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Author Topic: Contest voting schedule  (Read 13461 times)
eytanz
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« on: September 17, 2012, 10:08:42 AM »

Note: This schedule is currently a draft, to allow time for some outstanding queries to be resolved; I don't anticipate major changes, but there may be minor revisions.

There have been 92 submissions by 69 different authors. Given the very short lead time to the contest, compared to past contests, I think this is quite an impressive crop.

Based on these numbers, the voting will take the following schedule:

Round 1 - preliminaries

In round one, there will be ten groups - eight of 9 stories each, and two with 10 stories. The membership of the groups will be determined at random with the only constraint is that no group will contain two stories by the same author. The groups will be released at 2 day intervals and each will be open for voting for four days (96 hours). The top three stories from each group will proceed to the semi-final round.

Assuming all goes well and there are no unexpected delays, the schedule for round 1 should be as follows; note that as I also have a day job, I'm not going to commit to specific hours for groups to open or close:

-Group 1 - Voting opens 20 Sep, closes 24 Sep.
-Group 2 - Voting opens 22 Sep, closes 26 Sep.
-Group 3 - Voting opens 24 Sep, closes 28 Sep.
-Group 4 - Voting opens 26 Sep, closes 30 Sep.
-Group 5 - Voting opens 28 Sep, closes 2 Oct.
-Group 6 - Voting opens 30 Sep, closes 4 Oct.
-Group 7 - Voting opens 2 Oct, closes 6 Oct.
-Group 8 - Voting opens 4 Oct, closes 8 Oct.
-Group 9 - Voting opens 6 Oct, closes 10 Oct.
-Group 10 - Voting opens 8 Oct, closes 12 Oct.

Round 1.5 - tie breakers and second chance

If there are any ties in the first rounds that need resolving, they will be resolved in tiebreaker rounds after all ten groups have been voted for. In addition, there will be one special "second chance" round. This round will include the fourth place stories from each of the preliminary ten rounds. The two top stories from the second chance round will also proceed to the semi-finals.

- Tie-breakers will go up on 12 October (as soon as group 10 closes), and will close on 14 October.
- The second chance round will go up on 14 October, and close on 18 October.

Round 2 - Semi-finals

There will be four groups of eight stories each. Groups will be mixed so that no two stories that competed against each other in the preliminary rounds will face each other again, and no author will have two stories in the same group; beyond those constraints, the grouping will be random.

The top 2 stories from each group will proceed to the finals.

- Semi final 1 goes up on 19 October - 24 October.
- Semi final 2 goes up on 20 October - 25 October.
- Semi final 3 goes up on 21 October - 26 October.
- Semi final 4 goes up on 22 October - 27 October.

Round 2.5 - tie breakers

- Semi final tiebreakers will go up 27 October - 29 October

Round 3 - Final

The final eight stories will compete in a single poll that will determine the top 3 places.

- The finals will go up on 29 October - 5 November.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 08:27:42 AM by eytanz » Logged
eytanz
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 10:17:09 AM »

I forgot to say - I'm quite happy for feedback or comments about the posted schedule, but I'm unlikely to change it unless people make very compelling arguments.
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 11:08:51 AM »

I like the "2nd chance" part, makes it a little less painful to just barely miss that 3rd placer.  Smiley
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Bill
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 12:25:59 PM »

I'm with Unblinking as well, I think that is a great idea for a 2nd chance category. Plus for some of the writers that just missed out it will give them some continued excitement in the contest.
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Dem
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2012, 02:24:49 PM »

Looks very good to me. Thank you, everyone. And what a lot of entries - wow!
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kibitzer
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 08:25:09 AM »

There goes my life for the next month or so Wink
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TroaAxaltion
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 09:40:05 AM »

Compelling! A well-designed format that I'm proud to be a part of!

Shonen-jump-style-tournament: GO!

I'm so excited my heart is LITERALLY skipping beats. I've never had my stories judged by strangers before! Whew I... I just woke up and I need to lie down...
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Dem
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 10:08:52 AM »

Compelling! A well-designed format that I'm proud to be a part of!

Shonen-jump-style-tournament: GO!

