Super User's 2nd birthday is coming up in about a week, on August 18th (next Thursday). It has been discussed among community coordinators and other moderators, and we'd like to do something similar to last year's Super User Contest. We'd appreciate your input on what we can do to make another awesome contest.
Ivo Flipse is in possession of some funds from Jeff which we can use for purchasing prizes for users, and Stack Exchange may be able to provide some swag such as t-shirts or stickers. We need to come up with a proper proposal though so that we can tell SE what we need.
Last year's contest went well, but we're thinking it would be nice to have some different criteria for the contest. For reference, last year's criteria were:
- The best rookie performance of a new user in that week, as measured by the Super User leagues, will receive a 32 GB USB key.
- The highest reputation produced in that week, as measured by the Super User leagues, will receive a 22″ LCD monitor.
- The “most awesome” new Super User question or answer that week, that most embodies the type of Q&A that make the site great — as judged by the Super User community moderators — will receive a two bay NAS device.
- The most useful Meta Super User question or answer of the week — as judged by the Super User community moderators — gets a Super User t-shirt and stickers.
What new things can we add this year to encourage participation? Some options that have been discussed include things like improving tag wikis, contributing helpful edits, reviewing suggested edits, increasing flag weight by flagging helpfully, improving old posts, writing canonical answers for Community FAQs, etc. The problem is that these types of contributions are much harder to quantify than answers and rep.
Some thought has been given as to a more flexible reward model. Since the hardware from Jeff is only available to users in the US, we could award that stuff to two deserving US users who win some portion of the contest. Alternatively, we could give the hardware to US bloggers who have made good contributions, as Jeff originally suggested. Other prizes could include SU swag (shirts, water bottles, laptop bags, etc.), software, or hardware, which would be less geographically limited since there are computer stores in most parts of the world. Now that there is an SE store, coupon codes for free SE merchandise would be an option. It's up to you, the Super User community, what we should give away, and how to decide who gets what.
Here are some questions to ponder when answering:
- What should the contests be?
- How should we quantify performance?
- What should we do with Jeff's hardware, given its geographical restriction?
- What prizes should we have in the contest?
We need to figure this out very soon, so that we can propose it to the Stack Exchange community team, to figure out the funding details. Please leave your thoughts on this in an answer or comment.
Thanks everyone for your contributions. Hopefully we can make this next anniversary a fun event which will also benefit the community!
Thanks to @nhinkle for writing the majority of this.