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05/10/2004 11:59:47 AM · #1
All of this talk on revised voting methods to stem from the fact that
the site is growing.

I’m on a dial up connection and I’ve found it impossible to comment or
even vote on 400 odd Rust entries.

Looking back at the early rounds of DPC, the site seemed to be just a
group of friends trying to improve their photography.

Based on this, and assuming that the site continues to grow, here’s my
long-term suggestion:

IN ADDITION to the open and member challenges, the site should provide
the facility for users to create their own mini-challenges into which
they could invite whomever they wanted. A group of 20 people (for
example) could then really get stuck in to each others pictures and
provide more detailed criticism. These people could be friends in real
life, or through the DPC. If you didn’t know many people, but liked
the idea – you could set up an invitation: ‘15 beginners wanted for a
week long Sunset challenge’ etc etc. Users could choose to keep their
competitions invisible to the public, or let the whole site track their
progress.

The site would simply provide the web format and voting procedure for
all of these mini-leagues to exist.

Remember this would all be in addition to the site as it already stands.

I think it would be great for the following reasons:

1. As the site grows and entries increase, it becomes harder and
harder to leave constructive criticism – which is what most people
are here for.

2. Mini-competitions would enable the site to retain its original
purpose: to use friends and the internet to improve your amateur
photography.

3. Everyone would still benefit from the wider DPC community and be
able to enter the larger competitions as they do now.

4. Winners of mini-leagues of broadly the same quality could go up
against each other in the future – so you could beat your friends
during a week of discussion, and then see how you fared against others.

5. It would encourage people to only enter their really good stuff in
the site-wide challenges.

6. It would enable users to set their own challenge criteria:
- Everybody at the moment seems to get annoyed with the way
pictures are voted on.
- Want rigid rules, thematic or technical? Set them.
- Create 1 day, 2 day or 3 week challenges to suit you and your friends.
- Simply want an open challenge for your best shot? Go for it.

What do you think about all or any of this? It’d be potentially huge
and would change the site – one for the future really, but could be a
way to retain the site’s purpose if it continues to grow and grow. And
please – I’m not suggesting that this should replace the existing
system – just run alongside it.

Apoligies if this has been suggested before

Message edited by author 2004-05-10 12:00:58.
05/10/2004 12:05:08 PM · #2
It's a great idea but I think it has been discussed already. I can't remember where it was discussed, but it may have been in a site council thread.
05/10/2004 12:49:20 PM · #3
Great idea. A few questions/concerns with it:

- The photos in the mini challenges couldn't count towards your average or be included in your highest rated photos etc for obvious reasons, which would be a drawback for a lot of people

- I find even with 400 photos and a very average photo (as my rust shot is) I've still managed to pick up several insightful and helpful comments

- potential for an elitist group of the very best photographers in their own mini challenges, preferring those to the main challenges

- I think the simplicity of DPC is what a lot of people love about it, and this I feel would make it more complex

Having said all that, lots of good ideas and quite possibly some that would improve the site. The option of putting no time constraints on would certainly appeal to lots of people

Might be best as a completely separate site away from DPC
05/10/2004 12:50:14 PM · #4
This idea holds some merit, refining the details would require a lot of consideration. I suggested multiple challenges a long time ago and this would be similar.

One thought on it, might be to do the "Mini Challenges" based on photographer's average scores. As they increase they would be grouped with higher and higher scoroing people.

On the down side; would they have a tendency to separate the site into a bunch of small groups, which could become "Clicks"
05/10/2004 12:51:42 PM · #5
Originally posted by autool:

This idea holds some merit, refining the details would require a lot of consideration. I suggested multiple challenges a long time ago and this would be similar.

One thought on it, might be to do the "Mini Challenges" based on photographer's average scores. As they increase they would be grouped with higher and higher scoroing people.

On the down side; would they have a tendency to separate the site into a bunch of small groups, which could become "Clicks"


And while it is an interesting feature, it doesn't solve the problem of getting better feedback on the basis for voting in the main challenges!
05/10/2004 01:04:05 PM · #6
I have seen this idea proposed elsewhere before, and my initial reaction now is the same as it was then: doesn't sound all that great to me.

First, I can see it dividing up the site into "cliques" (definition: n. A small exclusive group of friends). This could lead to reduced participation in the open/member challenges, since there is only so much time in a given week to take a picture.

Second, when the challenge topic is picked by the challenge participants, it just loses some of its "spontaneous appeal". i.e, JoeUser is taking a trip to Niagra Falls next week, so he proposes a "Waterfalls" challenge...

Third, I can see there being less incentive to vote on a challenge where you aren't participating, especially when there are 5, 10 or 50 "active challenges" to vote on. Certain cliques of photographers might get consistently good voting response, but others might see very little. Same goes with commenting.

