I'd quite enjoy something like this, would make a change.
My thoughts are that there are too many members who simply post images and contribute zero comment. That to me smacks of the "look at me syndrome". For myself I will not nominate any of their images for the COW (that is a personal decision).
I find myself to at times be one of those posts an image or 2 and moves on, when I do get the time to comment I certainly do, many times I just enjoy looking at what some of the better photographers here have to offer, many days I will look at some photos people have taken and try and work out how it was done then go practice this. Have done it many times now, I would love to post results to people of how their work inspired me to play around and try to replicate something to understand it, I just rarely have time.
Then there are images that I do not feel qualified to comment on so I don't.
What makes one qualified and unqualified? What one person sees another misses and vice versa, I've had people tell what they don't like about some of my shots things others have missed, these people don't even own a camera. So i think a comment/critique can be valuable from anyone.
Then there are people who post countless images of the same genre over and over. How does one work up enthusiasm to comment on these?
I tend to get tired of the same genre, I make sure I check out their work, but tend to not worry about commenting.
Finally I simply do not comment on images where to do so I would have to be really critical, as some people do not take kindly to it. We have seen examples of that here.
I know exactly where your coming from, however, I look at it this way, providing you can handle what you dish out, what's the problem? I'd rather have someone criticise my work to push me than have a heap of "awesome, well done" etc. If people are going to be hurt by what is said, screw them I say
I continue to hang around here because I enjoy photography and have learnt heaps from the members here, and no doubt I can learn heaps more.
I have learnt more here than any other forum, in fact this is one of the only photography forums I use, I have found almost every member to be helpful in one way or another.
In regards to the Cow, how is it the mods etc come to decide what images are selected? Some weeks there really isn't anything I like or there are multiple entries by one user or the images/subjects are very alike so I do not vote, it would be great if there was much wider cross sections. Some weeks I see some brilliant images not up for vote yet see others which I find less pleasing to the eye up.
I really enjoy this place, I just wish I could put more time in, sadly being a mod on one of the biggest forums in Australia takes up too much of my "online time"