SQL Server Performance

Need Forum Contest Feedback

Discussion in 'Former Forum Contest' started by bradmcgehee, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. bradmcgehee New Member

    Again, I would like your feedback on the forum contest.

    As you know, I have recently added the new benefit of SQL-Server-Performance.Com logowear clothing, which so far has seemed to be popular. Those people who are eligible for it will receive it in about a month or so (longer for non-US countries).

    On the other hand, I have noticed a lack of interest in the free software given away each month. In other words, lots of people who win it, aren't really intested in it. Either they don't want it, or if they take it, they never really get around to installing and using it. This is based on a lot of feedback I have received. I wish I could add to the variety of free software available for the contest, but that is hard to do.

    Because of this feedback, I am considering stopping the free software as of the end of this year. But, before I do this, I want as much feedback as I can get. Is this a good idea or not?

    -----------------------------
    Brad M. McGehee, MVP
    Webmaster
    SQL-Server-Performance.Com
  2. Luis Martin Moderator

    Because I'm free lance (I need different sotware for differents customers), I used all software I've win. Sometimes I see cool software (i.e. Apex) but, when is my turn is no longer available, or I allready have that one (Apex Clean, this month).
    May be sponsors can change, I mean: I don't need Clean can I get Log or script instead Clean?. Just a thougth.

    I understand what you said, but is really in that way?
    People who never win are no interest in any software? I undertand that from first 15 in members list, but the rest don't want it?

    In short, if people who never win don't want software, then I agree with stopping free software.



    Luis Martin
    Moderator
    SQL-Server-Performance.com

    All postings are provided “AS IS” with no warranties for accuracy.

  3. bradmcgehee New Member

    For example, three people this month, and last month, declined any software at all. I know there are exceptions, and that is why I am looking for lots of feedback.

    -----------------------------
    Brad M. McGehee, MVP
    Webmaster
    SQL-Server-Performance.Com
  4. ykchakri New Member

    Hi Brad,

    Are you considering stopping the forum contest completely, or are you considering to replace free software with something else ? If you are considering a replacement, how about things like a free subscription (yearly or half-yearly) to a technical magazine ?
  5. derrickleggett New Member

    Good idea. Get SQLMagazine to throw in a free subscription and a couple other magazines. Surely Microsoft would throw in some free software if you asked them? You do plenty of advertising for them just being here, not to mention all the free technical support. <img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-1.gif' alt=':)' /><br /><br />MeanOldDBA<br />derrickleggett@hotmail.com<br /><br />When life gives you a lemon, fire the DBA.
  6. FrankKalis Moderator

    Couple of thoughts on this:

    I was very active on SQL Server Central. Several months ago the site owners introduced a contest there, where they gave away prizes worth several thousand dollars each. Each post on the forum was worth two points. The one with most points at the end of the month got the prize.
    It didn't make their fora more interesting in no way. The only thing it did, was to cause people to flood the fora with completely unnecessary posts like "I agree" or "Me, too" just in order to increase their post count. More worse, there was a massive increase in bad posts where sometimes completely wrong answers and solutions were posted. It is my believe that they didn't do themselves any good with this forum contest. At least, that marked the point for me to discontinue posting there. I won the first prize in the first contest, but declined it. It surely is nice when one's contribution is noticed and rewarded somehow, but to me it isn't necessary at all.
    I really like the idea with the clothes, since it is something new and unusual.
    But the chance to win some software was never a motivation for me to post here.

    So, much ado about nothing, it's absolutely fine with me when you discontinue with this free software, Brad.


    --Frank
    http://www.insidesql.de
  7. derrickleggett New Member

    I agree with Frank on this, although I like the clothes and free stuff. I actually have more posts on sqlteam.com than anywhere else. They don't give out anything. The free prizes are just a little bit extra that is definitely appreciated. <br /><br />I hate when people "post just to post" though. I'm know I've been guilty of it in the past, but I do try to make the vast majority of my posts somewhat informational (with the exception of the social categories). <img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-1.gif' alt=':)' /><br /><br />MeanOldDBA<br />derrickleggett@hotmail.com<br /><br />When life gives you a lemon, fire the DBA.
  8. bradmcgehee New Member

    The idea for free books and magazines is good, but I have been unable to get vendors to cooperate on this, as it costs them "real" money. Free software, on the other hand, doesn't really cost any "real" money. Essentially, that means that free software is my only choice for the monthly contest, assuming we decide to continue them. I am still wanting more feedback on this option. So far, it seems about split on who prefers what.

