This is related to the criticism thread which has recently been revived by a discussion of aesthetic vs. technical criticism and by mention of the forum lightstalking.com which has a criticism section that doesn't allow positive comments. There is a certain type of image that is guaranteed to draw attention, primarily positive attention, but attracts little criticism Call it the crowdpleaser. Examples -sunrises/sunsets -something cute your baby did -soft water flowing over rocks -something cute your dog did -homeless person sleeping in an alley -something cute your cat did -a pretty girl You get the idea. They are certain to gain significant "thanks" or "likes" and I, for one, do not think that is inherently bad. I've been thinking about the "no positive comments" rule at lightstalking.com and I've concluded, "Why?" There's nothing wrong with positive comments and encouragement. At the very least it lets the photographer know what is working for him. But it doesn't go far enough. Now, if we could only go beyond hitting the "thank" button and tell the photographer why it works. What is it about your water flowing over rocks that sets it apart from the thousands of other examples I've seen? Why is your cute baby trick unique among millions of others? And taking it a step further, tell the photographer why it doesn't work. Why is your model sitting on a leather sofa in the middle of a bean field? It doesn't make sense. Why is the left side of your cute cat's head out of focus? It doesn't add anything to the hairball shaped like the Eiffel Tower he just coughed up. Crowdpleasers, I think, often make the statement: "See, I can do it." A photographer sees a photo he particularly likes and wants to see if he can replicate it. He is proud that he can and there's nothing wrong with complimenting the work. But helpfulness comes also when you can say it doesn't fit the genre because. . . or it takes the genre a bit further out because. . .or, getting into aesthetics. . .it doesn't work for me because. . . It's hard. I know. Especially with the crowdpleaser which is presented, specifically, to please you. You want an example of how hard it is? Look at much of the criticism offered at the "shark tank" over on lightstalking.com. They've eliminated the positive but the criticism still rarely rises about the level of, "I would have cropped it differently." We can do better than that.