Raleigh, United States

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Dear Moderators (You Know Who You Are):

I love ya. Really I do. But you’re making me crazy. Is it really that hard to put a reason on a rejection? No, seriously, is it? I don’t know. That’s why I ask. It must be really hard. So hard, in fact, that it’s less hard to reject something twice. So hard that you’re willing to make double the work for both of us in order to avoid it.

See, it’s like this. If you don’t like something I’ve submitted I’m okay with that. We don’t all like the same stuff, that’s why it’s called “art”. I don’t even very much care what your reason is for rejecting it.

I just want to know that you’re rejecting it.

When you make one click to reject, and don’t make the second click to say why here’s what appears in my Moderation List:

A big fat bucket of NOTHING. Yeah, that’s right. I don’t know anything about it until I bring up the page with the work on it, click Edit, click “Add to Groups”, scroll down until I find you and then I see… (wanna guess what?)

“Approval Required”.

Next to an empty check box.

As if I never submitted it.

Which is a distinct possibility. With sixty-something check boxes to make a call on, I could’ve missed yours easily enough.

Or maybe I checked the box but forgot to save the changes.

Or I might have even accidentally submitted it to the group right above yours that has almost the exact same name.

Or I could have fallen victim to the unCheckBoxAtRandom() function that seems to be so commonly called in the RedBubble software.

Or I might have submitted it exactly like I thought I did and you rejected it but it was too hard to pick a reason. So in order to save yourself the extra click, the one sure to induce carpal tunnel syndrome, you left the reason blank.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. You didn’t save yourself a click. You just deferred it for a while. Because in a day or two, or a week, or anyway at some point in the future you’re gonna get that very same piece again. And because I keep pretty good notes on what’s been submitted to whom and what became of it, I’m gonna pay special attention this time. And assuming that I don’t accidentally delete my note to self or lose it in a sort-tastrophe I’m gonna figure out when it comes back with an empty check box for the second time that you probably didn’t like it. And I’ll file it under “Assumed rejected, but they couldn’t be bothered to say so” (no, seriously, that’s the reason I assign to it if you don’t give me one).

Because here’s what I’ve discovered. In about 50-60% of cases where I thought I’d submitted something but it comes up blank when I look at it, it’s because the group rejected it (I assume). The other side of that coin is that in about 40-50% of such cases the work is accepted when I submit it “again”, suggesting that either I didn’t actually submit it in the first place or that my powers of persuasion are so robust that I can convince you to change your mind by simply sending it in a second time. Since I’m not that charming, I have to assume that the former is the case. The problem is that whether I submitted it and you rejected it or I didn’t actually submit it (no matter how sure I am) it looks exactly the same on my side of the conversation.

And you’re gonna get it back again.

Because I’m not willing to assume my own infallibility. Which is what I’d have to do to make the assumption that if the box is unchecked, and I’m sure I checked it, then you must have un -checked it.

So does that mean that if you put a reason on your rejection that I won’t re-submit the work? I’d love to say that’s true, but fact is I miss stuff. I know, right? Shocking. But true. So I can’t say with 100% certitude that I won’t submit something twice if you give me a reason for rejection. I can however say with a pretty high level of confidence that I will resubmit it if you don’t.

The choice – as always – is yours. If you don’t have the time, the inclination, or the sack to read the verdict out loud then you’re certainly entitled to reject in silence and slink away into the darkness hoping I won’t notice. That’s your prerogative and I wouldn’t dream of telling you how to use it. Just don’t complain when you get the same familiar work again in a few days or a week. Because I will almost guarantee that you will.

Just sayin’.


