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Thread: Sick Of It!!

  1. #1
    SitePoint Member jackieh1791's Avatar
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    Sick Of It!!

    Sitepoint, you must do something about contest holders running out on the designers. You get $20 every time someone runs a contest. Why do they run them here? Because they see other contests with numerous great entries to choose from. What happens when the designers get sick of entering contests for nothing? No entries. What will potential contest holders do when they see there aren't many entries in past contests? They won't pay the $20 to list here and they will go elsewhere.

    I saw a designer say last week that he has recently joined, entered 6 contests and all 6 were abandoned. Those aren't very good odds in my opinion. Personally, I can say that AT LEAST 50% of the contests I enter are abandoned.

    Please address this issue. Make them pay the prize up front and change the rules to state that a winner must be chosen from Sitepoint. Then if the contest holder disappears, maybe the designers or moderators can vote via a poll to choose a winner. Something, anything. Please.

    Thank you,
    Jackie

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member Mafisto's Avatar
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    Sounds like a nice idea.

    Why not have them pay a some sort of extra bond on top of the 20$ dollars that they can get back when a winner is chosen or they eithier close the comp if a winner isn't found. If they bail on the comp then they forfit their bond, which would be given to the best entry(s) voted by sitepoint staff/members e.t.c.

    20$ dollars isn't alot to loose in the scheme of things, but at least this way it would be fair for all.

    /Matt

  3. #3
    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
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    We'll be implementing additional safe guards in the contests area when we relaunch it on a new software platform, in the very short term.
    Matt Mickiewicz - Co-Founder
    SitePoint.com - Empowering Web Developers Since 1997
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackieh1791
    I can say that AT LEAST 50% of the contests I enter are abandoned.
    probably more like 75% for me

    Quote Originally Posted by jackieh1791
    Please address this issue.
    Someone did a post like this like a week ago and they said then they had some major overhaul of the marketplace in the works. Hopefully thats what Matt is reffering to above.

    Quote Originally Posted by jackieh1791
    Make them pay the prize up front
    SP has reiterated on numerous occasions that it does not wish to act in escrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by jackieh1791
    and change the rules to state that a winner must be chosen from Sitepoint. Then if the contest holder disappears, maybe the designers or moderators can vote via a poll to choose a winner.
    since SP will not act as a escrow service, thats not possible since there is no revenu to support it. However, you could simply start banning CH's that fail to announce winner and/or break rules / or run off after the fact.
    A simple IP tracking utility would help with that as well, As if you look closely at some of these contests, it is the same CH starting multiple contests under different names. I assume for 2 reasons

    1. if they have numerous contests going pms to them might be harder to track if the person sending is vague
    2. if they decide to pull a runner the other contest will not be effected.


    what you got to remember is most of these contests are outsourced work.
    designer A gets the job quote, comes here, puts up 20% of quoted price.
    Gets work, resells it to orig client with the other 80% tacked on.
    He does little work (except for feedback and looking things over) and still pulls the $$$. Due to that, there might be jobs that fall through on the designer A
    and he financially cannot support the contest. we in turn get the short end of the stick on that one. but hey, hes got 5 more accounts here right? so he doesnt have to worry about it.

    IP tracking. that would be a nice feature. woudnt stop everyone, but it would get the less savy ones

    but suggesting that SP take steps to act in a manner that makes them more of a Service then a meeting place is not going to work because that is not their goal. It is a community, not a Auction House. That work is left to you.
    Sure they charge for listing, but that money isnt enough to do anything with when you look at the size of this place. Its alot to you and me but not enough to run this place on. They are not making "profit" in otherwords.

    as for bond, its a good idea in theory but not in practice. simply because your asking for a certain % of the total rev the CH is willing to put out to begin with.
    a CH would then have the listing fee plus the "good faith money" out pocket. In the rare instance that NO entries or numerous entries with nothing worth the CH putting out for are entered. what do you do with the bond then? its not fair to keep it because that leaves the CH out and would discourage other listers, its not fair to give it back because that negaits the bond system.

    take the responsibility of sifting threw the runoffs yourself. you would be the most reliable to pick those out anyway.

    1. look at the ch history
    2. if there is not history look at their orig post. research it.
    3. look for similar listings. Not copy pastes. typing repitition. figureout whos who with that.
    4. check all info available from the CH. you never know. if they have a public email addy. you might find one dead contest held by the same guy that did the great paying one that went through fine. In that instance, decide for yourself if it's worth it.
    5. check the history of the contest you are orig entering. for instance, if the guy listed it as 40$ for a logo. then the MOD comes along says "no it has to be 100" take that into consideration. thats a big jump. if you look. alot of the dead contests started out below the min listing price.

    and mostly.
    try waiting to enter a contest till the CH gives feedback. Go do it at first but wait just to see if it will be worth putting your design out there for everyone to see. That will help balance the amount of dead contest you enter and maybe get it slightly lower. You do run the risk of the CH just not giving feedback but intending to get a winner and your out $$$ if you do that though. Mostly though. getting in the right contests is all about what you feel. No monitoring or such will ever prevent the majority so you need to go with gut instinct.

    post note: would be worth you waiting around till the SP guys get the new system in place. see what thats like then reevaluate.
    formally ECDynamics
    portfolio: EvanteStudios - Request a quote

  5. #5
    NEFEX.NET jak3r's Avatar
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    Don't enter contests held by newly registered users, this is pretty much common sense.

