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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Using Competition To Create Community

I need your help.

I've got a very diverse, yet ephemeral audience. It is growing, which is terrific, but I want to engender communication and networking as well, creating long-term relationships. Basically, I'm going to try to encourage people to share, to be heard. I know a lot of people who hit this blog have their own way of sharing already: their own blog, a profile somewhere with a comment wall, or a forum they post to regularly. And there are those who comment on others blogs, profiles and forums, creating feedback and dialogue. And there are those who, as yet, do neither. I want to make everyone feel welcome to speak their minds, share what they want, and respond with their reactions here on my blog.

To that end, a contest. I know the prize will be a piece of Vinyl Art of the artist of the winner's choice, but I need help. Please help me create the contest. I'd like to start it in February and have it run for a month. I'm going to let all of my connections know about it, so I should get a fair amount of initial interest at least in knowing what the contest entails. That is the question, however.

Since my audience in general are music-lovers, I'm thinking about something along the lines of asking entrants to share their favorite personal experience related to music. Then I'd pick the top 10 in my opinion, with the winner a random one of those. Entrants would be able to share their story in any online manner: a post on their blog, a YouTube video, a photo set on Flickr, etc. They would just add a comment with a link to it on my blog post about the contest and every night I would moderate the posts, making sure the entries were suitable. Or they could just put their story in the comment. Then everybody could check out everybody's story and along with it, get introduced to a whole new network of people.

I want to keep the judging part simple for now, not including the entrants in the winner selection this time, but trying to just get people to communicate with each other, celebrating their passion for music. I've given my pieces away through radio station contests and free art shows, so I thought, why not give one away as a means to bring my audience together?

What do you think? Let me know your reactions to any part of my idea, good or bad. Give me suggestions to make it better, to make it so you would enter it yourself. That is, of course, the purpose. If you need to know more about Vinyl Art, read through this blog, even starting at the beginning. Also, watch my YouTube videos, and certainly,


and give me some feedback! Thanks for any help.


Robert Benson said...

Hi Daniel,

Love the concept, I am sure there are some very interesting stories about people who will "share their favorite personal experience related to music. Then I'd pick the top 10 in my opinion, with the winner a random one of those."

Maybe someone could write about seeing a band live, famous artists or bands they have met,'roadie-ing', album cover design, what is the best format (but we already know that), where music products will be ten years from now (will it all be digital?) and so on. (and the top prize is sure to be cherished)

Great idea, I will be sure to pass the word!


Myku said...

I agree that this is a great idea. Maybe you should consider using links as consolation prizes too?

For example, some people would blog this just to get the trackback link on your original contest post. But if you pick the 10 best and display them as a permanent link list in your sidebar, then those who put in more effort will still feel like winners (and it would be a cool addition to your site which could be used as promotion for future contests ;).

Just an idea- the grand prize is great by itself and well worth the price of admission, so to speak.

I'm already wondering what I'm going to write about....

d.edlen said...

Cool idea, myku! Mutual benefit for all is the goal!

I've gotten some great suggestions E-mailed to me as well, so the ideas are flowing. Keep 'em coming!