Feedback on Voting in the FACT Challenge

Amy Sample Ward's picture

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback so far regarding your experience voting and participating in the FACT Challenge!  As a community-driven organization, we rely on your input, ideas, and goals to define priorities and drive delopment of our work. We are always the first to admit that our platform isn't perfect; but we are actively working to improve it all the time.  It's Day 2 of the Community Vote for the FACT Challenge and I want to take a few minutes to share some of the feedback and suggestions we've received so far, as well as some updates about our methodology and work.

More ideas to share? You can contact us any time via email or share comments on this blog post!

We recognize there are more steps to the voting process than you or we would prefer. That is why we've created a Voter's Guide tab at the top of the Project Gallery as well as instructions on the blog. These resources are provided for users looking to vote, as well as for Projects teams to point their communities to for assistance with voting (and to ensure they do not need to create instructions themselves).  We are very aware of the need to simplify the voting process and are trying to ensure we have the capacity in place to make those changes for Challenges in the future.

User registration

We require all users to register in order to vote as a way of avoiding spam, and ensuring that people are voting who intend to. We have always required registration for participation for this reason and included it in the FACT Challenge information. 

Many users, both in and outside of the USA, have encountered difficulty with the captcha/spam filter in the registration process. We are investigating the cause and have created accounts manually for users who report issues.

If you need assistance, we recommend:

  • Trying the audio option for the captcha, often this is easier to understand than the blurred visual option
  • Emailing us with the email address and username you are trying to create so we can manually confirm it

Where to vote

We have heard from many users asking "where do I vote?" When visiting the Project Gallery, all participating FACT Challenge Projects will be automatically sorted for you. Clicking on the name of a Project will expand the summary box to give you more information about the Project and the opportunity to vote. Click on the check box next to "FACT Social Justice Challenge 2010" written in red in the summary box. Here's an example screenshot:

Voting example

You can also visit a Project page by clicking on "Project Page" (the orange button in the image above) and vote directly on that page beneath the title.

This morning we changed "Challenges Entered" to read "Vote for this Project" and believe this will help users more immediately see opportunities to vote.

3-5 Votes Required

The NetSquared Challenge process is intended not as a popularity contest, but to be a place of collaboration and networking. All Challenges have required 3-5 Projects per ballot. In this way, we can ensure that there is less "gaming" of the system, and that the culture of the Challenge continues to align with the larger culture of NetSquared's work and community, both of which are also heavily reliant on collaboration, trust, and co-creation.  Project teams in the past have even promoted their Project and 2-3 others they thought deserved support.

It is important to note that Community Vote phase is not selecting the Winners receiving cash awards, but the 15 Featured Projects that move on to the judges; the actual vote count only matters to position a Project in the top 15 or not (does not have a weight on the judges' decision).

How to finish voting

We are fielding questions from users who have successfully added Projects to their ballot, but are now looking to finish, asking "how do I cast my ballot?"  Voting will be automatically tabulated after the voting period closes on Friday. Ballots are only valid if they include 3-5 Projects at the close of the voting period on October 15 at 5pm Pacific Time.

Just to clarify, there is no action needed to finalize your ballot – all ballots with 3-5 Projects included when voting closes on Friday will be counted, but you have until then to review other Projects and add them to your ballot if you’d like.

Contact Us

More ideas to share? You can contact us any time via email or share comments on this blog post!