BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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Latest Changes to BP website


This discussion isn't really about the contest, but there doesn't seem to be a place for general discussions of the website so I'll put it here.

Jim announced some changes recently - even polled people for input and was apparently thrilled with the responses. Now some changes have been made. I'm sure some of us like some of them and others don't. This discussion is meant to be a place where we can say both what we like about the changes and why (that may help other members enjoy BP even more) as well as what we don't like and why (that may help BP decide what to change in the future).


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7/31/2013 8:08:59 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  I'll start.
I already wrote BP about this, but I that was before I realized how much impact it would have on me. The "previous page" and "next page" arrows up in the top corners of the page that enabled us to step through a set of entries (Recent Entries; Contest Finalists; Club galleries) are gone. I used these all the time when I perused the entries in order to enjoy the images full size and decide which ones I wanted to comment and/or vote (club) on. The fact that they are no longer there and I now have to use my browser back button in order to do this will cut out my commenting almost completely. I do not like to work from thumbnails - too easy to miss a great one by not opening it. And sometimes an eye-catching thumb turns out to be disappointing. The ability to step through full size images easily is very important to me.


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7/31/2013 8:15:53 AM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  Nikki,
Your note is thoughtful and should be helpful for BP. I hope that BP will listen to us and consider us before they make changes. I have enjoyed BP for a couple of years,now and I believe that I am a better photographer because of the association. I hope things work out for all of us, BP included.


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7/31/2013 8:27:04 AM

 
Sharon Sawyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/23/2007
  My feelings on some changes. Just spent my morning working on this email & discussion and I'm tired and frustrated.

Nikki, I will read your comments and respond when I have more time. Here is the info you asked me to post here:


BP Photo Contest Link On Your Description Line

I hate to bring this up during our June finalists and winners celebration time but I'm taking a break from BetterPhoto and I need your help for changes while I'm away.

Has anyone else noticed the changes to a finalist, second place winner and I assume first place and grand prize winners pages?

Here's an example:

Contrast of Colors

If you don't like the change would you please notify BetterPhoto and ask them to change it?

Here is the message I wrote to them this morning which explains it a little better and my feelings about it:

Hi BetterPhoto staff,

I don't like the new feature where you have added a link on the same line as my title of a finalist or second place winner.

You've placed it in front of my description and it takes people away from my description page.

I put a lot of time and thought to describe the image and you have added a link to your home page which advertises for you trying to attract new people to the contest.

It is advertising for you and I have marked I don't want advertising.

Would you please consider changing this as I feel it is unfair & unattractive?

Please try to find another way to do this.

Thank you in advance,
Sharon


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7/31/2013 8:30:41 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  Update

Wrote BP about the forward and back buttons and Jay Wadley just answered. They are supposed to be there - and are there on most systems. I can see them in IE on my computer but not in Firefox (which is what I use). My husband can see them in Firefox on his computer. I'm trying to figure out what's wrong on my end - when I do, I'll let you know in case anyone else has the same issue.

I am just so glad to know they are not supposed to be missing :)


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7/31/2013 10:06:11 AM

 
Sharon Sawyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/23/2007
  Jay just emailed me regarding my problem and I just sent him url samples. I'm impressed & grateful he responded so quickly and they are looking into it.

Hopefully all these glitches will be worked out.

I use Firefox so when I have time I will see what you mean, Nikki.

I have other problems too.. with uploading that never use to happen. Will have to deal with them after my break from BetterPhoto or maybe they will fix themselves by the time I return. :)


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7/31/2013 10:17:58 AM

 
Kathryn Wesserling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2005
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  Jay is probably the most member-responsive person at BP. He's helped me a couple of times, and many others have mentioned the same thing. If it needs fixing, and can be fixed - Jay is the best fixer-upper ever!


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7/31/2013 11:45:24 AM

 
Amanda D. Austwick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/2/2003
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  I have a Mac and Safari as my browser. I just tried Google Chrome, and I have the little hearts on both internet systems. I will email Jay at BP and see if he can suggest any changes.


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7/31/2013 1:39:22 PM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  No need to email Jay - he is working on this. I have sent him information from a number of sources. In general, the hearts seem to be there and working (though one person reported that they were there but not working correctly for her). It's the arrows to move through from one image to the next when you are in fully open mode that are there for some and not there for others.


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7/31/2013 1:57:48 PM

 
Amanda D. Austwick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/2/2003
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  Thank you Nikki. Well I have already sent my email to Jay. I don't see the arrows at all. I'll just wait for a reply or wait to see some changes.


