Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction Writers => Monthly Writing Contest => Topic started by: xiagan on September 21, 2016, 05:47:37 PM

Title: Anonymous Submission
Post by: xiagan on September 21, 2016, 05:47:37 PM
We have discussed this in the past and we do so now again in the other poll.
I'd like to try this one month to see what kind of effect it has. We can discuss and theorize as much as we want but we won't know until we try.

How would this work?

You would send your story formatted as you like in a PM to the Anonymous account. Writing/formatting a PM is the same as a post, so there are no big changes for you.

I will post all stories from the same account. I favor posting them as I get them (for more speculation fun and to see some progress in the contest), but if you think different you have the chance to vote for that above.

After voting expires, I'll edit the voting table and add the names to the stories IF you didn't write in your submission that you want to remain anonymous.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on September 21, 2016, 05:52:48 PM
nice!  that was FAST!

oh, hey.  can we add another option?  "either a or b works for me!"?
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Raptori on September 21, 2016, 05:53:17 PM
oh, hey.  can we add another option?  "either a or b works for me!"?
Was about to say this! Vaguely lean towards b myself, but it's not a major difference.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on September 21, 2016, 05:56:04 PM
oh, hey.  can we add another option?  "either a or b works for me!"?
Was about to say this! Vaguely lean towards b myself, but it's not a major difference.

you know what they say about great minds!
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Alex Hormann on September 21, 2016, 05:57:12 PM
A or B work for me, but I'm leaning towards A on the basis that it'll be nice to have something to read every few days rather than a heavy dose at the end. (In theory )
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Raptori on September 21, 2016, 06:00:44 PM
oh, hey.  can we add another option?  "either a or b works for me!"?
Was about to say this! Vaguely lean towards b myself, but it's not a major difference.

you know what they say about great minds!
What, that m3mnoch has one?  :P

A or B work for me, but I'm leaning towards A on the basis that it'll be nice to have something to read every few days rather than a heavy dose at the end. (In theory )
Actually that's an excellent point. Big advantage for A there.
 
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Eclipse on September 21, 2016, 06:02:52 PM
I think it's insulting m3m that you don't believe people just vote for stories that there think are best so I'm never going to vote for you again  :P

I'm voting no but I don't mind the occasional Anonymous monthly contest just to see if my guesses are right about who wrote the tale
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: night_wrtr on September 21, 2016, 06:05:44 PM
Shweet. Voted. Muahhahaha
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Raptori on September 21, 2016, 06:07:06 PM
I think it's insulting m3m that you don't believe people just vote for stories that there think are best so I'm never going to vote for you again  :P
It wouldn't be that surprising if people took the author into account when voting. For example, say they could vote for three stories, and liked four entries equally, but one of them was from a writer who had won several times in a row. Even if it's not a conscious decision, they might be less likely to vote for the regular winner.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on September 21, 2016, 06:13:15 PM
oh, hey.  can we add another option?  "either a or b works for me!"?
Was about to say this! Vaguely lean towards b myself, but it's not a major difference.

you know what they say about great minds!
What, that m3mnoch has one?  :P

hahah!  cheater!

i've got no workable comeback for that!

nothing other than this, i guess:


no -- that they're delicious!

(http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u68/poker_mom/hannibal_lecter.jpg)

Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: xiagan on September 21, 2016, 06:20:38 PM
Forgot to add that if I'm going to post them as they come every contestant would have two jokers to send me edits and I'll replace them in the submission.
Doesn't help if you want to do lots of minor edits but should catch the big typos.

I'm not adding the A/B works both for me-option. I want to have definite results and not something that will result in another poll. ;) If you are leaning to something, choose this and if you absolutely don't care just pick one.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on September 21, 2016, 06:57:01 PM
I'm voting no but I don't mind the occasional Anonymous monthly contest just to see if my guesses are right about who wrote the tale

funny enough, i'm super-excited about this part.  my plan is to read them, vote, then write up the handful of which ones i think are from whom, then computer-algorithm-ify them to try and detect who they actually were.

so much fun!
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 21, 2016, 07:12:14 PM
funny enough, i'm super-excited about this part.  my plan is to read them, vote, then write up the handful of which ones i think are from whom, then computer-algorithm-ify them to try and detect who they actually were.
so much fun!
I'm also excited. This sounds fun!

Having not composed a short story in more decades than some on this forum (and thread) have lived, I like the idea of an anonymous submission. Short form is hard for me, so I would like to not be associated with it if it sucks the big 'un.

I REALLY think that post-as-they-arrive is the way to go, as it forestalls instances of forgetting to submit, and doesn't shove a potential mountain of submissions into the PM's all at once. Fewer moving parts it seems to me.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on September 22, 2016, 12:09:59 AM
I think it's insulting m3m that you don't believe people just vote for stories that there think are best so I'm never going to vote for you again  :P
It wouldn't be that surprising if people took the author into account when voting. For example, say they could vote for three stories, and liked four entries equally, but one of them was from a writer who had won several times in a row. Even if it's not a conscious decision, they might be less likely to vote for the regular winner.

In which case this would make it even worse on the complaints that the same people always win?

I voted No, and I'm not excited: I dislike the idea of having to hide which story is mine for weeks, and don't see the point of it all. I don't mind trying it out but I believe it'll dampen a lot of the excitement, at least as far as I'm concerned.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Lady Ty on September 22, 2016, 01:30:12 AM
I think it's insulting m3m that you don't believe people just vote for stories that there think are best so I'm never going to vote for you again  :P

I'm voting no but I don't mind the occasional Anonymous monthly contest just to see if my guesses are right about who wrote the tale

This ^

Rather sorry these two polls were needed.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on September 22, 2016, 02:03:02 AM
awww . . .  that makes me sad.

i think we, as a group, have mostly all moved on from fixing a broken contest to doing a fun experiment.  it started out with a worry about "the usuals" hoarding all the contest accolades and not letting anyone else get in on all the glamorous awards, but it feels like we're ending up in a place where we want to kind of gamify it for a month -- have fun with it and see what happens.

also, just in case you missed the sarcasm, eclipse was being funny about my comment.  i promise i never said i didn't believe people when they say they don't pick stories based on names.

it was actually this:
mostly, i was channeling my inner dialog over the last year when i would read jmack, tebakutis, or rukaio stories.  i'm like, "dammit.  that's in my top tier.  stop writing such good stories so i can vote for someone else!"

if anything, we're talking about unconsciously not voting for specific authors because they've already won so many times.  not the other way around.

*shrug*
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Lady Ty on September 22, 2016, 02:26:12 AM
@m3mnoch (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=40419), Grrrrr  of course I know you jest and that Eclipse was teasing, I read both threads through carefully. Fine to experiment and the democratic vote wins anyway.

(http://ancienthomeofdragon.homestead.com/files/angry-dragon.jpg)



My comment was because there must have been complaints or comments to make the need arise for either poll in the first place and that always sounds like sour grapes to me.  Raptori's super number fun shows those complaints are unjustified anyway.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on September 22, 2016, 02:31:57 AM
*whew*

i was terrified that i'd disappointed you.

really, that was it.

wasn't anything else.

nope.

nothing.

especially not all those toothy, firebreathing friends you have swooping around.

they weren't a concern at all.

*gulps*

*loosens collar*

*smiles weakly*
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 22, 2016, 02:53:05 AM
Is there something I'm missing about these contests? Is there a carrot involved? Or is it just all stick?  ;D
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on September 22, 2016, 03:31:25 AM
for you?  all stick!  hee-yah!

heh.

but, for reals, winners are posted on the front page of the main site:
http://fantasy-faction.com/2016/monthly-short-story-winner-known-title-unknown-story

we're currently a few months behind, but the website magicians are working their way through posting the winners.

so, the carrot is flagrant fame!
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 22, 2016, 06:01:24 AM
Glad I'm the poet and the world will never know it (HA!) Don't think I'd want all that attention.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Peat on September 22, 2016, 06:14:52 AM
Not voting yet but so far more convinced by Nora's arguments of it sucking fun out of the discussion thread than anything else.

Maybe the answer is two contests.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Eclipse on September 22, 2016, 06:44:07 AM
I think you trying to fix something which doesn't need fixing personally all this fuss from a throw away comment from the member nerf who couldn't be bothered to wait for the replies to his concerns.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: xiagan on September 22, 2016, 08:47:44 AM
I think you trying to fix something which doesn't need fixing personally all this fuss from a throw away comment from the member nerf who couldn't be bothered to wait for the replies to his concerns.
Trying out anonymous submissions for one month is not "fixing" something in my eyes. It has no consequences and the relevance of different theme. It's just interesting to see what is different and why.

That comment would have fitted better in the other poll. ;)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on September 22, 2016, 09:51:42 AM
Ah, the two thread are very related, one springing from the other.

But yeah, I just hope people will realise our way of doing it right now works fine sooner than it took for the likes to come back.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Peat on September 22, 2016, 09:13:36 PM
Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think my glib "Have another contest" answer might have mileage.

Lets say we add a Micro Fiction contest (100 words max) monthly with all entries anonymous.

We get

a) A better set of data for whether bias is affecting voting as we'd have an anonymous and non-anonymous vote every month (although not ideal comparables).

b) Another writing contest for experimenting in

c) The different format might sucker more people into the writing contests and people who start on the Micro might graduate to the current one

d) Another useful skill to learn

What we lose

A little focus I guess. That little bit more time. Possibly some other things.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: xiagan on September 22, 2016, 09:24:46 PM
Hm. I think it's already hard to get one contest going (means: having enough stories and enough people voting for them to be fun), but finding a sufficient amount of people to write and vote in two contests a month?
My fear is that this would just mean that we get two contests with about five stories each and let's say seven voters each. Which isn't something I'd like to see...
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Peat on September 22, 2016, 10:08:31 PM
Hm. I think it's already hard to get one contest going (means: having enough stories and enough people voting for them to be fun), but finding a sufficient amount of people to write and vote in two contests a month?
My fear is that this would just mean that we get two contests with about five stories each and let's say seven voters each. Which isn't something I'd like to see...

