EA Forum Prize: Winners for January 2019

CEA is pleased to an­nounce the win­ners of the Jan­uary 2019 EA Fo­rum Prize!

In first place (for a prize of $999): “EA Sur­vey 2018 Series: Cause Selec­tions”, by David_Moss, Neil_Dul­laghan, and Kim Cud­ding­ton.

In sec­ond place (for a prize of $500): “EA Giv­ing Tues­day Dona­tion Match­ing Ini­ti­a­tive 2018 Ret­ro­spec­tive”, by AviNorow­itz.

In third place (for a prize of $250): “EAGx Bos­ton 2018 Post­mortem”, by Mjreard.

We also awarded prizes in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber.

What is the EA Fo­rum Prize?

Cer­tain posts ex­em­plify the kind of con­tent we most want to see on the EA Fo­rum. They are well-re­searched and well-or­ga­nized; they care about in­form­ing read­ers, not just per­suad­ing them.

The Prize is an in­cen­tive to cre­ate posts like this. But more im­por­tantly, we see it as an op­por­tu­nity to show­case ex­cel­lent con­tent as an ex­am­ple and in­spira­tion to the Fo­rum’s users.

The vot­ing process

All posts pub­lished in the month of Jan­uary qual­ified for vot­ing, save for those writ­ten by CEA staff and Prize judges.

Prizes were cho­sen by five peo­ple. Three of them are the Fo­rum’s mod­er­a­tors (Aaron Gertler, Denise Melchin, and Ju­lia Wise).

The oth­ers were two of the three high­est-karma users at the time the new Fo­rum was launched (Peter Hur­ford and Joey SavoieRob Wiblin took this month off).

Vot­ers re­cused them­selves from vot­ing for con­tent writ­ten by their col­leagues. Other­wise, they used their own in­di­vi­d­ual crite­ria for choos­ing posts, though they broadly agree with the goals out­lined above.

Win­ners were cho­sen by an ini­tial round of ap­proval vot­ing, fol­lowed by a runoff vote to re­solve ties.

About the Jan­uary winners

EA Sur­vey 2018 Series: Cause Selec­tions”, like the other posts in that se­ries, makes im­por­tant data from the EA Sur­vey much eas­ier to find. The sum­mary and use of de­scrip­tive head­ings both in­crease read­abil­ity, and the method­olog­i­cal de­tails help to put the post’s num­bers in con­text.

As a move­ment, we col­lect a lot of in­for­ma­tion about our­selves, and it’s re­ally helpful when au­thors re­port that in­for­ma­tion in a way that makes it eas­ier to un­der­stand. All the posts in this se­ries are worth read­ing if you want to learn about the EA com­mu­nity.

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The EA Giv­ing Tues­day pro­gram shows what a team of vol­un­teers can do when they no­tice an op­por­tu­nity — and how much more good can be done when those vol­un­teers ac­tively work to im­prove their pro­ject (in this case, they raised the match­ing funds they ob­tained by a fac­tor of 10 be­tween 2017 and 2018).

EA Giv­ing Tues­day Dona­tion Match­ing Ini­ti­a­tive 2018 Ret­ro­spec­tive” illus­trates this well, tak­ing read­ers through the setup and self-im­prove­ment pro­cesses of the Ini­ti­a­tive, in a way that offers les­sons for any num­ber of other pro­jects.

Doc­u­men­ta­tion like this is im­por­tant for keep­ing a pro­ject go­ing even if a key con­trib­u­tor stops be­ing available to work on it. We hope that oth­ers will learn from the EA Giv­ing Tues­day ex­am­ple to cre­ate such doc­u­ments (and Les­sons Learned sec­tions) for their own pro­jects.

EAGx Bos­ton 2018 Post­mortem” is a well-de­signed guide to run­ning a small EA con­fer­ence, which ex­plains many im­por­tant con­cepts in a clear and prac­ti­cal way us­ing sto­ries from a par­tic­u­lar event.

Notable fea­tures of the post:

  • The au­thor links di­rectly to ma­te­ri­als they used for the event (like a tem­plate for invit­ing speak­ers), helping other or­ga­niz­ers save time by giv­ing them some­thing to build on.

  • The take­away sec­tion for each subtopic helps read­ers find the knowl­edge they wanted, whether they’re plan­ning a full event or were just cu­ri­ous to see how an­other con­fer­ence han­dled food.

I per­son­ally ex­pect to share this post­mortem when­ever some­one asks me about run­ning an EA event (whether with 20 peo­ple or 200), and I hope to see an up­dated ver­sion af­ter this year’s EAGx Bos­ton!

The fu­ture of the Prize

When we launched the EA Fo­rum Prize, we planned on run­ning the pro­gram for three months be­fore de­cid­ing whether to keep award­ing monthly prizes. We still aren’t sure whether we’ll do so. Our goals for the pro­gram were as fol­lows:

  1. Create an in­cen­tive for au­thors to put more time and care into writ­ing posts.

  2. Col­lect es­pe­cially well-writ­ten posts to serve as an ex­am­ple for other au­thors.

  3. Offer read­ers a se­lec­tion of cu­rated posts (es­pe­cially those who don’t have time to read most of the con­tent pub­lished on the Fo­rum).

If you have thoughts on whether the pro­gram should con­tinue, please let us know in the com­ments, or by con­tact­ing Aaron Gertler. We’d be es­pe­cially in­ter­ested to hear whether the ex­is­tence of the Prize has led you to write any­thing you might not have writ­ten oth­er­wise, or to spend more time on a piece of writ­ing.