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Dwindling Voter Turnout

I see the old masters of our Threadless universe, and I often check out their ancient submissions every once in a while. You know, the classics. Submissions from several years ago, and they've all garnered ~1500 votes each.

i see submissions now, and the average design will achieve, on average, around 300.

Obviously, we have quite a decline in the number of people scoring.

My question: Why?

From what I can tell, Threadless still seems to be growing and expanding. As a result of that, shouldn't there be more of a voter turnout instead of less?

I guess what I've been wondering is what made people lose incentive to vote. Is it because Threadless introduced the ability to see yours and others scores before scoring ended? Did that take some of the excitement out of the scoring community? Have newcomers to the site disregarded that this is no regular online store - that they are part of the community that keeps it going? Perhaps it's ancient aliens. Or perhaps is it one of those things that everyone knows about except for me, in which case I end up looking like an uninformed n00b. I'm asking you.!

So, why do you think the Threadless voter turnout has declined?

While you're here... Shameless self promotion of my latest sub.

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jeffreyg profile pic Staff


too many things to vote on between here and atrium i guess

no incentive

too time consuming

Resistance profile pic Alumni

Jeff hit pretty much every point.

RonanL profile pic Alumni

i personally like to see what other people designing - good or bad - so I don't mind scoring...

...up to a certain point, though.

You're right, there's too many things to vote on. The submission pit is flooded with sub-par designs that are, for lack of better terms, getting in the way. There are, in my opinion, way too many submissions lacking in quality/effort. It makes going through and voting tedious. I don't mean to sound elitist here, but a little more practice could do people much good!

Also, perhaps Threadless could offer Street Team Points per every 100 designs scored or something. That might create incentive.

But then again, what's to stop people from disregarding the submissions entirely and instead simply hit numbers as fast as they can?

RonanL profile pic Alumni


jeffreyg profile pic Staff

exactly. there will never be a straight answer to this question.

you give people an incentive (i.e. vote on x amount of designs, win a chance to win a GC) then people can just spam the '1' button or whatever. then you piss of the designers for getting downvoted.

i am like yourself, and i like seeing all the designs. but, i do believe the filter could be a lot stronger. yes, i know threadless wants to allow everyone a chance, but isnt it kind of redundant to let things in that have an extremely rare chance of ever printing?

i guess that could be fixed with a more interactive, and more supportive critique section in the new website. only time will tell


Reducing the number of subs to vote on would greatly increase the average votes per sub, I suppose.

celandinestern profile pic Alumni

tons of subs is the main reason I think.

personally lately I've been voting far more in the Atrium than in Threadless regular, because it's easier and just flows. Also I have designs up there so I want to see what the competition is doing. When the new site launches I hope all challenges are compartmentalized, I find it psychologically a lot easier to score through one Atrium challenge (also all the subs are on-topic so it's easier to compare them to each other) than to go through 500-600 subs in the general Threadless running.

RonanL profile pic Alumni

Yea, I am looking forward to what the new website will bring.

I hope they give incentive for customers who don't submit to at least vote.

I'm personally in favor of returning the blocked score until the end of the 7 days. Not knowing what yours or someone else's score was was part of the excitement (and sting) of the submission process, at least for me.

Now, I can simply look at Threadless live top scorers and see what great designs are absolutely destroying my own. Where's the mystery? : \


I definitely think there are too many designs. Stricter sub acceptance could be a good thing.

Going through even part of the BB&B challenge felt painful to score.


But I'm just a kid, what do I know?

RonanL profile pic Alumni

More than you think :)

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