Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby mitchellbravo » September 4th, 2013, 11:59 am

eishiya wrote:
mitchellbravo wrote:
Kikcac wrote:I like the site. But since I have to put the comics in order from best to worst, it's kinda hard. I barely read all those comics to give a right judgement. :(

Just do your best :) It's okay to rank them without reading every page of each.

I thought the point was to read them? What's the point of participating in the voting for a category if you're not going to read the nominees?

Well, of course the point is to read them, but I'm saying it's okay if you don't read them all from start to finish. Say you're reading one and you like, I dunno, don't like it. It's okay to not slog through the rest of it if it's not your cup of tea :|
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Re: VOTING NOW OPEN!! SEPT. 1ST-25TH! CLICK HERE!

Postby martina313 » September 4th, 2013, 1:50 pm

Falconer wrote:
blankd wrote:Also I hate to bring up more stuff, but is there any reason some of the comic descriptions are really strange?
Example:
As time passes by, Dory tries to (Once again) win Damian's heart.
Will he succeed?
Or will their 'deal' get in the way?


Some of them also refer to "if you enjoyed the book you'll enjoy this!" or something to that effect.


They were copy & pasted from whatever they had in their profile at the time. I had no hand in reading the comics for narrowing them down, so I couldn't create my own for them, nor did I expect the others to since some had to read a lot. Some comics didn't have any description on their profile, so I tried to see if they had one on their website, but if not it had to be left blank. Otherwise the norm was to stick with whatever the author put there. (I tried to cut out the update or "buy book here" info when possible)


Sorry for the ''strange description''
My English is not good xD

Anyhoo,I was pretty surprised/happy to see my comic was included! (Even though it has the weird description)

Pretty excited to see how this ends up!
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby sky665 » September 9th, 2013, 12:03 am

Is the next round suppose to be up already now? It saays it's the second round - but it looks like the same comic choices as before.
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby mitchellbravo » September 9th, 2013, 11:38 am

It is the same comic choices. There's 15 comics, total, per category. They're sorted differently this week so that you're ranking them against different comics in their category than before.
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby LibertyCabbage » September 9th, 2013, 1:32 pm

The concept's pretty good, but I felt overwhelmed with the amount of comics to vote on. I quickly skimmed about five pages of each one, and I was only able to get through Round 2 before the week ended. I did find some new webcomics I'm interested in, though, which is nice.

Here are my suggestions for the 2014 awards:

-- Have less categories. You don't need, for instance, Drama, Romance, Gay Romance, and More Gay Romance. Personally, I'd just do Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy/Sci-Fi, and Horror, and call it a day.

-- Make the categories flexible. If Category A has three good comics and Category B has eight good comics, make Category A three comics and Category B eight comics. It's nice that some less popular comics get recognized, but don't punish voters by filling categories with mediocre comics just to hit that "15" mark.

-- Kudos are a cool idea, but most of the time I used them I was just giving "Great Writing!" or "Great Art!" to my No. 1 picks, which is kinda pointless. "Great Improvement!" makes the most sense, but I didn't have a chance to gauge improvement since I had to rush through the entries.

-- The schedule should be clearer, as Week 1 was plainly labeled "September 1 - September 9" but actually concluded on September 8. I was a little disappointed by this since I had planned on getting some last-minute voting in today.

As it stands, I'm not interested in participating in Weeks 2 and 3 since I'm already burned out on the voting process. It's just not fun from a voter's perspective, and I'd rather wait until next year when the process will hopefully be simplified. I'll add that if it's considered a priority to give recognition to lesser webcomics, it would make more sense to either have a second, separate voting process and awards ceremony for them, or to label them "Honorable Mentions" and exclude them from the voting process.
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby mitchellbravo » September 9th, 2013, 3:05 pm

LC, part of the issue with having less comics per category is that means more work for the judges to do. In past years people didn't like the judges having so much say in the finalists, so we felt that by including more choices, that gave more say to the voters at large. We weren't filling categories, we just set 15 as a maximum, not a minimum.

The kudos used to be categories themselves, so there's actually fewer categories this year than previous years. And even with that, I think some people were disappointed that those categories were no longer included. There also used to be "best characters" and I think a few more.

I personally don't see a problem with the number of categories because voters are not required to vote in each category. I know I didn't vote in several of them because they're categories that don't appeal to me. If anything it gives people more opportunities to check out a larger variety if they so choose. Excluding sprites and yaoi as categories, for instance, would be excluding a large part of the SJ comics culture.

