Fourth, I haven't been too active on other discussions about critiques. Many just post images and others say yeah or nay, crop, sharpen, ... la la la. I have seen very few true critique posts, and perhaps I'd need to look around a bit more if I'd want that. Here's my point:
I would venture to say that if this site were to contain such a section, I have a feeling that the quality of responses on this board would be much greater than other boards that I have seen. People here are busy, honest, and most aren't shy when asked their thoughts. People would greatly value the honesty of the audience of this website.
I would like to echo those thoughts. Sure, there are tons of sites that allow people to post images and seek feedback, but few are worthwhile. I'm not sure it's strictly a yay or nay thing. We could discuss composition, use of colour, negative space, etc. etc.
It all depends on the people participating and the quality of input sought and received. I tend to be an honest person and value the input from those whose work I truly respect.
The challenge is to keep the content / feedback of high quality, focused on the issues, whether it be composition, colours, whatever, and not permit it to degrade into an ego thing. I've seen it happen. If people really don't want to get feedback, good and bad, then they shouldn't post.
I hear you on the bandwidth side Michael. You don't permit people to upload images to your site, so that's a savings. I run a forum and permit people to upload images, and so far it hasn't been an issue. Although my forum is only months old and with 1,400 posts, I don't have the traffic issues you deal with.
I look forward to the announcement on the topic. Some ideas on what might help make it work, just off the top of my head:
- nominate a mod or two to keep an eye on the posts and shut down any that get out of control / turn into an ego-fest
- provide guidelines that ask people to post an image and request specific feedback, instead of the blanket "What do you think?" which is what I did just for kicks!
- many sites won't allow the "sharing" of images; once the server determines that it isn't its site that is displaying the image, it intercepts the URL call and doesn't display an image, so people should be aware of that
- perhaps setting a minimum member level for participating in the discussions; only those who have posted at least 20 messages in the forum to weed out some of the chaff
- any negative criticism must include a photo demonstrating how to improve upon one's skill by the person posting the criticism; helps reduce the arm-chair-quarterback from jumping all over people
That's it for now. I look foward to seeing what surfaces.