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  1. #76
    SitePoint Wizard Pedro Monteiro's Avatar
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    mhulse, I don't see why Sitepoint's profit is an issue at all. Besides, just do the math, they might be generating some income, but surely not that much.

    I respect your position, you chose not to participate due the risk element involved.

    The system isn't perfect, and it will require some more improvements, but it does work and I feel Sitepoint provides a fantastic service to both designers and contest holders.

  2. #77
    <code></code><WoW></WoW> nukeemusn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maginno
    "As was stated by others, contests are there for personal challenge. If you don't want to do it potentially for free, then don't enter."


    Sorry George but thats one of those kinds of things people say and everyone nods their head knowingly without thinking but are all wrong. Its all PC (is it politically correct here or professionally correct? ). If there was even an ounce of truth to it then tell me - Why does everyone here know that if there were no prizes the contest section would dry up in no time and only be filled with a lot of nonsense?

    Its not really a matter of living off it. Having won a few it does come in handy as some secondary income and its a great way to build a portfolio. As a matter of fact I do know of one designer that is using contests to help see their family through a rough spot with (I believe) a spouse out of work. I use the cash to help out with some sites I am working on that I fully intend will be my bread and butter down the road. Its not all personal development.
    I'll admit that the personal challenge thing was a gross oversimplification. If someone is such a good designer that they can bank on winning, then more power to them. And they should know that I will look at every single one of their entries to see what tehy are doing right, not to steal the idea, but to steal the technique and experience they bring. It's just another way to get better (and I hope to God noboy misinterperets that statement...)

    And it is true, that if there was no prize emoney, there'd be few (ok, more likely no) entries. And, since money is ALWAYS tight around my house, I would definately count myself blessed to win a few. They'd be great additions to my portfolio, as well.

    BUT, I still contend that tehre's nobody twisting anyone's arm to get them to enter. It's up to each designer to decide if they want to risk doing the work for nothing. I believe my last post was in reference to "consolation prizes" or something such. Consolation prizes here would be like walking up to a tourist, taking a polaroid, and telling them that they have to buy it. And if they refuse, telling them that that have to pay SOMETHING, even if they don't want it.

    Don't get me wrong, if I had a dollar for every contest I'd lost, I'd have... well, about $40 , but that not withstanding, it wouldn't be fair to the contest holder, as they have no control over how many designers will bite, and it would remove some of the motivation to do ones absolute personal best work, since "hell, I'm getting paid either way."
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  3. #78
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhulse
    Sure. But then the pro's come along and beat them all!
    But that is just the way it is in the real world. You must always fight for your position, there are always guys that are better or have more of this or more of that. It is the way life is. A nice smooth ride through that life is every person's dream, but it is not real.

    Don't sit in a hole, come out and stick your neck out some more, that is a good thing to do. I embarrass myself all the time, so what? And that is also very much the spirit of those contests, sticking your neck out and getting it bitten off. So???

    Thanks for noticing my little Halloween Avatar, I value your opinion, Micky. You have a nice and spooky night now -- Datura
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  4. #79
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    Pedro I don't think many people outside of the contests forum in the design world will agree that its fantastic at all. The rational argument is that it helps reduce the worth of designers. A good case in point is when you mention that you think $250 for a web design is good without branding. $250 is a joke with or without a logo in the real design world. It would get you laughed out any real design firm. You can't be a real web designer on $250 a job. For one you would never get enough clients to make a good living. Even I (new to design but not development) rarely enter a minimum priced contest

    I totally understand where Mhulse is coming from and though I participate in the contests for my own reasons and can see a benefit to it I have to admit its mostly for those new to the design world.

  5. #80
    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maginno
    Pedro I don't think many people outside of the contests forum in the design world will agree that its fantastic at all. The rational argument is that it helps reduce the worth of designers. A good case in point is when you mention that you think $250 for a web design is good without branding. $250 is a joke with or without a logo in the real design world. It would get you laughed out any real design firm. You can't be a real web designer on $250 a job. For one you would never get enough clients to make a good living. Even I (new to design but not development) rarely enter a minimum priced contest
    SitePoint has a very large international member base. $250 USD can go very far in certain areas of the world...

    Last edited by ses5909; Apr 3, 2007 at 05:43.
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  6. #81
    SitePoint Wizard Pedro Monteiro's Avatar
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    maginno, I am sorry, but I couldn't disagree more.

