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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Sour Lemons - Negative Comment Invitation - idea
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06/14/2012 12:34:06 PM · #1
Well I've been away for a while, but came back to give a flower to Sherpet.

And it's funny that in the same week, an issue that I have a bit of personal history with came up. Yes, the departure of ubique. I think it's interesting because it's sort of a culmination of a few different types of issues. As I mentioned in that thread, it has been a tumultuous couple of days for my personal life as well and it got me thinking about how our own skin is often thinner than we realize.

I looked at my own behavior towards negative comments and lo and behold, I have made a reply to almost half of them. Not angry of course, but definitely with a strong tone of self justification. Probably, some of my replies could be construed as arguments although I remain quite convinced that I genuinely do value and desire negative feedback for the purpose of learning.

So I was thinking - what could I do that would be constructive to this issue, which seems as big a deal now as it was 5 years ago.

One issue that was brought up was the issue of transparency. And I like this, although certainly it wouldn't be practical to have a thread that contained everything to do with negative comments. Another thing that I noticed in the past few weeks was the strong presence of custom built icons that many regulars have plastered in surprising quantity on their profiles (that's not criticism, just surprise).

The main issue at the heart of this though is this:
People desire thoughtful negative comments.
People can be hurt when effort is put forth.
People who are hurt can get spiteful.
People don't give thoughtful negative comments very often and don't really know how far they can go, so end up saying nothing at all.
People end up fading away because there is little benefit received in being here.
Sometimes this turns into bad blood.

As I said before, something is better than nothing and discussion is better than silence.

So here is my idea:

#1 - We, the users, create a small graphic called Sour Lemons. I had some grand ideas of a slice of lemon with a strong HDR, grunge look or maybe a nice wincing, puckering face. I have neither the time nor the energy to make it at this point though (I'm working 14 hour days right now) and my photoshop skills are currently a little on the rusty side...

#2 - Users can add this icon to their profile with two purposes.
#2.1 - The Sour Lemons icon could be qualified with this idea: I welcome all negative comments on any and all pictures.
#2.2 - The Sour Lemons icon could be qualified with this idea: I welcome all negative comments on specific pictures.

The Sour Lemons icon could then be added to the picture description.

What would this mean?
Well I think what it means is that whoever used it would probably get some negative comments and at some point might get one that got right under their skin or was not viewed as being a 'thoughtful' negative comment. It's certainly a recurring theme for me this week that our skin often turns out to be thinner than we think it is.

So the photographer would then have a choice. They could swallow it and move on. Or they could get gripey and report it to the SC.

Then it's up to the SC to try to determine the back story, the intentions of the author, the intentions of the responder, etc, etc, etc. Is the person baiting, trolling, fumbling for words, or simply joking around in a way that not everyone understands.

The icon could be a clear marker that the SC could look at and say "hey, this person actually does want negative comments on this very photo/any and all photos" and be better equipped to understand and handle any of their hidden actions.

The icon could also be a kind of a standard.

If you use the icon, you can't come back later and start bashing people who comment on your pic. People will see the Sour Lemons and it will be public knowledge.

Similarly, because photographer identity and photo descriptions are hidden during challenges, it would encourage people to not make 'risky' comments during challenges. This might even encourage people to review the good, the bad and the ugly after the challenge is finished.

The flipside to this would be that if you did get all snarky, people might have a place to air the dirty laundry. It is generally considered inappropriate to show details of PM's on the forum. BUT if there was a thread for Sour Lemons, people who chose to use the Sour Lemons icon would 'waive' the right to privacy. A person could simply post the content of the offending PM in the thread for it. This would give a level of transparency and accountability that in a way would be self-policing and self-correcting.

Scenario: I receive a comment from my good friend ralehcse, telling me that my pic just didn't do it for him and he don't understand the connection to the challenge. I get angry and post a PM to him telling him not very politely to stick various body members into a meat grinder. He would then take the PM and copy/paste into a post with a link to the image in a thread marked Sour Lemons - Transparency. Within this specific context, NO further comment would be necessary for/from anyone. No justifcations. No scathing commentary. No backstory. Just the post. I would then be known as a Moldy Lemon and it would be public. I screwed up.

