapshots. The solution, of course, is to vote . . . . . . or not.
  44. I notice that there's more and more reference here to making this a full paying site. That's perfectly fair and as for various reasons I cannot be a fee paying member, I bid you good-bye and thank all those here who have helped me advance my photography! :) Tony
  45. Sacha,
    people who pay, don't revenge?
  46. ROBERT BROWN - what an excellent idea. I couldn't agree more. Turn off the photographers name and see how that works, simple yet cunning!
  47. <P>Brian-I'm glad to see you've added the ability to at least know who rated your picture, if not which rating they gave. It's nice to at least be able to jump over to their pages and give ratings/comments if they were nice enough to spend some time in your area. (and by this I do not of course mean "mate rating")

    <P>I also like the idea of removing the photographers name. I'd like to see the elves pick a series of photographs each week, remove the pg's name and let PN vote for the one that should be POW. And by vote I mean vote on which of the pictures best exemplifies the the themes the elves have chosen for taht weeks picture.

    <P> Anyway- always good to know your there, Brian. Thanks for trying so hard to make PN great.
  48. Actually, I think it'd be nice to keep the raters names viewable; but only for the actual photographer. That might help eliminate some of the revenge rating from cliques, etc. Just my $.2
  49. Removing the photographers name doesn't help in situations like mine where I put my signature on my images. The name is in full view for all to see... even if p.net wants anyone to know or not...
  50. I've been an active member of Photo.net for about nine months now and I must say that your recent change in separating ratings from the user names is probably one of the best things you could have done. I believe this will help towards creating more realistic ratings, as people will no longer feel "obligated" to rate an image high just to maintain a friendship, nor will there be as much incentive for traditionally low raters to gain satisfaction from their now anonymous ratings. Additionally, I think that it will spur people to be more descriptive in their comments. Well done!
  51. I have only been a member of photonet for about 6 months. I am by no means an advanced photographer and by my own standards do less than above average work. Yet, in this 6 months I have learned so much from some really great photographers who took the time to visit my photo's, rate them and leave comments. I have gained far more respect of many patrons than I have improved my skills. However, at my age of 58, learning how to use a new advanced digtial camera (may never)it helps me first, to be rated and or commented by photographers whose images speak for themselves. Secondly, it helps me better understand what is or is not appealing to the masses. Yes, it makes my blood curl to have a drive by 1/1 rating or comments like "dont shoot anymore flowers, we've seen them all pinhead. If thats the case, even Carl Root might as well put his camera on the self and take up nitting. I joined this group because of what I read, and what I thought would be the potential to help me learn quicker. I was so sure, that I paid for that right to be part of this organization. I am disappointed somewhat, but I have gained alot of insight and made many new honest friends who sincerely care to tell me through comment or email the good or bad of my images. Many times I am surprized, for what I think is good, others dont, and some I think are not so good, get good ratings. Tough business... bottom line, overall it works. Maybe we need to follow ebay's rating system...it works, and maybe I could make some money selling too. :) Follow the KISS system! "keep it simple stupid". I for one (and it dont count for much) enjoy this site and am learning from some really great photographer who care enough to show me the time of day. To bad we're letting a few ruin that.
  52. including this newly implemented one. I imagine that the use of bogus accounts will increase now, both for the purpose of giving inflated ratings and for the malicious downrating of photos. Mate rating may be reduced initially, but workarounds will be discovered in very short order.
  53. Well, now that I have actually taken the time to read many of the responses, I feel that I may have been too tunnel-visioned myself in my previous posting. I can agree with many of the comments for keeping the rating system "as is". Primarily the argument that sways me is that of knowing the value of a given rating by the skill of the rater. Yes, this does have a lot of value.
  54. because I'm not. The new system is as viable as any other. The only point I'm making is that those who seek to abuse a rating system will find a way to do it, regardless of the nature of the system.
  55. First of all, I can only say that I understand both sides. Sometimes I really wonder how some pictures can get that many that high rating. But will this mate rating really stop? Some people already leave their rating as subject for their comment. What do you need email for if you could exchange information that easy? But there is something else that is more important for me. If you rate and everybody can see that it is your rating, you are responsible for it. I am afraid that turning the link off will lead to loads of quick and thoughtless rating. Who cares if I make a mistake rating if nobody knows that it was me. Of course, most people will still think about their rating before submitting it but the risk of another type of abuse is present.

    Anyway, Brian thank you for spending so much time keeping this site running in a smooth way. I really appreciate that you are always thinking about how to improve photo.net.

    Best regards,
  56. The so called "mate raters" and "drive bys" won't be deterred by a change in the way ratings, comments or whatever are labeled or displayed. So the the real question is what have the "honest" folks won or lost. I agree with Thomas' comment. I am thrilled to get a comment or rating by someone really talented and I want to know it. Give me all the low ratings you want, but one kind word from a person I respect will take all of the sting away. With this new anonymous approach, I now get all of the sting and none of the salve. I guess I can consider myself one of the losers.
  57. What was the ratings misbehavior that causes people to leave?
  58. Brian,

    I see that you have made some changes to the way ratings and run an automatic purge according to your post:

    "Nestor, we do automatically delete all the low ratings of anybody who has too high a percentage of them. In fact, we just did it yesterday. We also delete ALL the ratings of anyone who gives too high a percentage of his/her total ratings to only one person. We also did that yesterday. About 50,000 ratings deleted in all. We do it every month or so. Probably I'll start doing it more frequently."

    I just noticed that at least four rating are now missing from my photo: http://www.photo.net/photo/1115004.

    Although the Details section says there are 31 ratings, I can see only 27. The most recent ratings seem to have been deleted. Why? The ratings were good, but not too high (IMHO). Although these members have rated one or two of my other photos, I should not account for a large percentage of their ratings and they even left comments.

    You may have a bug in your purge program.

    Has anyone else noticed missing ratings?
  59. "With this new anonymous approach, I now get all of the sting and none of the salve. I guess I can consider myself one of the losers."

    I do know what you mean, and I empathize. That's why, if my comment includes an "idea" of what might have been done differently to an image, I always add that I'm not a photographer. That way, the submitter can be aware that it wasn't from an expert, and ignore it, or whatever.
    Maybe some members won't mind leaving their rating in a comment? I saw that suggested above. Some may protest that, too. Oh well.
  60. Brian you said this above. "It will slow down mate-rating"

    I am curious to know how, or why you suppose that might happen? As it is right now, the mate-raters are very easily identified by all. They seem to not mind being exposed to a degree, but find comfort in their groups. If the ratings are now annonymous, isnt it possible that mate-rating will only get worse and not better? Having the ratings made public at least kept there actions in clear daylight. Now under the cover of darkness, it would seem reasonable that it could just become worse!

    The greater of the two problems between Revenge-rating and Mate-rating (in the minds of probably 90 percent from my experience) is the Mate-rating. That issue seems to have the potential to actually get worse under the current system.

    Perhaps there are a few ideas I have overlooked though.

    I would definitely NOT suggest taking the name of the photographer off of the posted images. Copyright is only one reason. There are others.
  61. I recently had the problem with revenge comments piling up in my portfolio in response to ratings I gave. Thanks to that move this will be less of a problem, Thank you Brian.

    Now I can rate with much less fear that revenge rating will drag down my own visiblity, Thank you Brian.