I'm so excited my heart is LITERALLY skipping beats. I've never had my stories judged by strangers before! Whew I... I just woke up and I need to lie down...
Steady on! You'll be lucky to get to the starting blocks in one piece at this rate!
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julius blaze
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 03:54:02 AM »

I'm so excited my heart is LITERALLY skipping beats. I've never had my stories judged by strangers before! Whew I... I just woke up and I need to lie down...

Ditto!  This is my first time getting public feedback as well, which I trust to be more objective than the girlfriend.  Grin  I also can't wait to read the other new stories!  I read every story from the past contests to get an idea of what you guys like, and I have to say I have zero idea what to expect from my stories. 

Can't wait!
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Dem
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2012, 04:31:29 AM »

Grab the beta blockers - voting opens tomorrow. Well, tomorrow and a bit if you're east of the big waters.
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kibitzer
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2012, 04:32:34 AM »

Folks, settle down... there are some say-it-like-it-is critics here. They WILL praise where they see it but don't be surprised by some robust feedback. Just sayin'
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Bill
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 07:51:18 AM »

I know that first negative comment and inside you're like "Why would they say that???" It's good for the ego. It will be interesting to see the make up and tone of the peanut gallery this time since it's been a couple years since it was run.
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MCWagner
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2012, 07:59:36 AM »

Folks, settle down... there are some say-it-like-it-is critics here. They WILL praise where they see it but don't be surprised by some robust feedback. Just sayin'

But by the same note, there really aren't any downright cruel reviewers, based on the last time around.  If they don't like your story, they've usually got good reasons and even helpful advice on how to improve it... not insults or put-downs.
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Dem
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2012, 08:27:49 AM »

Folks, settle down... there are some say-it-like-it-is critics here. They WILL praise where they see it but don't be surprised by some robust feedback. Just sayin'

But by the same note, there really aren't any downright cruel reviewers, based on the last time around.  If they don't like your story, they've usually got good reasons and even helpful advice on how to improve it... not insults or put-downs.
Exactly. And anyway, getting a first taste of readers' views here before having to face a much more random audience whenever your work is published somewhere else is a lot like having your shots - it stings a bit and you might go a bit red, but then you can march off and face a whole plague of nitpickers with impunity. Mostly  Grin
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rlackeywrite
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2012, 09:37:18 AM »

Yeah, I can't wait to get the comments.  Negative comments are like picking lice.  Sure, it's embarrassing to find out you have the parasites, but you'd rather have someone pick them off than leave them there to suck your ideas dry.  So it's less like a firing squad, and more like a family of gorillas in the mountains grooming each other for nits.
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Scattercat
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2012, 10:35:47 AM »

I had forgotten how much fun it is waiting for the contest installments to appear. 
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Dem
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2012, 11:02:01 AM »

Yeah, I can't wait to get the comments.  Negative comments are like picking lice.  Sure, it's embarrassing to find out you have the parasites, but you'd rather have someone pick them off than leave them there to suck your ideas dry.  So it's less like a firing squad, and more like a family of gorillas in the mountains grooming each other for nits.

*scratching a lot suddenly*
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julius blaze
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2012, 01:43:04 PM »

Folks, settle down... there are some say-it-like-it-is critics here. They WILL praise where they see it but don't be surprised by some robust feedback. Just sayin'

That's what I want, though!  Wink
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Father Beast
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2012, 07:37:19 PM »

Yeah, I can't wait to get the comments.  Negative comments are like picking lice.  Sure, it's embarrassing to find out you have the parasites, but you'd rather have someone pick them off than leave them there to suck your ideas dry.  So it's less like a firing squad, and more like a family of gorillas in the mountains grooming each other for nits.

Admittedly, it is somewhat embarrassing to put forth this veritable masterpiece, only to have its gaping plotholes and general "meh"ness commented on. It only gets worse when you realize that they are right (maybe). Hopefully lessons will be learned....
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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2012, 11:45:53 AM »

Folks, settle down... there are some say-it-like-it-is critics here. They WILL praise where they see it but don't be surprised by some robust feedback. Just sayin'

True, true.  It's good practice if you want to keep writing.  Rejection is the norm, and usualy without reasons given.  Reasons are useful!

