When one looks at the page with all the new posts, it can be a tedious task on the iPad to scroll all the way to the top. Is it possible to add a “top” button to the back and forward buttons?

As NPN provides feedback, I think there should be a minimum requirement for critiques to be eligible for WP. The site already encourages a 5 critique to 1 photo post ratio. There is precedent for this on the site. When there was a monthly gallery, one had to critique 5000 images to be eligible. Currently, showcase images are not eligible for WP. I see several members posting many more images than critique.

To make sure I understand… Are you suggesting that to be eligible, the image selected has to have some minimum number of critiques, or are you suggesting that the person who submitted the image has to have provided some minimum number of critiques? Just wanting to make sure there’s no ambiguity.

I don’t remember the requirement for 5000 critiques to be eligible for a monthly gallery selection. Is there someplace I can find that info?

The person who posts should critique the work of other photographers. The current recommendation is to critique 5 images of others for every image that one posts.

I am not saying it needs to be 5 to 1 but something the admins decide upon that is reasonable.

With respect to the 5000 image critiques for the monthly gallery, I remember it was difficult to locate. I did look at the old site and was unable to find it. Some of the links no longer exist. Perhaps the last moderator of the monthly gallery or Jim Erhardt remember better than I. It may also have been an expectation of posting a certain number of critiques to qualify.

I believe there may have been a link above each gallery describing the gallery and its specific requirements. The section about the minimum requirement for the monthly gallery may have been there. And I can no longer find that information.

But historically, there was a significant emphasis on critiquing the work of your peers. Those who post and rarely comment are missing the point of the site. In my opinion, this is a sharing and learning site.

I also did some searching on the old site and was also unable to find any requirement of 5000 critiques to be eligible for a monthly gallery selection. I looked at several of the last monthly gallery selections and that requirement was not met, including your selection in February 2018. Maybe there was such a requirement, but it was not enforced. That sounds like a very high bar and I would not have agreed with it if it were indeed in place.

As you’ve mentioned Keith I do not recall any 5000 comment requirement at all for the monthly gallery selections. However, I certainly recall the recommended 5-1 CP ratio. It has come up for conversation & review almost annually in the past.

I had over 4000 critiques but not 5000, most of which came in the last two years of NPN 1.0. I was quite surprised to see my images for GOTM. But by the time I received that accolade, the site had been sold I believe.

There is an individual who has made two comments on the images of other photogs on the site in one gallery yet has posted fourteen of their own images in the same time period.

I don’t thank that meets the spirit of sharing this site espouses in its staff recommendations. I think most of us share our work with each other to learn and alternative points of view. I think we all appreciate a bit of recognition and the WP is just that. I certainly don’t post to receive a WP but am pleased when I get one because it validates my work and work with others.

Absolutely agree that this topic has come up many times over the course of the last several years. It is a really tough nut to crack and so far, we’ve not been successful in making that a reality. I would love hear input on how to make that really happen. Every year it comes back to the same problems. What’s a comment “Nice”, “Great shot”, or a really insightful comment. If we’re only keeping track of the physical number of comments, I don’t think a numerical ratio means much. I see the spirit of the intent of some ratio to really mean provide honest feedback on many images for each one posted.

What you are suggesting is to have the moderators go through the process of selecting the image they believe is deserving of the weekly pick, but then go through the site and find the comments that person has provided on other work and somehow evaluate if that is sufficient to also merit being chosen for the WP.
If it is just a numerical evaluation of the number of comments, I don’t believe that really helps with the sprit. If that is overstating your intention, let me know, but let’s be really careful about going down a path that says you have to have some number of comments (whatever that really means) in order to be eligible for a WP.

In the old site, the number of posts and the number of comments were posted with every image. It was very easy to see who followed the 5 to 1 ratio of comments to posts. My guess is this is a bell curve where most people were 3.5 to one. There were probably a certain percentage who posted 3.5 to 1 critique. And a certain number who commented 10 times for every post. OK, the stats are an unsupported guess. It seems to me, if you wish more participation and more comments, requiring maybe 3 comments per post would be equitable and reasonable to qualify for the WP.

