Yahoo Forum Archive

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Msg# 5846

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 01, 2005 - 0:05:51 Topic ID# 5843
On 1 Nov 2005, at 00:48, Ainaechoiriel wrote:

> Just one thought right now. 6 wouldn't work if people self-nominate
> because
> they can't self-vote.
>
> --Ainaechoiriel
> MEFA Admin and Founder
>

Well, one thought I had was that people who wanted to self-nominate
would enter why they felt their piece should compete, something good
about it. It wouldn't count as a vote. The idea is to get people to
stop and think about what they're nominating before they do it.

By the way, when I said I preferred #5 that was a typ-o. I like #6, the
idea of requiring people to enter votes.

Cheers,
Marta
(off to bed)

Msg# 5847

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Larian Elensar November 01, 2005 - 1:33:49 Topic ID# 5843
I like a combination of 1 and 4 (Limiting the total number of nominations and
the number of nominations per week/time period). I like spreading the
nominations out over the whole nominating season, because it will give a wider
group of people the chance to nominate stories too. (Like instead of me
nominating all of Author A's stories in the first week, if I'm limited, then it
might allow/encourage someone new to the program to nominate some of A's
stories too.)

I think entering a vote before the nomination can be processed might be too
intimidating to newcomers to the program, and that will put a barrier up as far
as encouraging people to get involved. This process is already different enough
that it causes people to shy away, I'd hate to put another roadblock in the
way.

I also sort of like nominating stories written in the last year...BUT...I do
think that would cut out a lot of deserving stories. I'm not comfortable with
the thought that just because a story was written 2 years ago, it doesn't
deserve some recognition. (On the other hand, if there are stories that were
written 3 or 4 years ago, you run the risk of the author being out of the
fandom and it doesn't seem fair to keep giving them awards when they are not
involved anymore).

So, my initial reaction is to say 1 and 4. :D

--- Marta <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:

> 1. Limit the number of nominations, period. Once we reach this cap no more
> nominations
> are allowed.
> 2. Limit the number of nominations per person.
> 3. Limit the number of nominations in a time period.
> 4. Limit the number of nominations in a time period per person. (I.e., you
> can nominate, a
> certain number of pieces per week.)
> 5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.
> 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the nomination
> can be
> processed.

Msg# 5848

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 01, 2005 - 2:28:09 Topic ID# 5843
Personally, I like #2. Some people entered dozens of nominations, others
only one or two.

I think a fairly high cap--say ten or twelve--would be easiest. Some people
still would only nom one or two, but people who nominated many more would
have to stop and decide just which ones they *really* wanted. If you are
concerned about drabbles (and possibly poetry), perhaps have an additional
cap: something along the lines of 10 total nominations of regular stories,
with up to 15 nominations, only nine of which could be regular stories. (So
one could nom nine short stories, and up to six drabbles and/or poems).

The idea of having to vote for your nommed stories seems reasonable to me,
but then that was the first thing I did anyway. Why nom something you have
no intention of voting for? But I can see how that would be problematical
with self-nominated stories...

I also don't like the idea of limiting it to stories from the current year.
There are a good many older stories that *still* have possibilities. The
idea that perhaps the writer may no longer be in the fandom isn't really a
problem. Since authors have to confirm a story, then if they don't have an
interest any more they will not confirm it--that automatically cuts down on
stories.

Dreamflower

----- Original Message -----
From: "Marta" <melayton@gmail.com>
To: <mefawards@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 11:35 PM
Subject: [MEFAwards] Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations


> Hey guys,
>
> I hope all of you are out at Halloween parties or giving trick-or-treaters
> cavities. But
> tomorrow is November 1, which means in addition to ghouls and goblins,
> it's also time to
> start our 2005 Post-mortem.
>
> In order to keep things manageable, we'll limit this to a topic or two at
> a time. I'll
> introduce a topic and everyone can weigh in. When we've reached a decision
> I'll introduce a
> new topic. If there's something in particular you'd like to discuss, feel
> free to email
> mefasupport@gmail.com and I'll make sure we discuss it.
>
> So... first on the agenda. This year we had a lot of nominations. I heard
> from people who
> had done a lot of votes who felt guilty for not doing more, and from other
> people who
> didn't vote at all or as much as they would have liked to because they
> felt overwhelmed.
> Even I felt the number of nominations was too high. But what, short of
> breaking my fingers
> during nomination season, can we do to cut down on the numbers?
>
> There have been several suggestions:
>
> 1. Limit the number of nominations, period. Once we reach this cap no more
> nominations
> are allowed.
> 2. Limit the number of nominations per person.
> 3. Limit the number of nominations in a time period.
> 4. Limit the number of nominations in a time period per person. (I.e., you
> can nominate, a
> certain number of pieces per week.)
> 5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.
> 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
> nomination can be
> processed.
>
> I can see pluses and negatives on any of these. If we go with one of the
> caps, I suggest not
> counting drabbles, as I think doing so would encourage people to nominate
> longer pieces
> instead. I have to admit that I'm most partial to #5. In addition to
> making sure that people
> slow down and think about their nominations, it ensures that every piece
> except for self-
> nominations gets at least one vote. And it rewards people who are willing
> to put forth a
> little bit of effort, which I'm always for.
>
> But that's just my opinion. What do you think? Do any of these sound good?
> Are there any
> other ideas you have?
>
> Marta
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 5849

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 01, 2005 - 2:34:29 Topic ID# 5843
----- Original Message -----
From: <aelfwina@cableone.net>
To: <MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 2:28 AM
Subject: Re: [MEFAwards] Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations


(So
> one could nom nine short stories, and up to six drabbles and/or poems).

Well, not just short stories obviously--I meant *stories*. I did not meant
to exclude novels, novellas, etc.

Posting at 2 in the morning because I can't sleep=fuzzy thinking.
Dreamflower


> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Marta" <melayton@gmail.com>
> To: <mefawards@yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 11:35 PM
> Subject: [MEFAwards] Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations
>
>
>> Hey guys,
>>
>> I hope all of you are out at Halloween parties or giving
>> trick-or-treaters
>> cavities. But
>> tomorrow is November 1, which means in addition to ghouls and goblins,
>> it's also time to
>> start our 2005 Post-mortem.
>>
>> In order to keep things manageable, we'll limit this to a topic or two at
>> a time. I'll
>> introduce a topic and everyone can weigh in. When we've reached a
>> decision
>> I'll introduce a
>> new topic. If there's something in particular you'd like to discuss, feel
>> free to email
>> mefasupport@gmail.com and I'll make sure we discuss it.
>>
>> So... first on the agenda. This year we had a lot of nominations. I heard
>> from people who
>> had done a lot of votes who felt guilty for not doing more, and from
>> other
>> people who
>> didn't vote at all or as much as they would have liked to because they
>> felt overwhelmed.
>> Even I felt the number of nominations was too high. But what, short of
>> breaking my fingers
>> during nomination season, can we do to cut down on the numbers?
>>
>> There have been several suggestions:
>>
>> 1. Limit the number of nominations, period. Once we reach this cap no
>> more
>> nominations
>> are allowed.
>> 2. Limit the number of nominations per person.
>> 3. Limit the number of nominations in a time period.
>> 4. Limit the number of nominations in a time period per person. (I.e.,
>> you
>> can nominate, a
>> certain number of pieces per week.)
>> 5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.
>> 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
>> nomination can be
>> processed.
>>
>> I can see pluses and negatives on any of these. If we go with one of the
>> caps, I suggest not
>> counting drabbles, as I think doing so would encourage people to nominate
>> longer pieces
>> instead. I have to admit that I'm most partial to #5. In addition to
>> making sure that people
>> slow down and think about their nominations, it ensures that every piece
>> except for self-
>> nominations gets at least one vote. And it rewards people who are willing
>> to put forth a
>> little bit of effort, which I'm always for.
>>
>> But that's just my opinion. What do you think? Do any of these sound
>> good?
>> Are there any
>> other ideas you have?
>>
>> Marta
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Yahoo! Groups Links
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 5850

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Liz November 01, 2005 - 3:39:22 Topic ID# 5843
Hi All

In considering the options, I've taken a rather cynical approach to
thinking about how people might "rig the system" in their favour. I
don't think most people in the fandom *would* do these things
*deliberately* - but I've been around the fandom long enough know
that, without meaning to be selfish, people can often not think
through the impact of their actions on the rest of the community - out
of sheer enthusiasm for something!

1. Limit the number of nominations, period. Once we reach this cap no
more nominations are allowed.

I think this is a poor idea because it risks unbalancing the awards in
favour of a small number of authors. Say we put a total limit of 500
stories. In the first day, two friends nominate 50 of each other's
pieces (Marta and I both had more than 50 pieces nominated this year,
although we weren't actually responsible for all of the other's
nominations!) So now a fifth of the competing stories are by just two
authors and the remaining 400 have to be split between everyone else.

So I don't think we should do this.

2. Limit the number of nominations per person.

I quite like this idea for two reasons. Firstly, it makes people
really think which particular stories they want to nominate. Secondly,
it gives more people a chance to nominate a particular author's
stories. (I know there were several authors or works I was "beaten" to
nominating.)

If we consider this the way forward, I think we need some real
discussion around what limits we apply.

3. Limit the number of nominations in a time period.

This suffers to some extent from the same problem as #1 - one or two
nominators could take up most of the available nominations (and keep
doing that at the start of every time period). Liable to lead to
frustration and snarkiness from everyone else....

4. Limit the number of nominations in a time period per person. (i.e.,
you can nominate, a certain number of pieces per week.)

This is very similar to #2 in that it sets an overall cap on the
number of stories any one person can nominate. It forces people to
consider what they really want to nominate and spreads the nominations
out over time, giving other people a chance to nominate a particular
author.

I think this might allow higher overall limits than in #2. The overall
limit in #2 and #4 is actually set by the number of nominators - more
nominators = more stories. And I think this addresses the comment I
read either here or at the LJ that someone really liked the fact there
was a very broad spread of stories and a fair number of stories of
each type, yet it still helps with the "selectivity" (or lack of)
issue and the "sharing out the nominations for a particular author
between different nominators" issue.

5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.

Given the MEFAs have only been running a couple of years, I don't like
this idea at all. There are still a lot of "old" stories that deserve
recognition. I think that as the MEFAs continue to run, we will
automatically move towards mostly having stories published since last
nomination season - and reduce the overall number of stories - but I
would hate to automatically exclude something just because it's "old".

6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
nomination can be processed.

I think this suggestion was also aiming to address the issue of a
story being nominated but receiving no feedback. It has happened both
years the awards have run and can be profoundly depressing for an author.

Again, this forces nominators to really consider what they're
nominating and, by making the nomination process a little longer,
slows the pace of nominations and what's simply physically possible!

I think these nomination reviews would perhaps need to be tentative,
so you could write a two-pointer to nominate but then extend it to a
ten-pointer for the final vote. On the other hand, the admins might
need to police people entering reviews for each nomination that
consist of no more than "I like this!" for every story.... hard work
for admins.... :-(

Re self-nomination: some coding (apologies to Anthony for suggesting
more work for him to do) could work out that author and nominator are
the same person and not demand a review. If you self-nominate, you
accept the risk no one may like the story enough to review it.


I'm coming down in favour of #4. If that's too complicated to code, I
would then favour #2, which is a technically simpler version of the
same thing. But I would also like if possible to incorporate some
element of #6 to address the issue of a nominated story receiving no
reviews.

Cheers, Liz

Msg# 5851

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 01, 2005 - 3:46:36 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Larian Elensar <larian_elensar@y...>
wrote:
>
> I like a combination of 1 and 4 (Limiting the total number of
> nominations and the number of nominations per week/time period). I
> like spreading the nominations out over the whole nominating season,
> because it will give a wider group of people the chance to nominate
> stories too. (Like instead of me nominating all of Author A's
> stories in the first week, if I'm limited, then it might
> allow/encourage someone new to the program to nominate some of A's
> stories too.)

Well or by category. I am just sitting here, wondering what would
bring a less amount of admin, what would give unknown/new authors a
chance to particpate. If you, for example, are going to restrict nr of
nominations by nominator or nr of nominations overall. I think that
people are more inclined to nominate authors they have read before or
know themselves. What I so liked about this was the discovery of new
authors. So maybe a restriction by author then? I don't know. I don't
see a suggestion that I think: yeah, go for that.

Marta, how many nominators did we have? Were there nominators who
nominated a lot? Is there a breakdown to see if they nomitated also a
lot by author specifically?? Just numbers.

If you take a week, for example to, nominate for the Dwarf category,
you have the emphasis on them for a week, people wonder... ok Dwarf
category, what might be a good story for that, have I read a great
story last year?

You still can say: ok there is a maximum for this category, but I
think it would be nice to see the categories more balanced and all
paid attention to.

Also... this another thing to think about... this way you can minimize
the pressure on the admin/liaisons, that they don't have so much work
to do in the end. This year we postponed two weeks, but now you have
it spread over the nomination period. I think it would make everyone
happy.

> I think entering a vote before the nomination can be processed might
> be too intimidating to newcomers to the program, and that will put a
> barrier up as far as encouraging people to get involved. This
> process is already different enough that it causes people to shy
> away, I'd hate to put another roadblock in the way.

I completely agree. And also, I don't get the vote for your nomination
reasoning that well. A nominator does think about it, makes a
selection beforehand, so why also have to explain the why? Try to keep
it simple, for all.

> I also sort of like nominating stories written in the last
> year...BUT...I do think that would cut out a lot of deserving
> stories. I'm not comfortable with the thought that just because a
> story was written 2 years ago, it doesn't deserve some recognition.
> (On the other hand, if there are stories that were written 3 or 4
> years ago, you run the risk of the author being out of the fandom
> and it doesn't seem fair to keep giving them awards when they are
> not involved anymore).

Well the liaison tracks them down and asks them if they want to run,
most of them might say no, but some might say yes, feeling honoured. I
shouldn't put a limit on that.

Just my 2 cents
Rhapsody

Msg# 5852

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 01, 2005 - 3:47:37 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Marta" <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> Hey guys,
>
> I hope all of you are out at Halloween parties or giving
> trick-or-treaters cavities. But tomorrow is November 1, which means
> in addition to ghouls and goblins, it's also time to start our 2005
> Post-mortem.

Just a small note Marta, today NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers
Month) started, and I know a lot of authors that are participating, so
maybe the responses are less because of it.

Rhapsody

Msg# 5853

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by ejackamack@aol.com November 01, 2005 - 5:50:00 Topic ID# 5843
I'll have to address this in more depth later, but my initial opinion was
that limiting the stories to the year in which they were published was the way
to go. Then I realized that would play holy heck with the incomplete
stories. And I've certainly benefited by having my older works eligible.

Isabeau


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5854

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 01, 2005 - 8:32:43 Topic ID# 5843
> There have been several suggestions:
>
> 1. Limit the number of nominations, period. Once we reach this cap
no more nominations
> are allowed.

An absolute cap, I think, would unfairly benefit the first few
nominators or people who had prepared a large list in advance. *cough
cough* Some of us are a bit, shall we say, zealous?

> 2. Limit the number of nominations per person.

This I think is most reasonable. It's easier to track than a
combination of noms per person per period of time, while a simple time
limitation seems likely to favor those who nominate early in a week or
early in the over all process.

> 5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.

I'd be very much against this one. One of the things I like best is
that older stories can participate. Also, I feel perfectly happy not
nominating a piece because I know I could always do that next year.

Some of the best things I read in this year's MEFAs were written two,
three years ago, but I'd never seen them. I'd hate to lose that
experience.

> 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
nomination can be
> processed.

This might push things too far in the other direction, or create a lot
more work for the admins. Given when the nominations begin, I don't
have time to write reviews, which means I wouldn't be able to nominate
anything at all. I *need* summer. Besides which, I could always write
a "placeholder"--"I will review this later"--just to be able to
nominate a story, but that doesn't serve the purpose of this
particular limitation and would create more work for the staff, who
would have to physically check every nomination's initial review.

<snip>

So I'd vote for a simple, per person limit: so many stories to each
nominator, and no more.

Dwim

Msg# 5855

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by sulriel November 01, 2005 - 8:55:31 Topic ID# 5843
>>> 1. Limit the number of nominations, period. Once we reach this
cap no more nominations are allowed.
> 2. Limit the number of nominations per person.
> 3. Limit the number of nominations in a time period.
> 4. Limit the number of nominations in a time period per person.
(I.e., you can nominate, a > certain number of pieces per week.)
> 5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.
> 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
nomination can be processed.

I much prefer #6 and feel that while it may reduce nominations to
some degree, that is, in part, the purpose, - I like this one in that
it serves a dual purpose of being sure that all nominations that
aren't self-nom get at least one review, and I would find a one-
pointer acceptable. I think if you like a story well enough to
nominate it, it shouldn't been too hard to say why. It should be
simple, in the case of self-noms to put a note in the box that it is
a self-nom, since they all have to be personally handled by liaisons
anyway in order to get the approval and set the cate/sub-cate.

My second choice would be to limit the number of nominations per
author. And it could be a fairly high number ... 15 (?) Any author
who has more than the allowed nominations should select which ones to
run before finalizing the nominations.

I don't agree at all that entries should be limited to recent works
or by a total, or daily total of nominations for the reasons other
people have already posted.

I would somewhat agree with a limit of nominations per nominator, but
some people would lose out because of duplicate nominations and I'd
want the number to be fairly high ... 25(?) I know I had some in mind
from the beginning and nominated them right away, but throughout the
season, I continually thought of others, and even later, have thought
of some I wish I'd remember to nominate.

Also, as Liz said, - we've had very little to no evidence of any
malicious sneakiness, but imposing limits is likely to tempt people
to try to get past them, and with #6 that wouldn't be an issue.

Sulriel

Msg# 5856

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by sulriel November 01, 2005 - 9:05:14 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik" <dwimmer_laik@y...>
wrote:>> > 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story
before the> nomination can be > > processed.
>
> besides which, I could always write> a "placeholder"--"I will review
this later"--just to be able to> nominate a story, but that doesn't
serve the purpose of this> particular limitation and would create more
work for the staff, who> would have to physically check every
nomination's initial review.


the way this should work, in my mind, if the intial review
automatically went in as a draft or tentative, it could be something
like "great plot", "favorite kiddie!aragorn story" and be updated
later if the nominater was pressed for time during nomination
season. - would that help, or do you think it would negate the
purpose?

Sulriel

Msg# 5857

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 01, 2005 - 9:38:22 Topic ID# 5843
I really feel #6 should not be necessary for limiting the number of
nominations. If a person likes a story well enough to nominate it, then the
first thing they should do is enter at least a draft or tentative vote for
it--I know I did. If people are not allowed to nominate dozens of stories,
then they would have time to vote for the ones they nominated.

With #2, in which the nominators are limited to a reasonable number of
nominations, they should then have time to enter those reviews. And I think
an upper limit of 25 or so is too high. That may actually have the effect of
*increasing* the number of nominations, as new members may feel obligated to
nominate their limit. I honestly think 10 to 12 nominations (with the
extension for drabbles/poetry I mentioned in my previous post) would have
the right effect. People who nominated 2 or 3 dozen stories in the past
would then have to consider just which they *really* wanted to nominate;
people who nominated only a couple of stories might be encouraged to do a
few more this time round. I know that I nominated, I think, 8 or 9 stories,
and I spent a good deal of time thinking over which ones. I thought maybe I
was going overboard until I saw how many stories other people were
nominating.

I think that it would be possible to fix things so that if two people
nominated the same story, the person who nommed later could be notified that
it was taken and they may now nom another.

I think the per nominator limit makes the most sense, honestly, and would be
the easiest to deal with.

The self-nominating thing I am still ambivalent about, but we could also
make it so that no more than, say, a third of a nominator's allotted
nominations could be self-nominated. I think this would also go towards
encouraging diversity. I'm not really set on this one way or the other.

I am very much against going to the category thing with time limits. We did
that the first year, and I found it extremely confusing, I could never keep
track of what category was which week, even with the reminders, which tended
to clutter up my email and get caught in my spam trap.

Dreamflower


----- Original Message -----
From: "sulriel" <Sulriel@htcomp.net>
To: <MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 9:05 AM
Subject: [MEFAwards] Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations


> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik" <dwimmer_laik@y...>
> wrote:>> > 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story
> before the> nomination can be > > processed.
>>
>> besides which, I could always write> a "placeholder"--"I will review
> this later"--just to be able to> nominate a story, but that doesn't
> serve the purpose of this> particular limitation and would create more
> work for the staff, who> would have to physically check every
> nomination's initial review.
>
>
> the way this should work, in my mind, if the intial review
> automatically went in as a draft or tentative, it could be something
> like "great plot", "favorite kiddie!aragorn story" and be updated
> later if the nominater was pressed for time during nomination
> season. - would that help, or do you think it would negate the
> purpose?
>
> Sulriel
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 5858

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 01, 2005 - 9:41:31 Topic ID# 5843
> the way this should work, in my mind, if the intial review
> automatically went in as a draft or tentative, it could be something
> like "great plot", "favorite kiddie!aragorn story" and be updated
> later if the nominater was pressed for time during nomination
> season. - would that help, or do you think it would negate the
> purpose?
>
> Sulriel
>

I think we need to be clearer about the purpose. The point is to
reduce the total number of nominations while not disproportionately
affecting any one group of nominators. The question of whether this
measure should or will do something about unreviewed nominations is
another question.

If we implemented number 6, it would *probably* cut down on the number
of nominations received, *if* people understand by the word "review"
the kind of review they would want to write for that story (when I
nominate, I tend to nominate those stories that I can write at least a
paragraph for, ranging from 4-10 points apiece).

However, if we say you can just use a one pointer, is this actually
going to prevent the same massive outpouring of nominations? I don't
think so. If I know all I have to do is say something like "Fun!"
"Good plot", or similar, I'll say that and I'll nominate fifty, one
hundred stories because it doesn't take any time or much thought for
me to say that. I could use the same short phrase ("Good plot!" "Good
characterization") for a hundred stories, and then we'd be back to
wondering whether we have to count those as 'copy-paste' comments that
are not valid for scoring purposes.

So really, I'd say this particular option is either going to
drastically reduce the number of nominations in total and *also* the
total number of nominators, or else it will not function to
significantly reduce the number of nominations at all. The easier you
make it for people to nominate, by requiring less of a review, the
less this option will actually work to limit the nominations pouring
in as word gets around.


Dwim

Msg# 5859

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 01, 2005 - 10:00:34 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, <aelfwina@c...> wrote:
>
> I really feel #6 should not be necessary for limiting the number of
> nominations. If a person likes a story well enough to nominate it,
> then the first thing they should do is enter at least a draft or
> tentative vote for it--I know I did. If people are not allowed to
> nominate dozens of stories, then they would have time to vote for
> the ones they nominated.

Well I just assume that a nominator carefully thought about it, so
even leaving a note doesn't feel necessary to me.

> With #2, in which the nominators are limited to a reasonable number
> of nominations, they should then have time to enter those reviews.
> And I think an upper limit of 25 or so is too high. That may
> actually have the effect of *increasing* the number of nominations,
> as new members may feel obligated to nominate their limit. I
> honestly think 10 to 12 nominations (with the extension for
> drabbles/poetry I mentioned in my previous post) would have
> the right effect. People who nominated 2 or 3 dozen stories in the
> past would then have to consider just which they *really* wanted to
> nominate; people who nominated only a couple of stories might be
> encouraged to do a few more this time round. I know that I
> nominated, I think, 8 or 9 stories, and I spent a good deal of time
> thinking over which ones. I thought maybe I was going overboard
> until I saw how many stories other people were nominating.

I nominated about 39, and I all reviewed them. Actually, I made sure I
had those done at the very least, so 25 makes me wonder... is that
enough? Because I read a lot and tried to nominate lesser known
authors. I am just wondering if some nominators went 'overboard' and
others nominated about a certain average. That is why I am curious
about numbers. But you can't prevent what people will think when the
see a limit on something (if it is number of stories allowed to
nominate, word count and so on). Even if it is 10, 25 or 50.

> I am very much against going to the category thing with time limits.
> We did that the first year, and I found it extremely confusing, I
> could never keep track of what category was which week, even with
> the reminders, which tended to clutter up my email and get caught in
> my spam trap.

Well since this was my first MEFA, I possibly could not have known
that this happened in the first year (and also I don't know how it
happened). I am just saying this because while categorising we saw
categories that had barely made a full category (Poetry about Dwarves
were re-located). And well, this years nominations went differently, I
guess, so I don't see the cluttering of e-mails happening. It is just
the amount of work behind the scenes that just was a lot (talking
about a huge amount of stress and time limit). It truly was a high
peak, if you can spread that.. well it makes life a lot easier. For
the admin/volunteers at least.

Rhapsody

Msg# 5860

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by ghettoelleth@aol.com November 01, 2005 - 10:05:13 Topic ID# 5843
I really, really like the idea of requiring an explanation or justification,
if you will, for nominations. If everyone is required to think about why
they are nominating a certain work, not many will be submitting because they
feel obligated to nominate someone based upon anything other than the quality
of the work. Its easy to submit a name because you feel a certain loyalty,
not so easy when you are held accountable for telling people why you support
that work at this level.
I thought about what would happen if these awards were constructed more akin
to the academy awards. I heard a lot of people mentioning that they stick
within certain categories and unless they have surplus voting time they
concentrate on reading and voting for stories within a certain genre. There is
nothing wrong with this, I think its admirable to be loyal and supportive of
your particular preference. But if this is generally the case then setting the
nominations up like the ampas makes sense. What they do is every year they
develop the categories anew, thus keeping them timely and in tune with what is
happening in the industry. Once this is done, nominations are made strictly
from within each category. Meaning that only members of the directors
guild may nominate in the directors categories, sag members actors categories,
etc. However, final voting for the MEFAs could be done with everyone able
to vote for any store they chose, whereas in the ampas, the only categories
open for voting by the entire academy are best picture actor/actress and
director. So its sort of akin to a political election I guess, primaries deciding
who will run are voted on from within each party, final elections allow you to
vote across party lines. I dont know if this would work for MEFAs, just a
thought to cut down on excessive nominations.
Jes


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5861

Summary: Limiting # of Noms Posted by Marta Layton November 01, 2005 - 10:20:37 Topic ID# 5861
Hey guys,

Lots of opinions in my inbox this morning, both from the LJ and from
the Yahoo group. Thanks! I'll summarise them now for peoples' benefits
(and hope I give them a fair summary). Then I'll work on replying to
them individually. If I'm mis-representing someone's position, please
let me know.

Oh, and I'm aware a few emails have come in since I started this list.

Annmarwalk (LJ) - in favor of limiting the number of nominations per
person, limiting to stories from last year, and requiring the nominator
to vote for the story. She is most strongly in favor of the requiring
voting.

Belegcuthalion (LJ) - Belegcuthalion suggests that we go with a limit
per nominator or limit the nomination period.

Bodkin (LJ) - liked having a lot of nominations as it gave a lot of
good reading material. Bodkin is most in favor of limiting nominations
to pieces written this year.

Dreamflower (LJ and Yahoo) - Likes the idea of limiting the number of
nominations per person. She suggests we might want to have a certain
number set aside for drabbles/poetry if we think people might prefer
longer pieces to shorter. She also likes requiring nominators to vote
on their stories, but sees how this would be problemmatic for older
stories.

Dwim (Yahoo) - in favor of capping the number of nominations per person
and is very opposed to limiting nominations to those written in the
last year. She feels that requiring people to submit a vote would be
too difficult on those with busy schedules.

Ghettoelleth (Yahoo) - really likes the idea of requiring votes

Isabeau (Yahoo) - originally in favor of limiting stories to those
written in last year, but now realises that would be hard for WIPs, and
that she enjoyed her own stories being nominated. Will post more later.

Larian Elensar (Yahoo) - Likes limiting number of nominations total and
number of nominations per week. She notes that requiring a vote may be
intimidating, and that the one-year cap might eliminate a lot of
deserving stories.

Liz (Yahoo) - Liz is most in favor of #4 (cap per nominator per week).
If this is too difficult to code she would like to go with #2 (cap per
nominator). She also would like us to look at including some element of
#6 (require vote) into the process.

Rhapsody (Yahoo) - Most concerned about reducing admin work and
recognising new authors. Maybe a restriction on the num of works by
each author? Or perhaps have a nomination period for each category?

SlightlyTookish (LJ) - In favor of limiting number of noms by single
nominator. She recognises problems with the other options but is
especially opposed to limiting to stories written in the last year.

Sulriel (Yahoo) - Likes the idea of requiring reviews by nominator. Her
second choice is to limit the number of nominations per author and, to
a lesser degree, the number of nominations per nominator.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words. - St. Francis
of Assisi

Msg# 5862

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 01, 2005 - 10:58:59 Topic ID# 5843
----- Original Message -----
From: <ghettoelleth@aol.com>
To: <MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 10:04 AM
Subject: Re: [MEFAwards] Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations



I really, really like the idea of requiring an explanation or
justification,
if you will, for nominations. If everyone is required to think about why
they are nominating a certain work, not many will be submitting because
they
feel obligated to nominate someone based upon anything other than the
quality
of the work. Its easy to submit a name because you feel a certain
loyalty,
not so easy when you are held accountable for telling people why you
support
that work at this level.

The thing is, that the reasons need to be the votes. In a review based
system *all* votes, not just those by the nominators, need to be justified.
You cant simply put in something along the lines of: I like hobbits, and
this is a hobbit story, and this author is my favorite, and shes a friend
of mine, so Im reviewing this. Well, I suppose you could, and it would
count as so many characters, but I dont know anyone who would not be
embarrassed to put such a thing out there for everyone to see, LOL! So, even
if those are your reasons for nominating, when you vote, you actually have
to *think* about the merits of the story *as* story. At any rate, it seems
as if your proposal would cause the nominator to have to review twice, so to
speak.


I thought about what would happen if these awards were constructed more
akin
to the academy awards. I heard a lot of people mentioning that they stick
within certain categories and unless they have surplus voting time they
concentrate on reading and voting for stories within a certain genre.
There is
nothing wrong with this, I think its admirable to be loyal and supportive
of
your particular preference. But if this is generally the case then setting
the
nominations up like the ampas makes sense.

I dont think that would work here. I am primarily a hobbit fancier. Yet I
recently read an Elf story that I thought was superb. Its not my usual
genre, yet I might very well think it worth a MEFA nomination next year. If
I were told that my only nominations could be in hobbits, then that story
might not get nominated. The idea of MEFA is to generate feedback and to
encourage diversity.

Its true I voted *first* for the hobbit stories--that *is* my preference,
after all. But as I began to run out of them, I branched out and read any
number of other stories: Men, Elves, Dwarves, the Silm. Now I know you are
not saying people cant vote out of their categories, but Im afraid thats
what a lot of people would take it as.



What they do is every year they
develop the categories anew, thus keeping them timely and in tune with what
is
happening in the industry. Once this is done, nominations are made
strictly
from within each category. Meaning that only members of the directors
guild may nominate in the directors categories, sag members actors
categories,
etc. However, final voting for the MEFAs could be done with everyone able
to vote for any store they chose, whereas in the ampas, the only categories
open for voting by the entire academy are best picture actor/actress and
director. So its sort of akin to a political election I guess, primaries
deciding
who will run are voted on from within each party, final elections allow you
to
vote across party lines. I dont know if this would work for MEFAs, just
a
thought to cut down on excessive nominations.

It might *work* but it would change the MEFAs into something altogether
different than what they are.

Dreamflower


Jes


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





Yahoo! Groups Links

Msg# 5863

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations (to Larian) Posted by Marta Layton November 01, 2005 - 11:09:16 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Larian,

> I like a combination of 1 and 4  (Limiting the total number of
> nominations and
> the number of nominations per week/time period).
>

The more I think about it, the less sure I am about this option. I can
see the plus sides of it, and it's definitely something to keep in mind
as a possibility. But I think having an over-all limit on the number of
nominations would favor those people who nominate early. It also might
encourage people to nominate stories they are unsure about earlier on
because they aren't sure if they'll have the chance to later.

How would you feel about limiting the number of nominations per
nominator rather than overall? I think that would have the same effect
since there's a limited number of people making nominations, but would
mean everyone gets a more equal chance to nominate.

> I think entering a vote before the nomination can be processed might
> be too
> intimidating to newcomers to the program, and that will put a barrier
> up as far
> as encouraging people to get involved.

Is this something we can overcome by how we phrase things, or how we
set up the form? For example, we might have a form on the field that
says something like:

"Tell us what you like about this story. If you are not also the author
of this story, this will be entered into a tentative review for you
(which you can change later if you like). This does not need to be
particularly long; a sentence or two will do."

Also, I think the nomination process will be much simpler this year for
the nominator. We'll try to nail this down later, but I think the
nominator will only provide title, author, author's email, story link,
and possibly the summary. The author will provide things like
categories and rating themselves.

> I also sort of like nominating stories written in the last
> year...BUT...I do
> think that would cut out a lot of deserving stories.

I understand that feeling. I think I've nominated most of the stories I
know of that weren't written this last year, but I understand others
may still know of some very nice older stories they want to nominate.
I'm not too crazy about this idea, personally.

Now seems like a good time to say that the options I presented aren't
all ones that I would necessarily choose if it was just my decision.
They're ideas that have been proposed in emails I've received, and I
want to know what other people think.

> (On the other hand, if there are stories that were
> written 3 or 4 years ago, you run the risk of the author being out of
> the
> fandom and it doesn't seem fair to keep giving them awards when they
> are not
> involved anymore).
>

We actually did have a few authors say that they weren't involved in
this fandom anymore and so they didn't want their stories to compete.
Also, if the email address we have isn't currently checked by the
author, it's entirely possible we won't hear from them at all. We can
probably phrase the email sent to authors when their stories are
nominated in such a way that it makes it clear to the author that the
MEFAs are available to everyone, but there's no compulsion to compete
if you aren't active in the fandom (or would rather not compete for any
reason).

Thanks for your thoughts, Larian!

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5864

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 01, 2005 - 11:44:32 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Dreamflower,

I'm going to post this reply at the LJ community, too.

> Personally, I like #2. Some people entered dozens of nominations,
> others only one or two. I think a fairly high cap--say ten or
> twelve--would be easiest.

I know that I probably made the most nominations, and I have at times
felt guilty about it. A cap would be good because it would impose some
discipline on those who aren't as self-disciplined as we'd like. (I
definitely fall in that category!)

But I don't think even 12 would be high enough. Perhaps this comes from
short stories vs long stories - IIRC right, you tend to read longer
ones? So ten might seem like a lot when an author is only writing two
or three a year. But I tend to read shorter pieces, and I can think of
two or three authors who have written four or five really superb
one-shots just this last year that I would like to nominate. Most
authors can write a one-shot piece in 2-3 weeks, and so if they're
writing consistently this might work against those authors.

An idea that I'm much more comfortable with is a chapter cap. I'm not
sure how this would work out practically, but perhaps the author could
be limited to nominating 50 chapters. This could be 5 10-chapter
pieces, or 10 5-chapter pieces, or 15 3-chapter pieces and one
stand-alone... you get the idea.

> If you are concerned about drabbles (and possibly poetry), perhaps
> have an additional cap

I think if we do go with a cap we should have a separate cap for
drabbles (and possibly also ficlets.) But I'm also thinking of Bodkin's
comment above... wouldn't drabbles be a good way to keep the variety of
works available high, without being that burdensome to reviewers. Thihs
is part of why I like the idea of having no limit on drabble
nominations.

(Note: The reference to Bodkin is in response to an LJ post -- see the
first post at

http://www.livejournal.com/community/mefas/893.html?view=2685#t2685 )

> Why nom something you have no intention of voting for?

I think the problem is that there's a difference between having an
intention of voting for, and actually voting for. I'm concerned about
the authors who only hear about the MEFAs because their story is
nominated. When I introduce one of these authors to the MEFAs I usually
say that the great thing about these awards is that they're less
competitive, and that they give an author feedback if even one person
votes for their story. I can see that this could make someone feel
pretty bad if their piece doesn't get any votes. And it's not a good
first introduction to the awards.

> But I can see how that would be problematical with self-nominated
> stories...

Yes, this particular measure wouldn't do anything to help cut back on
self-nominations unless we also required the author who is
self-nominating to enter a few stories on why a certain story should
compete. I can see how that would be off-putting, though.

Thanks for your thoughts, Dreamflower.

Marta

Msg# 5865

Re: Summary: Limiting # of Noms Posted by ghettoelleth@aol.com November 01, 2005 - 11:55:04 Topic ID# 5861
In a message dated 11/1/2005 8:22:46 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
melayton@gmail.com writes:

Ghettoelleth (Yahoo) - really likes the idea of requiring votes




Well, there's three hours of my life I'll never get back again. hehe

Fingolfin: You shut up!
Feanor: No you shut up!
Fingolfin/Feanor: No YOU, you, uh uh, YOU shut up.
Then Feanor fu*&^d off to the hills and had a grip o' kids...like hill
people do....except not with his sister. - Excerpt from G&Al "Hooked on Silbonic"


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5866

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 01, 2005 - 12:29:14 Topic ID# 5843
----- Original Message -----
From: "rhapsody_the_bard" <rhapsody74@gmail.com>
To: <MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 9:59 AM
Subject: [MEFAwards] Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations


> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, <aelfwina@c...> wrote:
>>
>> I really feel #6 should not be necessary for limiting the number of
>> nominations. If a person likes a story well enough to nominate it,
>> then the first thing they should do is enter at least a draft or
>> tentative vote for it--I know I did. If people are not allowed to
>> nominate dozens of stories, then they would have time to vote for
>> the ones they nominated.
>
> Well I just assume that a nominator carefully thought about it, so
> even leaving a note doesn't feel necessary to me.

That's what I thought to begin with.
>
>> With #2, in which the nominators are limited to a reasonable number
>> of nominations, they should then have time to enter those reviews.
>> And I think an upper limit of 25 or so is too high. That may
>> actually have the effect of *increasing* the number of nominations,
>> as new members may feel obligated to nominate their limit. I
>> honestly think 10 to 12 nominations (with the extension for
>> drabbles/poetry I mentioned in my previous post) would have
>> the right effect. People who nominated 2 or 3 dozen stories in the
>> past would then have to consider just which they *really* wanted to
>> nominate; people who nominated only a couple of stories might be
>> encouraged to do a few more this time round. I know that I
>> nominated, I think, 8 or 9 stories, and I spent a good deal of time
>> thinking over which ones. I thought maybe I was going overboard
>> until I saw how many stories other people were nominating.
>
> I nominated about 39, and I all reviewed them. Actually, I made sure I
> had those done at the very least, so 25 makes me wonder... is that
> enough? Because I read a lot and tried to nominate lesser known
> authors. I am just wondering if some nominators went 'overboard' and
> others nominated about a certain average. That is why I am curious
> about numbers. But you can't prevent what people will think when the
> see a limit on something (if it is number of stories allowed to
> nominate, word count and so on). Even if it is 10, 25 or 50.

Well, if the idea is to keep the numbers down, we have to consider that at
least a little bit. I recall at some point mentioning limits before, and
someone replied that they felt that as time went on the awards would become
self-limiting. But I am afraid I don't see that, and at this point in time,
do we really want to risk next year's noms perhaps doubling? or even half
again as many? I know the amount of work you put in as a liaison (you did a
great job, by the way) but do you want to risk that work load doubling next
year?

At any rate, if the idea is to put the limit at as high as 25, then we may
need to limit the number of new members we take--and *that* is a can of
worms I *definitely* would *not* like to see opened!

It was good that some of the people who nominated many stories did vote on
all of them, but a good many did not. However *requiring* a vote to
finalize seems to me to cause as many problems as it solves. As I said,
with a lower limit, everyone should have plenty of time to vote on their
noms.

>
>> I am very much against going to the category thing with time limits.
>> We did that the first year, and I found it extremely confusing, I
>> could never keep track of what category was which week, even with
>> the reminders, which tended to clutter up my email and get caught in
>> my spam trap.
>
> Well since this was my first MEFA, I possibly could not have known
> that this happened in the first year (and also I don't know how it
> happened). I am just saying this because while categorising we saw
> categories that had barely made a full category (Poetry about Dwarves
> were re-located). And well, this years nominations went differently, I
> guess, so I don't see the cluttering of e-mails happening. It is just
> the amount of work behind the scenes that just was a lot (talking
> about a huge amount of stress and time limit). It truly was a high
> peak, if you can spread that.. well it makes life a lot easier. For
> the admin/volunteers at least.
>
Last year, each category had a "season" during which nominations could be
made, and a "season" for voting on those categories. As I said, I found it
very confusing; I made no nominations and I think I only voted on about 5 or
6 stories, because it was just overwhelming. Just as I would think I'd have
time to vote on something, its "season" would be over. And with all the
categories and sub-categories we had this year, to get all of them in, the
"seasons" would have to be extremely short.

I found the open system this year to be far more user-friendly, and the
result was I made several nominations and was able to review a good many
more stories than last year.

Dreamflower

> Rhapsody
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 5867

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations (to Larian) Posted by pearltook1 November 01, 2005 - 12:36:34 Topic ID# 5843
Hi everyone :)

I like options #4 and #6 and I like the suggestion someone further up
made of a place on the nomiation form that askes the nominator for a
few lines of why they are nominating the story. That will make it
easy and reasonable for old and new nominators alike.

I like limiting the number of nominations each person can make
individually and I think you could also limit the number of stories
each author can have nominated - though I must admit that it would be
hard for me to pick and choose if that need should arise. I like
limiting number/week so that it spreads things out for the volunteers
doing the behind the scenes work AND it gives more people a chance to
nominate. I think someone else mentioned that opens the possibility
that someone else might nominate a story you were thinking of
nominating and if you're a heavy nominator that's not a bad thing.
it gives the shy and forgetful a chance to get a story they like in
there and feel they are a part of things.

I don't quite understand the "I suggest not counting drabbles, as I
think doing so would encourage people to nominate longer pieces
instead." comment. I just felt badly that there were instances when
they ended up having to compete against full stories. Some authors
almost specialize in drabbles. Were you meaning to not have drabbles
at all? Oh well, that's another subject altogether.

So, I'm for #4 and #6 :) Also, I don't want to limit to stories
only one year old. You never know when someone comes into reading
from our fandom and they may be aware of an older story that to us is
old news but to them is brand new.

Pearl

--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> Hi Larian,
>
> > I like a combination of 1 and 4  (Limiting the total number of
> > nominations and
> > the number of nominations per week/time period).
> >
>
> The more I think about it, the less sure I am about this option. I
can
> see the plus sides of it, and it's definitely something to keep in
mind
> as a possibility. But I think having an over-all limit on the
number of
> nominations would favor those people who nominate early. It also
might
> encourage people to nominate stories they are unsure about earlier
on
> because they aren't sure if they'll have the chance to later.
>
> How would you feel about limiting the number of nominations per
> nominator rather than overall? I think that would have the same
effect
> since there's a limited number of people making nominations, but
would
> mean everyone gets a more equal chance to nominate.
>
> > I think entering a vote before the nomination can be processed
might
> > be too
> > intimidating to newcomers to the program, and that will put a
barrier
> > up as far
> > as encouraging people to get involved.
>
> Is this something we can overcome by how we phrase things, or how
we
> set up the form? For example, we might have a form on the field
that
> says something like:
>
> "Tell us what you like about this story. If you are not also the
author
> of this story, this will be entered into a tentative review for you
> (which you can change later if you like). This does not need to be
> particularly long; a sentence or two will do."
>
> Also, I think the nomination process will be much simpler this year
for
> the nominator. We'll try to nail this down later, but I think the
> nominator will only provide title, author, author's email, story
link,
> and possibly the summary. The author will provide things like
> categories and rating themselves.
>
> > I also sort of like nominating stories written in the last
> > year...BUT...I do
> > think that would cut out a lot of deserving stories.
>
> I understand that feeling. I think I've nominated most of the
stories I
> know of that weren't written this last year, but I understand
others
> may still know of some very nice older stories they want to
nominate.
> I'm not too crazy about this idea, personally.
>
> Now seems like a good time to say that the options I presented
aren't
> all ones that I would necessarily choose if it was just my
decision.
> They're ideas that have been proposed in emails I've received, and
I
> want to know what other people think.
>
> > (On the other hand, if there are stories that were
> > written 3 or 4 years ago, you run the risk of the author being
out of
> > the
> > fandom and it doesn't seem fair to keep giving them awards when
they
> > are not
> > involved anymore).
> >
>
> We actually did have a few authors say that they weren't involved
in
> this fandom anymore and so they didn't want their stories to
compete.
> Also, if the email address we have isn't currently checked by the
> author, it's entirely possible we won't hear from them at all. We
can
> probably phrase the email sent to authors when their stories are
> nominated in such a way that it makes it clear to the author that
the
> MEFAs are available to everyone, but there's no compulsion to
compete
> if you aren't active in the fandom (or would rather not compete for
any
> reason).
>
> Thanks for your thoughts, Larian!
>
> Cheers,
> Marta
>

Msg# 5868

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 01, 2005 - 12:59:37 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Liz,

> In considering the options, I've taken a rather cynical approach to
> thinking about how people might "rig the system" in their favour.

Cynicism isn't a bad thing! And while I agree with you that people
won't try to, I still think it's a good idea to consider how that might
happen so we won't be surprised.

Liz, you've made an excellent analysis of things. I'm going to comment
where I see the need, but really, you've made me think about things a
lot more clearly.

> 1. Limit the number of nominations, period. Once we reach this cap no
> more nominations are allowed.
>
> I think this is a poor idea because it risks unbalancing the awards in
> favour of a small number of authors.

What you say is definitely true. It also favors those authors who
nominate early. I would hate for someone to want to nominate a certain
piece, be told that they had until April 15, but we reach our maximum
before the end and they not be able to enter their vote.

> 2. Limit the number of nominations per person.
>
> I quite like this idea for two reasons.

This is probably my favourite of the first five options. If the limit
is fair it doesn't disproportionately affect any one nominator as we
all have the same number of nominations to use. I am a little concerned
that it would favor longer stories over shorter stories, but that is
something that I think we can address by how we set up the limit.
Perhaps we can have people nominate a certain number of chapters like I
suggested to people. We also might consider not having drabbles count
to this limit.

> If we consider this the way forward, I think we need some real
> discussion around what limits we apply.
>

Definitely. But perhaps we should hold off on discussing any specifics
until we decide that this is really the direction we want to go in.

> 3. Limit the number of nominations in a time period.
>
> This suffers to some extent from the same problem as #1 - one or two
> nominators could take up most of the available nominations (and keep
> doing that at the start of every time period). Liable to lead to
> frustration and snarkiness from everyone else....
>

Good point. Also peoples' schedules are different, and some people are
liable to always be busy toward the beginning of the week.

> 4. Limit the number of nominations in a time period per person. (i.e.,
> you can nominate, a certain number of pieces per week.)
>
> <snip>
> I think this might allow higher overall limits than in #2. The overall
> limit in #2 and #4 is actually set by the number of nominators - more
> nominators = more stories.

The tricky part is estimating how many people are actually likely to
nominate stories, so we can divide them up fairly between the different
nominators. But I think we can make a good guess based on how many
people have nominated in the past.

> 5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.
>
> Given the MEFAs have only been running a couple of years, I don't like
> this idea at all.

Is anyone really set on tthis idea? I have seen people who don't like
this idea pretty strongly, and other people who like this idea but have
some reservations. Personally this won't affect me that strongly as I
think I've nominated most of the things from previous years that I
liked.

> I'm coming down in favour of #4. If that's too complicated to code, I
> would then favour #2, which is a technically simpler version of the
> same thing. But I would also like if possible to incorporate some
> element of #6 to address the issue of a nominated story receiving no
> reviews.
>

Just to be clear, I didn't intend these to be exclusive - we can go
with some combination of them, or use elements of them to come up with
entirely new options. I think that we need to discuss #6 a little more
on its own, to see what exactly we want it to accomplish and what's the
best way to do that. I'll do that in a separate post after I've
answered all the current replies (which might take a day or two!)

Thanks for your thoughts - it's good to know where people stand on
these ideas.

Marta

Msg# 5869

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 01, 2005 - 13:07:07 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Rhapsody,

On 1 Nov 2005, at 04:47, rhapsody_the_bard wrote:

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Marta" <melayton@g...> wrote:
> >
> > Hey guys,
> >
> > I hope all of you are out at Halloween parties or giving
> > trick-or-treaters cavities. But tomorrow is November 1, which means
> > in addition to ghouls and goblins, it's also time to start our 2005
> > Post-mortem.
>
> Just a small note Marta, today NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers
> Month) started, and I know a lot of authors that are participating, so
> maybe the responses are less because of it.
>
> Rhapsody
>

That's a good point! I had forgotten about NaNoWriMo since I'm not
participating myself.

I hope those people who are involved will be able to make the time to
write a short note on their thoughts. I understand if they can't,
though.

Marta

Msg# 5870

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Nerwen Calaelen November 01, 2005 - 13:45:41 Topic ID# 5843
Hi all,

Just wanted to chuck in a couple of comments on this
subject, as no one seemed to have made them yet.
One of my reasons for liking the idea of cutting down
the quantity of nominations overall is that hopefully
it will increase the proportion of stories that are
really good. This year I read or at least started to
read every story that was entered, but even thought I
ended up having a lot of time (due to spending most of
september in bed ill...) I did not have the time to
read through everything and so often ended up judging
stories on their first paragraph or two. This is one
of the reasons why I feel it would be better to have a
global limit on nominations, no matter what other
method are used.
My one other suggestion would be a limit on stories
per catogory eg 25 stories per catogory, once it is
full no more stories can go into that catogory. This
would probably be harder to inforce by the admins but
it would seem to be a way of helping to make sure that
there is a wide range of interesting stories, rather
than have some huge catogories and some tiny ones.
I would not like to see limits on teh number of
stories per author as this would seem to punish the
more prolific writers (I can think of several authors,
who had a lot of stories nominated this year that it
was a real encouragement to reading when I saw their
name next to the next story on the list).

Best wishes

Jenn



___________________________________________________________
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Msg# 5871

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Nerwen Calaelen November 01, 2005 - 13:52:45 Topic ID# 5843
Sorry missed one point that I wanted to make: there
are at present 326 members of the yahoo group, if
everyone of these was given the right to nominate 25
stories then the awards could end up with 8150 stories
entered! (and that does not allow for more people
becoming involved).
One thing is that if people want to nominate more than
their limit, they could always ask someone else to
nominate stories for them ... either in a totally fair
way (eg saying about MEFAs to someone they knew really
liked a story and suggesting that they could nominate
it) or in a escaping the point way (eg asking some
random person they know who has a yahoo id to sign up
and nom a list of stories for them). I know this
example could be seem as a bit extreeme, but one of
the problems is that there are many things in between
and what is okay to do and what is definately not
okay.
Anyway, I'll shut up now. :)
Jenn





___________________________________________________________
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Msg# 5872

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Kathy November 01, 2005 - 14:10:07 Topic ID# 5843
Whew! I think Erin can rest assured that she did NOT kill the
MEFAs! ;)
A request: when people say which option they like, can they mention
it by name and not just number? Would be easier to follow. Anyway,
here's my two cents:

# 1. Limit total nominations. Agree with everyone that this would
be a bad idea…it would create a "race to nominate."

#2. Limit noms per person. Could work, I guess, and seems fairer
than some of the other options. But I am very leery of Marta's
suggestion to limit number of chapters nominated. Sounds too
complicated, on both the nominating and admin ends. Plus, there are
too many variables…some people write really long chapters, some
short. And I don't see this option favoring longer stories over
short. Some people don't like to read long stories, and so I imagine
that they wouldn't nominate them either.

# 3. Limit noms in a time period. No. Again, could create
a race to nominate.

# 4. Limit number of noms per person in a time period. No. Too
complicated.

# 5. Limit noms to recent stories. I know many are opposed to this,
but I just want to say one thing in its favor. As Erin so eloquently
pointed out, the fandom is changing, and slowing down. I see this
option as way to encourage the writing of new fanfiction. But I
guess that's a different issue from limiting noms. I do think it
would have this effect as well, though.

# 6 Nominators must submit a vote.
I appreciate the idea here, which is to get people to think about
their nominations. But what if someone's vote consists of "I think
this is a great story." Would you consider that sufficient? And if
not, are you prepared to start arbitrating what constitutes a valid
vote?

I think you may want to consider taking #6 out of this discussion as
I don't believe it will have a limiting effect on nominations, or not
much of one. Especially if people can just write, "I will review
later," or "What a great story!" If it has merits other than as a
nomination-limiting tool, then make it its own topic.

Bottom line, let's try to keep the MEFAs fair, inclusive, and
simple. If we lose those qualities, I think participation will
decrease.

Kathy (Inkling)


--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Marta" <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> Hey guys,
>
> I hope all of you are out at Halloween parties or giving trick-or-
treaters cavities. But
> tomorrow is November 1, which means in addition to ghouls and
goblins, it's also time to
> start our 2005 Post-mortem.
>
> In order to keep things manageable, we'll limit this to a topic or
two at a time. I'll
> introduce a topic and everyone can weigh in. When we've reached a
decision I'll introduce a
> new topic. If there's something in particular you'd like to
discuss, feel free to email
> mefasupport@g... and I'll make sure we discuss it.
>
> So... first on the agenda. This year we had a lot of nominations. I
heard from people who
> had done a lot of votes who felt guilty for not doing more, and
from other people who
> didn't vote at all or as much as they would have liked to because
they felt overwhelmed.
> Even I felt the number of nominations was too high. But what, short
of breaking my fingers
> during nomination season, can we do to cut down on the numbers?
>
> There have been several suggestions:
>
> 1. Limit the number of nominations, period. Once we reach this cap
no more nominations
> are allowed.
> 2. Limit the number of nominations per person.
> 3. Limit the number of nominations in a time period.
> 4. Limit the number of nominations in a time period per person.
(I.e., you can nominate, a
> certain number of pieces per week.)
> 5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.
> 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
nomination can be
> processed.
>
> I can see pluses and negatives on any of these. If we go with one
of the caps, I suggest not
> counting drabbles, as I think doing so would encourage people to
nominate longer pieces
> instead. I have to admit that I'm most partial to #5. In addition
to making sure that people
> slow down and think about their nominations, it ensures that every
piece except for self-
> nominations gets at least one vote. And it rewards people who are
willing to put forth a
> little bit of effort, which I'm always for.
>
> But that's just my opinion. What do you think? Do any of these
sound good? Are there any
> other ideas you have?
>
> Marta
>

Msg# 5873

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 01, 2005 - 17:01:46 Topic ID# 5843
> Bottom line, let's try to keep the MEFAs fair, inclusive, and
> simple. If we lose those qualities, I think participation will
> decrease.
>
> Kathy (Inkling)

I'd like to second that "keep the MEFAs... *simple*" sentiment (while
not disagreeing at all with the ellided bits). Complexity may be good
in terms of (say) organizing categories; but the two basic things we
need people to do is to (1) nominate stories and (2) vote on them.

If either of those two major processes is perceived as overly complex,
requiring attention to more than one or two basic, common-sense style
rules, people will not participate.

And so I'd also like to second Kathy's recommendation to drop number 6
(to nominate, you must vote on the nomination immediately) at this
point. Not only does it greatly increase the complexity of the process
(and the time and energy devoted to it by both voters and admins), but
I think it's really concerned about a wholly different issue (namely,
the perception of the MEFAs in the larger fandom if some stories don't
get any comments). If I'm right, then I think we need to save that
concern for its own round of discussion.

Dwim

Msg# 5874

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Chris Grzonka November 01, 2005 - 18:13:56 Topic ID# 5843
> I heard from people who had done a lot of votes who felt guilty
> for not doing more, and from other people who
> didn't vote at all or as much as they would have liked to because
> they felt overwhelmed.

I'm someone who felt all of the above. This was the first MEFA for me. I
signed up not knowing quite what was expected of me. I'm strictly a reader
and not an author. But I love to read and I thought I would be able to
manage to write some reviews. Then I saw the number of stories and nearly
unsubscribed immediately. Since Drabbles and poems are not my favorite
pieces I didn't read them at all and concentrated on the stories. But I
realized pretty soon why I'm not an author. Writing reviews is hard work for
me. My count average for reviews was somewhere around 3-4 pts. I never
managed a 10 pt review, although I really tried. I'm not given to flowery
language<g>.

After having said all this, I would disregard #6: require the nominator to
enter a vote. I know that I would be hard pressed to enter nominations at
all.

I like the idea of limiting the number of nominations per persons (#2).
Maybe have different limits for stories, drabbles and poems.

I'm strict against #5 limit to nominations to pieces written this year.
There are so many stories out there. Some of them are brand new for me, but
have been around for some time, before all these awards were available and
therefore never got any recognition.

Chris (obsidianj)

Msg# 5875

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations (to Larian) Posted by Larian Elensar November 01, 2005 - 19:37:49 Topic ID# 5843
--- Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Larian,
>
> > I like a combination of 1 and 4 (Limiting the total number of
> > nominations and
> > the number of nominations per week/time period).
> >
>
> The more I think about it, the less sure I am about this option. I can
> see the plus sides of it, and it's definitely something to keep in mind
> as a possibility. But I think having an over-all limit on the number of
> nominations would favor those people who nominate early. It also might
> encourage people to nominate stories they are unsure about earlier on
> because they aren't sure if they'll have the chance to later.
>
> How would you feel about limiting the number of nominations per
> nominator rather than overall? I think that would have the same effect
> since there's a limited number of people making nominations, but would
> mean everyone gets a more equal chance to nominate.


Yes, after seeing others' responses, and thinking further, limiting the overall
nominations would probably not be the best solution.

The easiest one to administer would probably the option of limiting nominations
per person. And as an aside, I wouldn't make drabbles an exception. A
nomination is a nomination. If you limit non-drabbles, but not drabbles,
someone will think that drabble authors are being favored, or that longer
stories are being favored because they might have less competition.

Perhaps a straight X number of nominations per person is the easiest way to
help cut down on the number of non-reviewed stories next year.

I think it's probably been discussed in other emails, but no matter how you
word it for number six (forcing the nominator to vote before the nomination is
processed), it will still make the whole process that much more intimidating to
new nominators.

I don't see any sense in saying they have to review it, then saying that a
sentence or two will do. What about the self-nominations? They're already down
a point or two then, before the judging even starts.


So, unless something majorly changes, I could live with limiting the number of
nominations per person. (And if it's not impossible to administrate, limiting
the number per person per week is also appealing).

Msg# 5876

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Chapter caps Posted by Larian Elensar November 01, 2005 - 19:43:40 Topic ID# 5843
> An idea that I'm much more comfortable with is a chapter cap. I'm not
> sure how this would work out practically, but perhaps the author could
> be limited to nominating 50 chapters. This could be 5 10-chapter
> pieces, or 10 5-chapter pieces, or 15 3-chapter pieces and one
> stand-alone... you get the idea.
>

I think this would be a horror to administer. For that fact alone, I don't
believe a chapter cap would be realistic.



Larian

"There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness."
--Dave Barry

larian_elensar@yahoo.com
Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/larian
OEAM archive http://www.ofelvesandmen.com
Archive addy archive@ofelvesandmen.com

Msg# 5877

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Anthony Holder November 01, 2005 - 19:51:00 Topic ID# 5843
Hey all,

Someone asked about the distribution of nominations by nominator.

Below are two lists. First, stories per nominator.
Second, self-nominated stories by author.

About feasibility:
#1, very possible, but duplicates and withdrawals will make it hard to
get exact.

#2, very easy. I might be able to re-count when stories are withdrawn
or duplicates, which would otherwise limit someone's number.

#3, relatively easy, but I don't like the idea.

#4, I could do this. It would be relatively easy to say no more than X
in the last Y days. The count would be updated all the time, rather
than just once a week, and tell the user when they would be able to
nominate another story.

#5, I'm not sure I could do anything about this. It would be a liaison
thing.

#6, I could do this. My suggestion would be that if you wanted to, make
the minimum a 4-5 pointer, except for ficlets or drabbles. It's not too
hard to determine if the nominator is the author. I personally don't
see why the nominator shouldn't be required to submit a good review as
part of the nomination process, unless it is a self-nomination.

Anthony

Here's the number of stories nominated by each nominatorID. I didn't
include the nominatorID, just the number. There were 74 unique
nominators.

| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 3 |
| 3 |
| 3 |
| 3 |
| 3 |
| 3 |
| 3 |
| 4 |
| 4 |
| 4 |
| 4 |
| 4 |
| 5 |
| 5 |
| 5 |
| 5 |
| 5 |
| 6 |
| 6 |
| 6 |
| 7 |
| 7 |
| 7 |
| 8 |
| 8 |
| 8 |
| 9 |
| 9 |
| 10 |
| 10 |
| 11 |
| 12 |
| 13 |
| 16 |
| 18 |
| 22 |
| 23 |
| 23 |
| 24 |
| 24 |
| 25 |
| 26 |
| 26 |
| 27 |
| 28 |
| 38 |
| 39 |
| 59 |
| 70 |
| 74 |
| 596 |



The following is a list of self-nominated stories, again grouped by
nominator/author.

+----+
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 1 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 2 |
| 3 |
| 3 |
| 3 |
| 3 |
| 3 |
| 3 |
| 4 |
| 4 |
| 5 |
| 5 |
| 9 |
| 10 |
| 17 |
| 44 |
+----+
29 authors self-nominated

Msg# 5878

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations - Chris Posted by Larian Elensar November 01, 2005 - 20:04:22 Topic ID# 5843
--- Chris Grzonka <grzonka@adelphia.net> wrote:

>
> > I heard from people who had done a lot of votes who felt guilty
> > for not doing more, and from other people who
> > didn't vote at all or as much as they would have liked to because
> > they felt overwhelmed.
>
> I'm someone who felt all of the above. This was the first MEFA for me. I
> signed up not knowing quite what was expected of me. I'm strictly a reader
> and not an author. But I love to read and I thought I would be able to
> manage to write some reviews. Then I saw the number of stories and nearly
> unsubscribed immediately. Since Drabbles and poems are not my favorite
> pieces I didn't read them at all and concentrated on the stories. But I
> realized pretty soon why I'm not an author. Writing reviews is hard work for
> me. My count average for reviews was somewhere around 3-4 pts. I never
> managed a 10 pt review, although I really tried. I'm not given to flowery
> language<g>.

I think I averaged 3-4 points myself. But I figured any feedback is good, so I
don't worry so much about writing long reviews. (And you're right, 10 point
ones are hard to write! ) :D

Msg# 5879

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations - Simplicity Posted by Larian Elensar November 01, 2005 - 20:19:56 Topic ID# 5843
--- dwimmer_laik <dwimmer_laik@yahoo.com> wrote:

>
> > Bottom line, let's try to keep the MEFAs fair, inclusive, and
> > simple. If we lose those qualities, I think participation will
> > decrease.
> >
> > Kathy (Inkling)
>
> I'd like to second that "keep the MEFAs... *simple*" sentiment (while
> not disagreeing at all with the ellided bits). Complexity may be good
> in terms of (say) organizing categories; but the two basic things we
> need people to do is to (1) nominate stories and (2) vote on them.
>
> If either of those two major processes is perceived as overly complex,
> requiring attention to more than one or two basic, common-sense style
> rules, people will not participate.


That's what I have liked about the Mefas. They weren't a popularity-vote type
contest, and authors were almost assured of at least one new piece of feedback,
unless they nominate their own story. That didn't happen this year, and
frankly, I found that to be very discouraging. Even if there was no chance to
win anything, the new/extra feedback was really the point of entering. (At
least for me...)and which is why I nominated several stories last year--I
wanted authors to get one or two new readers.

This year, with the large number of stories, so many less prolific, less well
known authors got skunked. How disheartening it was to see so many stories with
no reviews while it seemed that certain authors got many many reviews and
awards.

I even had someone mention to me that they would not be so willing to
participate in the Mefas again...ever, as they were just as cliquey as any
other awards. I couldn't even use the defense that the mefas weren't about
winning, they were about feedback, because so many stories were left out.

And now that I've opened that can of worms, I really do think that keeping it
simple is the easiest way to garner participation.




Larian

"There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness."
--Dave Barry

larian_elensar@yahoo.com
Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/larian
OEAM archive http://www.ofelvesandmen.com
Archive addy archive@ofelvesandmen.com

Msg# 5880

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations - Chris Posted by ghettoelleth@aol.com November 01, 2005 - 21:13:46 Topic ID# 5843
In a message dated 11/1/2005 6:25:16 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
larian_elensar@yahoo.com writes:

I think I averaged 3-4 points myself. But I figured any feedback is good, so
I
don't worry so much about writing long reviews. (And you're right, 10 point
ones are hard to write! ) :D



This is so true, not like a rating system. If someone took the time to
review me at all I was very chuffed because a bad review is no review

Fingolfin: You shut up!
Feanor: No you shut up!
Fingolfin/Feanor: No YOU, you, uh uh, YOU shut up.
Then Feanor fu*&^d off to the hills and had a grip o' kids...like hill
people do....except not with his sister. - Excerpt from G&Al "Hooked on Silbonic"


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5881

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations - reviews and self- Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 01, 2005 - 22:25:25 Topic ID# 5843
> I even had someone mention to me that they would not be so willing to
> participate in the Mefas again...ever, as they were just as cliquey
as any
> other awards. I couldn't even use the defense that the mefas
weren't about
> winning, they were about feedback, because so many stories were left
out.

Ok, I'm putting on my grumpy hat, here. Please don't take this
personally, anyone, but this particular comment hits a hot button and
inspires a lot of frustration with a sentiment I cannot reasonably
find any sympathy for, despite seeing very clearly that we need more
eyes, reading more broadly, to avoid the *odor* of cliquishness and
make the awards as fair as possible.


It seems to me (and I could be misinterpreting what I'm seeing) that
there's this idea floating about that the mere fact of entering what
is, in the end, a competition, deserves some kind of reward, and that
anything less than that means a clique is in operation. The very idea
that an appropriate response to the accusation that MEFAs are cliquish
is to appeal to the fact that every story gets a review is simply to
miss the point, in the first place. Even if every story was reviewed,
that would not thereby mean there wasn't a clique in operation; the
converse is also true: the fact that some stories were not reviewed is
not evidence of a clique in operation. An appropriate response to
serious complaints that MEFAs are cliquish is not to point to the fact
(if it is a fact at any point) that every story got at least one
review. An appropriate response is to analyze data trends to see if
there's some sort of statistical correlation among voters. Anything
less is hardly satisfactory because it doesn't address the unfairness
factor. Who cares if you get a token review if there's really a sort
of cheating going on?

This leads me to think that the issue is not about cliquishness as a
form of genuine unfairness resulting from deliberate, prejudicial
voting. It's about people's self-esteem and a concern to make everyone
happy.

So what about making everyone happy by making sure every story gets at
least one review?

MEFAs depend on the logic of numbers--if sufficiently many people
review, the likelihood is that every story will get at least one
review as a happy by product of people's efforts to make the awards as
objective as possible (by reading as widely as real life permits, and
reviewing as desire and judgment move them in the time available).

But please note firstly that that's just raw probability speaking,
which doesn't even account for the element of judgment that comes into
play; and secondly, that every story getting reviewed is a *by
product*, not an end in itself. It's a coincidental result of playing
the numbers game, not a goal of the awards.

Some may ask: Why should it not be a goal of the awards? Aren't we
trying to avoid competition as a zero sum game?

We are indeed, so far as I understand matters. But a non-zero-sum-game
does not mean that every person equally benefits. It just means that
if one person wins, the other parties are not left with absolutely
nothing, or worse, deprived of goods they had an equal right to. It
does not mean that everyone wins, however.

So why shouldn't we make it a goal that MEFAs should be purely a
positive sum game for every author? Well, in any competition, the
element of risk is ineliminable--even in a non-zero-sum-game, not
everyone is going to end up with an *optimal* balance sheet, and this
is understood from the outset. If you enter a competition, you accept
the risk that you may get no reaction (MEFAs nicely suppresses the
possibility of negative reaction, or at least converts negative
comments into positive points for your story thanks to the way scoring
is organized). To expect that that risk is eliminated is not
respectful of the other people involved.

