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03/22/2008 12:09:08 AM · #1
It's stricken me as odd, in my short time on DPC that the voting system seems skewed to biased scoring by it's very nature: Having people vote/score submissions in competition with their own.

Is this a reasonable means of getting an objective, unbiased "review" of one's entry? We've all seen the posts that contain obvious, and calculated representations of how some on DPC might potentially score submissions to further their own ends, or at best limit their opinion of what "meets criteria", and perhaps score accordingly. And so, perhaps, leverage their scoring habits to coincide with these sometimes "single-minded" (to put it politely) opinions.

I would submit, that if challenge participants had no "dog in the hunt", as they say, that there would me more freedom and comfort associated with voting objectively, where we have no such "niggling" personal attachments to a given challenge.

It would create less vitriol in the forums, regarding how challenges are to be scored. And I think it might encourage more genuine explorations of the submissions, if voting exclusively on a seperate challenge. Conversely, it might even allow for more commentary on the submissions, since many are apprehensive about posting comments on same-challenge submissions due to rebuke, or the potential of putting their name with their entry, due to the given response.

I'm personally swearing off from voting on same-challenge entries, as some others have done. It just makes no sense, and is incongruous with the concept of non-partisan judge/panel/peer review. I can't think of another instance where the current DPC format is emulated, in any known challenge/contest/competition.

I'm certain this has been mentioned before, but I hope new discussion about this might renew some interest, since there are always new DPC members.

03/22/2008 12:13:48 AM · #2
I think it's a reasonable argument, I would personally have no problem with it. Conversely when this discussion comes up i always think of political elections. If I am not mistaken, can't candidates vote for themselves? It may seem like a strech to compare the two but aren't both these things basically a popularity contest?
03/22/2008 12:17:07 AM · #3
I understand where you are coming from. I am not on average a high scorer and when I vote I guess I compare other photos to mine. However I can honestly say that I have never scored a shot lower than what it's worth regardless of the fact of me having a submission or not. I think that there are probably some people on this site at times that do but I dont think that they last very long due to being here for the wrong reasons. I'm here to learn like the majority and not to falsly pump up my own score to look good. This teaches me nothing. At times I dont get the score that I think that I deserve but often receive a comment that clarifies this for me. I think that time will weed out such people and that they give up and leave the site.
03/22/2008 12:23:53 AM · #4
Well, I know that many people may think this way. The SC has taken great precautions to work against this happening. They sample the votes and disregard any bad voting trends from the people, so there's not a lot to worry about in that area. Besides, 1 vote against the couple of hundred votes doesn't make that much of a difference.
03/22/2008 12:30:32 AM · #5
Originally posted by smardaz:

I think it's a reasonable argument, I would personally have no problem with it. Conversely when this discussion comes up i always think of political elections. If I am not mistaken, can't candidates vote for themselves? It may seem like a strech to compare the two but aren't both these things basically a popularity contest?


That's true, but candidates can't have an effect on other candidates vote. I.E. They can't give other candidates "lower scores/voter turn out" to further their own ends. They can sure buy votes, in some cases, but can't influence the process in regard to "scoring" other candidates.

But this isn't the main point. Regardless of the potential of biased elements, it just seems like it would be better overall for the other reasons I mentioned. More relaxed, less "huff-and puff" over scoring traits in the forums, and less personal attachment to scoring overall.

I like the sense of detachment involved in voting on other challenges. It frees me to explore more, and comment more, without potential repercussions. I know I'll be leaving alot more comments, and more thorough ones.
03/22/2008 12:37:45 AM · #6
I've got a "personal rule" that when I enter a contest I vote and comment on another contest and never vote or comment on the contest I'm in. But that's purely my rule. I don't think any individual can influence the outcome to any noticeable extent, although I am suspicious of people whose average vote is 3.
03/22/2008 12:42:43 AM · #7
Originally posted by cryingdragon:

Well, I know that many people may think this way. The SC has taken great precautions to work against this happening. They sample the votes and disregard any bad voting trends from the people, so there's not a lot to worry about in that area. Besides, 1 vote against the couple of hundred votes doesn't make that much of a difference.


And that outlines another potential positive aspect to restricted voting: less monitoring from DPSC. It wouldn't be as much of a concern in a detached vote. It would certainly limit the impact of potential micreant voting, since you would eliminate much of the reason for such behavior.

