Soft sandbagging...

Started Apr 28, 2012 | Discussions
Mike Ronesia
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Soft sandbagging...
Apr 28, 2012

Or why I don't like people voting in challenges they enter.

My Post Processed Pet challenge just went to voting. http://www.dpreview.com/challenges/Challenge.aspx?ID=6689&View=RecentFirst&Rows=25

I've had one person vote on all but one entry. After looking at the results I'm fairly certain who it is. I think the sandbaggers are getting more sophisticated as time goes on. The give a few higher scores for some of the less then stellar entries and then go with low but not .5 votes to anything that looks like competition.

Now I could be all wrong about this and I'm not known for giving out a bunch of high scores myself. I also know all the entries are not stellar but take a look at the sample below and how this person voted and let me know your thoughts. Would you consider this a form of soft sandbagging? I did make note of the voter ID as well as the ID of the one entry they did not vote on.

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CG33
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to Mike Ronesia, Apr 28, 2012

Mike, ok, I will remove my votes from the challenge, but not before telling you the reasons why I decided to vote in a challenge I am also participating.

As you can see, I gave two 0.5 scores to pictures without title. I also gave plenty of 1.5 and 2.0 and some 3.0 to pictures (good and not so good) that complied with the rules but did not have the courtesy of sharing the work flow.

The good pictures with good PP were given their proper score. No sandbagging, no cheating. Just voting.
Maybe I remove my picture instead.

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Slynky
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to Mike Ronesia, Apr 28, 2012

One of the main reasons I don't vote in challenges I enter and the main reason I am against forcing people to vote in the challenge they entered.

I alluded to this sort of thing in another thread:

" Let's talk about a generally honest person. Let's force this person to vote in his own challenge. Now, we have introduced temptation. Maybe he's not quite as honest as he would believe himself to be. Maybe he shaves just .5 off the votes he gives people--not enough to attract attention but giving himself a slight edge. I'm willing to bet this person wouldn't resort to such a thing if required to vote in a challenge he had no vested interest in.

You replied once somewhere else that if bad voting patterns show up under the new changes (that hosts can see with their new tools), they can simply be dealt with by being banned. But remember, we are probably NOT talking about a string of .5's (like we currently see happening), we're probably talking about a string of low numbers that are inconclusive as to whether the person sandbagged or not. Who is to say that this person doesn't believe their photo is actually the best and anything else deserves a low number?"

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Slynky
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to CG33, Apr 28, 2012

CG33 wrote:

Mike, ok, I will remove my votes from the challenge, but not before telling you the reasons why I decided to vote in a challenge I am also participating.

Why did you decide to vote in a challenge you are participating in?

(I didn't notice you following through with that statement, so I asked...)

As you can see, I gave two 0.5 scores to pictures without title. I also gave plenty of 1.5 and 2.0 and some 3.0 to pictures (good and not so good) that complied with the rules but did not have the courtesy of sharing the work flow.

The good pictures with good PP were given their proper score. No sandbagging, no cheating. Just voting.
Maybe I remove my picture instead.

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A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to their country for an amount of "up to and including my life".

(...from the generation that still uses capital letters and punctuation...)

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Mike Ronesia
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to CG33, Apr 28, 2012

CG33, I respect that you take ownership for your votes. I didn't intend to call you or anyone out in public. My intent was to question the system and how human nature can work against the current voting method.

I never vote in challenges I've entered and was just posing the question to see if people thought this was honest voting. If you are very conservative and never give 4's and 5's and can honestly say you'd vote the same if you were not entered in the challenge then so be it. There is no gain from these challenges so I don't loose any sleep over them, but I would like to see the system improved. My problem is with a system that allows people to be judges in a contest they've entered, it just seems wrong.

The 2 that didn't meet the rules were late entries and were DQ'ed as soon as I saw them.
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CG33
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to Mike Ronesia, Apr 28, 2012

Sometimes I do, sometime I don't.

The reasons on voting are simple, and never related to sandbagging. That is why I am not afraid of showing or explaining my scores.

Some of those reasons were explained in the previous comment and some will be detailed below (with a link), but most of the time I vote in those challenges because I like the challenge or I like or dislike some of the pictures. I think that is what every voter does. Isn't it?

I give high scores to the pictures I like and low scores to the ones that I don't like or do not comply with the rules. Simple.