    I don't think those rates are that low. After all, it's all about the hours you put in, and I do believe that 250$ for 2 productive hours is not bad at all, but that's just me.

    And as for the "real world" remark, well I have been on this industry long enough to know how it works, and it IS the real World on the broader sense, like it or not. I have worked for very high rates when dealing directly with the costumer, but I also outsource my work for lower fees. I don't see this has reductive at all.

    Also, the worth of a designer is measured by his work, not by his hourly rate.

  7. #82
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    "If someone is such a good designer that they can bank on winning, then more power to them."

    As a side note thats pretty much impossible because to be honest I have seen the worse designs win sometimes. I can think of one that looked like it was made by a kid with pretty close to white stick figures and it won. So you could be a master web designer and lose if the Ch or their client has lousy taste.

    For objectivity I've looked at contests that I never entered and I can tell you its 50/50 that the best looking design will win. I've been really impressed with maybe 4 or 5 entries on sitepoint (I mean really outstanding) and I got to tell you maybe only three of them won the contest they were in. Its unbelievable at times.

  8. #83
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro Monteiro
    Also, the worth of a designer is measured by his work, not by his hourly rate.
    That is a great point. Once you are familiar with all the tricks of the trade it might be just a few hours you spend to develop something, but you could potentially be paid an enormous amount of money. But I consider that back-pay for all the times I had to make due with a scrimpy pay. A person gets paid for the outcome, not the hours -- Datura
    Ulrike
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  9. #84
    <code></code><WoW></WoW> nukeemusn's Avatar
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    I also can't put a price on inspiration. I've racked my brain at times to come up with things to put in my portfolio, and I can say from experience that sometimes its a pain to come up with a foundation for a great idea. It's hard enough to come up with an idea for a business model to actually follow, and it's just as hard to come up with a fictional company to create a logo for. The contests provide that foundation. And as for the portfolio, theres no univeral law that says that losing contest entries can't be put in a portfolio.
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  10. #85
    Non-Member buzzfretz's Avatar
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    Contest...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro Monteiro
    What if there was one sole entry that was completely amateurish and off Target?
    I see your point however I have never seen a competition with only one entry (amateurish or not). (Someone here may know of such a contest).

    What I see more often is the contest holder being presented with dozens of different designs (and variations on those designs) after spending a nominal amount of money. In other words, it's not a bad deal for the contest holder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro Monteiro
    Would the contest holder be obliged to pick a winner?
    Why not? A contest is by definition a competition in which a winner will be chosen. If the contest holder ends up paying for a bad design then that is his/her problem. He's not bound by any agreement to actually use the winning design. The contest holder assumes that risk when he/she announces the contest.

    If the designs are so bad then people will stop holding contests. In fact, they would have probably already stopped long ago if the design contests were producing consistently poor work.

    What I tend to see much more often is people who hold a contest only to ignore or completely abandon it.
    Last edited by buzzfretz; Oct 31, 2006 at 19:06. Reason: sp

  11. #86
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    I don't think those rates are that low. After all, it's all about the hours you put in, and I do believe that 250$ for 2 productive hours is not bad at all, but that's just me.
    Good point - if your entry doesn't deviate significant from a previous design that you are modifying to the contests needs. Off point if you are in a contest where the CH knows what they want and calls for a number of revisions during the contests. Whats really happening there is that you aren't factoring in the hours spent on the design you had previously. I'm sure you are not trying to imply that good web designs take only two hours to do from scratch.

    And as for the "real world" remark, well I have been on this industry long enough to know how it works, and it IS the real World on the broader sense, like it or not.
    thats your world as you admit based on outsourcing from a middleman. Thats my point. thats just a slice of the job. Been there myself. However its the customer that sets the value and thats what they pay to the middleman. Someone had a good article on pricing that accurately stated that what an employee or in this case a sub contractor gets is not a good indicator of what a job is worth. I defy anyone to show me any company that approaches a brick and mortar design firm and got a design for $250 (except to Matt's point on international firms). Sorry thats just plain wrong and you are undervaluing what you do. Besides the obvious fact that you aren't going to win even a third of the contests you enter if you are extremely fortunate.


    the worth of a designer is measured by his work, not by his hourly rate.
    that makes sense only if you are designing for free or yourself. As a business the value is in green back and thats reflected in the hourly rate.

