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Highland - General
How to run DDN contests going forward
By linhPremium member Comments: 2688, member since Sun Mar 07, 1999
On Sun Apr 13, 2008 07:55 AM

We have a long standing policy against popularity contests anywhere except the contests board. In the past, these contests caused hurt feelings especially with younger members. The enforcement of this policy may not appear consistent, but that is due in part to how heavily trafficked a forum is, and whether the members mod report it. So really, the mods are doing what I've instructed them, and what we believe is in the best interest of the community. It's usually all fun and games until the winners (and hence losers) are announced.

With that said, I realize that Highland and many other dance forms are very competitive and allowing these contests may, in some tiny way, actually help prepare dancers for competing in the real world. And admittedly, they can be a lot of fun if done correctly. I think the members here are adult enough to handle winning or losing. So I'm prepared to change this policy if this is what the Highland community wants.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on how we can do these types of contests in a positive and constructive way. We don't want a new contest springing up every five minutes, nor do we want hurtful contests. Some questions for you:

Do you think new contests should be approved by the moderators or the Highland community first? Do we need to impose a structure on the contests so people don't complain of cheating? Or should we just let things slide and see where it takes us?

Linh

46 Replies to How to run DDN contests going forward

re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By hotchoc Comments: 80, member since Sat Dec 29, 2007
On Sun Apr 13, 2008 08:32 AM
Thanks for this linh - I think that the highland community are adult enough to approve the contests. Perhaps it is best that we agree on how often awards of this type will take place for example. that there will only be two sets of awards each year and that GonnaBeAStar or Ruth will organise them (or someone else active on this board) this way there will only be the official awards as so to speak.

Also it could be stressed (again!) that the awards are for people who continually take the time to make helpful posts or who have just started and are making contribution or who time after time do well at competition and are acknowledged by this board for sharing their experiences etc.

Look forward to seeing other peoples comments on this.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By Ruthmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2564, member since Tue Apr 03, 2007
On Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:07 AM
Thanks for clearing this up linh :)I am pleased you think we are mature enough to have 'awards'.

This is my opinion:

I have two ideas:

One is that we should have one awards ceremony a year with several different categories.

The other is that we have a different award contest each month (One award each month) to spread it out a bit.

With fixed organisers :? ?

I think we should have a few rules (e.g. Only nominating one person per award, your account has to be over 1 month old for you to vote [erases the possibility of clones])


Ruth :)
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By booverly Comments: 1980, member since Fri Jul 02, 2004
On Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:14 AM
No awards.

Contests can be fun. I enjoyed doing some of those on VIS.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward (karma: 1)
By ally_f Comments: 715, member since Tue Jul 27, 2004
On Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:22 PM
I would say, if we are going to go forwards with awards, that the categories be limited to those specific to DDN, like Most Helpful Post, Most Helpful Poster, Best Picture etc. Awards that are dance-related like Most Promising Dancer I think (a) most of us are unqualified to judge anyway just from photos and (b) have the most potential to be hurtful.

And once or twice a year is fine -- like maybe the "most helpful" stuff once a year and the "best picture of..." stuff also once a year, but separate the two by six months or so. Every month would be too often for me to vote on, especially during competition season.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By strathspey Comments: 477, member since Mon Sep 25, 2006
On Sun Apr 13, 2008 01:28 PM
I think the best way to deal with this is to let the awards and nominations already posted to run its course, although extend the nominations a few more days due to the thread being deleted, then allow the voting to commence.

Once the winners are announced, we will then have the opportunity to guage how things were handled and how people responded to them. Give us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes.

