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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:29 pm 
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While I think the calibre of some of the entries this year was the highest we've seen so far, I was disappointed at the number of entries in every category. We only had two entries in the beginners category and two in the Master Craftsman, with at most 11 in the painting category.

So what did we do wrong?

There are over 500 hundred people who visit here each week, but less than 20 of them submitted an entry in one or more category.

A number of questions are raised in my mind as a result:
  1. Do we need to advertise this on the OR more?
  2. Is it too hard/confusing to enter?
  3. Do people need to know what the prizes are beforehand?
  4. Should we hide other people's entries until the voting starts?
  5. Should we advertise this on other sites?
  6. Should we change the categories?

    and finally
  7. Should we scrap it and think of something else?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:00 pm 
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Dagorlad wrote:
Do we need to advertise this on the OR more?
Is it too hard/confusing to enter?


It seems like a lot of the new people on O-R doesn't understand how to enter, so I think that you should have a link to the rules and Nygyll of Wyvernhole's guide on how to enter besides the sign that says
'One Ring Awards
Enter now!'.

Quote:
Do people need to know what the prizes are beforehand?


That might encourage people to enter.

Quote:
Should we hide other people's entries until the voting starts?


Don't know about that...

Quote:
Should we advertise this on other sites?


Perhaps. If you advertised it on, for example, TLA, maybe some people would register here and enter. :roll:

Quote:
Should we change the categories?


No, as I don't see what you could change them to! But perhaps you could split the Conversion/Sculpting and Terrain/Diorama categories into two separate categories. If someone had sculpted something really amazing (Natarn's Smaug for example), and sombody else had made a not-so-good conversion (my uruk-hai captain for example), perhaps that person wouldn't want to enter because they wouldn't have a chance to win. :roll:
Also, perhaps you could have a category that was like 'Best article' or something...

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Should we scrap it and think of something else?


Absolutely not!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:20 am 
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Quote:
A number of questions are raised in my mind as a result:
  1. Do we need to advertise this on the OR more?
  2. Is it too hard/confusing to enter?
  3. Do people need to know what the prizes are beforehand?
  4. Should we hide other people's entries until the voting starts?
  5. Should we advertise this on other sites?
  6. Should we change the categories?

    and finally
  7. Should we scrap it and think of something else?


Well Alan If I may I'll lay some of my oppinions from a point of view of a person thatis involved in taking care of other large Lotr site ;)

1. For sure, as I wrote earlier IMO to amin reason was, that beforhand ORA were held 4 and later 2 times a year, and wel.. ppl talked about it a lot on forums. Now it's annual thing plus the fact that it was more than a year form previous one. People just simply forgot and group of new users was not properly informed.

You have banner and news, that's nice but not enough. You need moderators and you and Brian as admins, make some fuss about it on forum.

Also you have background of e-mails, use PHPbb option to send mass PM/e-mail to each user with prepared info with links, rules, banners and stuff ;)

2. Well...it's not described anywhere and whilst it's rather intuitial and easy, some younger or new to the site members, may be confused.

3. I think that it wouldn't hurt. Previous time prizes were known and maybe it encouraged to enter. On Mitril when we hold some kind of competition we set prizes beforhand and post it in the news on main side in same article in which we announce comp. It's just better to play full disclosure politic with users.

4. Definitely no. It just my subjective oppinion, though idea might have some pros like avoiding other entries to discouraging other from entering or prevent form stealing ideas.

5. If you're going to do this once a year that's mandatory. On plain example, it's just far more users, use the fact that O-R is english-speaking site, which is kinda a universal language now, and everybody can understand it in a way that should allow him for basic communication. I think that it would be possible, for example, for Mitril to announce ORA some time before it, it'll give you +2000 eyes ;) and we have at least a houndred veeeery active users and couple of hundreds that visit site on regular basis, in fact some of them migrated here after Viruk and me, though as fars as I see they're not as active here yet ;) It's all up to negotiating terms and conditions of such co-operation.

