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RickNC

Fossil Of The Month...changes?

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zachj

I agree with rick, I would love a aquatic vertabare catagory. I mean has any shark tooth ever won the fotm contest except eye appealing megalodon teeth? Ricks thresher would have taken all the votes for the aquatic vertabrae catogory :P

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Fabienne

Why not mix vertebrates and invertebrates together but divide the competition according to a time scale (Jurassic, Cretaceous, Tertiary)?

It's only a thought.

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MarleysGh0st

As some mentioned, what about a short blurb on why you think your fossil is FOTM material? I know personally I rarely vote for fossils I know nothing about. I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers with my post here, just get people thinking. I have a site like this and I know what a contest like this entails. I also have learned that you cannot make everyone happy but sometimes members question an aspect of the site which brings about needed change.

I'll vote for Rick's suggestion, too. I don't really know anything about shark teeth, so my vote will often go to the more impressive display pieces or to the pieces I'd most like to find, myself. So if you're offering an FOTM candidate, educate the voters about why it should win!

By the way, we're just three days past the end of a long, long election season, here in America. I hope everyone understands that we may be just a little tired of discussions about voting, at this point. ;)

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Uncle Siphuncle

i don't care if i win or lose...its just fun to show and see a variety of quality recent finds in a condensed format....nice to see that Ma Nature isnt tapped out just yet.

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sixgill pete

many of us who have offered up an entry for FOTM have added some commentary about our find, however, does that really matter when you have this giant display piece, i.e mammoth or mastodon or carnivore teeth vs. a small museum quality rare tooth. I don't think it does, many people just do like the "eye candy".

I'll vote for Rick's suggestion, too. I don't really know anything about shark teeth, so my vote will often go to the more impressive display pieces or to the pieces I'd most like to find, myself. So if you're offering an FOTM candidate, educate the voters about why it should win!

By the way, we're just three days past the end of a long, long election season, here in America. I hope everyone understands that we may be just a little tired of discussions about voting, at this point. ;)

and as far as being tired of discussions about voting, you did chime in. I am always open for a discussion about change.

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THobern

many of us who have offered up an entry for FOTM have added some commentary about our find, however, does that really matter when you have this giant display piece, i.e mammoth or mastodon or carnivore teeth vs. a small museum quality rare tooth. I don't think it does, many people just do like the "eye candy"...

So your problem with the system is that you think people are applying the wrong criteria?

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Terry Dactyll

Its fair as it is...I feel more categories would de-value the acholade... Its probably the hardest fossil contest on the net I bet with the quality of the finds this forums members bring each month...

Edited by Terry Dactyll

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sixgill pete

So your problem with the system is that you think people are applying the wrong criteria?

No THobern. People are going to apply their own criteria regardless of what you, I or any one else says. Thats a fact. But as Auspex said " The reason the 'contest' is called "Fossil of the Month", not "Best Fossil of the Month" recognizes the strong roll played by popularity in the selection process." Popularity of the fossil, or perhaps even the member, along with how the photo "appeals" to a person , can play a very strong role in voting. That is the reason we say in most cases, a unique sharks tooth (aquatic) has a small chance of winning.

But, many people have spoken, and I am a firm believer in the idea of majority rules, but it never hurts to discuss something. If I have offended you in any way, as I feel I have, then I do apologize. Us here in eastern NC, have some of the greatest marine fossil hunting in the world, yet we cannot compete with the amazing finds from Hells Creek or the Paleocene of Florida.

Edited by sixgill pete

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Auspex

I just took a swing through the FOTM Winner's Gallery, and slightly over 1 in 6 are Cenozoic sharks.

If you add the Paleozoic sharks, elasmobranchs gathered more gold than trilobotes...

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astron

Nice and useful several aspects exposed and even nicer they mostly guide to the same conclusion.

Have to add my somehow different opinion without finally disagreeing!!! How does it happen?