    And yes you're right, these rating and commenting misbehaviour has the potential to drive people away, I actually considered taking down all my pics recently.

    But I will still get bad ratings and comments after I made a *comment* someone doesn't like. My personal solution is this: If I come across a picture that really sucks and I don't wanna pussyfoot around but be honest and blunt in my comment, I just do it. But immediately afterwards I check the rest of this photog's portfolio, pick the photograph I like best and make a comment emphasizing what I like about it. Works for me.
  62. It won't slow down the current mate-raters initially, since those groups have already formed. Eventually, if people don't know whether the ratings they are receiving from others are high or not it might weaken the motivation. Where I think it will make a difference is in new people being recruited to the mate-rating groups. This is done by putting a high rating on the new person's photo, with the expectation that it be reciprocated. If the person reciprocates with a higher rating than really merited, in the hopes of getting more of the same for himself/herself, then the ball is rolling. But if nobody knows who is rating high then I think it makes this transaction less likely to occur. It is true that people can send blunt emails proposing exchanges. But I don't think that actually happens much, or else more people would have tripped up, and there would be more cases of where these dishonest emails were being forwarded to the moderators. I hope people think twice before they send an outright dishonest email to some new member that they don't know. Anyway, as I said above, I don't really think that the mate-rating is usually outright corruption, but rather a kind of cronyism, and many of the mate-raters would be rather surprised to realize that their behaviour was looked at that way.
  63. "I would definitely NOT suggest taking the name of the photographer off of the posted images. Copyright is only one reason. There are others."
    Vincent, if this is going to happen, then I better go ahead and mark everyone as interesting, so I can find their folders again! I mean, how else are we supposed to keep track of the photographers we appreciate? Even if the names are unveiled after a few days, unless I commented, I'd have no way to find the person whose work appealed to me.

    I'd like to keep the names visible.
  64. Brooks, the robot removes all the ratings of people who have concentrated their ratings on one other person. Even if nobody was concentrating ratings on you, you might have been the recipient of other ratings from those people -- and all the ratings from those suspect people are removed.
  65. My latest critique posting has garnered, among other ratings, a 1/1 and a 7/7. Inasmuch as I don't usually see either combination, I'm curious to learn what experience those two raters bring to their assessments. Without their identities, I can't get that information. I find this development annoying--almost as disturbing as I find Brian's cavalier comment that he might turn the identity function back on "just for fun."
  66. Brian, I don't get it. The robot seems to only remove the name, but the number of ratings and the average ratings stay the same. What's the point if the scores don't change?
  67. Bill, I think Brian is toying with the idea of elevating his status to "God of this Web site". All we paying members can do is vote with our dollars and not renew. Cavalier is too kind an assessment.
  68. Thanks for the thoughts on how this might slow down the maters. Lets see what happens.

    Cut down the *ideas* presented here if you like guys, but why cut on the man as a person? Sounds to me like he is trying to improve things. If not, he can always put it back.
  69. Good point about the dues thing, Doug. Having just renewed my subscription, I thought about bringing it up myself. Perhaps other up-for-renewal members will take Brian's attitude under consideration now.
  70. Hmmm... whatever solution will have pros and cons... in the meanwhile the status quo is kept. I don't think this will change much, but it's worth trying.

    Only a few comments:

    1. Recently I've been rating quite high, mainly because I was more interested in saying "i like this" than "i don't like that".

    2. The other reason: revenge rating/comments. Looks like you cannot give a 1/1 to a picture clearly out of focus (unintentionally) that you will start receiving vindicative emails-comments-ratings. And I'm not talking about a well written email in which you're simply asked for the reasons of it.

    3. I already liked the thing that when you request an e-mail a warning is generated. Got, some months ago, a mail from a guy insulting me 'cause I said he could have done things better with PS. Browsing through his portfolio and comments, I just understood that he was doing it with everyone.

    4. Democracy: you go to vote. No one sees what you vote. In this way the vote is free. Probably it will work also for ratings.

    5. Mate rating: don't know if something strange is going on between other people. But there are some photographers I admire here and - look what - the ratings I give them are quite high. With the exception of m.v. : she doesn't like ratings, I leave only comments :)


    Most important of all: does a rating need to come from a good photographer to be acceptable? Yes sometimes I peek through some 2's, see some pictures I don't like and feel relieved... but...

    ...since everybody of us tries to communicate with photography... maybe this means that our message is not understandable?
  71. Why not simply have a poll where the members (or just the paying patrons) can decide these suggestions before they are implemented?
    This is just not community-friendly.
  72. I like the idea of it going on and off, perhaps at completely random intervals--and for greatly varying periods of time. That way one will (from time to time) still see some names of persons who like the same things one likes, but persons might be a bit encouraged to be more objective and honest overall.
  73. While no PN user is going to agree with all of Brian's decisions, I think he's done his best to manage this site in an equitable manner. Considering all of the whining, complaining, cheating, and conniving he gets to deal with on a daily basis, he's done an excellent job. For anyone interested in photography, this site is a real treasure because of all the information in the archives and various discussion forums. It's too bad that he has to spend so much time settling arguments about photo ratings and then be slammed by some ill-informed hack for trying something different.
  74. Time will tell if this works or not. I don't think it will but it is worth a try. I am hoping and praying that it shuts up the whiners and crybabies that can not handle a low rating of their own work and a high rating of someone elses work. I think the main reason that many really good photographers leave the site (aside from normal attrition) is that constant whining and complaining from the vocal minority of prima donna's who would not be happy unless every photo in their portfolio was a photo of the week or at least in the top five of the top rated page. I hate to see the cry-babies win but am open to the slight possibility that it could improve things. We will see and I must admit that I am impressed with my open-mindedness about this issue.
  75. Ist a good Idea IMO, but the fact that you simultenously announced that it is probably a temporary decision breaks a little bit the fun of it !!
  76. If this is mostly to stop mate-raters, and Brian, I hope you werent thinking as a newby, I was caught in that...(must be in the middle then and getting jerked around) then isn't it just as easy for those individuals to look at thier interesting persons list and rate all new submissions by thier circle daily, weekly or when ever? And dosent this hide the identity's of those abusers who truely create problems for alot of photographers on PN, thus, not allowing easy reporting of abuse. I must admit, that I couldnt as a new person find that anyway on this site. Am I missing something here?
  77. from Brian:

    "I don't really think that the mate-rating is usually outright corruption, but rather a kind of cronyism, and many of the mate-raters would be rather surprised to realize that their behaviour was looked at that way."

