Help! Pay It Forward - Contest Theme Ideas Needed

in #payitforward3 years ago

PIF Ideas Needed.png

The Pay It Forward Curation Contest has been going good and some may say why mess with a good thing. But I can't help but think that we can make this a little more fun and drive even more traffic to those who are featured.

So instead of just coming up with my own ideas I wanted to open the floor to those of you who are putting in the effort to curate great content. Here is your chance to tell us, the judges and I, any thoughts you might have about how the contest is going. Anything you would like to see happen to improve the contest.

What I'd love are some ideas for the following

  • How we might be better able to cross promote each others posts
  • Themes! I'd like to have a couple weeks with Themes to force everyone to go outside their comfort zone a little and find more new members who are posting within the weeks theme.
  • How can we make this even better and reach more people?

Another thing that I'd like to ask help with making sure that we aren't looking at this contest as a way to just drop a few links and be done with it. Each person who puts in an entry has found some quality content that deserves more then just the Judges visiting. More then a few of you have been great about visiting multiple entries, but some are just posting their link and moving on. Thinking of creating some extra awards for those who are visiting other entries and their featured bloggers. Any thoughts you have on this would be great.

Pay It Forward Curation Contest Overview

For those of you who don't know about the Pay It Forward Curation Contest it's a weekly contest that allows steemians to feature 3 Bloggers with a reputation score of under 50 who have posted original work that deserves more attention. The idea is to feature 1 great post from 3 bloggers and help drive traffic to their posts.

If you have questions about the contest or would like to become part of the community make sure to join us on discord.


I think that themes are a great idea! I’m new here so don’t know how to post links yet but as I go forward I’d love to enter and find new content!

Hey :)
You can post a clickable with some brackets like this;
[Tasmazia post](
and it'll look like this;
Tasmazia post

Ohhh thanks Matt !! I’ll give it a try!

Thanks for covering that. Been so busy I missed a couple comments on this post.

All good. Jessi is a friend :)

Don't know if this makes sense, but my first thought was scavenger hunts! (As in we search within the curated posts for certain words, topics, items.)
Also, themes is a really good idea. I've seen a couple people do that on their own (like all fiction, photos, paintings etc. )

Scavenger hunts could be a lot of fun. Will have to think about how that would work, but it's an outside of the box idea.

The themed posts by some is what made me think themes would be really fun to try for a few weeks. We all tend to fall into a niche and small circle of people we look at on a daily basis. So by using a theme I think it would force people outside their normal comfort zone and find some new bloggers they wouldn't of otherwise found.

I LOVE this idea of a scavenger hunt @wholeself-in :)

@thedarkhorse, you could make the scavenger hunts theme related!

I think it has the potential to be a fun addition, but maybe we make it optional and just have an extra prize for it.

Yep, after reading through the rest of this thread, I'd have to agree!

I've been thinking about this, and I think that those who enter should have to vote on at least one other entry to be chosen as a winner. Then you can simply count which has the most upvotes on your post and call it the Reader's Choice Award.

So are you thinking of looking at each post to check this or the votes should be on the contest page?

Visiting each entry again on Monday might be a little time consuming, but looking at the entry comments on the contest post wouldn't be to hard.

oh geez no. I mean people upvote their favorite on the contest post. That way it forces them to read at least one other entry...whether or not they make it to the three showcased bloggers in that entry is a different story. Or perhaps they have to upvote and tell you on the contest post which of the three they liked the best and why.

I like the idea of them commenting after visiting the posts. Will think on this for sure.

As always thanks for your continued efforts towards making this contest great!

My pleasure; I'll keep thinking on it too. I get you're trying to have more interaction between 'contestants'.

O-kay that makes sense to me, I usually let the pickers know on their entry post that I visited, commented, and voted, so I and others, (seen a few others do it the same as me), could just leave those comments on the entry link post on the contest page. Would let you know who's picks got looked at, who's picks had the most, I visited your picks. Doesn't matter a lot, I do that just to let the picker know that their choices were visited. I do not get to all of them, usually only about 8, but I try to get to as many as possible.

