It’s September 1, which means our month-long photo challenge is over. It was a great thrill for me to see all the contributions each day, responding to creative prompts suggested by members of the Micro.blog community. Thanks so much to everyone who participated!
A number of people commented on the quality and the quantity of the resulting posts, compared to our first photoblogging challenge in February. I noticed a “leveling-up” too, though I didn’t try to quantify it. I do know we’ve had some very talented photographers join the community since February, but I also believe that the community as a whole has been more active in sharing their photos and appreciating Micro.blog’s potential as a photoblogging platform.
Update: Check out these recaps with photos:
Maique Madeira (@maique)
Greg Moore (@gregmoore)
David Sinclair (@dejus)
Sam Grover (@samgrover)
Things I did right:
- Asked for community prompt suggestions. For the February challenge, I created the list myself, using a combination of word generators, thesauruses, and common sense. By getting community involvement, the whole experience was even more interesting for me, and for you too, I hope. I am always looking for good ways to introduce members of the community to each other.
- Labeled the challenge days numerically, rather than by date. The community is definitely global, and those to the East of the International Date Line are almost always a calendar day ahead of Micro.blog headquarters. I tried to make sure they got a reminder of the new day’s prompt by early morning there. At the same time, other folks did not feel constrained to the exact 24-hour day, and that is just fine. This is Micro.blog, and you control your content however it works for you!
Things I would do differently:
- Ask for one single prompt suggestion. Initially, I got multiple suggestions from folks, which meant I would have to choose from your lists, defeating the purpose of having the prompts be community-generated. I went back to folks and asked for their top pick, or I used the first prompt on their lists.
- Figure out a way to showcase and archive the challenge photos without overwhelming the usual Discover feeds. By default, I added every challenge photo to the main Discover feed. This is an all-or-nothing proposition as far as we are concerned; we are not in the business of judging, honoring or even “Liking” your work.
But, as the community becomes more prolific in challenges, this undermines [one of the main purposes of Discover](https://micro.welltempered.net/2019/06/13/curating-the-microblog.html), which is to give a snapshot of what's happening on Micro.blog. Adding so many photos overwhelms the text entries, and could make it harder for new or potential users to skim this sample timeline. I am going to work with Manton to figure out a way to showcase challenges in the future.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, either as replies on the timeline or emails to email@example.com. Our next month-long challenge will be Microblogvember, but I am cooking up some mini-challenge ideas to sprinkle into the schedule too.