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Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chip NoVaMac, Apr 27, 2006.
How long should individuals be given to serve as "mini-mods" in "assignment threads"?
Can I make an alternate suggestion here since I don't think that 'mini-mod' is the right name for this task? And since there's no mention of this person in any of rules, we need to clarify the role before having votes on its length of service.
How about a small team of people who will commit to making sure that the topics get chosen on time and setting up the polls etc. It's a pretty thankless task. Changing a single person as regularly you're suggesting is very likely to have them disappear altogether - which I know you'd possibly prefer. Getting the rules agreed again should mean that the need for 'moderation' and suggested rulings dies down - and with these 'mini-mods' not having any power or authority from the real mods to delete/move/edit posts, they can't anyhow.
You are the strongest vocal opponent of the assignments and how they are organised on the board. Virtually everyone else in the threads on rules/whether they continue are fairly happy. Can I suggest that since they upset you and you're never going to agree on the rules (despite having the chance to comment) etc that you just ignore the assignments and carry on with your other great ideas for threads and photography topics while those of us who enjoy (or did enjoy) the assignments carry on? It's not a perfect system but I just think you are taking this all too far.
If it's me that you're trying to remove as the 'organiser' then I'll happily stand down for the first volunteer who is committed to keeping the assignments going. I volunteered originally because I was interested and they were falling by the wayside but it's really not worth the recent aggravation for what should have been a simple organisation job.
As long as they want, I have no gripes with the present system.
i second that
/deposit $0.02 US
Same here. I haven't participated yet, but it's mostly due to lack of time, not interest or due to the "mini-mods." Frankly, if someone's willing to organize it, why not?
I currently don't have a camera, but I will in two weeks and would love to get involved with this. I want them to keep going.
Applespider makes a good suggestion here of having a small team of people who will commit to making sure this process works each month.... I'm not sure it's necessary to either vote for specific people or to assign a time frame in which they would serve. Life happens. Things happen. People get called away from the computer for sometimes very long periods (days, weeks, months) to respond to real-time situations.... It's a good idea to have more than one person who can work with this project and to have continuity in the event that one individual cannot fulfill the responsibilties a time or two. Putting everything on one MR member, especially one who is not a mod and who does not have all the privileges and ability to do certain things or make changes also could lead to burnout or undue stress on that one person. THAT we don't want!
I refuse to answer this poll as it does not give enough options, I believe they should be able to serve as long as they wish, or as long as there doing their job properly
Funny thing is that this isn't even a job.
I wouldn't call Applespider a mini-mod, and please note that none of us has the power to remove a photo, so I don't even know where that impression came from. I think we all want a self-moderated assignment where we can advise each other whether something is allowed or not, and anyone can tell another person (say a new member who has never contributed here before) about certain guidelines that we like to follow around here. However, "self-moderated" still means that a member here has to step up to the job and speak up, or start the 2 threads at the beginning of each month to get the assignment going. And what a thankless job it seems to have been.
It's a simple organisational job. If someone wants to do this, please do so. It doesn't have to be Applespider. I thought Applespider forgot in April, so I did it. If we both forget in August for example, then feel free to start it up. Applespider just happens to be the person who steps up every month, but she has been nice enough to do so. It's not her job.
Ok, so a poor choice of words on my part; but since in another thread it was indicated what the majority wanted, so this should be a guide as to the direction of those that might lead future assignments and the leaders of those assignments.
My choice of "mini-mod" was based on what I thought was unprecedented use of post deletions by non-mods. I may be wrong, but Clix commented on that images of the same subject were deleted.
I will hold fast in my beliefs that there should be at least 30 days for an assignment to set in before the 30 day shooting time frame should start. And given Abstracts comments in another thread about the discussions that have been going on in the Sunrise/Sunset thread; I will say that I would be happy to be a co-host for an assignment thread starting on June 1 fitting the images and discussion we have seen in the Sunrise/Sunset thread.
Since the Sunrise/Sunset thread has been going strong, I would suggest that members only post images that are taken between June 1st and June 30. I know that I would not complain if there are late joiners with prior images, but since there is a well established thread to provide some thought on - I would ask that only images that meet the time frame be submitted - unless my co-hosts disagree, I would like to allow prior images. I would further ask that images submitted in the Sunrise/Sunset thread not be submitted to my proposed assignment thread. This would be on the honor system IMO, unless it was pointed out to the hosts of the assignment.