The writing contest hasn't dipped below 11 people since April. I'd be very surprised if having two very different contests cleanly split the contestant pool with nobody doing both. Its possible but would be a surprise. I think nobody doing the micro-fiction would be far more likely and I think launching it would require a decent show of interest. I'd be surprised if we couldn't find that here but if we can't, fair enough.

Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: night_wrtr on September 24, 2016, 03:22:41 PM
Hm. I think it's already hard to get one contest going (means: having enough stories and enough people voting for them to be fun), but finding a sufficient amount of people to write and vote in two contests a month?
My fear is that this would just mean that we get two contests with about five stories each and let's say seven voters each. Which isn't something I'd like to see...

I think agree with xia. A lot of the folks submitting also have one or two other WIPs that they are working on. So making time to do both might be too time consuming and could result in someone submitting to one, but not both. Which would drop the steady number of entries. Just my opinion mind, but something to think about.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: The Gem Cutter on September 24, 2016, 05:27:33 PM
Buck up buttercups!

(http://cliqueimg.com/cache/posts/181324/quotes-from-female-leaders-to-inspire-your-most-successful-year-yet-1618654-1452635633.640x0c.jpg)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on September 24, 2016, 05:48:39 PM
heh.  while i like the sentiment, i'd probably find a different quote author.

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/09/marissa-mayers-legacy-at-yahoo

for the non-nerds in the group, marissa mayer took yahoo from 'on the decline', to 'a smoking crater of utter destruction'.  she's no susan wojcicki tho, fo' sho'.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on September 25, 2016, 11:47:31 PM
Just because something seems bad doesn't mean it's going to be good just by forcing ourselves through it.
Maybe the people who believe in it will like it, and the newbies who have never known anything else won't know any better, and maybe others will dislike it and not join in it. No pretty quotes will change that outcome, or make me feel more upbeat about it.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: xiagan on September 26, 2016, 08:44:42 AM
I don't understand why you are so negative about trying out something for one month?
It's nothing with a permanent impact and I don't think being experimental is a bad trait in a writer...

We are talking about anonymous submissions for years (not continuously of course), and can't know how it will be unless we try it. It may not work at all and everything you said may come true and it will be boring and/or a disaster - well, that's something that can happen with a bad theme too - and it doesn't matter much because next month's theme will be different.

Your arguments are well reasoned for a permanent change but in my opinion they are a bit over the top for just trying something out.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Arry on September 26, 2016, 10:10:53 AM
Just because something seems bad doesn't mean it's going to be good just by forcing ourselves through it.
Maybe the people who believe in it will like it, and the newbies who have never known anything else won't know any better, and maybe others will dislike it and not join in it. No pretty quotes will change that outcome, or make me feel more upbeat about it.

Convincing yourself how bad it will be before even giving it a shot doesn't mean it will actually be bad (for those that are open enough to give it a fair shot) or that it is a poor decision to try the format.

Xia is right, this format has been discussed/mentioned for years, I remember it being mentioned when I used to enter the contests (which is maybe 4 years ago?), and I've seen it proposed since then as well.

If the trial month is so stressful, you could always sit out a month and see how it goes for everyone else.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Eclipse on September 26, 2016, 10:49:23 AM
How can you improve your craftsmanship if you keep your work private for the whole month? Would you still be able to ask for advice from other writers because if you do the anonymous would go wouldn't it?

I don't mind anonymous for a few months a year but I don't think I would like it permanently.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Raptori on September 26, 2016, 11:55:09 AM
How can you improve your craftsmanship if you keep your work private for the whole month? Would you still be able to ask for advice from other writers because if you do the anonymous would go wouldn't it?
Are you asking whether it's ok to ask someone for feedback via pm/email/whatever? Don't see why that'd be a problem! Not sure what that has to do with writing craft though.

Sorry if that's not what you meant.  :o
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on September 26, 2016, 12:50:32 PM
How can you improve your craftsmanship if you keep your work private for the whole month? Would you still be able to ask for advice from other writers because if you do the anonymous would go wouldn't it?

I don't mind anonymous for a few months a year but I don't think I would like it permanently.

I think Eclipse is referring to talking about your story in the general chat thread, which I maintain would probably be a bit weirder if we were kept from making references to our stories there.

I don't believe that anonymous publication would alter the way I write. I've sent things to magazines. I compete against people I don't see or know, I don't see the votes, all I know in the end is that I didn't win. It doesn't alter the process of me writing a short story, it doesn't make me a better writer, it doesn't make me experiment. It makes you guys experiment as contest organizer though, for sure.
Which can be good anyways. People seem pretty divided about it, best way to find out how we feel about it is to try it out.

Again, to answer you both, I've said several times that I don't mind a month trial, and my arguments are only directed at the prospect of a permanent change. Of course doing things different for a month can't hurt!
My last post here was only in answer to the motivational-image posted, so was mostly me being mildly irritated, sorry I didn't want to sound like I was rehashing it all. 
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Raptori on September 26, 2016, 12:59:56 PM
my arguments are only directed at the prospect of a permanent change
A prospect you've invented entirely on your own.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on September 26, 2016, 01:21:29 PM
my arguments are only directed at the prospect of a permanent change
A prospect you've invented entirely on your own.

Well, thanks for making me sound like a paranoid member of the forum. I'm sorry, we were all talking and voting about a change to the contest that ought to be at least several months to appreciate, since it involved keeping people from winning over a certain course of time. Then we digressed and talked about making the contest anonymous, with several people, besides me, having arguments that were directed toward the "general" idea of anonymous posting. Only when we opened this topic did things become about trying it out for "October".

I don't think anyone would truly mind trying things out for a month, if it was only for the sake of the one month. I'm pretty confident in saying that all people who voted no are mostly doing so out of concern that such a trial might be adopted after that, like the absence of liking was, for several months.
But I believe we all may rest our fears, now that we know that they are only the product of my personal delusions.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Raptori on September 26, 2016, 01:30:00 PM
my arguments are only directed at the prospect of a permanent change
A prospect you've invented entirely on your own.

Well, thanks for making me sound like a paranoid member of the forum. I'm sorry, we were all talking and voting about a change to the contest that ought to be at least several months to appreciate, since it involved keeping people from winning over a certain course of time. Then we digressed and talked about making the contest anonymous, with several people, besides me, having arguments that were directed toward the "general" idea of anonymous posting. Only when we opened this topic did things become about trying it out for "October".

I don't think anyone would truly mind trying things out for a month, if it was only for the sake of the one month. I'm pretty confident in saying that all people who voted no are mostly doing so out of concern that such a trial might be adopted after that, like the absence of liking was, for several months.
But I believe we all may rest our fears, now that we know that they are only the product of my personal delusions.

Right from the beginning of the previous discussion:

incidentally, still think it'd be cool to have all stories anonymous for a month to see how that feels

Nobody was talking about changing things permanently. Just about trying different formats for the contest to see whether it makes it more fun for people or not. As the others have mentioned, the idea has come up multiple times in the past, and it's always been referenced as a "we could try it for a month or two" thing.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on September 26, 2016, 02:27:21 PM
also, we should note:  anonymous doesn't mean top secret development.

sure, if you tell everyone which story is yours, that's kind of violating the spirit of the exercise, but so does asking for suggestions from the other competitors for an entry to defeat them during a contest.  i guess what i'm saying is that since we've all been treating this writing contest (to my absolute pleasure) as a giant, super-inclusive writing club exercise each month where everyone helps everyone, i don't see why that would change.

we do this for fun!

if people figure out which story was yours?  meh.  that's just fine!  if you don't care?  meh.  that's just fine, too!  if you want to throw out dodges and misdirection?  bwahaha -- you're evil!

besides, it's not like we can't identify your writing if we REALLY wanted to.  i just did some lexical analysis on stories from me, jmack, and tebakutis to see if it could tell us apart.  short answer?  yup.


as an example, this is one of the results comparing jmack and tebakutis.  both author1 and the "super-secret unknown anonymous" author was jmack.  author2 was tebakutis.

(http://m3mnoch.com/static/images/jmack-tebakutis-analysis.png)

so, i'm fairly sure that if you've ever entered a contest, i can apply objective data analysis and figure out which story is yours.


also, as a selfish side note, i personally can't submit an anonymous entry unless i con a bunch of other people into doing it too.  it'd be SUPER-CONSPICUOUS if the guy who's entered (does a quick count) 16 contests in a row(!) suddenly dropped out for a month.  but, hey!  look!  some anonymous entry showed up that has lots of exclamation points in it!

*shrug*

just sayin'.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: xiagan on September 26, 2016, 02:51:06 PM
I might have misunderstood you, Nora, and am glad that you are not opposed to trying this once!

Be assured that a permanent change to anonymous submission would need lots of strong voices for it and a poll with at least a 2/3 majority. Not gonna see this happen. :)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Peat on September 26, 2016, 03:20:17 PM
When I made the suggestion post-Raptori's post in the other thread, I was thinking permanent actually. I can't bring to mind what everyone has said on the subject but a quick scroll down and Arry refers to it as a trial month - apologies if this is putting words in her mouth, but that seems to point to the idea of there being more, or even a permanent change, if there is a success.

