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So, we've been invited, by the powers that be, to celebrate a one year anniversary with a contest.

While other sites have had contests for "best user" and "unanswered question cleanup" ... we have 4 unanswered questions and a tightly knit community.

What kind of contest should we run for our April 11th first birthday?


Edit: We'll be making a decision and closing this down by EoD 4/4/2013 so that we have time to get the contest polished and ready to go!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Looking at the contests that Arqade has had, they tend to be designed to draw in new users as well as reward existing ones. (Admittedly, usually by tying in with a new high-profile game's release, which doesn't quite translate here.) We should at least consider that angle when pondering contest possibilities. There's a huge untapped horde of active RPGers on forums and social media. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 2 '13 at 6:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @C.Ross Is this closed now? \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 7 '13 at 5:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not exactly. But we are moving forward with plans. If there is an astonishingly good answer in the next few days, we may review it. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 7 '13 at 7:17
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Underappreciated System Uplift Contest

Title really needs work. Basically, a series of prises go to the users who best lift systems with less than 50 questions and a horrible tag wiki to fully participating tags in this site with graduated prizes as a function of how much effort we (the mods) and the community thinks that contributing users have put in.

This contest would run from April 11 to May 11, with system tags that are under 50 questions during April being eligible.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I kinda like the thrust of this. Looking at our tags right now, that pretty much equates to "any system tag not on the first page". (If we do this, we'd want a post with a canonical list, since the number of questions will change as soon as the contest starts.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 2 '13 at 6:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ How would this criteria be judged? \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Apr 2 '13 at 13:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle: See Arqade's recent AnswerSwarm contest for an example of how this might be judged. \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Apr 3 '13 at 1:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, the name needs work... U-Suc????? "Play games, ask questions" "Level up" ... \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Withers Apr 3 '13 at 3:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Judging is simple. We'll look at the top voted answers on tags indicated and award according to our whims. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 3 '13 at 5:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't like artificially driving content. If people don't play those games, then how is this going to work? Likely they will just seed questions and answer them without expert knowledge. I think that degrades the quality of site content. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Apr 3 '13 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps playing the game is part of the contest? That might just really suppress contest participation though... \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 4 '13 at 17:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe just having played the game is enough- so games you've played previously still count. I like this idea- Just looking at the tags, the top system is D&D 4th ed., and the next three top systems are also D&D. The next most tagged system is Dresden-Files, with less than a tenth of the love that 4th ed. gets. \$\endgroup\$ – IgneusJotunn Apr 5 '13 at 20:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looks like you guys like some kind of combination of this answer and the one below (from waxeagle) -- I suggest making a meta post like this one to hammer out the structure and format of this event. I'll be keeping an eye on that meta post and offer my insights and experience with running promos. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Aarthi Apr 8 '13 at 20:14
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Ok, here is my recommendation:

I really like Cross's site promotion idea and I think it works well as a reward to existing members, but I'd like to add to it something that draws in new members and additionally rewards folks who don't love promotion, but maybe do love some of the under-served games on our site. So let's combine the two into a multi-category contest.

Spring is in the air, how about a Love fest:

Category 1 - Love Site Promotion

  • Weekly prize for most promotion badges since contest starts (4 winners)
  • End of the month drawing for anyone who has received one of the promotion badges during the month (additional winner(s))

Category 2 - Love Indie Games

  • Weekly prize for top voted question and answer in a system tag with <50 questions at contest start (8 prizes)
  • End of the month drawing with pool being anyone who asks/answers a question in a system tag with <50 questions at contest start. (x prizes)

Category 3 - Love New Users

  • Weekly prize for top rep new user (4 prizes)
  • End of the month drawing for all new users with >200 rep. (1 prize)

The advantage here is that all of these are objective criteria that fulfill our site's mission. The disadvantage is that some of these are subject to gaming to some degree. But I'd like to reward folks for doing things that help the culture of this site improve through promotion, new membership and improving our indie content.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for 3rd category! \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Apr 2 '13 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Minor quibble: we can't call them "indie" games, because a lot of <50 question system tags aren't indie, and "indie" is a disputed label in the "indie" (for lack of better term) design community even for games that outsiders might call "indie". (Indie indie indie.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 3 '13 at 5:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie fair enough, catchy titles sometimes come at the expense of accuracy :) \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Apr 3 '13 at 10:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ I like this suggestion, but it has a lot of moving pieces. \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross Apr 3 '13 at 15:14
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Site promotion contest:

Winner determined based on how many , , and badges are gained during the contest period.

