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2020 Challenges: Should Documentary and <400 Checks be permanent?

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Should Documentary and <400 Checks be permanent challenges?

Poll ended at September 6th, 2019, 9:19 am

Yes! Make both Documentary and <400 Checks permanent.
12
46%
Only make Documentary a permanent challenge.
5
19%
Only make <400 Checks a permanent challenge.
4
15%
No! Do not make either challenge permanent.
1
4%
Do not make either challenge permanent and remove permanency for Horror and Noir.
4
15%
 
Total votes: 26

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2020 Challenges: Should Documentary and <400 Checks be permanent?

#1

Post by sol » September 1st, 2019, 9:19 am

What does it mean if a challenge is permanent?
It means that the Challenge will be automatically included in the 2020 Challenge lineup (and beyond) without being voted on.

What are the advantages of certain challenges being made permanent?
Some believe that it simplifies the voting process. Of course any Challenge that is popular enough will gain enough votes in a poll anyway.

What challenges are currently permanent fixtures?
Only Horror and Film Noir.

Where is the 2020 Challenge Discussion thread?
I will be setting up that thread (and another) on this Saturday coming up (September 7) should everything go to plan.

See here - viewtopic.php?p=593926#p593926 - for a tentative schedule of all polls and threads in the 2020 Challenge series.

Why did you pick Documentary and Under 400 Checks as the two challenges to vote on this poll?
They are the only two challenge ideas that received over 40 votes when we were setting up the schedule last year.

Why are we only voting on two popular Challenge ideas? Why not 4, 8, 16 etc?
One of the things that we like to do with the Challenge Schedule is encourage variety and with less permanently fixed challenges, there is more room for less popular challenges to have a couple of whirls.

Where can I find the poll results from last year in which Documentary and <400 Checks did so well?
Country/Region poll results: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3973 + viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3972
Genre/Decade poll results: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3975 + viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3974
Theme poll results: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3977 + viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3976

I know 40 votes sounds like a lot, but is that the best way to determine which Challenges are popular?
Maybe so, maybe not. There are other metrics that I could have used (total participants; total number of films viewed, etc) but given that everything last year was determined based on democratic polls, using the votes is a simple way to get a snapshot of what we as a forum want.

Why is this poll only set to run for 5 days?
I would like to collect the results of this poll before opening the Challenge discussion thread (which I have scheduled for September 7).

How will you tally up the results here?
Every 'both' vote will count as a point towards both challenges. When this poll ends, I will take a look at how big support is for and against each challenge being made permanent.

Why are you giving us the option to take permanency away from Horror and Noir?
When we voted on the subject last year, it was only by a single vote that it was decided to have permanent challenges at all. With the sizeable number of new users this year who have been active in the Challenges (Traveller, Coryn, AB, etc), it only seems fair to have this question floated again.

Do you have a link for last year's permanency poll?
Yes, I do - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3925 - though you can also click on the words "last year" above.

Why are you running this poll? I thought maxwelldeux ran the Challenges!
The Challenge Olympics/Awards are max's baby. The setting up and determining of challenges is a combined, group effort. These are our challenges. :hug:
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#2

Post by 72allinncallme » September 1st, 2019, 10:32 am

Docs and <400 are two of the most popular challenges on this forum. Both in terms of movies watched and participants. That’s why I voted for both to be permanent.

The last choice is okay too. All four challenges will probably get enough votes in an open poll either way.

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#3

Post by blueboybob » September 1st, 2019, 1:04 pm

Do we have a path forward to "unpermanent" them if we do make them permanent?

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#4

Post by sol » September 1st, 2019, 2:02 pm

72allinncallme wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 10:32 am
Docs and <400 are two of the most popular challenges on this forum. Both in terms of movies watched and participants. That’s why I voted for both to be permanent.

