A top secret market research focus group, meeting over capuccinos in a multi-coloured laneway in deepest darkest Melbourne late one night, pored over the response to a recent confidential survey of 50,000 carefully selected members. There being only one response, it didn’t take long.
The research was prompted by that burning need to know – why do RB members leave groups?
Here, for the first time, I can reveal the results. Or should that be “result”?
The No.1 Reason for leaving a group is … drum roll …. I got rejected. It turns out that people do not always like being rejected. Apparently, being rejected can sometimes lower one’s self-esteem and this, it also appears, is not a good thing. It also turns out the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility does not apply to submitting works to groups. If a member submits an artwork to 1,738 groups, it seems there is an expectation it will be accepted by 1,738 groups. After all, it takes a long time to tick all those boxes. It may also be concluded that the new Rejection Reasons tool has also contributed to rejection being the No.1 reason for leaving a group. The response from HA HA (Hosts-Always-Helping Association) to this particular finding was, predictably, “tough titties”.
The No.2 Reason for leaving a group is …. I got accepted. Yep, that’s right, members will leave a group when they get a submission accepted but then can’t find it in the group’s gallery. It seems that “bulk moderating” once every six months or so doesn’t go down too well. So that if the hosts can’t give a shit about the group, why should its members? Member Z commented in the survey, “Often an image I submitted ages ago to a group suddenly gets accepted, along with several thousand other images at the same time. What’s the point of the group? Do the hosts even look at the images? I think not.” Surely not, and I hope this Member’s response was excluded from the result for patent bias.
The No.3 Reason for leaving a group is …. I don’t have a calculator or a ruler. It may be hard to believe, and believe me, I do believe I even found it hard to believe, but the research threw up the incredible fact that some members for some reason cannot accurately calculate whether or not at least 75% of their submitted artwork contains at least 50% of a ferret, and that rather than do these simple measurements will just give up and leave the group. The mind boggles. I mean, hosts spend a lot of time getting their voluminous, subjective, and narrow requirements down pat, and members can’t be bothered self-assessing each and every one of those requirements before ticking that box? How is that reasonable behaviour?
The No.4 Reason for leaving a group is …. I never get featured. Honestly, the audacity of some members is getting worse. Take this inflammatory comment of Member X, if you will: “Recently, I went to the home page of a group I belong to for the first time. I was shocked. The hosts had just featured 12 images – the most recently submitted 12 images!!!” I’m sure the hosts had a perfectly good reason for not selecting featured work on their merits. Quality knows no queue. Oh, wait, maybe it does ….
The No.5 Reason for leaving a group is ….. I like this group. Say again? Man, this is getting weird. First, members are reputedly leaving groups when their image gets accepted and now they’re also leaving because they like the group. We had to dig deeper. Under hypnosis, the member who responded despondently informed us that her favourite group has a limit of 3 1/2 artworks. So that every 5-6 hours she has to leave the group and re-join just to be able to submit work to it. Hmmm, what she didn’t realise perhaps was that if a group has 75,000 members it will very quickly become full, hence the limit.
The No.6 Reason for leaving a group is …..everyone gets accepted. Apparently, the quality of artwork on RB varies. So much so that hosts are required to make membership by invite only to keep the crap out. This has resulted in a dichotomy – members are either excluded from the groups they actually want to be in, yet leave groups because any old crap is allowed in. This goes directly to the heart of the big Rules v Guidelines war that erupted for several months in early 2008 and which cost a platoon of hosts their hosting privileges when it was discovered that Rules are for some of the members, and the Guidelines are for the rest.
The No.7 Reason for leaving a group is … everyone gets featured. Whilst a literal reading of the response to the survey would suggest some hosts don’t quite understand the definition and concept of “feature”, another view could be that the group you’ve just left features everything because everything submitted is top shelf. Now, that is a group you’d like to belong to I would have thought.
The No.8 Reason for leaving a group is … I belong to too many groups. My question is: how many is too many? All of them? Obviously not for some members. What about 1,000? 500? 250? 20? 1? To me, the question is not how many groups you should limit yourself to, its How many groups can I submit this masterpiece to? If this is your thing, then obviously you do in fact need to belong to every group on RB. Try it, I’ve heard its fun.
The No.9 Reason for leaving a group is … I joined by mistake. Yeh, right, you just sort of fell into the group and didn’t mean to click through several times. This response could be interpreted as “I joined then suddenly realised the artwork in the group was way above/below my standard, so I had to leave”. But what it actually means is that “I only joined to enter a Challenge I knew I would win, but those morons voted for someone else so there was no point me hanging around.”
And, last but not least, the No.10 Reason for leaving a group is …. The host is a jerk. This is so obviously an aberration, it must be excluded!