ZC3 -- A Community of Fighters

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Where Do You Want to Go?
An introduction to Campaigning and Vote Exchange Fighting FAQ Voting FAQ
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An Introduction to Campaigning and Vote Exchange

Voting and visiting competitions are contests in which you ask, cajole, and encourage others to visit your site and then vote for it on a daily basis. At the very least you vote for yourself. If you wish to obtain more votes, ask your family, friends, and colleaugues to vote for you. If you want to meet others and gather yet more votes, you can try trading votes via vote exchange. Asking others or exchanging votes is called campaigning. This means that voting and visiting competitions are not beauty contests or tests of coding skill, but so what. There is nothing dishonorable about being able to get out there and hustle votes. In fact, some people find it fun.

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  1. Isn't campaigning begging?
    It can be, but it doesn't have to be. If most of your social time on the net is spent in forums that prohibit endless vote requests (mailing lists or boards where this is "off topic") or if your family and friends say "not again. you did this last week" or "how much longer do I have to do this?" you may wish to try vote exchange. (see below)

  2. Can I campaign on the ZC2ZC3 mailing list?
    SORT OF. You can not directly ask those on the list for votes. This is to keep the list from being overrun by reminders and begging. You can, however, put the URL for your site or the Exhibition Space along with a request to vote for you or exchange votes into your sig-file. A sig-file is a one to six line message that appears at the bottom of email. Most mailers have sig-files listed under options. If you need help creating a sig-file, just ask one of the Trustees.

  3. You don't believe that exchange is cheating?
    NO! Vote exchange is an equal exchange of labor. Voting is work. Opening up ballots, finding them, and pulling the lever, all takes time. You give your time in exchange for another fighter giving his/hers. What could be fairer?

  4. What is vote exchange anyway?
    Vote exchange occurs when you agree to vote for another site in exchange for the owner voting for your site. It is a trade, and in theory it is extremely ethical.

  5. Do I have to do vote exchange?
    Nope. You will raise your score if you vote exchange, but you may decide that it is either against your principles or just too much work.

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  6. With whom do I exchange votes?
    Fighters at any competition that permits it. Currently this includes ZOID CITY (Please request vote exchange by private email), Site Fights, Site Wars, Web Brawls,, Fantasy Fights, and Crypt Wars (require the exchange of a graphic). Competitions that prohibit vote exchange are:Peaace Trail, Rumbles, Digital Delilahs, and Crypt Wars.

  7. How do I get started exchanging votes?
    You can visit the vote exchange board at Site Fights and post an ad. You can respond to ads there as well. You can visit the LightForce Vote Exchange Wall and post or respond to an ad. Alternatively, you can join the mailing lists Honest Vote Exchange and Vote Exchange 2000. You can also just travel through the rosters of competitions that permit vote exchange, look for sites, and contact their owners about vote exchange.

  8. What happens once I start exchanging votes?
    You will need to keep track of where your supporters are fighting and in turn let your supporters know where you are competing even though ZOID uses a centralized ballot and exhibition space. Many fighters vote from these daily reminders. Others request weeklies. You are not a paid clerical employee so you can choose to offer only one sort of reminder and just tell fighters who want weeklies "sorry." Note: because most other competitions start on Monday, the first reminders come with the start of the work week. This is dreadfully inconvenient. As an alternative, you may choose to chase your fighters through their teams' rosters and vote for them at your leisure. Reminders are still a good idea though because they let you know what is happening to your fighters.

  9. Isn't sending out reminders a lot of work?
    I said this was labor, didn't I?

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  10. You said "in theory" vote exchange is fair. I know that means that this might not be so in practice

    In practice, vote exchange is prey to a multitude of abuses. These include blind voting (voting for sites you have not seen.), burn out, and abuse of lists.

    • Please visit every site with whom you would like to exchange votes. This makes you feel less like a monkey pressing a bar in a cage.

    • Don't vote for anything you can't read or load or any site you just plain don't like. Vote exchange is voluntary.

    • Don't carry too many sites on your vote exchange list. Because vote exchange requires clerical work, if you are new to clerical work, don't carry more than ten sites. For adult fighters with some clerical experience, twenty-five makes a comfortable limit. I have carried as many as sixty sites when I vote exchanged at ZOID and a hundred when I fought at Site Fights. This turned voting into drudgery. I have burned out twice and abandoned whole lists of supporters. Burn out hurts.

