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Msg# 6573

Re: points and various voting matters (Dreamflower) Posted by Marta Layton January 04, 2006 - 7:14:06 Topic ID# 6573

Hi Dreamflower,

> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 08:36:27 -0600
> From: <>
> Subject: Re: points and various voting matters
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Marta Layton" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Sunday, January 01, 2006 11:47 PM
> Subject: [MEFAwards] points and various voting matters
>> Hey guys,
>> This is the last issue that I think it's absolutely critical we
>> discuss
>> before next year's awards. This post-mortem surely has stretched out!
>> I
>> think we've covered a lot of good ground, and if I've started a topic
>> and we never reached a decision, please remind me.
>> Anyway... the topic is points and how votes will count. There are
>> several issues. And if I forget any on this topic, feel free to speak
>> up.
>> First, I think some people find it hard to write long reviews and so
>> feel that even stories they really like they can't give them the
>> points
>> they're worth. I suggest that we have each review cap off at a lower
>> level (say, five points instead of ten). This effectively means that
>> those 1- and 2-point reviews have more weight. One such spread would
>> be:
>> 1-50 1 point
>> 51-250 2 point
>> 251-500 3 point
>> 501-1000 4 point
>> 1001+ 5 point
>> I know that I tend to be pretty long-winded in my reviews, so I'm very
>> interested in hearing frm people who struggled to write longer ones.
>> Would this point spread work better?
> It's possible. I know that generally, I wrote my reviews at first with
> no
> regards to how the points fell, but just said what I felt about the
> story.
> Then, for certain stories that I felt had exceptional merit, I went
> back and
> added to the reviews to get higher point counts. I didn't go back to
> any and
> remove words to get less points. However, I often felt the longer
> reviews
> were "padded" and had less impact than my original shorter and more
> heartfelt reviews. With a smaller point spread, this problem could be
> avoided. It would also make it easier to do more reviews in a shorter
> time
> period.

I can see where you would feel that way, given how you say you wrote
your reviews. On the other hand, I would often go on about those things
that I liked about a story until I felt I had written enough to get it
the points I wanted to. This meant that I was not adding anything to
the longer reviews; if anything, I was stopping before maybe I would
have liked for the shorter ones.

I don't know that there's anything intrinsically better or worse about
longer or shorter reviews. It all depends on the reviewer and which
they're better at. I do know that I received quite a few comments from
people who really struggled to write longer reviews, who felt
discouraged because their longest reviews were worth so much less than
other peoples' longest reviews. That was my reason for lessening the
number of points that each review was worth. This wound in effect make
each point worth more.

>> Issue #2: honourable mentions. This year we awarded honourable
>> mentions
>> to stories who scored within three points of second place. But it
>> occurs to me this may not be the best system because the larger
>> categories were a lot more competitive. Think about it, in a
>> sub-category with five stories the top 60% of stories received first,
>> second, or third place, whereas in a sub-category with ten stories
>> only
>> the top 30% of stories received first, second, or third places. That
>> means there will be more competition for the third place position in a
>> larger category, and *that* means that the third place story will
>> likely have a higher score than in a smaller category - which means
>> stiffer competition for those honourable mention positions.
>> I can think of several possible solutions. One is to award an
>> honourable mention to all the stories that get a certain number of
>> points and aren't awarded 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place. For example, we
>> could
>> set the threshold at 20 points; if your story gets 20 points but isn't
>> awarded 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place, it gets an honourable mention.
>> Another way to address this is to assign honourable mentions based on
>> the number of entries per category. For example, let's say we want to
>> have the top half of stories receive a place award or an honourable
>> mention. (Not that out-of-line when you consider 60% of the stories in
>> a five-story category get an award.) Then we could just give
>> honourable
>> mentions to the top stories below the places until we reach this
>> point.
>> So
>> 5-6 entries 0 Honourable Mentions
>> 7-8 entries 1 Honourable Mention + 3 places = 4 awards = >50%
>> 9-10 entries 2 Honourable Mentions + 3 places = 5 award = >50%
>> 11-12 entries 3 Honourable Mentions + 3 places = 6 awards =>50%
> I like this second formula better. It would be more fair than the
> current
> system, yet not so complicated as your first suggestion. My only thing
> would be an upward limit: say from 12 entries upwards, 4+3=7 and not go
> beyond four honorable mentions, for I think that would dilute the
> value of
> the award *too* much in the other direction.

I think we could work with this. But I think it might be easier to do
this by limiting the number of stories in any sub-category. Let's say
we say each sub-category has to have between 5 and 15 stories. Then we
could have:

5-6 stories 0 honourable mentions
7-8 stories 1 honourable mention
9-10 stories 2 honourable mentions
11-12 stories 3 honourable mentions
13-14 stories 4 honourable mentions
15 stories 5 honourable mentions

This would preserve giving half the stories an honourable mention,
which would be nice to be able to point to. It's always easier to give
a blanket statement than have to point out exceptions. If we really
want to cap it off at 4 honourable mentions I'd live with that, though.