Now that it’s over, I wanted to go back and share my thoughts on what I personally think was a successful contest. For starters, in the beginning I had hoped for at least 12-15 entrants. We got 26, so I was more than pleased with the interest and how quickly word spread.
I also want to quickly say to each and every entrant that your participation in this was beyond appreciated. I never took any of you, or your outfits, for granted. You made it incredibly difficult to be a judge because I recognized the passion and effort that went into the more than seventy outfits I got the pleasure of judging. I hope my words never came across as personal attacks in any way nor were they interpreted as such. The idea the whole time was to have fun and I recognize as it became more challenging some of that was lost and I’m truly sorry for it.
I mentioned in another comment to khizzara that we threw this thing together incredibly quickly. I got the idea and told Effy and with Tome involved we made it happen. Given the title, it was extremely important to me to launch it the same day as the NCAA March Madness. If it looked like we had it together all along, then we’ll take that as a compliment. But I admit in many ways it can be improved upon and I’m sure each of you would have done at least one thing differently (and possibly better) were you running it. I’ve mentioned all along that I have something else in mind for the not too distant future and I think the groundwork I’ve put into it will make it better because it already includes things that have since been talked about during the contest. There will also be more time and more judges (should they see fit).
Speaking of judging, One of the things I felt strongest in reading some of the comments was confusion over how we did things and voted. I’ll explain the overall process and then tell you things from my personal process. To start, once I received all the entries for a round they were put into a document with the details of the transmog, spots for each judge to score the three categories, and then a comments section at the end. We never sat down together and talked about any entry aside from “wasn’t ‘X’ something neat?” after the judging was done. Each judge opened the document on their own and entered their appropriate scores and comments. When all was said and done it came back to me to wrap up the details in the blog posts you saw here.
I never looked at how the other judges scored an outfit. There were at least two rounds where I was the last to score and comment. I might see what Tome and Effy thought, but not their scores. Speaking of which, never once did I play favourites with contestants. Quite often, the way my window was set up, looking at the picture and entering my scores meant the name wasn’t in view so I didn’t even know who I was voting on half the time. When I posted the results in my blog, that’s when I found out the total scores and who was moving on.
As for how I voted. I apologize for any inconsistencies anyone felt in how I judged. What I did was look at each outfit independently. I never compared except in the cases where it was obvious due to gear piece or similar entries. I didn’t look at Kuroma and compare to Cymre or anything like that. I looked at an outfit, studied it, picked out gear pieces, checked the gear pieces, and voted based on my honest reaction. For the three categories, I felt Originality was the uniqueness of the outfit’s look. Creativity was the gear pieces used to reach that look. In some cases if I felt someone went with the first shoulders that matched rather than a pair that made the outfit just that much better, I did hold back a bit in marks. Overall Impression was my thoughts just looking at it. That means I could still score you high for the other two categories even if I didn’t like the end product (or the other way around).
Let me wrap up this train of thought with two comments. The first is that I created the categories, so feel free to direct your thoughts about them at me with applause or frowns. I’m always open to improvement. Second ties into the categories, the scoring, and results. When I looked back on a round and saw someone was eliminated and I knew my judging pulled down their overall score…that felt horrible. As in, I felt bad/responsible for it and that was at no point fun. In hindsight I hated each and every elimination.
Now I know there was some surprise when it..erm…came out…that there was going to be a prize. Now, while I’m not begrudging Effy at all for letting it slip out, I had planned to keep that quiet and for a reason. Problem is, I never told the other judges that (or why) so it’s my own darn fault. I’ve been in many contests and competitions for fun, and they’re just that. However, with some people, the second you mention money or a prize, their perception becomes horribly tainted. It becomes more personal. They start reading into things that aren’t there and it just becomes a more venomous environment and that’s the last thing I wanted Mog Madness to become.
I do plan to hold Mog Madness again (and again? lol), and will take much feedback during the process and there will be more time and effort into improving on it. Honestly, hearing some people say the contest was less fun or stressful as it went on was disheartening. But, I say that in a learning way rather than a negative. So of course I’m going to want ways to make it better.
Having said that, there is something else I have laid the foundation for. Yes, it’s transmogrification related, but from entry to process to end result it’s going to be different. If you want to be a part of it as a judge (ok, well, that aspect is still there), please let me know by the end of the month. For those seeking more details at this time, I will not be obliging you. All I can say is keep checking in around these parts because it will be announced early so that word of mouth will draw in as many as possible.
I’m going to close things out by saying Mog Madness did turn out better than I had imagined. Spur of the moment things can work or fail and I didn’t know which end we’d created when we first launched. When it showed up on WoWInsider, I really wondered what we were in for. That was like putting a spotlight on an alley mouse as far as I was concerned. But I thank Anne for it. I thank Effy and Tome for jumping on board to judge and the three of us making the positives of the event what they were. I thank each and every contestant for laying it all out there each round, and for outfits that were just so incredible and diverse. Also, for those who weren’t participating but read along the way (biggest Cheerleader was Mrs. Amateur…who by the way probably would’ve made a solid judge in her own right), thank you as well. So many people on so many levels made this worth doing and I’m proud of it.