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AdrianW 03-21-2007 11:47 PM

Re: Adrian's original post: Improving critique quality?
> How do you keep [the great shot folks] from controlling the process? What if the "you should straighten your horizon" critiques get down rated by those who operate from a speak-no-evil stance?

That's where the final paragraph comes in:
"And occasionally make people rate a rating, to create a bias for accuracy of ratings - if you see what I mean? Accurate raters get more weight assigned to their rating than those who always click useful."

Start with a low bias for all users, and have the initial "up"-bias applied by the moderator. If a moderator rates the critique a zero out of ten, and fifteen people rated it a ten, then you drop the bias values on those folks accordingly, and increase the bias on those who rated it "correctly".

With the slashdot moderation system users are occasionally allowed to give moderator bias if their views rate consistently similar to the prevailing opinion.

The idea is that the system becomes self sustaining after a while.

The problem on slashdot seems to be that group-think prevails - but I think that would be corrected with more moderator input, or even slightly different values in their system - a more aggressive low bias perhaps?

I'm also wondering whether the critiques with the highest rating should float to the top, maybe?

AdrianW 03-21-2007 11:48 PM

Re: Adrian's original post: Improving critique quality?
I was thinking mostly non-transparent, but yes, that's the idea!

BobTrips 03-21-2007 11:59 PM

Re: Adrian's original post: Improving critique quality?
"The problem on slashdot seems to be that group-think prevails - but I think that would be corrected with more moderator input, or even slightly different values in their system - a more aggressive low bias perhaps?"

Why not simply tag "bad" critiques? Imagine a system where one could tag critiques as either "vacuous" or "unnecessarily harsh" (add others as required). If someone's rate of posting down rated critiques exceeded some ratio they would get voted off the island.

That would allow a broad range of critiques, would not result in the community shaping what they consider a good critique.

And don't report scores publicly. Each member should be able to see his/her own ratings, no one else. Get the competition out of the system. If people don't like their ratings they can change or disappear.

"I'm also wondering whether the critiques with the highest rating should float to the top, maybe?"

Critiques are sometimes sequential. "As others have pointed out..." doesn't work well if you float it to the top.

I'm also wondering whether the critiques with the highest rating should float to the top, maybe?

bazal 03-22-2007 01:58 AM

walk this way...
I really think this discussion is going more and more disdainful (even insulting, sometimes) towards those who are considered as "bad critiquers". Hopefully they won't read it! But maybe I'm one of them...

Come on! Are you so annoyed that some people on this site don't behave as you do? Or should I say as you would like them to do because I sincerely don't think that most of the "critique teachers" I've read here can be seen as references for top-critique writers?

If you don't like some critiques nobody forces you to read them, if you don't like certain kinds of pictures, you don't need to look at them and if you're just jalous of the points earned by some people (it doesn't matter they are deserved or not), just turn off the poin system and you'll feel immediately better.

Please, live your life and let the other act the way they want without trying to add new rules, sherifs, sanctions and barbed-wires on this website. What you're speaking of is not improving the site but limiting the freedom of those who don't think as you.

I sincerely hope nobody will take what I say personnaly, and that's why I did not copied any citations about what I've read before on this discussion. Nevertheless these things really represent the feelings I have while reading your comments. Wish I was wrong.

Best regards.

ronners 03-22-2007 02:14 AM

Re: walk this way...

The intention isn't to dismiss those whose critiques we don't like. The thing that we're all wrestling with here is that a lot of people aren't getting as much as they would like out of the site. To many who have posted on this topic, TrekEarth is more than a social photography forum, because at times we've all benefited from the useful and constructive critiques that from time to time make this site unique. We're all members because we love the original idea, and if it seems to have gone off track then that's a shame. So please don't look at this in a negative way; we're trying to be constructive here.


berseph 03-22-2007 05:02 AM

Re: 10 thoughts
You could always implement that a critique has to have a certain length (similar to a note) or else it automatically becomes a comment. Many of the critiques I've seen on this site are only a few words long and these are never helpful. Granted, they could still fill it with fluff, but at least a first pass at separating the two.

I don't see why the "not useful" button couldn't be brought back either, although I have no idea it could be implemented (i.e. would we hide those that have negative ratings, or would these become comments after a certain number of negative responses?). Maybe people could vote whether the post is a comment or a critique after it is written (instead of having it assigned by the poster).

I doubt many use the ratings function for critiques anyways, as if you look at the long list of critiques, very few have a number after them indicating that they haven't recieved at least 2 useful ratings (granted I don't know how many of the critiques were really usefull anyhow. Making it mandatory to rate them may make them biased as well, based on the "dark green smiley only" mentality on this site (I even recently got criticized for using the light smiley for one post when I was the only one to write a critique).

Also, we all must be aware that this site has people of all different photography abilities and the critiques will develop as we all progress. It's hard to give usefull critiques to someone who is much better at photography, since many of those pictures will seem perfect to the majority of us.

AROBN54 03-22-2007 10:32 AM

Re: walk this way...
This is hard for me. I am at a point I can't even stand my own pictures. And now this. I have to worry if my opinions of a picture mean anything. It's like I've said - I don't look at thumbnaiils I don't think I'll like. When I like something I prefer to be able to express myself, though I've tried to... tone it down. I have great sympathy for those who have problems with English or who just aren't natural writers. Those I feel are struggling to MAKE a comment and participate deserve a useful rating. JMO

oochappan 03-22-2007 11:39 AM

Re: walk this way...
Right Shelly,
the simple reflections often written with a lot of efforts seems more honest and modest, as thus more reliable then the mile long oracles, turning, turning around with expensive words avoiding to come to the point and that we have to read way to often on the opening page ? Such can only frighten new off to write their own critique.

