Why is there a rating system at all? Is it actually there for people to go check out the highest rated photos and then go read the blog? Just because the photos are good, doesn't mean the blog is going to be interesting or informative. I definitely think to make a good blog it's a nice balance between good photos, good writing, accurate information, and some links. But I have found it fun to just browse the Top Rated photos every once in a while. I definitely like the idea, and was very happy when my Fraser Island Australia photos
made it to the Top Rated photos. But I agree with most of you, this is my rating technique too.
Rate it a 5 if you say WOW, looks like a photo in a magazine.
Rate it a 4 if you say, Nice Photo, I wish I took that.
Rate it a 3 if you say, that's pretty cool.
And I agree, 2-1's I don't really rate, probably cause they serve another purpose other then a "nice" photo.
Now if you're going with quality. Not everyone has a nice camera. So the quality is going to be subject to other factors. However even with a little digital or disposable camera, good photos can still have nice composition, lighting, colors, focus, detail, contrast, etc... It's a travelblog site, not Flickr. So I a definitely go easy when it comes to rating. I guess I should also read more blogs though, as lately I feel I only have time to write them.
To finish, maybe Travelblog should put a book together. Lonely Planet does this with a lot of submitted photos. We should pool all our photos together and make a book so people can purchase them and see all the photos from around the world that are funny, interesting, cute, amazing, beautiful, inspiring, and all the other reasons we travel for. Just a thought.