Charity contest idea October 24, 2005 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Last week's fundraiser became a sad debacle, and there's certainly no point retreading that ground. But I really like the idea of MeFites raising money for charity, and I think it's fun to make it a competition. I came up with an idea for a new, and hopefully friendlier and less divisive, contest for charity. I'd like to hear what you folks think. [more inside]
posted by Faint of Butt to MetaFilter-Related at 12:09 PM (55 comments total)

Here's my proposal: Set up a tournament bracket with n number of MeFites. Each participant selects a charity, all of which are kept secret, except from Matt, who naturally has the right to pre-screen and/or veto anything he dislikes or distrusts. Every day, two participants go head-to-head in a good old-fashioned popularity contest lasting 24 hours. Everyone else gets to put as much money in each competitor's pot as they want to, based solely on how much they like that person. At the end of the day, the money gets socked away, and the winner moves on to the next round, single-elimination style. By the end, someone will hold the title of Most Popular MeFite, with all the praise and/or friendly mockery that that position entails. The MPM's pre-selected favorite charity will then be unveiled, and all the money that has been donated throughout the contest will be donated to that charity in a lump sum. Nobody is silenced, and everyone gets to vote for their favorite people.

Comments, ideas, suggestions? Or is the whole MeFite vs. MeFite concept just a bad, divisive deal from the get-go?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:09 PM on October 24, 2005


Or is the whole MeFite vs. MeFite concept just a bad, divisive deal from the get-go?

Yup. Sorry, FOB, but I think this idea is absolutely hideous, for sooooo many reasons.
posted by tristeza at 12:11 PM on October 24, 2005


This is hugely more divisive.

Also, Todd L. would win.
posted by Mid at 12:12 PM on October 24, 2005


What is the intrinsic value of popularity?

BTW, I like the idea of funny, quirky contests for a good cause and think that there are probably plenty of people here who have the cash to donate, but...

How does measuring one's "popularity" serve any function than to create castes, cliques, and divisions?
posted by SeizeTheDay at 12:12 PM on October 24, 2005


I think the heads-up part makes the competitive nature even worse. Why not have a big free-for-all? And instead of making it about popularity, let's just have it be something arbitrary, like height. And instead of voting, let's just speculate.

Personally, I bet y2karl is at least 9 feet tall. Now where do I give?
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:17 PM on October 24, 2005


What about combining this with the 'best FPP' thingy from a few months ago? Have #1 pick a random week. Every post during that week is up for a vote. People vote with their dollars, the best FPP author gets bragging rights. The winner gets to choose the charity (or submit, say, three to Matt, who will choose).
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:21 PM on October 24, 2005


Steel cage death match.
posted by fixedgear at 12:23 PM on October 24, 2005


It should be limited to AssHandled MeFites.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:27 PM on October 24, 2005


Last week's fundraiser became a sad debacle, and there's certainly no point retreading that ground.

Hm. I don't really feel that way. I guess I agree that if even some people were upset by it, then it was, by definition, divisive. A shame, really. My "take-away" was that a minority with no sense of humor marred an otherwise hilarious and somewhat edgy gag. Too bad.
posted by scarabic at 12:27 PM on October 24, 2005


You folks are right, of course; basing this solely on "I-like-you-more" is a terrible idea. No worries. We're all entitled to the occasional dumbness. That said, how can we modify the idea? Vote for the cleverest username? Best FPP sounds workable, but not as lighthearted as I'd prefer. Art contest, maybe?

What I'd really love to see would be some sort of trivia contest or game tournament, but I'd have no idea how to make that work.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:35 PM on October 24, 2005


Why should we value popularity is a good question.

Personally, I think more "Best front page post" mini-contests are the way to do it. Having a bunch of contest about who is more annoying or more famous -- I don't see how that helps anyone.

The thing last week was a one-off gag, and I'd like to keep it a one-off gag.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:37 PM on October 24, 2005


You know what we need, another Meta post about last weeks contest.
posted by chunking express at 12:41 PM on October 24, 2005


I can't tell if this is a joke along the lines of "so I know X didn't work for Y reason, but how about Z, which is different, because it has four times as much Y?"

