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Objective-oriented Contests Answered

On Instructables, contests have tended to had very limited specifications beyond a general theme they work to. I propose this trend be broken in favor of something a bit more actively competitive: hold contests where the objective is set and have people compete to meet that stated goal as set by the contest host. The parameters that entries would be judged upon would be laid out in the briefing, as would any material or cost limitations.

Holding competitions in this manner would entice people to competitively build something to meet the requirement the host sets and to do their best to hone their project to succeed in the relevant parameters.

I think this would be a nice change from the chaotic randomness of current contests where there isn't much competition among entries, besides wooing people for votes to win finalist positions.


I disagree with "randomness of contests", but can you give some examples for what you mean?

What I mean is that given the considerable scope of most contests, few have entries that are similar in any meaningful ways. Thus, there is limited competition between them besides garnering the votes/attention necessary to make it to the finalist stage.

What I am proposing is that the scope of contests be very limited and instead dedicated upon a particular goal to push development in that direction.

I think I understand where you're coming from, it could lead to a more focussed set of entries, but if the criteria is too narrow it would probably result in too many similar projects being published.

I think there is a certain charm to having the broad variety we see currently, but I have no doubt that the occasional specific contest would be a good thing.

To me it's an avenue to fostering a very direct competition wherein ingenuity and focus on results is king--things I don't think are terribly well represented in contests as they are right now with their great expansiveness.

What's wrong with this? I'm not getting notified for your PM's or comments. Only yours (OAE), as far as I know.

If you're not getting notifications for TED's comments, it's because his replies were made to my comment (a reply to your own), not yours.

I didn't get notified for this one too.

If someone replies to someone that replies to me, I'm supposed to get a notification...

There's a general appetite for appealing to the masses, which is understandable, so it's in everyone's interests to keep things relatively broad. Making contests more open widens the appeal, plus it makes more people feel like they can get involved and have a chance of winning.

But even with that in mind, maybe they could run a challenge with stricter criteria and just see what happens.

I understand the reasoning for the contests as they are. Given the associated limitations though, I imagine there are many looking for a more engaging sort of contest, as the ones I have proposed.

Essentially, running test contests in the manner that I suggest is all I am proposing. I think those who feel that such a setup would be boring and thus should not even be tried are being needlessly unreceptive.

If a sponsor wants to get a lot of hits than it would be unproductive to limit a contest in such a way.
Try to imagine a woodworking contest where the goal is to build a wooden model boat at a budget of less than 100 bucks.
To match your needs certain design criteria are given that need matching too.
No matter how YOU see it, this would be a very boring contest for the Ible community.
All we would get is a ton of very similar projects "littering" around once the contest is over.
Or let's build a weather station with two arduinos and Wifi for under 50 bucks...
You see the pattern?
What you want is a building competition like some schools do in higher classes.
Give a limited bill of materials, options and designs and make the best of it.
IMHO this is good for teambuilding and group work but won't help to make the contests here more intersting or competive.
Or is all this just another way of you stating how little you actually like how things are done around here? ;)
In case you have not noticed a single voice with little positive feedback from others won't cause the wind direction to change...

I doubt that it'd be boring for anyone involved. Contests where there is competition involved in the actual process of making is probably superior in generating engagement.

The Makerspace Contest was similar insofar as it set several stated benchmarks and goals for its entrant teams to pass. That contest generated quite a response (over 1500 entries in the span of 3 months) and it was similar in the sort of gearing that my proposal here has in mind--albeit with some of the existing emphasized elements of other contests we have mixed in.

Instead of focusing on views and votes as contests do now, my proposal calls upon entrants' efforts to be focused on the projects themselves, looking to fulfill the goals set by the host. To my eye, that seems a far more dedicated effort to the project than what is currently had.

"is all this just another way of you stating how little you actually like how things are done around here? ;)"

My opinion of contests is not the topic at hand. The topic at hand is my proposal that the idea of contests with goals be explored. To my knowledge, this concept has never been explored in a contest here before. Discussion of that is what is needed here.