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Previously I'd proposed an Answerathon. As a quick summary of the proposition, based on my original post and the community's feedback:

  • Starting on a predetermined date, the community is challenged to answer unanswered, open questions with a nonnegative score. You stay in the competition by posting answers which receive at least one upvote each day.
  • If you miss a day, you're out of the competition. The competition ends when everybody is out. (Feel free to continue posting answers, though!)
  • We'll keep track of the total yield of the competition, seeing how many questions we can nail down throughout the Answerathon.

What I'd like to focus on in this thread is the details of the competition. Specifically:

  1. In my original post, I proposed that we have individual leaderboards for each category. However, Isaac Moses counter-proposed that the entire competition only focus on one individual tag. The only way I see this working is with at least one of the following additions:
    • We use a tag or a series of related tags that is broad enough that people won't feel left out for being unable to answer (ex. , the series of tags that cover all of Tanach, etc.)
    • Depending on how many questions that leaves, we prepare a backup in the case that we run out of questions (hah).
    • Looking for suggestions on which tag or tags to use.
  2. Should there be an incentive for participating, or should we leave it as "the competition is its own reward"?
  3. What should we do about Shabbos? I see four potential solutions here, but none are particularly good ones:
    • Count Saturday as part of the competition, as users can post answers on Motzaei Shabbos. Follow-up problem: how do we count days? If we use SE time (UTC), then the US West Coast gets knocked out on the first week.
    • Saturday (based on UTC) is excluded. All answers posted on Saturday do not count. Follow-up problem: this discounts all answers posted on Sunday morning in Australia.
    • Days are counted from sunset-ish, UTC. Shabbos is excluded, and answers posted on Motzaei Shabbos are counted as part of Sunday. Follow-up problem: this discounts all answers posted on Friday afternoon in the US. Granted, people are probably getting ready for Shabbos, but still.
    • Days are counted based on local time, calculated from sunset. Follow-up problem: we don't know where users live. How do we know which day an answer's posted on?

Late Breaking Questions

  1. How should upvotes be considered? Should we require that the upvotes be the same day as the answer? Should we be a bit lenient for answers late in the day? Should we give a blanket rule that all answers qualify if the upvote is on that day or the following one?
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    Do you intend for the upvote to be required on the same day? I think I'd rather see some leniency there, so that somebody posting late in the day can stay in if an upvote comes the next day instead of that day. – Monica Cellio Jan 13 at 19:29
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    Count Friday Saturday and Sunday together as one day? Or two days? – Double AA Jan 13 at 20:25
  • @MonicaCellio Good catch. I had originally intended that the upvote be the same day, but I agree with your point about if it's late in the day. – DonielF Jan 13 at 21:19
  • @DonielF when is this happening? – רבות מחשבות Jan 17 at 4:12
  • @רבותמחשבות I’m proposing Sunday. – DonielF Jan 17 at 22:27
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I don't like rules that discourage posting at times that would otherwise be permissible to the participants, so I have a counter-proposal for Shabbat: don't count UTC Saturday for purposes of needing to answer, and do count any posts on that day toward Friday. Sunday might be more logical for many parts of the world, but I'm saying Friday because Shabbat prep consumes part of our attention on Fridays already, so it seems friendlier to count it there and let people have all of UTC Sunday as a new day.

Whatever we do for Shabbat we should also apply to yom tov, if applicable.

This philosophy also applies to timing of upvotes. If the upvote has to be on the same day, that discourages late answers. We should allow more time for the vote to arrive. Really, would it compromise the competition goals to even allow a few days?

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    MUCH better idea. – DonielF Jan 13 at 21:17
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  1. I propose that we use the full series of tags on the Chumash. It's broad enough that anyone can participate ( might be too intricate for many users), but not overly broad.
  2. After much deliberation, I strongly feel that adding a bounty for the winner is a bit overkill. Participants have plenty of incentive as it is:
    • 10 reputation per upvote per answer + 15 reputation per acceptance per answer + "post as many upvoted answers as possible" = high incentive to reach the 200 rep cap each day of the competition. And there's no limit to the duration of the competition.
    • If the answers are high-enough quality, there's potentially 400 reputation on the line.
    • If the answers are on questions meeting certain criteria, there's an additional 300 reputation.
    • So, conceivably, users are already raking in potentially thousands of reputation.
  3. I don't see a good solution here. The large majority of users seem to live in the UK, Israel, and US, so my vote is for option 2. That seems to be the best option, though it's not a particularly good one. See Monica's answer.
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    My upvote on this answer is for your points 1 and 2 only. – msh210 Jan 13 at 19:26
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    +1. How about we make the goal to post 6 days a week instead of 7. This way we rest one day which is also more aligned with our normal week. Everyone can decide when he rests based on his timezone/preferences – mbloch Jan 13 at 19:35
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    Also why do we need to focus on a certain tag? Why can't it be sitewise to start with? It is already quite a challenge. If anything I'd be worried not to have enough users participate, doing it site-wide reduces the risk a bit – mbloch Jan 13 at 19:35
  • @mbloch Take a look at Isaac's original post for why he proposed that. If you still disagree, please go ahead and explain. :) – DonielF Jan 13 at 21:18
  • @DonielF I saw it but there is no justification there. He just suggested focusing on one tag. I suggest not to do this and justifies by my fear there won't be enough users. In the end, it is your idea, and a good one, so go with what you feel will work best. – mbloch Jan 14 at 3:32
  • @mbloch I strongly feel that something like this should be a community-run activity; I'm happy to be the facilitator, but that doesn't make it mine, per se. I really would appreciate your feedback; please post a full answer with your thoughts and concerns. – DonielF Jan 14 at 3:37
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After seeing the first edition and some other suggestions here, I have an idea for the future: to address both the voting concern and the new-question concern (albeit more firmly than that answer suggests): how about counting an answer if it earns a Revival badge? Revival is awarded for the first answer scoring 2 or higher on a question at least 30 days old.

Note that Revival doesn't limit the award to the first answer but, rather, the first answer that achieves a score of 2, so this doesn't remove the need for the "first" rule (unless we decide that existing answers scoring 1 or lower don't matter for the contest; I'm not expressing an opinion on that now).

  • I really like this suggestion. I still say we let this round play out before we make any decisions on the second edition, but this is certainly an intriguing idea. – DonielF Jan 23 at 15:58
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    @DonielF oh yes, we should finish the current contest first and then all talk about how it went before we make decisions. We can collect ideas as they occur to people without making decisions. – Monica Cellio Jan 23 at 16:57
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After seeing the first edition, I have a few thoughts for future editions, should there be any. I am posting these separately so the community can vote on them.

  1. Can one answer a question one asked earlier? (like here): my view is that it is perfectly fine if my other suggestion of excluding questions from the past week is accepted.
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After seeing the first edition, I have a few thoughts for future editions, should there be any. I am posting these separately so the community can vote on them.

  1. Since the goal of the contest was to answer old questions, I would exclude questions asked in the previous week
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After seeing the first edition, I have a few thoughts for future editions, should there be any. I am posting these separately so the community can vote on them.

  1. How do we deal with questions which were upvoted, but then downvoted? Since it is hard to control for the future, I'd say one needs 2 net upvotes at the time one is recording the answer

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