What are your thoughts on enforcing equipment and acquisition details on images?

siovene
18 Nov, 2015 20:41
A user recently emailed me proposing that image details should be enforced on AstroBin, i.e. you should not be able to upload an image unless you provide at least some details.

On hand it makes sense, because a big part of why AstroBin was born, five years ago, was that I hated seeing all these amazing astrophotograph scattered around on the Internet, with no details because the images were hosted on general purpose hosting services and the details were maybe in a different context, like a forum.

On the other hand, enforcing the details would mean there's a barrier and some people would be less inclined to share their images.

What are your thoughts?
JHolland
18 Nov, 2015 21:09
I love looking at other's details, but I am ok with it being optional.
Magellen
18 Nov, 2015 21:15
JHolland
I love looking at other's details, but I am ok with it being optional.
same here.
qbool
18 Nov, 2015 21:19
Count me in the optional camp as well. As much as I hate navigating to an interesting image, only to find that no details were provided for it, enforcing that details be provided seems a bit draconian, not to mention problematic from a practical perspective. People who are inclined to provide those details already do so. People who aren't will likely just enter the minimum amount of detail allowed. What I'd really like to see is mandatory disclosure of detailed processing steps! Hehe, of course I'm just kidding. Or am I? smile
jaminite
18 Nov, 2015 23:37
I wish everyone provided details, but I agree, it should be completely optional.
pdfermat
19 Nov, 2015 02:17
Yeah, as soon as it becomes non-optional, you know it will definitely rub some the wrong way.

I do really need to see those details, though.  And if I click on an image and it doesn't have them provided, I move along pretty quick.  I also feel obligated to provide them to help others.
Francois_Doussoux
19 Nov, 2015 09:19
Hello, i share the same feeling : very sad when no information is provided.
 a reward system for complete provided information would maybe work ?
siovene
19 Nov, 2015 09:21
a reward system for complete provided information would maybe work ?
What about if images with no details don't appear anywhere except the user's gallery? Not on the home page, not on the wall, not in the searches. Thoughts?
Edited 19 Nov, 2015 09:22
patrickgilliland
19 Nov, 2015 09:48
Optional - from a technical perspective it is nice to use as both a guide and benchmark.  But lets not enforce restrictive rules.
Consider also some may not want people to know where they image from and where you can find a range of expensive equipment!  Afterall this is the internet and bad things happen.
On a less paranoid note… and to promote completion could you reward via scoring index?  I.E.  Fully featured (this being say 5 of 10 identified fields) could you increase score by maybe a factor (E.G 1.05).  This would create a 'reward' and encourage but not to such a degree it almost becomes mandatory.

Paddy
siovene
19 Nov, 2015 10:07
and to promote completion could you reward via scoring index?
Maybe… but I'm not sure. I think that a lot of people despise the gamification. Obviously you can't satisfy everyone tho…
Francois_Doussoux
19 Nov, 2015 10:08
Salvatore Iovene
a reward system for complete provided information would maybe work ?
What about if images with no details don't appear anywhere except the user's gallery? Not on the home page, not on the wall, not in the searches. Thoughts?
Could be that.
I guess security informations (precise gps localisation as the main) should be avoidable.
The minimum information needed should be discussed.
As an example
-imager focal lengh
-imager type
-optical configuration
-detector type/brand/cooling
-subs/subs lengh/filters
-mount
Lantaca
19 Nov, 2015 10:08
Patrick (Paddy) Gilliland
This would create a 'reward' and encourage but not to such a degree it almost becomes mandatory.Paddy

I fully agree, in fact, who does not put the details can not become the best of the day
patrickgilliland
19 Nov, 2015 10:26
Luca Billeri
Patrick (Paddy) Gilliland
This would create a 'reward' and encourage but not to such a degree it almost becomes mandatory.Paddy

I fully agree, in fact, who does not put the details can not become the best of the day
I would disagree with that though as that is saying it is mandatory to be recognised as a IoD candidate.

What about if images with no details don't appear anywhere except the user's gallery? Not on the home page, not on the wall, not in the searches. Thoughts?
Is this not the same as being mandatory (in practice) - the feature you describe for no data == staging area [almost].

I think that a lot of people despise the gamification

No you can not please everyone - but we all have the same rules and opportunities.  If it is clear that the data receives a reward and why (its useful to others and provides context to the image) then it is not a game - it's the way the site works.  Again its a small reward only but its there nonetheless.

Otherwise stick with optional else you are effectively policing the site and enforcing rules many (paid) user will not want.

