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Vanilla Community NEW STYLES CONTEST! (cash prize!) Ends October 1st

Andy KAndy K
edited March 2007 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
2006.09.27: Current prize pool, approx $250.00 USD. Please donate to Mark's Paypal via the Paypal button below!

I really love how most community-supported projects like WordPress have an active community of CSS wizards making up styles for personal and community use.

We had a ton of community-made styles for Vanilla 9.x, but very few for 1.x. What's up with that? What happened with the Clockworks? (just like Default but in different cool "iMac" colors?) The Roots? (dark background, new format for determining old/new threads, sidebars on the other side, etc) Others?

Well, I want more styles for my community to choose from. But I'm not that great with CSS. So I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and host a contest, to try to get some spirit into the Vanilla Styles community! (I do these kinds of contests ALL THE TIME for Tabletop RPG, Japanese translation and Programming communities, so I know what I'm doing!)

So here's the thing: I'm putting down some money for a contest. A paltry $22.00 Canadian (a little over $20.00) to start us off. What I'm hoping to do is to two things:

1) Get some visual/creative people into making some cool or useful Styles for Vanilla.
2) And recruit other folks like me who have interest in new styles, and money, to pitch a little bit into the contest.
And tangentially:
1) Get more varied, cool and creative styles into our community
2) Hopefully attract more visual people into adopting Vanilla, and writing cool tools, styles and themes for it
3) Create a new base of creative styles and themes so that other folks can use them to take Vanilla to the Next Level.

Sound good? Good, let's go!

The Rules

1) The contest ends effectively September 30th, 2006. You must upload it to the Lussumo Community's Vanilla Add-Ons page by then. The Style doesn't count if it's located anywhere other than the Vanilla Add-Ons section (like your website, etc). If it appears on the Vanilla Add-Ons page on October 1st, your entry is in. If it appears October 2nd or later, your entry won't be counted towards this contest. It also has to be a 1.X Style, not 0.9.X.

2) I will be the sole arbitrator of the winner. It's easier, less confusing, and far less messy that way. My wife is a professional visual designer and I'll tickle her until she gives all the entries a once-over as well, so there will someone with some artistic taste looking over the entries as well. But I run a pretty huge, active Vanilla community and will be looking for what is not only pleasing to the eye, but can stand up to the test of hours of community use ("Oh! Gorgeous Style! But my eyes burned to cinders after reading with it for 30 minutes- Ouch!" etc). I'll also be asking Mark to help review the finalists as well.

3) There will be two prizes: The Main Prize and the Creativity Prize.

4) The Main Prize will be awarded 3/4 of the collected money, the "pot". The Creativity Prize will be awarded 1/4 of the "pot".

5) The Main Prize will be judged on a few simple categories: DESIGN (major). USEFULNESS/PRACTICALITY (major). INTEGRATION WITH/ENHANCEMENT OF VANILLA (minor). If you go nuts into making the style all creative and weird and cool, but it turns out to be not too useful, hard to read, etc that will be "minus points". If your style changes the fundamental look of Vanilla, rock on, just make sure it's also a useful, easy to read and solid design, and doesn't break dozens of extensions in the process. Pretty simple, right?

6) The Creativity Prize will be awarded to the design that is the most creative with design, and enhances Vanilla's capabilities. It pushes the limits ("it is aaaaaahhhhrt") while still readable.

7) Both prizes will not go to the same Style.

8) You are free to also create new THEMES, and STYLES to go with those themes. Doing so will not get you "bonus points" just because you went that route, but this is definitely a way to explore with vastly new and experimental themes (if that's the way you want to go. Or are specifically aiming for the Creativity Prize). Again, though, for the Main Prize just make sure your awesome new Theme doesn't trash 90% of all Extensions.

9) I say "Integration with Vanilla" above. This does not mean you must test your style/theme with each and every Vanilla extension. Just do your best. I won't deduct points if "Smooth Page Scrolling" or some other minor ones don't work, but will be more critical for the Main Prize if, say, 90% of the commonly used extensions break on it.

10) There is no limit to the number of themes or styles you are allowed to submit. The more useful submissions you make, the better it is for our community in the long run. Go nuts! Do a New Style, then do it again in Cornflower Blue!

11) Themes and Styles that are already in the Add-Ons directory are also included. In fact, if the contest ended right now with no submissions, Jazzman Style 1.0 would be the winner.

12) The winner will be announced no later than October 9th, 2006 in this thread.

Does this make sense? Are there any questions?


This thread serves a few purposes:
1) If you're thinking of entering, tell us!
2) If you finish a design (or three), upload them and brag about them here!
3) If you want to encourage others to join in (even if you don't have the CSS skillz or time to participate), do so!
4) If you want to tell us you're contributing money to the contest (see below), drop the good word here after donating!
5) If you have a question about the direction or purpose of the contest, or had a question on a specific point, ask away here!
6) Tips, pointers, suggestions or help for people submitting their styles. (If you have a request for tips, pointers, help etc feel free to open a new discussion if you're stuck; that's probably the best way to get fast feedback).
7) General positive comments and energy. Drink the Kool-Aid!

