Amendments to Theme Contest Rules (Discussion)
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Joined: July 18, 2007
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Posted on Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:51 am
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I made a post in here a day or two ago and then I deleted it because I thought that it was no longer relevant.

Can I also apologise for making a comment in the contest thread that seems to have caused an argument. I would have replied in the original submissions thread but it was closed and I wasn't sure where else to post it.

One of the things I said in my deleted post was that I like the idea of a closed contest. That is, people submit to a folder or to the administrator of the contest. The pictures are put up once the contest date has been reached and then the pictures go up without names, just a name for the piece and a small description of the piece (weave, rings used etc.). Voting is done as it is currently done as I quite like the "pick a dot".

I personally feel that comments are wasted and non-informational on gallery and contest items and it is not necessary to have it open to outsider comments. It is not a popularity contest and we should be voting for the piece we feel meets the criteria best, based on the overall initial viewing, not because my best friend Mr Moo put in his [insert item]. The last contest had 8 pages, yet was condensed down to one for the voting....was it really necessary to have 7 pages of "WOW, THAT'S COOL" or "Man, your closures suck". By submitting to a closed folder or thread, the administrator can ensure the pictures are in the right format and size etc by simply advising the submitter immediately that they need to resize, get rid of the blur, remove their watermark/logo, whatever and the space taken up by comments is lessened.

The only reason I can see to have it open for viewing before time is to remind people to put in submissions, but surely that topic can be bumped on a regular basis and remind all of those who said "I'm in" to get their piece in by the said date.

This is only my opinion. I like the idea of contests and I think they are a great way to get the community involved, for them to try something new and to show off their skills for a shiny token.


Kelly Clitheroe
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What we do in life echoes in eternity-Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiator 2000)

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Posted on Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:33 pm
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a member is not to be blamed when admins argue here.

that said, 8 pages during a 3 month contest is not excessive, in my opinion.


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Posted on Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:10 pm
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8 pages may not be much for a 3 month contest, but it felt like a lot when I started scrolling through it to find the pictures. Which is what I was there for since I wanted to know what I'd be voting for. I suppose I could have just waited for the final voting thread, though.

I do take you point about it not really being a lot over the course of the competition, but how many of the comments were informational, instructional or anything other than positive feedback? (or negative feedback) and is this desperately necessary in this process? People get to give feedback to the person whose piece they like best by voting for it...isn't that enough opportunity to give and receive kudos?
In the voting thread there is also opportunity to make comments. Surely if someone wants to make mention of a piece they liked second best etc., they can do it there?

I'm not a Negative Nellie, by any stroke of the clock, I'm just wondering whether it would neaten up the process by having all submissions made directly to the admin. who will then put it in one thread. Currently there is: 1. Voting for the new theme. 2. This is the new theme, who is in?. 3. Submissions for the new theme and 4. Voting for the new theme. That's a lot of work for one person.

I am suggesting you remove step 3. It is only a suggestion.


Kelly Clitheroe
Maille_Fantasy

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What we do in life echoes in eternity-Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiator 2000)

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Posted on Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:40 pm
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yeah, if you want the short version, waiting for the voting thread is the best way.

as to superfluous posts... hi, my name is kim. welcome to the internet. Very Happy

i can see that, as a reader who comes along after the thread is underway, it seems unnecessary. however, one of the primary purposes of the forum is to engage maillers with other maillers. i view that needless banter as a valid function of the forum.

i don't know if there is a way to change this which does not place unnecessary restrictions on the members wishing to participate in the contest or extra work on the admin in charge.

having an admin touch each submission makes it easier for you to view the submission thread, but it makes a lot more work for the admin. having an admin touching and prepare things on a single day is less of a burden to place on them.

TL;DR - i see what you are saying, however i do not agree.


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Posted on Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:59 pm
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Personally, I like the relative informality of this contest. The issues in this one seem to be a failure of implementation and a failure of communication. Other than that, it seems to have been going fairly smoothly.

If enough people wanted a more formal contest (and if there start being tangible incentives, then a more formal, structured contest might be in order), and an admin was willing to run it, then perhaps there should be both an informal and a formal contest.


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Posted on Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:29 pm
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the problem with running formal contests, as i see it, is the informality of MAIL for as long as we have existed.

even if we do prizes, i'm not in favor of formality.. in fact, if we do prizes, i feel like we should get every participating member to sign an electronic waiver that says, "this is for fun, by entering i relinquish my right to ever complain to an admin about the results of this or any contest held by MAIL."

prizes can get people doing things for the wrong reasons. i feel that people who enter a MAIL contest for a prize should gtfrello.


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Posted on Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:52 pm
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@chao: I have no expectation that you will read this. It's staggeringly too long. Sorry. Razz

As the person currently running the theme contests, I am not against any change simply because it would cause more work for me as long as it's for a good reason and improves the contests. I have the time and the willingness to do it. However, the next person to run the contests may not feel that way and say, "Hey, why the hell are these things so damn complicated?" I'm not the first person to run these contests and I won't be the last. So simplicity, in my opinion is a good thing.