...because that's exactly what it is.
posted by odinsdream at 12:44 PM on October 24, 2005


Divisive? Yeah, to like two or three people. There's always someone around to kill the joy, it's best to just ignore them.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:46 PM on October 24, 2005


I think an even better idea might include boobies. No?
posted by mds35 at 12:55 PM on October 24, 2005


I'm not sure the game could be, but I really like the tourney part.

mds, it's gettin' old.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:59 PM on October 24, 2005


*what* the game cou...
posted by If I Had An Anus at 1:00 PM on October 24, 2005


Here ya go, mds35: See more boobies. Also, some tits.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:04 PM on October 24, 2005


Now that's more like it. Blue feet get me soooo hot!
posted by mds35 at 1:07 PM on October 24, 2005


Rather than vote directly on the popularity of users, who not vote on the popularity of posts. Just as FoB suggests, you could set up a single-elimination tourney, with a new match-up between pairs each day. Each competitor composes a post, and people vote for the post they like best.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:10 PM on October 24, 2005


We could have the Mefies, awards for the Best Post of Year X, Best Discussion of Year X, Best Ask Me Answer, etc etc, with some cash going to a charity of the original poster's choice. We could have people vote with cash, people donate and have the cash split up amongst the finalists, or some bizarre winner-take-all scenario that involves Mayor Curley constructing a rudimentary blackpowder gun in order to defeat a giant, lizard-like Wonder Chicken.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:13 PM on October 24, 2005


What we need is some sort of fantasty MeFi league, where you can pretend to draft posters and hope that they put up a good FPP. Have everyone toss in $5, and split the pool with the winner and charity.
That should ensure that MeTa stays full and fractious for a while.
posted by klangklangston at 1:14 PM on October 24, 2005


Let's shut the site down for a month and donate the hosting fees to charity.
posted by darukaru at 1:18 PM on October 24, 2005


robocop is bleeding, that's a freaking great idea. Are there any Mefite artists/sculptors who can create a trophy?
posted by mds35 at 1:21 PM on October 24, 2005


Where does everyone see all this cash coming from? I can see people ponying up for a one-off, but do folks really expect people to pony up for a second event so soon?
posted by Bugbread at 1:21 PM on October 24, 2005


Last week's fundraiser became a sad debacle, and there's certainly no point retreading that ground.

I strongly disagree with this. What kind of bizarro land do you live in, again? Some kind of crazily surreal up-is-down world with fresh baby-blood drinking fountains and streets paved with paisley jello, I bet. Oh, look! A talking, grinning cat!

The response to the contest and question was a majority voice saying "Hey, cool. This is funny. Thanks for being good sports, you loveable curmudgeonly clenchmasters!" with lots of people's opinions about and esteem of the contestents being revised for the better.

There was an incredibly vocal minority whinging incessantly about slippery slopes, bad taste and generally displaying a remarkably distinct and surprising lack of humor.


Ranting aside, I really like the FPP contest ideas. I could get into that for a good cause. I can only assume lots of other folks would be interested in it as well. It's constructive, positive activity on many levels.
posted by loquacious at 1:24 PM on October 24, 2005


I like some of the post-based concepts here, but I think you need to do away with the "secret charity" bit. I don't see myself (or many other people) donating to some unknown charity, even if it was pre-approved by Matt or some other respected MeFite. I can't guarantee that I would willingly give money to every charity which Matt would approve of, so Matt's approval would not be enough assurance for me that the charity is one I would want to support.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:28 PM on October 24, 2005


Echoing loquacious, don't let the ranting of a couple spoilsports distort your perspective. Mucho bucks were raised in short order, and many, many, many more people at least got a chuckle out of it.

Some people just have to piss all over the fun of others.
0;-P
posted by mischief at 1:30 PM on October 24, 2005


The Mefies is a grand idea. Maybe this will help everyone visualize how cool this idea of robocop's is:


posted by mds35 at 1:34 PM on October 24, 2005


So I don't like the idea of the secret charity either, but it's the only thing keeping this from best-post thing from being entirely masturbatory. Before we know it, people will start giving each other personalized awards (BFF FPP!) and I'll feel like I'm in middle school again. Then again, we shouldn't knock masturbation. It's sex with a community we love.
posted by allen.spaulding at 1:37 PM on October 24, 2005


Alright, then how about an official MeFi charity? Something pretty much everyone can agree on; something international, I should think.

I'd nominate the Red Cross, or Doctors Without Borders.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:45 PM on October 24, 2005


Why not start a Mefi Foundation non profit? The foundation could think up different contests and events to do for fundraisers, and users could vote on what we ought to spend the money on.

Anyone intrested in doing something like that?
posted by delmoi at 1:52 PM on October 24, 2005


I propose that we hold a contest to think of the worst possible contest where all proceeds go to charity. The creator of the winning worst contest is immediately killed with no proceeds going to charity.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:00 PM on October 24, 2005


how about an official MeFi charity?
This, to me, is the best suggestion if we really have to do something like this. Which we don't, so let's not.

