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TPN 3.0 has been up for over three months now so I thought it would be good to take a pulse from everyone to see how we are doing. I'd love to hear all feedback, both positive and constructive criticism. Do you like the articles we've posted? Are you getting comfortable with how to post images, comments and forum posts? Have you discovered anything about how the site works that you think could be improved? How are we doing as staff?

Be honest! That is how we continue to grow and improve the site.

[ UPDATED 02/17/2013 ]

[ 02/17/2013 - We will be opening the TPN store soon. We will also be posting some weekly challenges for specific destinations. ]

 

Based on the feedback in this thread, these things can definitely happen:

  • DONE - Email subscription to image comments
  • DONE - Display image while writing comments
  • COMING - Interpretive "Destination" galleries (do they get critiques?)
  • COMING - Online Store page with logoware, books, photo gear and accessories
  • DONE - "Introduce Yourself / Biography" gallery (even better if showing you somewhere interesting - go ahead, make us jealous!)
  • DONE - Timely posting of weekly moderator picks
  • DONE - Weekly e-mail notice that picks are posted

 


Walter Rowe, Editor
Travel Photographers.net

   
Admin
thoughtful
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 185
Location: A Global Community
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Walter, I think it would be good for TPN to cultivate a more reliable reputation for timeliness on the weekly Moderator picks. The actual choices themselves are always terrific - it is the long wait for them that gets me about that enterprise. Looking at the forums overall from a perspective of total number of comments, that weekly feature is where everybody comes together as a community and I really think that dynamic needs to be fostered more via a reliable schedule. At the begininng it was clockwork, every Sunday night the picks would be out and the community would come together to ooh and ahh over the awesome photography there. Now that schedule is totally shot and an entire week was completely ignored in May! As a fledgling community (again) we need that rally point, and a tighter schedule would almost certainly help.
 

Also, just spitballing here, how about a "Destination" feature where someone picks a location (or travel method, or emotion, or lighting condition) and members respond with photographic interpretations of that subject. This is only a slight twist on the Weekly Challenge but in this case there would be no "winner", just personal interpretations and contributions. I am sure we would find that all those "not awesome photography just personally important images" that we all have, might finally find a venue for display out here. That could be pretty rewarding for everyone.

And as I mentioned to you before, I would love to be able to buy and wear a TPN tee shirt and/or hat, coffee mug, window cling, etc. The TPN logo is so awesome and I would think a Cafe PRess deal could be done to avoid cost to the website.

Lastly, your idea of making it possible for members to buy business cards from TPN is a GREAT idea. No downsides there that I can see or imagine.

Hope this helps and thanks for asking!

   
Chatty
Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 48
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Hi Walter,

Thanks for allowing us to provide comments to the site as that is a credit to what you are doing as well.  I remember you soliciting feedback on the left menu bar and after some responses, you listened and that was appreciated.  

This site offers to me personally two major items.  One, to witness the craft from other outstanding photographers and learn so much from this.   Having my images seen by different perspectives and personal views is outstanding as often I miss things that are important and seeing images from others are many times breathtaking, from which I learn so much.   Second, and more importantly actually, is I value travel more than photography and with the short amount of time I have been on the site, I have gained great insight to other areas of the world that I did not know even existed.  That is priceless...and expensive as I now have to increase my income!!!   So, a big thanks for these two things. 

In review, I really like how you organized the site and how easy it is to navigate.   Great tabs, menus, etc. and so easy just to pop in and do things.  I cannot think of anything I would suggest in that area.  I noticed, I think, that now all images added to the site, including the Weekly Challenges, are displayed in the Recent Critique Review.  At first I did not like this too much primarily because it dropped all the images out of the first page too fast and I was used to going to the Weekly Challenges to view these images.   I am still unsure, but I will let you know more later.  It has its nice points too...going to one spot and all.

I liked the suggestion email idea to prompt new members...good idea that I need to do more of.  I would love to see more and more members...being selfish here!!  