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7/31/2013 2:18:39 PM

 
Jill Odice
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2005
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  If you look at a full size image in somebody's gallery who uses the old style, you no longer can favorite their pictures...There is a favorite button in the new style gallery, but not in th old one. Now I have no way to favorite many of the photos I look at as lots of folks still use the old style galleries.


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7/31/2013 2:38:09 PM

 
Jill Odice
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/1/2005
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  Oh...now I see the little hearts...totally missed them as I was looking for the words. It would be nice if they let us know about stuff like this...Thankful for the Forums :-)


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7/31/2013 2:42:17 PM

 
Sharon Sawyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/23/2007
  Sorry I used the wrong url in my earlier post.

It should have been:

Contrast of Colors

OR look at this page on Jill O's gallery which has not been fixed yet either.

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetailMember.asp?photoID=13931941&catID=&camID=&zulu=&contestCatID=

OR Nikki's

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetailMember.asp?photoID=13490744&catID=&camID=&zulu=&contestCatID=

I hope I can explain this clearly...

Jay did fix it around noon but now there are all kinds of mistakes on my pages and it is still wrong. The heart is not red and there is funny lettering under my photo images

I told him that by clicking on the silver finalist badge it takes you to BP's home page where people can see the CONTEST IS NOW FREE and open to everyone.

I also said that it doesn't go to the WINNER"S PAGE like it suggests. I said the new line in blue right under my photo that says "Photo Contest Finalist" is redundant as it does the same thing and this is what he said back to me:

"The link and badge go back to our contest page which shows what contest the award was for. For your personal gallery you can choose not to display the badges."

So that is all the time and energy I am going to put into this. I have learned, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change and courage to change the things I can." AND in this case... I can't change this!

BetterPhoto are making changes I may or may not like them but I will have to just accept them if I want peace within.

I just wanted you to know I tried to fix something not just for myself but for all members. Right now I'm really disappointed as I wasted precious time and energy for nothing.

If the new people they are trying to attract are more important than the old and faithful than so be it. Time will tell how well that works out for them.


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7/31/2013 3:38:31 PM

 
John Singleton
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2006
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mymindseyephotography.com
  Thanks Nikki, Hope Jay gets this worked out. I use Firefox, Windows 7, 64 bit. Do not use any other browser. Having same problem as you have described. Will hold off on email/phone calls to see how this plays out.


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7/31/2013 7:43:19 PM

 
Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
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  Just like Nikki, I use Firefox most of the times and the arrows are not to be seen, at least for now.

UB.


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7/31/2013 11:26:07 PM

 
Monnie Ryan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/25/2008
  For whatever it's worth, if I'm looking at what I think you're referring to, there are arrows (albeit tiny) on the pages using Google Chrome, my browser of choice.


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8/1/2013 12:13:18 PM

 
John Singleton
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/11/2006
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mymindseyephotography.com
  As of about 1 hour ago, the arrows had returned. Thank you Nikki and especially Jay for being so responsive to our requests.


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8/1/2013 12:17:31 PM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  Oh, thanks for letting us know, Monnie and John. I use Firefox - they are there and functional now. Hooray. Thanks, Jay.


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8/1/2013 12:26:10 PM

 
Amanda D. Austwick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/2/2003
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  Well the arrows show up using Safari & Google Chrome, and Firefox only in the Finalist pages but not in the club that I'm in. That's a bit better. Maybe because I'm on a Mac?


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8/1/2013 1:45:59 PM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  Right you are, Amanda. Not there for me in the club, either. I passed this on to Jay.


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8/1/2013 2:01:10 PM

 
Sharon Sawyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/23/2007
  Good morning everyone,

Regarding my earlier post on the new blue link under our photos with Finalists or Gold badges I said I would keep you posted on what I came up with.

Well here it is... the blue links are staying.

I'm apposed to it but have been told we will have to agree to disagree on this matter.

I found out not all members object to it as much as I do and others would like it on a separate line.

Oh well, I tried... Win some! Lose some!

I hope they fix the other glitches for everyone.

So I'm signing off on this one.

CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN TO ALL THE OUTSTANDING JUNE WINNERS & FINALISTS!!! I would love to congratulate each and everyone personally but that is impossible for me to do.

Just know... You are the best in the world... (by BetterPhoto standards)

KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!!


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8/2/2013 8:59:39 AM

 
Dorothy Neumann
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2004
  I have been a member for many years, but don't often enter the contest or add photos. Still, I like to enter sometimes and have a place I can send people to to see my images. I find the photo uploading and sorting process to be harder and harder. Like right now I'm just trying to figure out what happened to my most recent entry, which I requested to have added to my gallery, and did sort order, and my new photo is supposed to be first in my gallery except it's not there. I used to be able to find the link for the album sort stuff, now I'm having a heck of a time finding it. I used to be able to find the links for the forums. Sure seems hard to find now. Why can't this be easy? It used to be easy.


