Help:Challenge Leadership

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Challenges have proven to be fun and productive. While competition may seem to be the antithesis of collaboration, challenge events give a structure and a sense of urgency to the completion of a goal.


How to Organize a Challenge

The following are instructions and tips for organizing a challenge, but feel free to be creative. Be a little silly if you want. Challenges are fun and build camaraderie in a group — make it your group's own thing.

Some of the following assumes that you are a Project Leader or Coordinator, but any WikiTreer can initiate and lead a challenge.

For more specific documentation on administering marathon events, see Docs:72 Hour Marathons.

Scoring and tracking

A challenge needs metrics. As you begin to think about your challenge goals, think about how progress toward those goals can be measured.

It's OK if they seem arbitrary and imperfect. The true value of WikiTree contributions is impossible to measure. Participants will understand this.

Scores could be self-reported on a G2G post or maintained manually by you or someone else. If you have a large-scale or repeating challenge ask the team about adding it to the challenge tracker maintained by AleŇ°.

Keep in mind that even though you have a scoring and tracking plan going into the challenge, you may have to make some adjustments as you go along. Try to be flexible and listen to feedback from participants.

Advance registration

Ask participants to register in advance. When someone commits to something in advance and puts it on their calendar, they are more likely to take it seriously.

Registration also gives you a contact list for reminders and enables you to organize teams.


Teams are a great way to make a challenge more fun and collaborative. Many participants don't feel a personal desire to score points but will want to contribute points to a team.

Teams also give more members a way to be winners. They can be members of a winning team.

You can try to utilize existing teams (see Help:Challenge_Teams and Category:Challenges Teams) or organize simple new ones, like the Green Team and the Orange Team.

Be sure to recruit some of your best members to lead the teams. They can help make the event a success. You can give them the Team Captain badge:


Awards and acknowledgments

Challenges need awards and acknowledgements. They don't have to be physical prizes. (Prizes are expensive, especially because they need to be shipped.)

You can have Profile Stickers for participants and winners.

You can announce and acknowledge winners in various places.

You can award winners a badge. If your challenge is small we probably cannot have a unique badge for it, but a generic badge can be used. You might consider one of these:

project_challenge.gif connection_combat.gif scavenger_hunt.gif military_challenge.gif demolition_derby.gif

Talk to the Team for help on this.

Communication before, during, and after the event

Talk to your project members right from the start, as your challenge is forming. If you involve others early, you are more likely to get their support.

Be sure to email registrants before the challenge to remind them when, where, and how to participate.

Communication during the event is very important. Personal interaction is part of the fun. Consider hosting live chats on a system like Discord, or a video chat on YouTube and/or Facebook. Ask Sarah Callis for help on Facebook or YouTube. See Help:Discord for more about Discord.

Don't forget about the wider community in G2G. Be sure to use Challenges, your project tag, and a unique tag for the challenge.

Past Challenges and Challenge Ideas

The following challenges have been hosted in the past and may be hosted again. Maybe you would be interested in getting one restarted, or creating something similar?

Surname Spotlight

Post a handful of featured surnames. Participants in the Surname Spotlight Challenge choose one surname and compete as a group with others who are working on that surname: sourcing, connecting, correcting errors, and writing biographies.

Cemetery Challenge

The Global Cemetery Project has hosted a few unique challenges, such as taking as many headstone photos as possible and creating profiles for them.

Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a search for profiles that fit the clues. The Notables Project hosted a Scavenger Hunt to find notable profiles that weren't connected to the Global Tree.

Brick Wall Demolition Derby

The Holocaust Project hosted a Brick Wall Demolition Derby. Who can break down a brick wall first?

Connection Combat

Connection Combat is a head-to-head challenge between profiles. A team for each profile competes to connect it to the Global Tree.

Other ideas

  • Transcribing and Indexing: A transcription or indexing challenge to encourage members to look at sources and create profiles based on them. The Cemetery Challenges are similar to this.
  • Photos or Images: A photography challenge would ask participants to take photos relevant to the project. Again, there have been Cemetery Challenges like this. There might also be challenges for finding and adding copyright-free images to a project's profiles.
  • Profile Creation: A profile creation challenge specifically prioritizes the creation of new profiles and biographies to fit within a project's guidelines.
  • Categorization: add categories to profiles on your watchlist or project watchlists.
  • Locations: find profiles without locations and add them.
  • "Needs" Categories: Pick a Needs category and do a "blitz" to see how many profiles you can source and remove.
  • "Flash" challenges: Something relatively small and quick you need help with. (Julie used this term when she recruited Global Cemeteries members to help go through the Illinois Cemeteries category to make sure that all the cemeteries had a Category Information Box. It was a lot of fun!) These can be day-long events.

This page was last modified 16:30, 14 May 2022. This page has been accessed 389 times.