I certainly don't get what the point of doing it for a month is if there is no prospect of adopting it. That seems to be change for the sake of change, not change for the sake of making the competition more newbie friendly. I don't see how you can draw a reasonable conclusion one way or the other just from a month.

In any case, I voted no.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Raptori on September 26, 2016, 03:33:09 PM
When I made the suggestion post-Raptori's post in the other thread, I was thinking permanent actually. I can't bring to mind what everyone has said on the subject but a quick scroll down and Arry refers to it as a trial month - apologies if this is putting words in her mouth, but that seems to point to the idea of there being more, or even a permanent change, if there is a success.

I certainly don't get what the point of doing it for a month is if there is no prospect of adopting it. That seems to be change for the sake of change, not change for the sake of making the competition more newbie friendly. I don't see how you can draw a reasonable conclusion one way or the other just from a month.

In any case, I voted no.
IMO, if the trial month is good fun, then it should become a regular thing - an annual anonymous month for example would be pretty reasonable, similar to the annual fanfic month and possibly an annual flash fiction month - but not permanent in the sense that it completely replaces the normal way of doing things. The only situation where it should replace it completely would be if everyone wants it to, and it had proven to be a huge improvement in general, which just isn't going to happen!
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: ScarletBea on September 26, 2016, 04:38:47 PM
@m3mnoch (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=40419), have you done your analysis thing on the anonymous submissions of the last couple of months?
I'm just wondering if those were regulars or newbies...
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on September 26, 2016, 06:23:41 PM
i haven't.

mostly because of the enormous amount of work it would be.  basically, the algorithm compares two known authors to a third unknown and determines similarity.  so, for me to use that to discover a single, random anonymous user, i'd have to setup a bracket-like thing where i iterate through everyone who's ever entered the contest and take the most likely match.  then, move that author on to the next comparison.  all the way until i'm confident i've finally found the right one.

like i said, i'd have to REALLY want to figure it out for all that copy/pasting or time invested into an automated tool.

tho, who knows?  maybe i will discover grrm entering our contest!
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: ScarletBea on September 26, 2016, 06:42:01 PM
or we can always try asking @xiagan (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=1148) with 'pretty pleases' ;D

(not the one in the current contest, just old ones hehe)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: xiagan on September 26, 2016, 08:38:17 PM
or we can always try asking @xiagan (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=1148) with 'pretty pleases' ;D

(not the one in the current contest, just old ones hehe)
What exactly is the sense in letting people submit anonymous if I tell you later who it was? It's their decision (not mine!) to reveal themselves or not. :)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: ScarletBea on September 26, 2016, 08:39:37 PM
I know :) I guess I was hoping that they'd see this and eventually reveal themselves, not honestly hoping you would tell us.
I'm not really bothered, hehe
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: xiagan on September 26, 2016, 08:42:30 PM
I certainly don't get what the point of doing it for a month is if there is no prospect of adopting it. That seems to be change for the sake of change, not change for the sake of making the competition more newbie friendly.
Afaik we're not doing it to make the comp more newbie friendly. I'm not sure having anonymous submissions would be more newbie friendly, tbh.
We do it because it may be fun and to see how and if it works. :)

IMO, if the trial month is good fun, then it should become a regular thing - an annual anonymous month for example would be pretty reasonable, similar to the annual fanfic month and possibly an annual flash fiction month - but not permanent in the sense that it completely replaces the normal way of doing things.
That sounds like quite a good idea. If it is good fun, then we could do it once a year. Not deciding this before we tried it, ofc.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: night_wrtr on November 16, 2016, 09:38:10 PM
Bringing attention back to this thread to further the discussion!

From the Corpse thread:

Yeah the novelty value will disappear, but little of the enjoyment comes from sheer novelty. Most of it comes from the suspense, and from the shared speculation and analysis which everyone has been enjoying. None of that would go away, even if it was a regular thing.

The only thing it restricts is people who want others to discuss their work (and are grumpy at having to wait a month while the rest of us enjoy ourselves before they can bask in people's attention  :P ), and even that will still be able to happen after the reveal. If that's really such a deal-breaker for some, Bradley's suggestion would be a decent compromise imo. Not sure that an option to opt out would make sense, though I guess it wouldn't be a big deal.

I like @Bradley Darewood 's suggestion also. That narrows the 30 day wait down to around 14 days. (Lets be honest, maybe its a 60 day wait for those who read submissions as they are posted!) Although, I am sure @Anonymous would not mind to do a few edits if needed. There is a full month to write and submit changes, which is why it can be dangerous to read them before the submissions are over.

I can go either way on this, but definitely would like to see Anon subs more often. I like seeing the stories judged by the words on the page, instead of the name attached to it. Especially for the new members to the contest club this month because it puts them on equal footing with old timers. Who wrote what? Who knows! Will will find out soon!



Any updated feelings after we are halfway through the first ever Anonymous month?
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on November 16, 2016, 09:50:18 PM
My updated feeling is that I still can't believe you're saying you've been voting for names instead of stories all along, and that it's the first month you're giving consideration for newcomers.
I don't feel that way.
I personally feel that Anonymous submission should be encouraged for those who want it, and not forced on those who don't. Many liked it, some others didn't,  why force it either way when it's already an option? Just start using it.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 16, 2016, 10:29:43 PM
I think there's a wide divide between voting for names and being influenced by the names.

Regarding bias: the author's reputation (or lack of one) can be a weighty thing, positive and negative, based on their interactions and posts on the forum, their past work (whether in the contest, published books, blogs, etc.), as well as all the unmentionables - things that can bias a few directly or indirectly, a little or a lot - gender, background, age, nationality, education, etc. I am not suggesting we are rampant with bias - I am suggesting we're not magically immune to it.

This is potentially important, beyond our personal feelings, because anonymous submissions make the contest more legitimate to outsiders who don't know us or our culture. Maybe we don't care about how the contest is viewed from the outside, and if that's the case, it's an irrelevant point. But if some of us do, it's worth considering. I don't actually know why this forum exists - I have no idea if revenue is generated or if this is one, huge, wonderful hobby for the people that make it happen. But if it's making people money, that means there are competitors, and keeping the forum healthy is more important than anything, to all of us that love this venue. And if the contest is important to that health, then in my opinion the success of this past month trumps other concerns.

Several obvious considerations:
- It cannot be argued that the anon-submission was a smash success almost universally, measured in the number of submissions, the number of new contestants, the energy and enthusiasm of the discussions, and the fun (whether lasting or not remains to be seen). The concerns raised against it seem minor and transient. The editing issue is one that can be dealt with - that one hit me in particular.
- Only by working together have our collective guesses approached anything close to mostly inaccurate, vs. completely inaccurate. Turns out, it's not that obvious to most of us. So anon works, even with the hints and admissions (albeit contaminated with some misdirection  ;D)

Several less obvious considerations:
- Filtering names allows people to submit who might otherwise be embarrassed or have some other issue with putting their name out there before the work's been warmly received. Is it purely coincidental so many first-time submissions arrived with anon?

- Interpretation of votes is not the same in each person's head. If someone voted for a popular member over me, and I was not a popular member, I might suspect bias had something to do with it - even though there's no evidence to support that emotion. Anon submissions mitigate that sentiment entirely.

- The reverse of the above is also potentially true: if I am a kickass writer and have a reputation as such, on some level I know that that helps my story - packaging and preconceptions matter, warnings of judging books by covers notwithstanding. I am not talking about voting for X because I consciously decide their work is better than anyone else's - not that does not or cannot happen. I am talking about where real bias occurs, below the surface where even people trying to be objective don't always see it.

My last point: being anonymous when not everyone else is only addresses biases related to the anonymous author. It does nothing to prevent biases based on the authors who are not anonymous. As I said, preconceptions matter, whether we want them to or not.

My overall opinion/vote: I like anonymous and would like to continue with it, either sporadically, or as a permanent adoption with the occasional "open submission" month for variety. I enjoyed this experience so much more than open submissions (granted, mine were poems with a snowball's chance in hell).

-Gem Cutter
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: ScarletBea on November 16, 2016, 10:35:18 PM
Just saying:
We already have the option for people to submit under 'anonymous' on any normal month. We've had one for the last 3-4 months, and it didn't affect their votes, which ranged from really low to a win.

Maybe we just need to remind people of this in the initial monthly post? @xiagan, what do you think?
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: night_wrtr on November 16, 2016, 10:41:29 PM
My updated feeling is that I still can't believe you're saying you've been voting for names instead of stories all along, and that it's the first month you're giving consideration for newcomers.
I don't feel that way.
I personally feel that Anonymous submission should be encouraged for those who want it, and not forced on those who don't. Many liked it, some others didn't,  why force it either way when it's already an option? Just start using it.

Not sure if I should feel a little insulted here?  :o Clearly an unfounded assumption.

Anonymous submissions eliminate all bias, which is my point. There is no way to judge a story apart from the words on the page. We can analyze and make guesses all month long. Even with a majority of guesses, we are probably mostly wrong, as @xiagan has pointed out.

I have mad love for @m3mnoch and his ebook with-no-authors. Does everyone use that? Probably not, but they should. Because it's awesome.

Bias can come from anywhere and does seep into things you wouldn't expect, even subconsciously. I use the ebook because it helps to maintain that equal footing that I mentioned earlier.

We obviously have a wide range of opinions on the subject. I dont think you have to worry about major changes without substantial discussion. Hence my bump of,the thread as some discussion has blossomed from the corpse thread.

