A Congratulations and a (Quick) Post-Mortem

First things first, a hearty congratulations to “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari” for winning it all, beating out such tracks as “Nippon Egao Hyakkei,” “My Soul Your Beats,” and “Platinum Disco.” Questions about whether its victory was really assured will always remain, but seeing that 30% of Omochallenge submissions had “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari” winning it all and that its point position in the initial seeding outstripped the others by a huge margin, we can safely say it was a heavy favorite going in.

When I announced that I’d be doing a post-mortem, I figured I’d have a huge laundry list of items to go through. And while I do have such a list, it’s not as long as I thought it would be. It’s hard to write a long post-mortem when the tournament execution ran smoothly, when the tournament director had fun with what went down (good-natured grumbling about “Hacking to the Gate” being a part of that), and when the task itself wasn’t thankless (see comments section in the previous post). I’m glad you all had fun and stuck with it to the end.

Things I’ll have to ponder over:

  • Nominations process – the big question that’ll be on my mind is whether this nominations process worked too well (and should ever be used in the future). The way in which the point allocations were done was very deliberate, and judging from how the results panned out, had a high amount of predictive value. So in terms of its effectiveness, I’m quite pleased and if anyone ever wants to run a nominations process for a popularity contest, this point spread is what I’d recommend using.On the flipside (fripside?), predictability doesn’t make for interesting tournaments. I know I tend to pay more attention to NCAA March Madness or NCAA Football when there are upsets going on week in, week out. And when that happens, there’ll be far more avenues for discussion and punditry as we all try to puzzle out why one underdog managed to beat an established song and what makes a song resonate with more voters than another song.

    If I really wanted to make this interesting, I’d just make the first slot be worth a lot of points. Like, a lot more than it’s worth now.

  • Tournament length – Yes, it may be hard to believe, but the actual tournament proper started the last week of July, and ended in the first week of December. In other words, a little over 3 months to wrap up the voting. If you were to include the prelims (mid-July) or the nominations process (mid-June), then we will have been together for a third of the year. Needless to say, it was long.

    For a one-shot deal (as this tourney is meant to be), I don’t see this being a bad thing since the intent was to give 256 songs a reasonable chance to shine. That meant longer first rounds so that people can get familiar with the tunes and from there, hit cruise control and accelerate to the finish. If this tourney was an annual feature (or even biennial), I’d have a harder time justifying its length. As is, I’d like to think the execution was a reasonable balance against all those competing interests.

  • Marketing – If there’s anywhere where this could be seen as a failure, it would be in getting word of this tourney to spread even farther than it has. The worries I had included violating some forum or messageboard policy or being overly obnoxious that it’d cause a backlash (even if the idea of an anime music tourney should, in theory, curry a huge amount of interest). Still, for a lackluster marketing effort, getting 300+ votes in the finals is a turnout that I’m happy with. The only thing I wonder about is if this could have turned into anything more in terms of participation rates.

That’s about all that I have to say. Feedback is very helpful. Appreciation is always appreciated and, once again, thanks for sticking with this the whole way through. With the tourney over, I can crawl back to my hidey hole that is Anime Instrumentality, conduct more experiments, but mostly just review more CDs. I have been remiss about that.

Oh, and steelbound/nullset: you won the omochallenge. I promised the winner would get Macross Frontier OSTs 1 and 2 and I’ll deliver on that. Let me know your address so I can mail it to you. If you decline your prize, let me know too.

7 thoughts on “A Congratulations and a (Quick) Post-Mortem

  1. I will definitely accept the prize. I was not familiar with Macross Frontier before this tournament but hearing the music that came from it makes me want to watch it now. I shot an email to the account listed over at Anime Instrumentality Blog with my address.

    One of the thoughts I had to somewhat alleviate how heavily weighted the field of songs were to the recent stuff was to have a portion of the songs picked separately based on their years. For example, in the nominations phase, have people separately nominate one song from the 70’s, 80’s, early 90’s, mid 90’s, and late 90’s. Collate these and add a few more based on your expert opinion, then in the prelims have a poll for each time period where people pick their top 3 or 4. Then the top so many from each poll make the cut and get included into the tournament proper. Where they’ll most likely lose in the first round but, at least, people will have been introduced to them. 🙂

  2. I’m not particularly happy about the contest in that after the first round my interests are largely eliminated along with the interesting entries. It just got worse as the tournament went on. But I think that’s also inevitable with any contests like this.