I've mentioned it before, but many of the issues here are because we tried to fix problems people had found with the awards in the past- elitism and popularity contests, judges having too much say (because the judges weren't appointed by the forums, it's volunteer based, and I htink some people feel "Who's to say So-and-so is qualified to judge these comics?"). Whether you agree or not that those are issues, they were things that we felt were important enough to the voter base that we were trying to problem solve how to minimize their effect this year.

I'm not sure whether there will be a 2014 awards. It seemed the team was pretty burned out over the course of this year. It would require pretty much a full new team and I'm not sure anyone new is willing to devote the amount of time required.
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby blankd » September 9th, 2013, 3:51 pm

LibertyCabbage wrote:As it stands, I'm not interested in participating in Weeks 2 and 3 since I'm already burned out on the voting process. It's just not fun from a voter's perspective, and I'd rather wait until next year when the process will hopefully be simplified. I'll add that if it's considered a priority to give recognition to lesser webcomics, it would make more sense to either have a second, separate voting process and awards ceremony for them, or to label them "Honorable Mentions" and exclude them from the voting process.

It's the same 15 comics for week 2 an 3, they are simply pitted against different combinations of those comics. The format, as Mitchell said, is to mitigate the very major problem of popularity since most comic artists would just ask their readerbase to vote for them and that would be that (every voter only got one vote!)

Also the comics are nominated by the readers, the judges do their best to pick the best from those suggestions. People who are attentive of the forums will notice and act accordingly, comics that simply use SJ as a blind mirror won't notice and sadly, won't benefit.

I'm also strongly against Fantasy and Sci-Fi being lumped together since they have different expectations accordingly to what makes each good, but different. With the exception of romance and gay romance, all other categories are existing genres on SJ and it makes sense that they each have their own category. maybe the next time could try for 12 entries but I'm not sure how much work that would place on the judges and how much an appreciable difference it would make for the voters or if reducing the entries would improve what the Smackies is supposed to do- expose people to new comics.

LC if you're curious there used to be 20+ categories and up to 10 entries (2010 Smackies) and 5 entries (2011 Smackies) and you only got 1 vote vs 10 categories with up to 15 entries where you are forced to weigh in on scaling the comics.

I'm hesitant about lumping all romance together but I can definitely see the point for doing it since to be honest, most romances have the same pitfalls if they're bad/mediocre, but due to the nature of there being SO MANY yaois I can easily see the strain on the judges, the same for how it's very easy to have different "types" of romance might overtake the others and voters will see it as UNFAIR or some bias is at play (on either the judges' part or the voters, aka the voters go "eewwwwwwww gaaaaaaaaayyy" or "eeeewwww heeeeeeeeeeeeet" and would thus skew the voting)
SuperBiasedMan wrote:Just because you've proven something blankd doesn't mean I have to believe it.

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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby Remawolf » September 10th, 2013, 7:14 am

This is great but I can't vote. I only have an iPad and you can't drag and drop from a "mobile device". At least no way I've been able to figure out. I can give kudos for best art and such, but that's it.
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby Guest » September 10th, 2013, 10:33 am

mitchellbravo wrote:I'm not sure whether there will be a 2014 awards. It seemed the team was pretty burned out over the course of this year. It would require pretty much a full new team and I'm not sure anyone new is willing to devote the amount of time required.

Well, that would suck. I would be willing to volunteer to keep this going. I know in some ways this kind of recognition award is inherently flawed (re: the Academy Awards, f'rinstance), but I still think it's encouraging to those of us who feel that they are creating comix in a vacuum. The recognition and kudos are a great morale booster for me, and I assume for other creators in my position. So I'll put my money where my mouth is and be on board for next year's awards if you'll have me.
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby LibertyCabbage » September 10th, 2013, 1:18 pm

@mitchellbravo & blankd:

My suggestions would actually decrease the work for judges significantly because any webcomics that aren't outstanding would be immediately disregarded. So, you'd be dealing with a much smaller pool of webcomics from the start. The judges are creating extra work for both themselves and the voters by trying to avoid getting labeled "elitist," trying to expose people to new comics, and trying to represent SJ's culture. It's not my problem if the judges wanna spend their time and energy doing that, but it should be noted that these elements are optional. Yeah, there will inevitably be some complaints, but every judged competition in history has had people complain about the judges being biased and/or incompetent.

