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Biglou13

Gallery Commentary?

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Guest Sherman

Well, shoot. I thought we had this figured out. All of the commenting and uploading and deleting setting for the gallery are now wide open for members. Someone want to try it again?

 

Sherman

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It is certainly an art in of itself to be able to provide quality feedback, especially negative feedback without offending. I think the reason the software defaults to admin approval is for another a person representing the organization keeping up the site to make sure that the exchange is civil. There is no getting around the fact that some people enjoy being cruel and the internet coupled with anon identities feeds into that. I have not read any comments by anyone posting here so I am certainly not saying their comments were not spot on. 

 

This forum is the face of a large non-profit organization that promotes ceramics for everyone, bad, mediocre and skilled professionals alike, sure makes sense to make sure the comments are meaningful and not just mean. 

Patsu likes this

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Couldn't agree more and I guess it seems to me that Sherman may be opening a can of worms by taking off the moderation. I bet ya see a bunch of "negative"  comments start getting posted and then a chorus of "people just need to toughen up" responses when folks start complaining. The posting of a few pictures of work in the gallery may well just be to show the work and that member may not want or need any feedback and certainly shouldn't be subjected to some scathing comments. I think that is the purpose of moderating it.

 

I've seen tons of post complaining that too many members are anon and don't post any of their work in their gallery and allowing un-moderated critiques on the galleries is certainly not going to encourage this if it goes negative and I bet it does.     

 

That's why I would think a separate forum spot as suggested in another thread would be better than wide open comment posting on peoples galleries. Then at least the purpose of the pictures being posted is to receive feedback. 

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This gallery functionality is so bad, it needs to be rewritten or replaced with something more usable. I am not joking.
Sounds like site admins can not configure how gallery comments behave. I am not surprised if you have to pay extra, to get access to configuration interface. Or is it all hardcoded and needs programmers to get involved? I hope not... if it's so, please run the other way and as fast as you can.

ceramicartsdaily.org runs on Wordpress. WP has functioning forum plugins. It cost you nothing and you can configure it too. You probably need to pay someone to do some UI design but so what, at least you have full control over your forums with plenty of useful plugins.

If WP forum plugins are not enough, there is plenty of secure and fully functioning/configurable forum software out there.

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and what exactly is the point of any comments on the gallery uploads anyway? If one member likes the work of one of the other members they can very easily PM that member and comment about the work and/or ask questions.   

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 especially negative feedback without offending.

 

This forum is the face of a large non-profit organization that promotes ceramics for everyone, bad, mediocre and skilled professionals alike, sure makes sense to make sure the comments are meaningful and not just mean. 

 

Is negative feedback without offending possible? I agree with what John said.

 

I also think that being offended can be a really good thing for someone. After they get past the anger towards the offender, they tend to really think about what was said and can either grow from it if there was truth to the statements or stick it to the man by making work that proves them wrong. 

 

It seems that you are afraid of malicious attacks. There is always one person in the bunch, but hopefully it is easy to spot which comment is a malicious attack. Generally things like "your work sucks" or "you should stop being a potter" would be uncalled for. But things like "your handles are bad, you need to practice them a lot more" would be hard to hear, but is actually a really helpful and truthful comment and one you could grow from immensely. (You might not like that the word "bad" was used, but the terms "aren't working" can be really confusing sometimes...besides, everyone makes bad pots, the Greats included.)

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But things like "your handles are bad, you need to practice them a lot more" would be hard to hear, but is actually a really helpful and truthful comment and one you could grow from immensely.

 

Selection of appropriate semantic terms is important in so many things.  "I like this handle" and "I like that handle"  or "That handle is good" and "That handle is bad" are not very useful in 99% of cases.  They are opinions.  Handles aren't "bad"... they are inert objects.  They are a chunk of clay.

 

They can exhibit cartain physical and visual characteristics though..................... here's some descriptive critique examples:

 

The strong line created by that handle tend to lead the eye downward toward the base.  The sweep of the incised line that is placed on the body of the form terminating near the handle join then pulls people's attention back upward toward the attachment point.  This circular use of line tends to keep the eye moving throughout and centered on the form.

 

The attachment point at the top has a lot of little marks and irregularities where it hits the body of the form.  This makes the area there look heavily-touched and busy.  This obvious texture, when the rest of the form is so smooth and sleek also tends to draw the eye to that point and hold it there at the top. 

 

When you take ahold of this handle, the ridge line that was created by the pulling action is very sharp.  This area likely felt much different before the final glaze firing, when the clay was "softer" in its general feel against the hand.  With the clay becoming virrified and hard, and with a layer of glass over it, it now is like a knife edge.  When you put the weight of coffee into the cup, the pressure on the fingers along that hard line is probably painful for many people holding this handle.