    That problem needs to be addressed. Any ideas?
  78. I hope the end result will be more interesting photography and a more dynamic environment.
  79. Hi Brian.
    I joined this forum because I saw it as a way to improve my skills, and, hopefully to express my subjective opinions about other people's images. Yes, there are objective "measures" of photographs, but as I have been, quite rightly reminded, art, including photographic art, is very subjective. What I see as being less than artistic is a masterpiece in someone else's opinion. I am not sure we really need "ratings" at all. I hope we are all looking for constructive criticism, but perhaps we should include comments that explain the context of our perspective. By the way, keep up the good work! This forum displays incredible imagery from some very talented people from all over the world! We need more of this open communication.
  80. For what its worth, my view of ratings is this: i tend to rate only those photos i like because i think its better to commend people when they do well than to criticize when people do poorly. lack of ratings is often enough. i do write comments more frequently as time goes on, and try to do that with people whose work interests me, and with photos by those who have provided helpful comments to me, but which i would not give a high rating to. i rate much less than when i started, but when a photo really moves me, i sometimes rate it if i think it will help it be considered as a top photo. all this concern about ratings inflation and the like, i just don't get it. my experience is that things balance out in the end. there are things that go into ratings besides friendship-influenced high ratings that bother me a lot more, like the typically high ratings of scantily clad women but lower ratings of other portraits. for what its worth, i don't participate in any mate-rating that I know about, so i'm not defending anything. i just think we put too much energy into ratings discussions, and i'm concerned that brian is becoming increasingly focussed on it. its a way to categorize and sort through the photos. it roughly works. i'd rather have a comments only option. but to start to gear the site around concerns to somehow legitimize and make honest the ratings system, wow, that's a venture into an abyss that i hope the managers of this site resist.
  81. I agree whole heartedly with the concept of comments only, no ratings. I think the comments should be a minimum of 50 characters and then I think we should rate the comments. Punctuation should be weighted the highest (as in Panda...eats, shoots and leaves), spelling should be next (because spell check is ruining society) and, finally, content (do we really have anything to say and, if so, can we express it intelligently). Once it is determined that "chronyism" is running rampant in comment ratings, Brian can hide the name of the rater (I may have just flunked the spelling part) and we can then move on to some other form of rating (perhaps rating the ratings).
  82. Brian Mottershead said, "I've added a feature where you can see the list of names of people who rated the photo. You can't see who gave what rating."
    Bravo! I *think* that this feature (anonymous ratings and a list of names) will be a good change over all...
    ... but only time will tell; let's wait and see! :)
  83. At the risk of getting boring or pedantic or dogmatic (they actually may all mean the same thing), I just have to say that every time I go out to the Top Photographers or Top Photographs link, I think "Wow, I wish I could do something that good, that creative, that technically brilliant". So what is the problem? Chronyism, as Brian labels it, allows mediocrity to rise above all else, but I don't think I've seen anything that resembles average on those pages (well, maybe one or two photos, but for goodness sakes that's a description of taste and artistic appreciation in general). So why are we trying to regulate things? Is it, as Brian states, "I'm getting sick of the complaining e-mails", well welcome to success buddy, no matter what you do when you have an audience you are going to get the good with the bad. And, by the way, if a photographer has "groupies" so what (I dearly wish I had a few groupies...by the way, my only groupie got deleted by Brian's insensitive Robot). That's it, I gotta go.
  84. I don't know if this is going to work as envisioned, but at least it's not boring.
  85. To my way of thinking, this just points out the importance of commenting over rating. If I want someone to know what my rating, I will leave it within the comment, if I don't, I can remain unknown. At least temporarily, until Brian changes it back so that ratings will be matched up with raters again.

    My suggestion, no ratings, only comments. Let the top photos be the ones that received the most comments. It won't matter if the comments are positive or negative, they will be the shots that inspired the most feedback and viewer interest. Isn't that how the POW is chosen, a shot that stimulates coversation/comments and feedback?

    It will most likely never happen, but it would be interesting to give it a try... and then like this experiment, if it doesn't work, Photo.net can always go back int to the ratings game. I am sure this won't be taken seriously, but I think there are others who feel like I do. Or maybe not...
  86. Yes, an excellent suggestion. The most comments, not ratings, should be featured. If we don't want to give up ratings, then make it a category unto itself.
  87. jbs


    Jay B. Stevens , jul 01, 2004; 10:30 p.m.
    Does this mean that the argument FOR ID as a way for everyone to "assist" the abuse department is now no longer valid? Have we now increased the rate patrol~ or ~ how do we find the abusers now?
  88. Seems so...but often arbitrary changes in policy ignore, or possibly forget, previous controls.
  89. Er, Doug, Number of Comments is already a ranking method for Top Photos.
  90. Well done, Brian. Then, what about that robot of yours eliminating my only groupie?
  91. jbs


    <<<Bravo! I *think* that this feature (anonymous ratings and a list of names) will be a good change over all...<<<<

    I understand the anonymous ratings being seen as positive but why show the list of names at all? What purpose has this item?.....;?....J
  92. Note to Brian: Don't think for a moment I am negative relative to Photo.net. This is the best site on the entire Internet for discussion, critique, creativity, and so on. And, I suspect (no, I know), you are a major factor in that achievement. My only gripe is that I wanna know who thinks my work is good and who thinks it is...not so good (especially since I seem to get more than my fair share of "not so goods"...Zeus knows I have tried to find some chronies). It is important to me (I have a sensitive ego as most creative or wantabe creative folks do) to know who is rating my work. I would rather have comments, but that seems to be as hard to achieve as pulling teeth, so knowing whether someone with "talent" rated me high or otherwise is somewhat important in my artistic growth (must I bear my soul here in public?). I guess you have taken that away from me and I feel the lesser for it. Thanks for hearing me out.
  93. jbs


    If my name is removed from my images as some have suggested I will remove all my images....Jay
  94. Hi Brian, I was just wondering, this feature, and a new feature with a list of people interested in you, thats coool too, have you been getting any sleep off late?? I think you need to take a break, take your camera and go off for a couple of days to a nice place :) cheers!
  95. What's wrong with a three day period of looking at images instead of figuring out who you owe a favor to? Your name would be restored once it enters your portfolio.

    (This won't happen because it's too labor intensive to set up, but the thought behind it makes sense.)
  96. Well, it's late, although blind "tastings" are revealing, I wonder if that's what most people here signed up for.
  97. Can somebody tell me HOW are we supposed to report an abuse, since we do not know anymore who did what (unless a comment is left, which almost never happens) ???????

    Cheers, Sacha ;-)
  98. How about limiting ratings and comments to members? It won't address the mate rating issue, but it might at least limit the fly by raters who have no investment in the site or the consequences of their actions. Doesn't cost a whole lot, but it might raise the level a bit. As for mate rating, it seems like less of a problem than folks who stop by without any clue as to what this site is about or the fact that most of us are here to learn from one another.
  99. jbs


    I am always open to new ideas but at the risk of being didactic I give this image. ....;)....J
  100. Jay, as was mentioned here or elsewhere (I forget where exactly), the names are still useful to see what others are doing that have an interest in your work - not from a 'punish them!' perspective, but just as a point of interest - and I at least come across names I'd never noticed before this way...
  101. I just wanted to say something about abuse and how we would report about it now. I think the new system is better because, if most of us think that we are not bothered about ratings, then why should u even give heed to thes guys who want to give 1/1 ratings? I think we just take it in stride or just plain ignore it, i consider abuse to be more of being derogatory in their comments and attitude. if i see constructive criticism i appreciate the effort and time the person has put into it.

    and if someone abuses the comments u can still report to absuse@PN, so i dont see a problem here. cheers!
  102. Leave it off. Now not knowing who gives what maybe people will finally ignore the ratings yet Brian will still get what he needs from the ratings in presenting highly rated images on the site. I think the experiment will be to see if the average somehow changes. If not, then PLEASE leave it off. It will solve so many problems, so much animosity, and people can focus on making and discussing images rather than getting all caught up in their own insecurities and the ratings game.
  103. WJT

    WJT Moderator

    Neil, that is an excellent point about finding new names or seeing what others are doing. I liked doing that too. A whole lot of the FUN of photonet is dissolving before our eyes.

