There has been lot of discussion about Best Entries, and I would like to address this as openly as possible.
The unfortunate aspect about Best Entry selection is that every time we pick a winner using this process, we sense a general disapproval from several contestants who are unhappy with the selection. In many cases, we receive direct messages challenging our choices (when the contestant feels that their entry was better). In other cases, we hear that SH is favoring certain group of contestants and not others. If the winner happens to be new, we are told that we are favoring new users. If the winner has won before, we are told that we are not giving an opportunity to new users to win. If the name is not selected from list of top rated names, we are asked why did we ignore the top rated choice by CH. If the name is actually selected from the list of top rated names, we are asked what is the purpose of Best Entry selection, if we were going to pick a winner from top trending users. We are even told that sometimes we select a winner if someone complains enough in the Discussion forum, or sometimes it is the complete opposite that we purposely do not select a winner if that person has been more “aggressive” in the discussion forum.
Of course every one is entitled to forming their opinion and expressing them. I would only state for record that none of the above aspects have any influence on our decision to select a winner. The only thing that matters is the quality of the name and the CH ratings (if they exist).
We understand that quality can be subjective. The name that we may find to be the best quality may not align with someone else’s view of high quality. We appreciate that. However, the point is that we select these names after taking several aspects into account. We read the CH comments, we read the private messages between CH and the contestants. we look for explicit and implicit signs to gauge which entries were best appreciated by CH, and we then pick a winner. If despite all of the above, there is still no clear winner, we then pick a winner based on what we believe to the highest quality.
We have no desire, or reason to pick poor quality names, or to favor certain contestants over others. At the end of the day, the names that show up on the winner board directly represent the quality of Squadhelp brand. Therefore if we purposely pick any low quality names, we are actually hurting our own brand.
Frankly, we would rather not play this role of winner selection because we are concerned that this process is resulting in an unintended erosion of goodwill between SH and several contestants. It would be very easy to go back to the old process of selecting winners purely on the basis of CH ratings. However, as discussed in several other threads, that process has its own flaws. Therefore, we would welcome any suggestions about how to change the Best Entry/ Winner selection process where the role of SH is minimized.