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Adrique 11-04-2008 06:34 PM

TE: things to improve
Hi everyone,
I am a TE member for almost a year and after that (great) time I am able to express what Iīd like to have improved to move this portal forwards to eternal glory :-)
I wonīt write what I like on TE, īcause everyone who more or less actively participates know it. It really helps to improve oneīs skills and knowledge. Iīll write what I am not so keen on.

The critiques and points system (this is what bothers me most, so it get the first place):
I think we should be more tough on ourselves. The majority of critiques are positive. Whyīs that? Well, in todays fast-pace world, who has time to spend it critiquing not-so-good photos? So I agree on this reason. But after some time here, I see that MANY BAD photos are given plenty of positive critiques, just because of a friendly relationship to the photographer. Whatīs the aim of it? To get points back? Come on, we are not children anymore, arguing who has more points!
I think the purpose of the critique and points system is to improve trekking and photographing skills of the community. Without telling truth to each other (I donīt believe TE members canīt recognize an obviously bad photo), I think the direction is just opposite. Or am I wrong?
This behavior can be partially muted by not showing the photographer nick and points next to photos in the general views. Only after criticizing a photo, these details would be shown. This situation would be of course different when viewing a memberīs gallery. However - I donīt care to see how many points or critiques has a photo received.
Interface: keeping the images from being stolen
This is quite an issue, thatīs quite heavily discussed now in other TE forum. I suggest using a flash interface for viewing full quality images could make the life less easier for those want to use the images outside copyright rules.
Interface: search
The search system is not too user-friendly. It probably consumes too much resources at the server-side too (I am not a webmaster, just guessing). Itīs because you donīt get to choose by what parameters (author, country, theme, category etc.) you want to search prior to the search. I have click too much to find what I am searching for.
Interface: member groups
A small example: I became a member of <a href="">Fotografi in Sardegna</a>. But instead of showing the group membersī photos from Sardegna, it shows all photos of these members, which does not provide much useful information. I think a reason of such group is to collect photos taken by its members and that were shot in Sardegna. Is it possible to set such a behavior to a group? I did not find such a possibility.
Interface: formatting posts
In todayīs world and technology I think is very awkward to manually write HTML-tags to format texts. I think most of people do not need to know how the HTML-lexicology, they have other things to do.
Interface: Links-tab
The most unnecessary page on TE. Could be placed in FAQ. No need to place on the most prominent place.
Interface: Quick links: Cameras
Who uses these? And for what purpose? I find them unnecessary or not too well implemented. Iīd rather see something like:
Most used cameras
Most viewed location
These would be based on daily or other time-periods.
Interface: Quick links: Views
Iīd place various photo categories here: architecture, daily life, nature etc. I did not find any use of the categories - other than in the Categories tab in the general views. Whatīs use of seeing how many photos of which category are shared?
Itīd be best if the categories could be combined and used as filters. Itīs quite common elsewhere and a website like TE deserves it.
Interface: session time-out
This is what I miss too. Even after few days not visiting TE, when I go to my web-browser history, I can continue writing critiques etc. without logging in (if I did not log-out of course :-)). This presents a theoretic danger of misusing the memberīs profile information. I think a 2-hour session timeout (2 hrs without any activity) is more than needed.
OK, thatīs about what came to my mind now.
I know itīs not easy to keep up with needs. Aside from advertisement, I think TE could organize anonymous auctions. TE members could sell their full-size photos, while TE-would benefit from a small commission for organizing the auction. The bids would be anonymous, to prevent any bad feelings among the members and partially protect from sharing a full-size image file among the users as well. Donīt stone me, you just canīt be too safe today.
Oh by the way - I like that TE takes EXIF info from photos. Great stuff!

