What do we care most about here as 500px users? Photography (the art, process, composition, storytelling etc...)? Or is it the "pulse"?
Like most of us on here, I have a few followers that I actually call friends. I know they will like my work no matter what. Hey, thats great. Thats what friends are for. They will always pat us on the back.... Well, most of the time (story about that later). Then there are some (if we are lucky) that will look at our work and if it passes the "scan" test, may actually click on it. If they last more than a second glancing at our work, they might actually click on the "like" button. Maybe even the "favourite" button. Then, if the stars have alined, they may actually comment. This is great as you have reached someone with your photography. They were touched by it in some way. Good stuff.
But wait a second. Do our votes really come from just friends and those who actually like our work? Or are we also getting votes because we liked someone's work, and now, because they liked the taste of our vote, they are voting for us too, hoping for another vote in the future. This, to me, is where it all falls down.
I think I am going to get torn apart by others due to my thoughts here. They may think I am totally off the mark or being rude or some such thing. But, I have a suspicion, that the large amount of votes photos get are because (in no particular order):
1) I want a vote, so I will vote on someone's photo and hopefully they will vote me up.
2) That photographer is of a particular gender, race, etc... and I feel more sympathetic to them (regardless of their skill level).
3) They have a lot of followers, so they must be good. Lets click!
4) They are famous shooter (at least someone well known regardless of their level), so lets get in on the action.
5) What they are pushing for in their photo represents a belief you wish to endorse.
There are many others I can't be bothered to write down at this moment. But I just wanted to get this out there before I forget and I can come back to it once I have slept and re-order my thoughts. I have seen a huge amount of wonderful images on 500px with no votes and I have seen a huge amount of photographs that are (in my opinion) crap, with very many votes indeed.
So basically, I come back to the question; do we care about the photos on here, or the pulse (votes)? Do many votes = a great pic, or has that photographer marketed / played the social game the best.
Going by most of the lack lustre comments (great pic. great shot. nice shot. nice. great), the images can't really be that awe inspiring. So what got the vote? and what is the goal of the user...