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Old 11-04-2008, 07:34 PM
Adrique Adrique is offline
TE Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 113
Default TE: things to improve

Hi everyone,
I am a TE member for almost a year and after that (great) time I am able to express what Iīd like to have improved to move this portal forwards to eternal glory :-)
I wonīt write what I like on TE, īcause everyone who more or less actively participates know it. It really helps to improve oneīs skills and knowledge. Iīll write what I am not so keen on.

The critiques and points system (this is what bothers me most, so it get the first place):
I think we should be more tough on ourselves. The majority of critiques are positive. Whyīs that? Well, in todays fast-pace world, who has time to spend it critiquing not-so-good photos? So I agree on this reason. But after some time here, I see that MANY BAD photos are given plenty of positive critiques, just because of a friendly relationship to the photographer. Whatīs the aim of it? To get points back? Come on, we are not children anymore, arguing who has more points!
I think the purpose of the critique and points system is to improve trekking and photographing skills of the community. Without telling truth to each other (I donīt believe TE members canīt recognize an obviously bad photo), I think the direction is just opposite. Or am I wrong?
This behavior can be partially muted by not showing the photographer nick and points next to photos in the general views. Only after criticizing a photo, these details would be shown. This situation would be of course different when viewing a memberīs gallery. However - I donīt care to see how many points or critiques has a photo received.
Interface: keeping the images from being stolen
This is quite an issue, thatīs quite heavily discussed now in other TE forum. I suggest using a flash interface for viewing full quality images could make the life less easier for those want to use the images outside copyright rules.
Interface: search
The search system is not too user-friendly. It probably consumes too much resources at the server-side too (I am not a webmaster, just guessing). Itīs because you donīt get to choose by what parameters (author, country, theme, category etc.) you want to search prior to the search. I have click too much to find what I am searching for.
Interface: member groups
A small example: I became a member of Fotografi in Sardegna. But instead of showing the group membersī photos from Sardegna, it shows all photos of these members, which does not provide much useful information. I think a reason of such group is to collect photos taken by its members and that were shot in Sardegna. Is it possible to set such a behavior to a group? I did not find such a possibility.
Interface: formatting posts
In todayīs world and technology I think is very awkward to manually write HTML-tags to format texts. I think most of people do not need to know how the HTML-lexicology, they have other things to do.
Interface: Links-tab
The most unnecessary page on TE. Could be placed in FAQ. No need to place on the most prominent place.
Interface: Quick links: Cameras
Who uses these? And for what purpose? I find them unnecessary or not too well implemented. Iīd rather see something like:
Most used cameras
Most viewed location
These would be based on daily or other time-periods.
Interface: Quick links: Views
Iīd place various photo categories here: architecture, daily life, nature etc. I did not find any use of the categories - other than in the Categories tab in the general views. Whatīs use of seeing how many photos of which category are shared?
Itīd be best if the categories could be combined and used as filters. Itīs quite common elsewhere and a website like TE deserves it.
Interface: session time-out
This is what I miss too. Even after few days not visiting TE, when I go to my web-browser history, I can continue writing critiques etc. without logging in (if I did not log-out of course :-)). This presents a theoretic danger of misusing the memberīs profile information. I think a 2-hour session timeout (2 hrs without any activity) is more than needed.
OK, thatīs about what came to my mind now.
I know itīs not easy to keep up with needs. Aside from advertisement, I think TE could organize anonymous auctions. TE members could sell their full-size photos, while TE-would benefit from a small commission for organizing the auction. The bids would be anonymous, to prevent any bad feelings among the members and partially protect from sharing a full-size image file among the users as well. Donīt stone me, you just canīt be too safe today.
Oh by the way - I like that TE takes EXIF info from photos. Great stuff!
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