A job too good to refuse

Flanney's picture

A link to a page holding a design competition found its way to my inbox today. The offer really is too good to be true..


Banner Competition

Whilst preparing for the launch of the Taskforce and this website we were looking at a mock up of the site. It looked a little bare. We needed a banner. We thought, who better to supply the banner than you? So rather than send the job off to the department’s designer we thought we’d hold a competition to design a banner for our site, and a logo for the Taskforce.

The prize? Well like a lot of things on Web 2.0, there’s no money involved, just your pride in your work and the opportunity to have that pride vindicated and acknowledged publicly – in short a platform to show the world how good you are! And a platform to express graphically the potential of Government 2.0.

So get to it.

The address is http://gov2.net.au/banner-competition/

If your keen better get in quick, I'm sure there are going to be plenty of quality designers chasing that sweet reward.

Pride....

Ehague's picture

That isn't too bad. Believe it or not, there are a lot of spec design competitions out there for which the only compensation is shame.

eliason's picture

Duck!

Nick Shinn's picture

Well like a lot of things on Web 2.0, there’s no money involved...

Except, of course, for the people making the hardware and running the server farms. Some users are more equal than others.

Ed_Aranda's picture

I wonder if they realize how blatantly insulting they are coming off. They better hope the high school kid that ends up doing their banner knows his or her way around CS.

paragraph's picture

Good lord, these people are here in Oz. Perhaps we could leave comments like this one:

http://gov2.net.au/2009/06/22/our-design-competition/#comment-105

aluminum's picture

I'd enter but the US Pride to Australian Pride exchange rate just isn't favorable right now.

paragraph's picture

:0)
(Infectious smile)

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Speaking of contests, here's something new:

http://www.specwatch.info/

[Via Quipsologies.]

paragraph's picture

My comment. This sentiment could apply in the US, and (especially) UK as well ... (malignant ellipsis)

bowerbird's picture

it's funny to watch no-budget operations try to get stuff via "contests".

and it's even funnier to watch newbies scramble for some "exposure".

but the funniest thing of all is to watch "established" players cluck
their disapproval and get hot-and-bothered about "exploitation",
and grandstand with such futility about so-called "professionalism",
and sputter about to build a ring of shame around the other parties.

so, all in all, it's very funny. :+)

-bowerbird

Nick Shinn's picture

I am in fact a professional, and our organization has a policy against spec work, and we believe that not only serves our interests but makes the world a better place.

--Nick Shinn, R.G.D.

Flanney's picture

No-budget operation?

They claim to have a departmental designer.

Not to mention that its a government operation.

Don McCahill's picture

I can't say I am impressed by the design of the SpecWatch page. Maybe they should have a contest for a better design. (Or perhaps the existing one was the result of a contest.)

:)

bowerbird's picture

nick said:
> I am in fact a professional,

congratulations.

> and our organization has a policy against spec work,

i believe you. because it's a professional organization.

> we believe that not only serves our interests

i'm sure that it does.

> but makes the world a better place.

of course.

-bowerbird

bowerbird's picture

flanney said:
> No-budget operation?

no budget for a banner, nope.

> They claim to have a departmental designer.

yeah, but he refuses to do spec work,
so he won't be entering the competition.

> Not to mention that its a government operation.

well, that explains why they have no budget for a banner.

-bowerbird

aluminum's picture

bowerbird said:

> congratulations.

you

> i believe you. because it’s a professional organization.

don't

> i’m sure that it does.

need

> of course.

to

>no budget for a banner, nope.

reply

> yeah, but he refuses to do spec work,

to

> so he won’t be entering the competition.

every

>well, that explains why they have no budget for a banner.

sentence

bowerbird's picture

some sentences are so stupid they _deserve_ no reply.
but if it's quick and easy enough, i might do it anyway. :+)

-bowerbird

Nick Shinn's picture

so stupid they _deserve_ no reply

I wouldn't say my post was stupid.
I was pointing out that professionalism is not, as you infer with the term "so called", an opinion designers may have of themselves, but may also be by constituted by membership in an organization that is recognized and respected by non-designers, and, in the case of the RGD, defined by government as a profession, in a similar manner to the traditional professions.

bowerbird's picture

your post wasn't stupid, nick...

it should've been quite obvious
which post i was referring to...

as for my use of "so-called",
that might not be quite so clear.

i was referring to my impression
that if someone has to constantly
remind others that their output is
"professional", there is something
slightly contradictory about that...

especially when that person is upset
because "amateurs" might be taking
a paycheck away. no self-confidence.

finally, it's also extremely ironic that
there was no paycheck involved here.

so a professional would sniff, and walk on.
right? nothing to see here. so move along.

do eagles get perturbed by pigeons who
are busy fighting each other over crumbs?

