Puzzling memberships, input request

Started Feb 1, 2012 | Discussions
flbrit Veteran Member • Posts: 4,189
Re: Puzzling memberships, input request

Well, I've been a DPR member for much longer than my profile (sign in got screwed up, my first digital camera was a Canon Powershot G1).

I have also entered a few competitions (much more than credited by DPR) and also had many more pics in my Gallery (by a factor of x10 or so) than DPR again credits.

For a laugh (and knowing the history of DPR voting), I recentently entered 2 challenges and was not very supprised by the votes. Suffice to say, I will not put any more images up on DPR challeneges. sour grapes, maybe but I honestly do not think so. lucky for me, my images are well regarded where it counts at real photo clubs and by me!

It is a real shame since I have seen many many great shots by loads of photogs that did not get rated. I only hope these people keep shooting and do not take to heart the ratings awarded by this flawed DPR process.

Brian

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christian jacob
christian jacob Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: To reply/comment on English speaking...

DK Baker wrote:

Without a doubt there are sites all over the world hosted in the native language of virtually every country in the world. If a member isn't fluent in English, they should find a site that is in their language.

For me, the appeal of dpreview challenges lies in the international character, to have entries committed and judged by people from all over the world.

Also, the quality and quantity of knowledge of the participiants in the technical fora here is really great, I believe there is less so in a pakistani forum (and there is at least on great photographer who enters challenges from pakistan here).

On the other hand, I don't see what writing tons of mostly unneccessary messages should have to do with being allowed to enter challenges; I interpret that more as a subconcious wish to limit the participiants to a smaller circle and to impede strangers to enter that circle (a behaviour inborn to us since the time we were apes in the savanna, but one should strife to counter that).

Furthermore, intercultural differences in the willingness to show ones possible ineptitude not only in photos, but also messages about them may in some cultures not be as great as in western society, as may the willingness to admit that ones own aesthetic judgement may not be absolute and everything diverting from it a possible sign of cheating.

(Are English-speaking photographers inherently superior photographers? I don't think so.)

I'm pretty sure that teaching members to communicate in English is outside of the scope of DPR's site goals.

I propose a zero tolerance rule for that over-used and abused excuse.

So, indirectly, only people halfway fluent in english should be allowed to participate in challenges?
Do you propose a test?

Slynky Senior Member • Posts: 2,434
Re: To reply/comment on English speaking...

christian jacob wrote:

DK Baker wrote:

Without a doubt there are sites all over the world hosted in the native language of virtually every country in the world. If a member isn't fluent in English, they should find a site that is in their language.

For me, the appeal of dpreview challenges lies in the international character, to have entries committed and judged by people from all over the world.

Also, the quality and quantity of knowledge of the participiants in the technical fora here is really great, I believe there is less so in a pakistani forum (and there is at least on great photographer who enters challenges from pakistan here).

On the other hand, I don't see what writing tons of mostly unneccessary messages should have to do with being allowed to enter challenges; I interpret that more as a subconcious wish to limit the participiants to a smaller circle and to impede strangers to enter that circle (a behaviour inborn to us since the time we were apes in the savanna, but one should strife to counter that).

I won't pretend to understand everyone's motives for requiring a post count in order to enter challenges but I can offer up my own reasons (if I were a host) to do it. I won't retype them--they are listed above. It's to help stop one method of cheating. If I were a host, my satisfaction would be in watching a challenge fill up before the deadline and seeing some good/great photos and the smallest amount of cheating toward the goal of winning. I have NO alternate agenda to limit it to a close circle of "friends". I would welcome entries from the entire world. As I have stated before (in varioius places), I've been to 25 countries and besides the sights, interacting with the different inhabitants was part of the interest. (for example--something near to you--learning that northerners in (W) Germany made fun of their southerners, Bavarians, much as northerners look down on southerners in the US ;)).

An analagy (that may or may not fit well). Countries/states require people to be a certain age before they are allowed to drive a vehicle. I think it is obvious that some people should never be allowed on a public highway while others have the maturity and skill to drive a car before they reach that minimum age. Yet, the rule exists--you must be a certain age before you can drive. I don't see much difference in requiring, say, 25 posts in a forum before you can drive, errrr, I mean enter challenges ;).

I would also add, as I said above, since all the challenge rules and descriptions are written in English, it would seem to be a bad argument to say something like, "all people don't speak english and that's why they might not be participating in the forums" and yet, they must have a pretty good grasp of English in order to understand and enter challenges correctly.