But by the same note, there really aren't any downright cruel reviewers, based on the last time around.  If they don't like your story, they've usually got good reasons and even helpful advice on how to improve it... not insults or put-downs.

Also true.  I think this is, in large part, due to the high quality of moderation on this forum.  They do a very good job cutting short insults, but allowing positive and negative criticisms of stories through.  And I think that carries into the contests to a large degree.
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Chuk
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« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2012, 06:17:40 PM »

I had forgotten how much fun it is waiting for the contest installments to appear. 

Yeah, "fun".
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chuk
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« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2012, 07:28:35 AM »

I had forgotten how much fun it is waiting for the contest installments to appear.  

Yeah, "fun".

Actually the most "fun" is seeing your story show up and then reading the competition and realizing, holy crap, the stories you're up against are way better than your own.

(That was not a dig; that was my experience from the last PC contest.)
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Chuk
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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2012, 02:19:58 PM »

I had forgotten how much fun it is waiting for the contest installments to appear.  

Yeah, "fun".

Actually the most "fun" is seeing your story show up and then reading the competition and realizing, holy crap, the stories you're up against are way better than your own.

(That was not a dig; that was my experience from the last PC contest.)
Yeah, IIRC there were at least a couple in my group last time that I would have voted for before my own (but luckily not three -- it would suck to 'have to' vote against your own story).
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chuk
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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2012, 05:40:52 AM »

Gah!
Every two days 9 or 10 new stories to read! I can't keep up!
Help!
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eytanz
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« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2012, 05:51:37 AM »

Is this a general problem? I could start spacing out groups more if people think this is too crowded. I don't want to leave the polls open longer as past experience shows that beyond the third day or so the votes start trickling in and it becomes a rather tedious waiting game, plus it would be unfair to the groups that already started (and finished) voting, but I could increase the gap between groups to 3 days if people prefer.

In case anyone is curious, by the way, the two groups with 10 stories in are group 1 (as you probably already know) and 6.
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Bill
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« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2012, 06:18:54 AM »

I think it is fine, I know there is a new set every other day but you still have four days to read them.
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« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2012, 10:23:31 AM »

I already made a promise to myself that I would vote but not comment. I'm too much of a nervous wreck to critique anyone else in this contest.

And yes, it's humbling to see what other people can come up with within the word count constraints. How do they DO that?
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Dem
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« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2012, 10:30:50 AM »

I already made a promise to myself that I would vote but not comment. I'm too much of a nervous wreck to critique anyone else in this contest.

And yes, it's humbling to see what other people can come up with within the word count constraints. How do they DO that?

I went so far as to create another account so I could join in with the comments on all the groups and not just the ones I'm not in, then I freaked out about using it!
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eytanz
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« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2012, 10:38:32 AM »

I already made a promise to myself that I would vote but not comment. I'm too much of a nervous wreck to critique anyone else in this contest.

And yes, it's humbling to see what other people can come up with within the word count constraints. How do they DO that?

I went so far as to create another account so I could join in with the comments on all the groups and not just the ones I'm not in, then I freaked out about using it!

As long as you're not using both accounts to vote, that's fine Smiley
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Dem
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« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2012, 11:14:03 AM »

I already made a promise to myself that I would vote but not comment. I'm too much of a nervous wreck to critique anyone else in this contest.

And yes, it's humbling to see what other people can come up with within the word count constraints. How do they DO that?

I went so far as to create another account so I could join in with the comments on all the groups and not just the ones I'm not in, then I freaked out about using it!

As long as you're not using both accounts to vote, that's fine Smiley


No. If I did, I regard myself as one person so only one of me would vote in any given round, but it's a potential confusion I don't want to have to grapple with so one account is banned from the polls.
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DoWhileNot
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« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2012, 03:09:51 AM »

Is this a general problem? I could start spacing out groups more if people think this is too crowded. I don't want to leave the polls open longer as past experience shows that beyond the third day or so the votes start trickling in and it becomes a rather tedious waiting game, plus it would be unfair to the groups that already started (and finished) voting, but I could increase the gap between groups to 3 days if people prefer.

