Daniel Karp
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Sorry for adding to the noise on this subject, but I think this is an idea that might work. Rating of the pictures is a good idea, in theory--it would be good to know what the best pictures are, both on the site and for each game. The problem is that some users are concerned about the ranking of the pictures themselves, and have been manipulating the ranking. There is no way to stop someone from giving a picture an unfairly low or high ranking in an effort to manipulate rankings; the solution, as I see it, is to have enough people rating pictures that the ratings given by the manipulators get washed out.

How to do this? Right now, the only people with a real incentive to rate pictures are the people who care about the rankings, some (perhaps too many) of whom are giving unfair ratings. But what if everyone had an incentive to rate pictures? My suggestion: Geekcents. if everyone got one geekgold for every 100 (or 200 or whatever number is fair) pictures they rate through Rate Pics or Not, the number of ratings would jump. People would be doing a service to the Geek, and since the gold would come from using Rate Pics or Not, all pictures would get rated, not just the ones which already have enough ratings to be ranked. And now the general geek population, the vast majority of which has no interest in the rankings, would be evaluating pictures.

So, what do people think? Does this sound like a reasonable solution?
 
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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Why...
...do we rate pictures again?
 
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Daniel Karp
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Why we rate pictures
Here is my take on why we rate pictures, and it is based on something Aldie and Derk discussed on Geekspeak. In the long run, the content of Boardgamegeek could become unwieldy; more and more items are posted, pictures, files, articles, etc, and it will get harder and harder to figure out what is useful. But, if each item is rated, the most useful items could come up first on a games page, the best pictures could be the default images, etc. Rating pictures is one step toward making the BGG as useful as it can possibly be. I suspect the a slashdot-like implementation will be added in the future, so that users can decide the level of picture or article or whatever that they want to see--the cutoff could be something like no picture below a 4 or no article below whatever. Having ratings for the items on the BGG, including the pictures, will make it easier for users to find the most useful items, and keep the BGG from growing to the point where the useful information is lost in the noise of people discussing what store had whatever game 5 years ago, and the like.
 
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Louise Holden
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So why..
do the ratings have to be published? Any use for the ratings to screen pictures doesn't require them to be visible to the user. And hiding the current rating will prevent shills and remove much of the incentive for people to rate too high or low.
 
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dale walton
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Ranking
I can see if we have ratings it is better to have a lot of them. However, I believe that people are losing track of the fact that this is a game site and that no point is really served by us playing the community game of "Putting things in perfect order" vs "I want my pictures first" vs "Lets not hurt someone's feelings" vs ....

Are we going to start TRADING the pictures?? Will someone give me Geek Gold for their appreciation of my pictures? Is that what this is all about??

I will repeat a suggestion here in hopes that it may actually be seen wuith all the lists on this:

Please, let's just have a system to rank the one picture per game we want to see first on the game page. Then show the other pictures in order of their rankings.

 
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Randy Cox
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1024x768 works just fine - Don't Wide the Site!
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I am still very much in favor of rating pictures (and articles and geek lists and geek list comments and anything and everything on this site). However, we do need to have accountability for ratings. Anything that is rated (including pictures) should allow for a user to click on the rating and see all raters names and grades. That way, people can't hide behind their 1-and-10 shill votes.

As to people getting hurt feelings, pshaw! We've allowed ratings for articles, session reports, reviews, etc for years and no one has complained. Sure, I get a 2 rating from time to time and wonder what offended the reader, but that's OK. I realize that not everyone agrees with my idea of well-crafted submissions. So be it.

Let's have easy access to a person's ratings (like we can see for all the games they've rated) and the shenanigans will become less. And when people postulate conspiracy theories of adjusting rankings, they can target the specific offenders, rather than painting with a broad brush.
 
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Phil Shepherd
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Fantastic post Daniel.

I'm in the Ranking camp. Presumably, under your theory, all the 'inferior rated' pictures will eventually be done away with. In a case like Settlers or Memoir '44 that's fine. There are plenty of picture for some games. Some others, however, have no pictures at all. I personally have submitted some pictures for games that previously had no pictures. My camera is cheap and the pictures are not 'professional quality.' I admit it, they're not 10's. For the moment, however, they're all the 'Geek has, and frankly, they're not bad pictures - they're just not great. But since some anonymous jackass decided they had to be blasted, they're now in the 'marked for death' camp?

I don't like that. Now if ten other people come along and post superior pictures, by all means, delete mine. But by virtue of the fact that they're "4's" they shouldn't automatically be put on the endangered species list...

That’s just my two bits’ worth, though.
 
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Lyman Hurd
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a vote on the other side
I see the point in ranking games and I do take some notice of that. My next step is often to click on the user comments accompanying the rating.

However, for both articles, reviews, and pictures I tend to look at all the pictures (I can take in the content as fast as I can check out a numerical ranking). I often read all the reviews as there are seldom too many to read.

Articles I read based on whether the subject sounds intriguing and sometimes if there seems to be enough responses that there is clearly something interesting going on.

Pictures already go through review once. In fact it has not always been clear to me why a picture would be turned down for a game that lacks any! The "rankings" seem to have the effect of further discouraging picture taking, a process that is already dampened by the review process (unlike links and articles that show up immediately). If the ammount of content gets unwieldy let's have another round of fundraising. Content in a database is a good thing!
 
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Daniel Karp
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Loise- I agree that most of the uses of ratings do not require them to be published at the moment. But there are some uses: having the ratings published gives people a sense of how the ratings go--"Oh, this is what a 6 looks like," etc. Also, the rankings are kind of fun, in the sense that I can go to the top of the rankings and see some of the best pictures on the BGG. And potential future uses will also require ratings to be published--if a user adjustable parameter screens items below a certain ratining, th euser has to have some idea of where the cut-off is for which items they might want to see. Also, if the ratings are entirely invisible, all of the small incentive people had to rate pictures will vanish--where is the fun in rating if it seems to have no effect on anything?

Randy- I agree that having names (and possibly comments) associates with each ranking might help matters. Or it might hurt them, by causing more bad blood. I'm not entirely sure which.

Phil- I don't think anyone is suggesting that anything be automatically deleted. Rather, I think it was Derk who said that the lower rated items might be buried a bit deeper on a game's page. It could then take multiple clicks to get to the weaker items, but they will still be there, if you want them.

Lyman- The problem of the database becoming unwieldy is not a problem with storage space; rather it is a problem of finding the useful items in all of the jumble. Discussions often drift from subject lines, and a lively discussion is no guarantee that the discussion is on-topic. By rating items, the most useful ones could percolate to the top; I think this would be beneficial for the Geek, to have the best pictures, the best reviews, and the best articles be the ones which are most seen.

The problem with any of this right now is that not enough people submit ratings for items; there is no incentive to do so. My Geekcents proposal tries to offer some small incentive--perhaps someone else can think of a better incentive. I do think that once enough ratings start coming in for things, this will solve a lot of the problems people have with ratings and rankings. The one it won't solve is people's feelings getting hurt, but since there will be less manipulation, the problem should be reduced. And I don't think that should be such a big deal anyway--I mean, as Randy said, we have ratings on articles and reviews already with no problem; I think we should be able to handle a bad rating or two on pictures. And no one has mentioned what could be the best result of ratings and rankings: people will strive to learn to take better pictures in an attempt to move up in the rankings. And if the overall quality of pictures submitted increases, everyone wins.
 
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