    I don't see the purpose of underrating the incredible value that CH's are getting from these contests and thats exactly what you do when you state that $250 is a good price. Doesn't do any of us, yourself or Sitepoint any good not to recognize the tremendous deal being offered. Its a steal period. Its contest holders who think its not a steal that will create the most problems for designers and contest holders who think it is a steal that will cause the contests to grow. The position is self defeating to your own success.

  12. #87
    SitePoint Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datura
    That is a great point. Once you are familiar with all the tricks of the trade it might be just a few hours you spend to develop something, but you could potentially be paid an enormous amount of money.
    I believe the context was $250. Thats an enormous amount of money? I'm sorry any designer worth his sauce knows you can spend just two hours finding out the customers needs. In a contest there are revisions, reading and understanding what the customer wants in his initial post as well as how that evolves as the contest goes on.

    I will grant that if you can pidgeon hole a previous design into a contest then you can get it done in two hours but sorry thats not going to be the case even in most contests. and given that $200 coded is the minimum alot of the times you are going to have to code and revise code to suit the customer. No to mention even after you win you have to do design revisions in most contests. and again for every one you get paid you will have four or more you won't. Its a steal. The maths don't lie. No use arguing it. Good too for Sitepoint because thats what makes it grow and thats one of the reasons I like it. You can see so many design needs in a small space and get your creative and problem solving skills going.

  13. #88
    .* draziW tnioPetiS *. bronze trophy
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    maginno, I wish I could have said it as good as you have... I agree with your points 100%.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Mickiewicz
    SitePoint has a very large international member base. $250 USD can go very far in certain areas of the world...
    Does not this point-out another flaw in the system? What does this say about the US folks. Is SP a US-based business?

    Ack! I popped my head back into this thread! I was trying so hard not to say anything more! Shame on me!

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhulse
    maginno, I wish I could have said it as good as you have... I agree with your points 100%.
    Not the ones where I say I like the contests or find them useful though right?

  15. #90
    .* draziW tnioPetiS *. bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by maginno
    Not the ones where I say I like the contests or find them useful though right?


    Another good point!!!

    On a more serious note, I completely respect the fact that others like the contests... I definitely respect the technology.

  16. #91
    Non-Member buzzfretz's Avatar
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    This proves my point...

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Mickiewicz
    SitePoint has a very large international member base. $250 USD can go very far in certain areas of the world...
    This is not a bad thing at all-- it helps reinforce my point about every contest having a paid winner.

    The CH who offers $250 US for a coded page or $100 for a logo knows it's a good deal. On the other hand, in many parts of the world, $250 could feed, shelter and clothe a family for an entire month!. Why should these people be deprived of even a chance at the income?

  17. #92
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhulse
    Ack! I popped my head back into this thread! I was trying so hard not to say anything more! Shame on me!
    Good for you Micky!

    But guys, take it or leave it. What the market will bear is just what somebody is willing to give in exchange, that goes for payment in your field, that goes for real estate, that goes for any trade. Money is a trade for services rendered. If a person values what you do you get a lot, if they do not or are ignorant or smart, they will give you little. Don't participate for low money, maybe the pay will increase if no person is willing to work for the offered price. A very self regulating system that is called a free market -- Datura
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  18. #93
    Non-Member Frozentoast'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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    Why Toasty?
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    Word on the street is he's pretty good with buttons.
    Quote Originally Posted by Varelse
    That MOTM badge under your name was designed by Toasty (Andy)
    Oh, and mine too
    A new button set to match the badges were discussed and developed a while back.



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  19. #94
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozentoast
    [indent]A new button set to match the badges were discussed and developed a while back.
    Button man. Good luck to you, Frozentoast. You all had a good laugh about my mixup with your name, including me -- Datura
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  20. #95
    Brevity is greatly overrated brandaggio's Avatar
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    Well my eyes have been opened a lot as far as the varied opinions about how "fair" (for lack of a better word) the contests are.

    It reminds me of "swim at your own risk" - sometimes the water is cold and rough (demanding client, lower pay) and you need to be a great swimmer to be able to keep up and sometimes the water is warm and still like a Caribbean bay (the pay is solid and the client undemanding). Of course there is lots inbetween too.

    If you throw in the fact that someone could spend a lot of time on an idea and have a better designer appropriate the idea and flesh it our better this seems to me to be kind of rough water - for those that are great swimmers perhaps not so bad though.

