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With the being popular for about 2 months now, the mod team was wondering if the community would like to enable the photo widget for our site to highlight these screenshots.

For an example of how this looks, check out photo.se, where they have a widget located above the Meta questions box to showcase the winners of their weekly contest, and a link to their hall of fame.

The thought for enabling it, is to reward the winners with displaying their screenshot in a prestigious spot on the site for all to see. It also gives an added benefit, as it has potential to make the contest more popular for those in the community who don't visit meta as often, and would be a potential draw for new members who are browsing the site to join our community to take part in the contest, and hopefully participate on the rest of the site.

What do you think? Should we enable the widget, or not?

If we have enough support for enabling the widget, the mod team will reach out to the CMs to ask about enabling it on our site.

Update: MikeW from photography was able to shed some light on how the tool works, and I have since reached out the the CM's about enabling the widget on our site, as all feedback here has been positive.

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    I would like to note that participation in the contests here seems to be larger than currently run contests over at Photo.SE despite this not being a photography oriented site. Arcade has twice as many users and four times the amount of questions. This feature would likely get far more eyeballs on the images simply by virtue of site size and traffic. – Booga Roo Feb 21 at 14:45
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    Would it be beneficial to create a new meta post to house any and all theme ideas? Right now, they're all stored in comments on previous SotW contents. They could be easily lost or forgotten about – Wondercricket Feb 21 at 15:45
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    @Wondercricket maybe. The mods also have a shared document that we have all suggestions listed on for us to easily find them. – Dragonrage Feb 21 at 15:49
  • @Dragonrage I figured y'all had something like that for the mods, but might be good to have a centralized location for the community as well :) – Wondercricket Feb 21 at 15:56
  • Something to consider: Could there maybe be an additional copyright issue with this? If someone posts a copyrighted picture in their own post, it's linked to their account and internally usually to their mail address or anything else they authenticate with, so they might potentially be made responsible for it. This link might not exist with that widget. – Fabian Röling Feb 21 at 17:13
  • @FabianRöling Right now on the Photo.SE site, the image has the user's account linked underneath it. I would imagine that is enough. I think it would be even better if it linked into the specific post the user made in the contest, but I'm not sure if that's possible. – Booga Roo Feb 22 at 13:13
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I'm in full support of including the photo widget here on meta, as long as continues to be consistent for the foreseeable future.

If screenshot of the week becomes inconsistent, intermittent, or people stop participating, I'd propose that the widget eventually be removed.

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  • This is my main worry. SotW has been working for two months, but will it work for a year? Two? Five? Photography will virtually never run out of material for their widget, but I'm not sure if we can keep it going for that long. – Wrigglenite Feb 21 at 8:27
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    @Wrigglenite Surprisingly, the photo contest over at Photo.SE did die out after about six years. It was resurrected three months later, so I think some breathing room should be allowed if the contest does die out. It might come back! – Booga Roo Feb 21 at 14:31
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    why only on meta? – arghtype Feb 21 at 21:59
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Heck yeah.

Anything cool like this that could drive participation on Arqade should be utilized.

It's small enough that people who don't care won't be bothered, but big enough that it's noticeable and will draw attention.

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    I whole-heartedly agree with this. Reservations on enabling it seem a little premature at this point (in regards to @Gigazelle's answer), and I don't foresee it having downsides (at this point). – Joachim Feb 28 at 12:02
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Yes, it should be added.

Why Arcade users could benefit.

  • It would give users interesting content to see on a regular basis, even if they never click to see the rest of the week's submissions. The effect would be similar to the Hot Network Questions.

  • For askers, it would offer a channel of participation while their current questions wait to receive an answer.

  • For answerers, it would offer a channel of participation if they don't find any questions they can currently answer.

  • From the meta side, it would increase the visibility of the contest without diminishing other important meta posts' moment in the spotlight. Right now the topic has to share the featured/hot meta side bar.

Why Stack Exchange could benefit.

  • It would give users a reason to come to Arcade on a regular basis, even if they don't have any questions or want to provide answers at all.

  • Gamers are often interested in technology. Even users who just come to see the photos may eventually join other sites like Stack Overflow, Super User, Ask Different, etc...

  • It may increase user engagement by offering users from other sites something they can participate in through voting, even if they arrived to the site via the Hot Network Questions side bar.


Finally, more of a technical concern. I wonder how it would handle animated images such as GIF or APNG. While the contest hasn't allowed for that yet, it's something that would need to be addressed if it were allowed at some point.

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I'm not really sure how screenshots look in that box. Does the box keep the original aspect ratio and just scaled down or will the image be trimmed to fit?

I'm in favor of that widget, if it doesn't destroy the original look of the screenshots. Having more attention on the contest is great.

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    i can reach out to some people over on photo.se to get some more info on how it works for aspect ratio – Dragonrage Feb 21 at 7:51
  • @Dragonrage Could you see if they have a comprehensive feature list somewhere for reference? I had a concern about animated images, but it might be useful to have a better overview in general to spot potential issues. – Booga Roo Feb 21 at 13:59
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    Photo.SE had some pretty strict requirements when they first launched. The strictest was that photos had to be a specific height and that width had to fall within a specific range. This was so that no scaling would be done when displayed, meaning it's up to the photographer to edit their submission to give the best results given the constraints. I don't think we'd have to do that here, and just link to the original submission. – MBraedley Feb 21 at 18:21
  • cant find any feature list, but i found this post from 2011 saying The image must be sized to 210 px high and no wider than 375. though idk if that still applies – Dragonrage Feb 21 at 23:18
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    @Dragonrage I think that limit is gone. I just right clicked on the current sidebar image on Photo.SE and chose "View Image" and what a surprise, the image is actually 2,400px × 1,600px! – Booga Roo Feb 22 at 9:29
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I hadn't realized that they reworked the photo of the week display over at photo.SE. My initial reluctance to having this feature was that it wouldn't have been quick and easy to add it here, but the new implementation at least looks like it should just slot into the sidebar. So having said that, I don't have any real concerns about adding that here.

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I'm supporting this idea, but I also think it's boring to see the same screenshot for weeks.

How about using all submissions (either randomly, or in round-robin fashion) in this widget instead of the latest winner? And instead of "Screenshot of the Week" title we could have "#X in Wildlife Screenshot Contest", where X is the place that screenshot has in that contest.

So far we had 6 contests, which probably gives about 30-40 submissions. Moving forward, we could limit this selection by top 5 answers or top 3.

I think this approach will give fair chance for people submitting screenshots from not-so-popular games.

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  • @BoogaRoo we have special members to do all the grunt work - moderators :) – arghtype Feb 21 at 18:06
  • Yeah, my understanding is that the mod team would be responsible for/have the power to manually maintain the photo widget. – Unionhawk Feb 21 at 19:17

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