Pixoto has been broken by introduction of PRO accounts

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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Images duels not working. Broken links. When I try to view site on my iPhone 4 it constantly causes the Safari browser to crash and drop down menus don't work. Inconsistent scoring on on images. With all these problems why would I subscribe for a PRO membership.

On the other hand because I won't subscribe for a PRO account I have to constantly duel boost my images so that they are entered in the same number of Image Duels as those of PRO members so that they are competing on a level playing field. With images constantly being paused after ridiculously number of Image Duels this duel boosting is a real chore. I submitted 1 photo this morning and it was entered in 8 duels, won 6 and has been paused for the last 3 hours. It would take some 'Duel Boosting' to get that up to the 100 Image Duels that PRO members are promised.

This was a great site but it has been slowly but surely destroyed with the advent of PRO accounts being the final nail in the coffin. I persevere with it in the hope that it will get better but with each new iteration of the site the problems increase.

Finally because of the number of Image Duels I have to vote in to earn enough credits to duel boost my images up to the same level as PRO players I often find my self just constantly clicking on the right hand image in the duels without really looking at what I am voting for just to earn the credits I need. I know this is completely unfair to other players but I am sure I am not the only one doing it. As I said already the site has become a complete chore and if my photos weren't doing relatively ok I would be long gone.

Please try and take some of this criticism on board. When I initially joined Pixoto it was good addictive fun. That is definitely not the case now:(
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paulmoore1969

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Posted 8 years ago

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M a r i k o

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I agree with Paul.

Since about a week I have a Pro account which I won in the Instagram challenge. I wasn't sure if I really wanted it because honestly I have a problem with the 'hire me' button and the Pro badge (I know it just means that you have a Pro account but it gives the impression that you are a professional photograph and I'm definitely not). So the only reason to try Pro was the fact that you don't need to boost until you reach 100 duels.

Now observing the whole thing since a week I have to say that I don't feel comfortable...
Everything is slow, too slow, since days, even with a Pro account my photos get paused for a long time and when I submit my photos in the afternoon (in Germany) they reach about 50 duels until the next day. People in other parts of the world have an advantage as they can already submit their photos at midnight GMT. Yesterday my photos for the day before ended #8 and #9 but they could have been way better.
So I decided to submit already early in the morning to get more duels. Then what happens is that today I am #1, #5 and #9 in the Mobile category with far more duels than some others with also good or perhaps better photos. I feel sorry for the others and can't really enjoy winning...

I don't want to be ungrateful but I think that there is definitely something wrong here.
This is a photo contest, so when a photo is submitted, regardless of wether Pro or not or in which part of the world or time zone you live, everybody should have the same chance and the best should win.
It can't be possible that people who pay for the Pro account have better chances to win (apart of the top trending images).This is what is happening at the moment because you don't get sufficient duels for whatever reason.

Why don't you introduce a small, affordable membership fee for all of us? I know there would be many complaints, but then it would be at least a little bit more fair and hey, why should this site be free? You are offering a great site with a brilliant idea.
I just want it to be fun like it was when I started 3 months ago and also I want to be proud to win an award! :-)
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Paul and Mariko. I think you may be blaming the introduction of PRO accounts unfairly. Here are some thoughts - please let me know your feedback.

We've had a LOT of (google caused) performance issues over the past 7 days preventing people from voting. The number of votes per image is down for this week. They but the seem to have fixed that issue but we have had to pump votes into last week (robbing from this week) in order to make sure there are enough there. This volatility effects PROs, boosters and non-boosters alike.

PROs (and people willing to boost their images) have a slight advantage in the daily standings. But it is slight. This advantage evaporates completely in the weekly standings. Look at last week - there are 2 pro images in the top 20 in mobile (exactly the same percentage as the total number of images submitted by PROS). The same is

Mariko - little can be drawn from looking at Today's leaderboard - because you don't know when the images were submitted during the day (it could have been 10 minutes ago).

We have not changed our Pause breakpoints in over three months.

For images with an ImageScore of over 600 the average number of votes that a PRO image gets vs non-pro is is almost the same.