I think to do these awards once a year is more than enough, and if they are allowed to run, we should do them as an end of year awards when there are not many competitions on.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By shakenturn Comments: 938, member since Sat Oct 08, 2005
On Sun Apr 13, 2008 02:58 PM
Edited by shakenturn (142804) on 2008-04-13 15:03:35 add sentence for clarification
Edited by shakenturn (142804) on 2008-04-13 15:39:29
Linh..
Thank you very much for addressing this important issue. However, I think that one of the major problems that people find offensive is the unilateral deletion of posts that a particular moderator does not like.
Most of us on the Highland Board know each other personally. The Highland Dance community is a small one and we see each other all over the country, if not the world on a regular basis. So, although there are a certain amount of members who are anonymous, most are not. Most of us know each others' names on this site. As a result, the concern that there is going to be hostile remarks made that will hurt or offend others is not really an issue because if that happens that person can be approached personally.
Many of us on this board are not only mature enough, but are old enough to have children older than the most of the moderators. Most of parents on this board are business people, (CPA's, therapists, business owners, etc.) and are offended when someone unilaterally deletes their posts.
I personally had this happen to me last June when I responded to a silly comment as being offensive to some on this board. The offending remark/joke stayed, but my objection to it was deleted, and for that reason have stayed away from DDN.
Your response to this contest idea and devloping a more even-handed approach is a positive step for DDN.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Sun Apr 13, 2008 08:11 PM
However, I think that one of the major problems that people find offensive is the unilateral deletion of posts that a particular moderator does not like.


Moderators work as a team. Just because a certain moderator removed the post doesn't mean it was their decision alone. Many times it is voted on and majority rules with Linh overseeing all of the decisions we make.

Linh gets a copy of every single mod report as well as our head moderator Calypso. We have checks and balances and have had things overturned by Linh or Calypso.

Most of parents on this board are business people, (CPA's, therapists, business owners, etc.) and are offended when someone unilaterally deletes their posts.


What do you think the mods are? A few of us are business owners, I hold two degrees, I've owned a business, I own my own tap company. We all have real jobs in a variety of fields. I don't see how that is relevant.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By ifinance Comments: 2275, member since Mon Jun 26, 2006
On Mon Apr 14, 2008 06:40 AM
Linh - I want to thank you and commend you for being such a paragon. No matter what the issue is, you are never condescending or argumentative. You always treat us with such respect and I really appreciate that.

I don't really have a strong opinion regarding contests or awards. It took me a while to respond to the award thread in question because it was difficult to make some choices. I have met so many wonderful people here and I wanted to say something nice about each of them. Unfortunately, there are never enough awards to go around and inevitably someone doesn't get mentioned. At first I was concerned about hurting someone's feelings, but after some thought, I reached the conclusion that the people that matter to me on this board would not be that petty.

I like the idea of limiting awards to once or twice a year. I would also prefer categories that relate to DDN activities. There's no way that I could vote on a most improved or promising dancer unless the nominees have videos or pictures posted on DDN. But I would really enjoy participating in an award thread that was based on videos that dancers submit for critique. I could even see that type of thread warranting more frequency. Something like a "dance of the month" contest could be very relevant to DDN.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward (karma: 1)
By shakenturn Comments: 938, member since Sat Oct 08, 2005
On Mon Apr 14, 2008 07:12 AM
Edited by shakenturn (142804) on 2008-04-14 07:18:53
Edited by shakenturn (142804) on 2008-04-14 07:22:02
Linh..
Although I am addressing this to you, it concerns remarks made by Imadanseur regarding my comments on the unilateral deletion of posts/threads.
A possible solution would be a PM to the person who has written the offending post/thread, warning them that this message/thread may be removed and the reason for it. The author should be given an option to fix the message/ or delete the thread themselves so that it is in compliance with DDN. As Imadanseur claims, decisions to delete is a group decision by moderators, giving the author a chance to correct the situation seems the best solution rather than automatic deletion without notice.
Also I encourage you to promote bit of "attitude" adjustment regarding the moderators. By just reading some of their recent posts validates a certain combativeness and arguementiveness, as mentioned by another member. Comments made by some moderators are tolerated that otherwise probably would not be by members on this site.
Regarding Awards...
I was unaware of this award scheme until recently and do not have an opinion either way if awards are given or not. It is the fact that once an award contest thread is established and then was removed without notice when other areas on this board have similar awards, that are allowed, that is the problem. Again, evenhandedness is the key.... across the board.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By redhendo Comments: 602, member since Wed Jun 21, 2006
On Mon Apr 14, 2008 07:16 AM
This is a tricky one. When the original thread came about, I put nominations forward on those that I perceived were active, thoughtful & helpful DDN members. A bit like the consideration I give towards giving karma to members - is it useful? Is it helpful? Does it improve the board?