Hey @bashadow! I appreciate you visiting any of them, as I'm sure @thedarkhorse does too! I love that about you...every worthy contest, I see you right in there :)

Thank you lynn, "Pay it Forward" is a great contest/program. I don't think we do it for the potential reward, the reward is going to an underappreciated post, and being the third or fourth person to make a real comment on their post. I know you are sometimes the only commenter on a post, just like sometimes I am the only commenter on a post, I know the people like getting the comment, that a "real" person, not bot visited and commented.

You're welcome! Yes that's it. I remember writing posts and having zero people visit it, so I try to have others NOT feel that :)

Just my two cents here. I believe you may find less participation if you go with some of the changes you are thinking of. I am not participating myself for the contest rewards, in fact I split my first week reward among the three I featured. I joined because I think it might help someone new decide to stick it out while also benefiting me at finding connections of interest for me.

But to come up with three new people searching areas that interest me takes hours. I read a lot of posts that are poorly put together or do not interest me despite liking the topic before finding three I feel comfortable submitting. I don't see myself having the time to curate subjects that hold zero interest for me, and would feel like a fake submitting posts that held no interest for me.

As for gaining more interest, I am hopeful that those featured by us will see the value and decide to join in making this grow. I kind of hinted at this in my last submission hopeful that the new features would get it.

Maybe you could add a bonus for theme while still allowing those like myself to submit posts not so tightly focused on a subject?

@practicalthought, I must say that I feel the same way. I think that the "constraint" would make it less productive as it takes time to even find persons that are of interest to us. I think the focus should really be placed on encouraging the nominees to participate in the contest. With this, the contest would gain some amount of exposure. I really liked that idea that @freedomshift came up with that offered nominees who participate in the contest for the first time, a bonus. While this is a one time bonus, I still believe it played a vital role in attracting persons.

My voting power is still very low but I would love to be able to use this as I wish rather than feel the need to vote on something that I may not necessarily like, just for eligibility. To this end, what we can do is ask participants who visit and comment on these nominees' posts to state how they found this person's post (as is done by the judges of the contest) and encourage the person to participate.

The theme idea is good but I think it would put a limit on the entries. In times gone by, I have searched high and low and most of what I found were posts that covered a wide-range of topics. If a theme is used, I kinda doubt the options would vary as is the case now. I imagine then that persons would just go searching the specific tags and may end up with maybe a few of the same nominees.

The added constraint I think too would put a bit of pressure on those who are behind the scenes as I can only imagine how time-consuming it must be to visit all the entries, plus visit all the nominees of each entry. I think it best to just give the contest the needed time to grow. It is already a great light at the end of the tunnel for some of us so let's not try to fix what isnt broken. With time new insights and contributions will come but I think it is best to let the contest grow "organically", as we would say.

In agreement with @thedarkhorse though, some of us just post a link and that is it. From some of the entries that I have seen, I didnt feel like the participant was very moved by the nominees that they chose. Or maybe it is just a "can't be bothered attitude." As participants, we should try not to make our entries too long as then we would rob persons of the time that they would use to visit the nominees. But in the same breath, it isn't very encouraging when you just give vague statements about the nominees.

Maybe this is me being too harsh or something but I have seen where participants just drop two sentences about the nominees and that is it. The original thought of the contest (please correct me if I am wrong) is for the participants to convince us as to why we should follow this person or why we should check this person's post; not just to tell us that the person is an artist or a singer. But like I said, this is just what I think.

Yeah, I know. My two cents are more like a dollar, lol. Here is to growing the contest.

Covered the theme issue already. Also same as I said above thank you for speaking freely about your concerns!

Your concern about how some entries have been done is one the judges have also. There has been a clear level of effort put in by many and we love seeing that, but there are a few that just seem to be in this for the rewards. I'm even less concerned with what the person writes (though a good write up really helps) but the lack of quality content being featured by some is surprising.

Definitely @thedarkhorse, quality content is also of major importance. Thanks for your hard work in making this contest the success it already is.

I appreciate your "dollar" make some very valid points for sure! I agree totally with them ;) problem my dear. Thank you.

I agree with that completely.

First off thank you for being honest about your concerns. This is the purpose of this post. We need to hear both sides to this.

A thought on the themes then, maybe 2 entries from any category and 1 from the themed topic. You think this would leave it open enough or still feel restricting?

BTW, if you ever want me to note that if you win the winnings are to go to your choice of featured blogger let me know. With only 1 SBI to give splitting it doesn't really work, but we have awarded it based on the winners choice to 1 of their featured bloggers.