    These current developments simply serve to reinforce a growing concern in me that I have been spending just too much time here. I think this site will be better left to the "purists" of the craft to enjoy. I don't fit into that crowd and never will. Regards.
  104. jbs


    Please forgive me if I sound argumentative, but, "the names are still useful to see what others are doing that have an interest in your work" is an assumption that all those that rated have an interest in your (anyones) work. I someone rate an image a 2 and leaves no comment does that mean that they are interested in that image? You will never know without a clue to guide you. Many times the only clue to any rating is in the investigation of the person rating and putting into context the rate and what little you can assertain from clicking on their name. Please tell me how you know people are interested by just a number and no name or a name and no number (or words). Thank You Neil....;)....J
  105. Brian M. said "people can do deals to exchange ratings through email".
    Couldn't they just simply write down their vote on the comment? Something like:
    Wow, I love this! 7/7
    From my own experience, mate-raters do leave such kind of comments to each other, they just need to add their vote.
  106. I joined as a contributor in Feb. and have had an almost universally wonderful experience with this site and with the ratings system. I seldom rate photographs--my total ratings are fewer than 200 at last count, but I comment liberally, and when I comment, my comments often are extensive.
    When I do rate, my ratings are generally rather high because I tend to take the view of trying to analyze in my (associated and sometimes extensive) comments what elements made others' photographs succeed, and as a former Associated Press and magazine photo editor, how they might be improved. I think after viewing the very high quality of so many top-rated photos one main reason ratings have "inflated" is that so many who rate simply pass over rating the poorest photos; there always is an assessment of a photo's merits under the "curator's views" so no photographer need wonder about how his/her image stacks up.
    I think it is a useless venture to try to establish an average "4" rating for rated photos unless we require that all raters rate all photographs (in which case the ratings probably would average "4".) The bias in general is in choosing what photographs are rated (and in how many ratings a given photo receives) not so much in inflated rating, I think.
    Because I rate so seldom, I am unaware of "mate-rating" and frankly (Charlotte) don't give a damn if others are engaged in mate-rating on the site, or in personally trying to boost any of my photos into Photo of the Week, however nice that would be. I am quite happy to get 20 honest ratings on a photo, and I am not particularly angry when someone gets 84 ratings even if it's due to some mate-rating ratings "gimmick" -- I'm just not in "competition with them" -- I'm trying to improve my photography. I learn from viewing all the wonderful photographs on Photo.net.
    I am interested in the honest rating each other photographer gives my photograph when he/she rates it, and when they do take the effort to rate it, I want to see where they are coming from -- are they skilled or not; do they have experience or not; are they from the f22 club of nature photographers who might not appreciate the many photographs I take at wide apertures indoors, at night or under poor lighting; do they use digital alterations extensively, etc. etc. etc.
    And, the person many of you seem to consider a ratings nemesis .[.Z is a regular visitor to my portfolio. I want to identify his ratings, for to me they are valuable because he follows a rigid (if highly personal) ratings schema, but they'll just be low ratings without meaning if I cannot identify the ratings as coming from him. Despite his low ratings, when he gives a 5/5 a 5/6 or even a 6/6 it has genuine meaning to me. (See open letter to .[.Z in my portfolio comments.) .[.Z is welcome in my portfolio, and a 5/5 from him can mean much more than a 7/7 from a casual Photonetter who has no rating experience or a lousy portfolio.
    To get high ratings from accomplished photographers whom I do not know (or even know of) is one of the highest compliments that such a skilled photographer can pay my photography, and this new experimental system would deprive me of that valuable knowledge.
    Brian, I appreciate all the effort you are doing and all the heat you have taken regarding ratings. And I appreciate that you are experimenting.
    Divorcing permanently the identity of the raters from the ratings I feel would do a serious disservice to some of the wonderful functions Photo.net serves in helping me improve my photography -- by helping me identify colleagues with an interest in my point of view with a camera -- that is a highly personal thing, and something that I can only identify by (at some point) correlating the rater's name with the rating numbers (at least until others start leaving extensive comments, and many will never be able to comment due to language inability). I have no objection to a three or five day hiatus on the identification process as someone suggested, but wonder about its utility.
    (By the way, since my membership check of two months ago wasn't cashed, I'm sending a new one).
    Mark me an admirer of all Photo.net stands for, and not a ratings whiner.
    John Crosley
  107. John, you said it all fifty times better than I could. Your comment should be required reading for everyone on PN. I hope that there are thousands of viewers out there that share your perspective. Thanks for expressing yourself so well!!
  108. Abuse@Photo.net doesn't work.
  109. I simply agree! I actually found people backlowrating without meaning after I had low rated pictures without artistic/aesthetic/original content. Thank you for doing this, I really appreciate it. Plus it encourages those who want to "show up" to write a comment!!!
  110. On how to report low ratings, people aren't going to like the answer, which is: don't bother. We are going to automatically delete all the low ratings that we would delete if you reported them. The ones that we don't automatically delete wouldn't be deleted if you reported them. It really isn't worth reporting low ratings.

    In the past, if you reported a low rating, the moderator would look at the pattern of ratings from that person to see whether it was someone with a reasonable distribution of ratings, or whether it was a troll who was spraying low ratings all over the gallery. If it was a troll, the ratings would be deleted, and probably the person would be banned. If it was an isolated low rating, you probably got a mail saying that the full range of ratings is valid; that you shouldn't pay attention to any individual rating; and that nobody is compelled to think every photo on photo.net is good, even the photos that are receiving high ratings from others. After a few years of doing this, we know the pattern that we look for, and we can and have coded that pattern, to delete the ratings in question automatically, whether you report them or not.

    As for other types of abusive ratings, such as retaliatory and "mate" ratings, an anonymous rating system does reduce our ability to learn about those. I am hoping that while our ability to detect them may have declined, their frequency will also drop. That is one reason why this is an experiment. Actually, retaliatory ratings are pretty easy to detect automatically without the outraged reports coming in on email. Mate ratings are much harder to detect, but then we seldom had a clear-cut case that we could act on when people reported them, and I couldn't say that reports of mate-rating have been all that helpful. Everybody has an opinion as to who the "mate-raters" are: they are the groups of people who are rating each other's photos higher than merited. The moderators rarely act against mate-raters because they don't want to impose their own ideas about which photos merit high ratings. And so only the really egregious cases get deleted. In the past, the most flagrant mate raters generally have been banned from the site because of some other behaviour, not the mate-rating. If someone is dishonest or screwed-up enough to be a flagrant mate-rater, usually that manifests itself eventually in some other, much more objective, way. The loss of reports from aggrieved parties about mate-rating isn't really going to change that.

    On the issue of not being able to validate a rating now; that the full "meaning" of the rating is determined for many people by who gave it; that a rating from a good photographer is more meaningful than another rating; and that all of this has now been taken away: I would say:

    (1) There isn't any weighting of ratings in determining the ranking of a photo by who gave the rating. All ratings have the same weight. So from the point of view of the site's ranking system, who gave the rating is currently irrelevant.

