IMPORTANT: member run challenges?

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Jedi Knight Muse

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IMPORTANT: member run challenges?
« on: July 23, 2017, 01:38:42 PM »
Maybe a month or so ago, someone ( @Mars ) asked if having member run challenges was something that we would be willing to do on Worldsmyths. Sheepy, Silver and I discussed it and decided we would at least give it a shot and seeing how it goes, but I realized that we never really officially asked if that was something people were interested in. On at least two forums I've seen member run challenges on, one of the members had a set up with their specific challenge(s) like this:

1. A member posts a challenge with the info - the prompt, the word count, the deadline. This is the post where people kind of sign up for the challenge.
2. On at least one forum, I've seen a discussion post for the challenge that's been posted (in a separate post from the challenge info one).
3. When the deadline comes, a third post is made for submissions.

They then had a jury of two or three people - the person running the challenge and then one or two people who aren't participating in the challenge - and they have a point system, where the jury gives X amount of points to each author/story based on certain things (i.e. characterization, how well it fits the prompt, spelling/grammar, etc).

This generally seems like a good system, though obviously I don't want to use their same exact system with the points and such, but maybe we could come up with something similar.

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[b]1. Are you interested in member run challenges?[/b]
[b]2. Are they something you'd participate in (i.e. submit to them as well as post a challenge yourself?[/b]
[b]3. What do you think the logistics should be? (Meaning, how should they be run? What about rules, etc?) [/b]
[b]4. Are you interested in doing a word count challenge, like the one proposed in [url=http://forum.worldsmyths.com/index.php?topic=1025.msg8433#msg8433]this reply[/url]?[/b]

I THINK that's all I wanted to know at the moment. I'm thinking that the challenges shouldn't have deadlines that go for more than a week, MAYBE two weeks. I don't want these challenges to interfere with the monthly challenges, so that's why I think shorter deadlines are better for these.

I've never done member run challenges before on my past forums, at least not that I can remember, so I'm not sure what kind of system to try and go for that would make it easy and still balance out with the monthly challenges.

Edit: if there's basically 0 interest in doing member run challenges, we most likely won't go through with it and we'll just stick to monthly challenges or something.

Edit 2: I've added in another question to the form above- is anyone interested in a word count sort of challenge, like the one proposed in this post?
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 01:50:55 AM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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Ahryantah

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Re: IMPORTANT: member run challenges?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2017, 05:20:33 PM »
1. Are you interested in member run challenges? I am, theoretically, but I'm not sure if that would detract from the monthly challenges or not. Part of me worries that with more than one challenge going on, both would suffer from lack of participation, like maybe most people would decide to do just one challenge and none of the others, and since we're already having problems getting entries for one challenge, it could lead to a situation where each challenge one has, like, one entry.

On the other hand, it could also increase participation! If there are multiple challenges then that might increase the chances people will find one they're interested in. Like for this month, I haven't submitted anything to the monthly challenge because the prompt didn't really inspire me (there's nothing wrong with the prompt; I just wasn't feeling it). But if there were multiple challenges going on and I found one I liked better, I would probably submit something to that as opposed to not submitting anything at all. But that's me.

2. Are they something you'd participate in (i.e. submit to them as well as post a challenge yourself? I probably would, if the challenge seemed interesting/inspiring.

3. What do you think the logistics should be? (Meaning, how should they be run? What about rules, etc?) This is a tough one to just answer without much of a framework to go from. I kind of like the idea of the points system, but I'm not sure about the jury thing. I think it should be open to the forum in general, like the monthly challenges. Though having it open would make it hard to have any kind of standardized points system. Hm. I don't know.