To put it in blunt, personal terms, I read a lot of stories this time
around--not all, but many. And while I enjoyed many, even most, of
them, I didn't vote--and I *wouldn't* vote--for every single one that
I read. It'd be dishonest if I did. The pressure to make sure every
story gets at least one review is a pressure I frankly resent, because
it feels like emotional blackmail from parties who don't seem to grasp
the fact that one is not entitled to *positive* feedback (or any
feedback) simply by putting a work out there for others to read.
Particularly in a forum that is competitive (and no matter how
congenial and low keythat element is at MEFAs, it is at base a
competition, even if a non-zero-sum game), that expectation is totally
misplaced and I think can lead to serious adminstrative and general
morale problems that would threaten the awards' existence if we
allowed it to dictate the form of the awards directly.



Bottom line of this rather ranty posting: Participation is all
important--we can all agree on that--and we definitely need to do what
we can to make it easier and more likely that others will join in the
judging process, whether they write one review or a mind-boggling 791.
(What is that, nearly 65% of all stories nominated? And think how many
more that reviewer had to read to get to that number.)

But let's not fool ourselves into thinking the reason this increase in
participation needs to happen is to guarantee every single story a
review. It'd be very nice if that happened, and no doubt with
sufficient numbers of people reading sufficiently many *different*
stories, tastes and judgments will vary enough that one review per
story becomes a highly likely side-effect of competition. But that
should not be our goal; it should not be the measure by which we judge
the success or failure of these awards, or we are going to guarantee
ourselves a very frustrating ride, indeed, and I would be very sorry
to see that happen.



Dwim

P.S. Feel free to suspend discussion on this particular e-mail until
or unless we get to a point where it becomes convenient/useful to take
on the can of worms, as Larien so labeled it.

Msg# 5882

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Chapter caps Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 01, 2005 - 22:32:48 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Larian Elensar <larian_elensar@y...>
wrote:
>
>
> > An idea that I'm much more comfortable with is a chapter cap. I'm not
> > sure how this would work out practically, but perhaps the author
could
> > be limited to nominating 50 chapters. This could be 5 10-chapter
> > pieces, or 10 5-chapter pieces, or 15 3-chapter pieces and one
> > stand-alone... you get the idea.
> >
>
> I think this would be a horror to administer. For that fact alone,
I don't
> believe a chapter cap would be realistic.

Ditto! Very very much ditto!

Dwim

Msg# 5883

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations - reviews and... Posted by ghettoelleth@aol.com November 01, 2005 - 22:47:11 Topic ID# 5883
In a message dated 11/1/2005 8:26:11 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
dwimmer_laik@yahoo.com writes:

I even had someone mention to me that they would not be so willing to
> participate in the Mefas again...ever, as they were just as cliquey
as any
> other awards. I couldn't even use the defense that the mefas
weren't about
> winning, they were about feedback, because so many stories were left
out.



I'm wondering what this means. The awards themselves in relation to who is
awarded? Or the fact that there seems to be a group of people involved in
the awards who are friends and tend to be more outgoing on the posts? Or is it
that they are working out the kinks? I'm confused. I have to say its true
that their are certain people involved who are more outspoken than others.
If this is an issue, speak up. I have never seen anyone cut anyone else
short, be rude or discount anyone's opinion, statements or suggestions. Then
again, they could all be flipping me the bird right now and I'd never know. I'm
just not nervous enough to naturally assume so.
From this whole forum it is blazingly obvious that they want to improve the
process, no one said it isn't flawed.
But I gotta tell you, I finally got to the page listing the winners in the
author categories and before I ever saw this post, my first thought was, dayum.
They're not gonna let me come back ever. hehe. I AM kidding but my point
is this. No one knows who the hell I am. Last year at this time I had no
idea what fan fic was. Until Jan of this year, I'd never posted a single word.
No one cares about me, I have no influence, and no one here knows me except
Rhaps. I'm not saying this to rub anything in but everyone under me is WAY
bigger in fanfic than I am. So saying anyone that the awards or the system or
anyone here is cliquey is way beyond the pale and I would be really insulted
being lumped like that after working so hard. Beyond a normal tendency to
be drawn to people you know or like you'd have to look farther than I can see
to find fault. Have you SEEN what goes on at the other sites. Well, I only
know of one, somehow I got on their list and the very first e-mail damn near
fried my hard drive. I'll stick with this clique or stay home, thanks.
jes

Fingolfin: You shut up!
Feanor: No you shut up!
Fingolfin/Feanor: No YOU, you, uh uh, YOU shut up.
Then Feanor fu*&^d off to the hills and had a grip o' kids...like hill
people do....except not with his sister. - Excerpt from G&Al "Hooked on Silbonic"


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5884

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations - reviews and self- Posted by Larian Elensar November 02, 2005 - 0:07:51 Topic ID# 5843
--- dwimmer_laik <dwimmer_laik@yahoo.com> wrote:

>
> But let's not fool ourselves into thinking the reason this increase in
> participation needs to happen is to guarantee every single story a
> review. It'd be very nice if that happened, and no doubt with
> sufficient numbers of people reading sufficiently many *different*
> stories, tastes and judgments will vary enough that one review per
> story becomes a highly likely side-effect of competition. But that
> should not be our goal; it should not be the measure by which we judge
> the success or failure of these awards, or we are going to guarantee
> ourselves a very frustrating ride, indeed, and I would be very sorry
> to see that happen.
>
>
>
> Dwim



That's just it. I may have mis-interpreted the main theme of the awards, but
when I told encouraged people to join and participate, one of the main points I
tried to make was that yes...they WOULD get reviews.

I thought that was the whole point of the awards. NOT the winning. And if that
is the point, to have so many NOT get reviewed, well, I'm sorry, but it really
makes the awards seem like just another popularity contest.

My bad for misinterpreting the purpose of the awards, though.

And yes, I'll drop this subject as well, as it's off-topic...and probably
shouldn't have been brought up to begin with.

My apologies.


>
> P.S. Feel free to suspend discussion on this particular e-mail until
> or unless we get to a point where it becomes convenient/useful to take
> on the can of worms, as Larien so labeled it.
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 5885

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 0:44:37 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Rhapsody,

On 1 Nov 2005, at 04:45, rhapsody_the_bard wrote:

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Larian Elensar <larian_elensar@y...>
> wrote:
> >
> > I like a combination of 1 and 4  (Limiting the total number of
> > nominations and the number of nominations per week/time period). I
> > like spreading the nominations out over the whole nominating season,
> > because it will give a wider group of people the chance to nominate
> > stories too.  (Like instead of me nominating all of Author A's
> > stories in the first week, if I'm limited, then it might
> > allow/encourage someone new to the program to nominate some of A's
> > stories too.)
>
> Well or by category. I am just sitting here, wondering what would
> bring a less amount of admin, what would give unknown/new authors a
> chance to particpate.

Both very good questions to ask. :-)

> I think that
> people are more inclined to nominate authors they have read before or
> know themselves. What I so liked about this was the discovery of new
> authors. So maybe a restriction by author then? I don't know. I don't
> see a suggestion that I think: yeah, go for that.
>

A restriction by author is another good idea. The problem with it is,
if our goal is to try to lower the number of nominations overall it's
even harder to gauge what this limit should be. It's a pretty safe
guess that the number of nominators will grow by - maybe - 10-15%. But
those same nominators might be nominating more and more authors. Or we
may get better information as certain authors hear about the awards and
create an account for themselves with their preferred email. Etc.

> Marta, how many nominators did we have? Were there nominators who
> nominated a lot? Is there a breakdown to see if they nomitated also a
> lot by author specifically?? Just numbers.
>

Bless search-and-replace. There wasn't a quick way that I knew of to
look at this information, but I was able to come up with some numbers
quickly using find-and-replace in my word processor by searching for
the string "nom: [name]". So I was able to come up with some counts of
the number of nominations by each person. There were sixty nominators,
which made the following number of nominations (in no particular
order):

09
06
03
02
02
06
20
04
05
37
02
02
07
03
01
01
01
02
49
01
410
32
03
03
16
30
04
02
03
04
01
01
03
16
08
06
01
04
58
01
17
05
24
01
05
21
01
03
16
07
06
02
05
14
02
11
01
11
21


> If you take a week, for example to, nominate for the Dwarf category,
> you have the emphasis on them for a week, people wonder... ok Dwarf
> category, what might be a good story for that, have I read a great
> story last year?
>
> You still can say: ok there is a maximum for this category, but I
> think it would be nice to see the categories more balanced and all
> paid attention to.
>

I'm not sure about this. I think one of the major improvements of this
yhear is that the categories are open for voting all the time - not
last year where they were only open for a week or two and then
different categories opened. This way is so much simpler, and I think
we should apply the same principal to nominations.

What might be doable would be to have a featured category. Instead of
announcing nominations as they're finished we could announce all the
nominations in a given category that are finished. We could rotate
through them, posting every other day or two on one of the categories.
This would draw attention to that particular category and I think help
even out the voting.

But I think to require people to only nominate certain categories
during certain time periods would be impractical. It would probably cut
down on nominations, but at the expense of a lot of frustration.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5886

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by MarigoldCotton@aol.com November 02, 2005 - 0:57:38 Topic ID# 5843
Hullo : )

There were just sixty nominators total? And these were the totals of those individual nominators? That never adds up to the several thousand stories that were nominated, or am I missing something here? Is this just in certain categories?

Hugs,

Marigold

> So I was able to come up with some counts of
the number of nominations by each person. There were sixty nominators,
which made the following number of nominations (in no particular
order):

09
06
03
02
02
06
20
04
05
37
02
02
07
03
01
01
01
02
49
01
410
32
03
03
16
30
04
02
03
04
01
01
03
16
08
06
01
04
58
01
17
05
24
01
05
21
01
03
16
07
06
02
05
14
02
11
01
11
21








--
Marigold's Red Book
http://marigold.tolkienshire.com

Marigold's Recommendations Page
http://www.geocities.com/marigoldsrecommendations/

Marigold's Live Journal
http://www.livejournal.com/users/marigoldg/

Tales of The Red Book
http://www.livejournal.com/users/talesofredbook/




There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.
>
>Sam, in Mordor, RoTK

Msg# 5887

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 1:29:45 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Dwim,

On 1 Nov 2005, at 09:31, dwimmer_laik wrote:

>
> > There have been several suggestions:
> >
> > 1. Limit the number of nominations, period. Once we reach this cap
> no more nominations
> > are allowed.
>
> An absolute cap, I think, would unfairly benefit the first few
> nominators or people who had prepared a large list in advance. *cough
> cough* Some of us are a bit, shall we say, zealous?
>

That's putting it mildly. I wasn't kidding when I said that one of the
best ways to cut back on nominations would be for someone to come round
to my house around the end of February and break my fingers.

> > 2. Limit the number of nominations per person.
>
> This I think is most reasonable. It's easier to track than a
> combination of noms per person per period of time, while a simple time
> limitation seems likely to favor those who nominate early in a week or
> early in the over all process.
>

I agree. I've read most of the emails that have come in (even though
I'm behind in replying to them), and this is the option I'm most in
favor of.

> > 5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.
>
> I'd be very much against this one. One of the things I like best is
> that older stories can participate. Also, I feel perfectly happy not
> nominating a piece because I know I could always do that next year.
>
> Some of the best things I read in this year's MEFAs were written two,
> three years ago, but I'd never seen them. I'd hate to lose that
> experience.
>

There are a few people over at the LJ who have come out in favor of
this option and so I want to give them a chance to explain why they
want to restrict nominations to this last year before I make up my
mind. But at this moment I find myself agreeing with you.

In the end, my opinion doesn't matter so much on this one. Due to those
nomination habits you were kind enough to term "zealous", I think most
of the stories I would nominate next year are from 2005-2006. (And rest
easy, there are much less... I haven't had the time to read anything
that wasn't nominated for the MEFAs.)

> > 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
> nomination can be
> > processed.
>
> This might push things too far in the other direction, or create a lot
> more work for the admins. Given when the nominations begin, I don't
> have time to write reviews, which means I wouldn't be able to nominate
> anything at all. I *need* summer. Besides which, I could always write
> a "placeholder"--"I will review this later"--just to be able to
> nominate a story, but that doesn't serve the purpose of this
> particular limitation and would create more work for the staff, who
> would have to physically check every nomination's initial review.
>

I see where you coming from. The idea to require a review was
originally my idea (though others came up with it on their own -
Thundera, maybe? Ann?), but seeing it discussed I can see that it
probably isn't the best solution to the problem of the number of
nominations.

Cheers,
Marta
*****
Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words. - St. Francis
of Assisi

Msg# 5888

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 1:44:48 Topic ID# 5843
> I am very much against going to the category thing with time limits. 
> We did
> that the first year, and I found it extremely confusing, I could
> never keep
> track of what category was which week, even with the reminders, which
> tended
> to clutter up my email and get caught in my spam trap.
>
> Dreamflower
>

Just to be clear to the newer members...

The first year members of this Yahoo group voted by posting comments to
the group, which were then counted manually by volunteers. To make this
easier, vote counters were assigned certain categories and those
categories were "open" during certain time periods -- meaning that if
you wanted to vote for a story in a certain category you had to post
that vote during a certain time period. In 2005 with the website we
were able to let people vote for stories in any category at any time.

*Nominations* were never set up this way, but I think the same
principles apply. It is less confusing and more flxible for people to
be able to nominate a story at any time in nomination season regardless
of the category choices. Just like it was more flexible and less
confusing when we were able to let people vote this year at any point
they wanted to during voting season.

Also, a practical concern with this... In 2006 it will be the author
(not the nominator) who will prrovide a lot of the information. I think
we decided this would include the category choices. So when you
nominate a story next year it won't be for a certain category.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5889

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Laura November 02, 2005 - 1:48:55 Topic ID# 5843
Weighing in with her $.03 (adjusted due to inflation),

To state my position up front, I'm a big fan of #2 and #4 (limiting by person and limiting by person within a time period). I agree with other comments made that if we cap nominations as a whole, we'd be racing to get nominations in. And I don't think this should be a race. I think this should be something that people think about and consider.

I was one of the original proponents of #6, but I hadn't thought the logistics all the way through when the idea first came to mind. To me, it seems absolutely natural that you would review the pieces you nominate. I did so shortly after I nominated them. That just makes sense. And because you liked them enough to nominate them, it also makes sense that you would write a substantial review. For some that might be a 10-pointer. For others, that might be a 2-pointer. Regardless, though, if you liked the story enough to nominate, I feel you should have some obligation to review it. And I saw a few stories this year where that didn't happen. It just struck me as odd. But the logistics of enforcing something like this (Dwim's arguments about the one point "Good story" review) would be unrealistic. So I'll add my voice to the idea of saving this idea for a topic that might involve promoting more reviewers.

Back to the topic, I do NOT like the idea of restricting these awards to stories written in the past year. I think it puts arbitrary time frames on publication, and I don't see why a good story written four years ago shouldn't have the same shot at reviews as a good story written last month.

I'm also not overly fond of putting a cap on nominations as a whole. I'm definitely among the crowd who felt that 1200+ nominations was intimidating, and until I found my own method of reviewing, I was quite lost. However, I thinking that capping all nominations would favor those who get their nominations in early and I think that whatever number we choose to cap at would feel very arbitary. The same could be said for suggestions #2 and #4. Any number in any of this is going to feel a bit arbitrary. But the overall cap would be especially awkward simply because we're working with such large numbers. It's difficult for people to conceptualize or quantify and thus seems even more arbitary than it really is.

Likewise, I'm not overly fond of capping the number of stories per category. I think it would be an adminstrative headache, especially if stories start getting shuffled between second and third category choices. Beyond which, some categories will rarely get into the double figures (like horror) while others get there quickly (like drama). That makes drama a much more restrictive category than horror, and the drama nominations that don't make the cut might try to get in by masquerading as horror when they really don't belong there.

As for the debate regarding drabbles vs. novels... Perhaps I'm not understanding the concerns correctly. It's my observation, though, that people tend to nominate what they read. If they read drabbles, they'll nominate drabbles. If they read novels, they'll nominate novels. I'm not sure that adding another cap for drabbles will affect this. And I echoe the sentiments expressed earlier about administrative nightmares with chapter limits.

Anyway, enough babbling from me. I'm off to bed. Hopefully sleep will get rid of this head cold. Bleh...

Thundera

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
As a way of life, reality is highly overrated.
DahakýHercules: The Legendary Journeys
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Msg# 5890

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by MarigoldCotton@aol.com November 02, 2005 - 2:19:19 Topic ID# 5843
Here is my tuppence worth...

1. Limit the number of nominations, period. Once we reach this cap no more nominations are allowed.

I don't like this one, and agree with the others who pointed out that this would ultimately be unfair to some participants who might not be able to nominate right away. Nominations should be accepted for the whole of the nominating period. I like the way the awards is broken down into the different "seasons" and this option would also change that, as nominating season would end at an unspecified time, when the limit was reached, instead of on a particular date. A person could get their list of nominations all ready only to log in to make them and learn that the limit was reached and they are out of luck, and this would be really frustrating.

2. Limit the number of nominations per person.

This is the option that I like the most, and that I feel makes most sense. Not everyone will nominate a large number of stories, so it should be viable to set the limit fairly high for those that do tend to make quite a few nominations, like myself. It seems that many folks tend to just nominate 2 - 10 stories so I think it would be reasonable to set the limit at something like 50 stories. If several people nominate 50, and many people nominate between 2 - 10, I think the total number of nominations should be manageable.

3. Limit the number of nominations in a time period.

I don't like this one, as I am so scatterbrained that I wouldn't remember what I was supposed to do and when...And again, it would leave those that just missed the cap very frustrated, and overanxious at making the next period.


4. Limit the number of nominations in a time period per person. (I.e., you can nominate, a
certain number of pieces per week.)

See my answer to number 3, above, lol...

5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.

I don't agree with this as there are so many works out there that may have been written some time ago, and have yet to be discovered...Also, it creates difficulty in trying to figure out the original posting date, and verifying that the date given is correct. I think that it would cause a lot of work for the administrators.

6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the nomination can be processed.

I don't think that this would work the way the seasons and the website are set up.

So, I like 2 the best...

Hugs,

Marigold


--
Marigold's Red Book
http://marigold.tolkienshire.com

Marigold's Recommendations Page
http://www.geocities.com/marigoldsrecommendations/

Marigold's Live Journal
http://www.livejournal.com/users/marigoldg/

Tales of The Red Book
http://www.livejournal.com/users/talesofredbook/




There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.
>
>Sam, in Mordor, RoTK

Msg# 5891

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Naresha November 02, 2005 - 5:03:05 Topic ID# 5843
> Well the liaison tracks them down and asks
> them if they want to run, most of them might
> say no, but some might say yes, feeling
> honoured. I shouldn't put a limit on that.


Just on the subject of authors who seem to have
"dropped out" of the fandom - I do agree with
Rhapsody. Just because people drop out of the
fandom, it doesn't mean that they no longer like
it or want their stories not to be read and
enjoyed. Someone may have stopped participating
simply because they have changed jobs, moved
house or had a baby! And as said, people - no
matter how active or inactive they are - ALWAYS
have the option of saying no to participating.

Resha, who will give her two cents on her opinion
in a few minutes.

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
Personal LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nareshaninya/
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My Website! Slash Me Happy
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Msg# 5892

Re: 2005 MEFA Winners; / LJ Posted by Naresha November 02, 2005 - 5:31:54 Topic ID# 5645
> I agree that we need to reach as many people
> as possible, but I also know that doubling the
> places to be tends to halve the people at each
> spot.


I agree on this. I think we need ONE place where
people discuss things. I use both Yahoo and LJ
for various things, but I just don't have TIME to
look at two places to get everyone's opinions!
Personally, next year, I for one would MUCH
prefer if discussion were kept all in one place.
It's a lot easier to search for things and it's a
lot more centralised. It may disadvantage SOME
people, but everyone is eligable to sign up to
both Yahoo groups and LJ, so neither option is
discriminatory - provided LJ allows anonymous
comments. I personally think Yahoo is easier,
because it can all be looked at simply by
checking your email - which most people seem to
do on a fairly regular basis.

Just my two cents,
Resha

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
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Msg# 5893

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by ejackamack@aol.com November 02, 2005 - 5:55:39 Topic ID# 5843
After reviewing others' comments and the various propositions again, I put
my vote in for number 2, limiting the number of nominations per person. It
seems to be the easiest one to adjudicate, it makes people really think about
which stories they want to nominate, it doesn't restrict them in terms of
category, and it broadens the scope of the awards in terms of eliminating the
possibility that one individual will flood the awards with their preferred sort
of story.

Now whether it will really cut down on the number of nominations is yet to
be seen. I think that the drawing down of the fandom will do that in and of
itself. We had a huge number of nominations this year because of the huge
number of stories out there. Also, because of the fact that there is no time
limit, a lot of older stories got nominated. That pool of older stories has
been mined pretty extensively in the first two years of the awards. I think
people will be hard put to find some four or five year old gem tucked away
somewhere next year. So between the fact that I don't think there will be as
many new stories this year and that many of the old stories have already been
nominated, we'll probably see some reduction in numbers in any event. So my
vote is that we adopt #2 and see how it works out. If we're still flooded with
stories next year, we can talk about other measures.

Isabeau


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5894

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Chapter caps Posted by Naresha November 02, 2005 - 6:02:59 Topic ID# 5843
> I think this would be a horror to administer.
> For that fact alone, I don't believe a chapter
> cap would be realistic.


I must agree with this one. People have been
talking about making things as user friendly as
possible so as not to confuse and lose new comers
- I've been a part of both MEFAs and I must say
that *I'M* by how this would work!


Resha

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
Personal LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nareshaninya/
Writing LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/writingsofresha/

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Msg# 5895

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Naresha November 02, 2005 - 6:30:11 Topic ID# 5843
> I think I averaged 3-4 points myself. But I
> figured any feedback is good, so I don't worry
> so much about writing long reviews. (And
> you're right, 10 point ones are hard to
> write! ) :D

Okay - there will be a slight deviation in this
reply. Apologies in advance

10pt reviews are VERY hard to write. :-) The
longest one I received was a 7pt review and that
was pretty big. I don't know what other people
get in normal (ie, non award) feedback about
their stories, but if I checked the character
count of some feedback I receive, it would be
reasonably low - probably under the 5pt mark - if
not lower. I'm not entirely sure if that is the
more common event or if I'm in the minority, but
perhaps we should consider reviewing
character/point counts? In a separate topic of
course!

However, whilst I was disappointed that a lot of
the reviews I wrote were only 2 or three points,
I hesitated to write more because I felt that by
doing that I was lessening the QUALITY of the
feedback. But that's just me. Also, something
that did get to me was a 1pt review I received.
Whilst I didn't give two hoots about the point
value, the content of it did make me wonder why
the person had bothered reviewing at all! Do we
have a system in place to prevent flaming of
authors and their stories? I know constructive
criticism is allowed - and I gave some myself to
some people - but we're all aware that some
people have nothing better to do other than write
insulting feedback to people! Is there something
we could put in place to help prevent this? Or
would the only workable thing be to ban people
after the act itself?

Resha

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
Personal LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nareshaninya/
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Msg# 5896

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Naresha November 02, 2005 - 6:30:19 Topic ID# 5843
> I think I averaged 3-4 points myself. But I
> figured any feedback is good, so I don't worry
> so much about writing long reviews. (And
> you're right, 10 point ones are hard to
> write! ) :D

Okay - there will be a slight deviation in this
reply. Apologies in advance

10pt reviews are VERY hard to write. :-) The
longest one I received was a 7pt review and that
was pretty big. I don't know what other people
get in normal (ie, non award) feedback about
their stories, but if I checked the character
count of some feedback I receive, it would be
reasonably low - probably under the 5pt mark - if
not lower. I'm not entirely sure if that is the
more common event or if I'm in the minority, but
perhaps we should consider reviewing
character/point counts? In a separate topic of
course!

However, whilst I was disappointed that a lot of
the reviews I wrote were only 2 or three points,
I hesitated to write more because I felt that by
doing that I was lessening the QUALITY of the
feedback. But that's just me. Also, something
that did get to me was a 1pt review I received.
Whilst I didn't give two hoots about the point
value, the content of it did make me wonder why
the person had bothered reviewing at all! Do we
have a system in place to prevent flaming of
authors and their stories? I know constructive
criticism is allowed - and I gave some myself to
some people - but we're all aware that some
people have nothing better to do other than write
insulting feedback to people! Is there something
we could put in place to help prevent this? Or
would the only workable thing be to ban people
after the act itself?

Resha

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
Personal LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nareshaninya/
Writing LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/writingsofresha/

My Website! Slash Me Happy
http://www.websamba.com/SlashMeHappy

http://quiz.ravenblack.net/blood.pl?biter=Resha



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Msg# 5897

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Naresha November 02, 2005 - 9:02:58 Topic ID# 5843
> 2. Limit the number of nominations per person.

Honestly, I think this is the most workable
solution. Limiting the time periods etc and the
total number of nominations really do make it
unfair for people who are perhaps a little slow
off the mark - or like me (and this is a point
that hasn't been raised) are in a different
timezones around the world. And as I have
previously posted, I think chapter caps will
justy make it FAR too confusing for people -
especially new comers.

HOWEVER! Whilst people have brought up some
numbers, no one seems to have done the math on it
and I think that might help make things a lot
clearer.

Anthony said that there were 74 individual
nominators. (Sorry Marta- 60 isn't correct, I
have checked myself) There are also 1243
completed nominations. So that means that on
AVERAGE, each of the 74 people who nominated
things, nominated 17 stories each. 25 seems to
be a popular number for the number we should
allow each person. But that's MORE than was
nominated per person this year. And if we assume
that more people will nominate things next year
as they become more aware of the MEFAs... Then
the number of stories will INCREASE, not decrease
as we want.

I'm not sure how many stories we had in 2004 as
opposed to 2005, but I'm assuming that it went up
and it would be safe to assume that the number of
stories would increase incrementally again in
2006. But if we want to cut the number of
stories down, the I seriously think we need to
look a LOT lower down the numerical scale.
Perhaps closer to 10 or 15.

Say approximately 80 people nominate next year,
that is between 800 and 1200 stories. And the
number we're complaing a number just over 1200.
So I think perhaps we need to look at allowing
people to nominate no more than 10 stories each.
Yes, it WILL be tough for people like Marta (who
was honest enough to admit she needed her fingers
broken when nominating! :-P) to cut their
nominations so drastically, but it WILL allow
people to vote on more stories, thus allowing
more authors to receive more reviews and would
help eliminate what Larian found - people
deciding not to participate in future years
because they felt we weren't as unique as we were
promoting - being a review based awards system,
not purely a vote for a story system. And I must
say that, whilst I wasn't expecting to be
bombarded with FB, I was a little surprised - and
a tad disappointed - with the QUALITY of the
reviews I got. It made me think that people
really just gave a perfunctory review because
they had read it and wanted to move on.

Also - and this is a matter for Anthony to
comment on in terms of coding etc - we need to
think about the possibility of cloning. Most
people I know have at least two email addresses.
If we choose to limit the number of nominations
per person, then we really do increase the
potential for people to consider signing up
multiple email addys. Is there anyway the MEFA
site could be configured to work a bit like Yahoo
Mail does with Attachments. You get 5
attachments and once you've done that, if you
want more, you have to get rid of one of the
other ones. Is there anyway that the site could
be made so that it is essentially one ISP address
per person - that would effectively stop the
multiple email addy thing. And yes, I do know
that people could sign up from more than one
comp, but it is a fair amount of effort!

As for placing a compulsory review clause on any
nomination - I do like the idea because it
ensures that every story gets at least ONE
review, but it would be very, very difficult to
police because as Dwim (I think) said, people can
simply do a "place marker" in there like "Will
review later." The only thing I can think of to
avoid this is to place a word minimum on reviews.
I would suggest a 20-25 word minimum. It may
sound a lot, but it is only TWO LINES
type-written. Considering that an average line
of typed text is about 13 words, 25 really is not
a stretch. I received a 13 word review (1pt) and
it didnt even fill the entire line space in the
MEFA site! And as for policing... If Anthony
could code something into the site that wouldn't
allow a review/nomination to be submitted until
it was a certain word count, then it would be
automatic!

I think it was Dwim or Jenn that mentioned
something about people getting other people to
sign up to nominate stories they wanted in to
nominate, but couldn't because of a per person
cap. Yes, this is a possibility! But that
person will ALSO be bound by a cap - which is one
advantage to having a lower cap, rather than a
higher one. Also... If you add in the compulsory
review and minimum word count I talked about just
above, it might help deter people from asking
friends to sign up and nominate stuff they want
once they realise what is involved. Whilst it
would be easy for anyone who is genuinely wanting
to nominate something, for people who were
"puppetting" on behalf of someone else, it would
be a royal pain in the bum!

As for what has been mentioned about drabbles and
poetry... I'm not sure if it has actually been
suggested that they be excluded - but that does
seem to be the case. As a drabble and poetry
author, I really would feel this to make it a
very exclusionary thing and would not return if
that policy was ever implemented.

One thing that I think has been neglected here in
discussing this idea is that, by seeking to
reduce the number of nominations, we run the risk
of people saying what Larian mentioned earlier -
we run the risk of people thinking we're being
exclusionary and cliquey, which will most likely
result in us LOSING people in future years.

Now, I know that the MEFAs already run for a good
long time, but perhaps we should consider
extending the voting season? Perhaps shorten
nomination season and give the extra time to
voting. It would help limit nominations (to an
extent) and give people more time to review
things.

Okay... I think I'm done now! :-P Sorry for the
length of this thing!

Resha.

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
Personal LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nareshaninya/
Writing LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/writingsofresha/

My Website! Slash Me Happy
http://www.websamba.com/SlashMeHappy

http://quiz.ravenblack.net/blood.pl?biter=Resha



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Msg# 5898

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 9:39:34 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Sulriel,

> > 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
> nomination can be processed.
>
> I much prefer #6 and feel that while it may reduce nominations to
> some degree, that is, in part, the purpose, - I like this one in that
> it serves a dual purpose of being sure that all nominations that
> aren't self-nom get at least one review, and I would find a one-
> pointer acceptable.   I think if you like a story well enough to
> nominate it, it shouldn't been too hard to say why.  It should be
> simple, in the case of self-noms to put a note in the box that it is
> a self-nom, since they all have to be personally handled by liaisons
> anyway in order to get the approval and set the cate/sub-cate.
>

I know we've discussed this privately and that #6 was originally my
idea. I'm not so sure about it now. It seems like it could be abused
quite easily and would need extra policing by the admins to make surre
it was being done correctly. It would also require a lot of "judgment
calls" -- is "Nice use of suspense." an acceptable comment? What about.
"This story does a good job of building suspense by slowly revealing
key information. You never know what's going to happen next."?

I think we do need to make it clear to the nominator that if you
nominate a story you should review it unless something comes up in RL
that keeps you from doing so. I think most people do this anyway. Maybe
even when they submit a nomination we can direct them to a a screen
that says what happens now with the nomination and encourage them to
enter a review right then. But I don't think it should be *required* at
this point that the nominator enter a review.

> My second choice would be to limit the number of nominations per
> author.  And it could be a fairly high number ... 15 (?)  Any author
> who has more than the allowed nominations should select which ones to
> run before finalizing the nominations.
>

Not sure about this. Let's say I have 15 stories nominated but someone
later nominates a new one by me - would I then have to choose one of
the 15 to withdraw in order for the new one to compete? But I know a
lot of people begin voting on completed nominations during nomination
season, so you'd have some votes lost where the reviewer had every
reason to think they would count.

On the other hand, if you say that once someone has had 15 of their
pieces nominated no one can nominate any more of their pieces, we run
into the same issue as with a limit on the total number of nominations.
People think they will be able to nominate until the end of nomination
season and so they take their time, but by the time they sit down to
enter their nominations they find that they can't because someone else
has already nominated a lot of that story's work.

I think most people like to recognise unknown authors. If we limit the
number of pieces a person can nominate I think they will tend to
nominate authors who haven't been nominated rather than ones they have,
if the stories are equally good.

> I would somewhat agree with a limit of nominations per nominator, but
> some people would lose out because of duplicate nominations and I'd
> want the number to be fairly high ... 25(?) I know I had some in mind
> from the beginning and nominated them right away, but throughout the
> season, I continually thought of others, and even later, have thought
> of some I wish I'd remember to nominate.
>

Well, if two people nominate the same story I think the later
nomination wouldn't have to count against that author. Similarly if we
withdraw a story because the author says they don't want it to compete,
the nominator would get "back" that nomination. The liaison would just
have to email the nominator to let them know.

I agree that the number should be high. But really, we didn't have that
many nominators who nominated more than two or three stories -- around
30 I think? Giving them each 25 stories would give us 750 nominations,
a much more manageable size IMO. And it would probably be much lower
since most of those nominators didn't nominate 25.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5899

limiting nominations Posted by sulriel November 02, 2005 - 9:46:17 Topic ID# 5899
I think that if we limited nominations to ten per nominator, while it
limited those who were excitable about nominating, it might also
encourage those who only nominated a few to look around for a couple
more entries in order to fill their quota.

While I do like #6 the concept of requiring a review w/nom, I
understand that arguments against it and don't think it would be
needed if nominators were limited to ten entries.



Anthony: I apologize if you've already answered this ... with such
a low number of nominations allowed - would it be possible to 'kick
out' duplicates so each person would have a possible ten entered
nominations. ... maybe periodically run a report to check that
periods new nominations against past years and previous current
nominations and so if someone nominated a dup, they'd be able to
replace it with a valid nomination instead of losing that one?



- someone mentioned excluding drabbles and poetry? ... I don't
think that was the comment. I think it was meant to exclude them
from the count so there would be no limit on those entries, but I
don't agree with that. I think all entries should be counted.
People will nominate what they read and I'm fine with that.

Msg# 5900

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by sulriel November 02, 2005 - 9:55:57 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>> Hi Sulriel,
>

Good morning. We just crossed in the mail, and I think I already
addressed most of what you're saying below.

in re:#6, I don't really have a problem with a short comment there, I
think that would be self policing to a point because the nominator
would know that would be posted as a review and avaiable to the
author. ( I do remember I left one very short one ... was it for
Dwim .. something along the lines of "yikes ... *shudder*" in
response to a horror drabble??? - I *hope* it was taken in the spirit
in which it was given!!)

(( - also, if I remember the point spread is a later discussion
item?))

BUT - again, I believe that a reasonable limit on nominators would
negate the need for #6.



> a much more manageable size IMO. And it would probably be much
lower > since most of those nominators didn't nominate 25.
> > Cheers,> Marta>


That seems high to me, but I'll bow to the number-crunchers on this
one.

Sulriel

Msg# 5901

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by sulriel November 02, 2005 - 10:16:23 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Anthony Holder <aaholder@s...>
wrote:>
> Hey all,
> > Someone asked about the distribution of nominations by nominator.
> > Below are two lists. First, stories per nominator.
> Second, self-nominated stories by author.
>


looking at these numbers I have to agree that I think we'd be fine if
we just broke Marta's fingers. :)

I just checked the database, I nominated 26 entries, including four
of my own. In view of that, I have to conceed that 25 would be a
reasonable limit <DAR> :)

another thing that I think should be tied to nomination limits, but
also maybe shelved for a publicity/promotions thread is to try to
reduce the stigma of self-nominations. I frankly don't understand
the reluctance of people to put themselves forward in this way - In
my mind, if you post it on the internet it seems that the intention
is to share it with readers, and the MEFAs are about the biggest
share-fest going. I don't have a problem if someone prefers not to
SSP or enter contests, but I don't like that it's frequently implied
that you should sit in a corner and wait to be recognized. I can
easily visualize shadowy huddled masses of new and less-prolific
writers who are shamed into thinking that they shouldn't have to
present their own work to public view in order to get attention, and
I think that's a rotten way to lose a lot of good writers.

Msg# 5902

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 10:18:25 Topic ID# 5843
On 1 Nov 2005, at 10:59, rhapsody_the_bard wrote:

> > With #2, in which the nominators are limited to a reasonable number
> > of nominations, they should then have time to enter those reviews. 
> > And I think an upper limit of 25 or so is too high. That may
> > actually have the effect of *increasing* the number of nominations,
> > as new members may feel obligated to nominate their limit.  I
> > honestly think 10 to 12 nominations (with the extension for
> > drabbles/poetry I mentioned in my previous post) would have
> > the right effect.  People who nominated 2 or 3 dozen stories in the
> > past would then have to consider just which they *really* wanted to
> > nominate; people who nominated only a couple of stories might be
> > encouraged to do a few more this time round.  I know that I
> > nominated, I think, 8 or 9 stories, and I spent a good deal of time
> > thinking over which ones.  I thought maybe I was going overboard
> > until I saw how many stories other people were nominating.
>
> I nominated about 39, and I all reviewed them. Actually, I made sure I
> had those done at the very least, so 25 makes me wonder... is that
> enough? Because I read a lot and tried to nominate lesser known
> authors. I am just wondering if some nominators went 'overboard' and
> others nominated about a certain average. That is why I am curious
> about numbers. But you can't prevent what people will think when the
> see a limit on something (if it is number of stories allowed to
> nominate, word count and so on). Even if it is 10, 25 or 50.
>

One thing to consider is that, if you really like an author you can
encourage them to join themselves and nominate their own stories.
Rhapsody, I noticed that several of your nominations were for Isil
Elensar. I know the two of you share a website, so I assume you're
pretty close. I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with
encouraging Isil to get involved with the MEFAs, to nominate her own
stories and maybe nominate or vote for some others that she already
knows.

As for the numbers, I put those in a separate email. I think that 25
should be about right. Most people nominated less than that, and if the
number of nominators stay about the same I think that should make for a
more manageable number of nominations.

Dreamflower, I understand your concern about people thinking they have
to nominate 25 stories if that's the limit, but I think the key point
in this area is education rather than a lower restriction. In the
numbers I posted yesterday there were lots of people who put in more
than 15 nominations, and I've also heard from some people (such as
annmarwalk) who said that they would have nominated more than their 10
nominations if those stories hadn't already been nominated.

> > I am very much against going to the category thing with time limits.
> > We did that the first year, and I found it extremely confusing, I
> > could never keep track of what category was which week, even with
> > the reminders, which tended to clutter up my email and get caught in
> > my spam trap.
>
> Well since this was my first MEFA, I possibly could not have known
> that this happened in the first year (and also I don't know how it
> happened).

Rhapsody, I know I always forget this is your first MEFAs. You're so
active! Thank you for getting so involved so quickly. So if I or anyone
else assumes you should know more than you do, just poke us in the
collective shoulder and we'll explain how things worked in 2004. :-)

> I am just saying this because while categorising we saw
> categories that had barely made a full category (Poetry about Dwarves
> were re-located). And well, this years nominations went differently, I
> guess, so I don't see the cluttering of e-mails happening. It is just
> the amount of work behind the scenes that just was a lot (talking
> about a huge amount of stress and time limit). It truly was a high
> peak, if you can spread that.. well it makes life a lot easier. For
> the admin/volunteers at least.
>

One of the good things about the MEFA website is that there's not the
onus to get ballots put together as quickly as possible. In 2004 no one
could begin reading until we had those ballots available. This year,
people can begin reading and reviewing stories as soon as they see a
nomination is complete. They can't vote for authors, but I don't think
that's such a huge deal.

For this reason I think we can give the categorisers more time than
they had this year to get categories settled. We do need to talk about
the schedule more, but I think this can definitely be spread out more
than it was this year.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5903

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 02, 2005 - 10:18:53 Topic ID# 5843
----- Original Message -----
From: "Naresha" <north_shore_fruitcake@yahoo.com.au>
To: <MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 9:02 AM
Subject: Re: [MEFAwards] Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations


>> 2. Limit the number of nominations per person.
>
> I'm not sure how many stories we had in 2004 as
> opposed to 2005, but I'm assuming that it went up
> and it would be safe to assume that the number of
> stories would increase incrementally again in
> 2006. But if we want to cut the number of
> stories down, the I seriously think we need to
> look a LOT lower down the numerical scale.
> Perhaps closer to 10 or 15.

I agree. Really, it seems logical to me. 25 or even 20 seems *way* too
many.


>
> Say approximately 80 people nominate next year,
> that is between 800 and 1200 stories. And the
> number we're complaing a number just over 1200.
> So I think perhaps we need to look at allowing
> people to nominate no more than 10 stories each.
> Yes, it WILL be tough for people like Marta (who
> was honest enough to admit she needed her fingers
> broken when nominating! :-P) to cut their
> nominations so drastically, but it WILL allow
> people to vote on more stories, thus allowing
> more authors to receive more reviews and would
> help eliminate what Larian found - people
> deciding not to participate in future years
> because they felt we weren't as unique as we were
> promoting - being a review based awards system,
> not purely a vote for a story system. And I must
> say that, whilst I wasn't expecting to be
> bombarded with FB, I was a little surprised - and
> a tad disappointed - with the QUALITY of the
> reviews I got. It made me think that people
> really just gave a perfunctory review because
> they had read it and wanted to move on.
>
> Also - and this is a matter for Anthony to
> comment on in terms of coding etc - we need to
> think about the possibility of cloning. Most
> people I know have at least two email addresses.
> If we choose to limit the number of nominations
> per person, then we really do increase the
> potential for people to consider signing up
> multiple email addys. Is there anyway the MEFA
> site could be configured to work a bit like Yahoo
> Mail does with Attachments. You get 5
> attachments and once you've done that, if you
> want more, you have to get rid of one of the
> other ones. Is there anyway that the site could
> be made so that it is essentially one ISP address
> per person - that would effectively stop the
> multiple email addy thing. And yes, I do know
> that people could sign up from more than one
> comp, but it is a fair amount of effort!
>
> As for placing a compulsory review clause on any
> nomination - I do like the idea because it
> ensures that every story gets at least ONE
> review, but it would be very, very difficult to
> police because as Dwim (I think) said, people can
> simply do a "place marker" in there like "Will
> review later." The only thing I can think of to
> avoid this is to place a word minimum on reviews.
> I would suggest a 20-25 word minimum. It may
> sound a lot, but it is only TWO LINES
> type-written. Considering that an average line
> of typed text is about 13 words, 25 really is not
> a stretch. I received a 13 word review (1pt) and
> it didnt even fill the entire line space in the
> MEFA site! And as for policing... If Anthony
> could code something into the site that wouldn't
> allow a review/nomination to be submitted until
> it was a certain word count, then it would be
> automatic!
>
> I think it was Dwim or Jenn that mentioned
> something about people getting other people to
> sign up to nominate stories they wanted in to
> nominate, but couldn't because of a per person
> cap. Yes, this is a possibility! But that
> person will ALSO be bound by a cap - which is one
> advantage to having a lower cap, rather than a
> higher one. Also... If you add in the compulsory
> review and minimum word count I talked about just
> above, it might help deter people from asking
> friends to sign up and nominate stuff they want
> once they realise what is involved. Whilst it
> would be easy for anyone who is genuinely wanting
> to nominate something, for people who were
> "puppetting" on behalf of someone else, it would
> be a royal pain in the bum!
>
> As for what has been mentioned about drabbles and
> poetry... I'm not sure if it has actually been
> suggested that they be excluded - but that does
> seem to be the case. As a drabble and poetry
> author, I really would feel this to make it a
> very exclusionary thing and would not return if
> that policy was ever implemented.
>
> One thing that I think has been neglected here in
> discussing this idea is that, by seeking to
> reduce the number of nominations, we run the risk
> of people saying what Larian mentioned earlier -
> we run the risk of people thinking we're being
> exclusionary and cliquey, which will most likely
> result in us LOSING people in future years.
>
> Now, I know that the MEFAs already run for a good
> long time, but perhaps we should consider
> extending the voting season? Perhaps shorten
> nomination season and give the extra time to
> voting. It would help limit nominations (to an
> extent) and give people more time to review
> things.
>
> Okay... I think I'm done now! :-P Sorry for the
> length of this thing!
>
> Resha.
>
> ~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~
>
> AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
> Personal LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nareshaninya/
> Writing LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/writingsofresha/
>
> My Website! Slash Me Happy
> http://www.websamba.com/SlashMeHappy
>
> http://quiz.ravenblack.net/blood.pl?biter=Resha
>
>
>
> ____________________________________________________
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Msg# 5904

Re: Summary: Limiting # of Noms Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 10:20:27 Topic ID# 5861
On 1 Nov 2005, at 12:54, ghettoelleth@aol.com wrote:

>
>
> In a message dated 11/1/2005 8:22:46 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, 
> melayton@gmail.com writes:
>
> Ghettoelleth (Yahoo) - really likes the idea of requiring  votes
>
>
>
>
> Well, there's three hours of my life I'll never get back again.  hehe
>

*snork* Sorry to reduce your comments to the bare minimum there! Of
course there was more meat to it than that.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5905

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 10:30:00 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Dreamflower,

> >> With #2, in which the nominators are limited to a reasonable number
> >> of nominations, they should then have time to enter those reviews.
> >> And I think an upper limit of 25 or so is too high. That may
> >> actually have the effect of *increasing* the number of nominations,
> >> as new members may feel obligated to nominate their limit.  I
> >> honestly think 10 to 12 nominations (with the extension for
> >> drabbles/poetry I mentioned in my previous post) would have
> >> the right effect.  People who nominated 2 or 3 dozen stories in the
> >> past would then have to consider just which they *really* wanted to
> >> nominate; people who nominated only a couple of stories might be
> >> encouraged to do a few more this time round.  I know that I
> >> nominated, I think, 8 or 9 stories, and I spent a good deal of time
> >> thinking over which ones.  I thought maybe I was going overboard
> >> until I saw how many stories other people were nominating.
> >
> > I nominated about 39, and I all reviewed them. Actually, I made
> sure I
> > had those done at the very least, so 25 makes me wonder... is that
> > enough? Because I read a lot and tried to nominate lesser known
> > authors. I am just wondering if some nominators went 'overboard' and
> > others nominated about a certain average. That is why I am curious
> > about numbers. But you can't prevent what people will think when the
> > see a limit on something (if it is number of stories allowed to
> > nominate, word count and so on). Even if it is 10, 25 or 50.
>
> Well, if the idea is to keep the numbers down, we have to consider
> that at
> least a little bit.  I recall at some point mentioning limits before,
> and
> someone replied that they felt that as time went on the awards would
> become
> self-limiting. But I am afraid I don't see that, and at this point in
> time,
> do we really want to risk next year's noms perhaps doubling? or even
> half
> again as many?  I know the amount of work you put in as a liaison
> (you did a
> great job, by the way) but do you want to risk that work load
> doubling next
> year?
>

It was me who suggested that as time goes on the awards would be
self-limiting. I still think this will probably be the case and that
the number of nominations will be less - but I'm certainly not willing
to bet on that fact! I agree that the number of nominations needs to be
reduced and the best way to do this is probably some sort of limits.

> At any rate, if the idea is to put the limit at as high as 25, then
> we may
> need to limit the number of new members we take--and *that* is a can
> of
> worms I *definitely* would *not* like to see opened!
>

No, I don't want to open that can of worms, either. But see my earlier
post: a limit of 25 would probably only result in 750 nominations,
which is a lot less than the 1200 we had this year. That's a 37.5%
reduction, which I think is a good step in the right direction.

> It was good that some of the people who nominated many stories did
> vote on
> all of them, but a good many did not.  However *requiring* a vote to
> finalize seems to me to cause as many problems as it solves.  As I
> said,
> with a lower limit, everyone should have plenty of time to vote on
> their
> noms.
>

I agree. At first I liked the idea of requiring a nomination to come
with a vote from the nominator, but now I can see that would create a
lot of problems.

Do you have any other ideas for how to encourage nominators to vote for
their nominations?

> >> I am very much against going to the category thing with time
> limits.
> >> We did that the first year, and I found it extremely confusing, I
> >> could never keep track of what category was which week, even with
> >> the reminders, which tended to clutter up my email and get caught
> in
> >> my spam trap.
> >
> > Well since this was my first MEFA, I possibly could not have known
> > that this happened in the first year (and also I don't know how it
> > happened). I am just saying this because while categorising we saw
> > categories that had barely made a full category (Poetry about
> Dwarves
> > were re-located). And well, this years nominations went
> differently, I
> > guess, so I don't see the cluttering of e-mails happening. It is
> just
> > the amount of work behind the scenes that just was a lot (talking
> > about a huge amount of stress and time limit). It truly was a high
> > peak, if you can spread that.. well it makes life a lot easier. For
> > the admin/volunteers at least.
> >
> Last year, each category had a "season" during which nominations
> could be
> made, and a "season" for voting on those categories. As I said, I
> found it
> very confusing; I made no nominations and I think I only voted on
> about 5 or
> 6 stories, because it was just overwhelming.  Just as I would think
> I'd have
> time to vote on something, its "season" would be over.  And with all
> the
> categories and sub-categories we had this year, to get all of them
> in, the
> "seasons" would have to be extremely short.
>

Is that the way it happened? Maybe my memory is going. (It didn't serve
me well setting up banner polls.) But I could have sworn that
nominations were open, and that you could nominate any story you liked
at any point, whatever the category.

Voting was definitely broken down by category, though. You're right,
it's much more user friendly the way we currently have it. It wouldn't
be possible without the voting website, and I'm very glad we do it this
way now.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words. - St. Francis
of Assisi

Msg# 5906

Re: limiting nominations Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 02, 2005 - 10:30:05 Topic ID# 5899
----- Original Message -----
From: "sulriel" <Sulriel@htcomp.net>
To: <MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 9:45 AM
Subject: [MEFAwards] limiting nominations


>
>
> - someone mentioned excluding drabbles and poetry? ... I don't
> think that was the comment. I think it was meant to exclude them
> from the count so there would be no limit on those entries, but I
> don't agree with that. I think all entries should be counted.
> People will nominate what they read and I'm fine with that.

I did not mention *excluding* drabbles and poetry. Someone else
misunderstood what I had written and thought I did.

Marta had said she thought limiting nominations would count against drabbles
(and I thought of poetry myself) I am not sure that would be the case, but
what I said was to give *extra* nominations for drabbles/poetry--in other
words, if the limit was 10 stories, the nominator could nominate up to 9
stories, and then have up to six extra nominations for drabbles/poetry for a
total of 15. Personally, I am not sure that it would be necessary, but that
would just be one way to address the problem should it exist.

Dreamflower
(Barbara)

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 5907

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by sulriel November 02, 2005 - 10:35:44 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, ejackamack@a... wrote:
>> > number of stories out there. Also, because of the fact that
there is no time > limit, a lot of older stories got nominated.
That pool of older stories has > been mined pretty extensively in
the first two years of the awards. I think > people will be hard
put to find some four or five year old gem tucked away > somewhere
next year. So between the fact that I don't think there will be as
> many new stories this year and that many of the old stories have
already been > nominated,


I really don't agree at all with the published date criteria, I think
that - as has been said - it is self-limiting to a point because of
the size and growth of the fandom, and that fact that so many of the
older stories have already been nominated.

I also think that it would be problematic - since we haven't had a
date criteria in the past, to impose one now could be disallowing
stories that people expected to be able to run in future years. -
I'm having a wonderful time working my way back through an old fic
that had some problems and I'm much happier with what I'm able to do
with it now. - Depending on what's going on with it next year, I may
want it to run and would hate to think the old 'learning-curve'
version would have been eligible and the updated one wouldn't.
Maybe I'm alone in that boat - I don't know, but I doubt it.

Msg# 5908

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations (to Larian) Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 10:38:46 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Pearl,

> I don't quite understand the "I suggest not counting drabbles, as I
> think doing so would encourage people to nominate longer pieces
> instead." comment.  I just felt badly that there were instances when
> they ended up having to compete against full stories.  Some authors
> almost specialize in drabbles.  Were you meaning to not have drabbles
> at all?  Oh well, that's another subject altogether.
>

I should probably clarify this comment. :-)

I think drabbles are easy to review quickly and easy to write quickly,
so an author who specialises in drabbles could easily write 25 in a
year. That's just one every two weeks, which isn't very much. Whereas
an author who specialises in novel-length pieces could be working on
the same epic for more than a year. Both can be equally good. But if
nominators are having to be more selective, I think they might choose
to nominate longer pieces just because there's more meat to them.

And I'd hate to see the awards lose most of the drabbles. I think they
provide a great way for someone who is tight on time to vote. They're
also really creative in general and I think they deserve the
recognition. To my knowledge the MEFAs are the only awards in the
fandom that let drabbles compete against each other.

My suggestion was that if you choose to nominate a drabble, that it not
count toward the limit of stories. So you could either nominate
twenty-five (or whatever the limit is) stories of any length, and on
top of that as many drabbles as you like. Another way to set that up
would be to have a special limit for drabbles. Twenty-five stories of
any length, and on top of that ten more nominations that had to be
drabbles if you wanted to use them.

By no means am I suggesting we not allow drabbles! That's most of what
I've written this year. I just would hate to see them not nominated as
much because they're so short. I'm trying to protect them.

Marta

Msg# 5909

Re: limiting nominations Posted by sulriel November 02, 2005 - 10:41:33 Topic ID# 5899
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, <aelfwina@c...> wrote:
> > - someone mentioned excluding drabbles and poetry? ... I don't
> > think that was the comment. .
>
> I did not mention *excluding* drabbles and poetry. Someone else
> misunderstood what I had written and thought I did.
>


thank you for clarifying. I felt sure it had been a misunderstanding,
but couldn't find it again in the posts.

Msg# 5910

Re: limiting nominations Posted by Naresha November 02, 2005 - 10:46:55 Topic ID# 5899
<snip>...the nominator could nominate up to 9
stories, and then have up to six extra
nominations for drabbles/poetry for a
total of 15...<snip>

I know you listed the drabble thing as EXTRA to
the stories, but I that this division of WHAT you
could nominate, would annoy people. Not everyone
reads drabbles and poems and not everyone reads
long stories. I think it would only serve to
aggrevate people and has the potential to create
a reputation of the MEFAs being cliquey and
exclusionary etc. Not something we want!

If we cap the nominations, I think that should be
it. It's just a number and people can use it how
the wish. If they want to nominate only poems
and drabbles, so be it. If they want to nominate
only novella length things about dwarves - let
them! :-P

Resha.

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
Personal LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nareshaninya/
Writing LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/writingsofresha/

My Website! Slash Me Happy
http://www.websamba.com/SlashMeHappy

http://quiz.ravenblack.net/blood.pl?biter=Resha



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Msg# 5911

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 02, 2005 - 10:51:18 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "sulriel" <Sulriel@h...> wrote:
>
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, ejackamack@a... wrote:
>> number of stories out there. Also, because of the fact that
>> there is no time limit, a lot of older stories got nominated.
>> That pool of older stories has been mined pretty extensively in
>> the first two years of the awards. I think people will be hard
>> put to find some four or five year old gem tucked away somewhere
>> next year. So between the fact that I don't think there will be
>> as many new stories this year and that many of the old stories
>> have already been nominated,
>
> I really don't agree at all with the published date criteria, I
> think that - as has been said - it is self-limiting to a point
> because of the size and growth of the fandom, and that fact that so
> many of the older stories have already been nominated.

Can I shed a very practical light on this how I experienced this as a
liaison? I often came across sites where it was very hard to find
*when* the story got published online. There are some archives or
personal websites out there that don't give you a date, so you have
to figure that one out by becoming very creative.

For example, I know Dreamflower keeps all her vignette's and shorts
in her 'story' Dreamflower's manthoms over at Stories of Arda. But on
the short story in the story itself, there is no date given. So what
I did was look at the reviews to get an estimate when the story got
published.

So if you are setting a date on older published stories: this
involves a lot more work for a liaison. Do you want this?

Also when it comes down to tracking author's, even of those who left
the fandom, I think we did a good job on finding them.

Rhapsody

Msg# 5912

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 10:51:39 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Nerwen,

> Just wanted to chuck in a couple of comments on this
> subject, as no one seemed to have made them yet.

I didn't think that was possible. I thought every conceivable comment
had been made. ;-)

Seriously, if anyone has any new comments, *please* feel free to say
them. I am slowly but surely making my way through the emails.

> One of my reasons for liking the idea of cutting down
> the quantity of nominations overall is that hopefully
> it will increase the proportion of stories that are
> really good.  This year I read or at least started to
> read every story that was entered, but even thought I
> ended up having a lot of time (due to spending most of
> september in bed ill...) I did not have the time to
> read through everything and so often ended up judging
> stories on their first paragraph or two.  This is one
> of the reasons why I feel it would be better to have a
> global limit on nominations, no matter what other
> method are used.

You seem to be having two trains of thoughts going on here, so I'm not
100% sure I am understanding you. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

You want to have a higher proportion of the stories nominated be truly
excellent, and you also want there to be fewer stories period so you
can concentrate on each of them more. An overall cap would certainly
give you more time per story, but I think it might actually decrease
the average quality of the story. If you tell people that as soon as we
reach 700 nominations there will be no more, then people will nominate
more quickly - perhaps giving less thought to each one because they
know they won't have the chance to nominate that story later if they
don't do it now. I think a reasonable limit on the number each
nominator can make will work better to accomplish both goals.

> My one other suggestion would be a limit on stories
> per catogory eg 25 stories per catogory, once it is
> full no more stories can go into that catogory.  This
> would probably be harder to inforce by the admins but
> it would seem to be a way of helping to make sure that
> there is a wide range of interesting stories, rather
> than have some huge catogories and some tiny ones.

I don't think this will be feasible with the awards because it will be
the author, not the nominator, who will be setting the categories. It's
a good point, though.

If we're going to reduce the number of nominations I think we also need
to look at reducing the number of categories. That's a topic in itself,
and it is one I want to definitely talk about - but after we get this
nailed down.

> Cheers,

Marta

Msg# 5913

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 10:58:23 Topic ID# 5843
On 1 Nov 2005, at 14:52, Nerwen Calaelen wrote:

> Sorry missed one point that I wanted to make: there
> are at present 326 members of the yahoo group, if
> everyone of these was given the right to nominate 25
> stories then the awards could end up with 8150 stories
> entered!  (and that does not allow for more people
> becoming involved).
> One thing is that if people want to nominate more than
> their limit, they could always ask someone else to
> nominate stories for them ... either in a totally fair
> way (eg saying about MEFAs to someone they knew really
> liked a story and suggesting that they could nominate
> it) or in a escaping the point way (eg asking some
> random person they know who has a yahoo id to sign up
> and nom a list of stories for them).  I know this
> example could be seem as a bit extreeme, but one of
> the problems is that there are many things in between
> and what is okay to do and what is definately not
> okay.

This is something that Ainae and I discussed at one point, and I'm
really against doing this. (No offence meant to you of course, Nerwen!)

The reason I'm set against this is that the number of people who are
actually active from that list is a lot smaller. we require people to
join this list in order to participate in the MEFAs, so I think a lot
of people probably join and set their account to no mail, perhaps
meaning to stya involved and read at the website. Or they want to stay
up-to-date on MEFA announcements so they join the list but lurk. In
another email I pointed out that there were probably only 50 people who
had nominated, and only 30 or so who nominated more than three pieces.
We can allow for a little bit of growth, of course, but I think that's
a much more reasonable estimation of how many people will nominate next
year.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5914

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations - reviews and self- Posted by sulriel November 02, 2005 - 10:58:26 Topic ID# 5843
yeah - what she said. (not trimming deliberately to emphasize the
importance).

What makes these awards WORK are the numbers - the spread of
readers/reviewers. the PARTICIPATION of the 'masses' ... but I'll
shut up now because I think that everyone is unfortunately too well
aware of where I stand on this issue.

I think it's a shame that everyone didn't get at least a handful of
reviews, but the only way to solve that problem is to get more people
more involved.

the quality vs quantity vs popularity is never ending and across all
genres of fandom as well as pro. The only way to find any sort of
balance is to have enough participation that the tastes and likes of
the readers run the range of the nominations.

- ok- really shutting up now.

--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik" <dwimmer_laik@y...>
wrote:
>
>
> > I even had someone mention to me that they would not be so
willing to
> > participate in the Mefas again...ever, as they were just as
cliquey
> as any
> > other awards. I couldn't even use the defense that the mefas
> weren't about
> > winning, they were about feedback, because so many stories were
left
> out.
>
> Ok, I'm putting on my grumpy hat, here. Please don't take this
> personally, anyone, but this particular comment hits a hot button
and
> inspires a lot of frustration with a sentiment I cannot reasonably
> find any sympathy for, despite seeing very clearly that we need more
> eyes, reading more broadly, to avoid the *odor* of cliquishness and
> make the awards as fair as possible.
>
>
> It seems to me (and I could be misinterpreting what I'm seeing) that
> there's this idea floating about that the mere fact of entering what
> is, in the end, a competition, deserves some kind of reward, and
that
> anything less than that means a clique is in operation. The very
idea
> that an appropriate response to the accusation that MEFAs are
cliquish
> is to appeal to the fact that every story gets a review is simply to
> miss the point, in the first place. Even if every story was
reviewed,
> that would not thereby mean there wasn't a clique in operation; the
> converse is also true: the fact that some stories were not reviewed
is
> not evidence of a clique in operation. An appropriate response to
> serious complaints that MEFAs are cliquish is not to point to the
fact
> (if it is a fact at any point) that every story got at least one
> review. An appropriate response is to analyze data trends to see if
> there's some sort of statistical correlation among voters. Anything
> less is hardly satisfactory because it doesn't address the
unfairness
> factor. Who cares if you get a token review if there's really a sort
> of cheating going on?
>
> This leads me to think that the issue is not about cliquishness as a
> form of genuine unfairness resulting from deliberate, prejudicial
> voting. It's about people's self-esteem and a concern to make
everyone
> happy.
>
> So what about making everyone happy by making sure every story gets
at
> least one review?
>
> MEFAs depend on the logic of numbers--if sufficiently many people
> review, the likelihood is that every story will get at least one
> review as a happy by product of people's efforts to make the awards
as
> objective as possible (by reading as widely as real life permits,
and
> reviewing as desire and judgment move them in the time available).
>
> But please note firstly that that's just raw probability speaking,
> which doesn't even account for the element of judgment that comes
into
> play; and secondly, that every story getting reviewed is a *by
> product*, not an end in itself. It's a coincidental result of
playing
> the numbers game, not a goal of the awards.
>
> Some may ask: Why should it not be a goal of the awards? Aren't we
> trying to avoid competition as a zero sum game?
>
> We are indeed, so far as I understand matters. But a non-zero-sum-
game
> does not mean that every person equally benefits. It just means that
> if one person wins, the other parties are not left with absolutely
> nothing, or worse, deprived of goods they had an equal right to. It
> does not mean that everyone wins, however.
>
> So why shouldn't we make it a goal that MEFAs should be purely a
> positive sum game for every author? Well, in any competition, the
> element of risk is ineliminable--even in a non-zero-sum-game, not
> everyone is going to end up with an *optimal* balance sheet, and
this
> is understood from the outset. If you enter a competition, you
accept
> the risk that you may get no reaction (MEFAs nicely suppresses the
> possibility of negative reaction, or at least converts negative
> comments into positive points for your story thanks to the way
scoring
> is organized). To expect that that risk is eliminated is not
> respectful of the other people involved.
>
> To put it in blunt, personal terms, I read a lot of stories this
time
> around--not all, but many. And while I enjoyed many, even most, of
> them, I didn't vote--and I *wouldn't* vote--for every single one
that
> I read. It'd be dishonest if I did. The pressure to make sure every
> story gets at least one review is a pressure I frankly resent,
because
> it feels like emotional blackmail from parties who don't seem to
grasp
> the fact that one is not entitled to *positive* feedback (or any
> feedback) simply by putting a work out there for others to read.
> Particularly in a forum that is competitive (and no matter how
> congenial and low keythat element is at MEFAs, it is at base a
> competition, even if a non-zero-sum game), that expectation is
totally
> misplaced and I think can lead to serious adminstrative and general
> morale problems that would threaten the awards' existence if we
> allowed it to dictate the form of the awards directly.
>
>
>
> Bottom line of this rather ranty posting: Participation is all
> important--we can all agree on that--and we definitely need to do
what
> we can to make it easier and more likely that others will join in
the
> judging process, whether they write one review or a mind-boggling
791.
> (What is that, nearly 65% of all stories nominated? And think how
many
> more that reviewer had to read to get to that number.)
>
> But let's not fool ourselves into thinking the reason this increase
in
> participation needs to happen is to guarantee every single story a
> review. It'd be very nice if that happened, and no doubt with
> sufficient numbers of people reading sufficiently many *different*
> stories, tastes and judgments will vary enough that one review per
> story becomes a highly likely side-effect of competition. But that
> should not be our goal; it should not be the measure by which we
judge
> the success or failure of these awards, or we are going to guarantee
> ourselves a very frustrating ride, indeed, and I would be very sorry
> to see that happen.
>
>
>
> Dwim
>
> P.S. Feel free to suspend discussion on this particular e-mail until
> or unless we get to a point where it becomes convenient/useful to
take
> on the can of worms, as Larien so labeled it.
>

Msg# 5915

Re: limiting nominations Posted by sulriel November 02, 2005 - 11:00:42 Topic ID# 5899
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Naresha
<north_shore_fruitcake@y...> wrote:
>
> <snip>...the nominator could nominate up to 9
> stories, and then have up to six extra
> nominations for drabbles/poetry for a
> total of 15...<snip>
>
> I know you listed the drabble thing as EXTRA to
> the stories, but I that this division of WHAT you
> could nominate, would annoy people. Not everyone
> reads drabbles and poems and not everyone reads
> long stories. I think it would only serve to
> aggrevate people and has the potential to create
> a reputation of the MEFAs being cliquey and
> exclusionary etc. Not something we want!
>
> If we cap the nominations, I think that should be
> it. It's just a number and people can use it how
> the wish. If they want to nominate only poems
> and drabbles, so be it. If they want to nominate
> only novella length things about dwarves - let
> them! :-P


agree with this. I think a single limit should be enforced for all
nominations.

Msg# 5916

cliquishness, voting, Dwim, requiring nominator to review, self-nom Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 02, 2005 - 11:03:15 Topic ID# 5916
Don't even know if subject of this email is spelled right. Doesn't matter.

If discussion of this email was suspended, I apologise for opening it again,
but Dwim made a couple good points.

With no pre-screening (I am not advocating pre-screening.) there will likely
be stories entered that make one (or many a) reader roll the eyes, especially
when you allow self-nominating. I know that I wrote a review in a genre I
don't read, for a story I would not have reviewed otherwise, and not because I was
absolutely over-the-moon about that story. But the author showed some promise
in writing in general terms, whether or not having a grasp of Tolkien's work.

If people are self-nominating, that sort of defeats the "nominator write a
review of the story" suggestion.

People might self-nominate because they would like feedback. They might be
relatively new and unheard-of. Heck, I don't know where I'm going with this.
Certainly there are stories in styles or genres that make me shudder, plenty of
them floating out there. I don't know how many were entered in the MEFAs,
frankly, because I didn't have time to read everything. I sort of stuck to gen and
het Hobbits for the most part, and tried in addition to review every drabble
in every category and thus have an introduction to authors and genres I
normally don't brush elbows with.

Is it cliquish, when your time for reading is limited, to read the type of
story you enjoy? Perhaps I am, if you want to call it that, because I tend to
read stories about Hobbits. If an occasional Man or Elf or Dwarf strays into the
story, that's ok with me. But I'm not likely to seek out stories about, say,
the Rohirrim, even though I have read several excellent "takes" on that
culture. And mention of "the Twins" in a story summary makes me shudder, I don't
know just why but it does. There are just not enough hours in the week. If I have
time to read five chapters a week, I'm probably going to spend it on Hobbits.

Is it cliquish to prefer stories that reflect a certain respect for "canon"?
I suppose I might be accused of elitism, but really, as I'm playing in
Tolkien's sandbox, a part of my delight is in just that... the world he created, the
parameters he set, the historical and sociological implications of the world
he lived in. I take no pleasure in setting Middle-earth characters, say, in an
apartment in modern-day New York. But for others who delight in this sort of
exploration, are there not enough kindred spirits to provide them reviews?

It might be perceived as "cliquish" to write feedback giving preference to
those authors you know or whose works you've enjoyed. I made it a point to write
reviews for authors who were new to me. (Bless the drabble category for
introducing me to new stories within the constraints of time!)

But I don't think that the MEFAs deliberately leave anyone out.