Nominating "most improved" , "member of the year" etc were not necessarily based on actual results from comps, but from looking at consistency over the course of my membership, which has been a couple of years now.

So perhaps before having a contest as such we need to seriously consider the categories and maybe have a poll to see what others would find beneficial for running such a contest. It might take a while to get it sorted but if there is input from as many active members it could end up being fun. Maybe there are some clauses like you can't be "nominated" in the contest more than twice so it gives newer and less active members a chance to participate.

Hope the above makes sense!

Let me have a think about it....watch this space! And feel free to agree / disagree...as long as there are constructive alternatives of course!
re: How to run DDN contests going forward (karma: 1)
By shakenturn Comments: 938, member since Sat Oct 08, 2005
On Mon Apr 14, 2008 07:30 AM
Imadansuer
The age and maturity as well as the education level and business experience of the members on this board is absolutely relevant, just as you have defended regarding yourself.
The relevant part is that DDN is not necessarily dealing with posts/thread of young dancers.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By maureensiobhan Comments: 4729, member since Wed Dec 24, 2003
On Mon Apr 14, 2008 09:05 AM
I remember that a couple of years ago, there was a contest on the ballet forum. One member said that this particular contest would surely start turning into a popularity contest.

That said, perhaps contests should be disallowed on any of the boards in any forum, except on the contests board in the general forum. That way, nobody would feel hurt or insulted if they don't win the contest, nor would the original posters feel offended if their contest post gets deleted.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By ifinance Comments: 2275, member since Mon Jun 26, 2006
On Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:01 AM
If we Highlanders are going to have contests or awards, the thread needs to be posted on the Highland Forum. That's where we "hang out." I bet most of us didn't even know there is a contest board on the general forum. Nothing against the other forums, I just don't have time to spend on them. My husband would say that I don't have time to spend on the Highland forum either - LOL.

Anyway, I'm not making an argument for or against having Highland awards. I'm just saying that if we're going to have Highland awards, they need to be on the Highland forum. Those who aren't interested, can simply skip that thread. Surely no one feels compelled to read every thread on the forum.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:26 PM
I realize this was directed at Linh, but he is away at the moment...

A possible solution would be a PM to the person who has written the offending post/thread, warning them that this message/thread may be removed and the reason for it.


But if we have a standing rule about what is not allowed...why would we PM the person to give them the opportunity to fix it to make it in compliance with the rules?

We have 130,000 members and can have 1,000 posts per hour. Unfortunately, there is no way we could PM members and wait for them to eventually get back to us on moderator decisions and have threads that are against the rules continue to stay on the boards. For one thing some of the mods aren't on everyday just like the members. So, if I PM'ed the OP about this on Tuesday, she got back to me on Thursday, and then I didn't read that PM until Saturday...a post that has violated our terms of service has been allowed to stay on the boards for 4 days. We now have 10 people saying how we aren't answering their mod reports (because people will keep mod reporting things against the TOS), and people carrying on because we are unfair etc.

The relevant part is that DDN is not necessarily dealing with posts/thread of young dancers.


Yes, we are all aware of that. I moderate the studio owner forum, and the teacher's forum regularly since I am both and they are all adults. We have adults in all different areas on the site, and that doesn't change how we moderate the site. If something is against the rules we are supposed to remove it per Linh. I am sorry that is unilateral deletion, but it says in the TOS when you sign up to be a member that we have that right. In the grand scheme of things we deleted VERY few things compared to what is posted. Think about all the things various members have posted that you have ever seen deleted. When I wasn't a moderator I had about 1,000 posts and only had 2 things deleted because I just didn't know they were against the TOS...no big deal.

If anyone want to make suggestions on changing policies and procedures then please go to the telldance.net forum to do that because Linh and Andrew (our tech guy who has to code the site) read that board first most of the time.