  • sarnia2
    sarnia2almost 4 years ago

    Hi Mojo,
    Well I guess you could say I fall into the above category,I fully own up to that, but I certainly would like to explain why I just click on ‘reject’ now (which is rare with your images that come into our group) and not give reasons anymore.
    1. I am hosting a group where there are two other hosts, but at the moment they sincerely need time-out to do other work etc, which leaves ME!
    2. To host a group is time-consuming but an enjoyable hobby in the main, but that’s exactly what it is …a hobby. You don’t get paid for it!
    It’s purely giving of yourself and your time.
    3. Sometimes life doles out other issues that will come first and RB hosting will come somewhere down the line, albeit, it will get attended to everyday regardless.
    4. Sometimes I come on to the RB at night (often last thing) and I’m sorry to say, yes, totally pooped and tired.
    5. Due to my commitment to the group which I love hosting, I try to do my best to get through the images, (and sometimes I can come to 8/9 pages of 18 images per page!).
    6. So, if perchance you have had any images rejected without a reason for ‘Where on earth is this?’ group, I apologise, but hosting is not a walkover.
    7. Rarely do I reject your images UNLESS there have been more than three, in which case the rest will be rejected.

    HOPE THIS MAY GIVE YOU AN INSIGHT INTO MY OWN INDIVIDUAL POSITION AS HOST HERE and answer your very clear annoyance as to whether an image has been rejected or not.
    I happily and am grateful that you submit images into out group and hope you will continue to do so, but I cannot promise you’ll get a reason if any are rejected.

    I hope others may give some of their explanations, which will help artists understand that sometimes ….just sometimes life takes over.:)))

  • It’s more frustration than annoyance (a sublte distinction I’ll grant you, but an important one). And you’re quite right – sometimes life does take over. Between your group and the 40 or so other I submit to regularly I spend … more hours than I’m going to admit selecting submissions and trying to keep 40 sets of guidelines straight while doing it. And trying to remember what time it was when I submitted everything yesterday so I know the 24 hour window has passed. And so on and so on.

    What I was getting at was that if I can’t tell conclusively that you’ve rejected a piece, you’re probably going to see it again. I don’t like doing it that way for a number of reasons – it takes up more of the precious little time we both have mainly. And despite the notion that RB’s stated purpose is to sell artwork, we on this end of the conversation are mainly in it as a hobby as well. (I have made a whopping $0.53 USD since I’ve been here. Which I recognize is 53 cents more than you’ve been paid as a host, but at this rate I’ll be retired before I ever actually collect any of those royalties.)

    The ideal solution of course, would be for the developers at RB to add a “rejected” status that we could see in the “Add to groups” list. Or at the very least notify us when an image is rejected without reason with a generic “Not accepted” message. This would be a pretty simple fix I think, and would alleviate a ton of aggravation on both sides. But until such time as they do that, we’re all a bit stuck.

    The other thing I should hasten to point out is that I wouldn’t have gone on a rant over this if it weren’t the rule rather than the exception. Since I started tracking this phenomenon (in late October of 2010) about 81.5% of all the rejections I can identify have fallen into this category. So I’m not trying to single out specific groups or people – this seems to be the norm. And I can’t believe I’m the only person frustrated by it.

    Then there’s the matter of the 40 or so percent of images that for whatever reason actually weren’t submitted. And are accepted the “second” time. There are a lot of possible explanations for that. Maybe upon further review the moderator reconsidered. Maybe a different moderator looked at it this time. Maybe the software pixies (capricious beggars that they are) rerouted it the “first” time. Or maybe I just went brain dead and thought I checked that box. There’s no way to tell.

    Anyway, the intent here was not to call anyone out or to give offense to any particular individual. Far from it. Just a vent to frustration and an insight into what it looks like from this side (though I would think that most hosts are also submitters and as such would realize this … undocumented feature of RB). I recognize the work that goes into hosting. Really. And I appreciate it. Truly. I know you (probably) didn’t write the software that drives RB. Neither did I (they wouldn’t give me the source code). It’s flawed, but we all gotta live with it and play in the same sandbox. And that’s easier to do peacefully if both sides know where the other is coming from.