Paddy
MalvoliO77
19 Nov, 2015 14:03
A large part of the value of this site is being able to see what gear and methods others used to make their images (especially if the gear is the same as yours).  That being said, it should still be optional.   I suspect that most people input the extra details if they have it.   I would hate for people to start making up details if they don't have them, but are forced to.
seigell
19 Nov, 2015 15:11
Perhaps, as the Code behind the Site is updated, an early emphasis can be placed on reducing the remaining hurdles to User Reporting of Shooting Data.  Data Input routines could be augmented so that one can "Clone" data from a "Equipment/Shooting Profile" rather than be required to "Enter Afresh".  And any remaining difficulties with Data Entry can be identified through the Forum, and hopefully Fixes Expedited during subsequent Code Updates.

I, too, find value in the Shooting/Equipment Data, and make every effort to post that data for every Image posted.  I would not be adverse to "minor penalties" for Images lacking some baseline of Details.
siovene
19 Nov, 2015 15:23
I agree, seigel. The acquisition details screen needs some work. 

PS,  you can already clone the equipment from another image! 
patrickgilliland
19 Nov, 2015 15:43
I would not be adverse to "minor penalties" for Images lacking some baseline of Details.

Human psychology will always respond better to positive reinforcement than negative.
Rewarding good behaviour is far more effective than penalising bad - I have a 25K word dissertation here on this topic and behavioural management techniques detailing just how fundamental this is in getting the most from people.  If you want people to adhere to a requirement greater uptake will be seen through the reward route.
Paddy
seigell
19 Nov, 2015 15:55
Patrick (Paddy) Gilliland
I would not be adverse to "minor penalties" for Images lacking some baseline of Details.
Human psychology will always respond better to positive reinforcement than negative.
Rewarding good behaviour is far more effective than penalising bad.
OK, so the Terminology gets reversed and one is "Minorly Rewarded" for reaching some certain Threshold of Acquisition Data Entry.

However, the Target audience for AstroBin seems to already be "More Serious" (or at least "More Dedicated" to AP Imaging) than the Average Joe who cruises Instagram or ShutterFly or SmugMug or Facebook or Pinterest or…

So some Threshold of Data Entry as admission to certain Functionality seems a rather small hurdle (whether Carrot or Stick).
Jooshs
19 Nov, 2015 18:32
My counter to any reward or emphasis on IOTD is that if you want to drive up member count, you should avoid emphasizing anything about the competition on this site without it being rethought.  Many, many people I've talked to are planning to not sign up or pay for the pay site because they are very turned off by the current implementation of IOTD and don't want to pay to be part of the cliqueish community…  Despite Sal's best efforts, the IOTD is totally a popularity contest, it is highly emphasized front and center with every image, and it is broken to the point that many aren't using the site because of it.  Nothing against DSW or a very small handful of regular winners as much of the work is truly great, but almost every single IOTD comes from one observatory and 4-5 other members on this site.  Maybe this conversation should be a separate thread, but it has veered this way on this topic so I'm responding here.  My guess is a separate thread on it should be made.  However, my 2 cents are that nothing will keep people away from the site more than emphasizing the current IOTD and popularity contest that much of the site has become.   There are a lot of valuable tools and truly great things about the site, but trying to encourage others to share more specs about collecting their data to win a competition will probably drive even more people away.

Another opinion on my part, but any energy spent on that would be far better spent now on search functions and enforcing categorization of images.  Remote observatory imaging, Team data, Professional Observatory,  CCD, DSLR,  etc. are some broad categories that would emphasize what the stated intention of the site was:  To share data and details so that you can see what is possible with similar type setups.  Maybe making a broad category like those mentioned above a requirement before submitting your image would be a lower barrier to entry, but also be at least as valuable if not more valuable than enforcing sub count and acquisition time.  I'm pretty certain that most of the complaints about enforcing data spec requirements come from those who are annoyed that most IOTD's come from professional scopes or shared observatories and its not always made apparent.  Hopefully some of these thoughts will help with membership since most of the people who have been driven away already aren't likely to speak up here.
JHolland
19 Nov, 2015 20:04
A thought just occurred to me.  When you look at images on the Big Wall (as I do over my morning coffee smile), you get a lot of information already when you hover over an image; date, # likes, # bookmarks, and of course the username.  What if there was one more box that indicated image details were uploaded?  This would help those that skip images if there is no such data.  They could hover over with their mouse and move on to the next one.
siovene
19 Nov, 2015 20:06
JHolland
A thought just occurred to me.  When you look at images on the Big Wall (as I do over my morning coffee smile), you get a lot of information already when you hover over an image; date, # likes, # bookmarks, and of course the username.  What if there was one more box that indicated image details were uploaded?  This would help those that skip images if there is no such data.  They could hover over with their mouse and move on to the next one.
For this use-case, wouldn't it be better to have a global setting "Hide images with insufficient details"?
JHolland
19 Nov, 2015 20:15
Salvatore Iovene
For this use-case, wouldn't it be better to have a global setting "Hide images with insufficient details"?