My biggest problem I thought was the technical aspects of the website, but now know it is my location.  I keep dropping from the site, especially after I type comments and upload images.  They are lost and I have to start over again.  I believe now it is the hubs in Singapore that have a lot of overhead (controls, censorship, etc.) and it does not allow the bandwidth needed.  One of the sacrifices for living here, although very frustrating.

I absolutely love Patrick's idea of destination too.  Wonderful.  What a way to learn about the world.  If you need any assistance with this, I would be glad to help too. 

I sincerely thank you for supporting this site and I hope it will grow forward in a positive way.  Nice to know you listen and I hope we all continue to contribute and grow the membership.

 

 


Richard Schoettger

   
Chatty
Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 57
Location: Singapore
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Walter I think that the site is starting to move forward as I am starting to see some of the older member;s from the #1 site coming back.

Patrick had some intersting thought's and the need for thing's to work on  time is important.  

I think as from the very beginning that "An  E.MAIL advising of a comment be a possibility."

The reason as I have previously stated is that I know when somebody comments on my photo's and I then need to get into the site to see the comment.

What is happening is that I am being drawn back into the site and am keeping up to date of what is happening there.

There can be an option window that can be ticked either to recieve or not to recieve.

How about a:

   PHOTO OF OURSELVES AND A LITTLE ABOUT OURSELVES.

   WHERE WE WOULD LIKE TO VISIT IN THE NEXT YEAR OR SO.

    HOW WE CAN GET TOGETHER SOMEWHERE SOME TIME.

All the best 

AVI 

 

   
Chatty
Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 63
Location: ISRAEL
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Avi, Richard, Patrick - thank you so much for your honest, thoughtful feedback. I will work on these things. I believe e-mail notification on image comments is coming in the next release of our site software. I've been testing the developer beta releases and that feature is there. I don't have a date for when the final release will come out. It will take me a little time after that to upgrade TPN to that release, but it will have e-mail notification on comments to images (and it does have a checkbox to receive them or not).

I hope others will also chime in. This is great feedback for me and the site moderators!


Walter Rowe, Editor
Travel Photographers.net

   
Admin
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 185
Location: A Global Community
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Hi Walter, as a new member I really appreciate the site.... for me, getting 'constructive' critcism of my photography is very important as I am somewhat of a newbie, especially in the travel field.... and getting feedback from photographers who have been out there for ages is brilliant....

For my sixpence worth, I agree with e-mail notifications on comments, either on my photos or on photos that I have commented on, an example is that I was paging back through all the shots, and I found one I had pasted early on and somebody had left a comment which probably required an answer then. I think that possibly when the weekly choices are made by the moderator, all members should also be notified via e-mail then.

I also agree with Avi, that maybe on a weekly basis, each member, starting with the most senior and moderators have a small profile about themselves telling the rest of us what makes them tick, their favourite locations and destinations and maybe a little on their equipment...

I support your ideas for an online shop, though as someone living on the other side of the world, I probably wouldn't be in a position to support it as much as others, I'd gladly buy a TPN tee shirt or two....

Thanks for the site and your input into making it work...

Andrew

 


AndrewRHB Photography

   
Junior
artistic
Registered: 03/29/11
Posts: 28
Location: Durban, South Africa
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I agree with Andrew's comments.  It would be great to see an email go out to all members announcing when the weekly picks have been posted.  That way you would get more members looking at the site and hopefully this will encourage members to post more images.  Also an email when a comment has been left would also encourage more interactivity between members - this was one of the strengths of TPN-1. 

I would also add that it would be great to see the monthly cover shot being selected from the weekly picks for the previous month, i.e. the best of the best!  I am sure that the TPN member whose photo had been chosen would be delighted to see it as a cover shot and it might encourage more image postings if members believe they can have a shot at the cover . . .

 

Cool

 

   
Newbie
Registered: 03/08/11
Posts: 12
Location: Channel Islands
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Great feedback, Andrew and Tricia. Excellent ideas. Keep them coming!

