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So.... we had an idea for revitalizing the contest but the moderators (who of course need to be on board for it to work) didn't like it.

We've had plans to inject some interest with contest themes but that's also gone nowhere in seven (!) years.

We suggested another mod to help but that got a "meh".

Meanwhile, the contest, which used to get entries daily, now gets an entry or two per month, and those get no attention or upvotes.

So, something should be done. The question is: what? We need something that will actually change the status quo, and which the moderators are actually willing and interested in working on.

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Part of the problem may be the appearance of posts not being able to get to the top due to the large backlog. Perhaps we should consider doing a one time restart of the contest with new submissions. If we don't have a post on the new one, we can always fall back to pulling one off the old, but it would let us see how that works out and if it works well, maybe we could see about doing it with some kind of regular period.

  • This seems fine but I don't think it will really address the problems. – mattdm 2 days ago
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Too much about the contest is being conducted in order to be "site acceptable" instead of for the purpose of running a contest:

  • Contest on Meta...cool, let's put the thing that's going to suck in and engage people...behind a curtain?
  • Contest all in a single question...cool, so we're going to create pages and pages of submissions over time to, to which new ones get drowned...to make it easy on the site?
  • Contest is constantly ongoing...to make life easy on mods?

If we want eyes on the contest, then it needs to be on main or there needs to be some active driver pointing people from main to meta.

If we want active engagement, then refreshes need to be recurring. Zero the slate. Reset the bar. Get rid of the old so people can submit for the new.

Downtime creates excitement. There doesn't have to be a contest constantly going. Build a break in by having a month where old submissions are simply showcased at random (or something) while giving everyone involved a break. This isn't going to deter people - in fact it can help build engagement by giving submitters something to look forward to and plan for.

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