ITKE Community Blog


September 12, 2019  1:55 PM

September 2019 Activity Contest (NEW AWARDS!)

Tom Curtin Tom Curtin Profile: Tom Curtin

Bring your flannels out of the attic and grab your pumpkin beverage of choice, because it’s time for fall! That’s right folks, we’re getting into the swing of things, and before we know it, it’ll be 2020.

Before we get there, I need a few months to enjoy my favorite season. Why not celebrate the turn of the season with some ITKE awards? Here are the winners for August:

  • $125 Amazon gift card: Subhendu Sen! [2240 points]
  • $75 Amazon gift card: ToddN2000! [1725 points]
  • $50 Amazon gift card: TheRealRaven! [760 points]
  • $50 Amazon gift card – Most Thoughtful Answer – TheRealRaven, for their answer to this ITKE user’s question about IoT Security! There were plenty of other great comments from this month that helped to solve some unique and difficult tech issues, so congratulations to everyone who helped out! This is also the last month where we’ll only have one winner for this category, so keep an eye out for multiple awards next month!

If you didn’t get a chance to see my last blog post from August, we’re going to be changing around the awards system to align more with the goals of ITKE and the community. You’ll find the new categories below, which will start with September’s activity contest! If you have any questions, please comment below and I can address them.

  • $100 Amazon gift card: Most Thoughtful Answer – Give an answer that goes above and beyond the call of duty to qualify. Are you an expert in a particular subject? Hunt down a question and answer it with your expertise so that others can benefit! This prize can stack with the prizes above or be won by another user, so don’t be shy about submitting those answers!
  • $75 Amazon gift card: Most Thoughtful Answer (Runner-up) – Same as above!
  • $50 Amazon gift card: Most Thoughtful Answer (3rd) – Same as above!
  • $50 Amazon gift card: Friendly Face – A neglected category! The internet can be a scary place, especially for those who don’t use it often or stumble upon the wrong communities. Show a little love to new users by welcoming them and encouraging them to get comfortable here. Interact with your veteran neighbors – we’re all in this together. After all, the more users this community has, the more helpful it will be for everyone! And who knows, they may end up answering questions alongside you down the road. A good example of this is Todd’s comment on this user’s question about honeypots.
  • $25 Amazon gift card: Points Player – Most points obtained in the month. There is something to be said for someone who interacts the most with our new questions. To discourage spam, only one comment per question will be tallied for this. Points for this award will only be tallied for questions asked within the last 6 months.

Have a great fall, y’all, and thanks for being in our ITKE family!

Tom

August 22, 2019  2:21 PM

Update to ITKE Activity Contests

Tom Curtin Tom Curtin Profile: Tom Curtin

Hi all,

In being the ITKE Administrator for almost a year now, I’ve been fortunate to connect with this community’s supporters, members, and visitors. In doing so, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know some of the history behind IT Answers, along with the concerns of its users and participants. Hearing suggestions from members who have made the community what it is can be very helpful in moving our community forward.

Some of the more prominent shifts I’ve seen lately are an increase in spam answers – particularly in the areas of file conversion software. These users are the scum of this site, point blank, and it is my mission to rid them (and their sketchy 3rd party software) permanently from IT answers. Thank you for your patience with this – We are updating our spam filter and implementing new rules to combat these spammers and stop them in their tracks.

I’ve also noticed a pattern of seemingly irrelevant questions being answered to boost point totals for the month. Oftentimes, an 8-10 year old question will be answered or commented on, bringing it to the top of the feed, long after the person asking has moved on.

Finally, I’ve noticed that the number of new questions coming in to the site has slowed down as of late. This makes it hard for members to achieve point totals without dipping into questions that have already been answered.

My goal as administrator of this site is to accomplish two things: To provide a community where IT newbies can get their tech questions answered by our knowledgeable base of industry leaders, and to keep the content relevant for members and visitors alike. I aim to improve the latter with this shift.

The current points-based awards structure to the monthly activity contest cannot function as it currently stands. It encourages members to simply accrue as many points as possible, rather than provide users with the guidance they desperately need.