6. Changing the categories would force you to invest more in some prizes and it's hard for anyone to advise you on that since we simply don't know financial condition of the site. Maybe it'd be good too look for some sponsors such as stores or individual artists ;) For sure 2 cateogries are a bit unbalanced. Sculpting and Converting, just as Olle mentioned. It's easier to convert something with "wow" effect rather than sculpt something from scratch, but than again there isn't so many sculpting entries to create whole category for it. Diorama/Terrain, IMO that's the one you should for sure split. I'd be subjective I suppose on that one, but it's faaar easier to create good terrain than create good diorama/vigniete. May I just say, that since I've been entering OR-A, I always tried to make some diorama (that's my thing I guess) but it never one, beaten each time by some terrain piece. Not that those terrains didn't deserve that, simply it's whole other thing. In diorama it takes a bit more planning and attention to detail, in addition they're usually smaller pieces than terrain, and it's much easier to achieve good 'wow' effect with some huge terrain, rather than with some small diorama ;)

7. For sure no! ;) You just need to think about orginising it better and taking that whole PR stuff into account ;)

Well... I hope it helped :)

P.S Man...that's probably far the longest post I'd had here :D[/quote]

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:58 am 
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Dagorlad wrote:

A number of questions are raised in my mind as a result:
  1. Do we need to advertise this on the OR more?
  2. Is it too hard/confusing to enter?
  3. Do people need to know what the prizes are beforehand?
  4. Should we hide other people's entries until the voting starts?
  5. Should we advertise this on other sites?
  6. Should we change the categories?

    and finally
  7. Should we scrap it and think of something else?


1. It could not hurt, but I don't think that lack of advertising is the problem here. There is the talk about it on the Chatbox, and the big shield at the top does not lie either. Perhaps this is a good example for the saying 'Bigger is better', as the shield might not be noticed. Perhaps it would be a good idea to do the 'pm'like popups on the final 5 days of the awards, with slogans like 'Have you entered in the awards yet?'. It might be annoying (people should be able to turn it off though), but people could just be coerced to enter something.

2. Not for me, but then again most people might be too mentally scarred by all the buttons to read the guide that is posted on this very forum... :roll:

3. Like Wiktor said, it couldn't hurt. I myself, as an popularity junkie, enter for the wide recognition and fame that is gained when you win a category (:oops:), but some might not share my views.

4. I'm a definite fan of this. When masters in the art put their entries on, people are not really as stimulated as they would be to finish or enter an entry. There is also the risk of people making up their minds before all the entries are in, and thus leaving less room for the people who are slackers.

5. No. I think you yourself have said that you don't like it when people join up just for the awards, as the site has much more to offer than that. I'm a staunch supporter of this. I hate to be a xenophobe, but we need to keep this the OR awards, and not the 'OR/TLA/Palantir/HDR' awards.

6. No. They are fine as they are, in my POV.

7. Scrap it: No. Never. VETO! I'm a definite fan of doing something else though. Now the awards are annual instead of semi-annual, it could not hurt to make the small themed competition, or bring back the New Years's (or any time for that matter) quiz?

Hope it helped.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:15 am 
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Dagorlad wrote:
1)Do we need to advertise this on the OR more?
2)Is it too hard/confusing to enter?
3)Do people need to know what the prizes are beforehand?
4)Should we hide other people's entries until the voting starts?
5)Should we advertise this on other sites?
6)Should we change the categories?

and finally

7)Should we scrap it and think of something else?


1/5) I beleive more advertising on the OR as well as other gaming sites could be very useful... I found out about the awards on a forum thread...
2) Personally, I don't think it is. Maybe the beginner's category is a little ''harder'' to enter... but otherwise it was very easy.
3) I think that knowing the prizes available would serve as a motivator for those who are interested in submitting works... but it could also prove to ruin the surprise of seeing what you win!
4) Personally, I like to see what I'm going up against. It helps push me to make something better. Because if you don't know what else is entered, and you realize too late that there are better things in the category, then it ruins the suspense, knowing you're already going to be very badly ranked.
6) I don't see why, although I do beleive specifying that 'vehicles' are sculpting/conversions is needed ;)

and finally

7) NOOOOOOOOO :P

I hope that helped a little... from the point of view of a regular member ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:03 pm 
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I entered, but only with an old picture that I had on my desktop already.

I think earlier posters are correct in that awards should be ran more often, you don't even need to have prizes for all of them.

Make a bi-monthly painting contest leading up to the big annual OR Awards thing, and we should see a bit more dicussion about it I reckon.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:09 pm 
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I'll answer my own questions so you can see how I am thinking on this.

1. I do think we/I needed to advertise these awards better - it's always been something I've meant to do, but never got around to it each time. The countdown at the top of the page was intended as a reminder on every page you visit, but it needs some work to make it stand out a bit more perhaps. So more advertising is a must.