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    great suggestions but many of us already follow those. At bare minimum there should be a zero policy against abandonment. Theres no excuse for holding a contest, looking over all the entries and then even without having any obligation to name a winner just "forget" to post anything and abandon it. Do it and your gone until you can make things right.

    right now it doesn't even get a public scolding. Mods just close the thread (actually very convenient for the abandoner) and they are free to continue to use all areas of Sitepoint including contests at will again.

    Lets face it $20 is a bargain for all that "inspiration" . The $20 is very little to pay especially for web design firms that are the bulk of web design contests. I am supposing logo contests fare a little better but its not much of a deterence. Without an escrow system (and I can entirely understand Sitepoint not wanting to get into that mess) contest will always be full of risk which is why most of us will only enter contests long enough to get some added experience/ or brush the dust off our old skills and move on. Only the kids will continue to enter and that has its own legal pot holes.

    Beyond the no tolerance rule for abandonment I can't see Sitepoint doing much more. Doing escrow will mean they are on their way to an entirely different business model more akin to Guru or Elance and I bet many would ball murder if they started charging designers to bid on contests. Can't ask them to do that.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member jackieh1791's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECDynamics
    probably more like 75% for me
    If I say 50% and you say 75%, then it looks like I should be giving YOU advice on how to sift through contest holders (joking). LOL But thank you for your input. I do understand that SP can't do everything and that they are limited in what they could do. I didn't know they already had a new plan in the works or I would have kept my mouth shut and waited.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member jackieh1791's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maginno
    right now it doesn't even get a public scolding. Mods just close the thread (actually very convenient for the abandoner) and they are free to continue to use all areas of Sitepoint including contests at will again.
    I think that is what irritates me more than anything. I have been told a couple of times to refrain from commenting when a contest holder disappears (usually they have logged on, but didn't bother to post to the contest thread anymore). What makes the contest holder above being publicly scolded? It's the very least they deserve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackieh1791
    I think that is what irritates me more than anything. I have been told a couple of times to refrain from commenting when a contest holder disappears (usually they have logged on, but didn't bother to post to the contest thread anymore). What makes the contest holder above being publicly scolded? It's the very least they deserve.
    Hehe

    You're a kindred spirit. I got my first warning from Jelena (and hopefully my last) about a week ago because an abandoner had the gaul to come back to sitepoint to ask the community how to recover data from his hard drive (And what memory he should buy for his computer) . This after running one of the largests contests (in terms of entries) and chipping out without warning just when he said he would announce a winner. He didn't skip a beat. He continued to use Sitepoint constantly before and after the contest was closed.

    I merely suggested it might be best if he didn't restore images from the contest he abandoned and received my first personal warm and cordial message from sitepoint

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member jackieh1791's Avatar
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    LOL They do have some nerve, don't they...

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    SitePoint Addict silentcollision's Avatar
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    I enter the contests that appeal to me, but recently I gave up out of irritation at the number being abandoned. Its very frustrating, and I hope these new safeguards really do actually prevent this.

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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    While we can't physically twist the contest holder's arm and force them to respond to their contests, we can now at least make it easier to tell if a contest holder has abandoned or cancelled contests in the past. As the new system is used more, we're going to implement an easy way of determining what happened with a contest holder's previous contents, and hopefully this will act as an incentive to the contest holders.
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    Hi MMJ

    What you can do is bounce them when they do abandon a contest. Alot of participants already check their history. Sitepoint designers includes some kids that are fairly talented and they will enter the contest no matter what so in the end the Contest holders will still get entries.

    It seems to me to be a step backward to now merely note the number of times they abandon. It certainly blows any fear that they will get banned. Imagine what would happen if you merely noted the number of times a sitepoint member had spammed the boards? Do you see what I am saying? It actually documents the level of tolerance for it.