-bowerbird

p.s. the word you were looking for is "imply",
and not "infer"... "infer" was what _you_ did...
but considering that "infer" is what you did,
and "imply" is _not_ what i did, there is some
strange correctness that you chose that term.
to me, if you get paid, you are a professional.
whether the government recognizes it, or not.

Nick Shinn's picture

if someone has to constantly
remind others that their output is
“professional”, there is something
slightly contradictory about that...

I don't think so.
As far as one's practice goes, one might choose to raise one's prices, sniff, and walk on.
But there are duties involved in being a professional, one of which is advocacy.
I recall attending a talk by FHK Henrion many years ago, where he stated the duties--first to conduct one's business properly, but also to organize, promote, and educate.
We have to continually get the message out as to what is appropriate behavior, because the culture of graphic arts has been so disrupted by digitization that there are many without a formal education who, according to your basic definition of professional as getting paid for work, are professional designers, but have no idea what is ethical or not.
Sure, it's a power play by the establishment, but it also represents the cultural equity of evolved values, a remedy to the race-to-the-bottom free-for-all which does nobody any good in the long run.

bowerbird's picture

ethics? given the $700-billion ethical breach on wall street,
i think any competition over a banner on a website is trivial.

but whatever, your beef is not with me.

remember, i'm laughing at everyone involved in this thing;
and talk of "evolved values" is a real howler to me, sorry... :+)

if you _really_ want to get involved in "education", though,
i'd suggest you start at the top, with google. they're doing
a program where they invited artists to design their page...
for no pay. and a number of artists said "no pay? no way!"
which i salute. google just shrugged, because other artists
thought that the "exposure" would be well worth it, to them.
which i salute... so google, one of the richest corporations
in the world right now, got their art for free. i salute that...
at the same time i'm saluting everyone, i'm laughing at 'em.

because to me, it's one big game of rock-paper-scissors...

-bowerbird

Flanney's picture

bowerbird said:

> No-budget operation?

no budget for a banner, nope.

If you don't have a budget for a banner then don't have a banner.


> They claim to have a departmental designer.

yeah, but he refuses to do spec work,
so he won’t be entering the competition.

First, not all designers are men.

Second, the point of having a departmental designer is so that when you need design work done, someone with intimate knowledge of your business is on hand to do it—eliminating the need to hold a 'competition' like this.

Finally, the departmental designer wouldn't refuse to enter the competition because the departmental designer would be getting paid for their time—winning entry or not. Not spec work. Just work.


> Not to mention that its a government operation.

well, that explains why they have no budget for a banner.

If you don't have a budget for a banner (or logo—which is really what this competition is asking for) then don't have a banner (or logo).

So really—bowerbird—i dont think any of my sentences were really so stupid

Nick Shinn's picture

any competition over a banner on a website is trivial.

Yes, this is a trivial corner of the world, but it's our corner.

i’m laughing at everyone

The plebs are so amusing.

if you _really_ want to get involved in “education”

M. Henrion was being quite literal, he meant teaching students, which I do from time to time.
If anyone should take on the corporate crowdsourcers, it would be the AIGA, but that's not my organization, so I'm not familiar with the political feasibility of that.

bowerbird's picture

flanney said:
> If you don’t have a budget for a banner
> then don’t have a banner.

let them eat cake.

> the point of having a departmental designer
> is so that when you need design work done,
> someone with intimate knowledge of your business
> is on hand to do it—eliminating the need to
> hold a ’competition’ like this.

blah blah blah. your beef is not with me.
don't you get it? i'm _laughing_ at you...
and i'm laughing at you because you are
so insecure about your "professionalism"
that you believe your beef is with _me_...

the more you continue, the more i laugh!

the fact of the matter is that there are
all kinds of entities out there who are
getting people to _give_ work to them.

does it suck that people are willing to
do _your_ job for absolutely nothing?
well, it sucks for _you_, that's for sure.
especially since your "customers" might
decide they like the amateur work better!
but hey, that's the way the ball bounces...

> Finally, the departmental designer
> wouldn’t refuse to enter the competition
> because the departmental designer
> would be getting paid for their time—
> winning entry or not. Not spec work. Just work.

your sense of humor is seriously lacking, dude.
to the point where it actually becomes funny...

> If you don’t have a budget for a banner
> (or logo—which is really what this
> competition is asking for)
> then don’t have a banner (or logo).

and why should this entity "go without" something
that _someone_ is willing to _give_ to them freely?

why?

because _you_ would rather have them _pay_you_?

look, this is all funny enough to me, even without
you giving me even _more_ reason to laugh at you!

besides, your bias here might be very shortsighted.
perhaps this entity is simply trying to _engage_ their
target audience by involving them in a little "game".
maybe they're attempting to whip up some interest.
my word, could anything be any more boring than
"government 2.0"? the thought of it makes me puke.
but remember, i'm not defending these cats at all...
i am _laughing_ at them. and i'm not defending the
people who submit work to this little "competition".
i'm _laughing_ at them. oh, and i'm laughing at you.
and the more you persist, the funnier the joke gets...