Actually--and this isn't strictly relevant to the question--I was thinking of something like a long-term challenge, member-run or not. I was once part of a writing board (years and years ago, like back in 2002) that had an ongoing word count challenge. There were different word count pledges: 1000 words, 2000 words, etc., that were set by the mods. Every month members would pick a pledge and try to write that many words in a month, and if they succeeded they got a simple graphic (I think it was different colored stars, depending on your pledge amount). But the challenge also built on itself, because then you were encouraged to pick a higher pledge the next month (so if you picked 1000 words one month and won, the next month you could challenge yourself with maybe 2000 words). And if you met your pledge six months in a row or something (I don't remember the exact logistics, it was so long ago), you got another graphic (iirc this board only had graphics for prizes, too, and it was still pretty active, but this was also back when message boards were more of a thing than they are today). Something like that might be good for this place, because it encourages participation over the long term. It wouldn't have to be a word count challenge; I just used that as an example because that's what the other forum did. But something like that, where someone can dip in and out as they please, or try to get a longer winning streak, or whatever.


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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: IMPORTANT: member run challenges?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 01:49:41 AM »
1. Are you interested in member run challenges? I am, theoretically, but I'm not sure if that would detract from the monthly challenges or not. Part of me worries that with more than one challenge going on, both would suffer from lack of participation, like maybe most people would decide to do just one challenge and none of the others, and since we're already having problems getting entries for one challenge, it could lead to a situation where each challenge one has, like, one entry.

Yeah, I admit that a small part of me is worried that it would detract from the monthly challenges that are already suffering as it is.  :-\

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On the other hand, it could also increase participation! If there are multiple challenges then that might increase the chances people will find one they're interested in. Like for this month, I haven't submitted anything to the monthly challenge because the prompt didn't really inspire me (there's nothing wrong with the prompt; I just wasn't feeling it). But if there were multiple challenges going on and I found one I liked better, I would probably submit something to that as opposed to not submitting anything at all. But that's me.

I agree with this. On the other hand, it would kind of be like what sometimes happens when for the monthly challenges, we give two prompts- either one prompt works for people and they write based off of that, MAYBE both prompts work and they include both, or none of them inspire anything. There's always a possibility that no matter how many challenges there are, the prompts still won't inspire people. (And I totally hear you on not feeling the prompt. It's not even something that's too specific, I just...I dunno if it's just because of my issues because of Storms of Magic or what, but I haven't been able to come up with any ideas for it yet. Doesn't mean I'm not going to still try 'cause there's still plenty of time, but still. I want to submit something, and I want others to submit something...especially 'cause this is the prompt that people chose when they voted in the prompt poll.)

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This is a tough one to just answer without much of a framework to go from. I kind of like the idea of the points system, but I'm not sure about the jury thing. I think it should be open to the forum in general, like the monthly challenges. Though having it open would make it hard to have any kind of standardized points system. Hm. I don't know.

I like the idea of a points system, too. But you're right that it should also be open to the forum in general. Although it would potentially kind of balance out, because people could still give feedback, even if they're not a judge? I dunno.

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Actually--and this isn't strictly relevant to the question--I was thinking of something like a long-term challenge, member-run or not. I was once part of a writing board (years and years ago, like back in 2002) that had an ongoing word count challenge. There were different word count pledges: 1000 words, 2000 words, etc., that were set by the mods. Every month members would pick a pledge and try to write that many words in a month, and if they succeeded they got a simple graphic (I think it was different colored stars, depending on your pledge amount). But the challenge also built on itself, because then you were encouraged to pick a higher pledge the next month (so if you picked 1000 words one month and won, the next month you could challenge yourself with maybe 2000 words). And if you met your pledge six months in a row or something (I don't remember the exact logistics, it was so long ago), you got another graphic (iirc this board only had graphics for prizes, too, and it was still pretty active, but this was also back when message boards were more of a thing than they are today). Something like that might be good for this place, because it encourages participation over the long term. It wouldn't have to be a word count challenge; I just used that as an example because that's what the other forum did. But something like that, where someone can dip in and out as they please, or try to get a longer winning streak, or whatever.

Hm. So, basically, you're suggesting something like Get Your Words Out on LJ.