In the end analysis, there are plenty of challenges to enter. If some turn out to require a post count before you can enter, then each person (even those shy English-speaking people ;)) needs to decide how important it is to be able to enter all challenges or not and participate or not. In my opinion, the more serious a person is about their photography, the better it is to exchange ideas in forums anyway.

And, to close out, there is a small popularity of "chat" challenges where people are required to comment on every other entry in the challenge. Should you complain about that, too?

Furthermore, intercultural differences in the willingness to show ones possible ineptitude not only in photos, but also messages about them may in some cultures not be as great as in western society, as may the willingness to admit that ones own aesthetic judgement may not be absolute and everything diverting from it a possible sign of cheating.

(Are English-speaking photographers inherently superior photographers? I don't think so.)

I'm pretty sure that teaching members to communicate in English is outside of the scope of DPR's site goals.

I propose a zero tolerance rule for that over-used and abused excuse.

So, indirectly, only people halfway fluent in english should be allowed to participate in challenges?
Do you propose a test?

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A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life".

(...from the generation that still uses capital letters and punctuation...)

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Slynky Senior Member • Posts: 2,434
Stats:

Interesting.

Entrants with ZERO posts - 37
Entrants with 1-24 posts - 10
Entrants with 25-50 posts - 2
Entrants with > 50 posts - 14

(out of a challenge-OldArrow's-with 63 entrants that was accessible to everyone in the world, "Laugh @ Life"...or something like that)

More than half the entrants have never posted.
--

A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life".

(...from the generation that still uses capital letters and punctuation...)

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DK Baker Regular Member • Posts: 466
Re: To reply/comment on English speaking...

christian jacob wrote:

Do you propose a test?

Absolutely - follow the rules of the challenge.

(This test applies to native English speakers as well. I don't see a need for Hosts to have to be 'lenient' due to the entrants inablility to read the rules - for whatever reason.)

I have been DQ'd several times, and all but one where due to me not reading the rules carefully. And the one was quickly & courteously resolved by the host.

I'd also suggest that using the forums would be an excellent way for a non-native English speaking member to improve their use of the language.

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DK

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AndrePooh Regular Member • Posts: 174
Re: Puzzling memberships, input request

A few things.

Firstly, I became member in 2009 for reasons I don't even remember, no, I think I wanted to write a users review to counter some hostile spamming there. But I never considered posting in the forums or participating/hosting challenges at that time until last year. I had not even discovered them.

So as usual there can be other legimate reasons.

Secondly, there are many participants from Asia, East and South Europe, South America, etc, who don't speak a word English, some may use online translaters to understand the rules (to little avail, these are horrible) but I assume that many just enter a challenge looking at the pics that are already there and hope for the best.

Personally I don't cheer to have entry restrictions that promotes the laguage barrier, it's not in the spirit of promoting friendship between the nations.

Having said that I hate to admit that I did put a post count limit (25) on my "..and chat" series, since a little language skill is an obvious prerequisite and of course there are many 'hopeless' entries but I always seek the dialogue in personal messages before resorting to the ultimate weapon.

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sewickley New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Stats:/newbie

I am new to this website; and even newer to the challenge discussion part of the site. I 'tripped' over these discussions while following a photo (not a word) thread.

I certainly understand that there should be give and take in the photographic learning experience on this website. (And that cheating is despicable.)
Two comments from a newbie, though:

1. Had I not accidentally found this challenge discussion, I would not have been aware of it nor of the expectations of some others.
2. I am still not entirely sure of what a 'sufficient' contribution consists .

In short, is there an easier and more direct way for new people to find out the so-called "rules of engagement" other than pure happenstance. And I don't mean the rules of an individual challenge that I have already misread/not read thoroughly; is entering challenges and voting not adequate?
Thank you for your attention.

Slynky Senior Member • Posts: 2,434
Re: Stats:/newbie

sewickley wrote:

I am new to this website; and even newer to the challenge discussion part of the site. I 'tripped' over these discussions while following a photo (not a word) thread.

I certainly understand that there should be give and take in the photographic learning experience on this website. (And that cheating is despicable.)
Two comments from a newbie, though:

1. Had I not accidentally found this challenge discussion, I would not have been aware of it nor of the expectations of some others.
2. I am still not entirely sure of what a 'sufficient' contribution consists .

In short, is there an easier and more direct way for new people to find out the so-called "rules of engagement" other than pure happenstance. And I don't mean the rules of an individual challenge that I have already misread/not read thoroughly; is entering challenges and voting not adequate?

I see you've been busy since joining! It took me a long time before I entered a challenge.

