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  • Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

    What did you think of this new format for contests and events? Should we include this same format next year? What could be improved?

    In a few months, we will be looking to retire the contests/event content, but what should we do? We could archive them as-is, and build whole new contests and event subforums. This may make transitions from last con to next con easier.
    We could dump all content into a single archive forum for contests/events of DC14.

    Your thoughts?

    (For this vote, how you vote is public)
    15
    Use the same format of DC14 for DC15.
    93.33%
    14
    Bring Back the old format.
    0%
    0
    A New format (comment below)
    0%
    0
    When archiving old content, archive all contest/event forums too
    46.67%
    7
    leave the forums there, but dump the threads into one contest/event archive forum for DC14
    6.67%
    1
    Do not archive the threads, leave them up, year after year.
    0%
    0
    Contest/Event Leaders/Organizers is a good idea. Keep it!
    60.00%
    9
    Leaders/Organizers is a dumb idea.
    0%
    0
    No opinion about the leaders/organizers for contest/event subforums
    6.67%
    1
    I fell unconscious at defcon and now my butt hurts.
    13.33%
    2

    The poll is expired.


  • #2
    Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

    I enjoyed having separate forums for each event. Contest organizers (heck, most people) don't specify a subject that clearly associates the thread with the specific contest. I suppose the moderators could easily re-title the threads for consistency ... but then you are simply eliminating the sub-forum by prepending the forum name.

    As for the leader/organizer aspect, I didn't notice that it was used all that frequently. I suppose that it is easy enough to do, though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

      Originally posted by Voltage Spike
      I enjoyed having separate forums for each event. Contest organizers (heck, most people) don't specify a subject that clearly associates the thread with the specific contest. I suppose the moderators could easily re-title the threads for consistency ... but then you are simply eliminating the sub-forum by prepending the forum name.

      As for the leader/organizer aspect, I didn't notice that it was used all that frequently. I suppose that it is easy enough to do, though.
      The lower right corner of a subforum with leaders/organizers lists the leaders/organizers for that subforum. This makes it easier to identify a post made by a peron claiming to be leader/organizer of that contest as a person to listen to.

      The powers that leaders/organizers have are listed in the forum FAQ, but really amount to control of opening/closing, sticking/unsticking, soft deleting posts and perhaps announcement in their subforum. Tools to help them promote their event, and keep threads "clean" as they see fit. [They may even be able to split and merge threads in their space, but I don't remember.]

      They can't ban people/IP addresses, so their contributions to the forums are not as easily noticed, but the are significant, since they free mods up to do moderating.
      Last edited by TheCotMan; August 17, 2006, 01:58. Reason: content added in []

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

        For the robot contest we used these forums extensively for rule clarifications, announcements, and sign-ups. So it was perfect having a separate section. I would also like to keep them archived, at least in some way, since it may be useful in the future to go back and see what rules were discussed, etc which may help decide the rules for next year, etc.
        --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

          I vote for seperate section, too! I liked this year's. And also, definitely archive them!
          ======================================
          DJ Jackalope
          dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

          send in the drop bears!
          ======================================

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

            i agree with the comments thus far...
            • keep the sub forums separate
            • archive, do not delete
            • move if need be during non-defcon season
            • when defcon approaches again, those contests that are still happening can be migrated to the "current" contest & events area (including older threads, which often have a wealth of information) while older events not being repeated can remain in the "archive" zone so as not to clutter the "current" contest and events page.
            "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
            - Trent Reznor

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

              I just want to clarify:
              Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
              [*]archive, do not delete
              Content would not be deleted. (That is not an option here.)
              It is a matter of how things would be archived.
              1) archive contests and events as-is with structure.
              2) Archive without structure (dumpt all threads into one big contests and events fo defcon 14)
              3) Leave all of the content in these subforums (don't archive anything-- just leave all contests and evets threads as-is.)

              We really do not want to delete posts or content. It is probably an informal policy or something. This is like an historical record and good reference.

