META: Thoughts and perambulations

So I’m just thinking off the top of my head here … wait, that can’t possibly be the right metaphor.

ANYWAY, I had a crazy idea. What if we did a challenge every single day? Like the Pop Quizzes, you’d only be able to enter each contest once. I could reinstitute the “thumbs up” functionality, and instead of a winner or a “Jeff’s favorite”, it’s just a way for everyone to participate and get their work out there.

Reddit has a “Daily Sketch” challenge that works like this. Take a look and see what you think, and please share your thoughts in the comments below.

About Jeff Hebert

Jeff is a 44 year old city boy who has somehow found himself located in Colorado, fulfilling his lifetime dream of making a living drawing super-heroes all day.

22 Responses to META: Thoughts and perambulations

  1. Don’t know about that. Some of us can work quick enough to do quality work in a few hours, but a lot of your past winners were pics that folks sweated over for days. Wouldn’t be fair to the slowpokes, eh?

  2. I could spend 8 hours a day for a full week and not touch the quality of the usual winners. Won’t somebody think of the untalented people?!

    (Which is to say, this sounds fun to a bystander. :))

  3. Would these daily “Pop Quizzes” replace the weekly challenges as well? Those would be greatly missed, by me anyway. Interesting idea though.

  4. djuby:
    Would these daily “Pop Quizzes” replace the weekly challenges as well? Those would be greatly missed, by me anyway. Interesting idea though.

    No, I’m thinking they’d be an addition to what we already do, not a replacement.

  5. Cool. Perhaps the person with the most “thumbs up” could choose the challenge for the next day. Might be interesting.

  6. yikes–Jeff, I’d have to say daily would shut out a LOT of people from participating most of the time. Different time zones, bad schedules, etc.
    A Monday to Wednesday, Tuesday to Thursday, Wednesday to Friday would allow most people to participate more. I know I frequently don’t know a PQ’s subject until Sat. 5pm-DC/NY time and don’t get to work on it for longer than an hour and a half with distractions, multi-tasking, and occasionally my littlest jumping on the couch on the other side of me from my mouse.

    I am wondering how difficult it would be to post a countdown to submission deadline. I have actually been about to submit when you’ve posted winners. I — would GUESS I’m not the only one.

  7. Hi Jeff. While your blog is great, you have a smaller pool of creator than reddit. It seems to me that frequency will just tire people after a while and the number of submission will dwindle.

    While having a tumb up feature is a great idea, Herr D shedule seems more appropriate.

  8. People can play or not, as they choose. The real question is how long can you keep coming up with ideas at that pace? We don’t want to burn you out.

  9. Definitely. Although it would be cool if you could still see how many people liked each, visualized kind of like a poll.

  10. Vherkin: Hi Jeff. While your blog is great, you have a smaller pool of creator than reddit. It seems to me that frequency will just tire people after a while and the number of submission will dwindle. While having a tumb up feature is a great idea, Herr D shedule seems more appropriate.

    i dont think so. Sites like this dont tend to dwindle unless people stop telling friends about it. (deviantart included!)

  11. Vherkin: Hi Jeff. While your blog is great, you have a smaller pool of creator than reddit. It seems to me that frequency will just tire people after a while and the number of submission will dwindle.

    Those are excellent points. Although surprisingly, there are the same number of HeroMachine Facebook fans as there are members of the Daily Sketch subreddit. That kind of surprised me. And I’m pretty sure the blog audience is way bigger.

    But the frequency might indeed be a problem. I am just having a lot of fun with the daily sketch thing as a spur to creativity but it might just be too much.

  12. Bael:
    People can play or not, as they choose.The real question is how long can you keep coming up with ideas at that pace?We don’t want to burn you out.

    Another good point. I was frankly going to just steal the Daily Sketch ideas :-/

  13. Hey, it wouldn’t hurt to try it out for a bit, kick the wheels. Then make some adjustments as you go to see if it’s a fit.

    It’s not like we’ll……do something….drastic….. if it doesn’t work…… o_O

    :)

  14. Captain_Kicktar

    I like djuby’s idea, though it might be better to have them choose next week’s same day theme, so they have longer to decide.

  15. I like the idea of more contests, but everyday? How about taking some babysteps to increase the frequency of the contests and let it grow naturally. I must say that with there being no prizes lately, it has deter my frequency to participate, but I am still trying to come up with the best image I can produce with the time I have. Maybe you can tie some of the random pics from the forum into a daily contest. There are so many new `machiners everyday and alot of great pics being circulated, its beginning to be difficult to keep track. I would hate to miss out on someone`s new masterpiece.

    Cheers!

  16. I wouldn’t personally be interested in entering one everyday, and neither would most people, though there are some, but with enough users it could work. Might even be interesting and draw more attention to the blog?

    6 winners a week maybe every month or so you could pool those into a poll? and the winner could be the theme of a Jeff Sketch of The Day.

    I know you were holding off on the prizes which is understandable, but offering a (as Jeff likes it) sketch of the day for the mothly poll sounds like a good idea to me.

    The more contests you enter a day the more chances you have of making it into the finalist and ultimately onto the winner’s podium. So you could enter one entrant into one contest or 24 into 24 contests.

  17. Jeff Hebert: I was frankly going to just steal the Daily Sketch ideas :-/

    Heh. As long as you have a solution there, it isn’t a problem. It sounds doable to me. A few people will be bummed that they don’t get to do them all, but at the same time, people who are never free for the existing pop quiz could make it for one of these. And any of us who are burning out just get to skip one. As long as you can do it, it sounds like it is at least worth trying.

  18. First of all, great thoughts and thank you all for sharing them.

    It definitely seems like a balancing act between specialness and frequency of providing creative ideas. I was thinking that maybe people just don’t feel serviced enough by the number of chances to participate in a challenge, but maybe it’s fine.

    I do think it’s a much different thing coming up with a cool character around a more typical super-hero idea (Electric Power guy!) and just being able to doodle whatever you want on “The Roaring Twenties”.

    I’ll think about it more but I’m unlikely to change anything for a few weeks yet, if ever.

  19. just An Idea: turn bad costume day into a micro challenge, Redesign the outfit in five costume pieces or less! It would turn our moaning about bad design into making our own!

  20. KEric has had a more-than-OKEric idea: positivity conversion. I want to instill it in my kids, after all. Jeff? There’s a LARGE archive of complaints about bad costumes, etc. Those should make some great challenge themes.

  21. Herr D:
    KEric has had a more-than-OKEric idea: positivity conversion. I want to instill it in my kids, after all. Jeff? There’s a LARGE archive of complaints about bad costumes, etc. Those should make some great challenge themes.

    The problem, as always, is that I can’t allow HM to be used to create images of copyrighted characters. I can’t do a “redesign Superman’s costume” challenge because even in different clothes, DC still owns him.

  22. Herr D:
    yikes–Jeff, I’d have to say daily would shut out a LOT of people from participating most of the time. Different time zones, bad schedules, etc.
    A Monday to Wednesday, Tuesday to Thursday, Wednesday to Friday would allow most people to participate more. I know I frequently don’t know a PQ’s subject until Sat. 5pm-DC/NY time and don’t get to work on it for longer than an hour and a half with distractions, multi-tasking, and occasionally my littlest jumping on the couch on the other side of me from my mouse.

    I am wondering how difficult it would be to post a countdown to submission deadline. I have actually been about to submit when you’ve posted winners. I — would GUESS I’m not the only one.

    I like this idea. Three days per contest, so everybody has a chance to get something done for at least one of them. As has been stated before, I’d just worry about burning out your idea bucket (because surely you keep your ideas in a bucket) too quickly.