I like the idea of doing that kind of a challenge, especially for something like word counts, because then it's not like the monthly challenges where we have to rely on others to either come up with something completely new to submit for the sake of a challenge or polish something already written that works for a challenge prompt and take the time to polish it up before submitting it. It's basically pushing someone to strive toward a specific goal that allows them to use whatever writing they want for it.

I still want to try and figure out logistics for a world building challenge of some kind at some point, too, but I think we still probably need to hold off on that for now.
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July Camp Goal: 15,000 (4,474=difference needed to get to 15k)

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: IMPORTANT: member run challenges?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 09:04:22 AM »
Bump!
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JayLee

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Re: IMPORTANT: member run challenges?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 09:51:07 AM »
1. Are you interested in member run challenges? Hmmm... it could work. I just tried the regular challenge for the first time this month, so I think it's safe to say that if I get into doing those, I'd probably be all down for member challenges. Especially if there is something different about them, and it doesn't just end up being another prompt to pick from.
2. Are they something you'd participate in (i.e. submit to them as well as post a challenge yourself? More or less same answer as above. I think it would be fun to post a different sort of challenge as well, like a fantasy character design challenge (ie draw an interpretation of a nixie).
3. What do you think the logistics should be? (Meaning, how should they be run? What about rules, etc?) I think the person/people who agree to post the challenge should choose a prize. It would help it be different if there was a different sort of prize. Maybe said person can choose to offer a free sketch, or to beta a chapter, or to pass out a special signature graphic/badge... something they can do specifically. The timing should be offset from the main challenges so that two deadlines wouldn't creep up at once. People on the forum should get to vote, and then the mod of the challenge should get to have the final say out of the top three. That way everyone still gets a say, but it's the mod's challenge.
4. Are you interested in doing a word count challenge, like the one proposed in this reply? Maybe... I've never been much of a word count person though.
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Ahryantah

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Re: IMPORTANT: member run challenges?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2017, 08:31:48 PM »
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So, basically, you're suggesting something like Get Your Words Out on LJ.

Sooooort of? Except instead of just picking a word count goal for the year and letting people get to it, it's more modular, with different levels of participation and prizes, depending on what people want to do. And it wouldn't have to be a word count thing. Like I said, that was just an example.

Or there's another writing group I'm part of that has themed challenges that go for three months at a time, and the challenge is set by each individual person. Like one member could say they pledge to write two short stories in three months, or finish a novel draft, or reach a word count goal, or even something like pledge to do a certain number of critiques. And if they meet their pledge by the end of three months, they get a prize. I don't know. I feel like maybe having a low pressure challenge going on in the background that doesn't involve writing to specific prompts or voting might encourage people to post more writing as well as talk more about what they're writing. Because I know some people just aren't into the prompt thing, so a less structured challenge with a lot of room for interpretation might be more appealing?


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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: IMPORTANT: member run challenges?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2017, 02:03:52 AM »
Quote
So, basically, you're suggesting something like Get Your Words Out on LJ.

Sooooort of? Except instead of just picking a word count goal for the year and letting people get to it, it's more modular, with different levels of participation and prizes, depending on what people want to do. And it wouldn't have to be a word count thing. Like I said, that was just an example.

Or there's another writing group I'm part of that has themed challenges that go for three months at a time, and the challenge is set by each individual person. Like one member could say they pledge to write two short stories in three months, or finish a novel draft, or reach a word count goal, or even something like pledge to do a certain number of critiques. And if they meet their pledge by the end of three months, they get a prize. I don't know. I feel like maybe having a low pressure challenge going on in the background that doesn't involve writing to specific prompts or voting might encourage people to post more writing as well as talk more about what they're writing. Because I know some people just aren't into the prompt thing, so a less structured challenge with a lot of room for interpretation might be more appealing?

Hmm, okay. It should definitely be something that's not going to require a lot of...commitment, I guess? Or rather, it should be something that can be intertwined with a daily/weekly/whatever routine easily that won't mess that routine up for someone too much and won't be easy to forget about doing, if that makes sense.

