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Post-DefCon 19: Discussion

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  • Post-DefCon 19: Discussion

    Terrific con, I do like the new location. Thanks for supporting the short story contest, but as a participant and winner in the contest I have a few suggestions:

    (1) Can Defcon please mention the contest in the Program and in the closing ceremonies? I think because all the action takes place way before the con, with very few people voting, that this is a "lost" contest that most people have no inkling that it is even occurring. This year the placement of the winning stories in the DVD wasn't very effective; they were in unformatted txt (pdf would have been better) and did not indicate who won 1st, 2nd, etc. As 1st place winner I appreciate the Human badge and $40 swag [which I had a great deal of trouble getting], but without the contest being mentioned in program and in the closing ceremonies it feels like an invisible win. Pyro was able to mention the Cannonball Run, which also occurred pre-con, and DT was able to mention the ham radio exams, so why couldnt someone take 2 minutes to acknowledge that there was in fact a short story contest and who the winners were?

    (2) Even better would be if Defcon could leave the judging and voting on the contest to the closing ceremonies; the winner's who get Human badges could get them for the following year, like in the other contests, and could get some other award (like in other contests) instead of the swag credit. Attendees could be notified in the program, website, etc. that the contest was underway and what the deadline was to vote on the stories and note where the stories could be found to read. Then the contest would be more like a "real" Defcon contest instead of what feels to me to be a 2nd class invisible contest that most attendees don't know anything about. [I would echo the same comments for the artwork contest, which this year seemed to drop out of sight completely.]

    Finally, since I did work hard to make my entry as the kind of story that the contest rules said that Defcon was looking for, and it got 1st prize, it was unfortunate that the story didn't get ANY play at all in the con and very few, if any, people were aware of it.

    Thanks!

    - John McNabb
    “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

  • #2
    Re: Winners DC19

    Originally posted by number006 View Post

    (1) Can Defcon please mention the contest in the Program and in the closing ceremonies? I think because all the action takes place way before the con, with very few people voting, that this is a "lost" contest that most people have no inkling that it is even occurring. This year the placement of the winning stories in the DVD wasn't very effective; they were in unformatted txt (pdf would have been better) and did not indicate who won 1st, 2nd, etc. As 1st place winner I appreciate the Human badge and $40 swag [which I had a great deal of trouble getting]
    Yea, that was my bad. I "ran" the contest this year, but it wasn't/isn't my contest. And actually hearing my phone ring in the conference area, did prove to be an issue. If I'm ask to help run the contest again, I'll have definitive answers as to where the contestants retrieve their badges and a place for those contestants to meetup with me at a specific time. Had Medic not sent me a DM on twitter, I wouldn't have even known that anyone was trying to locate me.


    Without the contest being mentioned in program and in the closing ceremonies it feels like an invisible win. Pyro was able to mention the Cannonball Run, which also occurred pre-con, and DT was able to mention the ham radio exams, so why couldnt someone take 2 minutes to acknowledge that there was in fact a short story contest and who the winners were?
    I think this had more to do with Nikita not being at DefCon this year then any specific slight against the contest or contestants.

    (2) Even better would be if Defcon could leave the judging and voting on the contest to the closing ceremonies; the winner's who get Human badges could get them for the following year, like in the other contests, and could get some other award (like in other contests) instead of the swag credit. Attendees could be notified in the program, website, etc. that the contest was underway and what the deadline was to vote on the stories and note where the stories could be found to read. Then the contest would be more like a "real" Defcon contest instead of what feels to me to be a 2nd class invisible contest that most attendees don't know anything about. [I would echo the same comments for the artwork contest, which this year seemed to drop out of sight completely.
    Well, as someone who "judged" this year. I can tell you, if I was asked to vote "on site". Then I would decline participation in the judging portion of the contest. I think the same may be said for Eris and Dakahuna. Especially since Eris is busy on site running Scavenger Hunt and Dakahuna is busy on site running the Wireless Village.. It's a time thing.

    Finally, since I did work hard to make my entry as the kind of story that the contest rules said that Defcon was looking for, and it got 1st prize, it was unfortunate that the story didn't get ANY play at all in the con and very few, if any, people were aware of it.

    Thanks!

    - John McNabb
    No, thank you for the feedback. I think the only way for the contest to work better in the future is to get good feedback (like this) from a participant.
    And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Winners DC19

      Well if nothing else changes for the contest, I think it would be great to have the winners read their stories aloud at the Forum Meet. I always enjoyed going to the night clubs that had poetry readings.

      Thoughts?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Winners DC19

        Originally posted by Bbox View Post
        Well if nothing else changes for the contest, I think it would be great to have the winners read their stories aloud at the Forum Meet. I always enjoyed going to the night clubs that had poetry readings.