Otherwise, what about reviving the scholarship fund?
posted by dg at 2:32 PM on October 24, 2005


Yeah, there will definitely be a scholarship fund in the spring. I was just brainstorming ideas for what applicants could do. last time it was an essay related to how mefi affected their thinking on an issue. This time I want to do something else, but still something that requires applicants to do something to demonstrate how serious they are about learning and stuff.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:44 PM on October 24, 2005


What about having them make FPP's? You could create an account called 'scholarship' or something, and the applicants can email you the FPP they've written. Then the MeFi readership could vote on which FPP's they felt were the best. Perhaps a scoring system, based on some criteria.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:47 PM on October 24, 2005


A debate for the scholarship (roundrobin audioblogged or written): Contests that pit members of communities against each other are a wonderful idea: Pro and Con.
posted by amberglow at 3:25 PM on October 24, 2005


Heh.
posted by cortex at 3:55 PM on October 24, 2005


Doctors Without Borders? I guess, if you wanna give to chumps. Ninjas Without Borders, man, that's where the action is.
posted by klangklangston at 3:58 PM on October 24, 2005


Alright, then how about an official MeFi charity? Something pretty much everyone can agree on; something international, I should think.

I'd nominate the Red Cross, or Doctors Without Borders.


How about the EFF?
posted by Ryvar at 5:35 PM on October 24, 2005


"Ninjas Without Borders, man, that's where the action is."

I fear there's something terribly wrong with me because I find this the funniest thing I've read today.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:43 PM on October 24, 2005


Ugh, not the Red Cross, aren't you all supposed to be the informed bunch?

I'm all for EFF, but, you know, we'd never agree on this. Fun for derailing threads, though.
posted by intermod at 8:34 PM on October 24, 2005


Last week's fundraiser became a sad debacle, and there's certainly no point retreading that ground.

This statement proves yet again that the loudest bitching always wins.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:44 PM on October 24, 2005


I say we have a contest to raise money to hire a hitman to kill a metafilter member whom we vote upon. Think of the publicity! And how hard it would be to prosecute!
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:54 PM on October 24, 2005


^^^ Famous last words right there.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:17 PM on October 24, 2005


So, anyone have any idea how much it would cost to have Ethereal Bligh knocked off? We already know how to dispose of the body ....
posted by dg at 9:34 PM on October 24, 2005


Probably about five bucks and change.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:38 PM on October 24, 2005


A swear jar for taglines? That'd raise a fair bit, surely?
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:44 PM on October 24, 2005


I can just see this in the header graphic:

MetaFilter:
YOUR MESSAGE HERE!
posted by scarabic at 12:41 AM on October 25, 2005


2 bucks, scarabic. Cough up...
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:47 AM on October 25, 2005


Why not just always have a few sidebar links people can click on whenever they want to donate to charities? We could suggest some in the Grey and debate which charities to feature when, but we don't have to have any contests or go into any Mefite's personal qualities (or lack of them).

I almost always put money in boxes for the Humane Society and Alley Cat Rescue when I see them, and my favorite veterinarians have a "donation doggie" for their Good Samaritan fund that covers stray rescues and vet care for people who can't afford it.

And just think, Mefi charity links mean nobody'll have to swear they're hungry Nam vets and order God to bless us.
posted by davy at 6:45 AM on October 25, 2005


Now that Matt has turned MeFi into a profit centre, perhaps he could put some charities in the sidebar so that we -- the people who actually make the content that makes him the bucks -- can donate some amount of the value of our content to the charities we vote for.

'orrible wording, that there, but hopefully the gist of it come across.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:58 AM on October 25, 2005


What davy said.
posted by languagehat at 10:49 AM on October 25, 2005


I'm going to dress up like MetaTalk and panhandle in the pit in Harvard Square. Then i'll donate all the proceeds to keeping IHOPs open...for the pancakes.
posted by tpl1212 at 12:44 PM on October 25, 2005


I love the idea of using MeFi as a bit of a charity engine. I think it's potentially a winner for all parties involved.

Some ideas I've thought of:
charity tip jar. each user can choose a charity out of a list of approved ones. Anybody who particularly likes an FPP (or a comment) could drop a buck in that person's tip jar.

the problem with that: to do it effectively, we'd really need mefi cash accounts, so we could toss in a twenty, then drop dollars here and there for a while. Otherwise it seems like it would be too much work for the user.

Another idea:
Get flagged for charity! We all have a cause that touches us especially closely... perhaps we could get a list of assorted causes, let people associate themselves with that cause... then each month, whatever cause received the most positive flags would get made charity of the month, and given a small link on the front page.

Another idea:
FPP for charity, with an entry fee. as an example... ten people each agree to compete to make the best FPP. They each pony up $10. Winner's charity gets $100.
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:46 PM on October 25, 2005


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