Because of this, starting in September, here will be the new structure for the activity contests:

$100 – Most Thoughtful Answer

This category has been in existence for some months now, and the goal is simple: Answer a question thoroughly with your expertise, so that the user asking has everything they need! Sometimes there will be more information needed, and other times the question can be answered outright. A lot of users who visit this site are tech newbies, so they may not know the information you need. Your goal is to guide them to their answer.

$75 – Most Thoughtful Answer (Runner-Up)

I feel as if this category deserves a runner-up option, since there are so many informative answers in this community. Same goals as above!

$50 – Most Thoughtful Answer (3rd)

Same as above. Great job!

$50 – Friendly Face

A neglected category! The internet can be a scary place, especially for those who don’t use it often or stumble upon the wrong communities. Show a little love to new users by welcoming them and encouraging them to get comfortable here. Interact with your veteran neighbors – we’re all in this together. After all, the more users this community has, the more helpful it will be for everyone! And who knows, they may end up answering questions alongside you down the road.

$25 – Points Player

Most points obtained in the month. There is something to be said for someone who interacts the most with our new questions. To discourage spam, only one comment per question will be tallied for this. Points for this award will only be tallied for questions asked within the last 6 months.

NOTE: All of the above awards stack and can be won by either 5 separate users or the same user, or anything in between.

It is my hope that this new system will encourage quality questions and answers while inhibiting spam. That being said, I am always welcome to new suggestions or feedback. These categories may be altered as the community grows, so keep your eyes peeled on the blog here for any updates. If there are any questions or issues, please comment below.

Happy answering!

–Tom


August 6, 2019  5:56 PM

August 2019 Activity Contest

Tom Curtin Tom Curtin Profile: Tom Curtin

Back To School Banner via Adobe

You know what time of year it is… back to school time! Time to stock up on those school supplies, books, binders and snack packs… unless you’re out of school like me, in which case you’ll only need the snack packs.

Speaking of packs, you all certainly packed in a large amount of questions and answers this month! Take a look at our top contributors for July, including some highlights of top answers below!

  • $125 Amazon gift card: Subhendu Sen! [2040 points]
  • $75 Amazon gift card: ToddN2000! [1795 points]
  • $50 Amazon gift card: TheRealRaven! [630 points]
  • $50 Amazon gift card – Most Thoughtful Answer – ToddN2000, for their answer to this ITKE user’s question about converting stream file data! There were plenty of other great comments from this month that helped to solve some unique and difficult tech issues, so congratulations to everyone who helped out!

I’ll be keeping the curriculum for August the same, so make sure you write this down in case there’s a pop quiz later!

  • $125 Amazon gift card: The user has to reach 1,750 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $75 Amazon gift card: The user needs to reach 1,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $50 Amazon gift card: “ITKE user of the month” – One special user from the site who remains constantly engaged. The user could have 10 points or 500 points – anyone could win!
  • $50 Amazon gift card: Most Thoughtful Answer – Give an answer that goes above and beyond the call of duty to qualify. Are you an expert in a particular subject? Hunt down a question and answer it with your expertise so that others can benefit! This prize can stack with the prizes above or be won by another user, so don’t be shy about submitting those answers!

Have a great August, class, and enjoy the rest of the summer!

Tom


July 8, 2019  6:31 PM

July 2019 Activity Contest

Tom Curtin Tom Curtin Profile: Tom Curtin

Ahh, finally we’re in the swing of the summer. Burgers are grilling, beaches are packed, and sunburns become a badge of honor. At least that’s what I tell myself… can someone pass the aloe?

Meanwhile, it seems some of you had a hotdog in one hand and your laptop in the other, because the ITKE answers were on fire this past month! Here’s a look at some of our top contributors for June, including some highlights of top answers below!

