Old 12-08-2009, 11:31 AM   #1
willig
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Default More Screeners?

Relating to a theme in another thread where I mentioned about people preferring the trains they are used to, as well as one screener thinking that practically all overseas trains are ugly, prompts me to ponder whether it would be beneficial to the site to add to the list of screeners.

Perhaps there should be one from Europe and one from Australasia.
Because of the volume of UK photos compared to other European Countries, I would suggest that the European one could be from Britain.

I know that it's all very well suggesting more screeners, but from whence would they come? They would surely have to be top class photographers in their own right. I can only think of a couple from the UK that upload to the site that might fall into that category. (I am certainly not one of them!)

This suggestion does not intimate that the present screeners don't do a great job, they do and I hope that they all continue to do so for a long time yet. I don't know the mechanics of increasing the list or if it's feasible, but it may just help the site with understanding of rare captures outside N.America etc.

Someone suggested that the site be split into two, one for N.America and one for elsewhere. I don't like this idea because many people (including me) like to see good railway photos from all around the world.


(I'll get my crash helmet on now as I prepare to be shot down in flames by a thousand US Railfans.)
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:01 PM   #2
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Someone suggested that the site be split into two, one for N.America and one for elsewhere. I don't like this idea because many people (including me) like to see good railway photos from all around the world.


(I'll get my crash helmet on now as I prepare to be shot down in flames by a thousand US Railfans.)
Sister site Jetphotos.net is a worldwide site and works well. I dont think that splitting this site would add any value but perhaps input to the team from the rest of the world would help here given that the range of railways, locomotive types etc is so much larger than in the world of aircraft and airlines. This fact must present dicfficulties as far as standardising information in order to maintain the integrity of the database is concerned. Why dont you volunteer?

Given the number of screeners from around the world on JPNet I doubt that Chris kilroy would object to having foreign screeners if he thought it beneficial.

Last edited by CJA; 12-08-2009 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:01 PM   #3
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I don't think that's necessary. The subject matter or location on this globe shouldn't be a factor at all; it should be the quality of the image. A compelling train photo can be taken anywhere there's a train----the US, Great Britain, Iraq or China.

I enjoy a well done image, not matter where it's taken.
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:01 PM   #4
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How many screeners do they need? The queue rarely gets above 150 photos. Jetphotos.net gets into the 1000's of photos in the queue so a larger screening team is needed. Have you seen lack of overseas photos in the database? or quality?
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ron Flanary View Post
I don't think that's necessary. The subject matter or location on this globe shouldn't be a factor at all; it should be the quality of the image. A compelling train photo can be taken anywhere there's a train----the US, Great Britain, Iraq or China.

I enjoy a well done image, not matter where it's taken.
Ron,
the problem I was pointing to is making sure that all the relevant information ties together neatly in the database. There is no issue as far as screening the quality of images is concerned and my point is purely from a site administration perspective.

Already I can see potential issues for the database just here in the UK with people misinterpreting upload guidelines when it comes to inputting the correct information regarding railways and locomotive types etc. The result is that you get different descriptions for the same railway or locomotive and so the ability of the database to provide accurate searches is diminished. If the screeners are unfamiliar with UK railways they won’t pick up on these errors and inconsistencies and as time goes by and more uploads are accepted from the rest of the world the errors are likely to be compounded. This makes the job of unravelling it all that much more difficult. Having members of the team able to iron out such issues could therefore be a benefit. At the end of the day it all depends on how concerned the management team are about such issues and knowing a little about the management of JPNet and how important such issues are on that site my guess would be that the same is true here.

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Old 12-08-2009, 02:51 PM   #6
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Screeners rarely screen the anything but the photo. So that wouldn't help since it is the user who needs to make the proper selections. I mess up all the time by forgetting to switch the city or loco type or railroad and then just go back and take care of it when I catch it.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willig View Post
Relating to a theme in another thread where I mentioned about people preferring the trains they are used to, as well as one screener thinking that practically all overseas trains are ugly, prompts me to ponder whether it would be beneficial to the site to add to the list of screeners.

Perhaps there should be one from Europe and one from Australasia.
Because of the volume of UK photos compared to other European Countries, I would suggest that the European one could be from Britain.

I know that it's all very well suggesting more screeners, but from whence would they come? They would surely have to be top class photographers in their own right. I can only think of a couple from the UK that upload to the site that might fall into that category. (I am certainly not one of them!)

This suggestion does not intimate that the present screeners don't do a great job, they do and I hope that they all continue to do so for a long time yet. I don't know the mechanics of increasing the list or if it's feasible, but it may just help the site with understanding of rare captures outside N.America etc.

