SoCalHiker wrote:And as it stands now the featured POD often times lacks basic photographic quality, e.g. in terms of colors, saturation, exposure, sharpness, composition, uniqueness. If it's featured on the front page we should have very rigorous standards.
That's being said, the only way to meet those standards is to have some sort of review of last days' photos.
The problem with that is that there is widespread disagreement over what a good photograph is in context of this site's purpose.
If I were tasked with selecting the pictures, for example, I would look for "good" pictures that also have good captions and have some relevance to an informational page. Thus, some of the "best" pictures here in terms of technical quality would never be featured and some, but not all, of the names often seen on the front page would no longer appear.
Yet others might want to apply your criteria solely. Still others would favor climbing shots or route shots to take precedence. I think a nice wildflower shot can be relevant; others think such things are abominations.
The staff members don't have the time or the interest to communicate daily to mull over what are sometimes hundreds of photos being submitted on any given day. Thus, one person would have to choose, just as one person selects the trip reports and one person selects the featured mountain/route/area pages. My offer previously on this thread still stands if Matt is interested in it. If not, I hope he will go with an option that self-updates on an hourly or daily basis but which somehow ensures a minimum standard of quality while preventing the serial submitters and manipulators from being "overexposed." However, that doesn't sound like an easy stunt to pull off.
Or maybe the best thing to do is simply remove POTD and POTW and feature something else on the front page in their stead. The featured pages already have signature photos, usually nice ones, and though clicking on one takes you to the page, not the photo, you can still argue that photography is thus represented on the front page.
Or just do away with photo voting altogether.