  • $125 Amazon gift card: Subhendu Sen! [2040 points]
  • $75 Amazon gift card: ToddN2000! [1865 points]
  • $50 Amazon gift card: TheRealRaven! [740 points]
  • $50 Amazon gift card – Most Thoughtful Answer – ToddN2000, for their answer to this ITKE user’s Bluetooth Transmitter question! There were plenty of other great comments and answers from this month that were also really helpful, which certainly made it a hard choice! Great work, everyone.

Let’s keep things simple and run the same contest for July. In case you’re in summer mode and forgot, here are the awards below!

  • $125 Amazon gift card: The user has to reach 1,750 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $75 Amazon gift card: The user needs to reach 1,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $50 Amazon gift card: “ITKE user of the month” – One special user from the site who remains constantly engaged. The user could have 10 points or 500 points – anyone could win!
  • $50 Amazon gift card: Most thoughtful answer – Give an answer that goes above and beyond the call of duty to qualify. Are you an expert in a particular subject? Hunt down a question and answer it with your expertise so that others can benefit! This prize can stack with the prizes above or be won by another user, so don’t be shy about submitting those answers!

Have a great July everyone, and good luck!

Tom


June 3, 2019  6:30 PM

June 2019 Activity Contest

Tom Curtin Tom Curtin Profile: Tom Curtin

Basketball Image via Adobe

I know, I know. The Stanley Cup is happening too. Hockey needs a little more love on these blog posts, but I’m a diehard basketball fan, okay? Plus the stock photo team colors match for the NBA finals, so it was too good not to pick.

Anyway, we switched things up for May’s activity contest, introducing a new category: “Most Thoughtful Answer”. And we’re not talking about sending a bouquet of flowers or complimenting someone’s haircut. To get this $50 Amazon gift card, you gotta go above and beyond to answer a user question. It was a tough pick – but the winners are located below!

  • $125 Amazon gift card: Subhendu Sen! [2050 points]
  • $75 Amazon gift card: ToddN2000! [1805 points]
  • $50 Amazon gift card: TheRealRaven! [655 points]
  • $50 Amazon gift card – Most Thoughtful Answer – TheRealRaven, for their in-depth answer to this SQL newbie’s question! Here are some runner-up answers from this month that were also really helpful. Great job, everybody!

Since this new format went over well, we’re going to keep things simple and run the same contest for June. If you forgot what the stakes are, here they are below!

  • $125 Amazon gift card: The user has to reach 1,750 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $75 Amazon gift card: The user needs to reach 1,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $50 Amazon gift card: “ITKE user of the month” – One special user from the site who remains constantly engaged. The user could have 10 points or 500 points – anyone could win!
  • $50 Amazon gift card: Most thoughtful answer – Give an answer that goes above and beyond the call of duty to qualify. Are you an expert in a particular subject? Hunt down a question and answer it with your expertise so that others can benefit! This prize can stack with the prizes above or be won by another user, so don’t be shy about submitting those answers!

Have a great month everyone, and good luck!

Tom


May 7, 2019  6:29 PM

May 2019 Activity Contest

Tom Curtin Tom Curtin Profile: Tom Curtin

Well, after weeks of hiding, it seems the sun has finally peaked out from behind the clouds, and we’re even getting our first 70°F day! What better day than today to start a new ITKE activity contest? But first, let’s go over the winners from April:

  • $150 Amazon gift card: ToddN2000! [2070 points]
  • $100 Amazon gift card: Subhendu Sen! [2040 points]
  • $50 Amazon gift card: TheRealRaven! [545 points]

We’re going to do something a little different for May. Since May the 4th just happened (arguably one of the best holidays), we’re going to celebrate with 4 winners this month! Here’s what you need to do to qualify:

  • $125 Amazon gift card: The user has to reach 1,750 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $75 Amazon gift card: The user needs to reach 1,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $50 Amazon gift card: “ITKE user of the month” – One special user from the site who remains constantly engaged. The user could have 10 points or 500 points – anyone could win!
  • $50 Amazon gift card: Most thoughtful answer – Give an answer that goes above and beyond the call of duty to qualify. Are you an expert in a particular subject? Hunt down a question and answer it with your expertise so that others can benefit! This prize can stack with the prizes above or be won by another user, so don’t be shy about submitting those answers!