    Also be aware when you vote exchange that you will find yourself on a group of mailing lists, either manual distribtuion lists or ones maintained at Listbot or Onelist. This means that if one of your supporters wants to circulate a chain letter or a petition, you are fair game. In addition, Site Fights support lists have been used to form mobs that write to ISPs to have sites they detest taken down. Most large corporate ISPs do not enforce their terms of service unless someone makes noise. Support lists are ideal noise makers. If your supporter sends you a chain letter, send him/her back a polite note informing him/her that chain letters are illegal and will get someone in trouble. If your supporter asks you to join a mob, delete the letter unread or if you feel strongly write to the mob's intended victim and warn him/her.

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  11. What are some other problems I may encounter vote exchanging?
    Vote exchange does not produce a 100% compliance rate. Because ZOID CITY makes raw vote totals available in real time as well as the number of ballots in the box, you will know exactly how compliant your supporters are. Because we are the second or third (last???) competition on fighters' lists, and because we operate on a different schedule compliance ranges from 20-50%. Newer supporter lists are generally more compliant.

    Also, some fighters at The Site Fights and Site Wars may send anything you write in your reminders that they dislike to those in charge of their competitions, not that there is much they can do to you. You can receive threatening flames from both fighters and team managers. If you receive one of these, please share it with a friend and take it in stride. Third party threats against your ISP or email provider are powerless.

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    Where Do You Want to Go?
    An introduction to Campaigning and Vote Exchange Fighting FAQ Voting FAQ
    Back to the top of the page. Back to the ZOID Documentation Back to the Man ZOID Page

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    Fighting FAQ

    1. Do I have to fight?
      No. You are a member of ZOID CITY Commmunity whether you:
      • choose not to fight
      • are waiting to fight
      • have finished fighting due to defeat
      • are retired from fighting with a first place distinction
      • are actively fighting.

    2. I just got accepted and I want to fight. What do I have to do?
      Wait for a Call for Fighters (Yes it's similar to a call for papers) to appear on the mailing list. ZOIDRubashov sends this message out every other Wednesday. Then email the list or ZOIDRubashov that you would like to fight. It would also be nice if you write your own description and disclosure. See
      the Approval Rules for more information about this and also, please have a link to the Exhibition Space on your site. The Exhibition Space is http://www.zc2zc3.addr.com/zexib.html You may use a graphic link or a text one. Banners are available in the ZOID Banner Gallery.

    3. What is the fighting schedule?
      Competition begins late Saturday night (10:30pm Eastern Time) and runs through 10:30pm Thursday night every other week. In theory this looks complicated. In practice it works quite well. It means you can send out your information to fighters at other competitions before the start of the work week, and that fighting is finished in time for you to enjoy the weekend.

    4. I don't think I have the time to fight. I've seen fighting at other competitions and it goes on for weeks!
      Surprise! Because ZOID is small we field only one round of fighters and fighting is on an every other week basis, you can fight for a week, have a week off to work on your site or take care of other net committments and then come back fresh and rested to fight again if you so desire.

    5. What do I do when I'm not fighting? I'll get bored.

      No you won't. Nonfighting weeks are "work weeks." You get to do something different and exciting for ZOID and yourself. You can talk on the ZC2ZC3 mailing list, link hunt, code, create graphics and much more. For more information, please cconsult the work FAQ.

    6. Excuse me, I've never seen an exhibition space! What is an exhibition space?
      An exhibition space is the place where your site's name, its description and disclosure, its scores, and a link to the site itself are on display. Think of it as an art gallery. An exhibition space is a gallery of links to fighters sites. If you want to see an exhibition space, visit the exhibition page.

      Note: all competition is at large from day one at ZOID CITY. To find out why this is, read below.

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    7. Do I have to change the link(s) to the exhibition area every week?
      NO! Currently we have only one round of fighting every other week but if we had multiple rounds, you would stay in the same exhibition space and your name would appear on the same centralized check-off ballot.

    8. But if my link to the exhibition area stays the same, where does everybody vote?
      There is a single central single voting booth linked to the Voting Visiting and More Table on the Exhibition Page. Remember, all competition is at large. This is where you vote for all fighters in all rounds, from all Houses. At large voting makes it easier for voters to surf the sites in competition and gives all fighters at the same level the same competitors so that it is fairer for you.

