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roseseek

Help Me Find photo ratings discussion

roseseek
11 years ago

Now, this is bizarre.. I wanted to post this here but this forum wouldn't permit me to post anything. Roses would, but didn't show it for the longest time, reloading the page or not. Now, it's posted twice there, sorry.

There is a discussion on HMF concerning the validity of their photo ratings you may wish to add your two cents worth to.

Here is a link that might be useful: HMF photo ratings discussion

Comments (17)

  • landperson
    11 years ago

    Hey there, dudes and dudettes.
    You really should take this opportunity to make your opinions known over at HMF. It's one thing for Lyn to read the posts we make here and pass the information on, but .... that's second hand news. If you want any changes at HMF, you really owe it to yourselves (and to HMF) to take the time to weigh in on this subject.

    Go tell 'em your side of the story.

    Susan

  • harborrose_pnw
    11 years ago

    All right, I gave my 2cents worth. Next?

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  • trospero
    11 years ago

    One of the discussion topics that is receiving the most attention regards the merit of the "Aesthetic Value" voting option. Some feel that by including this option, people are being encouraged to treat it as a "beauty pageant" and that is counterproductive to the main goal of the ratings. What is the main goal of the rating system? HMF admins feel (If I may sum up some of their statements) that it ought to act as a tool to emphasize the more useful photos; the photograph as "diagnostic" tool, or one which illustrates the honest-to-goodness behavior of the plant, warts and all. Sometimes the prettiest photos happen to be good "diagnostic" photos as well, but not always. Sometimes a casual snapshot of the whole plant, regardless of what other clutter might be in the photo, or how well lit and composed the image is, is the most meaningful to people who are shopping for a rose with certain features as their priority: bush shape/size, for example. We all want to have an idea of how a certain cultivar is going to look in our garden, and the best way of providing people with that information is to upload your photos of the rose in your garden. So the question is whether the photo ratings on HMF facilitate or hinder the process.

    If HMF wants to have a way to prioritize the most useful photos, then putting a system in place for participants to vote for image merit is a good approach. Voting for an image based on its "art" merit may or may not serve a purpose in achieving that goal. What is your opinion? How can HMF promote the best photos without turning the process into a beauty contest?

    This is currently an issue for HMF admin because more than one person has stated that they have either removed a photo because it got a "poor" aesthetic rating, or have refrained from including a snapshot of their plant for fear of receiving a "poor" aesthetic rating. Any and all ideas for avoiding perceived problems in this matter are welcome. Feel free to voice your opinion here and/or at HMF in the following discussion:

    Here is a link that might be useful: Photo ratings discussion on HMF

  • landperson
    11 years ago

    I would hazard a guess that it would help if there were a stated reason for the gathering of photographs on the site, in other words, if HMF were to come up with a policy statement (not a rule, mind you). For example: "Please feel free to add any photos which give additional information regarding this rose. If you have pictures of aspects which are not already prominently and accurately displayed, we would be happy to have you add them to our collection."

    Susan

  • roseseek
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Susan, I understand the reasoning behind your suggestion, but I fear anything like that would dissuade contributors who consider themselves "not professional" or otherwise photographically challenged, from contributing images to the site. Some pretty amazing photos have been donated by people who don't consider themselves photographers. Many others have contributed very "reality" shots depicting the roses, warts and all, which IS what is needed far more than the glamour shots. I am NOT disparaging that type of photo as those probably attract more attention to individual cultivars as well as the site to begin with. I believe we are all initially attracted by the "pretty face". It's just some look past the pretty to search for substance earlier than others. And, I DO love seeing how heart breakingly spectacular a particular rose CAN be when captured at that "just right" stage. We just need more "wart" shots and I believe this thread is going to greatly help us receive them.

