Smart Contests


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Cyrus khamak
Posted: 6 years 5 months 22 days ago
Smart Contests

Photo contests can be fun and they may also encourage us to do better in our photography. But let’s face it, most contests are not really about you, or, about your photo. They are about how many friends you can bring to the website that holds the contests. This is why they encourage you, to bring all your friends to vote for you ! Even the contests where "Judges" decide, there is always someone favored by the admin for bigger prizes, I know, I have been there!
Megashot Smart Contests have revolutionized the way we know and the way we have Participated in contests before. They are as fair as any contests can possibly be and they are as fun as you can imagine a contest to be.

Megashot Smart Contests have Three Levels, all photos enter the contest at Level One. At Level One, every photo will be compared with 5 other random photos, 30 times, by 30 different contest participants. contest participants here, are called The Participant Judges. If the photo wins a comparison with 5 other photos, then the Participant Judge will rate it on it’s own merits on a scale of 5 to 10, with 5 being the lowest and 10 being the highest ratings.

You enter a contest from your Photo Page. Once you enter the contest, you will see the following screen::


If you click on the green button, you will continue with the contest and if you click on the red button, you will be placed back on the photo page, as if nothing happened. If you click on the green button, you will see the following screen which is the Sampling, or the initial comparison of 6 photos. This is shown in full screen and one can see all 6 photos next to one another to make a better choice, Of course in the real contest screen, the photos will be bigger than this ::


After you choose a photo you like best, you click on it and that photo will be shown in full screen and full size, for you to examine it better and rate it::


At Level One, if a photo is detected to be too popular to be at Level One, it will automatically move up to Level Two. At Level Two, it will be compared with more popular photos and it will be rated on it’s own merit, just the same way it was done at Level One. At this Level more popular photos will also be detected and they will automatically be moved to level Three.

Each time your photo moves up to a higher level, you will receive an email with the thumbnail of the photo in the mail. By clicking on the thumbnail, you will be placed at the higher level, ready to enter the contest at that Level. If your photo has moved up to Level Two for instance, This is the screen you will see, after clicking on the thumbnail, in your notification mail::


At Level Three, just like Level One and Level Two, each photo will be compared with 5 other photos, 30 times and will be rated by the Participant Judges, as the photo wins each comparison test.

If your photo has moved up to Level Three for instance, This is the screen you will see, after clicking on the thumbnail, in your notification mail::20100506084437_60307.jpg

At each level, photos which do not make it to a higher level, will exit the contest at that level and they will be ranked according to their Contest Points. Contest points is a photo's total Popularity Index, compared to other photos in a contest, plus the ratings it gets on it’s own merits. Also, at each level, when you are finished with voting and rating, you will see the Contest Statistics for the photos you have rated. This page looks like this screen::


The Logic behind Smart MegaShot Contests::

In a conventional contest, even if it was well intentioned, as we go through pages of photos, or as we scroll down the same page with many photos on it, how are we supposed to remember each photo, to be able to make a fair choice and a valid judgment? This could be possible ONLY IF we have a photographic memory, which most of us do not !

So, in Megashot Smart Contests, first we have a sampling of a small group of photos, viewed next to one another, on the same page. The Participant Judge, will then choose one photo He/she likes best. Once the photo has won the first comparison test, It will be rated on it’s own merits.

This Will accomplish two points:

First, each photo will get a chance to compete at a smaller level, with different combination of photos, many times.

Second, If you, as a Participant Judge, had some photos in front of you and you did not like anyone of them and have to choose one, your rating of the photo on it’s own merit, will express how good your chosen photo has been. Also, the automatic detection and transfer of more popular photos to a higher level, will further ensure fair comparison of photos of same quality. Also, by having the different levels, it gives a chance to more participants to win and to be recognized at different achievement levels.

Keeping all that in mind, if you are entering a Flowers Contest for instance, with a photo that you may believe is a top photo in it’s class, the following will happen to it once you enter the contest::

The photo will enter the contest at Level One. At this level, it will soon be recognized that it is a high quality photo and it will automatically move to Level Two. At Level Two, it may also be recognized that the quality of your photo is better than the average quality of photos at Level Two and it will automatically move to Level Three. At Level Three, After all the samplings and the ratings are done, your photo will exit the contest and will be ranked according to it’s contest points. If your photo does not move to a higher level, it will eventually exit that level and will be ranked according to the contest points earned.

ALSO, at the end of each week and at the end of each month, the Contests will self correct itself. This means that it will go over all images and all ratings they have received. It will examine ALL the ratings that the Photos may have received and also the rating behavior of the contestants who have rated that particular photo. In doing so, any abnormalities will be examined and probably corrected. For example, if someone has put a 5 on your photo JUST to try to lower it's rating average, it will probably be detected and replaced with a number which equals the average rating the photo had received up to that point. This will also work unfavorably against the Participant Judge who tried to "kill" a photo. So, at the end of the day, you will discover that the best way to win in the Smart Contests, is to be fair to others!

There are other checks and balances too and some, we cannot reveal. So, the best way to win in the Smart Contests, would be to play it fair.


We have received many positive and encouraging feedbacks from our friends and Megashot members who have tried the contests so far. I thought I would publish this one which also raises a question::

"I just played the contests and i must tell you that it all looked great and i really find it a great way to run contests. Wish you very best with them.

however, i was just wondering if there is any option to deselect a image once chosen for voting...or is there an option to view a larger picture before moving tothe rating page, in order to judge the quality. I couldn’t change the picture i had chosen to vote though i was not happy with the quality after viewing it large."

Here’s the answer to that question::

First, the size of the photos on the page of 6, is 300 pixels, which is at least 50% bigger than the size you see posted here. We thought this would be a good compromise between size and not having to scroll up and down the page. We want you to be able to look at all the photos at the same time. ALSO, by NOT allowing to go back and pick and choose, we are preventing one more way of abusing the contests.

But here’s the real answer why you should not worry if you make a mistake::

When you pick a photo from a page of 6, you are actually voting for that photo. Once you view the photo large, then, you rate your own vote ! So, it should not really matter much if in some cases you may not be able to make a sound judgment on that page of 6, because you will be complimenting your vote, with the rating.

Megashot's first official contest will be the Flowers contest and will start on June 1st, with 14 prizes. Please join our Facebook page, HERE, if you like, to keep up to date. Also, post your best photo to the wall and you may win a free pro subscription to Megashot, the World’s biggest and Most Exciting Photo site !

To Enter the Contests, please follow these steps::

1_Register for a FREE account HERE.

2_Upload to your site. If you need help uploading, please watch the Upload and Organize videos HERE and make stunning Photostream and galleries, like this, HERE

When you register to Megashot, you create a HUGE site for yourself. If you like to understand your site better, you can also watch these short videos, HERE

3_After upload, go to your photo page
4_ put your mouse over the photos and on the top left of the photo, you will see the "options" button, click on that.
5_From the drop down, choose "Send to a contest" and choose "Flowers"
6_read the rules and go through the process
7_Play the contest with as many photos as you like. The more, the better.
8_Please watch your mail as the mail you will get are VERY important, They get you and us, ready for the official contests.

Thanks and good luck!


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