Hosting Challenges--Tips & Tricks

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Posted 1/27/2013 by looser in General Stamping
 

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 1/27/2013 11:17:05 AM
With WinterFest fast approaching--one of the few winter 'storms' I actually enjoy--we're likely to have several StamPeas hosting a challenge for the first time. And we are definitely in a period where more 'between partys' challenges are being offered. Hooray, Hooray!

While I know some aspects of hosting are covered in the party threads (Hooray for Daria) & we may have an old thread or 3 on the subject, I'm a firm believer that there's no such thing as 'too many threads'. Besides... I'm adding to my 'thread count' so I can weave a poncho.

I'm not limiting posts to those who have already hosted challenges, but figure we can discuss the topic & share tips that have worked for us in the past. We can also chat about aspects that may be giving us difficulty.

Hope you're game...

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 1/27/2013 11:40:56 AM
I shamelessly admit that one reason I host challenges is to see as many entries as possible--whether it's multiples from a few or one from several.

One thing that tends to give me pause when I come up with a challenge is how to balance what I 'want' with what will encourage the greatest number of players.

Case in point--my upcoming 'Mostly Masking' challenge for WF. Having started a thread on the subject of masking, I already know that there's a good mix of those who have masked & those who haven't. For me that's a good sign since it shows interest. And I don't have any qualms about requiring entries to include both regular & mortise masking.

My 'difficulty' is going to be deciding the details--such as how many different stamp images I'm asking for. Too many & it may make it harder for players--new or old--to take the challenge. KWIM?

Do any of my fellow StamPea Hosters have similar issues? How have you dealt with them?



djc
Olympian Pea

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Posted: 1/27/2013 11:48:25 AM
Good idea, Daniel.

I've got two tips:

Naming Challenges
It's fun and traditional, but not required, to disguise our challenge a bit by not being very specific with the name. This also helps ward off entries that don't qualify.

If the name is an exact description of what the content is, we get tons of entries that have nothing to do with the challenge. People who are unfamiliar with our celebrations or the board often check off challenge boxes if they think that their gallery post qualifies without checking the details.

If you name your challenge, "Christmas," you're likely to end up with layouts, photos, and cards that have to do with Christmas even if your challenge is to use Christmas stamps to create Wedding Cards! It's better to disguise your title somewhat and keep us guessing.

If you go to the Master Thread and click on some recent stamping celebrations, you'll get an idea of what kinds of things you can do with the name of your challenge.

Daniel, your Mostly Masking Challenge might get entries that have to do with carnaval masks (especially if the poster knows you!) when it has nothing to do with that.

Of course, sometimes we get to see things we would never have seen otherwise, and that can be fun. However, it can be difficult too. Sometimes I look at an entry and try to figure out some way it could possibly qualify so that I don't mistakenly decide that it's being on the Challenge Blog is an error.

There's no guarantee that by giving your challenge an off-beat name, you won't get off-beat entries, but it should help.

Linking entries to the Discussion Threads
A few celebrations ago, I added the requirement that after posting an entry in the gallery, the poster also link it to the Discussion Thread. If everyone would do that, the discussion threads would rotate and stay on the first page of the board. Also, it would eliminate the worry about entries that aren't real entries because people who check the wrong boxes don't also go to the discussion thread to link them there.

Daria



djc
Olympian Pea

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Posted: 1/27/2013 12:05:37 PM
Daniel, I just read your second post.

I used to offer two or three challenges so it was easy to make some easier than others and not feel badly about the more difficult ones. The last time or two, I've only offered one challenge and the Second Chance Hangover Challenge so I'm more inclined to not make the one challenge too hard.

Since people are trying to participate in many challenges, they probably don't want to spend an inordinate amount of time on just one.

Personally, I like techniques, and I don't mind multiple steps to create something. However, I'm less likely to do a challenge that has several unrelated requirements. Those are actually quite difficult because it requires a good eye and layout to not overwhelm the project.

Required supplies is another matter that comes up. If a technique requires items that not everyone is likely to have, that can be a problem. I think the host/hostess needs to be open to substitutions. Having hosted many technique challenges, I can atest to the fact that Peas are very innovative; they have come up with alternative supplies (and sometimes a brand new technique!) that I would never have thought of.