Obviously, you can't account for all of it, but I would think things would run much smoother.

Instead of echoing my sentiments, or disagreeing with them, maybe someone could posit an argument for the current system? It would be interesting to hear why someone might prefer leaving it the way it is, which is more open to potential voting issues.

Many will say "if it ain't broke...", but that's a strawman argument. I know many feel the same as I do, and perhaps more do not. But sometimes change can be for the better, painful as it may be for some...
03/22/2008 01:11:42 AM · #8
I rarely vote or comment on challenges that I am not parcicipating in. It is a largly selfish motive; when I have thought enough about a challenge to want to submit a shot, I want to see what other people's takes are, how they delt with the challenges of both answering the particulars of the challenge and making a beautifull image.
I am here to learn, and I learn more by carefully looking at the work of others in comparison to my own. It may not be as fair as a juried selection, but my top three of my top five picks are usually in the top ten, and while I am always shocked to see some great images reciving votes of one or two, by and large the top picks are usually lovely images.
03/22/2008 01:18:15 AM · #9
Originally posted by Monique64:

I understand where you are coming from. I am not on average a high scorer and when I vote I guess I compare other photos to mine. However I can honestly say that I have never scored a shot lower than what it's worth regardless of the fact of me having a submission or not. I think that there are probably some people on this site at times that do but I dont think that they last very long due to being here for the wrong reasons. I'm here to learn like the majority and not to falsly pump up my own score to look good. This teaches me nothing. At times I dont get the score that I think that I deserve but often receive a comment that clarifies this for me. I think that time will weed out such people and that they give up and leave the site.


I'm as blown away as anyone by the eyeball-searing, brain-evacuating, soul-scorching talent of some of DPC's members, and vote accordingly. BUT, lest visions of Scott Stapps' fan-blown hair and bedroom eyes dance around my head as he takes me higher while exploring a given image, I can't really say that I'm learning much.

Some people just have a God given talent, that can't be taught.

Others, like myself, just want to express ourselves through our imagery.

Others still, simply want to win shiny blue ribbons, and will "go with what sells", so to speak.

And then, there's everything in between, on this site...

03/22/2008 01:27:25 AM · #10
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

I rarely vote or comment on challenges that I am not parcicipating in. It is a largly selfish motive; when I have thought enough about a challenge to want to submit a shot, I want to see what other people's takes are, how they delt with the challenges of both answering the particulars of the challenge and making a beautifull image.
I am here to learn, and I learn more by carefully looking at the work of others in comparison to my own. It may not be as fair as a juried selection, but my top three of my top five picks are usually in the top ten, and while I am always shocked to see some great images reciving votes of one or two, by and large the top picks are usually lovely images.


And why can't this "learning process" take place after the challenge, when all the votes are in? Besides - I'm not suggesting you shouldn't be able to observe the submissions, just not vote on them.

If you're truly just wanting to learn, and compare others submissions to your own, then what does scoring have to do with it, other than a means to traverse the entries? I don't feel a need to score images to learn from them. And there's no time limit on when you can peruse the other submissions, so it's not like you would need to be in a hurry, anxious as you might be.

(Back to voting on fences...)


03/22/2008 01:29:36 AM · #11
You're right, this subject has been discussed several times while I've been here. I don't recall any empirical data produced by member statisticians to lend sustantive weight to your supposition. A few posts in the forums do not make an epidemic.

I'm opposed to changes that limit my participation in the site, especially changes based on generalized interpretation of human nature.

I prefer voting in all challenges, and I have confidence in my self-control to remain unbiased. I do not compare images to each other. That is the heart of the matter as I see it.

My suggestion is that anyone who doesn't have that confidence, should feel free to abstain.

To butcher a quote: The strawman ain't broke,"... painful as that may be for some."