To me, those that lead should be facilitators, not traffic cops. They should try to lead by example. And if we agree to my offer on leading a Sunrise/Sunset assignment starting June 1, I hope to have images shot in that time frame - since I offered ideas in the previous Sunrise/Sunset thread.
I would ask to have at least two others join me as co-hosts if possible. I would like to see three or more "judges" or co-hosts to get lets say the top five images from the proposed June assignment up for a Poll vote. It may end up being a lot of work for the co-hosts.
And who knows, I might just find out that this is a thankless job. But I do have a belief in the way I outlined it - that it could be a very successful assignment thread.
So there it is. Yes, I did place some potential limitations on participation - only to see if we can get more involvement. But that is up to anyone that would like to join me as hosts for the proposed June assignment. It is my hope that my fellow co-hosts can help in providing positive and meaningful feedback to encourage more participation.
The way I look at it, it gives members a chance to plan on visiting places that they think might work best. It also gives members a chance to keep their eyes out for exciting images in June that meet the assignment.
I would even welcome Abstract and Applespider to join in as co-hosts for this June assignment idea. For they both have tried hard to keep this idea alive, even if I have not agreed with everything they have said or done. But the three of us as well as any others that join in as co-hosts may learn how to make things even better. The assignments are a work in progress IMO.
I do apologize. In relooking at the poll results I will admit that in my response above I looked only at the bars and percentages, not the actual votes.
A bit confused at the results, since in other polls here there did not seem to be the results adding up to more than 100%.
It does not change my request to lead a June Sunrise/Sunset assignment with others to join in as "co-hosts".
But we have a successful Sunset/Sunrise theme, why then turn it into an assignment when it is already flourishing...
I haven't voted above because as MacMosher says, there isn't a "As long as they like" option. The people who have been organising the assignments have doing a great job, particularly as it's a thankless task, and have been giving up their own time to do it. I don't really see why they're getting attacked for this.
To be quite honest, this is entirely doing my head in. The one single thing that is putting me off the assignments is all the crazy politics about them! I don't understand why would we need another sunrise/sunset assignment when the other one is great.
Can we try and keep this fun, and in the spirit in which it was meant and not bitch about the topic or the way in which it's run? In my opinion it's been fine so far, with the exception of some of the topics.
To be quite honest, I would be happy if we didn't have voting for topics, and the organisers selected a topic themselves and posted a thread with it in at the start of the month. Said topic should be open, achieveable, and able to be shot by people in different countries, climates and cultures. There could be an ongoing thread with suggestions for topics that the organisers could use for inspiration, but the final call is theirs. As long as they aren't excluding a whole load of people with a topic that they can't take a photo for, I don't see how people can bitch about it. Having a topic you wouldn't have selected yourself is part of the challenge, and I would happily entrust the current organisers to do this. Sunsets, metal, lines, busy, <-------- just a few open suggestions that might work across different areas and genres.
If someone then has an idea for a different topic, such as your Memorial Day one, Chip, then post it as a alongside assigment that people who would be able to take photos for can enjoy. Equally, if you take a great photo of a mountain range, post a "post your mountain photos" thread.
I know this isn't as democratic as voting and discussing as all that, but sometimes you just have to make the decisions. The current organisers have my full backing to make these decisions.
I agree with Lau 100%, and I'm saying this as a person who isn't suggesting that me or Applespider continue to organize things. I think the way it's going has been fine, maybe except the topics. If the problem is that the topics aren't broad enough, then it's easily fixable. Lets just make the topics more broad.
Yeah, I said that as well. Must be an echo. I really don't care how the topics are chosen. Voting just makes this a "process" and less about having fun. Just come up with something. It doesn't have to be THAT democratic.
Haha, I've said the same thing myself. I promise you all that I didn't hijack Lau's MR account and post in his name.
I agree! If we were to make it an assigned project this coming month or the next one, I suspect we wouldn't get a lot of participation because it's already being done right now as a spontaneous sort of thing.... Probably the time to offer this as an assignment would be in a few months. In the meantime I'm sure that people have some good ideas to suggest for May's assignment, which will be coming up in just a few days.
