I don't want to overwhelm you with work, nor seem like I'm coming here all preachy and with no skills to back them up. If this whole idea is beyond our collective (and I really do mean collective) capabilities, say so, and I'll try to come up with an alternative...
I definitely appreciate your suggestions. But there is a penalty :lol: !
If you start making suggestions, then I start asking for more help and input.
So, I will happily set up the contest database messageboard, but we need to populate it with data.
Any volunteers to chip in on this project? We can start with the info that Alan has on the main site (which can be translated into a "database/categorical" format). Then we have to cull through the forums and find whatever verifiable (and I mean legalistically
verifiable) info we can add.
So, "verifiable" would mean that we can easily prove whatever relationship constitutes the "impropriety or the appearance of impropriety". Ideally, this would be with some kind of public e-source (e.g., a web link), but if there are only paper sources, then we will need to be as specific as possible about these. Unsubstantiated word of mouth would not be good enough.
But the good news is that, as a consumer advocate, we don't have to legally prove "cheating". We are, in essence, coming up with a reputation assessment for contests and judges to better inform poetry contest consumers. If a contest has done something that creates the appearance of impropriety, then it should be watch-listed. Such appearances are legitimate reasons for not submitting money to a particular contest, press, or judge.
Consumer Reports might say: "We recommend that you don't buy this SUV, because it tips over too easily, in our opinion." That's basically what we have to say . . . "Foetry.com recommends that you not spend your money on this contest, because the prize has been awarded to a student of the judge in the past . . . or because the contest guidelines don't assure the entrant a fair assessment of his/her work, etc."
That is, we donít need to get evangelical and dish out vigilante justice. We are just trying to help poetry consumers to better understand how to get value for their dollars in the PoBiz.