How do I know my entry was successfully submitted in a contest?
Go to the contest's landing page. On the right-hand side of the page, look for the "Entry Status" section. This section will list all submitted entries and their statuses. If your entry isn't listed here, then it wasn't submitted to the contest. If it is listed here, then it was submitted. Be sure to check the status itself, as your entry may not have been approved (in which case, you may need to take additional steps).
How do contests work?
Each contest consists of one or more submission and voting periods. During the submission period, users may submit entries. During the voting period, the entries are voted on. Shortly after the conclusion of the voting periods, the finalists or winners will be announced.
How do you determine the winners?
After the conclusion of the voting period, we examine the voting record for any votes that appear fraudulent. If we find any, all votes by that particular user are discarded. This tends to cause the rankings of entries to shift a little bit (some may go up and some may go down). The new rankings are then used to determine the winners.
I want to vote for a particular user. How do I do this?
During the voting period, use the following: http://lafango.com/contests//. Just replace with the identifier for the contest, and with the username of the user you wish to vote for. If the user has an entry for you to vote on, you should see the entry here.
I don't like the prize. Can I choose something else?
No. All prizes are decided on by either Lafango or the contest sponsor.
What is a prize pool?
In some contests, the prize amount will be determined based on the number of contestants. The more contestants, the better the prize.
I noticed that some contests have experts listed. Who are they?
Occasionally, we may involve experts in contests. These individuals may choose to provide valuable feedback on entries. Also, depending on the contest, they may or may not have a special role in determining the winner.
I'd like to sponsor a contest. Who do I contact?
Just send us a message and we'll gladly assist you.
How do I enter a contest?
First, you must have an account on Lafango. If you don’t, you’ll need to sign-up for one. Second, you must have media. You can upload media on your Backstage. Third, the contest you’re looking to enter must be open for submission. Different contests have different submission dates, so you’ll have to check each individually.
If all of these requirements have been met, go to the contest's landing page and click the "Submit Entry" button. You'll be asked to agree to the contest rules. If you agree, you'll be shown a list of uploaded media that may be valid for this contest. Find the media you wish to enter, then click the "Submit to Contest" button next to that file.
Your submission will then be reviewed by our staff. This process typically takes between 24 and 48 hours. If your entry was disqualified, or if additional steps need to be taken to finalize your entry, this information will appear on the contest page under the "Entry Status" heading. Once your entry has a status of "Approved”, this means you have been successfully entered into the contest.
How much does it cost to enter a contest? Is there an entry fee?
Like everything else on Lafango, contests are free. There is no entry fee.
Why can't I select my media to enter in the contest?
Not all media is valid for every contest. If the media is not valid, or if it has been previously disqualified by a contest administrator, you won't be able to select it. Please check the restrictions for the contest you are looking to enter.
I selected my media. Am I entered in the contest now?
Almost. All entries must be reviewed by an administrator before being finalized. You can check the status of your entry at any time by going to the contest’s landing page, then looking under the "Entry Status" heading for your entry.
How big does my image need to be? How long does my audio/video need to be?
Different contests have different file type restrictions. Sometimes an image might need to have certain dimensions, or a text file might need to have a certain word count, or an audio/video file might need a certain duration. Please check the rules specific to the contest you're looking to enter. If the contest makes no mention of file type restrictions, there probably are none.
The system isn't letting me enter!
First, make sure you are logged-in. Second, make sure the contest is currently accepting submissions. Third, make sure the media you are trying to enter is valid for the contest. Fourth, check the submission guidelines, as some rounds are only open to certain users (such as finalists of previous rounds). If you're still having trouble, contact us.
I submitted my entry, but it's listed as "reserve". What does this mean?
In some multiple-round contests, only a limited number of top-performing contestants are permitted to enter later rounds. If you are not among this group, you may still be permitted to enter, but your entry will be listed as "reserve". This means that if any of the top contestants drop out of the contest, your entry may or may not be selected to take their place. So "reserve" entries are basically back-up entries.
I'm going to be without Internet access during the submission period. Is there any way for me to enter the contest early?
Although we don't allow early submissions, we might be willing to make special arrangements for you if you contact us ahead of time.
I missed the submission period. Can I still enter the contest?
If the voting period is almost over, then no. But if the submission period only recently ended, maybe. It depends on your unique circumstances. Contact us and we’ll let you know.
Help! I'm having trouble voting.
