Why do people bother rating my photo?

Discussion in 'Photo.net Site Help' started by s cohen, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. Moderator comment: This post was probably a troll, but it lead to a useful discussion. The original poster had also posted an unacceptable racist comment on a photo, which came up in the course of the discussion. This racist comment was unacceptable and was deleted. If such a comment is repeated, Shraga Kraus will be banned. While the moderator sympathizes with the harsh comments made about Kraus' racist comment, they are not relevant to this thread, and have also been deleted.
    I didn't post any photo to the critique forum, but one of my photos has 4 ratings without any comment. Who are these strange people who surf around clicking on a random rating just for fun? If somebody wants to leave a constructive comment it makes sense, but what are these ratings for? (Refer to "Snow in Jerusalem" in my "Travel" folder)
  2. I put 98 snap shots of Jamaica in my portfolio space for friends and family to see. I didn't ask for any critiques. I got ratings and a stupid comment about taking a street scene in the middle of the day, like I was going to ask a bunch of strangers to please come back near sundown. But I don't give a damn because it's free webspace. So ignore the ratings.
  3. I don't give a damn because it's free webspace.
    I think this is a perfect example of why we need to restrict non-subscribers to fewer images.
  4. I think this is a perfect example of why we need to restrict non-subscribers to fewer images.
  5. It isn't supposed to be free web space. Why do you think photo.net would want to provide you with free web space? Are you a charity case?

    It is supposed to be a forum in which serious photographers exchange critiques. The ratings are additional feedback to the photographers and an aid to the site and its members to select and find interesting photos. If you become a subscriber, and are helping to support the site, we will provide you with space for non-portfolio photos, which you may use as you wish for "friends and family" photos, "eBay" photos, or anything else.

    But if you aren't a subscriber, you should get your "friends and family" photos off the damn site.
  6. "But if you aren't a subscriber, you should get your "friends and family" photos off the damn site"

    Them's fightin' words, Brian.

    I can hear the cheers from here :)
  7. How would you define "serious", and how "serious" does one have to be for the privilege of using the service as it's offered. It's a photo site, it needs the the users. I wonder what would happen if all of us who aren't serious enough just left.
  8. Pierre,In response to your question, a serious photographer IMHO is someone who takes their hobby seriously (sorry to the pros out there). I am a serious photographer, a very bad one with no talent, but I am still serious about it. If you want to post photos to get comments about them, and to learn from others then you are a serious photographer. If you just want to inflate your ego or use photo.net as a dumping ground for holiday snaps for private viewing then that is an abuse!Steve Coburn
  9. It is possible to see exactly who rated your shots by clicking on the highlighted number. Then you could approach them directly with any concerns, objections or questions about how and why they rated your shots the way they did.

    It appears that earlier versions of Photo.net allowed posters to opt-out of the critiquing process by checking off "Do not critique" when they posted their images. I was surprised as well to see many viewings and comments on my recently posted shots. However, I am still unclear how anybody knew that I posted anything since I never see any indication that new images are being added. The only thing I see changing are the forums!! But, it is clear that all new shots come to the attention of some people.

    I suppose the job of the person receiving the comments (and ratings) is to see if there is anything valid that might be used to improve your photographic skills. Yes, sometimes you need a B.S. detector to separate the useful comments from the fluff but there is good and constructive commentary going on here.
  10. Doesn't photo.net restrict image viewing by HTTP referrer? Seems like that would be the most effective way to keep people from using it for eBay and such.
  11. cgo


    Perhaps an option to turn on reviews/critiques/ratings on folders could be added. You turn it on if you want critiques/reviews or you leave it off if you're simply uploading for viewing ...
  12. Boy, for a post that was basically a whimper, this really got the fur flying!! I'm with you Brian.
  13. Well said, Brian!!

    This thread (and others that are cited) could be used as an argument for making photo.net a 'members only' site.
  14. I bet a lot of folks are getting tired of the acrimonious comments around here, deserved or not.

    I don't think there's a "seriousness" requirement, but in my mind there's an "intent" one. That is, if you are interested in comments on your photography, not just sharing holiday snaps, then all should be welcome.

    As for the original post, if you don't like the ratings, just ignore them. The system provides a mechanism for rating, and some people do just click through added images offering numbers and not comments. Sometimes there's something to be learned from them, but it is hard to get out because people don't apply the ratings consistently. Ah, well.
  15. As I said, the Gallery is intended for people to post their best work for exhibition to a world-wide audience and for feedback (critique and ratings) from other photographers. It is not a free web hosting service. If you want a place that will serve your photos to your friends and family, go someplace else. We aren't providing photo.net as a free service for you to do that, and if you do, you are misappropriating our servers and bandwidth.

    Serious does not mean professional, or even good. It means serious. That means posting work which you want exhibited widely or for which you desire critique. Your best work might not even be very good, but if it is posted here with the serious intention of learning from other photographers, it is very welcome. That is a big part of what we are here for. Serious means carefully selecting your portfolio photos and posting them for exhibition and critique. It means posting photos that you think should interest or appeal to a wide audience, recognizing that this audience is made up primarily of other photographers and people who care about photography.

