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Thread: How about shorter themed competitions?

  1. #1

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    How about shorter themed competitions?

    I've been looking through the monthly themed competitions and my take away point: I'm exhausted. By the time I get to the third or fourth page of photo's I'm overwhelmed. There is no way I can get through them all, then backtrack and decide what my top three would be.

    Has anyone considered a shorter (perhaps one week) themed competition? I like the idea of themed competitions, it pits everyone more or less equally by challenging everyone with the same topic (as opposed to the mini-comps where it's pretty much everything goes.)

    Just a thought....

    Jack

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: How about shorter themed competitions?

    Jack

    Thanks for your comment on this. I'll make sure my fellow Admin/Mods see it, particularly Dave who administers the Themed Challenge. I share your sentiments

    The problem I foresee is that, as you will be aware, it requires a Mod to manage and adminsiter the challenge. And to move it from sort-of monthly to, say, two-weekly or one-weekly would double or quadruple the amount of work required. Because the amount of input required by the Mod would be just about as much for each challenge.

    And as you know, we are all volunteers doing this in our spare time. And the time required can amount to several hours per challenge.

    But rest assured, all ideas and thoughts as to how to streamline the processes whilst still ensuring that those who take part enjoy it and that it adds to the learning experience, are welcomed.

    Dave might want to come in with additional comments. So I'll alert him and the others to this thread.

  3. #3

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    Re: How about shorter themed competitions?

    Donald,

    Thanks for your input. Quickly, could a weekly themed comp. be run along the same lines as the mini-comps? The difference being it's themed and allows for a larger number of entries (e.g. 25) but when closed, still voted upon by members. Just a thought.

    Thanks

  4. #4

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    Re: How about shorter themed competitions?

    Yes I agree with you, Jack. The longer competitions overwhelm me as well, so I have stopped voting in them; although I nearly always vote in the Mini competitions.

    Up to around 30 images max are OK but beyond that it gets confusing and I have to start rejecting everything which doesn't have an immediate impact on me, and even then I find making comparisons difficult.

    Originally, these competitions ran for a month to allow people to think about the named subject and find time to get to a suitable location with good weather, etc. Which does allow working amateur photographers to compete against retired people or others who have more time to choose suitable conditions.

    But initially we only got around 30 entries per competition.

    Possibly, weekly competitions with the titles announced well in advance might work but you could still get people sending in one entry per competition so the total number of entries might be even greater.

    And having a cut off after a certain number of entries would mean some people going to a lot of trouble then being too late to enter.

    So I'm not sure what would be an answer without causing a lot of extra work for the administrators.

    However it is a good sign when we are complaining about having too many entries.

  5. #5
    epmi314's Avatar
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    Re: How about shorter themed competitions?

    I agree! I find myself efforting to vote in every mini comp but I get lost in the larger and longer competitions, basically giving up as I have forgotten the photos I like by the time I get to the end. It is hard to compare one to another. If the photos were arranged in some different form (many to a page) it might work just fine without shortenting the time/#of entries.

  6. #6

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    Re: How about shorter themed competitions?

    I agree with you guys that voting for the monthly comps themed or otherwise is getting quite difficult, however I like the time allowed for these comps. To me they seem to be more serious than the mini comps and I think the extra time is warranted and allows for better entires. To my mind the mini comps are fun sort of things where anything goes. They are a good place to test out shots and get feedback via votes. The shots can be old or new, so the extra time isn't needed.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents but I like the extra time allowed for the monthly and themed competitions and think it is conducive to better photos being entered, which of course does make it more difficult to choose. I used to vote in one sitting, lately I have had to view 3 or 4 times making a shorter list at each sitting.

    Wendy

  7. #7
    Sam Smith's Avatar
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    Re: How about shorter themed competitions?

    I have to agree that the monthly comps are getting larger, but that is a good thing. It shows the site is growing. They way I vote is similar to Wendy's. I keep a running vote and adjust as the images change. It saves time for me.
    I do believe if the comp was shorter it would degraded the quality of the entries. I like the fact that it has to be shot during the month and not coming out someone's stock. Just my two cents worth.

  8. #8
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: How about shorter themed competitions?

    Hi all,

    Sorry I have been quiet on this, I hadn't seen it, I have just logged on since being away from Thursday evening (in fact I am still away, borrowing my daughter's computer).

    My initial thoughts, having read the above;
    I also find having too many entries a bit of a pain, upto 39 is ok, because that fits on a single page (assuming you increase the page size in your profile to 40 from the default 20, as I have). It also fits in my excel vote counting spreadsheet easier.

    Fortnightly, is possible I suppose, but has two drawbacks; the extra work and there inevitably being more than one comp open for voting at the same time, which may confuse people.

    Plus it is easier to let things slip a few days in a month to suit domestic or other deadlines than it is in two weeks.

    A large number of the entries in the latest Monthly and Themed were because the big Challenges get mentioned in the Newsletters that go out, so we get an influx of new members and many wack something into the challenge on arrival, which sort of counters the idea of taking one's time and shooting to the theme that regular members can do.

    The automatic voting mechanism only works up to 10 votes unfortunately.

    Themed Mini Comps have been tried in the past (e.g. Action), but were never sustainable, but admittedly; that was before we had so many members and also before they were automatically administered - possibly worth another go, but Sean would need to set up another one or more mechanisms to do that. We could avoid the disappointment of missing one if the themes were broad and self repeating; e.g. Action, Portrait, Landscape, etc. Any thoughts on this?

    Cheers,

  9. #9
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: How about shorter themed competitions?

    Hi Dave, is it possible to utilize some sort of a thumbnail Grid View similar to what we see in Lightroom?

    At the voting stage of the competition, having the ability to zoom the thumbnails and click to select any one at full size like we do in Lightroom would make the viewing and selection process much easier.
    Unfortunately, the effort required to provide that kind of an interface is likely to be prohibitive. How about shorter themed competitions?

  10. #10
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: How about shorter themed competitions?

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Dave, is it possible to utilize some sort of a thumbnail Grid View similar to what we see in Lightroom?

    At the voting stage of the competition, having the ability to zoom the thumbnails and click to select any one at full size like we do in Lightroom would make the viewing and selection process much easier.
    Unfortunately, the effort required to provide that kind of an interface is likely to be prohibitive.
    Hi Frank,

    I think you're right, it could be done if they were in an album, but that has several other constraints we wouldn't want

    Obviously the idea I suggested of 'themed' mini comps doesn't give true 'themes' - it just limits what you're up against so they're more similar than the free for all of an open challenge where a cute kid or a nice landscape is going to beat a macro shot everytime when it comes to a vote.

    Cheers,

  11. #11
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    Re: How about shorter themed competitions?

    I agree that the themed challenges with the images having to be acquired within the month is a really good idea. It forces the submitters to be active. I've never figured out people who'd submit images to competition from their stocks; I kinda think they ought to submit a photo of their La-Z-Boy or sofa. ;~( But, I do like the idea of having a sort of gallery wherein the voters could keep track of the pictures they like best over the month and then do one last sanity check on voting days to make their final decision. This will be the first month for me to vote but, unless somebody enters a really incredible picture between now and Monday, I have my first four in mind already.

    BTW, thanks for a really excellent site. I've learned a bunch and have only been checking in here in the last several weeks.

    v

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