So for a chunk of this year, we've been doing these monthly photo challenges.
Thanks for taking part, and we enjoyed seeing all of your amazing creations. We'd noticed though, that the responses have been drying up in our latest challenges. Our "Electronic Junk" challenge, for example, only got two replies, and both by Sitepoint staff.
Please help us to understand how we can make future challenges more appealing to you. We loved the tonnes of entries we'd gotten a few years aback in our "Grand Holiday Challenge" and we'd love to bring back some of that magic, give out some cool prizes and books, and heck just see all of your interesting takes on the topics!
Respond to the poll or please leave a comment. Be honest. Let us know what you want, what you like and what you don't really like!
For me, it's about ideas, time and opportunity. When I've already got a photo that meets the description, I'll submit it. But otherwise, it's often a struggle to think of something suitably imaginative and then go and capture it. Plus of course all the times when I forget and procrastinate and then find it's too late.
For me it's a bit what Stevie says, but also because lately the subjects have become a bit too specific. I have eletronics in my life, but honestly any junk gets thrown away, so I had nothing to take a picture of. And the last was "dogs" ? We don't have a dog. So if the topic had been "pets" I could've participated.
I'm quite sure that a "holiday season" challenge will give you more results
I fully agree there. I was actually away for the last one, but I wouldn't have been able to participate, as it was just too restrictive. I'd have struggled with "dogs", too. Personally, I love the photo challenge thread - both the challenge of participating, and the interest in seeing other members' photos. There have been plenty of suggestions for themes made in the Photo Challenge Ideas thread, so there still seems to be a good level of support around for it.
I have problems finding subjects as well but sometimes you have to do a bit of lateral thinking like Shaun(OfTheDead) did with the dogs thread.
Early morning was a tough one for me as I hate getting up early and still would have had a problem finding a subject.
Perhaps there should be a note about the subject being flexible?
e.g. Dogs - real dogs - toy dogs - dog rose ( which I intended to do but could not find a nice one ).
One of the other popular threads on a photo forum I belong to is letters; anything associated with a letter.
e.g. A = Aardvark, apple, autum, ant. This can cover anything from macro to landscape.
It also means people can prepare as they know when the letters are coming up unless you randomise the order.
Interesting. So why is it sometimes a struggle to think of something? Honestly, the reason why the topics had become more specific was because we thought the vagueness from before made it too hard.
What if in the announcement thread, we added some suggestions in the future? Would that take all the challenge away, or would it help, you think?
aha! Fair enough.
So it needs to be more open-ended, you think. So not vague, but not too specific.
I know, it seems so hopeful.
One of the ideas we were kicking around (being a Mentor, you may have seen) was changing up the format of the photo challenges throughout the year. So we do a "What is it?" one month, a regular challenge the next month, maybe try this alphabet idea the following month, and so on. Perhaps, not to be exactly the same, it could be a colour; Anything a certain colour.
Keep the responses and the votes coming, everyone!
It's too hard to think of something interesting and worthwhile, and to find the opportunity to take a photo of it (bearing in mind that the camera on my phone is rubbish but I don't carry my decent camera most of the time). Because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, if I was specifically taking a photo for the competition (rather than just submitting one that I happened to have lying around) I would want it to be a really good one, in terms of imagination or composition. And my imagination and talents don't always live up to my aspirations!
I would say time, topic, and the prize. A person will always come up with a good idea and will always make time if the photo contest offers a prize that will interest him/her.
I think I'll agree to some of the comments that the subjects are too specific. Perhaps we could use a 1 worded theme. For example: Textures or Shapes. Let's just include some caption to make it more closer to the theme.
Thanks, that makes sense.
If I'm looking in a somewhat larger scale, I see this.
In the Poll items I'm missing some important questions/reasons:
- I'm not a professional photographer, so I think I never make a chance to win.□
- I don't see an easy prefab form to send my pics, and I don't see clearly all the challenge rules (about size in px and filesize, format png/jpg/gif or also others?; that kind of things.□
- I see other things/colors than in the "How to upload images and other resources with your post
" FAQ: seems not up to date.□
- I don't know if I can post a pic just as guest, for I'm not a SP-member.□
- I'm too busy-busy-busy with other things (visiting the SP-forum for website developing things) - don't even have time to see the topics.□
- I don't know there are Photo Challenges on SitePoint >>> these folks don't react in the Poll.
If I look at what's going on at this moment:
293 Viewing section Community Center (News & Announcements ... Forum Support & Feedback)
107 Viewing section Content (other then Photography & AV)
1422 Viewing section Design Your Site (Getting Started With Web Design ... Accessibility & Usability)
2304 Viewing section Program Your Site (PHP ... Web Security)
261 Viewing section Host Your Site (Web Hosting ... Server Configuration)
426 Viewing section Manage Your Site (Internet Marketing ... Scripts & Online Services)
4813 Viewing other things
11 Viewing subforum Photography & AV
4824 Visitors in total (of which is 2% member, and 98% guest)</font>
- In the P&AV subforum the amount of visitors is almost neglectable (but these visitors should be the most interested people).
- In the P&AV subforum, apart from the sticky "Global" and "Important" topics, in the 20 days of this month (Nov 1 - 20) there were no new topics; last ones: 6 new posts in whole Oct. 1013 (of which 2 Photo topics and 4 AV topics).
- Compare: 58 new topics in Nov. so far in the subforum "CSS & Page Layout".
- On the other hand: there are thousands of views of the Challenges topics.
- Seems the visitors are highly interested to get ideas from others and to see photo's from others, but are not very active themselves!
- Internal Marketing!
I don't know if the visitor amounts above are representative, it's just a sample of this moment. The server logs could say more about that.
It seems there is not much interest in the Photo subforum, maybe that was more in the past (server logs again).
Explanation if the trend is downwards: why? No idea. Perhaps active Photo people go more to specialized Photo-forums these days?
Maybe the server logs can give also a clue why the amount of views of the Challenge topics is so huge: who are the visitors (members or guests), how did they arrive in these topics (external arrived, from where? or by internal referrer?).
BTW, I expected not to be surprised by an enormous amount of Poll voters. In line with the poor amount of photo's / P&AV-visitors I expected not more as a handful. Indeed: 8 voters ...
Yeah, I posted that just a few months ago, but dang it all, then we had a forum upgrade. The buttons and functionality are the same except for the color. But do I really feel like redoing all those images? Not really ...
Not really ...
(See flag post)
Thanks Francky. You have lots of energy!
Wow, Francky. That was thorough!
Yeap, I've noticed the large number of views with very few posts as well. But I hadn't seen how unpopular this subforum was overall.
That was a really good suggestion about going after the Graphics and Design people as well. Making note.
If you want to follow the interest trend, you can have a quick look every now & then in the forum main page.
At this moment:
- There are currently 6307 users online; 121 members and 6186 guests (bottom of the page).
- Forum: Photography & Audio-visual Media, viewing: 12.
So it seems the two biggest issues are our topics and our participants' lack of Time.
That lack of Time challenge is one I know personally, and I know it's a tricky one!
Any suggestions anyone, of how we could make it easier or more accommodating for you?
Perhaps at the end of the intro post for each month's challenge, give a heads-up on what the following month's challenge will be. That would give folk an extra month for thinking/finding subject matter, but would also keep up interest and momentum in the forum by having a challenge every month, rather than every two months. It would also mean that if somebody doesn't like or feels they can't contribute to the current challenge, they have a second subject to think about.
The only drawback I can see is in ensuring next months photos stay out of this month's thread.
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