referees: (saso 2016)
SASO Referees ([personal profile] referees) wrote in [community profile] sportsanime2016-08-27 04:44 pm
Entry tags:

SASO 2016: Talkback


This post is closed; thank you for your feedback. If you would like to provide constructive criticism, please contact the mods directly. All further replies to this entry are screened.

The mods still plan to reply to the topics listed at the bottom of the post.


This is not the final wrap-up results/etc. post—that's coming in a couple of days. But while the mods tabulate final scores and create prize graphics, now's a good time to look back and reflect on your SASO 2016 experience.

Please leave comments giving us feedback on the event this year! What did you like? What did you dislike or find frustrating? What can we improve for next year, and how can we improve it? What was your favorite part of the event? Least favorite? Would you participate next year or not? Why? If you could mention your team when making your comment, we'd appreciate it.

If you would prefer to submit your comments in private, you can e-mail us at or send us a Dreamwidth PM. We would prefer it if you'd put "Talkback" in the subject line.

Here's what the mod team plans to improve for next year:
  • Voting program reliability. We'd like to apologize again for all of the server dowtnime, and definitely plan to make it much more stable for next year. The voting system in general, though, will remain the same.

  • Bonus round program reliability. We think we got most of the kinks out during this year, but want to keep it stable for next year too.

  • Dreamwidth capability for NSFW cross-posting. We didn't have time to implement it this year, but next year it should be ready to go.

  • Clarifying the rules, especially on what "popular culture media" is acceptable to include in SASO work.
We also wanted to thank you again for being patient with us this year. We had a lot of technical hiccups, and you were all so kind while our heroic codermods worked out the kinks. We really appreciated your support.


Mod Replies: (updated 12:55PM EDT 8/28/16)

Please note that inclusion of a topic on this list indicates that we're going to address it, not that we've made any decisions on judging/implementing or not implementing it.

The preliminary vote system
Triggers in a participant's assigned vote pool
Juried panel (having the mods decide which entries were the best)
Voting mechanics
Bonus Rounds:
Promptless rounds
One day break between bonus rounds
Bonus round prompt and fill tracking/filtering
Recs round work count
Image size limit
Remix round
Remix/rec round timing
Rec round
Quality control (both prompts and fills)
What is allowed as a fill (tags and ratings)
Unscreening bonus rounds
Fairness to small teams
Comment screening
Main Rounds:
The anonymity policy
Twitter tone
What information gets posted where
Considering a dreamwidth announcement community
Mod participation in the event
catlarks: (SASO: Cards)

(frozen comment) Team Miyuki Kazuya/Miyuki Kazuya's Captain, Checking In!

[personal profile] catlarks 2016-08-27 11:06 pm (UTC)(link)
First and foremost: Thank you so much to all of the mods for running this event for everyone!

I know that so much time and effort and sheer hard work goes into moderating an event of this scope and I really don't think the mods are thanked nearly enough for taking time out of their lives to orchestrate things. You guys work so hard for us and I for one am incredibly grateful.

As somone who's participated in the precursor event since 2013 the thing I appreciated most this year is EDITING PERIOD AFTER MAIN ROUND ENTRIES ARE DUE. Having that extra time to finalize art and polish up prose was so, so helpful to my team, even just compared to last year. I'm incredibly proud of what my team produced in main rounds and we owe a lot to the editing period.

I'm one of the people who absolutely loathed NSFW posting to AO3 so like, I know this is being addressed, but I am super grateful for a dreamwidth option next year. It really sucked that for risque cosplay fills I could shove those wherever and throw up a link, but writing was held to a different, "higher" (harder) standard. Being able to post to DW instead of AO3 matters a lot to me.

The thing I appreciated the LEAST this year was (no surprise) some of the ways information was communicated to the users. SASO has a twitter and a tumblr for announcements, which can be a good system: twitter for fast updates that will quickly become irrelevant, tumblr for more lasting announcements in a place where they'll be easy to find and refer back to. I feel that this year there were quite a few updates ONLY made to twitter which should also have been posted to tumblr.

Personally, I would prefer a DW announcements community, much like a lot of AO3 gift exchanges use DW for announcements and tumblr only for advertising, or with crossposts. DW allows users to subscribe to a community's updates; for users who want email announcements, a DW comm would allow that without the mods having to maintain an email list.

Considering this was my fourth year participating in an event with this style, I absolutely will be back next year. That said... I feel like this year was competitive above and beyond the level of any previous event. Some of that was a lot of fun! But I also really want to make a blanket "Remember, you win nothing!!" statement to everyone who began taking the competition a little too seriously. SASO/HSWC has always been fandom "Who's Line" — everything's made up and the points don't matter. The points are there to motivate you to create the best stuff you can. Beyond that, everything is just icing.

And this is very personal and subjective, but I feel there should be a hard cap on recs round fills. I know this is a little hypocritical, because my team was one of those using recs round as an opportunity to "make up" points from not creating as many fills in other bonus rounds as we would like. But I feel that even while writing an ungodly number of recs, I still worked hard to make sure every, single, one, was something the original creator would be happy to read, whereas some recs I saw from other teams took "two sentences" to mean "three words is totally a sentence let's grind out recs as fast as possible for points!!"

One of my teammates received one of those recs that was all emotes and no substance and confided to me that it felt more like an insult than a compliment. I don't intend to ever "go hard" on recs round again but I know that won't stop people in the future, so I beg of you: hard cap on recs. In my opinion, this will still motivate people to make recs, because we'll do a lot for (Jihye voice) ten points, but will decrease the likelihood of people making empty recs just for the points.

Anyway, I believe these are the majority of my thoughts on this year's SASO! I genuinely believe that despite how many hiccups there were, they were largely things that can be accounted for next year and which returning users won't have to worry about. I look forward to seeing everyone in summer 2017~

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[personal profile] catlarks - 2016-08-28 01:19 (UTC) - Expand
platina: (Default)

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[personal profile] platina 2016-08-27 11:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Why is it not possible for us to actually vote for something we like in the prelims? I get the equal exposure for everything yadda yadda thing, but I sometimes end up with mainly stuff I don't really care for at all. I feel like you should have at least one option to actually vote for something you want really like and isn't on the list.

I just.. honestly don't see the point of voting if I cannot vote for what I really want to vote for or have to vote for something can't properly judge anyway if I'm not familiar with the canon. I think it's also a measure that can actually backfire for some teams, especially overall less popular teams that, however, do have a fixed support base who cannot help them out because their supporters can't vote for them.

Voting is biased as is anyway (be it because it's simply the fandom you prefer, oh look girls!, or other reasons), why make it even more complicated.

also, fuck remixes.

My favourite part of SASO is being forced to create, especially the main rounds. That's what I signed up for. I'd never make a VN or video in a month, as short as it is, without the deadline pressure of the event. I love that. It's fun just for the sake of creating, because I never expected much from the votes anyway.

During bonus rounds, however, I do struggle with the quantity>quality approach. I made some really shitty fills I'm not too proud of just so my team could scratch the 20 fill mark (which are a lot, even among 8 people when RL and MR are a thing as well) only to realize we are way behind other teams and their 50ish fills. It was kind of discouraging, haha.
Edited 2016-08-28 04:20 (UTC)
adamantine: (miwa shirow girl)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] adamantine 2016-08-27 11:21 pm (UTC)(link)
(team matsuoka rin/nanase haruka)

Yeah, so my big issues with preliminary voting is getting entries with triggers I'm not touching. I think we should be allowed to request not getting entries with certain tags beforehand for our ten random entries, please ;___;

ETA: Half of my fun with bonus rounds was making prompts since I like ships that aren't popular. Once we didn't have prompts anymore I kind of lost interest in everything everyone else was doing for the bonus rounds and was only focused on myself, kind of making it a lonely round (and I loved the theme of the round!). So yeah, not a fan of promptless rounds.

I also understand the idea of not letting us remix teammates work but. I'd rather not do a remix round at all then and instead do something else.
Edited 2016-08-27 23:35 (UTC)
catlarks: (SASO: Cards)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] catlarks 2016-08-28 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
Chimes in to add, I think having two promptless rounds in a ROW was hard. I actually loved the theme of mythology and love remixes, but having them back to back was really rough and did feel really isolated for me, too.

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tempestuously: ([as] no remorse cause i still remember)

(frozen comment) Team Grandstand

[personal profile] tempestuously 2016-08-27 11:23 pm (UTC)(link)
I wanted to address some issues about grandstand and MR2 participation. I have read several of the mods' Tumblr rundowns on waning participation in MR2. As a Grandstand participant, I can safely say that I lost a lot of motivation for following this contest once it was clear that Grandstand no longer had a role in the Bonus Rounds. From the Fantasy Bonus Round on, Grandstand had nothing to do but vote. Which made it very hard to stay interested long enough to vote. I believe that allowing Grandstand to participate through providing prompts throughout the contest would help with this matter. It was so disheartening to not be able to contribute to the contest for pretty much a month and then be expected to care enough to review/vote on the contestants. I get that remixes and recs and the like can be fun, but I would like to see more Grandstand-friendly options for the second half of the contest in future runs.

