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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Voting Participation: a Big Issue Right Now
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07/12/2017 01:07:55 AM · #1
21_F.gif RKT started a thread a little while ago suggesting an invitational challenge for members with more votes cast than they have received. The immediate response was uniformly negative, as members who consider themselves good citizens came forth to point out they wouldn't qualify under that criterion, and this caused me to do some casual numbers-chimping. I ended up posting the following in that thread, realized I'd hijacked the whole thing, and shut the thread down as Rachel had requested and have transported the the hijack over here.

Let's do our best to deal with actual numbers and rational suggestions here, folks, OK? I'm especially interested in seeing some more rigorous analysis by the statistically literate amongst us as to what's really going on here, what conclusions can be drawn from the data available to us because, frankly, I'm a little surprised by what I saw.

********************

Using myself as an example, until very recently I had entered nearly every challenge since I joined DPC, I have voted on nearly all of them, and when I vote it's normally on 100% of the entries. I've entered 1,624 challenges, cast about 170,000 votes, and received about 218,000 of them. So, in the abstract, I'm clearly not part of the paucity-of-votes problem, yet I'm NEVER going to catch up on the balance sheet.

I haven't subjected this to rigorous analysis, but it seems to me the only way one's likely to have a "positive" voting-sheet balance is if one votes on more challenges than one enters. And we do know for a fact that there are at least a few people here (how many, I have no idea) who feel it's not ethical to vote on a challenge one has entered, so the more they enter the less they vote :-( Without getting into the moral issues pro-and-con on that stance, obviously if we had a site comprised entirely of members who took that approach to voting, then if ALL of them entered the Free Study, say, there'd be NO votes cast...

Anyway, here are a few quick observations off the top of my hat. I've been eyeballing the challenges in subsets, looking at 2017 specifically, and I'm seeing that for the most part Member Challenges are receiving between 47 and 55 votes per image on average, and this doesn't much correlate with how many entries they have. Free Studies consistently get over 100 entries, but their average votes-per-entry is usually in that same narrow range. Plenty of the less-popular challenges have numbers of entries in the 20s and 30s, but for the most part they receive votes at about the same rate. Bear in mind that registered members cannot vote on Member Challenges.

Looking at the Open Challenges, we see that they tend to have on average maybe a dozen or perhaps 2 dozen more entries than the member challenges, although plenty of them dip into the 20s and 30s, but in general they have roughly the same average number of votes cast per image, a little higher in that range than what I sense in the member Challenges, but not a whole lot. And that, to me, is interesting.
07/12/2017 01:50:15 AM · #2
Math is not my strong suit, but as you, Robert, and Georges have both said you enter all (or nearly all) challenges and vote 100% and have more votes received than cast, that to me seems to not mesh with low numbers voting. Can you explain how that works?
07/12/2017 05:10:56 AM · #3
Originally posted by jomari:

Math is not my strong suit, but as you, Robert, and Georges have both said you enter all (or nearly all) challenges and vote 100% and have more votes received than cast, that to me seems to not mesh with low numbers voting. Can you explain how that works?

It's because those are very RARE participation levels.
07/12/2017 05:18:35 AM · #4
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

And we do know for a fact that there are at least a few people here (how many, I have no idea) who feel it's not ethical to vote on a challenge one has entered, so the more they enter the less they vote :-( Without getting into the moral issues pro-and-con on that stance, obviously if we had a site comprised entirely of members who took that approach to voting, then if ALL of them entered the Free Study, say, there'd be NO votes cast...

IMO, LOGIC should trump perceived moral issues for the reason you pointed out. I think we SHOULD get into that discussion if you believe it may be a significant factor.

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Bear in mind that registered members cannot vote on Member Challenges.

Has there ever been a discussion of changing this? I can't recall.
07/12/2017 06:45:28 AM · #5
Originally posted by jomari:

Math is not my strong suit, but as you, Robert, and Georges have both said you enter all (or nearly all) challenges and vote 100% and have more votes received than cast, that to me seems to not mesh with low numbers voting. Can you explain how that works?

Currently, the average weekly challenge has something like (I'm just ballparking here) 30-40 entries and 45-55 votes given per image. So even today if you enter all the challenges you're gonna "lose" 10 votes a challenge in terms of the ratio numbers. Back in the day, the discrepancy was greater sometimes.
07/12/2017 07:20:28 AM · #6
Maybe it's pretty much the same 40-50 members who do the bulk of the voting on every challenge, whether they enter or not? I missed voting one challenge recently but, for the most part, I am in the vote every challenge 100% camp.

07/12/2017 07:32:20 AM · #7
Originally posted by PennyStreet:

Maybe it's pretty much the same 40-50 members who do the bulk of the voting on every challenge, whether they enter or not? I missed voting one challenge recently but, for the most part, I am in the vote every challenge 100% camp.


Yes, I'm pretty much in the 100% voting category, but I seldom enter. Occasionally I skip a challenge that holds no interest (eg googly eyes), but normally I do vote each week.

