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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Confessions of a “Friend Voter”
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06/06/2007 12:29:52 PM · #1
I’m a “Friend Voter”… there, I said it… and I’m glad!

My first confession… I don’t plan to change.

Why? Because “Friend Voting”, a decision to encourage the photographic progress and development of someone you know or mentor with a good score, is neither wrong nor against the rules as they are currently written.

Besides not violating any written rules, the whole way “friend voting” was conceived, investigated, prosecuted in secret and applied retroactively is wrong at virtually every level. Even the name is ill conceived. I thought the threat of tougher sanctions included in the original announcement was particularly deplorable. This concept and implementation is the lowest point in DPC’s history.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no axe to grind against the SC. In fact, I consider those I’ve had the opportunity to meet and go on a photo safari with to be my friends. I have been treated exceptionally well by SC members. I look forward to meeting others and have nothing but the highest respect for all SCers performing their volunteer and often thankless tasks answering questions, policing the system, resolving disputes and clearly defining the rules. It is a difficult job.

And I’m a STRONG believer in rules and oppose conspiracies to manipulate the voting process. Users that engage in such behavior should and must be rightly sanctioned. I fully support that without reservation. Rules must be enforced to provide all DPCers a positive experience in the growth of their own photography. I believe that type of behavior is exceedingly rare, but suspicion and hysteria surrounding the possibility is very common.

I suspect I did not get a warning or sanction for “friend voting” for these two reasons:
1-I’m not ‘good’ enough at “friend voting”.
2-My scoring average is high by DPC standards.

Oh, I’ll be told that as long as I obey the SECRET standard that I, nor anyone else, need be concerned. But that is when we all need to be MOST concerned.

Secret rules applied benevolently open the doorway to abuse, repression and legitimate unrest regardless of their original goals.

Further, I’ll be told I don’t understand the rules or I’m flaunting them by my behavior or that it skews the results etc., etc., etc. But I have studied the rules, do understand statistical analysis, do understand the basic concept of right and wrong and so full well know that the concept of “friend voting” is both ill defined and poorly conceived, albeit with the best of intentions.

It is my firm belief that every sanction against all those retroactively ‘convicted’ of the crime of “friend voting” should be immediately rescinded and retribution provided.

I can expand on these ideas if anyone is interested.

06/06/2007 12:32:08 PM · #2
Oh, Steve, go take some pictures! :)))
06/06/2007 12:32:37 PM · #3
I'm guilty. Served my time. Personally, I give up on voting. Witch hunts turn me off.
06/06/2007 12:33:28 PM · #4
Originally posted by stdavidson:

“Friend Voting”... is neither wrong nor against the rules as they are currently written.


You mean other than this one?

"You may not... offer or cast biased votes for any other user."
06/06/2007 12:34:58 PM · #5
I wouldn't worry about it. The number of votes received on any given photo is a relatively small percentage of the number of photos in a challenge. Most participants aren't voting anyway.
06/06/2007 12:35:12 PM · #6
Originally posted by ursula:

Oh, Steve, go take some pictures! :)))

OK... I will if you show all of us some of the ones you took at the Oregon GTG where you could not avoid meeting me!!!! It won't change my views but will be fun! :)
06/06/2007 12:37:33 PM · #7
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by stdavidson:

“Friend Voting”... is neither wrong nor against the rules as they are currently written.


You mean other than this one?

"You may not... offer or cast biased votes for any other user."

Sorry, but as much as respect you in particularly, this is a totally meaningless rule. EVERY vote is biased in some form or another.
06/06/2007 12:38:42 PM · #8
cool ... now if can just find about 30 more people that feel the way you do to be my mentors ... I'll be within reach of Shannon's ribbon record by the end of the year.

:)
06/06/2007 12:40:17 PM · #9
Originally posted by stdavidson:

EVERY vote is biased in some form or another.


Biased for the subject matter, lighting, techniques, etc. is fine. Biased for another user (who shot it) is not. You're supposed to vote on the merits of the photo, NOT who took it. Otherwise, we go down the path of a popularity contest, and I'd rather not see that.
06/06/2007 12:40:51 PM · #10
Originally posted by hopper:

cool ... now if can just find about 30 more people that feel the way you do to be my mentors ... I'll be within reach of Shannon's ribbon record by the end of the year.

:)

That, of course, would cross over into the realm of a conspiracy. In that case you would get your just reward.
06/06/2007 12:41:11 PM · #11
Originally posted by hopper:

cool ... now if can just find about 30 more people that feel the way you do to be my mentors ... I'll be within reach of Shannon's ribbon record by the end of the year.

:)


Indeed.. I want a few dozen more people willing to blindly promote my mediocrity by scoring me artificially high instead of being honest and constructive (in comments *and* scoring) about my work.

WOO HOO!
06/06/2007 12:42:27 PM · #12
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by stdavidson:

EVERY vote is biased in some form or another.


Biased for the subject matter, lighting, techniques, etc. is fine. Biased for another user (who shot it) is not. You're supposed to vote on the merits of the photo, NOT who took it. Otherwise, we go down the path of a popularity contest, and I'd rather not see that.

Why? And how does encouraging a developing photographer turn this into a popularity contest?
06/06/2007 12:42:43 PM · #13
Originally posted by stdavidson:

Originally posted by hopper:

cool ... now if can just find about 30 more people that feel the way you do to be my mentors ...


That, of course, would cross over into the realm of a conspiracy.


Why is it any less wrong for one person to do it than 30? Would 3 be OK?
06/06/2007 12:43:44 PM · #14
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by stdavidson:

Originally posted by hopper:

cool ... now if can just find about 30 more people that feel the way you do to be my mentors ...


