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Forums > Announcements & Site Feedback > A Review of the Week contest proposal

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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: May 25, 2012 (08:31 PM)
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In my effort to find a new way to bring some additional activity to the community and to draw more attention to its best output, I'm considering launching a contest--potentially a monthly contest, if the first run goes well enough and I can afford subsequent ones--that would offer two people a prize at the end of a given month.

It would work like this...

1) Staff, freelancers and general contributors submit reviews to the site in the usual manner.

2) Staff members approve quality reviews and they go live on the site, also in the usual manner.

3) Each week, the RotW topic is held and a "winner" is crowned (again, in the usual manner). Staff and freelancers are eligible if they wish to participate, myself obviously excluded.

4) At the end of the month, the 4-5 winning reviews are considered entries for a prize, to be paid via PayPal. The prize I have in mind is $100, though I'd go higher if I find interested sponsors (most likely in later months, if a first month goes well).

5) The community can then vote for the review they would like to see win by using the social media buttons at the end of each review. This means each individual person is capable of giving a review up to three votes, as each Tweet, +1 and Like will count as one vote. People can vote for as many eligible reviews as they like, including their own.

6) At the end of the voting period--likely a week or so--the interactions are tallied and the review with the most interactions is the winner. That person will receive a prize, BUT...

7) ...one person who has left feedback on the review using the on-site forum feature (not Facebook comments) will be randomly selected to receive a prize (I'm thinking $20), also by PayPal, just for being one of the people who commented on the review (only the first comment in the thread from any single person would count toward that secondary prize).

What I like about this contest and structure is that it should encourage people on the site to share the review content that they like most, which could also get other people involved and improve awareness. There's no limit to the number of times people can "enter," because each quality review is an entry. Social media votes are difficult to game with multiple accounts, at least in any major way, plus you can rally friends to vote for your content if you want to win a prize.

However, we can know that only quality submissions are eligible--and no more than five a month--because of the RotW process, which should also make it more exciting still to place in Review of the Week. I believe the contest is fun, but this could make it even more rewarding to win.

I also like the idea of awarding people who choose to comment on reviews, since that's such an important part of the HonestGamers community. Those people would have a stake in spreading that review around the Internet, if they believe in it, so people can get involved even if they didn't write the review and review contributors can get more feedback in the process.

I'm not saying this contest will definitely happen, but if it does, I'd kick it off in June. First I wanted to hear what you all think. Do any of you have any objections that I should be considering?

Edit: Upon reflection, it would probably work best to tally feedback entries in the actual RotW topics, rather than on individual reviews, just to reduce the likelihood that such a contest would inspire unwelcome, spammy contents from people who may just be looking to score $20. So... that's the route I'd go. It would also have the benefit of adding some activity to RotW threads, potentially.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: May 28, 2012 (01:49 AM)
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I haven't heard any responses, and the end of the month draws any closer. If you have objections or suggestions, now's the time to share them. And yes, I realize it's a holiday weekend... but a fair number of people have been active on the forums since I started this topic. I'm trying to decide how to interpret the lack of response thus far. Is it approval? Disgust? I just don't know!


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: JoeTheDestroyer
Posted: May 28, 2012 (02:14 AM)
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I like the idea, I just don't have anything to add. Sounds neat, and it sounds like it could draw some more activity. All we need to do is advertise it.


The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.


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Author: jerec
Posted: May 28, 2012 (06:29 AM)
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I missed this topic when it was posted - it must have gotten buried quickly that day. It's a nice idea, but is it really going to help? Or will it just be the same bunch of people writing reviews and commenting but now with the possibility of winning money, or will it actually encourage more people to join the site and write/participate?

If you've got the money to throw at the site, then by all means do so, but it always sounds like you're struggling financially (I admit I can't see the whole picture here), it doesn't sound like the best move.


I can avoid death by not having a life.


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: May 28, 2012 (09:32 AM)
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From a selfish standpoint, I like this idea, because there's a chance I could win some coin by simply continuing to comment on good reviews I've read, or submitting the odd staff review.

However, from a site growth perspective, I don't know that it helps. I see the same people doing what they've always done, but taking your money while doing it. The difference is they may spam their friends with their own links... "dude, LIKE my review, win me some cash, thanks." The chances of those types of interactions leading to the 'likers' joining the site seem slim to me. Or, boiled down, are those interactions worth $120 of your hard earned cash per month?


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: May 28, 2012 (10:44 AM)
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Thanks for the comments, guys!

I should mention that yes, I do expect people to have their friends vote for them in this contest. That's part of the whole point! And remember: by limiting the eligible reviews to only those that have placed in RotW, we ensure that spam won't work to win an undeserving review the prize.

The prize for people who comment in the thread is intended as a means of bringing more attention to the fact that the contest is even happening (plus it should alert them to the presence and significance of RotW), and there's a secondary purpose for all of this: the more people are interacting with content on the site by way of social media, the more quickly that content spreads. Maybe some of the people who initially vote aren't interested, but their friends who see the links as a result might be a different story. Among the people who see the content as a result of that expansion, perhaps a few people will be interested enough to get involved. I'm not expecting that from very many people, but perhaps a few. Also, that interaction causes the site to pop up on search engine radar.

This idea isn't a guaranteed home run, naturally, and it may not be a monthly thing (there's a good chance it won't be). But it's something that seems like it should be worth testing, since this is the sort of technique a lot of other sites have used to kickstart some real growth. If I try it and it begins to revitalize the community, that's fantastic and it will keep happening as possible. If I try it and it fails, I'm out $120... and $100 of that has gone to a valued community member. As far as I'm concerned, that's one of the best places $100 of my hard-earned money could go!


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: May 28, 2012 (12:56 PM)
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Jason: if you feel that there is value in awarding what will likely be a site regular $100 as motivation for the 'nominees' indirectly selling the site, go for it.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: May 28, 2012 (08:45 PM)
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I'd have commented sooner but I'm not online very much on the weekends.

Anyway, my whole concern with this was that while it sounded like an interesting idea, it sort of feels like a popularity contest. Even if the "nominees" are in because they deserved to be there, the ultimate winner will become victorious based on how many social media sites he/she uses and how many friends he/she has. To me, this is somewhat unfair because not everyone uses all those media sites. I for one only use Facebook and really can't be bothered with the rest. And on top of that, I don't have many friends that actually care about my Facebook page, and even fewer that give two shits about games.

But, on the other hand, I realize I may be in the minority with that circumstance and that ultimately this contest may serve anyone else better. But I still feel that there's a valid point to be made there.

I do like the commenting on reviews reward, though. I'm as guilty of it as anyone, but it is a shame we don't have more feedback than we do.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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