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Please Rate Comments in Curation

It's very important that everyone who is active in curation helps out to rate comments. The point of curation comments is to give useful critique to the photographer that will help to improve the photo. To make sure that all comments have a high standard and are useful, please help the commenters to get feedback by voting on comments. Short comments should generally get lower scores and longer extensive comments higher scores, to encourage useful in-depth critique. If you have no critique to give, explain in-depth why you like the photo so much, commenting on several different aspects.

Please be neutral when you rate comments and rate them according to their length and how much useful information they contain. Don't give a high score to a short "Nice pic" comment just because you also like the photo, and don't give a low score to a long extensive comment just because you like the photo and the comment is critical. No buddy-voting please, don't give someone a high rating just because you like that person when the comment is very brief.

Here are some examples of how the stars are intended to be used:

1 star - "Great photo" (no critique given)

2 stars - "I like the lighting and composition a lot, cute pic" (not very useful, but a little more specific)

3 stars - "This is a great photo, but I think it would be stronger if you cropped out the empty space on the left and reduced the saturation" (brief but useful critique)

4 stars - "The subject in this photo has an umbrella but there is no rain. The added butterflies in the sky does not add to the message of this photo. Because of the many different objects, the story is confusing. Think more about what you want to say with the photo. The processing is a bit too much and makes the photo feel unnatural. The lighting is good, but the contrast is a bit too harsh." (extensive critique with several different aspects pointed out)

5 stars - (very extensive critique, comments on technical aspects and analysis of the idea behind the photo)

There are three main aspects of every photo:
1) Content. Does the photo contain something especially interesting or rare, like a rare animal or event?
2) Esthetics. Composition, light, colors, focus and technical quality.
3) Message. Does the photo have an interesting story to tell or message to convey? Does the different parts fit togheter or is it confusing? How is the mood and feeling of the photo?

Thanks a lot for helping out in curation and giving useful feedback to fellow photographers!

