notification of not being pre-selected

category: general [glöplog]
Serious discussion thread time.

So, what are everyone's feelings regarding compos not informing the participants that their entry didn't get through preselection?

Culturally we been accepting that as the status quo of how compos are, "will my track get played next?" is part of the compo hype but it's also a huge source of anxiety. I always been dismissing that as just "part of participating on the compo" but yesterday when i was telling my wife that they didn't play my wild entry on the compo and how i had been pre-selected before and happened quite often to a lot of entries, she was shocked the organization didn't even notify the authors before the compo playing that it wouldn't be played, in her eyes it was the minimum of courtesy they should be doing.

Talking about this issue on discord, some folks pointed out to me that this was one of the points listed on the discussion items of the demoscene ethics discussion group. So it is something that does heartbreak other folks. And a big source of anxiety which might be specially stressful for people that suffer from anxiety as it is, etc.

Don't have enough fingers in my hands and feet to count the number of musicians that sobbed in my ears their track didn't get played after all their hard work.

Isn't this something we should be "modernizing" at this point? Would it really destroy any magic of the compos as we know it? Or instead be a welcome quality of life improvement for the folks who don't dare submit prods anymore in fear of suffering through the compo only to realize they been pre-selected.

Curious to hear the community thoughts on this.
added on the 2021-04-05 14:46:04 by psenough psenough
Just for the record, the Wuhu entry status plugin does this, and as far as I remember ASM did this too.
added on the 2021-04-05 14:48:15 by Gargaj Gargaj
(Just for the record, this isn't really an opinion, I don't have strong thoughts about it either way.)
added on the 2021-04-05 14:49:43 by Gargaj Gargaj
Yes, being notified of whether an entry has been accepted or not would make things significantly more humane for the authors and I for one would be able to enjoy a compo much more if knowing for certain if my entry is going to compete or not.
added on the 2021-04-05 14:53:48 by g r ü p g r ü p
Part of it is probably a practical consideration that was a lot more applicable before online parties (how the hell do you reach 150 preselected jazz musicians who are probably boozing at locations more random than where Okkie hangs out)
added on the 2021-04-05 14:53:59 by havoc havoc
I kinda agree, that it would be more fair if the creators of entries not getting into the compo would be notified somehow. In fact, all these online party systems should make this quite easy, as the entry page visible to the user could show the entry state.

But on the flipside of things, I know it's also difficult being an orga in this case, because as soon as people see their entries removed from a certain compo, at a live party they will rush to you, and start to argue the decision, and in and online party just make noise all over the interwebz - and the more drink they had the more emotional and heated such discussions can get. Talking from personal experience here, where I had to step up to get rid of people questioning the decision of the music orga in the backstage, after a music compo. It wasn't pretty.

So yeah. Preselection is something everyone tries to avoid. But sometimes there are just no way around it, sadly, and how one prefers to swallow the bitter pill, changes from person to person. So it's difficult to come up with a process which would satisfy everyone. My 2 cents.
added on the 2021-04-05 14:59:33 by Charlie Charlie
Part of it is probably a practical consideration that was a lot more applicable before online parties (how the hell do you reach 150 preselected jazz musicians who are probably boozing at locations more random than where Okkie hangs out)

I don't think you have to tell them in person. A status flag in whatever compo organizing system is being used would be more than enough.
What Charlie said.
added on the 2021-04-05 15:20:35 by las las
I'd say an "opt-in" to knowing the status beforehand might be the way to go.
added on the 2021-04-05 15:24:25 by D.Fox D.Fox
I agree with d.fox
added on the 2021-04-05 15:26:02 by NR4 NR4
Visible status about preselection with feedback from the jury that performed the preselection would be my preferred way. I've been trying to reach out to compo orgas in those cases where I've been preselected to get the jury feedback, but that also creates extra hassle for the orgas.

PartyMan at ASM shows preselection and has option for jury feedback but I think the feedback is not visible to the participant, but at least it makes it easier to gather the feedback if someone asks for it.
added on the 2021-04-05 15:26:29 by eimink eimink
eimink: is it realistic to ask compo orgas for proper feedback beyond the standard "i'm sorry but we have limited airtime and we generally, subjectively, felt that other entries were more suited than yours to be presented on our compo"? most compo orgas don't have time to write down extensive feedback and/or discuss the merits of individual tracks with the creators before screening.

it's still gutting when you're preselected and then see other stuff much worse / bland / uninteresting then yours being shown. also the "no time to play everything" excuse feels horrible when your entry is purposefully short and they end up playing other entries that are 7-12 min long instead.