    The free part of the Gallery is not here for posting your vacation snaps. It does not mean posting the photos from the beer bust. It does not mean posting pictures of the kids for grandma. I would much prefer to have 300 daily photos from good photographers and people who are trying to become good, than 1300 photos from people who see the site as free web space to share their photos with a few friends and relatives.

    If you are a subscriber, we don't have a problem if you use part (or even all) of your Gallery space for non-portfolio photos. You are supporting the site and you are welcome. I do plan to give a way to subscribers to segregate their non-portfolio work so that time is not wasted critiquing and rating it.

    I'm not going to provide such a feature to non-subscribers. Non-subscribers should post work with the intention of exhibiting it widely and obtaining critique, or they should not post it at all.
  16. Shraga,

    I think Marshall explained this, but when you click on "critique photos" it pulls up images without any commentary and provides a comment box and set of ratings boxes. Someone viewing the images will have no idea if it is just for your friends, and won't see any of the technical details or comments you have written.

    The reason people leave ratings is that it is a short and simple way to give feedback. Photographers are not always wordy people and may find it easier to give the numeric equivalent of a thumbs-up or thumbs down.


    Why don't you delete the watch and gun and ebay folks who use the site and offer nothing to the community?
  17. The watch and gun and ebay people who are using photo.net for image hosting are subscribers because our server blocks accesses to images on photo.net when they are embedded as images on the pages of other sites -- except for subscriber photos.

    While this is not the main reason for the Gallery, we need the revenue and we are happy to host images for subscribers, even if they are not images related to the mission of the Gallery. As I said above, I plan to bring back the "Not for critique" flag for subscribers so that they may post their watch, etc pictures without these being mixed in with the images that are for critique.
  18. It is sad to see people complain that they are getting ratings and comments they don't want when there are so many people on here that are looking for the input don't get it.
  19. Above, Pierre declared that the site needs traffic, implying that we should host all images for free for the sake of the traffic. I'd like to comment about this argument.

    First, higher traffic is not necessarily desirable. The Gallery is not a great venue for advertisers because most of the Gallery traffic does not clickthrough on ads or purchase camera equipment, books, etc from our sponsors. So higher traffic in the Gallery is not something that can be "monetized" (as they say in the Web biz) in any clear way through advertising. In my opinion, the primary method for making the Gallery support itself financially is to ask participants to subscribe. From a financial point of view, more subscribers seems to make sense for the Gallery, with more traffic only being desirable to the extent that it results in more subscribers.

    To the extent that Gallery visitors do represent an audience of interest to advertisers, it isn't clear to me what percentage of the traffic is represented by the people who come only for the "friends and family" photos. One reason that I believe that this is a small group is that of the 740 million (!) photo views that we have counted since the Gallery opened in 1999, only about 100 million of them (around 13.5%) them are on photos with no ratings at all. The friends and family photos (which are disproportionately the unrated photos) don't account for most of the traffic.

    What harm do they do? The main thing is that they clog up the systems for presenting photos to people for critique and rating, representing about one-third to one-half of all the photos uploaded. I believe these photos dilute the value of the Gallery for the people who are using it as it was intended. About 25% of the people who have uploaded photos have not received a rating on even one photo, and I would guess a high percentage of these eleven thousand people were never interested in ratings or critique at all, and that most of their photos are of very limited interest beyond their circle of friends and relatives.
  20. Well then, maybe its time to post just that!
  21. I've been confused about this Gallery/Critiquing area since my first day at Photo.net.
    <P>On the FAQ page, it says there are two places to post photos. Best as I can tell, it's just two ways to get to the same place, "My portfolio." There is also a mention of a Gallery, a word which lends itself to being a showcase not an area to receive ratings or comments. And there is a Photo Critique Forum, which sounds like it's just for uploading photos for critique. Then, I get to the part where it says there is no way to keep someone from commenting or rating uploaded photos and the part that says the best way to get a critique is to first give a thoughtful critique. Ahhh...It's so confusing!
    <p>I'm sure it's confusing to many others as well. And I can't help but wonder how many thousands of kilobites are being used by people who've posted their picture and never returned to the site.
    <P>I've heard there are limits, to the number of photos that can be uploaded, but I don't recall seeing that number in anything I've read. I know the FAQ board suggests that pics should not be larger than 500x800 pixels, but there doesn't seem to be anything set up in the site's automation that keeps it from happening.
    <p>I know. I know. I sound like I'm griping. And I am. Mostly, though, I'm just trying to point out that things aren't all that clear when it comes to uploading, storage and critiquing of photos.
    <P>I think Photo.net would benefit from separate critique and gallery areas. A small low-cost (or smaller no-cost) view-only gallery for subscribers would be nice for those who want that. Non-subscribers can either subscribe or pay a premium for posting their pictures for show. Critiques for non-subscribers could be limited, but not eliminated as I don't think it would be in Photo.net's beset interest to do so. Perhaps non-subscribers can upload Y photos for critique and subscribers can upload Yx3.
    <p>Sorry, Brian. I realize any of these changes would be major ones and would fall onto your shoulder. But it seems that with all the confusion, the growing pains and need for a balance of usage and income, now would be a good time to look into these things.
    <p>And now... I'm going to step off my soapbox and hope that I don't break my neck in the process.
  22. I still say you should do a purge on old/low activity stuf, Brian, like was discussed in a similar thread last week. What are we at now, 600,000+ images?
  23. "But if you aren't a subscriber..." and have paid during Feb'03, then what? (I am sorry to use this thread but I have tried many ways.) Blago
  24. Melissa,

    I agree that the Gallery is confusing. It has a lot of different features which aren't very well integrated. There is also no guide to the Gallery which tries to explain it all.