Good luck to all, and enjoy that sun while you can!

Tom


April 9, 2019  1:56 PM

April 2019 Activity Contest

Tom Curtin Tom Curtin Profile: Tom Curtin

Birds are chirping, leaves are starting to sprout, and we’re in for some gorgeous sunny days ahead! Well, that may be wishful thinking this week, but at least we have baseball. As usual, our three designated hitters took home some serious Amazon money this month:

  • $150 Amazon gift card: ToddN2000! [2225 points]
  • $100 Amazon gift card: Subhendu Sen! [2040 points]
  • $50 Amazon gift card: TheRealRaven! [1015 points]

Ready to swing for the fences this month? Here’s what you need to do to get on those ITKE top ten highlights:

  • $150 Amazon gift card: The user has to reach 2,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $100 Amazon gift card: The user needs to reach 1,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $50 Amazon gift card: “ITKE user of the month” – one special user from the site who remains constantly engaged. The user could have 10 points or 500 points – anyone could win! The winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Good luck to everyone and play ball!

Tom


March 12, 2019  1:37 PM

March 2019 Activity Contest

Tom Curtin Tom Curtin Profile: Tom Curtin

Basketball Image via Adobe

 

Well, ITKE users, we have a first this month. In true March Madness fashion, two of our top users have TIED in points for the month of February! ToddN2000 and Subhendu Sen have been pillars in our community for years, and their accomplishments here are remarkable. Looks like we’ll have to adjust the prizes accordingly!

  • $125 Amazon gift card each: ToddN2000 & Subhendu Sen!
  • $50 Amazon gift card: TheRealRaven

Putting yourself in the #1 seed this month? Here’s how snag those Amazon gift cards:

  • $150 Amazon gift card: The user has to reach 2,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $100 Amazon gift card: The user needs to reach 1,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $50 Amazon gift card: “ITKE user of the month” – one special user from the site who remains constantly engaged. The user could have 10 points or 500 points – anyone could win! The winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Good luck to everyone and happy posting!

Tom


February 12, 2019  3:53 PM

February 2019 Activity Contest

Tom Curtin Tom Curtin Profile: Tom Curtin

Valentine’s Day Image via Adobe

 

Happy February, ITKE users! Love may be in the air this week, but guess what else I smell… Another ITKE activity contest! Before we finish up those reservations and last minute candy heart runs, let’s take a look at who our winners were for January:

  • $150 Amazon gift card: Subhendu Sen
  • $100 Amazon gift card: ToddN2000
  • $50 Amazon gift card: TheRealRaven

Want your secret crush to see you in the top 3 this month? Here’s how to do it:

  • $150 Amazon gift card: The user has to reach 2,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $100 Amazon gift card: The user needs to reach 1,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $50 Amazon gift card: “ITKE user of the month” – one special user from the site who remains constantly engaged. The user could have 10 points or 500 points – anyone could win! The winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Good luck to everyone and happy posting!

Tom


January 9, 2019  2:44 PM

January 2019 Activity Contest

Tom Curtin Tom Curtin Profile: Tom Curtin

New Years Image via Adobe

 

Greetings ITKE users, and happy 2019! Hopefully you’ve had ample time to recover from the NYE festivities, because it’s time for our first activity contest of the new year! But first, let’s take a look at who rounded out 2018 strong:

  • $150 Amazon gift card: ToddN2000
  • $100 Amazon gift card: Subhendu Sen
  • $50 Amazon gift card: Ankit3302

Is breaking the top 3 in January one of your New Years resolutions? Here’s what’s up for grabs:

  • $150 Amazon gift card: The user has to reach 2,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $100 Amazon gift card: The user needs to reach 1,000 ITKE points to qualify and remain engaged on the site throughout the month.
  • $50 Amazon gift card: “ITKE user of the month” – one special user from the site who remains constantly engaged. The user could have 10 points or 500 points – anyone could win! The winner will be announced at the end of the month.

Good luck to everyone and keep those resolutions going strong!

Tom


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