just a quick update on a few upcoming Bikes.SE initiatives. Please chime in with any questions, concerns or improvements.
Water Bottles - Jin is working on a design that incorporates your recommendations. That design will hit the meta board for pressing last-minute input before it goes to the presses. The beautiful bottles should be available for purchase in the Stack Exchange store and free to high-rep users by the middle of September, if not earlier.
Bike Contest for Victims of Theft
- We're still working on securing a sponsor for this campaign. It is looking increasingly likely that we will go ahead with the contest without a sponsor. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - it means we can give what we want, where we want - though it may limit our budget for near-future initiatives.
- Location: I'm strongly considering limiting the scope of this contest to NYC + NJ or just the 5 boroughs. This is the first Bicycles.SE contest and I want to make sure it is a success. It will be easier to make it so if I/we focus efforts within a defined area - a city where bike theft is rampant & I can get my hands greasy. If this works, the rest of the US, Canada, the UK & Down Under will get a shot at winning something awesome before long.
- I've been emailing mods in re: a vetting process to ensure contestants are real-life victims of bike theft. Most victims I know never filed a police report and long ago lost a receipt - if they ever got one in the first place; documentation of bike theft is a tenuous thing. One Solution: Require that contestants provide 10 "witness" upvotes. While this too can be faked, the mere opportunity to win a new bike doesn't seem worth the effort of convincing 10 friends to register & vote under false pretense.
- Local Bike Shop (LBS) "Stack Artifact" - As @Jason S brought to our attention, this community could use a token to provide to fellow riders and bike shop employees that says "Ask your bike questions here. Share your bike knowledge with us." Are we talking about stickers? I'm not sure. Maybe I'm desensitized to the novelty of stickers. Do cyclists have a use for stickers - maybe something reflective? What would you be inclined to stick on your helmet? What would you want to carry with you on an organized charity ride? What would a shopkeeper be inclined to keep in a stack next to the cash register? Think cheap, eye-catching, useful. Maybe there's something that riders can use in winter? Let's get some ideas and try to get something finalized by the end of the month. Personally, I'm looking forward to hitting up my Williamsburg bike shops with these little swaggerlicious goodies.
What ya think!?