A different kind of animal
The problem I'm now seeing is that there are those who think that pop-cons need both a method to determine if an answer is valid at all and a method to determine which answer is the best. This follows with most other tags on the site. For example an answer to a code golf question is valid if it does what is expected and it's better than another answer if it does this task in less bytes. Pop-cons are different because it leaves determining what answer is better to the voters. The reason may end up being that the particular answer has a really nice long description even though the solution is trivial. The reason may end up being that it was posted first and has a lot of upvotes already which attracts more votes (this happens on all challenges; not just pop-cons). Whatever the reason is, that's just how it goes with a popularity contest in general.
popularity - the state or condition of being liked, admired, or supported by many people.
There's no reason why something is supported in that definition and there shouldn't be one for challenges of this type. If I like a dumb mspaint rendition of the mona lisa more than someone who put time into coming up with a creative solution, that's on me and not the challenge writer.
This challenge in particular
Why hasn't it met with the same fate as so many pop-cons before it? I can't objectively answer that but I do have some ideas.
- It has enough support by people who find it interesting. This challenge has been closed and reopened at least once.
- The voter does not need to judge the output in order to determine if it's valid or not. It's very clear-cut if an answer works and with tools like TryItOnline it's relatively easy to test.
- The challenge is not in the same genre of an existing challenge. To help describe this I'll use an example. We have a challenge to generate cracked soil which was well-received. This challenge to make the composition notebook pattern was not. Maybe this was just because something like it had been done before and wasn't as interesting this time.
We as a community have these discussions over and over again until it gets tedious and things get put on hold. This happens with signal vs noise in chat, starring in chat, pop-cons, and a few other things.