I think if you did that I'd probably go nuts.  I'm having a hard enough time waiting two days as it is, and if it was up to me, I'd vote for every day.  But then by day 10 I'd probably be pretty worn out.  Two days is a good spacing.
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« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2012, 06:51:59 AM »

I think it's fine the way it is.  I am running a bit to catch up before polls expire yesterday and today, since I don't usually stop by the forum over the weekend, but it'll be fine--it's good that the polls last 4 days, I definitely wouldn't want anything less.
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Umbrageofsnow
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« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2012, 11:25:04 PM »

Yeah, I think the four days is okay, but any shorter and I know I wouldn't have time to vote some days, like toward the end of the week. I spend the most time on here on Saturday, Sunday, and maybe Monday or Friday night, but that Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday stretch is tough. I had to make time to vote in Group 3, as I almost missed it, and didn't find time to comment as extensively as I'd have liked to.

Also, the multi account thing makes me worry (I worry about plenty of stupid and trivial things) about the fact that my girlfriend has an account and is voting on the stories. We've been reading them together and discussing them, and while I don't think we've agreed on any set yet, I know there is some overlap, we're arguing about our favorites (and have similar taste) and we have been voting often on the same day, or within a couple hours of each other, often from different laptops on the same internet connection. I've been trying to get her to comment on some of them, but no luck so far. She has commented in the past on stories in the main podcast, just hasn't felt up to critiquing any of the flash stories in any way. Afraid of being mean or something.

Anyway, I hope this isn't a problem, and wanted to point it out before some moderator notices that we are coming from the same house or something. I was thinking about this during the nominations for Best of the Year last year, because once again, we argued about the best stories in private before nominating and voting in the forums, and it made me feel a bit awkward. I swear I come to my own decisions and we don't look at each other's computers for tactical voting or anything.

tl;dr: Justenjoying is my girlfriend, we are two different people, please be aware of this, dear moderators, if you are on the lookout for users posting from the same or similar IP.
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Max e^{i pi}
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« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2012, 01:34:42 AM »

Umbrageofsnow: You probably share an internet IP address with most of your neighborhood.
The way DSL connections work, you get an IP address inside a local area network (LAN) that belongs to your ISP, and they then have a single IP address that faces the internet. Just like on your home network you have multiple computers that have different IP addresses inside the network, but share an outside-facing IP address. This way there are many more devices than available IP addresses on the internet.
Pretty clever.
The upshot of this is that if somebody else in your neighborhood on the same DSL service that you are on is also a member of the forum, it may show up to the mods as the same IP address.
This is why it is not a good thing to ban by IP address.
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eytanz
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« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2012, 03:19:51 AM »

Umbrageofsnow - thanks for letting me know, but don't worry. I'm pretty well aware of which accounts that share an IP are legitimate - especially if they've both been forum members for longer than the contest has been running - and if I'm not sure, I've contacted the accounts by email to check.

Max - you're right, of course, but the catch is that while banning by username or email is effective for human posters, banning by IP is the only effective way to stop a spambot from returning. But generally these days we try to be quite careful before banning by IP - it's a last resort.
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« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2012, 11:30:39 AM »

Could I make a request about voting closing times?

If I follow the schedule posted at the top of this thread, I will be sure to miss all of the voting (yes, I tend to wait til the last minute). Having the closing time be at some ungodly hour of the morning on the date listed in the schedule is a bit misleading for those of us at the tail end of the world time zones. I assumed I had most of the day today to read and vote on group 4, so you can imagine my surprise when I logged in at 10 am to find the voting already closed.

So, my request is, could we move the closing time to something a little later in the day? Maybe something like midnight GMT would be a good standard, as that is clear and easy to remember. It's still a bit early for people in eastern pacific time zones, but you can't have everything... 
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eytanz
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« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2012, 11:55:16 AM »

The way forum polls work, I have to define the length of a poll in 24 hour increments. In other words, the closing time is always the same as the time I create them. We have forum voters and participants from all around the world (there's a pretty sizeable voting contingent from Australia), though it's true that the US accounts for the majority, and any time I choose will be better for some than others, so I went with the time that's most convenient to me, which so far has been around lunchtime in the UK. Starting next week my schedule at work is shifting, though, so I'll either have to post them earlier to later in the day. I still will probably not do it around midnight, but it won't be quite as early as it has been for some of the earliest groups.
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Leslianne
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« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2012, 02:29:23 PM »

If you're keen on waiting until the last minute, in the actual poll, before any of the entries, it'll say exactly what time the poll closes.
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« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2012, 03:42:18 PM »

Yeah, I'll just have to mentally shift the closing date one day ahead...

