last thougthts on the Bash this year

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mredburn

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With a fairly lively discussion going on in the Public forum, I thought I would ask you gentlemen if you had any suggestions or comments you would like to make. What needs fixed or attention paid too. What worked really well for you? What would you do different.
 
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Edgar

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I missed not having the Bash server this year. It especially limited the types of puzzles I could offer, but I realize that it takes a lot of Curtis' time to configure & support all the forms, reports & puzzles that we used to host on his server. He also has to do some custom programming each year to handle all these things.

I'll try to come up with some alternate way to bring back some real puzzles next year in case we have the same situation - I just didn't have enough time to look into it this year.
 

mredburn

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Is there a program that can be purchased that would allow us to generate the puzzles? Specifically the jigsaw ones?
 

mredburn

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I would like to discuss our voting options and will amend the Universal Rules if needed.

1. Voting will be done via polls of the membership.

2. When possible, vote tallies will be kept hidden until the poll closes.

3. Members will be allowed to vote for as many of the entries as they are instructed to in the poll guidelines.

4. All polls will be open for no more than 72 hours.

5. In contests with 1 – 10 entries a single poll will be conducted to determine 1st, 2nd, 3rd and if necessary, 4th place winners.

6. In contests with 11 – 20 entries two polls will be conducted. The ten entries with the most amount of votes in the first poll will compete in the second poll to determine 1st, 2nd, 3rd and if necessary 4th place winners. In the event of a tie in the top ten positions in the first poll all pens up to the 10th most number of votes will be included in the second poll.

7. In contests with over 20 entries additional polls will be conducted as necessary to determine the final poll of 10 entries.
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mredburn

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Starting with
#5
I believe we need to change that to "up to 6 entries" a single poll will be conducted with one single selection allowed in the Poll.

#6
In Contests with over 6 and up to 15 entries a single poll will be conducted with 3 selections allowed by voting members.

#7
In Contests that have more than 15 entries and up to 20 entries a primary poll with 5 selections, the top 8 will be placed in a secondary poll to determine the winners.
3 selections allowed.

#8
In contests with over 20 entries two polls will be held dividing the entries equally.
(A) -Polls with 10-15 in each will have 3 selections in each poll the top 5 of each will be entered in a second poll with 3 selections to determine the winners
(B) - Polls with 15+ entries in each poll will Have 5 selections with the top 5 of each poll entered into a second poll with 3 selections to determine the winner.

Ties for 1st/2nd or 3 way ties, will be entered into a tiebreaker Poll. Ties for
2nd/3rd will have the prize values adjusted and balanced out and no run off poll will be held.
 
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Edgar

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I don't have strong feelings about the polling process except that we really should have consistent guidelines across all contests. Your proposed rules are fine with me.

As I understand the way multiple choice polls work, we can suggest a limit of 3, 5 or whatever number of choices, but I don't think there is a way to enforce it. I don't know if it's possible to add that capability, but I believe that that the only choices we have are to allow multiple choice or not allow multiple choice. However, i believe that most people will adhere to the specified number of choices so it's not a big deal if a few people choose more or less than we ask for.
 

mredburn

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I realized that the original #7 and #8 were redundant and have removed the original #7 and renumbered them.
 

Edgar

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Is there a program that can be purchased that would allow us to generate the puzzles? Specifically the jigsaw ones?

Actually, we do use on-line puzzle generator programs to create the crosssword, word search, jigsaw, etc. puzzles. The slider puzzles are the only ones that are generated by Curtis' own custom-written software.

Creating the puzzles themselves is not a problem. What Curtis does in his server is to put a nice user interface wrapper around the puzzles. One of the main things this does is make it easy to process & verify the puzzles and gives a fairly uniform look and feel to the puzzles. For instance, when you properly complete a puzzle, Curtis' software gives you a completion code that you submit via the entry form rather than having to submit the entire completed puzzle itself.

Also, when we have a 2-part puzzle, Curtis' custom software makes that possible.

Getting a completion code via an entry form makes it easy to determine who successfully completed the puzzle. Without that capability, it is a lot more tedious to review and validate the entries to determine if it was properly completed.

Without the server support, I can still generate the puzzles, but I need to come up with a good way for people to access the puzzles and submit their results to me. I just didn't have time to investigate a good way to do that before Bash time this year. I'll try to come up with a good solution for next year.

Suggestions & assistance are always welcome.
 

Edgar

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One other thing that we lose without Curtis' server is the tracking & reporting that he was able to do.

