There's been some discussion about the Pixie Photo of the Day with respect to how photos are chosen and why community views and comments don't directly correlate to TOTD photos.
This question has popped up in the past and the explanation I gave before is still accurate:
"TOTD (Photo of the Day for people who don’t know): Every morning I pick one photo that we wish to highlight from all those that have been uploaded in the last 24 hours. If nothing stands out, we look back over the previous week or month etc. Sometimes two outstanding photos are uploaded on the same day and since we can only pick one, the other might appear a few days later, or perhaps not at all.
Adrian you mentioned the selection process for TOTD didn’t always find shots that you felt should be highlighted and sometimes less worthy shots have been selected. 100% agree. It's not meant to be perfect, it's meant to be a bit of fun. I spend about 30 minutes each morning going through photos. This may not sound like a lot, but it is, especially when you do it religiously every single day, even when I go holidays, I bring a laptop...
TOTD is not only about photographic quality. It’s about many things. First and foremost it’s about how interesting a photo is: is it unusual, how easy would it be to take the photo, was it set up or was it right place, right time, is it visually stunning, is it topical, does it have an ugly watermark, is it cropped properly, shall we give this user a boost to introduce them to the community and many more attributes. We don’t want every TOTD to be technically perfect, we don’t want to intimidate people who are starting out. Every day we search for something different. That’s it.
For example, of all the photos upload yesterday, there were about 2,000 of them that were public and therefore eligible for TOTD. 30 minutes isn’t enough time to view 2,000 photos, so we rely on the community to guide us to the best shots. If a good shot has no votes, no comments and no views... it might well be missed and while unfortunate, that’s life. This morning we were actually looking for something “Halloween” as we always look for something topical around specific events, but there wasn’t anything that stood out... Hence we chose a nice view of the quays in Dublin, a shot we’ve seen many times before, but there was something different about this one and hence it got the TOTD."
When we look at user voting patterns, we can clearly see that there is a higher percentage of votes and comments on photos where a pre-existing relationship exists between two users. This means that new users who are not so familiar to the community don't have the same opportunities to become visible as those that have been here for some time and have many contacts.
By retaining editorial control over the TOTD selection process, we are still guided by community votes and comments but we are able to level the playing field giving everybody a chance as well as ensuring we don't see the same "brilliant photo" or "variation of" too often.
That's just how we do it and I think for the most part it works out okay.