Old 11-16-2015, 10:52 PM   #1
KevinM
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Default Booted from To24!

Proof positive that you really can campaign your way to To24 and even evict a Screener's Choice that was already sitting on the top spot.

Posted yesterday and awarded a Screener's Choice by the RP Staff:
Image © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com
PhotoID: 554631
Photograph © Thomas J. Nanos - www.nanosphoto.com

In addition, the RP Staff posted the SC on their Facebook Page. With home page and FB exposure, as one might expect, the view-count rose rapidly, and this afternoon, it was appearing as one of the To24 shots. At 4PM EST, it hit the top spot.

Meanwhile, this morning, another contributor submitted this Russian steam shot:
Image © Parker Wilson
PhotoID: 554721
Photograph © Parker Wilson

He then proceeded to create a bunch of Reddit links (yes, he definitely created them) and within minutes, the view count on that shot took off. It was obvious that something was up with this image when shortly after it was posted, it had nearly 500 hits, while other images that posted in the same time frame had 30 or 40.

Fast forward to 5PM EST, just an hour after that Screener's Choice hit the #1 To24 slot, the linked Russian shot walked right past it and booted it back to #2.

I have my own thoughts as to which image is more meritorious, but it looks like Reddit links beat an SC, an RP-FB AND a sitting To24! Sure, the sun will rise tomorrow, but if that SC or To24 was yours, you might not think much of the yoyo with the Reddit links.

(Pour gasoline.....light match...)
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:06 PM   #2
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It looks like Parker Wilson has essentially done the same with all his shots. Annoying, but good for him, hes gaming the system to his advantage. Would be nice if the admins would address the issues of external linking, an issue it seems most of the active community is against, but of course that would require some action by the admins.

The powers at be appear to be so disinterested in this site that I guess we should count it as a victory that photos are still screened regularly. Oh well, guess just chalk up the external linking issue up to another chapter in the slow decline of a once great site.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:21 AM   #3
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This issue seems vaguely familiar to me...

It seems apparent that RP is a business first, a hobby second - a complete transition from the fun and close knit community some of us still frequenting the site fondly recall.

You can not blame admin for encouraging others to link - it simply adds more page clicks which means the site can charge more for advertising.

You can't blame patrons - they are simply taking advantage of the situation.

Seems RP's success will be measured on where the line is drawn between dollars and content. Between the campaign and the general appeal of the images within.

One thing is for sure - it's not "fun" like it use to be. But it remains a great database to find railroad related images (and occasionally, photographers) - both good and great easily weeded out through the use of the "favorites" and "comments" selections - if not any longer by "most popular". Sadly, even favorites and comments are diluted as campaigned front page exposure often increases each compared to those that get buried under the linked photos.

It would be interesting to see if the costs to removing easily tracked linked counts from the Top of the last 24 formula would be offset by an increase of appeal to the general audience - ie; making RP "fun". Would it be worth it to reclaim that aspect of the site? Could it even increase views with the attraction of a lost audience?

Reminds me of two tourist lines in my area -the New Hope & Ivyland and Strasburg Rail Road. One discovered greater earning potential in running diesel led trains regularly while regulating steam on select "special" days (once they get their 2-8-0 back after a nearly 2 year rebuild) while the other, Strasburg, is more then happy to run with nothing but steam - and even steam powered revenue freights. What is the difference between the two? As told by someone in management at Strasburg - "We like steam". We do this to run steam more then we do this to make money.

I suppose this could have been RP's modus operandi all along - and in that respect, congratulations.

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Old 11-17-2015, 12:31 AM   #4
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My take is you can have all the links you want but you need the "beef" to back it up.
I didn't even know what a Reddit link is but did look it up. Maybe not that popular to say but I like the Russian shot a lot. On the one hand there is a photo of something I didn't know much about; a 4-8-4 blasting(maybe) around a curve at track speed. In terms of action shot compares favorably with most steam photos posted.

On the other a VERY WELL done night shot but still a Santa train poking along at night, a very known quantity. So my vote would be.....

Bob

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Old 11-17-2015, 12:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by RobJor View Post
My take is you can have all the links you want but you need the "beef" to back it up.

Bob
Who decides, Bob?

In the past it was the RP audience. And it was based on the appeal of the image, not on a campaign, unless of course it was a wreck, a Darwin or a female.