Without going into details, he also had the ability to fairly readily identify fraud attempts. Unfortunately, we have had a few cases of that in recent years.

I don't know if we need to be particularly concerned about that, but with every entry being submitted to individual email addresses, Curtis' mostly automatic data mining & analysis will now become a much more tedious, mostly manual task.

Do we need to consider assigning a few people to a "compliance committee" to review all entries to try to watch for this sort of thing?
 

mredburn

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What were the fraudulant attempts aimed at? specific contests? were they by members?
 

Edgar

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I know that one was by someone who tried to win one of our auctions in a fraudulent manner. I think there was also a cheat on either trivia or puzzles the year before I started handling puzzles.

I think both were by fairly new members who created multiple IDs.

Jeff would have better recollection of exactly what they did and how they were caught.
 

mredburn

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For basic casting being a pretty simple for anyone casting to enter there doesn't seem to be that much interest. Even with the heated debate I think Polyclay is growing and should continue. I do believe it is also our job to promote this new medium and get more people entering.
__________________

We had more entries in the Basic casting when 3 colors minimum were specified. Yes Poly Clay continues to grow and will be represented. We used to have 3 separate casting contests and they were pretty well represented. It was also when several of our members were coming out with new techniques. There was some friendly rivalry between them that drove competition and entries. Those members are not here as often.
 

CREID

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As you know the Polyclay contest was debated rather spiritedly :) this year. I think we need to do some research on this. Maybe get input from reasonable people and I think you know what I mean by reasonable. I was very disappointed in some of the behavior. I haven't ever done polyclay but it is a medium that I want to get into so my opinions may be a little biased here. But I think this is a medium that will take off if it doesn't get killed by bad attitudes. My idea that i believe was pretty evenly split was to allow people to use purchased canes and that was where the controversy started. I believe we had 2 entries with purchased canes used in their process and neither won, but at least they entered. As you can see, I want this too grow and we had some beautiful entries this year. I just don't know where to go from here to try and make if fun and fair for all.
 

CREID

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I agree with standardizing the polls in the contest. I think we need a contest specific tutorial for contest chairs and a strong suggestion of a test poll of some kind to check things out. Not me of course since I performed everything perfectly.:confused:

I know it has been mostly JT talking about the descriptions being in the poll with the pics. But I think it is a good idea and I put them in mine. I know this is more work and that there were some contest with a couple more entrants than mine.:)
 

CREID

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I think that all involved with the Bash need to start really early promoting the Bash and focus on the fun and not the prizes. I think that the prizes have gotten to the point where they are the focus and the fun is lost. I also think it would be a good idea to have a bragging rights contest and maybe we could get some of the real high end makers to enter the contest. There are some really talented people that don't enter any contest.
 

mredburn

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I would say that we move it towards making your own canes. Now that we have their attention and they know its coming they should start preparing early.

Unfortunately we cannot make a contest for every situation or whim.
We are now running 23 contests during the Bash. More contests dilute the entries into any given contest. We have a few that will enter multiple contests but most only one or two pen making ones.

I plan on keep the basic casting but as above give it some guidance with minimum 3 colors or has to have at least one specific color.

We will keep the Freestyle casting as well.
 

CREID

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With the Basic Casting, I don't know if it is the number of colors or people have just lost interest in coming up with new ideas but I haven't been able to get people interested in it much this or last year. Maybe I am doing things wrong. (did I just say that)?
 

CREID

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I do believe we need to get more input into the contests we hold but at the same time people need to understand it is input not demands from them that we are asking for.
 

CREID

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I think we also need to make it clear what contests we ourselves are allowed to enter. I personally only answered one trivia question and that guy said it was wrong.:eek: But I think trivia is one of the contests we can enter. I Think!
 

mredburn

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Turning Challenged - 10 entries
Slimline Unlimited -8 entries
Advanced kit - 4 entries
Ball point pen, -23 entries
Freestyle Pen - 5 entries
Kitless - 11
Pretty wood Pen - 40

Basic Casting- 5
Freestyle casting -10
Poly Clay - 8

Difficult to write with -6
Pen Box - 11
Pen stand - 5


Match the pen -7
shop Life photo- 13
Pen Photo -12


Trivia,puzzles and youth I dont have totals on.
Library is a simple poll.
losers Train - 70
 

mredburn

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You are allowed to enter any contest you are not running or dont have access to the answers. Such as Trivia, or Puzzles.
 

mredburn

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And numbers can change year to year. THe last couple of years The photo contests entries were terrible but this year they are back up. Things cycle. I dropped the hunter, bone, horn contests and combos there of.