Dear Ralph, Allow me to return to one of points mentioned before. The more I think about it, the less sense it makes to me. I talk about curating, and comments. The fact that comments are now visible to author makes it very tricky. When you enter a photo competition, you don't hear remarks of jurors (or selectors, as they are sometimes called). You are only to know if you won or not. jurors can freely exchange comments, bluntly pointing shortcomings, or explaining why they love an image. but they keep their remarks to themselves. it is only to better work as a team. You now made remarks not only to be voted on (i shared with you my concerns about it below) - but to be visible to the author. Please keep in mind, that many photographers are simply NOT ready and NOT happy to hear critique of their images. They enter and image and hope it will get published. if it does - great. if not - too bad, they will try another one. If someone wants critique - you created a very useful way for it - just that - CRITIQUE. if i want to hear feedback, suggestions how to improve an image - I can go there. And now, you are almost doubling this function, involuntarily pushing the feedback even to those who may not want to hear it. The snappy comment I received in response to my honest curating note that an image "lacked the consistent story to me" shows me clearly that someone was hurt by my comment. So, should we write only lengthy comments full of praise, to make it nice to authors? or we should speak to the point, and do what this section should do - not pamper egos, but curate - select images with the quality of 1X in mind? The way it works now is counterproductive. either you will have lots of falsely nice comments, because we will be worried not to hurt authors - which defies the purpose of curating, or we will only click the button and stay mute. There was a suggestion of anonymous comments. i say - remove visibility of comments to the author all together! let these who want feedback use Critique - and let curators curate without worrying that they are being snooped on! I sat in various jury session, and i can't imagine a jury working well on front of an author, specially when we don't know if author is ready to hear what sometimes needs to be said. by keeping it like that, you will create uneasy situations - like that upset guy who sent me his pinchy comment, and you will also dilute the essence of curating - free exchange of comments by curators. It will be less of a real function, and more of a farce to collect points. If comments are to be used - they should be said in a natural way - each of us has different way of expression - not measured by length, but by good contents, and they should work as a tool for other curators only. I for once am NOT comfortable leaving comments now. Firstly, because I don't want to hurt anyone, but i believe i should say what needs to be said, even if it is unpleasant to some. Secondly, because now i am being forced to write lengthy essays, instead of short, to the point notes. I would rather stay quiet and push the button, or get out of curating here all together, until the system is adjusted. Please, discuss it with the crew, consider it. As always - i am saying it only to help fine-tune the fine site 1x is. Many new improvements are great, but I strongly believe this should be reconsidered. Thanks for your time reading it. Cheers! PS. I for example don't care for a feedback when i post an image to curators. i don't submit to 1x to get feedback at all. same as in competitions, i just want to see if it is published or not. that's all.
me again, eh? I just saw Alfredo Yanez comment about commenting :-) Anonymous! What a great idea. We need to spell what we think. and it is not to hurt the author, but to justify our decision. I recently received a comment from someone i clearly pissed off with my comment. it should not be this way. the work, until published - is shown to us anonymously (although often we can guess authors by their style). and curators should maybe to be anonymous - at least when author is looking at these comments. maybe only show L1 or L3, etc. if it matters, but no names? it did not feel nice to get a sharp-edged comment in response to my honest opinion. it should not happen.
returning to my previous comment about voting on other curators' comments. Here are two opposite examples of saying the same thing: Comment 1:A photo is modestly well done, properly exposed and cropped. however, the subject does not show us nothing new. we would like to see more action, or a more engaging expression. a better, more dramatic edit would also help this image. as it is, it has no thrill, it looks dull and boring, while it is still properly done and has no major flaws. Comment 2: Yawn! they both say exactly same thing, and i much prefer the shorter one, without beating about the bush it gives me exact feel of what the commentator has in mind. We all are different, and should write in our own natural way. we just need to point what we see good or not so good for such voting. we should not even elaborate on what should be changed and how in too elaborate way. Critique is for that. this is saying if we accept or reject image and why. period. PS. regarding to my previous comment - publish/reject. I just recently was invited to sit in a jury of a huge photo competition. because of insane number of entries, we had to use such simplified method of Yes or No. I had a real sense of guilt, having to reject images which should be reconsidered in the second round. giving an image only 4 out of 5 is much more fair way of saying - almost perfect - perhaps we should keep it, than cutting it short. I knew we rejected unjustly some really good images. It felt really bad. (see my blog about it). I say - if it is manageable to final selectors, lets return to 1-5 stars, or shorten to 3 stars, but still give a chance of an honest doubt. here sometimes i look at image, and have no bloody idea what to click. Thanks for your time reading this. cheers!