On this note, as someone who reviewed every single entry in every round to ensure fair voting, it was deeply frustrating to rarely be able to vote for the 3 teams I most enjoyed. I get what you're trying to do in giving everyone a fair shake, but I want to be able to give support the teams that I most enjoyed. I understand the concern is people voting for their favorites and not being impartial, but that's going to happen regardless of what measures you take to mitigate it. Either you hold participants to their integrity or recognize that a game like this will always face a highly "popular" slant. The current system doesn't quite reflect the true spirit of voting.
prillalar: (Default)

(frozen comment) Team Kuroo Tetsurou/Tsukishima Kei

[personal profile] prillalar 2016-08-27 11:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Mods, thank you SO much for all your hard work in running such a great event! I had a really fantastic time, met a bunch of awesome people, and will definitely participate again.

My main frustration was I wanted to read and comment more in the bonus rounds but it was hard to find fills to read without going through all the prompts pages again and again. It would be great to have a fills post for each BR, like a kinkmeme, where people could optionally post their fills for more exposure.
catlarks: (SASO: Cards)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] catlarks 2016-08-28 01:23 am (UTC)(link)
FWIW, I would also love a post on the main comm for cross-posting bonus round fills. IMO it shouldn't be difficult to maintain, because it's entirely optional, doesn't need to be carded through in any way for points/scoring, and could be used across every single bonus round. And it WOULD make it so easy to just see content and not unfilled prompts: top level comments is your best friend here.

(also, encouraging people to use kink-meme-esque subject lines since it's not for points! It would be sooooo much easier to find ships and themes you like that way.)

(frozen comment) Re: Team Kuroo Tetsurou/Tsukishima Kei

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starrwinter: (Default)

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[personal profile] starrwinter 2016-08-27 11:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I just wanted to start off with sending nothing but love to all of the refs, coders, organizers and MVPs behind the seams of SASO for your tireless work (and wrangling those damn voting form monsters for all of us!)

Now my points are going to be on the voting system, but adding in a couple of possible suggestions if we are keeping the same prelim voting system for next year.

I was upset and very choked for the voting rounds when I saw the voting choices (and always secretly scared the three I really wanted to get to the top 15 wouldn't make it through). They did in both rounds, but my stomach rolled over the possibly a team might lose a spot by the one vote I couldn't provide with the 10 screened choices.

So as s possible add-in, I was wondering if either a 'fan favorite' or 'team grandstand mvp' type choice could be added in? One extra vote for the top team out of ALL voting options (minus your own team of course) that you would vote for over all others. It would have to be different than your top 3 choices of the given 10 votes. And possibly after the top 15 have been determined by overall votes, then the 'fan favorite' can be a #16 or for special bonus round points.

Was also thinking maybe this same type of 'Bonus Round MVP' for a top choice in bonus round contributors for extra points at the end of each round that everyone could vote on.

But overall I had SO MUCH FUN this summer participating, and will be back next year for more fun (and smut!) ❤️
platina: (Default)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] platina 2016-08-28 03:48 am (UTC)(link)
I'm not sure what the fan favourite would be good for? Popular ships/fandoms will still get the most points, simply because they have a more fans in the overall mass of participants.

If the point of prelims is exposure but you still want to be able to let people vote for their favorite, then either replace one of the votes or add a 4th vote for a ship of the voter's choice that gets tallied normally with all other votes while still forcing you to pick the rest from your list.

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mother_herbivore: (Default)

(frozen comment) Team Grandstand

[personal profile] mother_herbivore 2016-08-28 12:26 am (UTC)(link)
this was my first SASO, and i loved it! the mods did an amazing job running everything despite the technical difficulties, and they responded to all my questions in a timely manner. above all, they were approachable, which is really important to me, personally; in other events i've participated in, sometimes the mods have seemed a little intimidating and i hesitated to talk to them, but i didn't have that problem with SASO mods! i truly appreciate their hard work c:

the myth & lore bonus round was a bit rough; i think that the theme was good, but the "no prompts" thing made it really difficult. without prompts to fill, i was just tossing stuff out there with no reaction, which was discouraging. i really like the giving/receiving aspect of the other bonus rounds

i liked the voting system; i've always felt that it's unfair how fandom ignores rarepair content but totally loses it over (sometimes mediocre or even bad) content of popular pairings, and, considering how small some of the fandoms in this event are, i think that the randomized voting system was a good choice. i wasn't familiar with several of the fandoms in the main rounds, and wasn't interested in many of the pairings, but the voting list motivated me to look at the entries and the workmanship in them. it lowers the chances of people just going "THIS ONE IS MY OTP, THIS IS WHAT I SHALL VOTE FOR" and kind of forces them to judge the content. and honestly, if someone wants to let a team know they loved their entry, but didn't get them in their voting list, then they can leave a comment on the entry! i think the teams will remember a nice comment a lot more than a vote.

i also loved the mods on twitter. you all kept it fun, inclusive, and still informative.

i'll definitely be back next year! overall i really enjoyed participating, and i look forward to next year :3
hapaxlegomenon: (Default)

(frozen comment) Re: Team Grandstand

[personal profile] hapaxlegomenon 2016-08-28 03:06 am (UTC)(link)
I'm glad you're planning on coming back, you did a lot of really awesome stuff this year!
yusukesjeans: (Default)

(frozen comment) Team Grandstand

[personal profile] yusukesjeans 2016-08-28 01:04 am (UTC)(link)
Seconding the comment above mine! I think the randomized prelim votes 1) gave me some actual focus since there's no way I have time to read everyone's work as much as I want to 2) allowed me to evaluate more on worksmanship. There were many entries each round that I enjoyed a great deal despite not knowing the canon.

I think the remix round is a super fun idea but it is tough to keep up on everything to know what I'd want to remix and coming into that right off of another promptless round it was tough to build up my steam again. In the end I never did but I know a lot of that is on me and next year I'll know more about what to expect (no wonder you all love your spreadsheets and lists of prompts).

Thanks mods for all of your time and hard work!! This was a lot of fun, I pushed myself a lot creatively, and got to know a lot of cool people! Seeing all the main round works come together makes me really want to challenge myself to join a team next year.

Edit: I never really checked the tumblr so I can't speak to that but I do feel like the official Twitter got a little too meme-y sometimes? Knowing I could have fun with the mods was definitely fun but even knowing some of you guys it DID have times where it felt a little in-joke heavy.
Edited 2016-08-28 04:49 (UTC)
kazuyaloveseijun: (Default)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] kazuyaloveseijun 2016-08-28 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
Someone already said this but I want to agree that a way to weed out tags in prelim voting would be nice; both rounds I had entries that I couldn't read because the tags were Nopes for me so letting people who are alright with the content judge them properly seems best.
The anonymity rule seems silly to me. I understand why it's there but looking at art and reading words (if you're familiar with the writers) is really easy to tell who did what. Preventing popular participants from getting votes because they're popular is kind of defeated by people RTing to their followers anyway.
A few bonus round suggestions:

Quality control. One fill I received was just a picture of the gift + tag in the gift tag round and it was disheartening to know that got the same amount of points as things that people obviously put a lot of work into. Many of the photo fills and poetry fills were low quality. For example, poetry fills that were just prose broken into lines, if you reformatted it they'd be 3-4 sentences of an unfinished fic, or read like an outline or fic summary. I feel like changing 14 lines of poetry = 400 words of prose might help that. Poetry fills should have to be longer, or prose fills shorter, I think.

Point gradient. This might help with quality control. I suggest that different types of fills receive different amounts of points. Example: rough sketch might be 5 points, 10 for lined and colored art. Same with word count. It would let people choose whether they want to make a bunch of small, low point fills or put a lot of time and effort into something that could be worth more points. I wanted to make things I could be proud of but seeing people put a lot of low effort fills put a lot of pressure to put out content for the same amount of points they were getting, it's frustrating.

Tags. I don't think people should be allowed to make fills with things like violence unless the prompter has tagged it as such, or the filler has asked permission. I got some disturbing fills for prompts that I was not expecting and it was distressing. So making permission a rule, or having prompters list a bunch of triggers would maybe help, although I also had someone ignore my request for no death and write a fill with both death and violence; honestly it made me not want to prompt anymore because I was scared of the fills I might get.

Ratings. I was confused a few times because there were fills rated M that were posted directly to dreamwidth (and my inbox) that weren't sexually explicit but were violently explicit. Hiding the sex but letting violence fly seems weird to me, so making a clear rule about whether or not that's allowed would be good (I don't think it should be allowed, obviously).

Remix and Recs. This is purely personal but remixing made me uncomfortable. I didn't want anyone to remix my work, I made it the way I did for a reason, and I felt uncomfortable remixing other people's work. And then the fact that it was all for points makes it feel insincere, if someone makes fanart/fic it's supposed to be fun and pure not just for points. Same with recs, it was a really cool chance for appreciation but tying it to points at all feels so wrong, a point-less rec rounds where people just have a chance to gush about their favs simply because they're their favs seems better. Instead of remixing fills I think it would be cool to allow people to go back and do fills for prompts they didn't get a chance to in the earlier rounds.