I am not against change. If it's reasonable, helpful, fun, improves the experience, and it seems like lots of the active membership would like to see something implemented, then I'm all for it. But I am against change just for the sake of change. There should be a good reason for it.

One of the things l like about the contests is that they are fairly informal, in keeping with the feel of the site. I have tried to inject some levity into the contests in a effort to get people to lighten up and have fun with them. However, in order for something to be a contest, it still has to have rules... or it simply isn't a contest. And rules either apply to all participants or they apply to no one. And if a rule is not enforced for all participants, than what is the point of having the rule? I started out thinking that people old enough to participate in a contest were old enough to read the rules and abide by them. From the PM's I have received and the comments in threads I have read over the last few contests, my faith in that ever happening has been severely diminished.

Personally, I like being able to see the entries as they are added to the entry thread. I think it's inspiring and adds a sense of friendly rivalry. I'm aware that sometimes people write comments about the entries. As long as no rules are broken, such as calling into question whether an entry is valid, I really don't see that as anything to get upset about.

I would like to see the voting thread changed a little. I think that being able to see current voting results influences how people vote later on. It would be nice to have the results viewable only at the end of the contest. But DL already knows that, and I think has been working on a solution. If DL can't do it, ain't nobody can do it. Razz

As for changing the current rules, personally I don't see the need for it (apart from some minor tweaking that I will list below). They serve the original purpose of the contests.
1. Previously unsubmitted, woven within the timeframe of the contest: We want to encourage new maille. Not something you made before and decided to enter.

2. At least 2/3 maille: this is a site dedicated to maille, so naturally we want a majority of the entry to be maille, but we also want to allow a small part of the entry to be other things. 2/3 is just an easygoing ballpark figure. No one is supposed to get out a measuring stick or calipers to verify it. Eyeball the piece. If it mostly maille, then it's fine.

3. You can submit multiple entries: Go to town! Have fun! Make lots of maille!

4. Host pictures offsite and give us some details. Don't make the picture so huge that we have to scroll to see it: We host gallery pictures in the gallery. We do not want to host pictures in the forums. They tend to disappear over time. Giving us details cuts down on the questions about your entry. Picture size is just being courteous.

5. Contests last 12 weeks: We all find out what the theme is at the same time. We all have the same amount of time to make something that depicts the theme. It's fair to all and deadlines are deadlines.

6. If you win you get a shield made of pixels and a free theme suggestion: It's a nice prize and not something worth cheating or fighting over. That's always good.

7. The contest organizer is the last word. If you have a problem, bring it up privately: Someone has to be "the bad guy" and have the final tie breaking vote in any disagreements that occur during a contest. Better to just prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.

Minor tweaks. I mentioned above in orange.
1. Entries must be previously unsubmitted work. Entries must be at least 2/3 maille woven within the time frame of the contest. The remaining 1/3 can be any maille previously woven or any non-maille. Maille consists of any rings, metal or otherwise, or ring substitutes like scales or pop tabs. Non-maille consists of things like beads or wire wraps.

1. Entries must be previously unsubmitted work that depicts the contest theme in some way. Entries must be at least 2/3 maille woven within the time frame of the contest. The remaining 1/3 can be any maille previously woven or any non-maille. Maille consists of any rings, metal or otherwise, or ring substitutes like scales or pop tabs. Non-maille consists of things like beads or wire wraps.

3. Pictures and descriptions of the entry should be submitted to the contest submission thread before the deadline, by hosting the pictures offsite. (In other words, you need to use an image hosting site to place your picture in the entry thread. They are free to use, you just have to register with them to create an account. Some examples of image hosting sites are TinyPic, Photobucket, Flickr, and ImageShack.) Pictures should be a MAXIMUM of 100Kb and a MAXIMUM of 800px per side.

3. Pictures and descriptions of the entry should be submitted to the contest submission thread before the deadline, by hosting the pictures offsite. (In other words, you need to use an image hosting site to place your picture in the entry thread. They are free to use, you just have to register with them to create an account. Some examples of image hosting sites are TinyPic, Photobucket, Flickr, and ImageShack.) Pictures MUST be a MAXIMUM of 100Kb and a MAXIMUM of 800px per side.

Okay, I'm done now. Go get something to drink... I'm sure you are dehydrated my now.


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Posted on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:37 pm
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whao now, i have an attention span that is long enough to make it through that hey! something shiny!

i would like to see us be able to submit entries somewhere on MAIL instead of using another site.. we have mentioned net-rot as a reason to not use off-site links in our articles for this reason. should we really have a policy which creates netrot in our submission and voting threads? a gallery area with the tag "themecontest".

with the new image code DL implemented, removing scroll bars from the images by shrinking them, do we need the image size limits for off-site hosted submissions? moving the submissions to MAIL would enforce the size requirements.

other than that, i have no issues.. honestly, including that i have no issues. i'm not particular one way or the other, it's just thoughts i had.


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Posted on Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:13 pm
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Here is my complaint, relevant to this topic: it seems to me that anyone should be allowed, even encouraged, to raise questions. And in that event, not to be put down for suggesting change in the name of improvement, rather, reply to why one believes the idea is not a good one.

