Did you know Ask Ubuntu's anniversary of its graduation is coming up on 10 October? Congratulations!

How about a fun activity to stir things up a little? After a year of great Q&A, we'd like the opportunity to "give back" for everyone's hard work.

Anniversary events area a great way to spark some interest in the extracurricular activity in your site (more meta participation). An “anniversary event" can be just about anything. Take a look at Super User’s 2nd Birthday Super Contest or at the Unix & Linux Birthday Bash for inspiration. It doesn’t have to be a contest. Dream up whatever you feel the community will find interesting, and go for it.

Start a meta post or chat event to work out the details. Rally support for your event and bring it to our attention through your moderator team! We're really interested in community-led initiatives, so let’s just say, if you can work out the details, we’re very motivated to say “Let's go!”

Either way, congratulations on making it two years. :)

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One really cool thing that one of our sites has done is organize an analog-space meetup. Feel free to get creative! –  Aarthi Oct 1 '12 at 18:20
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Analog space meetup?! That means revealing to the world that I'm really a lizard man! EEK! –  jrg Oct 1 '12 at 18:31
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I do not exist in the analog. –  hexafraction Oct 1 '12 at 20:29
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Why not a cleanup week again? –  Tachyons Oct 2 '12 at 19:13
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3 Answers

Idea: Run a contest

Timeline:

Ok so we launched on 10.10.10 to coincide with the release of 11.10. The 12.10 release is on 18 October, so if we run a contest from 10 October (our 2 year anniversary) to 24 October it gives us almost exactly one week before and one week after the release of 12.10, which means the timing is pretty excellent to prep for the incoming onslaught and subsequent follow up.

Let's wiki the SU contest and mod it in place to meet our needs! I think we should also add in the cleanup aspects from Unix/linux and our cleanup weeks to add a more maintenance element to it:

There are 3 levels of prizes:

(This is from the SU contest, and obviously SE themselves will pick the prizes so I'll just leave this here for reference:

  • Level 1 Prize: An official Ask Ubuntu T-Shirt (valued at $15) – 19 awards
  • Level 2 Prize: $35 worth of Ask Ubuntu Swag from the official SE store – 6 awards
  • Level 3 Prize: $100 worth of Hardware/Software from an online tech retailer, or SU swag from the SE store. (Can be a combination from both stores) – 8 awards
  • The Grand Prize: $250 worth of Hardware/Software from an online tech retailer, or AU swag from the SE store. (Can be a combination from both stores)

Ideas for Contest Categories:

  • The Top Guns: The top three, in order of the best performance in raw reputation earned. One Level 1, 2, and 3 prize awarded.
  • The Quality-not-Quantity Squad: The people with the most amount of Nice Answer badges in the contest period, "Answer score of 10 or more". One Level 1, 2,and 3 prize awarded.
  • The Upcoming Editor: The top three users gaining the most reputation from suggested edits, as measured by our database mining monkeys. Users with more than 3 rejected edits are disqualified. Three Level 1 prizes awarded.
  • The Editors: The top three most useful editors as measured by ???? Candidates are selected from the top 20 editors for the time period of the contest. They must have at least 15 non-trivial edits. One Level 1, 2, and 3 prize.
  • The Crap Cleaners: The top three community cleaners who have the most combined valid flags, close votes cast, edits as judged by our database mining monkeys. One Level 1, 2, and 3 prize.
  • The Reviewers: Top reviewers in First Posts, Low Quality Posts, and Late Answers (review tasks) as judged by our database mining monkeys. One Level 1, 2, and 3 prize.
  • The Social Butterflies: Top shared questions on social networks via views. (Is it possible to measure how many views a person has shared as an aggregate? Some way we can basically encourage people to share the content on the site?)

Finally, there are a few general rules to be eligible for the contest:

You must have a registered Ask Ubuntu account in good standing, with a valid email address, to be eligible.

Contest open to every man, woman, and child (over 13, as per our TOS) on planet Earth, except those men, women, or children living in places where contests like this are somehow illegal — or the relevant contest laws in your jurisdiction are so obnoxious that awarding the prize becomes impractical.

Ask Ubuntu Moderators and Judges of any kind are not eligible to win, because they will be judging parts of the contest. But they won’t be left out in the cold, either: we’ll be sending our community mods a little thank you prize as well, for everything they’ve done. You guys rock!

You cannot win more than one prize; however, if you win two Level 1 prizes, you may upgrade to a single Level 2 prize, and if you win prizes of different levels, you will be awarded the highest prize, and the runner up will receive the unclaimed prize. If you live in an area of the world where it is logistically impossible for us to get your prize to you — like, say, because your nearest computer hardware store is 3000 nautical miles away — we’ll do our best to work with you and make it happen. We will try to be as fair as possible, but all of our judgments are final and binding.

