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AGA Contest Scores and Criticism (was art and the planted aquarium)

On Sat, 17 Nov 2001, Robert H wrote:

> >>Actually, if you take a peek at the site, we basically did that.  I have
> added the judging criteria page back (thanks Robert S for the suggestion!)
> so you can see what exactly the judges used to rate each tank.  Over half
> the points were "art-related", but there is a percentage of the points
> just for "Viability", i.e. appropriatenexss of fish and plants.<<
> Why cant more of this information be put with the picture? A score on each
> of the catagories...something. I found it very odd both last year and this
> year when some entries that won a ribbon seemed to have only negative or
> critisising comments quoted. It just seems wierd to read critisisims next to
> a ribbon.  And another thing that bothered me was why is it that one judge
> in particular seems to have quoted comments in the majority of the entries
> while quotes from other judges are rarely given? I wondered why so much
> emphasise seemed to be put on the fish and inhabitants, everything from the
> colors of the fish clashing with the plants, thats seems extreme to me.

This reply is a little late, because I've been on yet another 2-week
vacation... We actually DO have the raw judge scores, and in an early test
incarnation of the website we did show them as part of the final site. But
the folks doing the planning & the judges all felt that this wasn't
really fair to the entrants.  A few reasons for this:  1) Some of the
judges just used the raw scores as a way to rank the tanks, and they
didn't view the scores themselves as important; 2) Some of the judges did
some preliminary "elimination" where they only scored what they considered
the top ten tanks; 3) Essentially, below the top 5 entries, the scores are

Now, as for the comments, there was a space as part of the judging form
for each judge to comment on EVERY entry.  Some choose to comment on
nearly every entry (Karen Randall most notably, who made an effort beyond
the call of duty).  Others offered comment on only a few select entries,
either because of time constraints or personal preference. The content of
the comments was entirely up to the judges, and every comment made is on
the site; no censorship or editing took place. And finally, all four
judges were informed that their comments would be seen publicly on the
site, so they knew to a certain extent what they were doing.

You aren't the only one who has noted the strange juxtaposition of
apparent "negative" criticism on the winning entries.  Others were curious
about this when I presented the winners at the convention.  So there's
your answer!

  - Erik

PS: Any winners wondering where your ribbons and such are, the box of them
arrived while I was on vacation, and I'm only starting to sort things out
now...thanks for your patience.

Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com