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« Using Mass Customization to tune-up standard products: MyTego | Main | New toolkit for 3D printing: Turn digital pictures into 3D art »

March 06, 2009


Frank Piller

Thanks for sharing this background info, Jonathan! I agree that the "cost" for participants to contribute are an important factor, and an issue less researched. But your practical experience matched our theoretical understanding!

Jonathan Mervis

Hi Frank,

Thank for covering our story. I think a big difference between our first campaign for a witty headline(which turned out phenomenal) and our second campaign for a video (which was so-so) was the magnitude of effort required to participate. And related to the issue of "effort" is whether the task is fun and if they actually enjoy doing it and stretching their own creativity. Sometimes a lot of time and dedication isn't considered "effort" in this sense, if the user considers it fun.

For the Onion headline contest, we had many participants submit 20+ headlines. Some emailed personally to say they had so much fun and wanted to work on more projects with us directly. I think it's because it's relatively easy to knock out a few clever headlines. Once you get started and find some wordplay you enjoy, it becomes increasingly easy to add to your list.

FYI, we followed up our headline contest with the ONION with a Limerick Contest. I asked our readers to write a limerick that includes the themes of diamond jewelry, our name Mervis Diamond, and a distinct feel for Washington DC. Readers submitted their limerick entries at our blog, http://www.mervisdiamond.com/blog

Each week we included the best submitted limerick in our print ad in the Washington DC edition. As a grand finale, I wanted to bring together our virtual limerick diamond jewelry community into a physical space. We threw a tremendous happy hour, and with free beer and pizza, and read aloud our favorite limericks. The grand winner took home a diamond pendant.

You can some pictures and read some limericks here, http://mervisdiamond.com/blog/?p=607

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