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Stormcrown BTM affiliates

Cash Prizes For Contests?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Board' started by xexes, Feb 12, 2012.

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    xexes Double-check your email address is correct.

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    So, I love my board, and I have a stable job. I've already invested in Google Ad-words, so there's money already into my site.

    Would having cash prizes for contests be a good idea? Would it become an issue because it would require the winners to have paypal (or forfeit the prize to the runner up)? Would this potentially attract more members and activity?

    What would be good prizes for the first place and last place winner as far as setting the prize amounts go? For example, pay pal charges per transaction, so I think $2 is the least amount you can send, but it may not be worth anyone's while.
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    Jordan Member

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    Is this for a contest on an RP site?

    I don't think cash is ever an appropriate prize for RP-related contests. It would feel like cheapening the activity, which is supposed to be a hobby and not a job.

    If the contest was held on a generic writing-showcase site, that might be easier to swallow. For a community roleplaying site, though? No.
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    Alecto I heard the angels call again.

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    I'll be honest - I get a bad feeling about this. I'd recommend sticking to IC money prizes, like if your board has a money feature. Or maybe stuff like winning your own sub-board, or a custom title, or the like. But real money seems like a jump for me, a bad mix of RL and RP, and eventually I think people would get carried away.

    If the amounts were like $100, I think you'd get more activity, but for the wrong reasons. And honestly, I think nothing less than $25 would be worth anyone's while.

    But like I said, I wouldn't do this at all. Making an investment like Google AdWords is cool, but giving money to members crosses a line. It's kinda like that saying, "don't mix business with friendship."
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    Happy puppies cool guys don't look at explosions

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    I don't think it's appropriate to give out cash prizes. It gives me an icky feeling. For one, I have ethical problems with Paypal and how they run their company and treat their customers.

    I have however thought about giving out "pro" accounts on our Chatango for prizes, if you donate to Chatango you get access (for a month or two) to a bunch of extra emoticons and you can give that out to other people as well. But actual cash prizes? Nooo.
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    daenelia Sky Pirate Captain with a Twisted Past

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    I wouldn't.

    But on our non-rp site we have given away prizes for competitions, to people we consider friends anyway. The prizes were actual dvd's that we were bored with, so we could give them away. And clean up our dvd-space at the same time. They were not for posting on a forum, or writing rp posts though. It was quite random and fun, with silly little contests.

    And once we held a photo competition, where the winners recieved a printed calendar with the winner's photo's on it. That was quite nice (and showed us a lot of our forum friends have cats...)

    I don't think I'd do the same (just yet) for my Steamhawke members. I can't think of any contest I could do in keeping with the site, and in such a way that it doesn't make some people feel left out if they don't win.
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    cocoapuffs perpetually four years-old

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    I don't think I'd do cash prizes, just because then I'd be afraid that people who become obsessed about the money and forget about why they're there in the first place. When it becomes all about money, or some reward, it stops being fun.

    If you want to give them a prize with some monetary value, you could always make a t-shirt for your RPG or something and give that out :3
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    Felix Interactive Literaturist

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    Perhaps a gift card to Amazon would be better, it can be done thru the net very easily.
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    Drae Currently Hungry...

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    I tried a writing competition on Sizael once that had a prize of either an Amazon gift voucher or a Play gift voucher. We had 0 entries. Maybe have a spotlight for a competition winner instead?
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    Aki 'D Contributor (M)

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    Well, legally, inside the United States it's not taxable and is perfectly fine. They'll only go after you if it's in the thousands of dollars, but something simple is fine.

    However, Canada and Europe is more difficult. If you have a Canadian winner you'd have to ask them something like 2+4(5*4/2). Canada has to have some type of "skill" to win. Blizzard charges Americans to enter tournmanets, but, Canadians also have to write an essay to enter the tournament.
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    Elijah One thing begets the next.

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    Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

    I'm in the "I have a horrible feeling about this" boat. In fact, monetary rewards would have the opposite effect on me as you intend - I would be significantly less likely (dare I say, straight up opposed) to joining your site if I found there were cash prizes.

    I can't honestly put my finger exactly on why that is, but I know that I would absolutely and immediately close the tab and not join your site if you were offering those. It feels wrong for so many reasons, and it honestly just feels like a scam somehow.
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    Oshaberi some nerd on the internet

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    Don't get me wrong, I like to be on the receiving end of Fabulous Cash Prizes[sup]™[/sup], but not necessarily from an RP forum. As a member, I would be wary of giving out the information that would be required to send the money; address, card/account number, etc.

