Your opinions please

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by ezdays, Aug 1, 2006.


Opinions on the photo contest procedures

Poll closed Aug 12, 2006.
  1. I would prefer to enter using the old way

    0 vote(s)
  2. No, I like the new way of entering

    0 vote(s)
  3. Forget them, I think this new third proposal is the way to go

    0 vote(s)
  4. ********************************

    0 vote(s)
  5. I would perfer to vote using the old way

    0 vote(s)
  6. Hey, the new way of voting OK

    0 vote(s)
  7. Nah, I'd like to see us try this third proposed way to vote

    0 vote(s)
  8. ******************************

    0 vote(s)
  9. I did enter this month's contests

    0 vote(s)
  10. I didn't enter because I don't like the way it's set up

    0 vote(s)
  11. I don't enter because it's too complicated

    0 vote(s)
  12. I don't enter because I don't have a camera

    0 vote(s)
  13. I don't enter because I can't get my pictures to upload

    0 vote(s)
  14. I don't enter because I don't have anything to take a picture of

    0 vote(s)
  15. I didn't enter because these contests aren't fun

    0 vote(s)
  16. I didn't enter because no contest is fun

    0 vote(s)
  17. I didn't enter because I was out of town

    0 vote(s)
  18. None of the above reasons fit

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Oh geeze, another poll from ezdays. Seems like we just had one on the photo contests a while back. Well you did, and we've made a few changes to the photo contests over the past few months as a result. Now it's time to see if everyone still likes the changes, so it's time to ask your opinions once again.

    The old way:
    • Contestants posted their full-size photos in the contest thread.
    • Contestant could post a description of what their picture represented
    • Other members could make comments about the pictures there, and many did.
    • The voting thread is usually set up within an hour after I've had my morning coffee the day the polls close.
    • When voting, it required you to go back to the original thread and search for the photos that were entered.
    The new way:
    • Contestants post their full-size photos in the contest "category" in the Gallery.
    • Contestant can post a description under the photo, but it is limited
    • Members can post comments to each picture, but few have ever done that.
    • A clickable thumbnail is created in the contest category automatically
    • The contest moderator (me), then takes that thumbnail and adds it to the contest thread. This may happen within hours or days, dependent on the number of new entries and how busy I am at the time.
    • The moderator sometimes misses an entry and the thumbnail doesn't get created in the contest thread and I've even misspelled screen names.:oops:
    • The moderator (me again) then re-creates those thumbnails again in the voting thread so that everyone that votes can view them and click on them to see the full-size views. I've been lucky so far and haven't screwed up here yet...:cool:
    • The voting thread may be open maybe a half-day to a day later, dependent on how cantankerous the server is and how busy I am that day.
    It is easy to see that there are pluses and minuses to each method. The second method takes a lot of work on my part. I don't mind, but I just want to be sure that it's worth the effort. The reason I say that is this is the second time we've used the Gallery to post the pictures in, and this was not a really great turn-out in spite of the fact that there were two months to enter. I'm suspecting that these changes had something to do with it.

    I have a suggestion for yet another third way which is closer to the first, or original method.

    The third way would go like this:
    • Contestants posted their full-size photos in the contest thread (like in the old way).
    • Contestant could post a description of what their picture represented as they did before, again, like the old way
    • Other members could make comments about the pictures there, just as before these changes.
    • The moderator (yes me) would open the voting thread when it came time, but it would also include a copy of all the full-size entry pictures for reference, and without any comments or descriptions.
    • We're talking way less chance of my screwing up.:wave:
    • The original contest thread would remain intact, as before.
    • Opening the voting thread might take a third cup of coffee and at least one rest stop, but a lot less time than the current "new" way.:rolleyes:
    I need you honest opinions please. There is a poll attached with all these options listed. Which method do you like best as an entrant or a voter, and one additional question, why didn't you vote in the last contest?

    If you have any further comments, feel free to tack them onto this thread.

    I am going to hold this poll open for ten days to give you all a chance to express your opinion, and I'm not going to start the next contest until I can determine how we want to organize it.