I'm not sure that "charity reviews" are the answer. If some painful-to-read
story were submitted by a hopeful author, that author might not welcome a
review that threw them a bone and offered a few suggestions for improvement.

I'm not sure that eliminating "self-nomination" is the answer, either. What
are the pros and cons?

Lin



In a message dated 11/2/2005 8:31:04 AM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
To put it in blunt, personal terms, I read a lot of stories this time
around--not all, but many. And while I enjoyed many, even most, of
them, I didn't vote--and I *wouldn't* vote--for every single one that
I read. It'd be dishonest if I did.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5917

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 11:05:15 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Kathy,

I'm snipping a lot of what you said. That's because I agree with it,
and have already expressed my opinions on it in other emails. :-)

> A request: when people say which option they like, can they mention
> it by name and not just number? 

That sounds like a good idea to me.

> #2. Limit noms per person.  Could work, I guess, and seems fairer
> than some of the other options.  But I am very leery of Marta's
> suggestion to limit number of chapters nominated.  Sounds too
> complicated, on both the nominating and admin ends.  Plus, there are
> too many variables&some people write really long chapters, some
> short.  And I don't see this option favoring longer stories over
> short.  Some people don't like to read long stories, and so I imagine
> that they wouldn't nominate them either.
>

All of those are good points. And ones I hadn't thought of, which is
why I like the post-mortem so much! So yes, limit noms per nominator is
a good idea. And no, doing this limit by chapter instead of stories
isn't a good idea. You're right, it would just be too complicated.

> # 5. Limit noms to recent stories.  I know many are opposed to this,
> but I just want to say one thing in its favor.  As Erin so eloquently
> pointed out, the fandom is changing, and slowing down.  I see this
> option as way to encourage the writing of new fanfiction.  But I
> guess that's a different issue from limiting noms.  I do think it
> would have this effect as well, though. 
>

Perhaps I'm just getting exposed to more of the fandom, but I find that
the number of *good* stories being written is actually going up. Since
the movies are over I'm sure some people who were attracted to the
fandom by the movies have moved on to other places, but there are also
a lot of authors who came to the fandom a year or two and are really
coming of age now. I'll be bold enough to name myself among that group,
but I think there are others as well.

As for encouraging creativity, I agree that this is a good thing. But I
think we're already doing this in a way by saying a certain piece can
only run twice. If the author wants to have pieces in next year's MEFAs
they will have to write new things eventually. Also, other awards *do*
limit to the current year, so if people are writing for awards I think
they will keep writing to participate in those other awards. (I"m
thinking of the mithrils specifically.)

> # 6 Nominators must submit a vote. 
> I appreciate the idea here, which is to get people to think about
> their nominations.  But what if someone's vote consists of "I think
> this is a great story."  Would you consider that sufficient?  And if
> not, are you prepared to start arbitrating what constitutes a valid
> vote? 
>
> I think you may want to consider taking #6 out of this discussion as
> I don't believe it will have a limiting effect on nominations, or not
> much of one.  Especially if people can just write, "I will review
> later," or "What a great story!"  If it has merits other than as a
> nomination-limiting tool, then make it its own topic.
>

I think you're right. I'll make an executive decision at this point:
while #6 may be a good idea on its own, it's not going to do that much
to cut down on nominations. So for the purposes of this topic let's
just consider the top 5.

> Bottom line, let's try to keep the MEFAs fair, inclusive, and
> simple.  If we lose those qualities, I think participation will
> decrease.
>

Amen! I definitely want all of that - feel free to remind me of this if
I seem to be leaning toward something too convoluted.

Marta

Msg# 5918

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations - reviews and self- Posted by sulriel November 02, 2005 - 11:09:11 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Larian Elensar <larian_elensar@y...>
wrote:
> That's just it. I may have mis-interpreted the main theme of the
awards, but> when I told encouraged people to join and participate,
one of the main points I> tried to make was that yes...they WOULD get
reviews.
>
> I thought that was the whole point of the awards. NOT the winning.
And if that> is the point, to have so many NOT get reviewed, well, I'm
sorry, but it really> makes the awards seem like just another
popularity contest.
>
> My bad for misinterpreting the purpose of the awards, though.
>
> And yes, I'll drop this subject as well, as it's off-topic...and
probably> shouldn't have been brought up to begin with.
>
> My apologies.
> >



I just replied in support to Dwim's long mail, but I wanted to answer
this one as well.

I don't believe self-esteem is OT at all - and/but it probably needs
to be it's own topic. (Marta???) ... I think it is the single biggest
problem that the MEFAs face and should addressed. - starting in the
form of expectations - and the dreaded- 'responsibilities ...

our art is very much tied in with our self-esteem - right or wrong -
in many cases, and I think that needs to be addressed in the form of
support balanced with realism.


as an aside ... remember there is an anonymous comment box on the
MEFA database side, if anyone is uncomfortable addressing a difficult
topic, or for whatever reason, a comment or suggestion can be left
there.

Msg# 5919

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 11:11:38 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Chris,

>
> > I heard from people who had done a lot of votes who felt guilty
> > for not doing more, and from other people who
> > didn't vote at all or as much as they would have liked to because
> > they felt overwhelmed.
>
> I'm someone who felt all of the above. This was the first MEFA for
> me. I
> signed up not knowing quite what was expected of me. I'm strictly a
> reader
> and not an author. But I love to read and I thought I would be able to
> manage to write some reviews. Then I saw the number of stories and
> nearly
> unsubscribed immediately. Since Drabbles and poems are not my favorite
> pieces I didn't read them at all and concentrated on the stories. But
> I
> realized pretty soon why I'm not an author. Writing reviews is hard
> work for
> me. My count average for reviews was somewhere around 3-4 pts. I never
> managed a 10 pt review, although I really tried. I'm not given to
> flowery
> language<g>.
>

I'm sorry that you found the awards overwhelming. I can definitely see
how that might be the case, though.

I know I said at one point that if you couldn't manage 10-pt reviews,
that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. (You may not have been around for
this.) As an author I appreciated *all* comments, no matter how long.
Could you ration your comments, so that a story you really liked got
5-6 points, one you liked but not as much got 3-4, and ones that you
thought had something good about them but weren't as good as 3-4 pters
got 1-2 points? As far as I'm concerned there's nothing in the world
wrong with doing it this way.

I'm not replying directly to your specific suggestions - I think I've
replied to them in other emails, and we're largely on the same page.
But thanks for weighing in! I really do appreciate it.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5920

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 02, 2005 - 11:18:38 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
>
> On 1 Nov 2005, at 10:59, rhapsody_the_bard wrote:
<snip>
>
> One thing to consider is that, if you really like an author you can
> encourage them to join themselves and nominate their own stories.
> Rhapsody, I noticed that several of your nominations were for Isil
> Elensar. I know the two of you share a website, so I assume you're
> pretty close. I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with
> encouraging Isil to get involved with the MEFAs, to nominate her
> own stories and maybe nominate or vote for some others that she
> already knows.

Heh and you don't think I did that? I've been encouraging so many
people to review, nominate or I don't know what, that I actualy
haven't kept track of this. But there is so much you can do or say:
if people feel impressed by the site or system, I tried to talk them
through it. I nominated those pieces because I thought they were good
and could use feedback (as for not being proactive herself, I know
Isil has been SSP'ing her ass of).

I decided to jump on board because of the feedback reason Sulriel
gave me, and the feel good awards-approach of Ainae. If that is not
the sole purpose of these awards as Dwim said, well. I don't know, I
feel a bit bummed now if you don't mind.

25, 17. Just set a number and if I will nominate I will look mostly
at the stories I read and where I review.

> For this reason I think we can give the categorisers more time than
> they had this year to get categories settled. We do need to talk
> about the schedule more, but I think this can definitely be spread
> out more than it was this year.

I absolutely liked the categorising of this year. Anthony's practical
solution made it so much easier for me, but I believe this will be
discussed later on.

Rhapsody

Msg# 5921

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations (to Larian) Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 11:22:47 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Larian,

On 1 Nov 2005, at 20:37, Larian Elensar wrote:

>
>
> --- Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hi Larian,
> >
> > > I like a combination of 1 and 4  (Limiting the total number of
> > > nominations and
> > >  the number of nominations per week/time period).
> > >
> >
> > The more I think about it, the less sure I am about this option. I
> can
> > see the plus sides of it, and it's definitely something to keep in
> mind
> > as a possibility. But I think having an over-all limit on the
> number of
> > nominations would favor those people who nominate early. It also
> might
> > encourage people to nominate stories they are unsure about earlier
> on
> > because they aren't sure if they'll have the chance to later.
> >
> > How would you feel about limiting the number of nominations per
> > nominator rather than overall? I think that would have the same
> effect
> > since there's a limited number of people making nominations, but
> would
> > mean everyone gets a more equal chance to nominate.
>
>
> Yes, after seeing others' responses, and thinking further, limiting
> the overall
> nominations would probably not be the best solution.
>

Thanks for giving this further thought, and being flexible. That's a
really admirable quality, and a useful one in discussions like this.

> The easiest one to administer would probably the option of limiting
> nominations
> per person.

I agree. I think it would be simplest for the nominator to grasp and
the volunteers to administer.

> And as an aside, I wouldn't make drabbles an exception.  A
> nomination is a nomination. If you limit non-drabbles, but not
> drabbles,
> someone will think that drabble authors are being favored, or that
> longer
> stories are being favored because they might have less competition.
>

Do you think it would be perceived that way if we worded it as a
break-down according to story type? "X stories, Y drabbles, and Z
poems" rather than "X entries, Y of which must be drabbles."

> I think it's probably been discussed in other emails, but no matter
> how you
> word it for number six (forcing the nominator to vote before the
> nomination is
> processed), it will still make the whole process that much more
> intimidating to
> new nominators.
>

I think you're right on this. The more I read, the less comfortable I
am with requiring nominators to make votes. It's a good idea but
probably not the best way to go about it.

Marta
*****
Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words. - St. Francis
of Assisi

Msg# 5922

nominators Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 02, 2005 - 11:24:21 Topic ID# 5922
Somebody nominated FOUR HUNDRED TEN stories? Yikes!

Still, look on the bright side. If all sixty nominators had nominated one
story, there'd have been 60 stories to read and vote on. If all sixty nominators
had nominated four hundred, that'd be... um. Math is not my strong point. An
unwieldy number.

It is difficult to suggest restricting the number of nominations per
nominator, for various reasons. I hate to think of good stories left off the list. But
as it was, there were plenty of good stories on the list, likely, that never
even saw the light of day on my monitor, with such a wealth to choose from.

Lin

In a message dated 11/2/2005 8:31:04 AM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
There were sixty nominators,
which made the following number of nominations


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5923

substantial reviews Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 02, 2005 - 11:25:17 Topic ID# 5923
Someone (apologies, I forget who) was bemoaning the fact that they were a
reader and not a writer and even when trying hard could only manage a 4-point
review, and never approached 10 points.

But as Thundera points out, it is relative. Some reviewers wrote a majority
of 1 point reviews, and when they waxed particularly enthusiastic they might
have approached 2 or ever 3 points. Others seemed to write a lot of high-point
reviews and not a lot of one-liners. I think if you write one brief line for
what you read and two lines for the best story, in your opinion, then you are
just as balanced as those who wrote eight points for most stories and ten for
the ones they adored.

I know I wrote a lot of two-point reviews, and my highest point total, I
think, was eight. But it was all relative.

Lin

In a message dated 11/2/2005 8:31:04 AM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
it also makes sense that you would write a substantial review. For some that
might be a 10-pointer. For others, that might be a 2-pointer.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5924

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 11:30:25 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Anthony,

Thanks for the feasibility check. I'm leaning toward #2 (limiting
nominations made by nominator), though that's not set in stone. Once
we've made a final decision I'll email you privately.

#2 reminds me of a related request someone made to the gmail address.
Would it be feasible to let people view stories by nominator? Could
this be accomplished by adding a filter to the "browse nominations"
section, so that you could view those stories nominated by a certain
person? Just like you can view those stories written by a certain
person now.

Again, thanks for all your help.

Cheers,
Marta

On 1 Nov 2005, at 20:50, Anthony Holder wrote:

> Hey all,
>
> Someone asked about the distribution of nominations by nominator.
>
> Below are two lists. First, stories per nominator.
> Second, self-nominated stories by author.
>
> About feasibility:
> #1, very possible, but duplicates and withdrawals will make it hard to
> get exact.
>
> #2, very easy. I might be able to re-count when stories are withdrawn
> or duplicates, which would otherwise limit someone's number.
>
> #3, relatively easy, but I don't like the idea.
>
> #4, I could do this. It would be relatively easy to say no more than X
> in the last Y days. The count would be updated all the time, rather
> than just once a week, and tell the user when they would be able to
> nominate another story.
>
> #5, I'm not sure I could do anything about this. It would be a liaison
> thing.
>
> #6, I could do this. My suggestion would be that if you wanted to,
> make
> the minimum a 4-5 pointer, except for ficlets or drabbles. It's not
> too
> hard to determine if the nominator is the author. I personally don't
> see why the nominator shouldn't be required to submit a good review as
> part of the nomination process, unless it is a self-nomination.
>
> Anthony
>
> Here's the number of stories nominated by each nominatorID. I didn't
> include the nominatorID, just the number. There were 74 unique
> nominators.
>

Msg# 5925

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 11:40:08 Topic ID# 5843
On 2 Nov 2005, at 01:57, MarigoldCotton@aol.com wrote:

> Hullo : )
>
> There were just sixty nominators total? And these were the totals of
> those individual nominators? That never adds up to the several
> thousand stories that were nominated, or am I missing something here?
> Is this just in certain categories?
>
> Hugs,
>
> Marigold
>

Hi Marigold,

Somehow I miscounted somewhere along the line. Anthony posted a list
that's actually from the database rather than my quick attempt to count
the numbers. Use those instead.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5926

regarding post-mortem emails Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 12:55:05 Topic ID# 5926
Hey guys,

There has been quite a lot of activity here. I hope no one is feeling
completely snowed under, or even just a little overwhelmed like I do at
the moment. I'm going to try to answer as many as I can, of course.
There may be a few I don't answer because I don't see how I could add
to what I've already said in another email, and if that email happens
to be yours, please don't take it as me not having read your email. I
have read all the posts that have been made as of 1:30 Eastern time,
and I will read new posts as they come in.

I also wanted to thank everyone for their well-thought out opinions.
You've already helped me realise that one "pet idea" of mine (#6) just
wouldn't work practically. And me reconsidering ideas isn't a bad
thing. I'm alwyas ready to be convinced that my approach isn't the best
one.

But, my point. In the last few emails I've found myswelf getting a bit
snippy. Either I haven't replied in as much detail as I would have
liked, or I've dismissed the arguments too easily, or I had to fight
just a little too hard to keep the tone of my email calm. I also tend
to go with my own gut feeling rather than thinking how Ainae might want
things done, or asking her. So far I think I'm representing her wishes
for the awards, but the point is I just haven't been thinking that way.

So I'm going to take a few hours away from my computer and do some of
the RL stuff I need to get done anyway. Contrary to appearances, I do
have actual offline pressures too! I will do my best too answer more
emails tonight in a level-headed manner. If I do get a bit flustered
please bear with me. It's almost certainly not directed at you
personally.

Thanks in advance for all of your patience.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5927

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by mirasaui November 02, 2005 - 13:03:23 Topic ID# 5843
Jumping in late here, but after reading all the suggestions and
possibilities, I have to go with option #2. Limiting the number of
stories a person can nominate seems to be the easiest all around. The
hard thing will be to determine the limit. 25, the number that has
been floating on many minds, seems excessive to me. I think the
average this year was below that and we still had over a thousand
stories. 10-12 per person might be more reasonable or maybe less.

On another note, I am strongly against mandatory review at
nomination. To me, that is sort of an insult to the nominator.
Obviously, we nominate stories that we think are worth reading. Why
should we have to justify our choice? Granted, it takes no time to
jot down a one line review but if I nominate a story, it is my
intention to write a lengthier review than that. If a real life
crisis prevents that from happening, I would hope the author that I
nominated would understand and realize I thought her story had merit
from the fact that I chose to nominate it in the first place.

If it is done mainly to ensure that all stories get a review, I think
option#2 will help with that. I may be wrong, but last year there
were fewer entries and not many stories that did not get a review.
Of those that did not, the author usually had a least one nominated
that did. I think there were only a few cases of an author not
getting one at all.

I am also in favour of keeping self-nomination and not limiting
stories to those written in the current year. New authors, those who
are not prolific writers, and those authors who only post their work
in one or two archives or a single web site are often overlooked. I
know I have found a few jewels in out of the way places that were
written a few years back. It is a delight when I do so. In fact,
some of them I found through the MEFA!

Just my thoughts on the subjects introduced. I am on digest so came
late to the discussion.

Mirasaui

Msg# 5928

Re: regarding post-mortem emails Posted by Kathy November 02, 2005 - 13:47:53 Topic ID# 5926
Hi Marta,

You were getting snippy and flustered?? If so, then even in that
state you are nicer than I am at my best! ;)

Yes, go away and forget about us for a while...but when you get back,
I have two questions for you:

Someone (and I apologize that I've forgotten who) said that they
received a flame review. Is that allowed?

You mentioned Ainae, and I've been wondering about her too.
Specifically, I know that she's been involved in this type of awards
in other fandoms, and I just wonder how they handle problems like too
many stories there? Since they've had more experience, seems like it
would be useful to hear about what's worked and what hasn't...

Kathy (Inkling)

--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> Hey guys,
>
> There has been quite a lot of activity here. I hope no one is
feeling
> completely snowed under, or even just a little overwhelmed like I
do at
> the moment. I'm going to try to answer as many as I can, of course.
> There may be a few I don't answer because I don't see how I could
add
> to what I've already said in another email, and if that email
happens
> to be yours, please don't take it as me not having read your email.
I
> have read all the posts that have been made as of 1:30 Eastern
time,
> and I will read new posts as they come in.
>
> I also wanted to thank everyone for their well-thought out
opinions.
> You've already helped me realise that one "pet idea" of mine (#6)
just
> wouldn't work practically. And me reconsidering ideas isn't a bad
> thing. I'm alwyas ready to be convinced that my approach isn't the
best
> one.
>
> But, my point. In the last few emails I've found myswelf getting a
bit
> snippy. Either I haven't replied in as much detail as I would have
> liked, or I've dismissed the arguments too easily, or I had to
fight
> just a little too hard to keep the tone of my email calm. I also
tend
> to go with my own gut feeling rather than thinking how Ainae might
want
> things done, or asking her. So far I think I'm representing her
wishes
> for the awards, but the point is I just haven't been thinking that
way.
>
> So I'm going to take a few hours away from my computer and do some
of
> the RL stuff I need to get done anyway. Contrary to appearances, I
do
> have actual offline pressures too! I will do my best too answer
more
> emails tonight in a level-headed manner. If I do get a bit
flustered
> please bear with me. It's almost certainly not directed at you
> personally.
>
> Thanks in advance for all of your patience.
>
> Cheers,
> Marta
>

Msg# 5929

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by C Dodd November 02, 2005 - 13:56:56 Topic ID# 5843
I've been out of town, so I'm just catching up to this. And I feel like
playing devil's advocate a bit.
I *liked* having lots of nominated stories. I looked at the huge number of
entries and said, "okay, I can't possibly read them all, so I don't have to
try" and then joyfully concentrated on the things I wanted to read and the
stories which had fewer than two reviews which were within my interests (or
short enough to finish or not so far outside that I'd feel lost or squicky
-- sorry elf-people.)
That said, if limits are under discussion, I'd prefer a limit on
self-nominated pieces over any other kind, and would definitely prefer that
nominators include their review as part of the nomination. One of the ways I
found stories I wanted to read was by reading the reviews which had already
been submitted. It worked for me, but it created a bias towards reading
stories which *had* reviews over stories which didn't. Having a review from
the nominator would tell me a great deal about why the story was nominated
at all.
For self-nominated stories, a short comment by the author would serve much
the same function, but you'd have to figure out how to make it not count.
Have an administrator enter it under a dummy name with blockquotes, perhaps?
On 11/2/05, sulriel <Sulriel@htcomp.net> wrote:
>
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, ejackamack@a... wrote:
> >> > number of stories out there. Also, because of the fact that
> there is no time > limit, a lot of older stories got nominated.
> That pool of older stories has > been mined pretty extensively in
> the first two years of the awards. I think > people will be hard
> put to find some four or five year old gem tucked away > somewhere
> next year. So between the fact that I don't think there will be as
> > many new stories this year and that many of the old stories have
> already been > nominated,
>
>
> I really don't agree at all with the published date criteria, I think
> that - as has been said - it is self-limiting to a point because of
> the size and growth of the fandom, and that fact that so many of the
> older stories have already been nominated.
>
> I also think that it would be problematic - since we haven't had a
> date criteria in the past, to impose one now could be disallowing
> stories that people expected to be able to run in future years. -
> I'm having a wonderful time working my way back through an old fic
> that had some problems and I'm much happier with what I'm able to do
> with it now. - Depending on what's going on with it next year, I may
> want it to run and would hate to think the old 'learning-curve'
> version would have been eligible and the updated one wouldn't.
> Maybe I'm alone in that boat - I don't know, but I doubt it.
>
>
>
>
>
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Msg# 5930

Re: substantial reviews Posted by C Dodd November 02, 2005 - 14:04:25 Topic ID# 5923
I never knew what my review would be until I hit "enter", because I just
wrote what I felt. Most of them seemed to be around 3 or 4. If I waxed
particularly enthusiastic it might have gone to six. I don't think I gave
anyone a ten. I certainly did a couple of 1s and 2s, where I thought the
piece deserved a comment, but didn't have much to say.
This is actually a topic I'd like to go in a bit separately, as there were
some fun things to do with numbers. The stories of mine which won awards
weren't necessarily the ones which had the highest average number of points
per review. I'd kind of like to see the author awards for a category go to
the person who got the highest average or something of that sort.

But, as I said, that's another topic...
On 11/2/05, BLJean@aol.com <BLJean@aol.com> wrote:
>
> Someone (apologies, I forget who) was bemoaning the fact that they were a
> reader and not a writer and even when trying hard could only manage a
> 4-point
> review, and never approached 10 points.
>
> But as Thundera points out, it is relative. Some reviewers wrote a
> majority
> of 1 point reviews, and when they waxed particularly enthusiastic they
> might
> have approached 2 or ever 3 points. Others seemed to write a lot of
> high-point
> reviews and not a lot of one-liners. I think if you write one brief line
> for
> what you read and two lines for the best story, in your opinion, then you
> are
> just as balanced as those who wrote eight points for most stories and ten
> for
> the ones they adored.
>
> I know I wrote a lot of two-point reviews, and my highest point total, I
> think, was eight. But it was all relative.
>
> Lin
>
> In a message dated 11/2/2005 8:31:04 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
> it also makes sense that you would write a substantial review. For some
> that
> might be a 10-pointer. For others, that might be a 2-pointer.
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>
>
> ------------------------------
> YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
>
>
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> on the web.
> - To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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Msg# 5931

Re: limiting nominations Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 02, 2005 - 15:38:47 Topic ID# 5899
----- Original Message -----
From: "sulriel" <Sulriel@htcomp.net>
To: <MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 11:00 AM
Subject: [MEFAwards] Re: limiting nominations


> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Naresha
> <north_shore_fruitcake@y...> wrote:
>>
>> <snip>...the nominator could nominate up to 9
>> stories, and then have up to six extra
>> nominations for drabbles/poetry for a
>> total of 15...<snip>
>>
>> I know you listed the drabble thing as EXTRA to
>> the stories, but I that this division of WHAT you
>> could nominate, would annoy people. Not everyone
>> reads drabbles and poems and not everyone reads
>> long stories. I think it would only serve to
>> aggrevate people and has the potential to create
>> a reputation of the MEFAs being cliquey and
>> exclusionary etc. Not something we want!
>>
>> If we cap the nominations, I think that should be
>> it. It's just a number and people can use it how
>> the wish. If they want to nominate only poems
>> and drabbles, so be it. If they want to nominate
>> only novella length things about dwarves - let
>> them! :-P
>
>
> agree with this. I think a single limit should be enforced for all
> nominations.

Personally, I don't have a problem with a single limit, and think it would
be easier. I only suggested it as a way to address someone else's concern.
Dreamflower
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 5932

Re: cliquishness, voting, Dwim, requiring nominator to review, self Posted by Bird Wood November 02, 2005 - 16:05:16 Topic ID# 5916
Hello,

I just wanted to say that I agree with this person...*looks at name*...Lin. First, I was a terrible person for these Awards, mostly because I had some traumatic RL problems, which drew me away from all the action.

Lin makes a lot of good points regarding time issues, and I think that often, because the online world is so fast paced, that people often forget just how time consuming this can all be, reading the stories and reviewing. To be honest, I am not nearly as good as she is, when it comes to reading, reviewing and voting. Because of time constraints, I often only read the genre's I like, new stories by author's I already know, and a few "extra" stories just to see what they are like, by new authors and yada yada.

I don't know if that is really cliquish, but I feel the same. I have been told that I don't "review" enough on other groups and sites. The problem is, NOT enough time to read it all, and I might start to read something, find out it is not my thing, and then stop reading--I usually give an author two or three tries. Do people really want reviews of something I don't like? No. If it is a story I do like, and I have a few suggestions--then yes i will review it.

Self-nominating...no comment. I don't do it, but, hey, some people do... no comment on that.

The "charity reviews"...I don't know. I would hope that everyone is striving for improvement, and as long as the review was helpful and the reviewer said WHY they had problems with it, why the hell not? Isn't the purpose of writing and getting reviews to get help? Really, what is the worse that could happen (as long as everyone stays calm and polite)? The author gets some help and accepts it, or they say Thanks, but No Thanks...

Meh.

Bird

BLJean@aol.com wrote:
Don't even know if subject of this email is spelled right. Doesn't matter.

If discussion of this email was suspended, I apologise for opening it again,
but Dwim made a couple good points.

With no pre-screening (I am not advocating pre-screening.) there will likely
be stories entered that make one (or many a) reader roll the eyes, especially
when you allow self-nominating. I know that I wrote a review in a genre I
don't read, for a story I would not have reviewed otherwise, and not because I was
absolutely over-the-moon about that story. But the author showed some promise
in writing in general terms, whether or not having a grasp of Tolkien's work.

If people are self-nominating, that sort of defeats the "nominator write a
review of the story" suggestion.

People might self-nominate because they would like feedback. They might be
relatively new and unheard-of. Heck, I don't know where I'm going with this.
Certainly there are stories in styles or genres that make me shudder, plenty of
them floating out there. I don't know how many were entered in the MEFAs,
frankly, because I didn't have time to read everything. I sort of stuck to gen and
het Hobbits for the most part, and tried in addition to review every drabble
in every category and thus have an introduction to authors and genres I
normally don't brush elbows with.

Is it cliquish, when your time for reading is limited, to read the type of
story you enjoy? Perhaps I am, if you want to call it that, because I tend to
read stories about Hobbits. If an occasional Man or Elf or Dwarf strays into the
story, that's ok with me. But I'm not likely to seek out stories about, say,
the Rohirrim, even though I have read several excellent "takes" on that
culture. And mention of "the Twins" in a story summary makes me shudder, I don't
know just why but it does. There are just not enough hours in the week. If I have
time to read five chapters a week, I'm probably going to spend it on Hobbits.

Is it cliquish to prefer stories that reflect a certain respect for "canon"?
I suppose I might be accused of elitism, but really, as I'm playing in
Tolkien's sandbox, a part of my delight is in just that... the world he created, the
parameters he set, the historical and sociological implications of the world
he lived in. I take no pleasure in setting Middle-earth characters, say, in an
apartment in modern-day New York. But for others who delight in this sort of
exploration, are there not enough kindred spirits to provide them reviews?

It might be perceived as "cliquish" to write feedback giving preference to
those authors you know or whose works you've enjoyed. I made it a point to write
reviews for authors who were new to me. (Bless the drabble category for
introducing me to new stories within the constraints of time!)

But I don't think that the MEFAs deliberately leave anyone out.

I'm not sure that "charity reviews" are the answer. If some painful-to-read
story were submitted by a hopeful author, that author might not welcome a
review that threw them a bone and offered a few suggestions for improvement.

I'm not sure that eliminating "self-nomination" is the answer, either. What
are the pros and cons?

Lin



In a message dated 11/2/2005 8:31:04 AM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
To put it in blunt, personal terms, I read a lot of stories this time
around--not all, but many. And while I enjoyed many, even most, of
them, I didn't vote--and I *wouldn't* vote--for every single one that
I read. It'd be dishonest if I did.

"And they painted sex scenes on the walls of Pompeii, Because it wouldn't do to forget how to have sex, And having a huge colorful reminder all over the walls of the house makes it pretty easy to remember."

---- Boomer Bible, Book of Romans, Chapter 8:8-10

---------------------------------
Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

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Msg# 5933

Re: regarding post-mortem emails Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 02, 2005 - 16:22:00 Topic ID# 5926
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@s...> wrote:
>
> Hi Marta,
>
> You were getting snippy and flustered?? If so, then even in that
> state you are nicer than I am at my best! ;)
>
> Yes, go away and forget about us for a while...but when you get back,
> I have two questions for you:
>
> Someone (and I apologize that I've forgotten who) said that they
> received a flame review. Is that allowed?

I must've missed the e-mail that said the author had been flamed, but
if that actually happened (and I don't remember anything flamey
showing up, and I read an embarrasing number of reviews), let's get
proof positive--direct us to the review in question, since it's
already public. I just don't want to go into a hypothetical discussion
on this topic. The scoring system is set up so as to heavily
discourage comments on pieces you personally don't think merit
comment, or that you think only merit negative comments or detailed
constructive criticism. I'm not sure what else one could do
officially--I'm assuming if it's evident that negative comments are
counterproductive, it's obvious that flaming is just right out.


> You mentioned Ainae, and I've been wondering about her too.
> Specifically, I know that she's been involved in this type of awards
> in other fandoms, and I just wonder how they handle problems like too
> many stories there?

I can answer a little about that, since Ainae's probably at work
still. The MEFAs are modelled on awards run at a Star Trek group she's
been a part of for many years. Because their site is the main clearing
house for new fics, they have a built-in pool: anything posted during
the past year is eligible for the awards. So effectively, every piece
you write and post is a self-nomination, be it ever so humble.

We don't have a central fic clearing house that makes our pool for us,
so the model in that sense doesn't fit ours very neatly. While we
could limit the pool to fics published within a particular year, ŕ la
Mithrils and the Star Trek awards, I think the idea of a stories per
nominator limit PLUS the open field of fics published at any time will
actually help reduce nominations in a given year: so long as
nominators know that they could nominate a fic in the next year,
there's less pressure to nominate as many fics as possible for fear
that they'll never get a chance to compete if you don't nominate it
immediately.

Combine that with, as Isabeau and others have noted, the natural fall
off in fic production, now that the movie wave has subsided somewhat,
and I think, assuming these awards continue for several years, that
this year will look like an anomaly.

Anyhow, Ainae can correct anything I've misstated when she gets a
chance to look at her e-mail, but that's how she's explained things to
me when we've talked about the inspiration for this kind of awards
format.

Dwim

Msg# 5934

Re: regarding post-mortem emails Posted by Kathy November 02, 2005 - 18:05:37 Topic ID# 5926
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik"
> <dwimmer_laik@y...> wrote:
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@s...> wrote:
> >
> > <snip>
> > Someone (and I apologize that I've forgotten who) said that they
> > received a flame review. Is that allowed?
>
> I must've missed the e-mail that said the author had been flamed,
> but
> if that actually happened (and I don't remember anything flamey
> showing up, and I read an embarrasing number of reviews), let's get
> proof positive--direct us to the review in question, since it's
> already public. I just don't want to go into a hypothetical
> discussion
> on this topic. The scoring system is set up so as to heavily
> discourage comments on pieces you personally don't think merit
> comment, or that you think only merit negative comments or detailed
> constructive criticism. I'm not sure what else one could do
> officially--I'm assuming if it's evident that negative comments are
> counterproductive, it's obvious that flaming is just right out.
>

Wish I could remember who it was--Naresha, was it you?--but I believe
she said she received a one-point flame review.

Msg# 5935

Re: regarding post-mortem emails Posted by sulriel November 02, 2005 - 18:06:27 Topic ID# 5926
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> Hey guys,
>
> There has been quite a lot of activity here. I hope no one is
feeling > completely snowed under, or even just a little overwhelmed
like I do
at > >>>>

> emails tonight in a level-headed manner. If I do get a bit flustered
> please bear with me. It's almost certainly not directed at you
personally.> > Thanks in advance for all of your patience.
> > Cheers,> Marta>

{hugs}

after all we've been through, don't get burned out on the post
mortem!!

I don't think every mail has to be answered, a lot of them are
saying 'agree' or 'disagree', or seem to be presenting thoughts to the
group in general. A lot of good points have been raised.

Is this topic something that will be voted on or will an excutive
decision be made?

Msg# 5936

Re: regarding post-mortem emails Posted by sulriel November 02, 2005 - 18:22:32 Topic ID# 5926
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@s...> wrote:
>> > --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik"
> > <dwimmer_laik@y...> wrote:
> >> > --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@s...>
wrote:> > >> > > <snip>> > > Someone (and I apologize that I've
forgotten who) said that they > > > received a flame review. Is that
allowed?> >

> > Wish I could remember who it was--Naresha, was it you?--but I
believe > she said she received a one-point flame review.>


I read (at least skimmed) *all* the reviews as they were finalized up
until the date that the tentative reviews became final. - then ...
Thundera and Elliska ((?)(*blush ... my brain has thankfully blocked
some of those busier weeks)) read all the ones that were posted at
the close of voting season.

If I'm remembering correctly - there was *one* review that looked
like it had been placed as a "note to myself" by the reader as a
reminder that they'd read that fic and weren't going to leave a
review for points. There were quite a few draft reviews along those
lines, my guess is that one was meant to be draft and was accidently
set the tentative. I changed it back to draft as soon as I was told
about it. - I don't remember whose it was, but I thought the author
or other readers wouldn't have seen it.

As such - if I remembering correctly - there is no rule about leaving
critical reviews, except the hopefully self-policing question/thought
that leaving a flame or critical review still ups the points for that
fiction.

If there is a flame review still on file, if someone will point it
out, I *may* still be able to delete it ... I don't know. I don't
think we could if it would change the points ... Anthony will have
to answer that one -

Sulriel

Msg# 5937

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 18:25:34 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Laura,

> To state my position up front, I'm a big fan of #2 and #4 (limiting by
> person and limiting by person within a time period). I agree with
> other comments made that if we cap nominations as a whole, we'd be
> racing to get nominations in. And I don't think this should be a race.
> I think this should be something that people think about and consider.
>

Just to be clear are you in favor of either 2 or 4? Or both of them? I
think #2 is my favourite, just because it's simpler so easier for the
new nominator to wrap their head around.

> Likewise, I'm not overly fond of capping the number of stories per
> category. I think it would be an adminstrative headache, especially if
> stories start getting shuffled between second and third category
> choices. Beyond which, some categories will rarely get into the double
> figures (like horror) while others get there quickly (like drama).
> That makes drama a much more restrictive category than horror, and the
> drama nominations that don't make the cut might try to get in by
> masquerading as horror when they really don't belong there.
>

This is a good point. One of the things I really like about the MEFAs
over other awards like the BAFTAs or the mithrils is that you get more
than a set number of nominations per category - so there's no incentive
to put things anywhere other than where they belong. Plus, with
subcategories I'm not sure it matters that much how large the
*category* is - the important thing is that the *sub*categories are
roughly the same size.

> As for the debate regarding drabbles vs. novels... Perhaps I'm not
> understanding the concerns correctly. It's my observation, though,
> that people tend to nominate what they read. If they read drabbles,
> they'll nominate drabbles. If they read novels, they'll nominate
> novels.

I think this concern was mostly mine. My problem is that if you have
for example fifteen nominations to give to all the stories that you've
read and you've read mostly novels, then you have less competition in
your mind for those votes. Whereas someone who's read mostly shorter
piece - drabbles, ficlets, one-shots - you've almost certainly read
more pieces so there's more competition in your mind for those same
nominations.

This isn't something I've going to insist on. I think that shorter
pieces are easier to read but because you can read more of them in a
given year a smaller percentage will be nominated. But if a separate
cap doesn't make sense to people, I won't insist on it.

Cheers,
Marta
*****
Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words. - St. Francis
of Assisi

Msg# 5938

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Chris Grzonka November 02, 2005 - 18:32:36 Topic ID# 5843
> Could you ration your comments, so that a story you really liked got
> 5-6 points, one you liked but not as much got 3-4, and ones that you
> thought had something good about them but weren't as good as 3-4 pters
> got 1-2 points? As far as I'm concerned there's nothing in the world
> wrong with doing it this way.
>
> Cheers,
> Marta

I gave up to aim at any point count after my first tries. The reviews got as
long as they got. But when I looked at my reviews they tended to group
together in point count according to how much I liked a story. I noticed
that when I deliberately tried to blow up the point count, the quality (as
someone else mentioned already) of my review would suffer. The point I tried
to make would get drowned in extraneous words. Although there was something
good from writing all these reviews. I'm a lot less scared at work when I
have to write something<g>.

Chris

Msg# 5939

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by C Dodd November 02, 2005 - 18:36:43 Topic ID# 5843
>
> Okay, I dug through and found Marta's original six suggestions, so here's
> my take on them:

1. Limit the number of nominations, period. Once we reach this cap no more
nominations are allowed.

Blech. Double blech. Nyaaaah...
2. Limit the number of nominations per person.

Per nominator or per author? If a) feasible, but still not thrilling, if b)
ditto.
3. Limit the number of nominations in a time period.

Sounds like a pain in the neck.
4. Limit the number of nominations in a time period per person. (I.e., you
can nominate, a certain number of pieces per week.)

Same thing, lower.
5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.

Nooooooo! I found a lot of cool stories that were older than this year. And
some of my best reviewed stories wouldn't have made the deadline. Double
plus ungood! Bad idea, no donut!
6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
nomination can be processed.
Can we modify this one to "require the nominator to submit a "nomination
comment" rather than a vote? I mean it, seriously -- reading the comments
about stories which other people made had me looking into possibilities I
wouldn't have considered given the story descriptions. The squee tipped the
balance, and a lot more than once for me. And a nomination comment could
also come from an author who self-nominated.
And let me add 7. Put a limit of three on self-nominations, but allow for
stories which people want to submit to be "seconded" by another person. In
other words, if I have five drabbles I think ought to be considered, I
submit all five to the "second me" list, and if two of them get seconded by
another nominator, then the remaining three can go up under my own aegis.
But if only one gets seconded, then I have to pick three to push this year
and save the last one for next year.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5940

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by sulriel November 02, 2005 - 18:43:36 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>> > This isn't something I've going to insist on. I think that
shorter > pieces are easier to read but because you can read more of
them in a > given year a smaller percentage will be nominated. But if
a separate > cap doesn't make sense to people, I won't insist on it.
>


If it doesn't cause rocks or old fish to be thrown in my direction to
say so, I wouldn't mind seeing a seperate competition for drabbles. -
they're popular enough and a distinct art form on their own (IMO).

my hesitation to the different caps is the thought of nominator
confusion and adminstrative headache.

if you set the cap at 25, I think 'that should be that'.

if it's set at ten ... I suppose I wouldn't fuss if it were set at
ten short story or novel or epics, *and* five poetry or drabble.

IOW, totally seperate nominations. not mix and match.

Sulriel

Msg# 5941

"flame" review... but not really Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 02, 2005 - 18:55:36 Topic ID# 5941
If I am remembering correctly, the author wasn't complaining that the review
was a "flame" but rather that her reaction to the review was "why bother
leaving this review in the first place?"

I went back and looked it up, and understood, I think, for the review is
rather lukewarm in tone. Reading the piece, I can see the author's passion;
reading the review, I can see the reviewer's point. The piece was moving in itself,
but did not convince the reader of the identity of the characters involved.

Not a flame, I think, though the author evidently didn't find it all that
helpful.

If the mods want identifying information, email me. It's not worth roiling
the list over the matter, IMHO. Of course, if there was a *real* flame involved
somewhere else in the Awards, I apologise for muddying the waters here.

Lin

In a message dated 11/2/2005 12:08:18 PM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:

Someone (and I apologize that I've forgotten who) said that they
received a flame review. Is that allowed?


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5942

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Anthony Holder November 02, 2005 - 19:33:48 Topic ID# 5843
I'm trying to make comments as I read, and collect them here. I've read
all the posts up to Noon today. I'll read the rest this evening.

First, my numbers were on total stories, including those that were
withdrawn, so they might be a bit inflated, but the general patterns
should be correct.

During nomination season, duplicates were noticed and withdrawn. If a
limit on stories per nominator is applied, then as a duplicate is
withdrawn (and I'd have to be sure to put the nomination date on the
forms, so the liaisons could tell), then that person would 'get back'
their nomination. The liaison that withdrew the nomination might email
the nominator telling them that it was withdrawn, then they would know
that they could nominate another.

It should be pretty easy to require a review on the nomination form,
and to require a minimum character count (I've already done characters,
so it'll be easier to do that than words). I actually like this idea.
You might require a different minimum for drabble, ficlet, and longer
story. Some sort of statistical analysis of the lengths of reviews of
various story types could be done from this year's stories.
Hypothetically, 50% of the drabble reviews this year might be 100
characters or longer (median length), so the minimum drabble review
could be 100 characters.

If you're planning to limit the number of nominations, then it
shouldn't slow anyone down too much to require that they enter a
review.

Option 4 is also possible. If nomination season is 6 weeks long, you
could say no more than 4 nominations per week, which would add up to 24
max. It seems like it would be pretty burdensome, though, because you'd
have to remember to login each week and nominate your 4. I guess the
rate could be eliminated the last week, so that if you'd only nominated
10, you could do the last 14 during the last week. That sort of rule
might encourage procrastination. Keeping the rate constant would
encourage early nominations, because you'd need to nominate early in
order to be able to get your full quota. Also, what about folks that
join late? Do they get a smaller quota, or is their rate adjusted, so
that they can get the same total (max 24, or whatever). If I keep track
of join dates, I could modify the weekly nomination rates.

Assuming a max of 24 and 6 weeks of nomination season, to encourage
early nominations, we could allow someone to nominate up to 24 the
first week, up to 20 the second week, up to 16 the third week, and so
on, to 4 in the last week. All with a max of 24 total. If you wait
until the last 2 weeks, you only get (8+4) = 12 nominations, but you
can still do 4 a week to get your 24, or you can do them all during the
first week. This would help spread out the work for the liaisons.
Again, late joiners could have their schedule modified to give them a
chance to nominate their full 24.

In any case, I'd have to give people a summary of how many nominations
they had done or could do during the current week.

Option 4 is technically feasible, but does have some interesting
impacts that should be considered.


Self-Nominations: I put the nominator on the story page because I
figured that in 2004, you could go look in the Yahoo! group and figure
out who nominated. I guess it doesn't have to be so prominent, and
listed everywhere. I could just leave it on the story details page and
not show it everywhere else. That way would be similar. You could look
it up if you want, but it's not staring you in the face that this was
self-nominated. I think this is a good idea. Would you like to change
any of this year's pages, or just wait for next year? I just started a
todo list for 2006, and added that one.

Anthony

Msg# 5943

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Kathy November 02, 2005 - 19:44:41 Topic ID# 5843
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "sulriel" <Sulriel@h...> wrote:
>
> if it's set at ten ... I suppose I wouldn't fuss if it were set at
> ten short story or novel or epics, *and* five poetry or drabble.
>
> IOW, totally seperate nominations. not mix and match.
>
> Sulriel
>

That seems like a pretty reasonable compromise to me.

Kathy (Inkling)

Msg# 5944

Requring a 'nomination comment' Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 02, 2005 - 19:50:21 Topic ID# 5944
I definitely appreciate the way reading reviews can entice you to read
a story you might not have otherwise. This is one of the beauties of
this particular form of voting, I think. I nominate fics in the hopes
that others will do the work of showing that these are really good
stories deserving of wider readership.

That said, consider the following examples. What's more likely to make
you read a fic?

"This story has one of the best characterizations of Aragorn ever."
(55 chars, no spaces)

versus

"This story shows Aragorn as you've never seen him before. It traces
his evolution from his arrival among his own people to his departure
for Rohan, and believably shows him as an awkward, isolated, slightly
stand-offish young man, feeling overwhelmed in a world utterly foreign
to him yet trying his best to hide it out of a sense of duty. You'll
laugh, you'll cry, you'll recognize despite it all the kernel of the
man he will become. Anyone who loves this character, read this story."

(401 chars, no spaces)


The first one *might* make me read, if it was repeated often enough by
multiple reviewers, and because I am a rabid Aragorn-fangurl anyway.

However, it's the second kind of review that will in itself make me
curious.

I'm not trying to bring up the issue of how hard it can be to write a
longer comment, merely to point out that I'm not sure how useful a
25-100 character "nominator's comment" would be. It'd be very
repetitive, I imagine, and wouldn't give that much insight, just a
bare claim. I personally don't find a bare claim to be the most
effective advertisement--the author's summary is usually more
insightful and intriguing than that because it has more space.

So I'm not convinced that implementing this is going to function as
desired, is all I'm saying: it might be off-putting to nominators
without being terribly helpful to potential reviewers.

Dwim

Msg# 5945

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 02, 2005 - 19:51:18 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@s...> wrote:
>
> > --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "sulriel" <Sulriel@h...> wrote:
> >
> > if it's set at ten ... I suppose I wouldn't fuss if it were set at
> > ten short story or novel or epics, *and* five poetry or drabble.
> >
> > IOW, totally seperate nominations. not mix and match.
> >
> > Sulriel
> >
>
> That seems like a pretty reasonable compromise to me.
>
> Kathy (Inkling)

Again, I say "Ditto!"

Dwim

Msg# 5946

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Chapter caps Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 20:00:00 Topic ID# 5843
On 2 Nov 2005, at 07:02, Naresha wrote:

> > I think this would be a horror to administer.
> > For that fact alone, I don't believe a chapter
> > cap would be realistic.
>
>
> I must agree with this one.  People have been
> talking about making things as user friendly as
> possible so as not to confuse and lose new comers
> - I've been a part of both MEFAs and I must say
> that *I'M* by how this would work!
>

On rethinking the category cap... I can't see how it would be
administered, either. Scratch that idea.

Marta

Msg# 5947

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 20:03:33 Topic ID# 5843
On 2 Nov 2005, at 20:51, dwimmer_laik wrote:

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@s...> wrote:
> >
> > > --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "sulriel" <Sulriel@h...> wrote:
> > >
> > > if it's set at ten ...  I suppose I wouldn't fuss if it were set
> at
> > > ten short story or novel or epics, *and* five poetry or drabble.
> > >
> > > IOW, totally seperate nominations.  not mix and match.
> > >
> > > Sulriel
> > >
> >
> > That seems like a pretty reasonable compromise to me.
> >
> > Kathy (Inkling)
>
> Again, I say "Ditto!"
>
> Dwim
>

I can certainly live with this myself. :-)

Marta

Msg# 5948

Re: Requring a 'nomination comment' Posted by C Dodd November 02, 2005 - 20:17:11 Topic ID# 5944
Oh, I wouldn't dream of limiting the number of characters in a comment --
but if it were a nominator's comment, then the nominator could still do a
"vote" review later, right? The thing is, if I like a story enough to
recommend it to other people, then I like it well enough to write about why
I like it. I can't imagine nominating something for an award that didn't
deserve at least a word or two, and more likely a sentence or two at the
very least.
On another topic:
I do like the idea of being able to look from nominators to stories,
although I don't know how much work that would be for Anthony. There were
definitely nominators who chose a lot of things I liked, though.

On 11/2/05, dwimmer_laik <dwimmer_laik@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> I definitely appreciate the way reading reviews can entice you to read
> a story you might not have otherwise. This is one of the beauties of
> this particular form of voting, I think. I nominate fics in the hopes
> that others will do the work of showing that these are really good
> stories deserving of wider readership.
>
> That said, consider the following examples. What's more likely to make
> you read a fic?
>
> "This story has one of the best characterizations of Aragorn ever."
> (55 chars, no spaces)
>
> versus
>
> "This story shows Aragorn as you've never seen him before. It traces
> his evolution from his arrival among his own people to his departure
> for Rohan, and believably shows him as an awkward, isolated, slightly
> stand-offish young man, feeling overwhelmed in a world utterly foreign
> to him yet trying his best to hide it out of a sense of duty. You'll
> laugh, you'll cry, you'll recognize despite it all the kernel of the
> man he will become. Anyone who loves this character, read this story."
>
> (401 chars, no spaces)
>
>
> The first one *might* make me read, if it was repeated often enough by
> multiple reviewers, and because I am a rabid Aragorn-fangurl anyway.
>
> However, it's the second kind of review that will in itself make me
> curious.
>
> I'm not trying to bring up the issue of how hard it can be to write a
> longer comment, merely to point out that I'm not sure how useful a
> 25-100 character "nominator's comment" would be. It'd be very
> repetitive, I imagine, and wouldn't give that much insight, just a
> bare claim. I personally don't find a bare claim to be the most
> effective advertisement--the author's summary is usually more
> insightful and intriguing than that because it has more space.
>
> So I'm not convinced that implementing this is going to function as
> desired, is all I'm saying: it might be off-putting to nominators
> without being terribly helpful to potential reviewers.
>
> Dwim
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
> YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
>
>
> - Visit your group "MEFAwards<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MEFAwards>"
> on the web.
> - To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com<MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
> - Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
> Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5949

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 20:28:48 Topic ID# 5843
> However, whilst I was disappointed that a lot of
> the reviews I wrote were only 2 or three points,
> I hesitated to write more because I felt that by
> doing that I was lessening the QUALITY of the
> feedback.  But that's just me.  Also, something
> that did get to me was a 1pt review I received.
> Whilst I didn't give two hoots about the point
> value, the content of it did make me wonder why
> the person had bothered reviewing at all!  Do we
> have a system in place to prevent flaming of
> authors and their stories?  I know constructive
> criticism is allowed - and I gave some myself to
> some people - but we're all aware that some
> people have nothing better to do other than write
> insulting feedback to people!  Is there something
> we could put in place to help prevent this?  Or
> would the only workable thing be to ban people
> after the act itself?
>

I suppose I'm a pretty long-winded reviewer. I found I could hit 7-8
points even on drabbles without breaking a sweat, and actually had to
restrain myself when I wanted to write less (rather than the other way
around).

Hold on to these thoughts on what's an average "low" and "high"
character count. We may want to relook at changing what character
counts go for which vote.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5950

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 21:00:33 Topic ID# 5843
On 2 Nov 2005, at 11:50, rhapsody_the_bard wrote:

> Also when it comes down to tracking author's, even of those who left
> the fandom, I think we did a good job on finding them.
>
> Rhapsody
>

Can I second that? The liaisons were spectacular at this. I was amazed
at how well you guys found authors. My own authors all replied to my
email, but I saw your hard work on the staff list.

Marta

Msg# 5951

Re: regarding post-mortem emails Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 21:40:01 Topic ID# 5926
On 2 Nov 2005, at 14:47, Kathy wrote:

> Hi Marta,
>
> You were getting snippy and flustered?? If so, then even in that
> state you are nicer than I am at my best! ;)
>

Oh, good! I was hoping my shortness wasn't evident to others, but I was
afraid it might be. If you answer enough emails, one after the other,
eventually you feel worn a bit thin.

> Yes, go away and forget about us for a while... but when you get back,
> I have two questions for you:
>
> Someone (and I apologize that I've forgotten who) said that they
> received a flame review.  Is that allowed?
>

Technically there aren't any restrictions on the contents of review,
except for restrictions on quotes and stuff. But it makes no sense to
post negative comments, at least if that's the only thing you say. I
included some constructive criticism in a few of my reviews, but that
was always between praises. flame would give points to a story the
reviewer apparently couldn't find anything to compliment.

As for how to prevent it, I don't know how we'd do that except for
having someone preview each review before it's released to the general
public. But that would require a lot of volunteers, and I'm not sure
how we'd be objective about that. Once it's visible to everyone we
could delete it, but I guess that would only penalise the author
further.

Do you have any suggestions?

> You mentioned Ainae, and I've been wondering about her too.
> Specifically, I know that she's been involved in this type of awards
> in other fandoms, and I just wonder how they handle problems like too
> many stories there?  Since they've had more experience, seems like it
> would be useful to hear about what's worked and what hasn't...
>

I'll let Ainae answer this in more depth, but I think her experience is
in Star Trek fanfic. There the nomination base is all the stories
posted to a certain archive, so I don't think there's really that
concern for them. But I'm not involved with those awards. I think Dwim
gave a better run-down, and hopefully Ainae will weigh in herself.

Marta

Msg# 5952

Re: substantial reviews Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 21:43:24 Topic ID# 5923
On 2 Nov 2005, at 15:04, C Dodd wrote:

> I never knew what my review would be until I hit "enter", because I
> just
> wrote what I felt. Most of them seemed to be around 3 or 4. If I waxed
> particularly enthusiastic it might have gone to six. I don't think I
> gave
> anyone a ten. I certainly did a couple of 1s and 2s, where I thought
> the
> piece deserved a comment, but didn't have much to say.
> This is actually a topic I'd like to go in a bit separately, as there
> were
> some fun things to do with numbers. The stories of mine which won
> awards
> weren't necessarily the ones which had the highest average number of
> points
> per review. I'd kind of like to see the author awards for a category
> go to
> the person who got the highest average or something of that sort.
>

I've added it to my mental list of things to discuss. There are several
topics I want to discuss, but this wasn't its own topic. It will be
now.

I'm copying this to the gmail address so I remember. :-)

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5953

Re: Digest Number 537 Posted by GW November 02, 2005 - 21:48:50 Topic ID# 5953
Hello,
I have been quiet as far as discussions go, but I did want to say that I think, in spite of some minor problems, these awards are some of the best run that I have seen on line. Any mistakes or short-comings are simply things that have gone un-noticed until they become as issue. At that point they are quickly corrected. I thought the system for the voting was 100% better this year than last. I couldn't figure out how to vote last year. LOL This year, while I didn't get in as many votes as I had planned, I did manage what I considered to be a respectable amout.

I think that it makes sense to limit the number of nominations that can be made by any one person. I don't think that should be split up as to X amount of drabbles, X amount of poems, X amount of non-fiction. Some people only read drabbles or only read poems or maybe they only read stories with elves in them. I think that the limit should be total nominations by one person. Let the nominator decide how to use his or her nominations. If you want to nominate your own stories then do so, or if you want to nominate only poetry then do so or mix it up. I think that would be fair.

Also, I don't know how anyone else decided what to read and vote for this year but because there were so many things nominated, I stuck to stories that I thought I would enjoy either because of the subject or the author. I might have branched out more if the number of nominations had not been so over-whelming. I wanted to read as many of the hobbit stories as I could and because there were so many wonderful nominations in that group, I only managed to vote for a few stories outside of the hobbit catagories. At the last I found myself picking up drabbles as they take less time to read and I so admire the skill it takes to write one. I can't do it myself. LOL

Anyway, that's my two cents worth.

GW

MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com wrote:

There are 4 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. Re: Re: limiting nominations
From:
2. Re: cliquishness, voting, Dwim, requiring nominator to review, self-nominating
From: Bird Wood
3. Re: regarding post-mortem emails
From: "dwimmer_laik"
4. Re: regarding post-mortem emails
From: "Kathy"


________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 1
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2005 14:03:28 -0600
From:
Subject: Re: Re: limiting nominations


----- Original Message -----
From: "sulriel"
To:
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 11:00 AM
Subject: [MEFAwards] Re: limiting nominations


> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Naresha
> wrote:
>>
>> ...the nominator could nominate up to 9
>> stories, and then have up to six extra
>> nominations for drabbles/poetry for a
>> total of 15...
>>
>> I know you listed the drabble thing as EXTRA to
>> the stories, but I that this division of WHAT you
>> could nominate, would annoy people. Not everyone
>> reads drabbles and poems and not everyone reads
>> long stories. I think it would only serve to
>> aggrevate people and has the potential to create
>> a reputation of the MEFAs being cliquey and
>> exclusionary etc. Not something we want!
>>
>> If we cap the nominations, I think that should be
>> it. It's just a number and people can use it how
>> the wish. If they want to nominate only poems
>> and drabbles, so be it. If they want to nominate
>> only novella length things about dwarves - let
>> them! :-P
>
>
> agree with this. I think a single limit should be enforced for all
> nominations.

Personally, I don't have a problem with a single limit, and think it would
be easier. I only suggested it as a way to address someone else's concern.
Dreamflower
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>




________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 2
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2005 14:04:11 -0800 (PST)
From: Bird Wood
Subject: Re: cliquishness, voting, Dwim, requiring nominator to review, self-nominating

Hello,

I just wanted to say that I agree with this person...*looks at name*...Lin. First, I was a terrible person for these Awards, mostly because I had some traumatic RL problems, which drew me away from all the action.

Lin makes a lot of good points regarding time issues, and I think that often, because the online world is so fast paced, that people often forget just how time consuming this can all be, reading the stories and reviewing. To be honest, I am not nearly as good as she is, when it comes to reading, reviewing and voting. Because of time constraints, I often only read the genre's I like, new stories by author's I already know, and a few "extra" stories just to see what they are like, by new authors and yada yada.

I don't know if that is really cliquish, but I feel the same. I have been told that I don't "review" enough on other groups and sites. The problem is, NOT enough time to read it all, and I might start to read something, find out it is not my thing, and then stop reading--I usually give an author two or three tries. Do people really want reviews of something I don't like? No. If it is a story I do like, and I have a few suggestions--then yes i will review it.

Self-nominating...no comment. I don't do it, but, hey, some people do... no comment on that.

The "charity reviews"...I don't know. I would hope that everyone is striving for improvement, and as long as the review was helpful and the reviewer said WHY they had problems with it, why the hell not? Isn't the purpose of writing and getting reviews to get help? Really, what is the worse that could happen (as long as everyone stays calm and polite)? The author gets some help and accepts it, or they say Thanks, but No Thanks...

Meh.

Bird

BLJean@aol.com wrote:
Don't even know if subject of this email is spelled right. Doesn't matter.

If discussion of this email was suspended, I apologise for opening it again,
but Dwim made a couple good points.

With no pre-screening (I am not advocating pre-screening.) there will likely
be stories entered that make one (or many a) reader roll the eyes, especially
when you allow self-nominating. I know that I wrote a review in a genre I
don't read, for a story I would not have reviewed otherwise, and not because I was
absolutely over-the-moon about that story. But the author showed some promise
in writing in general terms, whether or not having a grasp of Tolkien's work.

If people are self-nominating, that sort of defeats the "nominator write a
review of the story" suggestion.

People might self-nominate because they would like feedback. They might be
relatively new and unheard-of. Heck, I don't know where I'm going with this.
Certainly there are stories in styles or genres that make me shudder, plenty of
them floating out there. I don't know how many were entered in the MEFAs,
frankly, because I didn't have time to read everything. I sort of stuck to gen and
het Hobbits for the most part, and tried in addition to review every drabble
in every category and thus have an introduction to authors and genres I
normally don't brush elbows with.

Is it cliquish, when your time for reading is limited, to read the type of
story you enjoy? Perhaps I am, if you want to call it that, because I tend to
read stories about Hobbits. If an occasional Man or Elf or Dwarf strays into the
story, that's ok with me. But I'm not likely to seek out stories about, say,
the Rohirrim, even though I have read several excellent "takes" on that
culture. And mention of "the Twins" in a story summary makes me shudder, I don't
know just why but it does. There are just not enough hours in the week. If I have
time to read five chapters a week, I'm probably going to spend it on Hobbits.

Is it cliquish to prefer stories that reflect a certain respect for "canon"?
I suppose I might be accused of elitism, but really, as I'm playing in
Tolkien's sandbox, a part of my delight is in just that... the world he created, the
parameters he set, the historical and sociological implications of the world
he lived in. I take no pleasure in setting Middle-earth characters, say, in an
apartment in modern-day New York. But for others who delight in this sort of
exploration, are there not enough kindred spirits to provide them reviews?

It might be perceived as "cliquish" to write feedback giving preference to
those authors you know or whose works you've enjoyed. I made it a point to write
reviews for authors who were new to me. (Bless the drabble category for
introducing me to new stories within the constraints of time!)

But I don't think that the MEFAs deliberately leave anyone out.

I'm not sure that "charity reviews" are the answer. If some painful-to-read
story were submitted by a hopeful author, that author might not welcome a
review that threw them a bone and offered a few suggestions for improvement.

I'm not sure that eliminating "self-nomination" is the answer, either. What
are the pros and cons?

Lin



In a message dated 11/2/2005 8:31:04 AM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
To put it in blunt, personal terms, I read a lot of stories this time
around--not all, but many. And while I enjoyed many, even most, of
them, I didn't vote--and I *wouldn't* vote--for every single one that
I read. It'd be dishonest if I did.

"And they painted sex scenes on the walls of Pompeii, Because it wouldn't do to forget how to have sex, And having a huge colorful reminder all over the walls of the house makes it pretty easy to remember."

---- Boomer Bible, Book of Romans, Chapter 8:8-10

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________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 3
Date: Wed, 02 Nov 2005 22:20:12 -0000
From: "dwimmer_laik"
Subject: Re: regarding post-mortem emails

--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" wrote:
>
> Hi Marta,
>
> You were getting snippy and flustered?? If so, then even in that
> state you are nicer than I am at my best! ;)
>
> Yes, go away and forget about us for a while...but when you get back,
> I have two questions for you:
>
> Someone (and I apologize that I've forgotten who) said that they
> received a flame review. Is that allowed?

I must've missed the e-mail that said the author had been flamed, but
if that actually happened (and I don't remember anything flamey
showing up, and I read an embarrasing number of reviews), let's get
proof positive--direct us to the review in question, since it's
already public. I just don't want to go into a hypothetical discussion
on this topic. The scoring system is set up so as to heavily
discourage comments on pieces you personally don't think merit
comment, or that you think only merit negative comments or detailed
constructive criticism. I'm not sure what else one could do
officially--I'm assuming if it's evident that negative comments are
counterproductive, it's obvious that flaming is just right out.


> You mentioned Ainae, and I've been wondering about her too.
> Specifically, I know that she's been involved in this type of awards
> in other fandoms, and I just wonder how they handle problems like too
> many stories there?

I can answer a little about that, since Ainae's probably at work
still. The MEFAs are modelled on awards run at a Star Trek group she's
been a part of for many years. Because their site is the main clearing
house for new fics, they have a built-in pool: anything posted during
the past year is eligible for the awards. So effectively, every piece
you write and post is a self-nomination, be it ever so humble.

We don't have a central fic clearing house that makes our pool for us,
so the model in that sense doesn't fit ours very neatly. While we
could limit the pool to fics published within a particular year, ŕ la
Mithrils and the Star Trek awards, I think the idea of a stories per
nominator limit PLUS the open field of fics published at any time will
actually help reduce nominations in a given year: so long as
nominators know that they could nominate a fic in the next year,
there's less pressure to nominate as many fics as possible for fear
that they'll never get a chance to compete if you don't nominate it
immediately.

Combine that with, as Isabeau and others have noted, the natural fall
off in fic production, now that the movie wave has subsided somewhat,
and I think, assuming these awards continue for several years, that
this year will look like an anomaly.

Anyhow, Ainae can correct anything I've misstated when she gets a
chance to look at her e-mail, but that's how she's explained things to
me when we've talked about the inspiration for this kind of awards
format.

Dwim





________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

Message: 4
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2005 00:05:30 -0000
From: "Kathy"
Subject: Re: regarding post-mortem emails

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik"
> wrote:
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" wrote:
> >
> >
> > Someone (and I apologize that I've forgotten who) said that they
> > received a flame review. Is that allowed?
>
> I must've missed the e-mail that said the author had been flamed,
> but
> if that actually happened (and I don't remember anything flamey
> showing up, and I read an embarrasing number of reviews), let's get
> proof positive--direct us to the review in question, since it's
> already public. I just don't want to go into a hypothetical
> discussion
> on this topic. The scoring system is set up so as to heavily
> discourage comments on pieces you personally don't think merit
> comment, or that you think only merit negative comments or detailed
> constructive criticism. I'm not sure what else one could do
> officially--I'm assuming if it's evident that negative comments are
> counterproductive, it's obvious that flaming is just right out.
>

Wish I could remember who it was--Naresha, was it you?--but I believe
she said she received a one-point flame review.







________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________



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Msg# 5954

Re: regarding post-mortem emails Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 22:25:24 Topic ID# 5926
On 2 Nov 2005, at 19:06, sulriel wrote:

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
> >
> > Hey guys,
> >
> > There has been quite a lot of activity here. I hope no one is
> feeling > completely snowed under, or even just a little overwhelmed
> like I do
> at > >>>>
>
> > emails tonight in a level-headed manner. If I do get a bit flustered
> > please bear with me. It's almost certainly not directed at you
> personally.> > Thanks in advance for all of your patience.
> > > Cheers,> Marta>
>
> {hugs}
>
> after all we've been through, don't get burned out on the post
> mortem!! 
>

I'm feeling much better, now. The occasional break does wonders, really.

> I don't think every mail has to be answered, a lot of them are
> saying 'agree' or 'disagree', or seem to be presenting thoughts to the
> group in general.

Yes, I think I'm feeling better about judging what needs to be
answered, and what I can wait on.

> A lot of good points have been raised.  
>
> Is this topic something that will be voted on or will an excutive
> decision be made? 
>

I think on this one most people are in favor of a cap per nominator,
and I certainly agree with that. Similarly, most people seem to be
against an overall limit on the number of nominations, so I don't mind
making an executive decision here.

I will set up a poll to discuss whether we should have one simple limit
or a limit for stories and a separate for drabbles/poems. I think tht's
something where there's enough difference of opinions that a poll makes
sense.

Marta

Msg# 5955

Re: Requring a 'nomination comment' Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 02, 2005 - 22:38:41 Topic ID# 5944
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
>
> Oh, I wouldn't dream of limiting the number of characters in a
comment --
> but if it were a nominator's comment, then the nominator could still
do a
> "vote" review later, right? The thing is, if I like a story enough to
> recommend it to other people, then I like it well enough to write
about why
> I like it. I can't imagine nominating something for an award that didn't
> deserve at least a word or two, and more likely a sentence or two at the
> very least.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that we should limit a comment's
characters (the actual vote), but I was referring to the idea (I
thought Anthony had brought it up?) of limiting a nominator's comment
(not the nominator's vote) to a short length to make it easy on the
nominator.

I think this idea has the same problems that #6 has: on the one hand,
the shorter the initial nominator's comment is in order to make it not
a burden on the nominator, the less it serves its intended purpose (to
give potential other reviewers an idea of why this story is great). A
"word or two", as you put it, is not going to entice me to read; the
summary would be much more helpful to me at that point. Even a line or
two, unless extremely suggestive, are not going to significantly
impact my decision to read a story, unless I already know the
nominator and tend to agree with his or her taste in fics. I suspect
others probably would react in the same way.


On the other hand, the more that is permited/required in order to
serve as a hook for other potential readers, the more burdensome it is
on the nominator, who may well decide not to nominate if it seems like
not only do the awards want a vote (eventually) but they want
something substantial *up front* which will not actually count towards
anything (although one could copy-paste and alter if one wished).


Again, I'm thinking in terms of simplicity when it comes to the
nominations process. Obviously, people are reviewing without the
enticement of a sentence or two from the nominator; so my thought is
that this suggestion is a bell/whistle that doesn't address a
short-coming so much as offer itself as a nice feature but one that
strikes me as strictly superfluous and perhaps downright problematic
as a *structural* requirement of the nomination form.


> On another topic:
> I do like the idea of being able to look from nominators to stories,
> although I don't know how much work that would be for Anthony.

I'm a little confused. Do you mean you wished it'd be easy to find a
list of what any given nominator had nominated? I could be wrong, but
I"m pretty sure you could see that if you clicked on the nominator's
name.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean, though.