Someone suggested that the site be split into two, one for N.America and one for elsewhere. I don't like this idea because many people (including me) like to see good railway photos from all around the world.


(I'll get my crash helmet on now as I prepare to be shot down in flames by a thousand US Railfans.)
I disagree with a couple of your statements. First off, I personally don't think RP would benefit from an over seas screener. What is the point? All of the screeners RP currently has are fully aware of what makes a good, quality image. I don't think they would reject it just because they find the locomotive unattractive or bluntly, ugly.

Gensets are ugly to most, but there are a bunch of photos of them in the Database.

Second, I don't see the demand. It seems that most contributors to RP.net are from here in the US, unlike Jetphotos.net where most of the contributors are from over seas. Even if more photos were being submitted from overseas contributors, I wouldn't necessarily add an over seas screener. As I previously said, I think a US screener is capable of noticing a quality image regardless of it's location.

I pretty much agree with what Ron said, but typing it out in a long and a more complicated way.

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Old 12-09-2009, 12:23 AM   #8
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Over the years several people (including myself) have brought up the idea of an 'information only' screener who would have the ability to go through the database and only make corrections to incorrect data, nothing else. I think something like this already exist on JetPhotos. This idea has all but fallen on deaf ears. I suspect the reason for this is that the Admins don't want to relinquish any control over the website.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:57 AM   #9
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I agree; they need some help with updating information on photos, especially with European and other non US Railroads.

If nobody else volunteers to do it, I will.
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:17 AM   #10
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Ron,
the problem I was pointing to is making sure that all the relevant information ties together neatly in the database. There is no issue as far as screening the quality of images is concerned and my point is purely from a site administration perspective.

Already I can see potential issues for the database just here in the UK with people misinterpreting upload guidelines when it comes to inputting the correct information regarding railways and locomotive types etc. The result is that you get different descriptions for the same railway or locomotive and so the ability of the database to provide accurate searches is diminished. If the screeners are unfamiliar with UK railways they won’t pick up on these errors and inconsistencies and as time goes by and more uploads are accepted from the rest of the world the errors are likely to be compounded. This makes the job of unravelling it all that much more difficult.
Chris,
While I can't give you the definitive answer (since I'm not a screener and have no affiliation with RP----except I know the owners and at least some of the screeners---and we've discussed matters like this at times), I don't think they pretend to be the definitive authority on railroad subjects, at any level. There's the assumption that someone who uploads an image will at least know the difference between a Mogul, an RDC, a GP9, a Deltic or a Stanier Black Five (see....I know a little bit about railroading in GB!). They concentrate most of their attention on the image (and, I'll spare any further definition of what constitutes an acceptable image, since that's so subjective...), leaving the nomenclature and other data to the photographer.

Granted, it would be good to have some railroad expertise within those who screen on subjects beyond North America----but that's asking a lot of a person. They might engage someone who is a veritable fount of knowledge on "foreign" (in our case, speaking as a Yank) railroading subjects----but with screening opiniions that aren't exactly consistent with those of the current group of screeners.

Being an RP screener is like shoveling elephant shit at the circus. Frankly, I wouldn't do it, even if they begged me (and paid me well to boot). My rejection rate would be so high I would end up losing the five or six friends I still have. I tend to favor "different" shots----extreme lighting, moods, unusual angles, intriguing compositions, etc., so I might be too harsh on the sun-at-your-back wedge shooters (and, that includes many of my own rather bland shots!!). It's not easy being a screener for this site. It's akin to taking daily anal rapes at the local prison. Not fun....

That said----you make some excellent points. Maybe they'll find the right person who can take on the "foreign" subjects with some degree of competence. It wouldn't be a bad thing to do, at all.

Ron
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:37 PM   #11
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It's akin to taking daily anal rapes at the local prison. Not fun....

That said----you make some excellent points. Maybe they'll find the right person who can take on the "foreign" subjects with some degree of competence. It wouldn't be a bad thing to do, at all.

Ron
If it is that bad here I'll make sure that I stick to screening for JP-Net.

You are right in that the site does not need more Screeners as the queue is always low here but some input from some people who are pepared to help correctly standardise the upload choices in the database might be good. They dont necessarily have to screen as well.
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:48 PM   #12
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The only issue I can think of with screeners is that, as I recall, at one point Chris K put some numbers on this forum on screening and I was shocked at how many of them he did personally, instead of, say, each of the five screeners doing roughly 20%. Another screener would be good for shifting workload. As Chris K is one of the principals here, I am sure this idea is not original.

To the extent there are issues of policy, it is always a good idea to have a diverse mix of people involved in the decision making, so in principle having a non-North American involved is a good idea (and I am not a diversity for diversity's sake sort of person). Whether in practice there is a particular need, I have no idea.
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