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Voting System: A Modest Proposal

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Reason: both voting threads now locked for consideration by team
Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139461 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
6 Oct 2012 - 2:23 PM

I've alluded to this suggestion in another thread which was about making quite a significant change to the voting system. This is a much more modest proposal and there is a danger it might get overlooked. The starting point is an assumption that the current system, although easy to understand and operate, subject to abuse.

What is the abuse?

The abuse is perceived as being carried out by a minority of members who have formed informal reciprocal-voting cliques as a strategy for getting their photos a minimum of 30 votes and an automatic award - the Readers Choice Award - and, consequentially, a posting in the Readers Choice gallery, where the photos can obtain additional exposure. Arguably the whole idea of giving an automatic award, which ranks along with other awards such as Editor’s Choice, is fundamentally flawed.

What are the consequences of the abuse?

The consequences are as follow:

(1) The RC gallery is seen by the outside world (we are told 960k+ photographers) as containing “award-winning” photos, which is technically correct. However, whilst some of the photos in this gallery may well be worthy of some sort of site award, others may be there solely because of clique activity. This inevitably reduces EPZ’s credibility.

(2) There are certain genres of photography which are almost entirely absent from the RC gallery which is dominated by, e.g. wildlife (often of the avian variety) and landscapes. Excellent photos of, e.g. sports, transport, architecture, photojournalism etc are a rarity in this gallery. Some of that may be down to relative interest in the different genres but the likely absence of voting cliques in the genres concerned must contribute to this lack.

(3) Those who are not site regulars may tend to judge portfolios and make ‘connections’ on the basis of votes obtained by photos in one portfolio as compared with another.

(4) The X-Factor factor. Some on that programme have clearly been told for years by their family and friends that they have great vocal talents, only to be told they have little or no such talent when they appear on the show in front of impartial judges, resulting in tears and tantrums. The analogy need not, perhaps, be explained further! Wink

Is it really a problem we need to do anything about?

That is for you to decide, having taken into account the consequences listed above.

What is the proposal?

The proposal is threefold and should be easy, from the IT point of view, to implement:

(1) Make votes visible only to the uploader of the photo. Votes are seen as a useful guide to the popularity of the image within a portfolio.

(2) Discontinue the RC gallery.

(3) Discontinue the RC award. (Not essential but it becomes even more pointless).

Your comments are invited. Smile

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6 Oct 2012 - 2:23 PM

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mdpontin
mdpontin  106016 forum posts Scotland
6 Oct 2012 - 2:59 PM


Quote: The abuse is perceived as being carried out by a minority of members who have formed informal reciprocal-voting cliques as a strategy for getting their photos a minimum of 30 votes and an automatic award

Given the distinction between real abuse and perceived abuse, and given that we have, as a consequence, no hard evidence as to the extent of any problem, I say leave it alone.

I sometimes wonder just how widespread this clique issue really is. I don't doubt that it happens, but I do have my doubts about the degree of damage to credibility that really results, outside of the rarified atmosphere of these discussions, that is.

I have a few RC awards, and since I am not and never have been a part of any cliques, real or imagined, on ePHOTOzine, I appreciate having received them and find them encouraging. I don't kid myself that they're proof that I have some exceptional talent hitherto undiscovered!

robthecamman
6 Oct 2012 - 3:03 PM

so much argy bargy in here. we now have 2 voteing systems how ever fair theyr seen as .hardly bother voteing now waits till sorted out. also wonder if i want to be an e2 member

widtink
widtink  2406 forum posts Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
6 Oct 2012 - 3:04 PM

Ive never even been near a RC awardSad I never used to be "needy" must be a consequence of old age ) please can i have one before its discontinued ? No because you are a **** photographer Mr Widtink !!Wink

ourdayphotos
6 Oct 2012 - 3:07 PM

This happens everywhere you have some sort of competition & I've seen it happen on so many sites but mainly photographic & songwriting/recording ones. People get carried away with getting awards & a certain number of views or plays, the whole spirit of the initial intention is totally lost be deluded greedy people who try to look popular for some reason. I personally am totally against competitons of this type & think that generally they're unhealthy & only end up causing ill-feeling amongst members.

By all means let people issue "great photo" type awards but specific 'most views" ones will be abused by the idiots out there. I was & still am against the vs thing that's going on now & I'm already fed up getting notifications about things I didn't enter. I honestly don't wish to complain but please let's not make a competition out of everything, there is absolutely no need.

Stu.

MediumSizeUnavailable

(1) agreed
(2) agreed
(3) agreed

widtink
widtink  2406 forum posts Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
6 Oct 2012 - 3:09 PM

But iam getting slightly better through this site so cmon folks don't take it (VS) so seriously and just enjoy the site and dinnae resign for f**k sakeWink

Rod

Gaucho
Gaucho e2 Member 122261 forum postsGaucho vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
6 Oct 2012 - 3:40 PM

I'm not that bothered, but I cannot see any reasons for your proposals not to work.

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315388 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
6 Oct 2012 - 3:54 PM


Quote: What is the abuse?

