What I learned from the 2009 Photo Contest - Any suggestions?
I must say that I really had fun putting together the 2009 Best Caption & Photo Contest. (For those of you who missed it, here are links to The Contest, the Best Photo Winner and the Best Caption Winner.)
It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it. Here's what I learned:
1) Instructions have to be simple. I think there is a natural tendency not to read instructions. My post started out as a story with instructions. But over the course of the week, I noticed people weren't really following them, so I simplified them. Next time I would state them very simply.
2) Having too many choices isn't that good. There were 29 choices to vote on. Even as I was posting them it seemed to be too much. There had been a lot more, but I raised the 'entry threshold' to reduce the number from around 50. I based the 'nomination' on the number of votes a caption had already received. If I had raised the threshold any more, it would only have left mostly Sheila's entries, and I wanted to have a variety of members to be voted on. Next time I would limit it to no more than 10 total choices, but even less might be better.
3) Having one member nominated many times isn't that good. Let's face it. Sheila was a favorite in that contest, and rightly so. As a member she received more votes than any of the other members. However, all those votes were spread out over the nearly 12 different captions of hers in the contest. As a single entry, Marianne's got the most votes, but as a member Sheila did. Next time I would consider limiting the number of entries per member to choose from.
What other ideas do any of you have? It was suggested to me to perhaps have several of these contests throughout the year, rather than waiting until the end of the year. Maybe we could have semi-finals every three or four months? Do you have any comments or suggestions?
Well, yes, 29 was probably too many to assimilate in one go! 10 would be good - 10 would then all be on one page, because I did feel that the entries that were "over the page" were at a disadvantage, as a lot of people probably wouldn't have realised that there were 2 pages full.
12 from one person was much too many
The selection criteria is a real problem. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes, choosing them Often I've seen a really funny caption, which hasn't received many votes simply because it was done later in the day, when most people will have already looked and voted, or on a day when there weren't many of us around. I'm afraid I don't have any helpful suggestion on this - hopefully someone else will!
I do think that you should work out a way to let people vote on your thread, not on the original one. A lot of people did anyway, and that meant that it was difficult to tell, then, whether they were voting for the caption, or for one of Issa's brilliant pictures. Perhaps a vote for the caption, and a comment for the picture, or vice versa?
I wouldn't worry too much about that meaning that you get all the points - you deserve them for all the hard work you put into it. And I'm so glad that you had fun doing it, considering how long it must have taken you
That was really a tough job, chaparri!
I agree, a lot of pics to chose, not so good. May be only the most voted....there are some who get like 10 votes, some only 4, for example, take only those above 8...that is one idea.
Instructions always have to be simple. It is like the reference section: the outlay needs to be simple and clear, otherwise the asker gets tired of reading all the superfluous stuff...and they might miss something important.
I do think that you should work out a way to let people vote on your thread, not on the original one.
I really would like to avoid that, if at all possible. While some might think it is innocent and just easier, I'm worried others would hesitate to vote simply because they would be voting for me and not the person whose caption is so interesting. Maybe I'm being a little to worried about that.
I have thought that rather than posting each nominee as a seperate 'answer', put all of them in the original thread, with links as before to the original. This would eliminate the oportunity to vote on them directly. This would require limiting the entries to even less than 10 so the thread wouldn't be huge.
Any comments on this idea?
The selection criteria is a real problem. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes, choosing them
take only those above 8...that is one idea.
The criteria I used before was:
- The caption was in both languages, and
- Issabelas photo had 5 or more votes, and
- The best caption had 5 or more votes.
So, should I raise that to 8? Or even 10?