I guess I was thinking of a compromise that allowed all images on the wall but also showed those who want the details that the information is there.  I am not a programmer so I have no idea about the complexity of what I propose!
siovene
19 Nov, 2015 20:55
Josh Smith
Many, many people I've talked to are planning to not sign up or pay for the pay site because they are very turned off by the current implementation of IOTD and don't want to pay to be part of the cliqueish community…
Hi Josh,
I can see why some people (perhaps many people), would be turned off by the current IOTD functioning. I'm the first one to admit it's not perfect.

However, it's been an evolving process, and I've listened to everybody that cared to express feedback, and I think it's slowly improved.

  • At the beginning, voting happened with 5 stars. 1 star = bad, 5 stars = great. The IOTD was the one with the highest average vote, so pretty basic. People were voting their "competitors" 1 star.
  • So I removed the stars and made it a Like button, so you can't use it to give negative feedback. Some people proceeded to game the system by following and liking everyone and everything, and somehow getting Likes in return. This resulted in the same people always getting the IOTD.
  • So I added a moderation component: I would select manually, from a list of the 25 most liked images, the one I liked the most.
  • But I could be biased, so I got help from 3 more volunteers. We select the IOTD taking random turns, without a schedule.
  • But we could all be biased, so the IOTD Selection page for the IOTD jury panel presents the images without the author's name anywhere (granted, some images have hard-coded signatures, or a very recognizable style)
This is where we're at. Perfect? No. Better than before? I think so

I get a lot of blame for allowing this, and my work of 5 years gets criticized for being a clique community. For once I'd like to see the blame fall on those who did and maybe still do attempt to game the system with every mean at their disposal.

Anyway, for the (near-ish) future, I will consider abolishing the IOTD altogether, and have a proper contests system in place, with multiple rounds of voting, to generate an image of the week, of the season and of the year.

Details will follow soon, but obviously this would take quite some time to implement.
Edited 19 Nov, 2015 20:57
Jooshs
19 Nov, 2015 21:18
Salvatore Iovene
Josh Smith
Many, many people I've talked to are planning to not sign up or pay for the pay site because they are very turned off by the current implementation of IOTD and don't want to pay to be part of the cliqueish community…
Hi Josh,
I can see why some people (perhaps many people), would be turned off by the current IOTD functioning. I'm the first one to admit it's not perfect.

However, it's been an evolving process, and I've listened to everybody that cared to express feedback, and I think it's slowly improved.

  • At the beginning, voting happened with 5 stars. 1 star = bad, 5 stars = great. The IOTD was the one with the highest average vote, so pretty basic. People were voting their "competitors" 1 star.
  • So I removed the stars and made it a Like button, so you can't use it to give negative feedback. Some people proceeded to game the system by following and liking everyone and everything, and somehow getting Likes in return. This resulted in the same people always getting the IOTD.
  • So I added a moderation component: I would select manually, from a list of the 25 most liked images, the one I liked the most.
  • But I could be biased, so I got help from 3 more volunteers. We select the IOTD taking random turns, without a schedule.
  • But we could all be biased, so the IOTD Selection page for the IOTD jury panel presents the images without the author's name anywhere (granted, some images have hard-coded signatures, or a very recognizable style)
This is where we're at. Perfect? No. Better than before? I think so

I get a lot of blame for allowing this, and my work of 5 years gets criticized for being a clique community. For once I'd like to see the blame fall on those who did and maybe still do attempt to game the system with every mean at their disposal.

Anyway, for the (near-ish) future, I will consider abolishing the IOTD altogether, and have a proper contests system in place, with multiple rounds of voting, to generate an image of the week, of the season and of the year.

Details will follow soon, but obviously this would take quite some time to implement.
Sal, nice of you to provide a very thorough response!  I certainly don't think you should bear any of the blame for the frustrations.  What you've provided free to the community is amazing and has been extremely generous and that should be recognized and talked about more.  I'm glad you responded to that conversation and like I said, I think it would be worth a thread on its own and I'd happily provide my thoughts on it there.  However, to keep this thread on topic, I want to be clear I wasn't complaining about IOTD and wasn't complaining on behalf of others.  I was just trying to share feelings that I've heard from many that you may have not been aware of.  If a feature of the site is requiring specific or thorough information so that the IOTD could be more easily judged or you get a ranking based on what you provide, it could be a big turn off to others.
Tankcdrtim
20 Nov, 2015 01:31
Maybe there could be different IOTDs based on skill level.   I'm not sure how to best identify the groups of imagers ("pros" vs "amateurs"smile without possibly making anyone feel demeaned but it might help give those of us just starting out who lack sophisticated equipment feel like we have a chance to be selected.    On a separate note, I completely love this site and what it provides.  I joined and started posting my images because I enjoyed being able to see what others are able to do with similar equipment while also sharing my work.   I fully plan on being a paid member (I had just started donating when the message went out).
 
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