A Conversation for Introducing the Volunteer Teams

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 61

lil ~ Auntie Giggles with added login ~ returned


It's not your fault. We are all tripping over each other trying to help, or correct misinformation. Don't worry about it, it will sort itself out smiley - hug

Btw, Hyp is still subbed to this thread smiley - ok

lil xx

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 62

aka Bel - A87832164

's OK. smiley - smiley

I have nothing significant to add, though. I thought the Stretcher was a great example of how a competition can be run successfully, and that you could pick the best of everything to get started. smiley - smiley

There are lots of pitfalls if you want to run competitions, so if you'd like to know what they are (but maybe you know better than me), you know where to find me. smiley - smiley

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 63

Mrs Zen

Don't withhold Bel. I think that Sol IS asking.

What didn't help was circular kvetching about how things didn't work *because of problems we won't have* when we've left the BBC. I read the thread hastily, I cannot remember who all got involved in that.

Explaining possible pitfalls we actually might encounter is EXACTLY what this thread is for.


Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 64


*sneaks in while no-ones looking, digs a bloody big pit, covers with twigs, sneaks off again*

smiley - whistlesmiley - angelsmiley - run

smiley - lurk waits for a pitfall.

smiley - cat

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 65


OK, so I said I'd come and describe the Challenge page a bit more, but before I do that...

This discussion has been very useful and I'm glad we went off topic because I can see that I am in danger of becoming a bit narrowly focused when we have all this useful experience and ideas. I decided I;ve been saying, yes but not at the moment a lot and really, why not at the moment.

So I'll find us a space on Noesis and then we shall let fly. Watch this space.

When we are there (so you know what you are signing up to)

I will want you, Bel, to come and tell me about running competitions because if I have given the impression that I know about it, then hahahahahahahahaha.

I loved the Stretcher and was disappointed it wasn't a yearly thing - in fact, part of the inspiration of this is spo that we can have regular, ongoing things without people burning out. And then it occurred to me that if we really get into the swing of it we can run the Stretcher every year as well, so I'm going to say we plan for that too (or something similar).

Plus, as I say, the outward facing comps thing will take a while to set up, so let's get started on that.

Anyone who wants to help brainstorm is very welcome.

We'll also get to the nitty gritty of the immediate project too.

Now I liked the Stretcher, but it was a stretcher, and I also thought it would be nice to have challenges that are more just giving people ideas, and also to help ease newbies into the site, or to give less competent writers (perhaps non native speakers for examples) some achievable writing projects.

The idea would be to have a user page 'h2g2 Creative Challenges'** and on that page would be breif descriptions of the challenges being promoted that week, for example:


This week's poetry challenge is to write a poem about this picture! [show picture] But that's not all! Click here for more details!


If you cliecked you would go to an A page with more detail:


This week's poetry challenge is to write a poem about this picture:

[show picture]

But that's not all!

Here's how we're going to do it. Look at the picture. Write down ten to fifteen nouns to describe it. They could be of things you can see in the picture (tree/ dog/ boat) or more abstract ideas (gravity/ despair/ darkness). Write down ten to fifteen adjectives (fast/ big/ pink/ vivid/ stunning). Write down ten to fifteen verbs in their -ing form (running/ splashing/ swaying). Write down ten to fifteen adverbs (carefully/ happily/ despairingly).

Now write your poem. BUT you can only use the words you've brainstormed above (you don't have to use all of them). In addition you can use the articles a/an and the and any prepositions (in/ over/ on). But that's it!

Once you've done that, post a link to your poem in the [reference to picture] thread below.

And go and see what everyone else has written.

Try to comment on at least three other people's poems!

Here's one we prepared earlier:

[insert another picture]

[insert lists of the words as above based on this picture]

[insert poem, which tends to look something like this, except, usually, better:

A man running, jumping, walking
Through the long grass.
Despair following.
A dog running, jumping, walking
behind the man.
Happy. Oblivious.]


Some challenges would run for a week or two weeks (for eg a journal entry challenge to write about your last holiday), some for much longer, say a month for a challenge to produce a particular type of entry for the EG. And we would want different 'levels' of challenge really, and there would be links to any comps/ challenges that other people wanted to run, for example Dmitri's Post writing challenges.

Incidently, I always thought we could just do non-incentivised challenges (maybe a badge scheme - 'I took part in...' if you compete a set number of them?) but I seem alone in this, so what volunteers will be doing is:

1 coming up with ideas for challenges
2 writing and maintaining a pages for challenges
3 taking part and commenting on others entries (not nec. peer review style, just commenting)
4 figuring out how we could run it as a competition without getting bogged down in admin and
4a if we do go that route, counting votes, judging, organising the prize sending or whatever is needed according to how we decide to do it.