Daria

stampwilly
PeaFixture

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Posted: 1/27/2013 12:12:11 PM
Great suggestions, Daria. When I am thinking of a challenge I try to think of one that doesn't involve a lot of new buying for others. I know some of us seem to have everything and others haven't been stamping that long and don't have as much. So I try to come up with something that everyone can do with what they have. This way people are more apt to do a challenge.

Daniel, masking is NOT my thing even though I have been stamping for years, BUT this is a challenge and I am up for it! LOL! Who knows, this may become something I really like.

Stampwilly

howdyheidi
Oh For Peas Sake

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Posted: 1/27/2013 12:15:37 PM
Fantastic suggestions Daria. I like your explanations too, it makes it very clear.

I struggle with whether or not to offer a RAK. I know it has to do with budget sometimes, but how do you decide whether to offer a RAK?

djc
Olympian Pea

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Posted: 1/27/2013 12:40:58 PM
RAKs are truly not required! If you have a challenge to offer, please offer it without worrying about a RAK.

If you do offer a RAK, it doesn't have to be something new.
I used to have and give away duplicate stamps; I let winners choose which ones they wanted. You might have nice supplies that you don't use but someone else will.

Maybe we could start a list of items that could make good RAKs but not cost money.

If you have something like a Cuttlebug, you could die-cut or emboss pieces to give.

If you like to make backgrounds, you could send one or two pieces.

Wasn't there a swap a while back where participants made up a kit so that the recipient had everything they needed to make a card?

Any more ideas? As you answer Daniel's original question, please add your idea for a RAK that doesn't cost money.

Daria


looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 1/27/2013 12:48:26 PM
Hey Daria! I done good, huh?! Another thread for my weaving!

Great tips, All!

About the RAKs. I've done it both ways--offered & not. Long as the 'winner' is a random draw (from qualifing entries) I think they're fine, but not a necessity by any means. And as someone with way too much stuff, I appreciate it when a host allows me to decline a rak without taking it personally.

What about allowing 'combining'? I used to be all for it, but I'm not as sure these days. While it certainly depends on the individual challenge requirements, it can also make it more difficult for hosts to gear their challenge to allow for them.


looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 1/27/2013 1:05:22 PM
Knew there was another question I had, but had a 'senior moment'.

How do you handle 'challenge samples'?

I'm fortunate enough to have a broad number of 'done' pieces in my gallery so that I don't always have to make a new example. I used to demand that I make a new piece for my challenges, but not always these days. 'Course I do require that any entry to my challenge be freshly done.

And another... I appreciate those who submit entries to my challenges, but I have 'issues' when the player goes pure 'blog' in order to see or read how-tos for their work. My minimum is that the player upload to our gallery, add a comment or 2 & link to the Challenge thread.

I keep running into folks who provide links to their blogs as the only access to their entries--only to run into tech issues when I try.

Yeah--the curmudgeon is coming out...

howdyheidi
Oh For Peas Sake

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Posted: 1/27/2013 1:21:19 PM
Thanks for giving your input on RAKs. That is very helpful.

I like a mixture of challenges that can and can not be combined. I see both sides of that topic.

Daniel, I also feel that for the challenges, it makes sense to post your project on the twopeas gallery. It is just easier to find them and comment on them, and it is the only way to link them to the challenge blog.

As for samples, I had thought that it was the "thing to do" to provide a sample. Especially for technique challenges. For me personally, it really makes me committed to hosting the challenge, to have done a project already. The one con I see to having samples is that it MIGHT curtail creativity.

RubyRubbler
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Posted: 1/27/2013 4:48:16 PM
What a great thread! Wonderful tips. Since I am hosting a challenge this time around, I find all tips and tricks welcome and appreciated!

Christinmay
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Posted: 1/27/2013 6:58:10 PM
Directions to blogs are annoying, especially when there's not actually a link. I have never once bothered to cut and paste the address to get to the blog, but I have bothered if it's been a link and I'm REALLY interested. But I'd MUCH rather the info was right there.

Samples: I've provided samples for all my challenges so far, just to make the challenge clearer to participants. This WF I won't be doing a sample though, cause my challenge is bleeding obvious! It doesn't need a sample. And that saves me some work.

RAKs: Whatever. They don't affect whether I play in someone else's challenge. I've offered them for fests but not for inbetweens, just cause it's a hassle to get to the post office. I'm perfectly happy to receive someone else's "pre-loved" stamps and stuff as a RAK.

