|I just came across this thread. I'm also a former chess player - one who was just as happy to forget about my actual rating! Just the same, this is a competitive photography web site. As subjective as art is, every single challenge has three winners and a whole lot of losers. As distasteful as rankings are to some, they do serve a purpose as witnessed by our membership's fascination with all types of stats. The site has previously experimented with such a concept by introducing "masters challenges" in which the sole criteria was multiple ribbon winners, or some such.
Call it "DPC Success Ranking" rather than best photographer, because there's no way to objectively measure a subjective. The DPC Success Ranking could be computed as follows:
1/3 of the score based on average relative challenge score (measured by the %ile finish place), but would have to be weighted somehow to reward people who have entered a lot of challenges. E.g., people who have done extremely well on just a few challenges couldn't trump people who have performed consistently above average over a large number of challenges. (rationale obvious, successful DPCers place highly in challenges they enter)
1/3 based on number of times photos have been selected as favorites (rationale, successful photogs get faved a lot)
1/3 based on total number of times portfolios have been viewed (rationale, successful DPCers have their pictures viewed a lot)
I'd also suggest that once the formula is established, that it not be public to avoid people purposefully trying to affect the results by faving or unfaving photos, or viewing, etc. Like chess ratings, this would enable us to establish classes of DPCers, ala master, grandmaster, expert, etc.
Right now the only way most of us recognize the cream of our success crop is to view a profile and look for that long string of ribbons down the left-hand side. As has been pointed out in this thread, that method fails to recognize the achievements of some who have not ribboned so extensively.