Site changes based on feedback

Site changes based on feedback
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(David Kingham) #1

Thank you all for the feedback, we have implemented some of the suggested changes, and others will not change.

Editors picks in critique forums

Formerly, images posted in critique forums were not eligible for editors picks and it was expected that you re-post the image in a gallery forum. We decided this was unnecessary double work so images in critique forums are now eligible. Only one pick will be made from the entire category, for example one pick from the ‘Landscape’ category from both the critique category and the gallery category. I have tried to update all the wording in the ‘about’ descriptions and FAQ but please let me know if I missed something.

Views column has been removed

You used to be able to see how many views your post had received and I found this was influencing decisions on where to post an image in order to get more ‘views’. I absolutely do not want NPN to become anything like 500px, instagram, etc. where popularity is the metric to live and die by. For those that have been around a long time you may not like this change and may not understand why this is necessary. Social media has changed things and if we want NPN to be different than these ego driven sites, we have to change, getting rid of this metric is one of those changes. If you are concerned about the popularity of your image or how many views it gets, post it on flickr or 500px. NPN is about learning, critiquing, discussion, growth, and community. You should never decide which category to post in based upon how many views it will get, rather what is the most appropriate category.

Option to allow others to download images

In the critique forums I have added an option when posting, which is a question you can answer yes or no to allow others to download your image. Previously you had to contact a member directly to ask them if you could download their image in order to demonstrate suggested post-processing changes. This simply bypasses this so any member has permission to download for this purpose only. Keeping in mind that critique forums are only visible to members, the general public cannot see these posts. Right click remains disabled, but there are many easy ways to bypass this to download the image as is true on any website. In the future I will be looking at ways to improve this feature, but this is a starting point.

Separate Critique/Gallery categories are not going away

There has been a lot of discussion around this subject because it was a big change from the old forum. I have given this a lot of thought and mulled over many options. I have decided to leave it how it is and I ask everyone to please put this discussion to rest and accept the changes to move forward. Having a separate critique category allows this category to not be visible to the public like the gallery categories. This means critiques are private between members so there is not apprehension to post in a critique forum knowing it is public and everyone can view their unfinished work. Yes, another change from the old site. The hope is that this would foster more participation in the critique forums for those that are not comfortable with the whole world seeing what could be improved on their photos, rather it is a safe place to share with only NPN members. Again, my decision has been made on this so let’s please stop the discussions and move forward.

Please keep sending feedback

I want the site to continue its growth and I want to hear your opinions. I do ask you to move on from these issues and help move the site forward in a positive direction. NPN is not about popularity and exposure and I will take any/all actions to prevent this site from becoming like other photo sharing/social media sites.

@moderators please note these changes.


Still Confusion on Image Critique vs. Regular Gallery?
(Matt Payne) #2

David, I think these are all great changes and will help make NPN the best place on the web to share our images. Nice work man!


(Preston Birdwell) #3

I heartily agree with Matt’s comment, David.

May I suggest you make this a ‘sticky’ so every one can see it?
-P


(Dennis Plank) #4

I like the way this is going, David.


(Hank Pennington) #5

Very insightful changes David, well-aimed at your goals for the site. Goals that brought me back. Thanks, and keep up the outstanding work!


(David Schoen) #6

Previously, editors picks were only judged in the galleries with the assumption that the final image was posted there after responding to critique. Now that critique and gallery images are fair game, will you consider the final posting in the critique section instead of the original post as was done in NPN 1.0?


(Phil Hodgkins) #7

I wanted to thank you for the current changes on the site. I have agreed enthusiastically with most of them, but the one I like the most is that by not highlighting each category, you have created a level playing field. How we handle that becomes more of what we do as moderators and members than it is about the site tacitly showcasing the more popular categories. That’s as it should be. It may not change anything, but there is no obstacle in the way of accomplishing participation and membership. So thanks!


(David Kingham) #8

Sorry for the delayed response, I wanted to get the moderators feedback before responding. The conclusion basically was that the point is moot, the differences between the original post in critique and final image after suggested changes are typically small enough that the overall aesthetic of the image is not impacted. Most of the time the decisions will be made based upon the final image, but it’s not something necessary to have a ‘rule’ for, we will leave that to the moderators discretion.


(Sandy Richards-Brown) #9

David, I think It’s a good idea to include both Gallery images and Critique images in those eligible for the Editor’s pick.
However, that now means that we have to look thru 2 Galleries to see what has been posted.

I still believe there is no overpowering reason to have a separate Gallery and Critique in each category .
If ALL images in a category are in one Gallery, and ALL are open to comments and critiques, it would be a lot easier to view things. I believe there would be far more replies, and there would be one nice, neat place to see ALL images in each Category.

FAR simpler for everyone.

As it is, I find myself writing far fewer critiques. All my self-allotted NPN time is taken up by looking at the Galleries alone, which have people’s final and “best” images.

Sandy.