Thanks for the explanation, though, eytanz.  I'm surprised the software doesn't let you do anything other than 24 hour increments. Would it let you enter decimals? Like 2.5 days? Just a thought.
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eytanz
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« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2012, 03:56:09 PM »

Huh. What do you know. It allows fractions. I never thought to check.

I don't think it's fair at this point in the contest to change the length of the voting for each group, but this is good to know for future rounds.
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DoWhileNot
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« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2012, 04:47:33 PM »

Umbrageofsnow: You probably share an internet IP address with most of your neighborhood.
The way DSL connections work, you get an IP address inside a local area network (LAN) that belongs to your ISP, and they then have a single IP address that faces the internet. Just like on your home network you have multiple computers that have different IP addresses inside the network, but share an outside-facing IP address. This way there are many more devices than available IP addresses on the internet.
Pretty clever.
The upshot of this is that if somebody else in your neighborhood on the same DSL service that you are on is also a member of the forum, it may show up to the mods as the same IP address.
This is why it is not a good thing to ban by IP address.

Another good reason not to ban by IP address - if they use something like Tor, then they'll never appear to have the same IP address anyway because they're behind a mass of random proxies.  If you ban the IP then you're only banning one small node in the Tor network and as soon as they refresh they're on a new network.

This, by the way, is a pretty good way to access banned sites if you're in a place that has banned sites.  The Tor Vidalia bundle for Firefox is pretty nice, and while things slow down a little, they're not as slow as they would be if they were blocked by a firewall.
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julius blaze
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« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2012, 05:25:20 PM »

What is the schedule going to be like for the second chance round, semi finals, and finals?  Or is it not decided yet?
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eytanz
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« Reply #42 on: October 04, 2012, 02:51:14 AM »

It partially depends on whether there will be any tie-breakers - there hasn't been a need for them in the first five groups, but there may be one later. And depending on how many tie-breakers there are, I may post them all at once or space them out. The second chance round will follow the tiebreakers.

After that I haven't quite figured it out yet. I can't quite decide whether to follow the same format for the semi-finals as I have been for the groups, or whether to tweak it. Since most voters will have read the stories in those rounds already, I may post them on a tighter schedule - one a day - but give more time to vote in each.
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julius blaze
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« Reply #43 on: October 04, 2012, 03:09:36 AM »

One a day for the stories already read sounds good to me!
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Fenrix
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« Reply #44 on: October 04, 2012, 07:02:22 AM »

It partially depends on whether there will be any tie-breakers - there hasn't been a need for them in the first five groups, but there may be one later. And depending on how many tie-breakers there are, I may post them all at once or space them out. The second chance round will follow the tiebreakers.

After that I haven't quite figured it out yet. I can't quite decide whether to follow the same format for the semi-finals as I have been for the groups, or whether to tweak it. Since most voters will have read the stories in those rounds already, I may post them on a tighter schedule - one a day - but give more time to vote in each.

The frequency is less important to me, but the duration is. The later we get into the contest, the more time we have to spend comparing the minor flaws and determining which is less obtrusive. We've got the last chance, the semi-finals, and finals left. I think it's reasonable to post the tie-breakers and last chance tightly together and at a four-day duration. However, having the semi- and final rounds up for a full week may not be a bad idea, so that we can give folks the weekend.

We've got the last chance, the semi-finals, and finals left, right?
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eytanz
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« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2012, 07:11:24 AM »

We've got the last chance, the semi-finals, and finals left, right?