Advantages

  • Garners attention for the site
  • Easy and objective way to determine winners

Disadvantage

  • Doesn't necessarily improve site quality
  • Doesn't necessarily leverage all existing site users

Possibly also give points for asking high viewed questions?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I like the practicality of it, though to your point about not necessarily leveraging all existing site users, it does seem to present an advantage to those who are most active outside the system. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Schmidt Apr 2 '13 at 19:35
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Try Something New Month

Encourage members to widen their activities into elements of the site that they don't usually participate in. For example,

  • Answer questions with different tags than usual for you
  • Ask questions (if you're normally an answers-only kind of citizen)
  • Post in meta (if meta is a strange and scary place for you)
  • Edit tag wikis (maybe you didn't even know you could until now!)
  • Answer an old question (maybe a question with an answer already accepted)
  • Join chat (please?)

There'd be a list of site activities, and if we got fancy the list would be personalized to indicate which activities the member viewing the list wasn't a regular participant in.

The more new things you do, the more fully you dive into them, and the better the community response to your participation, the shinier the prizes!

Not sure how this could be implemented but it would be a fun diversifying exercise if handled well. It has the potential to be very messy though. Something measuring badges and tags might work, but seems lackluster. Perhaps if it were narrowed down to one or two activities very few members participate in, then it could be opened up a bit more in that context.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I like the principle, but I can see a large potential for a messy, divergent tangle of different activities people will do, making it hard to judge who did "best" across all the possible new things. Nevermind that what's new to one person isn't new to another, and how to judge whether an activity is "sufficiently new" to qualify. If some elegant way of quantifying the judging could be developed, this could be a possibility though. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 2 '13 at 6:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, that's an issue. I could see something with rudimentary evaluation based on tags and badges, but that feels lackluster. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Apr 2 '13 at 6:42
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Game of the Month

Pulling from this meta question that is the only other [contest]-tagged question, and somewhat inspired by Brian's suggestion here, we could do a Game of the Month/Week/Fortnight/whatever contest, highlighting one game.

Prizes could be for users in that game's tag with highest total question upvotes (maybe 1st, 2nd, 3rd), highest total answer upvotes, most views, and/or most favourites, etc. (Structure details depending on the quantity of prizes we'd have to hand out, of course.)

How to pick one game to promote is, obviously, a thorny question, but perhaps better minds than I can think of something clever there.

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A Game War!

This is not focused around users, but around the various RPGs we have: , , , , etc. We determine, fairly tongue-in-cheek because the entire premise is a little silly, which is the greatest RPG ever, based on things like question/answer activity within the competition period.

It's silly and lighthearted, and the competition itself should run with the idea that it's silly. The writing about the competition should not take itself too seriously, e.g.: "YOU determine which will be the greatest RPG, by these completely arbitrary and actually meaningless criteria!!"

We could display progress in various ways, such as meters showing the various system tags' relative scores, or a battleground with coloured soldiers being more abundant for the winners.

This isn't necessarily going to be a fair competition. Some games like Fate have a fairly simple ruleset that won't necessarily have many questions (then again, maybe this will prompt them). Other games have fairly complex and often convoluted rules which clash in all sorts of ways (no prizes for guessing which popular RPG I'm thinking of) which already give people a lot of opportunity to ask questions. There could be things done about this: games with low current activity score points more easily, etc. Remember ultimately this competition shouldn't be taken seriously, nor taking itself too seriously.

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