In recent contests I  have noticed a trend of seriously weird judging.
At first I thought perhaps it's a one off. But now I see that it is consistant and it is seriously worrying, and makes me wonder if there is any point in these contests other than the one with a fan club winning!
Let's start with the Grand prize winner of Valentines contest. Seriously is that the best? It's a basic card. Granted it's nice. But nothing unusual. There are other entries that are way better. Cards and also entries that are not cards.
And finalists? ? How can a tea bag get in when some entries that didn't make the finalists are so much well thought of! The same Tea bag is in Pinterest.it is slightly adjusted.
Again is it the followers just voting for their favorite fan irrespective of the quality of the instructable.
Moving on to the papercraft contest.
This I'm happy to say the grand prize winner is well deserved. The first place was also good!The rest? Let's see; Decopage flooring over a lamp?No way.Lamp deserves the 2nd prize.
A book sculpture where the instructions are pretty basic. Infact there are no documentation of the process of all the main components except for one, where the formation of the tree is shown. For all we know the author could have taken the already made pieces from a bought sculpture and just add it. While simply writing the instructions below. Sorry but I don't think that deserve a prize too (especially the explorer). The Origami Dragon was much better! With propper instructions.
The swirly flowers? Again not second prize, perhaps runner up?This persons most projects end up  winning prizes only through her followers votes.I am sorry to say this ,but thats the reality according to my judgement.
Let's see the runner ups! How in the world 2 book binding and a card and the birdcage made it?I don't know!
Lets see. Bird cage,loads of precut motives just assebled beautifully.
Book binding? Isn't that like so basic compared to some amazing quilling techniques shown in some entries?
 The doctor who card? Well I guess there has to be something of doctor who as everyone is so crazy about it!
Now the latest crazy judging.  The Pie decorating contest! That is definitely not deserving for decorating!  Read the comments! Not one comment about the beauty of the decoration! ! Just the recipe. Perhaps you should change the the prize name and make it 2 Grand Prize for recipe. 
It is obvious which should win the decoration prize as it stands out! That is what decoration is about. Perhaps the judjes don't understand.
This latest madness in the pie contest has forced me to write this.
I think sometimes giving the judging to be done by members might seriously damage the fairness of judging.  What if the judges are devote followers of the finalist? Perhsps then it's an automatic 10? Instead of a yuk
Employees of instuctables please take note of these. It will be so sad if the integrity of the contests are suspect now.There should be impatial judgement.

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wilgubeast3 years ago

Valentine's Day contest had 22 judges, including staff and Instructables authors. Judging a contest works like this, and range voting results get much more robust with multiple judges. If anything, judging is more impartial now than it has ever been before. Previously, it'd be around 5-8 editors and a few site regulars who'd do the judging; fewer judges = less robust evaluation. [Pi Day had 16 judges. Papercraft had 19.]

I suspect that the crazy feeling of the new judging system is more to do with the changes that come with further democratization of the process. Instead of a predictable editorial evaluation slant, you're seeing a bit more variety in what's deemed contest-winning material.

Any chance you'd be willing to help us judge a contest? Sounds like you're smart and opinionated and conscientious. And that's a pretty good set of traits for a judge to have.

I read how it's judged from your link. So would you say the Pie decorating prize winner meets the criteria above all other finalists?. I would say it would win hands down for recipe. The last year laser cut pie was well deserved as it stood out. This pie I'm sad to say does not .

I can't speak for the judges, but it looks like they gave the write-up, decoration, process photo quality, and Carl Sagan nerdiness extra consideration. They made a reasonable decision, and I'm pleased with the selection. (I'd be similarly pleased with maybe two other options for best decorated pie, but this one hit enough points on the Featuring Checklist to merit the win.)

Since there are only a handful of other entries that would have qualified, it sounds like you're advocating on behalf of another finalist you felt was more deserving. Which is fine... in private among your friends and family or via PM with an editor. But publicly crusading for another winner has the unpleasant side effect of putting someone else's project down.

Remember the be nice policy? Dial back the rudeness towards the actual winner couched as a critique of the judging system. (Or the actual rudeness in the winning project's comment section. Yeesh.)

Sour grapes are great for pies and cocktails, but they don't make for a pleasant project-sharing environment.

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You are right. My comment was bordering on rude. I went back to delete it but it had already been done so. Anyway I apologized to her through PM.

Btw. It's not sour grapes as it's not my pie. There was another pie too which was very cute. I wouldn't have felt that some weird judging was going on if that had won!.

Anyway..like you said, I should leave such comments for PM. Or like this author put my concerns in the forum.

Also looks like I'm not the only one concerned about the judging as it's shown by the author of this topic too.

Kiteman3 years ago

Having been part of it I am confident that the judging process is sound.

The only time "fandom" is an "issue" is when projects are being voted into the final, and that is an inevitable side effect of being a good Maker; you don't get followers for being cool, you get them for producing consistently creative and well-written projects. There's a snowball effect - the more decent work you produce, the more followers you get, the more your work gets shared around the internet and the more likely you are to get enough votes to get into a final.

Hopefully, you'll find this when you start publishing your own projects. In the mean time, I suggest you take up Wilgubeast's offer, and see for yourself how the system works fro the inside.

The qualifying by fandom does get balanced by staff selection of entries that deserve to be in the final, but missed out on votes by entering late or just not catching the Zeitgeist.