Dwim

Msg# 5956

Re: Digest Number 537 Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 02, 2005 - 22:47:56 Topic ID# 5953
<snip>
> I think that it makes sense to limit the number of nominations that
can be made by any one person. I don't think that should be split up
as to X amount of drabbles, X amount of poems, X amount of
non-fiction. Some people only read drabbles or only read poems or
maybe they only read stories with elves in them. I think that the
limit should be total nominations by one person. Let the nominator
decide how to use his or her nominations. If you want to nominate
your own stories then do so, or if you want to nominate only poetry
then do so or mix it up. I think that would be fair.

Just to say, I'd also be willing to go with this very open schema. And
I refer again to my bet, that a combination of cap on nominations per
person plus a completely open field (no limitations based on when a
story was published) will make people less anxious about nominating
and hopefully encourage them to nominate a mix of kinds of stories and
poetry.

> Also, I don't know how anyone else decided what to read and vote for
this year but because there were so many things nominated, I stuck to
stories that I thought I would enjoy either because of the subject or
the author.

Mine was pretty simple:

Order the categories according to size. Start with the largest
category and go one page at a time, straight down the page, and read
everything I could, making exceptions for extremely large stories.
(Then I'd look at the summary and maybe the first chapter if the
summary intrigued me before deciding).

When done, move to the next largest category.

I kept that up until I had read all categories with more than one
hundred stories. Then I took some smaller categories for the sense of
accomplishment (cross that one off my list!), and then I started going
by interest.

I'll probably do something similar next year, but I must say, I found
it helpful that Post-Ring War was the biggest category. It featured a
mix of stories concerning all different races, places, and characters,
so while I didn't read "Hobbits" as a category, I read a heck of a lot
of hobbits because a genre category is less restrictive than a
species-specific category.

I'd highly recommend that to others--pick a good-sized genre category
and review there first. That'll expose you to authors who write in all
sectors of fandom and give you a sense of whose stories you'd like to
read more of even if they are outside your usual interest areas.

Dwim

Msg# 5957

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 02, 2005 - 22:53:54 Topic ID# 5843
Snipping where I don't have any further comment...

> 2. Limit the number of nominations per person.
>
> Per nominator or per author? If a) feasible, but still not thrilling,
> if b)
> ditto.

I meant limit the number of nominations per nominator. I don't like
limiting per author for the same reason I don't like #1 (limit of total
num of noms): the actions of one nominator could penalise the whole
group.

> 5. Limit nominations to pieces written this year.
>
> Nooooooo!

*snork* That seems to be pretty much the consensus. :-)

> 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
> nomination can be processed.
> Can we modify this one to "require the nominator to submit a
> "nomination
> comment" rather than a vote? I mean it, seriously -- reading the
> comments
> about stories which other people made had me looking into
> possibilities I
> wouldn't have considered given the story descriptions. The squee
> tipped the
> balance, and a lot more than once for me. And a nomination comment
> could
> also come from an author who self-nominated.

Hmm, this idea has potential. Would you be okay if we made this
optional? A nominator can put in a brief comment on what they like
about the story. And I emphasise short -- maybe 200 characters max. If
a nominator doesn't want to, they don't have to include anything, but I
hope they would.

I hurry to add that this isn't to make the nominator "justify" his or
her choice -- it's to explain that choice to other readers. For example
I like pieces that look at ceremonies and traditions and different
aspects of cultures. I'll enjoy pieces that focus on individuals, but
if a piece said that it did a good job developing a coming-of-age
ceremony for Rohan I would probably be more likely to read that.

> And let me add 7. Put a limit of three on self-nominations, but allow
> for
> stories which people want to submit to be "seconded" by another
> person. In
> other words, if I have five drabbles I think ought to be considered, I
> submit all five to the "second me" list, and if two of them get
> seconded by
> another nominator, then the remaining three can go up under my own
> aegis.
> But if only one gets seconded, then I have to pick three to push this
> year
> and save the last one for next year.
>

Can you explain more how you see this working in a little bit more
depth? If I second a self-nomination, does that take one of my
nominations?

From an administrative POV I love self-nominations. There's much less
work to do, and I know the author's correct email address, so there's
no problem getting in touch with the author. Also, if someone is
involved enough to nominate stories, I think they have a right for
their stories to participate if they think they're good enough. With a
limit on the number of nominations now, I know that I would have to sit
and think long and hard about what pieces to self-nominate if I choose
to do so. But then I write mostly one-shots and drabbles. I could
probably use all of my nominations on myself if I chose to do so, and
still have pieces from the last year left over.

Marta

Msg# 5958

New poll for MEFAwards Posted by MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com November 02, 2005 - 23:05:11 Topic ID# 3
Enter your vote today! A new poll has been created for the
MEFAwards group:

As part of the post-mortem we have discussed the possibility of limiting the numer of nominations that a nominator can make. Which of these limit types would you prefer?

o A simple cap. You can nominate X pieces (whatever the type - drabble, story, poem, etc.)
o A divided cap. You may nominate Y stories and Z drabbles or poems.
o I have a different suggestions and will suggest it to the list.
o I have no opinion on this subject.


To vote, please visit the following web page:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MEFAwards/surveys?id=2032134

Note: Please do not reply to this message. Poll votes are
not collected via email. To vote, you must go to the Yahoo! Groups
web site listed above.

Thanks!

Msg# 5959

Re: substantial reviews Posted by MarigoldCotton@aol.com November 03, 2005 - 0:33:44 Topic ID# 5923
Personally I generally write medium to very long reviews, and I tried hard to maintain a balance. It was painful for me as I ran out of time at the end to write very short ones, though I suppose that was better than my not having reviewed those stories at all. So I agree with Lin, it's all relative.

Marigold


>Someone (apologies, I forget who) was bemoaning the fact that they were a
>reader and not a writer and even when trying hard could only manage a 4-point
>review, and never approached 10 points.
>
>But as Thundera points out, it is relative. Some reviewers wrote a majority
>of 1 point reviews, and when they waxed particularly enthusiastic they might
>have approached 2 or ever 3 points. Others seemed to write a lot of high-point
>reviews and not a lot of one-liners. I think if you write one brief line for
>what you read and two lines for the best story, in your opinion, then you are
>just as balanced as those who wrote eight points for most stories and ten for
>the ones they adored.
>
>I know I wrote a lot of two-point reviews, and my highest point total, I
>think, was eight. But it was all relative.
>
>Lin
>
>In a message dated 11/2/2005 8:31:04 AM Pacific Standard Time,
>MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
>it also makes sense that you would write a substantial review. For some that
>might be a 10-pointer. For others, that might be a 2-pointer.
>
>
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>
>
>
>
>
>Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


--
Marigold's Red Book
http://marigold.tolkienshire.com

Marigold's Recommendations Page
http://www.geocities.com/marigoldsrecommendations/

Marigold's Live Journal
http://www.livejournal.com/users/marigoldg/

Tales of The Red Book
http://www.livejournal.com/users/talesofredbook/




There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.
>
>Sam, in Mordor, RoTK

Msg# 5960

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Kathy November 03, 2005 - 1:03:22 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
> <snip>
> From an administrative POV I love self-nominations. There's much
> less work to do, and I know the author's correct email address, so
> there's no problem getting in touch with the author. Also, if
> someone is involved enough to nominate stories, I think they have a
> right for their stories to participate if they think they're good
> enough. With a limit on the number of nominations now, I know that
> I would have to sit and think long and hard about what pieces to
> self-nominate if I choose to do so. But then I write mostly one-
> shots and drabbles. I could probably use all of my nominations on
> myself if I chose to do so, and still have pieces from the last
> year left over.
>

Ummm...while I'm hesitant to throw one more idea into the mix, and
I'm not at all sure this is even a *good* idea so please, anyone feel
free to shoot it down, but reading some of the self-nomination
comments makes me wonder: if we DO go with some kind of
nomination "mix," what about something like this: 10 stories, 10
poems/drabbles, and 5 self-noms?

Kathy/Inkling

Msg# 5961

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Laura November 03, 2005 - 1:07:16 Topic ID# 5843
-- Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
>> > nomination can be processed.
>> > Can we modify this one to "require the nominator to submit a
>> > "nomination
>> > comment" rather than a vote? I mean it, seriously -- reading the
>> > comments
>> > about stories which other people made had me looking into
>> > possibilities I
>> > wouldn't have considered given the story descriptions. The squee
>> > tipped the
>> > balance, and a lot more than once for me. And a nomination comment
>> > could
>> > also come from an author who self-nominated.
>>
>> Hmm, this idea has potential. Would you be okay if we made this
>> optional? A nominator can put in a brief comment on what they like
>> about the story. And I emphasise short -- maybe 200 characters max.
>> If a nominator doesn't want to, they don't have to include
>> anything, but I hope they would.

You and I must have very similar minds, Marta, because I was also thinking about the possibility of making this optional. However, I can already see a host of problems cropping up. I have no problem writing reviews or recommendations, and I'm one of those very long-winded people who had no concept of brevity and managed to get out those 10-point reviews. I would personally love to write a recommendation as to why others should read a certain piece. But not everybody can or wants to do that. Thus, we might penalize those stories who don't get an upfront recommendation because their nominator opted out of that. In other words, based solely on the nominator, some stories would get an extra hook with which to lure in readers while other stories would get nothing at all. And I don't see that as fair.

Beyond that, there's already something of a recommendation system in place. Sort of. Someone else (Dwim, maybe?) mentioned this earlier, but once in a while I would be borderline as to whether or not I should go ahead and read a story and one of the deciding factors was the story's nominator. If I knew the nominator and knew the nominator's taste in fics, that was an influence (both good and bad). And while writing out a recommendation might be further impetus to read a story, I'm still going to trust a recommendation more if I trust the person who nominated the story in the first place.

Oh, and to answer one of Marta's questions, I like #2 (stories per nominator) but if for some reason it doesn't go through, I like #4 also (stories per nominator per time period).

As for what numbers should be set on this...I nominated 23 pieces this year, but that's a deceptive number because I would have nominated many more if other people hadn't nominated them first. (I was slow coming out of the starting gate.) So I would chafe if we set a nomination cap at anything lower than 20.

However, there's a flipside to this: Perhaps there are forty stories that you'd love to nominate but you are only allowed to nominate fifteen of them. There's a very good chance that others will nominate some of the remaining twenty-five. I ran into that this year. I had a host of stories I wanted to nominate but found that many of them had already been nominated. So while some of us might cringe at numbers like fifteen or ten (I REALLY cringe at ten, btw) there is the possibility that others will nominate what we don't.

Thundera

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
As a way of life, reality is highly overrated.
DahakýHercules: The Legendary Journeys
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Msg# 5962

Re: substantial reviews Posted by Bonnie L. Sherrell November 03, 2005 - 1:13:47 Topic ID# 5923
I didn't mind whether the reviews done on my works were one, two, or
more--I was very glad just to get the idea of the quality they felt I
showed, and I truly appreciated the constructive criticism given.
Amounts written were indeed relative, I found.
Bonnie L. Sherrell
Teacher at Large

The most outrageous lies that can be invented will
find believers if a person only tells them with all his might.
~Mark Twain~

I mourn for this nation.

Msg# 5963

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by C Dodd November 03, 2005 - 1:29:08 Topic ID# 5843
Snip, snip, snip.

On 11/2/05, Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> I meant limit the number of nominations per nominator. I don't like
> limiting per author for the same reason I don't like #1 (limit of total
> num of noms): the actions of one nominator could penalise the whole
> group.

Yeah, that's the way most people seem to see it. I'd prefer a high limit,
if any.

> 6. Require the nominator to enter a vote for the story before the
> > nomination can be processed.
> > Can we modify this one to "require the nominator to submit a
> > "nomination
> > comment" rather than a vote? I mean it, seriously -- reading the
> > comments
> > about stories which other people made had me looking into
> > possibilities I
> > wouldn't have considered given the story descriptions. The squee
> > tipped the
> > balance, and a lot more than once for me. And a nomination comment
> > could
> > also come from an author who self-nominated.
>
> Hmm, this idea has potential. Would you be okay if we made this
> optional? A nominator can put in a brief comment on what they like
> about the story. And I emphasise short -- maybe 200 characters max. If
> a nominator doesn't want to, they don't have to include anything, but I
> hope they would.
>
> I hurry to add that this isn't to make the nominator "justify" his or
> her choice -- it's to explain that choice to other readers. For example
> I like pieces that look at ceremonies and traditions and different
> aspects of cultures. I'll enjoy pieces that focus on individuals, but
> if a piece said that it did a good job developing a coming-of-age
> ceremony for Rohan I would probably be more likely to read that.

Optional is good, although I'll admit to preferring required. I'm a
children's librarian, and I purchase books by looking at reviews -- even a
short review tells me a little about the nominator as well as the story
being reviewed, and after a while I know whose opinions and tastes are a
reliable match for my own. And I honestly don't see a short comment (I
wouldn't put a maximum on it, but I suspect most would be short anyway) as a
horrible burden. If I like something well enough to nom, I like it well
enough to take five more minutes.

> And let me add 7. Put a limit of three on self-nominations, but allow
> > for
> > stories which people want to submit to be "seconded" by another
> > person. In
> > other words, if I have five drabbles I think ought to be considered, I
> > submit all five to the "second me" list, and if two of them get
> > seconded by
> > another nominator, then the remaining three can go up under my own
> > aegis.
> > But if only one gets seconded, then I have to pick three to push this
> > year
> > and save the last one for next year.
> >
>
> Can you explain more how you see this working in a little bit more
> depth? If I second a self-nomination, does that take one of my
> nominations?

Hmm. I wasn't thinking in terms of an overall limit (because I don't
actually much favor it), just a limit on self-noms, but if there were a
limit I'd say a "second" counts as half a nom, or not limit the number of
"seconds" at all. I see it as a simple "ooh, yes please" kind of vote,
possibly with a short comment if those end up being required.

From an administrative POV I love self-nominations. There's much less
> work to do, and I know the author's correct email address, so there's
> no problem getting in touch with the author. Also, if someone is
> involved enough to nominate stories, I think they have a right for
> their stories to participate if they think they're good enough. With a
> limit on the number of nominations now, I know that I would have to sit
> and think long and hard about what pieces to self-nominate if I choose
> to do so. But then I write mostly one-shots and drabbles. I could
> probably use all of my nominations on myself if I chose to do so, and
> still have pieces from the last year left over.

I write drabbles myself, when the muse is functional, so I have a lot of
individual pieces, but having a limit on self-noms would force me to make
sure that I was submitting my best stuff. And requiring a "second" for more
than a few of my self-noms would guarantee that I wasn't the only person
interested. Since there's no time limit, I can save stuff for next year,
when I might be a bit more impartial about it. And since there's no limit on
the number of pieces which other folks can nominate of mine, it's not like I
won't have multiple entries if I'm any good at all.
The thing about self-nominations is that I really do want people to think
long and hard about them. Remember the accusation elsewhere about
'cliquishness'? A person who isn't shy about nominating a lot of their own
pieces has a good chance of winning a lot of awards, and that can look
lopsided in favor of the "in-group" if you don't understand the mechanics of
the awards well. The other side of that coin is that several people have
mentioned that just being nominated is an honor, and I like that being true
-- it encourages participation -- and while being able to self-nominate has
a strong value to me in terms of allowing an author to say, "hey, lookee!"
about a favorite piece or two, it also diminishes that honor just a tad if
the whole process appears to turn into the "self aggrandizing fandom awards"
instead of the MEFAs. So, while I liked having lots to choose from, if I
were going to put a limit anywhere it would be on the self-noms.
*going back to bed now*


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5964

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by MarigoldCotton@aol.com November 03, 2005 - 1:48:45 Topic ID# 5843
Resha said: Now, I know that the MEFAs already run for a good
long time, but perhaps we should consider extending the voting season? Perhaps shorten nomination season and give the extra time to voting. It would help limit nominations (to an
extent) and give people more time to review things.

I like this idea. If nominations are going to be limited per person, then it should be easier for most folks to get them done in a timely manner. I'd appreciate having a bit of the time from nominating season allocated to reading season and/or voting season.

Marigold

--
Marigold's Red Book
http://marigold.tolkienshire.com

Marigold's Recommendations Page
http://www.geocities.com/marigoldsrecommendations/

Marigold's Live Journal
http://www.livejournal.com/users/marigoldg/

Tales of The Red Book
http://www.livejournal.com/users/talesofredbook/




There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.
>
>Sam, in Mordor, RoTK

Msg# 5965

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by MarigoldCotton@aol.com November 03, 2005 - 2:04:58 Topic ID# 5843
Marta said: "I agree that the number should be high. But really, we didn't have that many nominators who nominated more than two or three stories -- around 30 I think? Giving them each 25 stories would give us 750 nominations, a much more manageable size IMO. And it would probably be much lower since most of those nominators didn't nominate 25."

I like the idea of 25 nominations, really no less than that. I do think that many folks will still nominate just 2 or 3 stories, and even taking into consideration new participants, there is also the matter of attrition to consider. We don't want to go in the opposite direction and not have enough stories next year.

And while a good deal fewer stories might encourage some voters to read story types they aren't normally interested in, there will be quite a few who will not do this. A fairly high limit on the number of nominations per person should ensure that every story genre/type has a nice representation to make all of the readers happy.

I am not sure if I explained that thought quite right, but I have just got home from a long night at work and I am knackered!

Marigold

--
Marigold's Red Book
http://marigold.tolkienshire.com

Marigold's Recommendations Page
http://www.geocities.com/marigoldsrecommendations/

Marigold's Live Journal
http://www.livejournal.com/users/marigoldg/

Tales of The Red Book
http://www.livejournal.com/users/talesofredbook/




There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.
>
>Sam, in Mordor, RoTK

Msg# 5966

Re: limiting nominations - the "excluding" drabble/poetry misunders Posted by Naresha November 03, 2005 - 5:57:12 Topic ID# 5899
> > I did not mention *excluding* drabbles and
> > poetry. Someone else misunderstood what I
> > had written and thought I did.
> >
> thank you for clarifying. I felt sure it had >
been a misunderstanding, but couldn't find it >
again in the posts.

That's what I thought - which is why I worded my
reply as I did! I couldn't remember seeing
someoone EXPLICITLY say that they would exclude
them, I just remember it being discussed
afterwards! :-P

Naresha.

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
Personal LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nareshaninya/
Writing LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/writingsofresha/

My Website! Slash Me Happy
http://www.websamba.com/SlashMeHappy

http://quiz.ravenblack.net/blood.pl?biter=Resha



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Msg# 5967

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations (to Larian) Posted by Naresha November 03, 2005 - 6:07:50 Topic ID# 5843
> I think drabbles are easy to review quickly
> and easy to write quickly, so an author who
> specialises in drabbles could easily write 25 >
in a year. That's just one every two weeks,
> which isn't very much. Whereas an author who
> specialises in novel-length pieces could be
> working on the same epic for more than a year.

Honestly, I personally think that's simplifying
it a bit too much! I know people who can dash
out good quality LONG fics rather quickly, whilst
some true drabbles can take a rather long time
because of the restraint needed in wording.
Often it can be a matter of rewording several
times to get the same effect but in the correct
number of words. I really do think that an
overall cap will be a lot simpler to explain to
people - and a lot less work for everyone doing
the admin type stuff!

Resha

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
Personal LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nareshaninya/
Writing LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/writingsofresha/

My Website! Slash Me Happy
http://www.websamba.com/SlashMeHappy

http://quiz.ravenblack.net/blood.pl?biter=Resha



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Msg# 5968

poll Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 7:26:58 Topic ID# 5968
Hey guys,

I've set up a poll at the Yahoo group to vote on the different types of
votes. There are two main choices:

- one cap (for example, a limit of 15 nominations which you can use for
any type of story)
- split cap (for example, 10 nominations for stories and 5 for drabbles)

Also, you can indicate whether you don't have a strong opinion on this
subject (to let us know how many people actually voted), or you can
select that you have another idea which you'll explain on-list.

I've given this a three-day limit so be sure to vote quickly.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5969

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations (to Larian) Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 7:56:55 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Naresha,

On 3 Nov 2005, at 07:07, Naresha wrote:

> > I think drabbles are easy to review quickly
> > and easy to write quickly, so an author who
> > specialises in drabbles could easily write 25 >
> in a year. That's just one every two weeks,
> > which isn't very much. Whereas an author who
> > specialises in novel-length pieces could be
> > working on the same epic for more than a year.
>
> Honestly, I personally think that's simplifying
> it a bit too much!  I know people who can dash
> out good quality LONG fics rather quickly, whilst
> some true drabbles can take a rather long time
> because of the restraint needed in wording.
> Often it can be a matter of rewording several
> times to get the same effect but in the correct
> number of words. 

Believe me, I know that drabbles can be tricksy. :-) And I'm sure I was
over-simplifying things, and that there are some people who can write
good *and* long pieces reasonably quickly. But I still think that
drabbles can be written significantly quicker than longer pieces.

> I really do think that an
> overall cap will be a lot simpler to explain to
> people - and a lot less work for everyone doing
> the admin type stuff!
>

Really, I have no huge problem with an overall cap. I'd be okay with
either one. There's a poll going right now on just this topic, and I'll
happily go with whatever the majority of people want.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5970

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 10:05:14 Topic ID# 5843
> Marta said: "I agree that the number should be high. But really, we
> didn't have that many nominators who nominated more than two or three
> stories -- around 30 I think? Giving them each 25 stories would give
> us 750 nominations, a much more manageable size IMO. And it would
> probably be much lower since most of those nominators didn't nominate
> 25."
>
> I like the idea of 25 nominations, really no less than that. I do
> think that many folks will still nominate just 2 or 3 stories, and
> even taking into consideration new participants, there is also the
> matter of attrition to consider. We don't want to go in the opposite
> direction and not have enough stories next year.
>

That's a real concern of mine. I've joked about having someone break my
fingers in late February, but honestly, I think that if everyone
(including myself) who nominated over 25 had limited themselves to
twenty-five stories we would be okay. I'm of course the biggest
offender. I'm looking at Anthony's list, and even not including myself
there look to be about 160 nominations 25/nominator. Sure, some of
those things would be nominated by other people, but if the number of
people nominating stayed roughly the same and the "low" nominators -
those people just nominating a few pieces - stayed about the same,
limiting everyone to 25 would probably cut us down to 700-800 pieces
easily.

> And while a good deal fewer stories might encourage some voters to
> read story types they aren't normally interested in, there will be
> quite a few who will not do this. A fairly high limit on the number of
> nominations per person should ensure that every story genre/type has a
> nice representation to make all of the readers happy.
>
> I am not sure if I explained that thought quite right, but I have
> just got home from a long night at work and I am knackered!
>
>

That makes a lot of sense to me. I agree with yuou on this point, and
it's part of why I'm for a fairly high limit.

Marta

Msg# 5971

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 10:07:58 Topic ID# 5843
On 3 Nov 2005, at 02:48, MarigoldCotton@aol.com wrote:

> Resha said: Now, I know that the MEFAs already run for a good
> long time, but perhaps we should consider extending the voting
> season?  Perhaps shorten nomination season and give the extra time to
> voting.  It would help limit nominations (to an
> extent) and give people more time to review things. >>
>
> I like this idea. If nominations are going to be limited per person,
> then it should be easier for most folks to get them done in a timely
> manner. I'd appreciate having a bit of the time from nominating season
> allocated to reading season and/or voting season.
>

That sounds reasonable to me. How long is long enough? If we had a
month-long reading season (instead of six weeks) would that be enough
time?

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5972

Re: author awards Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 03, 2005 - 10:37:16 Topic ID# 5972
I'd kind of like to see the author awards for a category
> go to
> the person who got the highest average or something of that sort.

Well, I'd sort of kick against that. The way it is set up now, an author has
a chance of winning an author award even if their stories are not high on the
list. Perhaps an author writes very long stories that few had time to read and
comment on (ok, so I am among the longest-winded), yet someone familiar with
that author's work took the time to leave an author comment, in general, for
the category.

Or perhaps an author who writes both slash and gen has only slash stories
entered. No offence meant to slash writers here, it is something that I tend to
avoid for my own personal reasons. If I think that writer is an awesome writer
I'd be unlikely to leave reviews for the slash stories, but I'd take the time
to leave a glowing review for the author in general, knowing their other work
in the category of drama or humour or whatever. Since the awards are not
divided into separate slash/het-gen categories (no, I am not suggesting that they
be so divided) this is a possible scenario.

Wouldn't the person with the highest average already have one or more awards
for stories in that category? Sorry if I'm mistaken--math is one of my weak
points. Somewhere I got the impression that there were lots of categories and
author awards in addition, in order to spread the awards around a bit more.

Lin


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5973

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 10:40:33 Topic ID# 5843
<snip>
> > > Can we modify this one to "require the nominator to submit a
> > > "nomination
> > > comment" rather than a vote?
>
> <snippage>
> > Hmm, this idea has potential. Would you be okay if we made this
> > optional? A nominator can put in a brief comment on what they like
> > about the story. And I emphasise short -- maybe 200 characters max.
> If
> > a nominator doesn't want to, they don't have to include anything,
> but I
> > hope they would.
> >
> > I hurry to add that this isn't to make the nominator "justify" his
> or
> > her choice -- it's to explain that choice to other readers. For
> example
> > I like pieces that look at ceremonies and traditions and different
> > aspects of cultures. I'll enjoy pieces that focus on individuals,
> but
> > if a piece said that it did a good job developing a coming-of-age
> > ceremony for Rohan I would probably be more likely to read that.
>
> Optional is good, although I'll admit to preferring required. I'm a
> children's librarian, and I purchase books by looking at reviews --
> even a
> short review tells me a little about the nominator as well as the
> story
> being reviewed, and after a while I know whose opinions and tastes
> are a
> reliable match for my own. And I honestly don't see a short comment (I
> wouldn't put a maximum on it, but I suspect most would be short
> anyway) as a
> horrible burden. If I like something well enough to nom, I like it
> well
> enough to take five more minutes.
>

I suggest a minimum for several reasons:

- display. If these are to be displayed on the page of nominations like
the summary, they need to be pretty short. (This is less of a concern
if you only make them visible from the "full" story details -- where
you display just one story's information on a page -- but also less
visible.)
- fairness, both to those authors whose nominators choose not to
recommend, and those whose nominators aren't that verbose.
- ease of use for nominator. If there's a 250-character cap, hopefully
people won't feel guilty for not writing 500.

> > And let me add 7. Put a limit of three on self-nominations, but
> allow
> > > for
> > > stories which people want to submit to be "seconded" by another
> > > person. In
> > > other words, if I have five drabbles I think ought to be
> considered, I
> > > submit all five to the "second me" list, and if two of them get
> > > seconded by
> > > another nominator, then the remaining three can go up under my own
> > > aegis.
> > > But if only one gets seconded, then I have to pick three to push
> this
> > > year
> > > and save the last one for next year.
> > >
> >
> > Can you explain more how you see this working in a little bit more
> > depth? If I second a self-nomination, does that take one of my
> > nominations?
>
> Hmm. I wasn't thinking in terms of an overall limit (because I don't
> actually much favor it), just a limit on self-noms, but if there were
> a
> limit I'd say a "second" counts as half a nom, or not limit the
> number of
> "seconds" at all. I see it as a simple "ooh, yes please" kind of vote,
> possibly with a short comment if those end up being required.
>

If we do this I would favor going with no limits on "seconds", and
perhaps a lower number of nominations because of that. If we did this
I'd also recommend making *all* self-nominations require a second. I
think it would just be too complicated anyway.

But I'm really not that crazy about about this idea. I think it's good
in principle but would be too complicated for the nominator. It would
also probably require a lot of coding for Anthony. I think with the
limit on nominations people will hae to think more about their
nominations in general and so will have to make less self-nominations
as well.

> > From an administrative POV I love self-nominations. There's much less
> > work to do, and I know the author's correct email address, so
> there's
> > no problem getting in touch with the author. Also, if someone is
> > involved enough to nominate stories, I think they have a right for
> > their stories to participate if they think they're good enough.
> With a
> > limit on the number of nominations now, I know that I would have to
> sit
> > and think long and hard about what pieces to self-nominate if I
> choose
> > to do so. But then I write mostly one-shots and drabbles. I could
> > probably use all of my nominations on myself if I chose to do so,
> and
> > still have pieces from the last year left over.
>
> I write drabbles myself, when the muse is functional, so I have a lot
> of
> individual pieces, but having a limit on self-noms would force me to
> make
> sure that I was submitting my best stuff. And requiring a "second"
> for more
> than a few of my self-noms would guarantee that I wasn't the only
> person
> interested. Since there's no time limit, I can save stuff for next
> year,
> when I might be a bit more impartial about it. And since there's no
> limit on
> the number of pieces which other folks can nominate of mine, it's not
> like I
> won't have multiple entries if I'm any good at all.

I'd rather not change too much about any one area too quickly. Part of
the reason is that if we change too much we won't know which of the
things we change is actually helping. Also, it means that there's more
that the nominators have to adjust to, and more that has to be coded
into the site. So if you don't mind, can we hold on to this idea and
reconsider it next year? I really think that limit on numbers of
nominations will limit the number of self-nominations, but if it turns
out I'm wrong we'll certainly consider more changes next year.

If you haven't noticed I'm in favor of gradual changes rather than
quick ones - I think those are the kinds that usually last.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5974

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 10:44:45 Topic ID# 5843
On 3 Nov 2005, at 02:02, Kathy wrote:

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
> > <snip>
> >  From an administrative POV I love self-nominations. There's much
> > less work to do, and I know the author's correct email address, so
> > there's no problem getting in touch with the author. Also, if
> > someone is involved enough to nominate stories, I think they have a
> > right for their stories to participate if they think they're good
> > enough. With a limit on the number of nominations now, I know that
> > I would have to sit and think long and hard about what pieces to
> > self-nominate if I choose to do so. But then I write mostly one-
> > shots and drabbles. I could probably use all of my nominations on
> > myself if I chose to do so, and still have pieces from the last
> > year left over.
> >
>
> Ummm...while I'm hesitant to throw one more idea into the mix, and
> I'm not at all sure this is even a *good* idea so please, anyone feel
> free to shoot it down, but reading some of the self-nomination
> comments makes me wonder: if we DO go with some kind of
> nomination "mix," what about something like this: 10 stories, 10
> poems/drabbles, and 5 self-noms?
>
> Kathy/Inkling
>

Hi Kathy,

That might be a good idea if we do go with a split cap. We'll talk
about the specifics after the poll closes, if people decide to vote
that way.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5975

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 11:05:40 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Thundera,

>>>> is Rabidsamfan
>>> is me
> is Thundera

>>>> Can we modify this one to "require the nominator to submit a
>>>> "nomination
>>>> comment" rather than a vote?

<snip>
>>>
>>> Hmm, this idea has potential. Would you be okay if we made this
>>> optional? A nominator can put in a brief comment on what they like
>>> about the story. And I emphasise short -- maybe 200 characters max.
>>> If a nominator doesn't want to, they don't have to include
>>> anything, but I hope they would.
>
> because their nominator opted out of that. In other words, based
> solely on the nominator, some stories would get an extra hook with
> which to lure in readers while other stories would get nothing at all.
> And I don't see that as fair.
>

I can see that. I'm tempted to suggest that the author be allowed to
write their own recommendation if they like in this situation, but that
seems a bit contrary to the spirit of the recommendation. Besides the
author is already writing the summary.

I mentioned in my reply to Rabidsamfan that I recommended a size limit
on these in part because of display issues on the page with multiple
nominations (the "browse stories" page). However, if you put them on
the "story details" page
(http://gabrielle.sytes.net/MEFA2005/index.php?
page=storyDetails&form_id=137 , for example) we wouldn't have those
display issues. It also might not be such a disadvantage to the stories
that don't have a recommendation. What do you think?

> Beyond that, there's already something of a recommendation system in
> place. Sort of. Someone else (Dwim, maybe?) mentioned this earlier,
> but once in a while I would be borderline as to whether or not I
> should go ahead and read a story and one of the deciding factors was
> the story's nominator. If I knew the nominator and knew the
> nominator's taste in fics, that was an influence (both good and bad).
> And while writing out a recommendation might be further impetus to
> read a story, I'm still going to trust a recommendation more if I
> trust the person who nominated the story in the first place.
>

I never paid much attention to this, FWIW. Also, I think Anthony is
talking about removing this from the "browse stories" page. And this
could possibly be interpreted as cliquishness, or even lead to it in
truth. I'm not saying you want to do that, Thundera, more pointing out
the possibility.

Perhaps the nominator name serves as recommendation enough, though.
It's an interesting point, and one I hadn't thought of before.

> Oh, and to answer one of Marta's questions, I like #2 (stories per
> nominator) but if for some reason it doesn't go through, I like #4
> also (stories per nominator per time period).
>

That's what I thought you meant! I just wanted to be sure.

Unless anyone has strong objections, I think we're going to go with #2
(a limit per nominator). Exactly what that limit will be is still under
discussion. There's a poll going on for the next three days about
whether we should do one cap for all types of nominations, or one cap
for stories, one cap for drabbles, etc. It's hard to discuss specifics
until we know which way we'll be going, but I'll try to give my general
opinion to what you say below. Bear in mind this could change.

> As for what numbers should be set on this...I nominated 23 pieces this
> year, but that's a deceptive number because I would have nominated
> many more if other people hadn't nominated them first. (I was slow
> coming out of the starting gate.) So I would chafe if we set a
> nomination cap at anything lower than 20.
>
> However, there's a flipside to this: Perhaps there are forty stories
> that you'd love to nominate but you are only allowed to nominate
> fifteen of them. There's a very good chance that others will nominate
> some of the remaining twenty-five. I ran into that this year. I had a
> host of stories I wanted to nominate but found that many of them had
> already been nominated. So while some of us might cringe at numbers
> like fifteen or ten (I REALLY cringe at ten, btw) there is the
> possibility that others will nominate what we don't.
>

I really cringe at ten myself. Fifteen would be better (though still
too low for my comfort, and I'd be more comfortable with twenty and
would prefer twenty-five ideally. I really think if all the people who
nominated more thn twenty-five (including myself) had stopped at
twenty-five, we would have had a much more manageable review pool. Even
allowing for some people to nominate more. I seriously doubt that those
people nominating one or two are suddenly going to jump to twenty-five
nominations.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 5976

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Kathy November 03, 2005 - 12:42:32 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
>
> On 3 Nov 2005, at 02:48, MarigoldCotton@a... wrote:
>
> > I like this idea. If nominations are going to be limited per
> > person,
> > then it should be easier for most folks to get them done in a
> > timely
> > manner. I'd appreciate having a bit of the time from nominating
> > season
> > allocated to reading season and/or voting season.
> >
>
> That sounds reasonable to me. How long is long enough? If we had a
> month-long reading season (instead of six weeks) would that be
> enough
> time?
>
> Cheers,
> Marta

Marta, did you mean to say a month-long *nominating* season? (I don't
think anyone was suggesting shortening reading season!) If so then
yes, I think a month for nominations would be enough...

Kathy/Inkling

Msg# 5977

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Laura November 03, 2005 - 12:54:14 Topic ID# 5843
-- Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I can see that. I'm tempted to suggest that the author be allowed
>> to write their own recommendation if they like in this situation,
>> but that seems a bit contrary to the spirit of the recommendation.
>> Besides the author is already writing the summary.

Exactly, and that's another point against the idea of recommendations, particularly optional ones. One of the things I love about these awards is they make it possible for lesser known authors to get their work out for others to see. But if these stories don't have a recommendation attached to them because they're self-nominated while other stories not self-nominated do, we've just given them an extra handicap they have to overcome. I have to say that the more I think about this idea, the less I like it.

>> I mentioned in my reply to Rabidsamfan that I recommended a size
>> limit on these in part because of display issues on the page with
>> multiple nominations (the "browse stories" page). However, if you
>> put them on the "story details" page
>> (http://gabrielle.sytes.net/MEFA2005/index.php?
>> page=storyDetails&form_id=137 , for example) we wouldn't have
>> those display issues. It also might not be such a disadvantage to
>> the stories that don't have a recommendation. What do you think?

I like that even less, actually. Here's the problem I'm seeing: The readers who click on the story details page looking for reviews are those readers who are more likely to be influenced when they find no review at all or a very short. So those stories still get the handicap. The readers less likely to be influenced by short reviews or no reviews aren't going to bother with the story details page and instead click right to the story (if they're going to read it). So for them, the recommendations were written for no reason at all. So the group who doesn't bother with that never sees the recommendations and the group that does see them is the group most likely to read a story that had an eloquent nominator. The handicap gets bigger.

>> I never paid much attention to this, FWIW. Also, I think Anthony
>> is talking about removing this from the "browse stories" page. And
>> this could possibly be interpreted as cliquishness, or even lead to
>> it in truth. I'm not saying you want to do that, Thundera, more
>> pointing out the possibility.

But it's a valid claim, if you want to make it. Toward the end when I was pressed for time and simply couldn't read all the long stories I wanted to, I got cliquish. I went with what I knew and also with who I knew. I justify it by saying that I spread myself out for the rest of voting season and read quite a few stories that I wouldn't normally read, but the truth remains. In the end, when push came to shove and I had to be picky, one of the deciding factors was who had nominated the story. I remember one subcategory in particular that had three long stories in it, all of which had good authors and intriguing summaries. But I only had time for one of them, so I went with the one nominated by a person that shares my taste in stories.

And the moral? The same thing will happen with recommendations. At least, for me it will. If I'm not pressed for time, I'll read just about anything. But if I don't have that luxury, I'm going to be selfish, do the clique thing, and go for something familiar. Easier reading and easier reviewing. Essentially, I see recommendations making a potential problem even worse.

Thundera

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
As a way of life, reality is highly overrated.
DahakýHercules: The Legendary Journeys
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Msg# 5978

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 03, 2005 - 13:19:57 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Laura" <thunderalaura@j...> wrote:
>
> -- Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
> >> I can see that. I'm tempted to suggest that the author be allowed
> >> to write their own recommendation if they like in this situation,
> >> but that seems a bit contrary to the spirit of the
> >> recommendation. Besides the author is already writing the
> >> summary.
>
> Exactly, and that's another point against the idea of
> recommendations, particularly optional ones. One of the things I
< love about these awards is they make it possible for lesser known
> authors to get their work out for others to see. But if these
> stories don't have a recommendation attached to them because they're
> self-nominated while other stories not self-nominated do, we've just
> given them an extra handicap they have to overcome. I have to say
> that the more I think about this idea, the less I like it.

I agree.

> >> I mentioned in my reply to Rabidsamfan that I recommended a size
> >> limit on these in part because of display issues on the page with
> >> multiple nominations (the "browse stories" page). However, if you
> >> put them on the "story details" page
> >> (http://gabrielle.sytes.net/MEFA2005/index.php?
> >> page=storyDetails&form_id=137 , for example) we wouldn't have
> >> those display issues. It also might not be such a disadvantage to
> >> the stories that don't have a recommendation. What do you think?
>
> I like that even less, actually. Here's the problem I'm seeing: The
> readers who click on the story details page looking for reviews are
> those readers who are more likely to be influenced when they find no
> review at all or a very short. So those stories still get the
< handicap. The readers less likely to be influenced by short reviews
> or no reviews aren't going to bother with the story details page and
> instead click right to the story (if they're going to read it). So
> for them, the recommendations were written for no reason at all. So
> the group who doesn't bother with that never sees the
> recommendations and the group that does see them is the group most
> likely to read a story that had an eloquent nominator. The handicap
> gets bigger.

Bigger then many realise. I never looked at the nominator, so I rather
have that mentioning completely gone next year. I just plunged into a
category and started to read. Briefly looked at the summary and just
read... reviewed, moved on. I most often even didn't bother to look at
how many votes the story got, because I knew I didn't had that much time.

<snip>

> And the moral? The same thing will happen with recommendations. At
> least, for me it will. If I'm not pressed for time, I'll read just
> about anything. But if I don't have that luxury, I'm going to be
< selfish, do the clique thing, and go for something familiar. Easier
> reading and easier reviewing. Essentially, I see recommendations
> making a potential problem even worse.

I agree again. The summary should sell the story to the reader. Not
the nominator or the recommendation. The summary (besides the content
of the story) is something the author has complete control over. Just
the fact that a nominator makes someone decides to read a story or not...

Oh and on a complete different note. Marta, what on earth do you mean
with caps?

Rhapsody

Msg# 5979

Re: cliquishness, voting, Dwim, requiring nominator to review, self Posted by Jillian Baade November 03, 2005 - 17:53:22 Topic ID# 5916
Frankly, even big name authors with well known stories can't rely on others
nominating for them.

It just doesn't work, everyone relies on someone else doing the nominating,
and so unless authors can self nominate, many people will never get an entry
in. Plus, authors know which stories they want nominated, and if you
nominate your own stories, it saves the embarrassment which happened to me
last year of asking an author who hates all awards if she minded if I
nominated her story. The answer I got was rude to put it mildly!

I know none of my stories would ever get nominated if I couldn't self
nominate, and I won't use my friends by begging them to nominate for me.

Jillian
>
>Don't even know if subject of this email is spelled right. Doesn't matter.
>
>If discussion of this email was suspended, I apologise for opening it
>again,
>but Dwim made a couple good points.
>
>With no pre-screening (I am not advocating pre-screening.) there will
>likely
>be stories entered that make one (or many a) reader roll the eyes,
>especially
>when you allow self-nominating. I know that I wrote a review in a genre I
>don't read, for a story I would not have reviewed otherwise, and not
>because I was
>absolutely over-the-moon about that story. But the author showed some
>promise
>in writing in general terms, whether or not having a grasp of Tolkien's
>work.
>
>If people are self-nominating, that sort of defeats the "nominator write a
>review of the story" suggestion.
>
>People might self-nominate because they would like feedback. They might be
>relatively new and unheard-of. Heck, I don't know where I'm going with
>this.
>Certainly there are stories in styles or genres that make me shudder,
>plenty of
>them floating out there. I don't know how many were entered in the MEFAs,
>frankly, because I didn't have time to read everything. I sort of stuck to
>gen and
>het Hobbits for the most part, and tried in addition to review every
>drabble
>in every category and thus have an introduction to authors and genres I
>normally don't brush elbows with.
>
>Is it cliquish, when your time for reading is limited, to read the type of
>story you enjoy? Perhaps I am, if you want to call it that, because I tend
>to
>read stories about Hobbits. If an occasional Man or Elf or Dwarf strays
>into the
>story, that's ok with me. But I'm not likely to seek out stories about,
>say,
>the Rohirrim, even though I have read several excellent "takes" on that
>culture. And mention of "the Twins" in a story summary makes me shudder, I
>don't
>know just why but it does. There are just not enough hours in the week. If
>I have
>time to read five chapters a week, I'm probably going to spend it on
>Hobbits.
>
>Is it cliquish to prefer stories that reflect a certain respect for
>"canon"?
>I suppose I might be accused of elitism, but really, as I'm playing in
>Tolkien's sandbox, a part of my delight is in just that... the world he
>created, the
>parameters he set, the historical and sociological implications of the
>world
>he lived in. I take no pleasure in setting Middle-earth characters, say, in
>an
>apartment in modern-day New York. But for others who delight in this sort
>of
>exploration, are there not enough kindred spirits to provide them reviews?
>
>It might be perceived as "cliquish" to write feedback giving preference to
>those authors you know or whose works you've enjoyed. I made it a point to
>write
>reviews for authors who were new to me. (Bless the drabble category for
>introducing me to new stories within the constraints of time!)
>
>But I don't think that the MEFAs deliberately leave anyone out.
>
>I'm not sure that "charity reviews" are the answer. If some painful-to-read
>story were submitted by a hopeful author, that author might not welcome a
>review that threw them a bone and offered a few suggestions for
>improvement.
>
>I'm not sure that eliminating "self-nomination" is the answer, either. What
>are the pros and cons?
>
>Lin
>
>
>
>In a message dated 11/2/2005 8:31:04 AM Pacific Standard Time,
>MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
>To put it in blunt, personal terms, I read a lot of stories this time
>around--not all, but many. And while I enjoyed many, even most, of
>them, I didn't vote--and I *wouldn't* vote--for every single one that
>I read. It'd be dishonest if I did.
>
>
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>
>
>
>
>
>Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 5980

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Chris Grzonka November 03, 2005 - 17:56:31 Topic ID# 5843
> > I like this idea. If nominations are going to be limited per person,
> > then it should be easier for most folks to get them done in a timely
> > manner. I'd appreciate having a bit of the time from nominating season
> > allocated to reading season and/or voting season.
> >
>
> That sounds reasonable to me. How long is long enough? If we had a
> month-long reading season (instead of six weeks) would that be enough
> time?
>
> Cheers,
> Marta

I didn't get the difference in reading season and voting season, except in
voting season a final review is final. I started my reviews out as tentative
anyway, when I thought they were good enough. I used Draft for stories read
but won't do a review. Since you can already write reviews during reading
season, as a voter I took the whole reading/voting thing as a technicality.
I would appreciate to get a bit more time for reading and writing reviews
overall.

Chris

Msg# 5981

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 18:40:00 Topic ID# 5843
>
> > That sounds reasonable to me. How long is long enough? If we had a
> > month-long reading season (instead of six weeks) would that be
> > enough
> > time?
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Marta
>
> Marta, did you mean to say a month-long *nominating* season? (I don't
> think anyone was suggesting shortening reading season!) If so then
> yes, I think a month for nominations would be enough...
>
> Kathy/Inkling

Oh, bless! Sorry I was unclear. Yes, definitely: I meant a month-long *
nomination* season. So if we opened nominations on April 1, you could
nominate until the last day of that month. April 30, April 31? I forget how
many days April has, but you get the idea.
Cheers,
Marta
--
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that
we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most
frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give
other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5982

Re: cliquishness, ~ self-nominating Posted by sulriel November 03, 2005 - 19:27:53 Topic ID# 5916
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Jillian Baade" <jilba25@h...> wrote:
>> Frankly, even big name authors with well known stories can't rely
on others > nominating for them.
> > It just doesn't work, everyone relies on someone else doing the
nominating, > and so unless authors can self nominate, many people
will never get an entry > in. Plus, authors know which stories they
want nominated, and if you > nominate your own stories, it saves the
embarrassment which happened to me > last year of asking an author who
hates all awards if she minded if I > nominated her story. The answer
I got was rude to put it mildly!>

> I know none of my stories would ever get nominated if I couldn't
self > nominate, and I won't use my friends by begging them to ominate
for me.> > Jillian> > > >

Thank you Jillian, I was feeling a little lonely and starting to
wonder if I should say anything else or not ...

I think that anyone who knows me knows I'm a fan of self-nomination.
I've always self-nominated, and the times I haven't, nothing of mine
has been nominated. I think that some people like my work well
enough, but I'm clearly nobodies favorite. I can live with that, but
I don't feel like it implies my work isn't up to standard. I'd like to
continue to participate as an author as well as a reader/review in
these awards and I don't believe that would be possible without self-
nominations.

Again agreed about knowing your own works, I know the status and
quality of my works, and while I would be flattered if someone
nominated one of my works for something, I personally feel I'm the
best judge of what should run when and where.

Again (and I apologize if I'm stepping on toes, I think I suggested
earlier that this may need to be it's own topic) - but I'd really like
to see some encouragement for self-nominations instead of the
implication that it's some kind of second class. I imagine that there
are a lot of good authors out there that we are missing out on because
of this attitude.

Sulriel

Msg# 5983

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 19:41:50 Topic ID# 5843
On 11/3/05, Chris Grzonka <grzonka@adelphia.net> wrote:
>
> > > I like this idea. If nominations are going to be limited per person,
> > > then it should be easier for most folks to get them done in a timely
> > > manner. I'd appreciate having a bit of the time from nominating season
> > > allocated to reading season and/or voting season.
> > >
> >
> > That sounds reasonable to me. How long is long enough? If we had a
> > month-long reading season (instead of six weeks) would that be enough
> > time?
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Marta
>
> I didn't get the difference in reading season and voting season, except in
> voting season a final review is final. I started my reviews out as
> tentative
> anyway, when I thought they were good enough. I used Draft for stories
> read
> but won't do a review. Since you can already write reviews during reading
> season, as a voter I took the whole reading/voting thing as a
> technicality.
> I would appreciate to get a bit more time for reading and writing reviews
> overall.

Reading season was really most necessary when we were voting by posting to
this Yahoo group. A little history lesson.
The MEFAs are inspired and loosely based on the
alt.startrek.creativeawards (see
http://trekiverse.us/ASCAwards/2003FAQ.html ). For these awards, all the
stories in a certain archive that were written in the last year are
automatically entered into that year's ASC awards. Because everyone has been
reading them all year there is no need for a reading season. We added that
the first year of the MEFAs to give people a chance to read stories posted
to archives they did not usually read. Then when nomination season came
people had a set window of time in which they could post their votes for
stories in that category to the Yahoo group. Basically Ainae posted a ballot
listing all the stories nominated in a certain category, and you voted by
replying, pasting comments about the stories you wanted to vote for under
their title.
The practical effect was that you could only vote for certain categories on
certain days, and so reading season was the time to go off and read all the
stories, and maybe even write your votes beforehand in a Word document. You
couldn't post them to the group until the appropriate time during voting
season, though. This was to make things easier on the volunteers (who only
had to be available a few weeks rather than all year long), and to let other
readers make up their own minds about whether they liked a story or not.
The way things are done now, we don't need reading season to make things
easier for the volunteers. In 2004 the volunteers had to copy each vote into
Word, do a character count (using Word's word count feature), look at a
table to see how many points that character count got, and record the
information in an Excel document. Lots of behind-the-scenes work. This year
there's not the need for that, so you guys can vote at any point of the
awards. We may want to discuss whether we still need a nomination season to
give people a chance to read without votes being public. I can think of a
few ways to approach this, and think we should probably discuss this point
more. Probably after we nail down nomination limits, though.
Cheers,
Marta
--
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that
we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most
frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give
other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5984

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Chris Grzonka November 03, 2005 - 19:58:49 Topic ID# 5843
> Because everyone has been
> reading them all year there is no need for a reading season. We added that
> the first year of the MEFAs to give people a chance to read stories posted
> to archives they did not usually read.

I knew a lot of the nominated stories, but to write a review I still had to
read at least part of it again. I didn't want to go back to the site where
the story is archived and read my original review to some of the stories to
just repost it again. I thought it unfair to the author. But to write
something new I still had to read the story again. Unless I betaed a story,
than I knew it by heart<g>. So, no matter that I knew stories I still needed
time to read.

> In 2004 the volunteers had to copy each vote into
> Word, do a character count (using Word's word count feature), look at a
> table to see how many points that character count got, and record the
> information in an Excel document. Lots of behind-the-scenes work.

This sounds very cumbersome. Thanks to Anthony for the nifty web site<g>.

Chris

Msg# 5985

Re: cliquishness, voting, Dwim, requiring nominator to review, self Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 20:12:21 Topic ID# 5916
On 11/3/05, Jillian Baade <jilba25@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> Frankly, even big name authors with well known stories can't rely on
> others
> nominating for them.
>
> It just doesn't work, everyone relies on someone else doing the
> nominating,
> and so unless authors can self nominate, many people will never get an
> entry
> in. Plus, authors know which stories they want nominated, and if you
> nominate your own stories, it saves the embarrassment which happened to me
>
> last year of asking an author who hates all awards if she minded if I
> nominated her story. The answer I got was rude to put it mildly!
>
> I know none of my stories would ever get nominated if I couldn't self
> nominate, and I won't use my friends by begging them to nominate for me.
>
> Jillian

Hi Jillian,
I think that it is a *lot* less cliquish for me to nominate my own stories,
than for me to ask you to nominate my stories and I will nominate yours in
return. I mean, anyone can nominate their own stuff and if we rely on others
to nominate, especially if it's the same groups nominating each other --
well, then you have to be a "part" of that group to be nominated, or else be
scorned as a self-nominator.
Now, I also agree with Rabidsamfan's point that to be nominated should mean
something. If you can just nominate all of your own stories and still be
able to nominate as many other ones as you like, well, being nominated does
come to mean less I guess. But if you only have a certain number of
nominations to spread around, I think even self-nominations mean something.
It means I think a certain story by me is worthy of competing in the awards
- more than the unnominated stories that I won't be able to nominate. In
many ways giving one out of however many nominations to your own work is
more of an honour than giving one out of an unlimited number of nominations
to someone else's. ANd besides with honourable mentions we're recognising a
lot more works out of the nomination pool.
So, bottom line? Don't feel bad about self-nominating. I know I probably
will.
Marta
--
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that
we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most
frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give
other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5986

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 20:19:43 Topic ID# 5843
Just replying to this one point...


On 11/3/05, rhapsody_the_bard <rhapsody74@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Oh and on a complete different note. Marta, what on earth do you mean
> with caps?
>
> Rhapsody

I probably could be clearer on that.
When I say cap, I mean the limit of the number of nominations a person
could make. So if we agree that people should be able to nominate twenty
pieces, that's a cap of 20. If we say 10 stories and 5 drabbles. that's a
story cap of 10 and a drabble cap of 5.
Is that clearer?
Marta
--
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that
we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most
frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give
other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5987

internet access touchy for about a week Posted by Marta Layton November 03, 2005 - 20:28:48 Topic ID# 5987
Hey guys,
I'm going to have significantly less internet access for about the next
week, starting tomorrow. I should be able to check in every day, but don't
expect I'll have more than an hour or two. :-S By next weekend everything
should be back to normal.
So go ahead and continue your discussion. I'll try to follow the
conversation as best I can in the mean time, probably hitting the high
points and answering questions more in-depth when I have the time. I'll try
to move the discussion on when we've reached a consensus, too.
Anyway, I wanted to let everyone know.
Cheers,
Marta
--
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that
we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most
frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give
other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5988

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Anthony Holder November 03, 2005 - 23:00:42 Topic ID# 5843
> I didn't get the difference in reading season and voting season,
> except in
> voting season a final review is final. I started my reviews out as
> tentative
> anyway, when I thought they were good enough. I used Draft for stories
> read
> but won't do a review. Since you can already write reviews during
> reading
> season, as a voter I took the whole reading/voting thing as a
> technicality.
> I would appreciate to get a bit more time for reading and writing
> reviews
> overall.

You may not remember, because it has been quite a while, but the system
allows one to start reading/reviewing as soon as stories have been
nominated. There is the chance that the story will be withdrawn and
that the review will not count, and I think I checked to be sure that
no reviews were lost when duplicates were eliminated, but that does
give some extra time (and a small, I think, advantage to the stories
nominated early).

You all should probably decide whether to keep or eliminate this
feature. I don't think many used it this year, because you were busy
nominating, but with limits, more might next year.

Another thing for my todo list, automating moving reviews over for
duplicates!

One suggestion: Recommend that self-nominations be saved until later in
nomination season (unless RL dictates it's now or never), so that
others can nominate your story if they want to.

Anthony

Msg# 5989

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by MarigoldCotton@aol.com November 04, 2005 - 3:38:50 Topic ID# 5843
>> On 3 Nov 2005, at 02:48, MarigoldCotton@a... wrote:
>>
>> >  I like this idea. If nominations are going to be limited per
>> > person,
>> > then it should be easier for most folks to get them done in a
>> > timely
>> > manner. I'd appreciate having a bit of the time from nominating
>> > season
>> > allocated to reading season and/or voting season.
>> >
>>
>> That sounds reasonable to me. How long is long enough? If we had a
>> month-long reading season (instead of six weeks) would that be
>> enough
>> time?
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Marta
>
>Marta, did you mean to say a month-long *nominating* season? (I don't
>think anyone was suggesting shortening reading season!) If so then
>yes, I think a month for nominations would be enough...
>
>Kathy/Inkling

Goodness no, that isn't what I was suggesting at all! What I meant Marta, was that if nominating season is shortened then we can add that time to reading and/or voting season, making one or both of them longer, so that we can get more reading and voting accomplished...

Marigold
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


--
Marigold's Red Book
http://marigold.tolkienshire.com

Marigold's Recommendations Page
http://www.geocities.com/marigoldsrecommendations/

Marigold's Live Journal
http://www.livejournal.com/users/marigoldg/

Tales of The Red Book
http://www.livejournal.com/users/talesofredbook/




There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.
>
>Sam, in Mordor, RoTK

Msg# 5990

Re: limiting nominations Posted by Naresha November 04, 2005 - 7:57:18 Topic ID# 5899
> agree with this. I think a single limit
> should be enforced for all nominations.


Thanks Sulriel! And the thing is - I don't think
it's fair to make drabbles etc an "extra" because
it potentially means that it could be interpreted
as, that in order to nominate drabbles, you also
have to nominate stories. And not everyone wants
to nominate stories! Please no one think that
this is what I genuinely feel has been already
stated. I just want to make the point that IF
this is something we go with - drabbles being
extra nominations to stories - we would have to
be VERY careful in our wording of it.

Resha

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
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Msg# 5991

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by C Dodd November 04, 2005 - 8:33:09 Topic ID# 5843
Well, as I said a day or so ago, I'm not much in favor of limits at all, and
only suggested self-nom limits as the one I'd pick if I had to. And I
certainly don't mind gradual changes -- as you say, if you change too many
things at once, you don't know what worked and what didn't.
As for the nominator comment as an addendum to the story summary, let me be
clear, there were *dozens* of stories in the awards that I skipped past on
the basis of story summary and turned around and read when I saw a review.
Particularly if it was a review by someone who has a good "track record" of
recommending stories I enjoy. There were also many stories which had story
summaries that were cut and pasted from the archive where the story was
posted. Authors are not always good at selling a story, especially if they
are trying to avoid spoilers. An enthusiastic reader can make a difference.
I want a nominator comment (even a self-nom saying "this is one of my
personal favorites about Aragorn") not to make things hard for the
nominators, but to make things easier for the readers and to create *more*
interest in the entries. I'm not going to be particularly upset if I don't
get them, naturally, but as an alternative, can I suggest that nominators
try to write the summaries in the style of a book review or blurb? Get a
little zing in there, a little emotional reaction, to pique interest.

On 11/3/05, Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> <snip>
> > > > Can we modify this one to "require the nominator to submit a
> > > > "nomination
> > > > comment" rather than a vote?
> >
> > <snippage>
> > > Hmm, this idea has potential. Would you be okay if we made this
> > > optional? A nominator can put in a brief comment on what they like
> > > about the story. And I emphasise short -- maybe 200 characters max.
> > If
> > > a nominator doesn't want to, they don't have to include anything,
> > but I
> > > hope they would.
> > >
> > > I hurry to add that this isn't to make the nominator "justify" his
> > or
> > > her choice -- it's to explain that choice to other readers. For
> > example
> > > I like pieces that look at ceremonies and traditions and different
> > > aspects of cultures. I'll enjoy pieces that focus on individuals,
> > but
> > > if a piece said that it did a good job developing a coming-of-age
> > > ceremony for Rohan I would probably be more likely to read that.
> >
> > Optional is good, although I'll admit to preferring required. I'm a
> > children's librarian, and I purchase books by looking at reviews --
> > even a
> > short review tells me a little about the nominator as well as the
> > story
> > being reviewed, and after a while I know whose opinions and tastes
> > are a
> > reliable match for my own. And I honestly don't see a short comment (I
> > wouldn't put a maximum on it, but I suspect most would be short
> > anyway) as a
> > horrible burden. If I like something well enough to nom, I like it
> > well
> > enough to take five more minutes.
> >
>
> I suggest a minimum for several reasons:
>
> - display. If these are to be displayed on the page of nominations like
> the summary, they need to be pretty short. (This is less of a concern
> if you only make them visible from the "full" story details -- where
> you display just one story's information on a page -- but also less
> visible.)
> - fairness, both to those authors whose nominators choose not to
> recommend, and those whose nominators aren't that verbose.
> - ease of use for nominator. If there's a 250-character cap, hopefully
> people won't feel guilty for not writing 500.
>
> > > And let me add 7. Put a limit of three on self-nominations, but
> > allow
> > > > for
> > > > stories which people want to submit to be "seconded" by another
> > > > person. In
> > > > other words, if I have five drabbles I think ought to be
> > considered, I
> > > > submit all five to the "second me" list, and if two of them get
> > > > seconded by
> > > > another nominator, then the remaining three can go up under my own
> > > > aegis.
> > > > But if only one gets seconded, then I have to pick three to push
> > this
> > > > year
> > > > and save the last one for next year.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Can you explain more how you see this working in a little bit more
> > > depth? If I second a self-nomination, does that take one of my
> > > nominations?
> >
> > Hmm. I wasn't thinking in terms of an overall limit (because I don't
> > actually much favor it), just a limit on self-noms, but if there were
> > a
> > limit I'd say a "second" counts as half a nom, or not limit the
> > number of
> > "seconds" at all. I see it as a simple "ooh, yes please" kind of vote,
> > possibly with a short comment if those end up being required.
> >
>
> If we do this I would favor going with no limits on "seconds", and
> perhaps a lower number of nominations because of that. If we did this
> I'd also recommend making *all* self-nominations require a second. I
> think it would just be too complicated anyway.
>
> But I'm really not that crazy about about this idea. I think it's good
> in principle but would be too complicated for the nominator. It would
> also probably require a lot of coding for Anthony. I think with the
> limit on nominations people will hae to think more about their
> nominations in general and so will have to make less self-nominations
> as well.
>
> > > From an administrative POV I love self-nominations. There's much less
> > > work to do, and I know the author's correct email address, so
> > there's
> > > no problem getting in touch with the author. Also, if someone is
> > > involved enough to nominate stories, I think they have a right for
> > > their stories to participate if they think they're good enough.
> > With a
> > > limit on the number of nominations now, I know that I would have to
> > sit
> > > and think long and hard about what pieces to self-nominate if I
> > choose
> > > to do so. But then I write mostly one-shots and drabbles. I could
> > > probably use all of my nominations on myself if I chose to do so,
> > and
> > > still have pieces from the last year left over.
> >
> > I write drabbles myself, when the muse is functional, so I have a lot
> > of
> > individual pieces, but having a limit on self-noms would force me to
> > make
> > sure that I was submitting my best stuff. And requiring a "second"
> > for more
> > than a few of my self-noms would guarantee that I wasn't the only
> > person
> > interested. Since there's no time limit, I can save stuff for next
> > year,
> > when I might be a bit more impartial about it. And since there's no
> > limit on
> > the number of pieces which other folks can nominate of mine, it's not
> > like I
> > won't have multiple entries if I'm any good at all.
>
> I'd rather not change too much about any one area too quickly. Part of
> the reason is that if we change too much we won't know which of the
> things we change is actually helping. Also, it means that there's more
> that the nominators have to adjust to, and more that has to be coded
> into the site. So if you don't mind, can we hold on to this idea and
> reconsider it next year? I really think that limit on numbers of
> nominations will limit the number of self-nominations, but if it turns
> out I'm wrong we'll certainly consider more changes next year.
>
> If you haven't noticed I'm in favor of gradual changes rather than
> quick ones - I think those are the kinds that usually last.
>
> Cheers,
> Marta
>
>
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5992

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations - about nominations Posted by Naresha November 04, 2005 - 8:45:43 Topic ID# 5843
> I think you're right on this. The more I read,
> the less comfortable I am with requiring
> nominators to make votes. It's a good idea but
> probably not the best way to go about it.


Given we all seem to like the idea of requiring
reviews for nominations, but we also all seem
feel it would be too hard to do... What do people
think of perhaps just putting a line in there
along the lines of:
"It would be appreciated if when nominating a
story, you also review it." Any ideas on that one?

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
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Msg# 5993

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by sulriel November 04, 2005 - 8:58:32 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
>> > . Authors are not always good at selling a story, especially if
they> are trying to avoid spoilers.


Taglines are a learned skill and a valuable exercise in several
different ways.

practice telling your story in one sentence. -ten words, - thirty
words.

You can tell what it's about without giving away spoilers, but you
have to give the reader enough of an idea of what it's about, and
something of the flavor, to hook them into clicking the link.

Sulriel

Msg# 5994

Re: regarding post-mortem emails Posted by Naresha November 04, 2005 - 9:03:32 Topic ID# 5926
> So I'm going to take a few hours away from my >
computer and do some of the RL stuff I need to >
get done anyway. Contrary to appearances, I do
> have actual offline pressures too!


OMG! Marta you have a life outside the
computer?! :-P I know how you feel though - I'm
still 5-600 emails behind because of RL! But
this topic certainly has garnered a lot of good
solid conversation about it!

Resha

~To forgive calls upon our love, to forget calls upon our strength~

AIM: Naresha21 MSN: candyman_gypsy@hotmail.com Yahoo: fruitcake5m1
Personal LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/nareshaninya/
Writing LJ: http://www.livejournal.com/users/writingsofresha/

My Website! Slash Me Happy
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Msg# 5995

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 04, 2005 - 9:23:07 Topic ID# 5843
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
>
> Well, as I said a day or so ago, I'm not much in favor of limits at
> all, and only suggested self-nom limits as the one I'd pick if I
> had to. And I certainly don't mind gradual changes -- as you say,
> if you change too many things at once, you don't know what worked
> and what didn't.
> As for the nominator comment as an addendum to the story summary,
> let me be clear, there were *dozens* of stories in the awards that
> I skipped past on the basis of story summary and turned around and
> read when I saw a review.
> Particularly if it was a review by someone who has a good "track
> record" of recommending stories I enjoy. There were also many
> stories which had story summaries that were cut and pasted from the
> archive where the story was posted. Authors are not always good at
> selling a story, especially if they are trying to avoid spoilers.

Yes, but that doesn't mean the nominator can. You're putting an huge
amount of pressure on the nominator with what you expect from
him/her. As Sulriel said, it is something you learn. Librarians are
trained in this kind of things and it comes almost natural to them,
also writing a short piece how to recommend a book to a reader
without giving away the element of the book itself. I gather you have
this librarian background.

I can see where you're coming from but well, what on earth do you
expect. This year as a liaison we got clear instructions: it is the
author's responsibility and the author has the final say. If they
didn't liked the summary of the nominator, then the author told the
liaison and it got changed. If the didn't like the rating... it got
changed. Warnings not to their liking? It got... you get the idea. It
all comes back at what the author wants.

Also, at an archive.. if you want readers and if you were a reader
there, you would have skipped the story there as well. All I keep on
coming back on is: author's final say and responsibility. Don't put
the pressure on a nominator or expect from a liaison to spice things
up.

> An enthusiastic reader can make a difference.

That depends, from what I read above, for you it makes a difference
as well who read and reviewed it.

> I want a nominator comment (even a self-nom saying "this is one of
> my personal favorites about Aragorn") not to make things hard for
> the nominators, but to make things easier for the readers and to
> create *more* interest in the entries. I'm not going to be
> particularly upset if I don't get them, naturally, but as an
> alternative, can I suggest that nominators try to write the
> summaries in the style of a book review or blurb?

No, too much pressure on a nominator or a too high expectancy to be
honest. I rather get surprised by the story itself. Even when I am
under time pressure.

The story in itself should evoke a reaction and a review. Not who
read it or nominated it.

Rhapsody

Msg# 5996

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by C Dodd November 04, 2005 - 15:42:08 Topic ID# 5843
On 11/4/05, rhapsody_the_bard <rhapsody74@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
> Yes, but that doesn't mean the nominator can. You're putting an huge
> amount of pressure on the nominator with what you expect from
> him/her. As Sulriel said, it is something you learn. Librarians are
> trained in this kind of things and it comes almost natural to them,
> also writing a short piece how to recommend a book to a reader
> without giving away the element of the book itself. I gather you have
> this librarian background.

I do indeed, although I don't see asking for a comment or a summary as a
huge pressure even on non-librarian types. Most of the people who might
participate here are writers, and fairly articulate. What you get from an
advocate, rather than the original author, is usually an emotional response
as well as bare facts.

I can see where you're coming from but well, what on earth do you
> expect. This year as a liaison we got clear instructions: it is the
> author's responsibility and the author has the final say. If they
> didn't liked the summary of the nominator, then the author told the
> liaison and it got changed. If the didn't like the rating... it got
> changed. Warnings not to their liking? It got... you get the idea. It
> all comes back at what the author wants.

True enough, but not insurmountable. If authors have final say they can
change things, of course, but starting from a nominator commentary or
summary gives an author a chance to see the work in a different light.

Also, at an archive.. if you want readers and if you were a reader
> there, you would have skipped the story there as well. All I keep on
> coming back on is: author's final say and responsibility. Don't put
> the pressure on a nominator or expect from a liaison to spice things
> up.