It's that simple.

I regret anyone feeling that any of my posts were inflammatory.

Having said that, those who wear the administrator's 'hats' might suppress their need to answer in kind.

TOTALLY ON-TOPIC: The main issue with the THEME contests is that there have been times when brilliant work has won, yet may not have expressed the intended theme. This may indicate that it cannot be left to the voters, after all.

I would suggest that a second (and third, in event of a tie) person be designated to decide whether a questionable entry expresses the theme of the contest.

And that the 'judgment' be given rather wide latitude.

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Posted on Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:49 pm
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Rognvald wrote:
Here is my complaint, relevant to this topic: it seems to me that anyone should be allowed, even encouraged, to raise questions. And in that event, not to be put down for suggesting change in the name of improvement, rather, reply to why one believes the idea is not a good one.

It's that simple.

I regret anyone feeling that any of my posts were inflammatory.

Having said that, those who wear the administrator's 'hats' might suppress their need to answer in kind.


I'm going to leave the bulk of the above alone... But I'll point at that at no point were your ideas dismissed. Lorraine, believe it or not, is not the be all and end all voice of the BOD...
All questions, comments, and criticisms in this thread are given attention and mulled over by those with eyes and ears.


Rognvald wrote:
TOTALLY ON-TOPIC: The main issue with the THEME contests is that there have been times when brilliant work has won, yet may not have expressed the intended theme. This may indicate that it cannot be left to the voters, after all.


Let me stop you there.
MAIL is, and continues to be, "By the people, for the people"... And the BOD strive to continue to make that statement true. Changes that are made are made with the best intentions of the community in mind, and any responses to those changes are carefully thought over.
If the membership, by majority, vote for a theme that does not appear to you to express the intended theme, might I point out that perhaps your opinions just don't flow with the majority.
There is no shame in it, it's liable to happen... I'm just wondering if you've thought on that.

That being said, there's a distinct possibility, especially with the majority of American members that this board enjoys (this is not an attack folks, merely an observation) that the voting is narrowed down within the first two or three days and then treated as a "Two Party System" with the opinion that voting for someone who is severely lagging is "Throwing your vote away on an independant"... To this end, a new voting system preventing visible results prior to the outcome is underway, and has been for a while.

Rognvald wrote:
I would suggest that a second (and third, in event of a tie) person be designated to decide whether a questionable entry expresses the theme of the contest.

And that the 'judgment' be given rather wide latitude.


I would suggest that the system you are attempting to implement provides the same potential "skew" that is present amongst the membership as a whole, only on a much smaller scale... Causing MORE potential issues, not LESS.

...

As I have said in the past, along with chao, and others...
These contests are intended to be in the spirit of fun, and are an attempt to be INCLUSIVE, not EXCLUSIVE.

My Personal Opinions
Would I like to see the rules be a little more streamlined and tighter in some areas? Yes
Does this include people's photoshop skills? Not really, though I can solve that myself with a script.
Do I think the vast majority of the membership wishes to see poor Member X excluded because they interpreted the theme their own way? No

This is generally why my vote during theme contest theme selection leans towards Abstract themes... It avoids the potential "That doesn't fit" argument, by being so general everything fits.

And before I get accused of putting someone down, I remind you that neither Lorraine, nor I, are the be all and end all of anything around here... There's always another (or more) set of eyes watching issues.

The BOD answer to each other, and ultimately to the membership.
It's a thankless job, but if nobody did it, there'd be no MAIL.


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Posted on Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:47 am
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Part of the fun is seeing different people's interpretations of the theme. Personally, I like to see the more unique interpretations.


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Posted on Mon May 07, 2012 8:42 pm
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at one point the idea of offering a real-world prize for the theme contest was brought up. we had a generous offer from jon to provide the prize at cost. we certainly have the money.

i do not believe the theme contest should offer a prize more than a numbered shield at this point. i am leaning in the direction of never offering a prize. prizes make contests more about winning than about having fun and participating.


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Posted on Mon May 07, 2012 9:18 pm
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sakredchao wrote:
at one point the idea of offering a real-world prize for the theme contest was brought up. we had a generous offer from jon to provide the prize at cost. we certainly have the money.

i do not believe the theme contest should offer a prize more than a numbered shield at this point. i am leaning in the direction of never offering a prize. prizes make contests more about winning than about having fun and participating.

I couldn't agree more.

I would like to see the money MAIL has accumulated spent wisely, I just haven't come up with any good ideas.


"I am a leaf on the wind." ~ Wash
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Posted on Mon May 07, 2012 10:33 pm
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I agree as well - better get a faster/larger/redundant server, or another investment into the site or services for, than simply 'burning' the money...

-ZiLi-


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A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
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Posted on Mon May 07, 2012 11:39 pm
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i'm not opposed to finding a way that makes sense to spend a small percentage of the money directly on the membership.. i just don't want it to be in a way that people begin to feel cheated when they don't get it.


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3.o is fixing everything.

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