    If I had to change just one thing about this contest, it’s the nomination process. I think it’s a big reason why this isn’t nearly as fun as it could’ve been. I don’t know, because the fun of such things isn’t “picking the winner through the nomination process” as if you think through logically, that is actually something you want to avoid doing.

    The other grave problem about the nomination process is how it eliminated a lot of interesting songs from the onset–the dozen or so #1 picks that nobody else nominated. It’s really a big problem given the point of this contest. Well I guess thanks to the nomination process we had that chance exposure at all is something to be thankful for.

  3. Here are my list of concerns and hopes

    1. It seemed to be very easy to multivote in the event. I tried two or three well known methods and they all seemed to have worked ( Disclaimer : I only tested this in two 1st round matches where when you check the interim tally, one of the song was too far behind to win. Only tested it with 4 votes to make sure my testing would not change the winner. I did not vote at all in most part of the events, thus don’t know if additional security measures were taken later on to eliminate those easy routes in the later part of the tournament. I do not know whether there was any post processing which may have removed my multivotes at the end of polling period ) While the data I have seen suggest that the effects from any multivotes ended up being small for the events, if there isn’t much protection against multivotes already in place, I do recommend considering additional means to deter or weed out multivotes in the future. I also recommend advertising that counter-multivoting tactics are being used in the event, without giving away the details of those tactics.

    2. While I understand the fun and thrill of one-and-out knockout tournament, such a format is very vulnerable to organized effort by a group of fans to make sure certain songs win out over other songs that may be more popular with general population. It might be worth considering some safeguards such as repechage rounds or having early rounds be of pick more than one, with more than one advancing type of large sized group. It is my experience that how the early rounds progress will determine how the whole events will be remembered, since that is where majority of the time will be spent.

    3. If there is sufficient interest to have the event take a bit of “educational” aspect, that would be exposing people to songs they may have missed out, then it is very advisable to create divisions, groups, or brackets based on theme, style, age, or perceived popularity level. Since the most obvious one seems to be the age of the song, it might be worth considering partitioning the events into 4 divisions, (1) Latest 5 years ( that would be 2009 to 2013 ) (2) 6~10 years ( 2004 – 2008 ) (3) 10 ~ 15 years ( 1999 – 2003 ) and (4) 16+ years (1998 or earlier ) . The time window for each division may be adjusted as needed. Admit 64 ( or 32 if people wants to scale down the event ) per division, and first select top 8 (or 4) from each division. Then seed the 32 or 16 songs that remains and then have the final grand finale tournament. This will let songs from each division to have at least 3 chance to appeal to the voters.

    4. There needs to be a dedicated page where fans can post their views, analysis, or backgrounds about a song before the match happens. The fans needs a chance to educate the public about what is so great about the song they like. Such a page will help people vote, when the match happens. Make sure that any writing or things posted is only about the song itself, thus prevent it from having negative comments about other songs.

    • 5. If such a forum/webpage will be made and maintained, do let people know that such a page will likely get only 10 votes on a good day. The real impact of such a page is that it may inspire those 10 people to educate 5 more people of their own, thus given enough time, it can build up large enough voter base to affect the result, but again, it may take weeks for that to happen, and only if the page posted is good enough.

      • I really like the idea of #3 actually, although in my mind, it can be evolved into smaller (therefore more manageable), annual events. i.e. Year 1: Songs from last 5 years, Year 2: 6 – 10 years, Year 3: 11 – 20 years etc, and by the time we get back to the tournament for the last 5 years again, the songs involved will mostly be different again, and the variety will ensure the tournament always feels fresh. Let’s face it: if we do what we just did every year, it’d quickly get boring because it’ll mostly be the same songs getting through to the later stages, and we’d probably get the same song winning every time (until it starts getting the backlash).

  4. I stopped following along about halfway through round 1 because my speakers broke. I have new speakers now, and figured I’d pick it up from where I stopped, but the music links don’t work anymore. Is there any chance they could be fixed?

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