    (2) Until you have some reason to believe that there is a high correlation between a person's critical ability and the quality of his photographs, it is really nonsense to be trying to validate ratings by looking at portfolios. I've said this many times in discussions about ratings of people who don't have portfolios. Just as with people with no portfolios, the ratings given by high-rated photographers are statistically indistinguishable from those of photographers as a whole. They like and dislike the same photos, on the average. If we had a Top Photos ranking that only included the ratings from people who were Top-Rated Photographers themselves, it would be more or less the same as the other rankings. Unless you know something more about his or her tastes and rating habits, the idea that you should be more puffed up with pride if Yuri Bonder gives you a 7 than if Joe Random Member gives you one, is almost certainly silly. (Sorry.)

    (3) That said, it may be that you have come to value a particular person's opinion because of a combination of the quality of his photographs and the comments he has written on your photos and others', his Favorite photos page, etc Perhaps you have made a careful study of other members' ratings and comments and you have arrived at an opinion on who to value as a critic. In the absence of comments from those people, you can get a lot of information that is valuable and relevant to you from their ratings. None of that is silly, and the point is valid. I will think about it. My initial reaction is that the overall positive effect of an anonymous rating system will make up for this loss of information. But that is only a gut feel, and we will all see. This argument is the only one that really makes me hesitate about going back to an anonymous system, although I think it is probably fairly unusual for people to have made such a careful appraisal of the raters.

    One thing I've learned on photo.net is that trying to tell people how
    they should feel or not feel, especially when it comes to ratings, is pretty useless. But that doesn't mean I don't keep trying!
  111. There is a solution to the ratings problems (principally, mate- and revenge-rating) discussed above, that hasn't been tried yet.

    <p>John Crosley is exactly right when he observes that "The bias in general is in choosing what photographs are rated ...". That tells you how to fix the problem. You can't mate rate if you can't pick your mates' photos to rate. You can't revenge rate if you can't pick out your enemies' photos to rate.

    <p>As long as photo.net is experimenting, how about experimenting with a system that does not allow raters to select the photos they will rate? Limit rating to a system that feeds photos randomly through a "rate photos" interface that requires a rating to be entered before another photo is displayed and that hides any information about the photographer. That, combined with keeping the identity of raters hidden, would straighten the rating system out quickly.

    <p>I know, I know -- one of the potential objections to this, is that there's waaaaaaaay too many photos being uploaded to make this workable, because no one could possibly get through even a small proportion of the photos posted every day and thus no photos would ever get very many ratings. The obvious solution is to ration the number of posts allowed more than is being done now.
  112. When the ratings queue was set up originally, you couldn't skip images and people complained bitterly.

    Try going through the list without skipping. I found that I'd get to an image that was outside my shooting and viewing experience. Who am I to say whether this is a good or bad version of this genre? Simply liking it or not is genre preference far too often (read the POW comments) and you see where that has gotten us.

    I think your idea would work if everyone was directed to mark an image as being suitable for viewing and discussion with clear directives to pick as diverse a group of images as possible. Explain that you're being asked to do a service for the site. An image that gets passed over 'X' number of times is not seen as worth discussing and is dropped from the list.

    No 'rating' on the TRP or portfolios . . . . . . just discussion.
  113. Wow, all this hubbub about ratings and raters. Brian you have managed to wake me up and smell the coffee. Speaking strictly for myself, an extremely amateur photographer, if I was a professional photographer, I would guess PNet would probably not be the place I would be displaying my work. I came here to learn and share and view others creative ideas. Reaching back to an Abnormal Psych class I took eons ago, creative, artistic people are valued for their emotional approach & view of life. So in my opinion, your best attempts at problem solving on PN may be just that, attempts. As mentioned above, these extremely creative people will find a way around your every effort. It's in our nature. Mate-rating is never going to be controllable, troll spraying is never going to be controllable. Jerks will be jerks, nice people will be nice people. If you were looking for discussion, bravo, but control the masses, I think not! Change human nature, I think not! Brian, I appreciate your efforts and I understand your efforts, and I really enjoy PN, whether or not I get high ratings or low ratings or any ratings. I personally rarely rate a photo without a comment, but then I rarely rate a photo I don't like. Photography is an art, and the beauty of art is in the eye of the beholder. What's beautiful to me, may be ugly to you and conversely so, as we all know. This is what makes life exciting and interesting. When I do rate a photo I find myself trying to define " originality". Is there ever anything that is original? Asthetics of course is subjective to the individual, some people find cars and trucks extremely asthetic, others find human suffering asthetic, others female nudes are asthetic, I have my own personal favorites. Now if you wanted to rate on the technical aspects of the photo, that's pretty cut and dried. Or rate the blance or color correctness of the photo, even that can be fairly cut and dried. But that would be just plain boring. So I say, do what you want, make yourself happy, but don't ever expect to make anyone else happy. My suggestion, take a vacation, enjoy yourself and leave all these creative people to themselves, they'll figure it out or find some other door step to darken. People are just people. Thanks for your efforts though, I give you a 7/7 for trying.
  114. Brian, I agree with your long explanation above, makes lot of sense and i think is practical too. There is just one thing that beats me, I am saying this out of personal experience, there was this guy who used to stalk my photos recently and had one big attitude with his comments, and was plain crazy. I reported this to abuse@PN and they deleted this guy from the site. Now there are lot of these characters looming around, and if we dont have a way and means to report this kind of behavior, it would just be party time to these characters. Please let me know how a coded program would identify something like this? It beats me. Cheers!
  115. The anonymity of the individual ratings (together with the list of users who have rated an image) seems like a very good step forward.
    But then ... "The evolution of various entertainment industries does not make me hopeful that the public will reward the most meritorious works with attention." Brian, you made this comment in another thread on a different issue (The new comment note under RFC images), but I think it applies equally here.
    Out of a zillion good images on P.Net the ones that get the highest ratings are bound to be those that people like ... and not those that they don't like, regardless of aesthetic or original qualities.
    It seems pointless to fight the fact that the TRP is a popularity contest by expecting users to follow the Rating Guidelines to the letter - and while perhaps many do follow them, so many (and you can include here the mate-raters, the pleasure cruisers, those who don't read guidelines, and the 'nutters') do not. Calling the ratings by what they are in reality would seem to be another possible good step forward.
    The ratings and the TRP create public interest, which is a fine aim in itself, and since that is all they can do they might as well be (should be) anonymous. Only a comment can tell the photographer what a user likes or doesn't like about an image and the photographer's overall work - and a comment is by far the best communicative process for getting to know others on the site.
    (PS. Pradeep has a point, the abuse reporting would still be necessary for the rude comments.)
  116. Pradeep, I'm just saying that there isn't really a lot of point in reporting LOW ratings. We sit on a huge database and it is a one line command to find all the 1/1 or 2/2 ratings. We don't need them to be reported. We can look at them and decide if they are valid. We can, and have, coded up a program to delete them when the fit into the pattern that from experience we now recognize as a troll.

    We still need reports of other types of abuse, such as rude comments. We can't tell our database "Find all the rude comments", and we can't read all the comments ourselves. So please continue report those.

