so far this thread has brought up a number of interesting topics.
First one I would like to mention is the rating system.
When the site first opened and was new the rating system was open to all. you didn't even need to be logged in to the site to comment or rate a image back then also people had the option to rate and comment annonomously so they posts didn't link to their account.
we changed this over the years that only people that were actually logged into the site could rate or comment and this seemed to work better for quite a long time. a few years past and people still didn't like the rating system. so we simply turned it off because of the community complaints at the time.
We started to get a number of complaints from our gold members that they missed the old rating system. so we turned this feature back on for our gold members. After sometime we had a member survey, I am sure a lot of you all took part in the survey, one of the things that was mentioned a number of times was the lack of a member wide rating system. So we simply turned it on for everyone again. Now this was some time ago now and I honestly do not remember what we have the rating system currently set to as I am not as actively involved in this section of the site since we opened the store up but I am pretty sure we still have it open to all. I know as the site owners, we neither care nor mind changing the rating system. but please keep in mind we only have the ability to turn it on or off for certain groups we unfortunately do not have the ability to link it to the comments. Now another suggestion is we can put in a rule that if someone gives you a rating you came make a request to one of the moderators to provide you with the user's name that gave you a rating so you can ask them why via PM or e-mail, as this information is logged in the database. Now this would cause a bunch of work for us and probably end badly for everyone
Now I personally have rated a few images with a 1 since I have been a member here, the reasons for all of these ratings was the image was so bad that I figured it was blatanly obvious why it got a 1 on it. Sometimes I commented sometimes I didn't, and on a couple of occasions the images were so bad (child like and sloppy) I just deleted them and told the poster that they were not ready for HM at this point.
As for critiques, I find you can generally tell if a person is worth the time of a critique after they post 4 images. You can actually tell if a person is trying to improve in that number of images. I am generally very selective on the people I will give a honest critique to at this point of the site. I over the years have had more bad reactions then good reactions. I actually had to Ban a person over their reaction to a crit I gave them, that they even asked for and when it wasn't just praise for their image they went completely ballistic (e-mailing me threats, PMing me threats, posting shit in the forums and my images here and elsewhere, posting stuff on other websites about how big of a ass I am, etc..). I have had a person ask me for a crit then tell me I was making it to be a personal assassination. Not to mention the endless rants about how my EGO goes unchecked because I run Heromorph, or that I did this or do that etc. etc.
I will also ussually give crits in the shoutbox VS. the comments now. I think the nature of the shoutbox is perfect to interact with artists in a way comment never will. That live interaction works much better then a drive by crit that one does in the comment section. One thing that annoys me is when a person asks me for crit after crit and then doesn't attempt to grow or change. Now I am not saying they even have to follow my advise but we have a few artists here that do the same thing, over and over and over again. they never change, they never grow, they never try. yet they ask for crits, you find yourself pointing out the same issues with their art over and over again. like lighting, shading, drop shadows, lack of wrinkles etc. etc. yet image after image they look the same. I figure whats they point in even commenting on the pictures after that.
That said, I think people should put Crit requested in the image description if they want crits on their work, then if you give a crit and the person acts like a jack stick you can just report them to a moderator and we can take care of the dispute. Also a person should give detailed notes on a image they want a crit for, including what you were trying to do, why you made certain choices etc., what you think the good and bad points are in the image. this all helps a person give a better crit.
Thats all I have for now, I have a few more thoughts on these subjects but I will let them perculate a little more before commenting.
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