So, any volunteers for either long term planning or this current project or both?

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 66

aka Bel - A87832164

Sol, we would have loved to have another Stretcher, but we never found enough judges. The Stretcher needed a lot of work and I don't think it's feasible as an ongoing competition. I really like the idea of having various challenges as suggested above, ei including pictures and stuff. smiley - ok

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 67


Oh I don't doubt the work of the Stretcher, but once we've sucked people onto the team, bwahahahamwahaha.

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 68

Clive the flying ostrich: Amateur Polymath | Chief Heretic.

Okay how is an idea for the creative challenge - a weekly/fortnighty photography bit?

Can just be topics 'friends', 'insects in the garden', 'street' 'community' or technique based 'monochrome', 'blur', 'depth of field' 'digital editing' - have separate categories for phone cameras and DSLRs

Pictures shared through creative commons and flickr (don't know how the nuhootoo is going to be about displaying images)

And just get people up away from the computer out taking photos and submitting them for the alliterative (and purposefully misspelt)
creative challenge cudos.

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 69

Mrs Zen

(Clive's suggestion)

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Post 70

aka Bel - A87832164

Reminds me of the Photo Hunt on Wordpress. I always love to see what my friends photograph for the topics. The interpretations of any set topic vary greatly, which makes it very interesting.

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 71


I love the idea of encouraging people to try things that they don't think they can do, for example encouraging people to try taking photos on their phones. Or encouraging people to write something they've not written before.

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Post 72


I think the challenges we run on h2g2 should serve a number of purposes:

1. Encouraging people who don't know about h2g2 to join - for instance the library challenges etc earlier.

2. Encouraging newbies to contribute - so having an ongoing competition aimed specifically at newbies.

3. Encouraging established researchers to contribute something different to their usual work - something that we can all get involved in and would help tie us together as a community.

I love the photo challenge ideas as well.

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 73


smiley - lurk
I may be too old-fashioned and literary-minded.

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 74

Mrs Zen

Be of good heart minorvogonpoet - the watch word is "not only, but also"


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Post 75

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

Great ideas. smiley - biggrin

I like 'not only, but also.'

Getting new writers into the site is a huge priority. Anything y'all can do to encourage that is going to be a big plus.

I like the idea of challenges at different levels. And using different media.

We need sound, and sight...smiley - bluebutterfly

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 76


I'm not at all sure about a challenge culture.
Do we want to become challenge bound?
Today's challenge is :-
This morning's challenge is :-

Not for me. I'll rise to a challenge on occasion but for goodness' sake don't do it to a timetable.

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 77

Mrs Zen

This isn't *instead* of anything else you'd be doing Rod. It's definitely as well as.

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Post 78


I appreciate that, Ben. That's not my concern (ie that's not what my concern is about)

I just wouldn't like to see the currency devalued into a ho-hum mundane affair.

"Want a challenge? go to hootoo, they have challenges leaking out of their ears"

Volunteer for the Creative Challenges Team here.

Post 79


That's a great idea, Clive. I really like the way it is open but has a nice steer towards getting people to experiment with different equipment. And how you've mixed the content prompts with some techniques. Could I ask you to take the lead with that challenge then? What Z said. Minorvogonpoet, I'm glad you are here as it saves me having to come and beg you to join us. I was hoping to persuade you to provide us with some poetry challenges (or, as I seem to be a bit oblivious to some excellent things going on there, if you already do so in the Post, to let us link to you). Please don't be distracted by my example - it is an example of how you can get anyone to write poetry (I use it with efl students) and how softly we could pitch the challenges, but we really want all levels, and certainly some really nice meaty, classical poetry prompts would be most welcome. Pleaaaassseeee, say you'll help, pleeeaaaaassssse! And, Rod, what Ben said, and I wonder if it is the word 'challenge' that is the problem. In some ways what we are doing is what the talking points did, provide some inspiration to kick start conversation, except in this case, creative endevour. But I do take your point about not wanting to overdo it. I was thinking we'd have about four running at any one time, and those would be quite varied (so Clive, for example, wouldn't necessarily have to come up with a new prompt every week/ fortnight, unless he wanted to and there was a lot of momentum behind it, which there might be: see Bel's comment about the Photo Hunt meme). And here is a link to our nameing thread - can I invite you to help us get away from the word 'challenge'? http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/brunel/F21537567?thread=8263105

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Post 80


Fair enough, Solnushka, Ben. I'll suck it & see...

The Naming Thread - yes, I have an eye on it but as yet no inspiration.

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