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…
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!