I agree with Daria about naming of challenges and putting entries in threads. Plus it's fun to guess what the challenge might be, from the name! If someone I don't "know" (ie. someone I've NEVER seen on the stamping board) submits something and doesn't link in the challenge thread I just ignore their entry. If I knew them, I'd peamail them to ask how it fit the challenge, if it wasn't clear to me.

Combining: annoys me when I can't combine! I like to have the choice.

Supplies: if the supplies needed aren't pretty standard, it's good to have a bit of advance notice.
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stampwilly
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Posted: 1/27/2013 8:56:38 PM
I like there to be a sample so that I really see what the challenge is asking for. It doesn't need to be something new really. Combining is good if some people have a busy schedule -- this gives them an option to combine or not.

Stampwilly

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 1/28/2013 11:16:55 AM
I'm with you, 'Ruby'! I've hosted since we started our parties & I'm getting lots of great tips from all the posts!

About 'combining'... I think it's lots of fun too & have no prob allowing them on my challenge(s). What I do intend to do, however, is not worry about whether my challenge will be combination-friendly. Hope that makes sense.

Samples? I mostly agree that the host does well to have example(s) for their challenge. But don't believe the host has to make new ones for their challenge and... I think it's perfectly fine if a hoster uses another's piece as a sample. I would suggest that we PM the artist & let them know we're employing their (wonderful) work as a challenge sample. That's just good manners--which we all have!

lovepug2
EncycloPEAdia

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Posted: 1/28/2013 12:34:41 PM
I think this thread should be made a sticky. It's full of great info and advice!

Winterfest will be my 3rd stamp party and my 3rd time hosting. As far as challenges go, I try to make mine not too difficult and try to keep supplies pretty basic so it's more accommodating to everyone. My crafting time currently is limited to nap time and bed time for my little one so I try to keep time in mind while doing/creating challenges.

Combining challenges are nice but it doesn't bother me if the hoster doesn't allow.

I like samples, especially for techniques. It helps me get the technique easier.

I agree blog links are annoying. I love checking out blogs but in my opinion if you are posting here then I think you should share info about your project here and link your blog to your siggy. Just my opinion though.

As far as RAKs go, I agree with what Christinmay said.
Good ideas for a RAK that don't cost a lot of money-
Some prestamped images, pattern paper, trims, embellishments from your stash, or some stamps you no longer use.
I really like what Daria mentioned about a card kit. I may do that for my next RAk!
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looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 1/28/2013 1:06:17 PM
Speaking of blog 'links'... I've decided to include a statement in my future challenge blogs that players must put their entries in their 2Ps gallery--doesn't have to be the stamping one--and must link to the appropriate thread on the Stamping forum.

Like others, I like seeing blogs, but this is where I play & post.

Also... Just tried accessing pieces off of 2 current challenge blogs by clicking onto the title. Doesn't work. I can only acess the pieces from the thread links. Is this a 2Ps 'blog' problem?

djc
Olympian Pea

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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:28:32 AM
I think it's a good idea to make uploading entries to the gallery a requirement.


Also... Just tried accessing pieces off of 2 current challenge blogs by clicking onto the title. Doesn't work. I can only acess the pieces from the thread links. Is this a 2Ps 'blog' problem?


Isn't that irksome? Daniel, sometimes clicking on the title works, but it often just takes you to the Two Peas home page for galleries. Instead of clicking on the title, click on the thumbnail; that will take you where you want to go.

It wouldn't hurt to put in a Service Ticket.

Daria

djc
Olympian Pea

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Posted: 1/29/2013 12:35:31 AM

I think this thread should be made a sticky. It's full of great info and advice!

I just added a link to this thread on the Winterfest 2013 How-To & Trouble-Shooting Thread.

This is a good time to remind people of that thread; it often has the answers you are looking for.

Daria


howdyheidi
Oh For Peas Sake

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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:36:38 AM

Also... Just tried accessing pieces off of 2 current challenge blogs by clicking onto the title. Doesn't work. I can only acess the pieces from the thread links. Is this a 2Ps 'blog' problem?


I don't think that this feature has worked since 2P's redesigned the website. It really does make it difficult to view challenge entries.

Far North
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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:20:05 AM
Heidi-I just checked our current challenge blogs and if you click the photo of entries not the title you are conneccted to the gallery post.
I am so glad because that is so helpful!