    9. How many rounds of competition do you have?
      That depends upon how many fighters we have. When the field of fighters at a given level reaches between twenty and thirty, we create another level of fighting above that and the original large field becomes a lower round. If the population of fighters shrinks, we will eliminate some of the rounds in the same way. Currently we have a single round of fighters fighting every other week. Between weeks, there is still plenty to do so you won't be bored and you won't feel constant pressure.

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    10. Did you just say I could compete against twenty other fighters?
      I sure did, and you may could be competing against over a hundred fighters in your first round some day. (Ah....wishful thinking or is that delusions of grandeur?)

    11. How is that possible! No one can win in such a large group!
      Yes, you can win. In fact each large heat of fighters will produce multiple winners. The reason we can have large heats of fighters, is because we use statistical scoring. Both percentile-range scoring and mean-standard deviation scoring are designed to work with large groups. They score fighters based on the behavior of the whole field rather than on just the three best vote totals. Under percentile-range scoring, your score is how close your score is to that of the winner. A fighter with a sore in the 90's is in second place by a tiny margin. A fighter with a sore in the 50's has a score about half way between the first and last place fighter, and a figher with a score of 10 is close to the bottom of the field. There is also a shematic that shows your placement in the field of fighters. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. For more information on statistical scoring, please visit Stat Central. In addition, large fields of fighters offer a fairer competition. It is easy for a fighter whose vote totals are definitely good, to get knocked out of competition because she has the bad luck to go up against an incredibly strong opponent in a small intermural heat. In large field competitions with handicapping to prevent outrageously high scorers from knocking out competitors, your winning depends upon skill, not the absence of bad luck or the wrong choice of team.

    12. Do you have qualifying rounds?
      Yes and no. You are already qualified. There will be just one round and until we can field twenty fighters consistently. There is no intermural competition within a single team as there is at Site Fights, Web Brawls, or Rumbles. All fightitng from day one is among fighters at your level from all Houses. This is called at large competition. It creates a large field where statistical scoring and having the same competitors can give you a fair shot.

    13. So how do you score this big field of fighters? I don't know anything about statistics
      Under our manual system, you receive a score three times during competition, Sunday night, late Tuesday night/ Wednesday morning, and Thursday night/Friday morning. Under percentile-range scoring, expect your score to be rather high. Scores range from zero to one hundred. Under mean-standard deviation scoring, your score ranges between -2 and +2. Decimal points become important and zeros and negative scores are common. When there is to be a scoring switch due to size of a heat and distribution of scores, the Board of Trustees and House Managers will give plenty of warning via the ZC2ZC3 mailing list Statistical scoring is considered the fairest and most humane system of scoring large groups of competitors when there must be both winners and losers. It is used by large universties to curve tests from the middle. For more information, please visit Stat Central.

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    14. What happens if I receive a low score?
      You are still a community member. Of course you can always fight again, and you can campaign for votes. By the way, I hope to see ZOID CITY Community made up about equally of of nonfighters and fighters. I'd also like to see every member voting.

    15. What if I want to fight again?
      Just volunteer. We currently have a shortage of fighters so all you have to do is say you want to fight and please have the proper links in place. Right now we need fighters so you are welcome to fight every cycle if you feel like it.

    16. What if I get first place honors and capture those triple digits?
      You get the joy of victory and the challenge of trying to stay on top. There are no material prizes and no commmercial sponsors. Not seeing advertisements at ZOID, except on the ballot, makes every one a winner.

    17. What if a catastrophe such as illness, family illness, job loss, or a malfunctioning computer strikes while I am fighting? Talk to ZOIDRubashov, explain the problem, and ask her to put you on hold until the problem is solved. You can simply volunteer to fight when you are ready again.

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    pansy pencil

    Where Do You Want to Go?
    An introduction to Campaigning and Vote Exchange Fighting FAQ Voting FAQ
    Back to the top of the page. Back to the ZOID Documentation Back to the Man ZOID Page

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    Voting FAQ

    1. How do I vote?
      Visit the Voting Booth on the
      Exhibition Page. There is a link to it in the main navigation table and at other places around the site. There is only one voting booth at ZOID CITY Community Competition, and that voting booth lists all fighters. Since all fighting is at-large, we can centralize voting. Best of all, you only need to make one trip through the voting booth. With check-off boxes, you can check off all of the sites you support at one time, instead of making multiple trips through a large group of diverse ballots to vote for each site. A one-stop voting booth and centralized exhibition area means that even those who just want to vote and not exchange can freely surf sites and then vote for multiple sites without having to receive reminders or memorize a complicated and inconsistently coded site. By the way, we ask that you make only one trip through the booth per day. Multiple trips are ballot stuffing. If you want to try our voting booth without atually voting, just click here.