    Other types of abuse, such as revenge ratings, are now harder to report, but hopefully there will be fewer of them.
  117. gib


    Perhaps it is time to boycott the gallery of Photo.net?
  118. Bill, that wouldn't be very original. About 99.9999+% of the human population boycott the photo.net Gallery every day.
  119. If we must live without a rater's name, how about attaching a rater's rating averages in parenthesis along with their rating? Yes, this might assist a person bent on determining a rater's identity - but this new setup isn't designed to be a security juggernaut anyway, right? Isn't it more along the lines of gently coercing acceptable behavior? It's really regrettable that we'll no longer have the possibility of weighing a rating with respect to a rater's apparent ability. Granted, comments are several magnitudes more important than ratings, but like it or not, ratings are what makes the world go 'round in terms of getting the exposure necessary to get those valuable comments.
  120. No matter what I think - No matter what you think ...

    "The needs of the Many vs. the needs of the Few" ...

    Spock - stardate 2369
  121. Although your source is beyond reproach :), I'm not sure what/who the comment is in reference to.
  122. I think he means it's too bad that the entire system had to be changed due to just a *few* problem children.

    After sleeping on it a night... something just seems like it's missing on the site. Less connected. Personally, I hope you do bring the identities back. The reasons why you possibly may, as stated above are valid. For me, it will just take the guesswork out of the equation.
  123. Ken & Vincent: Ken leave it to you to bring the humor back, Spock humm......???? Yo....Adrian, (Rocky 1976???) he's watching too many videos!!!! And Vincent- agreed, kids will be kids!(My mom- 1959) :)
  124. I agree with Vincent (see above). It will all seem rather more impersonal and to me rather less fun than it used to be.
  125. Sorry Albert - that was not directed at you but to the thread in general - and maybe to life in general ...... (-;
  126. gib


    What seems humourous is the request that we ignore the ratings system and its shortcomings....but Brian can't seem to ignore the complaints about the ratings system.

    Chnages to the system without notice or consensus, will mean some people will not renew their subscriptions. But new people will come.

    Awhile back I mentioned to someone that photo.net was doomed to failure because it has a single point of failure. So sooner or later that point will fail. The single point of failure risk is Brian Mottershead.
  127. I agree with you Brian, i just wanted to know if we can still mail and report these characters when they rise to abuse@PN, i hope that feature to report abuse has not been stopped :) thanks Brian.
  128. Brian your long posting above makes a lot of sense. I'm glad you see the counter argument to this change (your point 3). For me the gains of this system (cutting revenge rating, and getting rid of the "I saw I got a bad score from someone with no pictures, please change the system" which you habe done), DON'T outweigh the loss of information. I can understand the point of view of those who think it does.
    It will be interesting to see if people feel more free to give low scores with fear of revenge rating.
  129. Okay, trying to synthesize the ratings--comments continuum, Brian, how about trying the number of ratings to the number of comments -- require, say, 1 comment for every 5 ratings, or the person can make no further ratings. This would encourage more comments (admittedly, not the substance, but it still would yield more) and keep ratings in place. I don't think requiring comments in order to rate would deter ratings substantially. Be interested in seeing what you and others think of this idea.
  130. Mr Gibson,

    Some time ago you were rude about several of my pictures and I accepted that, but I think this time you've overstepped a boundary by personally insulting Mr Mottershead.
  131. Sometimes a rating means a lot more when you see who it's from.
    like a rating on a macro shot given by Mark Plonsky counts more in my book then from someone who has doesn't know much about macro. or a rating on a portrait from Stefan Rohner... you get the idea.
    i also agree about being able to browse through site more easily, and get to check out more portfolios (which you might otherwise miss)...
    every minute without this feature is a shame...I vote for reinstating it A.S.A.P! :) thanks brian!
    --Roy www.NYvisual.com
  132. Some of you seem to be grasping at anything that will validate your images. For some raters, a 6/6 means they're not all that impressed, for others a 5/5 means it's one of your best shots. Neither has anything at all to do with improving your images or helping you find interesting portfolios.

    Ya want REAL feedback? Ya wanna tawk? Go write a paragraph on someone's image.
  133. After a long period of not commenting on photos, I now try to write a comment on nearly every photo that I rate. It's almost to the point that if I have nothing to say I just don't rate it and move on (which, I'm sure, is exactly what you believe should be happening -- I have no problem with that). But now that the raters identities are hidden I am fearful of writing anything negative about an image for fear of reprisal. The person can't see who gave him all the 3's and 4's and so since my name is attached to my comment I become the target, and if the person does retailiate, how do I know? There are no names attached to the ratings. So for two days I've been trying not to step on toes and have been very self-conscious about anything I've said instead of being completely honest about how I feel about the work. The point I'm trying so clumsily to make is this: I'm not too sure that removing the raters names will not have a negative effect on comments. In many cases honesty may fly right out the window in favor of silence. It is all very unsettling.
  134. I'm not going to cross post the entire other message I left in a more recent (duplicate-lie) forum except for the first sentence: "Hate it." ALl my posted images will be of this format going forward.
  135. Here's a HUGE vote for leaving the ratings anonymous. I am simply in awe over how much stock people put in a meaningless number given mostly from people you do not even know. Even if you could know who it is how does a number somehow tell you what those people truly felt about your image? Jack-squat. How does it help you improve your photography? It does not. It either strokes your ego, or hurts your pride. What's the point in that? IGNORE THEM. Focus on comments that are meaningful and given with true intellect and purpose. Participate in the forums more. Go out and shoot pictures.
    Maybe now this site can move away from such shallow, meaningless rating numbers and people will focus more on what photo.net used to be about: sharing, commmenting on and discussing images, technique, style and equipment.
    This site has a serious neurosis and I think this might finally be the cure. This change could not have come any sooner.
    Lay down the law Brian. No waffling. If people complain about low ratings tell them to get over it. It's anonymous anyway so what does it matter?
  136. Having tried to take Brian's issues about ratings into account but puzzled for a couple of days how to nudge people into making more comments than meaningless ratings, I say tie ratings to comments, as in you must make a comment for every five ratings or so. Since this is already a long thread and no one responded when i raised this above, i started another thread on this today in the feedback forum. Like to know people's thoughts.
  137. Richard,<BR>One of many of my favorite Photographers on this site is Hugh Hill from London. He has left ratings and comments on my work...probably how I discovered him. Not every photo that he see's of mine will he leave a comment. I feel that between the two of us we respect and listen to the others comments and ratings. If he only leaves a rating then I have a fair idea of how he feels about it without him having to leave a comment every time. Creating anonymous ratings takes away from the 'community' that PN offers. IMHO.
  138. The problem Ben is that it's adding even more rules! Really, nobody wants to be told how much anything he or she can do. Less restrictions and people will be happier.

    Richard: When you or myself or even Brian makes a relatively significant decision, if we happen to realize that decision may not have been the wisest decision, then changing up on this decision would be the course of reasonableness, not waffling!

    Personally I have come to the conclusion that the ratings actually have more meaning now, when I know who gave them. I hope you put the identities back. Now, it's time to get back to work.....
  139. Did anyone notice how many paying members (patrons) vs. non-patrons there are on this discussion?
    <BR><BR>P r a d e e p R a g h u n a t h a n, you should be a patron.<BR><BR>Brian, Get rid of the change and I'll sponsor P r a d e e p R a g h u n a t h a n for a year. Really.
  140. <p>David, that's great but I imagine so rare as to not offset IMO the ludicrous mate-rating, revenge rating, frustrations, arguments, complaints, hurt feelings, confusions, games, etc. that the ratings system creates.<p>Vincent, at first their were no ratings, then the ratings were created and they were anonymous, then they weren't, then they were, at first the scale was 1-10, then it was 1-7, then it was 3-7, then it was......yadda-yadda-yadda.....now it's anonymous again. <p>That's waffling.
  141. Richard,<BR>
    Why not have it both ways? Lets have an anonymous ratings forum and have the non-anonymous ratings forum. That really shouldn't be that difficult to code this up.
  142. you can call it a rule, but maybe its just a limitation that can be overcome with a . . . comment! now there's a novel idea! there are lots of limitations, like number of photos you can post a day, etc. its not necessarily a rule to limit ratings without comments because it does not require you to do anything. but if you do something more, ya have to make a comment contribution . . . gotta ante up to play some more.
  143. That was pretty convincing Richard. Okay, put the identities back, and THEN no more waffling!