              I do delete my own posts that include things like:
              "This is a forum for blah, and this post will be deleted once there is an official post from the person running the contest/event"

              However, those are not conversations and contain no value once their purpose is served.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

                Originally posted by TheCotMan
                Content would not be deleted. (That is not an option here.) ... We really do not want to delete posts or content. It is probably an informal policy or something. This is like an historical record and good reference.
                ah, good... i agree wholeheartedly with this policy. it aggravated me to no end when in the past i've seen message boards that have a "pruning" policy, deleting posts and whole threads after a time. i believe in the "historical record" stance greatly... especially given the fact that storage is so cheap that the only remaining argument against it (saving on costly disk space) is no longer valid. (i still see admins elsewhere who try to make that case, however)

                Originally posted by TheCotMan
                It is a matter of how things would be archived.
                1) archive contests and events as-is with structure.
                2) Archive without structure (dumpt all threads into one big contests and events fo defcon 14)
                3) Leave all of the content in these subforums (don't archive anything-- just leave all contests and evets threads as-is.)
                ah, in that case i support keeping contests separate. whether or not they're immediately moved to a "previous defcons" area is not as significant. personally, i think a good division would be "older" (meaning contests and events that no longer run at defcon) and "current" items. as the next defcon draws nearer every year it would be not that difficult to establish which leader/organziers plan on having something happen again and which do not.

                i think judicious locking/renaming/de-sticking of threads by leader/organizers would keep things pretty squared away from that point on. (specifically, preventing confusion with signup threads from one year to the next, etc)
                "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                - Trent Reznor

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

                  Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                  ah, good... i agree wholeheartedly with this policy. it aggravated me to no end when in the past i've seen message boards that have a "pruning" policy, deleting posts and whole threads after a time. i believe in the "historical record" stance greatly... especially given the fact that storage is so cheap that the only remaining argument against it (saving on costly disk space) is no longer valid. (i still see admins elsewhere who try to make that case, however)
                  As far as I know, there are 4 cases where messages can seem to disappear:
                  1) Content is illegal or legally questionable, and it is moved from public view.
                  2) Content is spam, and is saved in a special place out of public view to allow me to come up with better anti-spam techniques.
                  3) Content is posted in a forum with a limited window of viewing. Some forums are setup to only show the last 1, 2, or 3 years worth of content. Older content remains, but is hidden as it becomes older than that forum's established expiration date.
                  4) Posts I/we create, as mentioned above, with no value but a temporary place-holder and director.

                  I think Fucktard Hall is setup with 3 applied, but I am not sure. If it was setup that way, it was probably done to not be a life-sentence.
                  /dev/null might be the same way.

                  One of these days, I should go through each forum and check to see if the "useful" forums are set to display all content, reguardless of age.

                  Only mods can delete a message "for ever". Leader(s)/Organizer(s) have 'sfot delete" which removed messages from public view, even though they remain in the DB.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

                    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam
                    i agree with the comments thus far...
                    • keep the sub forums separate
                    • archive, do not delete
                    • move if need be during non-defcon season
                    • when defcon approaches again, those contests that are still happening can be migrated to the "current" contest & events area (including older threads, which often have a wealth of information) while older events not being repeated can remain in the "archive" zone so as not to clutter the "current" contest and events page.
                    Well, now... I think that the shape of the contests in this forum was fine. I'd say that keeping the threads from this defcon for next defcon in the (what will then be) current area may cause people to post answers to old threads, and other issues. If a contest organizer wants to point to a thread for dc14, it's always possible to just link to it.

                    I would *really* like to have seen a little more outreach. This is the first year where contests were simply forced into the forums, for better or worse. I only knew that there *was* a forum because of the increased hits on the web site coming directly from the forums. It's okay to say that at least one organizer or representative for each contest should be on the forums. It does make it tough if you haven't been warned that this is so.

                    The format was okay, but let's start over with empty forums for the contests that will take place. I don't know that migration is really all that important. Maybe a little pointer to the year before would suffice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

                      Originally posted by shrdlu
                      It does make it tough if you haven't been warned that this is so.
                      This was my fault. I have been so busy, that I did not have time to spend on creating dialog with people running contests. Hopefully, this year, I'll be able to start on this earlier, and not make this mistake when rolling out the forums for those DCG that want forums, but don't have the resources to host them.

                      Hacker Jeopardy was a very, very last-minute thing too. I was told, by the organizer, that he would be starting much earlier for the next Defcon (assuming there will be a Hacker Jeopardy.)

                      Some contests/events don't generate much traffic, because they are self-explanitory, like Wall of Sheep, Spot the Fed, Night at the movies with DT, DT's PGP Key Exchange, TCP/IP Drinking Game, etc. Some events remain private like the trip to *****'s, or the SuperSecret ********* Shop trip, or ***********. and it is better to not have subforums for them. (One had a subforum, which was added, and then removed by request from the organizer.)

                      Sorry about not contacting you and others about building contest spaces for discussion.