Bear in mind that "soft sandbagging" is not limited to voters. The host can also do it (not implying you) and I am very concerned about. See the sample below:

http://www.dpreview.com/challenges/Entry.aspx?ID=609832&View=All&Rows=4

Maybe that comment was not done intentionally, but a previous one on my entry (before removing it) telling everybody who submitted the picture, was...

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Mike Ronesia
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to CG33, Apr 28, 2012

I would deem it inappropriate and most likely an honest mistake because they enjoyed the shot so much. I've sat on the sidelines of major sporting events and was told not to show emotion. I try to do the same with challenges and often make general comments under the main challenge. I don't remember ever making a statement that might sway voting.

I gave it 3.5 the other day along with 3 others and one 4 so it tied for second in my voting.
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CG33
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to Mike Ronesia, Apr 28, 2012

Votes removed!

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RaptorUK
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to Mike Ronesia, Apr 28, 2012

This person is a proven repeated CHEAT, if DPR had pulled their finger out many, many months ago and BANNED such people the problem would be reduced . . . . and you would not have had to raise this issue . . . .

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1044&message=40574653

or maybe it is a different person . . . and this is his alternate ID ?

Mike Ronesia wrote:

Or why I don't like people voting in challenges they enter.

My Post Processed Pet challenge just went to voting. http://www.dpreview.com/challenges/Challenge.aspx?ID=6689&View=RecentFirst&Rows=25

I've had one person vote on all but one entry. After looking at the results I'm fairly certain who it is. I think the sandbaggers are getting more sophisticated as time goes on. The give a few higher scores for some of the less then stellar entries and then go with low but not .5 votes to anything that looks like competition.

Now I could be all wrong about this and I'm not known for giving out a bunch of high scores myself. I also know all the entries are not stellar but take a look at the sample below and how this person voted and let me know your thoughts. Would you consider this a form of soft sandbagging? I did make note of the voter ID as well as the ID of the one entry they did not vote on.

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Joe Pineapples
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to Mike Ronesia, Apr 28, 2012

Whichever way you look at it, challenge voting is SNAFU-ed. I just saw a truly horrid photo that finished in the top 10 of a challenge with three perfect '5' votes, and it's hardly a rare find...

Joe

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barb_s
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to Joe Pineapples, Apr 28, 2012

I guess I think the range is wide enough, but why would 1.5 be the "average" start point when 2.5 is the middle ?

whether I was in the challenge or not, I pretty much start with 2.5 = average and work my way up or down from there.

Maybe this voters pattern gives some explanation of where many of the low votes come from, and I , like you Mike see the votes you show here and have the same questions.
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Slynky
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to barb_s, Apr 28, 2012

barb_s wrote:

I guess I think the range is wide enough, but why would 1.5 be the "average" start point when 2.5 is the middle ?

whether I was in the challenge or not, I pretty much start with 2.5 = average and work my way up or down from there.

That's the way I feel, too.

Maybe this voters pattern gives some explanation of where many of the low votes come from, and I , like you Mike see the votes you show here and have the same questions.
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chrisby
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to barb_s, Apr 28, 2012

One can say I give only 0.5 or 1 star for dislike or like. That could be regarded as consistent and also fair because all entrants are treated with the same criterion. And voting in such a way in a challenge with an own entry would additionally generate a distance to the competitors.

Perhaps a bit over-the-top but I think this is the reason why there are some reservations in this regard.

Because sandbagging could not be avoided easily by means of technical features or by a lot more work by the hosts I see for the moment one thing we all can do at once:
Voting a lot and high to compensate the sandbagging.

Let’s forget the criterion “could be hang on the wall in my living room”.

Why not give 5 stars for a good image which is perfect according the spirit of the challenge?
I don’t like figure skating but I can recognize and respect the performance.

The reasons for me not to vote in a challenge with an own entry I posted long ago, but it is still valid for me:
http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1005&message=38284300

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chrisby
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to chrisby, Apr 28, 2012

I forgot to say that I do it in the same way as barb_s stated; I start with 3 stars

here the link again why I do not vote in a challenge with an own entry, hope this works:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1005&message=38284300

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CG33
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to chrisby, Apr 28, 2012

No Barb_S, that is not the case. Participants approach challenges in different ways. We have seen challenges where most of the pictures are good and the participant understand the subject or follow the rules. Those pictures deserve good score. But there are also challenges with good pictures and participants with poor understanding of subject or the rules. The last ones do not deserve the same score. Ansel Adams could have submitted his best picture on Mike's challenge, and if he did not include the Title, does not deserve even 1.0. You have been the helping hand of similar challenges. In that case, do you think that the participants that did not care on reading the rules or were not even kind enough to submit a comment or explaining the reasons of their approach, deserve a good score? Of course not. Not even Mike will vote favorably on those pictures. I have known (based on previous comments) that Mike will not give even a 2.0 to an excellent picture because he thinks is over processed or he does not like it, then do not expect me to give more that 1.5 to "regular" pictures/participants that are not courteous enough to explain the work flow.