 

best,

 

.............................john

 

PS:  I will agree that there are times that someone will benefit from getting kicked back from a harsh comment: but they are exceptionally FEW and far between. And they are ONLY constructive if the two individuals involved have a solid trusting relationship (see the other thread on critiques). 

phill and Patsu like this

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Selection of appropriate semantic terms is important in so many things.  "I like this handle" and "I like that handle"  or "That handle is good" and "That handle is bad" are not very useful in 99% of cases.  They are opinions.  Handles aren't "bad"... they are inert objects.  They are a chunk of clay.

 

I stand corrected John. I agree with this. However, I still believe that even if it is an opinion it can still be helpful. Some of the examples you gave could be labeled opinions as well.

 

Perhaps instead of good and bad, I should use right and wrong. 

 

In today's culture, no one can be right anymore or you get in trouble. There are no rights and wrongs it seems, only grey areas where everybody wins. This...is scary to me. How do we know where we came from, and how can we figure out where we are going? 

 

If you were to have two mugs side by side in comparison, and said, this handle is good, and this handle is bad. That would give direction. That would give an idea to the maker that the visual characteristics on the good handle mug are worth studying and even improving upon. Good and bad are okay terms to use I think.

 

I think you are wrong when you group "i like" and "I don't like" with "good" and "bad." These are totally different things. Our good and bad ideas of pottery have been shaped by tradition, famous people, smart people, wrong people, and right people, and lots of people, groups of people, and practice and time. This is true for many things, like what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior for people in public. Just like there are good and bad pots, or well made and poorly made if you'd rather, our ideas of almost everything have come from history, other people. And all these things tend to have a right and wrong category, a good and bad category. 

 

I agree with your critiquing examples, they are helpful, but I disagree that telling someone that their handles are bad is a no-no. I can see how ONLY telling them their handles are bad probably won't give them any help. This would constitute following up with a "because..." 

 

I also agree that critiquing work tends to work well between two that have a solid and trusting relationship. But if Warren Mackenzie were to come up to me and tell me I make bad handles, you bet I would listen to him. Same goes for any other potter who has "made it." And what's funny is that I trust them solely because the general public has accepted their work as GOOD. 

Mart likes this

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Your back and forth is exactly my point in saying the gallery comments need be moderated, not censured, but moderated. Either of you could easily weed out the malicious comments before they hit the board. I honestly don't think many want to censure or sanitize anything on this board. It's just a matter of making sure that for that 'one in the bunch' that Phill mentioned, someone has a chance to weed it out so it doesn't junk up the board and frustrate a member and more seriously encourage others to avoid uploading any pictures of their work.

 

After reading the last two posts though, it certainly seems to me that a separate forum for this would so much better serve the members because the process is obviously very involved and the back and forth you two just did ought to be given a chance to happen when examining someone's work AND it seems so important that the work being commented on needs to have been put forth by the artist for just such commentary.

 

Obviously it can be argued that by merely uploading the images an artist offered the work for critique. If that's the case then there are going to be so many members here that are never going to show us their work because they do not want this from this forum in this setting. This may have absolutely nothing to do with how they feel about their work but rather they see the process differently and don't see this forum as a place for this to happen. One reason might be that the internet is searchable and many professionals would not want this process to be this transparent to their customers, or potential customers. A scathing exchange might turn the customer against the work and cause the artist to lose a sale or a contract, or many sales and many contracts over a process that they personally didn't ask for and don't want to be a part of.

phill and Patsu like this

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Maybe there could be an option for the user to choose allowing or not allowing comments for pictures posted in the gallery.  For those who want to post pictures but are not interested in comments/feedback (or at that point in their pottery where they want such feedback), comments would not be allowed/accepted.  For those brave souls who are willing to subject themselves to comments -- objective or subjective, opinions, and the like, you could allow such comments to be posted. 

 

Another approach is to let the user receive the comments first, then let the user decide whether or not to allow them to become public -- sort of giving the user the rights afforded the moderator for their gallery pictures. 

 

Full disclosure: I removed my gallery pictures a few months ago; images of my work are on my website for folks to look at if they chose. 

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Maybe there could be an option for the user to choose allowing or not allowing comments for pictures posted in the gallery.  For those who want to post pictures but are not interested in comments/feedback (or at that point in their pottery where they want such feedback), comments would not be allowed/accepted.  For those brave souls who are willing to subject themselves to comments -- objective or subjective, opinions, and the like, you could allow such comments to be posted. 

 

Another approach is to let the user receive the comments first, then let the user decide whether or not to allow them to become public -- sort of giving the user the rights afforded the moderator for their gallery pictures. 

