Okay, this has gotten kind of ridiculous. It was almost half a year ago that I announced I was going to have a contest to give away a book a publisher had sent me (A Treasury of Deception). I just needed to think of a contest idea… But I totally bailed on the contest because I never could think of a good enough idea. However, I still have the book. Plus, I now have ANOTHER book a publisher has sent me (Bar Mitzvah Disco... it has nothing to do with hoaxes, but it’s a good book). So I’m feeling guilty and want to get these contests underway. By the end of today or tomorrow I’m hoping we can come up with some ideas so that I can get rid of these books.
There’s just one condition. I want to be able to use the contest responses as sidebar material in my archive of famous hoaxes throughout history. Two reasons for this. First, it’ll help make the archive funnier. And second, it’ll ensure that the contest responses have a more permanent home, that they don’t end up getting forgotten somewhere in the hundreds of pages of my weblog (as happened with the hoax haiku contest).
So, for example, when I was fishing for ideas before, a number of people suggested having a hoax contest. The most inventive hoax wins. That’s a bit broad and open-ended, but if it were focused to generate material that could be saved in the hoax archive, then a possible contest could look something like this: Imagine the Loch Ness Monster didn’t exist. Invent another hoax (monster, or otherwise) that Loch Ness could use to promote tourism. OR Imagine other hoaxes the Loch Ness Tourism council might have considered before going with the Monster hoax. Photoshopped entries acceptable.
I’m hoping to come up with a better idea than that. But get the idea? The best/funniest responses could be saved permanently on my page of Nessie Hoaxes. (The contest doesn’t need to be focused on Nessie. That’s just an example.)
Alternatively, I could ask people to write hoax haiku about specific hoaxes (i.e. the best haiku about Nessie or Bigfoot wins), since it would be cool to one day have all the hoaxes in the hoax archive described in haiku. But since there’s already been a haiku contest, I want to try something new.
I was sent two copies of A Treasury of Deception. So if someone comes up with a good contest idea (or ideas) that I use, I’ll send them one. In other words, this itself is a contest. But if no one has a better idea than my Nessie thing, or the haiku, then I’ll keep the copy for myself and give away the other one.
Update: I should also note that I don’t want contest ideas to demand people to do elaborate things like creating a hoax website, or creating a hoax on eBay. That creates too much of a technical challenge. People should be able to submit contest responses as text in the comments section (though if someone is inspired to photoshop something or create a website, that’s fine, but it shouldn’t be a requirement for entering the contest).