Vida Morkunas (seawallrunner) 11:57pm, 11 January 2006
I'm discouraged by the proliferation of icon-based, half-page messages from group admins, who seek to promote some competition-based group inside a photo comment conversation.

Here we are, having a pleasant discussion when we are so rudely interrupted by an ad.

The ads for TopPhotoCompetition (or whatever) or PhotoPolice tickets (wth??) have nothing to do with the photo stream, the actual photo or even the ongoing dialogue - they are usually just a canned message containing a blatant ad for some group wanting more members.

Shameful, shameful.

I'm becoming quite upset with the various people and groups on Flickr posting their little icons disrupting the pleasant banter between flickr friends. It's got to be stopped before it really gets out of hand.

I comment on many, many photos -- when I review my comments I will often see these blatant ads appear ("this photo is competing against these six!" followed by six thumbnails unrelated to the discussion).

A few days later I often see that these ads are gone, quietly removed by their recipients.

Photo-competition group admins - some manners please!!
rvacapinta 13 years ago
I've wondered how people feel about these?

I also see and am mildly bothered by the:

"Congrats! You have made it onto my flickr-cat-pic-of-the-day (or whatever) blog!!"

Since it seems more like self-promotion. Then again, maybe people are flattered by this?
nonchalant wax [deleted] 13 years ago
I love it when there is a huge inline photo in the comments too. I can't see those enough!
Auntie P 13 years ago
I like to be told if my photo has been blogged by someone - it's only courtesy after all. And a few of the sites I belong to have 'admins faves', and it's nice to know about them too.

But I agree wholeheartedly about the huge ads that often appear (small ones are ok, but some are well out of hand).
Marcus M Posted 13 years ago. Edited by Marcus M (member) 13 years ago
seawallrunner, I am glad you are addressing this. Although, I haven't experienced it on my own photos, I find it horribly annoying when reading through comments on someone else’s.

That's one reason why I paid, like many others, to become pro. 13 years ago
I agree with AuntieP,
I like being told if my photo is being used on some blog, but I hate the inline pictures.

I especially hate beling selected for some competition.
emdot 13 years ago
what is really bugging me are the all bold comments. please, spare us your emphasis.

javajive, who is fabulous and a great flickr person, has a beautiful portrait of his girlfriend with about four or five inches of all bolded text with photos! hey! and it's driving me nuts.


on the other hand, many people want to know if their photo's been blogged. i don't see what is wrong with a note saying so, but am not a big fan of the icon/bug saying so.
Marcus M Posted 13 years ago. Edited by Marcus M (member) 13 years ago
what are you talking about emdot?

I think flickr mail would suffice in letting people know their photo has been blogged.

People who have been gracious enough to blog my photos have done it as such.
GustavoG 13 years ago
A comment is also perfectly appropriate for saying "I blogged this", but the content of the comment makes a big difference.

"Hi, I liked this so much I posted about it on my blog. I hope you like what I wrote about your photo!"

"Congratulations! You made it! I posted your photo to MY BLOG. Now you owe me one!"

Well, I guess nobody writes "you owe me one", but the point I'm trying to make is the difference between "thank you for posting this, I blogged about it" and "My High Grace has made you the favor of blogging you".
fd 13 years ago
I got a bunch of these today from TopPhotoCompetition. I don't mind folks telling me they blogged a photo. But these particular comments were... obnoxious. I deleted them and told the guy I wasn't interested in participating. Hopefully that'll be the end of it. If I want to be in a competition, I'll join, thanks.
_barb_ Posted 13 years ago. Edited by _barb_ (member) 13 years ago
I always wonder if admins who use those ugly ads have equally trashy taste in photography.
I have no beef with people posting a little note (with perhaps a small icon) advising the photographer that their photo was blogged on idyll or *pix or another site - not to pick favourites here, but these messages tend to be short sweet and to the point.

There's a pre-existing relationship there, too.

but when the message goes on for half a page and includes other people's thumbnails inside with a big fat announcement for a new group (remember! only one photo is currently in that pool) - out comes the frown
Photo Mama 13 years ago
just scroll down and stop whinning.
Mute* 13 years ago
The images are annoying, the 'topphotocontest' ones are a good example, but other people are posting huge images, sometimes with no obvious connection.

It is good to know where your image is being used but the pictures posted in the comments are getting out of hand in some cases. There doesn't seem to be a size limit.

Is there a reason to allow images to be posted at all in the comments? In groups I can understand of course. I don't mind the 'journey' comments with their little arrows. They're discrete and serve a browsing, rather than promotional, purpose.

