How should we select winners for unawarded contests?


Good points @seezal and @Front . We will work on adding a starter guide for contest holders with a goal to maximize their engagement and ratings during the contest.


And please do explain the rating system to the CHs. Many of them use 1s as a screening tool, even when names meet the criteria. Others seem to use 1s to punish creatives when they’re not getting what they want – which is often because they haven’t been quite able to articulate it. Hey: Maybe give an example (imaginary contest?) of sample names that failed/met/exceeded the brief: This would both display AND encourage good brief-writing!


yes quite annoying when one gets the same one rating as someone who enters


Hey @Jose you just put my best name out there LOL dang I’m gonna have to think of a better one oh I got it boggibooboo


I LOVE the sample name idea!! I would hope the CHs would take advantage of it. Great one, Stalias!


An idea would be not to use the 1 rating as a punitive rating. Give the CH only 4 ratings from 1 star to 4 stars but also include an option to click and flag the entry as “out of topic” or “didn’t meet requirements” or whatever.


some deserve a one star - there still needs to be a way to stop people entering complete rubbish


Yes, @Jose, but here’s a perfect example of how hard-working creatives are penalized by CHs who rate late or get clear only as the contest goes on.

In the “Door selling company needs professional name” contest, a new post today: “Sorry for the delay, rated almost all of them. Based on the entries we have seen yet, we like the shorter 1 or 2 word names, with original words. So not sentences like : Complete door suppliers.”

Is it fair that names that met the original brief (The Open Door, Door-to-Door Doors) were rewarded with 1s?


yes I got a load of ones in that contest :wink:


Agreed…my best entry suggestion was for unawarded contests…I never suggested to do it on an active contest. Who am I say to a Client this is a best entry? It’s subjective…

This was suggested on SH Admins thread on What to do with unawarded contests.

“How about if they don’t choose a winner, all the creatives that participated get to highlight Two of, what we feel is our BEST submission, and then SH votes on just the highlighted ones.
That way, we have some say in which name we feel should win. Less names for SH to vote on…#of creatives x2 names”

If there were names that were rated 4’s or 5’s add them in there too…it’s still less entries for SHAdmin to vote on, and everybody gets an opportunity to get voted on,


Agree, except that I’m still in the camp of choosing from the best rated entries. In July, CS chose an unrated winner in an unawarded contest where there were a lot of high ratings. I had never heard of the winner, but the person had a high namer score. Contestants then tend to think there’s bias toward namers with higher points or seniority. I think SH choosing from the highest ratings if they exist is the fairest way.


Hi SH staff, @Dan @Janice and to all the forum members. First of all, this is my first post in this new forum so it’s an opportunity to congratulate SH on all of these recent improvements. A huge leap forward. As a creative, it’s very encouraging to see these positive changes and your attempts to protect creatives and contribute to a healthy environment.

I browsed through the topics and this one caught my eye. I’m not sure I understand the new non-awarded contests policy. The way it’s defined now seems quite vague. To my understanding:

  • A single 5 star will likely win it. (why likely? What factors into the decision?)

  • If there are multiple 4-5 star entries- you choose from those and from starred entries. Based on what criteria? If I have two 5 star entries and somebody else has one 5 star entry does that give me an advantage? Would people who didn’t win a lot of contests or none at all get an advantage against veterans? How do starred entries come into the equation since they weren’t related to the CH but were simply highlighted by the users themselves?

  • If there are no 4 or 5 star entries, you choose the winner based on Starred entries. Most entrants here don’t know this new policy and from a quick browse I see you’ve been awarding contests based on that so that seems somewhat unfair towards people who don’t even know they need to star entries in each contest to be eligible in case the contest isn’t awarded by the CH.

Unless I’m missing something, the new process seems unclear, at best. Personally, I think it would be better for everybody if you would have a totally transparent process so all users can know things are done using a defined protocol.



@moretal, welcome to the forum. There are several posts on this topic and the rationale for using best entries for winner selection. To summarize, it works like this:

If a CH does not select a winner, then we invite users to submit best entries in a contest. We look at all top rated entries PLUS any best entries submitted. The winner selection is based on quality of name and fit to the brief. We can not always award the top rated entry, especially if we see that the CH stopped rating entries midway through the contest. Similarly if there are multiple entries that are 4-5 star entries, we evaluate them as well as other best entries.

This is a subjective decision, but we are not biased towards any contestant - we evaluate them purely based upon the entry itself.