Email notification on comments to images will come with the next major update to the site.

Andrew - I would be glad to set up links to items in online stores of reputable retailers outside the US. I need you guys to suggest reputable dealers you trust and we can make this happen.

Tricia - I will try to get out a weekly notice via e-mail as the selections are made. I will also try to create a smaller version of the site logo that people can put in their websites as a link back to TPN for those interested in helping to promote the site.


Walter Rowe, Editor
Travel Photographers.net

   
Admin
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 185
Location: A Global Community
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Walter,

Fantastic on the update and very exciting.  This will really enhance the site.  My thoughts in answering your question on the destination feature is that this be conducted in a different fashion where as instead of comments on each image, you can apply comments on the destination as a whole or similar to a blog.   We can post pictures to each destination, but instead of critiques of the image, you can add comments and thoughts about the destination, including answering questions that others would pose. You do not have to actually click on an image to comment but post directly to the destination folder.   Sort of like what we are doing here or when we see the results of the weekly results, but obviouly you will have more images in the folder.  Just to conclude, to me the focus is the destination and not the image, so critiquing the image...NO, but the destination...YES.   

My 2 cents....Thanks!


Richard Schoettger

   
Chatty
Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 57
Location: Singapore
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Walter,

 

First of some well deserved congratulations to you and your team. I think that getting the site to its current state just a few months after launch is a great achievement!

I welcome the news about the email notifications for comments. That will be even more useful when the number of posts grows further which I am sure will happen if we continue to attact new members.

One feature I would like you to consider is a gallery to post images for which we want some more detailed, in depth feeback than we get, and give, in the current forums. To make this work we would have a rule that you can only post an image there if you have given in-depth feedback on a number of images (say 3?) This would ensure that all images get at least 3 detailed comments. To make commenting in-depth a bit easier we could use a template like this one: ppro.000space.com/ppro-critique.html, which is used by a Flickr group. We can always change it to meet our requirements. I believe that this level of structured critique would help us develop and grow as photographers.

Ruud

   
Chatty
Registered: 03/05/11
Posts: 44
Location: Manchester, UK
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Walter,

An idea I had for the weekly challenges.  I noticed that July was posted at once and I like that idea for each month, but maybe also add a little twist.  Have the first 3 weekly challenges of the month be more specific or travel related (as we are a travel network) that would allow us more opportunities to use our existing portfolio or new images too.  Then save the last challenge each month for a more general challenge but require the image to be shot within that same month.  This would allow a month to take the picture(s) but would not require something difficult to do that requires travel so all can still participate.  For example, first three weeks of August for items like July with cities or other things like monuments, cultural attire, unusual sites, etc....more travel related if possible.  Then a common theme like color, mono, still life, home, etc. that would force all to shot that month.  

Just an idea.... and maybe deviations of this too. 


Richard Schoettger

   
Chatty
Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 57
Location: Singapore
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Richard - great ideas. What do you think about maybe having cover challenges too, where the winner gets to have their image grace the cover of the site?

I'm still working on the other things in the first post in this thread. Things are getting great here!

   
Active Member
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 208
Location: Columbia, Maryland
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Walter,

That is a great idea too.   Maybe the 16 (or 20) winners from the month are pooled into a selection for the moderator (or you) to determine the next month's poster image.  What is nice about all of this is that you do not have to update the website (or so I think) for any of this.  Hate to see you work so hard, but truly appreciate all that you do.


Richard Schoettger

   
Chatty
Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 57
Location: Singapore
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As requested we now have an "Introduce Yourself" album where ALL registered members of TPN can post a self-portrait and short biography.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Title - Your real name only
  • Description - Interest facts about you like career, family, interests, favorite travel locales, where you live, who/what inspires you, etc.
  • Comments - No critiques. These should be discussions about the facts the person provided, or friendly welcome messages.