2. A couple of comments I saw in the chatbox made me think that it really was a bit confusing for the Beginners category. One person said they submitted their entry in the Beginners Registration page, which is NOT where you submit an entry. And another said they got a PM they couldn't open and so couldn't enter the competition. I feel really bad about that and apologise to those who feel they may have missed out. It really does need to be easy for people to enter, especially for the younger members who may not be as 'computer literate' as some others.

3. I think it might help for people to know what is on offer, but it might also turn some people off - if we have a boxed set of Easterlings for example, some people may say 'Oh I don't collect those - I'll pass thanks.'

4. Some people might have looked at the current entries and thought 'Crikey, they are too good to beat." and not entered.

5. Personally, I am against this because these awards are intended for our members and I dislike the idea of other people, say from CMON or TLA or TGN joining just to get a prize and then never joining in the community again until the next year. But if that's what it takes to get more than 2 entries in a category, perhaps we should do it.

6. We;ve changed them often enough, so I don't think they should be changed again any time soon. But I needed to ask the question.

7. I genuinely wondered if anyone cared enough about the competition to complain if we scrapped it - the number of entries in all categories was very disappointing this year.


So that's what was going through my mind when I posted the questions.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:27 pm 
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Dagorlad wrote:
3. I think it might help for people to know what is on offer, but it might also turn some people off - if we have a boxed set of Easterlings for example, some people may say 'Oh I don't collect those - I'll pass thanks.'


Well, then you could just say that the price was a boxed set, not mentoining which boxed set it was. :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:06 pm 
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I say keep it as it is except for more advertising on the OR. I would have entered the painting, converting, and terrain categories but my camera went funny and refused to work. :(
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:16 pm 
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As a new member, I asked myself what these awards were, mostly from the promotional button at the top of the page. I did some research, but the up to date info was not that easy to find, having to pass through pages of old threads.

One thing I would suggest is to put a link toward the Competition Rules or another presentation on the button. That would help new members.

Also, updating the first post of the Competition Rules to reflect the change in occurrence of the contest might be a good idea.

Keep up the good work!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:17 pm 
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Other than the fact that I am far too busy (work/home) and distracted (work/insanity) to put together an entry (and it would have to be a good one), I would have entered this time. I do not believe in just throwing something in for the sake of making up the numbers. I applaud those who did enter, and there were some very tough judging decisions. Congratulations to all who were 'placed' - you deserved it!

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:26 pm 
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On the advertising front perhaps more notices about it on the homepage in the "Latest News" section would have been good - I don't remember there being a mention of the awards until the results!

I think the categories are fine; they're a good range - at least one of them is bound to suite someone's talents. Though to be honest, looking at the entries before the voting started did in some ways put me off trying to compete against those that were much better painters/terrain makers etc. I think it would also add to the excitement to see what people have worked on if the entries were hidden until a few days before voting started, then people would still have time to decide on which ones to vote for. Also if one entry was submitted a long time before voting commenced people have time to look over it a lot and spot mistakes or other things they may not like. Revealing them all at the same time would make it fairer.

Overall I think the main problem was the advertisement of the competiton (and perhaps the process of entering for some members). Though I do not think the awards should be advirtised on other sites.

I myself did not enter purely due to the lack of time I had to work on getting a good piece that I would be proud to enter, ready in time.

Hopefully I can compete next year with work that is worthy of its entry into the One Ring Awards! :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:50 pm 
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I agree with you Alan. There were a few really nice entries in this event but, overall, none of the categories was particularly participated. Even the painting contest, the most participated with more than twice the number of entries of the other categories, was only 11 entries. Something went wrong as I believe that, in the last contests, there were a lot more.

Here are my points of view:

1. Do we need to advertise this on the OR more?
Definetelly. Just a couple of announcements during the year and, in particular, in the last weeks before the entries start and even more often in the entry period would spice things a bit and get everyone a bit more in the mood. Something that we could consider is RSS feeds, mass emails and that sort of thing... but even just a good use of the frontpage might do the job aswell.

2. Is it too hard/confusing to enter?
I've seen a few comments about it but Is it that confusing? Its pretty much the same as uploading a picture to our galleries and the categories are very explicit. Perhaps the Beginner registration process isnt clear enough.
One thing I do think its confusing, or was for some time, its the Awards forum organization. Lots of sticky threads, and a awefull lot of information that is not particularly easy to find. It looks a bit better now, but its something that we staff need to think about, in my opinion, and try to simplify things in there.

