In other StackExchange sites, a Challenge Week has been set as a sort of boost to the community.

  1. What are its effects exactly?

    Well, for example there is a considerable increase in the questions and answer rates. This can help give some nice boost to the site and spice up the community.

  2. Wait a moment... Isn't such an increase going to bring bad and poor questions?

    Nope and the reason is simple. The challenge week brings questions because there is a prize for the winner, so this makes it so that people just don't ask anything, but make sure to ask good questions in order to make other users like their questions.

    That depends on the type of "selection" we decide, but we will make it so that users are prompted to post good questions.

  3. Prize? What prize?

    There isn't a pre-decided prize, but only a pre-decided "price". Well actually the prize is decided, meaning that it will be a book, but for a maximum of a certain budget, usually $50.

  4. How do we decide who's the winner?

    I asked Lauren and there are some ways, you may propose your view in your answer:

    • You get more entries based on the number of questions you ask rather than the number of up votes you get, so there is no danger of sock puppet voting.

    • Upvotes: but there is the danger of sock puppet voting.

    • Views: This would prompt posters to share their questions = more traffic.

    • A mixture of some of the above.

  5. Ok, I'm in. What's the topic? And when do we do this?

    I was thinking of doing one challenge week per month, as a maximum. Say, the first week of each month, and we could start next February.

    Regarding the topic, well, I don't know yet. We can start by seeing what are your impressions, opinions, ideas... And if you want to propose some topics, go ahead!

  • I thought SE already had a good sock-puppet filter. Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 11:19
  • 26 views and 1 answer + 3 upvotes? C'mon guys, don't be afraid of posting your opinion!
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jan 19, 2012 at 0:17

2 Answers 2


At the moment, we are pretty low on visits/day. So, deciding the winner based on page views is the best option, in my opinion.

As for the topic, there are some possibilities, based on what I've seen in other sites:

  • A scholar's week, much like the Philosopher's week. We could have, for example, Chomsky's week, Saussure's week, etc.
  • A game challenge, similar to the treasure hunt, proposed on Travel.SE. I don't know if this kind of challenge would work on a science site like Linguistics.SE, but maybe someone out there has some clever idea (I'd really like to hear about that).
  • A challenge based on some linguistics subfield. Syntax, phonetics, phonology and morphology have been the most popular tags for a long time.
  • 1
    Yes, the views are certain for us, we need traffic. It would be a bless! :)
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 19:56
  • Come to think of it, view can be abused too (for example by automated bots)
    – Louis Rhys
    Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 5:12
  • @LouisRhys I think views are considered for unique IP numbers (I should ask to be sure of it) so I guess we're safe on that side.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 9:59
  • 1
    If we get people going to the trouble of using automated bots to win on this site, then this site must be more popular than it seems! ;) Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 17:14

This is interesting, and visits/day is a good criteria (at least at first). As for topic, I propose to open another question in meta, allowing anyone to propose any topic, and the top-voted one becomes the next topic. If the current top-voted one is already selected we go for the next one, etc.

Since our question rate is still low, maybe at first we can even have no topic. Just consider any question eligible.

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