Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

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Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby Adamski » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:34 am

Unless there's a *massive* surge in participation for August (unlikely, in view of previous cajoling) then I'm stepping down from organising the screencomp. If anyone else wants to have a go, they're more than welcome!

We've tried all sorts of tweaks, but it's hard to know if any have made any difference, as turn-out is low across the board - and it's becoming a bit of an embarrassment asking sponsors to donate (excellent) prizes when it may appear that no-one wants to win them :unsure:

Administering the comps has been fun (I love screenshots anyway) but it's become quite a thankless task, to be honest.

Adam.
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby chopper_nut » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:47 pm

I don't get it. 12 entries this last month and four of those people didn't even vote at the end... How does that even happen? I think what's happened is that a lot of the really enthusiastic people in the past have been young guys who have moved on to real world aviation careers and so don't have the time to visit (I'm not judging, I know what it's like) Of course, Ian did a lot to keep this place humming too. The only thing that I can think of is to remove the theme and try to encourage everybody to put their best shot forward, doesn't matter what it is. We really should be getting an average of 20 entries.
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby emfrat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:22 pm

The phpBB software (which is what the forum uses) includes a facility for members to report 'undesirable' posts to Admin, who can then get a listing of all such reports, grouped by four default reasons plus a customisable "Other" reason. That's what the "!" button at the right of a post header is for.
Now, if the code already exists for this, it should not be difficult to add another button, for reporting 'desirable' posts in the same way.
I have been looking for a way to let members award a 'star' to any screenshot appearing in the forum. Members would have an unlimited stock of stars but could only award one per screenshot. Something like the above would work for single screenshots, but we have all seen sets of pics all in one post, with two or maybe three of them being really outstanding, which could complicate things - but the whole post could be given a star in that case.

That said, I might get reported for posting this here, instead of in the Screenshot Comp Discussion Forum :unsure:

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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby chopper_nut » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:19 pm

You know Mike, I was thinking exactly the same thing today. Wasn't sure how you would go a bout implementing it...
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby emfrat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:48 pm

chopper_nut wrote:You know Mike, I was thinking exactly the same thing today. Wasn't sure how you would go a bout implementing it...


I have a feeling you, Ian, and meself may have talked about it on TS one day a few years back.

Way down at the bottom left is a link to phpBB with all the info about what the bulletin board can do. As far as I can see, this is what the phpBB folk call an 'extension' and you can propose one to them, and they write it, or trying coding one yourself and see if they approve it. At the moment they seem to be finalising a major update, so their hands are pretty full, but as it is a matter of adapting some existing coding, it shouldn't be a major task.

That's where to start, anyway. Dan 'gojozoom' is still our IT guru so maybe he could look at it.

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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby emfrat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:06 pm

I copied this from the NZFF index page a couple of minutes ago:

"In total there are 78 users online :: 3 registered, 0 hidden and 75 guests (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 237 on Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:04 am"

So where are they? - a handful will be bots, but why can't the rest participate?
Should we make it a very exclusive, subscription only forum?

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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby toprob » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:14 pm

emfrat wrote:...

So where are they? - a handful will be bots, but why can't the rest participate?
Should we make it a very exclusive, subscription only forum?

Mike


Or we could ask them where they go instead, and what we could do to bring them back. I've said before that things have changed online, people tend to get their flightsim fix from news and social media sites. Maybe we need to be both of those.
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby emfrat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:22 pm

A good point, Rob. My original post had a third line:
'This won't help Rob much, but there are plenty mugs around who think payware is naturally better than freeware, and will value most what they paid most for.
ATB
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby toprob » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:41 pm

Really, I think that these days people are more interested in personality-based news, for better or for worse. At one point I did put together a plan for a new site where a number of folk contributed to their own blog theme, finding/writing/posting news on their particular flightsim interest, with a real 'personality' aspect, perhaps even verging on what would be unacceptable on a forum...

There would be a requirement to post regularly, and it would all be automatically posted on social media as well, either Facebook or Twitter. So the user input would be via that, rather than a member post.

To make this work, we'd need at least 5 or 6 editors who are actually able to submit their own articles, seek news stories, do interviews and reviews etc. Maybe too little too late at this stage, but 18 months ago it could have worked!
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby emfrat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:00 pm

Rob, a site like that has a huge maintenance requirement - who would do it?

I said in a PM to Marty, perhaps the Screenshot Comp has simply gone past its use-by. I think one attempt to resuscitate is justified, but no more than that.

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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby toprob » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:33 pm

Under my plan, I'd maintain and fund it, but as I said the contributing editors would be required to work hard. But you are right as far as the comp is concerned, short of contacting all the 'members' and asking if they want to see it continue, I don't think it will suddenly bounce back. Although the general lacks of posts -- bar a few stalwarts -- is a lot more worrying than a quiet comp....

If we wanted to give the members the opportunity to 'vote', then just run a poll, with the requirement that we meet a certain number of votes -- out of a membership of 1000, say 100. I know we wouldn't come close, but at least nobody would complain if the forum was just left to run down.

