Forum:The Great Uncyclopedia Writing Contest for Fabulous Prizes

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So I had this idea to have a writing competition. "But that's VFH," you say. Yes, but this is different, because it would have a...wait for prize. Or at least an Amazon e-certificate prize.

Why? It seems to me that in the past few months Uncyclopedia has increased in quality significantly. I'm sure part of it is because more garbage is being deleted, but I also think we've attracted perhaps a greater number of good writers than we've ever had. Or maybe I'm delusional, I don't know. But I think there are more good articles being written these days, and I want to: 1. encourage more good stuff, and 2. reward the writers who make this place what it is (whatever that may be).

So what is it? What I had in mind is a very simple writing competition: give participants a week to write an article on either a subject of their own choice or chosen from a pool of subjects (I haven't decided which would be better). At the end of a week, have a group of judges vote on the best article of the bunch.

And the prizes? Of course, the winner will get the usual fame, glory and a fancy YOU'RE WINNER! template of some kind, but I also want to give them a small monetary prize - I was thinking a $10 gift certificate from Amazon, because that would be a very simple thing to reward. I'm planning to sponsor the first competition, and if there are more afterwards - well, we'll see how the first one goes.

When? I don't know yet. I'd like to start it fairly soon - maybe around the middle of the month. But I'll have to see how busy I am then and how much interest there is in the idea.

At worst, we'll have like two one-liner entries and I'll be out ten bucks. But there is always the possibility, however remote, that the contest will generate one or more great articles, and if that happens I think it'll be worth it.

Comments? I already have the general format of the competition in mind (it'll be simple, trust me), but suggestions are welcome. --—rc (t) 03:00, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

As caballed, I like the idea very much. It could possibly be a great way to revive the colonizations big time. As for the funds (also caballed), I was thinking about getting the Unmerchandise started. --⇔ Sir Mon€¥$ignSTFU F@H|NotM|+S 03:06, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I like the idea. I think our quality has gone up because of the Gwax-fueled Bad Article Holocaust and that wonderful little NRV tag. Notice we seem to have stabilised at 16,000 articles. And so I think the next step for Uncyclopedia is to actively try to make this a nurturing place for good writers (while not overly indulging the awful ones). I have some thoughts on this sort of thing based on my long experience of herding volunteer writers, e.g. finding people who've written a good piece on their blog or LJ and suggesting Uncyclopedia to them. Uncyclopedia mugs for all! - David Gerard 14:47, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I like the idea, but I see competition as less valuable than collaboration. If three writers all beat on the same article, and one "wins", what of the other two? If someone writes an article, and two other people make minor/moderate changes to it, who "wins"? I don't see this site as much as a winner-take-all site, because few articles ever are "perfected" by one user. And because I don't have the time/ambition to write a good article, and I'm horribly bitter about it.

Regardless, we've tried a lot of wacky shit on this website, and a lot of it has turned out really well. So go for it - if it works well, I might be able to help out next time. Bone_F_clear.png Sir Famine, Gun Petition » 14:57, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I rather disagree. I know in general wikis are collaborative, but I think this is less true with Uncyclopedia because many times writers have a certain joke in mind, and once they're finished with that joke, there is little for other people to add. Of course it's often the opposite as well, and some of our good articles (like the Bad News page) are quality because there are original contributions from many members, but in general I think Uncyc is less collaborative than your typical wiki just because of the nature of humor. As for your questions - I'd like for each entrant to write on a separate subject. What I think I'll do is let them choose their own subject within these guidelines:
1. Must be different from other entrants' subjects.
2. Article must not exist already on Uncyc, unless the existing one is mediocre and could use a rewrite anyway.
And I'd also like each article to be generated entirely by one person (unless they really, really need a spellchecker or something). --—rc (t) 04:09, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I love the idea. The problem is who will be the jury, and how to make it unbiased. I have an idea. The jury can be formed by all the active admins who dont participate in it, and add themselves to the jury list, and myself for caming up with the next idea. All the articles will be written by sockpuppets, so we don't vote for the articles from the people we alredy like, like with professional contests. Every sockpuppet will send RC or the contest mananger a password by email, so after the contest, the "real" identity can claim the honours and we wont have two users asking for the winner template (the money can be sent directly to the sockpuppet, after all, it goes to the same pocket. By mail?). Unless we just make an open voting and u can vote anyone but yourself, up to three votes per voter.--Rataube 15:14, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't see any particular reason to limit it to admins (hey, we're just as biased as everyone else, or moreso), but I would like people to sign up as judges (at the same time the writers sign up) so I can see who's in. What I don't want, and Sophia knows it's happened before, is a rush of suspiciously unheard-of users voting for their friend just out of loyalty.
The sockpuppets would be ideal, and I hadn't thought of that before, but I don't want to complicate things too much or it might discourage people from entering. I'll think about it. --—rc (t) 04:09, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I like the idea and look forward to my Amazon token. -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me) 10:06, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Crap! How will I vote against Mhaille if I don't know who he is?!?  ;P--<<Bradmonogram.png>> 16:48, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
If the idea is to encourage our writer base, it might be worth disallowing admins from participating. Not that I have anything against the admins but most of us already contribute a bunch anyway and $10 is not that much. Alternatively, since it is only $10, we could just not bother with very much of anything in the way of rules. Then jury selection and voting procedure become the only important details. --Sir gwax (talk) Signuke 17:43, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't want to make too many guidelines. KISS --—rc (t) 18:50, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I definitely like this idea. I will fund a prize too, the coveted Chronarion Secret Prize. If there is enough interest maybe i'll make it big, like an iPod or something. (i.e. i'll try to leech some ad money :-P) --Chronarion 07:08, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
I can recommend a great company that provides free ones.....for referring freinds, and money. -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)

