As just about anyone that hangs out on any design related blogs or forums knows, design contests are a polarizing topic, some people love them, some people think they were invented by the devil. The feedback we have gotten since we have launched eLogoContest has ranged from extremely positive (the vast majority of designers and contest holders that use the site) to the irrationally angry (mostly from people that don’t use the site) including at least one (badly spelled) death threat.
I and the other people behind eLogoContest believe firmly in design contests, not just as a source of revenue for our company, but as a way for businesses to develop their brand and designers to make money and develop their portfolio, and as an administrator on this site I have heard alot of very positive reasons for participating in design contests, and I have personally received eMails from numerous contest holders that couldn’t stop raving about how much they love the site and the design contest format in general.
I really think that design contests can stand up to the harshest criticism thrown at them, but unfortunately most discussions and debates about contests take place on forums and blogs that are predominately used by the design contest hating types, and any decent arguments in favor of design contests tend to get buried under the loads of dissenting opinions.
I do believe that designers should make educated opinions when deciding to participate in design contests or not, most of the other design contest sites (there are a few exceptions, but just a few) tend to ignore the dissenters and pretend that everyone accepts and loves design contests. But I think that when presented with the real facts from both sides people see the validity and value that design contests hold.
With the goal of providing a platform that allows people to see just that, as well as allowing people from both positions to have their say on an equal footing we have launched a new site, SpecDebate, which lets anyone to post their opinion on design contests and spec work, as well as comment on anyone elses post. The best arguments are voted up by the other users of the site so that technically anyone can visit the site and get the full scoop on design contests in a minute or two.
Even though we created SpecDebate it is not attached to eLogoContest in any way. We will not be moderating, approving or deleting anyones posts, although we will be participating on the site just like anyone else. Consider it an experimental satellite that we are launching into the webosphere.
I have already posted my personal view on design contests on SpecDebate, and a few others have posted as well to get the conversation going, and I would like to encourage the eLogoContest community, the No-Spec crowd, and anyone else that cares to post their opinion to please take a minute and let us know your view on the subject. I will personally respond to any comments that are posted to my post on the site. We do require a 10 second registration to cut down on spam, but all you need to sign up is an email address.
We will be posting a link to SpecDebate on the main page of eLogoContest, to enable designers and clients to make educated decisions before participating on the site.
Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions!
SpecDebate – http://www.specdebate.com
My post on SpecDebate: http://www.specdebate.com/index.php?p=view&id=1