    I know there have been some genuinely awful images donated to the site over the years and suggesting to someone they may wish to remove something they felt confident enough about to donate can be truly ticklish. No one wants to hurt anyone's feelings nor undermine their confidence or generosity. Perhaps a "useful" or "not useful" rating may be a step toward this end? Thanks. Kim

  • landperson
    11 years ago

    My wording was probably inept, and not as welcoming as HMF would want it to be, but I guess my point is that people with photos might want to know at least something about the reasons for photos to be there in the first place. Until this discussion, it really would not have occurred to me that pictures of less than lovely blooms and artistic renderings would have a value.

    Hey, what about changing the ratings to something more like:
    "matches well with my experience of this rose"; "this is not what I expected from this rose"; or some other wordings that make it clear that the member making the rating has a valid basis for rating the rose at all????

    Oh my, I'm so glad it isn't my job to make these decisions !!!! You all are very brave to take this on !!!! I think I will sign off on the topic, since whatever and however it evolves is going to be more than fine with me. I'm just a minor player here in the field of roses....:-)))))

  • roseseek
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Excuse me? You are NOT a "minor player". One voice, one vote! You use, appreciate and support the site and your voice is as valid and beneficial as anyone else's. Thank you for beating the drum and getting some action here on my post! Thank you for participating in the discussion on HMF! We all attack an issue and discussion with different points of reference and view. I like your two suggestions above and would love for you to put them on the thread at HMF, please? I believe they are valid and helpful. They could help quantify why something is rated the way it has been without being lost in the comments section as Steve has said would happen of they were simply comments.

    Please don't sign off! We NEED your point of view and value your participation! Thank you. Kim

  • landperson
    11 years ago

    Okay, but if you change your mind, do not hesitate to tell me so (preferably privately)....

    Susan

  • roseblush1
    11 years ago

    Paul said, "If HMF wants to have a way to prioritize the most useful photos, then putting a system in place for participants to vote for image merit is a good approach. Voting for an image based on its "art" merit may or may not serve a purpose in achieving that goal. What is your opinion? How can HMF promote the best photos without turning the process into a beauty contest?"

    After reading the HMF Admin responses on the thread, I realized that the rating system is a tool to manage over 150,000 photos, with more being added every day. Instead of taking that on himself, he made it possible for site users to make that determination.

    Maybe the rating feature needs to be tweeked to meet the site users wants and needs better and one of the best ways to do that is to share your thoughts about it in this thread.

    Steve has said over and over in the thread that he is open to suggestions. Keeping the data management issue he must deal with as the site continues to grow in mind, give him your feedback. In a sense, he is second-guessing us if he is working without that feedback. Your opinions and suggestions do matter.

    Paul also mentioned something in one of his responses on the thread that I think is important. The current premium-membership is not large enough to support the cost of the site. Whenever we ask for changes, there is a cost associated with implementing them. Some of the changes that might make the rating system more in line with what you want to see may require more server costs.

    Becoming a premium-member and supporting the site just because it is an incredible rose resource is also a way of supporting the changes you want to see on the site.

    I didn't mean for this to sound like a lecture, because it's not. I just tend to get kind of intense about wanting feedback from site users.

    Smiles,
    Lyn

    Ps... here's a link that may let you see how Steve sees your participation on HMF

    Here is a link that might be useful: HMF Participation

  • landperson
    11 years ago

    Wow, that conversation has gotten way off track. Can't anyone help get it back to the original point: should or shouldn't HMF change the way that or the very fact that photos are rated willy nilly by anyone who logs on.

    My prejudices have already been made clear. I really hate to keep beating the same drum.

  • trospero
    11 years ago

    "should or shouldn't HMF change the way that or the very fact that photos are rated willy nilly by anyone who logs on. "

    I think we can assume that since there have been very few comments made on this thread, and practically none on the main Roses forum, that people either don't really care about this issue, or have already spoken their minds over at HMF.

    At any rate, I believe a decision has been made, at least temporarily, until a better strategy is formulated.

