I feel pissed...etc...chapter 2

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I feel pissed humiliated....etc...etc....Chapter 2...

First, let me point out that the text under this box says, "Get emotional! Describe how this topic makes you feel...." The very nature of your "dueling" process incites emotion, competition, and a "me against everybody else" frame of mind. You emphasize duels in promoting the site. (A “duel” is a form of combat, ya know.) You offer rewards (award$) for combative behavior. You even acknowledge that your voting system is “addictive”... which is probably the word that should have stopped me from entering. I must confess that I’ve found it more addictive than I'd like to admit. ☺

Okay – about the vague voting period: Your rules state that "Once enough votes on all images from a given week have been achieved (usually Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week)..." If you give out the awards at the same time/day each day/week, then you should say so and your voting period should also be clearly defined...i.e., “voting ends at midnight GMT Wednesday of the following week.” Not “usually Tuesday or Wednesday.” I’m new here, so you need to be clear about what I can expect or I’ll think the vagueness is intentional and imagine the worst possible scenario.

You tell us that “Every ImageDuel win will increase your image’s ‘ImageScore.” What you DON’T tell us up front is that every ImageDuel loss will DECREASE our ‘ImageScore.’ Just one more little surprise that it would be nice to know going in. It seems rather strange and not entirely fair to TAKE AWAY points that have been earned, thereby LOWERING the score of an image that has already earned a high score. In my experience with other competitions in which photographers are allowed to vote (except for their own photo) the participants vote ONCE on each photo and the photo with the highest score wins. Points are not deducted from a photo once they have been earned, and scores (and photographers) are not revealed until the competition is over.

Since you keep a display of images and current scores (and identify photographers) on your leader board, you feed the competitiveness by showing relative scores of the photos and identifying which photos are ahead. This shows the underdogs which photos he/she/we need to "defeat." I think it is human nature to avoid voting for photos that are similar to and equally as good as our own photos if their scores are higher than or very close to our scores and in the same category. (Who wouldn’t?) Sometimes one point makes the difference. So that leads to occasionally voting against good photos rather than always voting for the best photos.

Now, what made me think there was a “cut-throat grab” overnight was this: When I went to bed night before last, my image was sitting at the top of last week’s competitors in its category, where it had been for a day or two. When I got up the next morning, its number of duels had been boosted by someone else, its score had been lowered by 6 points and four images were ahead of it – and now I find that two of the duels it was placed in overnight were with images that had been uploaded THAT DAY - the 12th (another surprise.) Not the previous week’s images with which it had competed and was listed, but NEW ENTRIES that would not qualify for last week’s competition and would be included in THE FOLLOWING WEEK’s competition. I also noticed this happening to other leading photos last week. There was a lovely portrait of a beautiful woman (by Alan Yap) which sat at the top of its category for a day or two. Then its score suddenly dropped on the 10th. When I checked its duel history, I found that it had been placed in a duel with a photo that had just been uploaded THAT DAY – the 10th – two days AFTER the deadline for entries in the week’s competition had passed. That seems a bit unfair, since the newer photo would not be included in the weekly competition until the FOLLOWING WEEK. I’m not questioning the quality or merits of either photo, because they were BOTH EXCELLENT photos (I did not have a photo competing in that category, so there was no bias toward my photo in comparison to either of them.)

Which brings us to boosting: You provide the capability for us to “boost” the duels of our own photos – which gives them 5 more “duels” with unspecified competitors. But you also provide the capability for ANYONE to “boost” the duels of ANYONE ELSE’s photos. This allows the underdog to boost the duels of the leading photos hoping to LOWER their relative scores and RAISE the relative position of their own scores, which is what I believe happened overnight in this case.. This is what I mean when I refer to “playing your system and manipulating the final results.” Somehow I don’t think you’re attempting to “catch” and discount the votes of people who do this, since you provide the means with which to do it. Maybe I’m slower than some at catching on to unspecified details, but it doesn’t take long to figure out that this is how it currently works. Although it may not exactly be literally voting directly against a specific image in a duel to benefit personal entries, it certainly seems to me that it is a not-so-roundabout way of manipulating results by boosting someone else’s images just before the voting period is over and gambling on the chances of them losing points when placed in duels with FUTURE (or new) entries which are not even among that week’s candidates.

Is it really ethical to allow everyone to boost the photos of other people? I can't see any good that can come of that, and am struggling to see what purpose it serves other than attempting to lower the scores of the surrounding close competitors (now that I know that it can achieve that effect.)

So there. Now I’ve told you how I feel. Confused. Frustrated. Uninformed. Not that I think it matters to you or anybody else.

So can you recommend a good rehab program that will cure me of this dueling addiction and get me back to work on the real world projects I’ve neglected ever since I first landed on this site and started to duel? ;-)
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D. Jan Anderson

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Posted 8 years ago

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Andrew Halpern

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You are not alone D. Jan Anderson. You have said what many of us have felt for a long time. Some of us have beaten the addiction and moved on but many of us are still caught up in combat mode. I am sure there is a solution out there that will accommodate the needs of most of the users. We all know the negative aspects of this site but we need to focus on how to turn them into positive ones. I know its not our resposability but it will never change if we don't let Pixoto know what we want. We can't expect them to implement all of our ideas but change has to begin someplace so why not here in this forum. Keep posting your thoughts and then ideas will come from those thoughts. I think that's how growth works. Well, time to go back to planning world domination. :)
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Michelle Meenawong

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I totally agree about the addiction. I was addicted. The first thing i did every morning was Pixoto, the last thing I did before going to bed: pixoto! And a few times a day in between. But I have been frustrated so many times in a little bit more than one year, that I don't do it anymore. I'm still here and sometimes upload 1 picture (one at a time) and not 10-15 a week like before. The frustration is less. I don't need to compete against loads of duplicates. I spend a lot more time on other sites where I can see "different" pictures. Maybe in the same style but not duplicates and I really appreciate it. And I spend much more time taking pictures than duelling and reporting duplicates. I still like pixoto and will spend time here. There still are many very good togs with stunning pictures (not duplicates) and still can learn a lot, so I try to enjoy it and as soon as I feel frustrated, I log out and do something else. I don't hope anymore that one day there will be no cheaters at all. People cheat. Apparently it's in the human nature. Sad but true
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im not addicted anymore. thanks god

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