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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> PMs on comments(long).
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01/29/2005 10:19:58 AM · #1
What's good of a mind if you can't change it... I have had a long and hard meditation on my stance of 'no contact'. However, acknowledging how much I have to learn and what great benefit I can get discussing photos with their owners, I realised what an opportunity I'm disowing myself.

So guys, if I make a comment you want to discuss, feel free to do so. I will try and find the time to respond. I will at least note your comment and with an open mind try and benefit from it.

Why this 180 degree change in stance...? I tried my hand at giving some real, 'valuable' comments on the current competitions and discovered how much there is to learn by critically looking at pictures. What's more, I discovered that looking at each piture as an individual picture, not as one of many entrants, inevitabily made me change my initial score in many cases... positively! Maybe I'm finding my feet after all!
01/29/2005 10:49:11 AM · #2
I have just implemented my "Cut and Paste" pre-comments on my lowest scored images in the Old and New challenge. It has been working like a charm and has spurred me onto updating those comments with more meaningful critiques. I had found my bottom selections deserved some justification of my low score and I would invite them via PM to inquire as to why I gave them such a hard score. This method enables me to spend more time giving meatier comments on the midrange shots which I simply would not have judged before because due to time constraints. I have had numerous "low scorers" request an explanation on my hard judging and have been happy to give them alot more than a 1/2 sentence critique. This seems to be working out great and is creating some interesting exchanges.
01/29/2005 11:10:32 AM · #3
gibun, thanks for the change of heart. I hope you don't mind that I've already taken you up on it. I hope my PM is in the sort of vein that you were looking for. Comments are valuable, but having the chance to discuss them (and not argue or ridicule them) is priceless (sorry mastercard). Your comment was right on what I was hoping for feedback on with my submission. So, thanks again.
01/29/2005 11:15:57 AM · #4
I like it. I see the problem as this.. It's like buying a car and it turning out to be a lemon.. No one ever says, 'what a great car, let's sue the guy who sold it to me'. People are only vicious when they are upset.. I believe generally because their score suffers, so shall all the others.

joe
01/29/2005 11:17:04 AM · #5
Ivo - I received one of your comments about PM and I'm curious. All you stated was the number (low). Then you said to PM if I wanted to know why.

To me, that seems to defeat the purpose of the comment process. Sure, if you gave at least a minimal comment and then invited folks to PM you, it would be an effective use of your time. If you gave at least some indication as to your dislike - "poor lighting", "bad focus" - then you could move on. Leaving just the "PM me" comment would seem to be more work for you in the long run. Unless your criticism was so harsh that you didn't want it out there for others to see?

I'm just trying to understand your method and how "PM me" is a helpful. I could be taking it wrong - and I don't mean any offense by asking - but I have been curious since you left the comment. BTW, I haven't PM'd you because I do know the limitations of my entry. ; )
01/29/2005 11:50:55 AM · #6
Originally posted by jamijc:

Ivo - I received one of your comments about PM and I'm curious. All you stated was the number (low). Then you said to PM if I wanted to know why.

To me, that seems ............; )


When voting on 250 entries, it takes alot of time and most midrange shots get overlooked but the lowest end scorers deserve to know who scored them so hard. .........

I do not mind giving critiques at length for those who really care in the first place. By doing it this way, I fish out the contributors who want some real feedback and not a trite 3 word comment. So far, I've given half a dozen revisions on commnets but not on scores.
01/29/2005 11:54:21 AM · #7
I still don't understand completely, but thanks for the reply. It helped.
01/29/2005 01:55:44 PM · #8
Originally posted by Ivo:

... and I would invite them via PM to inquire as to why I gave them such a hard score. ...


Anonymity takes another hit. I think this is a new low- actually inviting another user to violate the spirit of the rules.

Ivo, if you want to tell the photog why you scored their entry low- why not just put your explanation in your comment and be done with it? Why is it better to invite them to break annonymity?

There certainly is a lot to be gained by photog and commenter exchanging thoughts about an entry, but when it means undermining the very essence of the dpc challenge concept, then the cost is too high. I fail to understand why it can't just wait until after voting closes.

I was really hoping the new system of commenters being able to voluntarily stay annonymous would get a longer grace period before the attacks on the concept started up again. What's it going to take for us to realize that the compromise is not working?

I think we need to go back to the original system where all comments were annonymous until after voting is finished. The sooner the better.
01/29/2005 02:16:48 PM · #9
Originally posted by coolhar:

There certainly is a lot to be gained by photog and commenter exchanging thoughts about an entry, but when it means undermining the very essence of the dpc challenge concept, then the cost is too high. I fail to understand why it can't just wait until after voting closes.

The invitation to query for further details does not specify that it has to/should be done during the voting, just that it is OK to ask about the score in general -- that you won't get trashed for asking about a low vote. It can wait until after the voting is over, and I agree that's when it is best done.

Problem is, as soon as they're done voting, most people seem to want to argue about the possible interpretations of the new challenge, not discuss the results of the previous one, when we are actually allowed to discuss actual entries in context.