> So really—bowerbird—i dont think any
> of my sentences were really so stupid

i was not referring to you earlier.

however, if you keep trying this hard,
you are showing some real potential...

-bowerbird

Flanney's picture

bowerbird said:

your sense of humor is seriously lacking, dude.
to the point where it actually becomes funny...

If you mean my sense of humor is lacking because I didn't find any of your 'jokes' funny

It's because they aren't

Laugh away buddy, laugh away

* on a side note, i get your point about engaging their target audience in a game. If that were the point, fine, but they have been contacting designers directly asking for entries (a.k.a. asking for them to do work for free)

paragraph's picture

Don't waste time arguing with it. It's not interested in arguments. It knows best, it's only trolling.

bowerbird's picture

flanney said:
> Laugh away buddy, laugh away

oh i will, don't worry... :+)

by the way, just so you (and nick) know, i'm a poet, and contests
like this are very common in my trivial corner of the world too...

and i laugh at the contest-makers here in my corner too.
and i laugh at the poets who submit hoping for exposure.
and i laugh at the poets who cry "foul" at the whole thing.

because, you know, it's _funny_, it really is...

***

speaking of competitions, though, it is perhaps ironic that
today, "the netflix prize" has finally gotten a qualified entry.

> http://www.netflixprize.com/leaderboard

i don't know if you're familiar with this particular challenge,
but some 3 years back, netflix offered a million-dollar prize
for significant improvement on their recommendation engine.

> http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/winning-teams-join-to-qualify-for...

teams of statisticians have been on the attack ever since.
one team -- a merger of two previously-existing teams,
both of _them_ the result of prior mergers -- has finally
reached the threshold, triggering a "last call" for all teams
to try to match or beat the leader. if no team can do that,
and the leader's results stand up against all netflix data,
the million-dollar prize will be awarded...

considering that netflix has like 10 million subscribers,
the per-subscriber cost of this prize was 10 cents each.
since good recommendations result in happy subscribers,
and better retention of their monthly fee, that's a good deal.

the nice part is that netflix only gets a nonexclusive license,
so the inventors of the methodology can license it to others,
who will likely be motivated to pay much more for the system.

another nice thought is that the teams that came "very close"
might be motivated to turn their systems into "open source",
meaning that this technology could get a big boost very soon.

eventually, collaborative filtering systems like this one will
be able to pull out the "needles" from the huge "haystack"
of digital content that is now growing by leaps and bounds.

think of collaborative filtering as a "magnet" to extract them,
customizing the results to every person's _specific_ ratings...

the books you love, the movies you love, the music you love,
the art you love, the poetry you love, all delivered right to you,
effortlessly, without you having to do any searching. magical.

this ability for artists and audience to connect directly --
with absolutely no middlemen or "marketing" required --
will boost the fortune of artists to a tremendous degree...

-bowerbird

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

It’s not interested in arguments. It knows best, it’s only trolling.

Spot-on, paragraph. Typophiles, don't feed the troll.

bowerbird's picture

interesting. dehumanization _and_ ad hominem, at the same time.
which is a somewhat difficult combination to pull off successfully,
kinda like an 8/10-split in bowling...

-bowerbird

paragraph's picture

Just a very short explanation, if I may: Is it a bird? Is it a cat? What is it's name?
Anonymous posters cannot claim gender. Good bye.

bowerbird's picture

> What is it’s name?

improper apostrophe.

> Anonymous posters cannot claim gender.

pseudonymous is not anonymous.

especially when you back it up with
14 years at the same e-mail address.

and i will "claim" whatever i want to "claim".

now get back on-topic.

-bowerbird

p.s. these attacks on me are as flimsy as
the balsa airplanes we played with as kids,
so there's no need for me to complain, but
are there any moderators here who observe
those people who consistently go off-topic?

aaronbell's picture

For someone making a point to comment on another's grammar, you should really capitalize properly and not start your sentences with "and," but as you say, that is off-topic.

bowerbird's picture

well, aaron, once someone has taken the thread off-topic,
other people get a bit of expanded latitude in that regard.

as for my capitalization, i think that it's easy to recognize
that it's a principled thing on my part, and not an "error".
whether you like it or not, it's obvious it's not "accidental".

and as for starting a sentence with "and", i think it's fine.

the general rule i try to follow when it comes to "errors"
is that -- if the person wouldn't change something once
i've pointed it out (i.e., if _they_ don't consider it to be
a "mistake"), then i don't bother to point it out to them.

-bowerbird

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