    There is so much strategy to real branding beyond making a logo - it is the deliberation and brainstorming that is behind it that to me has near equivalent value to the actual artwork.

    Very interesting discussion all .

  21. #96
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Frozentoast, don't make me hire you.

  22. #97
    SitePoint Wizard Pedro Monteiro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzfretz
    I see your point however I have never seen a competition with only one entry (amateurish or not). (Someone here may know of such a contest).



    What I see more often is the contest holder being presented with dozens of different designs (and variations on those designs) after spending a nominal amount of money. In other words, it's not a bad deal for the contest holder.
    I really don't think that it is that frequent, but I must agree that it is a liability.



    Quote Originally Posted by buzzfretz

    Why not? A contest is by definition a competition in which a winner will be chosen. If the contest holder ends up paying for a bad design then that is his/her problem. He's not bound by any agreement to actually use the winning design. The contest holder assumes that risk when he/she announces the contest.


    I don't see any sense in that. Forcing a contest holder to accept a design? I can't see how that would benefit anyone. Even though these contest do have their share of arbitrage, the prize is not a bounty. I just feel a system such has that would dramatically decrease the quality of the designs, as in reality, anyone could win.

    Quote Originally Posted by maginno
    Good point - if your entry doesn't deviate significant from a previous design that you are modifying to the contests needs. Off point if you are in a contest where the CH knows what they want and calls for a number of revisions during the contests. Whats really happening there is that you aren't factoring in the hours spent on the design you had previously. I'm sure you are not trying to imply that good web designs take only two hours to do from scratch.
    Certainly a good sketch can be done in two hours. But that's just my take on it.



    Quote Originally Posted by maginno



    thats your world as you admit based on outsourcing from a middleman. Thats my point. thats just a slice of the job. Been there myself. However its the customer that sets the value and thats what they pay to the middleman. Someone had a good article on pricing that accurately stated that what an employee or in this case a sub contractor gets is not a good indicator of what a job is worth. I defy anyone to show me any company that approaches a brick and mortar design firm and got a design for $250 (except to Matt's point on international firms). Sorry thats just plain wrong and you are undervaluing what you do. Besides the obvious fact that you aren't going to win even a third of the contests you enter if you are extremely fortunate.


    I hardly believe that any professional designer entering a contest will put in the same hours he would in a regular project he was hired to do, you are assuming that contest designers approach these designs in the same manner they would a regular job. I for one meticulously control the time that I spend designing an entry for a contest, I evaluate the price entry, check if type of my design skills and style are compatible with the designs requirements and finally, I try and see if the contest prize is worth the risk.

  23. #98
    SitePoint Wizard Pedro Monteiro's Avatar
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    Having said that, there are serious issues with the current contest setup.
    The one that bothers me the most is the lack of tools in place to prevent contest holders to simply run off without notice. Hopefully, in the next update actions will be taken to decrease this liability.

  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro Monteiro
    Certainly a good sketch can be done in two hours. But that's just my take on it
    What does a sketch have to do with anything? The design has to be finished complete with revisions in order to win most contests.



    I hardly believe that any professional designer entering a contest will put in the same hours he would in a regular project he was hired to do, you are assuming that contest designers approach these designs in the same manner they would a regular job
    No I am assuming that if you compare it to a regular project (as you did) in terms of real world value then they are equal and not comparisons between apples and oranges. If as you said the rate of $250 is good then for the same design why wouldn't you put in the same hours? I think you are admitting that $250 isn't good enough to put in the same hours but don't realize your admitting it yet.

  25. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro Monteiro
    The one that bothers me the most is the lack of tools in place to prevent contest holders to simply run off without notice.
    Heartily agree and I wanted to drop the issue of value of contests and come back to what I see as a big step backward.

    In looking over the guidelines today I noticed a big change. The guidelines when I last checked them indicated that abandoning a contest was a bannable offense. that wording has been eliminated. There is now nothing in the guidelines that suggest ANY penalty for abandoning a contest (unless i missed it which is possible)

    The coming system as announced here will actually make note of abandonments and when they do that will further announce to other contest holders looking at active contests that abandoning contests will not get you banned "(unless perhaps you get really outrageous.).

    Why is Sitepoint so afraid of banning members who abandon contests? I don't understand it.


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