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Suggestions to increase the number of votes
Thread poster: Marek Buchtel

Marek Buchtel  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 21:28
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
Jan 5, 2009

Hello everyone!

In some pairs, the number of votes was not sufficient to announce winners immediately, and some pairs are open for voting even now.
Here are my two suggestions to increase the number of votes received

1) Publicize the incentives for voters
There was an iPod drawing for voters, but not everyone knew about it. I've asked a few colleagues and some of them said they hadn't voted (too busy or not really interested in the contest), but they would have voted if they had known about the drawing. So my suggestion is to add more incentives (even small ones) and publicize them throughout the site/in e-mails etc.

2) Let the participants vote for their own submissions
The participants now can't vote for their own submissions, which generally makes sense. However, the result is that some participants do not vote at all, because giving 4 points to a competitor (the best one) may be a substantial disadvantage for the participant's submission, especially in "minor" pairs with few submissions and few voters.
It's quite probable that the participant believes his or her submission is the best (or one of the best). So let's give them the option to express this.
My suggestion is: if the participants vote and select the best three submissions of other competitors (assigning 4/2/1 points), they can assign 4, 2 or 1 point to their own submissions. So for example, the participant gives 4 points to his own submission, 4 points to the best one of the other submissions, and 2 and 1 points to two other submissions. In this way, his own submission is not disadvantaged, but he helps pick other good translations.

What do you think?

Regards

Marek


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 15:28
SITE FOUNDER
Thanks, Marek Jan 5, 2009

Marek Buchtel wrote:

Hello everyone!

In some pairs, the number of votes was not sufficient to announce winners immediately, and some pairs are open for voting even now.
Here are my two suggestions to increase the number of votes received

1) Publicize the incentives for voters
There was an iPod drawing for voters, but not everyone knew about it. I've asked a few colleagues and some of them said they hadn't voted (too busy or not really interested in the contest), but they would have voted if they had known about the drawing. So my suggestion is to add more incentives (even small ones) and publicize them throughout the site/in e-mails etc.

Makes sense. Thanks for that feedback.
2) Let the participants vote for their own submissions
The participants now can't vote for their own submissions, which generally makes sense. However, the result is that some participants do not vote at all, because giving 4 points to a competitor (the best one) may be a substantial disadvantage for the participant's submission, especially in "minor" pairs with few submissions and few voters.
It's quite probable that the participant believes his or her submission is the best (or one of the best). So let's give them the option to express this.
My suggestion is: if the participants vote and select the best three submissions of other competitors (assigning 4/2/1 points), they can assign 4, 2 or 1 point to their own submissions. So for example, the participant gives 4 points to his own submission, 4 points to the best one of the other submissions, and 2 and 1 points to two other submissions. In this way, his own submission is not disadvantaged, but he helps pick other good translations.

The suggestion is interesting. What do others think?

Thanks for making suggestions on the topic of encouraging voting. We do need solutions there.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:28
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Another suggestion for voting in the final round Jan 5, 2009

I believe the in qualification phase the scores were averaged for each entry (total number of stars divided by the total number of votes given for that particular entry).
In the final round, it seems the points (4,2,1) are simply added up for those entries receiving them. Finalists can vote only for entries other than their own. As Marek points out, this makes it disadvantageous for finalists to vote.

Perhaps another way of doing this is using averages in the finals, too.
Of course, if only 3 entries can be marked (with 4,2,1 points respectively), than there is a need for a mechanism to prevent an entry that would get a single 4 point vote and nothing else, to win (4/1 = 4.0, perfect score).
Let's assume there is a vote-counter kept for each entry in addition to the point-counter. Entries that are selected as best, second, third would get their respective 4,2,1 points added to their point-counter and 1 added to their vote-counter. All other entries would get a zero added to their point-counter and one added to their vote-counter. If a finalist votes, his/her own entry is excluded from this, in other words it will not get any points or votes added to its respective counters when voting.
At the end, averages are calculated: point-counter divided by the vote counter.
This would reduce the disadvantage, although would not eliminate completely. (Why? Because in the case of two entries with identical or very close points, adding a 4 to one while adding nothing to the other will elevate the first one's average a little - by how much, that depends on the number of votes received by it.)
Perhaps combining this with Marek's suggestion, namely if a finalist votes, 4 points would be automatically added to his/her points and the vote-counter would increase by one. This way the voting finalist does not disadvantage himself/herself compared to the entry he/she gives 4 points.

This whole thing works best if all finalists participate in the voting, I think that is when chances are equalized the most. I think this is true for Marek's original suggestion as well.

