I have finally gotten around to making some of the changes to the Image Share
section that have been on my to-do list for a while. Today see's the overhaul of the rating system and top images.
As part of the changes "ratings" as they were (1 - 10 subjective ratings) have been completely done away with. In their place is a "Thumbs up" endorsement system similar in kin to the kudos system for members. The idea is that instead of subjectively rating an image from 1 - 10 you merely choose to register that you "like" the image. That gives it a thumbs up. If you don't like the image you can't rate the image.
In the interest of fairness all past ratings to images are still present and any ratings that were registered as a 7 or higher have been converted into a single thumbs up for that image. All ratings below 7 have been removed from the system and are not counted positively or negatively towards any image.
If you don't think an image deserves your endorsement but would like to offer constructive criticism to the author on what he can do to improve, in your opinion, then you can still leave comments without endorsing the image. However uploaders now have the ability to block their new images from being rated or commented on in the same kin as the file database.
With the rating overhaul comes an overhaul in the top image lists as well. The top lists no longer work on a bayesian estimate but on a much simpler system of "the most thumbs up in the past two weeks". Only people who have registered that they like an image in the past two weeks will be counted on the top lists. Hopefully this will generate a much more dynamic and fresh top 25/10 that is constantly changing so that the same images aren't always at the top of the list.
It's important to note that the image top 25 is different to the file database's "file of the month" system in that the system does not clear itself every 2 weeks. The date variable used to calculate the 2 weeks is real-time. If you register a thumbs up on an image on Monday at 1pm then the top 25 system will no longer count your vote at 1.01pm on the Monday two weeks from that date.
Once again in the interest of fairness (and to fill up the top 25!) all past ratings have been post-dated to today to give them their time in the sun. So count the next two weeks as the top 25 for the past year! If you're a top 25 junkie (ugh) who is desperate for their image to be in the top 25 you might want to hold back on uploading your image until two weeks from now, else you'll be fighting against images that have a one year headstart on yours.
There's still a few things that need doing in the image share section, like making use of the categories, but I consider these latest changes to be a large part of the overhaul promised for the image share section. Have fun!
Constructive feedback and feature requests are welcome.