Contest Judging?

It seems that all contests have the same "Criteria"  originality, usefulness, simplicity, and clarity of instructions.
I have looked at some of the past contest winners and wonder how these "Criteria" were applied.
Some of the past winners have been anything but simple, and the instructable may have many questions in the comments about what is meant  in the instructions or asking for clarifications. Also the "usefulness" of some of the winners is very questionable.
It looks like the more complicated and outlandish the instructable the better chance it has to win.

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This is something that has bugged me too. I now work at Instructables but not much more than a month ago I was an average author on this site feeling the same way as you about the judging of the contests.
When I saw complex projects that were outside the means of the average user (whether it be due to cost, tools used, artistic ability, skimming over steps, etc.) win contests I felt like it had won due to it's coolness factor instead of being judged by the criteria outlined in the official rules.
The great news is that we're working on a few changes to the judging criteria so that Instructables can continue to have the best contests on the Internet!
daveda (author)  sherrycayheyhey5 years ago
Thank you.
This is what I was after, someone to actually look at what is going on with judging of the contests.

You would think a judge would actually take a thorough look at the entries they are judging, by reading the whole instructable and all comments about it, and then applying the "Criteria" what ever they may be.

Kiteman5 years ago
"Simple" is both relative and contextual.

Usually, it means "simple to understand".

Do you have some specific examples of winner you do not feel match the criteria?
daveda (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
I think I remember a Tesla Coil that would cost over $600.00 to build and access to a machine shop. Useful? And no way simple. It would be fun to play with but how many of these were made?
This was from the last Epilog laser contest.
Look at the rest of the winners from this contest.
Kiteman daveda5 years ago
Nowhere is there a "cost to make" criteria, and, as I said, "simple" usually means that the instructions are easy to understand.

The laser contests usually focus on large, "cool" projects, because judges want to give the large, expensive rewards to people who put real effort into their work. Note, I said "effort", not "money".

daveda (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
Then the "Criteria" should be large, cool, and effort, if that is how it will be judged.
What I am saying is the stated "Criteria" does not always match the results.
Kiteman daveda5 years ago
Voting is based on people being impressed. Judging is based on the criteria.
daveda (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
Actually I think voting is based on popularity and if your intructable is a featured instructable. The more friends you have and can get them to vote for you and get their friends to vote for you the better chance you have.
I am sure that featured instructables have more views and more votes simply because they are featured. If any part of the decision of picking finalists is based on the votes, then no contest entry should be a featured instructable.
At one time I was told that this was going to be changed so that voting had nothing to do with choosing finalists. I guess no one ever got around to changing this.
Kiteman daveda5 years ago
Of course voting is based on popularity! If a project does not get looked at, nobody will vote for it. How can it not be?

Yes, featuring has an affect on views, but projects only get featured if they deserve more views, that's the point. Look at any set of contest entries, though, and far more entries get featured than reach the final. That's a non-argument, and your wish to ban featuring on projects entered into contests is deeply unfair to all those feature-worthy entrants that are not quite finalist material.

Who told you that voting would not affect the choice of finalists? What would be the point of voting? And would you then expect the judging panels to go through every entry in the kind of detail we do now? There are already over a thousand entries to the current laser contest, and I expect hundreds more - I have a full-time job, as do the other usual judges, so judging would take months.

daveda (author)  Kiteman5 years ago
I believe it was Scoochmaroo that told me that they were looking at eliminating voting altogether, because it was becoming a popularity contest.

Instructables could be featured after the contest closes. By featuring an instructable before a contest closes means someone is prejudging entries.

If judging would take months, why not just do a simple drawing to choose the finalists. At least this way everyone would have an equal chance. Just change the rules so everyone knows how the contest will work. Then judge the finalists by some "Criteria".

I do understand why you have voting and why you have the broadest possible "Criteria" for all contests. Both of these help drive views of the web site and this improves the ability to sell advertising and this improves revenue.
So I know nothing will change. Why not just admit this, and say we will do as we wish, because this is what will happen.

It has been interesting though seeing the comments of an occasional judge admitting that they really can not judge all entries as it would take to much time.
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