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Afternoon folks...I have a question for all of you.

I have noticed, over the last year or two, that the contests we have here at iKC have been dropping in participation and interest. The last couple we have done garnered single digits for folks joining in. So, I have to ask...Why? What is it that makes folks *not* want a free knife or gear? Are the contests too involved? Not creative enough? Are people looking for more modern styles or brands? Too many giveaways? Not enough? 

So, I ask you, the members, what kinds of contests tickle your fancy? What do you think would get more participation? We would love to hear from you and get your opinions on how we can make our contests more desirable. iKC is all about our members and your suggestions and content make this site what it is! Let's get some ideas rolling on how to make our site a bit more fun!

Thanks for your input!

The Admin Team.

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I'll admit that I love a GAW...no matter what it is. The alerts/emails that we get letting us know a contest is posting is great. Getting someone on the site to enter a contest, gets them on the site and hopefully they search around a bit and interact.

Knife on!!!


Ok, I just backed up and read some of the earlier comments. I agree with most of the comments.
- participation is down on most groups
- folks looking for the quick freebies
- satisfaction of participating/engaging conversation with other enthusiasts
- I love sharing my pics...but not hundreds of them...lol
- many folks are put off at the thought of sharing thoughts to enter

All of these are what makes the world go around folks. Diversity, it's the new thing.

Maybe we need to approach this with a more analytical approach. Try to categorize our passions and offer a variety of contests/GAW's throughout the year. A few pictoral contests. A few memory shares, a few one that got away stories and so on and so forth.

At the end of the day we've shared our passion of knives with like personalities.

I'm stepping off of the soap box now.


Whew!

Speaking as a member, Eric, I couldn't agree more. I enjoy the fun of participating in a contest! Almost as much as watching others have fun in them. As for a knife I may not want, the answer is rather simple. Send it to a member of the site/group you are in that you know would appreciate it more, or tell the Admins that while you had a blast in the contest, it just isn't your style, and could they suggest someone that would enjoy it more. It's not just about the loot, it's about bringing life and enthusiasm to the site itself! To participate is to show the site that you appreciate what they have done all the time, not just for a giveaway.

I suppose it is easier for the sites that charge a fee (or 5) for the privilege of being there...they can pick and choose the brand/quality of prize that they send out, but for the free membership sites or Facebook groups, they rely on either donations, or out-of-pocket cash to arrange the giveaways. This makes participation and fun even more important! This is the lifeblood of their site at stake now...keeping current members engaged and entertained while also doing something they hope will bring in more members or encourage current members to tell friends about the contest and have them join.

I mean...heck...I'd love a chance to win a Randall. Or an AG Russell custom! Or maybe a good mid-tech! But where is that knife going to come from? Chances are slim that Jan can get all the custom makers we have to donate a knife. The big knife companies aren't going to send goodie bags She could buy the higher-end knives...but where does the cash come from? Jan has done her darnedest to keep this site free and available for EVERYONE...not just VIP members that can afford it. J.J doesn't get a pay-cheque to keep track of the Featured Members and the iKC Leader-board, or to verify that new members aren't just bots or trying to spam the site with junk. Jan is certainly not making millions off the handful of companies paying for advertising, either. So to keep this site that way, she sells a bit of advertising space. Just enough to keep the site running and filling the coffers of NING, our web-space provider. And to be frank, I was quite taken back at the prices they charge. So, where does that leave her? Crossing her fingers hoping what the site (and she) can afford for prizes interests most folks enough for them to participate in a freebie. From that freebie, we hope that it engages people enough to get them participating not only in the contest, but in additional conversations and posts. From that participation, we hope to grow the "family" atmosphere that makes folks want to come and stay awhile and share their knowledge. From that sharing of knowledge, we hope to grow as a community and gain more members...and from that growth, we hope to attract more advertisers of the type that you, the members, may find worth spending your money with without spamming you with ads from companies that don't interest you but are willing to throw out the money for the space. Lather rinse repeat.

So, I guess to clarify my original question, what do you feel would be good ideas for contests that would make folks *want* to participate and have fun? Not only just for a free prize, but also out of pride for the community that they (you) have built? Jan and J.J provide the site and the effort to keep it up and running, what can we, as members, do to help keep things fun and lively on the site? To be more community than website? Maybe you have some non-contest suggestions? Here's a chance to tailor iKC to your tastes. To make a difference in our community.

As Jan said...iKC wants to hear what you want...to be even better in 2018!

WOW, with all that said..JJ and Manx are my life blood here.  While our sponsors are trusted sellers and I appreciate each and every one of them.  The work here is done by just us three and a handful of members that keep up groups they have committed to.

Manx is right, let's tailor iKC for 2018.  what do YOU want?

I'm not the most eleaquant when it comes to expressing my thoughts, on paper (or in a post), but I've always felt that iKC provided the best "all around" experience, when it comes to forums.
I can remember a contest, some years back, that was held just to build membership. Went really well, until the contest ended and we never heard back from most of those that joined just to enter. While the initial premise, of this question was aimed at contest participation, I'm encouraged that general suggestions are being solicited.

Well, asking what knife someone likes best is like asking what toppings you want on a pizza. I doubt very many people can give the same answer.

Perhaps the best type of prize in a giveaway could be, for example, a $40 credit to a sponsor dealer's website, and let the winner choose any knife they wish and just pay the difference.  Just a thought.