The last choice is okay too. All four challenges will probably get enough votes in an open poll either way.
I am of the same opinion, for what it is worth. Might as well have all four of them permanent or none of them permanent. I am, however, abstaining from voting in this poll.
blueboybob wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 1:04 pm
Do we have a path forward to "unpermanent" them if we do make them permanent?
Yes. If similar conditions reoccur (permanency only wins by a slim margin; we get another surge of active challenge newbies), I would be tempted to run a similar poll when setting up the schedule next year. Assuming that I am still alive and well and still interested in hosting the schedule setting-up threads again.
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#5

Post by Coryn » September 1st, 2019, 2:06 pm

Can you explain a little more what permanent challenges are exactly?
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#6

Post by sol » September 1st, 2019, 2:13 pm

Coryn wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 2:06 pm
Can you explain a little more what permanent challenges are exactly?
I don't know if that's a joke response or not since I provided quite a detailed FAQ section, but assuming that you're not joking:

The Challenge Schedule is determined each year through a series of polls. We voted on suggestions and the most popular suggestions are then organised into a month-by-month schedule.

A permanent challenge doesn't get voted on. It is automatically considered part of the future schedule. Everything else needs to be voted on and achieve sufficient votes to be carried over to the next year.

See also:

Where can I find the poll results from last year in which Documentary and <400 Checks did so well?
Country/Region poll results: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3973 + viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3972
Genre/Decade poll results: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3975 + viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3974
Theme poll results: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3977 + viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3976

Do you have a link for last year's permanency poll?
Yes, I do - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3925
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#7

Post by Coryn » September 1st, 2019, 2:14 pm

It's not a joke at all...

I wasnt sure if it was a challenge that reoccurs every year or just one that runs the whole year through...

You can't assume everyone has as much knowledge about the forum as you do, be welcoming to newer users as well if you don't want this community to die please.
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#8

Post by maxwelldeux » September 1st, 2019, 6:10 pm

I might even go so far as to advocate making all Genre challenges permanent. There's a finite number of genres with some clear combinations (e.g., Sci-Fi/Fantasy) that reduce the total number of genres to not much more than twelve. I mean, Sci-Fi/Fantasty has been run every year since 2013, and been in January every year since 2015. Western has been run in May every year since 2013 (I can dig more of these examples up, too).

I'm also slightly against making any Themed challenges permanent, mostly because there are so many rich and cool and unexplored themes that I'd like to get votes out on themes every year. If <400 Checks makes it every year, that's fine - but I'd still like to put it up for a vote against other creative themes people come up with.

@Coryn (and anyone else who wants/needs it): Challenge History 101:

A long time ago, there was this horrendous space kablooie. A bunch of stuff was thrown out randomly, then started condensing, then blowing up again. Repeat this process for a while. One thing led to another, all this happened for the expressed purpose of creating official challenges on this forum. :P

Shortly after the forum was founded, we started having official challenges. Basically a friendly competition that lasted for a month on some agreed-upon theme. Horror has always been the most popular of these (thanks in large part to the forum founder), but there's been a lot of diversity in what gets selected for an official challenge. At some point in the year, people would discuss what challenges to set up for the next year and then set up the schedule. The process has been getting a bit more formal these past few years with voting and whatnot, but it's safe to say there was discussion, decisions, and scheduling. We're in the discussion stage now.

A couple years ago, we went from 2 official challenges/month, to 3. This came with the idea we'd do one country/regional challenge, one genre, and one themed challenge each month. We nominate challenges for each of the types, discuss the relative merits of them, vote, blah blah blah. We're getting to that stage.

The "permanent" discussion was on how to handle some of the challenges that are a) traditional, b) overwhelmingly popular, and c) aren't worth the time to discuss/vote on. Horror is one of those - it's been run every October since 2011, and all 8 official Horror challenges are among the 15 most popular challenges ever. We all know we want Horror in Oct, so it's not worth mentioning, really. Noirvember is similar - very popular and traditionally run in Nov; also not worth discussing. Documentary has been run every year since 2012, and has been scheduled in Dec the past couple (and again this year). It's a popular choice that's gotten a lot of votes when we've voted on it; so now we're asking if it's worth voting on.

