Re: If we gave away prizes, what prizes would you like??

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labrat's picture
Re: If we gave away prizes, what prizes would you like??

I'm not sure that giving awards for the number of posts is such a great idea because it might cause people to clog up the board with irrelevant posts, or attempt to answer questions without the knowledge to do so, just to gain prize draw entries.

Maybe the site could have a check box next to answers where people can click to rate posts on usefulness and you get prizes based on ratings? Or a check box for 'this post answered my question/solved my problem' and you get awards for the numbers of problems solved?

Just suggestions. Maybe they'd be too much work, I don't know

ps Marcia - the site is set up to not allow non-moderators to post in the announcements section so noone can reply to your post directly, hence this new topic in this section. I hope that's ok.

Fraser Moss
Fraser Moss's picture
Rewarding scientist with a

Rewarding scientist with a car entry for posting for each entry is still a great idea. It promotes the very essence of this site. The sharing of information on a peer to peer basis, with some candid insights that you wont get by reading scientific papers.

The staff of Scientist Solutions have already said they have a strong Moderator program to prevent abuse.

This vets spam posts or simple one word/sentence replies that do not actually respond directly to a question or say something like "Thanks!" etc, so these kind posts will have car entries deducted.

The recent formation of the league table car entries also allowed them to identify spammers and scammers who abuse the current system.

labrat's picture
I'm not knocking the car

I'm not knocking the car entries per. post. I'm not sure that encourages unnecessary posts - and as you point out, there is frequent moderation of the site. I was just commenting on the possible downsides of extending the 'points per post' idea. I'm sure it would be tempting to look for reasons to post to get those last couple of points towards a mug, t-shirt, amazon voucher etc. I think it might encourage people to give advice on a topic without the knowledge to back it up, which might not necessarily be picked up by moderators.

marcia (not verified)
Guest's picture
Both points are excellent and

Both points are excellent and well thought out and we thank you. Food for thought and more thought - - before we make a decision on this! Marcia

Fraser Moss
Fraser Moss's picture
Well if you are serious about

Well if you are serious about different prizes to give away, I think the whole t-shirt, mug pen thing is rather stale. Everyone does that; and it all just gets shoved in a drawer and forgotten about. Furthermore, I have NEVER worn any of the hundreds of free T-shirts I have received from a science company. They all go to Good Will with the odd exception which is worn when I redecorate my house or fix my car, or do some other similar dirty job.

If you want to give away some stuff with your logo on why not go for some more stuff like:

Opitcal and/or wireless computer mouse
USB memory sticks
IPOD or cell phone holders/belt clips
Scientific Calculators
Watches/Stop watches
Web cam

If you run out of ipods for the MVPs why not give away stuff that maybe useful in the workplace to scientists like the Logitech io Personal Digital Pen, a PDA or other personal orgainzer, Digital camera, Wirelss Routers, 5GB pocket hard-drives.

You could also offer credit to buy things from suppliers depending on the speciality of the awardee.

e.g. If they are a life scientist, get them a voucher or credit for a purchase from major supplier like Invitrogen or Fisher, or a voucher towards a new pipettman.

If these ideas are above the budget for the smaller item giveaways, I'll try and think of some less expensive ideas.

Herwig Just
Herwig Just's picture
I found that the way the

I found that the way the iPODs where given away very good. Not the number of post was the criteria, but the overall quality of the contributions.

ad labrat: I do not see that many posts that are spam, although these would increase you car entries as well.

I agree with Fraser that the mug/T-shirt/pen prizes are not very originally.
I wanted to add LASER pointers to Fraser's list of suggestions.

But the best prizes are still the cars

montgomj's picture
If you do want to give mugs

If you do want to give mugs away, I think travel mugs would be much better than regular mugs.

Tony Rook
Tony Rook's picture


Thank you for bringing this discussion up!

I personally feel the car give aways are very valuable way for Scientist Solutions to seperate themselves from all of the other discussion boards that scientist have to choose from. The likelihood of a colleauge remembering to check out a site that is giving away a car, as opposed to a site which is giving away a T-shirt or a mug, is definitely much higher.

My initial experience with Scientist Solutions was very exciting because of these giveaways. After I begin to engage in the discussions, I realized that the majority of the post were by competent scientists. My point, is that the car giveaways are a great tool to get new scientist to participate, but the quality of post is really what keeps them coming back. This is especially important for a board that is trying to seperate themselves from the pack of messages boards available to the scientist.

Again, I think this topic is worth discussing further.

SanDiablo's picture
Anything with that crazy King

Anything with that crazy King Frog on it...

Some of my favorite past swag:

Beach Towels
Denim/Khaki button down shirts
Hooded sweatshirts
Wall clocks and watches and timers
Key chains (especially with bottle openers on them)

Personally, I like coffe mugs, how about one with a ceramic King Frog in the bottom? When I was in the lab, my husband never had to buy a t-shirt...Now everyone at his aerospace company knows about Qiagen! But, still plenty of people wear them in the lab, and sometimes to the Christmas Party.

As far as the give-away, you just can't beat a car...but I would also love to win a Segway...or a scooter...or a personal watercraft...or an ATV (with a King Frog on it!)

Gift certificates from suppliers are meaningless to people who work for big rich companies, but cetainly appreciated by grant-writers. Although not really suitable as incentives or rewards, branded items that will be placed and used in the lab are great, because they will increase exposure to Scientist Solutions. That way, when you're sitting there, scratching your head, gazing around the lab in frustration, and your eyes fall upon the King Frog logo, you'll run to your computer and ask the scientific community for advice. Such items might include floats, tube racks, mouse pads, pipette holders, lab coats, refrigerator magnets, wall clocks, posters, ice buckets, storage boxes, timers, and liquid hand soap.

Did I mention I really like the King Frog?

labrat's picture
I'd love my own lab coat with

I'd love my own lab coat with a big king frog on the back!

I agree with SanDiablo's point about gift vouchers for scientific companies etc. Working for biotech means that a voucher for something you would have bought for you anyway isn't that great a gift.

I definitely think items that would be used regularly in the lab would be a good idea - you can never have too many water bath floats -especially ones in cool shapes - a king frog maybe?! The square ones always seem to go missing, but anything in a cool shape seems to get looked after as well as the crown jewels!