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The real richness of this site: Your Friends

Published October 28th, 2011

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.

Michel Desjardins



  • July 27th, 2010
  • Panasonic DMC-GF1
  • 14mm / f/3.5 / 1/400 sec


  • October 16th, 2011
  • Nikon D700
  • 24mm / f/4.5 / 1/400 sec

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Carl Parow  over 6 years ago

"The real richness of this site: Your Friends", is very well written. If not for the good friends here on this site, it would be a very baron place, indeed. I have had a similar experience and enjoy it here very much, more so than any other photography site I have been on before.

It is a shear joy to receive nice comments and to see your photo climb into the top 50 pages, but it is also very disheartening to see them suddenly drop for no apparent reason into oblivion, never to recover again.

The scores diminish over time due to a complex algorithm only to do with your particular photo and nothing to do with the relationship is has with anyone else's photo (so I think). They have articles briefly explaining their system and everything else. I can except that, though it might be a bit too severe.

Then there is the dislike button which is very cruel and unfair and is surely misused.

But there also seems to be something else like Dr Hossien and many others have mentioned which is that the drop is sometimes way out of proportion and too severe to be explained by the above two events.

My 'Squall' dropped overnight 17.9 rating points (89.5 to 71.6). It was not due to negative votes as I first thought because before and after the drop, the number of votes remained the same (23). That drop was way too big to be time related. It sent my photo into oblivion, never to recover, and also a few more before that the same way.

Compare that to my 'Waiting' which has been sitting there for about 2 weeks at 80.5 with no noticeable time drop at all. It seems to be immune. There is too much inconsistency here.

So, I think that there is either a big bug in the ratings system, or... Wink, wink. Say no more. A bug in the system is the most likely cause. If it is indeed a part of their complex algorithm, then a better explanation of how this system works would be much appreciated.

Thanks for you little article. It all needed to be said.


Jim Vouden  over 6 years ago

Michel, I love both photos, they both comment on the times we live in now.
How do you know that someone has hit the dislike button?

Elizabeth Fagerlund  over 6 years ago

we should help and support each here instead of competite,,
This photo is WOW

David Heaton (inactive)  over 6 years ago

I know exactly what you mean, everytime I get a photo into popular it gets disliked very quickly, I think it is other people trying to raise there photo higher up the popular list.
But you are also right, the best bit is that joining 500px about a month ago I have already got 250 followers and it is great.