might be an interesting idea to have a place where people can go ask seasoned sceners for commentary before submission. but then again most sceners already do that with their friends (ie, send a preview, ask what they think how it could be better).
added on the 2021-04-05 15:43:33 by psenough psenough
to be honest, i may be somewhat less sensitive these days than the average, but being part of demo compos (or maybe 64k) which were preselected, it's quite a thrill when you don't know for sure, while edging towards the end of the compo if you were in the bottom 30 or in the top 3 :)
added on the 2021-04-05 15:51:21 by blala blala
so, dfox-s suggestion seems to be more-or-less the perfect solution
added on the 2021-04-05 15:53:54 by blala blala
I could have done with knowing beforehand too, as I found out literally thirty seconds before I was meant to host the competition in question. :)
added on the 2021-04-05 15:55:01 by Subi Subi
Maybe it would be a good strategy to add "preselection cause" categories as feedback? without direct interactions with the organizers. and not in too much detail, so it does not generate tons of overhead. like

* technical issues (clipping, bad mixing, might damage the PA, etc)
* artistic quality/personal taste (generic, uninteresting, I did not like it, sorry)
* rules (RTFM compo rules, dude)

That way every artist would get a set of at least 5 data points what went wrong with this entry
added on the 2021-04-05 15:55:43 by NR4 NR4
I also think that we should look into being able to play more of the entries somehow. Maybe reduce the time limit? 60 minutes of 4 minutes entries is 15 entries, 3 minutes would be 20 and 2 minutes would be 30.

2 minutes would be rather short though, so maybe also allow people to provide an edit to be played in the compo and a longer version for people to listen to later?

(after all, we limit the fast music to 90 seconds ;) )

This is, to a large extent, a problem unique to Revision these days, but I think we need to consider it if the possibility of remote entries exists.
added on the 2021-04-05 16:01:16 by Subi Subi
Hi there,

It touches the experience I had with Revision once.

I submitted a prod. On my browser side all went OK. To be sure I checked twice, reloaded! But the orgas have NOT got ANYTHING!

You may imagine the unpleasant surprise (and I imagine yours, this year, those who got preselected), while watching the compo I was participating in, I have not seen my entry. Just "The compo is OVER"... No "hello" nor "We got your entry, if not OK, we well be back to you". WTF?

To sum it up - yes, the "preselection information" or "rejection + REASON for that", IMO, should have been there since the beginning. Put it in a personal entry's page /area. OR send an email.

Lack of communication is one of the biggest human's drawback.

Cheers dudez!
added on the 2021-04-05 16:08:47 by sim sim
Maybe reduce the time limit? 60 minutes of 4 minutes entries is 15 entries, 3 minutes would be 20 and 2 minutes would be 30.

I already find Evoke's 3:30 too short, as a musician I would likely not contribute anymore if it went even lower than that, unless it's a special compo (like the 90s seconds fast music at Revision).
Well yeah, you can see it early at Assembly and it doesn't feel one bit better.
added on the 2021-04-05 16:25:33 by deetsay deetsay
Wholeheartedly agree. It wouldn't hurt to know the amount of entries either - and when yours is getting shown. It's fun and nerve wrecking to wait for your entry, but it's not fun to wait while your bladder is bursting but you don't know if you have time to do the tunnel run.
added on the 2021-04-05 16:30:42 by Preacher Preacher
No "hello" nor "We got your entry, if not OK, we well be back to you". WTF?

yeah, that should definitely be a feature, an acknowledgement (with a sha256 hash, beause versions often get mixed up, like, for example, yesterday)

it's not fun to wait while your bladder is bursting but you don't know if you have time to do the tunnel run.

but that's part of the thrill!!!!!!

more seriously, i really like dfox's idea above, that you can opt-in for this type of notification (bugs should be on by defauly, but preselection should be off by default)
added on the 2021-04-05 16:37:33 by blala blala
For a party like Revision where it's guaranteed there will be at least 15 music compo entries, I think it's perfectly fine to have a time limit of 3:30 or even 3:00. Between streaming, tracked, and oldskool, it was what, 3 hours of music? That can be a strain on both compo scheduling and the audience. If you can't or won't get your song under 4 minutes, save it for a party with fewer entries.
added on the 2021-04-05 16:38:00 by phoenix phoenix
If you want to maximize being a total Ass of Embly, you do NOT tell if an entry got selected to be shown, but you DO release and spread the entry nevertheless.
added on the 2021-04-05 16:39:16 by yzi yzi
regardless of way forward, i would personally love a slide saying "the following artists submitted entries that were not shown/played... bla bla... thank you!". that way you at least get acknowledged for contributing to the party etc.
added on the 2021-04-05 16:47:49 by prm prm