  • roseseek
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    In case anyone wondered if "they" really listen...I sent an email inquiring about accessing the latest thread posts, as usually is possible, and got this response almost immediately.

    "Yes, the Q&C is not working properly. When you click on that link you receive in the mail it is supposed to take you directly to the new post in question. It's on my list but heretofore has not been a priority because people have not been using the HMF comments that much. I was delighted to see so much activity with both very useful suggestions and legitimate gripes.
    I'll be addressing the issue shortly along with some other improvement to make long threads easier to follow. For now, the best thing to do is use the sequence numbers."

    HMF is already great. This input can only serve to improve it further. Thank you! Kim

  • landperson
    11 years ago

    Thanks Paul and Kim.

    Susan

  • roseseek
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    You're welcome Susan. Thank you and everyone else who participated in the discussion. I honestly believe it will lead to improvements. And, you have to admit, it WAS fun actually having someone LISTEN to your suggestions and begin acting on them! Kim

  • aimeekitty
    11 years ago

    what is the point of organizing photos based on how pretty they are?

    I guess I just don't really get it. Honestly.

    Does anyone truly go to HMF to look for the "prettiest" rose photo? Do you ever go around rating photos just on how pretty they are? Ie, do you spend a couple hours doing that? I never rate photos on HMF.

    I go to HMF, I search for the rose I'm interested in, and I look through almost all the photos of it until I feel like I have a good feeling of what the rose looks like.

    The "ugly" photos, showing a rose past peak, or full-bush, etc, are just as helpful as the closeups of a rose in closeup.

    But I still think people should just ignore the ratings if they don't like them. Is it really that big of a deal? you're still providing that information to people who can use them, like me. I don't even pay attention to them. I'm looking for useful photos.

    XOXO

  • landperson
    11 years ago

    Hi Aimeekitty. I use HMF much the way you do, and for just me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way it works. However, the discussion over at HMF reminded me that so many people use it in such a much more scholarly manner that perhaps there really is a reason to change it.

    I, like you, have no problems with it because I am only looking to make personal decisions as to whether I want to look at that rose growing in my garden; even so, reading the comments from those who are using HMF (as a research tool for breeding for example) make it clear that perhaps the tool could be a bit sharper. As a new Premium member, I can appreciate that the money being spent to support the site might be spent a bit more selectively so that everyone (every sort of user of the site) got a bit more bang for their buck.

    Just my measly two cents on a cold grey CA morning.

  • roseblush1
    11 years ago

    I am going to add a few personal comments to this thread ... I know I say that kind of thing a lot, but that's because I don't want anyone to think I am speaking on behalf of HMF.

    HMF was never intended to be used only for breeders, but for the novice through the experienced rosarian. A search through the Q & A archives or the Ezine archives will show you that a lot of questions are asked and answered on all levels. The breeders may be more vocal on this thread, but the comments and suggestions for users who are not interested in that aspect of roses are just as important.

    Steve's response to Kim's email: "I was delighted to see so much activity with both very useful suggestions and legitimate gripes." tells you how imporant your feedback is to him.

    As a premium member, you get the ability to sort the photos in different ways. You don't need to depend on the ratings at all, but can sort by plant characteristics or just all photos or in a lot of other ways.

    There are a lot of things on the enhancement list which both take time and money to implement. Your participation in supporting the site helps make that possible ... and thank you for your support.

    I love the pretty photos, but I, too, am always looking for information about the plants. I just put up a photo of 'Lynnie' after snow-tipping the rose, which I think is a lousy photo, but provides information about the architecture of the plant in my climate. The registration material indicates that a mature plant of 'Lynnie' will be much smaller than my plant. Maybe my photo, as bad as it is, will help someone site their plant better.

    I think that photo is as important as the photos of the bloom on the rose page.

    Yes, the photo rating feature needs to be tweeked, and with the input and suggestions those who participated in the discussion have provided, there's a much better chance that it will be tweeked in a way that will serve you better.

    Smiles,
    Lyn