What pressure? If you don't believe that the story is good enough to say
nice things about, why on earth would you nominate it? And none of us are
naive enough to think that every reader is going to like the same sorts of
stories -- that's why there are so very many categories. Since the author
has the final say on how the story is presented, the responsibility lies
with the author anyway.

> That depends, from what I read above, for you it makes a difference
> as well who read and reviewed it.

Yup. I'm human. I'm more likely to take dessert advice from someone who
likes white chocolate and macademia cookies than someone who likes coconut
sprinkles on gingerbread because I prefer the former over the latter. Same
thing goes with reading choices.

>can I suggest that nominators try to write the
> > summaries in the style of a book review or blurb?
>
> No, too much pressure on a nominator or a too high expectancy to be
> honest. I rather get surprised by the story itself. Even when I am
> under time pressure.
>
> The story in itself should evoke a reaction and a review. Not who
> read it or nominated it.

Okay, here we're definitely talking from different sides of the river.
In your ideal world, all I'd need is a list of numbers that were linked to
the stories. No author, no description, no nothing. Yeah, I'd always be
surprised, but by the fiftieth time I clicked on a link and found out that
it was about the Silmarillion (which I have tried to read and failed to
finish more than a few pages at least a dozen times) I'd be frustrated and
bored and far less likely to click on the next link where a nice juicy
Fellowship story was waiting for me. And even if I did keep going, I'd be
getting cranky, and that would show up in my reviews -- or lack of them!
If there was a very strict limit on noms -- say a max of a hundred -- I
might (and I only say *might*) try clicking on every link and giving each
story a few sentences. But with hundreds of choices to read from I not only
want clues which will lead me to the things I'll best enjoy, I require them.
That's why we put stories into categories, and that's why we ask for story
summaries. Knowing who nominated a story was a clue for me, and one I
valued. It wasn't a decision maker in and of itself, but it tipped the
balance a few times. Seeing a review from someone who had been writing good
strong reviews or reviewing a lot of the stories I was interested in -- even
if I didn't know anything else about that person before the contest -- also
tipped the balance.

And I'm not making the suggestion to discourage nominations, my motivations
are at the other end of the transaction, because what I felt was missing
this year was broader participation from readers. A few people did a lot of
reviews, and some people did a few, but there were also people who didn't do
any reading or reviewing because the barriers were too high or the carrots
weren't big enough. Having a model review or comment to start with is a
carrot to attract more readers. (I expect we'll end up talking about
barriers later on in the process.)
Anyway, I think I've gotten up to at least six cents now. Time to let
someone else throw a couple of pennies in...


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5997

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 04, 2005 - 19:10:21 Topic ID# 5843
Home again after being away a couple of days, and found lots to chew on in
my inbox this afternoon.

As to the suggestions for limits, I am very much in favor of the second one,
limit per nominator. It seems that there is more or less a consensus on this
one, and the next step will be to crunch the numbers.

Now a good deal of discussion seems to have arisen on the topics of
reviews--requiring nomination reviews or comments, and the way in which
these would affect potential readers/reviewers, and whether or not these
should be *required*.

Here's what I think: a nomination review should not be *required*, but
should be *highly encouraged*. I think a statement of some sort put out
along the lines of this, in describing what a nominator needs to do: "It is
not required, but is highly encouraged, for a nominator to review each story
he/she nominates as soon as is feasible. If you like the story well enough
to nominate it, then a review from you will serve as encouragement to others
to also read and review that entry. You may enter a draft or tentative
review as soon as the nomination appears, although it will not count until
the nomination is finalized."

Because, you see, that's what I did. I reviewed all the stories I nominated
right away, because I felt they deserved whatever push I could give them.

Too many people do not realize that they can begin voting whenever the
nominations are finalized. They do not have to *wait* for reading or voting
season. A little publicity and encouragement may solve the problem of
stories not getting reviews without having to make extra rules or limits.

Of course, self-nominated stories do have a disadvantage of not having a
nominator to get the ball rolling on reviews. That's why I am in favor of
making it *encouragement* and *not* a rule.

As to a cap on self-nominations, I am ambivalent, just as I am about
self-nominations. However, at the end of *this* voting season, I find myself
far more in favor of them than I used to be, because I found quite a few
stories I would not have read without them being self-nominated. And I find
myself wondering about one or two of my own stories that don't seem to have
attracted as much interest, yet I think they were pretty good. I will have
to give it a lot more thought, but I may be changing my mind...

I think that for a lot of the "problems" we have found, a bit of education
and publicity will go a long way towards solving them than more rules. I
think the only things we need to change in the rules are those things that
affect the numbers and the votes.

And a lot of this should probably be in another topic of discussion than
"number of nominations".

Dreamflower

Msg# 5998

Nominator's summaries Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 04, 2005 - 19:44:24 Topic ID# 5998
Want to hear something funny? One of the stories I nominated, I did so based
on the first chapter or two. I couldn't actually read the story until the
awards were nearly over, as I was writing a similar character at the time and
didn't want to risk accidental plagarism. I'm not sure just how good my summary
would have been, nominating on so little information! But I loved the beginning
and I loved the premise, and as soon as I could I went back to finish reading.

Lin

In a message dated 11/4/2005 5:21:47 PM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
can I suggest that nominators
try to write the summaries in the style of a book review or blurb? Get a
little zing in there, a little emotional reaction, to pique interest.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 5999

Taglines Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 04, 2005 - 19:44:57 Topic ID# 5999
Bless you, Sulriel, but I've been writing summaries for a couple of years now
and *still* have more writer's block in this area than in writing the story
itself!

*g*
Lin

In a message dated 11/4/2005 5:21:47 PM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
Taglines are a learned skill and a valuable exercise in several
different ways.

practice telling your story in one sentence. -ten words, - thirty
words.

You can tell what it's about without giving away spoilers, but you
have to give the reader enough of an idea of what it's about, and
something of the flavor, to hook them into clicking the link.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6000

Nominators and reviewing Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 04, 2005 - 19:45:39 Topic ID# 6000
This certainly sounds reasonable to me, Resha.

Lin

In a message dated 11/4/2005 5:21:47 PM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
Given we all seem to like the idea of requiring
reviews for nominations, but we also all seem
feel it would be too hard to do... What do people
think of perhaps just putting a line in there
along the lines of:
"It would be appreciated if when nominating a
story, you also review it." Any ideas on that one?


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6001

Re: author awards Posted by Marta Layton November 04, 2005 - 19:46:51 Topic ID# 5972
Hi Lin,

> > I'd kind of like to see the author awards for a category
> > go to
> >  the person who got the highest average or something of that sort.
>
> Well, I'd sort of kick against that. The way it is set up now, an
> author has
> a chance of winning an author award even if their stories are not
> high on the
> list. <snip>
> If I think that writer is an awesome writer
> I'd be unlikely to leave reviews for the slash stories, but I'd take
> the time
> to leave a glowing review for the author in general, knowing their
> other work
> in the category of drama or humour or whatever.

I think you make a good point. And on a very selfish level I *like*
receiving author votes (and writing them, for that matter). I think
there should be an easier way to use the same author vote for every
category where the author is entered that displays it only once and
requires you to only enter it once. But that's a different topic. And
one that I've just now added to my list.

> Wouldn't the person with the highest average already have one or more
> awards
> for stories in that category? Sorry if I'm mistaken--math is one of
> my weak
> points. Somewhere I got the impression that there were lots of
> categories and
> author awards in addition, in order to spread the awards around a bit
> more.
>

Well, theoretically it's very possible that the author with the highest
average hasn't won a story category. Let's say I have two pieces in a
story sub-category in the hobbits category. One of those has a score of
20, the other of 10. So my average would be 15. Let's say you on the
other hand have one entry with seventeen points. So your average is
higher than mine, but my first story would still rank higher than
yours. So it's possible that I could end up with a story vote and you
couldn't, but then you could end up with a higher average so you could
qualify for an author award while I wouldn't.

But I agree, it does seem to favor those people who already have
awards. I noticed a lot o authors who received author awards when they
didn't receive story awards, and i liked that.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words. - St. Francis
of Assisi

Msg# 6002

Re: Requring a 'nomination comment' Posted by Marta Layton November 04, 2005 - 19:46:52 Topic ID# 5944
>

Hi Dwim,

> >  On another topic:
> >  I do like the idea of being able to look from nominators to
> stories,
> > although I don't know how much work that would be for Anthony.
>
> I'm a little confused. Do you mean you wished it'd be easy to find a
> list of what any given nominator had nominated? I could be wrong, but
> I"m pretty sure you could see that if you clicked on the nominator's
> name.
>

That's how I interpret what was being requested. I think if you click
on the nominator's name it will take you to that person's
"information": email address, web page (if applicable), and any stories
authored by that member that have been nominated. I could be wrong
myself, too.

One thing I've suggested is that we have a filter where a member cna
display only those stories nominated by a certain member just like they
can display just the stories authored by a certain member. I don't know
whether that's possible.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words. - St. Francis
of Assisi

Msg# 6003

Summaries Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 04, 2005 - 19:48:11 Topic ID# 6003
And as an over-busy, not to mention lazy, author, I often glanced over the
nominator's summary and said, 'That looks good' and didn't even notice a problem
with one summary until I saw it being discussed... "Should we be kind to the
author and correct this?" (I think the upshot was "No." Serves me right for
not being a more careful reader.

Lin

In a message dated 11/4/2005 5:21:47 PM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
I can see where you're coming from but well, what on earth do you
expect. This year as a liaison we got clear instructions: it is the
author's responsibility and the author has the final say. If they
didn't liked the summary of the nominator, then the author told the
liaison and it got changed. If the didn't like the rating... it got
changed. Warnings not to their liking? It got... you get the idea. It
all comes back at what the author wants.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6004

Re: Digest Number 537 Posted by Marta Layton November 04, 2005 - 19:58:00 Topic ID# 5953
Hi GW,

On 2 Nov 2005, at 22:48, GW wrote:

> Hello,
> I have been quiet as far as discussions go, but I did want to say
> that I think, in spite of some minor problems, these awards are some
> of the best run that I have seen on line. 

Thanks! Ego-stroking is always appreciated. ;-) I'm generally wary to
say we're the best (or even some o the best) because it usually dares
someone to contradict, but I'm really glad you like us that much.

> Any mistakes or short-comings are simply things that have gone
> un-noticed until they become as issue. At that point they are quickly
> corrected. 

Thanks again. I think one of the real strengths of the MEFAs is the
ability to be flexible like that, and I think that's because of the
volunteers. So many people were willing to do what was best in the
long-term even if it wasn't the quickest or easiest. It's definitely
been a joy to work with them.

> I thought the system for the voting was 100% better this year than
> last.  I couldn't figure out how to vote last year.  LOL 

Although I'm sorry the ifirst year was confusing, I'm glad you like the
new way better. So do I! The website allows me to chip away at the
nomination list bit by bit and get more and more done. While Ainae
always told us to vote early, actually being able to do that and get
entire categories done in June or July has helped me out loads.

If there's anything you still don't understand, *please* let me know.
It may be that I can add an FAQ, or we can look at how to simplify the
process. Most of us volunteers have been doing this for at least a
year, so often i you don't ask we don't know it's a problem.

> This year, while I didn't get in as many votes as I had planned, I did
> manage what I considered to be a respectable amout.
>

Oh yes! I thought you did a good amount, judging by how oten I saw your
name on the list of votes. Well done.

> I think that it makes sense to limit the number of nominations that
> can be made by any one person.  I don't think that should be split up
> as to X amount of drabbles, X amount of poems, X amount of
> non-fiction.  Some people only read drabbles or only read poems or
> maybe they only read stories with elves in them.  I think that the
> limit should be total nominations by one person.  Let the nominator
> decide how to use his or her nominations.  If you want to nominate
> your own stories then do so, or if you want to nominate only poetry
> then do so or mix it up.  I think that would be fair.
>

That makes a good amount of sense. While I voted for separate
categories, I think I'd be happy with either. I can see good sides to
both ways of doing the limit.

Make sure you voted in the poll if you haven't already.

> Also, I don't know how anyone else decided what to read and vote for
> this year but because there were so many things nominated, I stuck to
> stories that I thought I would enjoy either because of the subject or
> the author.  I might have branched out more if the number of
> nominations had not been so over-whelming.  I wanted to read as many
> of the hobbit stories as I could and because there were so many
> wonderful nominations in that group, I only managed to vote for a few
> stories outside of the hobbit catagories. 

Let me ask you to think about this: would it have made your reading
easier if all of the hobbit stories were in one place? I'm thinking
that now a lot of hobbit-centric stories were in The Lord of the Rings
or in Drama, and probably other genre- or source-centric categories.

Our next topic of discussion after we nail down nomination limits, will
be categories and subcategories. Since we have less nominations I think
we're going to need less categories or we're going to have more pieces
in their second- and third-choice categories. We may need to reconsider
whether we want to organise based on source *and* genre *and* race, or
whether we want to pick one (or two) of those and try to make
subcategories out of the third.

Anyway,, that's what's coming up. Don't comment on it yet, please, but
do start thinking about it.

> At the last I found myself picking up drabbles as they take less time
> to read and I so admire the skill it takes to write one.  I can't do
> it myself.  LOL
>

I think a lot of people did that. Drabbles are a good way for a lot of
people to get a lot of votes in quickly.It's not for everyone, of
course, but I've really enjoyed doing that.

Cheers,
Marta


*****
Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words. - St. Francis
of Assisi

Msg# 6005

Re: Taglines Posted by sulriel November 04, 2005 - 21:48:51 Topic ID# 5999
> In a message dated 11/4/2005 5:21:47 PM Pacific Standard Time,
> MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:> Taglines are a learned skill and
a valuable exercise in several > different ways.
>
> practice telling your story in one sentence. -ten words, - thirty
> words.

--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, BLJean@a... wrote:
>> Bless you, Sulriel, but I've been writing summaries for a couple of
years now and *still* have more writer's block in this area than in
writing the story > itself!> > *g*> Lin>

*snicker* (I said nothing about it being easy <EG> just that it was a
valuable excercise!)

Sulriel

Msg# 6006

nominators' recommendation Posted by Marta Layton November 04, 2005 - 22:15:59 Topic ID# 6006
Thank you, everyone, for your comments on Rabidsamfan's idea to allow
nominators the ability to add a short recommendation for the story they
were nominating. While I appreciate this idea, I think that there are
too many practical problems with it. I don't want to require it because
I think it would put undue pressure on those nominators who struggle to
write. But I think if we make it optional, it will give too much of an
advantage to those stories that do receive a nominator's
recommendation.

So I don't think we'll be going with this idea. Thanks, Rabidsamfan,
for nominating it - at first I liked it, but the more I think about it,
the less I trhink it would work well in practice.

One idea that might have a similar affect would be to make final
reviews visible throughout reading season and maybe even nomination
season. This would encourage people to review earlier, so they could
let their reviews serve as a recommendation of sorts to others.

Cheers,
Marta
*****
Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words. - St. Francis
of Assisi

Msg# 6007

Re: cliquishness, voting, Dwim, requiring nominator to review, self Posted by Jillian Baade November 04, 2005 - 23:16:42 Topic ID# 5916
Hi Marta,

I have to agree completely with your thoughful response. Especially that if
we only have a certain number of nominations per member, we need to think
about each one, whether it be our own or someone else's story!

Frankly, if the MEFA stop self-nomination, I will simply chose not to
participate, rather then pimp myself out begging for someone to nominate my
work for me.

Jillian

> Hi Jillian,
> I think that it is a *lot* less cliquish for me to nominate my own
>stories,
>than for me to ask you to nominate my stories and I will nominate yours in
>return. I mean, anyone can nominate their own stuff and if we rely on
>others
>to nominate, especially if it's the same groups nominating each other --
>well, then you have to be a "part" of that group to be nominated, or else
>be
>scorned as a self-nominator.
> Now, I also agree with Rabidsamfan's point that to be nominated should
>mean
>something. If you can just nominate all of your own stories and still be
>able to nominate as many other ones as you like, well, being nominated does
>come to mean less I guess. But if you only have a certain number of
>nominations to spread around, I think even self-nominations mean something.
>It means I think a certain story by me is worthy of competing in the awards
>- more than the unnominated stories that I won't be able to nominate. In
>many ways giving one out of however many nominations to your own work is
>more of an honour than giving one out of an unlimited number of nominations
>to someone else's. ANd besides with honourable mentions we're recognising a
>lot more works out of the nomination pool.
> So, bottom line? Don't feel bad about self-nominating. I know I probably
>will.
> Marta
>--
>"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that
>we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most
>frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give
>other people permission to do the same."
>
>(Nelson Mandela)
>
>
>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>
>
>
>
>
>Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 6008

Re: nominators' recommendation Posted by Kathy November 04, 2005 - 23:47:53 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> <snip>
> One idea that might have a similar affect would be to make final
> reviews visible throughout reading season and maybe even nomination
> season. This would encourage people to review earlier, so they
could
> let their reviews serve as a recommendation of sorts to others.

I think that's an excellent idea, Marta, and I was thinking the same
thing while reading Dreamflower's post. Making reviews--especially
nominator's reviews, which are often done early--visible sooner would
not only serve as a recommendation of sorts, it would also provide a
good model to those who are, perhaps, hesitant to leave reviews
because they're not sure exactly how to go about it. I remember
seeing some questions early on about how to write a MEFA review;
i.e., what style was appropriate. The kinds of reviews I've seen in
the MEFAs are often quite different from what people may be used to
leaving in archives, and some people may be intimidated by the
prospect. Remember, not all MEFA members (and nominators) are
writers...some are readers only.

I also agree with those who have suggested it--Naresha and
Dreamflower, I think?--that while requiring nominators to review
their nominations may not be the way to go, strongly encouraging it
is a very good idea. I wouldn't dream of not doing it myself, but
perhaps it simply doesn't occur to some folks.

Kathy (Inkling)

Msg# 6009

Re: nominators' recommendation Posted by MarigoldCotton@aol.com November 05, 2005 - 1:10:06 Topic ID# 6006
Marta said: "One idea that might have a similar affect would be to make final reviews visible throughout reading season and maybe even nomination season. This would encourage people to review earlier, so they could let their reviews serve as a recommendation of sorts to others."

I think that this is a really good idea.

Marigold

--
Marigold's Red Book
http://marigold.tolkienshire.com

Marigold's Recommendations Page
http://www.geocities.com/marigoldsrecommendations/

Marigold's Live Journal
http://www.livejournal.com/users/marigoldg/

Tales of The Red Book
http://www.livejournal.com/users/talesofredbook/




There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.
>
>Sam, in Mordor, RoTK

Msg# 6010

Re: nominators' recommendation Posted by C Dodd November 05, 2005 - 3:38:39 Topic ID# 6006
On 11/4/05, Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> One idea that might have a similar affect would be to make final
> reviews visible throughout reading season and maybe even nomination
> season. This would encourage people to review earlier, so they could
> let their reviews serve as a recommendation of sorts to others.

Yes, that would serve much the same purpose. And it would encourage
authors too, I think, to be able to see that they had garnered some reviews
early on in the process. A little squee now and then is good for the soul!


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6011

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Larian Elensar November 05, 2005 - 4:15:09 Topic ID# 6006
I have to disagree with everyone that thinks nominators should recommend, or
that reviews should be visible during reading and/or nominating seasons instead
of during the actual voting season.

Seeing reviews early will mean that the stories that get reviewed early will
have an unfair advantage over the ones that don't.

The whole reason we made it clear on the nomination form that the nominator put
in a summary, and NOT a review/recommendation was so that ALL the stories were
on a level playing field.

I distinctly remember we even changed a summary where the author had said the
story was 'the funniest parody' or something to that effect.

Recommending and seeing the reviews early gives certain stories, certain genres
an unfair advantage. Several people have already stated that they tend to read
stories if they know the nominator, now if they see the reviews or
recommendation, it seems to me that it really would be creating a problem where
a group of like-minded readers would stick to their own group.

I realize that everyone, in the interests of time, sticks to their favorite
categories, but now, you're planning on letting the review and/or the
recommendation narrow down the categories to a few peoples' favorite authors.

So essentially, we're steering the whole process to the tastes of a few people
who write reviews early, or write 'better' reviews than others.

Just my nickels' worth.



Larian

"There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness."
--Dave Barry

larian_elensar@yahoo.com
Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/larian
OEAM archive http://www.ofelvesandmen.com
Archive addy archive@ofelvesandmen.com

Msg# 6012

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Larian November 05, 2005 - 4:20:16 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Larian Elensar <larian_elensar@y...>
wrote:

> I distinctly remember we even changed a summary where the author had
said the
> story was 'the funniest parody' or something to that effect.

Uh...forgot to mention, this was during season 1 and it was deemed
that the summary was more of a review/recommendation than it was a
summary.

Msg# 6013

viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by sulriel November 05, 2005 - 8:24:10 Topic ID# 6013
I don't think any reviews should be visible during nomination season,
but I'm not sure I'm completely clear on the difference - on the need
for the difference - between reading season and voting season with
the new database.

It seems to me that the reviews should either be visible or not.
Either post them immed when finalized from the start of reading
season, or have no reviews available to be read at all until the end
of voting season.

I agree with the concerns that are addressing readership following
more fluent reviewers and I think that could be addressed by hiding
even the final reviews until the end of voting season.

BUT

I think the disadvantage is well off-set by the number of new readers
and reviews that the existing reviews garner.

I also am one whose first choice is to read by author, because
authors typically maintain a style and genre and if I like one of
their works I'm likely to like them all - and I find the same goes
for like-minded reviewers - but it doesn't matter a lot to me if it's
a verbose review or a simple "I liked this", because if I know
someone shares my tastes I'm likely to read something they like
simply because they liked it regardless of what they specifically
said about it. -and that would transfer to nominators. I suppose
that could be called cliquish, but that isn't the heart of it, it's
simply that some people have similar tastes; it doesn't mean we chant
together under the moon and plot the demise of those with other
tastes.

I made an effort, with the 2005 MEFAs, to read a selection from each
cate and so forced myself outside my usual bounds (and was very glad
for it) - I set a goal for 100 reviews and had settled back to other
work once I reached that - but was so intrigued by going through the
reviews as they came in, that I completed another 100 reviews before
the end of the season. I wouldn't have done that second 100 without
the 'recommendations' of the reviewers, because those were stories
that I didn't click on based on the authors summery.

Msg# 6014

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Larian Elensar November 05, 2005 - 13:56:14 Topic ID# 6013
--- sulriel <Sulriel@htcomp.net> wrote:

> I also am one whose first choice is to read by author, because
> authors typically maintain a style and genre and if I like one of
> their works I'm likely to like them all - and I find the same goes
> for like-minded reviewers - but it doesn't matter a lot to me if it's
> a verbose review or a simple "I liked this", because if I know
> someone shares my tastes I'm likely to read something they like
> simply because they liked it regardless of what they specifically
> said about it. -and that would transfer to nominators. I suppose
> that could be called cliquish, but that isn't the heart of it, it's
> simply that some people have similar tastes; it doesn't mean we chant
> together under the moon and plot the demise of those with other
> tastes.

Wow, didn't realize I'd accused anyone of chanting under the moon. Could we can
the sarcasm? I was only putting forth a concern, didn't mean to make anyone
defensive.

It doesn't matter if you don't do that, if the appearance of that happening is
there. Need I mention the other awards program that is continually accused of
being cliqueish, no matter the truth? You have to avoid the appearance of
making it easier for the same small groups to consistently get nominated and
win.

We ALL read authors and categories that are familiar to us, but if we publish
the recommendations and reviews early, it might give the APPEARANCE we're
trying to skew the voting toward particular authors by giving them more
'publicity'

If you all want to snark back at me for bringing it up, fine. I'm trying to
bring you the view from outside the little circle of your 'in-group' of
administrators.

Msg# 6015

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 05, 2005 - 13:59:52 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Larian Elensar <larian_elensar@y...>
wrote:
>
> I have to disagree with everyone that thinks nominators should
> recommend, or that reviews should be visible during reading and/or
> nominating seasons instead of during the actual voting season.
>
> Seeing reviews early will mean that the stories that get reviewed
> early will have an unfair advantage over the ones that don't.

Well let alone like this nominator *ahem* started to review late this
year, which basically would mean that an unlucky author with a
nominator like me, who entered the reviews in a later stage, did get
the disadvantage above others. And well that doesn't feel that good to
be honest, I know there was nothing I could do about it, but still. I
really would like to see the whole field of who the nominator is gone
next year.

> The whole reason we made it clear on the nomination form that the
> nominator put in a summary, and NOT a review/recommendation was so
> that ALL the stories were on a level playing field.

Yeps. By now it sounds to me, that some stories got more advantage of
the nominator then by the merit of the story/author themselves. I
know, we're all human, we all need different stimulants to go out and
read a story. But stories are put into categories for a reason, so
that is a guidance for a reader/reviewer what they will like or not.

I often wonder... don't you want to be surprised by an author you
don't know? Maybe I am weird (I wouldn't be surprised ;c) ).

> Recommending and seeing the reviews early gives certain stories,
> certain genres an unfair advantage. Several people have already
> stated that they tend to read stories if they know the nominator,
> now if they see the reviews or recommendation, it seems to me that
> it really would be creating a problem where a group of like-minded
> readers would stick to their own group.

Yups, I fully agree. I really think we should try to avoid that. If we
want to encourage readers to read a bit broader then they are used to,
you should take away things like who the nominator is or only allow
self-nominations. Since I like both (being nominated can give the
author already that feel good vibe), then you need to be honest and
wonder what you really want.

> I realize that everyone, in the interests of time, sticks to their
> favorite categories, but now, you're planning on letting the review
> and/or the recommendation narrow down the categories to a few
> peoples' favorite authors.

Yes and leave out, because of the time pressure, those others who
deserve to be read as well. I can surely imagine why this creates the
feeling of cliqueness (sp?) with the authors who felt neglected.

> So essentially, we're steering the whole process to the tastes of a
> few people who write reviews early, or write 'better' reviews than
> others.

I agree again. In order to give anyone a fair chance, you have go back
to what these awards are all about: the stories and their authors. Not
their reviewers, not their nominators: but basically that.

I for example really didn't had a clue you could enter reviews once
the they were finalised. But then I didn't had the guidance of
categories, so I waited for the categorisation to be done and
attempted to use the reading season to... read. I acted to the seasons
accordingly, because well that is why we have them right?

> Just my nickels' worth.

Precious nickels

I am adding some eurocents

Rhapsody

Msg# 6016

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Chris Grzonka November 05, 2005 - 14:04:18 Topic ID# 6006
Larian Elensar wrote:

> Seeing reviews early will mean that the stories that get reviewed
> early will
> have an unfair advantage over the ones that don't.

I'm not sure about that. On the contrary, I discovered that I for the
longest time deliberately chose stories to read which had no or only 1
review. I went much more by summaries (characters or settings were more
important). At the end when I was really pressed for time I chose a few
stories based on reviews. But overall that was not the deciding factor to
read or review a story.

Chris

Msg# 6017

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 05, 2005 - 14:11:23 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Chris Grzonka" <grzonka@a...> wrote:
>
> Larian Elensar wrote:
>
> > Seeing reviews early will mean that the stories that get reviewed
> > early will have an unfair advantage over the ones that don't.
>
> I'm not sure about that. On the contrary, I discovered that I for
> the longest time deliberately chose stories to read which had no or
> only 1 review. I went much more by summaries (characters or settings
> were more important). At the end when I was really pressed for time
> I chose a few stories based on reviews. But overall that was not the
> deciding factor to read or review a story.

Maybe for you not (and for me... well I just dived into a category and
started to read), but others have stated to be guided by either the
nominator or the reviews. Now if you want to attach the nominator
recommendation to the story before it enters reading season (which
basically would be the nominator's review (unless I misunderstood it)
and tell people that they can review already during nomination season,
this would mean that stories that were nominated at the end of
nomination season have a clear disadvantage on those who were
nominated at the beginning. I don't know if I got that suggestion/idea
correctly, a lot has been said already, but I think that is what
Larian tried to say here.

Otherwise, I will just shut up.

Rhapsody

Msg# 6018

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Larian November 05, 2005 - 14:12:33 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Chris Grzonka" <grzonka@a...> wrote:
>
> Larian Elensar wrote:
>
> > Seeing reviews early will mean that the stories that get reviewed
> > early will
> > have an unfair advantage over the ones that don't.
>
> I'm not sure about that. On the contrary, I discovered that I for the
> longest time deliberately chose stories to read which had no or only 1
> review. I went much more by summaries (characters or settings were more
> important). At the end when I was really pressed for time I chose a few
> stories based on reviews. But overall that was not the deciding
factor to
> read or review a story.
>
> Chris


Perhaps it wasn't the deciding factor for everyone, but more than one
person has stated here that it was the deciding factor for them. Not
only the review, but the nominator of the story. I mean, they used
the information of who nominated the story to choose what to read.
Obviously, that gives that nominator a lot of influence if the big
reviewers do the same.

Msg# 6019

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Larian November 05, 2005 - 14:13:48 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "rhapsody_the_bard"
<rhapsody74@g...> wrote:
>

>
> Maybe for you not (and for me... well I just dived into a category and
> started to read), but others have stated to be guided by either the
> nominator or the reviews. Now if you want to attach the nominator
> recommendation to the story before it enters reading season (which
> basically would be the nominator's review (unless I misunderstood it)
> and tell people that they can review already during nomination season,
> this would mean that stories that were nominated at the end of
> nomination season have a clear disadvantage on those who were
> nominated at the beginning. I don't know if I got that suggestion/idea
> correctly, a lot has been said already, but I think that is what
> Larian tried to say here.
>
> Otherwise, I will just shut up.
>
> Rhapsody
>

That was it, thanks for clarifying for me :D

Msg# 6020

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by C Dodd November 05, 2005 - 14:14:17 Topic ID# 6013
On 11/5/05, Larian Elensar <larian_elensar@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
> We ALL read authors and categories that are familiar to us, but if we
> publish
> the recommendations and reviews early, it might give the APPEARANCE we're
> trying to skew the voting toward particular authors by giving them more
> 'publicity'
>
> If you all want to snark back at me for bringing it up, fine. I'm trying
> to
> bring you the view from outside the little circle of your 'in-group' of
> administrators.

Actually, I'm the one who first ventured the idea that early reviews would
boost readership and I'm far from being an administrator. So I'll take the
hit on this one.
One of the bonuses of the MEFAs is that there are so many categories (and
this year, so many entries) that every reviewer had to make some choices.
But the multiplicity of categories also meant that stories didn't compete
against the entire pool of entries. In fact, the breakdown to subcategory
meant that each story only truly competed against a few other similar items.
Avoiding the appearance of cliquishness was one reason why I wanted a
comment to be mandatory -- every story would have one, and being a separate
thing from reviews would allow self-nominations to have a comment too -- but
that doesn't seem to be feasible. Seeing reviews sooner in the process --
during the reading season as well as the "voting" season -- is an idea which
I think would encourage more people to get started reading and voting
sooner, and a broader pool of readers would most likely overwhelm any
appearance of favoritism. I'm basing my desire for early reviews on my
experience as a librarian. The best publicity any book can get is
word-of-mouth from someone who has told you about another book you liked.
To me, the importance of attracting new readers and reviewers to the MEFAs
is greater than most other issues. The basic system worked pretty well this
year, and while there are tweaks I'd like, if the whole thing were the same
next year I'd be participating. But fresh readers, as well as authors, would
enhance the best aspects of what works well. And readers, like it or not,
are attracted by the kind of information that comes in the form of a review.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6021

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by sulriel November 05, 2005 - 14:17:59 Topic ID# 6013
Sincere apologies, it was meant in good humor, not in snarkiness. I
don't joke around when I'm snarky, I tend to be more blunt.

I am not in any 'in-groups' and no longer have any administrative
function with the MEFAs. I consider the rampant cliquishness of this
fandom to be mean-spirited to the point of maliciousness and because
of it have withdrawn from all the usual lists and archives except the
MEFAs (and dipping my toes back in Open Scrolls).

I fully agree that it's important to keep even the appearance of
cliquishness away from the MEFAs and while I think they've done a
pretty good job, I'm open to discussion to keep that transparent.

I'm well aware of the problems with 'the other awards program' I was
eviscerated by that program last year and expect that my frank
opinion of them would get me barred even from this list.

My apology for the misunderstanding of the unintended snark is
sincere, but I will also say that I'm concerned and offended that you
accuse me of being an insider of some non-existent clique. I've
worked my tail off - in a fandom in which I'm minimally involved -
because I believe in the fairness and the worth of the MEFA awards
and the value in writing as a fullfilling hobby.

Sulriel

--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Larian Elensar
<larian_elensar@y...> wrote:
>
> --- sulriel <Sulriel@h...> wrote:
>
> > I also am one whose first choice is to read by author, because
> > authors typically maintain a style and genre and if I like one of
> > their works I'm likely to like them all - and I find the same
goes
> > for like-minded reviewers - but it doesn't matter a lot to me if
it's
> > a verbose review or a simple "I liked this", because if I know
> > someone shares my tastes I'm likely to read something they like
> > simply because they liked it regardless of what they specifically
> > said about it. -and that would transfer to nominators. I suppose
> > that could be called cliquish, but that isn't the heart of it,
it's
> > simply that some people have similar tastes; it doesn't mean we
chant
> > together under the moon and plot the demise of those with other
> > tastes.
>
> Wow, didn't realize I'd accused anyone of chanting under the moon.
Could we can
> the sarcasm? I was only putting forth a concern, didn't mean to
make anyone
> defensive.
>
> It doesn't matter if you don't do that, if the appearance of that
happening is
> there. Need I mention the other awards program that is continually
accused of
> being cliqueish, no matter the truth? You have to avoid the
appearance of
> making it easier for the same small groups to consistently get
nominated and
> win.
>
> We ALL read authors and categories that are familiar to us, but if
we publish
> the recommendations and reviews early, it might give the APPEARANCE
we're
> trying to skew the voting toward particular authors by giving them
more
> 'publicity'
>
> If you all want to snark back at me for bringing it up, fine. I'm
trying to
> bring you the view from outside the little circle of your 'in-
group' of
> administrators.
>

Msg# 6022

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Larian November 05, 2005 - 14:28:42 Topic ID# 6013
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "sulriel" <Sulriel@h...> wrote:
>
>
> Sincere apologies, it was meant in good humor, not in snarkiness. I
> don't joke around when I'm snarky, I tend to be more blunt.

It's hard to know that when just reading text, you know? So I
interpreted it incorrectly.


>
> I am not in any 'in-groups' and no longer have any administrative
> function with the MEFAs.



My apologies too, Sulriel. I was under the (obviously) mistaken
impression that you were an administrator since you mod this
discussion group.

But my point is this...Since I am in this as only a reader/voter this
year, I don't see all the behind the scenes things that go on, and it
doesn't matter if there isn't anything like that going on, if the
perception is there, it has to be dealt with.

My biggest problem with recommending and reviewing early (and
nomination limits would take care of this concern as well), is that
when one or two people nominate a lot of stories, and one or two
reviewers vote on those stories just because that person nominated
them, it DOES look cliqueish. Nominating limits, and keeping
everything on a level playing field by NOT publicizing the reviews
avoids that.

And I agree with what C.Dodd said, yes, the best way to get people to
read something is to provide 'publicity' for it, but the stories here
are supposed to stand on their own merit, not because Person A can
write a great review and Person B can't, so nobody reads the story
Person B reviewed.

Msg# 6023

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 05, 2005 - 14:33:43 Topic ID# 6013
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
<snip>
> I'm basing my desire for early reviews on my experience as a
> librarian.

Well this is a nice example where one librarian is completely
different then the other (and most likely had a different education
and career in it). Although librarian.. well, within 3 weeks no more.

Yes, off topic, but this line made me smile :)

Rhapsody

Msg# 6024

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 05, 2005 - 15:07:46 Topic ID# 6013
There is perhaps, something to be said for the idea that a few nominators
and reviewers would have "too much" influence if the reviews were published
early. However, I think the benefits would outweigh the problems.

Nomination limits would help remove too much influence by any one person
overwhelming the list with noms. I agree that *this*could* be a
problem--limits solve that.

Considering the wide number of categories and the vast variety of stories
in them, I don't see how any of it can be viewed as "cliquish". Unlike
certain groups which are overwhelmed with Elf stories or Silmarillion
stories, or I think there is even one award limited to Hobbit stories, the
MEFAs cover the broad spectrum of what is available across *all* of JRRTs
work: not only Elves and Hobbits, but Men and Dwarves and even Ents--even
the villians--Orcs, Trolls, the Men of Harad and Rhun, not only LotR and the
Hobbit, but the Silm and Unfinished Tales and even HoME, not only
book-verse, but movie-verse and crossovers. I don't think *any* other
Tolkien fandom award covers such a multitude of categories.

So, no, sorry, I can't see that there is even a reason for a perception of
cliquishness with these awards. I do see the occasional misunderstanding,
and misperception of what official policy is, but that unfortunately is a
side effect of any effort that is run completely by volunteers.

The main benefit to running reviews as they are finalized *regardless* of
season is to encourage early reviewing. I was able to do as many reviews as
I did because I started early. If I had not, and had waited until voting
season, I would have only had a tiny handful of reviews, due the fact that I
was off-line for three weeks of the voting season. Truth is, if *I* had
waited until voting season started, I would have been out of luck. Of
course, I had no way of knowing that.

Certainly a story that is nominated the first day of nomination season has a
seeming advantage over one nominated the last day. But that advantage
vanishes quickly as the reading/voting season progresses.

As to people who seem to be guided by *who* nominated a piece, I don't
really have a big problem with not showing who the nominator is--although I
think it should be rigged so the *author* will know who nominated her, at
the least--because I paid no attention to that at all. I voted first by
category, and then a few times by author, and then as my time got short,
totally at random.

While one or two people have admitted to being *somewhat* influenced by
other reviews or by the nominator, I don't think the number of people who do
so is large enough to warrant undue concern.

Actually--here's a proposal that just now occurred to me: no reviews
available until *nominating* season ends, and then erase the difference
between "reading" and "voting" season, and call it reading/voting season,
and make the finalized reviews visible then. Keep tentative and draft
reviews invisible of course, just like now.
Encourage everyone to vote as early and as often as possible, and encourage
nominators to vote on their nominees ASAP. Also perhaps encourage people to
discuss their "voting strategies" on the group *and* on the LJ. (I was
fascinated by Dwim's account of how organized she was with her voting.)
This will help newcomers to the group who may feel a bit intimidated by all
the stories, and then can get some ideas of how they can go about their own
voting.

I am all for things that will show people what is *possible*, instead of
making unnecessary rules.

Dreamflower

Msg# 6025

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Kathy November 05, 2005 - 15:25:40 Topic ID# 6013
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Larian" <larian_elensar@y...>
wrote:
>
> But my point is this...Since I am in this as only a reader/voter
> this
> year, I don't see all the behind the scenes things that go on, and
> it
> doesn't matter if there isn't anything like that going on, if the
> perception is there, it has to be dealt with.
>

Larian, maybe I missed something, but *was* there a perception of
cliquishness with this year's MEFAs? If so I wasn't aware of it. And
I'm certainly not in a clique myself! I didn't even know most of the
people in this group before joining this year.

> My biggest problem with recommending and reviewing early (and
> nomination limits would take care of this concern as well), is that
> when one or two people nominate a lot of stories, and one or two
> reviewers vote on those stories just because that person nominated
> them, it DOES look cliqueish. Nominating limits, and keeping
> everything on a level playing field by NOT publicizing the reviews
> avoids that.

Oh, maybe you're just referring to the danger of such a perception
arising if reviews were made visible earlier in the process next
year? I think the points you're raising are good ones...but then, I
also liked the suggestion of showing reviews earlier (I feel like the
Elves, who say both yes and no, LOL!) Just to play devil's advocate,
wouldn't the objections you raise to early reviews also apply to
reviews that are visible at ANY time before the end of voting
season...i.e., they could influence voting? The only way to prevent
reviews from influencing subsequent voting would to hide all reviews
until voting is over. Would people really want to do that? If
nothing else, I think that when people see reviews starting to
appear, it reminds them that "Oh yeah, it's voting season, I'd better
get off my duff and start voting!"

You know, I think the biggest contributor to either the perception or
reality of cliquishness or favoritism is not the influence of
nominators or reviews, but the fact that so few people actually do
review...it gives those dedicated souls who DO leave a lot of reviews
enormous power. Leaward posted the stats on the percentage of MEFA
members who had voted, and I was frankly shocked. Surely there must
be some ways we can all agree on to encourage more voting next year...

Kathy (Inkling)

Msg# 6026

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Kathy November 05, 2005 - 15:36:12 Topic ID# 6013
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, <aelfwina@c...> wrote:
>
> Actually--here's a proposal that just now occurred to me: no
> reviews
> available until *nominating* season ends, and then erase the
> difference
> between "reading" and "voting" season, and call it reading/voting
> season,
> and make the finalized reviews visible then. Keep tentative and
> draft
> reviews invisible of course, just like now.
> Encourage everyone to vote as early and as often as possible, and
> encourage
> nominators to vote on their nominees ASAP. Also perhaps encourage
> people to
> discuss their "voting strategies" on the group *and* on the LJ. (I
> was
> fascinated by Dwim's account of how organized she was with her
> voting.)
> This will help newcomers to the group who may feel a bit
> intimidated by all
> the stories, and then can get some ideas of how they can go about
> their own
> voting.
>

This all sounds good to me...

Kathy/Inkling

Msg# 6027

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Larian November 05, 2005 - 16:57:17 Topic ID# 6013
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@s...> wrote:
If
> nothing else, I think that when people see reviews starting to
> appear, it reminds them that "Oh yeah, it's voting season, I'd better
> get off my duff and start voting!"


I actually did like the way it was done this year...the final reviews
showing on day one of voting season, the tentative showing on the last
day. Because you're right, it did give some of us slackers a bit of a
poke. I would just hate to see them revealed any earlier than the
start of voting season, (and I like separate voting/reading seasons,
btw), because that does give the stories with early early reviews a
distinct advantage--although that's only my opinion.


>
> You know, I think the biggest contributor to either the perception or
> reality of cliquishness or favoritism is not the influence of
> nominators or reviews, but the fact that so few people actually do
> review...it gives those dedicated souls who DO leave a lot of reviews
> enormous power. Leaward posted the stats on the percentage of MEFA
> members who had voted, and I was frankly shocked. Surely there must
> be some ways we can all agree on to encourage more voting next year...
>
> Kathy (Inkling)
>


And you're right. Obviously, the more participants we have, the
better. Making the process as easy as possible is one solution, which
is hopefully, being done every year.

The only thing I can think of, and have done, is to talk about the
awards on my LJ (which doesn't help much, as I keep it locked for my
friends list usually), or promote them on different lists.
Unfortunately, I tend to not talk them up until the voting season,
when it's almost too late.

I don't know, you can't force people to participate, so I guess we
just have to do what we can.

Msg# 6028

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 05, 2005 - 18:05:13 Topic ID# 6013
In a message dated 11/5/2005 12:31:50 PM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
We ALL read authors and categories that are familiar to us, but if we publish
the recommendations and reviews early, it might give the APPEARANCE we're
trying to skew the voting toward particular authors by giving them more
'publicity'
Ummm. Gee, I hope I don't get suspected of snarking by replying to this. That
was a joke. Probably a bad one.

Perhaps it might give the appearance of trying to skew the voting toward
particular authors by giving them more publicity, but the admins certainly have no
control over who submits reviews and who doesn't. At least I assume they have
no control. Not being an admin I cannot speak with absolute certainty, but I
know that nobody was offering me flowers and chocolates to submit reviews for
particular authors. (Or threatening me with flaming brands, either.) I am not
being sarcastic. Whimsy is a result of low blood sugar, in my case.

I know I, personally, left off reviewing until very late. I always have the
best intentions and then Life happens. But it was seeing Dreamflower's many
glowing reviews, of many different stories and different genres, that finally got
me off the stick (I hope that's the right metaphor; my blood sugar is low and
I should not even be attempting to sound like I have a brain--I should be
eating protein instead). And her with a hurricane breathing down her neck!

I'd agree, no reviews during nominating season.

When, this year, did final reviews become visible? Was it during reading
season, or did it not start until voting season? All I know is it was very
motivating to see reviews coming through because it made me feel like a slug. I doubt
I'd have written 100-some reviews without that motivation. I'd have
rationalised that I was really too busy, and... and... and... probably just would have
reviewed the stories I nominated.

I would definitely speak against hiding all reviews until the end of voting
season. Reading reviews helped motivate me to actually *write* the things, and
I don't mean that I was simply reciprocating and writing reviews for the
stories of those people who reviewed my stories--Actually, I'm pretty sure I didn't
review every author that wrote a review for my work, simply because some of
them work in different genres than I do. (I bless their flexibility for
crossing into hobbit territory.) But it did get me started with my original plan--to
review every PG-13 and below-rated drabble, which got me reading in different
genres outside the world of hobbits, and then to review all the
"hobbit-related" stories I possibly could before I ran out of time, adding to that a few
"Fellowship" stories. With 1200 stories there was no way I could do more than
sample the Silmarillon (apologies if I spelled that wrong) or read more than one
each of Elf, Gondor, and Rohan literature. Ooo. I read two Elf stories! Go, me.

I will look towards next year with renewed hope. (Hope springs eternal! Read
in the comics that today is National Cliche Day. Enough randomness. Back to
the topic.) And with the winter rains closing in, at least I have a long list
(about 1050 stories yet to go) of good reading. And I can always leave a review
for the author, even though it no longer counts as a "vote".

All the best,
Lin
(off in search of protein)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6029

Re: (not) Against recommending/seeing reviews early Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 05, 2005 - 18:20:57 Topic ID# 6029
In definite agreement here! I know that once I had reviewed the stories I'd
nominated, and all the drabbles, my first guide for reading and reviewing was
those stories that had no or only 1 review, so far as I could figure it out.
The reviews did not "steer" me towards any stories in particular. They just
motivated me, that if other people could write reviews of the stories they liked,
then there ought to be nothing stopping me from reviewing the stories I liked,
whether they were from authors who were new to me or whose works I'd read
before.

I realised in retrospect that I should have gone into the middle and worked
my way to the ends. I don't remember just why it was that some of the 0-1
stories weren't showing up when I was looking for them. It was a frustration.

I certainly bless Anthony for all the work he put into the database, and
implementing the suggestions that came in, especially that suggestion for finding
the stories with fewest reviews. What a wonderful tool!

But I must repeat that it was reading others' reviews that motivated me to
review. Not that the reviews sent me to the stories themselves... though it made
me put a few of the stories on my "want to read" list. I pretty much had a
plan, and once I'd completed that plan I looked for stories that were wanting a
few reviews. There were enough of these just in the hobbit category alone to
keep me busy.

I rather resent talk (and it wasn't the post quoted below, but a tone running
through some of the posts) about somehow *forcing* people to read outside
their genre. My reading time is limited. Reading helps me relax from the
pressures of... whatever. Reading something that I do not enjoy reading is not what I
have in mind. Frankly, there are genres I do not enjoy. I will not insult the
authors by naming them. To each his own.

Certainly I have been pleasantly surprised and have added new authors to my
list of names to look for. But don't try to make me feel guilty for sticking to
hobbit stories that are PG-13 or lower. It is not cliquishness, it is simple
preference and downright necessity due to time constraints.

Encouraging people to branch out is one thing, but don't accuse us of
narrow-mindedness or cliquishness or some other abusive term just because we tend to
stick to what we enjoy reading!

Am huffy, and I apologise. Why does chocolate taste so much better than
protein? It really does nothing for low blood sugar, nothing constructive, anyhow.

Lin

In a message dated 11/5/2005 12:31:50 PM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
I'm not sure about that. On the contrary, I discovered that I for the
longest time deliberately chose stories to read which had no or only 1
review. I went much more by summaries (characters or settings were more
important). At the end when I was really pressed for time I chose a few
stories based on reviews. But overall that was not the deciding factor to
read or review a story.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6030

nominator's identity and a way to avoid appearance of "cliquishness" Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 05, 2005 - 18:28:57 Topic ID# 6030
I was thinking along the same lines--that if the nominator's name was
suppressed, at least *please* let the author see who the nominator is, especially as
a boon to authors who are thankful sorts.

I really paid almost no attention to the nominator of a story, once I'd
finished working through the "plan" I originally had for reviewing. The summary is
the first thing I looked at, then the rating. Sometimes I looked at the
nominator's name after reading a story, but it was not my first thought.

If you wanted to be totally un-cliquish I suppose you could make the awards
random--you click "read a story" and a story would come up to read and perhaps
vote on by writing a review. And then when you've submitted your vote, you
click "read a story" again, etc. However, that would be way too nerve-wracking a
prospect for me, and I would not participate. I really don't like surprises
all that much.

Lin

In a message dated 11/5/2005 4:22:15 PM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
As to people who seem to be guided by *who* nominated a piece, I don't
really have a big problem with not showing who the nominator is--although I
think it should be rigged so the *author* will know who nominated her, at
the least--because I paid no attention to that at all. I voted first by
category, and then a few times by author, and then as my time got short,
totally at random.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6031

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 05, 2005 - 18:33:18 Topic ID# 6013
O good, I misunderstood your earlier posts, and apologise for
misunderstanding, Larian. I thought you were advocating suppressing *all* reviews until the
end of voting season, and so I was arguing against that. At least I think I
was. I really need to stop talking about protein and actually eat some.

Dizzy,
Lin
(if i could only get to the bottom of the digest i could get up from this
chair...)

In a message dated 11/5/2005 4:22:15 PM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
I actually did like the way it was done this year...the final reviews
showing on day one of voting season, the tentative showing on the last
day. Because you're right, it did give some of us slackers a bit of a
poke. I would just hate to see them revealed any earlier than the
start of voting season, (and I like separate voting/reading seasons,
btw), because that does give the stories with early early reviews a
distinct advantage--although that's only my opinion.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6032

Re: (not) Against recommending/seeing reviews early Posted by sulriel November 05, 2005 - 18:42:30 Topic ID# 6029
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, BLJean@a... wrote:
>
> >>>(and it wasn't the post quoted below, but a tone running
through some of the posts) about somehow *forcing* people to read
outside their genre.

hope I didn't start another misunderstanding. I'm not sure if it's
what you're refering to, but I commented earlier that I set a personal
goal that forced me outside my usual reading bounds ...

offers Lin a cookie ... a ...uhhh... protien cookie .. yeah, eggs,
milk, ...let's call it a peanut-butter pecan cookie - lots of
protien.

...looks around at group of staring faces ... offers box of peanut
butter pecan cookies to group.

Sulriel

Msg# 6033

OT for Lin and Sulriel (humor) Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 05, 2005 - 19:52:27 Topic ID# 6029
> offers Lin a cookie ... a ...uhhh... protien cookie .. yeah, eggs,
> milk, ...let's call it a peanut-butter pecan cookie - lots of
> protien.

Absolutely nothing useful to contribute, but Lin and Sulriel's protein
needs reminded me of this and since humor is always a good thing...

http://www.fatmouse.tk/

Caloric love,

Dwim

Msg# 6034

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 05, 2005 - 20:11:57 Topic ID# 6006
I think I'm with Larien--I liked the way the awards worked this
year. There was a long period where everyone was squirreled away
reading and quietly uploading reviews.

Then, in the final four weeks, the whole huge glut of finalized
reviews were made public. I don't know about you, but seeing 2000
reviews appear all of a sudden probably mitigates certain favoritism
effects: there's so many, a random browsing may put one or two
things on your list, but organizing a search through all those
reviews is about as time-consuming as reading the summaries
themselves to select fics.

This strikes me as a nice balance between the possibility that
reviews coming in in smaller numbers *might* help fics that were
reviewed early to attract more readers and providing the stimulus to
potential reviewers to actually review by showing them that Big
Things have been going on all summer that they've been missing out
on.

I'd definitely go with hiding the nominator's name (except perhaps
in the initial contact e-mail to the author).

In order to try to gently cajole/entice people to read during the
reading period, perhaps a monthly reminder should be sent out via LJ
and Yahoo (and anyone else with LJs might want to repost the
reminder when it comes up): One month gone, two months left, X many
reviewers have reviewed: help good fics be counted, fandom readers!
(Something short, sweet, and possibly vaguely corny.)

Dwim

Msg# 6035

Re: OT for Lin and Sulriel (humor) Posted by sulriel November 05, 2005 - 20:13:31 Topic ID# 6029
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik" <dwimmer_laik@y...>
wrote:
>> > offers Lin a cookie ... a ...uhhh... protien cookie .. yeah,
eggs, > > milk, ...let's call it a peanut-butter pecan cookie -
lots of > > protien.
>
> Absolutely nothing useful to contribute, but Lin and Sulriel's
protein > needs reminded me of this and since humor is always a good
thing...
>
> http://www.fatmouse.tk/
>
> Caloric love,> > Dwim>


Thanks Dwim,

I'm not sure if Horton can take fatmouse, but he might be to give him
a run for his shredded bedding ...

http://www.fal.net/html/horrton.html

Sulriel

Msg# 6036

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by C Dodd November 05, 2005 - 20:46:39 Topic ID# 6006
*Raises hand*
I do confess it -- I started writing reviews very late in the process,
partly because I didn't understand that I could. Seeing reviews from other
people would mitigate that misunderstanding. Yes, I deliberately hunted out
stories that had few or no reviews as part of my strategy, but I keep
getting the feeling that folks are missing the point. I read much MORE
BROADLY than I otherwise would have because I could see nominators and
reviews. With only categories and story summaries to go on, I would probably
have stopped reading around seventy five entries. With wanting to review
stories with no reviews yet I would have hit around 100. With the
stimulation of reviews and nominator information I read and reviewed over
200 entries. And if I'd started sooner I'd have read more. I'm still reading
from the list now that the contest is over, and I'm doing it largely by
reviews.
Are there things which give stories an "unfair advantage"? Hell yes. Having
the same story always appear at the top of the list when you signed on, for
one. Until I got the hang of the filters (and that took me a while) I read
and reviewed much more heavily in the early part of the default sequence.
Even using the filters I had to consciously make sure that I read at the
back of the list. So early nominations do have an advantage, and it isn't
about reviews, it's about position.
There are several people who deliberately looked for stories which had few
or no reviews -- and I happen to love that feature in the MEFAs -- it
clearly demonstrates that the purpose of the awards is to spread the fun
around. But equally there were several authors who were nominated, but
didn't do a lot of reading/reviewing within the context of the awards. The
broader the base of the readership, the more likely that every story will
have readers who review, and it takes outreach to get to them. Sending a
little reminder notice might help -- I don't know about you, but I got
several this year -- but not nearly as much as letting authors see the
benefits of participation as early as possible, while they're still excited
about being nominated.

On 11/5/05, dwimmer_laik <dwimmer_laik@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> I think I'm with Larien--I liked the way the awards worked this
> year. There was a long period where everyone was squirreled away
> reading and quietly uploading reviews.
>
> Then, in the final four weeks, the whole huge glut of finalized
> reviews were made public. I don't know about you, but seeing 2000
> reviews appear all of a sudden probably mitigates certain favoritism
> effects: there's so many, a random browsing may put one or two
> things on your list, but organizing a search through all those
> reviews is about as time-consuming as reading the summaries
> themselves to select fics.
>
> This strikes me as a nice balance between the possibility that
> reviews coming in in smaller numbers *might* help fics that were
> reviewed early to attract more readers and providing the stimulus to
> potential reviewers to actually review by showing them that Big
> Things have been going on all summer that they've been missing out
> on.
>
> I'd definitely go with hiding the nominator's name (except perhaps
> in the initial contact e-mail to the author).
>
> In order to try to gently cajole/entice people to read during the
> reading period, perhaps a monthly reminder should be sent out via LJ
> and Yahoo (and anyone else with LJs might want to repost the
> reminder when it comes up): One month gone, two months left, X many
> reviewers have reviewed: help good fics be counted, fandom readers!
> (Something short, sweet, and possibly vaguely corny.)
>
> Dwim
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6037

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by sulriel November 05, 2005 - 22:04:22 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
>> Are there things which give stories an "unfair advantage"? Hell
yes. Having> the same story always appear at the top of the list when
you signed on, for> one. Until I got the hang of the filters (and
that took me a while) I read> and reviewed much more heavily in the
early part of the default sequence.
>

This issue was discussed between the admins at some point during the
awards, I don't remember if Anthony was involved or not. I don't
know that it will be a disucssion topic because it's going to be more
of a feasibility issue, but I think steps will be taken to try to
periodically shuffle those in some way.

also if I remember, there were several ways the list could be sorted
and it was saved with your login, so everyone didn't see the
same 'first' story.

Sulriel.

Msg# 6038

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Anthony Holder November 06, 2005 - 0:34:09 Topic ID# 6013
Remember that I'm not really part of fandom (My wife, Elana, is the
real Fan), so I don't have a perspective on much of the 'cliquishness'
issues people have mentioned. I will say that having read (almost)
everything posted to the MEFAwards and MEFAStaff lists since March or
April, I've seen very little to suggest that there are favorite folks
and an 'in group'. From the staff point of view, people seem to gain
respect for their willingness to help, rather than just who they are.

How about this: Show the review, but not the reviewer, as soon as it's
final during reading season (or after a couple of weeks, to allow a
decent backlog to build up), then show the reviewer's name after voting
season is done. Essentially reading/voting season would be merged in
this case, as there would be no difference. I could even have it dump
new reviews once a week, rather than as they're done, again so there's
a bunch, rather than one at a time which might give more oomph to a
single story.

Not showing the reviewer's name allows the benefit of having the review
available, but eliminates the possibility that someone will just go
read other stories that person liked.

It seems to be the conclusion that the nominator's name could be on the
story page, but not on all the lists. I feel that the info should be
available, to keep consistency with the 'roots' of the system, where
nominations were just posts, but like 2004, I think that you should
have to go looking for the information, rather than having it shoved in
your face. (It'll reduce the page complexity and loading times, as
well, which is a good side effect.) If this discussion had happened
earlier, I would have suggested taking it off the lists this year.

I can make sure that there is no way to search or filter by nominator,
so that if someone wanted to go find the other stories that person
nominated, they'd have to go to every story page. Possible, but not
likely.

Remember that every piece of info on each page can be changed. New
stuff can be added, or existing can be removed. Also, any removals make
page loading faster. I'm not sure where that discussion belongs, and
whether it should be open discussion or not, as it could take days to
discuss the MEFA2005 User Interface. I'm sure there were things that
weren't great, but I do try to think about how many clicks and how hard
something is to do, and keep it as easy as possible. At some point,
though, I would like comments about the layout of the site, what
worked, and what was hard to use. I got many of them during the season,
but I'm sure you have more! Send them privately for now to
anthony_at_alumni dot rice . edu or add them as anonymous comments on
the MEFA2005 site
<http://gabrielle.sytes.net/MEFA2005/index.php?page=comments>. I'll
keep a list and report on it at some point, probably after PM, unless
there are things that seem to need policy decisions.

Someone's comment made me want to put an 'I'm Feeling Lucky' link on
one or more pages which would take you to a random story's page. That
person commented that they hate surprises, but some folks might like
it. It's on my ToDo list. I can't see how it would hurt, but if I don't
have time, it won't be a problem to skip it.

Another thing I added to my list is some way to randomize the stories
that show up before you apply filters. This should be pretty easy, and
would change each time you load the page.

I could also randomize the order in each category, but I figure that
having the order change every time you load a page would be insane,
unless I could figure out a way of storing a different sort order for
each user. I need to look into how to use cookies. Unfortunately, not
the peanut-butter pecan variety. <g>

Sulriel, I don't think that the sort order varied. I'm pretty sure
everybody saw the same defaults. I'll look into it, but I'm not sure I
can do much about the category lists, unless I can figure out the
cookies. I think storing it in the database would be too much for the
db to handle. As it is, the marking stuff for which reviews you've read
is two separate tables for each user, and I don't like that. I need to
see if I can do cookies for that as well.

Anthony

Msg# 6039

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topi c?) Posted by Laura November 06, 2005 - 1:37:52 Topic ID# 6039
-- <aelfwina@cableone.net> wrote:
>> While one or two people have admitted to being *somewhat*
>> influenced by other reviews or by the nominator, I don't think the
>> number of people who do so is large enough to warrant undue concern.

Can I add something here that I didn't communicate very well? (I'll blame sleeplessness, if anyone wants an excuse.) I think I'm among those who freely admitted to being "somewhat" influenced by nominators, but I'd like to stress the fact that this influence only came into effect when I was under time constraints. I suspect it's the same for everyone. When pressed for time, we fall back on our preferences. One way I stick to my preferences is following the trail of those nominators who share my likes and dislikes. You can certainly call that cliquish if you want, but I'm not sure there's any way to avoid it. And I don't think it kept me from getting out a decent number of reviews.

It's kind of like a hobbit fan seeking out hobbit stories. Is that wrong? I don't think so. And in the same vein, some of us follow style and theme. That's more difficult to determine based on summaries, though, because theme and style is something developed over the course of a story. But there *are* people out there who like the same styles and themes that I do, which means that if they enjoyed a story, I will probably enjoy it, too, regardless of whether it features my favorite characters or races. So the hobbit fan enjoys hobbit stories that include humor, drama, action, etc. In the meantime, the style and theme fan enjoys stories that have elves, hobbits, First Age, Modern Day, etc. Same idea, different focus. Neither is better than the other; they're simply different ways of judging stories.

>> Actually--here's a proposal that just now occurred to me: no
>> reviews available until *nominating* season ends, and then erase
>> the difference between "reading" and "voting" season, and call it
>> reading/voting season, and make the finalized reviews visible then.
>> Keep tentative and draft reviews invisible of course, just like now.
>> Encourage everyone to vote as early and as often as possible, and
>> encourage nominators to vote on their nominees ASAP.

I'm intrigued by this idea, but it also concerns me. There's the issue of unfair advantage, of course, for those stories that attract early reviews. But really, I don't think that's a major issue. Some of us ARE influenced by nominators, but like I said up above, it's primarily an issue of time and preference. Something I would like to point out, though, is the idea of frustrated authors if we did do away with hidden reviews during reading season. I had from a few authors who were upset because they couldn't see any reviews for their story while some stories had many reviews. I needed to explain the idea behind tentative and draft reviews several times. Now, let's take these same authors (who are usually pretty new at writing and aren't confident enough yet to handle an absence of feedback) and tell them that they have to wait four months instead of two months when looking for reviews. And you can tell them that some people review later than others and some reviews are stored as tentative, but it doesn't change the fact that these are frequently young authors who are uncertain about their work and would love to know whether or not they should continue writing. Sometimes their impetus for witing isn't strong enough to last three months, either.

On a side note, I also liked the phenomenon of 2000+ reviews suddenly appearing one day. I thought it was pretty neat, and I wouldn't want to do away with that, eithor.

Thundera

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
As a way of life, reality is highly overrated.
DahakýHercules: The Legendary Journeys
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Msg# 6040

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Kathy November 06, 2005 - 1:55:17 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik" <dwimmer_laik@y...>
wrote:
>
>
> In order to try to gently cajole/entice people to read during the
> reading period, perhaps a monthly reminder should be sent out via LJ
> and Yahoo (and anyone else with LJs might want to repost the
> reminder when it comes up): One month gone, two months left, X many
> reviewers have reviewed: help good fics be counted, fandom readers!
> (Something short, sweet, and possibly vaguely corny.)
>

How about a slogan? "The MEFAs: Vote early and often!" And we could get
a mascot too...maybe Fatmouse. And prizes! Sulriel can bake peanut
butter-pecan cookies for the person who leaves the most reviews. And
I'll bet Lin would love to write a MEFA theme song for us...

Hey, just trying to be creative here! ;)

Kathy (Inkling)

Msg# 6041

Banners for Story Winners are up! Posted by Ainaechoiriel November 06, 2005 - 2:26:04 Topic ID# 6041
I've still got to post the Author Banners but it's already after 2 and I've
got church.

You can find the Story banners for all the Story winners at the mefa site.
They are grouped into three pages by alphabet (on category name).
Adventure-Elves, Gapfiller-NonFiction, and PostRingWar-Villians.
http://home.earthlink.net/~ainae/mefa/index.html

--Ainaechoiriel
MEFA Admin and Founder

"This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the Elves," Elrond said, "for
it is Windows-compatible, and freeware at that." --H.F.

<http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa> http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa The
Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Blog: <http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com/>
http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6042

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 06, 2005 - 4:46:15 Topic ID# 6013
----- Original Message -----
From: "Laura" <thunderalaura@juno.com>
To: <MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, November 06, 2005 1:35 AM
Subject: Re: [MEFAwards] Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new
topic?)


-- <aelfwina@cableone.net> wrote:
>> Actually--here's a proposal that just now occurred to me: no
>> reviews available until *nominating* season ends, and then erase
>> the difference between "reading" and "voting" season, and call it
>> reading/voting season, and make the finalized reviews visible then.
>> Keep tentative and draft reviews invisible of course, just like now.
>> Encourage everyone to vote as early and as often as possible, and
>> encourage nominators to vote on their nominees ASAP.

I'm intrigued by this idea, but it also concerns me. There's the issue of
unfair advantage, of course, for those stories that attract early reviews.
But really, I don't think that's a major issue. Some of us ARE influenced by
nominators, but like I said up above, it's primarily an issue of time and
preference. Something I would like to point out, though, is the idea of
frustrated authors if we did do away with hidden reviews during reading
season. I had from a few authors who were upset because they couldn't see
any reviews for their story while some stories had many reviews. I needed to
explain the idea behind tentative and draft reviews several times. Now,
let's take these same authors (who are usually pretty new at writing and
aren't confident enough yet to handle an absence of feedback) and tell them
that they have to wait four months instead of two months when looking for
reviews. And you can tell them that some people review later than others and
some reviews are stored as tentative, but it doesn't change the fact that
these are frequently young authors who are uncertain about their work and
would love to know whether or not they should continue writing. Sometimes
their impetus for witing isn't strong enough to last three months, either.

This wouldn't make the reviews appear *later* but *sooner*--as soon as
"reading/voting" season began, just as reviews appeared when voting season
began. They would not have to wait as long at all. And I have to say, I like
the idea Anthony came up with of "dumping" them in once a week, so just one
story with a review would not have an "unfair" advantage. (Not that *I*
think it would be unfair, but this would address the concerns of those who
that it is.)

On a side note, I also liked the phenomenon of 2000+ reviews suddenly
appearing one day. I thought it was pretty neat, and I wouldn't want to do
away with that, eithor.

Well, this *would* do away with *that*, but there would still be the
pleasant phenomenon at the end when all the tentative reviews appeared.
Dreamflower

Thundera

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
As a way of life, reality is highly overrated.
Dahak-Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~








Yahoo! Groups Links

Msg# 6043

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 06, 2005 - 5:56:24 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
>
> But equally there were several authors who were nominated, but
> didn't do a lot of reading/reviewing within the context of the
> awards.

Woooowa! Big deja-vu here of that discussion that went going on at
Stories of Arda a while back.

First: nowhere it is stated that is mandatory for an author to
participate in the MEFA's once nominated.

I was nominated without asked and if this would be the case, then the
nominator decided for me to participate (I actually found out because
someone else told me). Which is just.. you can't ask that of an author
following your reasoning.

Second: I really don't mind if an author who was nominated left just
one review, over the hundred or nothing at all. I also don't mind of
those authors left one line or a full fledged review: it is the effort
they took and not the attitude: you got nomitated so this
automatically means participation. This is a kinda pressure that
certainly rubbed people into the wrong direction before and gave them
a feeling of being blackmailed (as was stated on the Stories of Arda
list). And I really don't like to repeat this discussion over again.

Every review, warm thought and so on mattered, but don't look at the
quantity of what participants left behind for stories. Even a single
action should be appreciated. If it comes in the form of a review:
great! If it came into the form as a compliment written here: also great.

Rhapsody

Msg# 6044

balance Posted by sulriel November 06, 2005 - 9:01:14 Topic ID# 6044
a couple of things to think about -

it would be fine with me if the nominators names and even the names of
the reviewers were never revealed, because it's about paying forward,
not being paid back - and there is that nuance of obligation that some
feel, regardless of if it's acted on. It can create a sense of guilt
in some authors and appearances of cliquishness or favoritism if
authors review each other.

but with the names hidden, some will still be 'in the know' and it
could create and advantage/disadvantage situation between the 'ins'
and the 'outs'.. both in the nominations and the reviewing.