    What I would do, as others have suggested, is keep prizes within the context of the site. I don't know anything about your site so I don't know what sort of things would be appropriate, but rare or restricted races/colors/markings/items/abilities, name color changes, featured works, and commissioned art are all things that I've seen used. Personally, I would prefer something that manifests itself IC, because I think it would encourage activity more, but it's up to you.

    It's great that you love your site that much, but if you're wanting to invest money into it, I think it would be better to invest it in features that would improve it rather than directly into members' pockets.
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    VirusZero Member

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    I have considered cash prizes before... Though I have always wrestled with a number of issues to putting them into practice. The core issue is regarding the prize itself... For money how much is an appropriate amount to give? And how is the best method to give it? I mean I'm not going to give a 60$ prize to 1st place, I just don't have the money to be giving prizes like that. So would 5-10$ be sufficient for a first prize? Would people even enter for that much? And supposing I did settle on an amount, would I require paypal for payment. (If I did, I would have to absorb the cost of transferring all funds so this way I didn't send them a prize of 10$ but Paypal deducts 2$ off it for fees or something stupid like that. I know I'd be a bit sore if I were expecting a 10$ prize but only got 8 because paypal took it out of the transfer. I'd think that the one running the contest was cheap or didn't know how to send money properly.) Though I could probably go with a T-shirt or something instead of cash (but that has it's own issues too. EX- What prizes to use, shipping fees if I have to buy it/send it out, etc...).

    Though I will say that my forum is a multi-genre with a bit more of a focus on the OOC areas compared to a pure-single setting forum. So in that sense I probably could run a cash/prize contest a bit easier than others. Though if I were going to run a cash/prize contest it'd be for the OOC only. (So this way even people who weren't active in the RP sections could still enter and win without feeling excluded.)


    Though I can definitely understand why people don't like the idea of cash prizes. It makes everything feel cheap (how do you put a price on fun or being an active member on a forum?). Plus money tends to bring out the worst in people. They see dollar signs and what little, if any, common sense they had vanishes because they're focused on the money. (Meaning you get people making a ton of short spam-like posts just so they can win the contest.) And that's not an environment that people really want. Plus having actual prizes can make people feel excluded pretty quickly/easily (like if they enter late and can't possibly hope to win.)
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    Aki 'D Contributor (M)

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    Have you thought about doing non-cash prizes, but, physical? Like If you're a Star Trek forum and giving out a cash prize, a collectable would be awesome, or the latest Star Trek novel is an awesome prize.

    Your forum is wolves, an awesome wolf plushie, a movie like Balto would be awesome, or something along those lines could be a great alternative to a cash prize.
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    Hera hooch is crazy!

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    I agree with the others. That's opening a whole can of worms. Things get complicated and potentially nasty when money is involved.

    Such a thing would attract members and activity but I think the wrong kind and it'd potentially alienate members you have. If I visited a site that offered cash rewards, I'd immediately suspect some kind of scam and x-out. And if I were a member on a site that introduced such a thing ... I think I'd leave.
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    Elenitsa a seadog looking for new crewmates

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    I would not choose cash, but something related to the site theme. I have had a few contests in the 18 months of my site, and I agree with you that something material, ie something that remains, is more valuable than a fancy colour on the character's name or a magical power which might not be in line with the site spirit.

    Without involving any money, I have offered as prizes custom made CDs and related e-books. The CD covers were made by me, with a dedication for each winner, and it was something to remain.

    Receiving a cash prize wouldn't turn me off like others say, but it wouldn;t make me more interested, either. Besides, each country would have its problems in delivery, and some people wouldn;t claim their prizes this way because they couldn't materially.
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    Kajouka Thunder Rumbling, Castles Crumbling

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    I think would be too personal for me. I mean, I'm friends with a lot of the people on my site,but not all, and I wouldn't send them cash or money in some form. Especially because half my members are foreign and I don't even know how I'd get into that.

    So like others said, cash gives me a bad feeling too and I would not do it.
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    Clockwork gryphon enthusiast

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    I wouldn't be comfortable handing out my paypal information to receive a cash prize, and I would probably wondering why you need to offer a cash prize in the first place. To me, that reads as though you're unable to get activity on your site's own merits, and need to bribe people to play there. I'd vote no. Stick with the classics: cash is nice, but recognition and glory is better. It feels far more rewarding (and far less seedy) to win your name in lights for a week or some special thing you can show off than it does to get $15 sent to your bank account. Woop-de-doo.

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