A thought on the themes then, maybe 2 entries from any category and 1 from the themed topic. You think this would leave it open enough or still feel restricting?

I do think it is restrictive. I have had to argue with myself to keep looking sometimes while trying to find 3. Last week I stopped after finding 2 and came back later to hunt for a 3rd. It is really time consuming. There are a lot of posts that are either low quality or not interesting to me.

Thanks for letting me pass on the rewards. I got the first time submission my first week so was easy for me to split. I think if the rewards are passed on it will help further the goal of retention.

Now you have me wondering if 2 featured bloggers vs 3 might create higher quality entries. There are more then a few that have 2 great featured bloggers and then 1 so-so featured post. The blogger might be great even, just the post that was current wasn't anything special...another issue for people as the 7 day payout window sometimes messes up picks.

Anyways 2 featured bloggers vs 3 might increase the number of entries and the quality of those who enter so that might be something to consider. What do you think?

Lowering it to two would definitely save time. I have already picked one of mine in anticipation of the upcoming weeks in an effort to spread it out so I wouldn't spend most of my day finding three. It would also help with looking over submissions as well. I would definitely be game if the others are interested in this change.

I've not read through all the comments, but here's my take:

I have a lot of trouble finding even three quality posts to curate every week - undervalued bloggers I haven't featured before, are below 50 rep and such. I think a theme could easily make it impossible for some of us to participate.

Another way to mix that part up is to say that we should have three different categories of post. So, rather than three photography posts, you have different types of posts. Don't set the types though as you can easily get too narrow in categories and miss out some awesome posts that don't fit. You could even challenge us to find one non-English post every week... Lots of ways to mix it up, I think, I just think that theme could be too narrow.

I do like the idea of a scavenger hunt - or something... which rewards us for reading and reacting to the curated posts of the other entrants. I should probably spend more time on these posts myself, but as I'm usually running fairly low on VP by the time I've made my post, I often don't put that extra effort into it.

I am sure at this point that if anything is done with themes it will be a bonus type of a thing as it's clear that it might hurt the contest which isn't what I was going for. Just want to make sure everyone is enjoying doing this while benefiting as many newer steemians as possible.

Now I was thinking one theme might be a week of featuring your favorite witnesses. Why you like them and a link to any tools they support or other initiatives they support. So might still go with this one, but make it a bonus that is completely optional.

I would appreciate a feature-your-favorite-witness bonus. I have votes left because I don't want to bestow them on just anyone.

I did a lot of research before picking my witnesses, seriously probably 40+ hours worth. If you are looking for some to research feel free to look at my picks. Some will probably overlap with your list, but you might find a couple more you like.

I am sure at this point that if anything is done with themes it will be a bonus type of a thing

I like this idea, but not:

featuring your favorite witnesses

I have an idea!

I see a lot of people in here expressing that the current format takes up a lot of time, between finding three good articles and then doing all of the write ups. What if we had some people acting as "spotters" finding great articles, surfacing them in comments, and other people can take a look, curate further, and do the write ups? The curators and writers would be eligible for contest prizes, and the spotters could earn a little bit through upvotes.

Edit: part of my motivation here is that I would really like to be a spotter. I like finding hidden talent on here, but I take a really long time to write full articles. I would have a lot more fun just doing the scouring.

Now, I really like this idea the second most. I suck at scouting, quite frankly. By far the most time consuming part for me is looking for quality below the 50 rep score. I get the quality but not the score and vice versa.

My most favorite idea is dropping the number from 3 to 2....or I'd say that if you keep 3 then lift the 50 and below requirement. There are quite a few folks in the mid 50's that I'd love to feature but can't.

@thedarkhorse, what do you think about trying this out next week and also lowering to 2? I volunteer to be a spotter!

Edit: My first contribution:

Double edit: Oops, just saw it was curied. Oh well, keeping it here anyway.

You found something that got curied so you clearly can find some talent!

The judges and I need to talk about the idea of making changes to make sure we are all on the same page, but more and more I'm thinking that 2 featured posts per week might be a smart move.

I've debated about going to say level 55. The issue is I think that it opens the doors to far and we will just get a ton of entries of level 51-55 people. Might be wrong, but pretty sure of this. I'm not dead set on the issue, but think the number of featured posts might be the solution to making the effort a little easier to keep people going with the contest.