I know some people didn't like the prompt-less rounds but the promptless fantasy round was my favorite, that one was really fun to make content for.
I don't feel like mods should be allowed to be on teams that are competing. It just seems like a recipe for bias to me, I was surprised when I found out it was allowed. It makes more sense that mods should be on grandstand.
It's already been brought up but communication was an issue, it was unclear whether things should be coming from twitter or tumblr so having more consistency across platforms is important. Also maybe even 2 twitters...tbh I had the twitter account muted most of the time because I didn't want a bunch of jokes or memes, I just wanted relevant information and announcements and it mostly felt like inside jokes which was alienating.
catzuya: (Default)

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[personal profile] catzuya 2016-08-28 01:37 am (UTC)(link)
Im seconding the bit about the anonymity rule too. Everyone has their team in their twitter handle or in fill prompts. It doesn't take much to figure out who might be doing what. Especially in art styles.

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catzuya: (Default)

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[personal profile] catzuya 2016-08-28 01:16 am (UTC)(link)
First, I'd like to say that even with all the hiccups that happened, I did have fun and I was able to collaborate with a group of amazing people. I wouldn't change that for the world.

Now for feedback. I was more than disappointed honestly. While it was a fast paced competitive event that created a fun environment full of memes and put out top notch entries that were amazing to look at, the lack of organization overshadowed that for me.

SASO, "sports anime summer olympics" is a competition based fandom event. And with that, I expected a higher standard of control for this type of event. I want to make it clear that I am in no way blaming the code mod for this, but there should have been more communication from the main moderators to the public. If mods knew that problems were happening and kept happening, please make a universal announcement for all participants to know about it.

Major kudos to code mod who had to work through all of this, i know it must of been tough for you.

However, in the spirit of making things nonbiased, the voting turned out to be the major downfall. With a system meant to be random, people who did go through all the entries prepared to vote for their choices, couldn't, if they had a bad pull. It became unfair in all its fairness. I'm more than positive that Teams most certainly lost votes because of this.

BR commenting.
Im guilty of not really participating in the comment rounds because (this is personal opinion) but i am on my phone 90 percent of the time and it is not very mobile friendly. Not only that, but there is no way to filter through all the entries. A "top-level comment' can only do so much, but when you're shifting through 23 pages and over 1000 comments? I'm sorry.

With all of that, I have a few suggestions.
-Change the voting system to a Juried Panel.
There seems to be enough mods to do this.
Final rounds can be a combination of Mod Votes and Fan Votes. (i have a handy dandy google doc with further information bc I'm Just Like That if anyone is interested in looking) But honestly, the voting system needs to be changed and I hope that the mods consider this. It wasn't downtime that turned people off, it was the system.

-Cap the Bonus Rounds
others have commented on how to improve but, for me personally, quantity does not not mean quality.

-Make DW comms for each bonus round for easier tagging.
(individual posts means people can use tag and fill easier)
Creating a community will allow participants to add their own tags based on ship, bait, tw/cw , filled/unfilled and anything else. Fills can be commented directly into the post and it wont clutter up pages and pages of comments.

Personally for me, things need a major overhaul. But as it stands, I probably won't participate unless its grandstand to give prompts for my friends to fill.

catlarks: (SASO: Cards)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] catlarks 2016-08-28 01:41 am (UTC)(link)
Mostly these are suggestions for the mods to evaluate so it doesn't matter if I disagree with them, but FWIW bonus rounds HAVE been capped in the past, and I vehemently disagree with the thought that the most creative and productive part of SASO should be limited.

IMO the event is a two-sided coin, geared towards getting its members to improve as creators. Main rounds involve specific limits and challenge you to work within those restrictions to create something as polished (and "quality") as possible. Whereas bonus rounds subscribe to the belief of turning off your inner editor and just CREATING, as much as possible, to get better. Quantity is literally the goal. Capping the bonus rounds does members a disservice.

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bluedreaming: (Default)

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[personal profile] bluedreaming 2016-08-28 01:49 am (UTC)(link)
This was my first time participating in SASO and disclaimer! (I ended up not being able to participate as much as I would have liked due to unexpected issues) but in reading the comments above, while I feel that I can't necessarily provide a constructive opinion on some raised concerns, I wanted to note that I really enjoyed the remix bonus round (and lest it be seen as a points issue, I really did take it seriously and made podfics of fills I strongly enjoyed/connected with; I didn't see it as a "quick points" thing at all.)

Regarding announcements, I did find the Twitter a little confusing to follow in terms of tracking important announcements amidst other Twitter content. I do think that the fun community aspect of the Twitter also had a very important place! It was just a little difficult at times to quickly check for announcements. . As the mod reply to the first comment quite reasonably explains, it would be a lot for mods to update three or four places each time there is a quick yet important announcement, but as services such as feedmyinbox were mentioned, I wanted to highlight a service like that could be used to consolidate announcement posting for the mods: if all announcements are posted to tumblr with the tag "announcement", a recipe can be set on so that all tumblr posts tagged announcement are tweeted (with or without a link to the relevant tumblr post for more information), which might simplify things for mods and also allow participants to assemble an easy personal email notification system by using their own accounts to have email them whenever a tumblr post tagged announcement is posted. In any case, it's of course completely up to the mods and what works best for them, but there are definitely a lot of options that might make things a little easier for mods and participants alike.

In summary though, it really was a lot of fun and I want to thank the mods for all their hard work. Thank you!
hapaxlegomenon: (Default)

(frozen comment) Pax from KuroKen

[personal profile] hapaxlegomenon 2016-08-28 02:34 am (UTC)(link)
I will probably come back and edit this a few times, and I'm not going to bother with making it all pretty or anything. Point form and such. Anyone (mods or otherwise) feel free to ask for elaboration on anything I mention.

These things are presented in no particular order because I'm tired and lazy.

1. Prelim voting: Option to opt out of a set number (3? idk) of tags or ships. I consistently get assigned to at least one of the two major sports ships that I "notp" and I have a very difficult time being objective with them. Conversely, I have been hosed in previous years by people who wouldn't read my team's entry because of a tag and then told me after the event that they'd given it a try and really liked it. So an opt-out would be helpful from at least two points.

2. Prompt-less rounds: It was hard to get going with them but they were fun! Seconding the suggestions above, though, that they not be back-to-back. Personally, I'd have loved to have the fantasy/lore round earlier in the event, when I'm less burnt out and have more energy to focus on the world-building part. Remixes are really fun, despite being a lot of extra pressure, and I'm glad the round exists. I think I get more excited about having my own fills remixed than I am to get original work in response to a prompt.

3. BR themes: I liked them!! Overall very pleased. I wasn't a huge fan of the Gift Tag one (it felt super limiting), and I was really relieved that there wasn't a FST round this year. I would love to see a "missing scenes" BR in future years :')

4. MR formats: Not a mod issue, really, but I'm going to complain about it anyway. A lot of the entries were very much not mobile-friendly, which was frustrating. And I absolutely hate it when MR submissions are downloads. Compounded by the fact that I dislike the whole "visual novel" format in general, but when an entry had a download attached I was immediately turned off. Stop that shit. Not all of us have devices that can handle/store downloaded content.

5. This for other participants, not the mod team, but it's important to say -- stop being assholes to the mod team. Events like this can be super frustrating, especially with the technical difficulties, but acting aggressive towards the people who volunteer to put it together just kind of makes you a jerk.

6. Announcements: I personally had no issues with announcements but I also checked the SASO twitter account fairly regularly.

7. MR limitations: Great improvement from last years' feedback! The graduation between word count/image number ratios was awesome. I'm super glad you guys made that change. And it hasn't come up here (yet), but I know some people have mentioned wanting higher caps; I disagree, I think that the 4k word cap et al. are reasonable restrictions and make the judging process so much more manageable. Also, glory and blessings to the editing period, I can't say enough how much I appreciated that, especially as a team captain.

8. Recs round: Not personally a huge fan of having it be for points, but I understand that it's a good way to encourage people to actually do it. I'm on the fence about that one. But I'm also biased bc I kind of hate doing them, so.

9. Receiving fills: I do not agree with the idea that fills should be restricted in any way. I have received fills that didn't align at all with the prompt, or fills where the filler straight-up ignored the pairing I requested (one instance was particularly disappointing, since they changed one of my fave feel-good ships to a lowkey notp of mine), or fills that I was uncomfortable with or just straight-up disliked -- and the people who wrote them had every right to do so. I don't believe that, in an event like this, the purpose of a fill is to write something that a prompter will love. It's to challenge the filler to produce something, and the prompters more or less just provide an inspiration or a vector to do so. Nobody is obligated to make a fill you want just because you provided the prompt. I found it seriously off-putting when people added all kinds of restrictions to their prompts.