One thing that has been important in these awards from the very
beginning, and I think, in part, key to their success, is the
transparency at every step.

without the names, you have assumptions of machinations behind the
scenes, but once the names are revealed, you have accusations of
cliquishness. I think this is unavoidable to some degree and it will
take those past participants standing up to their own friends,
acknowledging the impossibility of a completely fair system,
explaining how the MEFA's strive to avoid such problems and
encouraging them to participate with the reminder that the more
readers/reviewers participate, the less influence any one individual
or group has.

disclaimer: no one has mentioned not showing the reviewer names and I
wouldn't agree with it if they did, but it is an extension of hiding
finformation ...

Msg# 6045

Increasing participation (was against ... uh... stuff) Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 06, 2005 - 9:36:11 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "rhapsody_the_bard"
<rhapsody74@g...> wrote:
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
> >
> > But equally there were several authors who were nominated, but
> > didn't do a lot of reading/reviewing within the context of the
> > awards.
>
> Woooowa! Big deja-vu here of that discussion that went going on at
> Stories of Arda a while back.
>
> First: nowhere it is stated that is mandatory for an author to
> participate in the MEFA's once nominated.

I don't think this was RSF's intended point, although given the
blow-up ata SoA, I see where your concern lies in not having a repeat
of it.

It is simply a fact that far more people had stories compete than
substantially participated in that portion of the awards that actually
makes said awards work, namely, the reviewing portion.

This is not an accusation, nor is it the prelude to demanding a
tit-for-tat, scratch-my-back-now-I've-scratched-yours policy or
attitude. It's just that we *need* to try and encourage said
non-reviewing authors to join in even if it's only for a couple of
reviews. They're the ones who are definitely aware of the MEFAs, after
all. They're like a built-in pool of potential voters I'd love to see
'tapped' more effectively, though not in an 'emotional blackmail' sense.

However, we've got some definite tensions built into this whole thing:

1) We need large numbers of reviewers to give every story a fair shake
at being read and reviewed.

2) At the same time, we acknowledge Real Life, which happens and
prevents people from voting: thus we require no commitments from
anyone to vote but rely on people's desire to promote worthwhile
stories through reviewing.

3) We respect the fact that Real Life aside, some people just won't
want to participate, other than by allowing a story to run in the
awards. The whole thing being strictly voluntary, we can't complain
too much about that decision.

If there is really concern that pleas for more voters will be
perceived as emotional blackmail, then include a prominent note in the
author contact e-mail that goes something like this:

"Accepting a story's nomination to participate in MEFAs carries
*absolutely no obligation to participate in voting*. However, voting
is what makes the awards work, and beyond that it is fun--we would
therefore like to invite and encourage you to help us recognize
worthwhile fanfiction and vote in this year's awards."




Also, just to note: I'm not entirely sure how one might respond, on a
technical level, to RSF's assertion that stories near the beginning
have an advantage over those at the middle or end (I'm more of a
low-tech person--I'd solve it as she did, by making an effort to go
back to front or middle towards one end or what not, or simply by
committing myself to review everything in a section), but I'll take
the opportunity to advance a plea for a more user-friendly filter system.

I used the filters extensively in order to vote by category, and that
was good for the larger categories especially. I had to stay with them
over the course of several days, so I'd finish one page of stories and
just log off for the evening. But it was less useful when voting for
authors, or if hunting by subcategory. Then, I would have to
constantly clear the entire thing because one top filter would govern
the lower ones, thus making impossible combintions like "Cat:
Men"/"Subcat: Post-Ring War: drabbles" throw the whole filter system
because the subcats were controlled by the original request for
Post-Ring War (for example). The result was a page that showed no
stories. Given heavy site usage, sometimes that made for an extra few
minutes of sitting around, waiting for the proper screen to load.

If the filters could be made more independent of each other, that'd be
one less screen to load, and especially for author reviews, I think
it's a needed technical improvement to make sure you can quickly look
up *all* categories an author has participated in, not just one at a
time, clearing the filter between every new author.

Also, I never could make the "Show all stories with zero reviews" work
for me. Perhaps it's my antique browser and OS that got in the way,
but just to say: this Mac OS 9.1/Mozilla 1.2 user never could get that
filter to work.

Dwim

Msg# 6046

Re: balance Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 06, 2005 - 9:49:50 Topic ID# 6044
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "sulriel" <Sulriel@h...> wrote:
>
>
> a couple of things to think about -
<snip>
>
>
> One thing that has been important in these awards from the very
> beginning, and I think, in part, key to their success, is the
> transparency at every step.
>
> without the names, you have assumptions of machinations behind the
> scenes, but once the names are revealed, you have accusations of
> cliquishness. I think this is unavoidable to some degree and it will
> take those past participants standing up to their own friends,
> acknowledging the impossibility of a completely fair system,
> explaining how the MEFA's strive to avoid such problems and
> encouraging them to participate with the reminder that the more
> readers/reviewers participate, the less influence any one individual
> or group has.

Thank you, Sulriel. I entirely agree with the main thrust of this
statement--in the end, the awards can make every feasible effort to
take into account such concerns, and the fact that we're having this
extended discussion (we haven't officially even reached issue number 2
on Marta's list of Post-mortem topics) is, I think, evidence tht we
all do want to make sure we've taken every precaution.

But just as in the end, the awards depend on the actual decision by
other people to invest time and effort in reviewing stories, helping
to make sure MEFAs are not wrongly accused of cliquishness or what not
is a task that takes a commitment to communicating with others and
explaining things to those who are going off of hearsay, or who
haven't had the benefit of these discussions.

Dwim

Msg# 6047

Re: nominators' recommendation (reply to Rabidsamfan) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:39:33 Topic ID# 6006
On 5 Nov 2005, at 04:38, C Dodd wrote:

> On 11/4/05, Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > One idea that might have a similar affect would be to make final
> > reviews visible throughout reading season and maybe even nomination
> > season. This would encourage people to review earlier, so they could
> > let their reviews serve as a recommendation of sorts to others.
>
>   Yes, that would serve much the same purpose. And it would encourage
> authors too, I think, to be able to see that they had garnered some
> reviews
> early on in the process. A little squee now and then is good for the
> soul!
>

I agree. I really like receiving a review when they come in - it makes
my day. I would like to spread that warm tingly feeling out if I could.

The more I think about it, the less comfortable I am with having these
visible during nomination season. I don't want people seeing that an
author is popular to decide what they nominate. But I'm happy to have
them available during what was called this year reading season and
voting season. Is that a compromise you can live with?

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 6048

Post-mortem Topic #2: Types of Reviews (reply to Larian) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:39:34 Topic ID# 6048
>

The second part of my reply to Larian...

> or
> that reviews should be visible during reading and/or nominating
> seasons instead
> of during the actual voting season.

Personally, I'd be happy to have them not visible during nomination
season. Would you be happy for them to be visible during reading season
(or what was called reading season this year - remember, i'm proposing
doing away with it and having one long voting season).

> Seeing reviews early will mean that the stories that get reviewed
> early will
> have an unfair advantage over the ones that don't. 
>

I suppose that's true. But there are a couple of mitigating factors:

* No one *has* to read the reviews. It takes an active effort to see
them, and if a reviewer would rather not be unduly influenced they can
not read the reviews until they review the story.

* While having reviews available earlier may influence people to vote
based on the opinions of a few, it can be anyone's opinions that are
influential. And it rewards people for voting earlier.

* Having reviews available will increase the reviews made for all. I
remember some people saying that they were shy about starting voting
until they saw how others were writing their reviews - not for the same
story, necessarily, just a r4eview that they could use as a model.


> I realize that everyone, in the interests of time, sticks to their
> favorite
> categories, but now, you're planning on letting the review and/or the
> recommendation narrow down the categories to a few peoples' favorite
> authors.
>
> So essentially, we're steering the whole process to the tastes of a
> few people
> who write reviews early, or write 'better' reviews than others.
>

Yes, if there are only a few people doing this. But this problem is
easily remedied by having more than a few people vote early. The more
people who vote early, the less of a prolblem this will be.

I understand your concern, but I think it will only be a problem if a
few people review early, and if reviewers choose to go read reviews for
those stories they want to review. Plus, having any reviews available
will increase the feedback for all. I think if having the reviews
available really is a problem, it's a problem having them available
throughout voting season as well as earlier on. It seems that having
the reviews available during the voting is more beneficial than
harmful, so I'm more inclined to go with having them visible earlier
on. However, my mind's still not completely made up. :-)

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 6049

Re: nominators' recommendation Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:39:45 Topic ID# 6006
Hi Kathy,

On 5 Nov 2005, at 00:41, Kathy wrote:

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
> >
> > <snip>
> > One idea that might have a similar affect would be to make final
> > reviews visible throughout reading season and maybe even nomination
> > season. This would encourage people to review earlier, so they
> could
> > let their reviews serve as a recommendation of sorts to others.
>
> I think that's an excellent idea, Marta, and I was thinking the same
> thing while reading Dreamflower's post.  Making reviews--especially
> nominator's reviews, which are often done early--visible sooner would
> not only serve as a recommendation of sorts, it would also provide a
> good model to those who are, perhaps, hesitant to leave reviews
> because they're not sure exactly how to go about it.  I remember
> seeing some questions early on about how to write a MEFA review;
> i.e., what style was appropriate.  The kinds of reviews I've seen in
> the MEFAs are often quite different from what people may be used to
> leaving in archives, and some people may be intimidated by the
> prospect. Remember, not all MEFA members (and nominators) are
> writers...some are readers only.
>

This is a good point, and thank you for reminding me where I heard
those comments. (I also saw some privately, and on other listservs.)
And style isn't something I can really quantify in a FAQ like I can a
lot of things. It's so personal! I can offer suggestions of what work
for me, but this is really something that works best when you can see
an example and then go adapt it to your own style.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6050

Re: nominators' recommendation Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:40:16 Topic ID# 6006
Hi Marigold,

On 5 Nov 2005, at 02:09, MarigoldCotton@aol.com wrote:

> Marta said: "One idea that might have a similar affect would be to
> make final reviews visible throughout reading season and maybe even
> nomination season. This would encourage people to review earlier, so
> they could let their reviews serve as a recommendation of sorts to
> others."
>
> I think that this is a really good idea.
>
> Marigold
>

Thanks for weighing in. This seems like a popular idea.

Cheers,
Marta
--
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6051

Post-mortem Topic #2: Types of Reviews (reply to Larian) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:40:17 Topic ID# 6048
>

The second part of my reply to Larian...

> or
> that reviews should be visible during reading and/or nominating
> seasons instead
> of during the actual voting season.

Personally, I'd be happy to have them not visible during nomination
season. Would you be happy for them to be visible during reading season
(or what was called reading season this year - remember, i'm proposing
doing away with it and having one long voting season).

> Seeing reviews early will mean that the stories that get reviewed
> early will
> have an unfair advantage over the ones that don't. 
>

I suppose that's true. But there are a couple of mitigating factors:

* No one *has* to read the reviews. It takes an active effort to see
them, and if a reviewer would rather not be unduly influenced they can
not read the reviews until they review the story.

* While having reviews available earlier may influence people to vote
based on the opinions of a few, it can be anyone's opinions that are
influential. And it rewards people for voting earlier.

* Having reviews available will increase the reviews made for all. I
remember some people saying that they were shy about starting voting
until they saw how others were writing their reviews - not for the same
story, necessarily, just a r4eview that they could use as a model.


> I realize that everyone, in the interests of time, sticks to their
> favorite
> categories, but now, you're planning on letting the review and/or the
> recommendation narrow down the categories to a few peoples' favorite
> authors.
>
> So essentially, we're steering the whole process to the tastes of a
> few people
> who write reviews early, or write 'better' reviews than others.
>

Yes, if there are only a few people doing this. But this problem is
easily remedied by having more than a few people vote early. The more
people who vote early, the less of a prolblem this will be.

I understand your concern, but I think it will only be a problem if a
few people review early, and if reviewers choose to go read reviews for
those stories they want to review. Plus, having any reviews available
will increase the feedback for all. I think if having the reviews
available really is a problem, it's a problem having them available
throughout voting season as well as earlier on. It seems that having
the reviews available during the voting is more beneficial than
harmful, so I'm more inclined to go with having them visible earlier
on. However, my mind's still not completely made up. :-)

Cheers,
Marta


*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6052

Re: cliquishness, voting, Dwim, requiring nominator to review, self Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:40:32 Topic ID# 5916
Hi Jillian,

> I have to agree completely with your thoughful response. Especially
> that if
> we only have a certain number of nominations per member, we need to
> think
> about each one, whether it be our own or someone else's story!
>

Good! For myself, there will probably be a few of my stories I choose
to nominate if they aren't nominated by others, but I'll also probably
nominate stories by others over my own. :-)

> Frankly, if the MEFA stop self-nomination, I will simply chose not to
> participate, rather then pimp myself out begging for someone to
> nominate my
> work for me.
>

I understand where you're coming from, and if we do completely ban
self-nominations (unlikely as that is) I wouldn't require anyone to
participate. But I do want to be clear about something. I want the
MEFAs to be something that's comfortable for as many people to
participate in as possible. Even Tolkien admitted that in a sizeable
project it was "not possible to please everybody at all points, nor to
please everybody at the same points." So I hope most people will feel
free to join in on these awards, but decisions will be made based on
what's best for the MEFAs, not to try to keep some specific person
involved.

Oh, and I don't think you meant that, Jillian. If you don't feel like
you can participate anymore I hope we can part with no hard feelings.
But I did just want to be clear.

Cheers,
Marta


*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6053

Re: nominators' recommendation Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:40:34 Topic ID# 6006
Hi Marigold,

On 5 Nov 2005, at 02:09, MarigoldCotton@aol.com wrote:

> Marta said: "One idea that might have a similar affect would be to
> make final reviews visible throughout reading season and maybe even
> nomination season. This would encourage people to review earlier, so
> they could let their reviews serve as a recommendation of sorts to
> others."
>
> I think that this is a really good idea.
>
> Marigold
>

Thanks for weighing in. This seems like a popular idea.

Cheers,
Marta
--
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)


*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6054

Re: Against recommending Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:40:35 Topic ID# 6006
On 5 Nov 2005, at 05:15, Larian Elensar wrote:

> I have to disagree with everyone that thinks nominators should
> recommend,

I agree with you, and I think I finally understand my thoughts well
enough to spell them out. I think I finally understand my reasons for
feeling this way. As I see it, there are four possible scenarios:

1. The nominator doesn't leave a recommendation. This is obviously
unfair to the author, because they just don't have the advantage of the
recommendation.

2. The nominator leaves a recommendation that is a fair assessment of
the story. First-rate scenario as far as I can see - the recommendation
would work if every story got a recommendation like this.

3. The nominator leaves a recommendation that under-sells the story.
The story will attract less reviewers than it deserves based on this
recommendation.

4. The nominator leaves a recommendation that over-sells the story.
Reviewers will perhaps expect a better story than they get and so will
be disappointed. (It's similar to a situation I've been in often
enough: I'm disappointed by an over-hyped movie where my movie-seeing
partner who somehow missed the hype thought it was a good movie.) The
end result is that the piece probably gets more reviewers but less
points per review.

In either of the cases (e/c #2) the recommendation means the author
doesn't get a fair shake. So I think this situation is a good sentiment
but in practicality just wouldn't work.

I want to start a new thread on types of reviews, so I'm going to put
the rest of this in another email.

Cheers,
Marta


*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6055

Re: cliquishness, voting, Dwim, requiring nominator to review, self Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:40:36 Topic ID# 5916
Hi Jillian,

> I have to agree completely with your thoughful response. Especially
> that if
> we only have a certain number of nominations per member, we need to
> think
> about each one, whether it be our own or someone else's story!
>

Good! For myself, there will probably be a few of my stories I choose
to nominate if they aren't nominated by others, but I'll also probably
nominate stories by others over my own. :-)

> Frankly, if the MEFA stop self-nomination, I will simply chose not to
> participate, rather then pimp myself out begging for someone to
> nominate my
> work for me.
>

I understand where you're coming from, and if we do completely ban
self-nominations (unlikely as that is) I wouldn't require anyone to
participate. But I do want to be clear about something. I want the
MEFAs to be something that's comfortable for as many people to
participate in as possible. Even Tolkien admitted that in a sizeable
project it was "not possible to please everybody at all points, nor to
please everybody at the same points." So I hope most people will feel
free to join in on these awards, but decisions will be made based on
what's best for the MEFAs, not to try to keep some specific person
involved.

Oh, and I don't think you meant that, Jillian. If you don't feel like
you can participate anymore I hope we can part with no hard feelings.
But I did just want to be clear.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 6056

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:40:48 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Dreamdeer,

> As to the suggestions for limits, I am very much in favor of the
> second one,
> limit per nominator. It seems that there is more or less a consensus
> on this
> one, and the next step will be to crunch the numbers.
>

Yep, I think that's definitely the next step.

My email access is spotty for the next week, but hopefully I'll have
time to post the results soon. As soon as the poll closes, feel free to
start discussing what number you prefer for a maximum, and your reasons
for wanting that number. Maybe we can reach some sort of consensus
there.

> Now a good deal of discussion seems to have arisen on the topics of
> reviews--requiring nomination reviews or comments, and the way in
> which
> these would affect potential readers/reviewers, and whether or not
> these
> should be *required*.
>
> Here's what I think: a nomination review should not be *required*, but
> should be *highly encouraged*.  I think a statement of some sort put
> out
> along the lines of this, in describing what a nominator needs to do: 
> "It is
> not required, but is highly encouraged, for a nominator to review
> each story
> he/she nominates as soon as is feasible.  If you like the story well
> enough
> to nominate it, then a review from you will serve as encouragement to
> others
> to also read and review that entry.  You may enter a draft or
> tentative
> review as soon as the nomination appears, although it will not count
> until
> the nomination is finalized."
>

Yes, something like that is definitely doable. I want to encourage
nominators to review their nomination, but I think the best way to do
this is by education and encouragement, not requiring one. (Like you're
saying.)

I've talked to Anthony and Ainae, and one possible change we're
considering is a page confirming that the nomination has been
submitted. This would include information about what happens next with
the nomination, and it would include a link to the page you see when
you first log in to MEFA2005. there could also be a paragraph and
possibly even a link encouraging the nominator to vote for the story.
So we could encourage it as soon as the nomination is made.

Anyway, EXCELLENT idea.

> I think that for a lot of the "problems" we have found, a bit of
> education
> and publicity will go a long way towards solving them than more
> rules.  I
> think the only things we need to change in the rules are those things
> that
> affect the numbers and the votes.
>

This is a very important point. Guys, if you see a problem that we're
discussing a new requirmeent to fix it, it might be a good idea to do
the simplicity test. Can this be solved without adding a new
requirement? Will some education work just as well? Feel free to say
that, regardless of whether an idea is a good one, the problem doesn't
need a new policy to solve it.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6057

Re: limiting nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:41:14 Topic ID# 5899
Hi Naresha,

On 4 Nov 2005, at 08:57, Naresha wrote:

> >  agree with this.  I think a single limit
> > should be enforced for all nominations.
>
>
> Thanks Sulriel!  And the thing is - I don't think
> it's fair to make drabbles etc an "extra" because
> it potentially means that it could be interpreted
> as, that in order to nominate drabbles, you also
> have to nominate stories.  And not everyone wants
> to nominate stories!  Please no one think that
> this is what I genuinely feel has been already
> stated.  I just want to make the point that IF
> this is something we go with - drabbles being
> extra nominations to stories - we would have to
> be VERY careful in our wording of it.
>

Good point! I hadn't thought of this, and I can see how a single limit
would be simpler to explain and less prone to confusion. That in itself
isn't an automatic argument that it's *better*, but it's certainly a
strong mark in its favor.

We'll see how the poll goes.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6058

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations - about nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:41:23 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Resha,

> > I think you're right on this. The more I read,
> > the less comfortable I am with requiring
> > nominators to make votes. It's a good idea but
> > probably not the best way to go about it.
>
> Given we all seem to like the idea of requiring
> reviews for nominations, but we also all seem
> feel it would be too hard to do... What do people
> think of perhaps just putting a line in there
> along the lines of:
> "It would be appreciated if when nominating a
> story, you also review it."  Any ideas on that one?
>

I think I replied to this somewhere else (Dreamflower's email?) but I
think this is a great idea. We'll hammer out the exact wording later,
but this will definitely be happening. :-)

Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6059

Re: nominators' recommendation (reply to Rabidsamfan) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:41:27 Topic ID# 6006
On 5 Nov 2005, at 04:38, C Dodd wrote:

> On 11/4/05, Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > One idea that might have a similar affect would be to make final
> > reviews visible throughout reading season and maybe even nomination
> > season. This would encourage people to review earlier, so they could
> > let their reviews serve as a recommendation of sorts to others.
>
>   Yes, that would serve much the same purpose. And it would encourage
> authors too, I think, to be able to see that they had garnered some
> reviews
> early on in the process. A little squee now and then is good for the
> soul!
>

I agree. I really like receiving a review when they come in - it makes
my day. I would like to spread that warm tingly feeling out if I could.

The more I think about it, the less comfortable I am with having these
visible during nomination season. I don't want people seeing that an
author is popular to decide what they nominate. But I'm happy to have
them available during what was called this year reading season and
voting season. Is that a compromise you can live with?

Cheers,
Marta


*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6060

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:41:47 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Dreamdeer,

> As to the suggestions for limits, I am very much in favor of the
> second one,
> limit per nominator. It seems that there is more or less a consensus
> on this
> one, and the next step will be to crunch the numbers.
>

Yep, I think that's definitely the next step.

My email access is spotty for the next week, but hopefully I'll have
time to post the results soon. As soon as the poll closes, feel free to
start discussing what number you prefer for a maximum, and your reasons
for wanting that number. Maybe we can reach some sort of consensus
there.

> Now a good deal of discussion seems to have arisen on the topics of
> reviews--requiring nomination reviews or comments, and the way in
> which
> these would affect potential readers/reviewers, and whether or not
> these
> should be *required*.
>
> Here's what I think: a nomination review should not be *required*, but
> should be *highly encouraged*.  I think a statement of some sort put
> out
> along the lines of this, in describing what a nominator needs to do: 
> "It is
> not required, but is highly encouraged, for a nominator to review
> each story
> he/she nominates as soon as is feasible.  If you like the story well
> enough
> to nominate it, then a review from you will serve as encouragement to
> others
> to also read and review that entry.  You may enter a draft or
> tentative
> review as soon as the nomination appears, although it will not count
> until
> the nomination is finalized."
>

Yes, something like that is definitely doable. I want to encourage
nominators to review their nomination, but I think the best way to do
this is by education and encouragement, not requiring one. (Like you're
saying.)

I've talked to Anthony and Ainae, and one possible change we're
considering is a page confirming that the nomination has been
submitted. This would include information about what happens next with
the nomination, and it would include a link to the page you see when
you first log in to MEFA2005. there could also be a paragraph and
possibly even a link encouraging the nominator to vote for the story.
So we could encourage it as soon as the nomination is made.

Anyway, EXCELLENT idea.

> I think that for a lot of the "problems" we have found, a bit of
> education
> and publicity will go a long way towards solving them than more
> rules.  I
> think the only things we need to change in the rules are those things
> that
> affect the numbers and the votes.
>

This is a very important point. Guys, if you see a problem that we're
discussing a new requirmeent to fix it, it might be a good idea to do
the simplicity test. Can this be solved without adding a new
requirement? Will some education work just as well? Feel free to say
that, regardless of whether an idea is a good one, the problem doesn't
need a new policy to solve it.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6061

Re: Post Mortem Topic #2: Types of Reviews (reply to Sulriel) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:41:55 Topic ID# 6013
Hi sulriel,

>
> I don't think any reviews should be visible during nomination season,
> but I'm not sure I'm completely clear on the difference - on the need
> for the difference - between reading season and voting season with
> the new database.

> It seems to me that the reviews should either be visible or not. 
> Either post them immed when finalized from the start of reading
> season, or have no reviews available to be read at all until the end
> of voting season.
>

I know a few people (myself included) used draft reviews to mark
stories that we didn't want to see anymore. Using the filter option to
display stories which I had not reviewed, I could use this option to
display only those stories I was still interested in reviewing but
hadn't. I know this isn't the intended purpose of the draft review, but
in my mind it's the best one. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to
go to the trouble of entering a review not to have it count for
something. This is what muddies the waters, not tentative, in my mind.
And it creates a problem where the reviewer meant to enter tentative or
final but forgot to change the status.

So here are my suggestions. Granted they're pretty sweeping.

1. Do away with reading season. Have one long voting season all the way
from the end of check ballot season to the last day of voting. It would
be as long as reading season and voting season now (possibly longer),
but we'd call it one name to avoid confusion.

2. Do away with draft reviews. If it is feasible, maybe we can
incorporate some way to Hide certain reviews under the "display
nominations not reviewed" filter. I'll email Anthony privately to see
if this is possible.

3. Change the name "tentative" to "hidden". These reviews are only
visible after the last day of voting, and all hidden reviews are
counted toward vote totals.
I also recommend we assign them a date when they're cast, not at the
end of nomination season if this is technically possible. (This is to
keep from displaying all the tentative/hidden reviews after those
reviews initially cast as final/visible. Again, this is something I'll
have to clear with Anthony.)

4. Change the name "final" to "visible". Display these reviews any
point past the beginning of voting season (i.e., after check ballot
season). All of these votes

5. Make it possible for the reviewer to edit his or her vote at any
point before the end of voting season. Even visible reviews, which are
visible at any point during voting season.

> I agree with the concerns that are addressing readership following
> more fluent reviewers and I think that could be addressed by hiding
> even the final reviews until the end of voting season.
>

Somehow I've missed these concerns. Can someone summarise them for me?

> BUT
>
> I think the disadvantage is well off-set by the number of new readers
> and reviews that the existing reviews garner. 
>

Not knowing the above reasons, I can't comment whether it's off-set or
not. But I do think it's helpful to the reviewer to see how other
people have reviewed. Not necessarily for the story they want to review
- I have heard from several people who have said they were hesitatnt to
review until they could have a model in a review set by someone else.
Anything that gets people reviewing earlier also gets them reviewing
more stories overall, so I think I'm in favor of this.

> I also am one whose first choice is to read by author, because
> authors typically maintain a style and genre and if I like one of
> their works I'm likely to like them all - and I find the same goes
> for like-minded reviewers - but it doesn't matter a lot to me if it's
> a verbose review or a simple "I liked this", because if I know
> someone shares my tastes I'm likely to read something they like
> simply because they liked it regardless of what they specifically
> said about it. -and that would transfer to nominators.  I suppose
> that could be called cliquish, but that isn't the heart of it, it's
> simply that some people have similar tastes; it doesn't mean we chant
> together under the moon and plot the demise of those with other
> tastes.
>

I think I see what you mean. You aren't reviewing because the person is
your friend, but because you know in the past you have enjoyed what
this person enjoys. I don't think that's necessarily cliquish - it's
making good use of your limited reviewing time. I'm a stickler for
grammar and have a very hard time enjoying a story full of misplaced
commas. It makes sense that I might look at stories that I might look
first to stories that I know people with the same issue also enjoyed.

> I made an effort, with the 2005 MEFAs, to read a selection from each
> cate and so forced myself outside my usual bounds (and was very glad
> for it) - I set a goal for 100 reviews and had settled back to other
> work once I reached that - but was so intrigued by going through the
> reviews as they came in, that I completed another 100 reviews before
> the end of the season.  I wouldn't have done that second 100 without
> the 'recommendations' of the reviewers, because those were stories
> that I didn't click on based on the authors summery.
>

Also, as an author I really liked having the reviews gradually. Every
time I received one it made me feel good. I'd hate to limit that to one
burst.

Cheers,
Marta
*****
Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words. - St. Francis
of Assisi

Msg# 6062

Re: regarding post-mortem emails Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:41:55 Topic ID# 5926
Hi Resha,

On 4 Nov 2005, at 10:03, Naresha wrote:

> > So I'm going to take a few hours away from my >
> computer and do some of the RL stuff I need to >
> get done anyway. Contrary to appearances, I do
> > have actual offline pressures too!
>
>
> OMG!  Marta you have a life outside the
> computer?!  :-P 

*snerk* Hard to believe, isn't it?

> I know how you feel though - I'm
> still 5-600 emails behind because of RL!  But
> this topic certainly has garnered a lot of good
> solid conversation about it!
>

Oh yes! I've thoroughly enjoyed it.

Marta


*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6063

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:42:11 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Anthony,

On 4 Nov 2005, at 00:00, Anthony Holder wrote:

> > I didn't get the difference in reading season and voting season,
> > except in
> > voting season a final review is final. I started my reviews out as
> > tentative
> > anyway, when I thought they were good enough. I used Draft for
> stories
> > read
> > but won't do a review. Since you can already write reviews during
> > reading
> > season, as a voter I took the whole reading/voting thing as a
> > technicality.
> > I would appreciate to get a bit more time for reading and writing
> > reviews
> > overall.
>
> You may not remember, because it has been quite a while, but the
> system
> allows one to start reading/reviewing as soon as stories have been
> nominated. There is the chance that the story will be withdrawn and
> that the review will not count, and I think I checked to be sure that
> no reviews were lost when duplicates were eliminated, but that does
> give some extra time (and a small, I think, advantage to the stories
> nominated early).
>
> You all should probably decide whether to keep or eliminate this
> feature. I don't think many used it this year, because you were busy
> nominating, but with limits, more might next year.
>

I personally like this feature. I think the advantage to stories
nominated early is small enough that it's outweighed by the value of
giving people more time to read and encouraging them to get started
earlier.

But what do other people think? I don't have particularly strong
feelings on this one.

> Another thing for my todo list, automating moving reviews over for
> duplicates!
>

Oh, very neat! That would be a good service.

Anythony, one comment I've seen a few places is that people were
surprised that stories they nominated or voted for are withdrawn. Would
it be possible to have a list of stories and/or authors who have
decided not to participate? I'm not sure whether this would be a good
idea, but it is something to consider.

> One suggestion: Recommend that self-nominations be saved until later
> in
> nomination season (unless RL dictates it's now or never), so that
> others can nominate your story if they want to.
>

I think that's a good policy to recommend. It saves the authors'
nominations for other stories, and it gives the author the extra bit of
ego boost that comes from having someone else nominate you. But just to
be clear, I think we should recommend this, not require it or code some
requirement into the website.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6064

Re: Post-Mortem Topic #1: Number of Nominations Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:42:23 Topic ID# 5843
Hi Chris,

On 3 Nov 2005, at 20:56, Chris Grzonka wrote:

> > Because everyone has been
> > reading them all year there is no need for a reading season. We
> added that
> > the first year of the MEFAs to give people a chance to read stories
> posted
> > to archives they did not usually read.
>
> I knew a lot of the nominated stories, but to write a review I still
> had to
> read at least part of it again.

I can understand that. I'm not sure if something's wrong with my memory
;-) but I can't remember stories properly either! I think a lot of
people try to re-read at least part of a story. Or at least I hope I'm
not alone in that!

So the period of the awards that was previously called reading season
and voting season will be at least as long as it is now. It will
probably get just a bit longer if we decide to shorten nomination
season. I think that calling the whole thing voting season would make
it more clear that people can vote for stories during what was formerly
called reading season.

> I didn't want to go back to the site where
> the story is archived and read my original review to some of the
> stories to
> just repost it again. I thought it unfair to the author. But to write
> something new I still had to read the story again. Unless I betaed a
> story,
> than I knew it by heart<g>. So, no matter that I knew stories I still
> needed
> time to read.
>

Thanks for that! I received a few of your reviews and really loved the
new feedback. As I'm awful about leaving feedback at the original
archives this isn't such a point for me.

This is something that came up in a lot of reviews. People would say
they were copying (or adapting) their review from such-and-such a
sight, and I understand the need to get as many reviews done. I'm not
saying people shouldn't be allowed to do this - but that I do enjoy the
new reviews as well.

> > In 2004 the volunteers had to copy each vote into
> > Word, do a character count (using Word's word count feature), look
> at a
> > table to see how many points that character count got, and record
> the
> > information in an Excel document. Lots of behind-the-scenes work.
>
> This sounds very cumbersome. Thanks to Anthony for the nifty web
> site<g>.
>

Oh yes! A series of family emergencies meant I couldn't participate in
the voting part of last year, but from what I've heard it was very work
intensive. That's why it took two weeks. (Another season that perhaps
we need to re-evaluate - we certainly needed two weeks to check and
compute results originally, even if we don't now.)

Anyway, I've heard the stories... and YES. I cannot say it enough.
Thank you, Anthony.

Cheers,
Marta


*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6065

Re: Summaries Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 10:43:34 Topic ID# 6003
Hi Lin,

On 4 Nov 2005, at 20:47, BLJean@aol.com wrote:

> And as an over-busy, not to mention lazy, author, I often glanced over
> the
> nominator's summary and said, 'That looks good' and didn't even
> notice a problem
> with one summary until I saw it being discussed... "Should we be kind
> to the
> author and correct this?" (I think the upshot was "No." Serves me
> right for
> not being a more careful reader.
>
> Lin
>

This is a reason why I think it's so important for the author to
provide a lot of the information and not the nominator. Some authors
are lazy, like you said. (I'd call it energy-efficient. ;-P ) Some are
overwhelmed by the nomination and don't want to correct someone kind
enough to review them. Some are new to the awards and assume the
nominator knows the system better. In any event, I think we'll get
better information if it's from the authors to begin with, rather than
requiring that authors correct what someone else provided.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6066

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topi c?) Posted by Laura November 06, 2005 - 10:48:05 Topic ID# 6039
-- <aelfwina@cableone.net> wrote:
>> This wouldn't make the reviews appear *later* but *sooner*--as soon
>> as "reading/voting" season began, just as reviews appeared when
>> voting season began. They would not have to wait as long at all.

The sleeplessness is cropping up again. (That happens after 72 hours with 50+ hyped-up teenagers.) Let me see if I can clarify the concern:

During the awards this year, AFTER reading season had ended and voting season had begun, there were a number of stories with final reviews. There were also a number of stories with tentative reviews but no final reviews. A sizeable portion of this latter group was comprised of newer authors who were afraid their stories had gone unnoticed because other stories had visible final reviews and they didn't. There was no way for them to see that their stories had tentative reviews, so they assumed that they had no reviews whatsoever. This will probably happen again next year, but if we make it possible to see final reviews from the very beginning, it will be a problem that persists for four months rather than just two. We've doubled the time that newer authors with unseen tentative reviews worry about no one reading their stories while stories of more prominent authors accumulate final reviews.

As with the nominators, I don't see this as a BIG problem, so I don't want to blow it out of proportion. But it is a concern. Older, more established authors tend to be easier to review because we've either left reviews for them in the past or we know them well enough that the words come easier. Those reviews are also easier to finalize, so they're sometimes the ones that pop up on the website first. A new author, while a blessed find, is not as easy to review because the work is less familiar and we don't have a rapport with the writer. Those are the reviews that tend to be finalized a little bit later than the others. And while some new authors can handle a longer wait to see if they've been reviewed, some aren't as confident as that.

So going back to Dreamflower's point, yes. Reviews would appear sooner, not later. But that's only final reviews. And the first batch of final reviews that I saw had a larger portion of familiar, established writers in them. Some newer authors were definitely present, but by and large, final reviews for them started coming later. Not sooner. So I'm concerned that the authors sitting around waiting for final reviews are going to go through the same thing that a few went through this time around except that we're going to make their wait period longer. Personally, I like what happened this year. I'm really not in favor of changing it.

Thundera

~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
As a way of life, reality is highly overrated.
DahakýHercules: The Legendary Journeys
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Msg# 6067

Re: nominators' recommendation (reply to Rabidsamfan) Posted by C Dodd November 06, 2005 - 10:51:28 Topic ID# 6006
Oh, yes -- in fact I wasn't thinking of seeing reviews during nomination
season at all, if they were possible to see during reading/voting season. My
base desire is to attract readers, after all, and once reading season is
open, why not go for it?
Since participation in the reading/reviewing part of the award by nominee
authors isn't mandatory (and I don't think it should be!), the main question
is *encouraging* more participation and a carrot always works better than a
stick. Anthony's weekly addition of new reviews might address the concerns
of the folks who are worried about advantages, and if he thinks it's
feasible it probably is. An "I'm feeling lucky" button to pick a story (or
one for stories and one for reviews) was another suggestion that I thought
had some merit, although as a supplement to the ordinary choice of stories,
not as a substitute.
But I like being able to see reviews and reviewers and nominators and even
to search by reviewer or nominator. I like an open process which gives me
lots of choices when it comes to ways to pick the next story to read. I love
keyword searches, too (thanks for including them!) and while I'm a bit
cranky about categories that's another topic altogether!
(I do kind of feel like I hijacked the original topic, though...)

On 11/5/05, Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> The more I think about it, the less comfortable I am with having these
> visible during nomination season. I don't want people seeing that an
> author is popular to decide what they nominate. But I'm happy to have
> them available during what was called this year reading season and
> voting season. Is that a compromise you can live with?
>
> Cheers,
> Marta
>
>
>
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6068

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topi c?) Posted by C Dodd November 06, 2005 - 11:24:03 Topic ID# 6039
Okay, here's my take on this. According to what I read in emails sent around
during voting, tentative reviews were used by some folks to filter out
stories that they weren't interested in reading, yes? So putting up a number
of "tentative" reviews would be like offering candy to the authors and then
snatching it away just before Halloween.
Is it possible for there to be a "hold aside" which reviewers could use to
identify the stories which they didn't mean to review or didn't want to deal
with while they were filtering for other things? Or could we strongly
encourage people to only use the "draft" reviews that way? That would mean
that tentative reviews could be used by reviewers who were going through a
category and wanted to make sure that the story they liked best was the one
which they gave the most votes, or to give themselves the chance to reread a
review by daylight and correct misspellings etc. before making it final. And
as a bonus, the number of tentative reviews could be revealed without also
showing the reviews themselves.
Alternately, having final reviews appear earlier might encourage reviewers
to finalize their reviews sooner, say after finishing reading through a
category instead of waiting for everything to show up later. I know that I
didn't bother to finalize a number of things until after I could see that it
would be worth the effort -- i.e., when making a review final would make it
appear. I wasn't quite sure why there were three categories of reviews
possible until I'd worked with them for a good long while, and I almost
never used the "draft" category once I'd figured out that "tentative" served
my purposes better.
Even for folks who are readers and not authors, I think early reviews have
some benefits. For one thing, it's nice to see your hard work out there all
shiny if you've been writing reviews, and for another, it's nice to have
models of reviews from experienced reviewers to go by when you start writing
your own.
I also think, although I can't be sure, that the site got much heavier
usage once reviews began to appear. I know I had more trouble getting in
more often. Does anyone have the stats? Spreading the visible review period
might ease site congestion, although not in the final week when we were all
rushing.
On 11/6/05, Laura <thunderalaura@juno.com> wrote:
>
> -- <aelfwina@cableone.net> wrote:
> >> This wouldn't make the reviews appear *later* but *sooner*--as soon
> >> as "reading/voting" season began, just as reviews appeared when
> >> voting season began. They would not have to wait as long at all.
>
> The sleeplessness is cropping up again. (That happens after 72 hours with
> 50+ hyped-up teenagers.) Let me see if I can clarify the concern:
>
> During the awards this year, AFTER reading season had ended and voting
> season had begun, there were a number of stories with final reviews. There
> were also a number of stories with tentative reviews but no final reviews. A
> sizeable portion of this latter group was comprised of newer authors who
> were afraid their stories had gone unnoticed because other stories had
> visible final reviews and they didn't. There was no way for them to see that
> their stories had tentative reviews, so they assumed that they had no
> reviews whatsoever. This will probably happen again next year, but if we
> make it possible to see final reviews from the very beginning, it will be a
> problem that persists for four months rather than just two. We've doubled
> the time that newer authors with unseen tentative reviews worry about no one
> reading their stories while stories of more prominent authors accumulate
> final reviews.
>
> As with the nominators, I don't see this as a BIG problem, so I don't want
> to blow it out of proportion. But it is a concern. Older, more established
> authors tend to be easier to review because we've either left reviews for
> them in the past or we know them well enough that the words come easier.
> Those reviews are also easier to finalize, so they're sometimes the ones
> that pop up on the website first. A new author, while a blessed find, is not
> as easy to review because the work is less familiar and we don't have a
> rapport with the writer. Those are the reviews that tend to be finalized a
> little bit later than the others. And while some new authors can handle a
> longer wait to see if they've been reviewed, some aren't as confident as
> that.
>
> So going back to Dreamflower's point, yes. Reviews would appear sooner,
> not later. But that's only final reviews. And the first batch of final
> reviews that I saw had a larger portion of familiar, established writers in
> them. Some newer authors were definitely present, but by and large, final
> reviews for them started coming later. Not sooner. So I'm concerned that the
> authors sitting around waiting for final reviews are going to go through the
> same thing that a few went through this time around except that we're going
> to make their wait period longer. Personally, I like what happened this
> year. I'm really not in favor of changing it.
>
> Thundera
>
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6069

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topi c?) Posted by sulriel November 06, 2005 - 11:58:55 Topic ID# 6039
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com,


what if we simply change the name of the draft reviews to "reviewers
notes to self"?

I didn't have the brainpower to figure out how to use them like some
did, but it certainly would have saved a lot of re-clicking and
unclicking if I could have used the "stories I haven't reviewed"
filter. - there are some subjects that I simply won't read, no matter
how well written, for various personal reasons, and especially toward
the end, it would have helped me to more easily find those that I
hadn't looked at yet.

in regards to tentative and final. - I'm not sure that I like hidden
and visible better, because the hidden ones will become visible at a
certain date. what about incomplete and complete, or in-progress and
final. - I think that draft and final would be more appropriate but
wouldn't want to confuse that with the draft reviews of 05 that were
never finalized.

Msg# 6070

Re: nominators' recommendation (reply to Rabidsamfan) Posted by Nerwen Calaelen November 06, 2005 - 12:06:52 Topic ID# 6006
Justa quick comment on the "I'm feeling lucky"
button, I can't remerber whether it was said earlier
or not, but this would be very good, so long as it
only took you to stories that you had not already
reviewed.
One comment on something else, is that I would be very
unhappy to see draft reviews go, unless there was
something put in to allow the reader to mark for
themselves stories that they were not interested in
reviewing. Otherwise, I would read a story and decide
that I was not going to review it and then have to try
and remember myslef or check a note that I had made
somewhere to ensure that I did not waste reading time
rereading the same story (this may sound harsh, but
it is not ment to be - it is just that I marked
stories this year and yet there were some stories that
I would not have been able to say whether or not I had
read then if I saw them a week or so later as they did
not make a lasting impact on me - I have a good memory
but usually forget things that I don't think are
important to remember).
Back to NaNoWriMo...
Jenn


--- C Dodd <rabidsamfan@verizon.net> wrote:


Anthony's weekly addition of new reviews might
address the concerns
of the folks who are worried about advantages, and if
he thinks it's
feasible it probably is. An "I'm feeling lucky" button
to pick a story (or
one for stories and one for reviews) was another
suggestion that I thought
had some merit, although as a supplement to the
ordinary choice of stories,
not as a substitute.




___________________________________________________________
To help you stay safe and secure online, we've developed the all new Yahoo! Security Centre. http://uk.security.yahoo.com

Msg# 6071

Re: Banners for Story Winners are up! Posted by elliska67 November 06, 2005 - 12:08:59 Topic ID# 6041
I was just looking at these and I hate to say it but: the banner for
1st place Silmarillion is not correct. The winner of the poll was
the banner at

http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa/AwardBanners/Ainulindale2.jpg
(the pinkish one)

and the banner posted is made from Ainulindale1.jpg.

We need to fix that. If I can help, let me know.
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Ainaechoiriel" <mefaadmin@e...>
wrote:
>
> I've still got to post the Author Banners but it's already after 2
and I've
> got church.
>
> You can find the Story banners for all the Story winners at the
mefa site.
> They are grouped into three pages by alphabet (on category name).
> Adventure-Elves, Gapfiller-NonFiction, and PostRingWar-Villians.
> http://home.earthlink.net/~ainae/mefa/index.html
>
> --Ainaechoiriel
> MEFA Admin and Founder
>
> "This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the Elves," Elrond
said, "for
> it is Windows-compatible, and freeware at that." --H.F.
>
> <http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa> http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa
The
> Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards
>
> Blog: <http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com/>
> http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com
>
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>

Msg# 6072

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by sulriel November 06, 2005 - 12:21:11 Topic ID# 6039
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com,

someone mentioned the anxiety caused by tentative reviews, authors
wondering how many, if any, might be 'out there', but I'm not easily
finding those lines in the previous posts ...

I have to second this. It's a real and painful concern. I also
fielded somewhat traumatized mails from various authors, and
understand from private discussion that it was apparently somewhat
widespread.

so which is better? the possibility of hidden reviews being
collected in a long agony of hope - or the cold stark reality of
seeing that number and knowing that is the number. Personally, I
prefer cold and stark. I won't argue either way, but I think it's
something that needs to be discussed. I can certainly understand how
crushing emotion can can be, hope, loss of hope. -the assumptions
that are made due to lack of reivews - ... It doesn't take that much
to throw off my writing for periods and I am fairly thick-skinned. -
(ok .. <ahem> I have a rhino-hide.) Many of our authors are young
and/or fragile and I hate to think of the possibilities of those that
are being lost to the fandom instead of nurtured, but that's a
whole 'nuther discussion that doesn't really belong here.

Even if all reviews are finalized and viewable as they are posted,
there is always 'tomorrow' and the hope that your story is on
someone's list, and new reviews can be posted as late as the literal
last minute. - so there is always anticipation and hope for the
authors.

I think that if the final reviews are going to be editable, we only
need the one option. (plus the note to self comment/check-box or
whatever) - but I don't really agree with that. I think final should
be final and move on. I think we're all guily of endless tweaking,
and doing so with the reviews is likely to keep the reviewer from
moving forward with new reviews.

Sulriel

Msg# 6073

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by C Dodd November 06, 2005 - 12:35:17 Topic ID# 6039
I like final being final. Having a tentative category did let me fix a
couple of glaring errors before they went public, but once I'd marked a
review final I had to live with it, and that just sent me on to the next
story. Those two I'd keep the same, really, I just know I'd finalize things
a lot faster if it mattered because they'd show up. Having a number for
tentative reviews would reassure me as an author that they were "out there",
and I'd probably just assume that the reviewer was reading other stories in
the category or waiting for a calmer moment to adjust their phrasing.
No matter how hard we try, unless we make the nominators review up front
and no one likes that idea but me, some stories are going to get reviewed
later than other stories. The best we can do is encourage folks to "vote
early and often!"


On 11/6/05, sulriel <Sulriel@htcomp.net> wrote:
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com,
>
> someone mentioned the anxiety caused by tentative reviews, authors
> wondering how many, if any, might be 'out there', but I'm not easily
> finding those lines in the previous posts ...
>
> I have to second this. It's a real and painful concern. I also
> fielded somewhat traumatized mails from various authors, and
> understand from private discussion that it was apparently somewhat
> widespread.
>
> so which is better? the possibility of hidden reviews being
> collected in a long agony of hope - or the cold stark reality of
> seeing that number and knowing that is the number. Personally, I
> prefer cold and stark. I won't argue either way, but I think it's
> something that needs to be discussed. I can certainly understand how
> crushing emotion can can be, hope, loss of hope. -the assumptions
> that are made due to lack of reivews - ... It doesn't take that much
> to throw off my writing for periods and I am fairly thick-skinned. -
> (ok .. <ahem> I have a rhino-hide.) Many of our authors are young
> and/or fragile and I hate to think of the possibilities of those that
> are being lost to the fandom instead of nurtured, but that's a
> whole 'nuther discussion that doesn't really belong here.
>
> Even if all reviews are finalized and viewable as they are posted,
> there is always 'tomorrow' and the hope that your story is on
> someone's list, and new reviews can be posted as late as the literal
> last minute. - so there is always anticipation and hope for the
> authors.
>
> I think that if the final reviews are going to be editable, we only
> need the one option. (plus the note to self comment/check-box or
> whatever) - but I don't really agree with that. I think final should
> be final and move on. I think we're all guily of endless tweaking,
> and doing so with the reviews is likely to keep the reviewer from
> moving forward with new reviews.
>
> Sulriel
>
>
>
>
>
> SPONSORED LINKS
> Business writing book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Business+writing+book&w1=Business+writing+book&w2=Writing+book&w3=Creative+writing+book&w4=Writing+child+book&c=4&s=96&.sig=S1VR1VlMwudCExyBuuM8KQ> Writing
> book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Writing+book&w1=Business+writing+book&w2=Writing+book&w3=Creative+writing+book&w4=Writing+child+book&c=4&s=96&.sig=ZNzhL5tkYTnFn6e6dZzsVg> Creative
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> child book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Writing+child+book&w1=Business+writing+book&w2=Writing+book&w3=Creative+writing+book&w4=Writing+child+book&c=4&s=96&.sig=CFK62BYognVZ8so-O02uUg>
> ------------------------------
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>
>
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> on the web.
> - To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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> ------------------------------
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6074

fatmouse Posted by sulriel November 06, 2005 - 12:44:29 Topic ID# 6074
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com,>>>>>>>>>>>How about a slogan? "The
MEFAs: Vote early and often!" And we could get
a mascot too...maybe Fatmouse. And prizes! Sulriel can bake peanut
butter-pecan cookies for the person who leaves the most reviews. And
I'll bet Lin would love to write a MEFA theme song for us...
Hey, just trying to be creative here! ;)
Kathy (Inkling)


Sorry, Kathy, from this day forward I bake only for fatmouse, his
carbohydrates must not fall short least our canon be shredded for
bedding.

That said, I think a mascot is a wonderful idea, and I'll second for
fatmouse.

Sulriel.

Msg# 6075

Re: Post Mortem Topic #2: Types of Reviews (reply to Sulriel) Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 06, 2005 - 13:55:41 Topic ID# 6013
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:

> Also, as an author I really liked having the reviews gradually.
> Every time I received one it made me feel good. I'd hate to limit
> that to one burst.

I liked that a lot! It surely contributed to the 'feel good feeling'
and it had a positive effect on me overall. So, for me with the
reviews and how they appeared: I like how it went this year and I
don't see the need to change it.

But reading and voting season actually do begin at the same time: that
is very confusing. Voting does begin at the moment people can write
reviews, so I would leave out that completely (maybe something of last
year?). I know it took me a while to figure that one out.

So more explanantions, help fields appearing.. I am all for 'user'
education, instead of making more rules. The contact you have with a
participant, taking the time for it, to sit down... from my experience
I know that this works better then keep on changing things. You can't
make everyone happy, it would be very nice if we tried, but the
payback and feeling of making this happening together... that can be a
strength of the MEFA's as well.

Rhapsody

Msg# 6076

Re: nominators' recommendation (reply to Rabidsamfan) Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 06, 2005 - 13:58:04 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:

> and while I'm a bit cranky about categories that's another topic

Don't worry, that is to come as well!

Rhapsody

Msg# 6077

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topi c?) Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 06, 2005 - 14:04:19 Topic ID# 6039
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "sulriel" <Sulriel@h...> wrote:
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com,
>
>
> what if we simply change the name of the draft reviews to "reviewers
> notes to self"?

I kept track of that in an excel file. Just story id, title of the
story, category and what the status of the review was.

Rhapsody

Msg# 6078

Re: Banners for Story Winners are up! Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 06, 2005 - 14:07:59 Topic ID# 6041
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "elliska67" <elliska67@y...> wrote:
>
> I was just looking at these and I hate to say it but: the banner for
> 1st place Silmarillion is not correct. The winner of the poll was
> the banner at
>
> http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa/AwardBanners/Ainulindale2.jpg
> (the pinkish one)
>
> and the banner posted is made from Ainulindale1.jpg.
>
> We need to fix that. If I can help, let me know.

I don't know. I used this page as the main source who won:
http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa/2005AwardsBanners.html

And that one lists the one that is used right now. So I don't know who
updated that page, but we're all human right?

Rhapsody

Msg# 6079

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topi c?) Posted by Anthony Holder November 06, 2005 - 14:43:30 Topic ID# 6039
I've read through till now.

Most of the things you all have mentioned are feasible, and not too
difficult.

I've added several things to my ToDo list, from these emails. At some
point, I'll have to summarize, but probably not until the end of PM.
That way, I will let you all know what I heard, and you can tell me if
I'm correct.

I'm expecting it to be a pretty long list. It is possible that some
things on the list won't happen, but since I think most of the changes
will be fairly cosmetic, I am not too concerned with it being too much
time.

Anthony

Msg# 6080

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by Kathy November 06, 2005 - 15:30:05 Topic ID# 6039
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "sulriel" <Sulriel@h...> wrote:
>
> so which is better? the possibility of hidden reviews being
> collected in a long agony of hope - or the cold stark reality of
> seeing that number and knowing that is the number. Personally, I
> prefer cold and stark. I won't argue either way, but I think it's
> something that needs to be discussed.
>
> <snip>
>
> I think that if the final reviews are going to be editable, we only
> need the one option. (plus the note to self comment/check-box or
> whatever) - but I don't really agree with that. I think final
> should
> be final and move on. I think we're all guily of endless tweaking,
> and doing so with the reviews is likely to keep the reviewer from
> moving forward with new reviews.

I heartily agree. I don't understand the need for "hidden"
and "visible" reviews--whatever they may be called. When I posted a
review, that was that: I marked them all final. Concern about typos,
etc. can be addressed by making reviews editable throughout voting
season, as Sulriel points out. My own solution to that this year was
to compose all of my reviews in Word, and that's where I would edit,
spell-check, etc.

Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that all reviews be made visible
from the moment they are posted, if that happens during nomination
season. I agree with those who have said that's too early for reviews
to start appearing. But I just don't see the need for the three-tier
system (draft, tentative, final). I'd propose that any reviews posted
during nomination season appear en masse at the start of reading
season, or reading-voting season, or whatever we end up with, and any
reviews posted thereafter be immediately visible. Or revealed in
weekly batches, as Anthony suggested. This would certainly alleviate
the concern Laura raised, that nervous new authors would be
discouraged at seeing no reviews for their stories...

(Sorry Marta, I'm afraid we've all gotten way off the official topic:
how to limit nominations!)

Kathy (Inkling)

Msg# 6081

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by C Dodd November 06, 2005 - 15:37:51 Topic ID# 6039
Actually, once I'd read a bit I understood the "tentative" part -- although
it didn't change my reviews much. But in a couple of instances there were
stories in the same subcategory where I definitely wanted my "vote" to swing
toward one more than the other, so adding a sentence or two made the
difference. As an author, hoping for reviews, I'd be pretty devastated to
find that someone had gone in and made changes that lowered my score once it
had appeared. Once a review is visible, it should only be able to be edited
by the admins, either at the request of the reviewer or to help it conform
to known rules.
On 11/6/05, Kathy <inkling-tcbs@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "sulriel" <Sulriel@h...> wrote:
> >
> > so which is better? the possibility of hidden reviews being
> > collected in a long agony of hope - or the cold stark reality of
> > seeing that number and knowing that is the number. Personally, I
> > prefer cold and stark. I won't argue either way, but I think it's
> > something that needs to be discussed.
> >
> > <snip>
> >
> > I think that if the final reviews are going to be editable, we only
> > need the one option. (plus the note to self comment/check-box or
> > whatever) - but I don't really agree with that. I think final
> > should
> > be final and move on. I think we're all guily of endless tweaking,
> > and doing so with the reviews is likely to keep the reviewer from
> > moving forward with new reviews.
>
> I heartily agree. I don't understand the need for "hidden"
> and "visible" reviews--whatever they may be called. When I posted a
> review, that was that: I marked them all final. Concern about typos,
> etc. can be addressed by making reviews editable throughout voting
> season, as Sulriel points out. My own solution to that this year was
> to compose all of my reviews in Word, and that's where I would edit,
> spell-check, etc.
>
> Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that all reviews be made visible
> from the moment they are posted, if that happens during nomination
> season. I agree with those who have said that's too early for reviews
> to start appearing. But I just don't see the need for the three-tier
> system (draft, tentative, final). I'd propose that any reviews posted
> during nomination season appear en masse at the start of reading
> season, or reading-voting season, or whatever we end up with, and any
> reviews posted thereafter be immediately visible. Or revealed in
> weekly batches, as Anthony suggested. This would certainly alleviate
> the concern Laura raised, that nervous new authors would be
> discouraged at seeing no reviews for their stories...
>
> (Sorry Marta, I'm afraid we've all gotten way off the official topic:
> how to limit nominations!)
>
> Kathy (Inkling)
>
>
>
>
>
> SPONSORED LINKS
> Creative writing book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Creative+writing+book&w1=Creative+writing+book&w2=Writing+book&w3=Business+writing+book&w4=Writing+child+book&c=4&s=96&.sig=kxfsQsWS1hEMfwBTFLcq2A> Writing
> book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Writing+book&w1=Creative+writing+book&w2=Writing+book&w3=Business+writing+book&w4=Writing+child+book&c=4&s=96&.sig=S9S61iRTicZR8V2XKKsaKQ> Business
> writing book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Business+writing+book&w1=Creative+writing+book&w2=Writing+book&w3=Business+writing+book&w4=Writing+child+book&c=4&s=96&.sig=eY-BkrypQkSSf2Fe3drKkw> Writing
> child book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Writing+child+book&w1=Creative+writing+book&w2=Writing+book&w3=Business+writing+book&w4=Writing+child+book&c=4&s=96&.sig=aUf58z2r7K_6pWkB1BRH9Q>
> ------------------------------
> YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
>
>
> - Visit your group "MEFAwards<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MEFAwards>"
> on the web.
> - To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com<MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
> - Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
> Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6082

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by Kathy November 06, 2005 - 16:12:32 Topic ID# 6039
Hmm, I see your point. I hadn't thought of that as I didn't vote that
way myself...I just figured my opinion is what it is, and let the
chips--and the scores--fall where they may. But I agree, it would be
pretty unpleasant for an author to see a review score fall after the
original post. So maybe the editable feature isn't such a good idea.
But I'm still not crazy about hidden reviews...

Kathy (Inkling)

--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
>
> Actually, once I'd read a bit I understood the "tentative" part --
> although
> it didn't change my reviews much. But in a couple of instances
> there were
> stories in the same subcategory where I definitely wanted my "vote"
> to swing
> toward one more than the other, so adding a sentence or two made the
> difference. As an author, hoping for reviews, I'd be pretty
> devastated to
> find that someone had gone in and made changes that lowered my
> score once it
> had appeared. Once a review is visible, it should only be able to
> be edited
> by the admins, either at the request of the reviewer or to help it
> conform
> to known rules.
> On 11/6/05, Kathy <inkling-tcbs@s...> wrote:
> >
> > --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "sulriel" <Sulriel@h...> wrote:
> > >
> > > so which is better? the possibility of hidden reviews being
> > > collected in a long agony of hope - or the cold stark reality of
> > > seeing that number and knowing that is the number. Personally, I
> > > prefer cold and stark. I won't argue either way, but I think
> > > it's
> > > something that needs to be discussed.
> > >
> > > <snip>
> > >
> > > I think that if the final reviews are going to be editable, we
> > > only
> > > need the one option. (plus the note to self comment/check-box or
> > > whatever) - but I don't really agree with that. I think final
> > > should
> > > be final and move on. I think we're all guily of endless
> > > tweaking,
> > > and doing so with the reviews is likely to keep the reviewer
> > > from
> > > moving forward with new reviews.
> >
> > I heartily agree. I don't understand the need for "hidden"
> > and "visible" reviews--whatever they may be called. When I posted
> > a
> > review, that was that: I marked them all final. Concern about
> > typos,
> > etc. can be addressed by making reviews editable throughout voting
> > season, as Sulriel points out. My own solution to that this year
> > was
> > to compose all of my reviews in Word, and that's where I would
> > edit,
> > spell-check, etc.
> >
> > Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that all reviews be made
> > visible
> > from the moment they are posted, if that happens during nomination
> > season. I agree with those who have said that's too early for
> > reviews
> > to start appearing. But I just don't see the need for the three-
> > tier
> > system (draft, tentative, final). I'd propose that any reviews
> > posted
> > during nomination season appear en masse at the start of reading
> > season, or reading-voting season, or whatever we end up with, and
> > any
> > reviews posted thereafter be immediately visible. Or revealed in
> > weekly batches, as Anthony suggested. This would certainly
> > alleviate
> > the concern Laura raised, that nervous new authors would be
> > discouraged at seeing no reviews for their stories...
> >
> > (Sorry Marta, I'm afraid we've all gotten way off the official
> > topic:
> > how to limit nominations!)
> >
> > Kathy (Inkling)

Msg# 6083

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by elliska67 November 06, 2005 - 16:14:11 Topic ID# 6039
I disagree with taking away the option of making reviews not
immediately visible. I left the vast majority of my reviews tentative
because I also had stories running and I did not want to review
someone (especially someone I knew) and then have them feel
obligated/pressured to review me in return.

I also, in many cases, left a review that was more of an outline and
then came back and fleshed it out if I had time later. That way I got
to most everyone I wanted to review and then went back and did
something more detailed later. I would feel strange if the person saw
my original review and then later saw my more complete one.

And I don't want to keep track of a word doc with all my tentative
reviews. What if I lose that doc or don't get them copy/pasted in
time. But putting them in the database as tentative, at least I knew
some vote was present.

I very much hope we keep some type of visible/hidden option.

Msg# 6084

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by C Dodd November 06, 2005 - 16:20:50 Topic ID# 6039
Well, knowing that there were reviews, even if they were hidden, would be a
little like knowing that the present under the tree has your name on it,
even if you can't hear anything when you shake it. It's a tension, but it's
a pleasant sort of tension. Especially since reviewers don't have any
incentive to leave negative reviews in this framework. Whatever's in there,
you know it isn't more underwear from Auntie.

On 11/6/05, Kathy <inkling-tcbs@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>
> Hmm, I see your point. I hadn't thought of that as I didn't vote that
> way myself...I just figured my opinion is what it is, and let the
> chips--and the scores--fall where they may. But I agree, it would be
> pretty unpleasant for an author to see a review score fall after the
> original post. So maybe the editable feature isn't such a good idea.
> But I'm still not crazy about hidden reviews...
>
> Kathy (Inkling)
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6085

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 06, 2005 - 16:43:31 Topic ID# 6039
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@s...> wrote:
>
> Hmm, I see your point. I hadn't thought of that as I didn't vote that
> way myself...I just figured my opinion is what it is, and let the
> chips--and the scores--fall where they may. But I agree, it would be
> pretty unpleasant for an author to see a review score fall after the
> original post. So maybe the editable feature isn't such a good idea.
> But I'm still not crazy about hidden reviews...

Well, should it happen that the majority go with having final reviews
visible no matter what "season" it may be, it seems to me that it
should be easy enough to hide the scores.

Remember: when reviews first went public at the beginning of voting
season, the *only* scores you could see were for reviews you had left.
A little nip and tuck here and there, a cleaner turn of phrase, maybe
a slight addition or subtraction is unlikely to be noticed and
*counted* unless the author is putting each and every review through a
char count program.

Not to say that even the qualitative changes might not cause anxiety,
but I think we need not be anxious about the number-crunching types
immediately, not unless they're fanatics about it.

Dwim

Msg# 6086

On the merits of tentative reviews (was: Re: anxiety caused by tent Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 06, 2005 - 16:52:11 Topic ID# 6039
>But I just don't see the need for the three-tier
> system (draft, tentative, final). I'd propose that any reviews posted
> during nomination season appear en masse at the start of reading
> season, or reading-voting season, or whatever we end up with, and any
> reviews posted thereafter be immediately visible.

This is a plea for retaining at least a two-tier, visible/invisible
review system.

Personally, I didn't use tentative reviews very often and I didn't use
them for their intended purpose. For fics where I found the style
appealing or very well done but had issues with content, I sometimes
used tentative status, because I might have forgotten to go back to
them before voting season ended to see whether I had any second
thoughts about how or whether to review. Seeing them attached to all
my other ballots was a constant reminder to try to return to those
stories before the end, but storing those reviews as tentative also
meant that I'd probably end up helping the fic rather than not,
whether or not I had time or inclination to revisit those stories. It
made sure that I was most likely to vote rather than not, so for those
few stories where I felt conflicted, tentative status was a tip of the
scale in their favor.

Another use I found for tentative status was for large stories (like
"Adraefan") that I read over a number of days. I wrote a preliminary
review up to the point of my first major reading break, saying in
general what I had liked so far. And then as I got further along in
the story, I revised, updated, and otherwise amended my tentative
review to reflect were I was in the fic and what I thought was most
important to mention. I had that review stored on the site as a
tentative review because I was worried I might not finish reading
before voting season ended, and I wanted to be absolutely certain that
if that happened, the review would still be counted, but without the
anxiety and fuss of a last minute upload.

That, to me, is the real saving grace of having invisible tentative
reviews--when you think you might not have time to finish a story
before the deadline and are equally worried you might not have time to
upload the review due to RL, but want to be certain that *something*
will be posted, even if in a rough or incomplete form for a particular
story, tentative is the way to go.

It was also convenient in that they were all in one place and easily
filterable, so I didn't have to go searching through multiple
categories in my Word files (nearly all my reviews were composed in
Word and then uploaded at the end of a major reviewing session). I am
lazy, and this saved me a bit of time, searching through my Word
ballots with the "find" feature, and meant I only needed to have one
program open in these cases, not two. The old blueberry iBook
appreciates a little break every so often.

Dwim

Msg# 6087

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by C Dodd November 06, 2005 - 16:52:46 Topic ID# 6039
What, you mean I'm the only person here who moogles the reviews she gets
over and over until she's embossed them on her cortex? (It saves so much
time when you want to cackle with glee while riding on the subway, you
know.)
;)

On 11/6/05, dwimmer_laik <dwimmer_laik@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> Well, should it happen that the majority go with having final reviews
> visible no matter what "season" it may be, it seems to me that it
> should be easy enough to hide the scores.
>
> Remember: when reviews first went public at the beginning of voting
> season, the *only* scores you could see were for reviews you had left.
> A little nip and tuck here and there, a cleaner turn of phrase, maybe
> a slight addition or subtraction is unlikely to be noticed and
> *counted* unless the author is putting each and every review through a
> char count program.
>
> Not to say that even the qualitative changes might not cause anxiety,
> but I think we need not be anxious about the number-crunching types
> immediately, not unless they're fanatics about it.
>
> Dwim
>
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6088

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 06, 2005 - 17:02:03 Topic ID# 6039
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
>
> What, you mean I'm the only person here who moogles

"Moogles"? Er... "moogles"?

the reviews she gets
> over and over until she's embossed them on her cortex? (It saves so much
> time when you want to cackle with glee while riding on the subway, you
> know.)
> ;)

Oh, I certainly revisted and appreciated reviews qualitatively--but
not with a word count program in hand!

Dwim

Msg# 6089

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by C Dodd November 06, 2005 - 17:10:31 Topic ID# 6039
On 11/6/05, dwimmer_laik <dwimmer_laik@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
> >
> > What, you mean I'm the only person here who moogles
>
> "Moogles"? Er... "moogles"?

Well, "moons over" might have been misinterpreted, yes? And moogling is an
old tradition in my family, particularly while you are waiting for the
cookies on the tray to cool down enough to eat.

the reviews she gets
> > over and over until she's embossed them on her cortex? (It saves so much
> > time when you want to cackle with glee while riding on the subway, you
> > know.)
> > ;)
>
> Oh, I certainly revisted and appreciated reviews qualitatively--but
> not with a word count program in hand!
>
> Dwim

I do have a good memory for wording, so even if I didn't know the character
count, I'd notice changes made after a review was made public, and I expect
I'm not the only one. I hadn't thought of using tentative reviews to keep a
running commentary on longer stories (applauds you) but it's another good
reason to keep some reviews "hidden" until the reviewer has knocked them
into shape.
The nice thing is that as we all talk about the ways we used different
sorts of reviews, that information can go into the FAQs, so that the wheel
doesn't have to be invented quite so often.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6090

Anthony, have a cookie! Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 06, 2005 - 17:40:51 Topic ID# 6090
Feeling much better, even though that fatmouse site came up blank (must be
the firewall or something). But have been eating cheese. Good protein.