Daria-I would love to have the Master Thread on a sticky. Last event some folks used and posted on some of the old MT during the event and it got confusing. I think this a link to the thread in the Master Thread would be sufficient...I think it is more useful now than during the event.


howdyheidi
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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:36:47 AM

Heidi-I just checked our current challenge blogs and if you click the photo of entries not the title you are conneccted to the gallery post.
I am so glad because that is so helpful!


Thanks Jan! It works for me too! Just need to click on the photo not the title! Brilliant!

djc
Olympian Pea

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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:41:28 AM

I think this a link to the thread in the Master Thread would be sufficient...I think it is more useful now than during the event.



Jan, I didn't understand this part.

I never even noticed that people had posted to an old master thread during the last event! I didn't see one circulating. (That is if my faulty memory is working today!)

The problem with making the Master Thread a Sticky is then no one can post to it. I try to keep it toward the top of the page for the first few days. After that, I just try to keep it on page one. Also, Sticky Threads sometimes come unstuck. Remember my thread about Stamping Classes? It's an unstuck sticky thread. There's a link to it on Anne's Sticky Thread so we can still find it. The problem is that no one can add to it now that's a sticky thread. It's in oblivion!

Daria

ETA: OK. I know what you mean. I'll attach this thread to the Master Thread. Good idea!

djc
Olympian Pea

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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:42:53 AM
Jamie has asked a designer to come up with a design for our badges and for something people can post on their blogs to announce Winterfest 2013.

Yeah, Jamie! Thank you, Designer!

Daria

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:58:18 AM
Couple more tips/suggestions for Challenge Hosts...

I've found that adding a 'twist' to even simple challenges is a way to gain more players. The trick is to not make the 'twist' too difficult.

Also... I make sure when I start the forum thread for a challenge that I state very clearly that players should read the entire blog entry. Then I try to be as clear as possible about the requirements for the entry.

For me as the host, I try to cover the big stuff... Dates for the challenge. Project requirements. Linking to the Challenge thread (I consider that more important than checking the Challenge box to get it into the blog.

prospurring
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:08:13 AM
Naming Challenges
I totally agree with Daria. Try to come up with a unique name to avoid getting "entries" that don't follow your requirements.

Linking entries to the Discussion Threads
I am also a big fan of having everyone post a link to their project in the gallery from the discussion thread for a challenge. (1) It keeps the board moving and hopping and (2) sometimes I find that people have entered who do NOT show up from the challenge blog. It's a great way to see who has participated. And if I'm playing a challenge, I like to take a peek at everyone else's project for that challenge, too.

Pea Praise
I also like to require that challenge participants leave Pea Praise on at least one other challenger's project for that challenge.

Requiring Stamping
I also like to require the use of at least one stamp, because we are a Stamping Board, and out of respect for all the Stamping Peas who fought to get and keep this board.

Requiring the project be New
I also like to require that the project be new, especially if I am offering a RAK. However, I do see a place for challenges to "link up" projects which meet this or that requirement, so that everyone can get inspired by existing projects.

Not necessarily a card
I like to leave room for some Stamping Peas who don't necessarily make cards by asking that it be a new project of their choice, whether that be a card, ATC, gothic arch, altered canvas, or whatever.

Descriptions and tell us about your project
I do prefer that when challenge participants post their projects, that they describe how they made it or what inspired it. I love learning more about the projects! Because of this preference, I often make it part of my challenge requirements.


Directions to blogs are annoying, especially when there's not actually a link. I have never once bothered to cut and paste the address to get to the blog, but I have bothered if it's been a link and I'm REALLY interested. But I'd MUCH rather the info was right there.

I also am NOT a fan of those whose only description of their project is a link to their external blog. If you are participating in our community, then share a little bit about it HERE at least!

That being said, I have had to make my Stamping Challenge a link to a .PDF file before, while my computer was on the fritz - so the info was not available in my challenge blog post. But this was an unusual circumstance and everyone pretty much understood.

Combinations
Oh I love combinations! My preference is to allow combos. But I think this is up to the challenge hostess or host. That being said, I often end up combining anyway - it's just the way my brain works. It has this list of inspirational ideas and it just combines them automagically!