When asking for input, its usually coming back from the same people. Occasionally some else chimes in. Most of the members simply read the rules submit an entry and are ok with however we decide to run it. We can have a list of contests that cycle through every once in awhile. THe Ugly pen. Difficult to write with, Get it Done, Cigar pen only, slimline only others as they come up.
 

Brian G

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Starting with
#5
I believe we need to change that to "up to 6 entries" a single poll will be conducted with one single selection allowed in the Poll.

#6
In Contests with over 6 and up to 15 entries a single poll will be conducted with 3 selections allowed by voting members.

#7
In Contests that have more than 15 entries and up to 20 entries a primary poll with 5 selections, the top 8 will be placed in a secondary poll to determine the winners.
3 selections allowed.

#8
In contests with over 20 entries two polls will be held dividing the entries equally.
(A) -Polls with 10-15 in each will have 3 selections in each poll the top 5 of each will be entered in a second poll with 3 selections to determine the winners
(B) - Polls with 15+ entries in each poll will Have 5 selections with the top 5 of each poll entered into a second poll with 3 selections to determine the winner.

Ties for 1st/2nd or 3 way ties, will be entered into a tiebreaker Poll. Ties for
2nd/3rd will have the prize values adjusted and balanced out and no run off poll will be held.


For #5, I think having two selections is better than one. My instinct is that this will more likely avoid a low vote tie between 2nd and 3rd.

I think #8 isn't necessary. The first rounds in the Ball Point and PWP contests, which had the most entries, pretty much sorted out the top 5. My judgement is that the first round is probably the most indicative of all of the rounds. Maybe we're trying to be too nice. Round one is the knockout round. Having too many (e.g., half) advance to the second round looks like it makes the subsequent voting MORE complicated than it needs to be.

I'd be cautious about changing the voting too much just because two or three people grumble about large contests being too hard. They should be hard. Maybe we fawn too much over too many mediocre pens in the SOYP forum, and people don't have a discerning enough eye on what is or isn't a pen worthy of entering in a contest.

The forum software allows 45 options in a poll. Until that number of entries is exceeded, I wouldn't split a contest into "heats." Allow 5 votes per voter, and then make the cut for the next round wherever there looks to be a break point.

Caution, no mincing of words follows

I don't know what people want for contests. I went back to post-BASH feedback threads for the past three BASHes. Enough people whined about basically having to do segmenting in order to win any contest. That complaint was one of the reasons that the PWP came to be. It's specifically for people that just want to make a simple wood pen with any commercially available kit, and not have to do anything other than turn and finish a nice piece of timber I can't see how it could be any simpler. I read some grumbling about how too many of the entries looked alike, and choosing was too hard, and there needs to be more put into the design. WTF do people want? The PWP contest is the only one that doesn't permit modifications or allow anything other than wood as the blank material.

Photos are always going to be a problem. I thought my photo requirements were easy to hit, but if I was ruthless I could have returned all but about 5 entries as non-compliant. It was easier for me to re-size them than go through the hassle of having photos re-sent. People need to get better at photographs. Yes, they matter.

I say no to posting entries as they come. I think this will make it more stressful work for the chairperson, because people will wait until the last hour to submit the entry. The last few Post-BASH feedback threads had the same three or four guys whining about this. They might just be the only three or four guys that like that stuff.

I think it's good to have a frivolous contest, whether it rotates between Difficult, Ugly, Edible, Thematic, or something else not so very serious.

I'm troubled by the youth contests. I think we should have them either during BASH or Summer Extravaganza, but not both. I feel like I'm donating blanks to the parent/mentor.

Are people really grateful for the prizes they win? Do they take the time to write a proper thank you to the donors? I do that because I think it's the right thing to do. A post buried in a thread, or even a PM doesn't seem good enough to me. Plus, I can't help but think that there is Vendor fatigue because of so many contests and events throughout the year with BASH and the various gatherings. The little extra appreciation might make the difference between donating a prize and sitting out.

Speaking of gatherings, why on earth is the FLA one encouraged to continue during BASH month? That burns me. It's like a kick in the shins.

To end with something good, I appreciate the help that SuperMike gave me, and to the greater good of IAP. I also appreciate the efforts of all of the fellow chairs of the contests, and the enthusiasm they put into their contests.
 

Mr Vic

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Just home from an HOA Board meeting and relaxing browsing the forum. So here's some initial input.