As a voter, what I'd personally enjoy the most would be to spend just a few hours reading decent-sized samples of great webcomics. If there were five categories with three webcomics each, I could spend 10 minutes reading each one and be finished voting in about two and a half hours. There are currently more than 10 times that many webcomics, minus duplicates. There are probably some voters who like having a lot of choices -- maybe even a majority prefer it that way -- but I haven't been enjoying the voting process enough to continue participating in it.

I also have another suggestion, which is to consider using methods other than an awards ceremony to satisfy the goals of exposing people to new comics and representing SJ's culture. Comic Spotlight already does the former to an extent, and that could be complemented or improved upon. A significant amount of the finalists aren't Spotlighted, so that would be a simple way to start getting noteworthy webcomics recognized. As for culture, some prominent sprite and yaoi creators could help coordinate some sort of a tribute presentation. Something like this was done at Comic Genesis back in the day, where a video was made showing strips and pages from various CG comics, and it was very popular with the community. So, I think there may be some more creative approaches to solving these problems rather than just giving creators awards.
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby eishiya » September 10th, 2013, 1:42 pm

Although I don't agree with LC's thoughts about the Smackies, I do agree that it's the Spotlight that needs to be improved and given more focus. A feature system, of which the Spotlight is one lacking implementation, is much closer to the goals of the Smackies than an awards/voting thing.

I love the idea of kudos. It would be cool if that was added to SJ itself as a feature :F
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby LibertyCabbage » September 10th, 2013, 2:09 pm

eishiya wrote:Although I don't agree with LC's thoughts about the Smackies, I do agree that it's the Spotlight that needs to be improved and given more focus. A feature system, of which the Spotlight is one lacking implementation, is much closer to the goals of the Smackies than an awards/voting thing.
Instead of having one large team responsible for everything, there could be smaller, separate teams: one for awards, one for Comic Spotlight, and one for, like, community stuff. I'm pretty sure that, with smaller teams, each project could get done a lot more quickly. I don't mind that you three disagree with my criticisms, but I think it'd be reasonable to address the problem that the current system's cumbersome nature made the 2013 awards take almost a whole year to prepare and has potentially put the 2014 awards in jeopardy.
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby eishiya » September 10th, 2013, 2:30 pm

One problem with the awards taking this long this time was that people forgot about them and the process started much later than usual. The Smackies were basically a year late because of the time it took people to remember and for a new judge team to form. I suspect the delay was compounded further by private problems for the judges, though I can't be sure of that since I wasn't on the team. I don't know what the selection process was like this year, but in 2011, the number of comics to read wasn't a big problem, and the time-consuming parts of the process had more to do with the voting process, which has been streamlined this year.

I'm personally not fond of having "Awards" at all, but I do support the idea of having different teams for the different things you mentioned. If we had a separate (and effective) spotlight, then the Smackies could focus on rewarding authors for making good comics, and leave the comic-discovery work to the spotlight crew. Trying to do everything in one go obviously has problems.

...that said, the 2013 Smackies aren't over yet, and perhaps I should hold off on feedback and suggestions until it's all done.
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby mitchellbravo » September 10th, 2013, 2:33 pm

LibertyCabbage wrote:
eishiya wrote:Although I don't agree with LC's thoughts about the Smackies, I do agree that it's the Spotlight that needs to be improved and given more focus. A feature system, of which the Spotlight is one lacking implementation, is much closer to the goals of the Smackies than an awards/voting thing.
Instead of having one large team responsible for everything, there could be smaller, separate teams: one for awards, one for Comic Spotlight, and one for, like, community stuff. I'm pretty sure that, with smaller teams, each project could get done a lot more quickly. I don't mind that you three disagree with my criticisms, but I think it'd be reasonable to address the problem that the current system's cumbersome nature made the 2013 awards take almost a whole year to prepare and has potentially put the 2014 awards in jeopardy.

The biggest problem is not enough people able to take on that commitment, though. There's only so many regulars here and of those, only so many people with enough time and willingness to devote to that kind of maintenance, you know what I mean? People volunteer happily for things at the start but then real life comes along and people can't make that commitment anymore. Last year, when we took volunteers for the awards team, twelve people volunteered. Sounds like a good number of people to successfully split up and take care of all of the aspects of the process, right? And it was, and everybody had their tasks lined up.
But people weren't able to help anymore as the year went on. Initially the voting was supposed to take place in March/April. With the dwindling team (and I need to really make it clear that I am not blaming anybody for it taking this long, I'm not trying to make the people who weren't able to commit anymore feel ashamed or whatever, because I understand why they weren't able to help anymore) we really got set back a lot.
There wasn't even a 2012 awards, because the team from 2011 didn't come back together to make it happen, and I think SuperBiasedMan was the only person from the 2011 awards who was able to help again this year.

