SJ Awards (Recruiting Volunteers)

The latest happenings on Smack Jeeves
Forum rules
Please stay on-topic when responding to news posts.

SJ Awards (Recruiting Volunteers)

Postby Bliss » November 30th, 2018, 11:15 pm

Hello, I've noticed the last time there was a SJ Awards, it was in 2013. It has been a while, and I feel with all the various comics that have surfaced on the website, it would be good to honor authors with rewards. It would also give people a chance to read new comics that might of flew under the radar for them. The year 2018 is wrapping up, so I would like to do an awards pertaining to the comics that have been released. OR maybe do an awards that features comics that were active from the beginning of 2018 the middle of 2019 (June maybe?). I know this would be a lot of work, as I was part of the team that worked on the last awards, but I would like to assemble a team who would be interested on working on the awards with me. Also, if you are not interested in helping, would you look forward to having an SJ Awards once again? Post your comments, thoughts, or whatever regarding the topic of a new SJ Awards.
-----------
What I am looking to achieve with the SJ Awards is to open the eyes of all of the users on this website. Most of the users on this site visit this website to promote their comics, or other creative works. Yes, I know we also visit this site to read other people's comics, but that does not mean this site doesn't need expansion. By expansion, I mean by...

1) Getting people to read comics that have not reached much publicity.
2) Handing out awards to increase the credibility of all authors.

This is a great website, and seeing the different ways it allows us to navigate, upload, share, favorite, and comment is what puts this site above all the other webcomic sites I've seen. Not having the awards since 2013 was a shocker when I returned to this website. There are so many comics that have been released and updated since then, and many of them have drifted into the shadows, including their authors. Lets be real, we all have a purpose to want to create. How do I know that? It takes a long time to draw these comics and even LONGER to develop the story. Being in the creative world is a ten step process most people in the world don't comprehend, there are a lot of dark nights. Therefor, I want each and every one of us to get that recognition for our work, because you all sure as hell deserve it. We make comics to have them indulged, bring new ideas, and socialize about the inspirations behind those comics.

However, this is a community effort. I'm asking all of you to throw me your ideas, and personal preferences of what you want to see in these SJ Awards. I, and whoever decides to join me on this fabulous quest will listen and consider your ideas. If you don't want to volunteer and just share ideas...GO FOR IT! If you want to volunteer and share ideas...GO FOR IT! Of course the first choice is less time consuming, but it still counts and my team WILL LISTEN to what you have to say. I want this site to flourish and continue to grow, why else would I return out of nowhere to bring these back? I care a lot, and so should all of you.
=====================
Smackies' Team Roster (Currently)
=====================
1) Bliss
2) Smopit
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)
10)
11)
12)
Last edited by Bliss on December 6th, 2018, 6:34 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Image
User avatar
Bliss
 
Posts: 86
Joined: June 4th, 2009, 7:51 pm

Re: SJ Awards for 2018

Postby JoKeR » December 1st, 2018, 12:11 pm

Yeah, why not. Could be fun.
Image

-=: jokercologne.deviantart twitter.com/JoKeRcologne joker-cologne.tumblr :=-

Expect the unexpected. Never take anything for granted. Scrutinise everything. Be open-minded. Learn.
User avatar
JoKeR
 
Posts: 2518
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:42 am
Location: A City with a huge cathedral

Re: SJ Awards for 2018

Postby eishiya » December 1st, 2018, 1:48 pm

Just in case it's helpful, here's a possible schedule for how the 2018 (or would they be 2019? I don't remember how the dating works) awards might go, based on my experience with past SJ Awards:

Since the end of the year is very busy for most people and it's already filled with events such as the SJ Secret Santa, it's best to have the awards before then, e.g. around September. With how long organization takes and how much time is needed for the nominations and sorting through them, starting now sounds about right xP

Winter 2019, prep work:
December 2018 - January 2019: Assemble volunteers. This might not actually be enough time! Try to get more volunteers than you actually need, because people will most likely have to drop out.
January-February 2019: Discuss how this year's SJA will be run. What will the categories be? How many comics will be in the shortlist for each? How will voting happen? This will also be the time to reach out to SJA veterans and learn from their mistakes.
March 2019: Create the awards website with information on the nomination process and the categories. Create the nomination form, and test that everything works fully on a variety of devices. If nomination happens via the forum, give people a template to use. This is also the time to create a prototype of the voting form, so that it's ready to go later when the finalists are chosen.