Excellent suggestion, Lau! It makes sense, too, as it would do away with the silly voting, especially when people who aren't even planning to participate vote for a topic because it sounds "interesting" or "different, " regardless of its actual do-ability.... Your suggestion would eliminate that problem altogether. Sure, people could suggest topics but those responsible for keeping things organized each month would be the ones to determine the topic and announce it. Actually, that is the way it's done in a group of which I'm a moderator: the "mod squad" team comes up with some ideas, we hash them out amongst ourselves and then announce to the group as a whole that the next "Theme Park" competition topic will be "X," or the ten words for the "Scavenger Hunt" will be these...and list them. People then have about a month, give or take a few days, to shoot for these challenges/competitions. We close each competition at the end of about thirty days, give or take a day or two, and start the voting process while we're planning the next challenge, and then a new gallery is opened for people to submit their entries and away we go!
I think that announcing a topic too far in advance is not going to work too well, as people tend to be thinking of whatever the project is during the time it's active, rather than a month or several weeks in advance of when it starts. Me, for instance: I work best when I know that the given assignment or challenge topic is "x," and it is to be shot during a specific time period and that the end of that will be on such-and-such a date. A month seems to be plenty of time for people to find something and shoot it if they're going to participate. If I were working on one project with another looming up for the following month I still wouldn't be thinking about that next project until the actual time period it is active anyway. Right now in my other group, for instance, we're voting on one challenge -- a particular theme -- which came to an end a couple of days ago and we are in the process of photographing for another challenge -- the scavenger hunt -- which will not end until mid-May. We usually have two or three challenges running simultaneously with different beginning and ending dates. The Mod Squad is discussing topic ideas for the next Theme Park challenge and as things are wrapping up in the voting we'll be preparing to announce the new theme for the next month.... If we were to announce a theme for a month beyond that, people wouldn't be shooting for it anyway and would still be waiting until the actual scheduled time....
The most important aspect of this whole assignment idea is to get people out there shooting and having fun with their cameras, exploring their creativity and learning from each other....
Abstract, you seem to have a problem with recognizing that some of us on here are actually females.... Lau is a woman, as is Applespider, as am I. All you have to do is look at the words "Demi-Goddess" beneath each of our names! Paying attention to detail is a very important trait to develop and it will serve you well in life....
How about a thread to suggest assignments but then we agree a shortlist of 'sensible' ideas to put in the poll? Or if there's a clear winner from all those participating in the thread, we use that?
Yeah that sounds great. But the topics must be broad enough to be captured by all. So... lets make this thread and get ready for next month
I'm also one who hasn't participated yet due to time constraints in my life at the moment, but am looking forward to, and think the assignments have been run well. So my vote here would be "for as long as they can stand to do it".
If ChipNoVaMac (or anyone else) feels otherwise, just go ahead and start a new thread - I'm sure people will enjoy posting their images in various places. The more the merrier
I also feel that people should continue to vote for topics they think sound intriguing, regardless of "do-ability". A topic can be approached from numerous angles, and one of the fun parts is seeing how others have handled it. Clix Pix mentioned earlier somewhere that part of her criteria for judging an image's merits, is if she sees what the image is supposed to be. I have nothing but respect for that, and it was a constructive comment in a discussion, but for me, it's different. I very often don't see what an artist/photographer/author is saying right away, and it's the process of learning to see that is interesting. What's doable for one person, might just mystify someone else. "Cold" stumped me - I spent a lot of time thinking about it, but ended up not posting anything. But most people would call that doable. It would be a shame to censor topics based on a blanket idea of doability.
This is very true, what person regards as "doable" another might be totally stumped by, but sometimes you have to go for the greater good and in a situation such as this one, where the forum (MR) is not really a photography forum per se and within this subforum we have a wide variety of camera users from the professional with super-duper equipment to the person who has just bought his or her first point-and-shoot., it is probably best to be broad in the topic offered in order to give everyone a crack at it regardless of equipment and skill level.