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8/6/2013 8:08:00 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  I sympathize with your frustration, Dorothy - seems as if whenever there are improvements in technology (and not just at BP), things that seemed just fine to me are harder to use, at least at first. Maybe I can help you with your problems, though.
First, some tabs that used to drop down from the top are now on the upper left in your Member Center, so go there and look in the upper left.
For uploading, sorting, editing additions to your gallery, viewing your month's contest entries, etc., you want to click on the 2nd link down, "My Photos"; that should help with the photo sort and display problems.
For discussions, you want to click on the 5th link down, "Forums". The easiest way to find or start a new discussion is to choose one of the three red links near the top: Ask a Question, All New Questions, All New Responses.

For your other problem - locating the photo that you moved to the front of your gallery and cannot now find, it's possible that you forgot to scroll down to the bottom of the sort page and click "Submit" after you sorted. I do that sometimes - and then all my time spent sorting is for naught.

Hope this helps.


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8/6/2013 9:11:58 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  BTW, the arrows are back in the club galleries, too. Thanks again, Jay.


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8/12/2013 9:34:35 PM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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PickYourShots.com
  Did you guys see this?
http://www.betterphoto.com/POTDarchive2.asp?ID=3253
Now they are going to take "favorites" into consideration during the contest. They say they don't want it to be a popularity contest, but in the next sentence they tell you to have all your friends "favorite" your photo. In which universe isn't that a popularity contest? Just one more thing for me to dislike.


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8/13/2013 9:00:42 AM

 
Amanda D. Austwick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/2/2003
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  Hmm, I think that they maybe asking us to "help" in the judging part of a photo, even though the judges have the last call. Do you think it is because they have been so slow in awarding merit to images? I really don't like the idea that our "Favoring" a photo influences their judgement.


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8/13/2013 10:02:45 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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PickYourShots.com
  The thing is, many of us don't have time to go around "faving" photos, or chasing votes. I'm dealing with an Alzheimer's patient and all the chores he used to do, so this is the last thing I want to have to worry about.


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8/13/2013 10:12:02 AM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  If this is true, then that will do it for me. It makes me downright angry. I live out here in the podunks and no one I know is on BP and even if I HAD friends on BP I would never ask them to "favorite" my photos. I would be offended if they asked me to do the same. It is politics plain and simple and another way for BP to get exposure. I already have my photos in another gallery so it is not the gallery aspect that interests me. I have admired the contest for years and finally got up the nerve/courage to enter it. If the judging is going to be based on some sort of popularity contest then the whole thing is bogus.


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8/13/2013 11:02:16 AM

 
Nikki McDonald
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/6/2006
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  I don't like this new development either, but I truly don't think it will change anything in the long run. I suggest we sit back, relax, and do the same thing we always have - favorite the images that really speak to us. I have never had many favorites on my images - probably 3/4 of my entries have zero favorites. Fine with me. I have always felt the few I did have really meant something - not always that someone adored an image because I recognize that people favorite for different reasons sometimes, but something. Jim has said the bottom line will still be the judges' opinion - perhaps favorites will get them to look carefully at a few images they might have missed or dismissed in the past, maybe that's a good thing. And as I said at the beginning, I don't really think this will change anything. At least that's what I've decided to choose to believe :)


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8/13/2013 11:08:46 AM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  This makes sense. The other option is a "peoples choice award" each month. For example: I will not mention the name of the photographer but the flower she entered in June was breath taking. She had loads of comments and favorites but it only was a finalist and not a gold winner. I was very surprised. Outdoor photographer does this in their contests but the grand prizes are strictly decided by the judges. However, if they (BP) are having difficulty keeping up as it is, another category would be devastating. Bottom line, I hope that this cheerleader mentality of the favorites goes away. Thoughtful messages and encouraging words mean so much more.


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8/13/2013 11:29:06 AM

 
Kara L. Hendricks
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/18/2004
  My biggest concern is that members of my yahoo group said it's possible to "LIKE" your own images.. and it's possible to do it several times... Which means a person could just spend all their time liking their own stuff over and over again to try to boost their chances at getting a closer look from the judges... I do NOT like the idea of more LIKES on an image in ANY way influencing the contest... Maybe do a "People's Choice" winner too... But do not mix the two!! I wish they would do polls asking whether members like ideas before they make changes...:(


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8/13/2013 11:29:28 AM

 
Carolyn  M. Fletcher
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/6/2001
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PickYourShots.com
  Ask our opinion?? Or listen when they get it?? Not happening.