Spring and summer, public participation time. This is the time when the most people are around and participating (few major holidays with social obligations, and school's out in the northern hemisphere for most of this period). Even if the rest of the schedule shifts, try to keep events involving the public around this time period.
April-June 2019: Public nomination period. This is the time for people to nominate comics for the various categories. Two and a half months should help get a good number of nominations, and hopefully reach readers and authors who don't normally participate on the forum. This period could be reduced, but I don't recommend going too far below 2 months, as a short nomination period will mean that only the most popular comics and those of forum regulars will be nominated. Also, if people drop out, this period is a great time to recruit more judges and other volunteers, since the event is in the public eye.
June-July 2019: Judges sort through the nominations and eliminate any that don't qualify at all (e.g. not enough pages). Then, the judges discuss the comics nominated for the various categories and come up with shortlists for each category. This is a surprising amount of work, expect disagreements and discussions, especially when it comes to the short lists of finalists. The shortlists will have to eliminate many eligible comics, since the goal is to give people only a few great options. Faced with too many options, people will just vote for the ones they've already heard of instead of reading the comics that are new to them, and getting people to read good comics is the whole point of the SJA!.
Late July - early September 2019: Public voting period. A month or two for this gives everyone the opportunity to read the comics, and vote. Too short of a voting period pretty much guarantees the most popular comics will win. Two months may actually be too short, but making this period too long will cause people to lose interest due to a lack of urgency.

September 2019, wrap-up:
Early-mid September 2019: Create the winner pages, schedule them to go up. This is best done by a small number of volunteers working with a template, so everything looks consistent.
Mid- or late September 2019: Release the winners and enjoy a rest for a couple of months before it's time to start preparing the 2020 awards.

If some of these periods seem a bit lengthy, remember that a lot of these activities involve coordinating a number of volunteers with limited free time and varying schedules. The extra time will be needed to give everyone a chance to prepare their stuff, and to find time for everyone to get together to discuss. The activities involving the public also tend to need a while to gain momentum.
If the public voting segment is eliminated, then the entire process can be shortened by the time it takes for the voting to happen and the time it takes to prepare the nomination and voting pages. However, public voting is also what gets the average visitor to care about the awards, so removing it may not be wise.
Image
User avatar
eishiya
 
Posts: 9487
Joined: December 5th, 2009, 11:17 am

Re: SJ Awards for 2018

Postby Bliss » December 1st, 2018, 3:08 pm

Eishiya, I'm definitely going to use your post as a strategy guide. That's a long period of work, but I feel the benefits are worth it within the site and its members. Like last time around 2013, I want the SJ Awards team to carry all of our private conversations on a message board, to make it easier to get a hold of each other whilst plotting more ideas. If the users on this website have suggestions on what they would like touched on for the upcoming awards, please don't hesitate post, even if you think it sounds crazy. Also, if anyone wants to volunteer please post.

So far a few things I would like to add is more categories for comics. Most trophies that were handed out previously were given for topics such as romance genre, horror, sprite, etc. But I would like to add awards for best character, favorite antagonist, saddest scene, etc...basically trophies for events that happen within the story of people's comics.

On a side minor note, I noticed for the last SJ Awards that the winners didn't have the Golden Butler trophy on the side of their comic page. I want to fix that.
Image
User avatar
Bliss
 
Posts: 86
Joined: June 4th, 2009, 7:51 pm

Re: SJ Awards for 2018

Postby kayotics » December 1st, 2018, 4:20 pm

Honestly, I love the idea of SJ having awards again! I don't think I have the time to dedicate to volunteering, unfortunately, but I think it's a great community building project.

One thing that might be helpful for the volunteer team/judging team is for them to have their own private discord chat where they can all be notified. Alternately, heavy use of email to remind people of their obligations would be beneficial.
Image
User avatar
kayotics
 
Posts: 162
Joined: January 29th, 2018, 9:57 pm

Re: SJ Awards for 2018

Postby eishiya » December 1st, 2018, 10:11 pm

I don't think I can volunteer properly, but I can share my experience if you have any questions! The year I did it went pretty badly for a variety of reasons, so I can definitely help steer you away from making the same bad decisions we did back then xP
I and all the other mods can also turn any of your posts into News posts, so don't hesitate to call on us when you're ready to make some announcements, e.g. to open up nominations.


Discussing forum stuff via a forum can get very slow. That's fine for long-term/non-urgent plans, but for e.g. discussing finalists, it's better to get everyone in a Discord chat and talk it out live.