    Look Ben, we just want to be able to interact as we like and when we like. Having limits on the total number of photos is nothing like having certain limitations on how many comments/ratings one can make. There is a huge difference. You are suggesting another handcuff be added to the process. Perhaps the reason why nobody else has commented (with three opportunities and two threads) is because the idea -even with good intentions- is just not an easy one to warm up to. No offense intended here.

    I believe its an accurate statement to say that at the very least here, this experiment will help most of us appreciate the value of having the identities of the raters revealed. The site just loses something as a whole without that!
  144. I would bet that the people that complained the most about the previous ratings system will not see any uptick in their images with this new system (except maybe a temporary surge from some of their new found "fellow travellers"). I also have a hunch that many of those that complain the most about mate rating are actually some of the worst offenders. I can not prove this, just suspect that it may be true. The only sure fire way to get ratings and comments that mean something is to take some interesting photos and upload them. I am missing the feature that allows me to check out who gave me a rating. Without knowing the sophistication of the viewer, the ratings are totally worthless in my opinion. I also think that comments are over-rated. I only rate images that I like. If I like them I think they must be good so what I am going to say that will help the photographer? Most of my favorites here know a lot more about technique, composition etc. than I do so what I am going to comment on? My numerical rating is my defacto comment. I view those that don't rate but die for others to rate their images as hippocrites. If you ever want to check out somebody to see if they have a clue about photography, check out their portfolio and check out the images that they have rated the highest.
  145. well, i agree the raters' identities should be disclosed (i actually started this thread because of my concern about that). and i would do away with ratings altogether in a perfect world. but in previous threads, brian has said the site needs them. i've come to find ways to make use of them, much like you probably, by tracking back to the rater's work, starting a dialogue, etc. (commmented on more above). so now i'm struggling with the expressions throughout this thread that comments are more useful, which i agree with, and brian's expressed need for ratings, and trying to use the ratings to encourage comments. no offense taken if no one finds the idea particularly interesting, but there's got to be a way to take the focus more off ratings and more on comments that meshes site's needs with photographer desire for meaningful feedback. somebody, ANYBODY, is victor right? should I just go back to work? (written with a smile, victor, thanks for dialoguing.)
  146. Who's Victor?? Do I need a red tie too. Just a joke. It was my pleasure. Now the computer is getting turned off. Work to do. Many mahalos.

    Ps- I agree with everything you just said Tim. Aloha.
  147. sorry vincent, moving too fast between work and here. thanks. aloha.
  148. After sleeping on this and going back and reading these comments again, I think I am better understanding why there are circles. Big Format circles, SLR circles, digital circles, italian, texas, aisan, spanish, high raters, low raters...there all here. Experts of everything and knower's of nothing. I spent 20 years in the Marine Corps to watch a bunch make decisions about no decisions at all. I could care less about low ratings and further more dont know why we even have them. If the image is not good enough to rate, why rate it at all. If its not appealing to your style or expertise (what ever that might be) why even bother. Images that are not good need constructive comments, not ratings. I have posted photo's that I hoped would get constructive comments that would allow improvement. Instead, I get ratings all over the board with one comment. Most of those posting comments in this forum have never left comments on my postings, while a few have. I am thankful but very discouraged at what some think is right or best....God cant even get it right these days...how can you! Either do away with the 1-3 ratings and require a comment or make them mandatory with 1-3. I dont mind these ratings with constructive comments. What I dislike most...is the way "a few" choose to leave comments in text that is unprofessional with NOTHING done. It didnt take me long to learn, just view and rate those images that are appealing to me. My ratings are widespread over a large group of photographers. Many are repeats because I like there style, or maybe there professionalism. Some of you listing here have no more room to talk or critize than I. And it appears by some ratings, like being saddist. Brian, do what you need to do. But just do it. I like it the way it was, but I will learn to like it again. Maybe!
  149. gib


    Brian knows more, much more than anyone else how this place runs. No one knows as
    much as he does about the system. When he wins the lottery or leaves for a better job, the
    man does have a family to support and grow and photo.net is not a religious calling for
    life, photo.net will be poorer for his loss. People burn out and move on. That was my
    point. Changes to the rating system happen every once in awhile and the feedback forum
    rings with complaints. I am sure most people would have moved on, who dont have Brian's
    patience. A single point failure risk is simply that only one person knows it all, the system
    is at risk. That's all.
  150. I have to agree with the numerous people who believe this will lead to more abuse ratings by people who will now be secure in the knowledge that giving you a 1-1 to lower an otherwise high average rating will be anonymous. It happened to one of my images almost as soon as the names were taken off. Now i'm not arrogant - It's entirely possible that someone thought an image 18 other people rated highly deserved a 1, however I have no way of asking them, and if it was done to lower the average by someone who wanted to screw with my average anonymously - then mission accomplished.

    I think it's a mistake
  151. Bill, please let Rajeev and the photo.net Board know your opinions on how indispensable I am.

    On low ratings, it is only two days of data so far, but as it happens the number of 1-2 ratings is lower on those two days. To be completely truthful, one person seems to have gone nuts and deleted himself, but not before leaving move than 50 1 ratings. After I deleted those, the number of 1 ratings (which in fact is normally only about 1% of ratings), was essentially non-existent. As I said, only two data points, but so far that particular aspect is looking OK.
  152. Two possible alternatives:

    1) Exclude the date from the rating and maybe order the rates by value. At the moment, the timing of many rates make it easy to figure out who rated what.

    2) Eliminate the numbers page entirely so people will only see who bothered to rate. That's more in keeping with the 'vote' concept. If you keep the ratings page, I suspect some people will try desperately to figure out who did what.
  153. gib


    Brian, you deserve a raise without any shade of a doubt. You are totally indispensable.

    Plus if you leave, please win the lottery and avoid stepping in front of any buses with bad brakes.

    I remember working on an oracle based payroll personnel system for schoolboards (has 12 month and 10 month calendars = very complex) and only one man really knew how the 8 page SQL statement "worked."
  154. Yes, agreed, Brian, terrific job on an amazing site, keep going. whether i agree or disagree, i trust you know i value your efforts, along with thousands of others. you are helping an entire generation of photogs develop exponentially faster than if we were in our own hovels marveling at our own work with friends bored by yet another slide on the wall . . . have said that, i've test driven, and i'd go back to the old way, for the reasons others stated -- it builds connection, and that is worth whatever abuse -- you advice in other posts to have a thick skin on ratings. well ironically, your advice has worked with me, and i've learned to use the ratings to gain some insights and make new friends, even if i still prefer no ratings. your choice. i can live with the compromise, but its not as easy to get around and identify people's work worth getting to know and study.
  155. Thank you for your generosity, but I dont think this is right, I am in a way offended. The point of me being a patron has been discussed long back in another thread and i dont want to take it up here as its off from the topic here, we can discuss it offline if you like to. I think freedom of speech is not just for patrons, if there is a suggestion or comment which comes from a non-patron, i dont see a problem there, its anyway for the management to take the points and then make the decision. you cant bribe Brian or the management by sponsoring someone to take a particular decision. And for your kind information, we have 'Heroes' on this site, who are not patrons, but bring so much to the table, so i wish you are more considerate next time when you make a comment.