Scenario: I remain angry with Ralehcse (who can be really asinine at times) and I am flummoxed and flabbergasted that he put the post public in the Sour Lemons - Transparency for all to see that I am indeed a Moldy Lemon. I go one step further and report the comment to the SC. The SC takes one look at the pic, sees the Sour Lemons icon and pastes the thread ID with the definition of terms.

Scenario: Now furious and fuming, I start dishing the dirty deals. I edit the photo and remove the Sour Lemons Icon from the description and my profile. I argue with the SC and freak out in the Transparency thread about what an insensitive boor and stinky poopoohead Ralehcse is. The SC ignore me and carry on their merry way. A few days later, I realize that my freak-out session has confirmed the content of the post in the Transparency thread and nobody is talking to me anymore. I sneak into the thread, remove the offending material and skulk away. Maybe a couple of days later, I apologize to Ralehcse for my foolish behavior and he ignores my PM. I decide that my skin is not quite so thick as an actual lemon and decide not to use the Sour Lemons icon anymore. OR, I decide that I was just being a Moldy Lemon and post an apology in the Sour Lemons thread in the hopes that people will accept me as a true Sour Lemon once again.


This is a thread for discussing this idea, making contributions for possible Sour Lemons icons.

I was unable to quickly find a pic that fit what I had in mind, but here are some that came close (I used only DPC images because I know I could contact the owner easily and ask them if they would be OK with using their image for the icon)
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_580766.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_632247.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_740332.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_500304.jpg

Why Lemons?

Lemons have a thick skin.
Unripe lemons are sour. Ripe lemons are sour. Lemons live in a world where sour is not considered a bad thing.
Lemons tend to make excellent lemonade. It is well understood that a bit of sour can actually be quite refreshing now and again. Also, the best lemonade is equal parts sweet and sour, so that's a good reminder for all Sour Lemons, both on the receiving and the giving end of negative comments.
06/14/2012 12:42:15 PM · #2
I made the suggestion several times in the past of having a checkbox to indicate to the voter if critiques are welcome or not, similar to the way Worth1000 does it. Is this similar to what you are suggesting?
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_748727.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_748728.jpg

According to Langdon, this is either under consideration or planned as a future enhancement. Since I don't program, I have no idea how much coding work is needed to add such a feature.
06/14/2012 12:53:02 PM · #3
Yes Spiff, I think I remember you and I agreeing on the checkbox issue several years ago.

What is different about the Sour Lemons idea is that it has a much stronger emphasis on transparency and people taking responsibility for their choice as well as the implicit acceptance of ALL negative comments. This is willingly forfeiting some of your own right to the protections of the ruleset with the hope that it will pay off in an improved experience for all.

It is also something that features some of the local DPC flavor and style. Sherpet's own Flower icon was my inspiration Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1020487.jpg for the look and feel of the Sour Lemons Icon (sorry and thanks! :)) and I think it captures the look of a DPC icon quite suitably. I would hope we could get something that matches it for our Sour Lemons Icon.

What is more, it takes some of the responsibility away from the SC and Langdon for having to implement features and puts the responsibility on our own accountability as users. If we don't like the lemons we get, we can't go whining to the SC when we have already stated that we want lemons for our lemonade.

If this were something that the SC and Langdon implemented, they would have to make it suitable for the masses. They would need a way to keep it all organized and managed and prevent flareups and outbreaks. This is specifically why it is difficult for them to do their job here as admins helpers and why a function like this hasn't been implemented even after 5 years+ of discussion.

As Mr Harrelson would have it, if we want the goods, we have to nut up or shut up.

If it is more clear about what we can and cannot handle AND there is a clearly defined standard AND there is a level of transparency for self-regulation, then maybe we could shift the attention away from whether a person's feelings are hurt or not or whether the SC is this or that and put it back where it belongs - Photography - Display and Learning.