    As I understand it, what is now the Gallery was originally just another forum, where people could post photos for critique, using the feature of the forums which allows images to be attached to posts. (You still see people doing this in the forums, and in some forums it is quite accepted.) Years later, underneath the covers, the "Critique Requests" are still just a forum. This is why you can see the Critique Requests in the Unified View of the forums.

    Around 1999, the "Photo Database" was implemented, which allowed people to upload photos separately from a posting in the forums. Like everything else on photo.net, "Photo Database" photos could be commented upon. The Photo Database also provided folders and presentations of photos, and other features such as the ability to enter the equipment used to take the photo and other technical details. There was a separate "Search" feature for searching the Photo Database, although this was broken after around 100,000 photos had been submitted, when the structure of the equipment information was changed. The rating system, allowing ratings of Photo Database photos, was also implemented in late 1999.

    Sometime after the Photo Database was introduced, the Critique Forum was changed so that rather than attaching a photo to a critique request posting, you had to upload it first to the "Photo Database", and then post a critique request for it. However, even if the photographer didn't post a critique request in the Critique Forum, people could still critique and rate any Photo Database photos. There was a "Don't critique" flag that you could set, but this didn't disable critiquing and rating; it only prevented the photo from being presented in the "Photocritique UI" (see below).

    Apart from the fact that the Photo Database and the Critique Forum could both be accessed from the "Gallery" main page and the fact that the Critique Forum photos had to be photos that were already uploaded to the Photo Database, there was very little integration between the "Photo Database" and the "Critique Forum". About a year ago, I reworked the Critique Forum and Photo Database a little so that it was easier to submit a photo to the "Critique Forum" from pages within the Photo Database. I think this probably added to the confusion rather than making it seem more integrated.

    The confusion between the Critique Forum and the Photo Database only got worse with the introduction of the "Photocritique User Interface (UI)", probably in 2000. The regular photo pages in the Photo Database were not well-suited for rating and critiquing many photos in a single session. You had to go to each photo page, and comment and rate the photo. So a slide-show style UI was developed that could be used to step through either a list of "Recent Photos" or all the photos in a particular folder and rate and comment upon them more quickly. This UI was accessible through the "Rate Recent Photos" link on the Gallery Page (and the photo.net Home Page) and the "Rate This Folder" link on the Folder pages. At one point, the list of recent photos that could be rated through this interface was selected by an editor, and I think there are still references to "Rate Selected Photos" on the site, although they are no longer manually-selected. Initially there was no connection at all between the "Photocritique UI" and the "Critique Forum": the photos presented in the "Photocritique UI" had nothing to do with whether a person had posted a Critique Request. About a year ago, I extended the Photocritique UI so that it could also be used to step through the photos that had been submitted to the "Critique Forum".

    Is all this confusing? Yes. If I were designing it all from scratch, I would probably eliminate the Critique Forum entirely. I somewhat regret the efforts of a year ago to improve it. I would make it clear that all non-subscriber photos submitted to the "Gallery" (i.e. the Photo Database) were for the purpose of critique, and it wouldn't be necessary to separately submit a critique request. I would allow subscribers to have "non-Portfolio" folders and disable rating and/or critique on these folders.

    These changes would probably make the Gallery less confusing for new users, but they would probably confuse all the current users who have figured the Gallery out to some degree So, I probably won't do it. Also, the activity in the Gallery has doubled in the last year, despite it being confusing, and it might not be wise to mess with it too much.

  25. There is free space on LycosTripod for hosting holiday photos and such. Maybe people should check that out and send family and friends there that is where I send mine to see my photos and they can comment too. Trouble was I took the holiday pics away and put my portfolio there. But my point is put holiday snaps parties on free webspace not here because this is about learn and improving photography.<br>Cheers Stuart :)
  26. Brian -

    As a relatively new user, it didn't take me all that long to figure out that all the various interfaces were simply different ways of getting to the same photo database - perhaps it's just the database geek side of me that helped me figure it out. In any case, everything links nicely through everything else.

    My only request for UI enhancements would be to have the ability to filter top rated photos by category (portrait, nature, etc.), and to have the ability to browse more than one page of thumbnails in the critique forums. Neither of these are critical, but would be nice IMO.

    As a not-yet-subscriber, I would not be opposed to restrictions on the number of photos I could upload, but I think it would be difficult to evaluate whether or not to subscribe if all features of the site weren't fully available to new surfers.

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