I mentioned this in chat a bit ago, and got somewhat varied feedback. I thought I'd go ahead and ask a meta question to gauge the community's overall thoughts. As a few people have noted, our questions per day stat has dropped rather dramatically over the past few weeks. How do we feel about a weekly community competition to write challenges? Since most challenges are posted shortly after the weekend anyway, we could tally votes for every challenge every Sunday (or something) and reward the best poster with bounties of some kind. That way, we could encourage more good questions, right?


  • With some incentive to write high-quality questions, we'll get more interesting challenges and draw more traffic to our community.
  • More people will write challenges, so we may get more diverse challenges as a byproduct of this.


  • How are the best challenges rewarded?
  • How and when are votes tallied?
  • How would we organize such a competition and keep it alive?

If you think a weekly challenge-writing competition would be beneficial, answer with suggestions for how we could accomplish such a thing!

If you think a weekly challenge-writing competition would be a massive waste of time and effort, answer with your reasoning!

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Keep in mind the (mostly) flat failure of the fortnightly challenges. It's a good idea, but you're going to want to do something to prevent these from going the Way of the Venerable Fortnightly Challenges of Old™. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Jun 23, 2015 at 21:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Doorknob Yes, I know of the fate of the fortnightly challenge. However, I believe it's significantly less work to host this competition rather than a coding challenge, since the coding challenge would often require a rigorous spec and a well-made controller to function properly. Now, if the community wants weekly themed challenges, the fear is more justified... But either way, thanks for the feedback! I'll keep it in mind. \$\endgroup\$
    – BrainSteel
    Jun 23, 2015 at 21:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, see also 1P5 and 2P5. I wasn't around to see them happen, but it looks like they were at least slightly successful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Doorknob
    Jun 23, 2015 at 21:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know of a good incentive here. If the incentive is rep (as the bounty suggestion suggests), then that's already an incentive to write challenges IMO. Adding more to it (where/who will it come from?) seems like some sort of weird abuse of the bounty system, since you can't bounty a question. If it's anything tangible (cough iPads), then I don't like the core concept. If it's just non-point-based reputation, then that already happens. I mean, all the regulars know Calvin's Hobbies because he writes lots of good challenges, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – Geobits
    Jun 23, 2015 at 22:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be clear, if there was an incentive that worked well without unintended side effects, this would probably be fine (and probably fun, too ;) . I just have no idea what form that would take. \$\endgroup\$
    – Geobits
    Jun 23, 2015 at 22:42
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I liked Calvin's Hobbies recent incentive for taking part in a challenge - of offering to write a question in the winner's honour \$\endgroup\$ Jun 23, 2015 at 22:50
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You emphasise high-quality: how are you proposing to measure that? Upvotes often don't seem to be correlated with the question quality. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 24, 2015 at 10:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor: Agreed. Case in point: code trolling. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Jun 24, 2015 at 15:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterTaylor That's an excellent point. In fact, measuring by upvotes may even encourage questions that are ultimately harmful, which is precisely the opposite of the goal. I'll need to rethink this. \$\endgroup\$
    – BrainSteel
    Jun 24, 2015 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


I don't think this is the solution, the Sandbox is

I really like coming up with interesting problems. I really like talking about interesting problems. However, I feel that recent questions posted on the Sandbox have been receiving less feedback. Whether that is true or not, more discussion on Sandboxed posts will move them faster to the main site, and will create more ideas for additional challenges.

Therefore, I propose that we have reviewing events. They can be informal, but once a week we should link 5 or so posts in chat for additional review. If we want it to be more formal, we could even do this in meta.


  • No external incentive for participation will be needed.

  • The Sandbox will eventually be cleared up.

  • Sandboxed questions posted will be of higher quality

  • \$\begingroup\$ One of the problems with an underreviewed sandbox is that people go ahead and paste to main with zero votes, which is understandable after a week with no feedback. I'd like to see more people reviewing and if doing so visibly in chat gets more people interested in helping out then great. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 28, 2015 at 11:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know from experience that posting a sandbox answer to chat gets much more feedback that just waiting. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 28, 2015 at 11:20

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