We can't overlook the one continuing use of the forum -- as a repository of all things NZ flightsim. People still come here looking for info, so maybe they are getting want they want, even if they have no interest in contributing.

I'm obsessively unable to quit things, but I'd be happy to quit the forum if it didn't serve any real purpose any more. I still enter the comp, and still vote, but it is becoming more and more obvious that those few stalwarts have lost the battle, and it might be time to step away. By the way, one thing which helps me keep interested in the forum is that it is a great way to reach local customers for Godzone -- but truth be told, there are much more effective ways these days.
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby emfrat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:40 pm

Doug already asked that question, and only a few members responded.
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby dbcunnz » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:48 pm

This just shows how many members are interested in polls for the forum viewtopic.php?f=48&t=28161
Just 7 members voted yet there were 88 views but those were probably the same 7 or 8 just checking to see what the results were.
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby Helifan123 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:58 am

chopper_nut wrote:I don't get it. 12 entries this last month and four of those people didn't even vote at the end... How does that even happen?


For my part, I've been in vacation during the voting period and could not vote.

Personally, the screenshot competitions are pretty much the only reason why I post here in these forums. Mainly as a way to show my support for NZFF, but also because it's fun and there are some cool prizes to win (obviously, hehehe). Since personal time is limited, I have stopped contributing and reading most of the flightsim-forums a few years ago. I've got my small homebase-forum which I check regularly. For the rest, I'll take a look every now and then.

People have always preferred to read rather than write on forums. You can see that all over the internet in literally every forum. Therefore, it's no surprise that it's the same over here. For the NZFF, I would strongly recommend to not have any ambitions of making the forum bigger. Keep it as a small club of NZ-based flightsimmers and be happy with that. You know each other well, it's a quite familiar atmosphere and that's perfectly fine. People will come here for NZ-related topics as you all are experts in this field. For general news about flightsim, there are some great sites that make quite a good job at what they are doing.

Concerning the screenshot-comps, I feel that dropping them would be a bit sad on one hand, but quite reasonable on the other one because of the low turnout.

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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby cowpatz » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:20 pm

I agree with the comments made above by Frank.
Forums, much like my own flight swimming, tend to wax and wane like the cycles of the moon. I’m not sure how the average “global” flight simmer even knows that NZFF exists.
Personally I thought that 13 screenshot entries was good, and given the standard of many of the entries it would have been difficult (and too time consuming?) to make selections had there been any more!
Call me sad but I read NZFF every day (and a few other select flt sim sites). It annoys the c*#p out of my partner but I like to catch up with the local buzz as well as the diverse personalities that it brings.
NZFF seems to have outlived the once hugely popular AirDailyX site at least!
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby Fozzer » Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:51 pm

Me?.... :rolleyes: ....

I pop into NZFF every day to see if there is anything of interest there/here, but mainly to insert my local weather conditions in the Land of the Angles and Saxons, in the wonderful NZFF "Chat Window"....just to keep the Forum alive each day!
The "Off Topic" Forum is sometimes interesting, as it sometimes contains some "stuff" of general interest!
After many years of daily Flight Simming, (since Sinclair Spectrum/Commodore C64, etc, 1982!), and browsing and posting things on various Flight Sim Forums, my active flying time has gradually diminished recently, (been-there-done-it-got-the-tee-shirts), and I am more drawn to "Interesting Stuff" on the Forums nowadays. Sometimes, anything other than pretending to fly aeroplanes attracts my attention...especially; "Fun Stuff", "Humour", etc!
I've been an active member of "Simviation" since its inauguration in the late '90's, and what keeps it alive today, is its availability, and memberers desire, to post lots of interesting things, often nothing whatsoever to do with Flight Simming!
"Stuff Of Interest", and "Stuff to make us laugh", is what mainly keeps it alive each day!
A typical example are the vast number of views to my generated; "Motorbiking Bits and Bobs" thread, in the NZFF "Off Topic" Forum!....
......little to do with Flight Simming, just stuff of; "alternative interest" to Flight Simmers!
Maybe the idea to "Branch out more to the World", and cover more general topics to attract interest?

Paul.....Wind in the hair, flies in the teeth.....on two wheels!.... :lol: ... :lol: ... :lol: ...!

https://simviation.com/
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby Roelio » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:59 pm

chopper_nut wrote:I don't get it. 12 entries this last month and four of those people didn't even vote at the end... How does that even happen? I think what's happened is that a lot of the really enthusiastic people in the past have been young guys who have moved on to real world aviation careers and so don't have the time to visit (I'm not judging, I know what it's like) Of course, Ian did a lot to keep this place humming too. The only thing that I can think of is to remove the theme and try to encourage everybody to put their best shot forward, doesn't matter what it is. We really should be getting an average of 20 entries.


I'm one of the younglings you're talking about. Real life has caught up with me big time. Since I started flying for real, I noticed a decline in the hours I spend in the sim. And therefor spend less time browsing flightsim related forums. Also, ATPL exams are really testing me (I'm not a good theory student, I need to experience it in practice to really get it) so I'm having a hard time with them.