    That said I do applaud the desire to do something about it. Just don't think that part of it is going to be any real deterrence for that and other reasons.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member jackieh1791's Avatar
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    I agree. I say they get one shot and if they screw it up, kick 'em out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackieh1791
    If I say 50% and you say 75%, then it looks like I should be giving YOU advice on how to sift through contest holders (joking). LOL
    na, im in more of them and averaged it out over a longer period of time.
    but yeh, really rooting for the new changes. I think that SP got the drift of what needs to be done. They are smart folks. Noone can do everything is all I'm saying and no matter what they do, most of the burden of picking what will be a good contest is still on the participant.
    formally ECDynamics
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    SitePoint Wizard Pedro Monteiro's Avatar
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    Also, something I haven't seen mentioned here, it is possible to apply some pressure on the contest holder using "other means".

    Most contest holders outsourced for a client, all it takes sometimes is an email threatening a phone call to the client.

    If the design is not for a client of the contest holder, try ad track down the contact information of the CH and give them a call.

    Worked for me in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro Monteiro
    Also, something I haven't seen mentioned here, it is possible to apply some pressure on the contest holder using "other means".

    Most contest holders outsourced for a client, all it takes sometimes is an email threatening a phone call to the client.

    If the design is not for a client of the contest holder, try ad track down the contact information of the CH and give them a call.

    Worked for me in the past.
    I've had to make that threat to a CH that was dragging their foot with payment and it did indeed work but the Ch then told me they would report me to Sitepoint as contacting the CH's client is a bannable offense. Anyway they did pay and I never had to use that threat.

    I doubt that would apply to an unpaid for contest win but I wonder what the policy for contacting the client for the abandon contest would be. I would think now with a 30 day period it would be forbidden until at least the 30 days but what after? If a certain amount of abandoned contests is now acceptable as it seems will be the case then I'd think it would be a violation to ever contact the Ch's client. Not that that matters because I would think the chances that you get any satisfaction that way would be slim and none as the client has no idea who you are.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard Pedro Monteiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maginno
    Not that that matters because I would think the chances that you get any satisfaction that way would be slim and none as the client has no idea who you are.
    Except if you kindly mail the client the link to the contest that took place.

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    If you only want to embarass the Ch (which if Sitepoint doesn't have a problem with I guess would be just dues) but the satisfaction I would have in mind would be to get paid for a design by the client directly and I think the chances of that would be slim and none. But like I said if Abandonments are not now a bannable offense I'm gonna bet it would violate Sitepoint rules and I wouldn't be bothered with that. Not worth being banned over (although its the CH that abandons that should be banned).

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    SitePoint Member jackieh1791's Avatar
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    This is exactly what I'm talking about:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...8&page=2&pp=25

    http://www.sitepoint.com/marketplace...65?#comment259

    The contest holder held the first contest with NO feedback, strung the entrants along for 4 days, said he would have a winner soon and then NOTHING. So tonight I see a NEW contest for the same logo posted. I give him a public scolding and it's MY POST that is removed. Why not remove his contest?!

    So I send this jerk a private message and post to the old contest thread that he has started a new one and not to bother checking the old one anymore. He sees this, realizes he is busted and decides he should add a post to the old thread about starting a new one with his "sincere" apologies. He then sends a private message to me to apologize. Save it!

    So he has been allowed to start another contest no questions asked. He should be BANNED!

  21. #21
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    I don't do the contest thing (I'm not a developer) but I really agree with the posters above. It all comes down to one simple fact, the developers are the ones who make the SP contest system work, not the guy who lays down $10 and walks away.

    You generate revenues based on the hard work of the people who invest their time into making designs for contests with no guarantee of getting anything back. They're the people who make the contest forum a success. If you don't do anything to help them then they will stop entering contests and the section will be useless to you.

    It was one thing to be hands-off when it was free, but the moment you start charging money for a service is the moment that you take on a certain moral responsibility (both to contest holders and participants) and are expected to do some work for the money.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
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    We have now implemented a new round of changes to prevent contest abandonment.

    For a comple list of the changes, please see:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...&postcount=223
    Matt Mickiewicz - Co-Founder
    SitePoint.com - Empowering Web Developers Since 1997
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    Half the contests are a joke either way even when they are completed, it's strange when you get a few half decent entries and the CH picks an to put it plainly, dire entry, it's a joke. As i read in another thread, money well spent for a huge amount of inspiration.

  24. #24
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maginno
    I've had to make that threat to a CH that was dragging their foot with payment and it did indeed work but the Ch then told me they would report me to Sitepoint as contacting the CH's client is a bannable offense. Anyway they did pay and I never had to use that threat.
    That's funny, I wasn't aware of any such rule. Maybe you could ask CH if he could let us know about that rule, and any other's that he's thought of too.

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    Non-Member garyedwardjohnst's Avatar
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    My 2 cents

    These contests have MANY problems with them.

    The first of which is that they are completely geared towards the contest holder.

    I agree that the prize money should be guaranteed and that contest holders MUST see a contest through, otherwise a sitepoint person should divide up the prize money amongst all of the designers.

    I could go on and on but I won't.

    I have submitted dozens of entries and we will see if it was worth it. I am doubting that it was.


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