If we have 300 mod reports in our e-mail in box we take care of them in the most efficient manner and in a way that keeps the site in good working order. Linh has structured the system and it works very well when running a site this large. The problem is most of you don't see all the mod reports we deal with and all the issues in all the areas.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward (karma: 2)
By RoadtotheIsles Comments: 475, member since Fri Aug 10, 2007
On Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:34 PM
Edited by RoadtotheIsles (183913) on 2008-04-17 22:43:27
Linh:

As you are seeking out opinions on this topic - I for one do not support the idea of a DDN CONTEST.

We are a community and we should all be contributing where we feel we can. The focus should not be on "who is the best" or "who has posted the most". I can think of a few DDN members who have only posted once or twice but who have been extremely helpful.

Numerous topics have come to a FULL and complete answer after 6 or more members have helped out with an answer! In some cases some members who believe they are giving helpful info have made an error and others have jumped on to correct & clarify.

DDN is only interesting if ALL contribute.

I can't imagine what this board would turn into if it was all about collecting points for an overall contest.

On a separate note - I feel the level of verbal attack on the MODS is getting quite out of line. I can't believe they VOLUNTEER their time to keep this board in good order only to be run down the way they have been this past winter by a few members. How exhausting and unrewarding.

And what are the young DDN members gleaning from such "discussion"?
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By hotchoc Comments: 80, member since Sat Dec 29, 2007
On Fri Apr 18, 2008 03:29 PM
The contest wasn't about who was the most frequent poster. You could have been nominated for an award even if you had only created one thread but it had been extremely useful or suchlike.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By RoadtotheIsles Comments: 475, member since Fri Aug 10, 2007
On Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:56 PM
On April 12th the Mod report stated..

"We feel there are sufficient ways to reward people for their positive contribution to the site, such as being able to award KARMA...we maintain a positive, INCLUSIVE environment at dance.net and unfortunately it has been our experience that award-giving does not support that positivity & INCLUSIVENESS .."

In addition to awarding karma and a simple expression of thanks for posting.. it should be noted that some of the most helpful post/topics have been turned into STICKIES.

It would be extremely helpful if an INDEX could be added within a STICKY with nominated posts added by link. This way all the helpful advice & guidance offered by so many DDN members would not go missing 6 months down the line.

DDN is a huge resource for new dancers & parents. A great amount of information can be found by reading long expired posts in member profiles.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7170, member since Wed Sep 22, 2004
On Sun Apr 20, 2008 07:11 PM
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2008-04-20 19:40:02 Added more
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2008-04-20 20:03:44 Added more

On a separate note - I feel the level of verbal attack on the MODS is getting quite out of line. I can't believe they VOLUNTEER their time to keep this board in good order only to be run down the way they have been this past winter by a few members. How exhausting and unrewarding.


I haven't been around much the last week or so because of work and well morning sickness, but I will say this if other members treated these members you referenced this way we mods would probably not hear the end of it.

Nothing wrong with being outspoken....but there is a problem when member's become so hostile that they bite the very hands that try to help them.

And yet some of these same members are the first ones to approach me about adding new boards, or send me PM's in regards to threads or posts. So much for being a useless mod...especially since I did put the bug in Lihn's ear about the importance of several of the newer boards in the last few years or so. I've done quite a bit for these boards the last few years some of which isn't transparent. Just try to keep that in mind when you infer that we aren't needed, Because if we really weren't you guys wouldn't be asking for these things now would you? ;)


Anyhow....


Holy cow guys!

I missed the fun it seems. You can thank work and an un born baby that is already giving me grief. I am told Morning sickness gets better but I'll believe it when I see it! But I digress.

My personal opinion as a member...I don't really have an opinion on contests....I mean as long as it doesn't consist of awards that are dance-related like most promising dancer etc for the same reasons Ally_f listed I don't have a problem with it. DDN related posts are ok in my opinion as LONG as the SAME members don't keep get nominated for every award.

In other words instead of nominating JUST the more outspoken members If we continue with this I'D like to see some less known members in the batch too.