That, of course, would cross over into the realm of a conspiracy.


Why is it any less wrong for one person to do it than 30? Would 3 be OK?

Great questions... How does it? And therein lies the rub! There is nothing in the rules that makes this distinction.

Message edited by author 2007-06-06 12:44:58.
06/06/2007 12:44:39 PM · #15
Originally posted by stdavidson:

Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by stdavidson:

EVERY vote is biased in some form or another.


Biased for the subject matter, lighting, techniques, etc. is fine. Biased for another user (who shot it) is not. You're supposed to vote on the merits of the photo, NOT who took it. Otherwise, we go down the path of a popularity contest, and I'd rather not see that.

Why? And how does encouraging a developing photographer turn this into a popularity contest?


Do you not understand that simply scoring someone higher is not *encouraging* anyone in any way except for making them think their work is (probably) better than it actually is?

If you're a true friend.. encourage them a way a true friend would.. by exploring their work, constructively critiquing it.. and, if you can't judge it on its own merits score-wise, then leave it alone in voting.

How.. difficult.. a concept.. IS this?

Message edited by author 2007-06-06 12:45:12.
06/06/2007 12:45:30 PM · #16
Originally posted by Artyste:

Originally posted by hopper:

cool ... now if can just find about 30 more people that feel the way you do to be my mentors ... I'll be within reach of Shannon's ribbon record by the end of the year.

:)


Indeed.. I want a few dozen more people willing to blindly promote my mediocrity by scoring me artificially high instead of being honest and constructive (in comments *and* scoring) about my work.

WOO HOO!


Call Rikki, maybe he could hook ya up with some peeps.
06/06/2007 12:45:48 PM · #17
Voting is one way we have to say what we think here. IMVHO, people can vote however they see fit (barred conspiracies). I don't think anyone has the right to dictate how anyone else should vote, or think about voting at DPC.

Defining conspiracies is difficult.

I wouldn't want DPC to turn into a popularity contest even more than it sometimes seems to be already.

But, again IMVHO, nobody can go around saying, this is the normal or good or right way to vote, and everyone should follow that particular pattern. People think differently, they vote accordingly, it's their right.

06/06/2007 12:45:52 PM · #18
Originally posted by stdavidson:

And how does encouraging a developing photographer turn this into a popularity contest?


Encourage a developing photographer with comments and suggestions. Voting high on a photo that doesn't deserve it serves no purpose but to give a false sense of accomplishment IMO. If my early entries had all scored over 6, I wouldn't have had as much incentive to try and improve.
06/06/2007 12:46:03 PM · #19
SC, to remain consistant, should ban Stdavidson.

Friend voting is 1 tiny step above troll.
06/06/2007 12:46:50 PM · #20
Yeah, can I be your buddy too??? I want your undeserved high vote on my images too...
06/06/2007 12:47:25 PM · #21
Originally posted by stdavidson:

Originally posted by hopper:

cool ... now if can just find about 30 more people that feel the way you do to be my mentors ... I'll be within reach of Shannon's ribbon record by the end of the year.

:)

That, of course, would cross over into the realm of a conspiracy. In that case you would get your just reward.


Absolutely not according to what you expressed earlier. If each person voted individually without influence from their friend and peers alike, there is no conspiracy to be found.

Surely you must recognize the weakness in your argument. If it's OK for you to do it for your friend, why is it NOT OK for other individuals who share the same friend to cast a biased vote.

Sorry my friend, my vote is with the SC on this one.

Ray
06/06/2007 12:48:21 PM · #22
Originally posted by stdavidson:


Sorry, but as much as respect you in particularly, this is a totally meaningless rule. EVERY vote is biased in some form or another.

except that some of us can't tell the photographer just from the picture...and don't even try to...
06/06/2007 12:48:50 PM · #23
I don't agree that voting up based purely on the photographer and not on the image is the best way, or even an effective way to encourage a photographer. I like the pictures I take, I am improving in my technique, but take a look at my average score.. I'm mediocre. But the comments I get, the help I get from my fellow photographers on how to improve my photos (not improve my score) is what I seek. Voting is only marginally correlated to photographic skill. People vote for flash and pop and wow. Some photos are more subtle than that..that doesn't mean they are bad photos, they just don't score well.

I agree with Artyste -- encourage with comments, suggestions, tutoring even..a score is meaningless, its just a point in time.
06/06/2007 12:50:14 PM · #24
Originally posted by Artyste:

Do you not understand that simply scoring someone higher is not *encouraging* anyone in any way except for making them think their work is (probably) better than it actually is?

If you're a true friend.. encourage them a way a true friend would.. by exploring their work, constructively critiquing it.. and, if you can't judge it on its own merits score-wise, then leave it alone in voting.

How.. difficult.. a concept.. IS this?

I don't want to be a friend... what I want is to encourage a developing photographer to go on to do even better still. I help developing photographer's with an honest critique of their images... I encourage their further progress with my score!

That approach is NOT prohibited in the rules as they are currently written. In fact, it is encouraged in the DPL. As long as that remains true I will continue doing what I do.
06/06/2007 12:50:34 PM · #25
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by stdavidson:

And how does encouraging a developing photographer turn this into a popularity contest?


Encourage a developing photographer with comments and suggestions. Voting high on a photo that doesn't deserve it serves no purpose but to give a false sense of accomplishment IMO. If my early entries had all scored over 6, I wouldn't have had as much incentive to try and improve.


i agree. some other sites where 6 is a low vote dont' encourage improvement as much as this one. they have snap shots scoring 6.5+ that makes the photog think they are doing good when they aren't will they try very hard to get better? most of the time i think not.
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