Please realise this is a discussion, and not a proclamation of law. No one is forcing anything. So let's have an actual discussion that can bring some insight into other opinions and their merits.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on November 16, 2016, 11:08:22 PM
Don't make the mistake of taking one month as data enough to draw outlines. 1750 as a topic is being pretty unpopular right now, like some other topics some people found more restraining and contributed less.
'Corpses' is both easy and wide open, we all write in genres that very often features dead bodies. Nothing is there to prove that 1750 would be a hotbed of submissions if it were anonymous right now.

Also, most of Gem's points for anonymity can be solved by applying as anonymous any given month.
As far as I'm aware, no one is making money off our back through these contests. In a normal online competition that doesn't revolve around a community, you would submit your story to the website, and most likely you wouldn't even know the people judging your work, just like submitting to a literary magazine.

I came to this forum for the community. I enjoy seeing what people write.. I enjoy reading Lanko's submission, Gem's submission, Rukaio's predictably funny submission, Tebakutis' cool sci-fi submissions, etc.
I don't think that anonymous treatment of the contest would give the satisfaction of the normal one. I don't look forward to entire months where we'll have to peruse through pages of threads to match who wrote which anonymous submission to see how their work evolved, or not being quite sure who wrote what.
I think I just don't get the problem everyone is gripping about. I feel like my work improved tremendously through almost two years of submissions, and never felt like I was favoured or disfavoured. If I hadn't done all that work, I probably wouldn't have discovered how much I love writing in present tense, first person, because I just don't "try stuff out" the same way when I write a WIP. The contest is for fun, for improving, for honing skills, not only for some sense of transcendental gratification (though always welcome), and living by your work shouldn't be a problem.
How much more hurt would people be from getting only 1 (or 0) votes when the submission was anonymous? Meaning that people, not knowing it was them, truly didn't care for their piece of writing? Just because it'd be fairer wouldn't make me more reassuring to timid contributors.

Anonymous is an option, I think it should remain one, just like it is now. And then you won't have to be associated with your work, if you truly wish so.

I don't think the brand of being 'new' is such a problem. When I was still quite the beginner, on my second contest, I gleaned 7 votes, made it 3rd place on the podium alongside Jmack who was already an institution.
An entire year later, my 'nightmare' submission got 2 votes, still beating by one vote regulars like Henry Dale and ArcaneArtsVelho!
Published names had stories here which only got one vote, notably the only month I won (on my 9th submission).

@night_wrtr : I don't mean it in an aggressive way, sorry, it's just when you said :

Quote
I like seeing the stories judged by the words on the page, instead of the name attached to it. Especially for the new members to the contest club this month because it puts them on equal footing with old timers.

Seemed to imply that you believe we do indeed vote for the name, instead of the words on the page, which I strongly believe we don't, especially when I browse through vote results from previous months and I see big names with few votes. I mean, the month I won, some guy called ChooChooChoo had double the votes Saraband did... Meaning he had 2 when Saraband had 1. I think if people followed name/fame, you would'nt see such results.
You yourself had a month with zero votes, and in August just crushed everyone with an amazing story. Can't invent it.
I mostly meant by my wild comment that I thought "influence" of the names had been discussed, and this month's anonymous sub was offered as a non permanent game, because most people had agreed we're only mildly influenced by names.


In the end I think when we see something that truly appeals to us, we vote for it, regardless of the name. The one thing I can believe, is people tending to use "fillers" if they have a spare vote. 'kinda liked this and it's from X, I'll give that vote there', instead of really nitpicking about their final choice, which story is most deserving in the ones left, because if all of the same level, then the name can indeed influence?
Don't know if I'm being very clear, I'm a bit sleep deprived, sorry...  :-\
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Lordoftheword on November 16, 2016, 11:33:53 PM
In the end I think when we see something that truly appeals to us, we vote for it, regardless of the name. The one thing I can believe, is people tending to use "fillers" if they have a spare vote. 'kinda liked this and it's from X, I'll give that vote there', instead of really nitpicking about their final choice, which story is most deserving in the ones left, because if all of the same level, then the name can indeed influence?
Don't know if I'm being very clear, I'm a bit sleep deprived, sorry...  :-\

I think your sleep deprivation may have worked to counter your own strong argument by providing what I would say is the strongest argument for keeping the stories anonymous. :P

Being new and with only one vote, I never even considered that some of you have a whopping five votes (I like that system by the way). I certainly wouldn't have any issue picking my absolute favourite story regardless of name. But if I had five votes I might get lazy with my voting and maybe look for name recognition or a friend to toss a vote, regardless of story. I might not even do this on purpose, but if I had to pick from a random person and a friend who had stories of similar quality, I would be inclined to vote for my friend every time.

Filtering names allows people to submit who might otherwise be embarrassed or have some other issue with putting their name out there before the work's been warmly received. Is it purely coincidental so many first-time submissions arrived with anon?

^This. Once again, I can speak from my experience as a new guy to these forums. I felt "safe" and "comfortable" posting my story here anonymously, because I knew that if I didn't perform or I churned out pure garbage, there wouldn't be eye rolls or otherwise pointed in my direction. Now that I've witnessed the people of integrity on these forums it seems funny that I thought that, but think about when you showed someone (best friend, girlfriend/boyfriend...mom) your first piece of writing. Were you afraid? Were you nervous? Hell yes, you were.

Anyway, it's pretty obvious where I stand. But I'll compete and comment and love this contest no matter what, so however we come to a consensus I'm 100% in. :)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on November 16, 2016, 11:39:50 PM
@Lordoftheword not sure what you mean or understood, when you say "some of us have 5 votes"?

We all have the same amount of votes to cast. It depends on the amount of stories entered each month.
A winning story can have anything to 8-9 votes to 13, in the August month for example. It's the amount of people who cast one of their votes for them.


Also, no I was never nervous showing my work to anyone... Mostly because none of my family or old friend speak enough English to go beyond asking for directions. :D
But again, your entire problem is already solvable, since we always have to option of anonymous submission, as is clearly stated in the rules now each month.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Lady Ty on November 16, 2016, 11:50:36 PM
Personally thought the Anonymous month was fun, I appreciate the effort put in to the tables and the great discussions of who's who, but at this point I'm over it and look forward to seeing the results. I would be sorry if it became permanent.

The following is not meant to be controversial or upset anyone but I feel it needs to be considered.

Maybe everyone should take a step back and decide whether they are only writing for votes or whether they are using the contest club as a vehicle to get their names and work out for everyone to read and acknowledge.  I imagined the writers were really proud to enter and have their name and work associated. 

As a reader I have really enjoyed seeing how some people have developed, expanded their style and content becoming so much better over time. If they are always Anonymous I'm not going back all the time to try and check names to stories from a previous competition, especially with so many entries.

Newcomers who write well often get votes and the number crunchers have already proved this.  If they are shy newcomers the Anonymous option is always there as has been pointed out numerous times. They may then feel more comfortable and decide to  name-up later.

It's also time this suggestion of bias was put to bed, personally think it demeans everyone here.*

@Lordofthe Word
Quote
Being new and with only one vote, I never even considered that some of you have a whopping five votes (I like that system by the way). I certainly wouldn't have any issue picking my absolute favourite story regardless of name. But if I had five votes I might get lazy with my voting and maybe look for name recognition or a friend to toss a vote, regardless of story. I might not even do this on purpose, but if I had to pick from a random person and a friend who had stories of similar quality, I would be inclined to vote for my friend every time.

This is incorrect, you have misinterpreted the rules. Make sure you understand all that is written in the introduction and then ask if you are not sure. The number of votes is only reliant on the number of stories entered. Everyone gets the same number of votes. 

Nor are you compelled to use all the votes available, sometimes people prefer to use less. Rather than being lazy and tossing random votes to friends just vote with fewer votes.

*ETA But also how are you going to cope in RL with reviews on Amazon when you get one star because the postal delivery was too slow or they didn't like the cover? :P

Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Eclipse on November 16, 2016, 11:54:57 PM
I never voted for names, I voted for the story I enjoyed the most.i always seem to vote for a different person each month, I'm more influenced by what the style of the story is, if it was comedic and shared my humour I would always vote for that before a poem or horror.regardless of author
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Eclipse on November 16, 2016, 11:58:33 PM
Overlord doesn't get any money from this site.it relys on donations from members or by buying the fantasy faction anthology.

He started this site after reading a fantasy novel and realised noone he know in real life was into fantasy so made this site so he could talk to others online who are as passionate as he is about fantasy
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on November 17, 2016, 12:00:12 AM
Aye. I only voted for 3 stories this month because of the amount of 'Mmmmh...' in the others. I voted for clear favourites. Best option.

I'm more influenced by what the style of the story is, if it was comedic and shared my humour I would always vote for that before a poem or horror.

(https://m.popkey.co/169e59/GyyE_f-maxage-0.gif)

What.... what abut... comedic horror? I could try... Then after a few month I might convert you to less and less comedy and more horror...  :P
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Lordoftheword on November 17, 2016, 12:04:56 AM
@Lordoftheword not sure what you mean or understood, when you say "some of us have 5 votes"?

We all have the same amount of votes to cast. It depends on the amount of stories entered each month.
A winning story can have anything to 8-9 votes to 13, in the August month for example. It's the amount of people who cast one of their votes for them.


Also, no I was never nervous showing my work to anyone... Mostly because none of my family or old friend speak enough English to go beyond asking for directions. :D
But again, your entire problem is already solvable, since we always have to option of anonymous submission, as is clearly stated in the rules now each month.

Ah I may have misunderstood! I thought I had read on another thread that if you've posted more monthly stories, you receive more votes (ie: If I participated every month I would receive more votes).