Message edited by author 2008-03-22 01:31:21.
03/22/2008 01:34:13 AM · #12
I agree with you about voting on challenges I'm in to. I still vote in them I just have to completely forget about my image. Voting day one helps because I don't start caring about my score until about 50 votes because one vote can change your score so much with low voters. HOWEVER I am getting really annoyed with whoever it is that is obviously giving everyone except him/herself a score of one. Have you noticed? In most every challenge lately there have been ones on every good image. Anyways I honestly think the system is good. If we switched it to non camera voters I wouldn't get the comments on how to improve. I mean if I can't vote I may as well just wait until the challenge is over and then congratulate the winners.
03/22/2008 01:39:51 AM · #13
Registered users can't vote in member challenges at all. If the members who enter don't vote, who does? Members who don't enter? Someone else already mentioned that if you've entered a challenge, you've given it some thought, you know what went into trying to get a shot for that challenge. I think that gives you a better appreciation of what others may have done or tried to do. From a personal standpoint, I tend to spend more time voting challenges I've entered than challenges I haven't entered. I also tend to score higher on average in challenges I've entered - I think it's that shared understanding of trying to get a shot for that challenge. And perhaps the fact that maybe the challenge I didn't enter was one I wasn't interested in to begin with. Would that make me a more objective voter? Perhaps. Or maybe just more disinterested.
03/22/2008 01:44:20 AM · #14
Originally posted by Patrick_R:

... I am getting really annoyed with whoever it is that is obviously giving everyone except him/herself a score of one. Have you noticed? In most every challenge lately there have been ones on every good image. ...

There are site programming that identifies and rejects this type of pattern voting. We just have to accept that it is entirely possible for each image to collect a few improbably low votes.
03/22/2008 01:45:36 AM · #15
Who would be left to vote on the 400-600 entries in the free study challenges?

Restricting members or R-users to vote on challenges they do not enter would not (IMO) benefit the site at all.

As a R-User it would limit you to voting on just one challenge a week

As a Member if you entered the members challenge you would be limited to voting only in the open exclusive challenges
and
As a Member if you entered the members challenge and one of the exclusive open challenges then you would be limited to only one challenge to cast your vote.

At a time when participating users are looking for more votes and comments, this would do the opposite.

03/22/2008 01:45:55 AM · #16
Originally posted by Melethia:

Registered users can't vote in member challenges at all. If the members who enter don't vote, who does? Members who don't enter? Someone else already mentioned that if you've entered a challenge, you've given it some thought, you know what went into trying to get a shot for that challenge. I think that gives you a better appreciation of what others may have done or tried to do. ... Or maybe just more disinterested.

Yeah, what she said...
03/22/2008 01:49:51 AM · #17
If you truly can't disconnect your own shot from your vote, then by all means, don't vote.

I can, and do. In fact, I almost never think my own shot is worth a 10.

You may believe I'm naive or dishonest, and you're entitled to your opinion, but I'll disagree.

However, I think there's a very practical reason not to do what you suggest. People already complain about low numbers of votes. I think you'd get incredibly low vote counts if you banned entrants from voting.

As for the claim there are people voting 1s on "everyone else's shot," that's what the vote scrubber is for. Besides, the net effect of doing that is essentially zero, so it's a waste of time.
03/22/2008 01:54:06 AM · #18
Originally posted by supernaught:

... More relaxed, less "huff-and puff" over scoring traits in the forums, and less personal attachment to scoring overall.
...
I like the sense of detachment involved in voting on other challenges. It frees me to explore more, and comment more, without potential repercussions. I know I'll be leaving alot more comments, and more thorough ones.


..and I appreciate that, AND the depth of your commentary. But, the "huff-and puff" can be ignored and I'm not sure repercussions are a significant concern.
03/22/2008 02:10:02 AM · #19
I vote in the challenges I enter because it increases my learning a lot more than if I voted in challenges I hadn't put thought and effort into.

I think it would hurt the educational elements of DPC.

Yes, folks could always look at the competition, but having to score it helps analyze it and thus learn from it.
03/22/2008 02:11:19 AM · #20
Originally posted by levyj413:

If you truly can't disconnect your own shot from your vote, then by all means, don't vote.

I can, and do. In fact, I almost never think my own shot is worth a 10.

You may believe I'm naive or dishonest, and you're entitled to your opinion, but I'll disagree.

However, I think there's a very practical reason not to do what you suggest. People already complain about low numbers of votes. I think you'd get incredibly low vote counts if you banned entrants from voting.

As for the claim there are people voting 1s on "everyone else's shot," that's what the vote scrubber is for. Besides, the net effect of doing that is essentially zero, so it's a waste of time.