Adrique 11-04-2008 06:45 PM

Re: TE: things to improve
Btw, I did not want to cry my troubles out here...:-D, please write your comments and opinions how to improve TE. īCause this is/we are a community, right? ;-)

Adrique 11-07-2008 07:32 PM

Re: TE: things to improve
Interface: Forum design
The forum used in TE/TL/TN has a very limited usability, search is more-less impossible. I think use of one of common open source forum designs would be vital. Maybe the only hard thing is to implement it in such way, that the current post would be intact.

Homerhomer 11-07-2008 08:31 PM

Re: TE: things to improve
sorry to rain on your parade, however I would kindly suggest to go to the archives from 4 or 5 years ago (not sure if it's possible) and you will notice on the forum threads with exactly the same suggestions as you are pointing out.

In the nutshell, you are wasting your time ;-)

I guess the only difference would be that then poeple cared and there were plenty of replies, by the reaction to your message I can see there is very little interest on the topic, but hey, at least I replied;-)

AdrianW 11-07-2008 09:16 PM

Re: TE: things to improve
&gt; I suggest using a flash interface for viewing full quality images could make the life less easier for those want to use the images outside copyright rules.

Well that would neatly rule out any of us who don't have flash enabled. Flash still wouldn't prevent someone to just press PrntScrn anyway. So lots of pain for comparatively little gain there.

&gt; Interface: session time-out.

By default you aren't signed in permanently anyway, you need to click the "Remember me" box to make it a dated cookie, otherwise it's just a session cookie that will be cleared when you next close your browser.

rgarrigus 11-08-2008 06:21 AM

Re: TE: things to improve
Hi Adrian,

I'd enjoy and increased search functionality as well and maybe including tags can help. This system is used by Flickr and ePhotozine. I also like the geo-location features of those two sites. ePhotozine's is quite simple linking to Google Maps. You just position the map pointer on the photo location and automatically update the field. I suppose this could also help the search functionality by allowing users to query on images within a specific geographic distance from a location of interest.


Bob G.

Adrique 11-08-2008 08:24 PM

Re: TE: things to improve
well Peter, who would search in few years old posts if the search does not work in forums? you? can you give me the link to the post, so it can be brought to life again?

maybe one of the reasons why thereīs not so many reaction is the low user-friendliness and low visit rate of the forum section.

if thereīs no will to improve this website, maybe thatīs a way how to keep the community relatively small and compact. If the TE admins follow this policy and if itīs fine with TE members, OK, I wonīt be wasting my time again.

Adrique 11-08-2008 08:42 PM

Re: TE: things to improve
> Interface: flash
is there no possibility how to restrict the function of PrnScr key?
> that would neatly rule out any of us who don't have flash enabled.
I donīt think this would rule out anyone. Flash is available virtually for every platform and overwhelming majority of internet users have Flash installed. In case of mobile devices no one will ever display full-scale view anyway.

> Interface: session time-out.
It does not fully work the way you describe it - esp. using Firefox. FF at closing asks whether to "Close" or "Save tabs and close" (loose translation). If I choose the 2nd option (which I do most) with TE not signed-out and I later reopen Firefox, I am back logged-in in my TE profile and does not matter how long I was not back.

Adrique 11-08-2008 08:46 PM

Re: TE: things to improve
> geolocation:
Hi Bob, as you surely know, you can set the google maps location in TE too, but it is necessary to enter the geo cordinates manually, which is a bit awkward.
I am not familiar with the sites you mentioned, but I think it will be probably similar or the sames as the system used in Panoramio.

rgarrigus 11-09-2008 01:16 PM

Re: TE: things to improve
Hi Adrian,

I do know that TE allows you to enter coordinates manually but that is probably the reason nobody (or very few) chooses to do it (me included). It's the whole "economy of clicks" and human laziness issue. Allow the users to populate the fields automatically and it would give us a nice new added functionality to the site.

It might also be nice to have a more elegant and speedy image view function such as that on That site uses flash but right now it looks like the only images it indexes are those on Flickr. A pretty cool site nonetheless that we've found useful for travel planning.


Bob G.

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