Wisdom is mostly written in a clear simple short way, know what you want to say and say it simple and clear to the point, that stands for intelligency, the nice bla-bla-bla-bla are sales-tricks.

The best critique is still a PP to show immediatly what you want to say, but that cost an effort and some knowledge of editing for new people still to learn but the old generation can ... that dignity to help someone else telling the secrets of editing can also be yours :)).

jrj 03-22-2007 12:49 PM

To the TE elite
I have with interest followed this thread the last 2 days:
After the ordinary harassing of those with more than xx points and xx critics written, the small group of thread participants amongst our elite, where some seems still to be in the dream land of “Good ol’ TE” where the sun was shining every day (that is before 2003), and Sir Adrian himself, 3 photos posted in 2006, but, of course Sir, also some high quality ws and critics – they have now finally landed into some dynamic proposals together with some few newer members who have engaged themselves in the most creative suggestions for how to develop our moderators to become some charming mini STASI or KGB juniors (that is after we have some hundreds of new moderators in place – as one suggest)

I think gentlemen that one of these days you should try to land your mental flight. Could be TE is not perfect but look to the world around you. Control freaks and mind control is kind of out of date. And with your constant rant of all the fails done by some active members at TE – never forget that their activities goes on within the TOS – they are legal at this site.
Be welcome back with some proposals for writing better critics based on motivation and personal guidelines, practical examples, training courses for that sake, but be sure to have support by more than the very few that have been supporting, so far, in this thread. Or simply set up a ‘quality critic’ list where all interested may participate.

Davids 03-22-2007 03:21 PM

Re: To the TE elite
We've both been long enough on this site to understand the dynamics. I refered to a simular discussion joselias started in oktober 2005, and no doubt there will be more.
What I like about these discussions is that newer members hopefully learn about the various aspects of TE, that points aren't the only reason.
TE is a largly self moderating site, and its openness and respect in discussions is -I think- rather unique on the www.
When I joined TE I wasn't aware of the past of TE, since the beginning of 2006, I find it had to be motivated on TE, because I miss the constructive critisism to improve.
I still browse TE, learn about the world, but it gets harder by the day to find an original note.
I try to stop writing critiques that say to others how nice the photo is. If I like the photo, and technicaly it is OK, I just look at another. I stopped giving two points for every photo, I do not make a difference between someone with 8 or 18000 points.
I miss a good photo editing programm to start reposting photos I posted, or to keep on posting more than I want.
I think it is good to think about if TE isn't becoming more and more like Flickr?
If we talk about the rants in combination with high points (and this is part of the dynamics I mentioned before), there is a difference of oppinion that will never be solved, simply because it is an integrated part of TE.
Some members have time enough to participate more than others, writing the maximum of critiques per day. Others have little time or are/became -lets face it- less interested in TE because TE doesn't live up to their standards. Ventilating these thoughts, always leads to the same point in a discussion where people with multiple thousends of points and the rest start to accuse eachother. Plenty of examples in the past threads.

And here we come to the core of one of your last remarks;
“never forget that their activities goes on within the TOS – they are legal at this site.”. This is arguable There are more examples in the TOS that are simply not moderated. The most stricking one is that the photos from common objects without note will be deleted. TE has simply become too big to be moderated.
The arguable part is that Adam could decide that critiques that only write about positive parts of the photo -even when this is motivated- are actualy comments, and if a member is persistant in only writing (largly) possitive comments that are marked as critiques, he could remove them.
I have a creative profession, and being not critical will mean I wil loose my job in the end. I have learned that possitive remarks are accepted more easy than –constructive- negative ones. For exaplme if I say ‘the colours are nice’, it doesn’t say why they are nice. Are they nice because they are balanced? deep but not over saturated? do they associate with something form the history or surroundings? The reason for being good is hardly ever questioned. But this is exacly what would be informative to members with less experience.
The question Adam will have to answer is if it is still the intention of TE that the bulk of critiques only emphasise the good aspects, and if he will be more critical of these critiques?
This affects many people with high points, true, but just because we are discussing it doesn’t mean that it’s personal or wrong.
What is being discussed is if TE is becoming too common.
I have given many proposals in this thread, and the one I liked nest has so far received one reaction; why don’t we start writing more critiques to bad photos?
Also I think it would be better if we stopped using the two point smiley for every critique we write, even more, I think we discuss to mark more critiques as comments.

Your remark about moderators and KGB/Stasi tactics –a little bit too provocative in my mind- has some truth in it. But I don’t think that a moderator is per se a bad person just because he/she regulates. It is part of human nature that people have to moderated, just look at the amount of discussions Adam locks every month that are in the wrong part of the Forum. And most interesting, look at the amount of esperience the people have who start these threads, and I wonder if they never looked into the other parts of the forum, knowing where to post them in the first place.

So the central question is; has TE become too common, where writing about the parts of a photo or note that needs improvement has become too rare to be accaptable? Do members understand it is part of TE to do so, and that it has no personal intentions, other than to help the person? Have TE members become too experienced, and are they posting only good photos these days?

Jack, as usual, no offence ment of coarse :)

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