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The image selected this week is from a user that hasn't stopped in to this site since 2013. Not only that, but their only activity on this site(photo.se) at all is posting an image to the contest in meta. Not a single action by this user was ever made on the main photo site. If you look at the second image currently, the user was somewhat active on the main site back in 2014, but appears to no longer be. More examples of this are sprinkled throughout the very large contest.

I am wondering if the contest is still running as desired after its nearly 3 year run. The original contest rules even note that by design the contest takes some time for winners to be chosen. I just wonder what the point of having a photo selected is for a user who isn't even going to ever see it published as I'd imagine the case is this week.

I'm not looking to create more work, but would it make sense to somehow tie active users to the contest vs submissions from users who posted nothing but a single image 2 years ago? I can't even congratulate the fellow for winning this week because he isn't really a part of this community!

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    Aside from how we choose, I am looking forward to having a bit of help on that front... I'm, admittedly, terrible at maintaining the image updates on the site. – John Cavan Oct 12 '15 at 19:56
  • John, if you are having trouble keeping up, I could start helping again. I've been busy with so many things lately, but it's died down a bit. – jrista Oct 16 '15 at 19:42
  • @jrista - It's mostly remembering to do it. Because the question isn't mine, I don't get regular update notifications from it and so, unless I'm browsing the site more generally, I tend to forget to do it. Once we have the new mod on board, we should have a bit of a group chat on the subject and work out a protocol for keeping it up to date. – John Cavan Oct 19 '15 at 0:02
  • Sounds like a plan. – jrista Oct 19 '15 at 3:04
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See What thread format do you prefer for Picture of the Day contest? for when we went through this last year. :)

I continue to think it's working relatively well, but I also see the problem dpollitt notes, of it taking way too long. If we had full programmatic control of the contest engine, we could do something like have all entries expire after three months or something. (That's better than clearing the whole thing after three months.)

I still like my suggestion from the last time: keep the ongoing contest as-is, but (re)start themed contests on a shorter timeframe (say, once per month). That calls for a lot more work from one of the mods. In fact, that's true of pretty much any other suggestion. So, I've added a question to https://photo.meta.stackexchange.com/a/4917/1943

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Rather than tying to active users who have posted, perhaps we should just run it on a calendar year basis and start over each January. Would be simple and winners would have been here within the last 12 months at least. I personally don't mind whether they've posted questions or answers - it would be preferable, but probably too much work to police.

  • Yeah exactly along the lines of what I was thinking. I started this thread to determine if a problem exists, then maybe the next step is to brainstorm solutions. But yes I think this is a valid option of it is determined a problem exists. – dpollitt Oct 12 '15 at 0:18
  • Besides old entries from inactive users, the other issue is that new photos end up on page 10 and have a hard time bubbling up. Perhaps even a calendar year is too long – MikeW Oct 12 '15 at 1:06
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    They end up on page 1 if you use the active link as suggested in that question. But I know it's a problem with the default view. – mattdm Oct 12 '15 at 12:52
  • I'm not a big fan of resetting annually, because it means we'll get the good entries from January and those from December will have no chance. – mattdm Oct 12 '15 at 12:54
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    @mattdm Yes, but don't we pretty much have the same problem? Newer entries have little chance, especially with folks like me using the default view (thanks for the tip) and eventually the winners are 1-2 year old entries. I suppose we end up with great images, maybe there really isn't a problem. I feel like a refresh now and again would be good – MikeW Oct 12 '15 at 17:58
  • Editing an answer places it back at the top of the que when viewing the "active" tab. It seems some older entries are edited on a fairly consistent basis... – Michael C Oct 12 '15 at 18:51
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    I'm inclined to some form of reset as well too... The annual one doesn't seem like a bad idea and we're approaching the end of 2015, so we can give lots of notice. – John Cavan Oct 12 '15 at 19:54
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    Matt, we can start a new thread every January, however still pull the winner for a few months from the old thread, then move over to the new thread for actually selecting winners. Then we don't leave anyone behind, but we get the benefit of the new thread. – jrista Oct 16 '15 at 19:39
  • That's a great idea. Let the new crop build up some votes. – MikeW Oct 16 '15 at 21:55
  • I'm even more keen on the suggestion from @jrista really. – John Cavan Oct 18 '15 at 23:59
  • The 'start a new one in January' seems to work ok for community advertisements. Recognizing its a different system (random display rather than top), it does force the people submitting them to be somewhat active. – user13451 Oct 21 '15 at 14:04

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