Jan, I joined your site, but aside of some chats on Ivory bans, I've not been that involved. I'm primarily interested in automatics, but have interest in fixed blades, and folders too. All types of knives are interesting to me, from cheap and expensive, to mundane and wild! Contests however, are not a draw to join a site or stay with it, however, subject matter is more important! I'm ALWAYS on Sharperdeals, or Bladeauction sites (no contests), yet as w/this one, they have associated chatrooms, but I infrequently join them. Even if they offered contests, unless a name draw, I'd be an unlikely participant. If a site wants too much info. Forget it. Not that iKnife Collector will forward garbage sites and spam for an entry, unlike numerous others businesses!

Contests, when creativity (work) is involved as opposed to a simple "hat-draw" by name, I'm not that interested. Call me "lazy" in that respect, but my time is generally taken up by other activities than creating a diorama, or knife arrangement, essay, in whatever the contest theme depicts; & therefore to me, not appealing; especially when an entry is based on a judges personal opinion(s), or majority rules, and not a random selection.

A simple name and address and stick it in a box, hoping for the best over others' names; albeit with greater odds of not winning. That's my kind of contest.

It's like car judging. Who has the coolest wheels, deepest paint, shiniest, cleanest, etc., and in a most cases subjective to the contest judges, based on personal opinion; but with addition of a set of standards, rules, checklists, categories, and whatnot. It's not nearly as biased, or shouldnt be anyway. In the case of this site contest, correct me if not wrong, with generalized guidelines, photo, essay entries etc., are subject to (biased) personal opinion; likes/dislikes whether or not the entry had followed those guidelines. In the eye of the beholder as they say.

A "hat-draw" is not biased, unless pre-loaded with hand-picked names/entries thereby stacking the odds for a favorite person, or persons. I've been witness to that mess, as it's dependent on the integrity of the contest holder, evan a third party voter.

I assume not all members care for a free knife, regardless of the winning means, but how about just an entry form with name and address/tele #? Luck 'o' the draw.

I'm no computer geek, so not sure how to randomly pick a members name, or electronic format for such picks; and will rule out any out of pocket expenses for your shelling out $ for printing entries.

I do appreciate your commitment in maintaining iKnife Collector for all its members, whether frequent visitors, or not.
Simple entry was easy and good for me. Thank you

Jan Carter said:

I have rather intentionally stayed out of this conversation, watching from the bleachers.  While this was going on so was a contest run by a member and that contest had over 60 entries. Here is what I think may have occurred.  

The offered knives were 2/3 customs

Entry was just a click and then send an email

Here is my question

If we were to go to custom or semi custom offerings are you more likely to enter?

As for just sending an email to enter, this becomes more difficult.  I receive over 500 emails a day, I would not want to miss someones entry.  Also many of our knives come from sponsors, I would feel remiss if I did not work the contest around the person donating it.

2018 - I want to offer iKC what the members want.  Speak up!

 

Why do I get "I'm not a robot " when I make a reply. Have to tap on pictures before reply goes through.? If it keeps happening i will stop responding. Thanks.

jack walker said:
Simple entry was easy and good for me. Thank you

Jan Carter said:

I have rather intentionally stayed out of this conversation, watching from the bleachers.  While this was going on so was a contest run by a member and that contest had over 60 entries. Here is what I think may have occurred.  

The offered knives were 2/3 customs

Entry was just a click and then send an email

Here is my question

If we were to go to custom or semi custom offerings are you more likely to enter?

As for just sending an email to enter, this becomes more difficult.  I receive over 500 emails a day, I would not want to miss someones entry.  Also many of our knives come from sponsors, I would feel remiss if I did not work the contest around the person donating it.

2018 - I want to offer iKC what the members want.  Speak up!

 


Jack,

I just sent you an email here on iKC.


jack walker said:

Why do I get "I'm not a robot " when I make a reply. Have to tap on pictures before reply goes through.? If it keeps happening i will stop responding. Thanks.

jack walker said:
Simple entry was easy and good for me. Thank you

Jan Carter said:

I have rather intentionally stayed out of this conversation, watching from the bleachers.  While this was going on so was a contest run by a member and that contest had over 60 entries. Here is what I think may have occurred.  

The offered knives were 2/3 customs

Entry was just a click and then send an email

Here is my question

If we were to go to custom or semi custom offerings are you more likely to enter?

As for just sending an email to enter, this becomes more difficult.  I receive over 500 emails a day, I would not want to miss someones entry.  Also many of our knives come from sponsors, I would feel remiss if I did not work the contest around the person donating it.

2018 - I want to offer iKC what the members want.  Speak up!

 

Carl,

We have been throwing around the idea of gift certificates from sponsor sites and I am leaning in that direction actually.

Lee,

We only use the hat drawing method.  Our members interests are so varied it would be very difficult to let someone choose based on the entry, not to mention...not very fair LOL. 

Jan, I know you get a lot of emails everyday, But it would be easy to set up a specific email for the gaw where all the emails from the contest would go to that specific email account. Then you would not miss any of them and you could give the account info to the donator if it were that type of game , this way they are not left out of the loop.

jack walker said:

Why do I get "I'm not a robot " when I make a reply. Have to tap on pictures before reply goes through.? If it keeps happening i will stop responding. Thanks.

jack walker said:
Simple entry was easy and good for me. Thank you

Jan Carter said:

I have rather intentionally stayed out of this conversation, watching from the bleachers.  While this was going on so was a contest run by a member and that contest had over 60 entries. Here is what I think may have occurred.  

The offered knives were 2/3 customs

Entry was just a click and then send an email

Here is my question

If we were to go to custom or semi custom offerings are you more likely to enter?

As for just sending an email to enter, this becomes more difficult.  I receive over 500 emails a day, I would not want to miss someones entry.  Also many of our knives come from sponsors, I would feel remiss if I did not work the contest around the person donating it.

2018 - I want to offer iKC what the members want.  Speak up!

 

Dan,

That is a thought !

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