10. Mod Sunny's alphabet-fudging is terrible. Fire them immediately.

11. Despite the issues with voting, I am a big fan of the changes compared to last year -- I was really off-put by the fact that, after voting, you could see the results and re-vote. It seemed to be begging for people to fudge the votes in favour of-against certain teams. I also appreciate not having the points tallied up immediately for BRs -- while it was a feature I used heavily (and maybe obsessed over a little) last year, it was a relief this time around that the numbers weren't so easily accessible and I could just focus on having fun, rather than forcing myself because x team was only y number of fills ahead. I know you've gotten a lot of flack for points and votes systems this year, and they're obviously not perfect yet, but it's definitely an improvement over last year and I think you guys are doing great.
Edited 2016-08-28 02:56 (UTC)
platina: (Default)

(frozen comment) Re: Pax from KuroKen

[personal profile] platina 2016-08-28 03:37 am (UTC)(link)
I strongly disagree with 9. Maybe it's because I'm used to kink meme etiquette, but ignoring someone's prompt is incredibly rude, especially concerning ships or warnings people might have issues with.

If you want to draw/write/whatever something vaguely inspired but not not actually fitting for the prompt, get someone else to prompt it for you or move on to another prompt.

The challenge is to work with the prompt, not to completely run away with it.

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elucidatedlucy: absolutely purposefully terrible (Default)

(frozen comment) grandstand!

[personal profile] elucidatedlucy 2016-08-28 02:45 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for this year! I am really glad to have had the chance to participate.

I wanted to say in particular that I'm deeply glad we continued with a 2 week cycle on bonus rounds! There were two where I felt anxious and unsure about how to approach the prompts I wanted to write for, but being able to move onto another round and settle into something new recharged my feelings about creating, and allowed me to jump in when I struggled in other times. I wanted to voice the fact of how helpful the 2 week cycle is for me! I enjoyed all the rounds provided this year, and the mixture of previously used rounds versus new ones - the gift tags one in particular was Very Cool, for what it allowed people to do.

The introduction of an entirely promptless round was, in particular, very cool to me. While remixes are technically "promptless," approaching other people's creations still feels like a strong prompt to me (another event I always look forward to). The myth round was one I hadn't expected, and while I was a bit sad I couldn't make prompts, it was easier to read other's works, as well as create myself. Having the option for a promptless round allows for approaching writing & relationships in a way that prompts otherwise would not allow for. There are many potential relationships and canons that are hard to find prompts for in SASO, due to rarepairs or rare fandoms - and it's hard to really engage yourself, when it's Rare - but having an option for a round where we could create regardless of what other people prompted, and indulge in our own concepts within the lines of the round, was a fantastic opportunity!!! I understand other people's struggles with it, but it was the easiest round for /me/, so I do feel it's good to give potentials like that from round to round.

I do agree though that Myth and Remix back to back was a bit trouble in terms of "no Active Prompts." But I feel like that could be fixed as easily as ordering the rounds differently in the future to make sure "no prompts!" aren't back to back, so people don't feel like they're trailing off the edges, depending on their personal specialities and comforts.

I do believe that the Recs round could have been benefitted (to a degree) with a cap on how many fills get points, but even that is a little difficult to say, because I think that was the case last year and I know that people will often only comment as much as they have to to get the points. But at the same time, I don't want people to have to push to think of something to say for hundreds of fills over more points. That's a difficult issue to balance, and I'll trust what the mods go with, because I understand neither option is necessarily great! The issues that come with events involving tons of people.

I'm grateful for the time extends on voting when there were issues with the system! But I'm also grateful for how voting works. Giving people good reason to explore any given work is a wonderful thing. I do agree that the issue of tags is a bit of a struggle, but I'm not sure how it could be approached without people gaming the system to blacklist out tags just to narrow down what might come up to what they specifically want to vote for. I was still happy with how voting worked though.

With regards to bonus rounds, all I would like to say is that I'd very much appreciate if it was more normalized for people to express any tags or content warnings that they do not want in any fill made on a prompt they make. I saw that a couple of times, but if the faqs or the post for each bonus round mentioned an optional line in the post about "content tags to avoid," or something like that, I'd feel much more confident about approaching people's prompts! I realize that I could approach that by simply asking the prompter, but anxiety and time sort of get in the way of that.

Though by any rights, I feel as though this year went quite well, and better than last year? Or I feel like people came to the table with their best, and people wanted to stay and participate, and that the mod team approached any issue and question to the best of their ability. I know things can always Improve, but I'm grateful to everyone behind this event, and everyone who chose to participate. I very much look forward to next year.
Edited 2016-08-28 02:49 (UTC)

(frozen comment) Clarification on Popular Media

[personal profile] suspendedsatellite 2016-08-28 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
Hi there! First off, thank you very much to the mods for running the event, and for bearing with my many questions during this round. Despite being team captain, I'm relatively new to the world of fanwork, and though it was amazing to stumble upon this community, a lot of rules left me very confused. Thank you for always taking the time to respond to me!

I believe my teammate's planning to cover a lot of the general issues we had during this round, so I'm not going to go into that here. However, I am going to talk about my feelings regarding the last point the mod team plans to improve on! Because a lot of arguments were brought up that I disagree with very sharply and have spent a long time thinking about.

This largely applies to a specific issue that my team dealt with and how it was handled. I'm sorry, it's not a general feedback, and doesn't have too much to do with that larger format of SASO > < ;;

( I'm going to quote directly from my conversations with the mods a few times here! )


Our team ran into a problem where we were initially planning to use a members cover of a popular Vocaloid song as the background music to an MAD style video. For those who haven't seen our entries, we combine motion graphics and animation with artwork, then set it to some music that plays in the background. This cover was officially published on an album released by the composer back about 5 years ago, and is for all intents and purposes, an official media work. Except we happen to have the right to use this, unlike many other "popular culture media" available.

We were told that we were not allowed to do this, since this vocal cover constituted as a "previously existing fanwork." When I argued on this point, the mods told me kindly that they were not just referring to "previously existing fanwork" in their rule, but any and all work that a member of the team has previously done. They raised a few examples that I feel the need to respond to now that the round is over.

"For example: let's say a participant had previously coded an amazing game, reworked the script and art to work for their team's ship, and then their team submitted that game to SASO. This would be acceptable by your standards, because that code isn't "fanwork.""

I'm going to come out and say this. I am a coder, and so is my vice captain. I can guarantee you that every single "original" game ever made has some amount of recycled code. Some of that code might be taken from random websites online, for example when you Google "how to _____" and get directed to a site like stackoverflow. Sometimes it is your own code that you did for a website or a school project, and you use an object or method that you have previously created. The very statement is wrong because it implies that people don't, in fact, use previously created code when they make "original" games. This is just simply untrue.

Next, the mods also pointed out that cosplay was their only exception to the rule.

"Regarding cosplay: originally cosplay limits were higher, at 75%. We had so much protest that we lowered that limit to 50%. Cosplaying would be nearly impossible if we didn't allow some recycling. For example, if we required that you make a new wig every time you wanted to cosplay Eijun, no one could cosplay. The challenges that cosplay faces are not analogous to the challenges that musicians or any other fanwork creator faces."

I'm sorry, but as someone who has worked with musicians, both amateur and professional, this is a terrible and gross misunderstanding of challenges in creating media and fanwork. You would not believe the amount of work that goes into creating a cover that is sold on an album in a CD. I don't know how I should convince you how much money must go into equipment, production, from the people who compose the song, to the people who record the cover, to the people who mix and master it.

I believed this entire time that perhaps the mods were misunderstanding something. They sent the following message to me.

"The reason we allow mainstream popular media in entries is, as stated in the FAQ, "to ensure that the original content in your Main or Bonus Round entry is clearly distinct from the borrowed content." Many types of work, such as graphic design or DJ remixing, need some base material to work with. They would not be able to participate if we didn't allow people to remix already-existing anime screencaps, songs on the radio, etc. But none of those participants would be allowed to use their own previously created graphic designs or mixes, even if they weren't fanwork, because it wouldn't be fair. Allowing mainstream media allows us to differentiate between the stuff that people are using as a springboard and the new artistry they've added."

I would like to emphasize that the actual video itself is 100% new work. The BGM that they eventually forced us to switch out? That was not original because we had previously done it. But for every single other fan video in the olympics, the audio was EQUALLY UNORIGINAL, because they were allowed to use "popular culture media."

So what is the difference? Can mods really not understand that the point of the video was, in fact, the video and not the background music? What if we state this in the description, that the audio was not created for SASO? Would that be okay then?

This encouragement to break copyright laws in order to avoid using material you previously created, however minor it might be to the entry itself, seems very wrong to me. Why is it that an AMV can use popular music that was sung by a popular YouTube or NicoNico artist, but not if that cover just happened to be sung by one of its own members?

This was explained to me in the following way:

"You're looking at it the wrong way: it has nothing to do with "everyone can use the work but me." It has more to do with "I already made this, so using it again gives me a running start.""

What I need to ask is why is it a head start? The song was released to the public, and sold at large, 5 years before. Everyone had equal access to this. In fact, it is entirely possible that another team may have used the same track as BGM. It's completely possible. So where is the "running start" in this case?


