Here's some general rules and guidelines that should be followed when hosting, entering and voting in the current SOTW contest.
(to clarify, threads are also called topics and vice versa, just n case anyone gets confused )
Holding a contest:
SOTW topics are to be posted once a week (the day to start it can be up to the person running the next SOTW). Only the previous winner may post a new one (unless they are unable to, in which they can pass the 'torch' on to the 2nd place winner and so on). SOTW topics must include the following criteria:
Size Limit (550x220 pixels)
Deadline for entry submission
(and a link to this thread in the SOTW Entry topic)
The organiser of the current competition has the right to allow or disallow entries that are slightly over the size limit IF THEY SO WISH (this will be left up to the discretion of the organiser). Obviously, entries that are blatantly too big, cannot be allowed.
SOTW entry topics are to stay up for 6 days after their creation. On the 6th day, a voting thread will be made that is to contain all the entries made in accordance with the guidelines. The person who posted the current SOTW thread is the only one who can receive entries and the only one who can post a corresponding voting thread. Entries may only be handed in by way of Private Message. No entries will be accepted if submitted after the deadline set by the person running the SOTW.
(ii) Voting Thread Requirements
- Only the person running the SOTW may post a voting thread.
- Every time a voting thread is made, it must outline in the heading, the number of the contest (ex. SOTW #14 Voting!).
- Entries received by the person running the SOTW in accordance with the previous guidelines thread will be inserted into the voting thread.
- The entries should be numbered, and posted in spoilers. (unless that's just an unofficial thing)
- There should be a public poll created so people can vote on their favourite entry. (The poll must allow for public voting so the person hosting the SOTW can monitor if any voting rules are broken)
- The entry with the most votes by the closure of voting (3 days after the voting thread is created) will be the winning entry.
- Every week, the owners of the winning entries will receive one of three prizes (1st, 2nd and 3rd only). These are chosen by the winners in order of placing. (1st gets to choose any one of the three prizes, second chooses next out of the remaining two prizes etc etc and so on). In the event that the winner forfeits their prize, it would be awarded to the next runner-up.
The winner of the current event has the option to run the next event, as they will not be allowed to enter the following event.
Submitting an entry:
Be sure to create your entry in accordance with the guidelines set by the person running the SOTW. Entries that don't match the criteria set will be regretfully declined. Contestants may re-apply until their entries meet the criteria set, but only before the deadline is up.
We encourage the use of stock images incorporated into your entry. Please refrain from just taking an image (which has been completed and is generally copyrighted anyway) and slapping some text and a border around it, as this will be considered as ripping someone elses hard work and calling it your own. Anyone found to be doing this will be disqualified from the current SOTW. Multiple occurrences will result in banning from future SOTW contests. We would like for entrants to further their skills by stepping outside their comfort zone and trying to learn new skills. There are plenty of tutorials out there to use Images taken from places like Deviantart.com can sometimes have restrictions set by the user who created them and this means you CANNOT use them in any way, shape or form for your own work, regardless of how much you change it. See this thread for examples.
DO NOT include your username in your submission. We want this to be a fair competition, and including your username could result in biased voting.
DO NOT openly post your work or PM to others for C&C. This will result in you being DQ'ed from the current SOTW comp and on further offences, banned from entering all together. This also includes not posting directly on the boards that you HAVE entered. It just makes it that little bit obvious as to the possible users styles and for people to pick out your signature amongst the others. Makes it less biased that way. If you are found to have posted that 'I have sent in my entry WOOT' etc etc it will be removed and a verbal warning sent to reiterate the rules outlined here. We want to keep this competition as fair as possible.
I have been asked a few times now if vertical signatures are allowed in the competition. I will allow them simply due to it being a different style and they can be quite interesting, however, we do not allow vertical signatures for regular forum use as they take up way too much room.
When hosting your image, we insist you use a hosting service that gives your submission a completely anonymous URL, to ensure that we have a fair and unbiased competition (imageshack.us, tinypic.com etc etc BUT NOT PHOTOBUCKET/DEVIANTART as these are easily traceable). Once hosted, your submission will then have to be sent by way of Private Message the person running the SOTW who posted the guidelines that your entry was made in accordance with. Only then can your submission be valid.
The creator of the current SOTW must double check each URL submitted to them and make sure they aren't hosted by Photobucket, as it is very easy to trace who made the signature if they use PB.
Please be sure to use "SOTW #[number] Entry" as the subject of your Private Message when you submit your entry to ensure that it doesn't get left out.
The voting process:
(i) Contest creator voting
The person running the SOTW is not permitted to vote in their own voting threads. This is to further ensure a fair contest.
(ii) Contestant voting
Contestants are allowed, but not forced to vote in a competition that they are a part of. However, voting for your own entry is not allowed and will result in disqualification. Also the creating of multiple accounts to vote for your own signature is against the rules of not only the SOTW competition, BUT of Neocodex as a whole. Anyone found to be doing so will be banned/disqualified. You are also not allowed to mention which sig is yours in any way shape or form, as this makes it unfair for the other 'anonymous' contestants and essentially gives you an edge on the voting. You WILL be disqualified on the spot no questions asked.
(iii) General public voting
People who are not taking part in a competition, staff included, are encouraged to vote in any voting thread that they come across.
Disclaimer: All votes made in polls are shown publicly. The person who created the poll will always know if you have voted for your own entry. At the close of the voting, the person running the competition must record all votes cast (also announce that voting is now closed in the thread). The person holding the competition can use the report button on the first post of the voting thread, to have it locked to ensure no further voting changes can occur once closed.
Whilst you are not forced to comment in voting threads, we wouldn't mind if you let everyone know what your opinions on the entries are, you're very welcome to do just that.
However, simply posting how none of the entries appeal to you, or general negative comments and flaming will not be tolerated and will be deleted and possible warns will be issued. If you're going to comment, please be considerate of the entrants feelings and explain why an entry didn't appeal to you, or did appeal to you. Simply saying "it sucks" and such will not be tolerated and contributes nothing. Constuctive critiscism is key here
(i) Secondary voting thread
If after the voting has completed there is not a clear winner, then the person responsible for creating the initial voting thread will create a secondary voting thread. The secondary voting thread will contain a public poll with the tied entries from the initial voting thread available for selection. All normal rules will apply for the secondary voting thread. The secondary voting thread will be open for 24 hours only.