...I ahve more to say on this but I really need to go to bed, so I'll come back later and expand further. But i agree that something less structured might be what we need. The biggest thing is going to be finding something that, hopefully, balances out for people. i.e. if we had it be word count based, some people aren't really word count people, like @JayLee, which may lead to them being less likely to participate.  I dunno how possible it would be to -really- balance things out, though.
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Xanxa

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Re: IMPORTANT: member run challenges?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2017, 12:19:06 PM »
On another writers' forum, we run group projects, whereby several members collaborate on a story.  The genre, very basic plot and setting are agreed upon beforehand, along with ground rules about what's acceptable in terms of language, sexual references and interference with other members' characters.  Each member has to post bios of their chosen characters like in RPG scenarios and there are limits set beforehand on what powerful characters can do.  One person starts off the story and we carry on posting in a specific order.  Consultation about characters and plots is done in private messages, but sometimes a member will give the other characters a tough decision to make at the end of their post. 

It does require commitment, since the story relies on regular posting to keep it flowing.  Typically a story takes around a month or two to complete.  Again, when and how it ends is decided upon by consensus of everyone involved. 

It's a fun exercise and I've learned to become more flexible from participating.  You have to make your characters react to what the others have done, and often your characters are taken out of their comfort zones and have to rely on their own skills and also learn who to trust among the others.  It has elements of RPG in it, so it might appeal to those who get involved in long running game campaigns. 

I thought I'd make the suggestion in case anyone wants to start one in these forums.  If anyone's interested, I can attach a word document of a finished story as an example.  Let me know if you want to see a sample. 
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AuroraMorrow97

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Re: IMPORTANT: member run challenges?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2017, 02:29:00 PM »
I love this idea, I'm too busy to do the monthly run challenges but if there were smaller challenges to do then I'd love to take part  :D

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: IMPORTANT: member run challenges?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2017, 10:01:21 AM »
On another writers' forum, we run group projects, whereby several members collaborate on a story.  The genre, very basic plot and setting are agreed upon beforehand, along with ground rules about what's acceptable in terms of language, sexual references and interference with other members' characters.  Each member has to post bios of their chosen characters like in RPG scenarios and there are limits set beforehand on what powerful characters can do.  One person starts off the story and we carry on posting in a specific order.  Consultation about characters and plots is done in private messages, but sometimes a member will give the other characters a tough decision to make at the end of their post. 

It does require commitment, since the story relies on regular posting to keep it flowing.  Typically a story takes around a month or two to complete.  Again, when and how it ends is decided upon by consensus of everyone involved. 

It's a fun exercise and I've learned to become more flexible from participating.  You have to make your characters react to what the others have done, and often your characters are taken out of their comfort zones and have to rely on their own skills and also learn who to trust among the others.  It has elements of RPG in it, so it might appeal to those who get involved in long running game campaigns. 

I thought I'd make the suggestion in case anyone wants to start one in these forums.  If anyone's interested, I can attach a word document of a finished story as an example.  Let me know if you want to see a sample. 

So basically it would be a month or two long (or so) role play. Hm. I don't know if we have enough members that would 1. participate in it and 2. would be able to commit to posting in it every day in order to keep it going. Behind the scenes, in the past, we've discussed having a role playing section just in general, but...we ended up deciding against it until further notice because we didn't want role playing to detract from the main purpose of the site, and I, at least, want the site to be way more active before there's any kind of role playing on it.

I love this idea, I'm too busy to do the monthly run challenges but if there were smaller challenges to do then I'd love to take part  :D

We'll definitely keep this in mind. I'm wary about trying to do smaller challenges because I don't want them to take over and have the monthly ones suffer...but maybe it can balance out? We used to do challenges that would go for, like, two or three weeks at a time, but then people asked if there was a way to have more time and they showed interest in having them be monthly challenges instead, so we switched to that...it'd be nice if we could find a balance between doing both short and longer challenges without either one detracting from the other in terms of submissions and such.
Current total goal: 25,000
July Camp Goal: 15,000 (4,474=difference needed to get to 15k)

Storms of Magic - Draft 1