Since this is open to ALL registered TPN members I ask that you only post ONE picture.

   
Active Member
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 208
Location: Columbia, Maryland
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Walter firstly its great to see" INTRODUCE YOURSELF"

Also wonderfull to see all the photographs going up as well as the standard.

One thing though I think that the WEEKLY CHALLENGE  winners should be posted with the results each week

and maybe at the end of each month have a" monthly photograph of the month".

Its great seeing all the new faces Wink

   
Chatty
Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 63
Location: ISRAEL
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Thanks Avi. We do post the Weekly Challenge winner each week with the Moderator Picks, and we include them in the weekly newsletter. I'm not sure I understand what you feel is missing there.

As for a photograph of the month we can certainly do that. I presume it would be chosen from the set of weekly winners. Would the monthly winner be selected by the moderators or by their fellow members? Would it be more rewarding to be chosen by the staff or by your peer members of the site?


Walter Rowe, Editor
Travel Photographers.net

   
Admin
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 185
Location: A Global Community
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Those are good questions : I would maybe send it out and ask the members what they think .

I would think it would be more prestigeous for the staff  to vote for the image of the month .

What I am talking about are actually the photographs that are chosen every week

are not posted every week in the member's showcase. The last posting was in MAY.By the way this last week there were no Moderater's pick's

AVI

   
Chatty
Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 63
Location: ISRAEL
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Aha. Got it. No recent moves to the Best Of gallery is my lapse. I'll try to catch that up over the weekend.


Walter Rowe, Editor
Travel Photographers.net

   
Admin
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 185
Location: A Global Community
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I have updated the Member Showcase gallery. What a terrific body of work we have there. Go check it out!


Walter Rowe, Editor
Travel Photographers.net

   
Admin
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 185
Location: A Global Community
By: Likes:
   

I agree fantastic

   
Chatty
Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 63
Location: ISRAEL
By: Likes:
   

Once again I have updated the Member Showcase gallery.


Walter Rowe, Editor
Travel Photographers.net

   
Admin
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 185
Location: A Global Community
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 Hiya Walter,

I have been putting some thought into funding the website and paying for the upkeep, over and above TPN t-shirts and the shop, and I do have one suggestion, that all members agreeing obviously,

that photos that members of the public would like to download, ie for wall decorations, canvases etc be made available somehow, and that TPN take maybe 30-40% and the rest to the photographer. Only an idea and I have no objection to something like this happening from my personal point of view...

Andrew

 


AndrewRHB Photography

   
Junior
Registered: 03/29/11
Posts: 28
Location: Durban, South Africa
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Hi Walter,

I still believe in the idea of making TPN gear available through Cafe Press or another vendor. I would be proud to wear a TPN t-shirt or hat with this site's logo on it! Or drink coffee from a mug with that logo. And also I think that it adds an aura of authenticity, however shallow it may really be, when a website declares itself solid enough to publicly market its brand. Given that today's e-commerce vehicles are no-risk and no-obligation, I would prioritize this effort higher than "luxury" (though of course below "functionality"Wink.

Also, about the prospect of a Photo of the Month, I'd offer two suggestions. First, make it a popular vote open to all members, and second, do not limit the content by anything other than  date range. Don't make the POM a simple POW runoff - let the people have max power. I believe this approach will attract attention - how awesome would it be if a monthly winner emerged who had not even won their own week? The prospect of winning this elite category will always remains a very grand prize, so by simultaneously providing a real second-chance lottery ticket to the membership after the POW is lost - that keeps everyone interested.

Lastly I would love to have the ability to DELETE photos from my portfolio after I have posted them. I do not need to delete from the public forums, as many photosites  allow - but I would like better control over my own corner of this site.  I simply want to feel a sense of possession over my portfolio here. I would love for TPN to be the flagship for my best work, and I feel like for that to exist I need more control.  Thx...