3. Do people need to know what the prizes are beforehand?
I never entered for the prizes. The little icon in the profile is more than enough for me. That said, a contest wouldn't be a contest without some sort of prize and, without one, I don't see how there would be more entries... only less. As long as the site can afford them and with the good will of the members, I think we should keep them. Knowing beforehand sounds good to me.
Like someone said above, just to know that a place will win "two D blister packs" or "one boxed set" or "a set of OR dice" would be more than enough for me and it couldn't hurt the competition I guess. It could be publicised a couple of weeks befores the entries or so.

4. Should we hide other people's entries until the voting starts?
Good question! After some consideration, I don't think it affects much the way I enter or vote... but I can see it having that effect. If there's a few really good entries right from beginning, some members might feel that they don't have a chance and simply don't bother to enter. It shouldn't work like that but it might. Also, an early entry has a lot more exposition... it can work in both ways. It can be a favorite from the beginning and avoid other entries but it can also loose a bit of the awe effect from a late entry. I think we could try something like that, yep, maybe just showing the number of entries so far.

5. Should we advertise this on other sites?
It couldn't hurt but, as I see it, this is a competition that aims to improve the overall quality of the OR community. To participate, you need to be a member here. As long as we can avoid 'prize hunters' its fine for me but, as you say, I wouldn't like to see someone enter the awards then leave to be seen only in the next awards.

6. Should we change the categories?
We used to have different beginner categories... there wasnt much participation in most of them. Now we have only one and we still dont have much entries. I can't see how going backwards would change things...
The Mastercraftsman categorie is actually my favorite but, somehow, I never managed to enter. The new format is a lot more clear so everyone can start right away planning the next entry (the next 7 chapters or so). In the past the theme wasnt always clear until just a couple of weeks before the comp. Either we should scrap it (due to lack of entries) or we keep it as it is and see how it works next time. Being my personnal favorite and something that I think sums up what a hobbyist should be I vote to keep it and give it another try.
The Open categories are the tough ones. Best Mini is an obvious category and there's not much to discuss in there I think.
The other categories, however, mix subjects. Again, this is due to the lack of entries when they were different categories. Some might consider unffair, some might not. In the end I believe members have the ability to judge wisely and vote according. I dislike dioramas/terrain being the same category because they are simply not related. Sculpting and converting have similarities... terrain and dioramas don't. This said, they were different things in the past and, again, there were few entries. Thats why it was decided to join them together.

Should we scrap it and think of something else?
AHA! Very funny! Of course not. We need, like we did in the past, to discuss what happened, what went wrong and what went well and work from there... but you already know that. :P

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:47 pm 
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I think we're all in agreement that the OR Awards needs to be advertised more, especially in the last few weeks before it commences.

It seems that information about the competition is poorly organised and a little hard to find. So to fix that I will make up a couple of dedicated pages that explain the rules and also showcase some of the past entries.

That page will hold the current competition's Master Craftsman theme, with some suggestions for what might be possible.

And finally, are there any other questions that should be asked?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:50 pm 
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I have one... Is this time of the year (June/July) the most suitable to run the Awards or some other period would work better?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:53 pm 
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I like this idea for something we could improve on.

4. Should we hide other people's entries until the voting starts?

I really like the idea of hiding the entries until voting starts...seeing a masterpiece entered in the first couple days of the competition probably puts alot of people off and has them thinking that they stand no chance of winning and they just don't bother entering.

I do like the 'advertising on other sites' idea, but I think doing so on other sites besides say TLA or Palantir would just invite a beat down on alot of the competition that is loyal to OR and you would end up with a ton Games Day type of entries from people who just jumped on to enter and that would put off alot of long time members from entering the next time around.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:44 am 
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4. Should we hide other people's entries until the voting starts?

I've seen alot of people commenting and asking that they be hidden, but I beleive that seeing some good entries uploaded early in the awards should push you to exceed that quality. Who knows, it might even give you some inspiration...

That's my opinion :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:04 am 
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MacGothmog wrote:
I have one... Is this time of the year (June/July) the most suitable to run the Awards or some other period would work better?


Excellent question Miguel! This is something that has been troublesome for me. June is the last month of the school year for me, and it is always riddled with exams, and I'm sure it's the same in other countries.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:18 am 
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same here is time of summer exam session ;) I believe september would be most suitable term

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:09 am 
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I think it should be in February/March/April.

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