This just seems like something that's going to get out of hand.
brendadada 13 years ago
Interestingly, I think the people complaining here are also the people who don't like comments from games groups either.

If you don't like these things in your own stream, remove them. Simple. People who are offended by them will do the same. Complaining about comments in *other people's* comments streams is like complaining about the colour of your next door neighbour's wallpaper.

Perhaps when stuff like this starts to annoy you enough to write a huge long post about it in Flickr Central, it's time to go outside and have a nice long walk in the rain.
elston 13 years ago
I think it's funny when people take the time to complain about people complaining about something they deem not worth complaining about.

The point here is not that one can remove the offending comment, or choose to ignore them, it's just being pointed out that many people find that kind of thing offensive to their daily browsing. Count me in as one of them.
Marcus M Posted 13 years ago. Edited by Marcus M (member) 13 years ago
I think it's funny when people take the time to complain about people complaining about something they deem not worth complaining about.

Much agreed elston. brendadada, I prefer skipping though.
heather Posted 13 years ago. Edited by heather (member) 13 years ago
[comment removed, I've seen the comment (zoinks)]
brendadada 13 years ago
elston: point well made, nice one. :)
Canopus Archives 13 years ago

The point here is not that one can remove the offending comment, or choose to ignore them, it's just being pointed out that many people find that kind of thing offensive to their daily browsing. Count me in as one of them.

If I saw it in someone else's stream I couldn't care less. If I posted a constructive comment on someones photo and then someone started posting big icon adds to it so that they kept cropping up in my RSS feed etc. then I'm afraid I'd probably go to their stream and delete my comment(s) so that I wouldn't have to see them any more.

Only ever had to do that once touch wood!
_barb_ 13 years ago
I wonder if the recent use of those icons goes together with increased competetiveness on flickr. there seem to be so many groups that rate, rank and evaluate photos, sometimes against each other.
I'm not sure if this is a good way to go, it seems to feed on peoples' vanity a lot.
For those who have no idea about what we are talking about, here's an example: two comments from this group admin, one after the other

Scroll To The Bottom

I will not remove my 'fave' from this photo, so I am destined to see this comment every time I review my comments.
GustavoG 13 years ago
[a bunch of images]

"This Photo is selected. Nice photo. I like it. It could be a Winner."

Send your TopPhotos with the "TopPhotoBlog" TAG, to the Contest to be a Winner, at the TopPhotoBlog Pool and you will be published in the TopPhotoBlog. See HERE the main Index.

So give it a try........Open your Organizer. Load all photos. Click on the selected photos and add the "TopPhotoBlog" TAG. Click at right at "Your Groups" and Drag the pictures into the "TopPhotoBlog" Icon. Set your Allow Blogging to "Any Flickr member". That's all.

This message will be replaced with a notice, after your Photo is placed on the TopPhotoBlog, so don not delete it, to check if it's Blogged. Thanks.


That is indeed pretty obnoxious being an unsolicited pitch for a group/blog. Such a comment would make me block the commenter pretty quickly.
ceaseless stranger [deleted] 13 years ago

Scroll down to the animated "Myphotoalbum" icon. That couldn't be more annoying!

Oh and the user "Topphoto(old)" is one of the worst offenders of this obnoxious icon thing. Although it looks as if he is no longer active on flickr. No loss.
Photobuff - eeek! that's quite the ad!
Violentz 13 years ago seems like it would worth it to just replace the photo that they have blogged with something really abnoxious.
Muffet 13 years ago
Oooh, Violentz—I like how you think!
emdot Posted 13 years ago. Edited by emdot (admin) 13 years ago
b-dada, my thing isn't so much about the game aspect of it, but the very obnoxious bolded text.

if you bold everything, it loses emphasis and instead you just have an ugly, poorly formatted comment. it's ugly. it's inelegant.

case in point (scroll to bottom)
elegant wire [deleted] Posted 13 years ago. Edited by elegant wire (member) 13 years ago
those are part of the group HC (yes the title is not that serious) and there is no doubt!, that this might be annoying.
the reason is that this way comments related to HC (votes and stuff) can be identified quicker as admins have to get through comments quite often.
in this case members of this group submit their images to the pool with the knowledge of getting these kind of comments (bolded), so it is at least imho different to what is discussed in this thread.
[edit: typo]
emdot Posted 13 years ago. Edited by emdot (admin) 13 years ago
netomer -- i see that point -- but why not use an asterisk or use the browser's search tool?

topphotocontest, are you the devil?

no. really. i'm serious.