                      I was not trying to force forums on people running contests, but provide a place for people competing to discuss ideas with each other-- even if the organizer was not participating. I do like having organizers on the forums, as they provide a central repository of questions and answers for people to use instead of e-mailing the organizer with the same questions.

                      If people will be running their own forums, I can make a pseudo-forum here (which is really a link to their forums) *instead* of forums here. I gave this option to the aCTF people, but luckily, they chose to keep the forum here open and the their own forums running too.

                      If there is something I can do on the forums to help people running contests to use the forums as a point to organize their events, please let me know.

                      (Nick Farr requested a method to snarf everyone's forum-confirmed-email address if they posted to the HJ Signup thread. This was built, but did not work for him. It will be ready before next Defcon, to Leaders/Organizers that request it for their contest/event signup threads. I am not afraid to code new stuff, but I dread modifying existing forum code because of the hidden assumptions by their coders, and the risks associated with upgrades.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

                        Separate subforums are a good idea. It is an automatic filter if someone wants information for that particular contest or wants to ignore that same one.
                        "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

                          Originally posted by TheCotMan
                          This was my fault. I have been so busy, that I did not have time to spend on creating dialog with people running contests. Hopefully, this year, I'll be able to start on this earlier, and not make this mistake when rolling out the forums for those DCG that want forums, but don't have the resources to host them.
                          I don't think that there needs to be much dialog, other than letting them know that the resource is there. We already have Russ (who also does a fabulous job). Just a little reminder (perhaps it could come from Russ) that contest organizers should expect to check the forum area, or even represent themselves there with a point of contact, such as invisigoth (for CTF) or myself. This doesn't make sense for most events, however. I can't see how the Wall of Sheep would benefit from such a device.

                          Sorry about not contacting you and others about building contest spaces for discussion.
                          I've noted that this year the push to the forum had become more of a shove. In years past (many, many years), the mailing list dc-stuff got used that way to some extent. I don't object to it, mind you. It keeps things more organized, and moving forward. The staff are also able to spot when something doesn't seem to be coming together in a timely manner, just as Hacker Jeopardy, and attend to it. Now that all the older contests (such as us) are in the fold, I think that any new or revived contests should just be expected to participate there.

                          I was not trying to force forums on people running contests, but provide a place for people competing to discuss ideas with each other-- even if the organizer was not participating.
                          Some places are more likely to have people discussing ideas (such as the Robots competitions). It should also give the organizers an idea as to whether their contest is going to be attended in the way they'd hoped.

                          I do like having organizers on the forums, as they provide a central repository of questions and answers for people to use instead of e-mailing the organizer with the same questions.
                          Well, I'm here because I have more time than Foofus, but emailed questions usually go to him. He and I discuss anything that seems complicated if it comes up. We're a good team. I agree with the presence of the organizers on the forums, but here's a little suggestion:

                          How about putting a link to the particular forum on the contest page, in the way that the website (if any) is a link? That way, people who are just looking at the defcon website are led to the contest area, where they can see that questions have already been asked and answered, and ask some of their own.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

                            Originally posted by shrdlu
                            How about putting a link to the particular forum on the contest page, in the way that the website (if any) is a link? That way, people who are just looking at the defcon website are led to the contest area, where they can see that questions have already been asked and answered, and ask some of their own.
                            This is a good idea. Perhaps I can start a dialog with blackbeetle and russ and others responsible for various contests, events, web-updates, information gathering and provision to see if "discussion forum" could be added to the list of items they need for each contest or event.

                            I know this was done for some things (like the Rides and Room sharing) from the DC14 page(s), but it would make sense to encourage it for contests that include organizer(s) involvement on the forums.

                            Thanks for the idea. :-)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Experimental Format for Contests and Events...

                              Looks like we have less than 2 weeks left in this poll. It looks like people want the whole format of separate subforums for each contest or event is desired, and the Leader/Organzier idea will be used again next year.

                              Hey! An experiment that seems to work. :-)

                              I'll start building the new Contests/Events tree of forums for DC15 in private after this poll has ended.

                              I'll send an e-mail to BlackBeetle and Russ to see if a new field "Discussion Forum" can be added to the list of information desired by both for contests and events.

                              (It does not matter to me if they run their own forums, want to use a wiki, blog, the dc-stuff list, the Defcon forums or tatoos for discussion, but I think spectators, participants, and planners will all benefit with open discussion.)

                              Thanks. again for voting, and posting your thoughts.

                              Comment

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