    I am sorry if I came out harsh with my words David, if Brian or the management think that its better that i dont participate in these discussions, then i would apologise, and gladly keep quiet. happy shooting and cheers!
  156. I am new to the site-couple of days.I read all the above comments and as a scientist i am going to make a rating experiment in PN, "using" members randomly as "Guinea pigs".
  157. I am not a paying member either, but not by choice;the system does n't allow me to register.
    So, what i should do? Quit visiting PN or what?
  158. ... hiding the link between the identity and the rate level, while keeping visible the name of the person who visited, has the immmense advantage to attract you to the portfolio of the rater, at least a person who spend time (short or not), without any anger or too favourable opinion that could affect seriously and quite naturally your judgment and eventually your back rating...<p> so Brian, you set is definitely a great tool to both limit the revenge but also the mate story and back-scratching however you name it which seriously pollute the visibility and drag down the whole quality of the site...
  159. I agree...and disagree with some/much of above.
    -Will be interesting to see in the next days how it pans out.

    How about if this option was availble to each individual?
    If I want the rest of Photo.net to see the different people's ratings I could
    choose to do so...? I do believe that the majority of ratings are genuine... and
    we have all had our fair/unfair share of ratings/comments. We should all be
    able to take it. Myself ... I have been tempted several times to get back to the
    one in questioning... and have done so only one... not with a rating, but with a
    short explenation to stay clear unless there is a explenation from them as of
    why the rating is "off" from the other ratings. It's always going to be a way
    around.... if you check right after requesting you can see the hightest rating of
    the different persons... if you're there... you know...or then again not...
    anyway... I do think it would be nice to see who likes/dislikes your work. Most
    people won't have a problem going back to someone telling them
    constructively how they feel. I might enjoy a picture of i.e. Pradeep immensly
    one time... 7/7... but then next time 4/4... so what... that's the beauty of it... to
    have a discussion! It's no rocket sience we are doing...it's personal taste! :))
    Se you folks!

    Ivar ;-))
  160. This is perhaps the final straw for me. In previous attempts to get useful input on my photography I was forced to use the "critique" option which 9 times out of 10 landed me 10 or so quick useless ratings and no comments. The only thing going for it was that I could go and see what these raters posted and/or what other photos they thought were good and use this to determine if I valued their opinion. Now, I get 10 or so anonymous ratings. Freakin' useless! I've always frowned on mate raters, revenge raters, etc, but they pale in comparison for my distaste to the site's obvious preference to turn this into another "rate my <whatever>" site that appeals to the masses and doesn't have a place for serious photography and serious photography discussion. My subscription is expiring within the next few months and right now I have no plans to renew it.
  161. FWIW, one of the draws of other photo sites for people who have left photo.net is that one can tune out annoying raters (not let them rate your photos). The other is that one can choose to be a "comment-only" poster, meaning, when they comment, they can't rate (indicated by CO), and when someone posts something on them, it can only be a comment (at least I think that part is true).

    That said, I see validity in an "all-points system," different than an all points bulletin. I note on some of these other boards there is substantially less traffic. I post on a few, and I note that there I will get a half-dozen to dozen views and maybe one or two comments. Photo.net is pretty consistently much higer in the view category and factors higher in the rating catergory. Plus, it is impossible to tell where one stands in the ratings or views on those boards, but on photo.net you know where you stand.

    So, I think it is all about trade offs. But photo.net has its penache and gererally it is a good one.

  162. Also, as a note, unless the "staff" randomizes the names listed associated to having left a rating, it seems to me that the names are in the order of the ratings. Thus, not hard to figure out who left a bad or good rating. Unless my short study proved randomly unrandom??


  163. Ok, one more comment.

    I have often thought how interesting of an experiement it would be (if done by the staff, just to make a point), if one were to create a pseudo-user and with the artists permission, of course, and post a random selection of various well-known photographers more obscure photos, but under the pseudonym. I believe we would all be amazed at the resulting ratings. It is my opinion, but I have pretty much concluded that if left to the photo.net community, we would de-throne a few of these famous artists, at least, not mark them as high as history has; or mark them as high as editors and publications have.

    Obviously, I am not seriously suggesting this, but it would be a very interesting experiment to see how many 1's and 7's we would see on this pseudo-poster's photos. My guess is that history and photo.net would differ. Especially if the postings were b&w as many old photos do tend to be.

    food for thought.

  164. I read a photo netter has posted one anselm adams picture...
  165. Brian used to propose what he called a 'ratings trap' where images that were especially good or bad were run through the ratings queue to see how often these images were 'misjudged'. I think it was more of a tongue in cheek proposal, but let's be honest, it runs contrary to the stated site philosophy that all rates and opinions are valid unless there's a clear pattern of malicious intent. I do think that Brian and Bob should both set up anonymous accounts and run uncontroversion photographs through the system to see how changes like this affect them.

    From time to time, someone posts links in this forum comparing two images. The intent is to show how two similar shots by different photographers can have dramatically different rates or how one version which is clearly not as well done still gets the same rates. Setting up categories would show that this is quite common, and is perhaps one of the reasons we don't have them.
  166. I did exactly that I repeated an image which got 170+ rates second time round a year later
    it got 20+.
  167. Yikes! Pradeep, it was meant as a joke and I was serious about sponsoring you. I've read the other threads and I was feeing charitable, that's all. Maybe if everyone that wanted to get rid of anonymous ratings would be willing to add an extra year to their subscription or sponsor someone then that would certainly add to a strong message. <BR><BR>Is there anything else to add to this topic? It seems completely discussed.
  168. I like the old rating system - please go back to it.
  169. I'm very new to this site and really care less about the rating system. I was a bit disturbed by it at first, but I don't really look at who rates what. I take an average rating and look at all portfolios of those who rated me, in combination with the comments and judge my own work based on that. The rating system, albeit a functional way to receive feedback, is really not helpful at all if you receive comments. Again, I'm new, I may not yet understand the value of knowing who is giving low ratings.
  170. I agree with J Croeder. I left PN for a while to look at other places to have my work critiqued, I have had less visitors to my site but more comments. Brian you may want to look at what other similar sites are doing and then take the best from them. I too look at who rates my pictures, one of the criteria that I would use would be to select the highest and the lowest and see what they were rating me against. One of the reasons I have remained is hat I found some more comments recently than in the past and have tried to answer as many by commenting. I really don't like to rate images I would rather comment and post a suggestion, I recently discovered that I rated someone low on a picture but never looked at their portfolio which was excellent. So now I look at all who have been listed on my rating and look at their portfolios, I generaly disregard anyone who does'nt post any images because they are not telling me anything. I find myself spending too much time in these sites anyway. But it beats watching television.

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