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~
catlarks: (SASO: Cards)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] catlarks 2016-08-28 01:19 am (UTC)(link)
I do understand why it was implemented that way, no worries. And fwiw when I say "higher" I am mostly referring to the meta data AO3 requires in posting fics. Posting to AO3 involves a whole lot of fields that just take more TIME and THOUGHT than linking a NSFW piece of art or cosplay. (I take for granted that DW posting will likely require a specific format from users, but my fingers are crossed that it'll be very plug-and-play, do these exact things and you're set, versus AO3's subjectivity.)

At the last time I'd heard, tumblr had no RSS feed option, which is 90% of why I'd prefer another option for announcements. It is still very much my opinion that if the mods were to choose between DW and tumblr for announcements, DW is the superior option, but if the mods do the research and teach the userbase how to set up RSS email updates, I will say that this does meet my needs.

(the "competition" part of my post was honestly more in the hopes that the rest of the userbase will read it, imo the mods only can and should do so much to moderate the participants' competitive drives; this is something we gotta handle ourselves.)

I think a word count would also be a fair solution to the recs problem of "two sentences is way too flexible (and difficult to judge with a program)." I suggest hard caps because it's really, really easy to enforce, but if codermods are up to writing something that works with word count... That would go a long way toward ruling out fluffy, substance-less recs.

(tbh it's just not what I would have suggested because what's "most fair" is if only the rec blurbs themselves are counted for words, because there's a huge difference in words between "tags: none" and "tags: [a thirty word list with qualifiers]" and I assume this would be An Enormous Pain to code for. So... Good luck, sweet coder mod.)