Thanks for clarifying @Lady_Ty - for last month's Corpse contest, I cast my vote for one right off the bat then voted...just saw the cancel vote button and now I see the "you may vote for up to 5 entries" option. Thanks again :)

Also @Nora - it's solvable to a point. The anonymous submission option is a good one, but seems a little less likely to get the attention of other people in the forum because it is anonymous. It's like when I used to read Reader's Digest as a kid (yes I did that..lol). A story had less pomp when compared next to the authored titles. The same goes for quotes, or poems, or anything else written for that matter.

I go back to the point about an even playing field for all authors, and that was seriously motivating for me last month. That's just from personal experience, and I do completely respect and understand a lot of the good points you're making as well. But the fun factor of this contest and the final reveal for me is just too climactic to ignore. I may feel differently in a few months or a year from now, but we could always revisit that too :)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Eclipse on November 17, 2016, 12:06:32 AM
Write something like John Carver a serial killer who stops his urges by killing demons masquerading as humans instead while trying to act normal. That's my sort of horror lol

I quite like Dexter the tv series as well  (not the books through)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on November 17, 2016, 12:11:45 AM
Write something like John Carver a serial killer who stops his urges by killing demons masquerading as humans instead while trying to act normal. That's my sort of horror lol

Right...  :o
I think it'll be a hard win, but if I can convert you to the Darkity Dark side, you'll be a major steal...

@Lordoftheword I think Lady_Ty sealed in concrete all I had to say about equality in this forum. Anonymous is always an option for the shyest. Thinking people vote for mates is demeaning to everyone, and browsing through vote results of months past shows little favouritism.
Of course some people are less shy than you, or better writers than you. But many have been writing for years, and the contest is here for us to improve.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Eclipse on November 17, 2016, 12:47:19 AM
I regard all the writers as newbies to me ;-) apart from xia his ancient
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: JMack on November 17, 2016, 02:34:00 AM
I have a suggestion:

All stories are posted as Anonymous.
BUT
The writing contest club mod posts a spoilered list of authors with story titles.
On our honor we don't look in the spoiler until after we've voted.

This solves mostly everything.
> knowing the Author's name has no effect on voting
> those who want to know the name earlier can do so. I like to PM people to say "yay!" if I feel that way.
> those who don't want to know until a big reveal can do that, too

Here's what it doesn't solve.
Anonymous is more work for Xiagan and ScarletBea.
Especially if we ask them to help us edit our stories after we post them.
In a normal month, I do a ton of fixing over several days after posting.

So I think my idea is pretty slick except for needing to hire Xiagan full time.  ;D
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Lanko on November 17, 2016, 02:38:18 AM
Some thoughts about this:

1) More entries than normal: Did Anonymous submission really caused new entries? We have only three first timers. Another (supposed) author (Almighty Zael) is an old member who was inactive and returned. Three others (Captain of the Guard, Osahon and Bradley) made their debut on Pirates and Gem_Cutter on Potions, none of which were compulsory anonymous submissions nor they debuted as Anonymous and there were other debuts who actually didn't enter Corpses.

I credit new blood income more with @Mr.J on Twitter (and others retweeting) than Anonymous submission. We really didn't have much propaganda before, did we? I think it would be interesting to know data of debuts before and after Twitter. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the impression I have.

The Contest Twitter started on June and the number of entries on our current year:

January (4th wall) - 18 entries
February (Fanfic) - 13 entries
March (Nightmares) - 14 entries
April (Dystopia) - 13 entries
May (Fairy Tale) - 11 entries
June (Wikipedia Article) - 12 entries
July (Story Generator) - 13 entries
August (Potions) - 18 entries
September (Pirates) - 17 entries
October (Corpses) - 22 entries

2) We are not discussing stories or writing: As you can see from my detective posts, me and others are clearly enjoying the guessing game.
But that didn't stop me from noticing a very big difference from previous months: we are discussing guesses and possible author names. No one is talking anything about any story or about the writing. Ironically, only Nora actually did - and to point out stories that were not hers.

Contrast that to other months, or even the 1750 Contest. Nora posted a story and right away Gem_Cutter came and commented on it, and now Lordoftheword too.

Now on Corpses we got to the point we can't even say how we liked a certain story or anything about any story "to not influence anyone on anything". I mean, seriously? So it's not only bias some people think it's going around, but that we are also that susceptible to vote or not on stories because of praise or comments of others in the Discussion or Voting thread?
I'm having fun playing Sherlock, but for me there is also a lot of fussiness and other un-fun stuff going on as well.

^This. Once again, I can speak from my experience as a new guy to these forums. I felt "safe" and "comfortable" posting my story here anonymously, because I knew that if I didn't perform or I churned out pure garbage, there wouldn't be eye rolls or otherwise pointed in my direction. Now that I've witnessed the people of integrity on these forums it seems funny that I thought that, but think about when you showed someone (best friend, girlfriend/boyfriend...mom) your first piece of writing. Were you afraid? Were you nervous? Hell yes, you were.

Anyway, it's pretty obvious where I stand. But I'll compete and comment and love this contest no matter what, so however we come to a consensus I'm 100% in. :)

That's quite a curious post, Lord!

You introduced yourself pretty clearly, you are Dustin Bilyk and you have a book called Tournament of Hearts: The Librarian Gladiator. You even have a picture on Amazon! You certainly didn't look like a shy type!

I mean, it's kinda of funny you want anonymity for your virtual nickname you just created to stand in front of your real one! It's like a triple secret identity!
I can understand being a bit cautious before exploring the ambient, but now I'm also curious how you deal with a bad review and stuff like that  ::)

3)Regarding bias:

I'm not gonna post too much regarding this today, but will tomorrow. Probably. I also need to sleep. Anyway...

I think people are using the word "bias" here too widely and even incorrectly. Bias (in this case) is an unfair judgment from the get go, that you simply refuse to believe a new entry can have the same quality as an entry of an old member.

I'm just gonna say there are a lot of people who have been around here for years and only recently got their first win, don't win for a long time or still have to win for the first time.
And a lot of veteran members who alternate doing well in one contest and not too great in the next one.

For me this is proof enough.

"If I have to chose between two stories, and one is from a known member and the other is not, I will most likely consider the person. That's bias!"

No, it's not. First you are assuming everyone has the same line of thinking, same preferences and will all arrive at the same conclusion, which is false.

The fact you are having difficulty in choosing between a veteran and a newbie already proves you gave equal consideration to both and that you are not biased.

If an older member gave for you a slight tip in the balance for the final choice, it still not bias. A story is entertainment for someone and members and their interactions are also part of that entertainment.
On prized contests, you don't know who or how many entered and don't interact with anyone involved. There's also a Committee who doesn't know anyone either and choose the winners. That's not the case here.
And if it were a publisher, if there's one book spot and they have two similar books and one is from John Doe and the other from Joe Abercrombie, guess who is more likely to bite the dust?

Again: Check voting threads and the fact veteran members who only recently got a first win, don't win for a long time or never won at all. This is fact, not hypothesis.

Also, personal preference is a lot different than bias and plays a tremendous influence on anyone's choices. Before we even get to authors, there are styles, tropes, sub-genres and elements used on the stories.
Some people always love comedic stories and always vote for it, while they never have any appeal for others. Some people clearly don't like dark and violent stories, while for others it's their primary preference. Is it bias against certain styles and elements used in a story? No, it's personal preference, and that's the difference.

Maybe people who want their names published should contact Xiagan and Anonymous entries should be default, simply because it's easier for a newbie who just joined and is not familiar with the forum tools and mods. It's also easier for Xiagan to put their names if they ask "hey, I want my name, why my story is Anonymous?" than they trying to figure out they need to contact a mod and there are Anonymous subs.

Anyway, for me people are trying to fix what is not broken, placing mountains where there were none before.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Lordoftheword on November 17, 2016, 05:53:34 AM

^This. Once again, I can speak from my experience as a new guy to these forums. I felt "safe" and "comfortable" posting my story here anonymously, because I knew that if I didn't perform or I churned out pure garbage, there wouldn't be eye rolls or otherwise pointed in my direction. Now that I've witnessed the people of integrity on these forums it seems funny that I thought that, but think about when you showed someone (best friend, girlfriend/boyfriend...mom) your first piece of writing. Were you afraid? Were you nervous? Hell yes, you were.

Anyway, it's pretty obvious where I stand. But I'll compete and comment and love this contest no matter what, so however we come to a consensus I'm 100% in. :)

That's quite a curious post, Lord!

You introduced yourself pretty clearly, you are Dustin Bilyk and you have a book called Tournament of Hearts: The Librarian Gladiator. You even have a picture on Amazon! You certainly didn't look like a shy type!

I mean, it's kinda of funny you want anonymity for your virtual nickname you just created to stand in front of your real one! It's like a triple secret identity!
I can understand being a bit cautious before exploring the ambient, but now I'm also curious how you deal with a bad review and stuff like that  ::)

To your question (was it a question?...) I was definitely a little shy about posting my work here under my name before I got to know folks. The first thing I did when I came to these forums was write a story and enter the contest anonymously. I only introduced myself when I felt comfortable after browsing the forums for a week or so and seeing the kind of people that frequent these boards. It's a different environment for sure. Here I feel I am among peers and other writers, whereas elsewhere (ie: Amazon/Goodreads) they're my readers, and will likely not be potential peers. So yes, I took a bit of caution when exploring the ambient.

To your other "question", I've taken a ton of criticism and bad reviews since I released my book and I've handled it just fine. It comes with the territory, and of course it sucks but that's just part of it. If I opened up a restaurant, some people are going to think the food is terrible and rate the place one star on Yelp. Ditto for anything else where you slap your name on it and share it with the world. If you can't handle that you shouldn't publish in my opinion.

