In an earlier post, I highlighted the pleasure of reaching a hundred "Affections". Indeed, what a pleasure it was to get feedback from photographers from all over the worlds on some of the pictures that you took and never dared to show to anyone before. After one hundred, you start contemplating the fact that you might reach a thousand "Affections" before you get too old to understand how your computer works anymore.
After the few first pictures I posted, I realized that people start following your work and that you can also follow their work. These people were called "Friends" and were from all over the world. Oh, and they were giving you "Affection". I had heard that the internet was the place to go to find "affection" but not in return for posting pictures you thought would interest no one but your mother (if she still bothers). What is really great is that since your friends are from all over the world, you receive affection at various times of the day and night. You would wake-up and say, Wow! ten more affection, including one from a gorgeous Russian or a mysterious Italian. Of course, you can follow their work back and send them affection too.
As you get a few more friends, you start getting higher score for your pictures. And then, things start to take another dimension...not necessarily for the better. A higher score is good because it allows your picture to be moved to a special page where more people will look at your work. And then, one day, you discover the "Dislike" button. I remember posting a picture that was possibly shocking for some showing a homeless male topless sitting on the sidewalk near a handsome young woman a little further back who was probably busy sending a text message. That picture got to a high score quite fast and suddenly disappeared from the radar, terminally damaged by the "Dislike" button.
I should mention at this point that I was quite opened to the fact that such a picture might not please everybody. I was hoping, however, that I might learn what was the nature of the dislike feeling (the quality of the picture, or lack of, the nature of the subject, etc.). This is not the way the "Dislike" button works. The dislike button would be a great thing if it was accompanied by constructive criticisms. Instead, the "dislike" button is, as a matter of fact, a "Send an anonymous letter" button. At first, you start to bother when one of your pictures that is being seen by a larger number of people suddenly disappear. I remember posting a picture of 3 kids walking on the sidewalk, eating popcorn, in front of a large billboard showing a gigantic camera looking at them. This picture is, as much as I can objectively say, well composed, well precessed and perfectly focus (as good as a D700 can do). Furthermore, there is nothing "shocking" about it. I was somehow happy when that picture made it to the "Popular"page because I thought it might allow more people to look at my work and perhaps get more friends. It was in the "Popular"section for a few hours and suddenly disappeared.
I guess that we all go through this kind of frustration on 500px. Anyhow, I don't want to get too long and to whine too much. I just want to mention in the end that what I am really glad about on this site are the friends who are following my work, and those that I follow. We might not be the very best in our section (those who might think they are the very best don't really care about you anyhow) but it is nice to follow each other's work and be surprised by our "catches of the day".
So thank you very much to you all for the surprises, and foremost, the inspiration.