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  #1  
Old 01-09-2012, 03:11 PM
smarcell smarcell is offline
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Default Why is TE loosing members ?

I want to give my own opinion on why TE is loosing members.
Many of you have pointed out the very strict rules applied by the moderators.
This might have induced some members to leave TE, there is no question about it, as sometimes rules are applied very blindly.
But honestly, I had one picture deleted by the moderators, but I knew in advance that it was somehow violating the rules, and I did not complain.
I do not think this is the reason of the TE crisis.

In my opinion the real reason why many people are leaving TE is that the community has become very close and private. There is a community here that just exchange smiles regardless the quality of their images, just because they are friend. New members are ignored, if they don't spread around tons of "wow, fantastic !". There is no way here on TE to have feedback from the other members, HONEST feedback, if you do not belong to this community.
I mean, reed the comments ! Sometimes they sound so ridiculous in trying to find something "amazing" in very average pictures, that are good only for the trash bin.
Good photographers are also ignored, if they don't send around the maximum allowed amount of smiles every day.
TE is no longer a site for photographers, this is the reason why it is missing pieces and it is going to die soon.

Stefano
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2012, 04:46 PM
Keitht Keitht is offline
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Hi Stefano,

and thank you for taking the time and effort to put your thought into writing. I do agree with much of what you say, particularly about the difficulty for new members to obtain feedback on their work and some of the possible reasons for that. When I first joined the site every one of my images received feedback even though initially I was nervous of critiquing the work of others. It would be great to get back to that situation. There is a link at the bottom of each page to 'Uncritiqued Photos', but it probably needs to be far more prominent on the site to serve any useful purpose. If everybody just clicked that link once per visit it could make a huge difference.

You probably won't be surprised to hear that I disagree about the rules being applied blindly. That categorically is not the case. We do allow some leeway particularly for new members. For them we will sometimes e-mail rather than remove the image, point them in the direction of the Terms of Service and advise that any similar images will be removed.

I will acknowledge that we allow less leeway for established members as they should know what is and is not permitted. We try to be even handed in our actions but acknowledge that we can't view every image so on occasion something will be left on site which should be removed. That is no excuse for other members, established or otherwise, to use that image as as justification for posting similar.
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2012, 07:06 PM
leo61 leo61 is offline
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Default to Stefano!

Thank you Stefano!
I agree 100%.
"There is a community here that just exchange smiles regardless the quality of their images, just because they are friend."
Very well spoken/written!!!
And they do it instead of trying to improve their photographic skills.
Here are too many members who think that they are good photographers,writing about 50 critiques,adding two points to each and receive
50 + points in return,quality does not matter.

Another reason why so many people left TE:

There are many not answered questions in the forum,mine too.
And there are many locked or deleted threads in the forum.
This is definite done by the moderators or IB.

I would say the moderators don`t moderate,the reprimand some members writing or posting the truth.
Leo

Last edited by leo61; 01-09-2012 at 07:10 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-09-2012, 07:45 PM
Keitht Keitht is offline
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OK, we want to get the sense of community back rather than what can currently be perceived as a number of self-serving cliques. I must stress that I believe those to be a minority of the membership but a negative influence nonetheless.

How can we encourage some existing members to be more receptive towards newbies?

How can we discourage the mutual admiration societies?

How do we give more support to newbies in general?
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  #5  
Old 01-09-2012, 08:28 PM
smarcell smarcell is offline
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Default a suggestion

A possible solution to increase the number of criticis towards new or simply unknown members could be that a fraction of the 20 critics that can be given daily are selected randomly by the system.
Something like "the first 3 critics of the day are selected random", so that if one wants to give points to his/her friends, first he/she has to give honest (hopefully) critics to few random images.
Let me stress that the problem is not, as someone occasionally writes in the forum, "the points", so that points can be switched off. The problem is, as you correctly pointed out too, that no attention is deserved at all to some new members, ot to members that simply do not write many comments in turn.
For such people there is no motivation to post photos, if nobody cares at all.
I don't know how many critics are written daily in TE, and how many photos are posted, but this random choice that I suggest can be easily decided in order to have a "reasonable" probability to each posted photo to receive at least one critic.