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CG33
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to CG33, Apr 28, 2012

The picture was also removed.

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Deleted pending purge
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to CG33, Apr 28, 2012

In all Challenge batches there is one or several works which are the best and very good, and also some which are not good, or are outright flops. So I try to go through all the pictures in this particular batch and see what seems to stick out on both ends. It is somewhat more time-consuming, but makes me think I'm fair. Then I go and vote.

Since every picture in any Challenge is one singular theme-related view, and every Challenge is a batch by itself, I guess these are to be treated like apple baskets. Even the most humble sort may have one apple that you'll find "best". That's my 5.0 for that basket.

It would be nice if all sorts in all baskets were of equal attractivenes (look, smell, taste), but it's not the case. Some baskets will always have better apples than the others, and it is useful to reset one's personal scale prior to voting in different challenges.

Not to mention that there are themes which we find closer to our own understanding than other themes...

Entries with titles: whether they should be a part of the picture or just a name of an entry, these should be made mandatory. The IMG, DSC, P###### and such are just plain ugly, showing that the entrant doesn't care (or if they care, it surely doesn't show). It has been mentioned before, and someone said using camera-coded title helps them go back to that entry's original... Well, that's lazy. There are other systems allowing internal organization of one's works... those camera-codes are not the most useful, and certainly aren't saying anything about the pictures to the viewers .

Challenge entries comments: shouldn't be visible to anyone but the host until the challenge ends, but for now we just have to have a rule disallowing it, and I remove such comments. Those comments, questions etc. that appear under the challenge are OK, of course.

Camera & Lens Data: ... should also be visible only after the Challenge enters Exibition phase (except to the host, of course). Many technically-minded (which still do not know that authors make pics, and not cameras) are all too easily impressed by expensive tackle and tend to award some extra stars to popular brands. In the new challenge organisation this should be changed; so as to highlight the author's expressive qualities, and subdue the "sensational" or "cheap" aspect of one's tools.
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barb_s
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to CG33, Apr 29, 2012

True on the missing title or border, but Mike had it covered. All entries qualify, and it's the voters prerogative to decide what is more important here; picture, creativity, fun, post process tastefully, etc. All I can say, is I see a large percent of the entries as above average, and my votes reflect that.

CG33 wrote:

No Barb_S, that is not the case. Participants approach challenges in different ways. We have seen challenges where most of the pictures are good and the participant understand the subject or follow the rules. Those pictures deserve good score. But there are also challenges with good pictures and participants with poor understanding of subject or the rules. The last ones do not deserve the same score. Ansel Adams could have submitted his best picture on Mike's challenge, and if he did not include the Title, does not deserve even 1.0. You have been the helping hand of similar challenges. In that case, do you think that the participants that did not care on reading the rules or were not even kind enough to submit a comment or explaining the reasons of their approach, deserve a good score? Of course not. Not even Mike will vote favorably on those pictures. I have known (based on previous comments) that Mike will not give even a 2.0 to an excellent picture because he thinks is over processed or he does not like it, then do not expect me to give more that 1.5 to "regular" pictures/participants that are not courteous enough to explain the work flow.

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CG33
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to barb_s, Apr 29, 2012

Barb, that is a very delicate issue. I understand that the host can go soft on some entries, but promoting the violation of his/her own rules do not help at all. It is the same that I tell you: "the law prohibits killing humans, but you can kill as many as you want, please".

Also, it does not make any sense discussing minor voting preferences when the RULES are not important.

Mike, I like your challenges and I like the way you host them. But I do not like your approach on this one. Especially after explaining the reasons of the lower votes, removing my votes and removing my picture from the challenge.
Cheers.

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barb_s
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Re: Soft sandbagging...
In reply to CG33, Apr 29, 2012

I guess I am confused here.. I definitely am hard on those that don't meet the specified rules, but in this case every photo has a border and a title within the photo. I don't see any that fail the rules. I'm wondering if you felt the titles drawn on the border were not what was required? I thought the title just had to exist, within the boundary of the photo, so I saw them all meeting the rules.
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