I'm sure there are some benefits, I'm just not convinced that they outweigh the negatives.

Message edited by author 2004-05-10 13:04:35.
05/10/2004 01:09:20 PM · #7
I agree with both Neil and Eddy.
05/10/2004 01:10:57 PM · #8
Originally posted by EddyG:

First, I can see it dividing up the site into "cliques" (definition: n. A small exclusive group of friends). This could lead to reduced participation in the open/member challenges, since there is only so much time in a given week to take a picture.


The main competitions would still hold most prestige though - and the big guns still get lots of feedback in them anyway.

Originally posted by EddyG:

Third, I can see there being less incentive to vote on a challenge where you aren't participating, especially when there are 5, 10 or 50 "active challenges" to vote on. Certain cliques of photographers might get consistently good voting response, but others might see very little. Same goes with commenting.


My intention was that no-one but the participants would vote in mini-challenges. People may (at the groups discretion) be able to browse ongoing challenges and see the winners of finished challenges.
I didn't mean that they would appear as voting material for all on the front page.
05/10/2004 01:51:58 PM · #9
Operating in the small groups, anonymity would go down the drain in short order as people learned each other's styles. Then all the comments would become attaboys.
05/10/2004 05:19:04 PM · #10
I agree with EddyG & Neil as well. I had a thought though: if more people sign up, more people will vote.

So, my question is this: when you click on the link to start voting, are the photos really random? Are they sorted by first submitted, are they arranged in any way? Is it different everytime you go back to the site, it sure seems so. What about photos that have no votes moving to the top of the voting page (so that when people sign on to vote, they are voting on photos that have had no votes or few votes... until they surpass the other photos (not in score but in amount of votes)... then those with less votes would move to the top. Is that how it works now? If not, how hard would that be to program?

Arie

Did that make any sense?
05/10/2004 05:28:56 PM · #11
Originally posted by mirdonamy:

I agree with EddyG & Neil as well. I had a thought though: if more people sign up, more people will vote.

So, my question is this: when you click on the link to start voting, are the photos really random? Are they sorted by first submitted, are they arranged in any way? Is it different everytime you go back to the site, it sure seems so. What about photos that have no votes moving to the top of the voting page (so that when people sign on to vote, they are voting on photos that have had no votes or few votes... until they surpass the other photos (not in score but in amount of votes)... then those with less votes would move to the top. Is that how it works now? If not, how hard would that be to program?

Arie

Did that make any sense?


I was assured in another thread a while ago that it is indeed randomized for each voter.
05/10/2004 05:50:19 PM · #12
What I like most about this site is the fact that it is simple. While adding the mini-challenges may sound like a great idea (and it is a good idea), I just think it would add a lot of confusion and clutter. I like how there's only big challenges, meaning less clutter. I also think that this would also start cliques and rivalries. It adds a whole new component to DPC that would taint its value in my opinion. Just my $0.02 worth.
05/10/2004 06:02:10 PM · #13
Originally posted by orussell:

I was assured in another thread a while ago that it is indeed randomized for each voter.


It is. :)
05/10/2004 06:21:05 PM · #14
I know for sure it's random, because when friends of mine log on, their page looks completely different from mine. :)
05/10/2004 06:57:19 PM · #15
Maybe we should keep the current version of challenges but keep the number of entries limited to 200.If you don't make it too bad,wait for next week.
Also I would move the photos taken date, 2 days before challenge is announced should be eligible to enter.

For example on Saturday and Sunday I go out on photo tour and on Sunday night/Monday morning if one of my photos meet the subject why not use it !
05/10/2004 07:06:01 PM · #16
Originally posted by pitsaman:

Maybe we should keep the current version of challenges but keep the number of entries limited to 200.If you don't make it too bad,wait for next week.
Also I would move the photos taken date, 2 days before challenge is announced should be eligible to enter.

For example on Saturday and Sunday I go out on photo tour and on Sunday night/Monday morning if one of my photos meet the subject why not use it !


A cap on the open challenge wouldn't be a bad idea, but think of the forum posts complaining about how unfair it is. I really wouldn't agree in the members challenge; paying members should have the privilege of entering these challenges. Another downside - lots of crappy entries because the best, most well thought out entries didn't make it in time.
05/10/2004 07:08:28 PM · #17
Originally posted by pitsaman:


Also I would move the photos taken date, 2 days before challenge is announced should be eligible to enter.

For example on Saturday and Sunday I go out on photo tour and on Sunday night/Monday morning if one of my photos meet the subject why not use it !


Because that's an oops my photo fits the challenge, not a I've planned out this particular shoot.

There's no challenge in getting an oops shot. :)

Clara
05/10/2004 07:16:43 PM · #18
I think that at over 400 entries, voting becomes a chore rather than a pleasure, and the sense of community is actually dimished somewhat.