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#9

Post by Traveller » September 1st, 2019, 6:26 pm

Didn't think sol's answer was rude in any way, the more so as his FAQ explained everything pretty well. :think:

I'm more or less indifferent when it comes to the poll; all are challenges I would consider participating in next year. Based on forum conversation, it seems like all of them would gather a decent amount of votes regardless.
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#10

Post by sol » September 1st, 2019, 11:02 pm

Traveller wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 6:26 pm
Didn't think sol's answer was rude in any way, the more so as his FAQ explained everything pretty well. :think:
Thanks, Trav. It took me a while to put that FAQ section together, so I'm glad that it is useful.
Coryn wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 2:14 pm
You can't assume everyone has as much knowledge about the forum as you do, be welcoming to newer users as well if you don't want this community to die please.
I am intrigued by your reaction. Do you mind elaborating? My "joke" comment was a reaction of genuine surprise. I spent the better part of an hour putting a FAQ section together, so I was not expecting someone to still be confused after reading the thread and clicking on all the links. Hopefully max's response makes more sense if my wording is confusing. I certainly didn't mean to offend you - and if I was trying to be unhelpful, I would have not attempted to re-explain everything in my reply to you.
maxwelldeux wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 6:10 pm
I might even go so far as to advocate making all Genre challenges permanent. There's a finite number of genres with some clear combinations (e.g., Sci-Fi/Fantasy) that reduce the total number of genres to not much more than twelve. I mean, Sci-Fi/Fantasty has been run every year since 2013, and been in January every year since 2015. Western has been run in May every year since 2013 (I can dig more of these examples up, too).

I'm also slightly against making any Themed challenges permanent, mostly because there are so many rich and cool and unexplored themes that I'd like to get votes out on themes every year. If <400 Checks makes it every year, that's fine - but I'd still like to put it up for a vote against other creative themes people come up with.
It is indeed likely that Western and Sci-Fi/Fantasy will be repeated. I don't know if having five genres cemented in is a bit much though given that we are voting for six new ones each year.

Interesting. That's similar to my logic regarding Country/Region polls, for which I want nothing locked in since there are so many parts of the world that it seems unfair to do so.

I am curious to see the final results of this poll, but having nothing permanent might in fact be the logical solution moving forward...
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#11

Post by mightysparks » September 2nd, 2019, 12:02 am

I am for making these 2 permanent, and keeping horror and noir. If something’s already been run every year, and is consistently popular it’s going to be run every year regardless of whether we call it ‘permanent’ or not; so it may as well be permanent. There’s still a lot of room for new/non-permanent challenges. The <400 list gets updated every year and is a joint forum effort so the challenge seems like a nice thing to have alongside it (though it goes for a year right? Or is there a monthly one too; in which case permanency might not make sense). Im not sure how popular the doc challenge is but it’s definitely one of the bigger genres where a regular challenge makes sense. I’m also for sci-fi/fantasy for the same reason.

I think the challenges are an important part of the forums identity and the regular challenges should reflect that to a degree; so horror and noir are traditional challenges that are very popular, and <400 is a forum list so I think these 3 in particular are important. I also think the directed by women one is a good choice since Allison does that every year anyway and it’s sort of become a forum staple in my eyes as well.

I don’t participate in many challenges these days so idk how popular some of them are, so I’m not taking that into account as much (except horror which is overwhelmingly popular).
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#12

Post by maxwelldeux » September 2nd, 2019, 1:47 am

sol wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 11:02 pm
maxwelldeux wrote:
September 1st, 2019, 6:10 pm
I might even go so far as to advocate making all Genre challenges permanent. There's a finite number of genres with some clear combinations (e.g., Sci-Fi/Fantasy) that reduce the total number of genres to not much more than twelve. I mean, Sci-Fi/Fantasty has been run every year since 2013, and been in January every year since 2015. Western has been run in May every year since 2013 (I can dig more of these examples up, too).