And remember it's level 50 and below, so that might help you a little.

I was thinking of allowing a "over 50" on the 3rd blogger just if you stuck with 3 posts as the number. So 2 bloggers below 50 and one from a higher tier.

That could be a good option.

We have a discord channel and I think that we could easily create space for this. Those who don't want to spend time with the post, but are looking to find great content could post there. Not sure how to reward that, but think if we all put our heads together their has to be a way.

Maybe you could add a twist to it.

Something like... in addition to the mandatory 3 posts by other bloggers, a 4rd optional choice of a post with a theme suggested by you?

Or, instead of a theme, maybe this optional 4rd blogger would have to be a fresh member, having joined in the past 30 days or so?

"creating some extra awards for those who are visiting other entries" seems to be a good idea, too... but let's hope people won't just give them a 1% vote and move on.

4th entry as the theme could work too. Was just trying to avoid making more work for everyone as I know it takes time to find 3 quality posts to feature. But this could just be a bonus entry and best bonus entry's featured blogger gets an SBI share or something.

Like the under 30 day theme idea.

If I noticed 1% votes I would have serious words for that person unless they had a lot of SP and it still meant something. I've gotten a .2% vote that was enough to matter before so it's not always the percentage.

Hey, off topic but it looks like you've recovered your rep!

I guess I am just naive I thought everyone was visiting around the other posts and featured posts. One of the reasons I skipped a week was to reserve SP for participation in something different this week.
That said I think a scavenger hunt would help with that some maybe hide a certain pic or something in a comment. Maybe make broader participation a condition of winning that prize. Maybe not a pic maybe a quote then there would be a lot of reading if it is a good prize.

But to come up with three new people searching areas that interest me takes hours. I read a lot of posts that are poorly put together or do not interest me despite liking the topic before finding three I feel comfortable submitting. I don't see myself having the time to curate subjects that hold zero interest for me, and would feel like a fake submitting posts that held no interest for me.

I agree. I am keeping an eye out for for feature potential in advance. To go back and try to fit that into a theme would be hopeless for me to even attempt. I think getting ones that fit into any theme at all deserves bonus points. I can't imaging working with something preset.
I may be wrong but it seems either participation or quality would likely suffer.
I will keep an eye on what you come up with I hope to jump back in on the next round. It is a perfect way to do a little something extra for someone and find some new friends as well.

I'm thinking the scavenger hunt could be an interesting extra thing for those that want to join.

There are a good amount of people visiting the posts, just not as much as I would have expected. And very few come back after they enter so the later entries aren't getting nearly the exposure.

Was worried about those who plan in advance and are noting bloggers who might make good entries down the road not liking the themes. Was one of the reasons I wanted to ask everyone. As judges we thought it sounded fun and didn't really see the negative side of it. This has been very helpful already hearing the thoughts from you guys.

Don't worry I will play no matter what. I am all for anything to help the little fish. Themes probably would be fun, just more challenging and time consuming to get 3 matches.

I am all for anything to help the little fish.

"little fish" - that is you and me both 🙀🙃🙄🙅🙆🙇🙈 ...

but growing every day

very few come back after they enter so the later entries aren't getting nearly the exposure.

that might be the problem, but how do you change it?

than we can start the blog with a meme/funny post. then write about 3 blogger who also post also theyer meme/funny post link ..
i think that will be more funn. and enjoyabe tooo..

Will give this a thought. Maybe 1 week we can do something like this, or maybe I'll just run a quick bounty post one day asking for your best meme's.

yeah thats better

This is great. It's amazing the enormous work some people on this platform put in to help others grow. When is the next contest coming up?

Hey, just wanted to let you all know about @steemlookup in case you didn't know. It's a filtering tool developed by the lovies over at @curie (drop a witness vote if ya can, that's how they keep it free and keep their operations running).

I thought about that when I saw scavenger hunt, because it makes the searching so much easier.

That is really cool. Going to have to play with it for sure.

Right? Makes it so much easier!

Maybe a secondary contest for Thursday to nominate your fav from last week.

  • Best Post by the contestants so we can all do better - formatting, style, text, graphics, etc
  • Favorite nominee of the week and why

They do something like this on Tuesdays at freewrite house. It's just quick comments - you could do your bounty thing I still don't get but love.