I agree, having the order change every time you load a page would be
insane... um... when I was methodically going through a certain category, the only way
I could keep track of where I stopped was that the page was nicely sorted and
I could just read down the right hand side to where it said "edit review" or
something like that.

I don't know if that's what you meant or not.

You've done an awesome job, Anthony. My hat's off to you.

Lin

In a message dated 11/6/2005 8:40:59 AM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:

I could also randomize the order in each category, but I figure that
having the order change every time you load a page would be insane,
unless I could figure out a way of storing a different sort order for
each user. I need to look into how to use cookies. Unfortunately, not
the peanut-butter pecan variety. <g>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6091

Re: Anthony, have a cookie! Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 06, 2005 - 17:43:51 Topic ID# 6090
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, BLJean@a... wrote:
>
> Feeling much better, even though that fatmouse site came up blank
(must be
> the firewall or something).

I think it means fatmouse sat on the server...

Dwim

Msg# 6092

Re: Anthony, have a cookie! Posted by C Dodd November 06, 2005 - 18:27:43 Topic ID# 6090
Well, if the reader could control the sort order and the default was
"random", then the first browse stories page would come up with different
stories on top as people signed in, but for someone who wanted to go through
a category systematically they could choose another sort order along with
the filters, by author, or title, etc. and keep track of where they'd been
last that way. Or the default order could be by number of reviews, with the
zeros floating to the top. That would also give an advantage but it would be
a temporary advantage as stories garnered reviews.

On 11/6/05, BLJean@aol.com <BLJean@aol.com> wrote:
>
> Feeling much better, even though that fatmouse site came up blank (must be
>
> the firewall or something). But have been eating cheese. Good protein.
>
> I agree, having the order change every time you load a page would be
> insane... um... when I was methodically going through a certain category,
> the only way
> I could keep track of where I stopped was that the page was nicely sorted
> and
> I could just read down the right hand side to where it said "edit review"
> or
> something like that.
>
> I don't know if that's what you meant or not.
>
> You've done an awesome job, Anthony. My hat's off to you.
>
> Lin
>
> In a message dated 11/6/2005 8:40:59 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
>
> I could also randomize the order in each category, but I figure that
> having the order change every time you load a page would be insane,
> unless I could figure out a way of storing a different sort order for
> each user. I need to look into how to use cookies. Unfortunately, not
> the peanut-butter pecan variety. <g>
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>
>
>
> SPONSORED LINKS
> Business writing book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Business+writing+book&w1=Business+writing+book&w2=Writing+book&w3=Creative+writing+book&w4=Writing+child+book&c=4&s=96&.sig=S1VR1VlMwudCExyBuuM8KQ> Writing
> book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Writing+book&w1=Business+writing+book&w2=Writing+book&w3=Creative+writing+book&w4=Writing+child+book&c=4&s=96&.sig=ZNzhL5tkYTnFn6e6dZzsVg> Creative
> writing book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Creative+writing+book&w1=Business+writing+book&w2=Writing+book&w3=Creative+writing+book&w4=Writing+child+book&c=4&s=96&.sig=B6TA4cKmbN8ELbehU4Ha9Q> Writing
> child book<http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Writing+child+book&w1=Business+writing+book&w2=Writing+book&w3=Creative+writing+book&w4=Writing+child+book&c=4&s=96&.sig=CFK62BYognVZ8so-O02uUg>
> ------------------------------
> YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
>
>
> - Visit your group "MEFAwards<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MEFAwards>"
> on the web.
> - To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com<MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
> - Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
> Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6093

Re: Anthony, have a cookie! / have two cookies (Back!fatmouse!Back! Posted by sulriel November 06, 2005 - 18:41:28 Topic ID# 6090
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
>
> Well, if the reader could control the sort order and the default was
> "random", then the first browse stories page would come up with
different> stories on top as people signed in, but for someone who
wanted to go through> a category systematically they could choose
another sort order along with> the filters, by author, or title, etc.
and keep track of where they'd been > last that way. Or the default
order could be by number of reviews, with the > zeros floating to the
top. That would also give an advantage but it would be> a temporary
advantage as stories garnered reviews.>

trying to think this through.

if the random sort is a database/cookie issue ...

I have a couple of thoughts.

* sort by reverse order of nomination. => it seems logical that
popular/well-read/well-known stories would (for the most part) be
nominated earlier in the process, so it might semi-balance
that 'already-known' advantage by bumping them down the list as new
nominations came in. This would automatically change the top listing
throughout nomination season, but not after. It seems reasonable to
think that the 'hidden gems' would be nominated later in the process
and therefore be easier to find since they'd be closer to the top of
the list, and the earlier nominations might be stories/authors that
are well-known enough that readers would actively seek them out so
there wouldn't be a disadvantage to being at the bottom of the list.

* instead of a random sort, could the database be set to periodic
change. like for example: every third day, start with the
next '10'. so the first monday, story number one would be at the top,
on wednesday it would start with story 11, and so on. - Would that be
managable technologically and would it sufficiently ramdomize the list?

* I would also support sorting by number of reviews, least first

Msg# 6094

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:19:39 Topic ID# 6006
On 6 Nov 2005, at 06:56, rhapsody_the_bard wrote:

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
> >
> > But equally there were several authors who were nominated, but
> > didn't do a lot of reading/reviewing within the context of the
> > awards.
>
> Woooowa! Big deja-vu here of that discussion that went going on at
> Stories of Arda a while back.
>

You and me both... Not that anyone meant anything by that comment, but
I had vague shivers go down my spine there...

> First: nowhere it is stated that is mandatory for an author to
> participate in the MEFA's once nominated.
>

In a way authors are already participating; without them the MEFAs
couldn't happen. But I certainly don't think authors should be
*required* to do more than they want to do.

Of course I want as many people as possible participating in all
aspects of the MEFAs. But it is easy to push "encourage" too closely to
"manipulate into" or "require". That's never my intention, and if I or
anyone else does that please let us know.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6095

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:19:41 Topic ID# 6006
On 6 Nov 2005, at 02:53, Kathy wrote:

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik" <dwimmer_laik@y...>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> > In order to try to gently cajole/entice people to read during the
> > reading period, perhaps a monthly reminder should be sent out via LJ
> > and Yahoo (and anyone else with LJs might want to repost the
> > reminder when it comes up): One month gone, two months left, X many
> > reviewers have reviewed: help good fics be counted, fandom readers!
> > (Something short, sweet, and possibly vaguely corny.)
> >
>
> How about a slogan? "The MEFAs: Vote early and often!" And we could
> get
> a mascot too...maybe Fatmouse. And prizes! Sulriel can bake peanut
> butter-pecan cookies for the person who leaves the most reviews. And
> I'll bet Lin would love to write a MEFA theme song for us...
>
> Hey, just trying to be creative here! ;)
>

*snork* I like those ideas! Though I am reminded of the old quote: "By
voting early and often, you can make sure your candidate wins." (Who
said that? A mayor of Chicago or Boston, maybe?)

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6096

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topi c?) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:19:45 Topic ID# 6039
>>> Actually--here's a proposal that just now occurred to me: no
>>> reviews available until *nominating* season ends, and then erase
>>> the difference between "reading" and "voting" season, and call it
>>> reading/voting season, and make the finalized reviews visible then.
>>> Keep tentative and draft reviews invisible of course, just like now.
>>> Encourage everyone to vote as early and as often as possible, and
>>> encourage nominators to vote on their nominees ASAP.
>
> I'm intrigued by this idea, but it also concerns me. There's the issue
> of unfair advantage, of course, for those stories that attract early
> reviews. But really, I don't think that's a major issue. Some of us
> ARE influenced by nominators, but like I said up above, it's primarily
> an issue of time and preference. Something I would like to point out,
> though, is the idea of frustrated authors if we did do away with
> hidden reviews during reading season. I had from a few authors who
> were upset because they couldn't see any reviews for their story while
> some stories had many reviews. I needed to explain the idea behind
> tentative and draft reviews several times. Now, let's take these same
> authors (who are usually pretty new at writing and aren't confident
> enough yet to handle an absence of feedback) and tell them that they
> have to wait four months instead of two months when looking for
> reviews. And you can tell them that some people review later than
> others and some reviews are stored as tentative, but it doesn't change
> the fact that these are frequently young authors who are uncertain
> about their work and would love to know whether or not they should
> continue writing. Sometimes their impetus for witing isn't strong
> enough to last three months, either.
>

Good points, Thundera. Do you think it would help at all for an author
to be able to know somehow that they have tentative reviews, even if
they can't read what those reviews are? It wouldn't correct the
problem, but I think it would help ease it at least a bit.

I don't think I ever was a young writert in this sense. I started when
I was a college student, and I started writing before I ever knew of
anything called fanfic; there was just the urge to tell a good story,
and any feedback was secondary. So I can't properly empathise with
these writers since I never *really* felt that way. It doesn't change
the fact that they really feel that way. It just means that I have
something of a blind spot here.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6097

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:19:53 Topic ID# 6006
Hi Dwim,

On 5 Nov 2005, at 21:09, dwimmer_laik wrote:

> I think I'm with Larien--I liked the way the awards worked this
> year. There was a long period where everyone was squirreled away
> reading and quietly uploading reviews.
>
> Then, in the final four weeks, the whole huge glut of finalized
> reviews were made public. I don't know about you, but seeing 2000
> reviews appear all of a sudden probably mitigates certain favoritism
> effects: there's so many, a random browsing may put one or two
> things on your list, but organizing a search through all those
> reviews is about as time-consuming as reading the summaries
> themselves to select fics.
>

I think the problem a lot of people are struggling with is that
everyone *isn't* squirrelled away. Some people are - and bless them! a
lot of people wrote loads of reviews, yourself included, Dwim - but
other people either don't realise that they can vote, or aren't sure
how to write a good MEFA review.

> I'd definitely go with hiding the nominator's name (except perhaps
> in the initial contact e-mail to the author).
>

I'm curious about your "except perhaps in the initial contact e-mail"
comment. Perhaps I'm misreading that, but it sounds like you're
cautious about including the email even then.

> In order to try to gently cajole/entice people to read during the
> reading period, perhaps a monthly reminder should be sent out via LJ
> and Yahoo (and anyone else with LJs might want to repost the
> reminder when it comes up): One month gone, two months left, X many
> reviewers have reviewed: help good fics be counted, fandom readers!
> (Something short, sweet, and possibly vaguely corny.)
>


If we decide to hide reviews until after reading season (or even voting
season), this sounds like a really good idea. And that's far from a
made decision. I personally like releasing reviews throughout reading
season, but posts by you, Larian, and others have convinced me that
both ways have merit. I think I'm going to set up a poll for people to
vote in.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6098

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:19:57 Topic ID# 6013
On 5 Nov 2005, at 16:25, Kathy wrote:

> You know, I think the biggest contributor to either the perception or
> reality of cliquishness or favoritism is not the influence of
> nominators or reviews, but the fact that so few people actually do
> review...it gives those dedicated souls who DO leave a lot of reviews
> enormous power.  Leaward posted the stats on the percentage of MEFA
> members who had voted, and I was frankly shocked.  Surely there must
> be some ways we can all agree on to encourage more voting next year...
>

First, I think it's important not to get too discouraged by the low
percentage of [MEFAwards] members who are active. People have a
tendency to lurk on lists and even forget that they're members if they
switch from individual mail or digest to no mail without unsubscribing.
I think this is especially true in situations where membership in a
listserv is required for some other things. I know that [Henneth_Annun]
received a lot of members who wanted to join
http://www.henneth-annun.net/ , and only a small fraction of those only
became active on the Yahoo list. And even the % of MEFA2005 members who
actually vote isn't so bad when you consider the commitment required.

That said, I'm all for anything that will increase participation. In my
experience, the best way to get and keep people involved is a
one-to-one connection. If you are involved but know someone who isn't,
encourage them to join up and offer to be their first contact if they
have any questions. If your friend asks a question that you don't know,
feel free to pass it on to mefasupport @ gmail.com and the admins will
get you the information you need.

Another way is by promoting the MEFAs in the groups where you are
involved. The Tolkien fandom is a diverse place and while we try to
advertise these awards in as many places as possible, we have limited
time. Besides announcements work better if the person making the
announcement is otherwise involved in the community. If no one is
making MEFA-related announcements in a community you spend time and
you're interested in doing this, *please* let us know. It's often a
matter of sending less than a dozen emails over the course of a year -
and those emails are usually written, so you just have to post them.

A third idea that we (the admins) toyed with this year were voters'
awards. We ultimately decided that awarding places and honourable
mentions to the most prolific reviewers across all the categories would
be too competitive. A second idea that I can't remember if we ever even
discussed is *levels* of recognition. All authros who cast X points or
X reviews or whatever get to use one banner. All the authors who reach
the next threshold get to use a second banner. Etc.

I honestly don't know whether that idea would work, or what did. If
anyone has ideas I'm more than willing to hear them.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6099

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:20:01 Topic ID# 6013
> Considering the wide number of categories and the vast variety of
> stories
> in them, I don't see how any of it can be viewed as "cliquish". 
> Unlike
> certain groups which are overwhelmed with Elf stories or Silmarillion
> stories, or I think there is even one award limited to Hobbit
> stories,  the
> MEFAs cover the broad spectrum of what is available across *all* of
> JRRTs
> work: not only Elves and Hobbits, but Men and Dwarves and even
> Ents--even
> the villians--Orcs, Trolls, the Men of Harad and Rhun, not only LotR
> and the
> Hobbit, but the Silm and Unfinished Tales and even HoME, not only
> book-verse, but movie-verse and crossovers.  I don't think *any* other
> Tolkien fandom award covers such a multitude of categories.
>

Well, there's the Mithrils of course. They cover all of that in theory.
(I suppose one could make an argument that they are still
over-represented in some areas and under-represented in others, but
this really isn't the place to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of
another award. Note that I'm not saying this is actually the case, but
that it's theoretically possible to make that argument.) I suppose you
could say that in categories like "Hobbits" or "The Silmarillion" it
would be possible for a clique to control the results of that
particular category, but not the others.

And remember that the clique is only effective if others don't vote. If
you want to bust a certain group's perceived influence over the
outcome, the easiest and best way to do so is to vote for as many
pieces as possible and encourage others to do the same.

Slight side note...

I've been thinking about this argument that reading the reviews
impacted a potential reviewer's decision to read and eventually vote on
a story. Perhaps this is just me not understanding how people did this,
but did you actually read all the reviews on a story you were
interested in, and then decide whether or not to read it? My adview was
that of an admin, but I think the non-admin user didn't see a link to
the reviews from the "browse nominations" page, did you? If so, in
order to do this, you would have to go into the "read reviews" section,
find the first review for the story you liked, and click on that
story's id #.

What seems much more likely is that someone would browse the
nominations, see that a story received an interesting review, and
decide to check it out. But remember that we can mark reviews, so
everyone who is reading reviews all along will be seeing the most
recent reviews, not all of them each time. Then it's the stories that
receive the most recent nominations, not necessarily those who receive
the most or earliest that will receive this advantage (and I don't
think the advantage exists in the case of every reader.

Let me be a bit frank here. If there is an advantage to be had from
other potential reviewers seeing your review of a certain piece, then
by holding off on releasing nominations until the fall we're denying
some nominations equal access to this advantage. Because when there are
500 reviews that have been accumulating over several months, I think
most people will pay less attention to each one - and certainly won't
take the time to stop and read the story - than if there were only 50
reviews that you haven't read before. My point is that *nothing* will
ever be 100% fair, and by bending over to make it so we'll miss a lot
of good changes whose value outweighs any unfairness.

And now a quick slight side note to this slight side note. Or more like
a question. I can't remember - was there a link to the webpage where
the story was hosted from the page of reviews? What I mean is, if I'm
reading the reviews is there a simple way for me to read the story? If
there is, we may want to not have that. I think that this may be a good
way to send the message that people should be voting based on the story
and not on the review.

> As to people who seem to be guided by *who* nominated a piece, I don't
> really have a big problem with not showing who the nominator
> is--although I
> think it should be rigged so the *author* will know who nominated
> her, at
> the least--because I paid no attention to that at all.  I voted first
> by
> category, and then a few times by author, and then as my time got
> short,
> totally at random.
>

Dreamflower, I said in another email that the email sent to the author
this year included the nominator, and I don't have any problem with
including this information again next year. Do you think that's
sufficient? Or should the nominator also be visible to the author
somewhere on the site? That could be more tricksy.

Cheers,
Marta
*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6100

Re: (not) Against recommending/seeing reviews early Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:20:03 Topic ID# 6029
> I rather resent talk (and it wasn't the post quoted below, but a tone
> running
> through some of the posts) about somehow *forcing* people to read
> outside
> their genre. My reading time is limited. Reading helps me relax from
> the
> pressures of... whatever. Reading something that I do not enjoy
> reading is not what I
> have in mind. Frankly, there are genres I do not enjoy. I will not
> insult the
> authors by naming them. To each his own.
>
> Certainly I have been pleasantly surprised and have added new authors
> to my
> list of names to look for. But don't try to make me feel guilty for
> sticking to
> hobbit stories that are PG-13 or lower. It is not cliquishness, it is
> simple
> preference and downright necessity due to time constraints.

> Encouraging people to branch out is one thing, but don't accuse us of
> narrow-mindedness or cliquishness or some other abusive term just
> because we tend to
> stick to what we enjoy reading!
>

That's a good point, Lin. And frankly, I think encouraging people to
join who normally read that category of stories will do as much good as
encouraging people to "branch out".

I'm sorry if you're being made to feel bad about that.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6101

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:20:11 Topic ID# 6006
Hi Rhapsody,

> Maybe for you not (and for me... well I just dived into a category and
> started to read), but others have stated to be guided by either the
> nominator or the reviews.

I'm unclear as to how many were guided by previous reviews for a story
they were considering reviewing, or even whether it has been reviewed
before. Based on what I've heard, it seems like as many people (if not
more) are going out of their way to read and vote for stories with *no*
votes, as are specifically trying to read those with lots of votes.
Maybe I'm wrong about that, but I'm not sure that's such a huge
concern.

So if you're reading this message and you used already-published
reviews as a way to decide what to read, please reply to this post
telling me so. So I have something to balance it against, please do the
same if you didn't really consider the reviews that had already been
published.

> Now if you want to attach the nominator
> recommendation to the story before it enters reading season (which
> basically would be the nominator's review (unless I misunderstood it)

It's of course possible that I'm misunderstanding it... but I think the
recommendation and the review are compledtely different things. The
recommendation would have been a tagline -- just a few sentences about
why someone else should red the piece. It would be written to the
reviewer rather than a general review of the story or comments directed
to the author. The nominator would still have to write a normal review.

> and tell people that they can review already during nomination season,
> this would mean that stories that were nominated at the end of
> nomination season have a clear disadvantage on those who were
> nominated at the beginning. I don't know if I got that suggestion/idea
> correctly, a lot has been said already, but I think that is what
> Larian tried to say here.
>

Rhapsody, the main advantage I can see is that people have longer to
vote for that story. Am I missing something?

To be clear, here is my position as of this moment. I may have my mind
changed, of course:

1. Nominators' Comment: I don't want to do this. I liked the idea at
first, but I think it would be problematic in practice.

2. Reviews: I'm in favor for having these visible after check ballot
season. This would probably give people 4-6 weeks to review as pieces
are being nominated, and 2 weeks after that, in which to review before
any nominations are public. Incidentally, I'd also be against
displaying the numbers of reviews a piece has gotten before the end of
voting season. I think to do this would encourage people to vote for
the wrong reason.

3. Nominators' Names: I'm for not displaying these. Again, I think it
makes it too easy for people to vote for a story because of what other
nominators and/or reviewers are doing, and not because of the stories'
merits.

Hope that's clear! I've got a headache while I'm writing this and don't
feel entirely lucid.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 6102

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:20:13 Topic ID# 6013
Hi Larian,

> It doesn't matter if you don't do that, if the appearance of that
> happening is
> there.  Need I mention the other awards program that is continually
> accused of
> being cliqueish, no matter the truth?  You have to avoid the
> appearance of
> making it easier for the same small groups to consistently get
> nominated and
> win.
>
> We ALL read authors and categories that are familiar to us, but if we
> publish
> the recommendations and reviews early, it might give the APPEARANCE
> we're
> trying to skew the voting toward particular authors by giving them
> more
> 'publicity'
>

Can you clarify something for me? What is it about the current system
that is so less cliquish (or appears to be so much less cliquish) than
publishing reviews a few months earlier. It seems that the current
system is the worst of both worlds. If we want to avoid the ills of
having some peoples' opinions affect others, then we shouldn't be
publishing reviews at all until voting system. If on the other hand the
benefit of having reviews available outweighs the harm, then releasing
them earlier will help those benefits of having the reviews out there
have more of an effect.

> If you all want to snark back at me for bringing it up, fine. I'm
> trying to
> bring you the view from outside the little circle of your 'in-group'
> of
> administrators.
>

First, what in-group? I can honestly say that I didn't know any of the
admins outside of the MEFAs. I didn't know them beforehand, and now I
don't know anything beyond what they write (which I read because I
recognise their names) and what I've learned about them through working
side by side. I wouldn't name any of them great friends -- nothing
against the other admins, I'm not saying they *couldn't* be, but we
really are just running a fandom awards. We come from all orners of the
fandom; some are probably a little better represented because of who
has the time to volunteer, but it's not like we're all active one place
and nowhere else.

One of the key factors of a in-group to me is that it's a "closed"
membership - you can't easily be associated with it if the group
doesn't want you. But if someone wants to be a part of this "in-group"
all you have to do is volunteer. We haven't turned anyone down to my
knowledge. And if you're volunteering for some benefit of more power or
whatever, you'll probably be disappointed. Most of the decisions are
made here in this post-mortem, where *anyone* who is willing to sign up
for a Yahoo membership is free to join in.

As for snarking, I didn't hear that. Maybe I read Sulriel's comments
differently somehow. I'm sorry if you were offended; I think it was
more a case of her trying to make a small joke and humour not crossing
the net well.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6103

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:20:27 Topic ID# 6006
Hi Rhapsody,

> I
> really would like to see the whole field of who the nominator is gone
> next year.
>

I think that one of the strongest strengths of the MEFAs is that the
whole process is so transparent, and if we still had unlimited
nominations this could be a problem because it would be possible for
people to assume that someone was dominating the nominations pool.
That's my main concern, but with the nominations per nominator being
limited, I think if anyone makes that charge it's easy enough to say
that any one nominator could have nominated at most [X] nominations. So
I don't have any problem with this suggestion. If someone else has a
reason for not being in favor of it, I'd like to hear it.

I think someone else said that the author should know who the nominator
is. This year it was included in the email sent to authors when their
pieces were nominated, so I don't see any reason why we couldn't do
that again.

> > The whole reason we made it clear on the nomination form that the
> > nominator put in a summary, and NOT a review/recommendation was so
> > that ALL the stories were on a level playing field.
>
> <snip>
> I often wonder... don't you want to be surprised by an author you
> don't know? Maybe I am weird (I wouldn't be surprised ;c) ).
>

Interesting point! I like being pleasantly surprised, but I suppose I'm
a little disillusioned and the fun of finding a new author has been too
often outweighed by all the effort I have to put into finding one I
actually like. But perhaps I'm just too picky.

I think I've replied to the rest of this email in other plaes, or
someone else has already said what I would say.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6104

Re: Increasing participation (was against ... uh... stuff) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:21:38 Topic ID# 6006
>

Hi Dwim,

> This is not an accusation, nor is it the prelude to demanding a
> tit-for-tat, scratch-my-back-now-I've-scratched-yours policy or
> attitude. It's just that we *need* to try and encourage said
> non-reviewing authors to join in even if it's only for a couple of
> reviews. They're the ones who are definitely aware of the MEFAs, after
> all. They're like a built-in pool of potential voters I'd love to see
> 'tapped' more effectively, though not in an 'emotional blackmail'
> sense.
>

Do you have any specific suggestions for how to accomplish this? I
expect it's hard to get someone to "just" review 5-10 stories because
they feel guilty for not reviewing more. Personally I'd love to see
more people review, even if it's just a small number apiece, but I'm
afraid I just don't know practically how to do this.

> If there is really concern that pleas for more voters will be
> perceived as emotional blackmail, then include a prominent note in the
> author contact e-mail that goes something like this:
>
> "Accepting a story's nomination to participate in MEFAs carries
> *absolutely no obligation to participate in voting*. However, voting
> is what makes the awards work, and beyond that it is fun--we would
> therefore like to invite and encourage you to help us recognize
> worthwhile fanfiction and vote in this year's awards."
>

If we're going to do this (and it's probably a good idea!) I think we
need to make it as easy as possible to let these authors review. That's
difficult because as things stand now the authors would have to be a
member of the Yahoo group to vote. It's not quite as simple as asking
them to vote; we're often asking them to join MEFAwards, and many of
these authors don't know much about Yahoo groups.

Which of course raises the question of whether Yahoo membership should
be a requirement. That's another topic in its own right.

Dwim, I'm not knocking your idea. Like I said it's a good one. I'm more
stating what I see to be an obvious roadblock.


Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6105

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:22:08 Topic ID# 6013
> My biggest problem with recommending and reviewing early (and
> nomination limits would take care of this concern as well), is that
> when one or two people nominate a lot of stories, and one or two
> reviewers vote on those stories just because that person nominated
> them, it DOES look cliqueish.  Nominating limits, and keeping
> everything on a level playing field by NOT publicizing the reviews
> avoids that.
>

Reading the above paragraph, an interesting thought occurred to me: how
would it affect things if the name of the reviewer was withheld until
after the end of voting season? We're already looking at not publishing
the names of the nominator except to the author. Assuming the presence
of a clique (which I honestly don't believe exists)... well, if we also
don't publicise the name of the reviewer, then no other potential
reviewer can know that some other member of this clique reviewed a
piece and be influenced that way. The publishing of the reviews
wouldn't cause as many problems by unduly influencing people. It would
then avoid even the appearance of a clique.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6106

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Marta Layton November 06, 2005 - 22:22:54 Topic ID# 6013
Hi Lindelea,

> Perhaps it might give the appearance of trying to skew the voting
> toward
> particular authors by giving them more publicity, but the admins
> certainly have no
> control over who submits reviews and who doesn't. At least I assume
> they have
> no control. Not being an admin I cannot speak with absolute
> certainty, but I
> know that nobody was offering me flowers and chocolates to submit
> reviews for
> particular authors. (Or threatening me with flaming brands, either.)
> I am not
> being sarcastic. Whimsy is a result of low blood sugar, in my case.
>

To affirm what Lindelea was saying: there's no conspiracy among the
admins to make sure that our favourite writer wins. No admins are being
required to vote earlier as part of their doing, nor is anyone (to my
knowledge) being specifically asked to do this. Maybe one-on-one with a
friend I've reminded the person that voting early really is necessary
if you want to vote for a lot of stories. But that's only because we
were chatting and I was working on my own reviews.

Heck, even if the admins wanted to "encourage" a certain result, we are
too diverse a group to agree on what that result should be! And even if
we weren't, we're simply too busy working our butts off to worry about
gaming the system.

<snip>
> When, this year, did final reviews become visible? Was it during
> reading
> season, or did it not start until voting season? All I know is it was
> very
> motivating to see reviews coming through because it made me feel like
> a slug. I doubt
> I'd have written 100-some reviews without that motivation. I'd have
> rationalised that I was really too busy, and... and... and...
> probably just would have
> reviewed the stories I nominated.
>

Final reviews were first visible at the beginning of voting season
(when was that... beginning of August, maybe? Can't remember exactly.)
If they weren't cast until after that point they were made visible
immediately. Tentative or draft reviews that were changed to "final"
status during voting season were likewise visible as soon as their
status was changed to final.

> I will look towards next year with renewed hope. (Hope springs
> eternal! Read
> in the comics that today is National Cliche Day. Enough randomness.
> Back to
> the topic.) And with the winter rains closing in, at least I have a
> long list
> (about 1050 stories yet to go) of good reading. And I can always
> leave a review
> for the author, even though it no longer counts as a "vote".
>

That you can. For my stories... even if it doesn't count as a vote, it
still counts as feedback, and that's the lembas and miruvuor us writers
live on. :-)

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6107

New poll for MEFAwards Posted by MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com November 06, 2005 - 22:23:33 Topic ID# 3
Enter your vote today! A new poll has been created for the
MEFAwards group:

There's been a lot of discussion at the Yahoo group about when to display finalised reviews. Which of the following options would you prefer? Remember, if you are a member of the Yahoo group and the LJ community, please only vote in one place. (You have three days in which to vote.)

o Display final reviews as soon as they are made.
o Start displaying final reviews at the beginning of reading season. (around May)
o Start displaying final reviews at the beginning of voting season. (around September)
o Do not display any reviews until all voting has closed. (around November)
o Some other option - explain in reply/at Yahoo group.
o I have no opinion on this issue.


To vote, please visit the following web page:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MEFAwards/surveys?id=2036413

Note: Please do not reply to this message. Poll votes are
not collected via email. To vote, you must go to the Yahoo! Groups
web site listed above.

Thanks!

Msg# 6108

Re: unfair advantages my eye! Posted by C Dodd November 06, 2005 - 22:53:54 Topic ID# 6108
Okay, I'm getting to the "oh, good grief" point here.
We've gone from how long should we hide reviews to now we should hide the
nominators and gee it's unfair that some stories get nominated early and
they might have an advantage over one that gets nominated late and known
authors have advantages over unknown authors and gee it would be so terrible
if advantages made it look like there were cliques so lets hide
information...
The only way you can avoid having any story have an advantage over every
other story is by identifying them solely by number. The minute you give us
the author, or the title, or the summary, or the category, the readers are
going to start making decisions based on the author, or the title, or the
summary or the category. So why the hell NOT make decisions based on the
nominator or the reviews? The list of nominated stories is huge. We've got
to whittle it down just to make it manageable.
I'd live perfectly happily with no reviews at all until the end of
nomination season, but once I start reading and voting, bring 'em on! Give
me data! I want nominator, reviews, word count, URLs showing on the list so
I can print it out and work even when the site is down, and more! In short I
want as much information as possible. And why?
More information means I read MORE STORIES. I review MORE STORIES, not
fewer. I am MORE likely to read a Silmarillion story because Marigold gave
it a good review, not less. I am MORE likely to branch out of my usual focus
because Dreamflower nominated a poem, not less. These past few months I read
nearly twice as much as I would have based on the barebones information of
title author and summary because once I'd worked my way through most of the
things that piqued my interest I went on to check out stories that had
nominators whose taste I respect and which had reviews that enticed me.
If someone wants to think that the awards are cliquey, they'll manufacture
all the evidence they require and *hiding* information will only *prove*
their point. Modifying the Awards to satisfy the requirements of people who
are looking for excuses not to play is like throwing out half the books in
the library because people who don't like to read are intimidated by full
shelves. All that happens is that the people who *do* like to read are less
likely to find the good stuff.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6109

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topi c?) Posted by Laura November 07, 2005 - 0:06:56 Topic ID# 6039
-- Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Good points, Thundera.

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Don't worry. It won't last long and we'll be returned to nonsensical ramblings momentarily. ;)

>> Do you think it would help at all for an author to be able to know
>> somehow that they have tentative reviews, even if they can't read
>> what those reviews are? It wouldn't correct the problem, but I
>> think it would help ease it at least a bit.

I don't know... Possibly, but there are several people out there making a pretty good case against these hidden reviews. Honestly, I've got to say that I liked how it worked this year. I liked the sudden sea of reviews at the end of reading season. It was fun. And up until then, no one but the admins could see who got what of anything. I liked that aspect, too. It was about as fair a playing field as you could get when working with something so subjective as writing.

>> I don't think I ever was a young writert in this sense. I started
>> when I was a college student, and I started writing before I ever
>> knew of anything called fanfic; there was just the urge to tell a
>> good story, and any feedback was secondary. So I can't properly
>> empathise with these writers since I never *really* felt that way.
>> It doesn't change the fact that they really feel that way. It just
>> means that I have something of a blind spot here.

I understand where they're coming from and I still go a bit haywire whenever I post something, but I'm probably like you, too, Marta. I started telling stories to my stuffed animals when I was five. They didn't give me any appreciable feedback, but they were an attentive audience and I thanked them for it. And I was always making up stories and sharing them with others at school, so it really wasn't that big of a step for me to try it out on the Internet. But for those to whom this is a very new experience, I'd like to make it as painless as possible. And prolonging the time when they can watch the final reviews add up while their stories continue on without those visible reviews doesn't seem like the way to go. But that's just my two cents, and I seem to be very much in the minority on this one. Seems to be my week for playing devil's advocate.

Thundera


~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
As a way of life, reality is highly overrated.
DahakýHercules: The Legendary Journeys
~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~

Msg# 6110

Author Banners and corrections Posted by Ainaechoiriel November 07, 2005 - 0:27:43 Topic ID# 6110
I've corrected 4 errors on the winning FanArt banners. So hopefully those
are all straight now. Except one. While it shows the right one is the
winner, we had all the individual award banners for the Ainulindale award as
the wrong banner. So I've taken those down until we get it right.

All other award banners are now up for Authors to pick up. Author and Story
banners!

--Ainaechoiriel
MEFA Admin and Founder

"This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the Elves," Elrond said, "for
it is Windows-compatible, and freeware at that." --H.F.

<http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa> http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa The
Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Blog: <http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com/>
http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6111

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Nerwen Calaelen November 07, 2005 - 0:56:34 Topic ID# 6006
I never looked at reviews before reading the stories
(well, I think I may have once by clicking on the
wrong link...). I did occasionally look at the
nominator's name but that was mostly when I was in a
mood for specific types of stories and so was looking
at author, catogory, summary etc. It was partly that
if I had just read a few stories that were
dissapionting (esp. on things like language, grammer,
spelling, odd word use) that I would look for well
writen stories to read next - so when I did not know
the author of one that sounded promising I would look
at the nominator as I learnt that there weresome
nominators who seemed to value these kind of things
far more than others. However, this is not to say that
I did not look at other stories, but sometimes the
nominator's name convinced me to read more of the
story before making a disision about it (when I was in
a rush I was usually reading the first chapter of a
story, but sometimes less before deciding whether to
review or not).

Jenn

--- Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:

So if you're reading this message and you used
already-published
reviews as a way to decide what to read, please reply
to this post
telling me so. So I have something to balance it
against, please do the
same if you didn't really consider the reviews that
had already been
published.







___________________________________________________________
Yahoo! Messenger - NEW crystal clear PC to PC calling worldwide with voicemail http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com

Msg# 6112

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Kathy November 07, 2005 - 1:19:45 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> I'm unclear as to how many were guided by previous reviews for a
> story they were considering reviewing, or even whether it has been
> reviewed before. Based on what I've heard, it seems like as many
> people (if not more) are going out of their way to read and vote
> for stories with *no* votes, as are specifically trying to read
> those with lots of votes. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but I'm not
> sure that's such a huge concern.
>
> So if you're reading this message and you used already-published
> reviews as a way to decide what to read, please reply to this post
> telling me so. So I have something to balance it against, please do
> the same if you didn't really consider the reviews that had already
> been published.

Hi Marta,

To answer your question, the *number* of reviews a story had didn't
influence what I read...I wasn't lured by stories with lots of
reviews, nor did I seek out stories with few reviews (an admirable
practice, but I'm afraid I'm not so noble!). But this is not to say
that reviews had no influence whatsoever on my reading habits.

I usually read the day's reviews as they appeared on this list...I
found it strangely entertaining, and it's also how I was exposed to
the widest range of stories. Occasionally a review would intrigue me
enough that I would go to the database and look up the story...and
sometimes even review it! :)

This is probably the *only* reason I did any reading/reviewing
outside my "box." For the most part, I chose stories according to my
area of interest, and decided whether to read/review them by clicking
on the story link and reading the first paragraph or two. I could
usually decide pretty quickly this way. I also tended to read all of
the reviews a story I was focusing on had garnered, but this was more
out of curiosity than anything else. In general, the identity of a
nominator or reviewer had very little influence on me...my tastes are
rather quirky and I figure *I'm* the best judge of what I like to
read!

So to sum up, yes, I was sometimes influenced by reviews, but *not*
by numbers, or reviewers...just the content. Don't know how much that
helps you...!

> Hope that's clear! I've got a headache while I'm writing this and
> don't feel entirely lucid.

Sorry about the headache! Hope we didn't give it to you (but we
probably did...) Maybe Lin can get you some protein. Or cookies.

Kathy (Inkling)

Msg# 6113

Poll results for MEFAwards Posted by MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com November 07, 2005 - 3:09:28 Topic ID# 123
The following MEFAwards poll is now closed. Here are the
final results:


POLL QUESTION: As part of the post-mortem we have discussed the possibility of limiting the numer of nominations that a nominator can make. Which of these limit types would you prefer?

CHOICES AND RESULTS
- A divided cap. You may nominate Y stories and Z drabbles or poems., 3 votes, 14.29%
- I have a different suggestions and will suggest it to the list., 0 votes, 0.00%
- I have no opinion on this subject., 1 votes, 4.76%
- A simple cap. You can nominate X pieces (whatever the type - drabble, story, poem, etc.), 17 votes, 80.95%



For more information about this group, please visit
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MEFAwards

For help with Yahoo! Groups, please visit
http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/groups/

Msg# 6114

Re: cliquishness, voting, Dwim, requiring nominator to review, self Posted by Jillian Baade November 07, 2005 - 9:13:03 Topic ID# 5916
>
>Hi Jillian,
>
> > I have to agree completely with your thoughful response. Especially
> > that if
> > we only have a certain number of nominations per member, we need to
> > think
> > about each one, whether it be our own or someone else's story!
> >
>
>Good! For myself, there will probably be a few of my stories I choose
>to nominate if they aren't nominated by others, but I'll also probably
>nominate stories by others over my own. :-)
>
> > Frankly, if the MEFA stop self-nomination, I will simply chose not to
> > participate, rather then pimp myself out begging for someone to
> > nominate my
> > work for me.
> >
>
>I understand where you're coming from, and if we do completely ban
>self-nominations (unlikely as that is) I wouldn't require anyone to
>participate. But I do want to be clear about something. I want the
>MEFAs to be something that's comfortable for as many people to
>participate in as possible. Even Tolkien admitted that in a sizeable
>project it was "not possible to please everybody at all points, nor to
>please everybody at the same points." So I hope most people will feel
>free to join in on these awards, but decisions will be made based on
>what's best for the MEFAs, not to try to keep some specific person
>involved.
>
>Oh, and I don't think you meant that, Jillian. If you don't feel like
>you can participate anymore I hope we can part with no hard feelings.
>But I did just want to be clear.
>
>Cheers,
>Marta
>
>No, I didn't mean I'd leave. What I meant was if I can't self-nominate,
>very likely none of my stories will be nominated by anyone else, and I'm
>not going to go begging people to do it for me. To me, that defeats the
>purpose.

Jillian
>
>
>
>Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 6115

Re: Increasing participation (was against ... uh... stuff) Posted by dwimmer\_laik November 07, 2005 - 10:06:11 Topic ID# 6006
>>It's just that we *need* to try and encourage said
> > non-reviewing authors to join in even if it's only for a couple of
> > reviews. They're the ones who are definitely aware of the MEFAs,
after
> > all. They're like a built-in pool of potential voters I'd love to see
> > 'tapped' more effectively, though not in an 'emotional blackmail'
> > sense.
> >
>
> Do you have any specific suggestions for how to accomplish this? I
> expect it's hard to get someone to "just" review 5-10 stories because
> they feel guilty for not reviewing more. Personally I'd love to see
> more people review, even if it's just a small number apiece, but I'm
> afraid I just don't know practically how to do this.

For me, it's the fact that this is a competition where I don't have to
make the hard choice and vote only for one person tht gets me off my
duff (or rather firmly on it) to review, and the sense that it *is*
still a competition, despite the laid-back atmosphere is what
motivates me to try to read as widely as possible. I want to be as
fair a judge as I can be. That's sufficient motivation for me, and it
does partly turn on a sense of obligation.

The only suggestion I can make is to emphasize, again and again, that
this obligation to fairness is a sliding scale. The point of the
awards, as I see it, is to help recognize *good* stories. Not the
*best* stories, but *good* stories (and we'll assume that the ones a
majority of people think are best will rise to the top of the
reviewing pile and place in some way). I would not claim to know whose
stories are best. I would claim to know that, coming into MEFAs, I
have some judgment, not unfounded thanks to past experience, of which
stories are good. I therefore *should* write at least a line or two
for those stories, if not more, insofar as I am able. And I should try
to read others, in case they, too, meet my sense of what a good story is.

At the same time, I recognize I can't read all of them--nobody can.
But that's no reason not to review. The only reseponse to that as a
reason not to review that seems reasonable to me is to paraphrase
Wayne Gretzky: the only review you're guaranteed not to score with is
the one you never write. Screw it--write the review. Be "unfair", if
"unfair" means that you have some judgment coming in that certain
stories are *good*--that's why I review my nominees first. Nobody
seems upset by this act of blatant partisanship, and in fact, most
people are wishing that every reviewer would at least review the
stories s/he nominated, even if s/he never reviewed a single other one.

I think it would be worth it, given the concern about fairness, to
ask: what do we mean by this word?

I get a sense that one version of "fairness" means the following:

1) "Fair" refers to people who live behind the veil of ignorance. We
should have no prior knowledge or anything to incline us towards any
particular story, and if we do, we should suppress it--no nominator
names, no visible reviews at any point (a fair point if one believes
that a story with many reviews is likely to get still more, while
stories with no reviews are likely to get fewer--reviewing strategies
offered up by some on this list seem to argue against that), no set
order to the stories we see. Ideally, we would read every single fic
and then vote.

It's worth noting that if this is our standard of fairness, we should
stop trying to find ways to convince people to review at least the
stories they nominated. In fact, one should be *forbidden* from doing
so, because one is likely to nominate one's friends, one's own
stories, and people with whom one has fandom ties precisely because we
already are prejudiced by our enjoyment of their stories and company.
Our nomination *is* our vote, in that sense, and more would be like
voting twice, which is unfair.


Another sense of "fair" is:

2) Whatever facilitates reading in reviewers, so that more fics have
the chance to be read. If the awards are based on people leaving
reviews for *good* stories, we have to ensure that as many fics as
possible are exposed to the judgment of readers.

This definition of "fairness" I am partial to--it fits the nature of
the awards. It is a bit extreme insofar as that "whatever" is
concerned--(1) is not wholly illegitimate *as a means to fulfilling
number (2)*.


A third sense of the word that I'm getting is:

3) Fairness is prioritizing structures and procedures that minimize
the risk that anyone will have their feelings hurt because they found
themselves in a situation where they could compare themselves to other
authors and feel that they were inferior.

To put it in the strongest possible terms, I have absolutely no
sympathy for this as a standard for what is fair. It is a standard for
what is nice or kind and presumes the recipient of niceness/kindness
is extremely fragile (I think someone actually used this word to
describe such persons, and it struck me that this sense of niceness is
incredibly paternalistic towards its 'object'). It is also unrealistic
any way you slice it. All the concern about "author anxiety", which
is, I think, being responded to through (1) above, is what points me
to this sense of fairness.

And I'll say it again: if we aim to satisfy this version of "fair", we
will guarantee ourselves massive frustration and we will fail wholly
to achieve our goal to run a set of good-faith, good-fun, review-based
awards. We need to remember that when it comes to our stories, our
feelings and self-image are hardly what we'd call "impartial" or
"fair" in any conventional sense of the wordd. I therefore see very
little point in considering this as a major goal, and for any measure
responding mainly to this version of fairness, I'd be hesitant to
support unless it clearly helped (2) along.

So I'm not interested in the debate about whether to hide final
reviews or not, whether to do away with tentative reviews or not, if
the reason we're debating this is because we worry about author egos.
I am interested if it encourages people to vote, and RSF makes a very
good point, here. Likewise, after more careful considertion, hiding
reviewers' or nominators' names is not a huge issue for me--unless it
is obvious that many are making most of their reading nd reviewing
decisions based on those names, it doesn't seem to address a real
problem, but it seems like for some people, when they've reached a
limit on their own reviewing choices, find that access to this
information makes them more likely to read more broadly. And I'm quite
in favor of that.



Ok, so that long diversion into a subject that's been quietly rankling
for a bit aside, do I have suggestions for how to improve
participation that would match my commitment to (2) above?

How about a voting-season post intended for all the
lists/chatboards/LJs we frequent and whom we contact when nominations
season begins?

Post should include:

1) What is the aim of the awards: (as I understand it) to recognize
via reviewer feedback good fics and to gain a wider audience for good
fics (also measured by feedback). We need as many people to
participate as possible so that every fic has a fair shake of being
read by *someone* who can make a judgment that this is a good story.

This means: any nominated story that you know of and which you think
is good is a story you can review without guilt. You are, after all,
helping to recognize and recommend a story you, with your best
judgment, think is good. We also highly encourage people to explore
other stories they haven't read, but the main point is: read and
review, whether a little or a lot. Recognize quality fic where you see
it, and as you are able to do so.

2) Voting strategies. We've had a number of people share their
strategies for voting, ways of making the leap into stories outside
their usual venues (hobbits, Men, Elves, etc.). Let's organize them
and present them as an aid, as RSF has suggested before.

3) Sample "ballots": some have said that others in fandom aren't sure
what sort of vote we're looking for. Let's give some examples, being
careful to say these are non-exclusive examples. Everyone has a
different reviewing style.

I'd suggest including:

a) reviews from the 1-3 point range

b) reviews from the 4-5 point range

c) reviews from the 7-10 point range

d) at least one review that includes a little bit of concrit

e) at least one review that is no more than five words

4) Explanation of relative points value and how it works--remind
people that they don't have to write 10 point reviews if they're not
able, that the point is to give points in a relative manner. There is
no point in comparing your review to somebody else's and feeling bad
about it.

5) Link to the Voting season FAQs for any further questions about how
to vote.

6) Offer to discuss any questions in the forum where the post was made.

Hopefully, that'd open conversation in forums where people are most
comfortable, rather than the post simply disappearing, undiscussed,
under other posts. As a good-faith gesture designed to show that we
are trying to reach people and make it easy for them to understand the
awards and participate, it might incline others to leave their more
usual haunts and come participate at MEFAs.

<snip>

> Dwim, I'm not knocking your idea. Like I said it's a good one. I'm more
> stating what I see to be an obvious roadblock.

No, I understand about the yahoo thing, and agree: it's a separate
topic. And I'm not the most helpful person here in terms of positive
suggestions, either.

Dwim

Msg# 6116

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 07, 2005 - 11:22:24 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:

Hi Marta

> So if you're reading this message and you used already-published
> reviews as a way to decide what to read, please reply to this post
> telling me so. So I have something to balance it against, please do
> the same if you didn't really consider the reviews that had already
> been published.

Nopes, gonna sound boring, but I made my reading list in an excel
sheet when I was a liaision, working hard to complete nominations and
being introduced to a broad variety of authors. I did see so many
stories, summaries to see if for example a rating was correctly and so
on.. yeah I got interested. Then there was the categorisation on which
I did a lot of categories (4 to 5, I really don't want to remember),
so that list grew even more, because well, again you had to go through
the story details or sometimes reading the story to place it
correctly. This was all pre-review published period. So once my baby
finally allowed me to read & review, that was 2 and an half months
later and I started with my excel sheet, using the final extra days to
read the categories in in which I write the most, so I started with
Feanor's and Sons, read some extra stories of authors that I
discovered, started to branch out in that category... and so on. I
barely had time to look at other reviews or nominators given the time
that was left for me.

>> Now if you want to attach the nominator
>> recommendation to the story before it enters reading season (which
>> basically would be the nominator's review (unless I misunderstood
>> it)
>
> It's of course possible that I'm misunderstanding it... but I think
> the recommendation and the review are compledtely different things.
> The recommendation would have been a tagline -- just a few sentences
> about why someone else should red the piece. It would be written to
> the reviewer rather than a general review of the story or comments
> directed to the author. The nominator would still have to write a
> normal review.

I was simply summing up what Larian understood what was going on, but
so far I haven't seen that difference clearly communicated.

>> and tell people that they can review already during nomination
>> season, this would mean that stories that were nominated at the end
>> of nomination season have a clear disadvantage on those who were
>> nominated at the beginning. I don't know if I got that
>> suggestion/idea correctly, a lot has been said already, but I think
>> that is what Larian tried to say here.
>
> Rhapsody, the main advantage I can see is that people have longer to
> vote for that story. Am I missing something?

Yeah I guess Larian's post.

> To be clear, here is my position as of this moment. I may have my
> mind changed, of course:

<snip>

Sounds all good to me!

> Hope that's clear! I've got a headache while I'm writing this and
> don't feel entirely lucid.

Want a cookie?

Rhapsody

Msg# 6117

Re: Increasing participation (was against ... uh... stuff) Posted by sulriel November 07, 2005 - 11:28:13 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "dwimmer_laik" <dwimmer_laik@y...>
wrote:
>
> >>It's just that we *need* to try and encourage said> > > non-
reviewing authors to join in even if it's only for a couple of> > >
reviews. They're the ones who are definitely aware of the MEFAs,>
after> > > all. They're like a built-in pool of potential voters I'd
love to see> > > 'tapped' more effectively, though not in
an 'emotional blackmail' > > > sense.
> > >

Great stuff Dwim, I'll snip and reply as I go.

> For me, it's the fact that this is a competition where I don't have
to
> make the hard choice and vote only for one person that gets me off
my
> duff (or rather firmly on it) to review, and the sense that it *is*
> still a competition, despite the laid-back atmosphere is what
> motivates me to try to read as widely as possible. I want to be as
> fair a judge as I can be. That's sufficient motivation for me, and
it
> does partly turn on a sense of obligation.


There are a couple of things I especially like about these awards.

*** that they say, specifically and exactly, what they are. The
award winners are those that THE READERS LIKED BEST - in my opinion
that removes, for the most part, nebulous and subjective words
like 'quality' and 'best'. I feel like the process and the results
support the up-front stated goals.

Authors write for readers, readers tend to be a somewhat irrational
and fickle bunch :) <= please notice the smiley.

(NOT to start debate, but to clarify 'where I'm coming from' - much
of my personal issues with other processes are because - to me - they
seem disjointed between the stated goal, the process and the end
result)

going back to what The Readers Liked Best => I like that the reader
has to put forth some amount of effort to reward the author. This is
your 'paycheck' in fanfic. Yes, we love to write, but we want to
share what we've done and we love the feedback or (in most cases) it
wouldn't be posted on the internet. TIME is the one thing that is
absolutely finite, more than gold or anything else. When the reader
gives the author some of their time in order to read and then review,
that time - thoughtful time and words - is a gift more precious than
any other that can be given. I know there are other 'readers
choice' awards, but (as far as I know) they only require clicking on
a button and I feel like the MEFAs give much more than that.

*** that the entire process is transparent. from nominations to
reviews to end results. Who voted for who is all a matter of public
record. I sincerely believe that the MEFAs have nothing to hide.

*** I love the feedback based system. Honestly folks, the reviews
I've garnered in the last two MEFAs are more than the total of what
has been left for me over the last few years at all the archives
combined. - and I have been in the past much more active than I am
now.

*** I love that the system is reader based and unlimited. ANYONE who
wants to participate can, anyone who wants to reward an author can,
anyone who wants to make a difference can. All it takes is to simply
do it.

** what I don't like about it? That feelings were hurt. That in
spite of all the good, there is still negative feelings and negative
fallout.

I did use the word fragile and I think it's appropriate in the case
of many of our author's ego's and self-esteem. Is that a
responsibility of the MEFAs? I don't know. - I do think it's
worthwhile to discuss ways to minimize the damage. I think a large
part of that is in education and setting expectations.

what I mean by education and expectations - for example: I think
people expected more reviews. I don't know what the average review
per story was, but I would guess around 4. I think that many times
painful emotions come from the authors perspective. FOR EXAMPLE:
my travel times article had about 10 reviews, making it one of the
highest reviewed works in the system. ... but that's less than a
fraction of a percent of the hits that page gets, it averages nearly
200 hits per month. Did only ten of those literally thousands of
readers participate in the MEFAs? If I had expected even one percent
of those readers to review, I would have been terribly disappointed.
That seems petty and a little silly. MY POINT is that, in many
cases, it's a matter of perspective.

I think we need to address concerns and determine if they're valid,
and if not, address the perception and try to deal with that. There
are going to be things that simply can't be dealt with by the MEFAs
that the authors will have to come to terms with - some may choose
not to participate and it may be for the best if the awards cause
them emotional pain. But I do want to be able to say that we tried.


> At the same time, I recognize I can't read all of them--nobody can.
> But that's no reason not to review. The only response to that as a
> reason not to review that seems reasonable to me is to paraphrase
> Wayne Gretzky: the only review you're guaranteed not to score with
is
> the one you never write. Screw it--write the review. Be "unfair", if
> "unfair" means that you have some judgment coming in that certain
> stories are *good*--that's why I review my nominees first. Nobody
> seems upset by this act of blatant partisanship, and in fact, most
> people are wishing that every reviewer would at least review the
> stories s/he nominated, even if s/he never reviewed a single other
one.


ummm, agree with the above enough to reiterate it. I heard several
times that people felt they couldn't review one without at least
reading all the ones in the pool. I'm not wired that way, and it's
not my understanding of how these awards work. It's my understanding
that you're supposed to leave feedback for the ones you like even if
you just pick one out of the pile. I won't debate those people's
sense of fairness, I admire it, but it wasn't possible for me to
review that way.




> I think it would be worth it, given the concern about fairness, to
> ask: what do we mean by this word?
>
> I get a sense that one version of "fairness" means the following:
>
> 1) "Fair" refers to people who live behind the veil of ignorance. We
> should have no prior knowledge or anything to incline us towards any
> particular story, and if we do, we should suppress it--no nominator
> names, no visible reviews at any point (a fair point if one
believes
> that a story with many reviews is likely to get still more, while
> stories with no reviews are likely to get fewer--reviewing
strategies
> offered up by some on this list seem to argue against that), no set
> order to the stories we see. Ideally, we would read every single fic
> and then vote.


but even with this, personal preferences would quickly come into
play. I think we are having more issues with the *perception* of
fairness than actual fairness itself.

I like the idea of changing the first page of the stories list
because it's human nature to first read the ones that fly up in your
face every day, and I think that's a simply solution to something
that may indeed prejudice those on the first pages to getting more
reads because even if they didn't have to start with, they would
quickly gain name recognition over the course of the awards and
that's a powerful marketing tool.



> 3) Fairness is prioritizing structures and procedures that minimize
> the risk that anyone will have their feelings hurt because they
found
> themselves in a situation where they could compare themselves to
other
> authors and feel that they were inferior.
>
> To put it in the strongest possible terms, I have absolutely no
> sympathy for this as a standard for what is fair. It is a standard
for
> what is nice or kind and presumes the recipient of niceness/kindness
> is extremely fragile (I think someone actually used this word to
> describe such persons, and it struck me that this sense of niceness
is
> incredibly paternalistic towards its 'object'). It is also
unrealistic
> any way you slice it. All the concern about "author anxiety", which
> is, I think, being responded to through (1) above, is what points me
> to this sense of fairness.

***see above my comments on addressing issues to determine if they
can or should be dealt with, education and perception.

while I think that overall the awards went very well and made a lot
of people happy, I have concern for the emotional pain that
these 'feelgood' awards *have* caused some people. Is it the awards
or the people? I don't know. What I want is to look at the awards
and see if there are ways to reduce the negatives. I know it's not
possible to make everyone happy and some people are going to be
unhappy regards of what we do. but again, I think it's worth
discussion.

I think if it's possible to do things to reduce anxiety of our more
fragile members, we should do so - .. if it's not possible within the
context of these awards, so be it, but I think it's worthy of
discussion. - what upset them, what if anything can or should be
done about it.



> And I'll say it again: if we aim to satisfy this version of "fair",
we
> will guarantee ourselves massive frustration and we will fail wholly
> to achieve our goal to run a set of good-faith, good-fun, review-
based
> awards.


absolutely.




> How about a voting-season post intended for all the
> lists/chatboards/LJs we frequent and whom we contact when
nominations
> season begins?
>
> Post should include:
>
> 1) What is the aim of the awards: (as I understand it) to recognize
> via reviewer feedback good fics and to gain a wider audience for
good
> fics (also measured by feedback). We need as many people to
> participate as possible so that every fic has a fair shake of being
> read by *someone* who can make a judgment that this is a good story.


suggest changing 'good' to 'favorite' in view of my first point waaay
up the page.



> This means: any nominated story that you know of and which you think
> is good is a story you can review without guilt. You are, after all,
> helping to recognize and recommend a story you, with your best
> judgment, think is good. We also highly encourage people to explore
> other stories they haven't read, but the main point is: read and
> review, whether a little or a lot. Recognize quality fic where you
see
> it, and as you are able to do so.


like this a lot. ...maybe change the first good to enjoyable?

>
> 2) Voting strategies. We've had a number of people share their


like all these suggestions a lot.


> Hopefully, that'd open conversation in forums where people are most
> comfortable, rather than the post simply disappearing, undiscussed,
> under other posts. As a good-faith gesture designed to show that we
> are trying to reach people and make it easy for them to understand
the
> awards and participate, it might incline others to leave their more
> usual haunts and come participate at MEFAs.
>

agreed with this too.

Thanks for posting all this.

Sulriel

Msg# 6118

Re: Poll results for MEFAwards Posted by Kathy November 07, 2005 - 14:39:59 Topic ID# 123
Great, our first decision! But now, x=? Are we going to have a poll
or discussion about what that cap should be? I saw that question
over at the LJ, but not here (officially, anyway).

Kathy (Inkling)

--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com wrote:
>
> The following MEFAwards poll is now closed. Here are the
> final results:
>
> POLL QUESTION: As part of the post-mortem we have discussed the
> possibility of limiting the numer of nominations that a nominator
> can make. Which of these limit types would you prefer?
>
> CHOICES AND RESULTS
> - A divided cap. You may nominate Y stories and Z drabbles or
> poems., 3 votes, 14.29%
> - I have a different suggestions and will suggest it to the list.,
> 0 votes, 0.00%
> - I have no opinion on this subject., 1 votes, 4.76%
> - A simple cap. You can nominate X pieces (whatever the type -
> drabble, story, poem, etc.), 17 votes, 80.95%

Msg# 6119

Just poking my head in Posted by Ainaechoiriel November 07, 2005 - 15:21:49 Topic ID# 6119
and only peeking at a few posts, so pardon if I don't hit on all the topics
or points.

Two things I saw:

1) no self-nominations. Okay the post I saw said it was unlikely this would
come t o pass and I'd say you betcha to that. Why self-nominations? Because
I created this program to be like the Alt StarTrek Creative Awards, where
there was no committee running quality control to see whose stories were
worthy of competing. You posted during the year? You're in. Be your story
drek or gem. If it's drek, it will probably be found to be so and not get
many, if any reviews. if it's a gem, ideally, gems come to the top.

We aren't a newsgroup or archive to post in. That's the ONLY reason we have
nominations. Not for quaility control. We're not the fanfic cops saying
that only these particular stories are the best out there. Self-nominations
mimicks that act of posting to the newsgroup. You saying, "I've got a
story. I'd like it to be read. Let the chips fall as they may." I have
self-nominated every one of my stories to kind of lead by example. No
stigma on self-nomination. That's about as democratic as we can make it.
Ever reader has a vote. Every story has the same chance of being read as any
other. Drek or gem.

2) Not voting on what we nominate? What? No, that does not equal a "vote".
Nominating gain no points. No way for that story to win just because it was
nominated. And while an author may be honored that someone nominated his or
her story, it's not nearly so nice as review. Feedback! That's where the
vote comes in. (And that's the main point of these awards, remember.) When I
nominate a story, I intend to vote on it (and did last year). I want to
tell people WHY I nominated it. WHY I thought it was so good, WHY I think
it should win the award. And, if that rule were to be made, you'd be
putting a stigma on self-nominations. No, you can never vote on your own
stories. But people whose stories were nominated by someone else are put
then on a higher pedastal than than those who nominated their own stuff.
That nomination IS you kudo if you can't vote on what you nominate. A
self-nominator is kudo-less by default.

Personally, I do think you should review a story you nominate if it's not
your own story. Why? Because you obviously liked it or you wouldn't have
nominated it. I know I didn't measure up to that this year. As always, I
blame Rob. Next year, I'll be a newlywed, and probably just as busy. The
year after that, I'll be preparing for adoption. Then I'll be a mom! Who
knows if I'll ever find that time I had during the 2004 MEFA's again.
Still, I'll hope that if I nominate only two stories (that aren't mine) next
year, I'll review them so anyone can know why I nominated them.

Just please try to look at it this way, we want to mimick the democracy of
that newsgroup AS IF we had our own archive to post to. Every story is
equal. In that newgroup, no one nominated anything. I'd love it if we
could do that without having an archive but I don't see how that can
possibly work. I just don't have the bandwidth or the time to maintain an
archive of that nature and I don't reccommend that people post to more than
a few archives anyway (hard to update them all when you find a typo). Do we
start a newsgroup then? Or allow posting of stories on the Yahoo Group as a
way of building our pool of elligible stories? Those are possibilities. Or
we just keep trying to mimick it by having loose nominations.

Okay, I'd better get back to work.
--Ainaechoiriel
MEFA Admin and Founder

"This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the Elves," Elrond said, "for
it is Windows-compatible, and freeware at that." --H.F.

<http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa> http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa The
Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Blog: <http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com/>
http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6120

Re: Poll results for MEFAwards Posted by Ainaechoiriel November 07, 2005 - 15:23:34 Topic ID# 123
Good question! And I'll add mine, what about the option of giving your
unused nominations to someone else? Sounds decent to me, but might be
technologically more difficult to pull off. Just something to mull over.

--Ainaechoiriel
MEFA Admin and Founder

"This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the Elves," Elrond said, "for
it is Windows-compatible, and freeware at that." --H.F.

http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa The Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Blog: http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com



> -----Original Message-----
> From: MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com
> [mailto:MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kathy
> Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 2:39 PM
> To: MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [MEFAwards] Re: Poll results for MEFAwards
>
> Great, our first decision! But now, x=? Are we going to have
> a poll or discussion about what that cap should be? I saw
> that question over at the LJ, but not here (officially, anyway).
>
> Kathy (Inkling)
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com wrote:
> >
> > The following MEFAwards poll is now closed. Here are the final
> > results:
> >
> > POLL QUESTION: As part of the post-mortem we have discussed the
> > possibility of limiting the numer of nominations that a
> nominator can
> > make. Which of these limit types would you prefer?
> >
> > CHOICES AND RESULTS
> > - A divided cap. You may nominate Y stories and Z drabbles
> or poems.,
> > 3 votes, 14.29%
> > - I have a different suggestions and will suggest it to the
> list., 0
> > votes, 0.00%
> > - I have no opinion on this subject., 1 votes, 4.76%
> > - A simple cap. You can nominate X pieces (whatever the type -
> > drabble, story, poem, etc.), 17 votes, 80.95%
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
> --------------------~--> Get fast access to your favorite
> Yahoo! Groups. Make Yahoo! your home page
> http://us.click.yahoo.com/dpRU5A/wUILAA/yQLSAA/wx3olB/TM
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> ------~->
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 6121

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Chris Grzonka November 07, 2005 - 18:40:58 Topic ID# 6013
> I've been thinking about this argument that reading the reviews
> impacted a potential reviewer's decision to read and eventually vote on
> a story.

Reading Reviews never decided me to vote on a story. But sometimes the
summary was too short for me to decide whether I wanted to spend time on a
story. So, by reading the review, I was hoping to know a bit more about a
story before committing time.

> Perhaps this is just me not understanding how people did this,
> but did you actually read all the reviews on a story you were
> interested in, and then decide whether or not to read it?

No, more often than not I avoided the review until I was ready to write my
review, unless, see above. Mostly I would read one or maybe two reviews but
not all, just to get a feeling whether other people saw the same in a story
or not.

> My adview was
> that of an admin, but I think the non-admin user didn't see a link to
> the reviews from the "browse nominations" page, did you? If so, in
> order to do this, you would have to go into the "read reviews" section,
> find the first review for the story you liked, and click on that
> story's id #.

I forgot how I did it. But in the Browse Stories section, during voting
season, there was a Review column with a link. Clicking on that link gave
you access to the Reviews.

>
> What seems much more likely is that someone would browse the
> nominations, see that a story received an interesting review, and
> decide to check it out. But remember that we can mark reviews, so
> everyone who is reading reviews all along will be seeing the most
> recent reviews, not all of them each time.

I didn't quite understand how this Marking of Reviews worked, so I never
used that feature.

> And now a quick slight side note to this slight side note. Or more like
> a question. I can't remember - was there a link to the webpage where
> the story was hosted from the page of reviews? What I mean is, if I'm
> reading the reviews is there a simple way for me to read the story? If
> there is, we may want to not have that. I think that this may be a good
> way to send the message that people should be voting based on the story
> and not on the review.

I think clicking on the link for the Reviews opened a new browser window.
But no matter what you do it is very easy to go between review page and
story page. There is always the possibility to use Open Link in New Window.

Chris

Msg# 6122

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by Chris Grzonka November 07, 2005 - 18:45:40 Topic ID# 6013
>
> Reading the above paragraph, an interesting thought occurred to me: how
> would it affect things if the name of the reviewer was withheld until
> after the end of voting season? We're already looking at not publishing
> the names of the nominator except to the author. Assuming the presence
> of a clique (which I honestly don't believe exists)... well, if we also
> don't publicise the name of the reviewer, then no other potential
> reviewer can know that some other member of this clique reviewed a
> piece and be influenced that way. The publishing of the reviews
> wouldn't cause as many problems by unduly influencing people. It would
> then avoid even the appearance of a clique.
>
> Cheers,
> Marta


I think that is a good idea. The names can show up when the Awards are done,
but in the mean time you could only see the reviews. Few people have such a
distinctive style while writing reviews that you can guess who it was.

Chris

Msg# 6123

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topic?) Posted by C Dodd November 07, 2005 - 20:02:46 Topic ID# 6013
On 11/6/05, Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> Reading the above paragraph, an interesting thought occurred to me: how
> would it affect things if the name of the reviewer was withheld until
> after the end of voting season? We're already looking at not publishing
> the names of the nominator except to the author. Assuming the presence
> of a clique (which I honestly don't believe exists)... well, if we also
> don't publicise the name of the reviewer, then no other potential
> reviewer can know that some other member of this clique reviewed a
> piece and be influenced that way. The publishing of the reviews
> wouldn't cause as many problems by unduly influencing people. It would
> then avoid even the appearance of a clique.

As you can probably guess, I'm definitely not in favor of hiding reviewer
names. There were a number of times this go round that I found a reviewer
who liked stories I liked, and I used their reviews to lead me to other
stories I liked. Same with nominators -- I knew nothing about the majority
of the people who made nominations this year, and pretty much had no clue
about who was an admin except for you and Ainae -- but I could follow the
bread crumb trail left by total strangers as long as I knew their names.
Over on lj, in the community "fanthropology", someone's just asked a
question about fan contests, and there was a reply I'll quote here:
"Somebody will always decide they don't like how you ran your competition,
the only thing you can do is run it in a transparent enough fashion that any
complaints are substantial and supportable (and can be fixed in future
competitions) or are the obvious whines of a crackpot."
To me, transparency is the key to refuting charges of favoritism. Losing it
for the sake of a theoretical controversy wouldn't help anything and might
actually increase the chances that the awards would be embroiled in a mess.
The discussion on LJ is here, in case anyone is interested:
http://www.livejournal.com/community/fanthropology/158524.html
a couple of the commenters have already linked to discussions about other
awards.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6124

deciding to read a story based on reviews--not what I did, either Posted by BLJean@aol.com November 07, 2005 - 23:55:54 Topic ID# 6124
In definite agreement here. If I couldn't tell from a summary what the story
was about or who the characters were, I might look at the top review on the
pile, if it had more than one, for a clue, but usually I would just click into
the first chapter instead. And I avoided reading reviews on a story I planned
to review until I was finished writing mine and saved it as "tentative". Then I
might peek at the already-posted reviews just to make sure I wasn't being
repetitive and saying the exact same thing someone else had said. (Didn't want
people to think I'd just copied someone else's review. Silly, eh?) Sounds
compulsive, maybe. Story of my life.

