Just in case some have missed the recent discussion and now test voting, we are planning to trial a new way of voting when POTW #274 goes to the voting stage tomorrow evening (Sunday 25th September).

Why are we trialling this?

This is purely to see if we on AP can judge competitions in a more club/organisational style. If you join a photography club and enter a competition, you entry gets points and is rated. Using the current AP voting system an entry that comes last with zero or one vote, doesn't bring with it much positive confidence to the members who entered it, but if that person came last with a score of 5.4 out of 10, then they know they have some work to do to improve, but they are likely not as disheartened as getting zero votes, as happens under the current system.

Simply, we want each and every entrant to get a rating that is positive and encourages improvement.

What the changes mean to you as a judge/voter.
When voting begins on Sunday evening, to the left of each entry in the poll, will be a series of radio buttons, marked 10 down to 1. Members are asked to rate each entry in the poll, using 10 as the winning entry and 1 as the least likely to win. Note you do not have to have a 10, or a 1, and entries can be ranked the same (you could have 4 entries all ranked with the same number, if you felt that is what they deserved). ideally we expect there to be one, maybe two entries in a competition that get ranked as a 10, and then the rest downward from there. We do not expect entries to be given a 1 or 2 very often. Just evaluate each entry on its merits and rank it accordingly. The voting guidelines that we developed should assist in that regard.

Basically you do it now, you choose a top 6/5/4 in each competition, these would be your high ranking entries, under the new voting/judging system. The difference being that all entries must be given a rating, under the new system. As you browse through the entries using the current voting system you decide if an entry is worthy of a top 6/5/4 vote, under the new system, all you need to do is put a mouse click on where you rank this photo, rather than just mentally deciding it is not in your top entries and won't get a vote.

Feedback and discussion on the new voting/judging.
Once the competition poll is up and running, we will have a new thread on the site for members to provide feedback on the new voting method. Please just discuss the voting method, not who you voted for, or how many points you gave particular entries. Which entry you assigned which points to, is to remain confidential, as always.

What we plan to do, is run the POTW#274 using the new system, #275 using the old system, #276 using the new system. Then we will look at the discussion threads about the changes, run a poll to see what members want, and then determine if we move to the new vote rating system on all future competitions, or if it is something we use intermittently.

We would also like to see feedback from those who entered the competition, and how the new scoring worked for them. So once the competition is over and you can see your score, we would like to know if that is more helpful than a single vote tally. We will want to know if you find a score of 5/10, more informative, positive and encouraging, than 2 votes out of 54 voters.

Give it a try right now, using our test poll.
In the meantime, have a go at the test poll that is available now, and give us your feedback here, as your suggestions, concerns let us tweak the new vote rating software (thanks again Kym), to make it what members want it to be.

* This is a trial, it is your chance to have your say about this new voting/ranking system.
* You will need to vote/rank each entry in a competition using the new voting method
* You need to give each entry a rank from 10-1 based on where you feel the entry should sit on that scale (10 being the winner)
* You have a set of guidelines to help you work out where each entry belongs. We believe after voting/ranking a couple of competitions, members will not need to refer to the guidelines very often.
* This new vote/ranking system is purely designed to offer more feedback to competition entrants. Getting a score of 6/10 is better than getting zero/one votes. By looking at the guidelines, someone who gets 6/10 can see what they need to do to improve. Someone getting zero votes just gets disheartened.
* Please provide us with feedback on the new system, we can only make it as good as members want it to be, by being told what you like, or dislike about it.

We (the mods and I) understand this change will mean a little more work, when voting on a competition, however we also feel it will result in a more tangible result, that all entrants can use. Yes it will take a bit more times to vote, but we hope the outcome of doing so provides more positive feedback and we hope the entrants appreciate this development and trial.