Another idea (possibly harebrained)

I’m wondering if maybe you’d be willing to take a quick look at a thread by MTCicero named “The best steak you’ve ever eaten”. The posters who replied to this thread each listed a particular cut of steak and a restaurant where they were served that steak.

After reading that thread, the idea just popped into my mind, “Well, who’s the winner?” The posts listed in this thread all seemed to be very interesting and they just seemed to keep getting better and better. By the end of the thread, my mouth was watering and I was real hungry! Damn you MTCicero!

I guess I just kind of expected the OP (Original Poster) would announce which reply they considered to be the best - either because it was the best restaurant and best cut of meat, or because it was the best post for whatever reasons they chose. I know that it’s probably silly to expect the producers of this board to add a feature (kind of like the “polls” feature so that the thread starter could identify a thread as a “contest” type of thread and that they would come back after a few days to announce the “winner” or the “best” reply. Some boards have a feature that enables the OP to decide when a thread has been “solved” or “completed”. By the way, the word “contest” is probably not the best way to describe this kind of feature. But I don’t know a better word just at the moment.

Would I be correct in assuming that the producers of this board created the software and after that, various people or groups used the software to create and manage their own boards? If so, it would mean that it is unrealistic for any of the members here to expect that if we request a change to the way in which the software operates, it would be the people who administrate the board who could then make those changes. The people who could make those changes are probably a few programmer-types who you have probably never even met. I ask this to help put things in perspective.

I just think it might be kind of fun if the nature of the thread was such that one of the posts could be judged to be the “best” post or if it was the kind of thread where the OP was looking for help, maybe they could choose one post as being the “winner”. Of course, if there was some way of awarding something of value to the person who made the “best” reply, that would definitely be a nice touch.

I don’t think it would be particularly interesting to enable the OP to ask people for posts and then, announce one of them as being the “winner” or the “best”. I think there would have to be a small feature added to the software so that it would be clear when the OP starts the thread that it was that kind of thread in which after a few days, there would be a “winner” announced.

If this feature was to operate like a poll, maybe the OP could specify a few variables such as the “number of days the contest was to run”, and the exact “topic or question of the thread” awa the exact kind of answer expected.

I was thinking that just like some businesses announce an “Employee of the Month” (or the week), maybe it might be fun to have a spot on the welcome screen for this board to announce someone as having made the best post of the week? It might be a fun way for people to get to know each other a little or maybe get to learn a little about some area of the board they previously did not know? Or maybe this just might be exactly appropriate for the circular file. I certainly am willing to admit there’s a right good chance of that.

sorry. posted in error.

No, that’s not correct. This board runs on vBulletin software, which was developed by Jelsoft Enterprises. It’s very popular forum software and the people who made it do not have any connection to the SDMB.

We can make changes to enable options that are already part of the software (like when we enabled the polling feature a few months ago). But the administrators here - the few who have the capability to make programming changes to vBullettin - are very hesistant to do so for a variety of reasons. Hacking the software can cause problems and it’s something done only as a last resort.

If MTCicero wants to do that, or send a prize to the person who makes his favorte post, he can do that. I don’t think anyone here is going to alter vBulletin to create a feature that would do it, though.

That would be done at the discretion of the posters. I don’t think the SDMB or Creative Loafing are in a position to do something like that - nevermind doing it for a lot of threads.

In some ways what you’re proposing sounds like the “like this post” feature that some boards have. Speaking just for myself I don’t think that’s something we need to bother with here.

If you go to the main Straight Dope page, you can look under Threadspotting and see some of the most interesting and unusual threads on the board. Posters and staff members nominate them and one is picked every day. I think ‘best poster’ type of contests have been discouraged around here for a long time.

I believe there is a feature that lets people in a thread “nominate” posts. I don’t know where the nominations actually go, however. This is set up on the JREF forums and they are running a vBulletin. I’m not sure if it’s something already coded in, or if it’s an add-on.

I think Joanie is a good candidate for setting up her own board. She is so full of suggestions and good ideas, it seems a natural thing. I say go for it!