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Seeing the current leader this week and my own observations since joining this site, I was curious if there was a technologically better way to submit photos for voting.

Here is the problem as I see it: Throughout the week people are posting to the current voting, and depending on how late they get in, they might not receive the views that others get. This makes submitters either have to 1. live with the results, maybe getting frustrated, 2. submit again in another week or 3. hover on the site until the next week's post has been put up.

Solution ideas?

Like I said, not sure what are feasible or even if there is an even easier solution... without having to submit and make someone else report.

Could we start the post early by a couple of days or even a week with voting disabled, but picture posting (answers) allowed?

Thoughts?

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Its been a topic of discussion - many times in chat. Something like this was suggested recently in which we have a mechanism to submit one week and vote the next - but it just doesn't exist. 'Trusting the users' not to vote, simply won't work. The draft idea requires that the users all come back and save their draft as final - which will be at varying times - thus repeating the problem, so I'm not sure how that really helps.

The upside is this - one of the users did a bit of a study a month or two ago and found that statistically all the entries in the first couple of days seem to do equally well. The only real problem is when an entry is entered very late into the contest. At that point, it shouldn't be any real surprise to the poster that they won't get an equal number of views and often times they do resubmit (the parrot this week for example).

Of the problems we have, this more perceived than actual.

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  • interesting, that sounds good. I always feared it was a big difference so would never post anything, first time this week because I remembered the right day. Thanks! – RiddlerDev Aug 23 '11 at 1:34
  • No, it should be submitting the photo and do not show on site. Then from the next cycle it all show while you collect entries for next cycle. Then people will have same time to see and vote for all entries. What is tough here? – Satya Prakash Dec 5 '11 at 14:26
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Not going to judge the merit of this (I can't really say whether the advance time is useful or not). I question the need for vote disabling. It seems odd to have the posts available for viewing, but not voting.

Mechanically, we cannot prohibit voting except by locking each post. Only moderators can lock posts, however, and they have to manually do so. In order to facilitate such a mechanical solution, you'd need a moderator to be patrolling the thread constantly to ensure that s/he can lock any new answers the moment they get posted. It's not very sustainable option to have to keep on that, and it also has the negative point that locking prohibits editing and comments as well.

This is also too much of a niche utility within the sites to warrant a custom solution, I would think. There aren't all too many reasons out there to disable voting across all answers of a question, so I do not expect that this kind of suggestion would get very far in being a whole new feature.

That leaves the rather lackluster option of "trusting your users" by including some disclaimer at the top of the post to note for how long users should not vote. Users who go over to the Meta are usually very obedient to that kind of instruction so it has some potential to work.


You could consider recommending users to use our Save Draft functionality. Post the new thread early, as you recommend, and then include a disclaimer at the top suggesting users to rely on drafts when uploading their photos "early". All you need to do is enter text into the answer - after a short period of time, a draft will be auto-saved, and will persist for about a week. That way, you'll have the photo loaded early, but it cannot be viewed or voted on until the post "officially" opens, which is what I gather to be your goal.

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  • The Save Draft is intriguing as well... like I said, was more curious and figured it would not hurt to ask. – RiddlerDev Aug 23 '11 at 1:11
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    The point behind advanced submission is to allow all the images for a particular vote to be submitted ahead of time without any votes, so that when voting is actually opened, they all have an equal opportunity...there are no early submissions or late submissions, so its "fair". The full idea was mine, and it was actually linked with a polling system rather than standard Q&A topics, so we are not really asking that Q&A topics be modified...rather were asking for an entirely new feature. We know thas a long-shot, but you never know unless you actually ask. – jrista Aug 23 '11 at 1:46

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