I understand if a member is reusing old fanwork, old fanart, using something to get a head start. But for an AMV/HAND DRAWN VIDEO? The music in the background is very clearly distinct from the entry itself. As stated by the mods themselves, there are some works that "need some base material to work with" and we are one of them. Then, what does it matter if this necessary base material is coming from an older, irrelevant work that a member participated in vs downloading another song online?

And, if such "fanwork" is indeed forbidden, then how far does this reach? Using it for background music is clearly not okay. Then what if we had previously created a stock image or texture set that was distributed online and popularly downloaded? Would we then be forbidden from using this in the creation of graphics? What if we had created a brush preset to use for a drawing months ago and posted it onto DA? Would we be forbidden from using it for any art in the future?

This type of logic can go on and on. And I'm very passionately talking about this now because this seems to me to be something that is fundamentally wrong. To believe that creating a music cover for a CD is less time consuming or less challenging than creating a cosplay. To believe that anything touched by a fan must be "fanwork."

And, on the whole, the disturbing undertone of encouraging people to take from sources everywhere, to be inspired by other channels, even ones that they may not have permission to take from, but to punish those who use resources that they have provided to the public and that they have full permission to use.

Somehow ripping a Kelly Clarkson mp3 off the Internet to stick into your video is perfectly okay. But if Kelly Clarkson decided to participate in a fandom, she is barred from sticking that song onto an AMV of her own.

What is the point in that?


I'm very sorry for the length of this! I ask that you understand that I am coming from another community which delights in creating resources to inspire everyone. Where "fanwork" and "official work" blend together and everyone builds on each other's work as well as their own. Even though I do understand that mods have their own perspective, I would truly appreciate it if you could consider what I've presented for the future.

The only true complaint I have regarding the handling of this issue is that the mods outright decided to change the rules.

"The rules used the term "fanwork" because we never expected people would want to use non-fanwork work in their entries. To make things clearer for you and all future participants, we will go edit the post to make it explicit that we mean all work previously created by participants, not just fanwork."

This changing of the rules right in the middle of a round frustrated our team members immensely, and we would beg mods in the future not to drop things like this on participants. To explicitly go in and edit the rules of your event mid-event leaves a rather bad taste.
Edited 2016-08-28 04:36 (UTC)
karahashi: (Default)

(frozen comment) Re: Clarification on Popular Media

[personal profile] karahashi 2016-08-28 04:39 am (UTC)(link)
It may not be my place to cut in here but I would like to draw attention to this comment. Audio content is underrepresented in fanwork, and part of the reason is that it takes a LOT of time and effort. That underrepresentation means limits and constraints haven't been clearly defined - I don't recall seeing minimums for FSTs, for instance, or for video length if people wanted to do that for a bonus round, when FSTs at least were used in fills as much as poetry.

Personally, I would lean towards accepting a video entry where >50% of the content was created new for that round, but whichever way the mods decide, it would be nice to have more direction for next year regarding audio-based content :)

(frozen comment) Re: Clarification on Popular Media

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flippinflakes: hi (Default)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] flippinflakes 2016-08-28 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
This was our first time joining this thing and it was definitely fun and I got to meet a ton of cray good people and read and rec very good fics!! It was tons of fun and thank y'all very much for making this event. As one of my team members said, y'all our Fandom parents this event.

Feedback wise I would have preferred if all announcements inclusive of downtime of voting and stuff were on dw.I thought following on twitter and tumblr were optional? I figured all stuff need to be known wld be on dw as u can get email notifications. And yah u can get that from Twitter and tumblr if you know how which honestly I don't normally any of my members and if this was necessary it shld be pointed out in sign up.

One other thing is that it should be possible for not only under 14s but those who choose not to to be able to exclude r18 or explicit entries from their voting list. If that's too much though I would understand!!

One last thing was that the bonus round 0 was very disheartening for my team as none had the ability to edit anything or create anything as banners or icons so it kind of alienated all but two of us? Kind of left our team very discouraged.

BUT it was a cool af idea but if u cld try and make it so writers can also get involved? Since my team is all writers but me OTL....

kiyala: (yab)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] kiyala 2016-08-28 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
First time doing SASO, and I wanted to thank the mods for all of their hard work! I'm going to numbered points for what I want to talk about, to make it easier:

1. I did feel there were a few issues with communication, which have already been address above anyway, so I won't go into them, but ultimately: thank you for making a fun event for us to participate in! Special thank you to coder mod, who must have had a tough time with everything.

2. As for the SASO twitter: I found it pretty difficult to find announcements through here, because of all the chat that was going on, and I think part of that is just due to the nature of twitter, but having read a few comments above, while I did enjoy that the SASO twitter wasn't entirely rules and announcements and had some sort of personality, I can definitely see how some people might have felt excluded by it. Also, I didn't like MR results being announced via twitter, partly because this would usually happen in the middle of my work day and having the check back through it was a little difficult — I'd prefer to have prelim and final results posted on dreamwidth for easier reference.

3. I absolutely loved the promptless bonus rounds, but I agree that having two of them back to back was a little difficult. Having them more spaced out would be ideal, and I'd definitely love if you kept them for the future!

4. I didn't like that the recs round had points attached, because it felt less genuine that way. I'd prefer a recs round without points, where people can just talk about what they liked. Having this not run parallel to a bonus round with points might be better, too, because I feel that we'd then have more time to actually chat in the comments and make friends with creators that we've appreciated!

5. MR formats: there were a few main round entries that I couldn't actually download and view, which was a little disappointing because I wanted to see all of them. I'd like if there was some sort of stipulation that everything has to be online, or something like that?

Editing to add something, not for mods but for participants:
6. I think it's important for people who fill prompts to pay attention to the tags/tag appropriately when they're posting a fill, but I also think it's important for people who are writing prompts to remember: these are prompts and not requests. It's disappointing if they don't personally cater to your interests, of course, but I don't think that's what the point should be. Prompts should be there to facilitate creativity in the bonus rounds, not direct it, and I feel that this should be kept in mind when making them.

I had lots of fun this year, though, and I'll most likely be back again next year!
Edited 2016-08-28 05:23 (UTC)
horchata: (Default)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] horchata 2016-08-28 01:26 pm (UTC)(link)
#2, I had to mute SASO Twitter a few times (...okay, a lot) and then ended up missing official things and fun posts about MR entries. It was lovely to have the official Twitter have a voice, but, yeah, it left me a little uncomfortable more often than not. I think having an official "announcements only" Twitter would be smart, especially for people who aren't in that inner circle of mod people friends and still want to contribute, and still are a part of fandom on Twitter. That's a lot of people! It's important that the official Twitter works for the greatest number of participants possible. Then, mods could also have a side Twitter on which to be silly and ridiculous, and people who choose to follow that one, could. It might also distance the mods from the official competition piece of SASO in a public way that proves to be an advantage later.

I want to agree with #4 here and say that a recs round that happens without a BR attached to it, and without points attached to it, but maybe before MR2 is finished would be ideal. It would also be great if there was no time limit to comments on that post, where we can keep posting recs without a time limit.

#5, seconding also.
karahashi: (Default)

(frozen comment) Team Tennis no Ouji-sama

[personal profile] karahashi 2016-08-28 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you so much to the mods for organizing this event - I had an amazing time!

As a first-time participant I might be lacking some historical perspective, but I'd like to add to a couple of points brought up in previous comments:

I would support a cap on recs round fills, similar to the cap on BR0. I recced a lot but stressed about it to my team beforehand because I was worried about spamming, so a points cap would let me post guilt-free, haha. I don't think it would significantly affect participation. Rather, it'd be easier to compile lists of recs by theme etc. I feel that having word count minimums might simply inflate recs without adding substance, and it would limit my participation. Personally, I was happy just seeing fills come up as confirmation that someone had enjoyed them. You never know what words are going to resonate with a content creator - emotional response; technical commentary - and I'm not sure it's fair to hold recs to a nebulous 'quality standard' when the same isn't applied to creative content in other rounds.

The randomised voting system worked well for me, though of course stability was an issue. It ensured (at least as a token gesture) that lesser known fandoms or ships would get exposure, and I think the opportunity to discover new likes is one of the great things about this sort of multifandom event. With that said, if possible I'm interested in the idea of a 'fan favorite' vote where you can place one vote for any team in the round.

I didn't participate in the remix round, but I really loved the idea and hope it returns next year. As another participant already said, the giving/receiving aspect of this event is a huge draw for me. I know some people made lovely spreadsheets with lists of remix permissions, but it might be nice to have an official Google spreadsheet for it, just to keep things simple?

I 100% second the desire for an official fills(+prompts if possible) archive, whether it be a shared spreadsheet that participants could fill in on a voluntary basis or a delicious-type collection maintained by a set team (from what I did for rounds two and three, I think if there are at least five people actively recording things the workload wouldn't be unbearable). There's so much good content for this event and it would be incredibly useful to have this sort of thing to refer back to after the event ends. From what my limited Excel knowledge tells me, it might even be possible to automate most of this process with more formal guidelines for post formatting (series as listed on teams page + fill type), but I'm not a coder so idk for sure.