In addition to this, the rule that a photo can be posted if at least a critic is given before could also be added. But let me say beyond this that in general I do not like the idea of introducing rules, as this can be badly interpreted by some members.

Stefano
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  #6  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:35 PM
leo61 leo61 is offline
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Default new members

Hi Keith!
Thanks for your reply.
3 good questions!
some suggestions:
>Uploaded photos should be anonymous for maybe three days or at least 24 hours.Of course the member`s name is not allowed in the note!
>per uploaded photo only 20 x two points are allowed,by critique or comment,before uploading a new photo.
>and I like Stefano`s idea with having to give points ,0,1 or 2 in the random or uncritiqued gallery,to encourage new members .
Have a look at Fotopedia voting system,posted in the forum by Didi.
It`s anonymous and it`s about learning about the world and QUALITY MATTERS!
I`m very happy with it!
But I don`t want to advertise for another website.I want to increase the Quality of TE,Adam Silverman would love it.


Leo

Last edited by leo61; 01-09-2012 at 09:47 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2012, 10:33 PM
Keitht Keitht is offline
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Stefano, I agree with you about not wanting to introduce more rules. Persuasion has to be the preferred way. The idea of having to critique randomly generated photos is an interesting one, but as you have already suggested the potential problem is getting honest critiques if people don't want to participate.

Leo. The idea of images being anonymous for a period after posting is definitely something that appeals to me. It would definitely make life more difficult for the mutual appreciation societies although I'm sure some of them would find a way round the problem. That doesn't mean it's not an interesting idea.
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2012, 08:07 AM
macondo macondo is offline
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Interesting comments. I think we have been around and around this topic for years now, but it still seems to be a problem. For me, it is a question of bringing new members who seem keen photographers into the larger group of active members - and I mean those who are active both photographically and socially - and also a question of 'courtesy' in showing some interest in the intro and gallery of a member who has written you a critique for the first time. Without this personal interest, TE would be nothing.

It's easy to criticise the idea of smaller cliques of members writing critiques to each other as a means of building up points. This means that some very good potographers earn very few critiques (and few points) from other members, and vice versa. However, it is also true that some of those good photographers do not write critiques for other members, and some of them do not care or worry about getting critiques or points. That is OK as far as I am concerned. But, like it or not, reciprocating members' critiques of your photos or visits to your gallery is a big part of a site like TE. On the one hand the problem can seem like there is too much of it, but in another sense there is perhaps not enough of it. Paradoxical?

There must be room in TE for various kinds of members with different priorities, so I would not criticise the friendly groups or cliques except to say that perhaps they should do three things:

1. Write real critiques of other members' photos, without constantly repeating the same old two lines of 'Wow, my dear Fred, great shot, super composition, wonderful light and colours etc'. Many of these look as though they are just copied and pasted, and as has already been pointed out, often the photos don't deserve such gushing praise.

2. Try to break out of their 'group mentality' a little more and write those real critiques for new members, members they don't know, or just photos which appeal to them in the gallery instead of seeking out specific members.

3. If a new member or an older member whom you are not familiar with writes you a critique, go that member's intro, have a look at some of his or her photos and find one which you can constructively critique. In other words, reciprocate. Reciprocation does not mean you have to write ridiculous, exaggerated praise of the most recent photo in the member's gallery, of course.

I don't know if either of the suggestions put forward will work or could be implemented - random compulsory critiques, or anonymous photos. I favour anonymous photos because there is no coercion of members. But surely those with names in the frames or on the shots themselves will only be anonymous as thumbnails, and anyway, the notes will often reveal the identity of the member. However, maybe removing the member's name from the thumbnail would be enough! It could result in many more members actually clicking on thumbnails, based on their reaction to them, or interest in the countries, instead of the names of the members. It could be worth discussing further.

Last edited by macondo; 01-12-2012 at 06:29 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-12-2012, 12:50 AM
Vato_Law Vato_Law is offline
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Default TE is loosing members

Hello to all participating on this thread.

Undoubtebly this subject is being discussed since some years and we are unable to get on a concensus about it.

One of the reasons IMO is the fact that we all are different and have different opinions and approachs towards the theme or the site itself.

