pehiatt wrote:Are showdowns more popularity contest or real competitions centered on art. I find that the voting is often about how many friends an artist can muster?
Yes, most are about popularity, especially if there is no jury. The weirdest is a new site called Art Judge, that allows as many works as you want to enter, then cuts the entries down to half each week based on ratings. As a result, you have some incredibly good works in the top 20 based on merit, right next to junk based on friends' votes. I just entered for fun to see how do I fare without letting anybody know about it, the best position I reached was 57th. Not bad out of 600+
Joe's is the fairest I've seen so far on the net, and it was at its best when only members could vote. If I'm not mistaken, the popularity vote is worth only 25%, the jury's votes decides the winners which is pretty fair I think.