The trophies aren't displayed anywhere at all since the redesign, I think ): It doesn't seem likely they'll come back. Winners do have a great chance of being spotlit if they haven't been already, though.

I do not recommend adding more categories. A consistent mistake so far has been having too many categories. Instead, I think it would be better to have only a few categories, perhaps around 5, definitely no more than 10. In addition, genre categories don't really get people trying new kinds of comics, I think people just look at the genres they already like, so perhaps it's better to avoid genre categories entirely.
One possible compromise could be to have a few non-genre categories, but award 3 winners per category, with all the winners being from different genres (loosely defined - just to avoid too many similar comics winning a particular category). This encourages more variety among the winners, streamlines the voting process, and makes the voting a bit less of a direct popularity contest, as the different genre requirement may mean that the 3 winners of a category may not necessarily be the 3 most popular choices if the most popular nominees are all very similar.
Image
User avatar
eishiya
 
Posts: 9487
Joined: December 5th, 2009, 11:17 am

Re: SJ Awards for 2018

Postby Bliss » December 1st, 2018, 11:53 pm

Oh yeah, discord would be better. Lol, I keep forgetting things have upgraded since 2013. Actually, doing both would be great. We can use the forum to post our plans, and discuss them before-hand in the discord. Eishiya, would you be able to pin this topic?

=================
Current Categories
=================

Drama
Romance
Comedy
Science Fiction
Sprite
Fantasy
Action
Yaoi
Yuri
Gaming
Autobiographical
Horror
Short Story

Think one should be added?
Image
User avatar
Bliss
 
Posts: 86
Joined: June 4th, 2009, 7:51 pm

Re: SJ Awards for 2018

Postby eishiya » December 2nd, 2018, 9:52 am

I've stickied the topic. I recommend changing the title (in the first post) to include "Recruiting volunteers" or something similar, so people know that it might be relevant to them.

As I wrote in my previous post, I think genre categories are a bit of a waste of time. My suggestion is to have a few categories more like the ones you suggested earlier. If you really want genres, then have just a few categories that broadly cover everything, don't get so specific with them.

What is your goal with the awards? What do you want people to get out of each public stage of the SJA? Let that guide your category selection. Don't have categories just because you think you should, make sure each category has a real purpose.
Image
User avatar
eishiya
 
Posts: 9487
Joined: December 5th, 2009, 11:17 am

Re: SJ Awards (Recruiting Volunteers)

Postby Smopit » December 2nd, 2018, 3:57 pm

I am not sure how I can contribute, but I am interested in becoming more active in the Smackjeeves community so I would like to volunteer to help out with this.
User avatar
Smopit
 
Posts: 17
Joined: May 28th, 2018, 10:23 am

Re: SJ Awards (Recruiting Volunteers)

Postby Bliss » December 4th, 2018, 4:18 pm

I added you to the list, Smopit. Welcome to the team, as I look forward to working with you.
======
1) Comic of The Year
2) Author(s) of The Year
3) Character of The Year
4) Best Protagonist
5) Best Antagonist
6) Most Improved Comic
7) Romance Genre
8) Rising Star (Comics to look out for that are newer, 3 winners for this)
=====
How do you guys feel about categories like this...OR do you prefer the older categories OR a mixture of both?
Image
User avatar
Bliss
 
Posts: 86
Joined: June 4th, 2009, 7:51 pm

Re: SJ Awards (Recruiting Volunteers)

Postby Smopit » December 4th, 2018, 5:05 pm

Some of those categories seem redundant. How about Protagonist and Antagonist of the year, and then ditch Character of the Year? Also it seems weird to have one genre category out of the blue, so I think we should ditch Romance Genre. Rising Stars seems unnecessary since there is already a Rising Star category on the main page. But maybe we could have a category for best Completed comic of the year?
User avatar
Smopit
 
Posts: 17
Joined: May 28th, 2018, 10:23 am

Re: SJ Awards (Recruiting Volunteers)

Postby eishiya » December 4th, 2018, 5:17 pm

Hey Bliss, could you please make your signature smaller? There's a 700px wide x 200px tall size limit on signatures to keep them from stretching the page, your signature's too tall. Also, you can use the [url] BBCode to turn your image into a link, if you'd like.
Code: Select all
[url=yourURL][img]image URL[/img][/url]


I'd avoid the "of the Year" wording, it seems a bit pompous, especially for an event of such relatively small scope. I also agree with all of Smopit's feedback.