    – mojo1160

  • sarnia2
    sarnia2almost 4 years ago

    I would say, Mojo, that you would be in the minority about keeping check of what goes in where: (I think doing that is highly commendable) yet no doubt someone, somewhere will prove me wrong, but many tend to just submit and not keep track and that is REALLY irritating because when a group has specific rules, the game has to be played by both parties and that doesn’t always happen.
    The fact that you ARE keeping track of what you have submitted and where shows you take what you do seriously and also that in spite of your frustration, it seems you genuinely are trying to see ‘it’ from both sides.
    As mentioned in my first reply, I cannot recall that I have rejected your images often. (Your journal will tell me though!)
    I have used ‘reject with reason’ many times before, and I have already contacted RB suggesting that an addition to that list should be placed, and that one is (which is the commonest reason for rejection) is going over quota in a 24 hour period. As yet, there is no further progress on that, and no….I didn’t write the software for RB….I wouldn’t know how, neither would I wish to embark on such a task!
    There are always going to be areas that need to be improved, and it is only by venting frustations, chagrin etc at a bugbear that has been discovered, that progress and improvement may be made. Let’s hope something can be done.
    24 hour period, 3 a day etc can be very frustrating as I know, when living in a different time zone, but in many cases I agree that a limited work rule should be in place, otherwise I doubt anyone would want to host for long, and there would be a high percentage of drop-outs, methinks! I could understand that!
    Yes, Mojo, it’s flawed ….but on a lighter note….ain’t we all!!! LOL
    Still looking forward to your images coming through…..and I’ll try to remember to let YOU know if I reject and why!
    take care

  • I actually have two workbooks on Google Documents that contain very detailed notes about what work I’ve submitted, what’s been accepted, what’s been rejected and what groups each image might fit into. When I prepare my submissions, I have a list that contains one line for each submission for each group. So for “Where on Earth”, I start with 3 lines that are blank except for the group name. As I select from the pool of available images (which in your case is most of my gallery) I enter the title and URL and submission date on one of the available lines for each group it’s going to. When I run out of lines for that group for that day, I know I’ve hit the limit. As long as I can remember what time it was yesterday when I checked all the boxes (a pretty neat trick some days) that will pretty well take care of keeping within the submission limits. Though I can promise you that there are still times when a stray one will get in there without my notice. And I agree, a submission limit is good for all concerned. Because without them, you have people who will submit 12 at a time and take over the entire front page just because they can. Not to mention overrunning the moderators in the process. I only submit 3 a day to groups that don’t have a daily limit – whether they moderate submissions or not. (There are more of those than you’d think.) Because except in special circumstances, there’s no need. I rarely submit more than 3 to groups that set their limit higher than 3 (with the exception of one particular group that will take 4 and pretty well everything I have fits their format).

    When I upload a new image, I take the entire list of groups I’m currently in, and weed out the ones I don’t think that image would belong in. Sometimes that’s easy (if it’s a color image, you don’t add it to a black and white only group, right?). Sometimes … well it’s not so easy. Because there are some guidelines that are entirely subjective. Which is neither right nor wrong, it just is what it is. And I confess, there are times when I’m not sure if a shot fits the criteria or not and decide just to let the moderator make the call on it. Because at the end of the day, barring some glaring violation of a concrete rule (color image in B&W group for example… again) the thing that decides whether an image is accepted or not is whether or not the moderator likes it. And we don’t all like the same stuff. That’s what makes it art rather than science. I can’t explain why two groups look at the same image and one rejects it while the other features it. But it happens. A lot actually. And that’s okay. You didn’t like my tractor shot (no, really, you didn’t – at least I assume you didn’t wink) and yet it’s been featured in at least one other group. So maybe you don’t find old farm machinery interesting. That’s fine. Not everybody does. This doesn’t make it a bad piece (though you will encounter some know-it-all’s who will tell you it does) it’s just not one for everyone. Going further, there is some work I have here that’s “experimental” or perhaps “outside the box”. And because it doesn’t conform to the “typical”, it doesn’t always set well. those pieces get rejected more often than others, but that’s okay too. They’re conceptual departures, and I don’t expect everybody to like them. But I’m certainly not going to presume that they won’t, so if it fits within the objective guidelines I’ll probably submit it to give them the chance to decide for themselves. Another sheet in one of the aforementioned workbooks is a master list of all the groups I’m in (and ones I’m considering, and ones I’ve left). In the section of active groups, I have notations about submission limits and if there’s something in particular that isn’t obvious there’s a column for notes (yours says “no pets or kids” which bit me a few times before I went back to see why I had 2 rejections in a day).

