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Sat Dec 28, 2019, 11:27 AM

Photography Contests and Hosting--Edited for Results

Last edited Sat Jan 4, 2020, 11:03 AM - Edit history (1)

Hi Photographers,

Hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays!

Some time ago I promised to run a poll--and discussion--about the idea of disconnecting the responsibility of hosting the next monthly contest from winning the previous contest. So, as we get ready for a new year, maybe this is the time.

Participation in our contests has been dwindling for the last several years. We used to have a contest every month--and two when we ran the seasonal contests--but because of declining participation we dropped the monthly contest during the months we run the seasonal contests (March, June, September, December). We still have difficulty filling 30 slots and frequently end up opening the contest up for two submissions per photographer.

Some people have mentioned that the reason they don't participate is due to the prize for winning: responsibility to host the next contest. I myself just this month withdrew my submission to the Autumn contest because I know I will be gone for two weeks in March when the Winter contest runs, and frankly, I didn't want to risk winning and then have to find a substitute.

If winning--and hosting--has been standing in the way of generating more entries, then maybe it is time to figure out another way to host the contests. We could create a calendar of volunteer hosts. Sign up in advance for the month you are willing to host. Or maybe it's time to discontinue the contests. Or maybe we just run a contest when someone has an idea for a contest and decides to run one. Or maybe we should further reduce the number of contests. Or maybe only hold seasonal contests. Or....

I'm going to put up a few options in a poll, and if anyone has other thoughts or ideas, please comment.
Let's discuss this over the next week.

I am hosting January and will ask for ideas for the theme after the first of the year.

Edited to add: If you would be willing to volunteer to host a monthly contest where you could sign up in January for one month of the year, please mention your willingness in the comments.

Edited to add results: It looks like we have a response decidedly in favor of continuing monthly contests with a list of volunteer hosts. Several people have already volunteered. I am going to start a new thread asking for volunteers to sign up with a choice of month. Personally, I think we should still let the winner of a contest select the theme for the following month's contest (and not be eligible to enter), but the contest would be hosted by a volunteer who would be allowed to enter. Does that seem fair? I am going to post that suggestion along with a list asking for volunteers. If someone volunteers to host February, then January would be our first contest disconnected from the responsibility for hosting by the winner. If someone volunteers to host March (the WINTER SEASONAL Contest) then a la izquierda will be off the hook for hosting March as the winner of the AUTUMN contest we ran in December.
11 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Time expired
Continue contests as they are with the winner hosting the next contest
0 (0%)
Continue the monthly contests with a list of volunteer hosts
11 (100%)
Only hold a contest when someone steps up with an idea and is willing to host it
0 (0%)
Reduce the number of contests and continue with the winner hosting the next contest
0 (0%)
Reduce the number of contests and ask for a volunteer at the beginning of the month to host
0 (0%)
Eliminate the contests
0 (0%)
Other--please elaborate in comments section
0 (0%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply Photography Contests and Hosting--Edited for Results (Original post)
mnhtnbb Dec 2019 OP
steventh Dec 2019 #1
hedda_foil Dec 2019 #2
mnhtnbb Dec 2019 #4
randr Dec 2019 #3
Soph0571 Dec 2019 #5
Callalily Dec 2019 #6
urbanhermit Jan 2020 #7
Mira Jan 2020 #8

Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2019, 11:37 AM

1. I love seeing the photo contests

There are so many impressive entries and so much talent among the member photographers. I hope there's a way to do monthly contests. The photo contests are some of my favorite things on DU.

Thanks mnhtnbb for raising the issue, offering some options, and putting up a thread for discussion.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2019, 11:58 AM

2. Would there be enough volunteers that one or two wouldn't be stuck hosting all the contests?

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 28, 2019, 05:08 PM

4. That's the challenge.

I just added an edit to ask people to mention if they'd sign up to volunteer to host a contest one month.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2019, 12:09 PM

3. Another suggestion for increased participation

Tie the theme to the month. Could be seasonal, holiday, historic, or open to creative interpretation. There are unlimited associations for every month and I would love to see how DUers would respond.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2019, 08:16 PM

5. I rarely win, but I love hosting

And to boast for a second, when I hosted the Spring contest for Richard I got 30 original entries. I do think that some winners think it is a chore to host and so it does not get the marketing it needs across DU to make it a success. So volunteers is a good plan!

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2019, 08:53 AM

6. Thanks mnhtnbb for posing the question

and offering options for the photo contests.

I for one would be sad to see the contests ending. I really learn a lot from looking at other people's work.

You can add my name to the list of people who are willing to host.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Wed Jan 1, 2020, 08:52 AM

7. Willing to be a host

I'll volunteer to be a host.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Original post)

Sat Jan 4, 2020, 02:33 AM

8. Thrilled

to see that you addressed the issue / the problems / and gave us possible solutions. From the responses so far it seems we all want to continue and find a way to do so. Removing the potential stress of having to host will surely make a difference. I also think that people without "stars" can then participate, they could not before, because in hosting only star members can set up a poll.

I think if we change over from connecting the winner to be in charge of hosting we may find our way back to contests with more participants and more excitement. It may take a while for the new way to take hold and some "advertising" of the changes to let people become aware that there is no longer the prize of hosting if you win. It is opening up the entire experience for new vistas.

I'm willing to happily host 2 contests a year. Any open months could be fine with me.

Thank you mnhtnbb. You are a rock, and I appreciate you.

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