Thanks. I understand. I think the previous method was more transparent since it was based on CH’s decisions. Personally I think that if someone gets more high entries than other contestants- they should win that contest, regardless of when the CH rated. Getting those 4 and 5 star entries or even getting more 3 star entries than others in some instances is usually quite hard and with this new awarding method you’re treating 3 stars, 4 stars, 5 stars and Starred entries (that aren’t related to the CH) in the same manner if you’re considering all of them for a win. To my understanding people who managed to get ahead of the competition (not an easy feat!) are treated the same as people who simply starred an entry or people who didn’t get as many high ratings. The decision becomes an unknown based on a subjective decision by SH staff between entries which I’m sure are all mostly to the point. I’m afraid I don’t understand the rationale since you have data based on what the client actually liked. I trust you guys and as long as you’re making fair decisions- I’m fine with whatever method you choose but I still think a totally transparent procedure that’s mostly based on CH ratings would have been best.


So in an instance when I first started here @Moretal I was in a contest where I had 4-5star names(two of which were bought) I lost this contest to someone who had 5-5 stars with no names taken or bought, Didn’t seem to fair to me. I would have loved to have had this current system in place back then. Also Many times Ch’s get overwhelmed with responses, questions… and don’t fully give consideration to all names is it fair to those that did not get in the hot spot of the ratings and left unrated? I do agree more credence should be given to the highest rated and or occasionally splitting a win if its to close to call.


Hi @seezall. Nice to virtually meet you. I agree that it’s not fair that a CH registers domains and gets away with it. I’ve had many domains registered by CHs in contests that I didn’t win. I usually don’t even check anymore unless I’m really suspicious. I think exceptions should be made in such instances if the act is caught before a contest is awarded.

Regarding the hot spot etc.- I mean… what can you do? Some CH’s get overwhelmed and stop rating. But you have that data that you can either use to award since it’s based on the opinion of the person whose money is being awarded or you can disregard it and go with what’s basically almost a lottery. I also miss the ratings rush many times and arrive to contests late. I still prefer contests being decided based on the opinion of the CH rather than a decision that largely disregards their input.

SH staff has the best intentions and I trust them to make fair calls, but let’s say you won another contest that day when a non-awarded contest is about to be awarded by SH and the decision is now between you and 10 other contestants. Will you be awarded another one when there are 10 other legitimate entries? Maybe, but if all the other entries are to the point perhaps someone else will be chosen who didn’t win recently. Or if there are two non-awarded contests about to be awarded on the same day or a couple of days apart- can SH really decide that one user will win both of them? Even if they’re the most deserving? I’m not saying that’s necessarily what will happen in those two instances. These are just examples to demonstrate that when things aren’t defined in a totally transparent protocol- things can get tricky. That’s why I think CH ratings, as imperfect as they are, should be the main basis for decisions because that’s clear cut.


I believe that before when a contest wasnt decided - the policy was to give the win to someone that had won before if they were trending - this was also unfair


Hi @Jose. The policy before was to give the win to whoever had the most 5 stars, 4 stars or 3 stars, regardless of whether they had won before.


Hi, Moretal. From someone who respects both your work and your above post:
I do agree that if one entry stood out during a contest in the ratings, and it’s someone clearly recognized to be a site contributor and not just someone who signed up just before that contest, that’s the entry that should win, whether the rating was a 5, 4, or 3. That was how things were done in the past. As much as we’d all like everything we star to be considered, when it’s your own lone entry sitting at the top, you’d like to feel it should get more consideration. I didn’t have any entries trending in the contests awarded yesterday, so I didn’t star anything. Having said that, I also trust SH “to make fair calls” and agree that CH ratings are certainly “imperfect.” It won’t ever be a perfect process.


Thanks @auntshommy. The respect is mutual. I think a lone entry at the top should definitely be considered above the rest. But also multiple 3, 4 or 5. Don’t you feel that if you have two 5 star entries and someone else got one 5 star entry, you should be the winner? With the way it’s defined now- in such a contest not only can you be beaten by the person with the lone 5 star entry- you can be beaten by a 4 star entry. Or by a Starred entry. How does that reflect the hard work you put in to get ahead of the rest? With all the talented people here, it’s pretty damn hard to get a better overall rating than the rest of the rated entries, whether it’s all of them or just some because the CH had a mental breakdown due to the avalanche of entries. I think it’s discouraging to see that the CH ranked you better and then end up not winning. As we all know, it’s all subjective and if I put myself in SH’s shoes and see 20 entries in front of me, all relevant (which I’m sure due to the high caliber of contestants here, would always be the case)- how do I choose one over the others? But I guess it is what it is. I trust SH to always be fair and treat each contest as a standalone.