The fairness of peer review with the integrity of expert review.
DailyAwards.com is a place for photography, but it is not just another
photography site. This is a place where you can meet, learn from and
compete with your peers from around the world. It is a place where
you can submit your images and get quick votes and comments from some
of the best photographers you will encounter.
DailyAwards.com is not a place to store your whole portfolio or share
images with friends and family.
There are many subtle elements that make DailyAwards.com the best
photo contest you will ever find. It is difficult to quantify
each and every one. This document will attempt to give you a view
of the mechanical pieces of the photo contest that make DailyAwards.com
You will find as you explore DA that it is fundamentally different
(and better) than any other photo contest you have experienced. First,
DA is strictly peer-review. This means no formal judging. Second,
not all voices are equal. Some votes count (a lot) more than others.
If you’re thinking this is not very democratic, you’re right, but you will
see why this is better for you later in this document.
DA was started January 25, 2006. The site has gone through a number of
evolutions that have added to its complexity and function.
It is this complexity that this document will help you overcome so
you can quickly leverage the power of this site to help you become a better
photographer (or show everyone that you’re already the best,
if this is the case).
Those who perform better have better insight. This is the essence of
the DailyAwards.com experience and this is why not all voices are equal.
Throughout the history of this site, it has encountered some harsh criticism of
this idea; however this is the core, the essence of what makes DA.
If someone were to line up 10,000 samples of anything and attempt to rank them
1 to 10,000, some judgments must be made. There are a number of ways a person could
go about this. Traditionally, with a photo contest, there have been two
1) A judge says what the order is or
2) Individuals vote and each image gets a score.
Now, DA introduces a third method that combines both concepts. In simple terms,
this idea says those who perform well make better judges. The better they perform,
the stronger their opinion.
The remainder of this document details some of the features and functions of
DA. This can get somewhat technical. Refer back to this
document often to understand the various topics as you use the site.
The weighted voting mechanism is the foundation that allows the site
philosophy that was detailed earlier to come to life. Every photographer at
DailyAwards.com starts at a weight of 1. Each individual has an equal
opportunity to earn more weight by winning awards. The weight those
awards grant can be unlocked by participating in the community
It is very important to understand that your weight has no bearing on
your performance! DA is a photo competition, not a weight
competition! Your best strategy is to continue to improve your
photography, submit your best images and your account weight will rise
as you progress.
So, you may wonder, what is the point of the weight system? Simple,
it rests the judgment of your image in the hands of those who have a
history of winning. Therefore, you should not worry about your own
weight (you cannot vote for yourself), but rather worry about submitting
images that garner high votes from other members with a high weight. You
also, by the way, need not worry about what some call ‘the troll voter.’
It is virtually impossible for a member to create a new account and affect
the scores of everyone else.
Take the following example:
Member A, with a weight of 500 casts the first vote on your image, a vote
of 8, making your score 8.0000. Member B is the second voter with a weight
of 400 and a vote of 9. Now your score is 8.4444. Now, along comes
Sally Lowvote with a weight of 5 and a score of 1. Oh no! Shouldn’t
your score now be a 6? If the contest took just the average, it would be,
but instead, the higher weights save the day and your score becomes 8.4033,
a difference of only 0.0407 points.
For a very precise understanding of how this formula works,
you can do the math*.
Voting is the lifeblood of the photo contest. If DA were an economy,
votes would be the currency. Voting is very simple and the rules are
few. You can launch the voting screen from any page on the site. Just look
under the contest menu. Images are always shown in random order and there is a buffer
at the end of each category to prevent members from voting on images as soon
as they are uploaded.
As for the rules, there is only one, vote what you feel is fair and be
consistent. Do not give in to pressure if people complain that your votes are too
low and likewise if they complain they are too high. You may use your
own voting scale. However, it is very important that you be consistent.
The site employs an automated (and very sophisticated) vote monitor.
If you vote a 5 on an image that is averaging an 8, it does not mean you
will be banned. However if you, for example, average a vote of 7.5
and you consistently vote a 5 for that member, you likely will. Or if you
average a 5 and consistently vote a 7, you get the point.
Learning is the best reward anyone can capture from this site.
If you improve your photography abilities even just a little while you
participate here, the site has done its job whether you take home 100
awards or just one. Because learning is so fundamental, there are
numerous ways to receive and leave feedback. One of those ways is
through the comment system. Here are the types of comments you can
receive on your images.
In addition to these comments, the site offers a
forum with many
very active participants who are a fantastic resource for feedback
and critique. Visit the forum today.
There are a number of ways to win an award at DA. The site gets
its name from the fact that there are some awards given out daily.
As you can imagine, while these awards represent a true accomplishment,
they do not carry the same value as winning an annual award. You may
see the About page for an understanding
of award values.
Awards are computed each day at the stroke of midnight (or at
least pretty close). The system looks at all the award
positions that are open (all category awards, each daily
award position and possibly weekly, monthly and annual spots)
and then looks at all the images that are eligible to fill those
spots. The image with the highest score for each award type is
given the award for that day.
There are two classes of awards for each award type, standard
and signature. Signature awards are given based on the
signature score (seen attached with each image). The signature
score is computed strictly on votes from signature members.
What are signature awards, signature votes and signature members?
Signature awards came about as an effort to further deploy the
core site philosophy. Signature votes represent the rating as it
is judged only by the top tier of the community. As such, these
awards carry a heavier value and are designated with a different
It is important to keep in mind that signature level voters do
cast votes that count when computing the standard awards, however
these votes are capped at one. In other words, standard ratings
are a straight average of votes, whereas signature ratings are
a weighted average.
This can be a very confusing concept. The portion of the system
that manages archiving is perhaps the most complex portion of
the site, surpassed only by collusion monitoring. The
fundamental idea is to keep the voting pool as lean as possible
to keep you collecting as many votes as possible. Rather than
diving into complex details over how this system works, it is best
just to say that if the system decides the likelihood of any image
winning any more awards beyond that which it is already qualified
are too low, it will remove that image from the voting pool.
That image is still eligible to collect any awards that it is
eligible for, but it will never be able to collect any
higher awards as it cannot obtain the votes necessary.
A subscription is not required to
participate in the photo contest, but there is a great
amount of value that you can get out of a subscription. The
primary feature that is unlocked with a subscription is the
advanced image stats page. This page will provide historical data on
the votes you have collected, let you request comments from voters,
tell you how likely the image is to win future
awards, show a graph of votes and allow you to report votes and see your votes
in common with each person who casts a vote on your images. This helps
you determine be more competitive and efficient in the contest.
If you made it this far, you deserve to be commended! This document
may seem excessive, but in reality it is far from complete. The mechanisms
that operate this photo contest are very sophisticated. Just remember
that you have a community of helpful peers who you can reach through the
forum, and an attentive admin staff who you can
reach through the contact form.
Best of luck!