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What is the purpose of voting on shots?


MacroMeister 2 62 4 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 9:02AM
EPZ members can vote for images that have voting enabled. On the surface that seems a good idea, because with what one assumes is a cross-section of opinion you can gauge how well your shots are seen by others. Fair enough. And it does work up to a point. I see most of the really good images on here tend to get a lot of votes. But then I also see what (when I try to look at them objectively) are a number of fairly poor images also getting very high numbers of votes. There clearly is a gap in quality between the two groups. Why is this?

There also seems to be a lot of craving votes and comments. Quite a few people start their description with something like "I want to start off by thanking everyone for my shots yesterday and all the wonderful comments you gave..." Which sort of invites you to look at the shots they refer to and just add more votes and more comments. I'm sure you have seen them yourselves.

Is it possible to have a more objective appraisal system?

I would remind you that most people on here are paying money to EPZ to be members. It is not a private club.

I have disabled voting on my images, as it seems a futile exercise.

I know the same thing happens on FLICKR and elsewhere. Is it just human nature, or group nature?

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Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
14 Nov 2012 9:12AM
This has been discussed thousands of times since the beginning of voting back in 2000 and something. At least eight years!


But you ask specific questions...

Quote:What is the purpose of voting on shots?

The RC (reader's choice award) was introduced because a few members used to complain about the Editors Choice Award and the fairness of the system. The idea was it gave members the opportunity to vote on photos they thought were very good. What we never considered when doing that was that beginners think most photos are good, friends think their friends photos are good, and people who like photos of sunsets think they are the best. So we end up with a system that doesn't work like intended. Most are happy with it as it is, some complain from time tio time. It's possible to use it in a useful way but you have to strip away the aspects that aren't aligned to how you want it to work.


Quote:Is it possible to have a more objective appraisal system?

Not (as far as we know) while human nature is involved The best we've come up with so far is the VS gallery . View two anonymous photos and click which you think is the best


Quote:I would remind you that most people on here are paying money to EPZ to be members. It is not a private club.

Not sure what your point is?


Quote:I have disabled voting on my images, as it seems a futile exercise.

It's your prerogative and the feature was introduced for those who don't want to be involved to opt out.


Quote:I know the same thing happens on FLICKR and elsewhere. Is it just human nature, or group nature?

Human nature
JackAllTog e2
5 4.0k 58 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 9:21AM
Hi Rob,
Lots of discussions like this have happened before, and no one solution fits all people - have a dig through the forums for many similiar topics.
A few like you don't ask for feedback and turn off votes, some like the feedback of votes, many like the feed back of "nice shot", some like hard feedback "i like the shot but don't like this bit....."
Some will vote for one genre over another, it just goes on.

Some people will say you vote for mine i'll vote for yours - click clubs. Some will never vote, some will comment on almost everything.
Do find what works for you.

Over time i've found that i personally like votes as a very rough indication of how my images are viewed amongst photographers and particularly love votes from talented photographers as i'm assuming they really do like my work or at least the attempts being made.
Comments are golden as i feel i can learn from what's said, or not said Wink

Posting to Facebook can be great for the ego, but then you realise that mostly people "likeing" your photo are because they know the person in it.

Votes - not perfect but mostly helpful if used well.


and thanking people for last times votes is polite in my opinion - i rarely go back. But i do have a few favs who regularly produce inspiring work for me on here and I regularly look and often vote on their work - this is my bias as i don't look at all images.
hobbs 10 1.2k United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 9:23AM
Firstly welcome to EPZ, your comments have been much discussed over the years and Pete has listened and adapted the site around this. The first thing that has to be taken into consideration is that the reason the site has such a large following is it's ability to cater for a wide group of people who don't want the same thing. Pete and the team have adpated the site so that you have the choice of others voting on your pictures, you can also just select to have critques of your work and recently we have had the vs mode that put pictures up against each other with out giving the photographers name.

The fact is that we all want our work to be liked by others and while some of us are objective others will like work in the gallery to gain votes for their own photographs. The question you have to ask yourself is do you change a system that works for the majority of people based on the behaviour of a small group.
Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
14 Nov 2012 9:27AM
Having turned the feature off you will miss one aspect. Consider trying this. Look around the site and make notes (don't favourite) the photographers you think are best. Then see if they vote on your photos. If they do on some but not all it's possible that they like those specific shots so you can use that as a gauge.

There are flaws to this. They may be biased by a specific subject. They may not have been around when certain photos were uploaded. They may have added you to favourites and click on everything.

As Stuart says
Quote: Votes - not perfect but mostly helpful if used well.
cats_123 e2
10 4.2k 25 Northern Ireland
14 Nov 2012 9:46AM
Hi and welcome...I've been on here for a good number of years (too many probably!).....the debate goes on, but it is healthy and changes have been made over time that have improved the site tremendously. The new VS system is (beta version) is bedding in, and after initial concerns, it seems to have won over a good proportion...so am looking forward to it going live.

