The JPG Blog

What Voting is All About

Posted by Derek Powazek on 22 March 2007.

Break the Apathy-VOTE! By Maryalice WoodWe get a lot of questions about our voting system. This post aims to answer them all in one place.

What am I voting on, exactly?

You're basically saying: I think this photo should, or should not, be published in JPG Magazine.

Remember, when we ask you to vote on the submissions in a particular theme, we're not just asking if the photo is good - we're also asking if the photo is a good fit for the theme it's in. There are lots of technically great photos that never make it into the magazine because they don't speak directly to the theme. Likewise, there are some photos that are not technically perfect, but they're such a good match for the theme topic that we include them.

How many Yeah votes does a photo need to be published?

There is no minimum number. Really. We take lots of information into account, and the Yeah votes are just one factor. That said, if your photo has been submitted for a week and you still only have one vote, you might wanna consider submitting something else.

Do photos that get submitted early have an advantage?

No. We average out the votes by day, so all the photos have an equal chance.

Can I change my submission without losing my votes?

Nope. How fair would that be? You can change your submission at any time, but you lose all the votes that photo had collected when you do.

How come I can vote on my own photo?

Even a politician gets to cast one vote.

Is this just a popularity contest?

No. The final decision to publish a photo is still up to the editors. So it is possible for a top-rated photo to not be published because it doesn't speak to the theme, or just doesn't fit well, or because we've already got a photo just like it in the issue.

So does voting even matter?

Yes. We get thousands of submissions - far too many for the editors to review. The voting is very important because it sorts the photos: the best rise to the top for editorial review.

Isn't all this a little complicated?

Only as complicated as it needs to be, hopefully. It would be easier to just print the most popular photos, but the magazine simply wouldn't be as good. Or we could be like every other photo magazine and only print the photos we like, but we think you're as smart as we are. That's why we're using a hybrid process: a little wisdom of crowds, a little editorial curation.

We think the result is worth it.

Got a question we didn't answer here? Contact us.

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