If it's every now and again - it's not a big problem but...

Lets just say, for the sake of argument, that over the next six months the site becomes really popular and open challenges regularly receive over 600 entries. What would you suggest then?
05/10/2004 07:21:26 PM · #19
Originally posted by pitsaman:

Maybe we should keep the current version of challenges but keep the number of entries limited to 200.

People would just submit any old photo they had laying around as soon as the challenge was announced to reserve their spot in the "first 200", and then a) submit their real photo as the week went on and they got a shot, or b) hit the "Unsubmit" button as the submission deadline got close.

So I really don't think that is a solution. I personally think a better idea would be to limit who can participate in the member-subsidized, er, Open challenges. Paid members are always guaranteed a spot, but submissions from non-paying members would be randomly discarded to get the submissions down to a reasonable number, with a weighting such that newer registered users (who are new to trying out the site) are more likely to "get in". This would encourage long-time non-paying users who obviously enjoy the site to pony up the $2/month to become a member, which would be good for D&L as bandwidth and server resource costs go up as more people participate. =] (Another possibility would be to weight the discards based on number of challenges entered instead of how long they've been registered.)

In essence, popular Basic Editing challenges become "member challenges" with some "wildcard" spots for non-members who are still testing the waters -- making membership an even more worthwhile investment.

Originally posted by budokan:

..open challenges regularly receive over 600 entries. What would you suggest then?

That you vote on the first 20% of the images that are presented to you, and then stop if you don't have time to do more? That is only 120 entries. If you start at the beginning and vote on the first 120 randomized entries assigned to you (and don't "pick and choose" from the thumbnails), all of the entries would likely get a fair number of votes.

Message edited by author 2004-05-10 19:41:57.
05/10/2004 07:21:31 PM · #20
Originally posted by budokan:

I think that at over 400 entries, voting becomes a chore rather than a pleasure, and the sense of community is actually dimished somewhat.

If it's every now and again - it's not a big problem but...

Lets just say, for the sake of argument, that over the next six months the site becomes really popular and open challenges regularly receive over 600 entries. What would you suggest then?


LOL...get broadband. J/K
No really, I would just lower the number of required votes to 15% or 10%. Will give you the same amount to vote on.
05/10/2004 07:35:05 PM · #21
Originally posted by EddyG:

That you vote on the first 20% of the images that are presented to you, and then stop if you don't have time to do more? That is only 120 entries. If you start at the beginning and vote on the first 120 randomized entries assigned to you (and don't "pick and choose" from the thumbnails), all of the entries would likely get a fair number of votes.


I guess so - in this case it might be better to adopt mirdonamy's idea, that photos with the least votes get pushed to the front of the queue. You could even force voters to deal with them in a specific order.
It would be a shame though - not to get involved with the whole challenge. When the list of winners goes up - you'd be like 'That's nice - I wish I'd got to see it when voting'.

I think that your idea for limiting open challenges would work.

Edit: Thought added

Message edited by author 2004-05-10 19:37:33.
05/10/2004 10:11:58 PM · #22
Maybe we need to take Cable TV's lead and have, like ESPN, a DPC1 & DPC2...
05/10/2004 10:15:18 PM · #23
Has anyone ever entered and had no votes or comments?
05/11/2004 12:48:38 PM · #24
Originally posted by budokan:



It would be a shame though - not to get involved with the whole challenge. When the list of winners goes up - you'd be like 'That's nice - I wish I'd got to see it when voting'.



I agree. I like to be able to vote on them all, look through my entries, move some up and some down and then enjoy comparing that to the final results. I guess that is just something that will be lost
05/11/2004 01:39:53 PM · #25
To me, it all sounds very interesting. However, what about expanding the number of main challenges and setting a flag to limit the number of challenges non-members/members are able to join into each week.

Instead of the two challenges, there could be 8 to 10 challenges, out of those non-members could be limited to say 3 challenges, while Members could take part in up to 5 per week.

Granted, the volume of photos wouldn't necesarily decrease, but the volume of submissions in each challenge would decrease.

Some of these challenges could then repeat through the weeks with the requisite Roman Numeral after the challenge title. Another flag could be set into the database that could keep someone from submitting images to all 'releases' of a particular challenge.

For instance, let's assume there will be 8 Rust challenges. In those 8 weeks, some photographer calling themselves QuixoticRamblings shoots 8 weeks of Rust shots. Let's say this character is the absolute best at finding such shots being that he/she lives in/near or owns some kind 'magical junkyard' that creates the most visually appealing Rust subjects to take shots of. Well, to make things fair QuixoticRamblings should only be allowed or able to enter into something like half of the 8 total Rust challenges.

Anyway, it's an idea that could work as the site grows and grows.
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