Those are my main comments, but in a more experimental vein, it might be fun to have a casual discussion post for chatting or something?

I'm so glad this event exists! The mods did an amazing job - I thought the themes for both main rounds were incredibly creative and allowed for a great depth of interpretation, and the bonus rounds were all very different and interesting. Communication-wise, I was really impressed with the mod responses to issues that cropped up during the event - they were always sensitive and professional. Thanks for a wonderful few months!

tl;dr +1 for recs round point cap and unrestricted vote & would like to see more masterlists :)
yrindor: Head shot of Ulquiorra Cifer on a black background (Default)

(frozen comment) Team Grandstand

[personal profile] yrindor 2016-08-28 04:07 am (UTC)(link)
This was my first SASO (since I just missed sign-ups last year), and I loved it. For me, it was a chance to set myself a challenge to stop overthinking and editing things to death and just write whenever a prompt inspired me (and there were plenty to pick from).

I thought the bonus rounds with prompts had a good balance between giving enough direction with the theme, but also keeping it open enough to allow for a wide variety of prompts/fills. They were definitely my favorite part of the event, both to see the variety of content other people made and to push myself to write for pairings/fandoms/content that were outside of my usual comfort zone. Like several other people, I did have more trouble with the promptless bonus round than the other ones, even though fantasy is one of my favorite genres. One idea I had, though I don't know how it would work from a coding/scoring perspective, would be to make a prompts optional round, so people who wanted to create their own works could, but there would also be prompts for people who wanted more direction.

I strongly disagree with some of the suggestions for variable points/quality control for bonus round fills. For me at least, one of the highlights of the bonus rounds was that the prompts gave me a reason to branch out from my usual pairings and styles. During the three months of SASO, I wrote for two fandoms I had never written before, and at least a half dozen new pairings (and picked up a new OTP in the process). I wrote in second person for the first time, wrote a 5+1-inspired style for the first time, and even tried an art fill despite not really being an artist. As with any experiment, some of them were more successful than others, and most of them came out less polished than the fills in my usual style, but I learned something from all of them, and I would probably not have been willing to challenge myself as much if distinctions were made between different "levels" of fills.

I will also say I impressed by the camaraderie of the event overall. Even though the different teams were technically competing against one another, in the bonus rounds it seemed to be far more common to see people from different teams getting excited over prompts and fills they made for each other. I hate learning new social media platforms, so I think it says something about the community here that I was finally convinced to join Twitter after the last round ended even though I've actively avoided it for years.

SASO was a high point for me this summer, and I'm definitely planning on participating again next year.
kazuyas: (Default)

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[personal profile] kazuyas 2016-08-28 04:29 am (UTC)(link)
yoooo seconding the "prompt-optional" thing, that would have been a godsend.

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miaoujones: stick figure me with arms raised (Default)

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[personal profile] miaoujones 2016-08-28 04:22 am (UTC)(link)
the one thing i would love to see is, once the round has been officially scored, for comments to be unscreened. i left some comments on fills after the round had closed, either because the fills were not posted until the last second or because i didn't have time to check them out before the round closed, and i didn't realize that the person i was replying to wouldn't get a notification; i thought they just had to be signed in to read it (i know that's a dw thing not a saso thing).

tl;dr -- i would love to be able to leave comments that the fillers will actually get to see. :3

(apologies if i'm repeating someone else; there was a lot of negativity in the comments i scanned and i didn't have the fortitude to wade through it all diligently...)
kazuyas: (Default)

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[personal profile] kazuyas 2016-08-28 04:28 am (UTC)(link)
seconding—i have so many fills left on my prompts i didn't get to and i feel so guilty for not having a way to get feedback directly to them

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kazuyas: (saso!!)

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[personal profile] kazuyas 2016-08-28 04:27 am (UTC)(link)
I'm gonna do this in bullets otherwise I will be all over the place also what is capitalization???

1. Echoing not having the recs round overlap with a BR—that was a lot at once. Maybe position two one week breaks, each following the MRs, where there's no active fill bonus round and everyone takes the time to just rec stuff and recharge (and read the MR entries they didn't get to, I know that I haven't read everything that I would have liked because it seemed like there wasn't time!) this also just makes recs easier to manage because you're working with just three BRs at a time, y'know?

2. re: a fill archive—this might (and should!) be able to accomplish easily with google forms. You could set up fields like: DW username, team, fandom, ship, rating, link to fill, optional summary, content tags. all of that content gets plugged into a spreadsheet that can then be sorted by any of those criteria. you could even just do a simple checkbox indicating whether or not the creator is ok with the fill being remixed (you can do a yes/no/other situation so someone can add caveats if needed). spares you the trouble of having to look after yet another DW community.

3. more on the recs round: i think capping it is a good idea. getting rid of points gets rid of incentive—i think, for the most part, the people that did recs would've done recs anyway. would they have done as many? idk, but a cap would help achieve a good middle ground re: the "quantity vs quality" debate.

3a. pls reopen the recs round so things don't have to get screened; i think having it continue to be an active post that people can add to over the next few weeks as we catch up on reading would be really really nice. ;-;

4. i actually really liked the twitter presence. someone suggested having more official stuff crossposted between tumblr and DW with quick updates on twitter and i agree w that 100%—IFTTT ("if this then that") is a really good tool for making sure everything is crossposted correctly and is super easy to figure out.

5. everyone's said it, but i really agree, so i'll say it again: space out the prompt-less BRs, pretty please. <3

6. this is highly subjective so take it or leave it bc it is literally just me and My Opinion, but: I WOULD HAVE LOVED AN ENCORE ROUND. i talked to some SASO vets and when i heard that was a thing i was super excited by the idea. i would have infinitely preferred that over the gift tag round (which 9 times out of 10 was more limiting than anything, because you never know if the prompter had something in mind or not and if they did what if you got it wrong?? it was a very anxious affair for me unless the gift was pretty obvious.) not having it as an additional round, mind you (i would be dead), but integrating it into the schedule from the beginning, just before the remix round.

7. i don't think there's a good solution for voting, i really don't. people are going to vote for their friends, they're going to vote for their ships, they're going to vote strategically, they're DEFINITELY not going to vote for their notp (or, at least, i'm not). they'll find a way to do one or all of these with the current system, and if you let it be a free-for-all you KNOW that not everyone is actually going to read every entry (unless you limit the number of teams, which is a terrible plan) which means you having people voting blind or partially blind. so, ultimately, i think the system in place now—while not ideal—does the most in terms of acheiving equity. in MR2 in the final vote i voted for two teams where i had no knowledge of the fandom because i did believe their entry was that good. that said: 100% agree that some kind of filter is necessary to make sure people don't get stuff with triggers in their pull list.

8. i had so much damn fun. i cannot tell you what this event did for my fic productivity, for making friends, for bonding with people, for just in general being the thing that carried me through what was otherwise a pretty shitty summer. at this point i know a few of the mods personally, so perhaps i'm biased, but y'all are wonderful and i want you to know how much SASO means to me, how much this community means to me now, and it's thanks to your efforts it exists. i'll be back for whatever winter event you decide to do, and i'll be back next year. <3

my biggest suggestion from all of this is definitely the google forms archive system, that seems like it'd be simple to execute (hell, come find me here or on twitter and i'll set it up + host it for y'all)

might come back to edit this SHRUGS
Edited 2016-08-28 04:36 (UTC)
karahashi: (Default)

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[personal profile] karahashi 2016-08-28 04:43 am (UTC)(link)
wow i agree with literally everything in this post and you articulated it so well, thank you <3
(the only thing about Google forms for a master is that the ships tended to get very complicated when people would give options + with the platonic/romantic option....)

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tripsh: (Default)

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[personal profile] tripsh 2016-08-28 04:30 am (UTC)(link)
First, I’d like to start by saying that I had an absolutely amazing time this summer! The whole event was really great for me, personally, and I would really just like to thank the mods for all the hard work they put in organizing and maintaining a largescale event like this! So thank you so, so much for everything you do! I was really impressed with the way things were handled and run, despite any minor hiccups, and I think overall everything went over really smoothly and successfully.

Regarding bonus rounds: I absolutely loved the themes this year! I thought the new additions this year were super creative (Gift Tags and Myth & Lore were two of my favorite themes!), as well as incorporating some favorite themes from last year was a really nice touch. I agree with what others’ comments about having two promptless bonus rounds occurring right in a row being a little difficult, but I love the concept of a promptless br, and remix round has been one of my favorites both this year and last year. I think maybe just in the future spacing out promptless brs would be an easy fix, but I would definitely love to see them again!

Re: caps on bonus rounds. I agree with the idea of there being a cap on the recs round, similar to there being a cap on br0. Or maybe having recs round as not a round at all, but a post that’s up throughout the event where people can rec each other’s works for no points. That way content is getting recced and shared but it feels more genuine and not as rushed than just going hard for points? I think the concept of a recs round is a great one, and it’s really nice to spread the love or through reading recs finding fills you might not have missed before, but if they are still a separate round that does earn points, capping the amount of points a team can earn might be a possible idea?

