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(Yet another) rating proposal

Wayne Melia

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Yeah - I know, it's been thrashed about so much, but.........<br>

I have a suggestion that you may want to consider. <br><br>


Photonet galleries be divided into two sections, and a submitor would

have to choose which section when submitting a photo.<br><br>


Gallery A, ( hereby arbitrarily named non-competitive), would be much

the same as the current gallery, with photos identified by

photographer, and open to critiques and comments.<br>

BUT ___ no numerical ratings.<br>

Suggestion that if implemented, numerical ratings on all current/past

images be eliminated at time of implementation(?)<br><br>


Gallery B, (hereby arbitrarily named competitive), would be open to

numerical ratings (and comments).<br>

BUT ___ photos would not be pubicly identified by photographer, and

would not appear in a photographer's public folio(s).<br>

Identity of the photographer would be retained in photonet's

internal, private database.<br>

[Note that a comment by the photographer in this database would be

identified as from "the photographer", not the actual name of the

photographer in order to preserve anonymity of the

photo<>photographer connection]<br>

Suggestion that numerical rating be one number, instead of current

aesthetic/originality combo(?)<br><br>


The owner of a photograph in this gallery could view all his/her

competitive photos together and see how they are rated, and by whom -

sort of a private folio.<br><br>


Available from the competitive gallery would be sorted lists of top

ranked photos, and ranked photographers, but connection between the

photos and photographers would not be publicly available.<br>

Suggestion that lists of photos by category (nature, portrait, etc.)

be available(?)<br><br>


It would be as if the photographer had a seperate folio for

competitive photos. Maybe that's way it would actually be structured -

I'm not a software engineer.<br><br>


Those interested in the competition could view the results.<br>

Participants could see their names rise and fall on the ranked list

of photographers, and their photos rise and fall on the ranked list

(s) of photos.<br>

Those not interested in the competition would not submit photos to

the competitive gallery.<br>

Suggestion that results be public, ie. not restricted to entrants(?)



Downside = integration of existing photos into the competition would

be well nigh impossible.<br>

Upside = No baggage<br>

Downside = requires extra programming<br>

Upside = the programming might(?) not be that hard - a photo flagged

as competitive would trigger certain attributes - exclusion of

photographer's identity, and permission of numerical ratings.<br>

Upside = a possible enjoyable experience for those interested in the

competitive aspect.<br>

Upside = anonymity would prevent prevent photographer-specific rather

than photo-specific ratings.<br><br>





1. Yabut a photographer could privately email thumbnails of

submitions to a circle of friends to have said friends watch for and

high-rate those photos.<br>

Well in order for enough mates to be involved to affect the outcome,

the circle would have to be large enough that secrecy would be

compromised - and reports of attempted solicitation would be highly



2. Yabut fake accounts could still be used by a photographer to

highrate his/her own submissions.<br>

Well it's never going to be perfect. Participants must keep the

perspective that all results are from us great unwashed masses with

inferior tastes and judgement.<br><br>


Photographers' detailed rating summaries being available as part of

their public profile would be a step in enforcing the discipline of

public scrutinity on their rating habits (even under the existing



Possible extension = fee for entry to competition as a photonet

revenue source (or variations such as restriction to subscribers,



Thanks for your time in reading this, more thanks if you give it

consideration, and apologies if it is just more chaff in the endless



Thanks regardless for all involved for your efforts in providing the




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How about some kind of periods (in Gallery B) after which the photographer<>photo connection is revealed to public? A month, 6 months, a year? After this period the ratings would not be (of course) allowed, there could be a few days open discussion break and then a new period. I guess everyone interested in competition would like to have heir name associated to their photos at the end. With periods this would be possible without compromising the actual rating process.
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This sounds like a good idea to me. (And I'm pretty much nobody *sigh*) But I'm wondering....

