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  1. ShannonH

    ShannonH Contributing Member Supporter

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    Authors voting for their own stories [Discussion moved from another thread]

    Discussion in 'Bi-Weekly Short Story Contest' started by ShannonH, Oct 21, 2016.

    Out of interest, can you see who voted for what on the poll?

    Would be fun to see if anyone voted for themselves :D

    EDIT: I'm not suggesting anyone has done this. Just in case anyone was concerned that was what my original post was inferring.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
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  2. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would suggest that all of the contestants vote for themselves. Many of them probably already did (I sure would, if it was allowed) so those that don't are left with an unfair disadvantage.
     
  3. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I've never voted for myself and never would. It's not banned because we can't stop it (votes are anonymous) but I would hope the people here are better than that. It seems a very childish thing to do...
     
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  4. Jarvis XIX

    Jarvis XIX Member

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    I really don't see why anyone would vote for themselves. It's not a true reflection of what people think of your work. It's a shame if people are.
     
  5. Alphonse Capone

    Alphonse Capone Member

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    I didn't and wouldn't for the reason you give.
     
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  6. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps a moderator will clarify and/or come up with a uniform policy on it. After a little searching, I see this issue listed in different ways under different contests.

    I think everyone should be going by the same rules, not vagueness like "shame on you" if you vote for yourself, yet those who don't are at a disadvantage. I don't have a story in the contest though, so just a bystander's opinion.

    I realize this is a friendly competition and not meant to be hardcore win-at-all-costs. Still, why would anyone enter if they didn't want to win? Especially when there are few votes to go around, voting or not voting for themselves can easily be the difference between winning and not winning.

    My thought, for what it's worth, is that all contestants should be encouraged to vote for themselves (with no "shame" factor!) or it shouldn't be allowed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  7. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I've gotten quite a few PMs in the past about rules regarding voting for your own poem/story. My stance on this is to try to vote for another member's piece, but if you truly feel like yours is the best, then vote for your own. Give credit where credit is due. We're trying to help each other become better writers, not see who can win the most medals. :)
     
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  8. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yet... it is a contest, not a workshop, right?
     
  9. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    True, but voting for your own entry just for the sake of winning isn't going to help you grow as a writer. Hopefully that's enough to get people to vote honestly, but who knows?
     
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  10. Grub-r

    Grub-r Member

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    Slippery slope. I believe in my competence as a writer but I'll be the first to admit that I'm extremely biased. If I submitted a story, someone else's story would have to completely blow me away to vote against myself (If I'm allowed to).

    Personally, I wouldn't allow entrants to vote but I know that's not always practical, especially when there are a low number of voters to begin with. Or make and post a hard rule that you are not allowed (although if votes are anon, there's no way to enforce this.

    I see both sides here. It's a contest and who doesn't want to win a contest even if it is just for fun and confidence in your own writing should never be looked down on. But it's only fun and you'd like to boost up your fellow writers and hopefully everyone gains something in the way of a friendly supportive community.
     
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  11. Grub-r

    Grub-r Member

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    Not a valid argument. Voting for someone else wouldn't either.

    What I'm seeing in the comments posted afterwards in the form of critiques would do that and I'm glad that people are taking their time to do that. That'd be more valuable to me than getting a win any day.
     
  12. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Contributing Member Contributor

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    Now that I think about it, if it were up to me I wouldn't let contestants vote at all. Come to think of it, I don't know of any contest of note where the contestants do get to vote.

    It's supposed to be what others think of their work, whereas this contest, with such few total votes anyway, could likely to come down to the winner being the one who thinks the most of their own work.

    That's really not fair and, in effect, measures the wrong thing I think, even though the underlying stance of "let's be grown-ups" is good. I think it is a poor contest design. It would kinda suck to lose out on the kudos you rightfully deserved only because someone else voted for themselves and you didn't.

    Granted, we aren't talking the Olympics here but why not measure what we're purporting to measure- what others think of your work, not if you think you deserve to win or not. It's supposed to be who has the best story, not who has the best self-confidence.

    So even encouraging contestants to vote for themselves, which I suggested earlier, doesn't eliminate that whole factor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  13. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Never said it would. What I'm hoping people do is read each entry and mentally critique it like they would in the Workshop. That would then help them pick and become better writers/critiquers as well.

    Like you said, we can't enforce that, and getting people to vote is always a problem.
     
  14. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    But we have no choice - there is simply no way to ban contestants from voting (which I wouldn't want to do anyway) OR determining if someone has voted for themselves. Hence there's no rule about not doing it, but I hope people will have more sportsmanship than that.

    Actually, we could de-anonymise voting, but that would cause all sorts of problems.

    I'm really not convinced that there's a good reason to vote for yourself. I once voted for a story that ended up tied with mine, and I was just flattered that people rated my story as highly as I rated that one. How could I have enjoyed that win if I'd voted for myself?

