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  1. #1
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    SitePoint's New Contests System

    SitePoint's New Contests

    I'd like to announce the launch of SitePoint's new contests system!

    (Note added 10 November 2006: The 50% discount promotion mentioned below has now ended. Thank you to all those who bought a contest in order to try out the new system during this offer!)




    For the next week, all contest holders can create a new contest at a 50% discount - that's only $10 a contest!

    What's more, if you are not happy with the new system during this promotion, write to us at customer support and we'll give you your credits back.

    During the launch, we're also giving you the option to create an old contest if you really want to, at the regular price of $20.

    Benefits

    Launched on 30 October, SitePoint's new contests system offers the following benefits to contest holders:

    • Convenient thumbnail view for easy comparison of entries
    • Gain greater control over your contest - change the title, details or any other fields at any time
    • Open or close your contest whenever you wish (maximum 30 days)
    • Choose to award multiple prizes per contest if you wish
    • Set an automatic deadline for your contest


    Try out the new contests today, and tell us what you think! All feedback is very welcome.
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  2. #2
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    And how would this prevent the abandonment of contests and people looking to gain something for nothing (contest thieves)?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Cofounder Mark Harbottle's Avatar
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    It doesn't yet. One step at a time!
    Mark Harbottle - Co-Founder
    sitepoint.com - Master The Web!

  4. #4
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Harbottle
    It doesn't yet. One step at a time!
    So I'm guessing it doesn't do vacuuming or ironing yet either?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Harbottle
    It doesn't yet. One step at a time!
    Fair enough - Any previews of whats under consideration to help deter abandonment? reporting it doesn't seem to do anything and there are Contest Holders who are SAs - serial abandoners (hey how often can you come up with a new term ). Over and over again.

    It seems like about half of web design contests are abandoned at times. They get alot of "inspiration" for $20 and then go awol. Works well for them and when they abandon mods just close the thread and thats that until next time. Anything that you can do would really be appreciated.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Cofounder Mark Harbottle's Avatar
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    No, there are other solutions for that
    Mark Harbottle - Co-Founder
    sitepoint.com - Master The Web!

  7. #7
    .* draziW tnioPetiS *. bronze trophy
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    Not a fan of contests... Design prostitution perhaps?

  8. #8
    <code></code><WoW></WoW> nukeemusn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhulse
    Not a fan of contests... Design prostitution perhaps?
    What can I say? I'm a whore...
    And I need all the practice I can get, being new to the biz and all. I figure I can get all kinds of practice and feedback, and if I win, then thatx beer money and a little exposure. I certainly wouldn't plan my entire budget around it, though...
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  9. #9
    .* draziW tnioPetiS *. bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukeemusn
    What can I say? I'm a whore...
    And I need all the practice I can get, being new to the biz and all. I figure I can get all kinds of practice and feedback, and if I win, then thatx beer money and a little exposure. I certainly wouldn't plan my entire budget around it, though...
    Hehe, I hear that.

    I think the problem is not the contest department, it is me.

    I become frustrated seeing so many good works being served-up to folks that do not seem to realize what kind of treat we are feeding them...

    I do not know many other places a company or an individual could go to get a bunch of great work for dirt cheap (i.e 50 comps at no cost)... reminds me of my college years -- Not the work mind you, some amazing and professional designers/artists are up in the SP contest forums. All very inspiring.

    Again though, I think I am the one with the prob.

    Ok, so maybe this is not the place to vent.

    Off Topic:

    Speaking of venting, anyone else hate it when people discover the answer to their questions but then fail to post the solution for others? Lol, that is my biggest forum pet peeve.


    Cheers,
    Micky

  10. #10
    Non-Member buzzfretz's Avatar
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    Exclamation Here's one...

    Quote Originally Posted by mhulse
    I do not know many other places a company or an individual could go to get a bunch of great work for dirt cheap...
    Try being a musician!

    LOL!

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru SG1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhulse
    Not a fan of contests... Design prostitution perhaps?
    That's a new one, Mickey. I'll have to remember that.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhulse
    Not a fan of contests... Design prostitution perhaps?
    Understand the sentiment but don't quite get the metaphor. Don't we all get paid to do it - I mean design. Perhaps design promiscuity? No level of commitment needed.

  13. #13
    .* draziW tnioPetiS *. bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by SG1
    That's a new one, Mickey. I'll have to remember that.
    Looks like "Design promiscuity" might be the better wording.

    Prostitution was the first thing that came to my mind. Hehe.

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzfretz
    My point is this: when it's so inexpensive to hold a contest in the first place people tend to place very little value on the time spent by the entrants.
    Very good point. I could not have said it better myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by maginno
    Understand the sentiment but don't quite get the metaphor. Don't we all get paid to do it - I mean design. Perhaps design promiscuity? No level of commitment needed.
    Lol, very true... I like promiscuity. Lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by buzzfretz
    Try being a musician!
    LOL!
    Ooooh, I bet!!!

    I am guessing lead singers deal with it the best though...

    ...

    Personal biases aside, the new system looks good.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Cofounder Mark Harbottle's Avatar
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    Yes, one thing we're going to do is show a history of each contest holder, with information such as...

    E.g.