I'm also slightly against making any Themed challenges permanent, mostly because there are so many rich and cool and unexplored themes that I'd like to get votes out on themes every year. If <400 Checks makes it every year, that's fine - but I'd still like to put it up for a vote against other creative themes people come up with.
It is indeed likely that Western and Sci-Fi/Fantasy will be repeated. I don't know if having five genres cemented in is a bit much though given that we are voting for six new ones each year.

Interesting. That's similar to my logic regarding Country/Region polls, for which I want nothing locked in since there are so many parts of the world that it seems unfair to do so.

I am curious to see the final results of this poll, but having nothing permanent might in fact be the logical solution moving forward...
I'm with you on not having any Country/Region ones cemented either - too much of the world to explore.

But yeah - unless we start including subgenres, I don't actually believe there are enough genres to vote in 6 new ones every year. Related rant that I know is a losing battle, but I'll rant anyway: Decades are not genres! So if we treat decades/times as themes, we're left with ~20 genres that I think we can pretty easily group into 12 challenges.

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#13

Post by Lonewolf2003 » September 2nd, 2019, 8:30 am

Is there an overview of which challenges, particular these 2, were held run every year the last few years? To me that says more about deciding to make some permanent than the amount of votes in the poll last year.

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#14

Post by shugs » September 2nd, 2019, 9:09 am

Lonewolf2003 wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 8:30 am
Is there an overview of which challenges, particular these 2, were held run every year the last few years? To me that says more about deciding to make some permanent than the amount of votes in the poll last year.
There's an index of past challenges here viewtopic.php?f=9&t=543

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#15

Post by sol » September 2nd, 2019, 10:47 am

mightysparks wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 12:02 am
I think the challenges are an important part of the forums identity and the regular challenges should reflect that to a degree; so horror and noir are traditional challenges that are very popular, and <400 is a forum list so I think these 3 in particular are important. I also think the directed by women one is a good choice since Allison does that every year anyway and it’s sort of become a forum staple in my eyes as well.
I always enjoy participating the Female Directors Challenge and were we to grant permanency to a more broader scope of Challenges, it would seem to be a logical pick.
maxwelldeux wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 1:47 am
Decades are not genres! So if we treat decades/times as themes, we're left with ~20 genres that I think we can pretty easily group into 12 challenges.
If I recall correctly, the logic for grouping Decades and Genres together was in order to stop the Theme Challenges from being so overstuffed with possibilities. As it is, I had to run three preliminary polls last year just to narrow down the number of Theme suggestions to vote on. That said, I am not married to the idea of including Genre and Decade in the same column, so if everybody else wanted this changed, it is certainly something that we could discuss.
Lonewolf2003 wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 8:30 am
which challenges, particular these 2, were held run every year the last few years? To me that says more about deciding to make some permanent than the amount of votes in the poll last year.
As mentioned in the OP, there are a number of different metrics that I could have used to determine popularity. Using the poll votes seemed to be the best way to get a current snapshot of popularity and what participants currently want. The forum membership has changed a bit over the past few years, and what was popular once then is not necessary so popular now and vice versa. And if I were going to change metrics, I would probably be more interested in total participants and average number of films seen in challenges ran since that says more about popularity than then them simply being run. Let's see how we go. If I am still running the Challenge Schedule next year and if permanency is still a sticking point, I might use another metric instead to decide which further Challenges should be put up for possible permanency.
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#16

Post by jeroeno » September 2nd, 2019, 11:39 am

For me these two are amongst my favorite challenges so I'd say yes sure make them permanent, however I feel we don't need to make anything permanent because if they're popular enough they'll get enough votes to be included anyway. And then there's something to be said about making France and Italy permanent as well. They're always going to be amongst the first 12 countries/regions in our polls.

