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POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

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POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby mrchad9 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:45 pm

There have been a few changes here, and a few questions asked, so here is a full explanation so that everyone understands what is going on. My apologies for this being so long, but I’m trying to be thorough so you don’t have to read page after page in the forums.

Please feel free to voice concerns or questions (or support) but read this post in its entirety before doing so. We’ve received some positive feedback from members of all levels who are aware of the changers, but I don’t expect everyone to have the same point of view.


POTM (Photo of the Moment):

This is 100% automated and based on member votes. There is a pool of photos and every time you visit or refresh the home page a completely random selection is taken from the pool to be displayed as POTM. This is why there are repeats. All photos in the POTM pool are submitted from different individuals in the recent past and are the highest scoring photos (member votes determine the entries). No one gets two entries at a time, though the eligible photo can change as time goes on. There are no considerations with respect to who the member is, the type of photo, whether it is attached to anything, etc…

Featured Photos:

This is a new feature at the bottom of the home page which hopefully will make the page more dynamic and interesting for members. It may also encourage folks to scroll down and view the whole page. Nothing critical or special here… just a couple photos picked by elves. Currently one photo is updated daily by a different elf each day of the week, and this bumps off the one that is two days old. No special criteria is used, it is up to the elf. Some prefer scenery shots, action shots, humor, recent shots, just missed POTD, buried old photos, etc…

POTD (Photo of the Day):

This is the reason for this post… first I want to stress… this process is 100% automated. No elf, mod, or admin has any say in the winner whatsoever (beyond the same vote every member gets to place). Also the previous week or two a different mechanism was in place that had a randomization component. This didn’t work very well and was soon removed. There is no randomization component to the selection. The current process has been in place since Saturday. It will take a few weeks to level things out, so please be patient.

I, and some others, believe POTD can be a great asset to the site if it is fairly and properly worked, but when it isn’t perceived as a fair process or something that is solely in the hands of the membership it becomes less meaningful and less interesting. The current process tries to balance those two items.

Note that there are no considerations with respect to who the member is (except as noted below), the type of photo, whether it is attached to anything, etc…

    1. POTD has changed so that instead of the best photo in the last 0-24 hrs, it is now the best photo from 24-48 hours ago.

      a. This allows more members time to vote on what they like, especially if they are used to using the best photos in one day link on the bottom left of the home page.
      b. This removes some (but not all) of the incentive to post photos just after midnight. Now pics submitted at 8:00 AM, or noon, or even in the afternoon have more time to rise to the top. Previously afternoon submissions were at a more severe disadvantage which was especially unfair to new members since they are unaware of this aspect.
      c. Also, in the event of a tie (pretty rare but it can happen), the most recent photo is selected. This also slightly removes the incentive to post just after midnight, and it makes sense because the more recent photo got the same number of votes in less time.

    2. Some consideration is given to members who haven’t won POTD or haven’t won in an extended period of time, and based on how recently they previously may have won it. This is to make it a fair process to everyone, so no one feels like this system is gamed, no one is excluded, or anyone favored. It increases the variety for the POTD too. I’ve observed many times that a new member signs up and submits a spectacular shot, but we all know that previously they had pretty much no chance because they were an unknown entity. At the same time, we did not want to block out people or recent winners from getting POTD. Folks should always feel free to contribute.

      a. I’ll stess again here, this is 100% automated.
      b. Also… NO ONE IS EVER EXCLUDED FROM WINNING POTD. There is NO blackout period. But if you recently won POTD your margin of victory is considered against others and weighed against how recently they won POTD. But votes still have a huge component.
      c. This factor only impacts the necessary margin of victory, and is NOT intended to discourage anyone from submitting photos as often as they like. Don’t let that be the effect.
      d. With a good enough shot you could still get POTD two days in a row, but it won’t be easy (note that this was rare even under the old system). It just depends on what sort of stuff others submit and how close they are.

Examples: To better explain the process, and at the risk of pissing people off, I will use some of the first few days as an example…

    Sunday: Afzal got POTD on Sunday. His photo had the highest score and he hadn’t gotten POTD since December, so it’s no surprise his photo came out on top. We need to see more submissions though Afzal!

    Monday: AlbertoRampini got POTD today. It wasn’t the highest score at the time, but was close enough. Alberto’s photo was selected since he hadn’t gotten POTD in 29 days, and the member with the top photo got POTD 9 days ago, 19 days ago, and 23 days ago. With more votes the top photo still could have won, but with three recent appearances the margin of victory wasn’t quite high enough.