I salute Emilio for his thoughtful comment. I also appreciate lots of current changes, but totally agree - Reject/Publish is simplifying things. While sometimes judges on big competitions are forced to only vote in this way, i am never happy with it, as it does not give justice. Maybe it gives easier feedback to the final selectors' group. but as i say - it simplifies it too much, without giving chance to fine nuances of art work. another thing I TOTALLY DON'T AGREE. We are asked to also valuate comments (and here we have scale 1 to 5 stars, instead of good/bad?). But we are asked to give high points to long comments, and low points to short comments. I find it ridiculous. it is like giving high points to a photo, because it is big in size, without considering if it is printed well or not. to me, always QUALITY matters, not quantity. there were some comments which managed to say it all in 2 words, while some comments are - sorry to say - totally off the mark, and being long does not help them at all. So, as it is in process of fine tuning, please consider this, as it is unfair and counterproductive. If it can't be changed, voting on comments should be removed all together. (now i feel i need to write stories to earn points like a good boy, not to give my honest feedback in a way natural to me).
I was testing the feature and updated the curation info of my shot throughout the day. Had 2 comments on it this afternoon, now none. Is that normal?
Many of the aspects that Emilio wrote are worth contemplating. A classification (composition / mood / story etc.) with 3 stars for each criteria seems to be on the one hand helpful to the curating member, on the other hand it does not fit with every genre of images. So, what story tells a fine well composed image of interior architecture with excellent colors and wonderful white / grey gradation? It speaks another language than a street photo or a creative edit. At last a detailed formulated verbal curation with all aspects that are important for this special photo to curate is the best way to give a feedback to the author. The problem is (as said) that not all members can express themselves in the english language. But as long as it's understandable, it will work. Some weeks ago I wrote in another part of this blog some thoughts about the weekly theme contest. As many of the members will know, this contest is strongly influenced by "buddy"- voting. Often the following procedure is visible: The member who publishes an image to the weekly theme receives a comment from another member. In most cases a short one like "great", "nice shot" or something like that. And in addition the message that the commentator has voted on the picture. This mostly is done to encourage the other member to vote on the comment-writers' photo as well. I would prefer some changes: 1) hide the comments (make it not visible) for the author until the contest is finished. Then these comments are useless to "fish" votes for the commentator's own images. After the contest all comments can be published. 2) rotate pictures and show them in random sequence changing from time to time, e.g. every hour. I think that most members look at the 30-50 leading images (from the "leaderboard) to decide what images they vote and don't look at the other images, although there can be found images which are worth to look at and vote. The section "latest additions" can stay as it is. Thank you for your time.
I have been in 1x for around two months. My goal coming here has been to expose my photos, be evaluated by serious fellow photographers, learn from their work, and stay away from sites where the influence of “buddies” from Facebook or Twitter, or the badly applied mechanisms of selection and voting promote a status quo of cliques and favoritism. For many people, unfortunately, the goal is not to create art, but only to get “popularity”. Having said that, I would like to comment about the changes in 1x. 1) I salute those changes, because they reflect the honest intention to have a balanced and fair system in the curation process. A system that permits to all of us, to be evaluated, learn through constructive critique, and expose our work in an elegant, and high-quality environment. However I have some considerations. I am not sure that the two options available (Publish and Reject) are the most convenient. It is too simple, too easy to vote with a preponderance of subjective impressions, especially when the curators are a massive group, heterogeneous, some inclined to different categories and experiences. Perhaps a point-based system (maybe three stars) evaluating three or four aspects of the photograph could be better. Taking some suggested criteria from the site, some examples: Content. Does the photo contain something especially interesting or rare, like a rare animal or event?: 1 2 3 (being 1 poor, 2 good, 3 excellent) Aesthetics. Composition, light, colors, focus and technical quality. 1 2 3 (being 1 poor, 2 good, 3 excellent) Coherence/Harmony: Do the different parts fit together or is it confusing? How is the mood and feeling of the photo? 1 2 3 (being 1 poor, 2 good, 3 excellent) As you can see I am suggesting to eliminate the “message” element. Why? because I am firmly convinced that not every photo or work of art should tell us a “story.” Every subject perceives the image in a different way. For instance, some photographers specialized on portraits or documentary photographs could not “see” a message or story in an architectural photo. And, what about the abstract works? When we put “message” as a fundamental of photography we are constraining the work of art to an extremely subjective rule. 2) I agree with fellow photographers that consider the evaluation of comments as a disadvantage for those whose English proficiency is low or bad. The system that I proposed above, is a way (in my opinion) to drop out the evaluation in that matter. I know you are attempting to get a serious and professional ambiance, but our community is so diverse (that is great!) and a lot of photographers have limitations with English. 3) However, I think the constructive (only the constructive and well commented critique) should be rewarded, and the incipient or negative critique just ignored. What should we do in that respect? I do not know, but I am sure we can find ways. 4) I agree with Alfredo Yañez that photographs may need more time on the curation process. I would like to add a final observation about the weekly themes. I think it is not right to maintain the most voted on the front page. That mechanism tends to reinforce the vote over the same works. The photos should be rotated every two minutes or so, but the goal should be to stimulate people to see all the images and vote. It would be interesting to expose the images without the author's name. I am not suggesting anything against past winners, but I am proposing that 1x could be a site where the friend's circles and buddy favoritism are minimized and exposure is fair and balanced. Thank you for reading me and my apologies for this long comment. I am happy to have found 1x, the only place in the cyber world that is a real hope for photographers.