(edited to add seriousness. which isn't really serious at all. but holy hot damn that graphic's butt ugly.)
elegant wire [deleted] 13 years ago
the asterisk is a good idea, thank you!
i guess i will talk about that with the other admins.
ceaseless stranger [deleted] 13 years ago
Topphoto: no, it's not better, its just a different color of obnoxious. What is the need for all of that info included on the photo when they can just go to the group and find out more information.

How about a simple link telling them they are part of the blog contest? Many many many admins do this quite successfully without ruining the integrity and visual experience of the photographers photo page and comments.
I would like to thank TopPhotoContest and netnomer for listening to the concerns raised during this discussion and for amending their messages to the photographers.

There's quite a ways to go, yet, but the momentum is in the right direction.

So thanks.
abashed trends [deleted] 13 years ago
Thanks also @Seawallrunner.

GustavoG 13 years ago
How about a simple link telling them they are part of the blog contest?

Frankly I don't see why there is need for a notification at all, if the photographer submitted the photo to the contest.

And if the photographer didn't submit the photo... why should it be entered into a contest at all? Why do people have to opt out of contests? Shouldn't contests be opt-in?
emdot 13 years ago
now i feel bad for being too mean about the bright neon green wavy logo. top photo. i apologize. different strokes, etc.
abashed trends [deleted] 13 years ago

OK, No problem. Accepted. The problem is that there's always something not good. To less, to much, etc. I do my best to Blog all the nice photos.

zany quince [deleted] Posted 13 years ago. Edited by zany quince (member) 13 years ago
Why not Flickrmail the photographer and ask them to submit their image?

In the email, request that if they choose to submit it, they add a simple text link to your group either as a comment under the photo or in the caption.
keith vass Posted 13 years ago. Edited by keith vass (member) 13 years ago
I second Gilfer's thought. Don't tell me my photos are in your contest, ask nicely if I'd like to submit.
pterandon 13 years ago
Oh, my. I have photoblogged a lot of images, and haven't told a soul by direct flickr mail or comment. I was always assuming the people would find out automatically somehow. So is this a major lapse in etiquette or TOS? Isn't there a way for flickr to let folks know directly?
keith vass Posted 13 years ago. Edited by keith vass (member) 13 years ago
No -- blogging a photo is fine, if its permissions are set to allow that, blog away. It's the notion of entering one in a contest without the owner's wish to do so which is still causing friction.
pterandon 13 years ago
Keith, I was operating under the philosphy you just stated. Is it merely your own (no matter how wise) opinion, or a policy you can point to?
fd 13 years ago
The Blog This button on a photo is an open invitation, wouldn't you say? I don't think it gets much clearer than that.
keith vass Posted 13 years ago. Edited by keith vass (member) 13 years ago
Yes -- the 'Blog This' button is an open invitation, and one which can be easily turned on or off, or limited to contacts, or friends and family from your account options.

I don't think there's an explicit, written Flickr policy regarding this (as there isn't for most things -- it's a community, so the rules are and should be by and large what the community establishes as etiquette).

Again, blogging photos is not the issue here ... the issues are disruptive comments, which TopPhoto has kindly agreed to reduce, and entering other peoples photos into a contest (not just posting them to a blog) without consent from the photographer.
stupendous door [deleted] 13 years ago
I'm really new to Flickr and still trying to figure this out but I guess I don't understand about the allow blogging thing. People use your pics and post it in thier blogs?

Sorry dont mean to sound stupid just trying to understand this discussion from a newbie point of view.
Apocaplops 13 years ago
A related thing is when a particular photo you commented on long ago jumps to the top of you comments list every day or so because of somebody posting an "ad" in the comments. It got so bad on one photo that I deleted my comment just to get it away from my screen.

Usually these photos are in "competition" groups, like 100 best. I think I'm just annoyed by these competition groups in general.
mimbrava Posted 13 years ago. Edited by mimbrava (member) 13 years ago
This discussion reminds me of my own fairly recent thread about HUGE images in comments. My solution has been to add this to my captions:

A request: Please do not post notes on my photo or any images in your comments unless they are germane to my shot. If you do, I will delete the comment. I welcome your input, but please express yourself in text only. Thank you.
cousinvinnyf Posted 13 years ago. Edited by cousinvinnyf (member) 13 years ago
I agree, Basicly if its not yours, you should get permission! If you know of someone who is useing you as a contact to blogg your photos, just go to their site, look for your icon then hit change.
Then there are bimbos who ask stupid questions just so they get you to, go their site then direct you to some porn site.
Its a shame there are some adults out their who feel they don't need to be responsible. Photography is an art and it should be respected as such. Its not all about who can take the smutties pictures! There will always be the next generation of photographers who will need us to look up to. And there will always be new ideas pertaining to photography. I love to see the newest thing not, the oldest trick!
Not to get off track, I think if some wants to advertise,keep it to your profile.
Butterfly Collector 13 years ago
Top Photo, i know you are trying to do the right thing and for that i commend you. However, not that i think my photos will ever be the target of your interest, but please don't ever post anything in my stream. Apologies to you if you think this is rude. I can see that you have heard and responded to complaints and this is unusal and therefore to be supported. This i am sure will go some way for some people.