Message edited by author 2012-06-14 12:55:55.
06/14/2012 01:10:35 PM · #4
Well, as a newer photographer, I for one would welcome this change wholeheartedly.
I am looking for any criticism at all....I can't learn what I'm doing wrong if people won't say what they think is wrong with my photo (it's boring......badly lit.......you may want to try this....etc etc). And, on the other hand, I would feel a lot more comfortable speaking my mind on other people's entries when I see what I think is a defect.
I love the lemon idea.
06/14/2012 01:22:15 PM · #5
Well if we are going to get this going, we need an icon. It's nearly 1:30am here and I need to work tomorrow, so it would be great if someone could come up with a nice lemon icon for Sour Lemons!

So here's your side challenge!

Sour Lemons
Expert Editing
Image size 120x120
Style suggestions - high contrast, grunge, HDR, YELLOW, sour, thick skin, lemonade!

Let's see what squirts citric acid in YOUR eye!
06/14/2012 03:14:03 PM · #6
Interesting concept. Though I know the majority of people look through current challenges, and this doesn't help there.

Unless we came up with a certain pictorial using text, that could be put into a title. That way it's available during the portion of the challenge when most comments are made.

Something as simple as the 'degree' symbol, easy to find, easy to copy into a title, could be the super secret sour lemon symbol. Like this: ° and would indicate to people that you want true feedback, without taking away from your photo title, and without revealing yourself.

For instance, I would be inviting true feedback on the following image:

Message edited by author 2012-06-14 15:31:04.
06/14/2012 04:11:59 PM · #7
Originally posted by JamesDowning:

For instance, I would be inviting true feedback on the following image:

Right off it reminded me of this one I took a while ago ... in comparison to your picture I chose to create a more "colorful" (but perhaps less realistic-looking) version, and I used the circular vignette to try and give the impression of a micro-photograph. Otherwise, you did a nice job capturing the details and textures.

06/14/2012 05:43:20 PM · #8
Originally posted by JamesDowning:


Seurat liked dots a lot and I see you do too.

(now off to find a simple symbol/cymbal)
06/14/2012 05:44:43 PM · #9
I do appreciate the feedback, but my point was only to show that I placed the 'degree' symbol in that title.
06/14/2012 08:10:39 PM · #10
Originally posted by JamesDowning:

I do appreciate the feedback, but my point was only to show that I placed the 'degree' symbol in that title.

Yeah, I know, JamesDowning. But I could not resist.

Besides, once it's in the Forums, well you know what happens. (Joking!, honest.)

I'm still working on the perfect lemon curd (I said curd-starts with a "c" !) for this potential informational symbol.

06/14/2012 08:11:23 PM · #11
strange little double post.

Message edited by author 2012-06-14 20:12:52.
06/14/2012 08:29:10 PM · #12
Flickr has plent of groups where you must "award 5" to post 1, etc. some groups, of you offer a critique, you can be banned, unless the person who posted the images requests it.

I don't see a negative comment any different than a vote of 1-4. The only difference is you know who it was. If you don't want comments, don't enter the challenge. If you don't want anyone to vote less than 7 on your masterpiece, don't enter the challenge. Are we going to ban any vote less than 5 because people don't like getting them? This isn't T-Ball, not everyone gets a trophy.
06/15/2012 12:11:17 AM · #13
ambaker, I understand your angst, but we aren't talking about people complaining about getting unwanted comments, this idea is intended to stimulate more comments and more comments that are difficult for some to swallow.

I like this degree symbol idea for challenge images!

I still think it would be good to have a Sour Lemons for general use too and the two things could merge very nicely.

What is more, we could use it as a way to do something proactive that could act as its own 'proof of concept' and perhaps the SC/Langdon might find it suitable to implement it later on, much like the DPL was.

OK, I'm getting the ball rolling on this proof of concept.

I found an old challenge image of mine and added a couple of posts. The first is a marker post. I can't currently edit the pic to add a sour lemons icon, but hopefully for now, the comment will be enough.

I would like to see specifically negative comments. Please visit the picture and leave something nasty, critical and full of bile. Please view it as you would a 'smack talk' thread. Make personal insults and threaten my family. Even if you don't think it's that bad, just drop by and piss in the pool. I've moved well beyond that pic and it has no emotional connection for me, so it's a clean example. Take it to the extreme so we can define the borders of this concept.