I have seen the moderators suggest to a member who rarely comments that they increase their participation.

That is my reason for the suggestion.

I don’t think the moderators need to be the quality comment police. A “nice shot” comment has little merit as a critique. Despite that, as moderators who choose the WP, I am assuming you know who makes insightful comments and who does not. With all the sections on how to critique on the site, you can’t say the expectation isn’t there. Talk to those people who make less than helpful comments and refer them to the comment links on the site.Since this issue comes up frequently, why not try something such as my suggestion. If it doesn’t work, look for another incentive.

David, I held a 16 to 1 ratio on the old site. Did not seem to matter to this day. Any ideas I had for boosting the ratios of others also did not seem to catch on either.

Participation in general has been an on-going issue for years now and we have yet to solve this mystery. I don’t have an answer yet either. I’ve always thought that NPN, both old and new, prides itself in the “community” of it’s members and I think that is why most stick around and contribute. Putting artificial requirements just doesn’t seem to blend well where community is valued more than stats.

Having said that, I myself get frustrated when members post images, but don’t comment/critique other’s images. I don’t get why. I can only think of a few reasons why folks don’t comment:

  1. They literally think they’re not qualified; consider themselves beginners
  2. Intimidated?
  3. They paid a membership to receive critiques - not give them?
  4. Don’t have time to give quality feedback? (but have time to process and post images…)

Of course not everyone thinks like me - but isn’t this common sense? You comment on mine, I will comment on yours? It’s being courteous, I would think? But it doesn’t work that way for the most part. Yes, there is a small group of members that regularly comment on most all images (in any particular critique category.) But this reciprocal behavior doesn’t happen on a broad scale. If it did, my own image posts would garner many more comments, because I try to comment on most all images (in Landscape Critique). But alas, comments on my image posts fall right in line with the averages - which as mentioned above continues to be a low participation rate.

This may not be setting a good example, but there are a very few number of members that I avoid making comments and critiques. Why? Because they simply have NEVER commented on any of mine. And we all know I post lots of images. I just don’t understand why someone would be so grateful in their own image past, thanking everyone, engaging in discussion - yet not comment on other images? I don’t get it.

Back to your original question @David_Schoen, I think from a practical look at it, putting some numbers or requirements above and beyond the current guidelines would become pretty tedious. I understand the sentiment though. And as a moderator, I think it generally all works out in the wash, so to speak. Each week we have any number of images to review and pick from. I think we each have our own personal preferences and biases as well. While this is a primary factor in how I make picks, when there are two or more deserving images, I’m likely to consider how much or how well a member participates; unscientifically… but I think we all know who participates more than others without having to look at numbers. The members who are more engaged in the community, commenting and participating will get the edge when it comes to the WP. Again, this is not a primary factor - but consider it in kind of tie-breaking situations.

Wish I had an answer. But alas, it eludes us.



I know I’ve used this exact verbiage in the past over the years. Sadly it seems to still fit at this point… :weary:

Like @Lon_Overacker, I often will not comment on the work of some folks who post a lot of images but don’t or rarely comment on the work of others. Keeping this a vibrant and helpful community requires participation on both sides of images and I am most happy to help those that help others. For those that don’t, well, not so much.

I would also encourage some who hang out here but only comment on the work of others when they are posting their own work to consider commenting whether or not they have put up images. The more participation, the better the community functions and the more benefit everyone gains.

Lack of commenting has been a challenge as long as I have been around here, which is a fairly long time. The more, the merrier as the saying goes! Anything we can do to help, helps everyone.

As with many, I will not comment on the work of others who fail to critique a reasonable number of images. For me, the whole reason for this discussion is to increase intelligent participation in the areas where I am active, hoping others will join me.

As I post 90% of my images in avian, I went back to the last page posted on the avian gallery and counted 21 regularly posting photographers of which perhaps
5 are currently submitting images in the avian critiques section of NPN 2.0. As for new blood in the avian gallery, perhaps there are less than 5 new members and less than 10 total who post on a regular basis.