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Old 11-17-2015, 12:58 AM   #6
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The Russian steam shot is leaning right, and there's some weird pink flare sh*t around the left side of the bridge in the back.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:24 AM   #7
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On the other a VERY WELL done night shot but still a Santa train poking along at night, a very known quantity. So my vote would be.....
I never understood the bias against tourist lines. Steel wheels on steel rails on a schedule - same as Amtrak (if anything, with better on-time performance). What difference does it make if the train is hauling commuters or families? Sure, in the case of the VRR it is only about an 5 mile section of track, so the scenes are somewhat limited, but for me it's the crafting of the light to make a unique scene from something that's been shot many times before - and at the same time, avoiding the "daylight with a black sky" look. Who cares if it's a tourist line or a Class 1?

As an aside, someone commented on one of my Facebook posts about the shot and it's placement in the To24 - "And it didn't require a drone"
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:06 AM   #8
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Actually, this thread should be entitled:

"Linked photo booted by even-more linked photo!"

or:

"Reddit crushes Facebook!"
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by miningcamper1 View Post
Actually, this thread should be entitled:

"Linked photo booted by even-more linked photo!"

or:

"Reddit crushes Facebook!"
In this case however, the Facebook Link appears to be the RP Facebook Page, as opposed to a personal one. The RP Facebook Page is controlled by Admin and does not represent an effort by the photographer to artificially boost views. In fact, given that the RP Staff clearly wanted to showcase Tom's image, I would think they would be at least mildly annoyed with the mega-links on the Russian image.

Here it is in a nutshell. When one goes out and links the hell out of all of their images with the primary goal of outrunning the other contributors to To24, what does that say about their character? Hey, I guess there are people who will elbow an old lady out of the way in order to cut the checkout line at Walmart.
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:20 AM   #10
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In fact, given that the RP Staff clearly wanted to showcase Tom's image...
Ummmm.

Playing favorites?

Regardless of who planted the link, it's still stacking the deck.
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Old 11-17-2015, 12:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by miningcamper1 View Post
Ummmm.

Playing favorites?
Hi Miningcamper,

RP has showcased their favorites for years with Screener's Choices, Photos of the Week and most recently, with their Facebook Page. The latter is more effective at boosting views than any of the "badges." Go take a look. There is a link at the top of the home page.

I hope it is not news to you that they also "program" the posting of images, much as radio stations program the music they play. That means that images don't necessarily post in the same order in which they enter the queue. Images get picked out of the queue, and they sometimes get held for a while.

They run it like you'd expect a professional photo show to run....which is why many of us still post here. It is the best way to get your images seen by those who enjoy, and even buy railroad photos.
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post

Here it is in a nutshell. When one goes out and links the hell out of all of their images with the primary goal of outrunning the other contributors to To24, what does that say about their character? Hey, I guess there are people who will elbow an old lady out of the way in order to cut the checkout line at Walmart.
Wait, Tom is like an old lady?
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Old 11-17-2015, 01:35 PM   #13
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Wait, Tom is like an old lady?
Hey, you kids, get off my lawn!!!
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Old 11-17-2015, 04:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Here it is in a nutshell. When one goes out and links the hell out of all of their images with the primary goal of outrunning the other contributors to To24, what does that say about their character? Hey, I guess there are people who will elbow an old lady out of the way in order to cut the checkout line at Walmart.
Sorry, Kevin, you have gone down the road of imputing character from behavior when ambiguity prevails. What do you know about this person, did you ask them if they want to be To24? Do they see themselves in a race, do they seem to be selfish? It seems to me to be completely human to want lots of people to see your stuff. So not implicitly immoral or bad values or even that selfish. Just want to be seen, just as most performers love to have audiences, and bigger is better. Thinking about it some more, I am surprised we don't see more of this, use of forums such as reddit or what have you.

There is an unseemly dimension to what we are seeing, but there is also a dimension that is quite ordinary. I haven't decided what to make of it yet, but I don't want to be too quick to judge. The ramifications of what is going on are quite clear, the impact on what shots get seen vs not. But the judgments of individuals, those seem to be ill founded, or at least I mind the possibilities varied and no evidence can be seen as to personal motives; only the outcomes are known.

There is no code of social behavior that pertains to RP. Maybe there could have been one, maybe there once was one, maybe there are social mores. Social mores get set and supported in community contexts and there is no railfan community cohesive enough to set them here.

