There are some interesting discussions going around now regarding the purpose of contests at blogs, especially contests building community. Is it bribery or buying community to offer a contest encouraging community?
As you know, the FWJ network is having a comment contest for the month of October. The reason for this contest is:
- To encourage long-time members to come back into the discussion after recent negativity.
- To encourage visitors to each individual blog to visit the other blogs in the network.
- To encourage newer or lurking members of the community to add their two cents.
- To give something back to the community after a very good month.
Am I buying my community? Perhaps, if you want to see it that way. I prefer to think of it as a reward or incentive for contributing. Blogs have contests all the time, many give away sponsored prizes. I never thought of them as buying comments as much as I thought of them as tools for building traffic and encouraging community. I can’t afford to do this often, but I thought it might be a good way to invest back into a community that’s been so supportive over the years. I could have said “well, the 60th comment gets the prize” but that’s not adding much in the way of substance.
Some blog posts at FWJ receive 50 comments and more. Why not reward our top commentators somehow and encourage them to keep doing what we’re doing? We have other ways of building community here as well. For example we offer stimulating content and useful resources while encourage everyone to add their two cents – and many do. I’d like to encourage others to weigh in too.
Now, I can’t speak for other bloggers, but this is why I have the occasional comment contest. Why do you have contests at your blog?
What do you think – are blog contests a way to buy community or are they a useful tool in motivating a sleeping community – and rewarding them for their loyalty?