Message edited by author 2005-01-29 14:17:36.
01/29/2005 02:20:45 PM · #10
Originally posted by coolhar:


... Ivo, if you want to tell the photog why you scored their entry low- why not just put your explanation in your comment and be done with it? ...


ditto.

Message edited by author 2005-01-29 14:21:26.
01/29/2005 10:24:42 PM · #11
Please don't get me wrong, I have started giving, imho, good and quite comprehensive feedback. I'm not inviting dialoque, but if what I said is not ok, shows misunderstanding or missing the point, please contact me.. I will look at it again. I will not change my mind for the sake of changing, but WE, both of us, will learn something of value. I, as an amateur really wants to learn and improve... feedback in both directions give me the real time opportunity to do so. Eqsite is a nice example, I just had to look again and hopefully, give him even more insight, gaining some myself. Inviting PMs though, not for me. I just don't have the time for that.
It all boils down to integrity. Hopefully integrity that won't be seen as folly or foolishness as so often happens.

01/29/2005 11:52:12 PM · #12
As I see it, an argument for doing at least some critique in the comments during voting is that the comments are archived with the challenge results. Being pretty new to dpc I find myself browsing past challenge results and I find it quite informative to see the comments that were left during voting
01/30/2005 12:33:29 AM · #13
Originally posted by outland:

As I see it, an argument for doing at least some critique in the comments during voting is that the comments are archived with the challenge results. Being pretty new to dpc I find myself browsing past challenge results and I find it quite informative to see the comments that were left during voting


Leaving comments on challenge entries during voying is encouraged all around. It is the reply to that comment that undermines annonymity and should be held until after voting closes. Then it is also encouraged.
01/30/2005 12:49:58 AM · #14
Originally posted by coolhar:


Anonymity takes another hit. I think this is a new low- actually inviting another user to violate the spirit of the rules.


Which bit of the rules would that be then ? Neither the spirit or letter of any of the rules say anything about not commenting or responding to comments during voting - in fact, if it was against the letter or spirit of any of the rules - why would the feature exist ?

This discussion appears stuck in a fundamental issue of the site. If it is about education and improvement open dialog is the best approach - and the myth of further discussion after the challenge is finished just doesn't seem based in the reality of the situation.

If it is about competition then the reply feature should be disabled. If it is about education it should be encouraged, straight away, while the iron is hot and relevant. Waiting a week to pick up some train of thought that has already left doesn't really help anyone learn much, photographer or commentor.
01/30/2005 01:10:46 AM · #15
Originally posted by Gordon:

... Waiting a week to pick up some train of thought that has already left doesn't really help anyone learn much, photographer or commentor.

It acts to buffer the emotional component of the response.
01/30/2005 01:17:50 AM · #16
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Gordon:

... Waiting a week to pick up some train of thought that has already left doesn't really help anyone learn much, photographer or commentor.

It acts to buffer the emotional component of the response.


That's only useful if anyone actually responds...
01/30/2005 08:01:53 AM · #17
The site is both an educational resource and a competition. Both of those are essential to the dpc experience as we know it. It would be easy to say that the educational part should be the higher priority but without the competition part the site would not be the same. The competition is what motivates us to continue learning, it drives us to get better and gives us a method of measuring our progress. Separating the education and competition parts, or even a major change in their balance, would substantially alter the dpc experience. They are inseparable.

Regarding annonymity as incidental to the educational part of dpc is short-sighted. If the challenges were to become popularity contests the newcomers would be up against almost insurmountable odds. The quantity of comments would increase but their quality for educational purposes would go down as attaboys proliferated. The many long time users that don't do particularly well in challenges (but contribute more to the educational aspect than the ribbon winners) would fall by the wayside over time. And eye candy would be even more prevailent than it is now.

Hiding the commenter's identity worked in the original dpc model. I don't see discussion after voting as a myth. I think an awful lot of it takes place now, more than goes on during voting. And after the challenge the entire community can be drawn into that discussion by posting in forums, thus gaining the advantage of more expertise being applied to the question than only that of the photog and commenter.

If the iron cooling is a real problem, then another alternative would be to hide the comments until after voting and then make them all visible along with the commenter's name. If people really want to learn, and if the comment has real potential to be helpful, the exchange will go on at the end of the week. Most of the exchanges that take place before that are probably the emotional reaction type, the ones that are not very educational.
01/30/2005 08:16:47 AM · #18
Stirring the pot again, if annonimity is the be all, end all... make the PMs in response to my comments annonomous, I can the discuss a picture still without knowing who took it. Shouldnt be that difficult to fit a bag over the PMer's head..
01/30/2005 08:26:48 AM · #19
Originally posted by coolhar:


If the challenges were to become popularity contests the newcomers would be up against almost insurmountable odds...
Hiding the commenter's identity worked in the original dpc model.


