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Scarcity of meaningful picture comments on PoE

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Edward LeverPremier Member - Click for more info
Edward Lever
Posts: 732
Joined: 22nd Dec 2005
Location: UK
quotePosted at 07:18 on 20th August 2018

There seem to be very few picture comments being made at present, except for those made out of desperation by the site's owners, Chris and Sarah. Personally, I welcome comments (preferably not abusive) on any of my pictures and have made comments from time to time on other people's work, but I seem to be in a minority, and I have largely given up submitting images to PoE. This is a sad situation, since the site has many good features and its owners are trying their best I am sure.

There seems to be very little interest here in photographic topics on PoE. There was once a lively discussion forum on photography, but sadly this has fizzled out.

Perhaps the  comment system on PoE is inhibited by the requirement to give a 'star' rating and there being no easy way of replying to a comment without giving a star rating to your own work. The system on Flickr is in my opinion far better, where you can comment without giving a star rating. If you really like the picture, then there is the option to save it to your account as a 'Fave'.

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poePremier Member - Click for more info
poe
Posts: 1100
Joined: 26th Oct 2003
Location: England
quotePosted at 14:48 on 20th August 2018

Hi Edward, thanks for the post. You're right about the comment system, it isn't great, and no doubt plays a major part in the lack of picture comments left by members. It is something we hopefully will be updating in the future as soon as we get chance. We're also aware that some people might not even want to write anything at all but still show their appreciation for a picture, so we need to consider those users too, perhaps with an additional 'like' feature or something easy and quick like that. In the meantime it's great to see your comments when you do make them, as they often include your thoughts from a technical viewpoint as well, which we know other users really appreciate.

On that note, and I really hope you don't mind me saying this, but I'd like to correct you in regards to our own image comments which you say are made out of desperation. This is absolutely never the case and to say so seems a bit demeaning, as does the thread title which implies some of the comments are not meaningful, which again, if you are referring to our own comments, which yes can be very short and to the point, e.g 'stunning' or 'great photo' etc I can assure you they are as meaningful as any other comment, whether one word or fifty. We often do not see ourselves as qualified or having enough photography technical knowledge to give a technical critique most of the time, but hopefully our comments are just as appreciated and valued and it saddens me to think other people (such as yourself) may think otherwise.  Our flurry of comments often occur when a new user posts, whether that coincides with the comment section being empty or not is purely coincidental, as you may recall when the site community was very active our commenting behaviour was just the same. Again, I hope you don't mind me saying this, I just really don't want other submitters to think our comments (or anybody elses for that matter) are not meaningful or are made out of desperation, as they are not.

Cheers
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Edward LeverPremier Member - Click for more info
Edward Lever
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Joined: 22nd Dec 2005
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quotePosted at 17:20 on 20th August 2018

Hi Chris & Sarah, I apologise if my post seemed rude, but it was borne out of frustration seeing that virtually no one, other than yourselves, seems bothered to make a comment. I remember some years ago that a comment from yourselves was the exception rather than the rule (and as such was highly appreciated) such were the numbers of other comments from interested photographers making use of the site.

It is indisputable numerically that in recent times, only a tiny percentage of comments have been made by anyone other than yourselves, which is not a good indicator of the interest of other members. This is no reflection on you, and I agree that a comment of any sort, even if simply of the form  stunning, great photo etc. is a nice gesture and at least shows that someone has viewed the image. This is certainly an encouragement to a new member. However, sometimes a little more depth of comment can be helpful. I do not count myself as an expert photographer and continue to learn, and as such, I welcome constructive criticism. Clearly you have your hands full running other aspects of the site, and I agree that you do not have the time for anything more than a brief comment. 

I regrettably do not use PoE regularly now, though I occasionally look in,  hoping that the photographic discussions may have rekindled. Most of the members who contributed to these discussions seemed to have moved on to Flickr. This is sad, because PoE has a uniquely English feel and friendliness to it.

Perhaps I am expecting too much, but I do remember when PoE was a much livelier place for discussions and comments. I hope with new members coming on board it can be reinvigorated. Personally, the most meaningful feed back I get now is from the count of Picture Sales. After all, if someone is prepared to spend money, it as an endorsement of the image's worth. The photo stock agency aspect remains one of advantages that PoE has over Flickr, and I am grateful that you offer this service.