    -----------------------------
    Brad M. McGehee, MVP
    Webmaster
    SQL-Server-Performance.Com
  9. FrankKalis Moderator

    Consider this just a vague idea:<br />Magazines like SQL Server Magazine also offer web-exclusive content. Granting access to this resources won't cost them any 'real' money. All you need to do is to convince them that this might be a good opportunity to get new subscriber to the print issues [<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-5.gif' alt=';)' />]<br /><br /><br />--Frank<br /<a target="_blank" href=http://www.insidesql.de>http://www.insidesql.de</a><br />
  10. dhilditch New Member

    I haven't downloaded the software I won yet because it needs to be installed on a machine with IIS. I am both freelance and a contractor, but with my freelance stuff I have a few shared servers where I can't install this software. Obviously I could install it on my box at home but that wouldn't help out my freelance work because I couldn't use it in live environment, so I am waiting to install it at the company I am doing a contract with. I currently have a broken ankle, so I'm working from home, but will be back in there in a couple of weeks and will install then - I could do it over Remote Desktop, but I don't see any rush for it.

    My main point from all this I guess is that I would like the software to be more geared towards the kind of software that freelance workers would appreciate. I guess this is a difficult thing to assess, but any books (e-books or e-magazines even), software that is very useful for the smallest (1 man) companies (e.g. don't need to be installed on the production box), online training (I really want .Net training which will be SQL relevant with SQL 2005), maybe a logo or something that we could stick on our own websites to impress potential customers (not that I've ever had enough time to actually get round to making my own companies website with all the work I've got!), and actually - a mention on the website would be nice. The logo could link to the website mention.

    I wasn't aware that there was a prize each month either - I find that if my brain is running slowly, answering a few questions on SQL-Server-Performance is a good way to wake me up and get my brain working. I definitely appreciate it, but maybe more software from the likes of RedGate or ComponentSource.

    http://www.componentsource.com/Catalog.asp?fl=&bc=&sc=CS&cv=re&sr=SQL Server

    Dave Hilditch
  11. ChrisFretwell New Member

    I also havent downloaded the software I've won (either time). Its in part because at work I dont always have access to a dev machine to try this stuff out on and installing something untested in a production environment is nor allowed (or wise). I've meant to try them out at home, but end up avoiding anything remotely work related in my free time.

    When I have time, and something to input, I continue to post, whether there is something to 'win' or not. I like the idea of 'winning', but am less concerned about what it is. I like that this site is free; I like the quality of the people who answer posts, and enjoy the challenge of some questions. I dont want to add on 'prizes' that will cost enough to make it pay-per-use site. I belong to one of those (ExpertsExchange) and I use both with the same frequency, but doubt I would pay for more than one place.

    I will leave it all up to the others. I think many/most people will continue to answer questions whether they receive something for it or not. This was shown when the ability to win was switched to every 3 months and the posting level stayed about the same.

    I like the idea of a monthly contest to encourage people who might not attempt an answer otherwise, and maybe some kind of recognition, but maybe on a smaller level. Perhaps, cycle the software prizes and only have 3 'winners' each month. Or maybe if you can do a poll, have a monthly or semi-monthly contest that is either via voting for 'best' contribution or post some brain teazer (sql related) question and offer a prize to the winner. Or.....

    Okay, I'm open to almost anything.
  12. Luis Martin Moderator

    I think many/most people will continue to answer questions whether they receive something for it or not. This was shown when the ability to win was switched to every 3 months and the posting level stayed about the same.

    Good point, Chris.

    Luis Martin
    Moderator
    SQL-Server-Performance.com

    All postings are provided “AS IS” with no warranties for accuracy.