(Dan Kearl) #10

I completely agree. I look at latest photos but I miss a whole lot on the categories because I need to go to 2 categories on each one.
Not a huge deal I guess, but if I am interested in Macro for instance and I want to view some images, I need to go to 2 different areas for no reason I can think of.
I just want to look at Macro…
I just want to look at Landscape…
I just want to look at Avian…

No need for all of this at all and I visit and post a lot.


(David Kingham) #11

I hear you, and I have covered the reasons for keeping these separate ad nauseam. I will not be merging them together. I once again ask that we move forward with the new system and put this argument to rest. If you want it to function like the old site then just go to image critiques. The only thing that has changed is we added galleries for images to not be critiqued.


(Sandy Richards-Brown) #12

But for what purpose? Do people really want to just “show off” images - like all the other sites - or get honest critiques and suggestions?
The critiques are what makes NPN unique - constructive criticism.


(David Kingham) #13

It’s about sharing, not showing off. This is why I have removed views, etc. so it does not become a popularity contest like other sites. Have you read the comments in galleries? They are extremely constructive, only in a positive sense. It also fosters conversations and community between members, there can be great discussions around images without critique!

It is also a place for members to share who are not ready to be critiqued yet, many artists are very sensitive about their work and are not comfortable being critiqued just yet. The galleries give them a place to share and become a part of the community first without the fear of getting a harsh critique and potentially crushing their spirit right away. Once they are comfortable they are more likely to post in critiques and be more willing to accept the critiques.

The other aspect is photographers who feel they have found their own personal vision, not every artist feels they need to be critiqued, whether you believe that is wrong or right is not up to you, it is up to them. If we don’t have a place where they can share their work, they will just leave, which is what happened in the past. We want to keep them around because they have valuable insight to give critiques and we should value their decision to not be critiqued themselves.

Another reason the two are separated is so the critique forum is not open to the public. People are more likely to post their unfinished work if it is only among members and not up for display to the whole world.

And this is still 100% intact! Like I said, very little has changed except galleries were added. If you don’t like the idea of galleries simply do not visit them and go straight to the critique forum.

Now, please let this rest. Whether you agree or not, it is time to accept what it is now and move forward. I will not be spending any more time arguing the issue because this particular aspect of the site will not be changing.


(Alberto Patiño Douce) #14

David, in my view the site is great as it is, because everybody has the freedom to choose that part of the site that they are more comfortable with. This was not the case with the old NPN (and one of the reasons why I left), nor with ANY other photography community site that I am aware of. The last tweak, joining all critiques on the one hand and all galleries on the other, made it as close to “perfect” as it is likely to get. I much prefer galleries, both for viewing and for posting, because I am a firm believer that everybody must have the freedom to choose their own path, if they wish to. And the “if they wish to” is the key - if one prefers critiques there is a place for that too.

When I look at an image in a gallery I know that, in most cases, it is what the photographer intended to convey without any external influences, whether good or bad (and there is really no good nor bad here, simply a different way of seeing things). I may or may not like the image, but I know that it is the photographer speaking to me and that is what I respect. And I post only in galleries for the same reason, because I want to express my ideas/feelings the way I wish to do it. I post an image only after I am convinced that it is ready, and in most cases a lot of thought, time and edits have gone into making it that way. I want to be able to do this without feeling pressured to either change things or, more likely, defend why I do not want to change anything. Thank you for making this possible.


(Tom Wylie) #15

Sounds sensible and a good move to differentiate NPN from other social sites.

T


(Igor Doncov) #16

More is better and therefore the galleries do add to the website. If people don’t want advice then they shouldn’t have to get it. Although, I don’t understand why anyone would pay $50 a year to just post in galleries. But, they’re free to do so.

The guts of NPN remains the critique galleries. It’s why people come here. I’m wondering why hide this aspect of NPN from non members. I get the carrot and stick approach. By hiding the Critique galleries you motivate people to pay the membership fees. But if you hide the carrot how will people want it? Shouldn’t non-members see the value of the critiques in order to join? What we’re doing is presenting to non-members is a website that’s much like the others. There’s probably a 30 day trial but that is still not as effective as seeing critiques on a daily basis and eventually wanting to participate by joining. In conclusion, I don’t think hiding the best thing about NPN is a good marketing strategy.


(David Kingham) #17

The reason I have chosen to hide the critiques to only members is so that members can feel more comfortable posting images that are not complete and not visible to the general public, I think this will encourage more posting in the critique forums. Also, the vast majority of people on discussion forums are lurkers, they only read and never participate. If the critique forums were open to the public these people would never have incentive to join, they get all the benefits of reading the feedback without being a member. It’s a tough balance to make for sure, I debated this for some time before making this decision. I feel the 30 day trial is a good in between compromise that gives us the best of both worlds. This fully explains my position and I do feel it is the best marketing decision, I will ask you to please respect the decision and move on from the topic as I will not be changing the current setup.


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