On the note of capping other bonus rounds, as has been brought up in other comments, I absolutely do not agree. For me, some of the most fun I had this event was pushing myself to write as much as I could, to try new things, and to push myself creatively to make the best content I could. If there was a cap on the bonus rounds saying how much I had to make or if points were variable and it was judged on someone else’s standards of what’s considered arbitrarily “good”/if it measures up, then I don’t know if I would have as much fun. I’m primarily a writer, but suppose I wanted to try my hand at drawing, or graphics, or even cosplay for a br fill. An idea of points being rewarded based on skill level/what seems like “more work” was put in just by arbitrarily looking at it would discourage me from trying anything new, even writing in a different style or experimenting, and would make me feel super insecure about anything I was posting. Everyone is at different skill/comfort levels and that’s what I love about this event. You don’t have to be the best to create content. You can try new things and have it be super low-pressure. For me, it’s all about fun and creativity and putting out new content. imo, if you take this away, it really limits and discourages people. So I disagree with those ideas that were brought up.

Overall, I had a really fun time! I met a lot of great people, produced (and consumed) a lot of awesome content, pushed myself out of my normal comfort zone (in both writing/content creating and captaining a team this year. I’m really shy Screams), and I just really, really enjoyed myself. I will definitely, without a doubt be back again next year. And thank you again to everyone for making this event so great !! :D
kazuyas: (miyook)

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[personal profile] kazuyas 2016-08-28 04:38 am (UTC)(link)
captain <33333

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meliskimo: [stolen from drae hehe] (never 4get)

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[personal profile] meliskimo 2016-08-28 04:33 am (UTC)(link)
This was my first time participating in SASO, something I had never even heard of before this year. I'm not a HUGE fan of Sports Anime, so I had missed out on a lot of fandom things like this. I was invited to a team by a good friend and decided to participate as an excuse to force myself to create content. I've had the roughest give or take two years of my life. I suffer from diagnosed anxiety and depression on top of a lot of bad things happening at home, and this was also the year I finally graduated college, which was a huge stressor for me. I mention this only because of the aforementioned reasons that my desire to create fanwork dropped CONSIDERABLY. I couldn't bring myself to participate or create things even with a little extra down time with school being over.

SASO was a HUGE "get up and go" event for me. It forced me to work quickly, outside my comfort zone, and make the most quality content I could as quickly as I could. I didn't work for "points"; I worked for my TEAM. I wanted to make the best work I could that could proudly stand beside my teammates' amazing hard work. Creating content quickly as a group effort is an AMAZING way to improve yourself, and in an environment like SASO, a phenomenal way to make friends. Even though my hectic work schedule (and Pokemon Go adventures, let's be real here) kept me busy from participating in the BRs as much as I would have liked to, the few fills I made somehow introduced me to 3 or so brand new friends that I might never had made otherwise. An experience like that is a win in my book. Who needs points?

I wanted the mods to know that this event was extremely helpful to me. It was good for my productivity, my mental health, and expanded my social circle. The mods are clearly not thanked/appreciated enough, because this was a long-ass running event and you guys worked tirelessly to keep it as smooth as possible. (I think I heard one of the mods worked on fixing bugs while on vacation or something? Shit, son, that's some fandom dedication right thar.)

I also think it's important for people to know, although I have read some very well thought out and well argued feedback in these comments, that ultimately this event is JUST FOR FUN. It has ALWAYS been a quantity over "quality" (per se) event to force people to pump out the best work they can on a deadline without overly stressing about perfection, something a lot of us struggle with. Especially in terms of the Bonus Rounds. I certainly did not have time to create fully fleshed out illustrations for BRs but I did my best to create them for the MRs. Rough messy sketches allowed me to help boost my team's point count while still forcing myself to create work when I otherwise would have been lazy and ...not done anything productive. LOL Getting comments on my rougher stuff also hella boosted my self esteem too, so that was nice.

While I feel like the voting system IS admittedly a little clunky because bias will still shine through and there's no best practice in solving that problem as of yet, I think calling a random assortment a possibly "bad pull" (as one commenter put it) is rude and elitist. Everyone worked hard and less popular shows and ships will always take a hit when they are put up against more popular ones. I, for one, got VERY few known (to me) pairs and shows in all my MR voting. It was by NO means a "bad pull". It forced me to look through things I wouldn't have otherwise and judge it based on it's craftsmanship rather than popularity. So while it was a little frustrating to not be able to pimp my faves, I do feel like my votes were ultimately more fair than they would have been otherwise. Maybe a solution is allowing voters to vote one choice that they can choose and one from a selected list? Best of both worlds?

All in all, I just wanted to thank the mods for putting this event together. I've heard that y'all were short staffed this year, and I wanted you guys to know what a positive impact you had on me. I created a lot more content than I ever would have on my own, I had a great distraction from some of the BLEH that was happening in my life, and I made a lot of friends. But most importantly, I HAD FUN. It wasn't about the points, or the voting, or the technical difficulties. At the end of the day, it was a FUN fandom event for people to get together and ENCOURAGE each other to put themselves out there. I got some of the best encouragement from people on other teams. LMAO

TL;DR It really isn't a competitive event at the end of the day. It's a "everybody wins because we all get gr8 content we didn't have before and we had excuses to be productive where we might otherwise wouldn't have been. I think if people get too wrapped up in the mechanics of the voting systems, the points, how things are judged, etc., you're basically missing the whole point to a community event. The points made it just competitive enough to be fun and encouraging, but didn't make things so competitive that the fun was lost or bad blood was formed. We all pulled together and made some amazing work, so I mean... doesn't that mean we're all winners? :P

So that's all I have to say about that. xo Thanks again for putting this together! If I'm still knee deep in Sports Anime hell next summer... well, in the words of the Terminator: I'll Be Back.
kazuyas: (miyuki)

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[personal profile] kazuyas 2016-08-28 04:41 am (UTC)(link)
"It has ALWAYS been a quantity over "quality" (per se) event to force people to pump out the best work they can on a deadline without overly stressing about perfection, something a lot of us struggle with."

YOOOOO, yes. this. thank you.

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intricacies: (free!: gou)

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[personal profile] intricacies 2016-08-28 04:39 am (UTC)(link)
I got on a computer to write this and I'm praying that my internet actually works enough for me to post it, but we'll see. I'll probably miss a lot of things I'm thinking of, but my internet is too terrible to actually go edit it, so.

To start off, thank you so much to the mods for running this huge event! It's still in its baby steps, but I do see that you all have taken feedback from last year seriously and implemented some changes that made our lives as participants easier despite the amount of work it takes as a mod. I know I would be so burnt out if I had to deal with complaints left and right like I'm sure all of you did, because at the end of the day, this is a strictly hobby thing and you're all humans with lives outside of fandom. You're all wonderful and I'm lucky that I've gotten to know a good bunch of you. You all were really good at responding to any questions or issues I had regarding SASO.

I am specifically happy to see the news re: counting NSFW fills! Yay! I know a lot of people had really strong feelings about this when SASO started, myself included. It wasn't that you all did anything wrong, it's just... We felt/feel extremely uncomfortable and/or anxious posting on ao3, which holds some permanence with an identity attached whereas you can "hide" on DW (which is a primary reason I really dreaded using ao3 and actively avoided it most of the time). I was also really really happy with the MR limitations word/art scale because that made things so much easier for my team this year versus mine last year.

The voting system was a lot better than last year! I'm glad we could no longer see how teams were doing voting-wise. On that note, I personally like being assigned random entries because it prevents me from being biased as much as possible. I try to read objectively, but when I'm tried for time and energy, I will naturally go for the canons/ships/teams I know and unconsciously prefer more, but this randomization system prevents that and also shortens my list of entries to really look at. You can even discover new content through this system. Not knowing the canon or NOTPing the ship doesn't particularly bother me, but unfortunately I know that's a deal-breaker for some people. I'm also partial to this because my team this year was from a relatively unknown fandom in comparison to some of the others, so this likely saved our butts during voting, haha. My team doesn't care about winning, but like all creators, we do want appreciation for the work we put into our entries. The thing about filtering for tags is definitely legit and should be looked into, though.

There are some issues that I feel do need to be addressed, and some people have already touched on them so I'm hoping I'm not repeating too much.

A huge issue this SASO (as it was last SASO, but it seemed exacerbated this year) seemed to be cliques, especially because many people who did it last year returned this year. The mods cannot control participant behavior and I do not really expect them to, but I do think that some things implemented during SASO and some mod behavior did unfortunately encourage it. :( I'll talk about some of it below, but you're free to judge whether or not you think so too!