   
Chatty
excited
Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 48
By: Likes:
   

Site Statistics

A little news on site statistics ... the screen clip attached shows we continue to grow each month with over 6000 visitors and over 200,000 page views a month. We aren't climbing fast, but we are on a steady course upward. Thank you to everyone who evangelizes the site and spreads the good word. We are the #1 travel photography site on the internet because of all the great people and content we provide. For my part, I will continue to do everything I can to enrich the site and make it an enjoyable place to spend some time and commune with people from all walks of life all over the globe.

Click on image to download

Deleting Images and Albums

You can delete photos from your own portfolio and it is documented on the Site How-Tos page under the About Us & Help menu in the navbar. Go into the album containing the image(s) you want to delete, select "Manage Media" from the "Options" menu, check the left column box on the row of each image you wish to delete, scroll to the bottom of the page, and press the Delete button. The checked images will be removed from that album.

If you wish to remove an entire subalbum from your portfolio, enter the album, select "Edit Album" from the "Options" menu, scroll to the bottom of the page, and press the Delete button. This will delete the entire album AND all of the images it contains. If you wish to keep the images, use "Manage Media" from the "Options" menu to move them to another album prior to deleting the album containing them.

Photo of the Month

I can enable ratings on images, then select the highest rated image that also has the most votes regardless of whether it was chosen as a weekly moderator pick. That would require people rating images and can lead to "politics". You also run into the situation where NO ratings or votes were cast and then someone has to simply choose. I'm open to all suggestions for how to implement this, and I do like letting the members participate in the selection and that it gives someone a "second chance" to be rewarded for their willingness to submit themselves to public criticism. What other form of lottery or voting system could we institute other than ratings? What about looking at how many comments an image gets? Some images get a great number of comments while not being selected as a POW.

TPN Logo Wear and Trinkets

I promised to make this happen and I will. I apologize for not getting this done yet, but it has not fallen off my radar.


Walter Rowe, Editor
Travel Photographers.net

   
Admin
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 185
Location: A Global Community
By: Likes:
   

Thanks Walter for posting an update on what is going on.   In regards to a monthly challenge, we had something similar that I like the way it worked out, although it was not done over the internet.   So, mechanically, I would not know how you would do it, but a suggestion I would have is:

1)  Members get to select 3 images each month.

2)  Non-members only 1 image

3)  The images need to be voted on by the 15th for the prior month.  The winner would be posted on the 1st of the upcoming month.  So, October entries voted on by November 15 and winner posted on Dec. 1.

4)  Establish a mnimum count...say must have at least 30 votes to make it a legit month??? 

5)  Hard thing to do...only vote once.   (perhaps only allow members to vote as opposed to #2 above?....easier to track)

6)  The winner simply has the highest count.  

7)  If there is a tie....then either you as Editor or have the weekly panel of fine jduges vote for the final choice.  If you as he Editor has an image tied...defer to another weekly judge.  

Politics does not bother me.....just some thoughts....

Richard


Richard Schoettger

   
Chatty
Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 57
Location: Singapore
By: Likes:
   

Hiya Walter,

I'd like to add my thoughts on Photo of the month, and I agree with Richard in much of what he has had to say...

1) a set date for each months votes and photo to be selected. IE as Richard says the 15th or maybe even the 20th... I also think that voting should only be open for the two weeks before the closing date, so as to allow for as wide a variety and submissions as possible.. 

2) I also agree with members having possible 2 or 3 votes and non members only having 1, that might encourage more people to join...

3) I don't think that the comments column should have anything to do with the outcome, as they are generally for constructive criticism.... and also the number of views shouldn't be taken into account, it must be done on a vote!

4) I also agree with Richard on a minimum number of votes and also on the editor or moderators making the final choice in the event of a draw...

 

let me finish off by saying I am really encouraged by the number of new photographers and images I am seeing on here.... keep up the good work.