    Thanks for your help, I'm just trying to make the photo contest easy and fun to enter and to vote in, so we get good turnouts all around.:thumb: :thumb:
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Please note that you can select multiple options in this poll. Select those that fit you, and again, post your comment here in this thread. They do matter, really.
  3. Marxed

    Marxed Member

    i liked this time's setup... however the two month was a long time between contests... i take way more railroad photos in these two months ( jun july) than i take during the whole rest of the year...
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    Don I like it just fine now :D
  5. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    I like it the way it is. Would prefer some more prizes, though... :D
  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Allright, who voted for both asterisk lines? :D :D :D Don, as you know, my only complaint was that I liked seeing peoples comments on the photos entered and as you mentioned, it seems very few comment when the photos are placed into the gallery. I think the third method is definitely worth a try, at least once, and then we can run ANOTHER poll to find out again which is liked best. I know you say you don't mind doing what it takes to make the contests work but I also think an important factor is having something that works that does not take a whole lot of work on your part - especially since you missed the last pay raise. :D :D
  7. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    The only concern I have about the third choice is that some people won't bother voting because the thread will take to long to load.
    I actually liked the way the contest thread was at first.
    It was the voting thread I thought could use some tweaking.
    Small thumbnails by the entrants name, but the forum software can't handle that I guess.
    What ever you'all decide. I'm just a vice peon here.
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    That's a valid point Ray. That's why I posed these questions. There are times when our server gets bogged down, and even the thumbnails take a long time to load. I've got my fingers crossed that Peter is working on that as we speak. :wave:

    Anyway, you are right, the software won't handle placing thumbnails next to each name. I've even tried putting links there, but that doesn't work. To be sure, I've tried several different approaches, I've tried links in the body of the threads, and one time I even tried creating the thumbnails myself, but we're looking at a full day of work even if the server was up to full speed. The handy thing about using the Gallery is that it creates the thumbnails, but getting them into the contest and threads still takes a long time. Again, that's my time and if it works, then that's how I choose to spend it. But I really don't believe that it's working all that well. We had maybe 25% to 50% of the entries in this contest than we usually do. Like everyone else, I miss the comments and explainations that we used to have in the contest thread.

    One thing is for sure, I'll keep at it until we get a workable solution, one that keeps most everyone happy, including those with dial-up connections. That's why I'm asking for comments.announce1announce1
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Don, I voted for the new method, even though I was unable to offer an entry in either contest: my old computer won't run the program for getting pictures out of my new camera.:oops: Even so, I'm really involved in a renovation project, so not much time for taking pictures anyway. Perhaps a lot of other members are away on vacation, which might account for the low entry numbers.
    With regard to making comments on the various entries: would it be possible to add comments to the thread showing the thumbnails, or, after that thread is closed, to a linked "comment" thread, which would again show the thumbnails?
    What's the word on the next photo contest? When my reno is done, I'm off to get a new computer, and maybe a scanner too, so that I can post some of my older "film" photos.

  10. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    I dont enter because I cant compete, I have learned that.
  11. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Well my friend, it's not about winning, if it was, I wouldn't enter either.:rolleyes: It's all about having a good time and being able to show off a bit in the process. No sir, I've come in last more times than not, I've had contests where even I didn't vote for me,:cry: I've entered after I've already seen many other entries that make mine pale in comparison, but that has never stopped me and it shouldn't hold you back either.:wave: :wave:
  12. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    I dont have a good time put forth something that is noncompetitive.

    If I had a layout and plenty of pics, I could have an acceptable entry.

    You ask and I offered my thoughts.
  13. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Personally, I'm lazy. I don't like going back and forth between two threads to see what I'm voting for. I like to have all the pics in one place, full size. A duplicate contest thread with all comments stripped out seems the best way to fulfill this, and the least work for Don.
    If this is too taxing on people's bandwidth, wouldn't the original thread be just as taxing?
    I know I haven't been around much lately, but that's my $0.2. :D

  14. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yep, I did ask and that's what I wanted is honest answers. Just one thing though, I've tried to make these contests open to more than just those that have layouts. If you take notice, most contests are open to both scale and prototype. Not always, but when they are, we all have a chance.

    And Val, thanks for your input. Yeah, this past year I've tried just about every conceivable way of doing these contests. That's my thoughts exactly, duplicate the contest thread, strip out all the text and create the voting thread. Using the Gallery has a lot of negatives as you point out, and it also takes a lot of my time to maintain the contest and voting threads. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind spending the time, but I don't think the way we are doing it right now is working that well.

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