SASO Mod Twitter: Someone (or a few people) touched on this already and while I love memes, Sunny, and Sunny posting about memes, I do feel like it went overboard this year. I'm lucky enough to know a good chunk of SASO participants and mods to understand and find inside jokes funny, but at the same time, I do think it has the potential to feel isolating for those who aren't part of that friend group. Making the mods and event seem fun/approachable is important and has its place, definitely. It, however, has also downgraded the professionalism of the account and made it less organized for those who are just seeking information, which is a legitimate (and arguably primary) reason for following the account and the mods all promoting it. IMO, inside jokes as a reply or direct tweet to someone who understands them is fine as they do not appear on tlist if you're not following all people in the conversation, but pure tweets and using the twitter to "kill time"—as I think someone on there put it once—isn't appropriate use of the account. This is under the assumption that not many people scroll down the mod twitter on some sort of application that doesn't separate replies from pure tweets though. I'm really sorry if this seems harsh on one person, but I pointed Sunny out since I believe they're the publicity mod. ;; tl;dr I wish the official Twitter was more consolidated and professional so I could find information easier.

Recs Bonus Round: I really don't like this BR. I think it's unnecessary to give points for recs. I was neutral about it and participated in it last year, but this year I've had time to reflect and see the effects it has on people's behavior. I am all for people sharing works they like! I think it's great. I also realize that giving points for recommendations is a way of incentivizing people to do them, but I just don't like this system. It not only makes for empty recommendations like Lira and likely others have pointed out, but I think it contributes to clique behavior and opens the pathway for participants to feel terrible about themselves and their work. I've taken a look at the recommendations and many of them are "LOOK AT WHAT MY LOVELY/DEAR/FRIEND (username) MADE." I understand that a lot of SASO is about autonomy and personal choices, but is it necessary to attach recommendations to points? Aren't recs about sharing works you genuinely loved and want other people to also love? There's an emptiness to it when you make it worth something tan...gible... That isn't the right word, but I'm sure you understand what I mean. The points may not mean much to some people, but I've also seen it mean a lot to other people. Recs are a different kind of point value from the ones given for fills. Someone also told me that they've gotten the impression that people "exchange" recommendations for one another just from what they've seen. People will certainly feel whatever they want regardless and I don't think that's the mods' jobs to care about, but I believe in minimizing the chances of people finding SASO unenjoyable if possible... tl;dr I think a recs post in general is a great idea; I just don't like it being used as a bonus round worth points.

Fills Respecting Prompter's Tags: I do think that there is some merit in trying to at least suggest that posters respect the prompter's tags. Even if you add them to the top of your post, there still might be a chance the fill gets read by accident? Not all tags are related to NSFW content. I know just the mere mention of some things makes me really uncomfortable and anxious to the point of being unable to sleep, but they are not considered major tags. Those are times where I specify if I legitimately cannot stand something—and honestly, I feel bad if the poster feels bad that I, as a prompter, do not respond to their fill because I cannot healthily handle something in it. ;; At the same time, I don't think the mods should be policing behavior to this extent. I respect creative freedom, but I also respect people's differing comfort zones and find the latter more important, so a lot of it is up to participants. There will always be other prompts and people who are down for what you want. Always.

Myths & Lore Bonus Round: This is a lot of personal bias, but please bear with me here. I felt like this bonus round theme was too specific? I'm not the type of person who writes or even reads much fantasy or supernatural or etc, so I felt incredibly excluded from this BR even though I participated in it. I know a lot of people feel the same way I do. If more people like it than dislike it, I don't see a reason to listen to that part of my complaint, though. I guess the only legitimate thing I have to say is what everyone else has addressed: the timing of it. I personally would've liked to see this BR earlier in the game before MRs. I felt like putting it after MR2 put a really big drain on a lot of participants who had just gone through the hell of putting together an MR. It can be just me, but I'm the type of person that likes prompts or directions when I'm burnt out, so I felt like this BR could've been better placed in the beginning of the event. tl;dr I thought this theme was too specific and could've been better timed. I'd move it to the beginning of SASO if it's used again.

I feel like I'm forgetting some things I wanted to say, but can't think of them at the moment... Oh well. Hope I didn't sound too mean! ;; I really do love SASO and if I don't join again next year, it's mostly due to personal issues and not really anything with the event and how it's run.

Thanks for another year! o/
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[personal profile] sky_rose 2016-08-28 05:20 am (UTC)(link)
This was my first SASO, and although it did get stressful at times and I may've destroyed my sleep schedule a bit that was entirely me and overall I really enjoyed it! Thank you to the mods for all your hard work - I hope I'll be able to participate again next year.

I don't know how helpful my thoughts are since this was my first SASO and I was also just getting a feel for it and what it was about, but I'll do my best.

1. The twitter: I had no issue scrolling through memes/jokes/whatever to find what I was looking for, and thought they mostly added a fun aspect of community. That said, I think having a space for announcements only would be beneficial.

2. I really liked the voting system with the random selection of entries, actually - I think it was more encouraging for the teams in the long run since it felt like each had more of a fair shot at votes (though I do get why people disliked this). As people have said, this is for fun, and I don't think having a voting system where all the voters pick from the entire 30-something entries would benefit that. Also there's the issue of time; not everyone is gonna be able to look through that many entries, and the sheer number might put people off voting, especially as SASO grows. The selection of ten helps to narrow it down so it doesn't feel as intimidating imo (also it would be hard to remember which ones stood out the most with so many to choose from).

I second the idea for a "fan favourite" vote though, or something like it, for people who do have an entry they desperately want to vote for that isn't in their selection.

3. Promptless bonus rounds were great! The first one burnt me out a lot so I couldn't do much for the second, but that could be solved with some shuffling like others have said. The only round I really wasn't a fan of was the gift tags round - it's a nice idea and I can see why it could be fun for people, but I found it a bit too restrictive.

4. I highly disagree with capping bonus rounds or doing quality control. Both of those seem incredibly confining. Plus, "quality" is extremely subjective; what's "sub-par" to you could be something the creator is extremely proud of and that took hours to make. Putting limits on that hinders creativity and accessibility and that's not a good idea. I didn't write or draw nearly as much as some people did for this event, but it was still more content than I would ever have put out if SASO hadn't been going on. As someone with huge productivity issues it got me motivated to produce content and I really, really enjoyed just how free & fun & creative the entire event felt. I disagree with any attempts to cut that down.

Semi-related, I'd also like to say that taking part in a teamwork-oriented event was really great and I loved creating stuff /with/ people and working to improve while also having a good time. SASO brings out the sports anime character in me <3

5. The mods have lives beyond SASO, and we're here to have fun. Both these things are important to remember.

That's about it, I think! Thank you so much again to the mods for running this - y'all did an amazing job. Whatever ends up happening, I'm looking forward to next year!
dokuhan: David Cook with his awesome glasses (Default)

(frozen comment) Team DaiSuga

[personal profile] dokuhan 2016-08-28 05:48 am (UTC)(link)
First of all, mods - thanks for running a great event this year! It was my second SASO and first time being a captain, and I know you guys have a lot of work cut out for you so your hard work is appreciated. This is the most fun I've had in an event like this.

Unlike a lot of people, I really liked the system used for preliminary voting. A lot of smaller fandoms and rare pairs have a hard time getting noticed, so I feel like it was a great way to direct traffic towards them. It also made things easier for last minute voters like myself, since I didn't have to go through 30 different entries.

I wasn't a big fan of some of the bonus rounds this year. Promptless rounds are hard for me so I didn't get to touch much on the Myth & Lore section, plus I don't write a lot of fantasy so I couldn't really drum up excitement for it. After that it was kind of a downhill slope for me (and the rest of my team) because I'm not really apt at remixes and the rec round kept slipping my mind. If it'd had been a generic AU theme I could have probably pumped some things out, but then some people might think it's too broad. I'm also not a big fan of the images round, but I had the same feelings about it last year so - what can I say? I do wish there had been another encore round like last year since I had a bunch of prompts saved and I'd raved about it to my team as a chance to touch on ideas we didn't get to hit initially, so I was kind of disappointed in that respect.

The gift round and memory round were A++ though, I still have so much stuff saved from them that I want to try and get to. I also really liked the two week cycles, the faster pace made it easier for me, as a captain, to push my teammates to pump something out before the deadline hit.

Something I'm not a big fan of at all though, and a lot of people definitely will disagree, is the argument about quality and quantity. I've seen a lot of people complaining about the quality of fills and it's really unnecessary. SASO is a chance to force people to create, of course it's going to be pushing quantity over quality. It's also a chance for people to try out new things with art that they might not have considered before. Take myself as an example: I'm mostly a writer. I have skills in other things; I cosplay, I've made films, but I mostly stick to writing. When I write, I try to reach for the highest caliber since that's something I know I can manage. This year, though, I did some photography fills. Photography is one of my hobbies that's always kind of fallen to the wayside and even when I started getting back into it this year, it's mostly been landscapes and urbex stuff. SASO gave me a chance to try a couple of other things (even if they didn't get posted) that I normally wouldn't and realize "wow, I actually really do like this, maybe I should think about getting into it more". Were they the highest quality posts? Of course not. But they got me creating and wanting to make more art. That's the point of SASO. (Also consider that people put more focus on MRs.)

I wish the team rankings sheet had been updated a little bit more often. Mostly because my team was super competitive and we wanted to see who was ahead of us at all times so we could push each other to make more stuff.

All in all, I had a lot of fun and made some great friends! I can't wait to do it again next year! (And maybe SWAG this winter perhaps?)

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