I guess I got long winded - again - but it just bothers me that people go quickly to determinations of "character"; I guess I don't see how that can be done but for personal interaction.
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:56 PM   #15
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What do you know about this person, did you ask them if they want to be To24? Do they see themselves in a race, do they seem to be selfish?
Hi J,

Yes, it is possible that a few folks who post mega-links to their RP images do not understand the impact that such activity might have on the daily "popularity contest".....but in the majority of the cases, I'm not buying that argument.

Most of the folks who regularly link their images are long-time RP contributors, who fully understand how the site works. Regardless of their primary motives (To24, views for the sake of views, etc.), I think they know that linking will put their pictures on the site home page. Whether or not they consider the potential impact of their activity on other fellow contributors is all a matter of how considerate they are.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:53 PM   #16
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Red face Shit happens

I think this falls into the category of shit happens. We all have egos. And we all can and will use ingenuity to satisfy our egos. Maybe some more than others, but we should not be surprised. I love hits on my pix, and love comments even more. You will note the links to my pix down below. Please use them. And above all please do leave comments.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:11 PM   #17
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Hi Miningcamper,

RP has showcased their favorites for years with Screener's Choices, Photos of the Week and most recently, with their Facebook Page. The latter is more effective at boosting views than any of the "badges." Go take a look. There is a link at the top of the home page.
Well of course they play favorites. I don't have to like it, though.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:19 PM   #18
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I think this falls into the category of:



-Jacques
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:44 PM   #19
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Well of course they play favorites. I don't have to like it, though.
Just to clarify, I meant favorite images, not favorite photographers. I wasn't trying to imply that RP was showing any sort of favoritism toward Tom or anyone else. Rather, that when they see something that catches their eye, they try to showcase it to the extent possible. I think they spread it around pretty well.
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:51 PM   #20
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...did you ask them if they want to be To24?
Have you ever seen anyone campaign an image AFTER the chance to reach To24? Sure, maybe it's easy to do at the time of posting, but you can bet RP is betting the the To24 will encourage links and, of consequence, page hits which allow for higher advertising fees.

If not, they'd remove linked views -and I can guarantee the number of links will decrease, if not all but end.

Some of us see... or at least enjoyed when it was the PHOTO that spoke for itself on RP, not the campaign.

Kevin - maybe it's time to say good by to the RP of old - sign up to FB if you have not already, and get to WORK. Start campaigning. Friend as many people as you can and post to as many pages as possible.

It is what it is. It's FLICKR with superior search features. And for those with a thousand "friends" and more, a great place to have your images seen.

/Mitch
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:14 PM   #21
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Default Parker Wilson is a cheater

It is very unfortunate that some RPN members can afford to do such dishonest and lousy things... Parker Wilson, certainly does not play by RPN rules. And I'm sure he must be punished to serve as a lesson for others. We're here for fun, not for profit and cheating.
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Old 11-17-2015, 11:26 PM   #22
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I've never been into the "number of hits" game. My goal is simple: continue working on advancing my own abilities. And since I love to tell stories, here's one from a decade ago. I was mostly active on a nature photography board at the time, and got into one of the usual message board pissing contests. Someone there from Californy said he was a better photographer because his shots got more views. To me the number looked about even. He then challenged me to put up my best shot of the past month, and he'd put up his, and we'd see who got the most views. I agreed. His photo was titled, "Osprey Scoops Up Fish." Mine was titled, "Big Titty Blonde Loses Bikini." He had something like 120 views; I had triple that. I won.


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Old 11-18-2015, 12:20 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by magicman_841 View Post
The Russian steam shot is leaning right, and there's some weird pink flare sh*t around the left side of the bridge in the back.
That pink stuff is really weird. Surprised no one else has commented about it.
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Old 11-18-2015, 03:25 AM   #24
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That pink stuff is really weird. Surprised no one else has commented about it.

Could there be a red signal light buried in there somewhere? Or, considering how much pollution there is in most Russian water supplies, maybe weird colors isn't the least of it? Maybe they filled up with water at Chernobyl?


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Old 11-18-2015, 03:47 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by jdirelan87 View Post
Would be nice if the admins would address the issues of external linking, an issue it seems most of the active community is against, but of course that would require some action by the admins.
Would be nice if the admins (actually more than one lately?) would address the issues of anything.

There is time to maintain a Facebook page, but no time to post here more than once in a blue moon?
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