What I'm trying to say is, yes, we can say things would be better if only someone would do this, if we had somebody whose job it was to take care of X Y and Z. But it's all volunteer based. And although it's easy to see what problems exist in certain areas, it's really quite difficult to come up with feasible solutions for them, and to then implement those solutions.

Maybe those volunteers do exist, and I'd be happy to see and encourage them. But LC, I know compared to CG that this community seems quite active, but when you actually look at the users day to day and which of those people are actively involved in the community (meaning not people who post only in Games or their own spotlight/showcase threads and things like that) the numbers are actually really small. I just think there simply isn't enough manpower to enact the changes you've prescribed.

eishiya wrote:One problem with the awards taking this long this time was that people forgot about them and the process started much later than usual. The Smackies were basically a year late because of the time it took people to remember and for a new judge team to form. I suspect the delay was compounded further by private problems for the judges, though I can't be sure of that since I wasn't on the team. I don't know what the selection process was like this year, but in 2011, the number of comics to read wasn't a big problem, and the time-consuming parts of the process had more to do with the voting process, which has been streamlined this year.


Yeah, the delay wasn't due to the number of comics or even the way the process was structured. It was, as far as I can tell, entirely personal and people being busy with other factors inhibiting them from being able to contribute fully according to the deadlines they themselves had set. (Again, need to make clear, not blaming anybody, just saying the honest reason of what happened. No one needs to feel bad about it, it's just how it happened.)

Hence my whole post before- it's about being able to find people with 1. time and 2. willingness. Very few have both, and those who do may only have it for small amounts of time.
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Re: Vote in the 2013 Smackie Awards!

Postby Falconer » September 10th, 2013, 2:43 pm

LibertyCabbage wrote:but I think it'd be reasonable to address the problem that the current system's cumbersome nature made the 2013 awards take almost a whole year to prepare and has potentially put the 2014 awards in jeopardy.


I just want to momentarily interject to agree that the situation is more complicated than that. I mean, some people's living conditions changed and they no longer had the time or had other obligations to take care of, and it's natural for the initial enthusiasm to dwindle as time goes by.

Spoiler! :
For example in my situation, I was living mostly pretty OK and had a lot of free time when I signed up, but had that all turned completely upside down what felt very suddenly. I found myself scraping by paycheck to paycheck at a job that I hated and that hated me right back (and I'm still there, and the months have been crazy, unpredictable, and weird). I was extremely depressed for a solid 6-7 months, and being the only person with the skills to do the website and new system, it was more pressure on me. To be clear, I'm not really complaining or upset, because I understood that responsibility would be mine when I signed up and the team did offer a backup plan when things were getting rough in case I couldn't finish it, but I still did it because I didn't want to let any of y'all down. If I'm tired, it's not just because of the awards - it's because it was another thing I was doing on top of all the rest I was (and AM) going through. And I know things haven't always been easy for everyone else, and a few people did have to step down from helping as a result.

So it's easy to say that, for instance, if someone else had been helping me with the website it would have been easier -- and it probably would have -- but frankly there just aren't a lot of people on here with the resources or know-how - and when you are looking for people who will volunteer their time/energy to help, that pool gets even smaller.

The question then is what happens in 2014? If I don't help with the website, we can't use the same system or improve it because I just don't know that there would be anyone will the skills and willingness to take it on, so that almost makes it an obligation for me. If I don't, do I risk the awards going back to the disaster they were before, simply because their options are now limited? Do I risk them making it more complex/complicated on themselves in attempt to compensate? I don't know, but I also don't know if I want to do it.

It's too early for me to think about right now, so let's not. Advice and suggestions are great, but let's wait until it's all done with and time has passed so we can practically reflect for next year.


As far as the spotlights go, the process for that is entirely different and not comparable to the smackies. As far I know, the process is people make suggests in the forum and then admin eventually decides which to put in the spotlight when he gets the time? So I'm not sure what good having a team would do unless admin was able to hand over some of the power over to them so that they could actively post the spotlighted comics on the site. I'm all for reworking the spotlight and making it more actively updated and better! However, that suggestion should go to him and not us. We have nothing to do with that.
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