This thread is ABSOLUTELY NOT for:
1) Negative comments about the contest
2) Negative comments about the community, CSS design, etc
The contest has been validated and approved by "Lussumo Mark" himself, and he has said that Negative Comments will be moderated away. So this isn't the place for a debate. Thanks!


1) Mark has volunteered to be the "Escrow Service" for this contest. You can Paypal him your donation, and he will give it to the winners!
Here is the direct link to Paypal Mark your money (please note somewhere in the payment that it is for the Styles Contest):

The Link to pay in Canadian Dollars (US Dollar link is in the next post):

(link removed; contest is over)

2) No need to go nuts here, it's a small contest; we're just supporting some new hot styles developers with a little beer money. If you feel like contributing just $5.00, that's totally cool.
3) When you have paid at the above Paypal link, please post here in this thread with the amount you contributed, so that I can keep track of the total prize pot!
4) I'll total up the prize pot every few days
5) Entrants: If possible, please set up a Paypal account (especially if you live in a non-US country) early so that sending you the funds is as easy and painless as possible.
6) Finally, no pressure on donating. The main point of the contest isn't to flood Winners with Money, it's to bring as many cool Styles into the community as there are cool Extensions.

In the end, sure, there's a money prize and all that. But I don't expect it to reach sky-high. Consider it a little incentive for those awesome stylists out there who have been thinking of getting around to making that new Vanilla style "any day now" to get up and do it! So I want to make it clear that the ultimate goal isn't "FAT CA$H KA-CHING!", it's "Flood the Vanilla Add-Ons Section with useful and creative styles for us to make use of, or creative ones for folks to use and bend Vanilla in new ways (or build off your work)." Cool? Cool.



(ps, again, before posting, please read the "THIS THREAD" section, above!)


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    Andy KAndy K
    edited October 2006
    Here's a link to pay in US Dollars, if you prefer (again, payments going to Mark/"Lussumo" to hold until the end of the contest):

    (link removed; contest is over)
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    Ok lets try this again ;-) keeps lips glued,

    now how about that idea I suggested as the prize ? make the - buy me a beer - link the reward ? so everyone can buy the winner a drink that way they would possibly get much more than $50 what do you think ? I would buy a drink or two to a winner anyway i'm going to go now before the flames heat up ;-)
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    Well, I absolutely encourage anyone who wants to contact the winner (or heck, even just the designer of a style or extension they like) via email or the forums to send them some cash if they want to. In fact, if there's any other styles that I end up using in my community, I'll probably end up contacting the designer and expressing my thanks. That's the way the Vanilla community rolls.

    Otherwise, for the purposes of this contest it's probably just easiest to round up one (small) sum and split it out that way. "Buy a beer" is one of the extensions that probably won't be brought online on the community forums anytime soon.

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    Money add!

    A user in my community donated approx $23 to the contest, bringing the total to about $45-50 after Paypal's cut! Money has been forwarded to Mark.

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    edited September 2006
    5$ US Dollars goes to Mark.
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    I will contribute $20 into PayPal at the beginning of October as promised in other thread.
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    Forgot to announce the infusion of more cash from Mark and others: We're up to approx $165 US now as of 10.10 for the prize pool.

    Hopefully people are on their way to making some interesting styles for the community!

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    Already on it. I think most people will upload it the day before closing... at least I am :)
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    If a coder wanted some mockups I'd do some for them for free, I just think it would be fun to see a mockup come to life.
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    i'm in.
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    c-unit does some awesome designs, so it'd be great to see some of his ideas come to fruition :) Is it limited to just styles btw, not themes?
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    8) You are free to also create new THEMES, and STYLES to go with those themes. Doing so will not get you "bonus points" just because you went that route, but this is definitely a way to explore with vastly new and experimental themes (if that's the way you want to go. Or are specifically aiming for the Creativity Prize). Again, though, for the Main Prize just make sure your awesome new Theme doesn't trash 90% of all Extensions.
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    More money into the pot. We're up to approx $190 US. Thanks Dinoboff!
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    I'm in the middle of car-service-bill-related depression and i'm also about 3 weeks away from finishing my job without a guaranteed replacement yet, but hopefully when I've worked things out I should be able to chuck some money in. I'll keep you posted. Looking forward to some new themes!
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    I've just sent $5 USD more to Mark.
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    $10 here also :)
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    and another 5 usd from me
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    $10 from Silencio. Thanks, I am looking forward to new and exciting looks!
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    Cool, I recalculated the above in the total. Thanks all. Also, just 17 days left (two weeks plus change). I'll probably "bump" with reminders at 2 weeks, 10 days, 1 week, 3 days, and 24 hours.

    And guess what- I'm even giving my own hand a try at a style! I dunno if I'll finish in time, and even if I do I'm disqualifying myself from the contest in advance, but running this thing has gotten me a little hot for my own style. We'll see what I can pull off.

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    I think you should wait for the winner for the comm to know what s next
This discussion has been closed.