Finally please forgive me if I seem curmudgeonly, but that is how I am these days. 

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poePremier Member - Click for more info
poe
Posts: 1100
Joined: 26th Oct 2003
Location: England
quotePosted at 17:56 on 20th August 2018

Hi Edward, it's no problem at all, and we totally understand the frustration regarding lack of comments/posts. We're not done with PoE yet however and we're quite confident we can reinvigorate it in due course. It's great to see how much you care about the site and as always we really appreciate your thoughts and opinions. Cheers.

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Edward LeverPremier Member - Click for more info
Edward Lever
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Joined: 22nd Dec 2005
Location: UK
quotePosted at 12:24 on 21st August 2018

Hi Chris & Sarah, I'm glad you appreciate that my concern was for the well-being of the site, rather than an outburst of negative ranting, but the figures speak for themselves. I checked the number of picture comments typically made per month, just to see if I have got this all wrong. I used the comment history available on your site to compare the situation now and five years previously.

During last month (July 2018) for example, there were only 22 comments in total, of which 13 were from yourselves, 4 were from myself, and 5 were from other members.

Going back 5 years to the same month in 2013, there were approximately 1400 comments in total (I did not count every page but there are 176 pages of comments at about 8 comments per page). Looking at a few typical pages, the comments seem to be from a wide spread of members.

So why do the majority of members not want to comment these days ? The emphasis now seems to be on uploading huge quantities of images rather than looking for the elusive holy grail of a good picture. 

The results of previous years show what the site can achieve. 

 

 



Edited by: Edward Lever at:21st August 2018 14:26
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poePremier Member - Click for more info
poe
Posts: 1100
Joined: 26th Oct 2003
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quotePosted at 22:52 on 21st August 2018

Hi Edward,

The community back then was great wasn't it? and a lot of those people are greatly missed, on a personal level, not just for the wonderful images they used to contribute.  However, with a bit of work and thought put into it I'm sure we can get the site as active as it once was, or even more so perhaps. Like I said in an earlier post, we are far from done with PoE and really are hoping and planning to spend more time on building it back to how it used to be, along with some improvements here and there. 

Thanks again for your concern and interest, it's appreciated.

 

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Edward LeverPremier Member - Click for more info
Edward Lever
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Joined: 22nd Dec 2005
Location: UK
quotePosted at 23:44 on 21st August 2018

Hi Chris & Sarah, 

Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments. Looking back at the posts from those times can be quite nostalgic. It was only when I did the research on numbers that I realised quite how impressive the activity level was at that time.

I am sure the recent apparent lack of interest in comments / photo discussions on this site hasn't been due to a drop off in the interest in photography generally. In fact, the developments of mirrorless cameras and mobile devices should have drawn more people into the hobby.

I sincerely hope you can regain the support needed.

 



Edited by: Edward Lever at:22nd August 2018 09:02
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poePremier Member - Click for more info
poe
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Joined: 26th Oct 2003
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quotePosted at 21:44 on 23rd August 2018
On 21st August 2018 23:44, Edward Lever wrote:

I sincerely hope you can regain the support needed.


Thanks Edward, much appreciated.
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Paul JohnsonPremier Member - Click for more info
Paul Johnson
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Joined: 12th Aug 2018
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quotePosted at 20:23 on 26th August 2018

Hi Chris and Sarah

Having only recently joined the site I had made a few comments before I came across this post. It  certainly appears to me that there does not seem to be a lot of interest in commenting which is a great shame. A good comment is always pleasing and encouraging and a comment suggesting improvement should be welcomed as I am sure everyone strives to produce the best they can. 

One of the problems may be the fact that it is quite easy to comment on the latest shots but somewhat difficult to come across shots of interest from the thousands buried in the site. I can't think of an answer though. Perhaps you are being punished for your success.

Keep going though, I think it is a fantastic site (that's another comment!) 

 

 

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poePremier Member - Click for more info
poe
Posts: 1100
Joined: 26th Oct 2003
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quotePosted at 12:30 on 30th August 2018

Thanks for your input Paul. You're dead right about alot of the images being buried, in fact I've just recently re-established the image bar along the top of the forum, so at least people using the forum can see an assortment of images new and old whenever they are here. As for the rest of the site I'll have to have a think. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

 

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