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
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)

(frozen comment)

[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.
platina: (Default)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] platina 2016-08-28 02:05 am (UTC)(link)
+1 on having trouble with the twitter account being more weird inside jokes than actual event related information. i don't care about your weird egg fetishes.

if you are not part of that circle, it makes you feel really out if place.
hapaxlegomenon: (Default)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] hapaxlegomenon 2016-08-28 02:48 am (UTC)(link)
I'm going to offer a response specifically to the mods on competing teams thing. As background info -- last year I had the same thought. This year, was captain of a team with several of the mods.

I obviously can't speak for the entire mod group, but the ones who were on my team were very good at maintaining separation and professionalism. I was impressed. They never gave away any "insider" information (no matter how much I whined at them about wanting to know if our MR1 entry had done well or not), and none of them were assigned as our team referee or acted as advisers to me or our teammates in an official capacity -- I always asked the mod team separately about any issues I had and the mods on my team never brought it up in any group or individual chats or told me who was answering my questions. I had the impression that they tried to stay very conscious of keeping their roles as moderators and participants separate, and from my perspective they did a good job.

I am aware that my opinion could be interpreted as being biased, and maybe it is and I'm unaware, but in my experience from this year I truly don't think that mods participating in the event itself is an issue anymore.
kazuyaloveseijun: (Default)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] kazuyaloveseijun 2016-08-28 02:52 am (UTC)(link)
I'm glad to hear that, thanks!
reffieisred: (Default)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] reffieisred 2016-08-28 07:18 am (UTC)(link)
I'll be really brief, but I really think that a "quality control" is kinda.... entitled? Especially for something done for free, for no prize, by people who have outside obligations.

Furthermore, I feel that judging things as "low quality" purely based on your standards or another's standards will only lead to arguments because of the pure subjective nature. Not to mention that just because something seem low quality to you doesn't mean that the filler didn't put effort into it.

Long story short, I feel it's kinda rude and impractical to implement a "quality control" for something extra tacked on. It is a BONUS round, after all. I don't think it should be judged that strictly at all.

horchata: (Default)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] horchata 2016-08-28 01:10 pm (UTC)(link)
With regard to the poetry length thing: 14 lines is the length of a sonnet, one of the most standard forms of formal poetry we have. 14 lines is a good beginning length to work from with this in mind! Works for Browning and Shakespeare, works for me! And as someone who writes poetry, I loved having that formal length to work from as a starting point.

I actually would love to have been able to write a prose poem (think Carolyn Forche's famous poem The Colonel), but had no way to distinguish a prose poem from a traditional small fic fill that just didn't fit the 400 word requirement. I'd love if that were an option somehow; I'm not sure how to regulate that to make sure it doesn't turn into a "this is why we can't have nice things" situation.
kitaiichis: (Default)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] kitaiichis 2016-08-28 11:30 pm (UTC)(link)
seconding this! 14 lines felt a good place to begin, with freedom to write formally or in free verse; especially since i was unsure where the line was re: prose v prose poetry, too.