Yup.
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« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2012, 07:16:54 AM »

I would rather keep the timing as duration the same. I think a week is overkill. If my memory serves me correct, commenting dropped off after the preliminary rounds. The majority of people know what they like. Spreading it out longer I think is going to cause some people to drop interest.
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Bill
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Bow ties are cool


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« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2012, 07:35:06 AM »

A watched pot never boils. So I probably should stop hitting the refresh button in my browser every thirty seconds hoping group 8 will have dropped. Smiley
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Max e^{i pi}
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« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2012, 10:16:49 AM »

I think a single day to vote on the semi-finals and finals is too little.
I would want to re-read the stories I had already read, and to get a chance to read those that I haven't. (There are too many of those already :| )
Also, if voting is a single day and that one day I have something that prevents me from internet access or the time to go online and can't vote then pfft. Gone. That would be a shame.
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eytanz
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« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2012, 10:19:23 AM »

I think a single day to vote on the semi-finals and finals is too little.
I would want to re-read the stories I had already read, and to get a chance to read those that I haven't. (There are too many of those already :| )
Also, if voting is a single day and that one day I have something that prevents me from internet access or the time to go online and can't vote then pfft. Gone. That would be a shame.

No, you misunderstood. The plan isn't to have one day to vote. The plan is to put up one poll per day, then leave that poll open for 5-6 days.
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Dem
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« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2012, 10:21:12 AM »

I think the amount of voting time is the same, maybe slightly longer. It's just the groups that would go up each day instead of every two days. Yes?
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« Reply #51 on: October 04, 2012, 10:34:07 AM »

Ok, here's the proposed schedule for the remaining rounds. I'll give it until tomorrow afternoon to see if anyone can see any problems with it, then make it official:

- Tie-breakers will go up on 12 October (as soon as group 10 closes), and will close on 14 October.
- The second chance round will go up on 14 October, and close on 18 October.

- On 19 October, the semi-finals will start:
- Semi final one goes up on 19 October - 24 October.
- Semi final two goes up on 20 October - 25 October.
- Semi final three goes up on 21 October - 26 October.
- Semi final four goes up on 22 October - 27 October.

- The finals will go up on 28 October - 4 November.
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Devoted135
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« Reply #52 on: October 04, 2012, 01:02:12 PM »

I see a problem with it! I'll be out of the country from Oct 21-Nov 6 and don't yet know how much internet access I'll have. What's that you say? That's not a good reason to change it? Bummer. Grin Roll Eyes

Btw, anyone have advice about using an American iphone in South Africa? Preferably without sacrificing an arm and a leg?
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« Reply #53 on: October 04, 2012, 01:44:21 PM »

I think that voting schedule sounds good.  A longer voting period is good so a day or two's plans won't make me miss out, but packing them all closer is fine because I've already read all of the stories.  I already have some favorites and I'll only need to read those if I'm torn between two or more.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #54 on: October 04, 2012, 02:54:54 PM »

All the big time frames include a weekend, so we should be good. Thanks Eytanz.
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« Reply #55 on: October 04, 2012, 06:22:48 PM »

That looks awesome, thanks for doing all this!
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eytanz
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« Reply #56 on: October 06, 2012, 01:31:24 PM »

As it seems to be quite popular and no-one pointed out any problems with it, the schedule I posted above is now official.
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Umbrageofsnow
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« Reply #57 on: October 08, 2012, 08:57:55 AM »

I got to this thread too late to comment on the schedule, (and missed voting on two rounds of stories  Angry ) but that is pretty much the ideal schedule for me. Good job mind-reading, eytanz.
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DoWhileNot
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« Reply #58 on: October 10, 2012, 05:29:21 AM »

I see a problem with it! I'll be out of the country from Oct 21-Nov 6 and don't yet know how much internet access I'll have. What's that you say? That's not a good reason to change it? Bummer. Grin Roll Eyes

Btw, anyone have advice about using an American iphone in South Africa? Preferably without sacrificing an arm and a leg?

I'm in charge of the corporate cell phone accounts for my company, and even with international roaming turned on and an international data package added, you can expect anywhere from a couple hundred to a thousand dollar bill if you use your phone while in South Africa.  Poland is worse though. Smiley  I'd stick to just using your phone when you absoutely have to or when you have wifi access.  Also watch out for text messages - you'll be paying something like $2.00 a text, even if you have unlimited in the states.