The abuse is perceived as being carried out by a minority of members who have formed informal reciprocal-voting cliques as a strategy for getting their photos a minimum of 30 votes and an automatic award - the Readers Choice Award - and, consequentially, a posting in the Readers Choice gallery, where the photos can obtain additional exposure. Arguably the whole idea of giving an automatic award, which ranks along with other awards such as Editor’s Choice, is fundamentally flawed

Here we go again, CB`s accusing members of cheating, people leave votes for all kinds of reason CB, are you now suggesting we stop leaving juniors votes of encouragement as well Sad

I`ve now made a decision, I`m never going to vote on any picture ever again, it simply is not worth all this hassle and crap.

ikett
ikett  4351 forum posts England
6 Oct 2012 - 4:24 PM

Quote: What is the abuse?

Yep I thought the gallery voting was a bit of fun, the serious stuff being the competitions actually worth something.


Quote: I`ve now made a decision, I`m never going to vote on any picture ever again, it simply is not worth all this hassle and crap.

I suspect quite a few people feel the same way!

Exit stage left!

Jestertheclown

Personally, I never vote, I have voting switched off by default and always use the critique gallery, partly to avoid the nonsense that voting has become.
However, I do think that anything that makers the votes, if we must have them at all, have some significance must be a good thing.
As I said in the other thread, getting rid of the RC the RC gallery will go some way towards this as it will remove the cliquers bragging rights.
Anyone visiting, or thinking of joining the site and looking at the current RC gallery to see what they might aspire to could well be misled into thinking the the dross that they find there is typically the highest standard achieved on here. Which simply isn't the case.

robthecamman
6 Oct 2012 - 4:44 PM

maybe jesters got the idea right switch the thing off

mrswoolybill
mrswoolybill Critique Team 7435 forum postsmrswoolybill vcard United Kingdom1024 Constructive Critique Points
6 Oct 2012 - 6:07 PM

A vote for Carabosse's proposal, which seems eminently sensible, and also has the virtue of not requiring 'A' Level Statistics to understand it.

I would suggest one very small modification - to give an RC to a member's first upload to achieve a certain number of votes. One's first RC really is very heartening, and an incentive to improve!

(Plus a further suggestion from my Other Half - to retain something equivalent to RCs for Junior members, possibly with a lower voting figure - again as encouragement).

But... I think it worth mentioning that there is a strong perception in areas of the membership that the main problem with the site is not the Main Gallery but the Forums, with their over-sized egos and conspiracy theorists. It does seem that the loudest calls for change to the voting system come from those who spend least time in the Gallery. Actually spend some time there and you find other members on the same wavelength, with similar interests and aims; you connect to them, formally or informally; you share projects and informal challenges; members support and encourage each other, and learn from each other. The site needs to avoid any change which detracts from that.

There is some reciprocal click-for-click voting. A fair amount of what I observe can be ascribed to some members who consider that it is impolite not to give a thank you vote. I appreciate that politeness is a difficult concept for some people here but it's not wholly a bad thing.

So if Carabosse's proposal would bring an outbreak of sweetness and light, without negative voting down of less popular genres and styles, and without being impenetrably complicated, then let's try it out.

Last Modified By mrswoolybill at 6 Oct 2012 - 6:13 PM
CathyT
CathyT e2 Member 87276 forum postsCathyT vcard United Kingdom18 Constructive Critique Points
6 Oct 2012 - 6:18 PM

I demand an opt out button......Wink

Steve_S
Steve_S e2 Member 8176 forum postsSteve_S vcard United Kingdom3 Constructive Critique Points
6 Oct 2012 - 7:29 PM

Why do people care whether a crap photo gets votes? It always intrigues me. GET OVER IT. The only Award that gives a benefit to the winner is POTW. The people who want to change voting systems must realise that the site actively encourages cliques. If you don't want cliques then the site must become non social and take away any form of voting. Perhaps Pete would explain the thinking behind the following features.
1 Seeing who has voted for your photo
2 Favourites.....oh no its 'Connections' now, perhaps favourites was a bit obvious, and the option to hide them
3 PMs
Those 3 alone dispel the conspiracy theorists view that secret emails and smoke signals and tweets or anything else is required for cliques to form.
It matters not a jot that bad photos get votes. I am surprised that some get 1 vote let alone 30. If you only want to showcase the best photos in the awards galleries then you must get rid of the RC award and gallery. But it doesn't stop there. You had better get rid of the User Awards and its gallery too cos if cliques share votes they can share UAs too. And who knows, there may be a clique of Guest Editors too, giving each other GEAs Tongue. The VS voting system has already shown that poor images can 'beat' good images so that system looks flawed already. And for every decent photo of any genre on the site there are probably 50 or more poor ones. So when you look at the VS images you spend more time skipping pairs of awful photos, well thats my experience anyway.
So with all the above features taken off the site, what will the moaners moan about next? Let me think......er...... yes ' I don't agree with Petes HC and EC choices so can we give our own votes and awards too'.
IMHO the voting thing is neither here or there, either leave as is or ditch completely and if you want to showcase good images then lets go back to HCs,ECs and POTW only.

Attention!

This topic is locked.
Reason: both voting threads now locked for consideration by team