 

Full disclosure: I removed my gallery pictures a few months ago; images of my work are on my website for folks to look at if they chose. 

That seems like a good compromise. 

 

But honestly, I don't see any reason for a moderator to approve comments on someone's gallery.  This may indeed be an internet site/ forum, but it is a far better place than the majority of them.

At the very best, we have people learning from others and a nice free exchance of information.  At the very worst, we have a little bickering and clash of egos, which isn't nearly as delicious as a clash of Eggos. 

We don't have posters insulting each other's views, or just ranting on about nonsense. 

I don't feel that we, as adults, need someone, to shield us from a hypothetical negative comment. 

 

So, like I said, I like bciskepottery's idea.  A person can choose to allow comments, or not.  If a person allows it, then they should be able to see all the comments, and decide which ones to post.

 

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I'm confused a bit ...

Has it happened that people just browsing through gallery images decided to say something was awful? Or had the person asked for a critique and then not liked the reply? I did not realize that gallery comments were a problem. I understand the software being mixed up but is there some other issue?

 

Also, as an aside ... I cannot imagine that anyone at CAD has time to stop, read and approve all comments. They are a busy group.

Second ... If this critique forum should suddenly appear it would need a very brave volunteer moderator.

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Maybe there could be an option for the user to choose allowing or not allowing comments for pictures posted in the gallery.  For those who want to post pictures but are not interested in comments/feedback (or at that point in their pottery where they want such feedback), comments would not be allowed/accepted.  For those brave souls who are willing to subject themselves to comments -- objective or subjective, opinions, and the like, you could allow such comments to be posted. 

 

Another approach is to let the user receive the comments first, then let the user decide whether or not to allow them to become public -- sort of giving the user the rights afforded the moderator for their gallery pictures. 

 

Full disclosure: I removed my gallery pictures a few months ago; images of my work are on my website for folks to look at if they chose.

 

These features already exist ... well that is, as soon as the admins can figure out the "moderator needed" block ....

 

go to Edit My Profile, within the Profile Settings area, there is a subhead called Comments & Visitors, where these things can be turned on or off.

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Maybe there could be an option for the user to choose allowing or not allowing comments for pictures posted in the gallery.  For those who want to post pictures but are not interested in comments/feedback (or at that point in their pottery where they want such feedback), comments would not be allowed/accepted.  For those brave souls who are willing to subject themselves to comments -- objective or subjective, opinions, and the like, you could allow such comments to be posted. 

 

Another approach is to let the user receive the comments first, then let the user decide whether or not to allow them to become public -- sort of giving the user the rights afforded the moderator for their gallery pictures. 

 

Full disclosure: I removed my gallery pictures a few months ago; images of my work are on my website for folks to look at if they chose.

These features already exist ... well that is, as soon as the admins can figure out the "moderator needed" block ....

 

go to Edit My Profile, within the Profile Settings area, there is a subhead called Comments & Visitors, where these things can be turned on or off.

 

 

It looks like you can turn on/off/pre-approve comments for profile page, but not for gallery. 

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Maybe there could be an option for the user to choose allowing or not allowing comments for pictures posted in the gallery.  For those who want to post pictures but are not interested in comments/feedback (or at that point in their pottery where they want such feedback), comments would not be allowed/accepted.  For those brave souls who are willing to subject themselves to comments -- objective or subjective, opinions, and the like, you could allow such comments to be posted. 

 

Another approach is to let the user receive the comments first, then let the user decide whether or not to allow them to become public -- sort of giving the user the rights afforded the moderator for their gallery pictures. 

 

Full disclosure: I removed my gallery pictures a few months ago; images of my work are on my website for folks to look at if they chose.

 

These features already exist ... well that is, as soon as the admins can figure out the "moderator needed" block ....

go to Edit My Profile, within the Profile Settings area, there is a subhead called Comments & Visitors, where these things can be turned on or off.

 

 

It looks like you can turn on/off/pre-approve comments for profile page, but not for gallery.

 

You might be right, I'm honestly not sure. I think one's gallery is part of one's profile, therefore these comment settings would apply. But we can find out for sure once the comments are working again.

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Guest Sherman

Update. We have a help ticket in with the forum software company to address this, since we've "allowed" comments on images and bypassed moderation everywhere we can find in the admin tools.

 

Also, we have located the place where admins can approve the comments that have been held up to this point, and are in the process of approving all of them, so those should go live soon.

 

Its not ideal, but will at least get the comments posted, and the forum software folks might learn something.

 

Sherman

JBaymore likes this

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Guest Sherman

Looks like we're now all set. Thanks to everyone for patience and for assistance during testing.

 

Comment away!

 

Sherman

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