Anyway, not sure if you were taking a dig at me, but I'll just say thanks for the book plug and feel free to call me Dustin if you think I'm loading on too many secret identities  ;)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 17, 2016, 06:21:39 AM
@Lanko Xiagan suggested/requested we not do the praise and critique until after the contest, and no one (that I recall) raised any objections, but I agree, it would have been more fun to do that before we know whose is whose.

If Lord says he felt more comfortable anonymous, for my part, I'll take his word for it. Being able to take criticism doesn't mean life's not better without it :) Did anyone say they submitted because they heard about the contest on Twitter?

And sorry Lanko, everything you wrote about IS bias. It doesn't matter if you started off with it in your head (prejudice), it came down to a tie and you wanted to throw a buddy a bone (favoritism), or because you know a writer is always writing about cool stuff you never pick up on, so you figure some of that stuff is probably in there, so you vote for their story (bias). You can call all this personal preference - it's personal, and it's based on your preferences - but it's not fair if you have a reputation for mediocre stories, or are competing with someone who has a reputation for excellence. Things as minor as uniform color have a measurable bias in the Olympics, so it's not like anyone's a cackling, fun-spoiling favorite-monger, but anonymous is more objective. Because science.

It's not a sin, or a human rights violation, but your example proves it - the publishers pick Abercrombie because they are biased towards profit, and would rather have an author with a readership, because they know readers are biased, too, and would prefer a book with a known name on it over the exact same book without one.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Saraband on November 17, 2016, 09:02:00 AM
But bias can happen in very different ways. It seems that people just assume that if bias did exist, it would mean that we would see more popular folks winning more often... What about negative bias? Surely the opposite can happen, where someone would be undecided between two votes, and decide to give it to a less popular person / a newbie because they might think that everyone will vote for the popular one. This type of bias could serve as an explanation for the same examples that were just used to justify its non-existence.

I don't think I'm enjoying how this discussion is developing, as we're already seeing people on the defensive as if they have to justify their argument with personal reasons.

To me, the most positive outcome in having permanent anonymous submissions would to be to create a less daunting atmosphere for new entries. I understand that you are already free to post anonymously, but it's different to have one or two anonymous submissions each month, compared to having everyone post anonymously. You may feel like people may be suspicious towards your anonymity, even if there is no basis for that. We had more stories this month than in any other contest in the last twelve months, and sure, it may be due to the theme, or a more active Twitter account, or simply the need for escapism from the US election. We don't have a sample big enough to draw any conclusions. But I forced myself to take part this month because of the anonymity side, and I probably wouldn't have written anything if not for the motivation that it gave me to think of this as a fairer contest than ever before.

I for one have admitted before and will do so again, that even if inadvertently, I may find myself choosing one story over another for reasons other than the writing, and anonymity seems to solve that. While I truly try to identify bias when I feel it, it may affect me without me ever noticing it.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on November 17, 2016, 10:02:01 AM
whew.  epic post from east-side london!

I will say that I'm pretty flattered by the people who mistakenly attributed better writers than I to the story I actually wrote.

isn't that the best?!?  i saw my name next to my favorite corpse story (spoiler alert!) and i squealed and about peed myself.


I wonder, @m3mnoch if it might be possible to color code the guesses so that they're linked to the guesser?  Or put it in a table?  Seeing who guessed what is almost as exciting as knowing who actually wrote the thing...

i could totally do that, but i'm not going to.  i want to keep the guessing anonymous, too.  that way, detectives like lanko can't deduce who wrote what by who attributed what to whom.

that being said, i've looked at a few as a qa step to make sure things were working correctly.  my favorite set of guesses?  the ones by "I'm so tempted to type m3mnoch here".

oh, yeah.  don't think i don't see you.

/squintyeye


I have mad love for @m3mnoch and his ebook with-no-authors. Does everyone use that? Probably not, but they should. Because it's awesome.

Bias can come from anywhere and does seep into things you wouldn't expect, even subconsciously. I use the ebook because it helps to maintain that equal footing that I mentioned earlier.

thanks!  that's the version i use too.

i'm not sure if it helps, tho.  after i read a good story, i'll go back and peek at who wrote it.  tho, it does a good job of preventing my bias going into the story and deciding if it's good or not.

it's the relative comparisons when it comes to voting where it's no help at all.  personally, if i like two stories equally, i'll find myself thinking about voting for the author who has had less success, then catch myself and just drop the vote altogether.

because, don't forget, reverse bias is a thing, too.  in a close contest for that last vote, "this author won last month, so i'm going to give someone else a chance" plays a huge part.

that means in my internal fight against bias, often, i don't use all the votes in any given month.


Don't make the mistake of taking one month as data enough to draw outlines. 1750 as a topic is being pretty unpopular right now, like some other topics some people found more restraining and contributed less.

obligatory xkcd image.

(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/extrapolating.png)


Also, most of Gem's points for anonymity can be solved by applying as anonymous any given month.

sure -- for non-regulars or newbies.

if i posted anonymous, everyone would assume one of them was me because i'm currently working on my 18th consecutive entry.  the only way non-compulsory anonymous works for me is if a bunch of us can self-organize together as a group and post anonymously together.


I mostly meant by my wild comment that I thought "influence" of the names had been discussed, and this month's anonymous sub was offered as a non permanent game, because most people had agreed we're only mildly influenced by names.

i think we're all talking about the same thing -- a mild influence.  i don't think anyone actually votes by the names alone.

as an example, for myself, i'm cranky lately in my bias-fight with tebakutis's stories.

if i know the names first, i'll go into his story like, "okay, this month, i'm totally not going to vote for him."  then, i read the story and i'm like, "dammit!  i love this.  totally voting for it."  i try not to vote for him, but in the end, i often can't NOT vote for it.

it's just as bad if i'm using the ebook and don't know the author first.  i'll get to the end and think, "that was really good.  who wrote it?"  when i see tebakutis's name, i go all captain kirk on the situation, shaking my fist at the sky and screaming, "eric!!!"

so, in my relationship with tebakutis's stories, my name bias, while i like to believe it doesn't affect the end results of my voting, it absolutely ends up acutely coloring my judgment.  it comes down to either "aha!  i found a reason not to vote for him!" or "damn!  i love this!"  there's no real middle ground.  there's no real negotiating a close contest for my last vote.  it's either the best or the worst.

back when rukaio was submitting more often, i had basically the same experience, just obviously a different author.


It's also time this suggestion of bias was put to bed, personally think it demeans everyone here.

it's certainly not a conscious bias -- i'm sure none of the voters are consciously picking someone.  it's those tricky unconscious biases that we're talking about.  the ones you don't notice, and therefore think you don't do.


But bias can happen in very different ways.

my favorite example of an unconscious bias?  it's when i explain white privilege to someone who thinks they're above it.  "when you walk down the rx aisle at the grocery store, what color are the band-aids?"


It seems that people just assume that if bias did exist, it would mean that we would see more popular folks winning more often... What about negative bias? Surely the opposite can happen, where someone would be undecided between two votes, and decide to give it to a less popular person / a newbie because they might think that everyone will vote for the popular one. This type of bias could serve as an explanation for the same examples that were just used to justify its non-existence.

ding!

that's my internal bias i fight with the most.


and, finally . . .

my personal opinion on the anonymous posting:  a few times a year, it would be fun.  especially for the more "open" themes.

tho, i think we all agree it's definitely not an option as an every-month kind of thing.  i don't think anyone wants that.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on November 17, 2016, 10:02:25 AM
I follow Jmack on the problem of editing. I edit a lot and felt frustrated by not being able to immediately correct typos or actually change my presentation.
Forced anonimity doesn't solve the issue for people who want to expand their story either. Like I said before, I'm sitting on 4K of writing and like anonymity a lot less for not being able to ask for help with it, than I would otherwise.
What would happen if I said "screw it" and revealed what I wrote 2 weeks before the end of the voting?
How many people do you pro-bias think will change their votes to include my story?

I also don't get why we want so many more newbies. I often read people saying how daunting reading 20 x 1500 words is. Will we be enjoying this as well when we have a casual 30 participants?
I'm not saying we should keep new blood from entering, just that I don't see why we should "put mountains where there were none" on a contest that has a lot of participation and easy to read rules. They clearly explain the possibility of anonymous submission. If all of you people who are fan of that used it, you might be the majority of people.

Then we'd all be happy!

I seriously don't believe in bias. At least not in a way serious enough to change who the winners will be. People can't win with 13 votes after a month with 0 without earning it by skill.
What if we keep seeing Rukaio and Jmack and Tebakutis winning? How many months of the old emperors winning before we think of twisting the contest even more?

I think that life isn't fair, and our contest is about as fair as can be, given that we vote for it ourselves.
If we want absolute fairness, we should write the story, edit it, and then go submit it to Clarkesworld instead of here. Then you don't vote, don't see the others, don't talk to anyone and if you win, you're in Clarkesworld...
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: xiagan on November 17, 2016, 10:23:16 AM
I'm pretty sure nearly everything is said - just not by everybody. ;)

I'm at work so I can't match your long posts.

We won't find a solution to make everybody happy - we aren't in fairyland.
I agree with nearly all points made for both sides, which makes me pretty undecided on that topic.

What do you think about having every third/fourth month anonymous?
After a year we can look back and maybe see a bit better what worked and why and what didn't and why not.

Will maybe write some more thoughts later. Depends on if Linus lets me or not. ;)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: JMack on November 17, 2016, 10:40:27 AM
I think I'll just repeat my last post.  8)

 It, yes, I'm with Xiagan.
Full-on enrobed secrecy once a quarter.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Captain of the Guard on November 17, 2016, 12:02:45 PM
I think I'll just repeat my last post.  8)

 It, yes, I'm with Xiagan.
Full-on enrobed secrecy once a quarter.

