(Thanks for the title of the thread, Ollie!) Hi everyone, As you all know, we've had a rough couple of weeks here and I definitely want to put it all behind us and move on. One way I think we can get closer and have more fun is if we decide *together* on a set of rules for our contest. So, in advance of what promises to be an amazing Edition 7 from Davis Island, we've all got to decide what we liked about how the contest worked, what we didn't like, and how we think it could be made better for everyone. This isn't the time for 'me first', because it's definitely in the long-term interest of our community that we all realise that we need to take decisions that are as good as possible for the greatest number of people possible. Whilst some things may not be perfect for an individual, the rules we settle on have to be as positive as they can be for as much of the group as possible. So, if everyone would be kind enough (as part of my series of random tasks for you all) to post up here some things you liked, some things you didn't like, some things you think could be improved, and maybe even some new things you'd really like to see in the contest, it'd be really great. Ideas are what's going to make our contest great - and the sooner we can fix what's broken and improve whatever we can, the sooner we can get on with our contest! I'm going to start things off with a few thoughts of my own: *LIKE* I like the recap videos - they're a real chance for the host to show their own personality in the way they're arranged, and they can be a great chance for us to have a cool similarity to the actual ESC. Plus, I'm a flag geek - it's brilliant to see everybody's flags in one place *DISLIKE* The negative groove - it's a fun contest, and there was a time where I myself could have been accused of taking it too seriously. Admitting your own faults is key to being able to move forward, but I genuinely stand by my actions at the time, because I was only trying to play fair and adopt the spirit of the rules. The future of the contest surely depends on the positive vibes that surround it, and if we keep it light hearted and play by the rules, there's nothing that's gonna stop that happening! *IMPROVEMENTS* Tightening up the rules to make sure there's no loopholes for people to use when a situation arises in which they could be seen to be playing to their own advantage. Obviously, this can be helped along by my next suggestion... *NEW IDEAS* I'd really like to set up our very own version of the EBU! I think a central rulemaker and problem-solver would be a huge benefit to the contest. Some permanent members should be on the team of the EscChat Broadcasting Union (ECBU), including the site admins and a mod or two, but there should be a steering group just like the real EBU where members are elected to positions in the organisation so that decision-making can be fair and actually involve members of the site! Also, the ECBU can have a website with resources, help and information for everyone. Flags, logos and graphics for hosts, statistics (courtesy of Kots!) and loads of other info can all be in one place! This site is for everyone, and the contest and its decision making process should be no different. Getting everyone involved is the best way possible of keeping harmony and getting all the best ideas! Please, everyone - post post post! We need your ideas to make this as cool as possible for as many of us as possible! TIMETABLE: I'm going to leave this thread open for about a week so that everyone can get their suggestions in. From there, we'll discuss and consult on any new rules for another week or so before settling on a new look rulebook! After everything's settled, I'll announce the dates for the next edition of the contest. I hope evryone agrees that it's important to get all of this stuff straight before we move on with the next contest, and I also hope everyone thinks it'll be worth the wait!!!