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    2. Can I have a link to the voting booth on my site?
      YES!. Your voting location remains the same throughout competition.

    3. Can I vote for more than one site?

    4. Can I vote for every site that is fighting?
      NO!. Voting is capped at one third of the number of sites in competition or twenty-five (25) sites, whichever number is smaller. Limiting voting removes the temptation for fighters to vote for long lists of other fighters who have promised to exchange votes. These lists can mean that voting at some competitions takes more than two hours a day. When voting becomes this arduous, people with full time jobs and full course loads or family responsibilities either drop out of fighting or else never enter. Also the temptation to vote for large numbers of sites obligates fighters to visit and vote for sites that they disagree with and otherwise detest. This is the road to burnout. Since our approval rules allow in sites with strong and possibly repugnant messages, you need to feel that you are free NOT to compromise your tastes and views to gain votes. Besides we want you to make voting a way of life, not a chore.

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    5. Can I exchange votes with other fighters?
      YES! Vote exchange not only helps your score but lets fighters at other competitions learn how we do things.

    6. You mean I don't have to send out reminders! What are reminders anyway?
      Reminders are daily letters or weekly email letters that Site Fighters and Web Brawlers send to their supporters with the URL of their ballot box and the URL of their site and a few encouraging words. They exist because Site Fights, Web Brawls, and Rumbles are made up of many ballots that are hard to find by simply surfing. The ballot at ZOID CITY is centralized so that reminders are not really necessary, for your fellow ZOID members. If you are vote exchanging with those in other competitions, you will probably have to send out reminders because it is custom. In addition, and as an alterntative to the drudgery of sending out reminders, ZOID CITY offers the Voting Guide.

    7. What is a Voting Guide?
      A voting guide lists all the sites competing with descriptions and URLs, warns about potentially offensive sites, has the ballot and Exhibition Space URLs and hasa neat little schedule form that voters ccan keep by their desk to keep track of their votes. With a Voting Guide, individual fighters do not have to write reminders, though if you are working with those in other competitions, reminders are still a good idea, but also download and attach a voting guide to your first reminder.

    8. Who scores the vote? That ballot looks complicated. Are you honest?
      Actually, scoring is fairly simple because it is partially automated. The software behind the ballot feeds your votes into a SQL (pronounced sequel) database that produces readable reports. These reports are the raw scores available on demand. Just click on the right link of the Exhibition Space. Then, ZOIDRubashov massages it statistically via a spread sheet template to obtain statistical scores. Both the raw scores and several versions of the spread sheet templates are currently posted in the Exhibition Space. You are free to score at home. This makes our scoring an OPEN SYSTEM. At our current size, I both fight and score. This gives me an insider's view of the system, and since I score in front of a plate glass window, I have little if any interest in doctoring the scores. If I do well, it is because I know how to campaign and I vote exchange. If we ever grow large enough, I will hopefullly just score or give the task of scoring to someone else. Meanwhile, an open system and the opportunity to score at home prevents the appearance of fraud.

    9. How many fighters can those voting booth hold?
      Enough. No, you don't get a one word answer. The number of items seems unlimited. In reality, the largest voting and visiting competition has about four hundred fighters and I think the ballot could hold that many or more.

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    10. My family shares my ISP?
      Let ZOIDRubashov or a trustee know this, and you can all vote. An ISP, also called an account is your internet service provider. If you all dial into Mindspring to reach the internet at your house, you all have the same ISP.

    11. How do you become a vote counter?
      You don't. The SQL database software behind the voting booth does the counting, but you can score votes if you have Excel or Works on your machine, feel comfortable working with numbers or if you doubt my honesty.

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    12. Can fighters see how many votes they are getting?
      Yes! Raw scores in real time are always available in the Exhibition Space. Communication, including the number of votes, and the total number of ballots is a ZOID Principle!

    13. What happens if the system goes down?
      One of the Board of Trustees will let everyone know through the mailing list, on the web site, or both. Depending on the length of the down time, we may run the competition an extra day or call it off for that week. Since the code that powers the voting booth is not ours, there is not all that much we can do.

    pansy pencil

    Where Do You Want to Go?
    An introduction to Campaigning and Vote Exchange Fighting FAQ Voting FAQ
    Back to the top of the page. Back to the ZOID Documentation Back to the Man ZOID Page

    pansy pencil