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Actually, all 3 of our anniversaries are coming up:

  • Graduation: 2011/08/02
  • Private beta: 2010/08/25
  • Public beta: 2010/09/01

So, let's do a contest to celebrate our anniversary!

  • A contest based around improving the site in some way? (answering or closing old questions; tag wiki fixes; flagging chatty or obsolete comments; etc)
  • go silly and have a contest for best avatar or ...?
  • something that's not contest-format at all?

Throw out some ideas for a contest format!

We'll have to figure out prizes, but I'm pretty sure we can get Stack Exchange to do something... Probably multiple smaller prizes of stack exchange swag (SE t-shirt, bicycles.SE water bottles, etc) and a larger prize or two of something bicycle-related from Amazon or a large internet bicycle retailer.

If there needs to be judges, us moderators can do it...

Here's a couple examples of similar contests:

3

A contest might try to address the biggest weaknesses of the site, whatever they are. I don't see any glaring problems, though more experienced members of the community might have suggestions. A few possibilities:

  • tag wiki edits: A lot of tags don't have any entries in the tag wiki. Rewarding tag wiki edits might make the tag wiki more complete.

  • nice answers to old questions: In my opinion (which might be wrong), newer questions seem to get more thorough answers than some of the old questions did. In some cases, a short answer that has already been accepted might dissuade users from adding a more thorough new answer. Rewarding "nice answers" to old questions might attract some new attention to great questions.

  • nice questions: The site gets fewer questions per day than many other StackExchange sites. Rewarding nice questions might encourage people to come up with more interesting new questions.

Like I said, I don't see any glaring problems with the site or the community, but these are a few ideas for possible improvement. Feel free to disagree on any of these or to suggest more important areas for improvement.

  • I like most of your suggestions... – freiheit Jul 17 '12 at 19:56
  • tag wiki edits: definitely! yes! – freiheit Jul 17 '12 at 19:56
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    nice answers to old questions: yes. We're better at answering questions than we were when the site started up a couple years ago. We need to define some exact criteria (5 upvotes on an answer to a question more than 3 months old?). Some of the old questions are awesome but could use better answers, but some of the old questions aren't really up to our current standards, so maybe also reward closing old questions... – freiheit Jul 17 '12 at 19:57
  • links to questions: not a fan of this one for this contest. I think a birthday contest should concentrate on improving the quality of our site, and we can have a separate contest for promotional efforts... (it's also different teams in SE for this vs the promotional stuff...) And we've done a few link-related contests before... – freiheit Jul 17 '12 at 19:59
  • nice questions: yes, definitely. Our questions-per-day has stayed pretty much the same for a long time. Maybe questions with at least 5 upvotes? – freiheit Jul 17 '12 at 20:01
  • I like your specific criteria for nice answers to old questions and for nice questions. I'll edit out the links to questions suggestion. – amcnabb Jul 17 '12 at 20:16
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Since I'm one of the likely judges, I'd prefer any contest be based around objective criteria. Badges, specific query-able site activity, etc.

Best is if you can give us a link to an example query on data.SE that we can run to give us the winner (well... that SE staff can, since data.SE only gets updated every few months).

If you can't put together a query there, don't worry about it, but do try to think in terms of quantifiable criteria, like "most approved edits" or "highest voted answer on a question more than 6 months old", not "best answer"... Badges, visits, all sorts of site activity is recorded and potentially usable...

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    Objective criteria mean mods can participate too... – Aarthi Jul 6 '12 at 18:57
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    It might be tricky to design criteria that is open to everyone. Anything to do with "best answer/question" will be biased towards the most active and knowledgeable community members, who don't really need the incentive to get involved. I'd like to try to aim at getting new people engaged. – Mac Jul 10 '12 at 6:17
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Over on Security, We have officially gone live with our competition announcement, and with @Aarthi's aid we think we have some good measures around questions, answers and edits, and a system which won't put off users who may look at our top couple of scorers and be disheartened.

  • One level 1 prize will be awarded for the most accepted edits each week. -Throughout those 4 weeks we will also monitor activity on our unanswered questions over one month old and a Level 1 prize will be awarded for the person with the highest votes tally from answers on those questions
  • All entrants with a question or answer with a score of at least 5 will be entered into a draw at the end of the month. Best Q and best A each receive a Level 1 prize

  • One level 2 prize will be awarded each week to an individual who passes the following thresholds: 10 posts with a score of 1 or more, 5 posts with a score of 5 or more, 1 post with a score of 8 or more. The winners will be drawn at random from all those who pass these thresholds.

  • For the top prize over the 4 weeks, the winner will need to reach even higher thresholds - 35 posts with a score of 1 or more, 15 posts with a score of 5 or more, 3 posts with a score of 8 or more. The winner will be drawn at random from all those who pass these thresholds.

Check out the full details here: https://security.meta.stackexchange.com/q/887/485

Depending on your timeline, I'm more than happy to report on how we think ours is going - pros and cons - as we go.

  • Is "we" referring to bicycles.SE or security.SE? From the context, I assumed it means bicycles.SE, but I don't see an announcement anywhere. – amcnabb Aug 8 '12 at 18:45
  • @amcnabb - sorry - clarified now. Security one goes live on Monday - I'm just volunteering some info/experience sharing as we go along :-) – Rory Alsop Aug 8 '12 at 19:01
  • That makes a lot more sense now. Anyway, it looks like a great contest and a good example of what could happen here. – amcnabb Aug 8 '12 at 19:20
  • we are still tweaking, to make sure that the measures are measurable by SEI tools etc, but looking good – Rory Alsop Aug 8 '12 at 20:44

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