How should we select winners for unawarded contests?

As a follow up to discussion in the previous topic, we would like to seek everyone’s input on criteria for winner selection in case of unawarded contests. Currently, if a contest holder doesn’t select a winner after repeated reminders, we select a winner on their behalf. Our current criteria is to pick the highest rated entry as the winner. However, there are times when multiple number of entries received the same rating, or none of the entries received any rating at all. In those cases, we have to make a subjective selection. We would like to make a change in this process, and seek your input on what might be a fair and objective way to select winner in these cases. We have setup a poll based upon alternatives we have considered in the past. Let us know what you think. (you can vote on the poll below or respond to the topic by suggestion any other alternatives):

  1. Pick a winner randomly. This removes any subjectivity and a winner gets selected purely based upon random selection. The downside to this is that the selected winner’s entry may not be the most deserving.

  2. Appoint a “winner committee” (from Squadhelp community). People in this committee would be empowered to select a winner for unawarded contests. However, this means that they would be able to see entries from all other contestants, which may not work for some contestants.

  3. Award the prize to the newest contestant (i.e. the person who joined SH most recently) to give them an opportunity to reach a senior status.

  4. Split prize money evenly across all contestants who have won at least one contest before.

  5. Don’t select a winner. Put money into a “Unawarded Pool” which can be used to host fun contests within the community.

  6. Stay with the current policy

  7. Other ideas?

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Giving new contestants an opportunity to shine would be my vote :smile:

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Only the most deserving entry Should be win by voting.
the voter may be the SquadHelp staff, pick top 5.
For voting that top 5 only non-participated members should be allowed.

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I do not like only choosing from those the CH has rated… because if they stopped rating early, that completely disregards the hard work and creativity of everyone that entered after that. Nor do I like taking into consideration of previous wins. There should be a public vote or selection committee based on the criteria outlined in the brief AND discussion from CH. If they do not choose, all ratings should be disregarded because we do not know at what point they decided to give up.


I would rather it stay with the current policy rather than any suggestion that allows members to view entries. Entries are often re-used for other contests and putting them out in the open in a private contest is wrong to me. Perhaps if the contest is public you can take a different approach but when I enter a private one , I expect it to stay that way. A split amongst the top 3 trenders might be a better way to handle it. At least they submitted entries the CH did like and probably stood a chance of winning. Top namers spend time and effort naming. A random selection does not reward effort or skill. Giving away money to a newbie is not right either. Status has to be earned. And a split amongst all is hardly worth it. A dollar or less per creative in a 100.00 contest??
Why bother? I think Jose’s idea of collecting an extra amount up front from the CH, say 10.00, that is refunded when the CH picks a winner makes a lot of sense and would likely work to get the CH to act.


Here’s my two cents (can I get change!)
Some should be clear cut only 1 5 star rated entry should win by default in unawarded contests, contests with multiple top rated entries should go to a public vote (names of contestants hidden during process) lastly Contests where only a few low rated or all unrated entries remain this money should be put into a kitty for a contest fund, gift cards for unusable point etc…

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Yes, the current policy works if there are top trenders on the contest, obviously he who has the most stars wins Lol…If the CH only rated a few, and Abandoned it, well, 1 reason maybe that the creatives have met the needs of a CH and they found their name OR CH disliked the entries and abandoned the contest…I think SH should contact the CH and find out WHY they abandoned it.

If there are no ratings, SH staff should follow the brief guidelines and vote on the names.

I agree with LuckyDuck, our names should NOT be put out there for everyone else to see…


I agree with the last few posts. The top rated entries are the ones that should be considered. I like SH’s current policy of awarding contests to the contestant with the highest point total. I don’t feel that new contestants should be treated any differently than long-standing ones; if they submitted the best work in a contest, then they should win. I would just ask that SH note if the contest is the only one they entered in the event they have some affiliation to the CH. Two things I don’t like: contestant voting, which is done on Naming Force, and open contests. And this especially goes for contests that start out closed and suddenly become open. We should be warned, maybe a 24-hour notification. Thanks!


Did they just say the NF word?? LoL, jk. Why not just roll it over to the next contest? There’s really no fare way of selecting a winner. A community vote has it’s pros/cons but would probably be the the least biased way of doing it. Not a this name vs that name vote but more like a one vote per person, excluding your own entries. I don’t believe seniority or whatever you want to call it should play a role in any of it. If it’s a private contest and you’re truly worried about all your special “omni____” names or your “Latin for this names”, maybe have each person select what they feel is their best entry. Then do the single vote off of those names.

so in a contest where I have 4 5 starts and some one else has 5 5 stars you all say the 5 5 star should win? let me throw a wrench in, say 2 of my 5 stars were registered as domains (Poss “sold” off by CH but not registered to CH) and none of the other contestants entries were registered the 5 5 star wins ??? this is where SH rules for awarding a winner gets flawed,

I mentioned NF because I disapprove of their voting system., I don’t think contestants should be voting in the same contests they’re competing in: too many ways to skew the results. Voting should always be anonymous. Possibility contestants who aren’t competing in an unawarded naming contest could do the voting, whether they’re logo designers who don’t name, or namers who just didn’t participate. And I also think entries should always be anonymous; the authors should be unknown to the voters, unless SH is doing the voting.