PRO images get a maximum of 15 additional duels in the daily contest over other non-boosted images. This could conceivably provide some benefit to PROs but also to Boosters. So to make level on a daily basis we would need to get rid of Boosts.
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paulmoore1969

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Thanks for getting back to me Jason. My frustration with the site is growing. I submitted four photos today. The stats for them are as follows: 24 Votes/17 wins; 26 votes/18 wins; 25 votes/ 18 wins; 31 votes/ 22 wins. All of them have been paused or moving incredibly slowly for some time now. It is ridiculous that they are being paused after such a low number of duels despite doing well. If I was to try and boost them all up to 100 duels each I would have to sit all day clicking blindly on image duels to earn enough credits to do this. Where is the fun in this? Getting really close to pulling the plug completely on the site.
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Paul - you are bringing up some excellent points. So I took a look at the photos you submitted yesterday 6/6/12 (I only see 2 and not 4). The lightning shot will do a lot better in the weekly awards than it did in the dailys. The other shot probably won't. I can tell this because there is a score (that you can't see) that predicts where the image will end up. We don't show this score because it can be very volatile. During the first 100 votes or so ImageScore rises because we have a confidence factor built in (i.e. the more confident we are about the results the higher the score). This is what allows images to start at zero and move up. Your lightning shot is trending towards 675 the other to 595.

We don't have enough time in the 15 hours from the time the last image is submitted to get all leading images to 100 votes. So because of this images submitted earlier in the day or are boosted are at an some advantage for daily awards.

This is a real problem that I wasn't that focused on until you pointed it out.

(note - with weekly awards this isn't a factor because all of the leading images get to - or near 100 votes).

So there are a couple of things we can do here:
1) leave it as is - give the advantage to boosters (who provide additional duels for everybody else) and PROs (who pay for the site for everybody else). It's only daily awards that are effected to I'm not sure how much this matters.
2) give images their full confidence score at 50 duels (this creates more volatility - and an image is likely to go up and then down substantially - so i'm not crazy about that
3) don't allow boosting of images until daily awards are run - this may be the best alternative

I would love to know your thoughts on this.

Best

Jason

PS. your images should not have been paused with that kind win/loss ratio like that. If you see that again could you email me and don't unpause it?
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paulmoore1969

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Again I thank you for getting back to me but I am still finding the site very unsatisfactory since the introduction of PRO accounts. I submitted the following 3 images approx 48 hours ago.

http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

They have not been boosted have been entered in 44, 47 and 41 duels respectively. This works out at less that one duel an hour for each of the images over the last 2 days. The are all preforming relatively well in that the have far more wins than losses and could be far higher up the leader board if they had been entered in more duels. In previous versions of Pixoto these would all have been entered in far more image duels by now.

I am now going to boost them to see how they perform but this is becoming an increasingly frustrating experience and as I said before is sucking all of the fun out of the Pixoto experience:(
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Hi Paul. We made a change last night that will help with the score disadvantage for non-boosted images. If you watch your newly submitted images you'll see that scores rise dramatically faster and then level off at lower number of votes.

We have a solution to the daily awards problem (I still contend there is not a problem in weekly awards - let me know if you disagree). We are going to give much more votes in the first day - hopefully we'll have this done next week.

Looks like they have gotten between 8 and 10 duels in the last 5 hours - so not boosting seems to be working...
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Paul. I think we may have a come up with a solution to the issue with daily awards. It uses existing technology so we should be able to implement it on today's 6/14 images. Let me know if you see a difference.
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Partha Chatterjee

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I had voiced my grievance in this respect via facebook ...here is the URL
https://www.facebook.com/pixoto/posts...
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Erin Rebekah

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What does it mean when it says to add 5 tags???
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Jasenka, Official Rep

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Hello Erin, tags describe photos in words (tags or keywords) that are relevant to the photo.