However, I think there's a very practical reason not to do what you suggest. People already complain about low numbers of votes. I think you'd get incredibly low vote counts if you banned entrants from voting.

That's not what I said.

You may believe I'm naive or dishonest, and you're entitled to your opinion, but I'll disagree.

That's not what I said. Please don't put words in my text that weren't there.

If you truly can't disconnect your own shot from your vote, then by all means, don't vote.

Refer to the above.

(Back to voting on fences, which I didn't enter - and look!! Wonderful pictures!!)


03/22/2008 02:29:04 AM · #21
Originally posted by C_Steve_G:

Originally posted by supernaught:

... More relaxed, less "huff-and puff" over scoring traits in the forums, and less personal attachment to scoring overall.
...
I like the sense of detachment involved in voting on other challenges. It frees me to explore more, and comment more, without potential repercussions. I know I'll be leaving alot more comments, and more thorough ones.


..and I appreciate that, AND the depth of your commentary. But, the "huff-and puff" can be ignored and I'm not sure repercussions are a significant concern.


Actually, yeah - I could site several posts, where people mention their discomfort with commentary on the challenges they are entered into. And the "huff-and-puff" isn't easily ignorable, which is also evidenced on many posts, and could potentially influence opinion, and scoring, and DPC'ers personal feelings toward one another. That's also often on display here.

But you don't think that non-entry commentary would expand, if entrants had no discomfort with a.) potentially exposing, and attaching their name to their anonymous entry, and b.) a potential harsh response from the person being critiqued?

It's rediculous, that DPCSC has to monitor for such things as it is, let alone exacerbate it by allowing entrants to be "critiqued" by other entrants.

I dunno, I and others seem perfectly fine looking at same challenge entries and and learning from, enjoying, and participating without voting. I mean, there's always at least two, Basics, right? I like voting on the other challenge, it's also educational and enlightening.

My hope here was that someone might posit an actual breakdown of what might be wrong with the concept I outlined. I've seen two valid ones: Voter turnout, and Time constraints. Education/enlightenment requires no voting - sorry!
03/22/2008 02:35:09 AM · #22
Originally posted by Melethia:

Registered users can't vote in member challenges at all. If the members who enter don't vote, who does? Members who don't enter? Someone else already mentioned that if you've entered a challenge, you've given it some thought, you know what went into trying to get a shot for that challenge. I think that gives you a better appreciation of what others may have done or tried to do. From a personal standpoint, I tend to spend more time voting challenges I've entered than challenges I haven't entered. I also tend to score higher on average in challenges I've entered - I think it's that shared understanding of trying to get a shot for that challenge. And perhaps the fact that maybe the challenge I didn't enter was one I wasn't interested in to begin with. Would that make me a more objective voter? Perhaps. Or maybe just more disinterested.


I find it hard to believe a fantastic photographer like yourself is that "disinterested". Besides, is it not more enlightening to review something you may have no interest in, with the potential to maybe expand ones interest?

I had no interest in fences, but wow, now that I've seen what can be done, and how beautiful they can be composed, I've learned something! Plus, I can still review and enjoy the Blurry Mess shots, which were also very interesting, and educational - and I didn't have to vote on them to be so.
03/22/2008 02:46:21 AM · #23
I think it would be interesting to try at least one open challenge pair where if you enter one, you can only vote on the other. I personally think it's the fairest way to run the competition.
03/22/2008 02:46:45 AM · #24
Ok, then what are you suggesting, supernaught?
03/22/2008 03:03:50 AM · #25
Originally posted by levyj413:

Ok, then what are you suggesting, supernaught?


Refer to the original post, without putting your own spin on it.

I never said I ...can't disconnect your [my] own shot from your [my] vote, and in fact, can.

I never said you were naive

I never claim[ed] there are people voting 1s on "everyone else's shot," , and in fact, claimed nothing. I posited a factual statement that bias is inherent in many voters, and that many people that submit aren't comfortable with posting comments that might reveal their anonynous photo, or generate a harsh reaction.

If that's your take on it: fine. But please don't misrepresent the whole of what I articulated by breaking it down to only one component of a larger issue - and don't imply that I called you, or anyone else naive, or "people who score ones" when I purposefully avoided that, to open the post to a larger, more meaningful discussion.

IOW: Tell me why you think the current system is better, if you disagree.
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