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Is the Competitions Sub-Forum helping?


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I was poking around the competition forum the other day, and this thread brings up a good point: what's the best way to promote and streamline these competitions to maximize participation?

Something like this

Another thing the PRC is lacking is publicity.

I feel there was a steep decline in PRC participation when OCR forums decided to create a competition thread. Hell...this is the FIRST time I've even looked at this sub-forum in...I think two years!

kinda speaks for itself.

I've been lurking the site for a couple years now, and I think I'm approaching a point where I finally have the resources (especially time) to start working on something to contribute. It seems like the compos are a great way to challenge myself and learn, but they would definitely be better if competition and feedback increased. Anyone have any thoughts on what works and what doesn't to give these things a little more life?

(If you haven't been checking them out here's what you're missing - nice work, Gario!)

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Admittedly, on the one hand you (and Munchi) are right - since the move to the sub forums it's been less accessible, and less access means fewer participants. On the other hand, though, while the compos are great and obviously videogame related, they are not the focus of this site. Please correct me if I'm wrong, mods, but I suspect that they moved the forums to their own place in order to clean up the home forum.

They moved all sorts of things around so the more focal things would be easier to access (VG WIP forums, Remix requests, Community... offtop :P) while the things that casual users are not looking for are put aside. This streamlines the forum experience (yay) but at the cost of less traffic in the compos + album project area (boo).

The way to really fix this is, as mentioned in another thread (which I can't find right now :P) is to pimp out the compos that you want people to really participate in. Personally, I do this by posting in OCR regularly and link the compos in my signature (that and the Lufia project - needs more people, btw!). I did it with the ORC for quite some time, and now am also giving the PRC some love, too. If you get even one participant that way you just might be saving a compo from extinction.

You can also advertise it in places like Facebook and such, if you want people to join in on the fun. DjP certainly had a reason to rearrange the forums around here, so I don't think returning to the way it was is an option (not that it's what you were implying, but I figure I'd better head that off, anyway).

Thanks for the compliment, btw - glad you liked the remix :)

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They moved all sorts of things around so the more focal things would be easier to access (VG WIP forums, Remix requests, Community... offtop :P) while the things that casual users are not looking for are put aside. This streamlines the forum experience (yay)

Thanks for that. Makes sense, and I can't claim I'd do things any differently.

As far as the compos go, the various stages (announcement, deadline, voting opening and closing) each draw interest from a different cross-section of people. For all the other great stuff the site has to offer, it can become tedious for the casual user to browse the compos to find out if they're in the stage that appeals to them.

I guess this one's for the mods, then: say there was a thread titled "PRC: Vote for your Favorite Remix" that got bumped every time voting opened (instead of starting a thread for each individual PRC). Do you think that would be helpful, or is that exactly the thing that lead to the move in the first place?

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say there was a thread titled "PRC: Vote for your Favorite Remix" that got bumped every time voting opened (instead of starting a thread for each individual PRC). Do you think that would be helpful, or is that exactly the thing that lead to the move in the first place?

I think that definitely would help streamline things. For example, my own compo has a thread that I bump shortly before each round starts. I would say this is more effective than separate threads for each round because people wouldn't have to hunt down a new thread each time to subscribe to them. The potential entrant subscribes once, and they'll be alerted each time the singular thread is bumped if they so wish.

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I guess this one's for the mods, then: say there was a thread titled "PRC: Vote for your Favorite Remix" that got bumped every time voting opened (instead of starting a thread for each individual PRC). Do you think that would be helpful, or is that exactly the thing that lead to the move in the first place?

could be a good idea to have some of the mainstream compo with a thread like this stickied. so once you have subscribed to it, you are warned of the launch/vote of each compo you're interested in.

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Regular compos definitely should have a stickied thread. There are a lot of regularly occuring compos hosted on thasauce's system that don't get a lot of people joining but when people find out about them they're interested. I find that people don't really like to participate in compos unless they have an audience they can discuss their tracks with, or even an audience they can discuss their track with while they're making it. #thasauce on irc.esper.net is always there, available for listening parties and discussion. It's fun to see the way it explodes for OHC on Thursday nights, but it's important to note the number of people who linger and stay and discuss other stuff. The community sustains it and the more people participate, the more people want to join in. Having a compo with no place to discuss it beyond an informative forum post sucks.

I propose you move the end of every PRC consistently to Saturday afternoon and have a listening party in #thasauce, if i'm around i'm more than happy to host it. Many times the OHC listening parties are hosted by a musician who participated rather than the compo organizer. An informative thread describing the compo being stickied in the Competitions section would help as well. Rama will be working on the compo front page to more informatively display what ongoing compos there are currently, but regular compos like PRC should have more people participating if they just knew it was going on. PRC is a great idea but no one ever seems to know about it.

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starla makes some great points, and everything she said would drastically help any compo, I'd think.

The real problem here stems from the fact that OCR doesn't have a real built-in compo system, and thus no real way to manage a compo, so that responsibility relies heavily on the organizer themselves.

Does OCReMix NEED a compo system? Arguably no. Compos aren't really the focus of OCR, and while it would make things easier on the participants and the organizers, it's definitely not a priority.

As starla said, ThaSauce has a compo system, and it's not perfect by any means, but it certainly helps to some extent.

Really though the significant factor here hasn't the compo system, or where the thread is, but the organizer. There's a number of other tools the organize can use to promote, and give updates.

twitter updates, Facebook Pages/Events, signatures, there's a lot that people can do to get the word out there.

OCR could theoretically give compos more of a focus, but that's not really what OCR is about. I'd rather see OCR put more emphasis on Workshop remixes than compos, though they're both very helpful to the growth of musicians.

Really this would require some research, and usability/design studies to REALLY nail it, because there's no easy answer right now for OCReMix, but there's plenty that the organizers and participants can do.

There is also an RSS feed for every public forum as a default feature in vBulletin.

That means that the compos forum has that as well.

Edit: This doesn't seem to be working as intended. It defaults back to Discussion no matter what. Perhaps djp could give more insight on this.

So what do you need to help compos with the resources that are available now?

  • Make a signature promoting AND explaining the compo
  • Make the compo AS REGULAR AS POSSIBLE
  • Listening parties help artists get a sense of community and instant feedback on their work. Positive reinforcement will make them more likely to re-enter
  • Facebook Fan pages with regular updates
  • Twitter pages with regular updates
  • Facebook events, through the Fanpage, made BEFORE the end of the compo (some people change the dates 1 event, but a lot of people hate that, so I don't recommend that)
  • A templated FIRST POST for every compo, with your current round, description of the round, link to or description in the of the compo. Links to the twitter, facebook, and event
  • A sticky/announcement of these kind of tips for compo organizers in the compos forums

This is just the stuff off the top of my head. Surely other people could come up with more, new ideas, but EVERYTHING mentioned so far could help compos out on a USER level.

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