Samples
I don't think a sample is mandatory, but I do think it helps to visualize the challenge. I think that Daria has done some technique challenges in the past where she was hoping to try that technique for herself, and posted without a sample. I think that can be fun - to challenge yourself to play, too!


Samples? I mostly agree that the host does well to have example(s) for their challenge. But don't believe the host has to make new ones for their challenge and... I think it's perfectly fine if a hoster uses another's piece as a sample. I would suggest that we PM the artist & let them know we're employing their (wonderful) work as a challenge sample. That's just good manners--which we all have!

I have used someone else's project as a sample or as inspiration for a challenge before. However, I did PeaMail / private message the creator in advance and asked permission first. I agree that this is good manners!

RAKs
I agree that RAKs are truly not required! Totally optional.

Often the best RAK is a handmade card from the challenge hostess or host. Don't we all love snail mail and handmade goodies? Perhaps make an artist trading card to send as a RAK. Or offer to send your "sample" card as a RAK to the challenge winner.

When I'm selecting a RAK, I try to pick something that will be easy to mail - including sending it internationally because we do have international players. Something like a small clear stamp set, or a package of stick-on rhinestones.

Another great idea is to stamp some images that can be colored onto white paper using Ranger Archival or Memento Dye Ink in black or sepia. These inks tend to be more permanent and not run when you color with markers, water media, or colored pencils that you blend with odorless mineral spirits. I try to remember to write down the stamp and ink info on the back in pencil, like the stamp manufacturer, stamp #, and stamp name, and the ink name, so that the recipient can give credit if they share a project with that stamped image or in case the recipient likes the image so much they want the stamp! I think you can fit like 6 pieces of cardstock in a standard "invitation" envelope without needing an extra stamp.

Currently I have a number of gently used clear and cling stamps and I plan to offer one of my challenge winners the opportunity to select one of their choice as a RAK. I agree that a RAK doesn't have to be something new. I've received chipboard shapes, damask stickers, even a photo as a RAK and I've loved all of them!

Challenges that require a number of items on a card
I tend to be a clean-and-simple kind of Stamper / Crafter, so I find I'm not as interested in challenges that require lots and lots of layers or elements on a given card or project. That being said, I know that others DO like this kind of project and they are more than welcome to create this type of challenge so they can find others who like them and generate great ideas together.

Sticky posts
Sticky posts are hard because (1) once it is sticky, no one can comment on it, and (2) you have to get someone at Two Peas to make it sticky and they aren't always available to do that in a timely manner.

In addition, if you are the one whose post is sticky, every time you have to edit that sticky post, you run the risk of accidentally deleting it, because the "edit" and "delete" icons are so close together. This sparks fear in my heart nearly every time!

That being said, I'm glad that Daria has added a link to this post in the Master Threads / How To Threads for challenges. I've also added a link to it from the Welcome and about Stamping Events sticky post. If you find other resources which you would like to have added to the Welcome sticky, please PeaMail me!

Posting Challenge Entries
I like it when challenge participants include the abbreviation for the Stamping Event (with no spaces) in their project titles, such as WF13 for Winterfest 2013. This way, I can search the Stamping Gallery to find all of the WF13 challenge entries, which makes it easier for me to leave PeaPraise!

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:20:19 AM
I'm so pleased that others are finding this thread useful, too.

Here's another aspect of hosting I believe is very important... Hosts need to keep up with their challenge(s). While it may not be possible to check & respond every day it is something I try to do. And, of course, hosts should leave a comment for anyone who enters their challenge.

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 2/1/2013 1:19:16 PM
Another tip/suggestion for challenge hosts...

Get yourself a 'brain trust'.

While I don't always 'need' it, I sometimes run an idea past some fellow StamPeas via PM/email. They aren't necessarily ones who have hosted their own challenges. Some are SPs who have just taken my challenges.


FurryPea
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Posted: 2/2/2013 1:47:47 AM
I want to add from the challenge-taker end:

I kind of like it when combos are not allowed. That way I don't feel compelled to make a project that includes 2-3 challenges, and can focus on the one challenge at hand.


Also...personally, I prefer challenge blog posts that are not long and wordy. I realize sometimes more explanation is needed, but lately I have tended to stay away from those challenges. I don't know why, I just have.