If i were you however and wanted to blog a photo i would use flickr mail, or make the comment a request and drop this strange desire for eye catching green bars. Posted 13 years ago. Edited by (member) 13 years ago
I tend to blog images that I find interesting to me - because I use my blog partly as a place holder for cool stuff and partly as something to share things with friends this works for me - I always leave a comment saying I have blogged it but never ever post a link to my blog - thats just hucksterism to my mind.

If a photograph is allowed to be blogged then to my mind thats permission to do so - i simply feel it polite to let someone know you have done so and like their work.

My thoughts are simple - Graphics, green bars, icons and most of all animated gifs are the lowest form of comment and forum post spam out there - I point blank refuse to contribute to forums or sites that allow picture sigs and *shudder* those damned animated smilies which make them look so ugly and think theyre not the sort of thing we need here.

The myphotoalbum post is a prime example... Its just plain bloody ugly and personally I think that comments should be text and or SMALL images from someones photo stream to illustrate a point only - otherwise this is going to look like every other PHP nuke gaming forum out there and that is just sad.

Why do people feel the need to insert this rubbish in comments? Sorry i know that might be a bit insulting but I truly would love to know - its the graphic equaivalent of that old horror the *blink* tag and theyre invariably useless and mostly ugly to boot.

Why is it that some people think no post is complete on a forum without a 300*150 animated gif picture or a line of animated smilies which makes them look like a 14 year old?

Its a mystery to me.
Canopus Archives 13 years ago
Why is it that some people think no post is complete on a forum without a 300*150 animated gif picture or a line of animated smilies which makes them look like a 14 year old?

Because they do have a mental age of 14 or less.
Butterfly Collector Posted 13 years ago. Edited by Butterfly Collector (member) 13 years ago
I don't want to start a fight here but in the intrests of fairness, there are people out there who take photos and use the internet who are 14 - as we all were once - so lets not be so sniffy about being 14. Also, Top Photo is engaging people in this discussion and trying to find a solution. Being dismissive to some one who is trying I think is counter productive. Lets save the comments for those absolute f*&kwits who have no desire to understand the others viewpoint. Posted 13 years ago. Edited by (member) 13 years ago
My intention is not to start a fight - I simply do not see why text is not enough?

Not everything in life calls out for a graphic icon - I appreciate TopPhoto's willingness to participate and can understand what he is trying to achieve as well - And my comment was NOT directed personally at him but at a mindset in general that is all too prevalent on the web - that more is better and that means more graphics, bigger and brighter in so many cases.

As I say - my comments arent directed at anyone more an open question as to why.

I'm also well aware that 14 year olds take photo's -I started my photography life younger and was in a darkroom by 14 - but that doesnt change the sensibility involved to my thinking.

EDIT - let me clarify my personal thinking here - what drew me to flickr and keeps me coming back is not only the community and the wonderful images but the aesthetic of the site - the minimialist interface not cluttered with massive sigs and flashing smilies - it looks wonderfu and the images are the focus.

I would hate that to change - one of my concerns about the Yahoo buyout remains the concern about their ugly and over complicated messes of websites filled woth icons and graphics in every spot - my fear is a flickr that looks like basically. This does color my views, cant help it but I do believe offsite linking of images (ie not from flickr) should be bannedby default as should all graphical sigs - these are, and this is only my thinking mind, the first sign of rot in online communities.

And ore than that - whilst there are kids who post here I make no apolgies for enjoying the adult tone of the site - this isnt a kids forum and shouldnt become or look like one - If kids post here thats wonderful and should be encouraged but personally to my mind flick is an adult site with an adult user base posting their images - we dont want nor need to the 'yu suxxors'comments so many websites out there are full of.

Just because we encourage kids to shoot and post does not mean we have to accept the detritus that makes live journal and the likes a rampant mess - there should be acceptable and unnaceptable behaviour in any community and flickr is no exception.

But again thats just my thinking.
Butterfly Collector 13 years ago
Monkeyc, no offence was meant and i probably agree with just about everything you said. Especially that young people should be welcomed but encouraged to behave in an acceptable way. And yes the clean interface of Flickr is one of its attractions to me.

I think i was just suprised and impressed that Top Photo was willing to get engaged in the debate and didn't want to undo any progress made.
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