I would like to open this sticky up for discussion a little bit so we can form some new/better guidelines in order for our contests to run a little smoother.
Some ideas from my end (coming from another forum that I am part of):
1. I don't think we should say "must start on Sunday and end Saturday", or anything of that sort. It should stay as a weekly contest, meaning from the first day the OP posts the next contest thread there will be 7 days until the contest closes. The judge should be given at least 48 hours in which to claim the winner. Then, the winner of that contest has 72 hours to post the next thread. If 72 hours pass and there is no new contest thread, then the #2 choice will be the one who has to start the next thread (and the #1 loses their turn) - which brings me to my next point.
2. The judge should list at least the top three pictures, and why they chose those three.
3. If someone wants their submission critiqued they should paste an asterisk next to the title of the picture. Yes, it is true that this may clutter up the thread, but I think it is important that everything gets critiqued and not only the best ones. People need to know why their photo wasn't considered the best.
4. Instead of option #3 above we could also do the following: I know there has been a critiquing thread that has been started. Individuals who would want critiquing could simply post their picture in our weekly contest and also in the critiquing thread. Then the individual could link to the critiquing thread in order for their picture to be commented on. Personally I don't like this idea, as I think it would make too much work for everyone going back and forth. The judge should try their hardest not too be swayed by what others say.
5. The contest shouldn't leave out people under 50 posts. If the picture is good, the picture is good! There should be no rules as to who can and cannot win. Just because someone won a few weeks ago shouldn't mean they can't win again any time soon. I say we try to keep this contest as open as possible, that way we can get more and more participation from everyone.
6. As for using the same topic we have already used as a contest, I would say that would be fine, as we already have quite a long list of topics. However, doing so could get boring over time, and it is always fun to try and capture new things and not the same thing over and over again. If the winner cannot think of a new topic they should visit some photography forums to get some ideas, and if all else fails then repeat a topic.
7. I don't think we should copy paste every single past contest into the first post of each contest. To me this doesn't really make much sense, I say just copy over the rules and that should be good enough. The sticky here will be the best place to track all of the contests, etc...
Take photos, don't watch pirate movie streams ;-)