        Thoughts?
        I think that's a great idea. And if the winning authors don't want to read the stories themselves, I'm sure we can get someone to read the stories for them.
        And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Winners DC19

          Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
          I think that's a great idea. And if the winning authors don't want to read the stories themselves, I'm sure we can get someone to read the stories for them.
          If I am fortunate enough to produce winning material next year, or if previous years entries are requested, I would like to have my wife, ShortGrrl, read mine. But only after a rum and coke. Does that work bbox?

          Mine from DC18 would make a great drinking game -- spot the geek-culture/sci-fi reference. Phuh. I can't read that one without feeling some shame.

          Even if not read at the forum meet, the stories would make some great set dressing and conversation starters.

          In addition to additional visibility, I hope the previously mentioned book thing happens. Might be fun to combine that with the art contest and create a graphic novel type collection. Routed Stories and Lost Packets.
          TSA luvs my Uzi.

          "We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time." -T.S. Eliot

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Winners DC19

            Originally posted by FirmWarez View Post
            I would like to have my wife, ShortGrrl, read mine. But only after a rum and coke. Does that work bbox?
            Sounds Great to me! I cannot imagine anything more enjoyable then watching ShortGrrl. (read that is...)

            Now is the rum and coke for you or her?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Post-DefCon 19: Discussion

              Interesting discussion. I think there are a few simple things that could be done that would not add to much to the workload of the organizers of the contest but would make the contest more visible:

              (1) Request entrants to send in their submissions in both txt and pdf; use the txt for the posting on the forum page, use the pdf in the conference DVD (and also please this time in the DVD say who the winners were and what prize each story won);
              (2) Whether the judges make their decisions before or during the con, announce the decisions at the closing ceremonies along with the other contests
              (3) Include a Notice in the printed program "Short Story Contest" telling attendees where they can find the stories (forum page & DVD) and where to vote for Peoples Choice.[could also list the winners for the past 2 years and where to find their stories] Could also announce the contest and the poll in the con "updates" web page during the con, just include a notice that runs along with other recurring notices. The poll will tally automatically, someone can close it say at 12noon on the last day of the con and announce that winner at the closing ceremony along with the other awards. Maybe that way we will get more than 14 people voting on the stories! [In any event you don't have to know who won the contest to put something about it into the printed program.]
              (4) Awards - why not make it the same as other contests; anyone winning a human badge gets it for next year's con; give anyone winning a swag credit a piece of paper allowing them to use as cash at next years swag booth (thats actually less work than trying to find the winners during the con itself).

              I like this contest and enjoyed participating and winning but the way it worked out this year and last the contest seems to be hidden, unintentionally I am sure, from the conference, since so far it has taken place before and out and out of sight of the con. All I asking for it a little more visibility so the rest of the con can be aware that it even existed and can also have more of an opportunity to participate themselves by voting. Thanks.
              “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Post-DefCon 19: Discussion

                Regardless of any changes that are made to improve this contest, I am hoping that at next year's Forum Meet we will incorporate the writers submissions into some sort of reading at the Meet.

                If the rules are that the winners are announced prior to the Meet we will try to get the first through 3rd place winners to either read or have a "stand in" read their entry aloud.

                If the winners are not announced we will figure some other way (all entrants or some willing entrants) to read their submissions.

                I believe that the readings fit the Forum Meet well and that the Forum Meet is a good venue for the contest to be showcased.

                Who Is the official leader of that contest? Nikita? or was she just managing it by default?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Post-DefCon 19: Discussion

                  Originally posted by Bbox View Post
                  Who Is the official leader of that contest? Nikita? or was she just managing it by default?
                  Nikita is the person that created this contest, and is the primary leader/organizer. This year, she was too busy with everything else to judge the submissions. She asked other people to help, and I asked her if they should be added as "forum leaders/organizers" so people would know announcements from them are official. She agreed, so I added HighWiz, eris, and DaKahuna. These people were judges. Later, Nikita decided to work from home during Defcon. When this happened, the normal environmental clues of closing ceremonies were not visible to her as a reminder get her contest mentioned at the closing ceremonies.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Post-DefCon 19: Discussion

                    I haven't been on the forums in a few days so I apologize for not reading and taking part in this discussion earlier(being one of this year's judges and all.) I am not sure why I missed it as the first post was quite a few weeks ago and I have been on forums during that time.

                    I can't say that I have anything to add at this point, however. Great suggestions by the thread OP, a nice addition idea to the next forum meet by bbox, explanations regarding lack of knowledge at closing ceremonies by Wiz and Cotman, it all seems to have been adequately covered by someone else already.

                    One last thing, remember that the short story contest is only a couple years old. New contests always take a few years to settle in and refine themselves but you took a great step toward that refinement by speaking up about what you didn't like and making suggestions.
                    "They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google."

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