I think by doing this it would seem like less of a popularity contest to members who may feel it is.

Of course that would make it harder for y'all but I think the effort to include everyone ( well known or not) would be appreciated in the end.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By Ruthmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2564, member since Tue Apr 03, 2007
On Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:30 PM
Edited by Ruth (176462) on 2008-04-21 12:45:32
^^ Unless some of the lesser known members post more, then people won't even know they are there to nominate :P hehe

It is the members decision whether they nominate more than one person for each award, some people did and some people didn't :)

Ruth
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7170, member since Wed Sep 22, 2004
On Tue Apr 22, 2008 06:54 PM
^ Hence the "It will be harder for you all but worth it in the end".

I'm sure if y'all put your mind to it y'all could nominate less well known members.

You just have to put your thinking caps on.

*nods*
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By ifinance Comments: 2275, member since Mon Jun 26, 2006
On Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:23 PM
I remember several "nominees" that were not well known and/or frequent posters. They were nominated because of the quality of their contribution(s). No one had difficulty remembering them because their contribution(s) were so outstanding. Yes, there were some nominees who received multiple nominations. But for the most part, that was because they deserved them.

Should we have told the judges at Cowal to spread things around a little more during all those years that Colleen ruled? After all, if you use the same logic, she was just so well known that no one else had a chance. Of course this is a ridiculous suggestion. The majority of those who had the privilege of seeing her dance know that she deserved everything she won. However, there will always be someone who disagrees. I know of several Champions over the years who have been held in contempt by their competitors because they are "too robotic" or other such nonsense. We all know that's just sour grapes.

Quite honestly, I can't see how anyone would have taken exception with the girls' contest. They were just having a bit of fun. Was it perfect? No, I found a few questions impossible to answer, however, I think it's sad that someone felt it necessary to mod report the thread. I think mod reporting should be reserved for threads that are being used to say negative things about dancers, teachers and/or judges.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By RoadtotheIsles Comments: 475, member since Fri Aug 10, 2007
On Thu Apr 24, 2008 03:36 AM
Numerous spectators of dancing competitions love to play judge for the day--it should come as no surprise. But - opinions or critique do not always equate to sour grapes.

The logic - ridiculous yes & confusing? I don't get why Cowal, Colleen and other Champions are being used here as a point of comparison with an unauthorized contest?

Cowal is a competition & run under rules - dancers enter a competition to be judged accordingly.

DDN is a forum - it is a place for public discussion.

The MODS speak from experience. They have been eye-witness to the learning curve of contests. Here we go again!
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By stepsforward Comments: 121, member since Wed Mar 14, 2007
On Thu Apr 24, 2008 06:56 AM
Edited by stepsforward (175263) on 2008-04-24 06:56:52 spelling
Edited by stepsforward (175263) on 2008-04-24 07:00:16 spelling
DDN is not really a public forum. It is a " moderated" public forum. Big difference in that the mods choose what is allowed, or Linh.
The TOS are exactly the same as Linh's other website, but handled much differently. Why? Mods are not necessarily that experienced either,as was an explanation regarding this thread. Many are very young, in fact.
re: How to run DDN contests going forward
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7170, member since Wed Sep 22, 2004
On Thu Apr 24, 2008 03:14 PM
Edited by hylndlas (107168) on 2008-04-24 15:26:22 typo fairy
^ So...how young do you think some of us are out of curiosity?


Because most (with the exception of some of the "newer" mods) of us are close to 30 if not older, at least one of is is almost 40. :O

The TOS are exactly the same as Linh's other website, but handled much differently. Why?
Because the other sites contain different subject matter possibly? I haven't spent much time on the other sites(he has several by the way)....but I do know the one I have been on is so different from DDN of course it would be "handled" differently.


I don't get why Cowal, Colleen and other Champions are being used here as a point of comparison with an unauthorized contest?


I don't get that either....I mean this isn't anything like Cowal. Isn't that like trying to compare apples and oranges? Not trying to be snarky.....I just don't how you can try to compare the two.
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