I hope this helps.
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d c

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Jason the fact is you want to make money and justify your subscriber ship. The event of one not having to run hard (pro account) and the other having to run hard (Non pro account) in itself doesn't make it a contest any more. If you view contests as as area where two or more players have a reasonable level or equal playing fields to contend in. The simple fact is problems can be over looked. But what happened last night only proves the point that pixoto has now become a solely business venture for you and your team.
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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DC - I'm not sure what you mean by what happened last night. Can you elaborate?
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mw c

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First off, to paulmoore1969: Thank you for your excellent description of the events on pixoto. I too feel the same way about the introduction of Pro accounts. It has become increasingly frustrating the 'slight advantage' as Jason would put it.
Here is what was said a few posts back by Jason,
"PRO images get a maximum of 15 additional duels in the daily contest over other non-boosted images. This could conceivably provide some benefit to PROs but also to Boosters. So to make level on a daily basis we would need to get rid of Boosts."
At this point in time with pixoto, most that I have talked to are unhappy with the turn that has taken place, likely due to the fact that they joined for the same reason we did, -it was unbiased and very fair. Recently though, the mood at pixoto has turned from unbiased to 'profit'. Not only ads (which are not a problem), but also the 'Pro' advantage, and other minor changes, which we all feel unfortunately more than the ones that make the changes.
So, all in all, I would suggest that the Duels be removed, period. Also, for a better balance, reducing the votes a Pro gets to half -still a advantage- but not enough that it unbalances the overall polls. Personally I would prefer to know if my images are good enough to stand on their own two feet, without the lurking thought that if I boost enough, or become Pro, I would do better.
Mariko, we are sure happy you won, but your sentence you wrote makes you a even bigger winner in my book.
-"I feel sorry for the others and can't really enjoy winning...
I don't want to be ungrateful but I think that there is definitely something wrong here.
This is a photo contest, so when a photo is submitted, regardless of wether Pro or not or in which part of the world or time zone you live, everybody should have the same chance and the best should win. " I agree with you totally, thank you.
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'you' Ejrcc

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I agree with the feelings expressed above. I did enjoy the opportunity to learn photography on your site, but not very enjoyable to see great pictures with low points just because they are not PROs and have not the same oportunity to get them as others because of the new system. It is sad to have to look for other places to keep learning.
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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As I said above PROs don't have an unfair advantage in ImageScore in the long run. In fact some PROs are complaining that some of their images do worse by being a PRO (and this is not without truth).
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paulmoore1969

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As you can see Jason I am not the only one unhappy with the way the site is going. It really is a pain in the ass to see one of my pic scoring really well in image duels and then just stop after about 50 duels and then see lesser pics pass me out because the have been submitted by PRO members who will get their allotted 100 image duels.

I submitted this pic 2 days ago and saw it very quickly get to 50 image duels with 32 wins and it hasn't moved in ages. I had one pic last week break the magic 100 image duel ceiling but that was after incessant duel boosting. Not fun.
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Paul. I see that your image is current on the top of the leaderboard for this week out of the 9000 images submitted in the past two days. And there are no pros in the top 10. As I mentioned above. I see, and appreciate your concerns, and we are doing something about it. It won't happen over night but I'm committed to solving the daily awards problem.

Your images that are scoring in the high 600s from last week will make it to 100 votes before weekly awards are assigned. That said I would bet, based on changes that we made to our scoring system as a result of your our feedback, their scores won't change all that much.

But let's keep record:
This image is currently at IS 690 with ID 74 : http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...
This is at IS 619 with ID 69 : http://www.pixoto.com/images-photogra...

Let's check where those images end up on Thursday morning.
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Hi Paul. So it looks like I was generally right about those two images (except the second one didn't quite get to 100 duels). They ended up at right around the same ImageScore even after a lot more duels.

I also noticed that yesterday you had #2,#3 and #4 in the mobile category with the number of votes closing in on 100. Congrats. I think daily awards are definitely working better - if I do say so myself.

I want to thank you for pushing us on this issue instead of just walking. It was the fact that you were so fired up about it that caused us to take a close look at it and resolve the issue. Thanks!
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paulmoore1969

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By the way I'm off to vote on some image duels to get the credits I need to boost my own pics. If you see some crap pics getting votes it is probably me cos I barely look at what I voting for any more. I have to try and earn so many credits to try and boost my pics up to the same number of duels as PRO members I don't have time to examine each pic individually and a lot of the time I will click on a pic without even looking at it. Completely unfair I know but I didn't design the site to have this over reliance on earning credits. It is becoming like the freemium model that is ruining App Store games. Either you pay up front or 'grind' your way through image duels to earn what PRO members are automatically entitled to.
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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I'm really sorry you feel that way - but why don't you stop boosting and give it a week to see if our new vote allocation methodology is working.
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olaf fooling