Just back from two weeks of stress. My post for this week's pif will be one of my next ones. I'm also promoting to my steemit peeps in fb and twitter - this is so great and needs to keep going :)

This is interesting and might get more people to visit the other entries. Basically just everyone to share which post they felt was the best presented, right?

I personally like the theme's Idea, however I do agree with the potential quality issue. I have not clue about crypto or cryptanalysis, so how would I know a quality post about it? It could be a well formatted post, nice bar charts and such, but looks alone to a post do not make a quality post. the words need to be meaningful. Meaningful words mean more to me than the formatting of the post, if I like the words, and see issue with the post I almost always leave formatting help comments.

Determining the engagement level. As I mentioned in a reply to lynn between you two, I and a lot of others indicate to the contest entry post that we visited their picks, we can easily add the same comment on the contest post in a reply to their entry. That way you are looking at honest votes and any rewards should be based on the number of "I visited" type comments. (One caveat, I start at the top of the list and go down, I often run out of steem just shy of half way, so I can see the first 10 picks getting the most I visited comments, so you would have to take that into account, I try to get to them all but 66 or more post can be a bit difficult to get to.)

The scavenger hunt, now that sounds like a good idea. But would be difficult to implement, and like with my trying to get to each entry, in all likelihood it would be very hard to use the last few entries as part of the hunt. But if you come up with something I will definitely try it.

I try to get to them all but 66 or more post can be a bit difficult to get to.

Tell me about

I did switch the cut off date so people have a better change to visit all of the entries. All entries need to be in by midnight on Saturday and then the next contest start 48 hours later. Hopefully this will increase the exposure for all those who are featured.

Like the scavenger hunt, but just not sure how to go about it exactly. Still thinking on that one and it might be something we add down the road as it sounds fun.

Hopefully I'll get to a few more than last time. I participate because I think it is important that new users, or smaller accounts get some recognition. It is hard to find ones that have not already been found.

Next week I expect a few more changes too as currently there is an open discussion in this post where I'm asking for help from you on how to make the contest better. If you want your voice heard go there and share your thoughts.

I am using my upvotes to instead of my words.

In my real life job (IT - AI), my motto has been "make it work, and then make it work better".

So, my simple question is: How do you determine that "it" is working?

  • steady growth of submitted entries?
  • steady rise in the quality of the entries?
  • steady rise in the quality of nominees?
  • stead increase in new contestants?
  • increase in conversion from nominee to contestants?
  • increase in variety in the featured nominees and posts?

Many of these are contradictory and you can not have them all (my IT and AI experience tells me).

My thought, if this was mine, is to treat it like a party and once you have attracted a decent size crowd of regulars, let them help you shape the party.

Part of why I wanted to see what everyone thought was to keep everyone engaged. Know that it takes time to curate 3 bloggers each week and don't want people feeling like this is work vs fun which I'd like it to be.

Like the list of ways to measure this!

Sorry been MIA for a few days. Dropping it to 2 may help with more participation and follow through. I'm personally ok with 3 but good with what is decided. The one thing I personally would like to seeing more activity on curating /commenting on the entries. To see 1 or 2 people besides the judges commenting or just a comment "I was sent here by a post by so-and-so with nothing else said) to me is defeating the project just a little. ( I know I need to improve in this myself so definitely not pointing fingers.)

I know this is very time consuming, however....that's part of the work of getting exposure. To get us to look at the entries and resteem the ones we personally like. We're trying to help people grow and exposure is the only way to do that. With other groups starting to follow @thedarkhorses' lead I feel we need to set the example.

I know I issue a challenge to those that I nominate to participate the next week. I think that they're not seeing any difference in their payout and reputation so they're a little hesitant to try. I know these are not things that are trackable, but are a very important to element/spirit of helping and growing on all levels.

I kind of like the idea of themes(I know that's already been decided) I love the idea of breaking us out of our comfort zones. We personally can't grow if we don't open ourselves up. I guess that's why I try to look at all entries, to discover something new.

I think when we put in the link for the contest we should include something about @freedomshift's reward/incentive for the new posters. It might encourage them more to 'Pay it Forward' that seems to be where we're falling short too. We get a couple new ones that have been featured but ideally we should see more.