A Quest is a writing competition intended to improve E2's coverage of a specific topic. A Quest runs for a fixed period of time and offers GP rewards and possible other incentives/prizes to successful participants, but the real winner in any good Quest should be the database itself. The prime result should always be more and better nodes.
Quests may be run by users of level 3 and above. To ensure nothing goes horrifically awry, and to distribute GP rewards at the end, every Quest must have the sponsorship of an E2 administrator.
I want to run my own Quest!
Of course you do! It's a great way to contribute information to E2, gain GP for yourself and others, cultivate new nodes on a subject of interest to you, and meet new noders who share that interest.
But running a Quest is not a step taken lightly. Depending on subject matter and length of Quest, they can easily accumulate more than 50 writeups and you will probably have to read and vote on every single one. So this is a matter of responsibility: you should be able to check E2 at least daily throughout the Quest's running period to maintain it. This is not a job for an inexperienced noder and it is not a good way for an inexperienced noder to gain noding experience.
Picking a theme
Quests start with inspiration. You should not start a Quest just for the sake of starting one. Try to pick a theme which is strong, easily explained, comprehensible and likely to result in a large net gain to the database in terms of content. As a preliminary step it may prove helpful to get a feel for the likely reception of the Quest by asking around in the Chatterbox.
Do some research into past Quests. It's okay to resurrect an old Quest theme if it proved popular in the past and you think there's still room for an entirely new Quest's worth of writeups to be added. Some Quests, such as the Fear Quests, run year after year. However, if the original Quest host is still active, it's courteous to solicit their opinion. They may have comments on what went well or badly last time; they may even have their own plans laid.
How do I start?
To start, you need to bash out the basic details.
- When will the Quest start and end? One month is an ideal length. The Quest should NOT start immediately. Give noders time to prepare and yourself time to promote the Quest.
- What are the requirements for a valid entry writeup?
- What, specifically, are the subject matter restrictions?
- Is there a minimum word count?
- Is there a maximum word count?
- Must each entry be a new node, or would a rewrite of an old one count?
- Are multiple entries from the same user allowed?
- What are the GP rewards? Some sample ideas, which may be combined:
- A flat reward for each entry
- A reward based on the final reputation of the entry
- A bonus based on the final C! count of the entry
- Specific prizes for the entries having the highest reputation or number of C!s
- Bounties for filling particularly desirable nodeshells or topics
- Rewards determined subjectively by an adjudicator or adjudicators, possibly including yourself
Next: set out your Quest writeup-to-be in a Draft and tinker with it until it's ready to be noded. Make sure to include all the specific details that are mentioned above, and pick a decently descriptive title which makes clear that this is a Quest.
Contact a likely-looking god with your Quest idea and get their approval and/or sponsorship.
Node the Quest.
The Quest is public! Now what?
Your Quest will probably be announced on the front page of E2 in due course. But it's mainly your own responsibility to drum up enthusiasm. It's okay to nodevertise Quests. It's also a good idea to notify the current maintainer of the Everything Quest node to add your quest to the list, both for promotional purposes and so that your efforts can be recorded for posterity.
Once the Quest begins you will start to receive submissions, which should be logged in the node as and when they are received. We suggest listing them in reverse chronological order - with the latest nodes at the top - so as to avoid a situation in which the lucky first entry gets listed at the top of the node for the entire Quest and thus unfairly gains far more attention/votes than the rest.
The Quest is over! Now what?
Figure out the rewards and write up a list of them on your Draft so that your sponsoring god can distribute the prizes. Add some concluding notes to the Quest writeup indicating who, if anybody "won" the Quest. And you're done!
Contests are much rarer: they are similar to Quests except that the submissions need not be writeups.
Some are similar to quests, such as The Great E2 Fin de Siecle Fiction Challenge, while others can range to mixed music and non-writing challenges. Before you decide on running or sponsoring a contest, note that Everything2 is a global phenomenon. If you're sending out prizes, it may require posting it to the Antarctic circle, New Zealand, New York, or Nigeria.