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where are u now Paul?
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mw c

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Looks like I won't be putting up my images right now,. thanks for the heads up. Do you have a set schedule to vote, just so I know? Ha ha ha
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paulmoore1969

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@mw c. Finished now:) Well until the pics are paused again after a ridiculously low number of duels. Maybe it's just punishment for not purchasing a PRO account. But as I said before I will not pay for something that is broken.
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d c

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I guess then it is my turn just to click away like everyone else so as to buy my way up.
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Michelle Meenawong

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Paulmoore
The way you vote is not a solution. If you want fairness you have to be fair with the other ones as well. You hurt in your feelings, which I can understand, I'm also frustated many times. But have other people hurt like you doesn't make it better. To buy more votes you need 5 credits and to boost 10 credits. This is not a lot. If you take your time to earn 10 credits it will take you maybe less than 5 minutes. You don't need to spend hours playing the duels if you don't have the time. 10-15 minutes a few times a day is enough and then then when you really have time, you could play 100-200 duels. but please, have a look at the pictures. When I look at the duel history, I feel many people do it this way. This makes the all things worse. And I don't think that when a picture get paused that is punishment for not buying a pro account. Maybe it's because they are not so good as the top ones. Or maybe it's because somebody voted the way you do it. Don't forget that the pro accounts help pixoto to exist. The better way to get points (and this is for everybody) is to work and try to be as good as the top ones. It takes time but it works and then you will be proud of your work and of your awards, when you get one. I'm not a pro, I'm not a photographer only a crazy amateur. I take pics every day (almost). I tell you I take maybe 200 pics and keep max. 10-20 of them. Watch at other people work and try do do the same. With patience you will achieve it. Please be fair and look at the pictures before voting
P.S.: dc, please, don't start to do the same. It's not the solution
I wish you a nice day and good luck and happy shooting
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d c

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Michelle, obviously you are a very nice person. Please read the comment and see that it is sarcasm. These are just numbers here. The real photos will always get recognized. As far as needing the pro accounts to exist, if that was the case they had better give up it isnt enough money to be concerned about. It would just be nice if the site would remain truly balanced for the photos. And the revenues came from the advertising. Thank you
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ghislain vancampenhoudt

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As a subscriber to the PRO account I have the impression that my images don't reach the score levels they used to do in the pre-PRO period (Justin mentioned this in this thread and I wonder how this can happen...)
Besides that, voting is very slow most of the times and by the time you get your 100 votes (usually after three or four days) there is not much to gain in launching a duel boost which can bring the score even more down.
I certainly don't feel advantaged since the PRO upgrade, as a matter of fact if I could turn back time I would have left things as they were...
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Andrew Halpern

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Keep in mind that you Pixoto has almost one million photos that you now need to compete against and I would think that it would make sense that everyone's scores will be reduced as the competition heats up. The votes would naturally slow down just based on simple math. "people vs photos". The only reason a score goes down is because it loses duels. Pro has nothing to do with it. Also i don't believe that a Pro account was supposed to give anyone an advantage. Just certain benefits. IMHO
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Andrew Halpern

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I agree with Michelle.
This site is a new concept. No other site I know has Image duel capability. As the site says it is still in beta. There will always be bugs and issues in the beta stage of any program. It is only with patience and feedback from us that it will grow into a great site. I pay for a pro account because I want to see this site grow. Any issues I have had Jason or his team has addressed and is usually resolved. Some issues will take a while to fix but I guess many people do not want to wait. This is the age of immediate gratification and no one wants to wait for anything. :) There used to be a saying, "the best things in life are worth waiting for" I still find this to be true. But to each there own i guess.
This is just my opinion and I am in no way trying to start any bad feelings. I am hoping I am helping rather than adding to the problems.
Be well and have a great day...
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J

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A pro account costs less than $9 a month! That's dirt cheap! I bought it because I like to enter like 5 pictures at a time and boosting took too much time. It did make my pictures climb up in rank far slower then non pro. It's less work- but not an advantage at all. I find having my kids picture dual with a mans tatoo(twice) disturbing. And dualing my fish with a goat?
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Michael Ripley

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I don't get what all the fuss is about - I don't boost my images any more, and the majority of them get to the 500 point or so mark; that's the number I look at, not how many duels it has taken to get them there - for info, it can be anywhere between 40 and 60, and that can happen in a day, and without the need to boost.

