Challenge Voting On Pre-selected Entries - An Experiment

Started Apr 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Challenge Voting On Pre-selected Entries - An Experiment
Apr 5, 2012

"NOTE: At the end of the Challenge Submission phase, ALL BUT TEN ENTRIES WILL BE REMOVED and these remaining ten will be open to Voting. I will have anonymous, honest and expert help in this, so please do not be offended if your work does not reach the voting phase!

The aim of this modification is to advance the quality of photograpic expression and to dilute the manipulative influence of less intelligent voters which are plaguing the Challenges trying to promote mediocrity over quality. Please help us to eradicate this by voting honestly."

This was the frame for two of the Challengess in the "Language Of Light" series: "Glorious Sunrises" and "Light & Shadows".

I have deputised four of my longtime diving and photographing buddies to help and sift through all the entries remaining after (quite a lot of) disqualifying, in order to select the works which they thought were "best".

My heartfelt thanks to them for investing their time and effort in this. They are all in the fields of dry-land and underwater photography for over 40 years, and that constituted a solid base to entrust them with the task.

Prior to requesting their "top-lists", I have DQ'd those entries which did not conform with the rules. I have to admit that, although I have intentionally picked what usually appears to be simple themes (sunrises and shadows), an alarmingly high percentage of incoming entries showed that the entrants either did not read or couldn't understand what was required. Maybe they simply decided to ignore them. I always wonder, why is it easier not to see what the challenge is all about, than uploading the same work twice? And some rare minds uploaded the same, uncorrected works even three times before the rules and the Disqualification message became worthy of reading...

Long story short, here's what I think about the experiment:

  • The most ignored / omittted rules were about the maximum entry size. Some people do not differrentiate sunrises from sunsets. Some can't tell silhouettes and reflections from shadows... And some, as usual, just plain refuse to acquaint themselves with the aims of the challenge before they enter their works.

  • People do not like authority. Several PMs and comments pointed to the fact that folks would rather accept the totally unknown and often non-existent judging qualifications from the public horizon than trust the host's deputies to do preliminary distillation, although the host picked the prelim team of judges exactly for the knowlege these people posess.

  • Many voters (who may also be the entrants) would rather pick their own favorites from the full batch of entries than having those reduced to an easier voting number by qualified judges. As above, it may seem logical, were it not for the fact that many voters expressly dislike voting for the whole batch, for various reasons: time, effort, fatigue, etc.

  • The pre-selected ten entries were an easy voting work, much easier than going through the hundred entries. Many voters, however, only vote for several of the entries in any challenge, thus causing a disbalance which they do not seem to be aware of... So it would be logical for those to accept voting on pre-selected choice...

  • The pre-selected ten entries have been well processed before pubic voting, which is not the case with classical, all-out public votings. Many times votes are cast without any regard to that challenge rules and/or intentions, giving votes to what is attractive or, if the voter thinks that some entry does not fit in the challenge theme, giving low values. In this experiment, the remaining ten already have passed the checking against the rules and challenge aim, and the remaining ten could have been voted upon their appeal value only.

I'll be offerring the next challenges in the series with the old system, since I can't engage the generosity of my friends any longer. But I tend to think about this kind of challenge voting as practical, especially for those voters which have less time to spare than they'd like, and also because this fashion, the works have been checked and analysed at least five times before they appeared before the public judging eye.

Your thoughts?

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