    Anyway - the contests aren't uniform and I don't see why they should be. Each administrator runs their own however they see best.
     
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  15. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I created this thread as the voting thread was being derailed by this discussion. The posts may not flow very well but I spliced them in as best I could. :)

    To reiterate: the current 'rule' is that you can vote for yourself if you want, because I can't stop you, but I hope that we're all sporting enough and mature enough not to do that.

    Having said that, my rules/the way I do things aren't set in stone, and I will change them if the majority want it done another way.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
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  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Contest I ran elsewhere, contestants voted but did so by PMing their top 3 choices, in order, to the admin. Couldn't vote for yourself. That worked well.
     
  17. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    We could do that here but it'd be an honour system just like it currently is, since I can't tell who voted for who. And it'd just be a far more complicated honour system than "we can't stop you but please don't do it." :D

    I also remember a very strong resistance to the idea of de-anonymising voting in a previous discussion thread. Personally I always say who I voted for, but I have to respect that others hate the idea.

    And I really want to keep me out of it, including relying on people to believe I counted up PM votes accurately. I don't want personalities to get into it, or people think I sabotaged their win or rigged it in favour of my friends...
     
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  18. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Yes, in the contest I ran I was able to see who voted for whom. So it was anonymous to the site generally, but not to the contest admin. I don't think anyone would think it was rigged, but it's not as elegant as a poll. The only other thing I liked about it was each person made three picks, so stories that got a lot of second place votes, for example, would have a chance of winning if no story got enough first place votes.

    I don't mind the system here. I don't vote for myself. I know people do, and that's too bad particularly when you have a contest with a relatively small number of voters, but not much that can be done about it.
     
  19. Grub-r

    Grub-r Member

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    Just my 2 cp

    I'm a fan of the multiple vote system. Especially if there's low voter turnout. In that system I'd allow people to vote for themselves. It allows everyone who thinks their story may be the best to vote for it without remorse.

    It also has a way of picking out the best overall submission. I'm reminded of an old Magnum PI episode when a woman told him she wanted to hire him because he was the best. He asked her what made her think he was the best. She said, "I asked all the other PIs who the best was and they all said themselves, but then I asked them who's 2nd and they all said you."

    But I know it's a lot of, often thankless, work to run these and I support whatever system is put in place by the people running it. Just as long as the rules are clear up front.
     
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  20. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I would LOVE multiple votes and to have a first, second and third winner. Again, we're limited by the forum software. :( I mean, I could create three polls but... can you imagine the carnage? :D

    That's one of the reasons I want people to discuss the entries - so authors who didn't win can see that people still read and appreciated their stories.
     
  21. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    If it were something handled by the contest admin, manually, that's one thing. But, as @Tenderiser has already mentioned, we have worked this question to the bone, re-fleshed it and worked it to the bone again over the years because going solely off of what the forum software provides, there is no way to know who voted for what. Votes are anonymous.
     
  22. dbesim

    dbesim Contributing Member

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    Hi @Carly Berg if a contestant has read all the other entries and genuinely believes that their entry is the best one there then the option is available and I don't see why they shouldn't vote for themselves. The voting part is a fun part of it and many who take part in the story-telling like to be a part of this process and probably constitute a chunk of the voters.

    There have been times when I haven't entered a story and voted but this time I have entered a story and voted and had a couple favourites. If, like me, you like to read all the stories involved before you vote then by process of elimination (if you decide to enter a contest in the future) you should probably ask yourself ''which of these stories here is my favourite besides my own?" and vote for the story that's your favourite besides your own.

    If people do choose to vote for themselves, the option is available, there's no way of knowing and it's allowed.
     
  23. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Contributing Member Contributor

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    If it's not enforceable to not allow contestants to vote, and it won't work for a mod to have all votes sent to them first, then I'd go back to encouraging all contestants to vote for themselves.

    That at least levels the playing field. It puts all contestants on even footing and eliminates making it into a "whoever loves their own story wins" - and in that case, imo no shame should be attached to voting for themselves (especially since most of the other contestants can anonymously vote for themselves and probably mostly do vote for themselves).

    @debesin- I've already explained more than once what I think is unfair about "Only vote for yourself if you really, really think you deserve it," what I think would be better, and why.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  24. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Everyone gets one vote, so encouraging them all to vote for themselves amounts to the same thing as not letting contestants vote (though your idea is more practical). That gives rise to a problem if the contestants make up the vast majority of the voting pool. I don't know if they do or not.
     
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  25. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why can't we use "likes" as votes? Instead of the poll, I mean.

    If I enjoyed someone's story, I hit "like," the one with the most "likes" in the end wins. That way, you can vote for multiple stories, including your own, so you don't feel so biased.
     
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