Where I usually spend my points is unpausing images, and I do find myself doing this more and more often, and usually with images that end up in the mid 500 score range!!
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Holly Law

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As a newcomer here, I agree with a lot of what's been said here, particularly in respect to Pro accounts. The reason why this site excited me so much when I first found it is that it seemed different. Different, new, and better. The whole concept of this site is based on equality. Here we have a truly wonderful voting system that in theory blocks out all variables other than the quality of the photos. However, the system defeats itself by introducing one massive variable: money. Now, like everything else, those with money have the advantage. So if the purpose of this site has gone from 'Give each image a fair chance regardless of age/height/shoe size/promotion capabilities of the photographer' to 'Give each image a fair chance (but a better chance if you pay us *nudge nudge*)' where does this leave us? I know that to some people, a Pro account is 'dirt cheap', but to me it's a lot of money, and I couldn't afford it.

This is how I'm judging it at the moment. The ability to pay for more votes seems hypocritical, and totally not in line with the Pixoto philosophy. But then I am new. Maybe I'm just taking things at face value, and you have what's going on worked out a lot more cleverly than how I see it on the surface. I don't know. But if this is what's going on, Pixoto, please fix it. Make the site more ghetto. Give us more ads. But please, keep it fair. I'm tired of being slightly disadvantaged in so many areas of life.
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Partha Chatterjee

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I have stopped uploading my photographs long back due to biased policy of Pixoto. Please check my profile, you will understand.
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d c

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I am so glad to see these last two comments. I have contributed up to this month but will quit at the end of Dec. I would have like to see a system that was there for you Holly, for you never sell a great amount off these sites they are more for entertainment purposes. But that said when you read the profile of Jason and his brother you would of thought that a family man that took a year off to be with his family and travel would have instituted a better system. well.... anyway his financial education obviously over took his values. It is so sad too... so fair well...

DC
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Susan Hogan

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As this thread is a year old, no idea if anyone reads it at this point, but I have to agree (in part at least) that this constant need to boost images to get them to a competitive point is a real pain in the butt. The pausing of images after 4 or 5 votes (at which point, IMHO, it is impossible to tell the relative quality or how it will ultimately fair) is frustrating, especially since you never know if you're simply hitting someone just clicking through... The blind clickers make me insane, those who just do it to get the credits, but its a necessity for those who MUST earn credits to give their images a fair shake against pro accounts. Its necessary for me to vote on hundreds of photos daily, which can be incredibly time consuming if you're like me and try to do so fairly.
I also sincerely don't understand the claim of anonymity in voting, when anyone can know whose photos are whose in a very short amount of time (especially in your own categories - for me this is primarily cats and dogs - the same animals appear time and again and once you know them, there is NO anonymity and one must rely on integrity instead). But if you're checking leaderboards, which I presume most people do, every single image lists the photog. And IMHO, people often DO know who they are voting for, as evidence by the "last minute" rocketing upward of some images' scores at the end of the week. I don't think that "voting up" on certain images could be accidental or coincidental... I don't have a pro account, so I have no idea who is voting on my images, but could speculate that its not quite as "unbiased" as one might think on every occasion and I am sure many people might have that complaint. Personally, I try to avoid voting my own category at this point, even though I think I am unbiased...

Finally, why does this site not accept paypal for payments, when they pay out using paypal? I might be inspired to try a month and make the comparison if that was available.
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Tom

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I don't vote blindly - I look for merit in the pics - if they are substandard are I don't vote on them - I skip. If I think they are in the wrong category - I report it it and skip. If I see a good match between the pics in terms of content I find it easier to vote.
So spend time voting and reporting. It can only get better.
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Daniel Beaudoin

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Pixoto is just a joke there's no point about a good picture or not. This site is trolled and it is impossible to win against them. I try a picture that been published on Vogue and can be on the top 10Th a joke when I saw these Marbles doll eyes, plastic skin, zombie like models. Always the same crap repetitively with slight changes won. Don't invest a penny on Pixoto.
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BradleyR

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I know what you mean about the same old photo.....but what do you mean by the site being "trolled?"

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