I thought it was a little silly at first, too. But when you think about it , it makes sense. How many other sites are you apart of? I have 3 others i frequent and i am down to only posting anything i do on one, now. I only browse the others.
There are forums but they are usually hidden somewhere. When you find them, You may find a few topics and only about 20 out of 3,000 designers are there making posts. Then you look at the contests. People are ripping off people and throwing up half ass'd work. Do not read briefs, Arguing in the public contest page. It all gets very frustrating. It makes you not want to be there at all.
Then i received an email two days ago about a contest here. I came over and looked around again. It all makes sense to me. The rules, The system and the posting. You have to give a little to get a little in everything with life. Why should this be any different? If you want a nice community and a place that you can show off your talents, Make a little cash and weed out the bad. I dont think they are asking too much.
I hope i get in. But my portfolio wasnt the greatest. I do not have a site and i do not use image hosting sites as place holders for my stuff. I hope the designs i submitted speak for them self. And not how they are hosted.
Nicely stated. I don't have a site either, just used photobucket to show my work in. I'd encourage you to post some of your stuff in the Finished Work Showcase - Design Contest Forums
and/or Works In Progress - Design Contest Forums
area and let us have a look at em.
Now on to the topic.
I found this site w/ hopes of just making some extra money since I found it doing a google search for design contests. But (as I always do) read the requirements and through some of the topics posted. After a while I started particpating in threads and posting some of work. Jus to find out I still had some issues to tackle and this site helped me in a great way. So I will give back as best I can.
As you stated "really dont understand this whole system." it's not a system, it's a community of designers that can get a little extra cash.
If you'll notice there is a hand full posting in the contest and not over whelmed with 100's of crappy images as you might see on sites like 99designs.
The Client can come here knowing that they have top notch designer working on their needs and not someone that simply had illustrator or photoshop on their computer thinking they know what their doing.
The only thing I wish would happen is that more would contribute after they become an elite designer. mostly in the "critiquing" areas that I posted above as I feel those two sections have the best information available to designers just starting out and looking to refine their work for better quality.
I've stated this on a couple occasions and feel that the elite should be penlized in some way for not continuing to contributing after becoming an elite. But their are alot of factors such as time and other work that I know keeps some from being more voicefull in the forums. but feel they could dedicate at least once a week to other areas of the board just as they did before becoming an elite member. It would just make the board even better than it is allready. (sorry off subject again)
If you look through the announcements and the vote polls for members to become part of the elite you'll see I'm an dedicated to weeding out those who I feel won't continue to contribute. I know I've voted more no's then yes's.