Voting possibilities

I really like the way the Uncyclopedia:Top10 awards are going. Plus, Chron seems to like to have as many people involved as possible (in theory: the more votes, the lower the chance for bias). A committe would work, too, I guess, but everyone in the committe will be accountable to every single whiny loser, of which there will be a lot of ("How come RC voted against my one-line article? He featured euroipods!", etc., etc.). I think allowing a set number of for votes for everyone would be best. Maybe have one week for writing them and one week for voting. Of course, you can take any of these suggestions you like and screw them up fix them however you think works best.  :)--<<Bradmonogram.png>> 21:33, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Ok, but I still think it can be a good idea to write the articles through anonymous sockpuppets.--Rataube 21:51, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Such as numbering the authors so nobody knows who did what?--<<Bradmonogram.png>> 22:25, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't like the idea of sockpuppets; are we really that worried about slight bias in a $10 competition? --Sir gwax (talk) Signuke 17:43, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Speaking of the Top 10, I think we need to finish that off here pretty quick. Maybe set a final deadline for votes as the 10th?
I'd like to use socks if it wouldn't scare people off as an unnecessary complication. I think VFH/VFP/etc. have a history of bias and I'd prefer to eliminate it for this, but of course that needs to be balanced with the added organizational complexity of sockpuppetry. --—rc (t) 18:50, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Also, I like the suggestion that this can be a substitute for colonizations, just having people pick from the "Requested Rewrites" list, or something.--<<Bradmonogram.png>> 22:42, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

I say we're better off not over-thinking it and just doing the thing. I'd rather not end up voting on which way we're going to decide how we're going to vote to decide the voting method. --Spin 23:21, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Re: voting, see my response to Rataube above. I don't think we can decide on how many votes each judge gets or anything like that until we see how many people are interested in writing and judging. --—rc (t) 04:09, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I sign in for judging.--Rataube 09:59, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Additional Pledges/Categories

I'll pledge an additional $10 to, concurrently, hold a best rewritten article category for the competition. This category would apply to the best cleanup, merge/consolidation or rewrite (cleanups must be substantially more than just reverts to qualify). Consider this the positive side of my ongoing anti-crap war. --Sir gwax (talk) Signuke 17:37, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

While I am a cheapskate and therefore offer no money, I applaud you, sir. That is a great idear.--<<Bradmonogram.png>> 17:59, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Sweetness! A few issues:
1. Pool of subjects - let writers just choose their own, or use category:Rewrite?
2. Allow people to participate in both Best New Article and Best Rewrite categories, or limit them to one or the other?
--—rc (t) 18:50, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
1. They can rewrite whatever they want as long as they're improving things.
2. As far as I'm concerned they can participate in both and even submit multiple entries to both; we are talking about improving articles, so there's no good reason to say that they can only improve one. Whether or not people are allowed to win both is a different matter, one that I'm kind of split about.
And, as far as my prize is concerned, the focus is on the quality of the edits and improvement, not the final results. Taking a great page and polishing it up a little is not as noteworthy as taking a crappy article and making it pretty good. --Sir gwax (talk) Signuke 19:52, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
Do they have to be newly rewritten articles? I'm an uninspired soul, so most of my best articles are rewrites, but they were all completed far back in the mists of ancient time. Like, a couple months ago. So, are these grizzled ancients fair game for the competition, or will I *sigh* have to actually dive back into Category:Rewrite and cull some more crap? --Jordanus 04:08, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure Rcmurphy (and Gwax) will only allow newly written articles... The point, after all, is to encourage good writing. Actively. So I guess, if you're brain has flatlined, you've missed out on a fantabulous $ 10 coupon... --⇔ Sir Mon€¥$ignSTFU F@H|NotM|+S 14:06, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Also, I've been thinking... I would also like to put up $10 for a theme of my choice. I'd be more specific, but if we're going to give people the same amount of time to work on it, I'll keep it to myself. So would that be allowed? If so, we can give each competition a cute little name. ^_^ --⇔ Sir Mon€¥$ignSTFU F@H|NotM|+S 14:30, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Certainly, the more money the merrier. Meet me on my talk page. --—rc (t) 03:04, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Or maybe not (at least regarding further pledges after MS), see below. --—rc (t) 05:31, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