  13. Argyle New Member

    I guess not all software can fit everybody. For example I've been most interested in two of the current ones (SQLScribe and SQLZip) and I've found good use for them. The rest doesn't fit in my daily work and thus the interest in those prizes is much lower.

    I think it's very cool that you have prizes but I wouldn't stop posting if they where removed. But instead of dropping it entirerly just because it's hard to have fresh prizes each time and the top posters might already have won the software they think is cool why not just offer them to people further down the list.
  14. Twan New Member

    Hi all,

    I don't really have anything different to add. I have used some of the software that I've won, but as other say I wouldn't change my posting habits whether software was on offer or not

    Cheers
    Twan
  15. derrickleggett New Member

    Do you use SQLScribe a lot Argyle? I'm not impressed with the example on their website. Does it offer more though?

    MeanOldDBA
    derrickleggett@hotmail.com

    When life gives you a lemon, fire the DBA.
  16. satya Moderator

    My intention of posting reply in the forums was never changed since the day I've started in this forum, and until my time permits it will never change and I do not bother about these prizes et al.

    I support Argyle's suggestion to pass on prize to next available memeber.

    Satya SKJ
    Moderator
    http://www.SQL-Server-Performance.Com/forum
    This posting is provided “AS IS” with no rights for the sake of knowledge sharing.
  17. Luis Martin Moderator

    Derrick:
    I use SQLScribe and is a very usefull tool. (to me, of course).


    Luis Martin
    Moderator
    SQL-Server-Performance.com

    All postings are provided “AS IS” with no warranties for accuracy.

  18. Argyle New Member

    I like SQLScribe. The feature that generate the database documentation as a windows help file we use the most. We work with hosting and different clients have different 3rd party developers. Many of these for some reason don't have a good change management procedure. Different people at the same developer company want to see the latest schema and stored procedures etc. And we can't send them a backup all the time so it's nice to be able to send a searchable windows help file together with the change log on our side.<br /><br />We were planning to set up a web site as well to allow developers to login and check their own schemas through the data SQLScribe generates but the batch procedure was a bit tricky and didn't fit our situation really so we haven't made use of that yet. Then you have the security issues with exposing that information over the web but if you feel you can build a secure enough portal then it could work <img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-1.gif' alt=':)' />
  19. vbkenya New Member

    Prizes are not a BAD thing for any forum. I am not sure whether removing them all-together is a GOOD thing.



    Nathan H.O.
    Moderator
    SQL-Server-Performance.com
  20. bradmcgehee New Member

    Based on the feedback I have received, I will continue with the software contests, as long as there free software I can give away.

    -----------------------------
    Brad M. McGehee, MVP
    Webmaster
    SQL-Server-Performance.Com
  21. satya Moderator

    If the source is available why not utilize it.
    Your idea of shirts will cheer up many to participate in the forum, I think once in a quarter or half-year term you can innovate new rewards.

    Satya SKJ
    Moderator
    http://www.SQL-Server-Performance.Com/forum
    This posting is provided “AS IS” with no rights for the sake of knowledge sharing.
  22. FrankKalis Moderator

    <i>I think once in a quarter or half-year term you can innovate new rewards.</i><br />...and what are you thinking of? [<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-5.gif' alt=';)' />]<br /><br /><br />--<br />--Frank<br /<a target="_blank" href=http://www.insidesql.de>http://www.insidesql.de</a><br />
  23. Luis Martin Moderator

    Audi!!!!


    Luis Martin
    Moderator
    SQL-Server-Performance.com

    All postings are provided “AS IS” with no warranties for accuracy.