Message edited by author 2017-07-12 07:33:01.
07/12/2017 07:46:38 AM · #8
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Originally posted by jomari:

Math is not my strong suit, but as you, Robert, and Georges have both said you enter all (or nearly all) challenges and vote 100% and have more votes received than cast, that to me seems to not mesh with low numbers voting. Can you explain how that works?

It's because those are very RARE participation levels.


Yes, but that's what puzzles me. Wouldn't their high participation make it hard for others to outvote them?
07/12/2017 08:02:11 AM · #9
I agree with the idea that it is probably a core group of voters that accounts for the majority of the votes cast right now. In fact, using public information it's probably possible to identify a good share of them. But that's beside the point.
What can we really do to encourage more folks to vote? I sure don't know the answer. It is sad to see 50 votes where we used to see 200.
07/12/2017 09:09:55 AM · #10
FWIW sometimes I go and vote, mostly on challenges in which I am not entered, so I'm not biased. But for the most part I prefer to write critiques and try to encourage participation that way.
07/12/2017 09:51:59 AM · #11
Originally posted by jomari:

Yes, but that's what puzzles me. Wouldn't their high participation make it hard for others to outvote them?

no. If the number of voters is higher than the number of entries in a challenge (which is usually the case), then the submitters are outvoted. So to outvote one must vote in challenges one does not submit to, but as one participates in more and more challenges, the opportunities to do so are diminishing.
07/12/2017 09:56:21 AM · #12
I don't make a lot of comments but I do vote a lot, I don't enter challenges these days but that is down to just loosing my mojo.
If people don't vote or comment then this site will eventually cease to be a place where people come to. As it is it's a mere shadow of what it once was. Whatever the reasons are for the decline of this site are has been discussed and discussed and there is nothing done about it. This has to point to the people running it, I.E. Langdon. He had a vision and the site was fantastic. For whatever reasons Langdon is no longer pro-active here.

I only visit a couple of times a week and vote 100% on the challenges but I must admit that after 14 years here I am beginning to find it a struggle.

I have no magic wand to fix this and it seems nobody else does.


07/12/2017 10:24:01 AM · #13
For a while now, I've stopped voting in boring challenges. I vote all or nothing and I'm not going to sit through 41 kitchens, or 41 planes, trains and automobiles. I lost that obsessive need to vote in every challenge. I also lost the obsessive need to enter every challenge. I'm still addicted to DPC, but I restrict it to challenges that interest me or are open enough that a few interesting photos are likely to be entered.

I'm afraid DPC is caught in the empty bar cycle. Nobody wants to go into an empty bar.

I don't think you're going to help DPC with rules changes. Marketing and promotion is its only hope, IMHO.
07/12/2017 10:35:24 AM · #14
Originally posted by posthumous:



I don't think you're going to help DPC with rules changes. Marketing and promotion is its only hope, IMHO.


Couldn't agree more.

07/12/2017 10:46:35 AM · #15
how can you market and promote an old abandoned building?
07/12/2017 10:59:11 AM · #16
Originally posted by skewsme:

how can you market and promote an old abandoned building?


I'm no genius but there has to be ways to get newbee's to come by with internet marketing. More specifically social media marketing. Everyone and their mother nowadays wants to be a photographer with their instagram and whatnot. I'm sure there's a way. Don't know what exactly that way is... But there has to be a way.
07/12/2017 11:21:27 AM · #17
But be careful what you ask for... If we adapt to the market to bring in folks "in volume" we will inevitably dilute the core educational value of DPC. Folks who share on Instagram are not generally interested in becoming the best photographers that they can be.
07/12/2017 11:38:43 AM · #18
Originally posted by kirbic:

But be careful what you ask for... If we adapt to the market to bring in folks "in volume" we will inevitably dilute the core educational value of DPC. Folks who share on Instagram are not generally interested in becoming the best photographers that they can be.


Understandable... Always plus and minuses.
07/12/2017 02:13:49 PM · #19
I pretty much only vote on challenges I DO enter, so I'm a bit of an anomaly. It's also why I have a pretty much 50/50 voting give/take.

I agree with Posthumous, DPC will keep death spiraling unless you/we/they can figure out a way to market it better. It desperately needs an iOS/android app, for starters. Advertising on social media is a MUST.

And please don't give me this bullshit about "inevitably dilute the core education value of DPC". WHAT core education? At its current level, there really is very little actual education. Even just 9 years ago there was SO MUCH more, but it's basic now.

Besides, DPC grew because of grassroots 'beginners who weren't interested in becoming the best photographers they can be" suddenly realizing how much more was out there, didn't it? I've seen the challenges in the first year. This place was nothing BUT amateurs doing the best they could and growing out of simple practice, conversation and eventually drawing in people that really knew what they were doing.

Let's not get into some kind of mindset here that DPC should only be for the best of the best or even simply only for 'competent' people. Folks who share on instagram run the entire gamut, and we should be welcoming them all in. However, to do so, you need it to be easier at the grass roots level. That's where having an app and a mobile friendly version of the site would come in.

This is where the real stumbling block comes in. Who's going to build/design/market this stuff? Langdon? Probably not. He's (mostly) moved on from what I know. He doesn't have the time to single-handedly do this stuff. Will he let others step in? Are others there willing to do it? Does anyone have the skills? What exactly would it take?