Lin

In a message dated 11/7/2005 7:20:05 PM Pacific Standard Time,
MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com writes:
> Perhaps this is just me not understanding how people did this,
> but did you actually read all the reviews on a story you were
> interested in, and then decide whether or not to read it?

No, more often than not I avoided the review until I was ready to write my
review, unless, see above. Mostly I would read one or maybe two reviews but
not all, just to get a feeling whether other people saw the same in a story
or not.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6125

Re: Just poking my head in Posted by Kathy November 08, 2005 - 1:03:08 Topic ID# 6119
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Ainaechoiriel" <mefaadmin@e...>
> wrote:
> <snip>
> We aren't a newsgroup or archive to post in. That's the ONLY
> reason we have nominations.
> <snip>
> In that newgroup, no one nominated anything. I'd love it if we
> could do that without having an archive but I don't see how that can
> possibly work. I just don't have the bandwidth or the time to
> maintain an archive of that nature and I don't reccommend that
> people post to more than a few archives anyway (hard to update them
> all when you find a typo). Do we start a newsgroup then? Or allow
> posting of stories on the Yahoo Group as a way of building our pool
> of elligible stories? Those are possibilities. Or we just keep
> trying to mimick it by having loose nominations.

Ainae,

I can think of only one other way to accomplish what you're
describing: If the MEFAs were limited to self-nominations only, it
would be somewhat like having no nominations. Sort of a radical idea,
I know, but hey, I'm feeling reckless tonight! ;)

Kathy (Inkling)

Msg# 6126

Re: Just poking my head in Posted by Ainaechoiriel November 08, 2005 - 11:17:16 Topic ID# 6119
> -----Original Message-----
> From: MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com
> [mailto:MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kathy
> Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 1:03 AM
> To: MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [MEFAwards] Re: Just poking my head in
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Ainaechoiriel" <mefaadmin@e...>
> > wrote:
> > <snip>
> > We aren't a newsgroup or archive to post in. That's the
> ONLY reason
> > we have nominations.
> > <snip>
> > In that newgroup, no one nominated anything. I'd love it
> if we could
> > do that without having an archive but I don't see how that can
> > possibly work. I just don't have the bandwidth or the time to
> > maintain an archive of that nature and I don't reccommend
> that people
> > post to more than a few archives anyway (hard to update
> them all when
> > you find a typo). Do we start a newsgroup then? Or allow
> posting of
> > stories on the Yahoo Group as a way of building our pool of
> elligible
> > stories? Those are possibilities. Or we just keep trying
> to mimick
> > it by having loose nominations.
>
> Ainae,
>
> I can think of only one other way to accomplish what you're
> describing: If the MEFAs were limited to self-nominations
> only, it would be somewhat like having no nominations. Sort
> of a radical idea, I know, but hey, I'm feeling reckless tonight! ;)
>
> Kathy (Inkling)
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
> --------------------~--> Get fast access to your favorite
> Yahoo! Groups. Make Yahoo! your home page
> http://us.click.yahoo.com/dpRU5A/wUILAA/yQLSAA/wx3olB/TM
> --------------------------------------------------------------

There's a thought. And I'm not against it. Just worry that there might not
be enough knowledge of the MEFAs out there to draw the stories. Oh, there
might be now. I know it wouldn't have worked the first year. Something to
think about.

Another topic to poke my head in about: reading reviews

Just my experience (not in 2005 though): I will read what I'm intersted in
anyway, but sometimes someone else's review will make me go 'hmmmmm' and
perhaps want to read the story even though it didn't originally make my
list. It might prompt me to step outside my box, so to speak. It's not a
matter of who wrote it but what was written (the review, I mean). I'd hate
to miss a gem by sheer ignorance.

Now remembering that I'm drawing from ASC experience, there is no reading
season. That's the whole posting year. I might have read stories that are
elligible during the year and am ready to vote on them. Then awards time
comes and votes are posted. I admit, there are fewer of them than what the
MEFA's has generated, and I don't read every one even then (I won't read
Archer/Reed slash regardless of any glowing reviews, for example). So I
read the reviews and some of those reviews might get me to read another
story. That's how I discovered Sisko9725 (or whatever numbers are after his
name). He didn't write about Bashir. So I wouldn't have put his stories on
my list. It was the reviews that lead me to the stories and in doing so I
found the best author of 2004, to my mind.

Okay, back to work. Wait. Maybe I shouldn't say that. I said that yesterday
and got a migraine and had to go home early and lie down in pain for 4.5
more hours.....Okay, maybe I'll just say that I've got to go pay attention
to things for which I get paid.

--Ainaechoiriel
MEFA Admin and Founder

"This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the Elves," Elrond said, "for
it is Windows-compatible, and freeware at that." --H.F.

http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa The Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

Blog: http://www.ainaechoiriel.blogspot.com

Msg# 6127

Re: (attn: Ainae) [MEFAwards] Re: Banners for Story Winners are up! Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:26:40 Topic ID# 6041
On 6 Nov 2005, at 13:08, elliska67 wrote:

> I was just looking at these and I hate to say it but: the banner for
> 1st place Silmarillion is not correct. The winner of the poll was
> the banner at
>
> http://gabrielle.sytes.net/mefa/AwardBanners/Ainulindale2.jpg
> (the pinkish one)
>
> and the banner posted is made from Ainulindale1.jpg.
>
> We need to fix that. If I can help, let me know.

Hi elliska,

Rhapsody also spotted a few. Unfortunately, to my knowledge Ainae is
the only one who can change that. One way you (and everyone) can help
is by spotting any more corrections that haven't been mentioned here,
so she'll know to correct them.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6128

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:26:46 Topic ID# 6039
>

Hi Kathy,

> (Sorry Marta, I'm afraid we've all gotten way off the official topic:
> how to limit nominations!) 
>

Don't worry about that! Like I said in another email, we'll get to as
much as we can get to. Obviously the topics we're discussing are the
ones of most interest to people.

As for the other things you said, I think I've replied elsewhere.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6129

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:26:49 Topic ID# 6039
Hi Sulriel,

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com,
>
> someone mentioned the anxiety caused by tentative reviews, authors
> wondering how many, if any, might be 'out there', but I'm not easily
> finding those lines in the previous posts ...
>
> I have to second this. It's a real and painful concern. I also
> fielded somewhat traumatized mails from various authors, and
> understand from private discussion that it was apparently somewhat
> widespread.
>
> so which is better?    the possibility of hidden reviews being
> collected in a long agony of hope  - or the cold stark reality of
> seeing that number and knowing that is the number.  Personally, I
> prefer cold and stark.  I won't argue either way, but I think it's
> something that needs to be discussed.  I can certainly understand how
> crushing emotion can can be, hope, loss of hope. -the assumptions
> that are made due to lack of reivews - ...  It doesn't take that much
> to throw off my writing for periods and I am fairly thick-skinned.  -
> (ok .. <ahem> I have a rhino-hide.)  Many of our authors are young
> and/or fragile and I hate to think of the possibilities of those that
> are being lost to the fandom instead of nurtured, but that's a
> whole 'nuther discussion that doesn't really belong here.
>

I wasn't aware that this was a problem, but I can certainly understand
it being one. Personally I prefer upfront as well. I don't want
tentative reviews to be visible until after voting season, but I
wouldn't at all mind if the author knew that some tentative reviews had
been made for their stories.

Dwim (and anyone else who wants to keep the possibility of non-visible
reviews during voting season): would you be okay with the *presence* of
those reviews being known to the author? They wouldn't be able to read
what the reviews said, just know of their existence.

> I think that if the final reviews are going to be editable, we only
> need the one option. (plus the note to self comment/check-box or
> whatever) - but I don't really agree with that.  I think final should
> be final and move on.  I think we're all guily of endless tweaking,
> and doing so with the reviews is likely to keep the reviewer from
> moving forward with new reviews.
>

Even if final reviews are editable, I'd still like to have the
possibility of a "hidden" review - what tentative is now. But like you,
I don't like the option of editing final reviews once they're visible.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6130

Re: Anthony, have a cookie! / have two cookies (Back!fatmouse!Back! Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:26:52 Topic ID# 6090
On 6 Nov 2005, at 19:41, sulriel wrote:

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
> >
> > Well, if the reader could control the sort order and the default was
> > "random", then the first browse stories page would come up with
> different> stories on top as people signed in, but for someone who
> wanted to go through> a category systematically they could choose
> another sort order along with> the filters, by author, or title, etc.
> and keep track of where they'd been > last that way. Or the default
> order could be by number of reviews, with the > zeros floating to the
> top. That would also give an advantage but it would be> a temporary
> advantage as stories garnered reviews.>
>
> trying to think this through. 
>
> if the random sort is a database/cookie issue ... 
>
> I have a couple of thoughts.
>
> * sort by reverse order of nomination.  => it seems logical that
> popular/well-read/well-known stories would (for the most part) be
> nominated earlier in the process, so it might semi-balance
> that 'already-known' advantage by bumping them down the list as new
> nominations came in.  This would automatically change the top listing
> throughout nomination season, but not after.  It seems reasonable to
> think that the 'hidden gems' would be nominated later in the process
> and therefore be easier to find since they'd be closer to the top of
> the list, and the earlier nominations might be stories/authors that
> are well-known enough that readers would actively seek them out so
> there wouldn't be a disadvantage to being at the bottom of the list.
>
> * instead of a random sort, could the database be set to periodic
> change.   like for example:  every third day, start with the
> next '10'.  so the first monday, story number one would be at the top,
> on wednesday it would start with story 11, and so on. - Would that be
> managable technologically and would it sufficiently ramdomize the
> list?
>
> * I would also support sorting by number of reviews, least first
>
>

I like most of what Sulriel suggests, though I'm not that comfortable
with sorting by least number of reviews. It gives an advantage based on
the absence of reviews, and I'd rather go with a completely random
system. Such as the one I'm about to propose.

Now, keep in mind that I'm a recent college graduate with a BS in math.
So the math behind this seems like second nature to me; I've actually
tutored in it. I've tried to keep this light on theory, heavy on
application for the MEFAs, but I may have given my inner-geek just a
little too much freedom. But I'm trying to think back to cyclic groups
in number theory. Maybe we could use the principle behind these things
to sift nominations a better so that the first nominated stories don't
necessarily end up at the beginning of the list.

Notice that the number 7 doesn't have any common factors with 250. This
means (in uber-technical math terms - bear with me here) that the
number 7 generates the set of integers between 0 and any number of the
form "249". I'm talking about groups like {0, 1, 2, ... 244}; {0, 1,
2... 499}; {0, 1, 2... 749}; and so on. In what I hope are sufficiently
basic terms for the non-math inclined, the powers of 7 up to 7^249 (or
their remainder when divided by 250) will each be equal will each be
equal to a different between 0 and 249.

Now what does all of this have to do with the MEFAs? Let's say that we
assigned the first nomination an ID # of "7", the second an ID # of
"14", the third an id # of "21", etc. The
thirty-fifth entry would get an entry # of 245 (7*35=245), and the
thirty-sixth entry would wrap around to 2. (7*36=252-250=2). Then entry
#37 = "9", and the cycle starts all over again. When we reach 250
nominations we would just start over with 251-500 being the 250 ID #s
we're sifting through.

The upshot is that the first seven nominations will include nominations
from across the gamut of the first 250 stories nominated.

(I picked 7 because it is prime so it doesn't have any factors with any
numbers except multiples of 7. A similar sifting system could be set up
with other numbers. Provided the number we're increasing the story ID
by (in this example, 7) and the number of numbers we're sifting through
(in this example, 250), the sytstem will still work.)

Problem #1: This only gives each of the first 250 nominations a chance
to be displayed at the front of the list. We can extend this set-up to
any multiple of 250, for example 500 or 750. This would give all
nominations an equal chance of being displayed in the top 7 spots. For
example, with 750 story ID #s to fill, every 107th or 108th nomination
would be listed in the top seven nominations.

Problem #2: This wouldn't necessarily result in consecutive story ID
#s. If we do this trying to filter through 750 ID #s and it turns out
we only have 700 nominations, then there will be 50 ID #s that just
aren't used. But we have this way when stories are withdrawn.

Problem #3: The pages of the nomination menu wouldn't be set during
nomination season. As new stories are nominated they might push stories
stories that were on the first page of nominations onto the second.
There's no way to avoid this that I can see, but it seems like less of
a problem to me than having the first nominations at the beginning of
the list.

(Anthony, give me a reality check if this won't work with the website.)

If you've reached this point and what I've said still makes sense,
congratulations. You may have a future in the completely unmarketable
field of advanced mathematics. If what I said made no sense, let me
know and I'll try to explain it again.

And I'm almost squeeing because I've finally found an application of
this stuff for non-math geeks... *g*

Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6131

Re: On the merits of tentative reviews (was: Re: anxiety caused by Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:26:57 Topic ID# 6039
Hi Dwim,

On 6 Nov 2005, at 17:51, dwimmer_laik wrote:

> >But I just don't see the need for the three-tier
> > system (draft, tentative, final). I'd propose that any reviews
> posted
> > during nomination season appear en masse at the start of reading
> > season, or reading-voting season, or whatever we end up with, and
> any
> > reviews posted thereafter be immediately visible.
>
> This is a plea for retaining at least a two-tier, visible/invisible
> review system.
>

Consider it granted! I *really* don't want to do away with at least a
visible/invisible distinction in reviews. The debate is between
three-tiered and two-tiered as far as I'm concerned, *not* between
three-tiered and one-tiered.

> It was also convenient in that they were all in one place and easily
> filterable, so I didn't have to go searching through multiple
> categories in my Word files (nearly all my reviews were composed in
> Word and then uploaded at the end of a major reviewing session). I am
> lazy, and this saved me a bit of time, searching through my Word
> ballots with the "find" feature, and meant I only needed to have one
> program open in these cases, not two. The old blueberry iBook
> appreciates a little break every so often.
>

I agree with Dwim (if I'm understanding her correctly). I know some
people use other software like spreadsheets to organise what they still
want to read, but I'd rather have the ability to do as much within the
MEFA site as possible.I think that encourages people to use the site
more, and thus to review more.

Of course this has to be weighed against the demand on site resources
and work for Anthony, so there are undoubtedly some things where we
have to say "no, the MEFA site won't let you do this". But I as a
general principle I like being able to do more within the site rather
than less.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6132

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topi c?) Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:27:08 Topic ID# 6039
Hi Rabidsamfan,

On 6 Nov 2005, at 12:24, C Dodd wrote:

> Okay, here's my take on this. According to what I read in emails sent
> around
> during voting, tentative reviews were used by some folks to filter out
> stories that they weren't interested in reading, yes? So putting up a
> number
> of "tentative" reviews would be like offering candy to the authors
> and then
> snatching it away just before Halloween.

For me, it's draft reviews and not tentative reviews that I used to
mark stories I wasn't interested in reading. I would filter the stories
to show those I had not yet reviewed and cast a draft review with no
characters if I didn't plan on reviewing it. That way I would only see
those stories that I hadn't yet decided to review or not, or still
wanted to review but hadn't got around to. This is probably a bad use
of system resources and perhaps I shouldn't do so next year. But
honestly, it seems like the only good use of a draft review that I can
imagine. If you don't intend to have the vote display or count, I'm not
sure why you would be casting a review. (Please, if someone is using
draft reviews for something else, let me know and don't take this as
criticism - I can't imagine such a use, that doesn't mean there isn't
one. I'm far from at my mental pique just now, and it's probably my
imagination that's at fault.)

From what I've heard, people are often using tentative votes for
comments on longer stories, that will later be turned into final
reviews. And that's good, because they'll eventually be shown if the
reviewer forgets to turn them into draft before the end of voting
season.

Anthony, this reminds me - how hard would it be to give a score of 0 to
those reviews with 0 characters? I think as it stands now they get 1
point, and I think it would be good if such reviews didn't affect the
scores.

> Is it possible for there to be a "hold aside" which reviewers could
> use to
> identify the stories which they didn't mean to review or didn't want
> to deal
> with while they were filtering for other things? Or could we strongly
> encourage people to only use the "draft" reviews that way? That would
> mean
> that tentative reviews could be used by reviewers who were going
> through a
> category and wanted to make sure that the story they liked best was
> the one
> which they gave the most votes, or to give themselves the chance to
> reread a
> review by daylight and correct misspellings etc. before making it
> final. And
> as a bonus, the number of tentative reviews could be revealed without
> also
> showing the reviews themselves.

I like the idea of a "hold aside" comment, if it's possible, Anthony.
I'm just not sure exactly how it might work. Anthony, IIRC the system
of marking reviews was tricky to implement it, and I don't want to ask
you to code that into a whole other section of the website unless you
can reuse the code. I would ask that you be able to mark only certain
stories on a page (perhaps with a "check all" feature) if we go with
that.

> Alternately, having final reviews appear earlier might encourage
> reviewers
> to finalize their reviews sooner, say after finishing reading through
> a
> category instead of waiting for everything to show up later. I know
> that I
> didn't bother to finalize a number of things until after I could see
> that it
> would be worth the effort -- i.e., when making a review final would
> make it
> appear. I wasn't quite sure why there were three categories of reviews
> possible until I'd worked with them for a good long while, and I
> almost
> never used the "draft" category once I'd figured out that "tentative"
> served
> my purposes better.
>

FWIW, I finalised my reviews as soon as I was sure I was happy enough.
This was for entirely lazy and selfish reasons: I didn't want to have
to go back and edit the review later to set them to final, and I wanted
the closure not haviong to mess with them provided. But I think you're
right in that it would encourage more people to submit final reviews
earlier.

> Even for folks who are readers and not authors, I think early reviews
> have
> some benefits. For one thing, it's nice to see your hard work out
> there all
> shiny if you've been writing reviews, and for another, it's nice to
> have
> models of reviews from experienced reviewers to go by when you start
> writing
> your own.

Agreed to all that.

> I also think, although I can't be sure, that the site got much heavier
> usage once reviews began to appear. I know I had more trouble getting
> in
> more often. Does anyone have the stats? Spreading the visible review
> period
> might ease site congestion, although not in the final week when we
> were all
> rushing.

I don't have stats on this, but I suspect you're right. I also suspect
that the site had the most traffic between 6 PM and 2 AM East Coast
time (covering the hours 6-11 in each of the US time zones). I know
from a British friend that there was a substantial drop in site
availability when all of us East Coast folks got home from work.

One think that I have discussed with some people behind the scenes is
the possibility of getting paid-for site hosting that would allow us to
have access to a server at a company. More bandwidth is a big reason to
consider this, as is less downtime when Ainae is physically away from
her computers. That's another topic I want to get into eventually, but
I did want to say that those of us active behind the scenes have
noticed this issue.

And one of these days, I'll learn that if I stop hinting at future
topics, we may actually finish the one at hand. ;-)

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6133

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topi c?) Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:27:12 Topic ID# 6039
Hi Anthony,

On 6 Nov 2005, at 15:43, Anthony Holder wrote:

> I've read through till now.
>
> Most of the things you all have mentioned are feasible, and not too
> difficult.
>
> I've added several things to my ToDo list, from these emails. At some
> point, I'll have to summarize, but probably not until the end of PM.
> That way, I will let you all know what I heard, and you can tell me if
> I'm correct.
>
> I'm expecting it to be a pretty long list. It is possible that some
> things on the list won't happen, but since I think most of the changes
> will be fairly cosmetic, I am not too concerned with it being too much
> time.
>
> Anthony
>

Anthony, I know that you've put a lot of work into this site. If
anything we suggest will require too much work *please* feel free to
let us know. I'm trying to keep reqd programming in mind with my
suggestions, but it's often hard to gauge because I don't know the
programming language the site is in, and I don't know a lot of the
specifics of how things are done right now.

You've done an impressive job, and I'd like to use that as much as
possible, with as little change. If an improvement will actually help,
that's one thing, but I'd like to use what we have as much as possible.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6134

Re: nominators' recommendation (reply to Rabidsamfan) Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:27:36 Topic ID# 6006
Hi Jenn,

On 6 Nov 2005, at 13:06, Nerwen Calaelen wrote:

> Justa quick comment on the "I'm feeling lucky"
> button, I can't remerber whether it was said earlier
> or not, but this would be very good, so long as it
> only took you to stories that you had not already
> reviewed.
>

Good point. I'm not sure whether it's been said yet or not, but if it
hasn't, I'm mainly interested in this if it can filter out stories that
I have reviewed (or marked not to review if we go with that). Otherwise
I think it would really lose its effectiveness as reading and voting
goes on.

Would it be a good idea to display more than one choice at a time?
Perhaps three at a time? I want to avoid any potential claim that
certain stories are being given preferential treatment because they
appear more often, and I think there would be less of that criticism if
the reviewer still chose a story once it was displayed in the random
story generator.

> One comment on something else, is that I would be very
> unhappy to see draft reviews go, unless there was
> something put in to allow the reader to mark for
> themselves stories that they were not interested in
> reviewing.

I agree with you. If it seems that most people are using draft reviews
for story comments I would encourage us to relabel draft reviews as
"Reviewers' Notes" or something like that, to make it more clear that
they won't be counted as reviews unless their status changes.

> Otherwise, I would read a story and decide
> that I was not going to review it and then have to try
> and remember myslef or check a note that I had made
> somewhere to ensure that I did not waste reading time
> rereading the same story  (this may sound harsh, but
> it is not ment to be - it is just that I marked
> stories this year and yet there were some stories that
> I would not have been able to say whether or not I had
> read then if I saw them a week or so later as they did
> not make a lasting impact on me - I have a good memory
> but usually forget things that I don't think are
> important to remember).

I probably have a worse memory than you, especially when it comes to
summaries. If someone said "that Boromir/Aragorn-in-Lothlorien story
you read last Thanksgiving" I might remember it, but probably not by
the "official" author summary.

> Back to NaNoWriMo...

Good luck! ANd thanks for taking the time to share your opinions.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6135

Re: anxiety caused by tentative reviews Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:27:48 Topic ID# 6039
On 6 Nov 2005, at 17:43, dwimmer_laik wrote:

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy" <inkling-tcbs@s...> wrote:
> >
> > Hmm, I see your point. I hadn't thought of that as I didn't vote
> that
> > way myself...I just figured my opinion is what it is, and let the
> > chips--and the scores--fall where they may. But I agree, it would be
> > pretty unpleasant for an author to see a review score fall after the
> > original post. So maybe the editable feature isn't such a good
> idea. 
> > But I'm still not crazy about hidden reviews...
>
> Well, should it happen that the majority go with having final reviews
> visible no matter what "season" it may be, it seems to me that it
> should be easy enough to hide the scores.
>

You're right. If reviews are made visible, there's no real reason to
make the *scores* visible. Someone could figure them out by hand if
they really wanted to, but there's no sense in making this information
obvious to people. Giving people that much information may increase
anxiety, and it would almost certainly distract people from reviewing.

> Remember: when reviews first went public at the beginning of voting
> season, the *only* scores you could see were for reviews you had left.
> A little nip and tuck here and there, a cleaner turn of phrase, maybe
> a slight addition or subtraction is unlikely to be noticed and
> *counted* unless the author is putting each and every review through a
> char count program.
>

I didn't know that. As an admin, I *think* I could see scores all
along, though perhaps I'm misremembering. In that case, there's
*really* no need to release points until voting season is over.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6136

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:28:03 Topic ID# 6006
Hi Kathy,

On 7 Nov 2005, at 02:16, Kathy wrote:

> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
> >
> > I'm unclear as to how many were guided by previous reviews for a
> > story they were considering reviewing, or even whether it has been
> > reviewed before. Based on what I've heard, it seems like as many
> > people (if not more) are going out of their way to read and vote
> > for stories with *no* votes, as are specifically trying to read
> > those with lots of votes. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but I'm not
> > sure that's such a huge concern.
> >
> > So if you're reading this message and you used already-published
> > reviews as a way to decide what to read, please reply to this post
> > telling me so. So I have something to balance it against, please do
> > the same if you didn't really consider the reviews that had already
> > been published.
>
> Hi Marta,
>
> To answer your question, the *number* of reviews a story had didn't
> influence what I read...I wasn't lured by stories with lots of
> reviews, nor did I seek out stories with few reviews (an admirable
> practice, but I'm afraid I'm not so noble!). But this is not to say
> that reviews had no influence whatsoever on my reading habits.
>
> I usually read the day's reviews as they appeared on this list...I
> found it strangely entertaining, and it's also how I was exposed to
> the widest range of stories. Occasionally a review would intrigue me
> enough that I would go to the database and look up the story...and
> sometimes even review it! :) 
>

I admit that I, too, really enjoyed the different reviews. Sometimes it
was entertaining, but it was always really interesting. I don't know
that they really impacted my voting habits, but I think I paced myself
well enough that I really feel that time crunch. So I'm not the best
judge.

If it's true that some people are impacted by reading a a review and
realising the story sounds interesting, then it seems that the only way
to be fair is that the reviews get roughly the same exposure. If a
review is released early, that seems less important than if it's being
released with 50 others or 500 others. The less the number of reviews
someone reads in one sitting, the more the chance that they'll give
each one careful consideration.

> This is probably the *only* reason I did any reading/reviewing
> outside my "box."  For the most part, I chose stories according to my
> area of interest, and decided whether to read/review them by clicking
> on the story link and reading the first paragraph or two. I could
> usually decide pretty quickly this way.  I also tended to read all of
> the reviews a story I was focusing on had garnered, but this was more
> out of curiosity than anything else. In general, the identity of a
> nominator or reviewer had very little influence on me...my tastes are
> rather quirky and I figure *I'm* the best judge of what I like to
> read!
>
> So to sum up, yes, I was sometimes influenced by reviews, but *not*
> by numbers, or reviewers...just the content. Don't know how much that
> helps you...!
>

It does, a bit. Let me ask you this question (and you may not have an
answer - that's okay!) How do you think your reviews would compare in
the following situations? Let the stories be of the same quality, etc.

1. A story where there were no nominations visible.
2. A story where the nominations were short or that seemed fairly
"generic" -- good, but not overly impressed with the story, if you know
what I mean.
3. A story where the nominations were really glowing -- 8-10 points
apiece, really dissecting the story.

> > Hope that's clear! I've got a headache while I'm writing this and
> > don't feel entirely lucid.
>
> Sorry about the headache! Hope we didn't give it to you (but we
> probably did...) Maybe Lin can get you some protein. Or cookies.
>

The headache is definitely stress-induced, but not by you guys. At
least I don't think so; if anything, you guys are providing a very
needed distraction from a tough stretch I'm going through in RL. I just
feel like I'm not doing you guys justice: my involvement is spotty, and
my ability to give these ideas a decent analysis is pretty limited. I
am doing my best, though, and I hope it will be enough.

Cheese is good... but cookies are better. ;-)

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6137

Re: nominators' recommendation (reply to Rabidsamfan) Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:28:05 Topic ID# 6006
Hi RSF,

> Oh, yes -- in fact I wasn't thinking of seeing reviews during
> nomination
> season at all, if they were possible to see during reading/voting
> season.

Good. So many posts have been flying, I really couldn't remember what
you initially suggested.

> My
> base desire is to attract readers, after all, and once reading season
> is
> open, why not go for it?

Well, some people have suggested a few reason why this might not be a
great idea. This is another one of those issues where I can see both
sides (though I find myself preferring having reviews available early),
so I'll go with what the majority want.

> Since participation in the reading/reviewing part of the award by
> nominee
> authors isn't mandatory (and I don't think it should be!), the main
> question
> is *encouraging* more participation and a carrot always works better
> than a
> stick. Anthony's weekly addition of new reviews might address the
> concerns
> of the folks who are worried about advantages, and if he thinks it's
> feasible it probably is.

I like that idea. A lot. I think it would retain the advantages of
having reviews released early and late, better than anything else I've
seen. It also might allow someone to quickly screen the reviews to make
sure they are in compliance with any rules (such as the quoting one),
if we decide to do that.

On a purely practical note, I'd encourage reviews to be released at the
beginning of the weekend (say, sometime Friday) rather than at the
beginning of the week but end of the weekend (Sunday).

> An "I'm feeling lucky" button to pick a story (or
> one for stories and one for reviews) was another suggestion that I
> thought
> had some merit, although as a supplement to the ordinary choice of
> stories,
> not as a substitute.

If we do this, it would have to be as a supplement rather than a
replacement. I actually feel pretty strongly about that.

Also, has Anthony commented on how feasible this would be? I can't
remember. I'm just thinking back to a series of posts at another group
I belong to (HASA_Tech , to discuss new site features for
http://www.henneth-annun.net/ ) where that site's creator worked on a
similar site feature. it wasn't very easy.

> But I like being able to see reviews and reviewers and nominators and
> even
> to search by reviewer or nominator. I like an open process which
> gives me
> lots of choices when it comes to ways to pick the next story to read.
> I love
> keyword searches, too (thanks for including them!) and while I'm a bit
> cranky about categories that's another topic altogether!
> (I do kind of feel like I hijacked the original topic, though...)
>

Don't worry about hijacking topics. I'm not going anywhere, and as far
as I'm concerned this PM can last for as long as we need it to, so long
as you give us two months or so to make all the nice changes and rest
up before next year's awards. And what we don't get to, we don't get
to. This is good conversation, and I'd rather discuss what people are
interested in rather than what they're not.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6138

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:28:07 Topic ID# 6006
Hi Rhapsody,

> > So if you're reading this message and you used already-published
> > reviews as a way to decide what to read, please reply to this post
> > telling me so. So I have something to balance it against, please do
> > the  same if you didn't really consider the reviews that had already
> > been published.
>
> Nopes, gonna sound boring, but I made my reading list in an excel
> sheet when I was a liaision, working hard to complete nominations and
> being introduced to a broad variety of authors. I did see so many
> stories, summaries to see if for example a rating was correctly and so
> on.. yeah I got interested. Then there was the categorisation on which
> I did a lot of categories (4 to 5, I really don't want to remember),
> so that list grew even more, because well, again you had to go through
> the story details or sometimes reading the story to place it
> correctly. This was all pre-review published period. So once my baby
> finally allowed me to read & review, that was 2 and an half months
> later and I started with my excel sheet, using the final extra days to
> read the categories in in which I write the most,

Interesting! Thanks for letting me know.

Personally I was most influenced by the author, and the summary. Length
also played a huge factor; if a piece was less than about five chapters
on a subject I was interested in or by an author whose work I had
enjoyed in the past, I usually read the first two screens. If I was
interested I would then push myself to finish it, and decide where to
go from there.

> >> and tell people that they can review already during nomination
> >> season, this would mean that stories that were nominated at the end
> >> of nomination season have a clear disadvantage on those who were
> >> nominated at the beginning. I don't know if I got that
> >> suggestion/idea correctly, a lot has been said already, but I think
> >> that is what Larian tried to say here.
> >
> > Rhapsody, the main advantage I can see is that people have longer to
> > vote for that story. Am I missing something?
>
> Yeah I guess Larian's post.
>

It's quite possible. Would you mind tracking down the link at the Yahoo
group for me? Or forwarding it to me, if you still have it? I either
read it and for some reason am completely blocking it out; deleted it
by accident; or Yahoo is being slow as ents.

Cheers,
Marta

Msg# 6139

Re: Increasing participation (was against ... uh... stuff) Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:28:16 Topic ID# 6006
Hi Dwim,

> >>It's just that we *need* to try and encourage said
> > >  non-reviewing authors to join in even if it's only for a couple
> of
> > >  reviews. They're the ones who are definitely aware of the MEFAs,
> after
> > >  all. They're like a built-in pool of potential voters I'd love
> to see
> > >  'tapped' more effectively, though not in an 'emotional blackmail'
> > > sense.
> > >
> >
> > Do you have any specific suggestions for how to accomplish this? I
> > expect it's hard to get someone to "just" review 5-10 stories
> because
> > they feel guilty for not reviewing more. Personally I'd love to see
> > more people review, even if it's just a small number apiece, but I'm
> > afraid I just don't know practically how to do this.
>
> For me, it's the fact that this is a competition where I don't have to
> make the hard choice and vote only for one person tht gets me off my
> duff (or rather firmly on it) to review, and the sense that it *is*
> still a competition, despite the laid-back atmosphere is what
> motivates me to try to read as widely as possible. I want to be as
> fair a judge as I can be. That's sufficient motivation for me, and it
> does partly turn on a sense of obligation.
>
>

Okay, that makes sense, I think. But I would like to ask you to clarify
one thing. A sense of responsibility to whom? Is it the authors? The
awards as an entity? The fandom as a whole? Or something else entirely.

I'm not sure whether everyone doesn't feel this sense of
responsibility, or whether they do feel a responsibility to the fandom
and fulfil it in other ways, or whether they just don't have the
time/energy to get involved. And I don't know how to encourage that
sense of responsibility.

> The only suggestion I can make is to emphasize, again and again, that
> this obligation to fairness is a sliding scale.  The point of the
> awards, as I see it, is to help recognize *good* stories. Not the
> *best* stories, but *good* stories (and we'll assume that the ones a
> majority of people think are best will rise to the top of the
> reviewing pile and place in some way). I would not claim to know whose
> stories are best. I would claim to know that, coming into MEFAs, I
> have some judgment, not unfounded thanks to past experience, of which
> stories are good. I therefore *should* write at least a line or two
> for those stories, if not more, insofar as I am able. And I should try
> to read others, in case they, too, meet my sense of what a good story
> is.
>

I think that some reviewers feel -- not unreasonably! -- that they need
to review at least a certain subcategory. If I vote for a certain story
and don't get around to voting for another it's in competition with,
that counts exactly the same as if I read both stories and onsciously
decided not to vote for one because I didn't like it.

But I think you're right here with the Wayne Gretzky paraphrase. If
everyone voted just for their favourite story without even considering
the other pieces entered in that sub-category, it would work out that
the best-liked stories rise to the top of the field.

<snipping of interesting discussion of "fair">

Just to be upfront, when I read the word "fair" in this context I
usually interpret it to mean that no story has an advantage or
disadvantage not due to some intrinsic quality of the story. It's a
principle similar to what we tried to do with limiting nominations: we
were trying to limit the nominations without at the same putting too
much burden on any one person. Here are some factors that could
conceivably cause an advantage for a certain story that are "unfair":

- nominator is respected (or not) for identifying enjoyable stories.
- story has a lot (or very little) votes
- reviews already submitted are written in such a way as to intrigue
the person writing them
- story is nominated early so it appears earlier in the list of
nomination before categorisation
- story is placed in a category that is first alphabetically so that
story appears early in nomination list after categorisation

Here are some qualities which I think it would be fair to judge by:

- the length of the story is short or long enough to get me to start it
- I have enjoyed this author's work in the past
- the summary lets me know the plot is about something I will enjoy
- the quality of the story makes me like it and want to review it

You'll notice that the second group are all factors that are relating
to the story. The author has control over the lengtrh of the story, and
the content, and what-not. It may not be "fair" in the sense that every
story gets an equal chance of me reviewing the story, but it's fair in
that if there's some factor that keeps me from reviewing, it is within
the author's control.. On the other hand the first group are all things
that are determined by someone other than the author.

Deciding whether hiding the reviewer is unfair, is a bit tricksy.
Hiding the nominator is obviously unfair because only one person will
nominate. Let's say two people both want to nominate a story. I do not
know nominator X, but know from past expeirence that Y and I generally
like the same ttypes of stories. X nominates the story before Y can do
so, but Y would have nominated if X had not. If the nominator had been
Y I would have made an extra effort to read the story. So judging
whether to review by the nominator can give some stories an unfair
advantage. (Note that this is a hypothetical situation; I don't decide
whether to review based on the nominator, and while I don't disrespect
those who use this information, I can see where it would give some
stories an unfair advantage.)

But knowing that a certain reviewer and I often enjoy the same stories
is a quick and dirty way of evaluating the quality of a story. This
isn't as unfair, but it is a little. Honestly, I'm undecided on hiding
the reviewer's name and would be happy to go either way.

> How about a voting-season post intended for all the
> lists/chatboards/LJs we frequent and whom we contact when nominations
> season begins?
>

This is a really good idea, Dwim. I've made note of it, though it's
possible I'll forget by this tme next year, of course. Please do remind
me if you remember.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6140

Re: Poll results for MEFAwards Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:28:16 Topic ID# 123
On 7 Nov 2005, at 15:39, Kathy wrote:

> Great, our first decision!

Woo-hoo!

> But now, x=? Are we going to have a poll
> or discussion about what that cap should be? 
> I saw that question over at the LJ, but not here (officially, anyway).
>

Good point! I meant to ask that question here, but I guess I forgot.
Let me do that in another post.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6141

Re: Poll results for MEFAwards Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:28:18 Topic ID# 123
> Good question!  And I'll add mine, what about the option of giving your
> unused nominations to someone else?   Sounds decent to me, but might
> be
> technologically more difficult to pull off.  Just something to mull
> over.
>

I'm not crazy about this idea. The limit on the number of nominations
per nominator is to keep the total number down, true, but there are
other reasons for it. It's to make each nomination mean something
because the nominator has a limited number, and it's to make sure no
one nominator (or group of nominators) dominates the awards. I think
everyone should have the same limit. If you use less than that, that's
fine, but you shouldn't be able to use more.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6142

New Topic: What should the limit be? Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:29:18 Topic ID# 6142
I introduced this at the LJ a few days ago, and Inkling reminded me I
needed to formally do it here.

Now that we've decided that nominations will be limited by nominator,
and that there will be a single limit... what should that limit be?
Feel free to explain your choice on this, and maybe we can reach some
common ground.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6143

Re: viewing reviews (Marta - should this be a new topi c?) Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:29:22 Topic ID# 6039
Hi Thundera,

On 7 Nov 2005, at 01:05, Laura wrote:

> -- Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Good points, Thundera.
>
> Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Don't worry. It won't last
> long and we'll be returned to nonsensical ramblings momentarily. ;)
>

*snerk* Laughs are good...

>>> Do you think it would help at all for an author to be able to know
>>> somehow that they have tentative reviews, even if they can't read
>>> what those reviews are? It wouldn't correct the problem, but I
>>> think it would help ease it at least a bit.
>
> I don't know... Possibly, but there are several people out there
> making a pretty good case against these hidden reviews. Honestly, I've
> got to say that I liked how it worked this year. I liked the sudden
> sea of reviews at the end of reading season. It was fun. And up until
> then, no one but the admins could see who got what of anything. I
> liked that aspect, too. It was about as fair a playing field as you
> could get when working with something so subjective as writing.
>

I like having the tentative reviews. I think having them encouraged
authors, and votes that wouldn't have got made without them were made
because we had them. I didn't use them much myself, but if I had, I
probably would have made less mistakes and had to go in and edit them
using the admin features.

As for the sudden release of reviews... this is really an issue I don't
consider crucial, when we start displaying finalised reviews.
Personally I woudl like to have them available in smaller batches
throughout reading and voting season so I could absorb them. But if the
group wants to keep things the way they are, or whatever else - well,
I'll be happy to go along with that. I do want to wrap this up so we
don't get burned out before moving on to other topics.

>>> I don't think I ever was a young writert in this sense. I started
>>> when I was a college student, and I started writing before I ever
>>> knew of anything called fanfic; there was just the urge to tell a
>>> good story, and any feedback was secondary. So I can't properly
>>> empathise with these writers since I never *really* felt that way.
>>> It doesn't change the fact that they really feel that way. It just
>>> means that I have something of a blind spot here.
>
> I understand where they're coming from and I still go a bit haywire
> whenever I post something, but I'm probably like you, too, Marta. I
> started telling stories to my stuffed animals when I was five. They
> didn't give me any appreciable feedback, but they were an attentive
> audience and I thanked them for it. And I was always making up stories
> and sharing them with others at school, so it really wasn't that big
> of a step for me to try it out on the Internet.

Yes. The new part to me is writing them down; I grew up in a family
with a very strong oral story-telling tradition and was raised on
stories involving figures from folktales woven into stories involving
me (Baba Yaga, the emperor with no clothes, and so on). Later I would
sit with my cousin in an outdoors cafe for hours every Saturday and
come up with stories about the people we saw passing by. I never wrote
them down until recently, but I've always been imagining and sharing
them.

> But for those to whom this is a very new experience, I'd like to make
> it as painless as possible. And prolonging the time when they can
> watch the final reviews add up while their stories continue on without
> those visible reviews doesn't seem like the way to go. But that's just
> my two cents, and I seem to be very much in the minority on this one.
> Seems to be my week for playing devil's advocate.
>

I can see it being painful both ways -- less painful for some authors
one way, and less painful for other authors the main way. Personally, I
think I would be more offended by the thought that the reviewers hadn't
given me reviews in the last week, than that they hadn't in several
months. But I can definitely see how that might be different for
different people.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6144

Summary of Topics Addressed so Far Posted by Marta Layton November 08, 2005 - 12:29:43 Topic ID# 6144
Hey guys,

I have to admit that I'm getting a little lost in the posts. Why don't
I do a quick run-down and see what's been decided and what's not.

1. Limiting Nominations
a. How to limit: by limit on number any nominator can suggest
b. What type of limit: single limit per nominator
c. What limit: This is still undecided. Please discuss.

2. Types of Reviews
a. Draft reviews: Undecided. People have suggested relabelling "draft"
as "author's notes". Also, perhaps get rid of them if Anthony
implements a system to mark what stories you don't want to review.
b. Tentative reviews: Some people don't see the need for them, most
people like having that option. I am convinceable on everything, but
I'll say upfront that it will take a lot of convincing for me on this
one. However, if you think having some reviews hidden is bad for the
awards - not just something you won't do - explain your reasoning.
Possibly change name to "hidden" to make purpose clearer.
c. Final reviews: Will definitely continue to exist. Possibly change
name to "visible".

3. Self-nomination - will be allowed with no restrictions other than
the limit of nominations by single nominator.

4. Nominators' comment - We will not be doing this. We may release
reviews earlier, which will serve a similar purpose. (See below.)

5. Required reviewing - Nominators will not be required to submit a
vote for the nomination to be considered. They will be encouraged to
vote as soon as possible, but not required.

6. When to Make Final Reviews Visible
a. Option One: Make them visible at any point during Reading/Voting
Season.
b. Option Two: Release them in weekly batches throughout Reading/Voting
Season.
c. Option Three: (same as last year) release them at the beginning of
Voting Season (September?)
d. Option Four: keep all reviews hidden until voting closes.

7. Mask name of nominator on website (still include in email to author)
- Did we decide to do this? I'm honestly not sure.

8. How to encourage reviewers, even of small number of stories.
- This is another area I'm drawing a blank on. I know we were talking
about specific suggestions. Include any in this reply.

If I'm missing something, let me know.

Cheers,
Marta

*****
"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

(Nelson Mandela)

Msg# 6145

Re: Anthony, have a cookie! / have two cookies (Back!fatmouse!Back! Posted by Anthony Holder November 08, 2005 - 13:45:10 Topic ID# 6090
--- Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:

<snip long mathematical discussion>

Marta,

What you describe would take some work, because the
IDs are created by the database automatically.

But...

I might be able to figure out something. It could be
as simple as assigning IDs as random numbers between 1
and 100,000 (while checking to be sure there's no
duplication).

What I was thinking about, though, with the cookies,
would be something like this (assuming I can do
cookies, which I think I can do, or store sort orders
in a database):

ID numbers are still inserted normally.

Before nominating season is over, there is no sorting.
It's all random sorted, with a new sort each login
session, but you can still filter by author, suggested
category, and search.

Once nominating season is over, then I set a unique
sort order for each user (either with database, or
with cookies).

This sort order is used for all initial sorting for
that user. They can choose to sort by author or title,
but the 'ID' sort which would be default, would be
using this sort order.

This way, each user has their own sort order, and for
that user, those at the top of the list might get an
unfair advantage, but since all other users would have
different sorting, there's no system-wide bias.

I don't even know if this is possible. It might take
too much server CPU to do, or cookies might take too
long to load (since there might need to be one per
story, and that would be heinous) or something else
might make it unreasonable.

Anthony

Msg# 6146

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by rhapsody\_the\_bard November 08, 2005 - 13:50:32 Topic ID# 6006
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:

Hi Marta,

> Interesting! Thanks for letting me know.

Yeah not the very usual reviewer, I know, so I am more of a deviant I
guess.

> Personally I was most influenced by the author, and the summary.
> Length also played a huge factor; if a piece was less than about
> five chapters on a subject I was interested in or by an author whose
> work I had enjoyed in the past, I usually read the first two
> screens. If I was interested I would then push myself to finish it,
> and decide where to go from there.

Really? Oh no I read bigger pieces, for me the way the story is
written is far more important then a review left (no offense intended
to reviewers). So I rather look at the story itself. It also happened
that when I read a story, I looked at the author and thought: I have
to remember this name and I eagerly searched for more, found it and
reviewed those pieces even not nominated for the MEFA's. ;c)

>>> Rhapsody, the main advantage I can see is that people have longer
>>> to vote for that story. Am I missing something?
>>
>> Yeah I guess Larian's post.
>>
>
> It's quite possible. Would you mind tracking down the link at the
> Yahoo group for me? Or forwarding it to me, if you still have it? I
> either read it and for some reason am completely blocking it out;
> deleted it by accident; or Yahoo is being slow as ents.

I read everything on the yahoo group. Message id 6011 and 6012 and um
6019.

Rhapsody

Msg# 6147

Re: On the merits of tentative reviews (was: Re: anxiety caused by Posted by Chris Grzonka November 08, 2005 - 18:02:24 Topic ID# 6039
> Consider it granted! I *really* don't want to do away with at least a
> visible/invisible distinction in reviews. The debate is between
> three-tiered and two-tiered as far as I'm concerned, *not* between
> three-tiered and one-tiered.

I liked the three-tiered system. I didn't use any spreadsheet or document,
since I did my reading and reviewing from different computers during the
day. I desperately needed the 'Draft' setting to mark stories I had read but
didn't want to review. And I was grateful that these reviews vanished at the
end without me having to go through all my reviews and delete them by hand.

Chris

Msg# 6148

Re: nominators' recommendation (reply to Rabidsamfan) Posted by Chris Grzonka November 08, 2005 - 18:08:43 Topic ID# 6006
>
> Would it be a good idea to display more than one choice at a time?
> Perhaps three at a time? I want to avoid any potential claim that
> certain stories are being given preferential treatment because they
> appear more often, and I think there would be less of that criticism if
> the reviewer still chose a story once it was displayed in the random
> story generator.
>

I think that would be overthinking it a bit. If it is a random story
generator, you have to sit there for a good long time to get the same story
twice, especially if we get again close to a thousand stories. At least that
is my experience with random number generators. It is different if the pool
of stories is small...

Chris

Msg# 6149

Re: On the merits of tentative reviews (was: Re: anxiety caused by Posted by C Dodd November 08, 2005 - 18:16:41 Topic ID# 6039
I use multiple computers too. If I'd thought of using the draft reviews that
way it would have saved me a lot of time and headaches.

On 11/8/05, Chris Grzonka <grzonka@adelphia.net> wrote:
>
> > Consider it granted! I *really* don't want to do away with at least a
> > visible/invisible distinction in reviews. The debate is between
> > three-tiered and two-tiered as far as I'm concerned, *not* between
> > three-tiered and one-tiered.
>
> I liked the three-tiered system. I didn't use any spreadsheet or document,
> since I did my reading and reviewing from different computers during the
> day. I desperately needed the 'Draft' setting to mark stories I had read
> but
> didn't want to review. And I was grateful that these reviews vanished at
> the
> end without me having to go through all my reviews and delete them by
> hand.
>
> Chris
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
> YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
>
>
> - Visit your group "MEFAwards<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MEFAwards>"
> on the web.
> - To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com<MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
> - Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
> Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6150

Re: nominators' recommendation (reply to Rabidsamfan) Posted by C Dodd November 08, 2005 - 18:19:56 Topic ID# 6006
As far as I understand the process, if you set your filters and then hit a
"pick a random choice" button, the program would have to obey the filters
first, and then choose from whatever was left. So if you'd filtered stories
you'd already reviewed, you would get a random story which you hadn't
reviewed. Is that right Anthony?


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6151

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by Anthony Holder November 08, 2005 - 18:59:15 Topic ID# 6006
Hey all,

As far as releasing votes every week. Someone mentioned that it would
allow the admins to skim them for quotes, etc., before they were
released.

If this is a good idea, how about an admin 'marking' system, where they
wouldn't be released until they had been skimmed? It seems like it
wouldn't be too hard, since I already have the basic marking thing
done.

Another option is to release them when more than XX have been
accumulated, with XX being 100 or 200 or 500, or whatever. I could have
a countdown up, showing how many more reviews are needed before a dump,
encouraging folks to write more reviews, so they can read some.

Once you all decide if you want to release the reviews early or not, I
can start looking at the software to see how best to go about releasing
them, and what fancy options (like the above) are possible.

As far as renaming draft reviews, That's just a naming convention. If
we call it 'Reviewer Notes', then change the filter to "show stories
with no reviews or notes", then I don't have to change much at all to
have a nice 3-tier system.

I haven't seen anybody suggest a viable fourth option for marking
reviews, so I was about to suggest that the three-tiered system would
be enough, but I can think of one. How about an 'I want to review this
story, but don't have time now' option.

Right now, Draft is 1, Tentative = 2, Final = 3. I think I could add a
'PlanToReview' = 0, and be able to add it to the filter list. Then you
could click on an 'Add to my list' link, and it would create a new
blank review with status=0, but wouldn't take you to the review page,
because it knows you're only adding it to your list, and don't have
time to review it right now. (I need to figure out how to send a
command to the system without bringing up a new page, so you can just
click on the link and go on, without having to have a new page come up.
If I can do this, I could also make a separate link for 'Skip this
story' which would create a Reviewer Note saying 'Skip'.)

I think that this would be really easy to add, so I'm going to put it
on my ToDo list, with the assumption that you'll all think it's a good
idea.

BTW, it was I who suggested the "I'm feeling lucky" link. That would,
of course, be in addition to the standard filters and searches. I have
seen the comments, and I think I could fairly easily limit the results
to stories that haven't been reviewed (or marked with ReviewerNotes or
PlanToReview). It would be pretty easy, I think, to return 1 or 3 or 10
stories, though as Chris says, if I just use the random number
generator in MySQL or PHP, it should work fine just to do one.

C Dodd said:
> As far as I understand the process, if you set your filters and then
hit a
> "pick a random choice" button, the program would have to obey the
filters
> first, and then choose from whatever was left. So if you'd filtered
stories
> you'd already reviewed, you would get a random story which you hadn't
> reviewed. Is that right Anthony?

I was actually thinking of a separate link that wouldn't be on the
filter page, and would look through the entire database (excluding
those you've already reviewed or put on your 'do not review' [or your
PlanToReview, if I can do that] list), but it wouldn't be too hard to
have a second 'lucky' link that would also use the current filters.

Anthony

Msg# 6152

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by sulriel November 08, 2005 - 19:48:20 Topic ID# 6006
During the 2005 voting season, we realized that the quote rule hadn't
been understood and so skimmed all the reivews looking for quotes and
other problems as they came through. It's too much. I won't be able
to do it next year and I highly recommend that we rely on an honor
system backed up be a reporting by peers system. - if you see a
problem, let the admin know. We didn't see *any* at all that had any
element of anything except confusion or lack of knowing the rules.

My suggestion on releasing the reveiws would be to send them out
periodically regardless of number. Wouldn't that be easier - for
example: to relase all the finalized reivews each wednesday?

Sulriel



--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Anthony Holder <aaholder@s...>
wrote:> As far as releasing votes every week. Someone mentioned that
it would > allow the admins to skim them for quotes, etc., before
they were > released.
>

Msg# 6153

On the merits of tentative reviews (was: Re: anxiety caused by tent Posted by sulriel November 08, 2005 - 19:53:05 Topic ID# 6039
if I understand all that has been said on this topic, what we're
looking as is doing away with draft reviews and replacing them with a
toggle "don't review" and "review later" - and keeping tentative and
final reviews.

final reviews to be released periodically

tentative to be finalized and made visable at the end of voting
seaon.

the other difference to be that the *number* (but not the text) of
pending (tentative) reviews will be visable alongside the number of
final reviews.

...???

Sulriel







--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, "Chris Grzonka" <grzonka@a...>
wrote:
>
> > Consider it granted! I *really* don't want to do away with at
least a
> > visible/invisible distinction in reviews. The debate is between
> > three-tiered and two-tiered as far as I'm concerned, *not* between
> > three-tiered and one-tiered.
>
> I liked the three-tiered system. I didn't use any spreadsheet or
document,
> since I did my reading and reviewing from different computers
during the
> day. I desperately needed the 'Draft' setting to mark stories I had
read but
> didn't want to review. And I was grateful that these reviews
vanished at the
> end without me having to go through all my reviews and delete them
by hand.
>
> Chris
>

Msg# 6154

Re: Summary of Topics Addressed so Far Posted by sulriel November 08, 2005 - 20:02:57 Topic ID# 6144
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> Hey guys,
>
> I have to admit that I'm getting a little lost in the posts. Why
don't > I do a quick run-down and see what's been decided and what's
not.
>
> 1. Limiting Nominations
> a. How to limit: by limit on number any nominator can suggest
> b. What type of limit: single limit per nominator
> c. What limit: This is still undecided. Please discuss.

I would have said lower, but it seems like so many people nominated
only a few stories, I think it would be ok for those who are more
enthusiastic to nominate up to 20.


> 7. Mask name of nominator on website (still include in email to
author)> - Did we decide to do this? I'm honestly not sure.

I'm suggesting these in trying to find a reasonable compromise
between transparancy and cliquishness.

what if the nominator names were displayed only on the detail pages -
sorry, can't remember what they're called, when you filter, then
click to get a list, then click on the story details. they would be
available within a few clicks, but not in-your-face with the list of
stories.

and the reviewer name displayed on the reivew only after the end of
voting season.


the ones I didn't reply to specifically, I agree with.

Sulriel

Msg# 6155

Ummm... Posted by Kathy November 08, 2005 - 20:03:53 Topic ID# 6090
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
> <snip>
> If you've reached this point and what I've said still makes sense,
> congratulations. You may have a future in the completely
> unmarketable field of advanced mathematics. If what I said made no
> sense, let me know and I'll try to explain it again.

I think I'm just gonna take your word here, Marta!

> And I'm almost squeeing because I've finally found an application of
> this stuff for non-math geeks... *g*


*tries to contemplate squeeing over math but brain overloads* ;)

Kathy/Inkling (who is barely managing to help her kids with their 5th-
grade math, especially the problems that start out, "Let's talk about
math!")

Msg# 6156

Re: Poll results for MEFAwards Posted by sulriel November 08, 2005 - 20:06:29 Topic ID# 123
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> > Good question!  And I'll add mine, what about the option of
giving your> > unused nominations to someone else?   Sounds decent
to me, but might > > be> > technologically more difficult to pull
off.  Just something to mull > > over.
> >
>
> I'm not crazy about this idea. The limit on the number of
nominations > per nominator is to keep the total number down, true,
but there are > other reasons for it. It's to make each nomination
mean something > because the nominator has a limited number, and it's
to make sure no > one nominator (or group of nominators) dominates
the awards. I think > everyone should have the same limit. If you use
less than that, that's > fine, but you shouldn't be able to use more.
> > Cheers,> Marta


agree w/Marta on this.

Sulriel

Msg# 6157

Re: Against recommending/seeing review early Posted by C Dodd November 08, 2005 - 20:18:18 Topic ID# 6006
One of the ideas I've been waiting to bring up was that next year we just
make it a rule -- all quotes over three words long have to be entirely
within the "blockquotes" tags. Put a reminder of how to do it right on the
review entry page, so that no one has an excuse not to use the tags. The
three words limit allows for the reviewer to use some delicious short phrase
from the story without fretting, but longer passages would always be out of
the count towards awards. And nobody would have to count characters... If an
author saw a review pop up with a quote that violated a well publicized
rule, they'd understand that an admin is going to come along and blockquote
before the votes are finalized.
The only other way I can think of to handle quotes is to have a separate
database for them, like book excerpts on the back of the jacket, but that's
waaaay too much work. (I can't help it, she whimpers, I love it when people
tell me which sentences and phrases they liked best.)

On 11/8/05, sulriel <Sulriel@htcomp.net> wrote:
>
>
> During the 2005 voting season, we realized that the quote rule hadn't
> been understood and so skimmed all the reivews looking for quotes and
> other problems as they came through. It's too much. I won't be able
> to do it next year and I highly recommend that we rely on an honor
> system backed up be a reporting by peers system. - if you see a
> problem, let the admin know. We didn't see *any* at all that had any
> element of anything except confusion or lack of knowing the rules.
>
> My suggestion on releasing the reveiws would be to send them out
> periodically regardless of number. Wouldn't that be easier - for
> example: to relase all the finalized reivews each wednesday?
>
> Sulriel
>
>
>
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6158

Re: Summary of Topics Addressed so Far Posted by C Dodd November 08, 2005 - 20:31:46 Topic ID# 6144
On 11/7/05, Marta Layton <melayton@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Hey guys,
>
> I have to admit that I'm getting a little lost in the posts. Why don't
> I do a quick run-down and see what's been decided and what's not.
>
> 1. Limiting Nominations
> a. How to limit: by limit on number any nominator can suggest
> b. What type of limit: single limit per nominator
> c. What limit: This is still undecided. Please discuss.

I'd go with twenty or twenty five for c.

2. Types of Reviews
> a. Draft reviews: Undecided. People have suggested relabelling "draft"
> as "author's notes". Also, perhaps get rid of them if Anthony
> implements a system to mark what stories you don't want to review.
> b. Tentative reviews: Some people don't see the need for them, most
> people like having that option. I am convinceable on everything, but
> I'll say upfront that it will take a lot of convincing for me on this
> one. However, if you think having some reviews hidden is bad for the
> awards - not just something you won't do - explain your reasoning.
> Possibly change name to "hidden" to make purpose clearer.
> c. Final reviews: Will definitely continue to exist. Possibly change
> name to "visible".

a. I think Anthony's suggestions in the other thread look good, both for
the "skip" and the "read me later" categories.
b. Still like tentative reviews. Like them even better if the number shows.
c. Yup.

6. When to Make Final Reviews Visible
> a. Option One: Make them visible at any point during Reading/Voting
> Season.
> b. Option Two: Release them in weekly batches throughout Reading/Voting
> Season.
> c. Option Three: (same as last year) release them at the beginning of
> Voting Season (September?)
> d. Option Four: keep all reviews hidden until voting closes.

Happiest with option one, can certainly live with option two. Option three
delayed *me* when it came to voting, this year and option four would make me
horribly frustrated, especially if I had no idea of what kind of reviews
other people were writing.

7. Mask name of nominator on website (still include in email to author)
> - Did we decide to do this? I'm honestly not sure.

No, no, no, no, no. It keeps coming up and I keep saying no. If I find a
good story, and I'm looking for something else to read, knowing who
nominated it leads me to other good stories, even if I know nothing else
about the nominator. And did. Keeping the nominator name visible keeps the
process transparent, which is absolutely necessary for the contest to be
perceived as fair. The only way I'd be happy with losing nominator
information is if the awards went to completely being self-nominations (and
that's an intriguing idea, indeed!)

8. How to encourage reviewers, even of small number of stories.
> - This is another area I'm drawing a blank on. I know we were talking
> about specific suggestions. Include any in this reply.
>
> If I'm missing something, let me know.

Start right out with some information about how many reviews were done by
various reviewers last year in the publicity. Make it clear that no one, not
even the admins, read and reviewed every single story. That takes the
obligation away. Encourage people to follow the bread crumbs, to look at
other stories which were nominated or reviewed by people who liked the same
stories they liked, or to use the visible reviews to find other stories.
CLEAN UP THE CATEGORY PROCESS (whoops, did I just hit a button?) and
actively find ways to communicate with folks who don't/haven't/won't sign up
for the Yahoo group.


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6159

Re: Poll results for MEFAwards Posted by C Dodd November 08, 2005 - 20:34:18 Topic ID# 123
Ditto. One limit, per person, and if they don't use up all the slots, no
transfer -- it's the easiest way to make the limit understandable and
enforceable.

On 11/8/05, sulriel <Sulriel@htcomp.net> wrote:
>
> --- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
> >
> > > Good question! And I'll add mine, what about the option of
> giving your> > unused nominations to someone else? Sounds decent
> to me, but might > > be> > technologically more difficult to pull
> off. Just something to mull > > over.
> > >
> >
> > I'm not crazy about this idea. The limit on the number of
> nominations > per nominator is to keep the total number down, true,
> but there are > other reasons for it. It's to make each nomination
> mean something > because the nominator has a limited number, and it's
> to make sure no > one nominator (or group of nominators) dominates
> the awards. I think > everyone should have the same limit. If you use
> less than that, that's > fine, but you shouldn't be able to use more.
> > > Cheers,> Marta
>
>
> agree w/Marta on this.
>
> Sulriel
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
> YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
>
>
> - Visit your group "MEFAwards<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MEFAwards>"
> on the web.
> - To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com<MEFAwards-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
> - Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
> Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

Msg# 6160

Re: Summary of Topics Addressed so Far Posted by sulriel November 08, 2005 - 20:46:45 Topic ID# 6144
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, C Dodd <rabidsamfan@v...> wrote:
The only way I'd be happy with losing nominator
> information is if the awards went to completely being self-
nominations (and> that's an intriguing idea, indeed!)


ARGH! I just lost a long post ... I think I accidently changed it to
french or something and then it was gone.

anyway - I would strongly support this and will be happy to go into
the reasons if it's a possiblity.

Sulriel

Msg# 6161

Re: Summary of Topics Addressed so Far Posted by aelfwina@cableone.net November 08, 2005 - 21:17:35 Topic ID# 6144
----- Original Message -----
From: "Marta Layton" <melayton@gmail.com>
To: <MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 7:24 PM
Subject: [MEFAwards] Summary of Topics Addressed so Far


> Hey guys,
>
> I have to admit that I'm getting a little lost in the posts. Why don't
> I do a quick run-down and see what's been decided and what's not.
>
> 1. Limiting Nominations
> a. How to limit: by limit on number any nominator can suggest
> b. What type of limit: single limit per nominator
> c. What limit: This is still undecided. Please discuss.
>
On "c" I would suggest 15 or 20, would prefer 15.

> 2. Types of Reviews
> a. Draft reviews: Undecided. People have suggested relabelling "draft"
> as "author's notes". Also, perhaps get rid of them if Anthony
> implements a system to mark what stories you don't want to review.
> b. Tentative reviews: Some people don't see the need for them, most
> people like having that option. I am convinceable on everything, but
> I'll say upfront that it will take a lot of convincing for me on this
> one. However, if you think having some reviews hidden is bad for the
> awards - not just something you won't do - explain your reasoning.
> Possibly change name to "hidden" to make purpose clearer.
> c. Final reviews: Will definitely continue to exist. Possibly change
> name to "visible".

I think keep the three tier thing: visible, hidden, and maybe "mark place"

>
[snip 3,4,5]

> 6. When to Make Final Reviews Visible
> a. Option One: Make them visible at any point during Reading/Voting
> Season.
> b. Option Two: Release them in weekly batches throughout Reading/Voting
> Season.
> c. Option Three: (same as last year) release them at the beginning of
> Voting Season (September?)
> d. Option Four: keep all reviews hidden until voting closes.

I like option "b". This is a reasonable compromise that addresses 3
concerns. (1) It makes the reviews available throughout the reading/voting
season, which benefits those who want to see the reviews earlier (2) By
doling them out in batches, it dilutes any possible "unfair advantage" held
by one or two early reviews having too much influence and (3) We still get
the psychological "bump" of seeing a number of reviews go up overnight--not
in the hundreds, probably, but hopefully at least in the dozens
>
> 7. Mask name of nominator on website (still include in email to author)
> - Did we decide to do this? I'm honestly not sure.

I like the idea someone--sorry, not sure who,--came up with of moving the
nominator's name from the front page to the "story detail" page. It would
still be there for those who care about such things, but would not have as
much influence as being right in your face every time you open the main
page. I think it is an excellent compromise for those who want transparency
will still have it, they just have to go one more click to see it, while
those who worry about a nominator's name having too much impact will see
that considerably lessened, although not completely eliminated.

>
> 8. How to encourage reviewers, even of small number of stories.
> - This is another area I'm drawing a blank on. I know we were talking
> about specific suggestions. Include any in this reply.

I think having reviews show up earlier will be encouraging in and of itself.
Here are a few other suggestions: pimping by individuals on LJs and
webpages; for FAQs, perhaps include a "dummy page" with fake "reviews"
showing everything from a lowly 1 or 2 pointer, then a mid-range review of
say 4 or 5, and finally a 9 or 10 pointer--this could give people an idea of
what to shoot for; include a page with various "voting strategies" that
members in the past have come up with. Also, I think if individual members
will enthuse enough about the reviews they *did* get *this* year, or about
what fun it was to *write* the reviews, it also might get some more
response.

One thing that's come up I am definitely against: making it completely
self-nominating. I do not care for that idea at all. After two years I am
only barely getting used to the idea that I might possibly bring myself to
nom one or two of my own stories next year. If I *had* to nominate all of
them myself, I don't think I should like that. I still think it is better
for someone else to nominate, for any number of reasons.

Dreamflower

>
> If I'm missing something, let me know.
>
> Cheers,
> Marta
>
> *****
> "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is
> that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness
> that most frightens us. [...] As we let our own light shine, we
> unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
>
> (Nelson Mandela)
>
>
>
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Msg# 6162

Re: Summary of Topics Addressed so Far Posted by Kathy November 08, 2005 - 21:56:06 Topic ID# 6144
--- In MEFAwards@yahoogroups.com, Marta Layton <melayton@g...> wrote:
>
> Hey guys,
>
> I have to admit that I'm getting a little lost in the posts. Why
> don't I do a quick run-down and see what's been decided and what's
> not.

Thank you!! The discussions *were* getting a bit circular, as these
Yahoo threads can do...
>
> 1. Limiting Nominations
> a. How to limit: by limit on number any nominator can suggest
> b. What type of limit: single limit per nominator
> c. What limit: This is still undecided. Please discuss.

I'd lean toward lower, like 15, but could live with 20 or 25. No more
than that, though, or I think we run the risk of being right back
where we started. While a lot of folks only nominated 1 or 2 this
year, that may change as people realize the heavy nominators have had
their fingers broken. Also, membership may go up as awareness of the
MEFAs increases...
>
> 2. Types of Reviews
> a. Draft reviews: Undecided. People have suggested
> relabelling "draft"
> as "author's notes". Also, perhaps get rid of them if Anthony
> implements a system to mark what stories you don't want to review.
> b. Tentative reviews: Some people don't see the need for them, most
> people like having that option. I am convinceable on everything,
> but I'll say upfront that it will take a lot of convincing for me
> on this one. However, if you think having some reviews hidden is
> bad for the awards - not just something you won't do - explain your
> reasoning. Possibly change name to "hidden" to make purpose clearer.

I had questioned the point of these, but defer to the many people who
seem to find them useful. Are hidden reviews bad for the awards? I
don't know...I prefer things to be visible/transparent, but whether
there's any actual harm in them I'll let others decide.

> c. Final reviews: Will definitely continue to exist. Possibly
> change name to "visible".
>
> 3. Self-nomination - will be allowed with no restrictions other
> than the limit of nominations by single nominator.
>
> 4. Nominators' comment - We will not be doing this. We may release
> reviews earlier, which will serve a similar purpose. (See below.)
>
> 5. Required reviewing - Nominators will not be required to submit a
> vote for the nomination to be considered. They will be encouraged
> to vote as soon as possible, but not required.
>
> 6. When to Make Final Reviews Visible
> a. Option One: Make them visible at any point during Reading/Voting
> Season.

So have we definitely decided to merge reading and voting seasons?
(which I'm in favor of, BTW)

> b. Option Two: Release them in weekly batches throughout
> Reading/Voting Season.

I like Option Two...it gets my vote.

> c. Option Three: (same as last year) release them at the begin