Thanks Faldrex. I was looking for themes that were more specific, something that you personally would shoot, for instance Flower Macros, insect Macros, Seascapes, landscapes Etc. 'Spring' / 'Summer' / 'Autumn'/ 'Winter' are pretty generic and would use up all possible themes in four months.
I will add your specific themes, 'In the Wild', 'Cats' (or other suitable animal group, eg 'Horses') and 'By the Sea' to the list of themes.
By necessity we must ignore the location of members as we are worldwide. After all what's nicer than seeing a flower in full bloom when out your window you have 3m of snow? Also you can submit a photo that was taken at any time, there are no time limits.
As for voting, it means a lot of work for what is essentially two mods. Initially we have to post the start of the challenge, monitor the entries for compliance and ensure that no other members are discussing the entries (that last is a biggie). At the end of the month we would determine a short list, post the list, receive the votes by PM, count the votes, post the winners then monitor the discussion of the winner. I do agree that reviewing the short list and deciding the merits of each photo then making a decision as to what you consider to be the best, can be interesting, fun and educational. Unfortunately during the last year of challenges we were lucky if we got 3 or 4 votes. The last challenge did not even get any entries, which can be very disheartening and contributed to Pat leaving the forum, a big loss for us all. So, for now, John and I will do the voting between us and if things pick up and we see that there is good support then we will revert to members voting.
In the past we have allowed members, such as yourself, to assist us in various tasks and even to run a challenge if they so wished. The truth is that in the end it does not save us work, even when we had 8 Admins/Mods. There are many things that a member does not instinctively know about the inner working of a forum such as this and that results in them having to be helped when it would have been quicker to just do it ourself. I realise that I am being prejudiced by saying that and I know that there are a number of members who would in time make great mods. We just do not have the time. One thing about making a member a mod is that it creates a tremendous amount of work training that mod. That is one reason why we now only have two, John and I, running this forum.
I hope you and all other members can understand where I am coming from and do not take offence. I also hope you will support John and I while we try this simplified method of running the challenges. We first have to observe what interest there is and go on from there. If it works we will then bring back the POTM (Photo of the month) and perhaps take suggestions from members for improving the forum.