Did you know that Photo SE's graduation was one year ago on October 28th? Congratulations!

How about a contest or some other fun activity to stir things up a little? After a year of great Q&A, we'd like the opportunity to "give back" for everyone's hard work.

Anniversary events area a great way to spark some interest in the extracurricular activity in your site (more meta participation). An “anniversary event" can be just about anything. Take a look at Super User’s 2nd Birthday Super Contest for inspiration. It doesn’t have to be a contest. Dream up whatever you feel the community will find interesting, and go for it.

Start a meta post or chat event to work out the details. Rally support for your event and bring it to our attention (community@stackexchange.com). We're really interested in community-lead initiatives, so let’s just say, if you can work out the details, we’re very motivated to say “go for it!”

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    Whatever you do decide to do, someone should get a picture of it. – Shog9 Nov 3 '11 at 4:01
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    Is there a way to give this event more visibility? Is a blog on it ok? I'm sure there are people with ideas, but I'm not sure anyone knows ideas are needed. – jrista Nov 8 '11 at 6:01
  • I feel like I have to recuse myself from most of the suggestions I'm coming up with for rewarding site activity. :) – Please Read My Profile Nov 9 '11 at 21:38

Are we lookin' at a similar budget to the contest at Super User? (About $1000 in "real" prizes plus another $500 in swag.) Because I'd rather see the money spent on making this happen: How can we make Stack Exchange-sponsored gear reviews into a reality?

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    As far as budgeting goes, those two projects are not mutually exclusive. – Robert Cartaino Nov 7 '11 at 14:24
  • Incidentally, how does Stack Exchange make its money? I see no ads... – ElendilTheTall Nov 9 '11 at 11:16
  • At reputation 200 and above, you are shown fewer ads. – Please Read My Profile Nov 15 '11 at 4:55

I think we need to attract more new users who are asking questions about photography rather than looking for starting-out camera recommendations.¹

So, I'd like to see a birthday celebration that encourages this kind of growth in our userbase. Maybe we have some sort of "bring your friends" contest, although I'm not sure how that'd work exactly.

1. I think we need a good friendly approach to the latter as well, but here I'm thinking about what the site really needs to grow in a positive way.)

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It would be a nice idea to provide some kind of scholarship (in cash or camera equipments) to a new but promising photographer. However, the selecting process would be a difficult one to manage.

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A logical event would be a photo contest of some sort. Of course, we have the weekly image contest, but that serves a narrow purpose and as such the submissions and winners are likewise somewhat narrow. We should have a contest with a theme related to Stack Exchange: participation, questions, answers, awesomeness.

This should be something that would be bigger than the weekly photo, perhaps with "celebrity" judges — although it would also be nice to include the meritocracy/democracy that makes Stack Exchange work so well. In any case, the judging should be more involved than a handful of anonymous votes.

There should be some real prices — money at B&H, say.

And, we should promote the contest beyond the site. The current contest is really something that draws in involved community members. This should target the world, and draw people to SE as a side effect.

If we could tie the contest into actually generating questions, that'd be really exciting, but I'm not quite sure how to do that. (Ideas?)

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