    Wednesday (two days from now): Currently the top photos are submissions by Vitaliy M., Noondueler, SenadR, and myself. I might not get it even if I come out on top, since I had POTD 17 days ago and we all have pretty much the same number of votes right now (Vitaliy M. and SenadR haven’t won in a long time if ever, and Noondueler hasn’t in 26 days). For me to win, I need a few more votes since some folks are so close yet haven’t won in ages… but I didn’t add the photos solely for POTD. They are nice pics and necessary for my latest route page overhaul... POTD was not my objective. If I had submitted a more spectacular shot I might have gotten enough votes to win over the others even though I won 17 days ago, but my goal last night was to improve my route page.

For me personally, this makes me feel more empowered to submit photos regularly, since it shouldn't be seen by others as simply an attempt to get POTD. Vote on them if you like, and if you don't... oh well!

The objective here is to have high quality results from a diverse group of members including those who have won it before and for this to be selected solely based on member votes without anyone having more say than another. Vote on the photos you like, and keep submitting great content!

POTW (Photo of the Week):

No real change here, except that it is the photo with the most votes submitted in the last 9 days. This is because a photo less than two days old has pretty much zero chance because it takes that long just to reach POTD status.


Hopefully most members like the changes. And hopefully no one is discouraged from contributing who has been (and new people should feel encouraged to contribute more). If you are already a regular contributor, keep submitting photos as I am sure the better ones will come out on top often enough!
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby Josh Lewis » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:05 am

mrchad9 wrote:No real change here, except that it is the photo with the most votes submitted in the last 9 days.


You mean the highest score. :wink: I've lost Photo of the Day due to less powerful people voting on my photos. :P
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby ZeeJay » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:30 pm

I like the changes mrchad. It's clear that a lot of thought went into the selection algorithm.
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby PAROFES » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:31 am

mrchad9 wrote:
    1. POTD has changed so that instead of the best photo in the last 0-24 hrs, it is now the best photo from 24-48 hours ago.

      a. This allows more members time to vote on what they like, especially if they are used to using the best photos in one day link on the bottom left of the home page.
      b. This removes some (but not all) of the incentive to post photos just after midnight. Now pics submitted at 8:00 AM, or noon, or even in the afternoon have more time to rise to the top. Previously afternoon submissions were at a more severe disadvantage which was especially unfair to new members since they are unaware of this aspect.
      c. Also, in the event of a tie (pretty rare but it can happen), the most recent photo is selected. This also slightly removes the incentive to post just after midnight, and it makes sense because the more recent photo got the same number of votes in less time.

    2. Some consideration is given to members who haven’t won POTD or haven’t won in an extended period of time, and based on how recently they previously may have won it. This is to make it a fair process to everyone, so no one feels like this system is gamed, no one is excluded, or anyone favored. It increases the variety for the POTD too. I’ve observed many times that a new member signs up and submits a spectacular shot, but we all know that previously they had pretty much no chance because they were an unknown entity. At the same time, we did not want to block out people or recent winners from getting POTD. Folks should always feel free to contribute.

      a. I’ll stess again here, this is 100% automated.
      b. Also… NO ONE IS EVER EXCLUDED FROM WINNING POTD. There is NO blackout period. But if you recently won POTD your margin of victory is considered against others and weighed against how recently they won POTD. But votes still have a huge component.
      c. This factor only impacts the necessary margin of victory, and is NOT intended to discourage anyone from submitting photos as often as they like. Don’t let that be the effect.
      d. With a good enough shot you could still get POTD two days in a row, but it won’t be easy (note that this was rare even under the old system). It just depends on what sort of stuff others submit and how close they are.



Now I think I get it.
Three or maybe four times in the past 15 days I had an image that came in front of all others inside the 24 and 48 hours cut, but even so I didn't get POTD.
Not that I actually care, just trying to understand the process since the changes came when I was at the ICU in the hospital so I am kinda lost here...
Today for instance, it happened again. Gorgeous image by Windsor, but mine came first again in 24 and 48 hours, and he won.
Is there any period of cut for it?