The former FOTM contest divided (justifiedly in my opinion) into today's VFOTM and IPFOTM contests since January 2010 after this poll: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php/topic/10771-a-poll-fotm-keep-it-as-it-is-or-separate-it/ . Since then, in the upcoming 34 IPFOTM contests the fossil flora have got just 3 wins, number clearly not corresponding the paleontological value and the significance of the fossil plant participations to the contests and indicating the given disadvantage of the flora against the fauna. As a result, I believe that some members avoid their important fossil plant entries becouse they think there is no chance to win and that this way the projection of first quality finds is lost.

For those reasons I think that it would be fair and necessary a seperated plant contest. That way the two basic forms of life would be sufficiently covered by the three contests (Vertebrate FOTM and Invetebrate FOTM for fauna and Plant FOTM for flora).

I know that a change like this requires additional work that couldn't be done under today's conditions. Cris is already lifting a heavy TFF load and it is much appreciated. Thus, it's just a thougt for the future and I vote for the remaining of the FOTM contests as now they are.

Edited by astron

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THobern

If I have offended you in any way, as I feel I have, then I do apologize.

You didn't, I just think that there's an underlying error in a lot of the criticisms. Don't feel the need to apologise to me if I ever take offense that cheaply.

You've mentioned the parasympheseal a few times, and I think that's illustrative. The suggestion is that it should have won as it is particularly rare, or should have at least garnered more votes. What was rare was the jaw position (I won't argue that). However, the species, location etc. were relatively common. Rarity is measured by a range of factors looked for in fossils. So when people say that a meg is common, they are only recognising the rarity of the species, not the size, location and preservation. You wouldn't say that a perfectly preserved, 7" megalodon tooth from Cuba was common. By the same measure, I don't think it's right to suggest that a parasympheseal is necessarily rarer than a well preserved panther tooth. You're more likely to find a comparable parasympheseal than a comparable panther tooth (measured by a range of factors).

I'm also not impressed by the argument that fossils that are rarer from a scientific point of view are more deserving than those with eye-appeal. Eye appeal is a major factor that a lot of people look for in a fossil. It's likely that the find of the month will have eye appeal as well as a lot of other qualities. If you're saying that people weight eye appeal disproportionately, I don't think you can know that from either human nature or looking at the results.

I agree that people might vote based on the collector, but I also think that it's very easy to give other people too little credit. Even if people had disregarded eye appeal (I don't think they should), then I don't think the parasympheseal would have fared much better.

Edited by THobern

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RickNC

All good points and I can agree to some extent with both sides of the debate on this. I was not aware of the way the contest was structured in the past.

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JimB88

to be honest Ive never been a big fan of fossil of the month. Ive always felt it was more biased to the folks who live in an area where awesome fossils can be found. Just my 2 cents.

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bear-dog

Just letting my 2 cents in. I love the fossil of the month. It comes out in the wash.I watch the fossils every month,and see the fossil get its rewards.To me I vote not because it is the rarest but several factors.

Other thing is the love of the members with their fossils their votes,etc,. The Forum has it perfect,dont change it.

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Fossils4U

I agree with certain specifics such as mammals, Reptiles, Fish, Sharks, dinosaurs. I am awed by the fact that the specimen that I entered did not win.. How many of you have ever seen a fossil whale vert. fully intact and that size?? ALL 98 pounds of it.. SCARCE AS IT GETS......Or found for that matter? You will never see another one that size! Then how many times have you seen a mastodon or Mammoth tooth! Do not get me wrong that was a nice specimen. Marine and non marine Verts. And the same with the inverts. Water and Land fossils should be two different catigories for verts. and inverts.

4 total. The shark teeth were very nice and unbelievaby scarce to find in that condition. I know how scarce they are for a fact. I have a few different mastodon and mammoth teeth that I have found in the last 32 years and only one giant thresher that does not even come close to the one that was on. Now really?? Thanks to all for the 13 votes that know how scarce my find was.... Congradulations to the winner. I hope you all figure out something with this issue because really it is one that needs to be fixed. Happy Hunting!

