Nothing changed except number of entries. Friendly voting and aliases will eventually destroy this site. People are loosing interest and for a good reason too. I am telling this with the best intention.
If I wanted to accuse someone directly I would started a thread. It's up to the administrators of this site if they are going to change something. I am just giving an opinion.
Look Yar's... This is not a new issue. This didn't just happen now since you've arrived. This site will always be here as long as we have a community of choppers who give a damn about it. So I commend you for that... Now on to what I think. (Sorry for how long it's gonna be)
First off. The mods do check for aliases (maybe not as often as when there were 60 entries), but I'm sure they still do check. There have been plenty of people who have been banned and/or called out for this. Their job isn't easy, and I give them Kudos for doing something for FREE.
Right now, I just don't see enough evidence, (to don my tinfoil hat) that there's some huge conspiracy of alias voting happening...
As for your second issue... 'friendly voting'. This is an Art site. People are going to vote for styles and/or people THEY like. It's par for the course. If they like so-and-so, no matter what they do, its a style or person they like... they're going to vote. It's their votes, they can do with them as they wish. If they want to vote just for all source pictures, if they want to only vote for green images... or gifs... or not vote for any gifs.. If they want to vote for a person rather than what they make as an artist...That's their choice. THEIR VOTES.
You also gotta realize... Because art is subjective...
good ideas > good execution
for a lot of people.
A fantastic idea 'bad execution'
will win most times over a boring 'good execution'
I admit, clearly there are some friendly votes even in my portfolio. THE 'I voted for you so they voted for me' variety. It happens to everyone. Like kinetic_be said. When you first come here, you become obsessed with votes. Esp if you came here several years ago when a contest entry could easily garnish 50 votes for the winner. Instead of the 20 or so you see winners get now...
Maybe that's why I don't get as many votes now as I once did. I used to spend every single one of my 25 votes early in a contest, hoping that I'd get at least 20 back. NOW? I really I don't care anymore. I settled down, and I started chopping for myself. I hardly vote for anything these days. When I do, at the start of a comp I look for Good execution only. I will vote only for the 1 or 2 of the best entries. Then as the contest progresses, I may hand out a 'good idea' vote here or there on the last day. If I spend 10 votes in a contest I'm amazed. BUT That's my choice. I vote for what I like
. Not for whom I like
. Sure it isn't a way to gain popularity, but in my mind it does make sure the ones I think are the best get that extra 1 vote. Hoping that an image (not a person) wins or gets top 3. Instead of handing out ones to my friends, because I like them, maybe not their work that day.
One thing I will agree with you on. Anon seems to stifle most 'friendly votes' If you look at the anon contests where people don't know who you are or whom you've voted for... the top 3 in that contest normally ARE your top 3 best images. Thankfully prize contests are anon so the winner is usually the most deserving according to the entries popularity and not according to artist popularity.
On the same note though... I'm glad that not all contests are anon. Regular contests offer something anon does not. The opportunity to help out, and also to learn from ones mistakes.
Look. It's never going to be a perfect system. Pouting about it, isn't going to change the fact. Nor is it going to gain you any popularity or sympathy. (not that it looks like you're looking for it) But it does make you seem bitter, and a bit jealous of 'votes' you or your friends are not receiving. Esp since you keep going on and on about it. Not just here, cause this is an old thread. (Feb of this year) But I now see it in your entries as well.
The only thing I can offer as advice is:
Keep your head up. Worry only about what YOU create. Take pride in that. Like others have said, it is your portfolio. Its what you show off to your non PSC friends. When creating an entry, step away after you think you're done... for an hour or so, then look at it again. Ask yourself... Is this boring? What can I add to spice it up (what I call X-factor) to make more people like it. If you do that you'll find some flaws you may have missed. You may also find that your entries will start to get more votes because of the extra effort you start putting in.
Thats all I have to say (for now)
*Stepping away from the soapbox and fading back into the community*