I have participated in the monthly screenshot competition for years and I really liked doing it. In that time, I've won only once. Which to me isn't a big deal, but I noticed that a lot of same people are winning the competitions. And that might put new participants off. Especially young folks want to see results of their efforts and compete to win, not just to participate. And if they see that they only get one or no votes on a screenshot that they thought had a good chance, isn't really motivating. I'm not blaming anyone here, because you vote for what you like the best and that's what the competition is all about. There are just too many good screenshot makers here :D

And please, don't forget this site is a niche, within a niche. Which is fine of course. But if it is struggling to survive, maybe it's time to do something different to attract people.

Those are just my two cents. I always enjoyed the warmth this forum provides, even though I almost couldn't be further apart from NZ ;)
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby chopper_nut » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:56 am

Yep, I completely agree. I used to enter but I was running on a bit of a crappy machine and although I didn’t expect to win anything, I thought that somebody would’ve thought that my efforts would’ve been worth a vote. It can be a bit hard on the enthusiasm at times. I was also, and still am, against editing but that’s an entitely different conversation.

Good luck with your ATPs man, I don’t envy you one bit. I think I’ll stay a dumb utility pilot... :D
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby emfrat » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:32 pm

Nick, Roelio -
Marty (splitpin) and I have different views on what constitutes a 'screenshot', but it is a friendly discussion. Both of us would like to see the comp continue. Below is the text of a PM I sent to Marty - neither of us want yet another war over the issue. I think it covers most of the issues, but I would welcome your views.

"Marty, I am very reluctant to get involved with this old issue again - as I said there have been at least three civil wars over it, that I can remember.The underlying problem is the lack of numbers.
With only a dozen or so regular entrants, we are bound to get a lot of repeat winners, that is a statistical certainty. When about half of those regulars have superior graphic arts skills, it is more than likely that most of the winners will come from that smaller group. Statistics again, that's all. There is no closed shop of elite members all voting for each other. The small number of voters makes it look even worse, because sharing say 20 votes across 12 entries means the prize can be won with only three or four votes out of 20.
Maybe rating the entries e.g. "7 out of 10" would be an improvement, but it would mean a lot of extra work for the Comp Admin - and how many voters would take the trouble to rate each pic?
In discussion with Doug last year, I suggested dropping the formal comp, and allowing members to award a 'star' to any screenshot posted in the month. Members would have unlimited stars to give out but could only award one per pic. Again, that requires a lot of extra admin and IT stuff in the background.

As for canvassing, Ian told me that before my time, the Admins had noticed I think three surges in new memberships at the end of a month, which corresponded with an unusually high total vote in the comp for that month. Apparently a member was ringing around his mates asking them to join up and vote for his entry because he really wanted a particular prize, which they did and then were never seen again. That caper can only work when the number of voters is small. Memberships have crept up to over 1000 but only a tiny percentage of them take part in the comp, either by entering or voting. Maybe it has just gone past its use-by ?
ATB, Mike.

Since I posted that, I have had a look at what our phpBB forum can do for us, and the existing system of reporting undesirable posts provides by default 4 'common reasons' and a custom fifth reason which the board admin can define. I am sure we can use this to report a desirable situation, and get the same listing of reports as is in place for the undesirable stuff.
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Re: Vacancy: Screencomp Administrator

Postby Roelio » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:26 am

Emfrat

I have no doubt that there is no "inner circle" of members who only vote on each other. I know that, you know that, but do new folk know that?

I compiled a small list of ideas. As I want to help this place, that has given me years of fun.

- A new format. Not which one is the prettiest, but which one is the most original, or follows the theme the best?
- Even the playing field and scrap the whole "editing is allowed if you know how to do it". Of course, it will never be equal as not everybody has the money to invest in a powerful machine, capable of fantastic graphic, but to eliminate some variables so everyone is as close as possible might be something worth striving for.
- Changing the vote system to a jury instead of community decision. Like, the last winner decides who wins the next competition or something like that.
- Put in a pause in the competition. Because you don't know what you got, until it's gone ;)

I'm not here long enough to know the entire NZFF history, so if (some of) these things have been done already, I didn't say anything ;)




Off topic: For those who are interested to improve their screenshot quality:
This worked for me, I hope it might work for some others: Since a few years I have a powerful PC, but before that I used a laptop for FSX. (Point, it was not the worst laptop out there, but it wasn't really great for FSX/P3D). But I still managed to get pretty nice looking screenshots with fine looking graphics, since you don't need any performance for taking screenshots,. First, at low settings I just positioned myself in the way I want my screenshot. When I was satisfied, I then maxed the sliders that would've had most effect for the screenshot. (over water you want nice looking water and boats, but you don't need good looking mountains or high res terrain) Adding lower visibility also helps in both performance and ambiance. I got 3fps or less, but who cares. Of course you are limited by the available RAM (which was 4gb on my laptop) but I hope most members here have at least that. That laptop had a 1st gen i5 clocked at 2.2ghz coupled with an ATI Radeon HD5470 (512mb memory).

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This was my first 'proper' screenshot I've made, eight year ago. Not up to my nowadays standards, but still not really bad imo. It was slightly colour corrected by a friend (I didn't know how to do it back then)
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