  24. FrankKalis Moderator

    How suprising, Luis! [<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-2.gif' alt=':D' />]<br /><br /><br />--<br />--Frank<br /<a target="_blank" href=http://www.insidesql.de>http://www.insidesql.de</a><br />
  25. satya Moderator

    Frank<br /><br />I will be ready to contribute on your site as well if you make me happy [}<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-1.gif' alt=':)' />] with gifts.....[<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-2.gif' alt=':D' />][<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-2.gif' alt=':D' />][<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-4.gif' alt=':p' />]<br /><blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by FrankKalis</i><br /><br /><i>I think once in a quarter or half-year term you can innovate new rewards.</i><br />...and what are you thinking of? [<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-5.gif' alt=';)' />]<br /><br /><br />--<br />--Frank<br /<a target="_blank" href=http://www.insidesql.de>http://www.insidesql.de</a><br /><br /><hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"><br /><br /><hr noshade size="1"><b>Satya SKJ</b><br />Moderator<br /<a target="_blank" href=http://www.SQL-Server-Performance.Com/forum>http://www.SQL-Server-Performance.Com/forum</a><br /><center><font color="teal"><font size="1">This posting is provided “AS IS” with no rights for the sake of <i>knowledge sharing.</i></font id="size1"></font id="teal"></center>
  26. FrankKalis Moderator

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><br />I will be ready to contribute on your site as well if you make me happy [}<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-1.gif' alt=':)' />] with gifts.....[<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-2.gif' alt=':D' />][<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-2.gif' alt=':D' />][<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-4.gif' alt=':p' />]<br /><hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"><br />Be careful with this! Gift has a different meaning in German than in English:<br /<a target="_blank" href=http://dict.leo.org/?search=gift&searchLoc=0&relink=on&spellToler=std&sectHdr=on&tableBorder=1&cmpType=relaxed&lang=de>http://dict.leo.org/?search=gift&searchLoc=0&relink=on&spellToler=std&sectHdr=on&tableBorder=1&cmpType=relaxed&lang=de</a><br /><br />...but if you still insist on that....<br /><br />[<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-4.gif' alt=':p' />]<br /><br /><br /><br />--<br />--Frank<br /<a target="_blank" href=http://www.insidesql.de>http://www.insidesql.de</a><br />
  27. amitm79 New Member

    Prizes are a good idea but i believe most of the members are happy even if they don't get any prizes. For me the forum is a good knowledge base and i don't need any prize to keep posting here. Its always great to have a free forum wherein you can discuss all your queries/thoughts. Lets use the forum with its spirit not for prizes.

    Regards,
    amitm79
  28. Luis Martin Moderator

    Well, I'm sure Satya and Frank post for prizes not for spirit. Opositive than me, of course[<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-4.gif' alt=':p' />].<br /><br />Luis Martin<br />Moderator<br />SQL-Server-Performance.com<br /><br /><font size="1">All postings are provided “AS IS” with no warranties for accuracy.</font id="size1"><br /><br />
  29. chopeen Member

    In my opinion giving free software is a good idea.

    There will be always some people that will download it and use it.

    How about giving the software that its winner decided not to download to somebody else? For example, a person who won the same contest and took his/her prize.

    --

    Marek 'chopeen' Grzenkowicz, MCP
    Poland
  30. rweinstein New Member

    Here's my 2 cents on this...

    I think this is the best site out there for SQL with all the information and articles very easy to find and understand and for the amount of really knowledgable DBA that are very willing a quick to give responses to sometimes desperate situations.

    I think this site has struck a good balance between giving out prizes and having people not post "just to post."

    I personally, enjoy the free software as a beginner DBA because it opens my eyes as to what is out there. I am very excited about winning in August and can't wait until I receive the software.

    However, I know that others that have been around for years and are seasoned veterans, may not need or want the free software. I guess they would have to give their input as to what they would like, if anything, other than the software.

    My suggestion would be to offer the free software to the eligible winners. If they do not want, then maybe offer the clothing as backup. If they still do not want, then award the software to any runners-up, etc. so the software is at least given away to those who want or need it.

    Just my 2 cents. Keep up the good work!
  31. FrankKalis Moderator

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by LuisMartin</i><br /><br />Well, I'm sure Satya and Frank post for prizes not for spirit. Opositive than me, of course[<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-4.gif' alt=':p' />].<br /><br /><hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"><br />Hm, somehow I've missed this one...<br /><br />How altruistic, Luis. Unbelievable [<img src='/community/emoticons/emotion-5.gif' alt=';)' />]<br /><br />-----------------------<br />--Frank<br /<a target="_blank" href=http://www.insidesql.de>http://www.insidesql.de</a><br />-----------------------<br />

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