1. I concur we should try to standardize the voting which would ease the load on the contest moderator. The voting scheme Mike presented works for me.

2. Standardize the photo size and usage. Some folks said they liked the full size pics but scrolling through the Pretty wood thread was cumbersome and I hated it.

I resized all the photos in the Freestyle Casting to 800 x 600 at 150 dpi. If they'd already been cropped and were less then either dimension I pasted onto a 800x600 black background. I use an ancient copy of Photoshop.

Not everyone is a photographer or has the best equipment. As the contest organizer we can somewhat level the playing field by showing the same size and resolution.

My thought is use thumbnails and place them side by side under the contestant number and entry description.

3. I think all entries should have a description to be posted. Just so everyone knows what the pen or entry is.

4. So lets talk about the Poly Clay Contest! Curt put down that skew. :eek: I think we should allow both entrant made canes and store bought canes. We should also state in the description which it is and allow the vote to be cast taking that into consideration. I think we should be looking at what the finished product is and how the material was applied to the making of the pen. We don't require casters to formulate there resin or the wood pen guys to plant, grow and then harvest the wood for the pen. I might be a bit over simplifying it but hey its late.

5. +1 bazillion for posting a BASH calendar. Jumping around different threads trying to keep track was a pain.

6. Might consider have all contests end no later then say the 26th so the winners can be announced and the looser train can have two days to board during the bash.

Time to drag off to head so I can get up for work on time. I'll think things over in my sleep and post anything I come up with later.

Oh and a big round of applause to all of you co-BASH organizers.
 

CREID

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4. So lets talk about the Poly Clay Contest! Curt put down that skew. :eek: I think we should allow both entrant made canes and store bought canes. We should also state in the description which it is and allow the vote to be cast taking that into consideration. I think we should be looking at what the finished product is and how the material was applied to the making of the pen. We don't require casters to formulate there resin or the wood pen guys to plant, grow and then harvest the wood for the pen. I might be a bit over simplifying it but hey its late.

If I put down the skew, there will be several people out of jobs at the local blood bank.:cool:
I am really torn about the cane thing. I can see both sides and as I have said I would like to see it grow. And we do have at least 2 members that I know of who are selling them.
 

CREID

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Time to drag off to head so I can get up for work on time. I'll think things over in my sleep and post anything I come up with later.

Do you always sleep in the head?:biggrin::biggrin::eek:
 

mredburn

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A calendar would be great Vic. Thank you for volunteering twice for that duty. Last year we tried a Google Calendar but it was one on my account, it sucked. We really need a link to a larger calender that is kept up.

THe PWP will not change or go away until people stop entering it. I think the comment made about how it was the best contest for a beginner to enter says a lot. The numbers reinforce that.
 

mredburn

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I usually recomend 3 weekends for a contest. I leave it up to each of you to decide which works best. Some members are snowed in or Its so cold in their shops they dont have as much shop time as those of us that live in SW Fl. The thing that drags out the Bash is the Voting, mostly multiple polls.


I dont intend on changing the procedure of Posting Pictures as they come. We had a large discussion on this in the past that led to this procedure. THe frivolous contests are a different story.

I would like your opinions on #8 in the voting, Brian has a good point but lets hear what you think.

#8
In contests with over 20 entries two polls will be held dividing the entries equally.
(A) -Polls with 10-15 in each will have 3 selections in each poll the top 5 of each will be entered in a second poll with 3 selections to determine the winners
(B) - Polls with 15+ entries in each poll will Have 5 selections with the top 5 of each poll entered into a second poll with 3 selections to determine the winner.
 
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CREID

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The only thought I have on number eight is: Are we paying too much attention to the grumblings of a few. I don't know how many people complained or even how many voted. I do know that there was a lot of complaining in the contests this year, whether it was rules, polls, images or what. If you have a hundred votes and 2 people complain then tough bananas.
 

Mr Vic

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The only thought I have on number eight is: Are we paying too much attention to the grumblings of a few. I don't know how many people complained or even how many voted. I do know that there was a lot of complaining in the contests this year, whether it was rules, polls, images or what. If you have a hundred votes and 2 people complain then tough bananas.
I'm a firm believer in the concept that if you hand enough people a $100 bill there are those that will be angry it's not 2 $50. Or it's a new bill and not an old used one....

It's probably not politically correct but, Shut the blank up I just gave you a $100.
 

CREID

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Come on people, lets get some conversation going here. This is our chance to help improve the contests. And I haven't received my $100 dollars yet Vic.:cool:
 
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