Well said Emilio. That pretty sums it all up. I do agree with the weekly theme issue too. It's seems to me that too often the Leaderboard stays the same from the first few hours of Monday when a new weekly theme is launched..
I actually quite like having the comments/critic function on the curate section. It's great to hear feedback from our peers and hopefully take the comments as a mean of improving. Which I don't agree or don't actually see any point in this rating system, as eventually it will just stop some people from writing any comments at all.
Agree with Bragi, I think that the rating and also these new levels could be a bit confusing for the less involved visitors and maybe not only for them. It's very good that the most important is just the decision of curators, as I am reading some critics written in the "curate" section..:) I was thinking about these new levels L1...Lx which don't tell much about how experienced the photographers are but could cause such an impression.. For example I am now in level 5 ( L5) but I can be less experienced than a colleague who is in L1... I tried to write constructive critics and they reflect my experiences in photography. I found some of them rated with quite low numbers nevertheless I am sure it is more helpful that some rated with maximum number... So it seems that rating could be a reaction of others if they agree or disagree with people writing critics below.. So I am not sure how this fact will understand a less experienced photographer reading such a rated comment under his picture sent to the curators.. I like overall idea of voting especially the decision to change stars to "reject" and "publish" button, also the possibility to write a few words there is a good feature too. Just my ideas..:)
Thanks for your great feedback and especially thanks for writing extensive critiques! Extensive comments should get high ratings and short comments low ratings. If this doesn't work we will appoint special moderators who rate the comments.
Since not everyone reads the blog, for starters a notification text placed and highlighted properly to be seen by all in the curation page can be displayed saying "no wow, great photo, a seagull, not another cat" comments are not supposed to be posted here, blah blah, and the rating system is not to show if you agree with someone but to rate how constructive & technically detailed his critique was. Take it from there and see how it goes ( although I'm inclined to say that my mind says "to hell with that, they'll definitely need special moderators for the task" :p )
I have been thinking about this rating of the comments and I don't see the point of it, maybe because it isn't working. Not everyone is good in writing English, it takes time for me so my comments are rather short. I have got low rating on short comments although I was expressing my opinion and telling what might be improved - and I have got high rating on longer comments with not so much contents. So I decided to do some experiment. I wrote one very distinct critique in rather long comment - in my language Icelandic. And it was rated with 1! It doesn't make any sense - especially now when it is possible to translate everything right away on the internet.
Thanks for taking your time and writing feedback on photos. Please try to write in English, it's not always easy to translate depending on which browser you use. It's ok to give a high score to a comment which is quite short but very useful, but at the same time in a very short comment you can not explain why you think something and it's important to always explain why.
I like what you are trying to say, and agree with the 1 star, award to the critique. But looking at the 4 star example, when I look at the photo I might think the butterflies made the photo, the umbrella was a useful addon, and the processing was spot on. Should I then rate the critique as 4 stars if I disagreed with everything in the critique. Perhaps imo 1 star might be better. Perhaps I might think the photo was perfect, and my critique might read "Holy catfish Batman - what a great photo - don't change anything" Would my critique be less valuable than your wordy 4 star example. No system is perfect of course.
A good question. You should rate the comment in an neutral, unbiased way. This means that even if you don't agree with the comment you should give it a high rating if it contains good useful critique. Try to look beyond the matter of taste. However if the comment contains very apparently incorrect information it's ok to give it a low score even if it's longer.
The criteria you've outlined are certainly helpful. However with over 30 years' experience reading student papers and dissertations, I can assure you that length does not assure quality. I feel emphasis should be placed on useful content, not quantity of verbiage. Many are not comfortable writing in English, and could be discouraged from making valuable contributions if their comments are routinely devalued as simply too short.
I agree with you Kay my Englisch is not so well to express my feelings into a serieus comment .Also you cannot scroll to a foto with your special categorie. Now L1 stay L1 Thanks
As constructive feedback, I try to suggest a possible solution at the end of my criticism. I would like to be given to all the photos at least a week to receive criticism and votes. Some are discarded very quickly and with very few votes.
I have found that public criticism may annoy the author and to influence voters, therefore my voting in the "Cure" will be anonymous -. From 11/01/2014
I agree Alfredo, anonymous.....
I also agree.
Agree with Alfredo on the anonymous. For danger of becoming a elitist feature.
The more people who are active in curation, the longer time we can make the photos stay. Otherwise this section will be flooded with photos. So as more people help out to rate and write feedback the more attention each photo will get.
Favors the proficiency in English, not always the aesthetic sensitivity…
I also agree
This is of course always a problem, but I think that our members are very tolerant for grammatical and spelling errors considering we have members with over 180 nationalities. Just do your best and I think everyone will be thankful. If it's very hard to express something, you can just use the "Publish" and "Reject" buttons instead.