First, make sure that voting is open for the contest you're looking to vote in. You will only be able to vote during the designated voting periods. Second, make sure that you're logged-in. Although it's not a requirement for all contests, sometimes you may be required to sign-in first. Third, if you're looking to vote for a particular user, make sure that he or she has an entry for which you can vote. If you're still having trouble, contact us and we'll help you out.
Where can I find the submission and voting period dates for a contest?
Go to the contest's page and look on the right-hand side. Important dates should be listed under the "Schedule" heading.
I won a contest! How do I claim my prize?
Go to the contest page and click the "Claim Prize" button. You’ll be given a form to fill out. Once you've filled it out, you should receive your prize within 6 to 8 weeks. But don't delay! If you fail to fill out the form within 3 weeks, the prize will be forfeit.
How can I view the entries for a particular contestant?
Go to the contest's landing page and look for the "Entries" section. There should be a button that will allow you to sort entries by username. Click this button to sort them alphabetically. Then just find any entries in the list. If you cannot locate the contestant, he or she probably hasn't entered the contest. If you know the person has entered the contest, the entry probably just hasn't been approved by an administrator yet.
How can I get my friends to vote for me?
Every user has an individual contest page that can be shared for this very purpose. Its URL is http://lafango.com/contests/user/<username> (just replace <username> with your username). This page will list all active contests in which you are entered, as well as the dates of future voting periods.
How do I vote?
When a contest opens for voting, simply going to the contest page should present you with an opportunity to vote. Sometimes voting will use a side-by-side faceoff system, in which you'll have to choose the better of two entries. While other times you'll be asked to rate an entry on a scale from 1 to 5. Depending on the contest, you may or may not need to be logged-in.
What's the Elo rating system?
When voting between two entries, points are often calculated using the Elo rating system. This system adds or subtracts points based on both overall performance and the performance of the competing entry. Using this method not only makes it more difficult for cheaters to win, but it also gives those who are losing a chance to catch up. For more information, please see the Wikipedia entry.
How can I find out how an entry is performing?
On the contest page, you should be able to view a list of entries. Sometimes, this list will show ranking information. This information should give you a pretty good idea of how the entry is performing. In some cases however, this information is not disclosed, and you'll have to wait until the contest is over to find out.
How are the rankings determined?
Rankings are determined using a points system. When a person votes for an entry, a formula is used to determine how many points to allocate. The entry with the most points has the best rank.
How do I view the points for an entry?
Most of the time, you won't be able to see the scores for individual entries. By keeping the points hidden, we're able to retain a more positive atmosphere for a contest. If we were to show the points, poorly performing contestants would give up, allegations of cheating would be more prominent, and the feedback for other users would be much less friendly. In those rare instances where we make the points public, you'll be able to view them alongside each entry. The rankings however, are typically made public.
Can I vote for the same entry more than once?
You can, but doing so will erase your previous vote. We have this restriction so that users can't vote an unlimited number of times for the same entry. If we allowed that, the users who have the most time on their hands would always win. And that wouldn't be fair to everyone else.
I don't have as many friends to vote for me as other users do. How is this fair?
Although some users might get a few extra votes from friends, these types of votes only slightly affect an entry's standing. This is because we have a very sophisticated algorithm we use in allocating points for each vote cast. Also, most votes come from users who are voting anonymously. So even if you don't have a lot of friends, your entry could still win.
How come my entry isn't showing up for voting?
Go to the contest page and look for the "Entry Status" section on the right-hand side of the page. Find your entry on this list and view its status, which should explain why you're not seeing your entry. The most common explanation for this problem is that the entry is missing some required information, such as a media description, user icon, or background information.
How do I know people are voting for me?
If the entries are ranked, and if your entry's rank is changing, then people are voting for you. However, there is no way to tell who is voting for you because we keep the individual votes private.
How can I create my own contest?
Go to http://lafango.com/contests/builder and fill out the form. This will launch your contest. When users start to submit entries, you must approve them (to verify that they conform to the rules). When voting concludes, you must contact the winners (if you're giving away a prize).
I created a contest, but no one is submitting any entries. Why?
There could be several reasons: (1) Prizes should be worth the effort it takes to create an entry. If the prize is too small, users won't bother. (2) It should be easy to create an entry. For example, it's easier to create a photo than it is to create a video. So photo contests will likely be more successful than video contests. (3) Rules shouldn't be too restrictive. The more difficult the rules, the more difficult it is to create an entry (see point #2). (4) Certain contests are more successful than others. We've had especially good luck with photography and singing contests.