From a challenge-hosting end:

Personally, I think it is like inviting someone to your house. I wouldn't invite someone over and then leave for a few days. Let's be honest, it does take some effort to be a host. (I am not sure what kind of tip that is....maybe it is just a Host Beware comment. )

ETA: Ooops...Daniel just said that. Well that makes two us that think it.


looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 2/2/2013 10:12:49 AM
A terrific double-end post, Furry! TFS!

djc
Olympian Pea

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Posted: 2/2/2013 10:36:48 AM


I kind of like it when combos are not allowed. That way I don't feel compelled to make a project that includes 2-3 challenges, and can focus on the one challenge at hand.

In the directions on the Master Thread, I have put that challenges can be combined unless the host/hostess says that they cannot be.

I never worry about trying to combine challenges so it doesn't alter the way I approach a project. Sometimes, it just happens that I've fulfilled two challenges; I usually don't even realize it until later. Probably, just reading about the challenge puts it in the back of my mind, and it pops up on a card.

Sometimes I've felt that combos should not be allowed, but I think many people have fun challenging themselves to fulfill more than one challenge per card, and our events are all about having fun.

Also...personally, I prefer challenge blog posts that are not long and wordy. I realize sometimes more explanation is needed, but lately I have tended to stay away from those challenges. I don't know why, I just have.

From someone who writes way too much, here's some advice. Use spacing. It's so hard and uninviting to see a long block of print when you really just want to see what the challenge is about. Also, use lists; they're easier to read than paragraphs. Break longer instructions into numbered or bulleted steps. These things makes our instructions less intimidating.

I've been using the format that Maria recommended a while back, and I think it works very well: Maria's Test Blog.

Here's a link to my blog posts so you can see this in action. Each event, I've been using it more and more: My Blogs. Maria's format makes it easy to find what people are looking for even if the host/hostess is a bit wordy.

Daria

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 2/2/2013 11:18:17 AM
Excellent Daria! So glad you linked these!

If you use Furry's challenge blog 'template', I would recommend putting your challenge dates just under the Challenge name & just above the introductory comments.

I'm definitely ditto-ing on the 'break up your text'. And not just when you do a blog.

I can't tell you how many times I give up reading a forum post or gallery project's comments when they are just one long block of text.

Don't worry about making the breaks conform to accepted writing practice, just use some line spacing if the 'paragraph' starts to get a bit 'fat'. OK?

Far North
AncestralPea

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Posted: 2/2/2013 1:54:23 PM
Thanks Daria for the update on the WF13 blog banners!

Great discussion here!


Challenge twists: As a player I find that they limit my creativity and often force me to make something I do not like. I can't tell you how many old challenge projects I have recently thrown out because they included add-on requirements that was not related to the techique. I think if our challenges present a single focus that is sufficient and folks can make their own twist by combinding challenges.


Combination of challenges: Personally I too like to focus on 1 challenge at a time and truly enjoy the process of trying something new but when my time is limited combining challenges can be helpful. As a host I get frustrated when my technique challenge becomes something smaller than a quarter and at times I can not tell how it was completed and a few times they are far reaching stretches. Perhaps if we offer less rah-rah hype for completing the highest number of combos it would lessen the feeling that combos make for a better challenge project.


Daniel said "Linking to the Challenge thread (I consider that more important than checking the Challenge box to get it into the blog."

For me these are equally important and I do spell it out in my blog thread and do not include them in my drawing if they do not do it after I send a reminder. I use ALL challenge blogs frequently which I find to be a fast and easy manner to connect to the newest gallery posts. And blog photos is where I to number my entries for my RAK drawing.


Wayward challenge entries posted on my blog: I immediately write a friendly PM explaining that I don't understand how their post meets the challenge requirements and they need to write an explanation of their work in the gallery post and on the discussion thread. If perhaps they have check the challenge box incorrectly in preparing to upload their work to the gallery I ask that they uncheck it as soon as possible. Each time the participant has removed themselves from the challenge and I have received an nice apology PM in return.


Naming Challenges: I handle this issue as described above. I would rather send a PM than create a challenge name that is too long to work well as a title. Selecting an intriguing name is challenging enough.


Hosts posting on discussion threads: Personally I want to to inspire everyone to have fun. As a host I write praise on all my player's gallery posts. As a participant I love a meaningful discussion threads. But at times to me it feels like some hosts hover too much on the discussion threads and it makes me want to say "You need to have some fun too...Please go find a challenge and enjoy some playtime" LOL...just me.