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#17

Post by Lonewolf2003 » September 2nd, 2019, 11:43 am

sol wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 10:47 am
mightysparks wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 12:02 am
I think the challenges are an important part of the forums identity and the regular challenges should reflect that to a degree; so horror and noir are traditional challenges that are very popular, and <400 is a forum list so I think these 3 in particular are important. I also think the directed by women one is a good choice since Allison does that every year anyway and it’s sort of become a forum staple in my eyes as well.
I always enjoy participating the Female Directors Challenge and were we to grant permanency to a more broader scope of Challenges, it would seem to be a logical pick.
maxwelldeux wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 1:47 am
Decades are not genres! So if we treat decades/times as themes, we're left with ~20 genres that I think we can pretty easily group into 12 challenges.
If I recall correctly, the logic for grouping Decades and Genres together was in order to stop the Theme Challenges from being so overstuffed with possibilities. As it is, I had to run three preliminary polls last year just to narrow down the number of Theme suggestions to vote on. That said, I am not married to the idea of including Genre and Decade in the same column, so if everybody else wanted this changed, it is certainly something that we could discuss.
Lonewolf2003 wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 8:30 am
which challenges, particular these 2, were held run every year the last few years? To me that says more about deciding to make some permanent than the amount of votes in the poll last year.
As mentioned in the OP, there are a number of different metrics that I could have used to determine popularity. Using the poll votes seemed to be the best way to get a current snapshot of popularity and what participants currently want. The forum membership has changed a bit over the past few years, and what was popular once then is not necessary so popular now and vice versa. And if I were going to change metrics, I would probably be more interested in total participants and average number of films seen in challenges ran since that says more about popularity than then them simply being run. Let's see how we go. If I am still running the Challenge Schedule next year and if permanency is still a sticking point, I might use another metric instead to decide which further Challenges should be put up for possible permanency.
My thought process was that if some challenges are already semi-permanent, because they are being held annual anyhow it is a small step to make that unofficial permanent status official by making them permanent. Because practically there wouldn't change much in the schedule. Of course we can always take away permanence status from challenge.

I’m not for making challenges permanent. But if these challenges end up in the schedule every year anyhow, I also understand that we might as well make them permanent instead of revoting on them every year

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#18

Post by albajos » September 2nd, 2019, 11:51 am

Things that make sense:
<400 and DtC as those are connected to two official lists we make ourselves

For visibility:
Female directors, minority directors and LGBT+

anything else is quite unimportant, really

---

Id rather just let the four most popular (in total points) every year get a free pass.
As we have had situations where challenges get more votes than actual participants, so people just need to put the money where the mouth is to decide it.

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#19

Post by 72allinncallme » September 2nd, 2019, 12:29 pm

albajos wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 11:51 am

Id rather just let the four most popular (in total points) every year get a free pass.
That’s the best solution really, but when we do the poll in September/October there is still many (popular) challenges left.

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#20

Post by 72allinncallme » September 2nd, 2019, 12:31 pm

albajos wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 11:51 am
Things that make sense:
<400 and DtC as those are connected to two official lists we make ourselves
Agreed. Unfortunately the DtC noms challenge wasn’t that popular. I’d still wish it to be held every year though.

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#21

Post by albajos » September 2nd, 2019, 12:33 pm

Two solutions:
Well, we don't have to do the poll in sep/oct.

Uncertain challenges they can still be options.

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#22

Post by sol » September 2nd, 2019, 1:29 pm

This might be an interesting topic to revisit in December/January. At that point, we'll have full participation statistics for all 2019 challenges. We might then be able to decide early in the year (rather than in September) what (if anything) should be made permanent. At the moment, we seem to be just opening can of worms after can of worms. As others here have pointed out, if Challenges are popular enough, they will make it into our 2020 Schedule, permanent or not.

At the moment, I'm inclined to just use the results here to determine what to do with Noir, Horror, <400 and Docos for 2020 - with the understanding that we will revisit this topic for future years planning at the conclusion of the 2019 Challenge Olympics.
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#23

Post by maxwelldeux » September 2nd, 2019, 5:34 pm

Challenges that have been run at least 5 times:

- Academy Awards
- African
- Animation
- Cult/Grindhouse/Drive-In
- Documentary
- Eastern European
- Films Directed by Women
- French
- Horror
- Japanese
- Noir
- Russian
- Sci-Fi/Fantasy
- Silent
- Western

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