Really pleased you posted this.
As someone trying to learn the art of this and develop as a producer (have been many years on the MC'ing side of things), I absolutely LOVE the beat battles. It's fun to try flipping something in a fairly time-limited period and compare to the many and varied approaches other producers take.
There's only one problem....In most cases, the feedback is only superficial at best and I see why thats the case as there are way too many joints published each week for people to seriously crit them so I'm not moaning about that. What is a bit frustrating though, is that it's hard to know which elements to improve on and which areas I'm doing well with already and need to keep doing.
I understand there are different styles and some simply don't 'feel' a particular style. I know I have not always rated entries that are getting numerous votes that highly. But from a purely technical and encouragement level - it does feel like there is something missing which would be a massive benefit to the community.
The problem is - how to make it work. I don't think any of the voting process on the beat battles shoudl change. I like the idea of a sub-group but don't like the idea of a lottery to stipulate person x gives feedback to person y....sometimes things come down to taste....I am less likely to give value to someone making DnB beats than I am to someone trying to pull some golden-age-style funk angle. Perhaps a sub-group, where people can post links to previous weeks battle tracks and ask for crit - then leaves the option of critiquing things up to the individual. Maybe someone just wants crit on their mixing, or the way they sample-chopped. Others may just want to know what they are doing which isn't turning on the listeners who are voting.
Key thing though is it shouldn't just be a closed group for people trying to improve. It needs input from guys who are on top of their game too, otherwise it's use is limited.
Not even sure this messageboard is the *right* place for it, but I certainly share your frustration and desire to figure out a solution