Andrew


AndrewRHB Photography

   
Junior
Registered: 03/29/11
Posts: 28
Location: Durban, South Africa
By: Likes:
   

Hi Walter and to the others who are writing about there thoughts of -(PHOTO OF THE MONTH)

I agree with  ANDREW BROWN and will add that MAYBE someone who doesnt give critique to others will lose points/votes.

I am going to be very blunt and honest and say that I am a little dissapointed in the site over the last 6 months.

1.  RESULTS OF PHOTO OF -----  Are allmost never posted on time.

2.  PHOTOGRAPHS CHOSEN ARE NOT POSTED UNLESS SOMEONE WRITES AND ASKS ----WHY??????

3 .ONE OF THE MOST BASIC ELEMENT'S  OF ANY WEBSITE WHERE CRITIQUE IS GIVEN IS THAT THE PERSON

    RECIEVIENG THE CRITIQUE GET'S AN E.MAIL TELLING HIM THAT HE HAS RECIEVED THIS

    WITH A LINK TO THE PHOTO.THIS HAS BEEN REQUESTED A FEW TIMES BY DIFFERENT MEMBERS .

4. I PERSONALLY THINK THAT TO GIVE THIS SITE A PROPER LIFT OFF THINGS HAVE TO BE IN ORDER AND ON TIME.

    I KNOW THAT IT IS NOT AN EASY TASK  BUT ONLY BEING PROPERLY ORGANISED WILL IT  BEAR THE PROPER FRUIT

    AND TAKE LARGE BOUNDS AND LEAPS FORWARD.

5. THERE ARE SOME WONDERFULL PEOPLE OUT THERE WORKING HARD TO GET THINGS DONE

    AND THE LEVEL OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS  HAS INCREASED PHENOMENALLY.

6. I THINK THE SITE IS GREAT AND AM HAPPY TO SEE  NEW MEMBER'S USING IT. 

    I PERSONALLY HAVE BEEN FAR TO BUSY LATELY TO GO OUT AND PHOTOGRAPH FOR ME

  ONLY FOR MY CLIENTS Wink AND HAVE NOT  POSTED BUT I DO LOOK IN THROUGH MY MOBILE  WHEN I HAVE 5 MINUTES IN THE FIELD 

PLEASE TAKE THIS AS A POSITIVE CRITIQUE AS IT IS MEANT TO BE SO  Wink  

   
Chatty
Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 63
Location: ISRAEL
By: Likes:
   

Hi Avi.

I accept your positive comments as such and take them as encouragement, not complaint. As always, I solicit and appreciate people's honest feedback. We will continue to make improvements both in quality and timeliness of fresh content.

Walter

PS: I have changed the site font to Helvetica, but left it at 11pt size. We have 10 votes on the Site Font poll and 60% favor Arial. Helvetica is very similar. Arial will be used where Helvetica isn't available. I have taken down the poll.


Walter Rowe, Editor
Travel Photographers.net

   
Admin
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 185
Location: A Global Community
By: Likes:
   

I am currently testing an updated version of software that runs TPN. It includes an oft-requested feature - subsciptions to image comments. I don't have a specific date when I will be ready to update the site with the new release. I hope it can happen in December or January.


Walter Rowe, Editor
Travel Photographers.net

   
Admin
Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 185
Location: A Global Community
By: Likes:
   

Walter,

I was just wondering if maybe I could suggest a back-up plan for those weeks that are perhaps more challenging to get out the Moderator Picks?   I know you moderators have busy schedules too and I understand priorities, but I was also thinking it would be nice to set up a deadline, and if the results are not published by then, then pick a "sub" from one of the members.  Pull a name out of the hat or some other option and let them select the weekly winners.   As there are no prices or such (which is fine), I am quite happy to see how others perceive our images too.   Say, if nothing is posted by Wednesday midnight, a sub is requested?   It would be nice to insure we see some sort of results weekly and not have a week missed.    Anyway, I thought I would post this and there may things that prohibit this from being done easily......Thanks!!

Richard


Richard Schoettger

   
Chatty
Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 57
Location: Singapore
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