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CH4ShotCaller

FOTM is a wonderful quality of TFF. I've received advice and gained information from other member's submitted finds. It has given me that 'extra push' to take my time, try harder when prepping a specimen and the incentive to learn more about all fossils. I'm good with or without change..... just don't remove the monthly contest. ;)

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jbswake

I think this discussion highlights the difficulty in posting a winning submission. Having the 2 categories is just fine. A person could argue adnoseum about various categories: I have a large insect collection from the Eocene. Since insects make up the largest variety of extant invertebrates then using that argument insects should be on there own, and then beetles have the widest variety, and flies make up almost half, and and and).

Leave it the way it is. And everyone who has read this thread understands the honour in winning. I myself have not entered a specimen, but after reading this thread I may start posting some of my 'to-die-for-collection' to see reactions they garner. I am not interested in winning. It is not why I joined the FF. The advice, the specialists, the opportunity to network, and the awesome fossil pictures are what keep me coming back. This site is better than Facebook. Make changes very slowly. Great job by the admins and the people who had the original concept to create such a site:

John

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Auspex

...I hope you all figure out something with this issue because really it is one that needs to be fixed...

Really?

FOTM is meant to be a celebration of the best personal finds from the past month; this I think it accomplishes nicely! It also gives the Forum an archive of beautiful, rare, unusual fossil images to proudly present to the world. Every entry reflects the pride of the finder, regardless of the outcome.

Among collectors in particular, competitiveness is a natural trait, but we hate to see it diminish what should be an appreciative sharing of a common fascination.

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pleecan

Really?

FOTM is meant to be a celebration of the best personal finds from the past month; this I think it accomplishes nicely! It also gives the Forum an archive of beautiful, rare, unusual fossil images to proudly present to the world. Every entry reflects the pride of the finder, regardless of the outcome.

Among collectors in particular, competitiveness is a natural trait, but we hate to see it diminish what should be an appreciative sharing of a common fascination.

Well said!

PL

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nala

Hello,the best change of the fossil of the month would be for me if someone vote for my fossils! :D as Pierre de Coubertin said the most important is to participate,that's what i did and i was proud to show my personal finds that i thought is the best ! For me it's the best result i expected, even if winning is the best reward! ^_^

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astron

Really?

FOTM is meant to be a celebration of the best personal finds from the past month; this I think it accomplishes nicely! It also gives the Forum an archive of beautiful, rare, unusual fossil images to proudly present to the world. Every entry reflects the pride of the finder, regardless of the outcome.

Among collectors in particular, competitiveness is a natural trait, but we hate to see it diminish what should be an appreciative sharing of a common fascination.

Hello,the best change of the fossil of the month would be for me if someone vote for my fossils! :D as Pierre de Coubertin said the most important is to participate,that's what i did and i was proud to show my personal finds that i thought is the best ! For me it's the best result i expected, even if winning is the best reward! ^_^

How right you are both!!!

I actually believe that any high value entry to the contests has only to earn things ...

If it wins, it's greatly honored, while even if it takes none or one vote, it has nothing to lose from their original value...

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cowsharks

Finding the fossils is the best prize. Sure, getting folks to choose yours as the favorite probably feels good (I'm 0 for 3 so far I think), but just finding 'em is good enough for me.

Daryl.

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njfossilhunter

I have a idea that may solve the issue of less spectacular fossils losing to ....say a T-rex tooth......First thing would be to change the name of the contest to (Fossils of the month)....More then one..... in both the vertebrates and invertebrates categories. The reasoning behind this is so a few members here can enter.. say some shark teeth with other members or some verts and still win the fossil of the month award as a First ,Second and third place.....This may encourage more members to submit there finds knowing that a Smilodon tooth will not take all the glory from a equally rare or rarer shark tooth.

Just an idea

Tony

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JohnJ

Thanks, to all the members that understand what it takes to produce the contests. Their purpose was not intended as a tool to shape opinions or to be a meaningless accolade. Again, we appreciate the well reasoned thoughts that have been offered.

Since there is nothing inherently wrong with the current format, and given the resources involved, there will not likely be any changes in the near future.

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Nandomas

I like the FOTM the way it is, but if some change is needed, I should like to add the PLANT category

cheers

Nando :)

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