I know that many of us would like to see more participation but the number seems to have remained steady over the last year. At least for my view habits, it is easy to determine who does and does not comment.

So, once again I encourage the admins to simply try something new, if even for 6 months.

Just a thought…

I’ve been watching this topic and giving it some thought before responding too quickly and allowing some ideas develop.

I’ll get the easy one out of the way first:

This already exists in the form of the go to top button in the lower left. If you have scrolled a long ways you may have to hit it a few times to get back to the top, I want to improve this in the future but it’s low priority since it works 95% of the time. Let me know if you don’t see this button image

Now, on to this:

While I appreciate the idea behind this, I would agree with others that basing it purely on numbers is not the way to go as this could lead to a lot of comments that exist only to game the system and would only hurt the community aspect.

Instead, I propose we take advantage of the Discourse badge system. By default (the way we have been using it) the badge system awards badges automatically based upon certain things you do in the forum, you can see your badges here: Profile - David_Schoen - Nature Photographers Network. These help encourage users to get to know the forum software and encourage them to come back.

While these are useful to learn how to use the forum, I think we could take this up a notch by creating badges that encourage users to participate more in critiques. We can create custom badges that would be awarded to users manually by the moderators and will be displayed on their profile, and an icon can even be displayed next to their name (notice the star next to Keith’s name, I have been playing with this idea). Here are some ideas for different badges that could be given out:

  • Gives Back - awarded to people the moderators notice are critiquing more images than they post, this way there is no automation involved and is based upon real experience.
  • Exceptional Critique - can be awarded to an individual reply and will have a link back to the reply where they left the critique.
  • Helpful Critique - Similar but not quite as amazing
  • Editors Pick - This can be awarded any time a user wins the editors pick
  • Post Processing Wizard - awarded when a user gives great advice on processing in a critique

These are just some random ideas I came up with on the spot and I would love to hear everyone’s ideas on badges that could inspire more participation.

As a beginner in fine art landscape, I feel this reason the most when critiquing another’s work especially when someone has obviously much more experience than myself. There has been a few times where I seen some work that I knew what critique I would say but held back.

Coming at this issue from a “rules” perspective isn’t the answer to boost ratios. Negative reinforcement does not work. However, rewarding members for solid critiques would help and finding encouraging ways for beginners to speak their minds would be great. Honestly recognizing different members as “mentor” level and “apprentice” level might be a useful distinction and making allowances based on where people are at whether to critique or not.

“Rewards” over “Rules” if there is any intervention to boost critiques. Some form of online buddy system would be amazing as an opt in.

That being said, Ill push past some of my hesitations and make more critiques for myself.


I really appreciate your feedback on this @David_Kingham and I like your ideas. I think they should be explored as your ideas promote more quality and provide a rounder view of a posting and commenting member. That said, @Keith_Bauer , @Paul_Breitkreuz , @Harley_Goldman, and @Lon_Overacker were concerned about tedium of evaluating comments and critiques. In some cases, it seems badges are awarded on quantity and others would require a moderator to read the comment, i.e. “Exceptional Critique”. That may require some tedium.

Some galleries such as Landscape clearly have more participants than Human and Fauna creating more work for the moderators of the more active galleries.

Regardless, it appears some new approaches to increasing participation on the site are not only beneficial to the members but to the future of NPN itself.

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Guilty here Mr. H. I know I’m not the only one and I know you know that’s how I’ve operated. I’ll try and remember during my quiet periods when I don’t have images to share. But to be sure, every member can do better by commenting more.


I wanted to take a moment to clarify the criteria that was used for making the choice for Gallery of the Month at NPN 1.0

I was the moderator Jim E selected to make the Gallery of the Month choice. In the criteria Jim gave to me, there was no mention of any amount of comments given by the members I was considering for the pick.

Gallery of the Month Criteria as provided to me:

  • Nominee should have at least one page in their Personal Gallery (PG)
  • NPN Quality Work.
  • Good participation.
  • Not already picked.
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Well, I stand corrected on that 5000 issue but I do remember something written about participation before Preston took over. Thanks for clarifying.