    As far as adding a reason for quota limits goes, it’s a great idea, but doesn’t solve the underlying problem of not knowing that a work was rejected if there’s no reason given. At the very least, you’d think they’d slip a little something into the “Moderation of my work” list. This – I can assure you – would not be a difficult change to make. Now actually getting it out in the field? That can take a while. The coding changes rarely take very long, it’s all the administrative junk that goes before and after.

    And in case you’re interested, my batting average with “Where on Earth” is around 92.25% Based on my records anyway. I’m 119-10-0 (accepted-rejected-pending) since the end of October. Of course, that’s relying on my record keeping which isn’t horrid but is far from infallible.

    – mojo1160

  • mojo1160
    mojo1160almost 4 years ago

    BTW, I’ve had three rejections-that-weren’t today alone. All three were accepted the “second” time. The most recent of them just moments ago by a group that’s notoriously… erm… selective. I know I didn’t convince them to change their position simply by resubmitting the work. And they just got a new mod who’s supposed to be a recognized expert of some sort. (I didn’t ask for his CV or anything, but that’s what they say.) SO. I’m guessing that submission didn’t get through the “first” time. But according to some people I could name but won’t because that would be tacky, I should have assumed that I’m incapable of missing that check box when trying to hit all the ones that apply (and leave all those that don’t).

    I rest my case.

  • sarnia2
    sarnia2almost 4 years ago

    Thanks for the detailed comment Mojo! You really ON the ball with all you submit. My hat off to you!
    Intersting figures for the Where on earth group. Three reasons usually that cause me to reject (I don’t speak for others), is if an image is too- processed, it’s over quota or it’s too similar to antoehr and then I choose the better (in my opinion) of the two.
    You aren’t doing bad on thos efigures anyway Mojo. And with that positive sentence… I too rest my case. happy clicking.,

  • If I were to go back through the 10, I might be able to figure out the reasons they were rejected. Or I might not. And actually, some of them I have figured out. I don’t take it personally when something of mine’s rejected. I do however get frustrated when that’s not enough.

    For instance, I just yesterday had a mod in another group throw a complete snit because I was creating so much work for him/her (I don’t know which). The numbers for that group were 29-2-0. In just under 3 months. So yeah, I buggered off from there. Wouldn’t want someone breaking a nail or anything.

    But I got no problems with Where on Earth. And in fact, my problem was less with the rejections themselves as the positively glorious ‘tude you get from mods who reject without saying so and then complain when you resubmit the same work. BTW, I’ve never known you to do that – even if you might’ve been thinking it. So it’s good to actually have a reasonable conversation on the topic.

    – mojo1160

  • sarnia2
    sarnia2almost 4 years ago

    No worries mojo. Better a reasonable conversation than an ‘argy-bargy’ about a gripe. You get more response and a half-decent one that way.

  • So that’s what that means! The only time I’d ever heard the term “argy-bargy” was as an album title by a band called Squeeze back in the 80’s. Or was it the late 70’s? Great song on there called Another Nail in My Heart… I digress…

    – mojo1160

  • sarnia2
    sarnia2almost 4 years ago

    Haha! It’s a term I haven’t used in a long time!!

  • Corri Gryting Gutzman
    Corri Gryting ...10 months ago

    Love this!

    Just keep submitting to A Place to Start.