Message edited by author 2012-06-15 00:23:01.
06/15/2012 07:11:05 AM · #14
Your pool is a bit warmer now. ;-)
06/15/2012 08:00:33 AM · #15
Ugh, and I detect a slight shift in color balance of slightly less in the blues channel too. ;)

That's the spirit. Let er rip.

Please feel free to step well over the edges and get downright nasty. I am looking for a pic with a whole mess of comments that show distinct flavors of what is considered thoughtful, thoughtless, useful, useless and appropriately negative vs inappropriately negative.
06/17/2012 12:40:22 AM · #16
OK, whipped this little guy together. It's not the greatest thing since sliced bread, but until someone with actual talent comes along, I think it will do.



Message edited by author 2012-06-17 00:40:32.
06/17/2012 12:55:53 AM · #17
Having discussed this outside of the thread with Keiran, I misunderstood his original intentions.

I believe that this is a very solid idea.
06/17/2012 01:11:02 AM · #18
Isn't discussion great? :)
06/17/2012 02:07:52 AM · #19
Originally posted by eschelar:


Not yellow enough on my monitor. ;-)
06/17/2012 04:58:10 AM · #20
Originally posted by eschelar:


First I thought it said "Your Lennon".
Great idea.
06/18/2012 08:35:48 PM · #21
Originally posted by eschelar:

OK, whipped this little guy together. It's not the greatest thing since sliced bread, but until someone with actual talent comes along, I think it will do.



A little darker in my monitor. Less vignette, maybe?
06/19/2012 09:48:34 AM · #22
When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade, build a lemon cannon and fire some supersonic citrus at the head of the moron who dumped the lemons on you in the first place
06/19/2012 10:15:25 AM · #23
We could scale a copy of this one down to lemon size.
My first thoughts about the "Sour Lemon" icon was something that our friend Ken would do, with his fire breathing buddy Godzilla holding a lemon and blowing fire at a computer with the DPC homepage up.
ETA, Some people seem to get bent over the slightest negativity about their "babies". I was a little "down", not angry, just a little depressed, about getting my first few negative comments. I soon realized that the thoughts being shared were honest, and the photos actually did have the flaws mentioned.
Now I don't seem to mind, and even welcome knowing what people are seeing in my photos, be it good or bad. If I make some glaring mistake when shooting, then can't see it until someone says something, then that helps me to know to look for that in my future photos.
If you just want glowing comments and "Wow's", that's what Fb is great for. I enjoy that part of Fb, but DPC has been the place where I have learned what I needed to know about shooting, mostly due to people pointing out what is or is not appealing to them about my photos in their comments.
This lemon thing seems like a good idea to me, but I don't see the need for the "Moldy" thread. If you want lemon comments and post the icon with the pix, then you should have the "grain of salt" ready. View the comments for what they are, learn something useful, and get over it without whining or griping.

Message edited by author 2012-06-19 10:32:17.
06/19/2012 10:29:34 AM · #24
Did ubique leave again? He was around for the Juried Challenge of which I was a part.

All of this discussion won't change the fact that

1. Some people are rude
2. Some people don't want any criticism of their photo, be it constructive or nasty (which I honestly see no point in posting)
3. All photos are subjective and given 100 views of one, you'll have 100 different ideas about it
4. In honor of Rodney King, can't we all just get along?

Message edited by author 2012-06-19 10:29:52.
06/19/2012 10:38:37 AM · #25
Originally posted by Jutilda:

Did ubique leave again? He was around for the Juried Challenge of which I was a part.

All of this discussion won't change the fact that

1. Some people are rude
2. Some people don't want any criticism of their photo, be it constructive or nasty (which I honestly see no point in posting)
3. All photos are subjective and given 100 views of one, you'll have 100 different ideas about it
4. In honor of Rodney King, can't we all just get along?

Of course we can Judy we really don't need any type of fruit.
Your post says it all.
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