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Announcing Changes to the Photo Critique Forum

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<p>We are pleased to announce a number of improvements to the <a


Critique Forum</a>. The purpose of these changes is to make it

easier to submit a photograph for critique and also to facilitate

responding to those requests.



<li>The first thing that you will notice is that the presentation of

the forum has been changed. Thumbnails for recent requests are

presented, as before, but the list of photo categories, which was

previously hidden at the end of the long list of requests, are now

given prominence in a list of links to the right.


<li>Clicking on any of the categories, or on "Last 7 Days", will take

you to the Photocritique user interface, which will be familiar to

those users who have tried the "Rate recent photos" and "Rate folder"

features. This interface streamlines the process of rating and

critiquing many photos during a short session. The photos presented

are those in the category for which members have requested critiques

during the last 30 days.


<li>When the Photocritique interface is used for responding to

Critique Requests, the photos with the highest <em>number</em> of

ratings are presented first, and if two photos have

the same number of ratings, the one with the <em>higher rating</em>

takes precedence. However, once a photo has 20 ratings, it drops to

the end of the list. This means that the most frequently-rated and

higher-rated photos work their way to the front of the list, until

they have 20 ratings, whereupon they give way to photos with fewer

ratings. The "Last 7 Days" photos work the same way, except that the

list consists of all photos for which critiques have been requested,

without regard to the categories, and only the last 7 days of requests

are included.


<li>The "Rate recent photos" feature, which also uses the

Photocritique interface, has not been changed. It still presents

an editor's selections from one day's worth of photo submissions. The

order is random, more or less, although patron's photos get an

advantage in the order of the photos.


<li>In the Critique Requests forum, you can still see a list of all

the requests, with their titles and the name of the photographer, by

clicking the "List" link next to the category or "Last 7 Days".


<li>When you display a photo for which a critique request has been

made, the text of the request is displayed as the first "comment" in

the photo. The critique request message is displayed even when you

have navigated to the forum from somewhere else in the Gallery. This

is helpful sometimes in understanding comments on the photo which

refer to the photographer's critique request.


<li>You can still submit a photo for critique from the Critique Forum;

but you can also make a critique request from your "Workspace" page or

from the Photo page for a particular photo. These links are disabled

if you have exhausted your quota of critique requests. (The quotas

have not changed.)




<p>We hope that these changes will make it easier to request and make

critiques, and we invite your feedback.


<p><em>-- for Services Photonet, Brian Mottershead</em>

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Alan, the reason the photos with the highest number of ratings are first is that we wanted to make it attractive to rate and critique photos as well as to submit photos for critique.


We would like the critiquers to have a rewarding experience so that they will come back frequently to rate and critique photos. This suggests that the first photos to be presented should be the better ones, so that the critiquers are drawn in and rate more photos.


Hopefully, excellent photos will rapidly get their twenty ratings and drop to the bottom of the list, letting other photos take their place. Some photos may take longer to rise than others, but each photo is in the list for 30 days.


During the time we were testing this interface, I was delighted to discover how many great photos there are to be critiqued in the Photo Critique Forum. They were somewhat buried. Now, they come up right away.

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I have only browsed through a few photos since the changes, but I really like them so far. The algorithm of best with less than 20 ratings sounds right on to me. One other request - would it be possible to see the photographer's request/comment on the photocritique page? There is frequently good insight into why the photo is up for critique at all, yet it is missed unless you actually click into the detail.


Thanks for all the improvements!


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Not sure if this is the best place to comment, but the "You've already rated and commented on this picture" page has a broken link for the "click here if you want to move on to the next photo to rate." choice.


Once again, thanks for the effort.


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I can't get the new system to work at all. There are no thumbnails, and clicking on any entry in the list of "questions" brings up an error message asking for a photo_id. Is this a bug, a temporary maintenance outage, or a case of dyslexic user?
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I like the changes you've made - any chance theres room for other changes? Here are 2 I'd like to see:


1) When you go to the 'add comment' page it'd be very cool if the image came up alongside or above the dialogue boxes so you can refer back to the image for making specific points; as it sits now, I can do that by hitting my browsers 'back' and 'forward' keys to move between the two, but if a thumbnail was integrated, that'd make the process much easier.


2) For the list versions of the photos (by category), is there anyway for PN to give us a set number (say 50 items) with a 'next 50' option rather than the entire list of photos for the whole category?


Minor niggles really, but fixing these would go a long way to making this system really user friendly (in my opinion of course).

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It is a major improvement.<br>


Some suggestions:

I think it would be nice if there was an option to see a page of random thumbnails of the pictures. Some times just seeing an image makes you what to comment on it.<br>

This is a bit tricky: if you could mark people from the users "interest list" in a different color or maybe change their bgcolor it would make the concept of the �interest list� much more powerful.<br>



Thanks again - vonsh

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Brian, first of all thanks for the time and effort to improve this forum!



<i>You can still submit a photo for critique from the Critique Forum; but you can also make a critique request from your "Workspace" page or from the Photo page for a particular photo. </i>


The link from the "Photo page for a particular photo" does not seem to work. It links to <tt>http://www.photo.net/bboard/pc-post-new-pc-1?topic_id=1481&photo_id=748231</tt>, which results in a 404/not found. (The photo_id is obviously just an example). I think that should be <tt>http://www.photo.net/bboard/pc-post-new-1?topic_id=1481&photo_id=748231</tt>.

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A suggestion as well: if a photographer has uploaded quite a few photos to photo.net, but not requested many critiques, the first page of the request critique pipeline will contain many images. This may cause a long delay (especially for modem users) and possibly a high load on the photo.net server.


Maybe it's a good idea to have the photo selection go via listing the photographer's folders (and their contents if he/she clicks on one -- just like using the "manage your portfolio" links) and only offer the complete list of images-available-for-critique as an option?


Obviously, if you want a specific image critiqued, you can now do so on its display-page, but this may be helpful nonetheless.

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Paul, there are actually two different problems. The "Critique" links on the home page were not updated for the new critique format; they should have been but the page is somehow locked and I can't change it; so the changes didn't go in.


As a result, if you click on that link, you are seeing the Photo Critique forum presented as a straight "Question and Answer" Forum, which doesn't know how to present the photos correctly. If the home page link were working, this wouldn't be an issue. However, I've fixed that, and I hope later today we can get the home page updated.

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Patrick, the problem with the link on the Photo page is now fixed;

thanks for reporting it. Your point out a valid concern about the first stage of submitting a request: it will put quite a load on the server and result in somehat of a delay if the user has a lot of photos. Perhaps we can improve this on the next pass.

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Christopher, over the next two months (before I go on vacation), I'm hoping to be able to implement as many improvements as I can, and which the community agrees would be good. I'll be starting a thread soon to solicit inputs, although this thread wouldn't be a bad place to start the wish list.


As an extra bonus improvement, check out "Add a comment" on a photo.

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<p>Hi Brian and all the others behind,


First of all thanks a lot for your work!!


I have one more suggestion: There seem to be a lot of images in the category architecture, that should not be there. I think this is due to the fact that the default setting when submitting an image for critique is 'architecture'. I would propose to change the default to 'uncategorized'.


Another thing I observed was, that when I tried to submit an image via the link on the images page itself, the URL was:




note the %20 in there: It comes from a space in the link source code, probably caused by a little mistake in a script. Anyway, from the image page, I had to correct the URL manually to get to the submission page (Is at least the case for 2 of my images I checked).



Otherwise, thanks again. I think the changes are great.



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