Instructables

Contests vs. Challenges - what the what??

Hey gang!

It has come to my attention that there is confusion about the difference between contests and challenges.  And believe me, we understand - we're still hammering out the details ourselves!  So I'm going to be super candid, and give you a glimpse "behind the curtain."


The main difference as we see it is:

Contests are pre-determined and often sponsored by awesome folks like Radio Shack or Singer.  They take more planning, and are usually open for longer periods of time.  Typically the amount of prizes given away is much greater than in challenges.

Challenges are determined by the editors who run them, often on a whim, or you know, for fun.  Challenges are completely built and managed by said editors, so sometimes the html looks funky or things don't always go as smoothly as the well-constructed architecture we have in place for contests.  (I'm still learning html!)  They're meant to be smaller in scope, faster, and have a different prize structure (the more entries, the better the swag) than contests.


Challenges started as an experiment.  They are labor intensive to run and maintain (I'm still working on building a system for tracking old challenges and winners).  Everything happens by hand.  Sometimes the rules change, and sometimes the pages look different.  We're still experimenting with the best way to do these so we can set standards for them. And once we know that this "experiment" has been successful, we can try and lean on the development team for some support to make it all look (and run) much better!


The distinction between the phrases "Contest" and "Challenge" is new.  You may notice that some of our Contest banners still say Challenge on them.  We were originally calling contests "Challenges," and the editorial experiments "Speed Challenges."  But then there seemed to be some confusion about whether or not the projects submitted to "Speed Challenges" had to be speedy themselves, and then some of the challenges needed to run for a month or more due to their theme (hard to build a robot in a week!), so we scrapped the "Speed" part.  Eventually we settled on differentiating the two simply as "Contest" and "Challenge."  There's even more debate about identifying the challenges with the editors running them, vs calling them "Weekly" challenges (which we know can be a misnomer), and lots more.  You probably didn't need to know all that.


Anyway.

Please do feel free to use this space to vent your frustrations, offer your suggestions, and ask for clarification.  Just today I mistakenly swapped the terms challenge and contest in our daily meeting, so I feel your pain.  And really, we just want to make you guys happy.

Picture of Contests vs. Challenges - what the what??
scoochmaroo (author) 2 years ago
To see the current Challenges, hover over the Contest tab at the top of the page, and at the bottom left of that drop-down menu is a button that says Challenges. That will tell you what's current! You can click on those to see what the individual challenges are, and enter them by leaving a link to your project in the comments section.


As I mentioned, we're hoping to build these out even more, so the format of this may change going forward!
triumphman2 years ago
Still very confusing!
mikeasaurus2 years ago
So, Challenges are named because they are challenging to manage and Contests are named because the prizes are valuable and contested. Got it!
Contestibles. Yay!
canucksgirl2 years ago
"Challenges started as an experiment. They are labor intensive to run and maintain (I'm still working on building a system for tracking old challenges and winners)."

Couldn't you just make a Guide and call it Scoochmaroo's Challenges? Then as you complete a challenge, you simply add it to your guide?

Seems to me it would be your easiest solution (for now). ;-)
scoochmaroo (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
I can, and that's what I'm planning on doing, but I also want to include everyone else's challenges in it as well! Currently I just don't have the time or bandwidth to put it all together, but it's on my short list!!!
I don't mind helping out, if you what some assistance. ~ Just let me know. ;-)
scoochmaroo (author)  canucksgirl2 years ago
I'm really trying, but the images in guides are so large that the page is huge, and if I do it in html, it's a major pain every time I have to update it. But I'm still trying!
It just occurred to me that there is a much easier method that would work rather well for ALL the Challenges (from you and other editors), and is technically already available and formatted for you. What I'm thinking is the Community Forum section. The way it's set up, it's already at an advantage for posting all the past challenges. What you would need is for the programmers to add you a section called "Challenges" (perhaps right under "Contests"). They should also be able to take all the past challenges (as they are right now), and post them to that section in ascending order (so that the most recent is first). IMHO, that would work rather well for members, and it wouldn't be difficult to implement. (I do this sort of thing for a living, so I know they can do this). Anyways, it's just a suggestion.
lemonie2 years ago
A challenge is an invitation to a contest, it is implicit in your challenges that they are also contests...

I'll suggest double-safe with "Schooch's ( ) Competition", against "Official ( ) Contest for the others.

L
mathiemom2 years ago
I know how to enter a contest, but 1) how do I find out about all of the weekly challenges and 2) how do I enter a Challenge?
Ok I figured out question 2. The instructions are confusing because it refers to contests not challenges. However you simply publish as usias then post a comment to the challenge sponsor including the link to your entry project. However, istilldo not know who all of the editors are where I can "follow" them and get notifications of all the challenges.