Probably the best thing to do is call the cell provider and ask what your options are - some companies don't allow general users to have international roaming or data packages - they only give them to their corporate accounts.  If that's the case with your provider, I'd leave your phone home and buy a throw away one once you're in South Africa because it'll be much cheaper... heck it'd be cheaper to buy a retail price iPhone over there than it would be if you took your own phone.
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Listener
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« Reply #59 on: October 10, 2012, 07:41:11 AM »

Probably the best thing to do is call the cell provider and ask what your options are - some companies don't allow general users to have international roaming or data packages - they only give them to their corporate accounts.  If that's the case with your provider, I'd leave your phone home and buy a throw away one once you're in South Africa because it'll be much cheaper... heck it'd be cheaper to buy a retail price iPhone over there than it would be if you took your own phone.

Or just make sure your data is turned off and only wi-fi is left on.

Do people still text using carriers anymore? I've been using Google Voice for texting since I got an Android phone last year and even though my plan includes unlimited texts it still says "0" next to the Text line every month.
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eytanz
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« Reply #60 on: October 10, 2012, 08:29:26 AM »

If you're abroad and don't have data connection or a good roaming plan for voice calls, texting via SMS is often the only way to communicate.
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Listener
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« Reply #61 on: October 10, 2012, 08:43:47 AM »

If you're abroad and don't have data connection or a good roaming plan for voice calls, texting via SMS is often the only way to communicate.

Ah, indeed. I guess I'm just used to the ubiquity of wi-fi.
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Devoted135
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« Reply #62 on: October 12, 2012, 09:37:17 AM »

Thanks for the advice everyone! We've decided to use wifi where we can and a cheap local phone where we can't. Hooray for keeping all of our arms and legs! Smiley
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Father Beast
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« Reply #63 on: October 12, 2012, 07:03:39 PM »

aren't we supposed to have three tie breaker contests? Or are we spacing those out a day apart also?
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KaylingR
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« Reply #64 on: October 12, 2012, 08:15:36 PM »

Ugh, life and sickness got in the way and now I'm crazy behind...
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« Reply #65 on: October 13, 2012, 07:04:01 AM »


- Tie-breakers will go up on 12 October (as soon as group 10 closes), and will close on 14 October.
- The second chance round will go up on 14 October, and close on 18 October.



If the other two tie breakers aren't posted at the same time, then will there be a delay on the start of the second chance round?
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daneyuleb
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« Reply #66 on: October 13, 2012, 07:44:30 AM »


If the other two tie breakers aren't posted at the same time, then will there be a delay on the start of the second chance round?

I think somewhere it said that only ties for 3rd place (of which there is just one) get a tie breaker.  4th place ties all go to the 2nd chance round.  1st and 2nd ties don't really matter at they go to the next round anyway.  So, the current tie-breaker is it.

I think that's how it works.
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eytanz
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« Reply #67 on: October 13, 2012, 12:21:06 PM »

Daneyuleb is correct; there will not be tiebreakers for the two rounds where two stories tied for fourth, they'll just be 12 stories in the second chance round.
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DoWhileNot
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« Reply #68 on: October 13, 2012, 08:07:47 PM »

Thanks for the advice everyone! We've decided to use wifi where we can and a cheap local phone where we can't. Hooray for keeping all of our arms and legs! Smiley

If you're going to get a cheap phone there, look for one that's on the MTN network... it'll work almost everywhere in South Africa with voice, data, and text. 

You might also check what the local laws are - for example, in Peru you have to apply for a license before you can buy a phone. 
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Father Beast
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« Reply #69 on: October 13, 2012, 08:31:29 PM »

Daneyuleb is correct; there will not be tiebreakers for the two rounds where two stories tied for fourth, they'll just be 12 stories in the second chance round.

OK, thanks for the clarification.
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julius blaze
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« Reply #70 on: October 14, 2012, 07:57:06 AM »

What will happen with group 1 which has a three way tie for 4th place?
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eytanz
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« Reply #71 on: October 14, 2012, 09:10:21 AM »

It doesn't - it has a 3-way tie for 5th place.
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