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8/13/2013 12:18:04 PM

 
Joannie Bertucci
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/17/2003
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  Sounds like Jim is asking us to help do the judges job! Not a good idea at all to have favs help pick an image for EP's and so forth! Down right shamefull!


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8/13/2013 2:53:50 PM

 
Joannie Bertucci
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/17/2003
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  ...and when the heck are they going to get on with judging images for EP's? Nothing like being stuck in the middle of two months...


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8/13/2013 2:55:07 PM

 
Kay Beausoleil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2004
KayBeausoleilPhotography.com
  Now a popularity contest?! What fun: trolling for votes. I'm only sorry BP now thinks its judges can't make a decision on the merits of the images alone. Really discouraging ...


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8/13/2013 3:20:19 PM

 
Cheryl Schneider   I would suggest that the new "fav" endeavor is a strictly business proposition. The more hits that BP gets the happier the advertisers are. Participation has been way down in BP land recently. In promoting this, however, the contest loses what authenticity it once had. Sad to see what has evolved over the last few years!


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8/13/2013 5:20:01 PM

 
Kara L. Hendricks
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/18/2004
  I think we all sometimes get worked up over minor things... We like things the way they are and don't care for change, but like with all things, we will adjust... I don't know about you guys but I have to keep remembering that if I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't do it.. and overall, I really enjoy BP and the contest... It keeps me shooting thing I know I wouldn't if there was no contest.. And for that I am thankful, if I get the judges attention, with or without favs. on an image, GREAT... I'm glad I did... I try hard not to to take the contest or myself too seriously here... In the end what does it do but make us mad or feel bad... Keep playing along cause you enjoy it..:)


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8/13/2013 8:44:21 PM

 
Ujjwal Mukherjee
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/21/2001
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  I don’t like it (Contest update from BP - “Judges now consider the Favorites count on contest entries”) either, it’s difficult to comprehend that the Pro judges will need/consider favorite counts.... to me it’s a dilution of unbiased and efficient judging process. Will wait to see how it unfolds .....


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8/14/2013 4:03:12 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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  Wow, guess I've been away too long. I do still enter/upload photos occasionally but haven't noticed the changes. I did look at the link below the Finalist button as shared in a previous post. The placement didn't bother me.

I recently entered a couple of photos into the contest. IMHO they are both worthy of at least an EFP. If neither get one then future entries would seem pointless to me.

The contest should be completely anonymous and should not be judged on who you are how how much judges like your work or how many favs you get. Too bad people have to watermark their images to prevent theft. For the contest I leave the watermark off. I did do that for a short while a few years ago but dropped the habit. I prefer to think my photos have won on their own merit.

As for BP in general...it's still the cleanest site for having a gallery. I do wish it was a little less expensive.


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8/14/2013 6:28:51 AM

 
Harriet Feagin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/25/2011
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  I do not like the favorites aspect of the contest. I "faved" my own photo just to see if it could be done and it can. I then "unfavorited" it right away. So much for that. I just hate to see the contest turn into a popularity contest not to mention an advertising ploy. It cheapens the whole experience for me.


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8/14/2013 7:34:46 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/28/2012
  This whole favorite thing is pretty stupid. What if someone has a potential Grand Prize winning image, but gets no favorite attached to it?, will that photo now be considered no good, thus not even getting a Finalist..

There are people on here that are more popular than others, so if BP now considers favorites as determining a winner, we are going to have the same people win month after month after month based just on their popularity.. Yeah, that's the way to make people happy..

Images should be judged on talent not selecting hearts to pick favorites.. This is not high school to see who or what is more popular...So lame and ridiculous


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8/14/2013 5:52:59 PM

 
Nicholas Semo
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2008
  That's funny...I get e-mails from BP all the time and a lot of them are polls asking what we think about proposed changes they may make. Is it possible a lot of you have asked not to receive e-mails from BP?


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8/15/2013 6:11:59 PM

 
Robert K. Bemus
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/16/2005
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  At what point are the favorites considered? Before the EP? Or after the Finalists have been announced?


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8/16/2013 2:43:04 PM

 
Cheryl Schneider   Nicholas, My druthers definitely didn't include adding "favs" as a component of the contest. I am not convinced that what members have to say are actually taken into account in spite of the warm, fuzzy feeling asking is supposed to inspire.

Robert, that's a very good question!


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8/16/2013 4:32:16 PM

 
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