I love abstracts and have done a few myself -- I enjoy the "guess-what?" impact of it -- but the thing is that the viewer usually understands right away that it IS abstract. With other images it's fun to look at them and eventually come away with the realization that the artist was doing "x" or "y" and conveying a specific mood....that's part of the pleasure of looking at art either in brick-and-mortar galleries or online. However when one looks at an image and can't really make out what the supposed focal point is supposed to be, then that IMHO is simply a poorly-shot image, regardless of the author's intention. If someone submits an image to these assignments I have some expectation that the work will reflect whatever the topic is, but if I can't even see it properly then this means to me that the photographer needs to improve his or her skills. And that's fine, that is part of why we're all doing these assignments, isn't it?
step one: end drama
step two: start a thread to get ideas for the theme, asap, since today is may 1.
step three: clix, applespider, abstract, chip, and whoever else volunteers, should quickly discuss (if everyone doesn't have time to weigh in, not a huge deal, as life doesn't allow us all to access macrumors/email all the time) and decide on the theme for the month.
step four: post the thread for submissions based on _____ theme.
step five: people post
whether we choose a best or not doesn't matter much to me. i don't think it's necessary, but i don't think it'd be bad either.
i think that the theme needs to be current, not in advance, as i'm going to want to take the picture when i think of it, not think of something and realize i have to wait til x date to take the picture.
as such, let's get may under way. and then, can have june's theme ready to go for june 1. in fact, i'd be all in favor for, at least may, just having a few folks discuss as privately as they want a theme and hand it out asap.
likewise, i am not opposed to giving a list of themes ahead of time, just feel that it's not really necessary.
maybe: give a theme now for may so people can shoot.
then, a thread goes up for overall theme suggestions that people would like to see at some point. then, a group sets themes for the next few months, or however long, and posts it as a sort of schedule. seems reasonable and gives people time if they want it.
I guess I don't agree that simplifying the themes is in anyone's best interest. That this isn't a photography forum isn't relevant as I see it. A broad assignment theme is more of a mental than a technical challenge, having nothing to do with equipment or experience.
I wager that what one viewer doesn't see in a photo, someone else will. An example: Clix Pix, you commented that you didn't see the shoes-over-the-powerlines focal point in a submission, and that made the image unsuccessful in your eyes. I did see the shoes as the focal point, so I enjoyed the image. I found it to be within the (quite serious) theme, but humorous. Both our responses are valid and interesting. So why simplify the themes? (Rhetorical question, doesn't need an answer )
Okay, 'nuff from me on this subject. (Probably more than enough )
What I meant was that I literally could not see the shoes in the powerline because the image was not clearly shot or clearly displayed. If the image had been larger maybe I would've been able to have figured out what the heck it was.... but that's just me and my eyes.... Had it been shot in a way that the viewer's eyes were immediately drawn to the shoes without a lot of distractions and had the shoes been more clearly visible and identifiable, then IMHO that would have been a more successful shot. Water over the dam now, time to move on....
As for "simplifying" the topics, I think what people are trying to say is, let's have a topic which is somewhat easier to identify more concretely so that they can develop ideas for shooting and get out there to do so instead of spending a lot of time wondering what the heck that topic is and how on earth to go about shooting an image to reflect it.... Someone else in a thread somewhere along the line said this much more succinctly than I just did, but that was the basic point.
Even the simplest word or concept can have a lot of meanings and can be shot in different ways....
Right now in my women's digital photography group we're working on a project in which we shoot images based on the name of candy bars. "Mounds" or "Turtles" can be pretty straightforward, or "Kit Kat" -- and indeed we have some literal interpretations of such, but there are also others which have taken a different look at and a different approach to some of these....and that's what makes it fun and challenging.
Let it be folks, please.
Some may note that I have not replied to this thread since 4/29. That is because I thought it was better to try and let this die. Yet my thoughts and words has allowed us to lose sight of what photography and the spirit of MR is truly about.
Please read this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=197270
There have been many new threads that have invoked the spirit of what I thought we on MR were trying for. There is room as the above thread has mentioned, for us all to have what we might want for photo discussions.
It is now for all to make their own choices of involvement in photo discussion threads. Too much time and energy has been taken up defending each others positions. Too much time and energy has been spent on attacks and counter attacks, with some not reading each and every post (i know that I am gulty of this in many threads here on MR - there are only so many hours in a day ).
As it is my right as the starter of this thread, I will be asking for the mods to close this thread. Not to wasteland it, but just to close it. I will only ask that it be left open for final thoughts till 12 midnight EST (a nod to JSW in another thread on MR recently).