Voting accuracy and time of day

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I wonder if Pixoto takes into account that some people might just click through pics to get credits. Doing so would skew the image duel results.

Perhaps there is just chance involved, but I've noticed that depending on the time of day, my submitted photos get different results, which is why I raise this question. For example, last night I submitted a few new orchid shots, and they failed miserably, barely getting 100+ points before being paused. The same thing happened when I submitted them the night prior. But, early this morning I removed them and then resubmitted, and they are now doing well, over 500 points in some instances.

Thus, having exercised this re-submission of the exact same photos 3 times, and the third time working well, based (almost) solely on time of day, it would seem something is awry. Are nighttime voters just clicking through, or perhaps there is a different audience? The former is what concerns me, as there is little that can be done for the latter (unless Pixoto were to provide duels that engaged users from different countries and timezones).

Perhaps there could be a way to catch improper voting (those just clicking through to get credits), by sometimes putting in an obvious loser image that would have to fail (something so out of frame and focus). Or, perhaps you could have a feature to just resubmit images (which would of course cost points, but would make the process easier).

In the meantime, I think I'll be submitting my images during the AM (PST), and not at night. This seems to give me better results.

-Nathan
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Nathan Cool

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Posted 8 years ago

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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Nathan - I've been thinking a lot about your comments above. Here are a few thoughts:

There is definitely different groups of people who vote at different times of day. About 40% of our votes come from the US but those are primarily between the hours of 7am - 11pm PST. There are virtually none over night. So when the US isn't voting other places in the world (Europe and Asia are) and the preferences of these groups is somewhat different.

It is also possible that some people are clicking just to get credits - we haven't seen much evidence of this in the past but are taking another look at the data to see if something has changed.

What seems to be more common is that people will vote to try to bring down the highly ranked images. This however is pretty hard to do given the new duel pairing algorithms, and when people do try they are pretty easy to catch. When we catch them we remove the impact of their votes from the system (but continue to let them vote). So just because you see that an image lost to another - doesn't mean it's actually effecting ImageScore.

The changes we have made over the past two weeks are very dramatic and we think make the system much better. We will continue to monitor and adjust in order to make sure that we are getting the best images to the top and that the voting is as fair and accurate as possible. This feedback helps!
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Nathan Cool

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Thanks Jason! I was actually writing the post below when you were replying...looks like our wires got crossed :) Glad to hear though that you guys are on top of it...and kudos of course on the site, and look forward to seeing it grow over time.
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John L Herlo

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Jason, I agree with your observations. However the Sundays are real killers. it seems they are more of a HDR crowd.
Is there anyway HDR is in a category apart?
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Nathan Cool

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According to Jason Kiefer at Pixoto in 3 other posts I've found so far talking about this, Pixoto (supposedly) has a fairly fool-proof system that:

1. Catches improper voting and...

2. Cancels-out bad votes since there are more "good" voters than bad. This point bothers me the most, since Jason mentioned that 75% of votes are placed by Pixoto award winners, which means 25% of all votes could be bogus, and in the 75% who are award winners, some could be from ill-gotten voting.

I'd really like to hear what someone at Pixoto can say about all of this, but I don't think their safeguards are working very well. IMHO, Pixoto is a very cool site, nothing is perfect, and I think they could do some improvements. Some ideas/suggestions that might help:

A. During image duels, inject super bad pics every now and then (randomly, and on random sides). If a voter is caught placing improper votes, tell them and void the subsequent results associated with their recent votes (during their image-duel session).

B. Ensure the image-duel images are presented for a couple of seconds minimum before voting is allowed to ensure they are being viewed and not just clicked through.

C. Raise a flag if someone is always clicking on the left or right.

D. Since the site is free to use, require users to take a duel test before being able to vote or to submit photos. This is how some of the stock photo sites work, ensuring you are paying attention and know the rules before being allowed to submit photos. During this test, Pixoto could also show examples of bad and good photos, showing what to look for, i.e. focus, composition, chromatic aberration, over saturation, washed-out lighting from on-camera flash, red-eye, etc. This would not only help to abate bad voting, but would be beneficial to young shutterbugs as well.

E. Place weight on votes by reputable voters: those with high rankings/scores, and who aren't caught placing bad votes.

Once again, I'd like to mention that I totally dig Pixoto...I just want to see it get better and better (while being fairer and fairer).
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Jason Kiefer, Official Rep

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Wow. Awesome suggestions. Some of these we do. Some we are going to do. Some we need to think about more (the test in particular).

My point regarding the 75% of voters being award winning photographers was that they should know a good photo when they see one and that most of our votes aren't from random people who don't know anything about photography. That said the 75% vote very similarly to the 25% - so I think in general - people know a great image when they see one.

I wouldn't say we're foolproof - but I think by-in-large things are really fair. That said we are constantly trying to figure out how to make it better.
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Michael Ripley

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I'd really like to see some additional functionality to this site to allow for peer reviews / critiques. While I want to see my pictures earning points galore, it's not points galore that inspires me to go out taking pictures.

I have lots to learn, and I believe there are people here who can teach me, and in return I would love to pass that knowledge and experience down, being someone who only got into photography about a year ago.

I agree with Nathan that this is a cool site, and having subscribed to a couple of others for comparison would suggest that this is definitely one of the better.

(Whilst I'm not touting myself for one of the jobs you have advertised, I do run a team of web developers, so I know that given an infinite number of resource you can definitely achieve everything the customer expects :) )

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