I myself had a quid pro quo with the moderators one year ago, more and less, and left the site during this time and now i'm back.
If at the time, I left in complete disagreement with them, now i'm able to see it differently and maybe i also wasn't as reasonable as i could be, although they could have act differently too and didn't. But, this is not the point of discussion here it's just to point out how a difference on point of views, towards the same thing, can interfere on our judgement and acting.

About the participation on the site, I always defended that we must act as we best feel towards it, not being subject to any kind of rules, specially on what is related to comment or not a photo. Why? because Andrew can find a photo horrible and I can find something on it that makes it special or the opposite is still valid too. So why should I have to comment it just because it has no comments?

Another point relates with the so famous "backslap" comments, or, "you make me a critique I'll return you another too".
I don't agree with the principle as simple as that, but if we see it like this: one member which I know or not write me down a critique/comment and by curiosity I went to his gallery, to check his work, and I find there one, two, three photos I find interesting and leave the critiques/comments.
Is this backslapping too? Am I trying to get me some points with this? Or did I simply find out some interesting photographic work and took my time to leave my feelings towards it?

I saw also here that the fact of making a point about the fabulous light, or composition is not a "correct way" of making a critique, because we are saying it just to get attention for ourselves.
There are 2 points here which I find important:
1- not all the members have the skills in terms of language to develop a critique in another sense than this one, and, maybe, they use the ones they can on the photos they find interesting.
2- photography as all the forms of art can be seen from different points of view, what I like in general terms can be something that others hate; as an example I will ALWAYS leave a remark if I find the light on a photo is special, even if it is obvious, but it's my way of seing it, and from MY point of view light is essencial on photography so why shouldn't I leave a remark?

After saying this, I do think also that as we are able to check the good points on a photo and write them down, we should and MUST be honnest with the same persons and point out what could be better, or even different, even if it's just a matter of personal taste. Honnesty should be present on the critiques we write down and the receiver should be ready to accept it as a form of making him/her improve. Are all the persons ready to accept it?

About the "orphan of critiques" photos, this is another question and for me the most difficult to get the concensus. Why? because there are so many different kinds of photos uncritiqued that it's very hard to point out a reason, i'll try only some of them:

- bad luck of the uploader with the hour he/she uploaded the photo and then the photo got lost in the middle of some hundreds posted that day
- the poster only uploads but doesn't make any kind of critiques to other members (golden principle even if not written on TOS, you want to get critiques, make yourself known by participating too)
- photos in B&W are not the most commented on TE excepting some very few and out of this world photos [maybe the thumbnails is not attractive enough and we are not curious to the point of opening it to have a good surprise]
- some photos don't have the quality we want to critique it and we simply close it and we don't take the time, or we aren't honnest enough, to say it to the photographer, in order to try that he improves the quality of it.

Only some points but there could be dozens more. Fact is that many of the members doesn't not feel comfortable with this and simply delete their accounts or leave them as abandoned fields....

Solutions IMO is something we don't have, although we can improve something and critique by quality and not by quantity.
Now please don't speak of closed groups that dominates TE, this IMO doesn't exist, what exists is a group of persons that already knows for some years and they interact in between them, with critiques, with meetings, with trips to each others countries, but this is a "closed group" like some MOB thing? it's maybe the most precious treasure that TE has and produced - friendship between its members, interaction and respect for the guy next to you and this is why that interaction happens, but surelly it is not a closed group, everyone is surelly more than welcome.
And this is what we are claiming for, the increase of participation and the increase of membership figures but we achieve it with that kind of interaction.

Leave you with this thought and sincerely hope you didn't fall asleep with such a long text.

Best regards.
Paulo
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2012, 05:27 PM
Keitht Keitht is offline
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Hi Paulo,

You make a lot of interesting observations, but I'll just comment on one of them. 'Backslapping'!! The chain of events you describe is not what I would consider to be backslapping. What you describe is purely courtesy and is what helps the site work.
What I refer to as 'mutual admiration societies' is where a group only, or predominantly, 'critique' images posted by members of that group. The 'critiques' more often than not say little more than 'Nice Shot' and have no purpose other than to increase the points score of the members of their little club.
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