The internet has (unfortunately in my view and others' I'm sure) moved on from websites like this. People are being raised on instant gratification. They give themselves neither the time nor the attention to sit on a laptop or desktop and delve into something like this anymore. So DPC needs to change, or it will fade. Maybe not completely, who knows, but it will fade. It HAS faded.

What's the answer?

Message edited by author 2017-07-12 14:15:05.
07/12/2017 02:24:56 PM · #20
Originally posted by K3Master:


And please don't give me this bullshit about "inevitably dilute the core education value of DPC". WHAT core education? At its current level, there really is very little actual education. Even just 9 years ago there was SO MUCH more, but it's basic now.


Edward, I certainly won't debate that the educational aspect is already diluted; it is. But if we think it's thin now, wait until we decide that we want to attract the casual use that just wants to share. That was my point.
07/12/2017 02:28:18 PM · #21
Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by K3Master:


And please don't give me this bullshit about "inevitably dilute the core education value of DPC". WHAT core education? At its current level, there really is very little actual education. Even just 9 years ago there was SO MUCH more, but it's basic now.


Edward, I certainly won't debate that the educational aspect is already diluted; it is. But if we think it's thin now, wait until we decide that we want to attract the casual use that just wants to share. That was my point.


I delved into that aspect. There's always been casual people, but to somehow have the audacity to decide that we can possibly know which people 'just want to share'? Everyone just wants to share, but when you add the competition aspect, I'd posit that a LARGE majority of those people tend to then turn into 'how do I get better now?!'

Thus the chance for education to begin anew.

ETA: I'm of the firm belief that we simply have just fallen to the point of everyone just being old-hat now. Bored. WE DESPERATELY NEED A GIANT NEW INFUSION. Desperately, and personally I'd love to see a few hundred casuals start coming in thinking they're all that because friends and family blow smoke up their ass, start to get that education :)

Message edited by author 2017-07-12 14:30:22.
07/12/2017 02:46:40 PM · #22
Originally posted by K3Master:



This is where the real stumbling block comes in. Who's going to build/design/market this stuff? Langdon? Probably not. He's (mostly) moved on from what I know. He doesn't have the time to single-handedly do this stuff. Will he let others step in? Are others there willing to do it? Does anyone have the skills? What exactly would it take?



If we can find someone to do it, maybe we set up a voluntary marketing fund? I'd donate a bit toward marketing... Surely Facebook's not that expensive. Maybe up the annual fee by a dollar or two?

BUT, if we get a bunch of newbies, they'd have to have feedback (preferably during voting) or they won't stay. The reason I'm here is that I was tired of hearing only wonderful things (from family and on FB) about my images. I wanted REAL photographers to tell me how to be better.

If we advertise and they come, they have to want to stay.
07/12/2017 02:49:54 PM · #23
Originally posted by Lydia:

Originally posted by K3Master:



This is where the real stumbling block comes in. Who's going to build/design/market this stuff? Langdon? Probably not. He's (mostly) moved on from what I know. He doesn't have the time to single-handedly do this stuff. Will he let others step in? Are others there willing to do it? Does anyone have the skills? What exactly would it take?



If we can find someone to do it, maybe we set up a voluntary marketing fund? I'd donate a bit toward marketing... Surely Facebook's not that expensive. Maybe up the annual fee by a dollar or two?

BUT, if we get a bunch of newbies, they'd have to have feedback (preferably during voting) or they won't stay. The reason I'm here is that I was tired of hearing only wonderful things (from family and on FB) about my images. I wanted REAL photographers to tell me how to be better.

If we advertise and they come, they have to want to stay.


I agree, but I can see it happening almost like it did in the beginning, with those newcomers beginning to help each other. I'm sure there's still enough of the old school in here that would begin to offer their advice as well, either organically or solicited. There'd only be one way to find out though. We certainly can't just keep going status quo. If it failed, well, one last kick at the can I guess? It would be the world saying "Well, you had a good run." It certainly couldn't HURT.
07/12/2017 03:12:54 PM · #24
Originally posted by K3Master:

Let's not get into some kind of mindset here that DPC should only be for the best of the best or even simply only for 'competent' people. Folks who share on instagram run the entire gamut, and we should be welcoming them all in. However, to do so, you need it to be easier at the grass roots level. That's where having an app and a mobile friendly version of the site would come in.

This is where the real stumbling block comes in. Who's going to build/design/market this stuff?


Now this got me thinking... Hmm...
07/12/2017 03:15:08 PM · #25
Originally posted by posthumous:



I'm afraid DPC is caught in the empty bar cycle. Nobody wants to go into an empty bar.

I whole heartedly disagree.
Some of my best daze were spent in dark,smoky, old empty country town bars.

1. You can snag a beer before the bartender comes back from the kitchen without being caught.

2. You can play the jukebox without interruption and dance like no one is looking.

3. You can convince the owner that if you paint a mural wall of sunflowers above the shuffleboard table his business will pick up. Trading art for beer of course. And it works.

You people worry too much.
Go find an empty bar and have fun, alone.

Message edited by Bear_Music - parsed quote.
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