RAKS: In addition to all the great alternative ideas...There was a time when participants offered to provide a RAK instead of hosting. Sometimes this was a design team member who has access to some freebies. It was nice for sharing of hosting responsibilities. And sometimes we had actual businesses that hosted challenges-of course we need to respect 2Ps. It was fun to have a broad range of prizes.


Thanks for the reminder about the sticky posts-I was thinking of another program.

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 2/3/2013 9:46:13 AM
I'm thoroughly pleased with all the many thoughtful posts--short or long--on this thread. Lots of the same & different tips & p.o.v's. Always a good thing to my mind.

Might be worth reminding posters & readers that this thread is not 'just' about hosting during our parties. That's why I've bookmarked it so I can review &/or add to it between our 'festivals'.

I definitely appreciate & respect what Jan says about 'hovering hosts'. At the same time, I would much rather have the host be a regular part of the discussion even if it risks 'hovering'.

I readily admit that I post lots to my challenge threads. While I mostly do it because I enjoy the conversation, I also do it it because it's very easy for a challenge to get offtrack.

For me a 'good host' provides his/her 'guests' with a safe & fun place to play. Sometimes it means just making the rounds occasionally. Other times it can mean bringing out a treat if the party goes a little flat or gets bogged down.

howdyheidi
Oh For Peas Sake

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Posted: 2/3/2013 10:11:22 AM
I just reread this entire thread. It is very interesting where people agree and sometimes have differing opinions. I think I would add some advice your mom might have said -- You can't please everyone all the time. Variety is the spice of life.

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 2/3/2013 12:13:37 PM
Moms are always right, Heidi! That said, I too hope no potential host will be scared off by this thread. Most--probably all--of us hosts were filled with all sorts of concerns the first time & ditto for those of us who entered a challenge the first time.

As another saying goes... "Just do it!"

Back to tips... One thing I enjoy is hosts (& players) who offer/find 'wiggle room' in a challenge. Sometimes I include the 'wiggle' in my challenges deliberately, but I've also had players who find (& use) a wiggle I didn't realize I had provided.

While I don't recommend over-thinking this aspect of hosting, I do find that some 'built-in' flexibility is a useful trick for hosting a challenge &/or swap.

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 2/4/2013 10:16:24 AM
Bumping this thread up since it's crunch time for WF challenge hosts--new & old--to be putting their challenges together.

Feel free to add tips here or on the trouble-shooting thread.

Christinmay
PeaAddict

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Posted: 2/4/2013 11:16:19 PM
Jan, I totally agree about challenge twists - often puts me off, cause I know the card won't be useful to me once finished.

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 2/5/2013 10:07:46 AM
WTG Everybody! I continue to enjoy & think about all the tips & comments. We've covered a lot of territory so far.

This tip/comment is more about challenges offered during our parties...

When I'm thinking about hosting a challenge, I sometimes find it useful to start a 'test the water' thread on the technique/process/material I have in mind. Depending on the response I may get a sense of player interest &/or potential problems. I can also decide to make the pre-challenge thread the 'official' challenge thread by editing--or not. Just depends on how close I am to 10,000 posts.

looser
The Craft Curmudgeon

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Posted: 2/5/2013 5:04:32 PM
My 'best' tip to those considering being a first time challenge host?

Just do it! Don't worry about being perfect in any way. Don't sweat the samples & other stuff! Just dive in!

I promise you that you will so enjoy being a host regardless of how many players you get & any other considerations.

(playing background music "We are Family" I guarantee that when you host you will be well-supported by all of us who have dived in before you!

howdyheidi
Oh For Peas Sake

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Posted: 2/7/2013 9:42:03 AM
You know what we didn't discuss? Multiple entries. I think I am going to allow this on my challenge. I guess this only matters if you are having a RAK...

djc
Olympian Pea

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Posted: 2/7/2013 9:56:10 AM
Heidi, when I have a challenge that lasts for a month--like Christmas in July or some other challenge that is not a part of the celebration, I give credit, with limits, for multiple entries.

However, when we have a week to do lots of challenges, especially when they can be combined, I usually don't. I like everyone who participates to have a chance at the RAK, and I'd rather that people try out different challenges than do several for one challenge.

You're right. it only matters if you are offering a RAK.

Daria
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