I second the motion !  :)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Lordoftheword on November 17, 2016, 01:50:24 PM
I think I'll just repeat my last post.  8)

 It, yes, I'm with Xiagan.
Full-on enrobed secrecy once a quarter.

I second the motion !  :)

Third it! I think that's a fantastic compromise :)
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: tebakutis on November 17, 2016, 03:16:17 PM
I think I'll just repeat my last post.  8)

 It, yes, I'm with Xiagan.
Full-on enrobed secrecy once a quarter.

While I don't feel strongly about it, I have really enjoyed the speculation induced by "Anonymous Month", but also agree with points made that it's a lot of work to do every month. From reading the comments, it seems like a decent number of people don't want to do the Anonymous thing globally. So I endorse the once a year idea.

That way, "Anonymous Month" will be a fun one-off to look forward to each year, but we won't be adding a lot of work, and since is isn't mandatory the other 11 months, we will be mostly keeping folks happy.

As far as solving issues like Lord mentioned (where he wanted to be Anonymous for his first submission) we still have voluntary Anonymous (you can submit any story Anonymously through Xiagan, you just don't have to) to handle that in any other month.

So I like the idea of one month a year being Anonymous Month. Also, because it's proven so fun, I say we embrace the "guess who wrote what" angle, and maybe actually have another "winner" during Anonymous Month - the person with most correct author guesses (that is, if @m3mnoch is okay with doing his awesome web magic once a year for the vote tallies so we can track that).
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 17, 2016, 03:26:55 PM
No one should feel demeaned by confronting the fact that people, ALL PEOPLE, experience bias - it's a thing, like right-or-left handedness, liking jazz, or having an allergy. It's not a character flaw. Three or four people have described how their decisions are influenced by the names of people, and no one appears the worse for wear, even if they're not riding white chargers across the moral high ground.

Methinks those against dost protest too much. The more passionately people argue against anonymous, the more they prove it's necessary. People complain when they feel they are losing something. So if there's nothing to be gained from using one's name - what's lost? It clearly isn't nothing, so what is it? C'mon ... you know what it is... you can say it. I mean, don't type it, that's crazy. But you can say it.

Blind-judging is obviously more objective - it's a real thing used by real people when they really want to be objective and fair. So what's wrong with that? There's the real heart of the issue, which no one has effectively explained - the delay in recognition? Really?

I liked "contest" better than "club" - a club has members, and a contest has winners. Contests are supposed to be fair and objective. Clubs are literally the opposite. Clubs are synonymous with a clique. The only difference is clubs have better facilities, and a clique is less permanent.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on November 17, 2016, 03:51:29 PM
Quote
The more passionately people argue against anonymous, the more they prove it's necessary

Okay... Following this logic, the more people argue against slavery, the more you prove it's necessary. [apply to any negative thing ever].

People voice their opinion strongly on things they feel strongly about. I've been in this contest for 2 years. I never sensed an issue. I think steps have been taken for those who did and a yearly Anonymous event while Anon sub remains a permanent option sounds lovely.

Quote
So if there's nothing to be gained from using one's name - what's lost? It clearly isn't nothing, so what is it? C'mon ... you know what it is... you can say it.

I feel like we've been going about what is lost in every single post we wrote. You can re-read the last two pages.

I personally can add that I feel baffled by people's want for anonymity if their goal is to make a career as a writer. Don't you want your name out there? Isn't associating your work to your pen integral part of being a published author? Why is pride such an issue? Lack of confidence is something to fight, not to foster.
Anonymous subs are always an option for the shyest, we've said so.
Those who don't care about such worldly things and only contribute here as a hobby have little reason to get nervous about associating work with (their already quite anonymous) nickname.

Why do you want to take away something from people who never saw a problem with it?
This entire identity crisis dumbfounds me.

I protest a lot because if the contests were to become permanently anonymous, I'd write my piece for everyone of them and go submit it to a professional publication first, and submit it here on last day if I couldn't get it published by professionals. Because what would be the point then of having a community when we spend two months not knowing who wrote what?
If you want to turn this into something akin to the literrary mags, I will go and submit to them, because then I'd be in a magazine and have money for my writing.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 17, 2016, 05:03:37 PM
Anonymous doesn't / shouldn't impact the decision of where and when a writer submits, as all that applies either way.

I will concede - there's more passion for status quo and butthurt feelings about the melodrama of having to wait for praise. So I'll agree to disagree and move on. But know that the more you go on, the more I see a handful of regulars arguing against preventing bias and favoritism, which is not exactly the same, but is a close cousin of arguing for it.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Lanko on November 17, 2016, 05:29:02 PM
And sorry Lanko, everything you wrote about IS bias. It doesn't matter if you started off with it in your head (prejudice), it came down to a tie and you wanted to throw a buddy a bone (favoritism), or because you know a writer is always writing about cool stuff you never pick up on, so you figure some of that stuff is probably in there, so you vote for their story (bias).

No, it's not.

People may like or not like certain aspects or elements in their stories, be it darkness, extreme violence, profanity, romance or comedy. That's their preference.
If I use those elements in my story, and later people tell me they didn't vote for it because it wasn't for them, I'm not calling anyone biased because of it. You simply can't appeal to everyone.

Others may say that Fantasy isn't as appealing to them as Horror, or Romance, or Science Fiction. That's preference.

I remember when Terry Pratchett died, and one "critic" at The Guardian completely bashed his work and his fans, because for that critic Fantasy was for children, magic and make-believe worlds absurd and Fantasy would never have the same depth and writing as "true Literature" would. The funny thing? He had never read anything of Pratchett's. Now that's bias. And as fellow Fantasy fans, I'm sure you can easily find similar people around.

You can call all this personal preference - it's personal, and it's based on your preferences - but it's not fair if you have a reputation for mediocre stories

Since you said that, now I'm gonna call you on it and ask you what are those mediocre stories and if they received large amount of votes because of the author's name.
And what science you used to determine its supposed mediocrity and voting bias.

You can call all this personal preference - it's personal, and it's based on your preferences - but it's not fair if you  are competing with someone who has a reputation for excellence. Things as minor as uniform color have a measurable bias in the Olympics, so it's not like anyone's a cackling, fun-spoiling favorite-monger, but anonymous is more objective. Because science.

How is that so?

Some people are here for years, with 10+ or 20+ submissions. Some people are published authors. Others may be writing their very first piece. Of course it's more likely to be differences in skill and execution.

What would be fair to you? Put entries of published authors in one group, unpublished past winners and veterans in another and newbies in yet another?

Oh wait, there are some months where newbies have way more votes than those veterans or published authors. Another refute of the whole bias thing.

When I entered I was another newbie going against way more experienced people, and most likely they too passed through the same thing. I had to learn and adapt to the format, do things differently, have structure, make every word count. It isn't a quick process, it doesn't happen from one month to the next. And it's invaluable to pass such skills to long form, which is my long term plan and objective.

And if I simply think that my stories were not receiving votes from 10 or 20 other people because they were going automatically for older members simply because of name, then the biased one would be me, not the other 10 or 20 people around.

I like having to make every word count and work my ass off to be able to compete against the more experienced and more advanced members. It's how you improve.

Also, there's nothing objective or scientific about book and story reading. If anything, it's one of the most subjective things out there. You can absolutely love what other person hated and vice-versa for absolutely different reasons.
Just like people can vote (or not) for the same story for different reasons and preferences.

Also, this "judging by the writing" is not free of its own biases and personal pet peeves as well. I'm sure we have plenty of them from writers books, blogs, publishers, agents, editor and even other writers.

"Don't start describing the weather", "Don't use too many POVs", "You are telling too much", "Don't use adverbs", "Don't use second person", "This is too flowery!", "Don't do this and that".
Authors break those rules all the time and can be extremely successful in doing so as well.

So "judging only by writing" isn't this "absolute neutral free of bias" people are making it out to be. You have your own preferences about various aspects of the craft as well.
Those things I mentioned could make you cringe and make a story lose a lot of points with you, but someone else may simply not care. Why is that not considered bias by you as well?

Also, if someone is really that biased towards or against someone, anonymity does really nothing for the problem. They will continue to vote (or refuse to vote) for that specific author, the only difference is that it's now happening by chance and may affect different people (if they can't simply identify easily whoever is their "target").

Personal preference (theme, style, voice, etc) will have far more impact on your voting.

I will say to any newcomer that you have nothing to worry, being pretty much a newcomer myself, with 9 or 10 entries. There are people here with 20+ over years of submissions.

There was never a winner that I didn't vote for or that I felt it didn't deserve even if I didn't vote for it myself. There are plenty of first time winners this year, which disproves positive bias towards others, and veterans winning for a second or third time, which also disproves negative bias.
There are veterans who haven't won for a very long time, who had their first victory recently and very old members who write very well and still have yet to win.

This contest is on it's SIXTH YEAR. That's right, that's more than HALF A DECADE. It will complete 72 different contests by December.
And with 72 contests over more than half a decade, do you know how many victories the top author has? Five. Yes, five.

So rest assured and go write and then submit! Then analyze, ask, practice, and write again and submit again!
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on November 17, 2016, 06:49:03 PM
This contest is on it's SIXTH YEAR. That's right, that's more than HALF A DECADE. It will complete 72 different contests by December.
And with 72 contests over more than half a decade, do you know how many victories the top author has? Five. Yes, five.

So rest assured and go write and then submit! Then analyze, ask, practice, and write again and submit again!