The ideal solution would be one that still allows finalists to refrain from voting without putting themselves at a disadvantage. People may have various reasons why they would not want to vote (no time to make an informed decision, uncomfortable with the situation, cultural issues etc.) and it would be best to have a system that could take that into consideration.

[Edited at 2009-01-05 14:41 GMT]


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xanthippe  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:28
Member (2008)
Italian to French
+ ...
agree Jan 5, 2009

I do agree with Marek and Katalin.

sorry, I don't have any proposition for the moment....


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 16:28
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good ideas, Marek. Jan 5, 2009

I think that both of Marek's ideas make a lot of sense, especially for the more "esoteric" pairs. (There's got to be a better phrase than "minor" pairs!)

On the opposite end of the scale, there's the Spanish/English pairing. I've been enthusiastic about the contests since the idea was first proposed, but my own participation has been limited. With so many entries, the competition is daunting, and the task of voting is overwhelming.

What do you think of these possibilities, for any language pair that had more than X number of entries in the previous contest?

1. Offer two (or more) different texts; in effect, run two contests at a time for that pair, and prohibit entering both.

OR,

2. In any contest with more than X number of participants, entries will be grouped by tens (or divided into groups of no more than ten); the winners of each group will compete against each other.

a) My suggestion of 10 is somewhat arbitrary, but it seems to me that a voter would need to be very organized to keep track of more than 10 entries at a time. That's a lot to expect of someone who's voting "just for fun."
b) The number of entries would determine the number in the groups and the number of tiers. If 40 entries, then have (for example) 5 groups of 8, and a competition among the 5 finalists. If 180 entries, then have 18 groups of 10, then 3 groups of 6 semifinalists, and finally, choose 1st, 2nd, and 3rd among the finalists.

Those are my Monday-morning thoughts, for what they are worth!


Later: After reading Katalin's post, I think my suggestions may have been naive. Apparently the process is much more complicated than I thought! And apparently there is already a multi-tiered structure. I didn't vote in the most recent contest. Maybe the process needs to be re-simplified?

Back to basics: What it would take to get ME to vote in the next contest would be a system that asks me to compare and deal with no more than 10 entries at a time.




Jane

[Edited at 2009-01-05 15:02 GMT]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 22:28
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
How about a jury? Jan 5, 2009

In the EN-DE part there were 40+ entries to be reviewed. I managed to look at only a few. So perhaps in those groups with lots of participants a jury of three (?) independent, anonymous individuals would view them all and select a short-list of about ten.
But if this context gets still more popular (no doubt about it) the task of selecting is going to become even more daunting. If there are dozens of qualified translators sending in such a short sample, how to determine the so called best?
Regards
Heinrich


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:28
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Each time a vote is cast, that voter’s name would be added to the random prize drawing Jan 5, 2009

One way to increase the number of votes is that each voter's name is entered into the drawing each time they cast a vote. This IMO, would increase the number of votes for both, languages that receive many contest entries and those languages that barely receive 3 or 4 entries.

Monika



[Edited at 2009-01-05 16:01 GMT]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:28
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
The problem of having time to vote Jan 5, 2009

There may be many good incentives and enticements to get people to vote, however how can they work if people do not have time to vote? I personally would love to be able to vote, but most of the time I cannot, due to extreme pressure of work. I tried, but there was no time, so I had to abandon the idea. Voting is a very demanding job, and scrutinising entries to the extent of being able to subsequently vote accurately can take at least one hour per entry.

I can only suggest that something is done to reduce the work involved in scrutinising and comparing entries, so anything along the lines of extreme clarity would be in order. Possibly, somehow the layout of each entry should be made extremely clear, or equivalent key phrases in each entry highlighted with colours.

Astrid


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lundy
France
Local time: 21:28
French to English
Independent jury Jan 5, 2009

I definitely agree, as was submitted in a previous posting, that it would be a fair process if entries, in the final stage, were reviewed by an independent jury. Voting is indeed a very time-consuming process and this final review would ensure that no points have been overlooked. I scan through all the entries but "eliminate" on first or second viewing those which I personally don't feel, for whatever reason, make the grade. In the Fr/En contest, my "favourites" amounted to around 4 or 5 from an initial number of entries of 32. However, it's probably not fair, when someone has made the effort to submit an entry, not to comment on what you don't feel is right about it - in a spirit of mutual help and interest as translators! But the task is too great. An independent jury would possibly help correct any oversights in this respect - and it would have to be totally transparent. Proz.com members would vote and in the final analysis the jury's comments would be visible in the same way as the members' tags are visible.
In any case, thanks to all the organisers - it must be a mammoth task and in the end it is an enjoyable and useful process!


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