The rules for the 2010 Memory Makers Masters Contest have been announced, and they are a huge departure from previous years.
Submissions to this year’s contest will only be accepted online, and there will be a $10 entry fee – both a first for the contest. Contest entries are to consist of only 4 layouts. One is to be a layout created from the theme of “My Life”, and the other three are open choice, to represent the best work of the entrant. The deadline for entries is August 22nd.
In contrast to previous years, which required the submission of never-before-seen layouts, 3 of this year’s layouts (all of them except the My Life themed one) may be previously published work.
But the biggest change of all is in how the contest’s winners will be determined. 20 finalists will be chosen by the Memory Makers judges. The “My Life” layouts of the 20 finalists will then be publicly posted for a round of blind web voting by the public, to determine the 10 winners. Online voting will take place Sept. 9th-20th, and the winners will be announced before Sept. 25th.
Response from potential entrants to the rules changes has definitely been mixed, as can be seen in the Pub on Two Peas In A Bucket. The online entry procedure and entry fee are generally being accepted well, and sentiment is definitely positive about being able to enter without having to send an example layout that will not be returned (as was the case in previous years). However, there seems to be a lot of hesitation and concern about the new online public voting part of the judging.
Generally, concern is that the voting process will devolve into a popularity contest, despite Memory Makers’ promise that there will be rules for the finalists to keep the process blind and prevent it becoming a popularity contest. The concerns of most potential entrants seems to be that because the “My Life” layouts are the ones that are going to be posted for judging, it will be easy to tell who the finalists are, and that it will be impossible to prevent finalists from spreading the word via email requesting that people vote for them. Some people are already indicating that the fact that they feel they could never win the “popularity contest” of online voting will keep them from entering.
Is it impossible to keep public voting from being nothing but a popularity contest? Let’s just consider for a moment that Steve Wozniak has lasted this long on Dancing With The Stars, and leave it at that.
Of course, maybe a popularity contest wouldn’t be so bad for Memory Makers…they’d find out which of their finalists have the biggest fan base, and are the most marketable.