Amen.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 17, 2016, 08:14:53 PM
Wow! You win. You've convinced me there's no bias here relating to authors.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Nora on November 17, 2016, 08:24:22 PM
Again, pretty sure Lanko is not saying there is no Bias. Like most others who have sided that way, he's saying there is not enough to matter, or that it's inescapable. He's arguing that bias should not be taken into account when discussing the merits of Anon submissions, because it's too marginal, and like Lady_Ty said, an insult to us all to consider we're so incapable of knowing and acting better.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Eclipse on November 17, 2016, 08:24:49 PM
There is no need to be sarcastic just agree to disagree and move on.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Saraband on November 17, 2016, 09:09:28 PM
There is no need to be sarcastic just agree to disagree and move on.

Hear, hear. We can sit here all day screaming why we are right and everyone else is wrong, or simply accept that there is no wrong or right here, it's simply a matter of personal opinion. If the majority agree that there's no need to change, perfect. There's no point in repeating the same arguments in the hope that they turn into dogma.

And thanks for the long analysis, @Lanko  :) It just shows that, either way, there's no need to be so defensive about this, no matter where you stand. The contest has been working fine and that is what should matter.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: J.R. Darewood on November 18, 2016, 12:51:33 AM
Man, I was busy packing and I missed the fight!!!

It looks like there's two camps 1) pro-Anonymous subs b/c bias and 2) anti-Anonymous subs b/c... don't care about bias. Maybe there should be a third camp... 3) Anyone else besides me not care about bias but still like Anon subs?

Of course we all experience bias, but when I see someone vote for a story I didn't vote for, I don't assume they were biased, b/c obviously if they don't agree with me they just have shit taste (kidding!!!!!  Joking!!! ...sort of...)  In all honesty, as great as being bias-free would be I think you could drive yourself crazy trying to eliminate bias.  And given that there aren't cash awards for the winner, idk if you wanna bend over backwards trying to make the contest super pure.

That said guessing who was who was super fun!!! Having to wait 60 days to be able to comment on any of the stories and not being able to say who or what you thought royally sucks tho....  What if it was automatically anonymous for everyone but if say Nora wanted everyone to know who's hers was, she could give it a week or a day or 60 seconds and be like "yo, I wrote this one!"  and at any time she could do whatever she wanted with the prose she's working on outside as well.  Sooooo.... it's sort of the same as you always do (voluntarily anonymous), but it's anonymous by default so it's actually voluntarily non-anonymous? 

Just a thought....  I'm full of dumb ideas so, feel free to disregard.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 18, 2016, 02:34:55 AM
It looks like there's two camps 1) pro-Anonymous subs b/c bias and 2) anti-Anonymous subs b/c... don't care about bias. Maybe there should be a third camp... 3) Anyone else besides me not care about bias but still like Anon subs?
Since I was the most vocal/only member of camp 1, Bradley, I request a different phrasing: "pro-Anon subs b/c it's more objective."  This is in line with my original statement "I am not suggesting we are overrun by bias, I am suggesting we are not immune from it."
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: J.R. Darewood on November 18, 2016, 03:54:16 AM
Hahahahahaha. I'm an anthropologist so for us objectivity is a dirty word ;). But we're weirdos.

Unrelated aside: I got to the airport at 3:45... Every half hour we were told "not yet" until 7:00... When we sat on a plane to be deiced for an hour. We just landed in Denver but since the problem was here, we've been stuck waiting to get to the gate for over an hour. No idea if my connecting flight to LA will even be here.... FML
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: xiagan on November 18, 2016, 03:56:16 AM
Maybe we can agree that nobody is immune to (negative and positive) bias  but the impact on the contest is so small that it doesn't really matter (or balances out ;)).

There are thousands of factors like taste, current mood, author hit/missed the subject or formatting/typos that affect how one casts his vote more than who wrote it.

I still like to have anonymous submissions from time to time. :)

PS: Bradley, I'm a (cultural/social) anthropologist too! Not working in that field, though.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: J.R. Darewood on November 18, 2016, 04:26:54 AM

I still like to have anonymous submissions from time to time. :)

PS: Bradley, I'm a (cultural/social) anthropologist too! Not working in that field, though.

Really???? What do you do these days?

I usually work w NGOs but right now I'm just coming back from teaching an intensive course in applying anthropology to global problems-- tho my plane has been stuck on the tarmack in Denver w no un boarding in sight and my connecting flight left. They wanna send me to SF and then have a lay over there for 3 hrs... Heeeelllll naw
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: ScarletBea on November 18, 2016, 06:26:30 AM
There are thousands of factors like taste, current mood, author hit/missed the subject or formatting/typos that affect how one casts his vote more than who wrote it.
These are exactly what I base my votes on, not the author.

Quote
Maybe we can agree that nobody is immune to (negative and positive) bias  but the impact on the contest is so small that it doesn't really matter (or balances out ;)).
Yup.

Quote from: Saraband
We can sit here all day screaming why we are right and everyone else is wrong, or simply accept that there is no wrong or right here, it's simply a matter of personal opinion.
I'm getting to this point too. I think basically all arguments have been stated and we're now just kinda going around in circles, and maybe even getting upset :-\
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: The Gem Cutter on November 18, 2016, 06:31:31 AM
Really???? What do you do these days?

I usually work w NGOs but right now I'm just coming back from teaching an intensive course in applying anthropology to global problems-- tho my plane has been stuck on the tarmack in Denver w no un boarding in sight and my connecting flight left. They wanna send me to SF and then have a lay over there for 3 hrs... Heeeelllll naw
Getting sleepy, I misread that entirely. When I read "SF" I see "Special Forces", who employ a fair number of anthropologists and work with a lot of NGOs in rough places. Coupled with the "Heeeelll naw" I imagined an entirely different "they"  ;D
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: m3mnoch on November 18, 2016, 09:02:42 AM
It looks like there's two camps 1) pro-Anonymous subs b/c bias and 2) anti-Anonymous subs b/c... don't care about bias. Maybe there should be a third camp... 3) Anyone else besides me not care about bias but still like Anon subs?

oooh!  oooh!  i think i'm a #3!

while i acknowledge bias, i don't care about it when it comes to the contest because i don't believe anyone here is manipulative about it -- i like the thought of an occasional, all-anonymous submission because it's fun.  but, if we do it all the time, it'll become less fun.

besides, i already know everyone here thinks i'm obviously the best writer ever and that i never miss big, glaring plot-holes or anything and they're only voting for other writers just to give them a chance.  and, i think that's really thoughtful of them.

[insert photo of me giggling like a schoolgirl here]
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Eclipse on November 18, 2016, 11:38:05 AM
  we're now just kinda going around in circles

You being biased to circles there's other shapes you could use.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Raptori on November 18, 2016, 05:09:58 PM
that being said, i've looked at a few as a qa step to make sure things were working correctly.  my favorite set of guesses?  the ones by "I'm so tempted to type m3mnoch here".

oh, yeah.  don't think i don't see you.

/squintyeye
Who on earth would do such a thing? (http://www.picgifs.com/smileys/smileys-and-emoticons/whistling/smileys-whistling-823718.gif)

It looks like there's two camps 1) pro-Anonymous subs b/c bias and 2) anti-Anonymous subs b/c... don't care about bias. Maybe there should be a third camp... 3) Anyone else besides me not care about bias but still like Anon subs?

oooh!  oooh!  i think i'm a #3!

while i acknowledge bias, i don't care about it when it comes to the contest because i don't believe anyone here is manipulative about it -- i like the thought of an occasional, all-anonymous submission because it's fun.  but, if we do it all the time, it'll become less fun.
Same here - it's not a big deal either way, but anonymous is more fun. It'd probably get tiring if it was every time, so once every three months sounds perfect.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: J.R. Darewood on November 18, 2016, 05:35:46 PM
Getting sleepy, I misread that entirely. When I read "SF" I see "Special Forces", who employ a fair number of anthropologists and work with a lot of NGOs in rough places. Coupled with the "Heeeelll naw" I imagined an entirely different "they"  ;D

Human Terrain Systems? Nooooooooooooooooo... not for me. What I do would be impossible if people thought I was connected to the US govt. (aaaand I'll do my best to be polite and keep my opinions of the quality of that work to myself), and I have had to spend way too many hours of my life convincing people I'm not CIA.

Much more harrowing that being a special forces anthropologist-- like the third flight I got put on was cancelled last night and I'm STILL stranded in Denver... no open seats on a flight until 10pm.  There's ice and snow and shit here, it's awful.  They're claiming it was the weather (and not the fact they had no deicer) so they didn't give us accommodation  >:( >:( >:(
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: Peat on November 18, 2016, 07:24:56 PM
It looks like there's two camps 1) pro-Anonymous subs b/c bias and 2) anti-Anonymous subs b/c... don't care about bias. Maybe there should be a third camp... 3) Anyone else besides me not care about bias but still like Anon subs?
Since I was the most vocal/only member of camp 1, Bradley, I request a different phrasing: "pro-Anon subs b/c it's more objective."  This is in line with my original statement "I am not suggesting we are overrun by bias, I am suggesting we are not immune from it."

*shrugs* For what its worth, I was in camp 1 originally. I then switched to anti-Anonymous subs when it became clear that bias wasn't perceived as a big deal.

Insofar as I can tell, camp 3 is the majority view here.
Title: Re: Anonymous Submission
Post by: xiagan on November 18, 2016, 08:08:44 PM
Really???? What do you do these days?
Oh well, after I got my master I decided against working in the field (reading about your job kinda makes me glad I did) and I'm the manager of a completely organic supermarket now. Has its downs too but is in general quite good.