Please understand none of us (except those who do some challenge hosting) have any authority at this website. We bat around ideas to combat cheating. There are other threads besides this one that suggest requiring a post count (of some random number) before being allowed to enter challenges. Some have suggested a combination of Comments + Posts as a measure. Voting has been mentioned as a measure as well but there are some, myself included, who realize a quantity of votes might mean little more than a person who has created an additional ID so s/he can go vote down all the competing photographs.

You can be assured, it seems, site management will do nothing to halt the cheating that is going on. You can be assured if some challenges have a limit on entry (due to post count, for example), there will likely be many more that don't.

Personally speaking, I would think a photo enthusiast would do more than just enter challenges and see where they placed--especially if they didn't do well. One would think they would want to learn how to improve and there are forums for critique and help here that you'd think they would want to participate in. I understand their reluctance if their English was limited.

Thank you for your attention.

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A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life".

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Steve Throndson Senior Member • Posts: 2,702
Re: Stats:/newbie

sewickley,

Welcome to DPR. I see you've just joined about two weeks ago. Your profile says you've entered three challenges, have fifteen photos in your gallery, and have voted 128 times already. I think you're off to a great start! The voting is especially important, because more honest votes help to dilute the other kind. (votes from friends, or low votes for competing entries).

cheers!

sewickley New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Stats:/newbie question

Thank you for your response.

I am one of the "they' people that would want to learn. (I would hope that we all are.)

Perhaps, as I am still learning to navigate this site, you could direct me specifically to the "forums for critique" that you mention. I am aware already of the recent challenge in which people entered a photograph and a dummy.
Again, thank you.

sewickley New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Stats:/newbie

Thank you for your support.

Slynky Senior Member • Posts: 2,434
Re: Stats:/newbie question

I believe, depending on what you are looking for, you can try the:

  • Beginners Questions;

  • Samples and Galleries; and

  • General Photo Techniques

If memory serves me correctly, Samples is a place where it is pretty common to post an image and ask for "C & C". Comments and Criticism. Comments and Critique. (choose your own "C" word...LOL). Some advice, I would post just one (maybe two) images and ask for C&C or a specific question like, "How would you crop this?", "Does this color look off?", "Is this too saturated?" (etc.). What I was always amazed at were the people who posted their whole gallery and asked for comments. You could sometimes read a smart-as $ reply to those people. Most times, requests like that just got ignored. People's time can be valuable to them so "drink from the well when you are thristy." Also, for example, post 2 or 3 photos that are of the same subject, maybe with different crops, etc. and ask people which they like the best and why.

Hope this helps.
--

A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life".

(...from the generation that still uses capital letters and punctuation...)

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sewickley New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Stats:/newbie question

thank you.

christian jacob
christian jacob Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: To reply/comment on English speaking...

[snipped stuff, the post got far too long as is]

Slynky wrote:

christian jacob wrote:

DK Baker wrote:

[..]

I won't pretend to understand everyone's motives for requiring a post count in order to enter challenges but I can offer up my own reasons (if I were a host) to do it. I won't retype them--they are listed above. It's to help stop one method of cheating. If I were a host, my satisfaction would be in watching a challenge fill up before the deadline and seeing some good/great photos and the smallest amount of cheating toward the goal of winning. I have NO alternate agenda to limit it to a close circle of "friends". I would welcome entries from the entire world. As I have stated before (in varioius places), I've been to 25 countries and besides the sights, interacting with the different inhabitants was part of the interest. (for example--something near to you--learning that northerners in (W) Germany made fun of their southerners, Bavarians, much as northerners look down on southerners in the US ;)).

I am a "Rheinländer"[1] living half my live in Bavaria (Niederbayern, to be exact, the hard core version), so I am living that

Please understand that I was going for a more generalised "use vs them" then nationalism; I was more speaking about "us here in this forum" vs "those who doesn't post message after message here".

A portuguese was for a short time (and will be again, I guess) the most active poster.

And as a counter point, digital alfredo had, as far as i can remember (his profile is now gone), quite a lot messages, and it wouldn't have been a problem for him to write some message under his other personas.

An analagy (that may or may not fit well). Countries/states require people to be a certain age before they are allowed to drive a vehicle. I think it is obvious that some people should never be allowed on a public highway while others have the maturity and skill to drive a car before they reach that minimum age. Yet, the rule exists--you must be a certain age before you can drive. I don't see much difference in requiring, say, 25 posts in a forum before you can drive, errrr, I mean enter challenges ;).

I got that, but I think it is a measure which penalizes ones who doesn't deserve that; also, as a simple count, there is not accounting for quality of the posts -- a troll or one unable to google would have less problems to clear it than others.