...okay, I'm really not sure I see how a few users inviting people to PM them if they want feedback will create a popularity contest. Particularly since it can be argued in this case that the newcomers are the ones being invited to PM the commenter.

As for the comment that hiding the commenter's identity worked in the first version 1) if that were the case then the site would not have been recoded to allow users to see the commenter. 2) Like it or not, over times things change.

The faceless commenter allows someone to go, make a nasty comment, and then change or delete it without penalty.I'm not sure I see the benifit to the site.

As for the ongoing lament that DPC encourages eyecandy. When you add together all the votes at the end of the day you will find an average of what this site think is a great image. That's not going to change because we eliminate comments.

Clara
01/30/2005 08:53:28 AM · #20
As a newcomer to DPchallenge I would be very disappointed if any comments made on my submissions were made anonymously. Where I have received comments I have looked at the commenter's profile and that has enabled me to evaluate the advice and treat it with some perspective. On the one hand I have had extremely useful advice from seasoned ribbon winners and on the other hand some banal comments from people who I believe are talking nonsense. I am deeply grateful to the first category and I ignore the second.
01/30/2005 08:54:58 AM · #21
Originally posted by coolhar:

Hiding the commenter's identity worked in the original dpc model. I don't see discussion after voting as a myth. I think an awful lot of it takes place now, more than goes on during voting. And after the challenge the entire community can be drawn into that discussion by posting in forums, thus gaining the advantage of more expertise being applied to the question than only that of the photog and commenter.


In the original DPC model, commenters' names were visible. This has changed several times over the history of the site. At the time you joined (some 21 months after the site's creation) commenters' names were invisible, but at the site's inception, they were always visible.

-Terry
01/30/2005 09:19:25 AM · #22
Originally posted by ClubJuggle:

In the original DPC model, commenters' names were visible. This has changed several times over the history of the site. At the time you joined (some 21 months after the site's creation) commenters' names were invisible, but at the site's inception, they were always visible.

-Terry

Thanks Terry. That's info I didn't know.

Has the alternative I suggested been tried? That comments and commenter's id be hidden until the finish of voting. Sort of drastic but it would answer the cooling iron issue while protecting annonymity.
01/30/2005 09:24:34 AM · #23
First, thanks gibun for the extra commentary on my photo. Sorry if I didn't quite get the intention of your first post, but your comments are very constructive and have definitely taught me something. My sole purpose for participating here is educational. Like anyone, a nice shiny ribbon would thrill me, but its way down on my list of things I want to get out of this site.

As for the rest of the discussion, I have to say that I come down on gordon's side on this one. After joining in December, I've entered six challenges (including the 2 current) and have not received one comment after voting has ended (oops, just checked and one person just did on Friday). My scores have ranged between the mid-fours to the high fives which says to me that maybe I have some potential, but still have a lot to learn (that second part I'm keenly aware of). I've not PM'd anyone regarding my comments until the "Threes" challenge because I'd read in previous threads that some people really didn't like that. And once a challenge is over, it seems that everyone (myself included) is ready to move on to the next.

I've only ever taken one photography course in my life, but the most valuable part of that was the critique and discussion. Critique alone is helpful, but it is the discussion that really drives learning. I think it's hard to keep a discussion going after our attention has been moved elsewhere. Perhaps I'm wrong and people will be willing to discuss their comments in more detail after the voting is over. I'm going to have to give that a try.

Anyway, sorry for the long rambling. I just want people here to know that I appreciate the comments that they are willing to give. I'm sorry if some people reply with nasty or unappreciative messages when you do comment, but it's sad to let a few bad apples spoil the most valuable part of this site.
01/30/2005 09:27:18 AM · #24
Originally posted by coolhar:


Has the alternative I suggested been tried? That comments and commenter's id be hidden until the finish of voting. Sort of drastic but it would answer the cooling iron issue while protecting annonymity.


Yeah, but I'm not sure that Drew and Langdon could deal with the rioting masses. ;)

Clara
01/30/2005 09:41:43 AM · #25
Originally posted by coolhar:

Originally posted by ClubJuggle:

In the original DPC model, commenters' names were visible. This has changed several times over the history of the site. At the time you joined (some 21 months after the site's creation) commenters' names were invisible, but at the site's inception, they were always visible.

-Terry

Thanks Terry. That's info I didn't know.

Has the alternative I suggested been tried? That comments and commenter's id be hidden until the finish of voting. Sort of drastic but it would answer the cooling iron issue while protecting annonymity.


It has. We had serious issues with abusive comments, and the users generally preferred visisble commenter names, so we went back to that.

As I read them, the rules take no official position on anonymity. The "spirit of the rules" as we have enforced them is to respect the wishes of users who wish to submit or vote under conditions of anonymity, but not to categorically prohibit any activity which might breach anonymity. For example, we prohibit discussion of individual challenge entries during voting, but allow photographers to post their challenge entries on other sites (so long as they do not use those posts to "campaign" for their entries). To that end, we put in the "opt-out" feature which will hide commenters' names if either the commenter or photographer request that.

-Terry
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