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We tried contests (Add contests on blender exchange), however after the first one we didn't get many entries.

It seemed to me that there was interest, but people didn't have enough time to put something together in their spare time in-between answering questions ;). At least that was what happened to me :P

If this is true, what about having something more like photography.se's continuous contest?
This would allow everyone to enter on their own time.

I assume we can't (yet) feature the weekly winner on the main site (in a banner or something), but we could have a "hall of fame" meta post like photography.se where the winners are collected, and perhaps we could feature the winner of the week in the question for extra visibility.

Any thoughts?

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    $\begingroup$ I really like the continuous contest idea! $\endgroup$ – PGmath Jan 23 '15 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ I'm fairly new to SE, and for quite a while I wasn't aware that there was competition section at all, maybe they could be advertised better on the main site? $\endgroup$ – Christy James Feb 3 '15 at 10:26
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    $\begingroup$ @ChristyJames Well, this started fairly recently (so there wasn't a contest section at all), and there still kind of isn't. Unfortunately until the site graduates (hopefully soon) we don't have any control over the look/design/non-Q&A content on the main site. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Feb 3 '15 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ @ChristyJames Can't be on the main site, would be preferred to keep the scope strictly Q&A. Several avid users are interested however so we decided to keep them here until we decide how to best approach this. An external custom site? etc. $\endgroup$ – iKlsR Feb 11 '15 at 2:25
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I think this is an excellent idea! Have an open-ended competition, that people can submit to at any time. That would solve a lot of the participation issues I think.

One thought, having just an open submit anything you want competition might not be optimal, as it is hard to compare the very different types to each other. Maybe every month, or every quarter, we could add a new one with a different prompt, just to keep it kind of focused and to keep any one thread from getting too bloated. Having just one thread would make the first ones submitted have an almost insurmountable advantage over more recent entries.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not so sure it would be such a huge advantage, as once an entry is chosen it would be moved the the hall of fame, allowing newer entries to come up. And if people understand how the contest works, perhaps they will go and look at some of the pages of newer answers to vote on too. The contest on photography.se seems to work quite well, and they currently have 266 entries. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 22 '15 at 4:01
  • $\begingroup$ That would certainly help! $\endgroup$ – VRM Jan 22 '15 at 12:06
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 the photo guys seem to have a lot more active meta guys than we do. Would this affect the contest? I think NoviceInDisguise is right that we may need to change the subject occasionally (once a quarter or season). Anyone could post, past work or work they're still doing. Statistically it seems like it would draw a lot more users to post as long as everyone found out. $\endgroup$ – Scalia Jan 25 '15 at 4:46
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    $\begingroup$ If we do have themes I would suggest that they be very flexible and open, I don't think they are entirely necessary though. The photography.SE site's one is more of a “showcase your work”, rather than “take this kind of picture”. Which is an aspect that a lot of cg contests lack and I think would be refreshing if we had. $\endgroup$ – PGmath Jan 25 '15 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ @PGmath That is a different perspective, and I like it! +1 $\endgroup$ – VRM Jan 25 '15 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ @PGmath Yes, thats more what I had in mind. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Feb 3 '15 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ @VinceScalia Well, maybe we would only have an average of 10-20 entries at a time, as opposed to 200. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Feb 3 '15 at 20:15
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If the winners were posted on the main site, then that would be a big incentive to enter. If the winners knew that there winning entrees might get voted up, and as a result, might get rep from it, there would probably be a lot more entrees, and probably of higher quality. as of now, aside from the "it's fun" factor, there is no real incentive or reward from winning. Also, if our "hall of fame" - or whatever it is called gets featured on blender nation, that would bring a lot of views, activity, and possibly new users to the site.

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  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking along the lines of photography.se or blendernation, where the winner appears in a "image of the week" or something in a banner. But I doubt this is an option before we graduate.. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 22 '15 at 4:04
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    $\begingroup$ very true, and there really is no indicator on when the site will graduate... $\endgroup$ – X-27 wants to Reinstate Monica Jan 22 '15 at 20:12
  • $\begingroup$ More answers is all we appear to need. Who knows . . . $\endgroup$ – VRM Jan 23 '15 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ @NoviceInDisguise Rumor has it that they are extremely backlogged rolling out new designs... despite the fact they just updated the so look by changing some colors and font sizes :/ $\endgroup$ – GiantCowFilms Jan 24 '15 at 1:34
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Format sample basic contest question. 1.0

[Intro to contest]

(introduction text here, explains what the contest is)

This is a contest for those in this blender community. Anyone may enter. Anyone may post an artwork. Keep it clean. Works do not need to be made during the contest times, it may be a past work. Any artwork entered must be an original work by the user who posts. Artworks must be made and rendered 100% in Blender (minor post-processing in a 2D photo application is acceptable)

Date of contest (day x through 3 months from day x (y))

[On day y]

The work with the most votes (down-votes not counted in final tally) will win, will be the accepted answer (if we can get it working the winning image will be put in a banner on the main site with the users name). A brand new contest question, created three days prior to avoid confusion, will be posted. Users may post artworks immediately once question is asked.

In order to create the post on time, likely winner(s) will collaborate to decide subject.

[Rules]

Rules here will be the same as in the past.

some links to past works in blender in order to stir thought may be posted here.

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  • $\begingroup$ If we don't do themes, then new questions would be asked by date. i.e. Contest: Spring, 2015 that way we could still avoid the enormous answer load on one question. $\endgroup$ – Scalia Jan 27 '15 at 21:20
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New Format Proposal:

We hold a competition, into which you can submit anything you created over the last month only. People can vote until a week after there are 5 (or any other pre-defined number) of submissions [the competition will then close], after then, the winner is calculated, and we start the whole thing again!

The advantage of this is that it encourages out performing of peers in all of our projects, which can be a very very good thing.

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Suggest we don't do competitions, There are enough places in Blender's community (and more generally - the online CG community) to show off your work.

In fact there are multiple sites that run Blender specific competitions, to name some popular ones...

  • Blender Cookie
  • Blender Guru
  • Blender-Nation
  • Blender.org Suzzane awards (short films).

... probably other non-English speaking forums too.

This just seems like an unnecessary distraction and we can better focus on Q&A.

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  • $\begingroup$ I do agree to an extent. You have a good point there! $\endgroup$ – VRM Feb 3 '15 at 20:31
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    $\begingroup$ Those all seem like high-profile "competitive" contests (with prizes and such). I was envisioning something more on the lines of a place to upload cool renders where a few people can see them (and vote on them). When we aren't answering questions, A group of us tend to hang around in chat etc. I think a sort of "relaxed" continuous contest would fit nicely into this. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Feb 4 '15 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ @gandalf3 That is an even better point! $\endgroup$ – VRM Feb 11 '15 at 2:23
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    $\begingroup$ If you just want a place to upload cool renders then any of the forums? finished work sections? I can see my position isn't popular here, but think theres absolutely no need for this on SE IMHO, but maybe I miss the community aspect. Where I draw the line is when this becomes a maintenance burden. (taking focus away from Q&A) $\endgroup$ – ideasman42 Feb 11 '15 at 7:50

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