Personally I value every single vote/comment and, on average, I would say the number of votes that I get per shot are a good indication of the quality of my work. However, I don't think you can really compare anyone else's work with your own. Due to the nature of the site, some will regularly get 30+ votes for every shot, but I would bet that if that person looked at their own averages they would not be out of line with everyone else. I think also that we need to remember that it's not all about quality....sometimes we share images just for fun, or to challenge ourselves, to try new techniques or to even make political/social statements. All add to the variety which makes this such a good site.

We have some superb photogrpahers on this site, some are even professionals!! Wink and, on the whole, everyone is very willing to help people improve (particularly if they ask for help). If you want serious constructive critique there's a group for that too.

You don't have to have the votes if you don't want them, just join in the fun Smile
MacroMeister 2 62 4 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 9:51AM

Quote:This has been discussed thousands of times since the beginning of voting back in 2000 and something. At least eight years!

I guessed it might have been!


Quote: What we never considered when doing that was that beginners think most photos are good, friends think their friends photos are good, and people who like photos of sunsets think they are the best. So we end up with a system that doesn't work like intended.


Quite so. You said exactly what I probably should have.


Quote:Not (as far as we know) while human nature is involved The best we've come up with so far is the VS gallery. View two anonymous photos and click which you think is the best

The only suggestion I can make is to make all posted gallery shots anonymous for the first 24 hours after posting, without any ability to see who posted it. Is that possible?
tezquirk 3 27 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 9:51AM
I can understand your point of view , Being a new member , The voting system seem's to be unfair when you first join , I felt the same way when i joined , But after a while member's start to recognise and appreciate your work ,
There is one side of the voting system that i don't like , When you pay to become an e2 member , You can actually see who voted for your Photo's, I don't think this is right ? You shouldn't be able to see who voted for your work , I think this is probably the cause of the over voting for what you call ( fairly poor image's ) Member's must feel compelled to vote for someone they know has voted for themselves ..

Regard's Tez .
Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
14 Nov 2012 9:58AM

Quote:The only suggestion I can make is to make all posted gallery shots anonymous for the first 24 hours after posting, without any ability to see who posted it. Is that possible?

Suggested many times before. Too many members have distinctive styles so they would have an unfair advantage, others may decide to contact their friends to inform them that they've uploaded. And the majority like it the way it is and that would be a totally different way. So for those who like the idea of anonymous you can use the VS gallery where the photographers' names are removed.
MacroMeister 2 62 4 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 10:05AM

Quote:Hi Rob,
click clubs


Love that expression. have to remember that one!Grin


Quote:
...and particularly love votes from talented photographers as I'm assuming they really do like my work or at least the attempts being made.


I agree with that. But at the same time a photograph is not just a technical production. It has a purpose to inform, inspire, thrill, make sad etc. And the votes of non-photographers or beginners can be just as valid in that respect, even if they can't advise me on the pixel related stuff. But their comments and votes still need to be considered to be of any worth, not just 'Oh, he's a mate of mine I'd better click because he clicked mine yesterday'.


Quote:...thanking people for last times votes is polite in my opinion...

I do agree with that, but it can be overdone. It doesn't happen too much here, but on FLICKR some people post a 'thank you' after every comment from others. I sometimes thank people by PM if they have gone out of their way to give a detailed comment. A good way to thank someone is perhaps to reciprocate by commenting (but not necessarily voting) on one of their shots. But that, of course, can just lead to more click-club! Nice phrase - can I give you a vote for that one?Grin
MacroMeister 2 62 4 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 10:14AM

Quote:
Personally I value every single vote/comment and, on average, I would say the number of votes that I get per shot are a good indication of the quality of my work.


If you posted a 'quite good' shot would you rather have

a) 35 votes and lots of 'great work!' comments
or...
b) 10 votes, and a good detailed comment from someone who had thought carefully about it, and gave you an insight into how you could improve it next time so it really was worth 35 votes?
MacroMeister 2 62 4 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 10:26AM

Quote:Firstly welcome to EPZ

Thank you!


Quote:The fact is that we all want our work to be liked by others...

Not true, I'm afraid. Although I appreciate good comments on my 'pretty' stuff, I also produce images that are intended to shock a little, and I know that a lot of people don't 'like' them. I have never subscribed to the view that we are only here on earth to slap one another on the back and open doors for each other. Wink



Quote:The question you have to ask yourself is do you change a system that works for the majority of people based on the behaviour of a small group.


LOL! You sound like Clint. "Well, punk, do you feel lucky...?" Grin
MacroMeister 2 62 4 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 10:32AM

Quote:There is one side of the voting system that i don't like , When you pay to become an e2 member , You can actually see who voted for your Photo's, I don't think this is right ? You shouldn't be able to see who voted for your work , I think this is probably the cause of the over voting for what you call ( fairly poor image's ) Member's must feel compelled to vote for someone they know has voted for themselves ..



Tez - that's a very good point. I never thought of that. Why do we need to know who voted?
lobsterboy e2
11 14.2k 13 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 10:37AM

Quote:Why do we need to know who voted?

Because if it is from someones opinion you respect than it may be worth more to you than just an anonymous click.
Jestertheclown 6 6.6k 242 England
14 Nov 2012 10:43AM

Quote:Why do we need to know who voted?

The cliquers need to know who voted so that they can blindly vote in return.

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