Rating System Changes and Survey
At ShutterPoint, we value the trust you have placed in us by using our website to host and market your photos online.
We would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the goals we peruse in regards to the rating system as well as
future developments at the site.
Rating system is constantly evolving. There are series of changes that were made, and more changes are on the way. All these
changes are meant to make the system better and ratings fairer. Ratings retribution and revenge, offensive ratings, ratings
manipulation, ratings solicitation, inflated ratings are some of the examples of the issues we are trying to
address with these changes. Sometimes new changes face resistance from members who are used to getting and giving
ratings certain way, however it is important to know that all changes are always meant to promote a single
goal - fair ratings.
There is another rating system update coming to ShutterPoint early July 2004. For those who would like to understand the
reasons why the system has been changed so frequently lately, please see our
Newsflash 8 and
Newsflash 9. We had reviewed many suggestions
our members sent us, and the upcoming change is aimed to make ratings better balanced along the rating scale.
The change involves altering one of the constants used in the
formula that calculates ratings.
If you look at the formula used to calculate ratings, you
can see that one of the parameters is the mean rating across all rated photos (currently 9.37). This value is extremely
high for the formula to give meaningful results. Part of the effort to combat inflated ratings was to bring this number
down, and therefore achieve more balanced ratings distribution.
One way to address this problem is to promote more balance in ratings. Steps that were recently taken to encourage lower
ratings may not yield immediate results, and ShutterPoint is well aware about resistance some members show against
this change - everyone grew very accustomed to getting and giving mostly 10's.
Another approach is to alter the formula, and use the actual median of the rating scale instead of the mean rating across
all rated photos. The median of rating is scale is 5.5, as opposite to 9.37. Starting this July, we will use this median
(5.5) going forward. This will affect the current ratings and the new ratings dramatically, however we are certain
that it will produce a better set of results. Below is only a small example of how ratings behave now and how they will
behave with the introduction of this change:
|Photo gets its first rating of 10
||total becomes 9.675
||total becomes 7.75
|Photo gets its second rating of 10
||total becomes 9.783
||total becomes 8.5
|Photo gets its third rating of 9
||total drops to 9.587
||total increases to 8.625
As you can see from this example, with the new calculations, there will be cases when 9 will benefit the total rating even
after a series of straight 10's (when a photo has a significant number of high ratings, a new lower rating may
lower its total rating, however not as drastically as before). Additionally, the new calculations are more sensitive
to the number of given ratings, making it slightly more difficult to get extremely high rating with just several
Below are some more samples of the existing vs. new results under different scenarios:
|Individual Ratings ||Existing calculations ||New calculations
|6,9,10,10 ||8.87 ||8.1
|10,10,10,10 ||9.87 ||9.11
|10,10 ||9.78 ||8.5
|4,4,3,7 ||5.47 ||4.7
|10,9,10,9 ||9.47 ||8.7
|10 ||9.68 ||7.75
|9,9,9,9,9,9,9,9 ||9.04 ||8.61
This approach allows balancing out ratings without having to resort to restrictions of any kind. It is more appropriate
in the environment where high ratings dominate the scene, and as our testing has shown, it better represents actual
artistic and technical values of photos. To summarize, the change in the formula will better spread ratings across
the ratings scale, and it will favor photos with higher number of individual ratings more than the current formula.
To accomplish this change, all existing ratings will be recalculated. Every member will see their ratings drop. In fact,
only the numbers representing the ratings will become lower, but the actual positions of photos within other photos
rated the same way will most likely stay the same or alter slightly.
We will continue improving the rating system, and we would like to get your feedback on what other changes can be helpful.
If you'd like to participate in the small survey about the rating system, please follow the link below:
Rating System Survey
Quality and Content Control
ShutterPoint is committed to serving stock and fine art photography to photo buyers now more than ever. We have made
several important steps to boost photo buyer's interest, amongst them are the new reorganized front page
prominently displaying the quick photo search, increased advertising budget, and stricter quality and content control.
Every day at least a dozen new photos get deleted shortly after they are submitted - those are the photos that do not pass
restrictions set forth in the submission guidelines. Our
sign-up process has recently been changed to draw new users' attention to these guideless and other important
aspects of the site even before they acquire storage space. We encourage everyone to revisit these guidelines when
you are in doubt about a specific photo. Most common reasons for deleting images have been display of copyrighted logos or
trademarks, family album-type photos, and casual photos of dogs and cats. From now on, there will be even stricter demand for
quality content, and we intend to start removing more photos that, in our opinion, may not possess any stock or artistic
While we realize stricter control may negatively reflect on some photographers, it will benefit the site overall, and in the
longer run, it will help strengthen our position as the provider of royalty-free photography.
Making Sales Happen
Many of our members have noticed that sales and ratings do not influence each other, and we would like to strengthen this
point even more. Even without seeing the cold statistics, one can notice that photos in the
"What's Selling" section are
usually not as highly rated as the ones on top of the
"Highest Rated" section. There is one helpful conclusion one
can make: fine art photos tend to get higher ratings, while photos that better match the photo buyers' needs are more
likely to be sold. Remembering this will be enough to increase the probability of sales. Review all
Selling Photos tips and
pay particular attention to the Subject of Photos.
ShutterPoint, and other websites offering photos for sale have an enormous supply of flowers, sunsets, sunrises, dogs,
cats, birds, waterfalls, mountains and landscapes - this supply is more than enough to meet the demands of any photo buyer
interested to buy these photos, and competing for "a piece of the pie" there is extremely difficult. Consider these keyword
Crossroads - 2 results
If you are serious about making your photos sell, explore more subjects, the help section has a few suggestions in this
Aerobics - 1 result
Tennis - 6 results
Businessman - 1 result
Argument - 1 result
Exploration - 2 results
Stock market - 6 results
Agreement - no results
Grand Canyon - 60 results
Bridge - 573 results
Orchid - 129 results
Horse - 336 results
Lake - 1000+ results
Doors - 147 results
Remember, photos do not sell only because they are for sale. They sell when someone needs them. Good luck!