Would there be a way to view other works by a photographer? Personally, I like to go through the works of my favorites, and just look at them, try and get a feel for what they were thinking, and hopefully get an idea of how to make my pictures better. The access to so many great photographers (Rene,Marc,Yuri,Miguel Mealha etc...) is ,imo, a far better learning tool than ratings or comments. Would that still be an option with your plan, if photographers chose only to be included in the "competition" gallery? Or even within the "non- competition" gallery, would that still be an option?


Or, perhaps even a selectable option for photographers to choose their pictures to be "view only" and disabling any sort of ratings or comments feature? (outside of the competition gallery) I'd like to know what everyone thinks about that and, of course, Wayne if that's something you've considered?

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this is kind of a different idea and i like it. wayne, your first yabut is truly a yeah but, and because of that i have no idea how this proposal would better the situation or make it any different. people who abuse the system will always find holes one way or other to get around things. hard to have a fool proof way and change should come from at the individual level, and that's asking for too much. your second yabut's also been there for a while now and i'm sure the admin would have thought of, or have been thinking of ways to get around it.


what i truly like about this idea is the division of the whole lot into competitive or otherewise, and giving the option to the photographer whether he enters into the rating jungle or not. and the only problem here is with those who cannot discern quality and those who want self-promotion at any cost.

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I don't quite agree with you, Balaji...


a) If one things that there will always be a way to beat any system, he stops looking for the perfect system, and ends up with no chance to ever find it... As Bobby Fisher said about chess: "Nobody ever won a game by resigning" (a brilliant quote, don't you think...?)


b) Reading again the 1st yabut: "in order for enough mates to be involved to affect the outcome, the circle would have to be large enough that secrecy would be compromised - and reports of attempted solicitation would be highly encouraged."


I think this counterpoint is not even the strongest. The way I see the "competitive gallery", it would have no photographer name and no rater name - right ? Well that's actually good enough. Why ? Because no matter how many mates one would have, I am pretty sure that there would be A LOT of people who would restart rating according to what they truly think - since they would not be worried by retaliations -, and that alone would be a tremendous counter-weight to the few mates votes... Or am I missing something...?

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Some good ideas, Wayne. But the cliques who mate-rate each other's photos into the stratosphere don't operate in secrecy. In fact, they flaunt it.


As an example, today I've indulged myself in a parody of this behavior with my "Pimping for Ratings" folder. While I'm happy that a few folks joined in the fun, it surprises me that folks who don't know me from Adam haven't responded with outrage that I'm rating myself (perfect 7's, of course) - let alone that I'm uploading such abominations.


I have to assume that only a handful of folks really give a rat's patootie about this whole issue while the vast majority of photo.netters are content with the status quirky.

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Thanks to all for your consideration and comments.<br>

To help understanding the concept, one might consider the competitive gallery as a contest existing in parallel with the non-competitive (which I would still regard as the "main") gallery.<br><br>

Mark. Yes, you are "missing something". :-)<br>

For clarity; in the proposal, I included: "The owner of a photograph in this gallery could view all his/her competitive photos together and see how they are rated, and by whom - sort of a private folio."<br>

For argument; I come from the perspective of everybody taking responsibility for their actions, in this case their rates. Thus I included the later part about detailed ratings summaries being part of an individual's public profile.<br><br>

Severi: Keeping in mind that the photo remains the intellectual property of the photographer, I suggest that the photographer be able to move a photo from the competitive gallery to general, with the consquence that all it's numerical ratings cease to exist. This would, of course affect the competitive rating of the photographer.<br>

Moving a photo from the non-competitive to the competitive gallery would, of course negate the anonymity factor, but one could hope that public censure would discourage such (?)<br><br>

Everybody keep in mind that:<br>

i) the competitive gallery would remain optional, nobody would be forced to enter any photos in it; and <br>

ii) the results are from us great unwashed, so don't tie your ego to the results <br>

But many enjoy a little competition ie golf,bridge, curling, chess,....., and perhaps this is a way of preserving some competition while isolating it's effects from other aspects of the site (?)<br>


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Ok. Point taken. I did miss something...:-))


Now that I have it back, and reading your last post, this is what comes to my mind...