    Contest Holder: MMJ
    Total Contests Started: 5
    Total Prize Money Awarded: $600
    Feedback History: MMJ provides feedback for 75% of entries on average.
    Number of contests started where no prize was awarded: 2

    This will give the designer some information about the contest holder that they can then use to decide whether they enter the contest. It will help uncover some serial offenders, and highlight those contest holders that do the right thing. It's similar to a reputation system only it's automated.

    We also have some other ideas we're tossing around.
    Mark Harbottle - Co-Founder
    sitepoint.com - Master The Web!

  15. #15
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    As part of the new system, we are now tracking a number of things in a systematic way, such as what the outcome of each contest was, who won it, what the prize money was, etc.

    Previously there was no way of looking this up, and no database query we could do.

    As the new system is used more, and we get a reasonable amount of this data, we'll be able to implement a 'user statistics' feature that will enable you to see the following information about a user:

    - How many contests they've created
    - How many were completed with a winner chosen
    - How many were cancelled
    - How many were abandoned
    - How many were suspended by a moderator

    - How many contests they've entered
    - How many contests they won

    Contest holders, your contest will be marked as 'abandoned' if a new entry is without feedback for 7 days. You'll receive a reminder notice after 4 days.

    The 'abandoned' status may be removed at any time by providing feedback on all of the entries received so far.
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  16. #16
    Design Addict helix7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj View Post
    Contest holders, your contest will be marked as 'abandoned' if a new entry is without feedback for 7 days. You'll receive a reminder notice after 4 days.

    The 'abandoned' status may be removed at any time by providing feedback on all of the entries received so far.
    Is this actually implemented? I see at least one contest that has had no feedback for over 7 days (contest holder hasn't even signed in for over 7 days) and it's not marked "abandoned".

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jelena's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helix7 View Post
    Is this actually implemented? I see at least one contest that has had no feedback for over 7 days (contest holder hasn't even signed in for over 7 days) and it's not marked "abandoned".
    Could you please PM me links to those contests?

    Thanks,
    Jelena
    -- Jelena --

  18. #18
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Very nice.

  19. #19
    Brevity is greatly overrated brandaggio's Avatar
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    RE:
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    And how would this prevent the abandonment of contests and people looking to gain something for nothing (contest thieves)?
    -------
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Harbottle
    It doesn't yet. One step at a time!
    Can't you make some effort to authenticate people via there IP (or even user - I am sure some serial abandoners continue to use the same user - surely they should face some punitive action)?

    How bout 3 strikes and you are out (something gracious) for serial abandoners.

    I have never bothered to participate because, at least on the surface, it looks like there is just too much fraud to bother.

    IMO this should be your primary focus not a secondary one as it legitmizes your contest and makes more capable people want to participate - IMO .

  20. #20
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    I like it. Except for one thing. Why such a leniency on abandoners? Can't it be automated as well that if you reach 2 then you are bounced to non member or flagged to a mod to be manually expelled? And why give abandoners the option of having - at any time - their abandonment status removed by giving feedback? Whats going to happen there is you are only going to get the feedback when the abandoner wants to run another contest. He'll just go through the motions and not award anything and with no intention of ever awarding anything.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Addict Clenard's Avatar
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    Sounds nice. Just in time too

  22. #22
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    Okay one constructive suggestion on the new system. You might want to consider polling designers as to what the best default contest deadline is.

    I noticed the first few contest under the new system are 15 days on web designs contests. In my opinion thats too long. Longer contests actually get less attention. Sounds counter intuitive but its true. Designers hone in on the contests that are ending sooner put the long contests on the back burner and they end up forgetting about them as they vanish from the front and even second page with nearly a week to go before they end. so longer contests tend to have more days passed with little entries and then the Ch gets frustrated and even think its dead and abandons (one of the rare cases where an abandonment is at least understandable). Some of the hottest contest have been shorter than a week but most 7-10 contest do pretty well. If they don't do well in that time extra days usually doesn't help. Thanks. Like the new look and the things coming too.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Addict grimsqueaker's Avatar
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    Is it possible to make the information on a contest holder available to the public? Show the number of times he's abandoned a contest (or at least make that info easy to find out) so that contest participants can see?
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  24. #24
    SitePoint Member bunnydojo's Avatar
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    I'll represent the "I used to love doing contests here but grew to hate the setup of people bickering/copying/setting up dummy accounts to compliment their own work/holders abandoning, etc." group (the group's t-shirts cost quite a lot to print ) in saying that I'm glad to see some improvements to the section. I actually liked things a lot less after the mandatory minimum pricing and posting cost since it led to more new users coming in and copying entries that had been given good feedback (in my eyes) and eliminated the market for quick and very easy to win contests, but this new setup seems to be a great step in the right direction, and certainly more professional presentation.

    The only thing that I'd suggest at the moment is picking up the special red phone in the library and getting straight on the line to FrozenToast to cook up some spruced up buttons.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Addict bcr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnydojo
    The only thing that I'd suggest at the moment is picking up the special red phone in the library and getting straight on the line to FrozenToast to cook up some spruced up buttons.
    Good suggestion, the current buttons are horrible. Everything else which has been done looks quite good though.


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