I would also add, as I said above, since all the challenge rules and descriptions are written in English, it would seem to be a bad argument to say something like, "all people don't speak english and that's why they might not be participating in the forums" and yet, they must have a pretty good grasp of English in order to understand and enter challenges correctly.

You overlook, as someone who, i guess, isn't surrounded by language other than his native one, that understanding/reading a foreign language is far easier than actively using it.

Long time ago I started to only buy english books, if that is the original language, and watch films/tv series in english; I understand it rather good I'd guess.

But now, typing this, I have to look up every ninth word, even if i would have no problems understanding reading it (difference between active and passive vocabulary), and, for instance I never know if it's "then" or "than" (I guess I made a few errors in this post already). And my sentence structure may be rather atrocious and too german.

It may be a prejudice, but i have the feeling that other cultures are more self-concious about showing mistakes in public, so it may be an unfair hurdle.

In the end analysis, there are plenty of challenges to enter. If some turn out to require a post count before you can enter, then each person (even those shy English-speaking people ;)) needs to decide how important it is to be able to enter all challenges or not and participate or not. In my opinion, the more serious a person is about their photography, the better it is to exchange ideas in forums anyway.

I often look at the profiles of challenge winners, and often the americans also don't have that much messages (but, as USA is the default country, they may not be americans)

Writing/speaking is not the same skill set as photographing, and people willing to have their pictures criticised may not feel the same about their language skills (and, as you have written, this is not the place to learn about proper english).

I have problems describing why, in my opinion, a photo is great even in my native language; one thing is visual, I just see it, the other is language, a whole other world in my mind.

Also, the moment you begin to describe something using words, your perception changes; you start using preconceived rules and such, and judging a photo by them, even if often the breaking of such rules can make for a better or at least more original picture. So talking about photos can sometimes be detrimental to understanding them.

All in all, for me it would be nothing more than a nuisance for the cheater, but more than that for honest, but not that extroverted people.

For Usenet (RIP) it was an educated guess that for every active poster there were ten or more lurkers, I don't think it has changed that much for net fora.

What challenges need are more fair participants (even more cheaters could cancel each other out, all in all diminishing their effect at least at sandbagging), well, more voters, so always saying challenges are now hopless is worsening the problem; not doing anything is even worse, but this "the sky is falling" isn't really productive either.

[...]

[1] even more complicated, but that's rather offtopic

Slynky Senior Member • Posts: 2,434
Re: To reply/comment on English speaking...

You make some good points ( and in a second language with repeated verification to make sure you used the correct words).

I believe, reading all I have read here, that I won't be using that limit if I decide to host. With the good comments and the (short and quick) statistics I captured, it would restrict too many people only a small percentage of them being likely cheaters.

Now to OT stuff ( ).

If I understand you correctly (and forgive my mangling of the German language), you lived in the state of Rhineland-Pfalz. Even if I have misunderstood, it does remind me that people "looked down on them", too. I worked with a guy from (W) Berlin at the time and I still remember a joke he told about "the Pfalzer" that got a job paining the metal guard rails on the autobahn. He was payed based on the number of meters he had painted.

On his first day, he reported to the supervisor he had painted 200 meters (and the supervisor told him that wasn't too bad).

On the second day, he reported that he had painted 50 meters (the supervisor frowned and wrote it down in his book).

On the thrid day, the Pfalzer reported he had painted 10 meters of guard rail. At this point, the supervisor threw down his pen and in anger asked him why he had been able to paint 200 meters the first day, 50 meters the second day and only 10 on the third. The Pfalzer replied, "Well, you're obviously stupid. Don't you understand that the more meters of guard rail you paint, the longer the walk is back to the paint bucket each time I need more paint !?"

I lived in Karlsruhe for over 3 years. I can't say I like how flat it was but it sure was nice when it came to getting around town on my bike. It was an interesting place and I liked it a lot. Certainly, though, Augsburg was my favorite. Picturesque and not a bad ride to go kayaking and skiing in southern Germany (and Austria). That part of the country is beautiful.

When I first started trying to speak German, I got a LOT of bad responses. Too many people said (something like), "If you can't speak our language correctly, don't speak it at all!". So, for a couple of years, I was scared to try any longer. Then I met a woman (who was a teacher) who told me I should try again and suggested I had only had bad luck with some people. She said there were more people in (W) Germany who appreciated any attempt to speak the native language than there were those who got upset if you made a mistake. So, I began mangling the language again.

As you say, here is the order of difficutly (according to me):

Easiest - Speaking
Easier - Reading
Hard - Writing

christian jacob wrote:

[snipped stuff, the post got far too long as is]
Slynky wrote:

-- hide signature --

A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life".

(...from the generation that still uses capital letters and punctuation...)

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