I'll let the first round or two go by, to hammer out the bugs, but I'd be interested in dumping something interesting into the pot if this takes off, and produces useful results. Bone_F_clear.png Sir Famine, Gun Petition » 23:50, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Gwax: Admins should be allowed to post articles. Some of them are our finnest writers and it would rise up the competition level, eventhough they themselves don't need to be encouraged.--Rataube 01:38, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely, and besides, Todd would kill me if I disqualified him now. --—rc (t) 03:04, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Nah. Your kids need you back at school. But if you were a fry cook or a lawyer or something, then maybe.  :) ~ T. (talk) 03:21, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

As noted above, i'll put up a prize for sure, maybe a big one if there's alot of interest. --Chronarion 07:09, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

  • RC et al, if you guys really think this is a good idea (I'm still a little iffy on it), I'll throw in $30 for the "general fund." More later, if (like Famine says) it takes off... Just tell me how you want to handle the transfer or whatever. I definitely won't be participating as a contestant, and I'd probably make a shitty judge, but if there's a chance it'll help encourage good writers to stick around, then why not.  c • > • cunwapquc? 02:11, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
If you're iffy about it, it's probably better to sit this round out. If the contest is a hit, we could always have more in the future.
I'm also getting a little worried that having so many categories/winners might be overkill, considering that I have no idea how many entrants we might have. Also, if there's one prize that's way more valuable than the others, like Chron might be offering, it's likely that everybody will flock to that and leave the other categories empty. I love that people are offering to sponsor prizes, but I think we may want to gauge interest with a smaller contest at first and see how it goes from there. Just a thought. --—rc (t) 05:30, 9 March 2006 (UTC)


Original article

  • I've chosen my topic, but until the sockpuppet / author hiding issue is resolved, I won't post it. ~ T. (talk) 15:39, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I think that you're jumping the gun a little. I'm pretty sure that we're still in the planning phase, not the we've announced the competition and are ready to get the ball rolling phase. --Sir gwax (talk) Signuke 15:56, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
The middle of the month that RC spoke of is in a week. Article ideas happen when they happen. Quit stealing my joy.  :) ~ T. (talk) 16:28, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
Addendum ~ So much for your "very simple writing competition", RC.  ;-) ~ T. (talk) 16:32, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Rewrite article

When to start? And some clarifications

I'd like opinions about when to start the competition. My only concern is that if we start it immediately, it will run concurrently with the Top 10 stuff, and overlapping the two might take attention off one or the other (since they're both "special" events). If nobody thinks this is a big deal, we can begin the contest soon.

This won't be the official contest page, so don't bother signing up yet. We're still working out the details for the contest. And actually, although I mentioned signups earlier on this page, I don't think I'll require people to sign up beforehand - if they just want to write their article and then post it on the contest page, that's fine. That way if some phenomenally talented noob pops in two days from the submission deadline and cranks out a great article, he can enter the contest. Like that'll happen. --—rc (t) 03:14, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I think that we can post a link on the main page for this contest once we hammer out the prizes. How long should the deadline be? One month? Two weeks? For that matter, i'd say march 28th would be a good time to start, it's after most midterms.--Chronarion 07:11, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

March 28th is close enough, we might as well start on April Fools Day, it is more fantastical after all. --Sir gwax (talk) Signuke 14:43, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
1 April is okay with me if people are willing to wait that long. (Sorry Todd! :)) And I don't think it should be any longer than two weeks, and maybe less. --—rc (t) 15:13, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Alternatively, we could announce the competition before it's open for submissions and then we could shorten the period to 1 week. --Sir gwax (talk) Signuke 17:19, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Hell, I got Spring Break in two weeks, I think that'd be an optimum time to start. But you know, Just not any time in the next 2 days, lots of projects and stuff I have to finish. Yeah... projects... that'll do... Tompkinssig Smallturtle t o m p k i n s  blah. ﺞوﻦ וףה ՃՄ ண்ஸ ފއހ วอฏม +տ trade websites 22:49, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
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