Sunday, November 22, 2015


Ah, there is nothing like holding a contest.  If you never have, just know that they can be...contested.

You want to do something nice for the community (whichever community that may be) and you have some stuff you either don't need/want, must* give away, or just want to give away ('cuz you're a nice person like that).  So what do you do?  You hold a contest, of course.

But it's never quite as simple as that.  First, you have to think of a type of contest (Comments?  E-mail?  Haiku**?  Something completely different?), then you must think of how a winner will be decided (Random?  Voting?  First grab, first get?  The one *you* like best?  Something completely different?).  And of course there are the rules - every contest needs rules - so don't forget to come up with those, too.

But no matter how well thought out of a contest you come up with, there is always a chance for controversy.  Someone found a loop-hole in your rules; or you didn't explicitly exclude certain things; or though no fault of theirs, an entry was delayed past the "must be in by" deadline (you did include a deadline, right?  RIGHT?), or something else unforeseen occurred.  What do you do then?  Do you scrap everything and start over?  Do you acknowledge the issue?  Do you ignore it?

No matter what you decide to do, there will (almost) always be someone who complains and rails against you.  And all you wanted to do was something nice for someone in the community.

With all the trolls out there, it would be easier to just not hold contests at all.  But that would be letting the trolls win, and we all know that trolls should be slain and burned with either fire or acid so they stay dead.  Metaphorically speaking, of course...(maybe...)

Besides, contests are fun - whether holding or entering.  If you hold one, just make sure you have a thick skin, should you run into controversy.  But don't be afraid of controversy - it happens to all of us, Sooner or later.  Deal with it (or don't) and move on.

* A lot of contests include in their rules that you are not allowed to sell what you win, but you are allowed to give it/them away.  Usually, these are on the honor system and not closely regulated, but the expectation is that you follow the rules you agree to by entering.  So don't be an unethical schmuck - you agreed to abide by the rules, so abide by all of them.

** Oops - that's "haiku", not "Aku".

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