What does the "Author(s) of the Year" category signify/reward? I worry this one would likely just be an echo of the "Comic of the Year" category unless it has some sort of very specific focus like service to the community or something.

For "Most Improved Comic", I think you're likely to see that category dominated by art improvement, because that's the most noticeable type of improvement. That's not a problem per se, but if you want this to be for writing as well, you may want to have a separate category that focuses on writing. Writing improvement tends to be very subtle and hard to spot from the reader's perspective though, so maybe it's better to have a "Most Improved Art" category instead.

Some previous years had a category for recognizing well-made site layouts. Since that's one of SJ's more distinctive features, I think it would be good for that category to return. A lot of webcomic creators don't even realise how much a good custom layout can improve the reading experience, such a category would be a good opportunity to show them :> Plus, if we're going to celebrate webcomics, I think it makes sense to also celebrate what makes them distinct from most other types of comics, and their web presentation is one of those things.
Image
User avatar
eishiya
 
Posts: 9487
Joined: December 5th, 2009, 11:17 am

Re: SJ Awards (Recruiting Volunteers)

Postby Bliss » December 4th, 2018, 6:05 pm

Regarding the "Author of the year award", I don't see it as being the same as "Comic of The Year". There are comics with multiple collaborators on this site, where authors might spend time on their own inspired comic, while still taking a partial responsibility for someone else's comic. As far as "Most Improved Comic", that can mean that the comic improved in art or story, not just art itself. That Romance genre was a mistake I forgot to edit in my previous post, it wasn't supposed to be on that list. The categories where I put "of the year" was like a prototype name, we can rename that anytime, no worries. I agree with "Character of the year" being removed. A character is either a hero or villain, so no need to have that.


Eishiya: Sig too big still?
Image
User avatar
Bliss
 
Posts: 86
Joined: June 4th, 2009, 7:51 pm

Re: SJ Awards (Recruiting Volunteers)

Postby eishiya » December 4th, 2018, 6:32 pm

The sig's fine now, it's less than 200px tall :] Thanks for fixing it so promptly!

I know "Author of the Year" isn't meant to be the same, but I'm worried it'll turn out that way. Think of it from the voter's perspective - what will make them vote for a specific author over another, if not the work they know them by? It's mainly co-authors who really have an appreciation for their co-authors, but the vast majority of voters will be people who've never had such interactions with those authors. I feel like if there is an award for that, it would have to be something that bypasses the popular vote and is instead awarded directly by the judges based on testimonials that come with the nominations or something. If there is such a judge-awarded category, then perhaps it should be open to more than just authors, but rather any user that has had an impact on other users. Some authors may want to nominate readers that give particularly good feedback, or users who encouraged them during tough times, some readers may want to nominate authors who give very thoughtful replies, etc.

Regarding the improvement category, as I said, even though it's meant to be both, you'll mostly get nominations and votes based on the art because that's what people notice, writing improvement tends to be very hard to notice, especially in long-form comics where direct comparisons are almost impossible since the later writing builds on earlier writing. Comics where the improvement is mostly in the writing will likely not even get nominations, and they'll be severely disadvantaged in the voting stage. Instead, perhaps there can be some other category or two to highlight writing-oriented achievements, e.g. "Best Reveal or Twist" or "Best Running/Recurring Joke." I realise those two suggestions aren't improvement-specific, but it's very challenging to see what's improved writing and what's just the story running its course in most comics. It's possible to compare remakes, but I don't think remakes should be encouraged like that, and it's possible to compare strip comics where multiple strips tackle the same topic, but that would be too specific of a category.


A nitpick: characters don't have to be heroes or villains. Hero is not synonymous with protagonist, and villain is not synonymous with antagonist, these terms all have distinct meanings. Also, some characters aren't protagonists, heroes, villains, or antagonists, some are basically NPCs, and they can still be people's favourites! So, perhaps there could be a "Best Supporting or Background Character" category to round out the set, if you don't think three character categories is too much.
Image
User avatar
eishiya
 
Posts: 9487
Joined: December 5th, 2009, 11:17 am

Re: SJ Awards (Recruiting Volunteers)

Postby Bliss » December 6th, 2018, 4:18 pm

If you are interested in volunteering, I need people to organize categories, free up their time for discord meetings, some graphic designs (you don't have to be Calvin Klein) later down the line help put together a page for the SJ Awards on this site (this is more towards the end)
Image
User avatar
Bliss
 
Posts: 86
Joined: June 4th, 2009, 7:51 pm

Next

Return to News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests