Reporting of Internal Club Competitions on the Website

After an internal competition has finished the results of the competition are added to this website so that members can check their results, see the ‘winning’ images and look at all the submitted images.

Background

This is the background about the current posts that report the results of internal competitions:

Privacy:

  • Members had expressed many concerns over the possibility of their images being ‘stolen’ from the website (or social media).
  • How the club protects these images is now defined in the Privacy Policy of the club (available via the About Us menu.) In summary the images, as submitted, are held in the cloud in a secure area and when displayed by the club, the image quality is much reduced.

Time for posts to load (Time):

Pre-WordPress versions of the website loaded up the full images and after each round of competition the pages would get progressively larger. In practice this meant that load times would often exceed timeout limits especially on 3G or even 4G networks on mobile devices.

Note: this did not protect the full-size images from potentially being ‘stolen’.

Availability of the results (Availability)

The details of the results of the competition need to be accurately included in the posts often with extra information and this should be available for the drafting of the posts as soon as possible.

Ease of generation of the post (Ease):

The amount of effort to generate the post will determine the timeliness of the post after the results are available. For this reason only the ‘winning’ images are re-sized and loaded onto the website.

The current posts for reporting results

The full results:

The Assistant Internal Competition Secretary generates a PDF that contains the details of the competition plus all the individual images along with titles, authors and scores when relevant. The Webmaster then loads this PDF into a post.

Ease:

  • The Assistant Internal Competition Secretary workflow takes the images from the cloud and adds scores etc. From the time stamps this is estimated to take up to an hour after a competition has finished.
  • The Webmaster tries to use a boiler plate (i.e. use the same format) for this particular post and adds relevant details of the competition where appropriate along with one (re-sized) image in the post and sets the featured image. Typically, this takes about 10-15 minutes dependent on the customisation needed.

Availability:

  • The Assistant Internal Competition Secretary sends the PDF often on the night of the competition or the next day at the latest.
  • It is then down to when the Webmaster is next available as to when the post is published. In practice this is usually when the re-sized images are available.

Time:

  • These posts load within 2 seconds on any network due to their small size and the embedded PDF loads typically in less than 3 seconds even on a mobile network.
  • The full set of images are now accessible on mobile devices over a network

Privacy:

  • The website had placed restrictions on the size of media to be loaded and consequently the Assistant Internal Competition Secretary sends a compressed PDF file.
  • As noted above this loads very quickly and has the benefit of protecting images from piracy.

Note: this does of course impact the quality of the images when viewed via the compressed PDF.

The highlighted winners from the competition

Ease:

This post has two parts, the written content and the re-sized images.

  • In previous seasons the written content had been based upon the circulated weekly notes to members but more recently is composed specifically for the post
  • The winning images are downloaded from the club’s cloud storage. Thanks to the Assistant Internal Competition Secretary’s PDF the results this season are now available earlier. These images are edited to reduce their size, re-titled and captioned and then loaded into the post.
  • A featured image is selected
  • This typically takes between 30 and 45 minutes.

Note: these re-sized images are also available for the home page of the website and for the headers in the club Facebook groups and the Facebook Page.

Availability:

  • In earlier seasons this post was delayed until the circulated email to all members which typically was late afternoon Wednesday. This delay was to capture any extra written content.
  • This season the Webmaster attempts to have the two posts on the website by late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Time:

  • These posts load within 2-3 seconds on any network due to their relatively small size.
  • The reduction in the size of individual images reduces the load time especially when there are a larger number of ‘winning’ images be they 10s or 1st,2nd, 3rd , Commended and Highly Commended

Privacy:

  • Landscape images are currently reduced to 600 or 650 pixels wide. Portrait images are currently reduced to 400 or 450 pixels tall.
  • The website has a plug-in that performs compression to speed up loading and this perhaps also helps prevent successful privacy

 
Ian Hardacre
October 2021

Ian Hardacre

My passions are seeing the world through new eyes See my website for my travel and my photographic journey blogs (www.ianhardacre.com) #Stopkillingwhales

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