Pegasus Princess

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Thoughts About Contest

June 23, 2010

Okay deep breath in and here it goes.....

FIRST and foremost: a huge ‘thank you' to everyone involved by coming up with workable solutions to make the contest work as it was intended.  

SECOND:  In support of what Kris “Dreamweaver" recently posted:  He made a good point about a few regulars participating in the contest.  (This isn't always the case, but most of the time we see the same sites on nominee list).  This is fine, and certainly permissible under the contest guidelines.  Per contest rules, we can nominate our own work, and vote on our own submission.  He also went on to say this is a nice opportunity for new poets to get their works nominated on contest board- and increase their exposure- this is true, as long as vote tampering does not occur.  

Opinion About Contest Involvement:

It is my hope the kind of contest participation I mentioned (same nominees, or padding votes) doesn't turn into ‘the norm' for the following reasons:

1.  I'd like to see more nominations, thereby increasing the diversity of writing styles submitted into the contest.  

2. New writers, as well as those that have been on PP for some time, may enjoy the contest opportunity (free from abuse) to increase exposure.  

3.  The PP contest not only serves the community of PP, but also helps represent the works here for anyone in the world surfing the internet in search of poetry/prose.  It's quite possible anyone finding poetrypoem will likely explore the contest nominees/past contest winner listing.  It would be nice to see a variety of authors represented. As more people participate in the contest, or exercise their right to vote, we'll enjoy a diverse group of writers and their wonderful works, and so will the world- so we need to keep them in mind.

Voting Abuse:

Voting abuse is not only wrong, but gives a false impression.  When I was new to PP (about 4 yrs ago) I believed what I saw on contest board, and thought to myself, "Wow this writer must really be great".  I believed the contest to be an accurate reflection.  Then I discovered that vote tampering was taking place, (it was a let down).  

Question:  Is it possible to use 'winner' status on this international poetry site to impress a publisher?  

I'm not sure if a writer could use their ‘frequent winner status' to impress a publisher, for self-gain and notoriety.   After all, their name and submission is recorded here for quite a long time.  I don't know if it's possible, but it has crossed my mind.  It seems most author's self-publish, maybe this is a mute point.    

Contest Participation (free from misuse)  *This will sound redundant, because most of us know how this process works, but for those that are new to PP this may be helpful.

a. As we read poetry, and come across a poem/prose or story that we feel is really good, we may exercise our voting rights (staying within guidelines/rules of contest).

b. Over the course of a day, a list of nominees will be created for everyone's review (from this nominee list on board, we may vote for a poem that we feel should come out on top for the day).

c. A 'daily winner' with highest vote count will emerge.

d. The author, along with their poem/prose title, is etched on the past contest winner board.  (It appears the board keeps the list for about a year?)  This is the only ‘prize'.... a chance to have your work recorded on board for everyone's view.

With this being said, it is with the highest regard and respect, that receiving a helpful and/or inspiring critique/feedback speaks volumes about great poetry writing too, and a ‘contest' doesn't define greatness (depends on format of contest I suppose, such as peer reviews, journals/publications, or other judging formats, etc.)  Even then, we all realize that creative writing is subjective and a matter of preference as well as perception.  There's thousands of talented writers here, and all over the world for that matter.

Special Note:  
Keep in mind there are some authors that do not wish to participate in the contest.  They do not want their poems nominated, or voted for.  If you have been made aware either personally, or publicly, it's an expectation to respect their preference.

No More Contest Abuse:

It is paramount that abuse not be tolerated anymore.  Misuse of voting has created angst over the years, and as a result, the contest feature is not being utilized to its fullest potential. Since the contest is here, and likely a marketing tool, it would be nice to see more works represented, as well as vote manipulation a thing of the past.

If the contest voting problems continue to be an issue, I'd support increased measures to ‘qualify' voting privileges, banish the abusers, or do away with the contest altogether.  

Idea to Fix Vote Abuse:  (maybe this idea will spark a better one)

'Phantom sites' (zero poem sites), could be monitored from a technical viewpoint.  Maybe there's a way to 'build-in parameters' (behind the scenes of the contest)?  A site would have to become 'viable' to be eligible to have voting rights.  However, if certain criteria was not met (for example, votes cast without any author info, GB entries, or poetry posted the site) it would obviously exists for the sole purpose of 'vote casting', and therefore be considered 'not viable'.  Once deemed 'not viable', site would be deleted.  At a minimum the site creator would not be able to use the  site to cast votes from.  I realize there are ways to get around this idea! So it will likely not work.  I don't know the technical aspect of poetrypoem.  However, I thought maybe this idea may spark a better one?  

I'm usually a quiet observer, but there are times to share thoughts or ideas.  Perhaps in time, we'll become more comfortable with the contest feature here.  Participation will increase and we, along with outside visitors will enjoy it more.  

It's important to say that poetry writing and sharing is not about winning a ‘free daily contest'.  Obviously, there's much more to writing than acquiring such status on a website.  In the big picture, I think it's more about how poetry touches us personally, and how it touches others, that's most effective and enjoyable.  BUT, as I said, if the contest is a feature here, it may as well be used properly right?

Thank you to everyone that's kept reading to this point!  Hopefully the fact I broke this up into segments made sharing my long-winded thoughts easier to read.

I apologize for those I may have offended in offering my opinion about this subject.  It is not my intention to cause harm.  I'm offering these thoughts, as well as ideas hopefully to help in some small way.

Okay I can exhale now..... whew ; )

Respectfully Submitted

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