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Two things: (1) Did you mean AU instead of SU every time? And, by extension, AskUbuntu instead of Super User? :P (2) The Super User event was a really great idea, but we've shifted since then to encouraging impartial criteria. It allows the moderator team to participate, means the burden of judging is removed and distributed to the community at large, and it just generally leads to better participation and content. Things to keep in mind :) –  Aarthi Oct 2 '12 at 20:12
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Yeah I'm just starting with the SU contest, I'm in the process of editing it to be more measurable and easy to track. –  Jorge Castro Oct 2 '12 at 20:14
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Ahhhh, my bad @JorgeCastro! Edit away, imma go over here while you do that. points –  Aarthi Oct 2 '12 at 20:16
    
So, @JorgeCastro, while I love your proposal here, I have two major concerns. (1) We just ran a contest on your site about six months ago. I don't feel like running another cleanup-type event is a good idea, especially not so soon. (2) The proposal you outlined above is rather expensive. Ubuntu is a pretty mature community; handing out expensive shiny things doesn't really seem to get the participation we want to see any more than shirts and stickers. Beyond that, this community is more international -- shipping to our users safely can be a real logistical headache. –  Aarthi Oct 9 '12 at 16:21
    
I hate to do it, but the short version is: I can't approve this idea. :( –  Aarthi Oct 9 '12 at 16:22
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Is the cost of the prizes too high? I basically just lifted those from the SU contest, I can modify it to be something else like just shirts or something? –  Jorge Castro Oct 9 '12 at 16:50
    
I just don't believe your site is still at a stage where a contest with prizes is what you need. You're a mature site, and your community doesn't strike me as being as interested in a contest so much as the idea of a contest. I mean, go ahead and pare down the prizes and see how that shakes out. Right now, we don't think this is the right tack for this community. –  Aarthi Oct 9 '12 at 19:13
    
I don't think askubuntu is big enough to run such contests,such events are suitable for big sites like SO only, So it is better to have online contest :) –  Tachyons Oct 10 '12 at 7:46
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I was telling Jorge Castro in comments above, but I'll make it an answer instead:

I think you should organize a worldwide meetup.

Why a Meetup

This is a mature, active community with users all over the world. Many of you are already member of Ubuntu and Linux user groups. Meeting up with equally passionate Ubuntu users is part and parcel of the Ubuntu community at large. Why not make it a part of the Ask Ubuntu community here?

Logistics

To get this even going, we'd need a handful of things:

  • Users willing to lead the meetups. This site, especially, is incredibly scattered geographically. It's posed a challenge with respect to shipping prizes for your contests in the past. So, we'd need to do a decentralized meetup -- maybe a main event in Washington D.C. / New York, and meetups in London, Berlin, Toronto, and other cities around the world. We could coordinate a time that we could call the Ubuntu hour (make it a pun and have it be the "time" of the latest release) and have people gather at some local bar/park/library/restaurant/pavillion.

    Meetup leaders would be responsible for picking a location and providing us with an address where to ship swag (SWAG!) such as t-shirts and mugs for you to hand out / raffle off at the event.
  • Meetup.com Site and other social media tie-ins. We could organize the event on Meetup.com, and use it to track attendees. We should also include a Foursquare event for people to check into, as well as promotions from various social media sources -- Official Ubuntu twitter/facebook/G+/tumblr would be great, for example! Canonical talking about it would be fun.
  • Follow-up artifacts. This is stuff like a blog post, a photo gallery, things that we can point to later on to say, "Hey we did this that one time and it was awesome."

Let's Make It Happen!

I think this would be much more fun than a contest -- which just happened on the site six months ago -- and could be something really unique and special for this community. Based on your chat and meta activity alone, it strikes me that many of the users here consider each other friends. I think that's wonderful, and I know from experience that extending friendships into analog space can be really rewarding and memorable. :)

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Yeah the "problem" with this (if it's really a problem) is many groups already meet regularly. If I were to have a local "AU birthday party" it'd be the same as a normal Ubuntu user meeting, not very special. Hmm, maybe asking Local Teams to have an AU cake or something during their release parties? –  Jorge Castro Oct 9 '12 at 20:35
    
@JorgeCastro not a bad idea -- though in some places, the two may not be synonymous? it's possible some people might show up for an AU event when they wouldn't show up for a UUG one, just because the latter is likely a regular meeting. :) –  Aarthi Oct 9 '12 at 20:40
    
Sure, I'm up for anything, we only have a day left so ... :) –  Jorge Castro Oct 9 '12 at 20:41
    
ha, it's okay if there's a bit of a delay of the birthday party. promise, we know it's a bit of planning required –  Aarthi Oct 9 '12 at 20:50
    
Ok, so I can run a Cleveland one, so if I show up, Jorge does a G+ hangout and @jandrusk shows up, that's a party, right? –  jrg Oct 9 '12 at 21:42
    
ABSOLUTELY IT IS. –  Aarthi Oct 9 '12 at 21:43
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Why bot go for an online Ubuntu Quiz.

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This is askubuntu birthday, not ubuntu birthday clebration. Here we need more suggestion for events which will help to improve the quality of askubuntu. –  Tachyons Oct 7 '12 at 2:35
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