1) In the competitive gallery, the question can still be discussed whether or not the photographer should see WHO rates him what. If it'sa competition, in my view, the only point in participating for anyone fairly honest is to see the results BEING UNDERSTOOD THAT THESE RESULTS ARE HONEST. :-) But anyway, I'm more concerned by Point 2). Here it is...


2) Why would a photographer be able to post a picture in the NON-competitive gallery and then go to the Competitive gallery with the same picture...? If a picture wasn't anonymous for a certain period of time, it can't become anonymous again later - it will be recognized. So, I really like your whole idea, but I think it is fair to say that one should just not be allowed to shift from non-competitive to competitive. And I'm close to think that shifting from competitive to non-competitive should also be prohibited - even with loss of all ratings. Why so ? Simply because then almost everyone would submit each picture twice - 1st in the competitive gallery, then in the other one if it didn't work out too well...:-) That would be a very nasty extra load for the servers, I'm affraid.


As for the rest, I still need to think a little more... but I must say, I like what I see on this page overall... probably just a matter of working out the details, and we should get something really interesting... I'd be curious to hear whether photo.net would be potentially keen on such a system or not... Regards.

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Mark: your points<br>

1. Having the "who" rates visible both with the the photo and the individual's profile is in the concept of having public scrutiny as a discipline to the rater's credibility. But agree that it is open to discussion whether it would be effective.<br>

2. Agree that moving a photo from non-C to competitive should not be allowed, as anonymity cannot be introduced after the fact. But my own devil's-advocate thought is that it will happen for a number of reasons including but not limited to these two:<br>

i) photographer submits a photo to non-c gallery, gets positive response (maybe from mates), and decides to go competitive with it, despite the "rules"<br>

ii) photographer does not understand the "rules" -- many cannot grasp the 800 pixel width concept :-)<br>

Thus my suggestion that "enforcement" be left to general membership (via a hail of comments that "you're submiting a photo that is already identified as yours"), not additional responsibility of photonet referees.<br>

Shifting a photo from competitive to non-c, I can see as being viable. Standing to be corrected, I see that switch as changing a flag on the photo, not reloading it, and not an excessive server load. As it is now, I can move photos between folders. <br>

Why would one switch a photo from competitive to non-c? I can think of two reasons:<br>

i) if it (as you said) didn't do too well. -- no problem IMO, people delete photos now<br>

ii) if it did do well, it would now be identified with them and they could reap the glory.<br><br>

As you say, it remains to be seen if photo.net would be keen<br>

Downside I can see is that it removes the ratings as a general crude filter for the non-competitive gallery, and might cripple it, which is not the intention. Would it strengthen the general gallery to have all photos, at submission, be tagged with a category, (fine art, sports, etc) so that people could at least filter by genre?<br>

Also, as I wrote earlier, I'm not a software engineer, so my assumptions about programming work and server load are highly suspect to say the least.<br><br>

Thanks for your interest and comments. All this is a little strange for me, not being normally much concerned with ratings as my limited talents preclude me from being a real "contender", but the idea somehow drifted into my head the other day, and I thought I'ld run it up the flagpole.<br>

As you say, the devil is in the details, but maybe something can be used from the principles.

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Well, all this makes sense. Meanwhile these few days have been quite rich in posts in various threads. And in one of the posts it appears the Editor of photo.net is no longer really considering a reform of the rating system. Your proposed reform is a bit special though, and maybe there's still some hope to be heard, but here is a major strong point of the present system: it works, and it generates hits... No, the menu for today says "Why fix it if it ain't broken". At that stage, ideal solution might be fated to remain ideal rather than implemented. Let's see. Anyway thanks for your participation to all this. It's a new outlook on things - always worth thinking about... Best regards.
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