Cheers folks!
:)
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby Buz Groshong » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:14 pm

mrchad9 wrote:POTM (Photo of the Moment):

This is 100% automated and based on member votes. There is a pool of photos and every time you visit or refresh the home page a completely random selection is taken from the pool to be displayed as POTM. This is why there are repeats. All photos in the POTM pool are submitted from different individuals in the recent past and are the highest scoring photos (member votes determine the entries). No one gets two entries at a time, though the eligible photo can change as time goes on. There are no considerations with respect to who the member is, the type of photo, whether it is attached to anything, etc

Featured Photos:


This explains how some really piss-poor photos are showing up as photos of the moment. Hell, they don't even have to be relevant to climbing or hiking!
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby rgg » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:54 pm

Although I think it's a fine idea that the POTD selection algorithm shows pictures from a wider group of members by making it harder for those members that had a recent POTD to get another one, I think it's gone a bit too far.

As an example, today one of my submissions made the front page. It's a nice one, and I appreciate being selected, but to be honest, I don't think it's very special. I really think this one should have been POTD instead:

Image

As a solution, I propose that the algorithm is tweaked a bit, by lowering the threshold for members that recently had a POTD to get another one. For example, if a picture has 3 votes more than the next best one (assuming all 10/10's), that should be enough to make it POTD, even if the same member would have had a POTD the day before.

I don't know the exact algorithm, but I assume there is some sort of deduction applied to the image score, based on how long ago the member in question had a POTD. If that's indeed the case, it won't be practical to look at the number of votes, but the algorithm could be tweaked such that the maximum deduction would be 3% or so for those members that made POTD the day before, and decreasing (be it linearly or otherwise) for older ones.
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:35 pm

I've been thinking about this.

Yes... I'll see if we can adjust it just a bit. I still think it is better than what we had before, but it isn't optimal yet.
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby ZeeJay » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:50 pm

Here are two suggestions.

1) Change your constants so that it is easier for a user to have another POTD. It virtually never happens now and some really nice pictures aren't becoming POTD's. I think a week is plenty of time to wipe the slate clean.

2) Don't bump an image if its 2 day score is higher than the user's previous POTD's 2 day score. What I've seen happen is that a user will have a so-so image become POTD, and then be effectively barred from having another POTD for the next I'm guessing 30 days or so.
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:01 pm

Thanks ZeeJay. Agreed.

I think it will be a simple change for Matt to implement, hopefully he has time. We can make it so it is MUCH easier for a person to get into the slot 2 days in a row, and even 3 times within a short period. Really the goal is just that the same person isn't showing up something like 8-10 times within every month or two.
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby lcarreau » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:48 am

rgg wrote:
As an example, today one of my submissions made the front page. It's a nice one, and I appreciate being selected, but to be honest, I don't think it's very special ...



Oh, C'mon RG .... at least Hans had a smile on his face in said picture.

Always figured that THIS one would make it to the TOP :


Image


'HEY KID --- GET OFF MAH LAWN !'
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:52 am

OK everyone... we heard your feedback.

Montant Matt made an adjustment so that the simple impact of current score has much more of an effect. The history of recent POTD selections is literally about an order of magnitude smaller than before. It is entirely realistic for someone to get it two days in a row even. You have to get POTD at regular intervals before it starts to have a greater impact on the selection.

If folks find it too much, or not enough, feel free to let us know.
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby Josh Lewis » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:26 am

That's great news. :) I've heard a complaint about the changes which I semi agreed. The kick out system was meant to keep certain members from taking over, not remove quality. I guess we'll see how the new one works out.
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:37 am

Yes. The error with the old system is it focused too much on how recently a member got POTD, and not enough on if there were several recent ones. I know most folks don't submit pics just to get POTD, but I still don't want folks to feel like they need to wait a while between submissions.

As I noted it is a dramatic change, so I hope works out well. If it doesn't, please feel free to give more suggestions.
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby gimpilator » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:23 am

This is great news. Personally I don't care much if I get POTD or not. But there have been several times lately when I have seen lame pictures get POTD while something much better gets bumped. Watching that process take place, I concluded that the new fix actually made the whole system broken. I hope the new changes make it so that doesn't happen anymore. Great job!
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Re: POTD, POTM, and Changes to Photos on the Home Page

Postby lcarreau » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:51 pm

Maybe somebody can help me out with this .... SOMEBODY who has traveled to the Himalayas.



Is there such thing as a Good Trango Tower, a Better Trango Tower, and a Greatest Trango Tower .... kinda like when you choose items at a grocery store ?



Just asking ...... Thanks! :D
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