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Old 08-21-2004, 12:26 PM
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Midnight_sun Midnight_sun is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 193
Default Praise You (Like I should)

Welcome to Trekearth!
What a great shot this is, one suggestion though, after reading this come and write a comment on my photo and we’ll be best friends for life.
Keep posting!

Every now and then, a new member gets it right first time! Their first shot gets 50 points, so they think, wait a second, if I post another shot like this, I’ll get another 50 points! And they do! After 10 shots they are feeling very happy with themselves, but trouble is just around the corner! They try a slightly different shot, but get far less critiques, and think: “it can’t be as good, I better give these people what they want!” They continue to post, writing critiques back as fast as they are coming in. The path to points nirvana has never been so easy.
3000 points later, having exhausted their supply of sunsets, cute kids, macros of flowers with bees on (what ever their specialty was), they either:
Go out and find more shots like those that gave them points, it doesn’t matter if they are not as good, 30 points will do, and post those forever.
Or quit.

Members who don’t hit the magic formula look on in awe, wondering how they can take shots that will get as many points. What do they do? They try and copy the style of those photos to try and get feed back; they may even think that those photos are what great photos are. Eventually, all the photos on TE become the same; a shot of the local street, nearly empty, at sunset, with a cute kid smiling.
But wait! Not all the shots on TE are the same! This disproves the theory!
Well a lot of the shots ARE the same, but what is stopping convergence is the classic prey predator model. (for those who aren’t familiar here’s a quick explanation) As the number of predators increases, the number of prey decreases, then the number of predators decrease, and so the number of prey increase etc. etc.
If every shot was the same, each shot would not attract enough comments to make it worth while to produce the perfect TE shot. People would start posting orginal shots until the ‘perfect’ TE shot started attracting more critiques again. Etc etc.

I believe there WAS a golden age on this site, when these things weren’t happening, and I missed it by a year.
Just imagining what it was like when people wrote critiques on your shots because they really thought they were good, or made a constructive comment, not because they expected the same comment back. This is how I imagine this site a year ago.
It must be the feeling that new members get when they first receive critiques, before they get pulled into the praise for praise culture.

continued....
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2004, 12:27 PM
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Midnight_sun Midnight_sun is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 193
Default Re: Praise You (Like I should)

What’s wrong with praise for praise?

I don’t think that it is a bad thing to comment on those who have commented on your work, but if it happens day after day, the critiques will be far less objective .
When you expect to receive comments from some one, you tend to write nice comments on their shots. When objectivity is lost, all that is left is a points race, and a group of people who you exchange bullshit comments with.

So what? Let them do it, just avoid them and do your own thing.

Its all about the new members, and keeping the old ones.
If this praise for praise continues, new members will get pulled into it, or get discouraged if they do original shots, as they will attract far less critiques.
Old members will get bored of the superficial nature of the perfect TE shot, bored and disappointed that new members fall into the points trap, and the general lack of original photography as a result will not make old members want to stay.
So this site will have a higher and higher turn over of people, as more old members leave. This site will grow in points, but not in wisdom.

I think I understand this frustration, and its not that surprising that Fil deleted his photos and called it a day.

How can we fix this?

1)Write what you think.
2)Don’t think that a photo that has 50 points is any better than a photo that has none. 3)Stop writing critiques on the same group of people. Yeah, you may like them, but its harming the site.
4)Don’t write critiques on photos that have more than 20 points unless you really have something to add.

From the Terms Of Service:

…..however, critiquing mostly friend/family members without critiquing others is unfair to the other members and breaches the community spirit of this site. Please critique fairly, as failure to do so may result in removal of critiques and/or ratings or account removal.

At the moment, people are removing their accounts and themselves because other people are not following this simple rule that is there for the benefit of the whole site.

I hope that no other members leave as a result of the points race. It is NOT a competition, there is no prize.

Bryan
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2004, 04:27 PM
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dom_inik_m dom_inik_m is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 770
Default To cut a long story short

Be yourself!
Look, breathe, feel, communicate, share... and don't think that a perfect postcard like picture represents the ultimate experience.
Well, I've got nothing against postcards (I even started a collection when I was a kid), but what's the point of a site like TrekEarth if you find the same photos as anywhere else?
Ok, I know, it's getting more and more difficult to escape the influence of Mickey Mouse, Ronald McDonald, Barbie and Ken, the Nike logo, silly Hollywood remakes and so on.
Forget the points, cherish the comments...
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Old 08-21-2004, 04:58 PM
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Ebbe Ebbe is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 617
Default Re: Praise You (Like I should)

Quote from Midnight Sun:

"From the Terms Of Service:

…..however, critiquing mostly friend/family members without critiquing others is unfair to the other members and breaches the community spirit of this site. Please critique fairly, as failure to do so may result in removal of critiques and/or ratings or account removal.

At the moment, people are removing their accounts and themselves because other people are not following this simple rule that is there for the benefit of the whole site."

A scary thought, but some members might just as well remove their accounts because others began to follow the rule you qouted from the TOS. If they were used to critiques from a small group of friends and that ended that could have been a disappointment.

Myself I have been given fewer points than I am used to over the summer. And I must admit that the main bulk of my points used to come from a small group and some of them went on holidays. I think they had the right to go on holiday even if they forgot me for a while. But the main reason is the quality of my work, I just haven´t had the same opportunities, fantasy etc. so the level of my work went down a bit.

So - if I want more points I have to work harder, not start complaining. And if I don´t mind I can live with lower scores til I get better material. There is an old auto mechanic expression "-The problem is between the steering wheel and the backrest". If we can let it be a game for fun, admit our own faults and just have a good time it will stay a game for fun and we will have a good time.

But let´s not forget that TE-pictures should teach the audience something, that means that they have to pull on other strings than just technical perfection like on many other sites.

Ebbe
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