Update on Challenges Development

Started May 1, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Scott Everett
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Update on Challenges Development
May 1, 2012

Hey all,

A few of you noticed a post earlier today outlining a few minor updates to challenges we've decided to implement right away, and in hindsight I'm realizing it was not clear in communicating our thinking and approach to the system as a whole, so I'm going to expand on that a bit here.

Each time we walked through possible changes intended to curb cheating we found ourselves arriving at the same place, a need for constant manual moderation, or a completely different platform altogether. The former is something we have been working on for forums already, so is actually possible to implement in the near term. The latter will require us to design a completely new platform and section on the site, a much larger and time intensive project.

As we have reviewed the feedback you al provided on the list of possible changes that I originally posted, and tallied all of the votes for/against, there were surprisingly few areas of consensus, and virtually no clear winners in terms of changes to voting or hosting methods. What this made clear to us is that we haven't come up with a true solution yet, and still need to iterate on what the long term direction for challenges should be.

So the immediate approach we're taking is towards more moderation, and figuring out a way to get the community involved and driving it by providing tools to moderators that are balanced and not too far reaching. When we have the features defined for challenges moderation I will post them in advance of implementation.

There are some other minor updates that did come out as being favored by the majority, so we'll begin implementing them ASAP, they are:

-Add the ability to leave a comment for disqualified entries, make it visible to user who was disqualified

-Add the ability for a host to see a voter's vote spread (histogram), and the ability to disqualify from this interface (if there is suspicious voting). A single page would display all voters at once, displaying name, # of votes, histogram of distribution of votes.

-Introduce rollover help text for each voting level to display a description of what that score means (essentially, standardized scoring levels/meanings)

-Re-introduce challenge stats

-Create a challenges search and explore page to enable users and visitors to scan challenge winners and contestants.

Lastly, as we head into summer we're also taking a deep look at the galleries section of dpreview, and a possible overhaul of the UI and function they serve. Part of that project will include how users can utilize images across the site, including in challenges, so while I say a completely new challenges system is a larger project, it is possible we will tackle it sooner rather than later.

Thanks,

Scott

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