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Maria J. William

Changes in the Works

posted by marrael 2013-01-26 23:19:01

Years ago, this site was created on a great idea--that no art would be displayed on member portfolios on the site, until it has been passed by a jury of three moderators, and those moderators would be chosen from existing artists based on the quality of their own art and ability to articulate how to improve a picture. Moderators stayed unknown to the artist having their work judged, but not from each other. It all was set up to make sure that both the quality of the art that appeared, and the quality of the critiques given was very high.


We succeeded in that. The downside is that our moderators do have other jobs, critiquing art is time-consuming, and the image queue always lagged behind. Weeks behind. Months behind. We are now approaching a portfolio that has waited what is now approaching a year for its verdict. And I am ashamed. Not because I haven't done what I can for the images in the queue (but I can only be one out of THREE moderators needed to pass a picture), and nagged, and rewarded the moderators who have contributed, but the manpower or time needed to keep the system working smoothly, and not in stops and starts, just isn't there. Discouraged, and with other pressing things in my life, I also stopped blogging here, and patched bugs or problems on a very lethargic basis. 

I went away to recharge, and lately got an interesting message: Don't wait for consensus. Just do what you think is right, even if you go it alone. It got me thinking.

It is important to me that this site is a place an artist can come to to get constructive critiques, even if just one, or two artists on a jury panel can pipe in at a time. One or two critiques are not three, but it's better than none, and whereas in the past artists could not see any of their critiques until three moderators had spoken, I'm going to make all the critiques now "LIVE" at any time. This is the beginning. I'm also thinking of giving mods and artists the option of making the critiques public (not the same as revealing the moderators), whether it's to share, or to contest the critiques. And ordinary site members are free, as ever, to comment, but I'd love to give them a taste of what it's like to be a moderator and score images based on different attributes of the pictures. It's all in fun, and really, to make the site helpful as always, but also more education, active, and fun as well.

If you have farther suggestions of the changes you'd like to see, and I'm sure there are many, please feel free to comment. And I ask humbly for patience too, as I work on the changes!

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