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If there are ratings, divide the money equally between the hightest-rated names. (If the highest ratings were three stars, all three-star names would get a %, even if it’s small. <-- These pennies can add up!) I don’t like giving preference to the creatives who have more than one, say, 5-star rating – too much risk of these names being simple variations on a theme.

If there are no ratings…well. Bear with me: This idea is a bit weird, but it’s fair, and it would encourage continued participation when we get frustrated with incommunicado CHs. Money from non-rated contests goes into a pool. This pool is divided, quarterly, between ALL SH users on a per-name-entered basis.

I really don’t like the idea of SH making the decisions. CHs often pick suboptimal names, and the last thing we need is more subjectivity.

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Lots of good points. So is it safe to say that we have a consensus on following points so far:

  1. Opening private contest for Public voting = BAD
  2. Incentive for Contest holders to pick a winner (such as refundable deposit) = GOOD (we are going to implement something along these lines)
  3. Dividing prize among all participants = BAD (because it will not leave much for anyone)

Still need more consensus on below points:

  1. If a contest has received 4 star or 5 star entries, pick the highest rated entry (or randomly among the highest rated entries). In other words, if 4 entries received 5 star ratings, then 1 out of the top 4 will get selected based upon a random logic. If only 1 entry received 5 star rating, that entry automatically becomes the winner.

  2. If a contest has not received any 4 star or 5 star ratings (or it is entirely unrated), SH to pick a winner based upon the criteria outlined in the contest brief.

We still do not like #2 above, because it leaves room for subjectivity and certain contestants might feel that their entry was better than others and more closely aligned with the brief. In case of #2, should we do something along the lines of @seezall’s suggestion? For example, add the money to a common kitty, and allocate it to forum moderators to run fun contests within our community?

Any other thoughts?


I’m confused why there has to be “a” winner. Is it for easier accounting on your end? (Which is legit, of course.) Splitting the prize would seem the most fair/less subjective.

If one winner works best, I like Seezall’s idea, assuming moderators are “paid” for their time.

@Stalias, our system is designed to select only one winner per contest. Changing that core aspect of system is something that is not possible in the near future. Therefore, we are suggesting a more practical option of selecting “a winner” using a random algorithm (to eliminate any subjectivity). This is only in the case when there are multiple users who have received 4 and/or 5 star ratings. The random logic will only pick between the top rated contestants for that contest.

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Thanks for the explanation, Dan. That’s kinda what I was guessing, but good to have it explained. And yes: Random is good!

You could also just pool the money and split it amongst the contest winners for that particular month or whatever allotted timeframe. There are lots of names that go unrated because of whatever reason so the award by ratings wouldn’t be a very fair way to everyone. We’re all naming ideas for the mind set of that particular CH. To then leave the decision up to a totally seperate person or group’s mindset, unbiased or not, kind of makes all the thought put into our entries irrelevant. As i wrote before, public voting wouldn’t skew the results as long as the names are anonymous, you have only one vote per contestant and you can’t place that vote for your own entries. It would also favor the higher ranked namers for the amount of names placed that could be voted for.

@Dan, Maybe it would be good to take some recent or even really old un-awarded contests as examples so that we can weigh in on each, a few different types as a case study per say, some with no ratings, some with a mix of ratings this should be the largest sample size (because this set will be the hardest to come up with a plausible solution) and some with only a few high rated entries! I think as in any scientific type study the cream (solution) will rise to the top.
P.S. Do you have the ability to set up a voting poll here?

Entries Submitted 641
Total number of entries rated by contest holder 33
Total number of participants 71                     
5 Stars 4
4 Stars 5
3 Stars 17
2 Stars 7
1 Star 0

This contest Goes unrated how do you Decide the Winner? I also think 30 days is Plenty enough time for a Ch to decide 60 days is too long!

EdoubleU…The issue with public voting is creatives don’t want their names revealed to everyone, anonymous or not. Other creatives have been known to ‘steal’ or shall we say borrow others names and ideas, sad, but true.
We enter private contests for that reason. I for one, rarely if ever, will enter a public contest, simply because I want to keep my creative concepts private.