Weekly Challenges: a request with wider implications


OK, so these Weekly Challenges...

Although I am not personally entering them for the foreseeable future, they're an interesting idea, but a week is terribly short notice for most people to get a decent entry put together, especially if they have a busy life (job, children, school, the usual).

It would be much better to have a longer-term calendar, maybe linked to from the contest page, with the weekly challenges noted down in advance.

While we're at it, why not put the normal contests on the same calendar?

What I have in mind is something that looks like a Gantt chart, like the image, but where the image says "subtask", the chart would name the contest.

In fact, why not have a central Instructables calendar - the same document could list contests, challenges, scheduled updates, HQ events, appearances at Maker Faires etc. 

You could even use it to keep track of staff birthdays and anniversaries...

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PKM6 years ago
Surely the problem with announcing weekly challenges a month in advance is that then you have five weeks to produce something? The challenges are (with good reason) vague and inclusive, so if you are notified in advance that there's going to be a "Chess challenge" you can probably guess what the criteria will be well enough to start work on an entry. 

The only way to stop this happening is to make the challenge very restrictive ("your entry has to be between 30 and 40cm long and include precisely two blue components") that it would stifle people's creative mojo and dissuade them from entering, and the truly committed would find ways to adjust what they'd already made to fit the requirements.

Perhaps a solution that would fix this problem and address your concern would be a requirement to maintain a build diary in a forum thread or image instructable which you update with at least one sentence and one photo each day, charting the progress of your build? It would provide interest for observers who aren't entering, generate "buzz" on the site, keep people to the one week timeline more effectively, but again it's a lot of effort (and you couldn't keep your entry secret).
Kiteman (author)  PKM6 years ago
A month in advance? Heck, I was after a full year!

I don't think there's an issue with advance notice, because (broadly generalising from my own experience) it can take days to come up with an idea, days more to get materials, and days of construction, and then that's only if other things don't get in the way, or you don't have to wait for paint to dry (Fungus' recent projects used a paint that takes a full week to cure properly).

Attmos Kiteman5 years ago
I know this is a year late but, I kind of look at the weekly challenges like your daily horoscope. It either talks to you and fits, or not.
canida Kiteman6 years ago
If we do announce them early, it's going to be maybe a week or so - PKM's point is exactly right. All of the weekly challenges are around subjects that lend themselves to super-quick projects.

Which reminds me - I need to post my salad Instructable!
Kiteman (author)  canida6 years ago
Ach, that's a pain.
lemonie6 years ago

Gantt chart eh? Do you believe that they plan that far ahead? (and already have this information)

L
No, and no.
Believe it or not, we do have an in-house Gantt chart! Have for a couple of years.

We've wanted to post the schedule, but haven't published it on the site so far because of schedule flex. Now we're on a firmer quarterly planning plan, so there actually is a plan afoot to post the schedule.
Kiteman (author)  canida6 years ago
Cool!
Kiteman (author)  lemonie6 years ago
They ought to - an hour's meeting today will save a dozen half-hour meetings over the next year.