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Wanted: Contest Ideas
image A new book about hoaxes has just come out. A Treasury of Deception: Liars, Misleaders, Hoodwinkers, and the Extraordinary True Stories of History's Greatest Hoaxes, Fakes, and Frauds by Michael Farquhar. The publisher (Penguin) sent me a free copy to help promote the book--which means that we get to have another book give-away contest! The winner gets the book. However, I can't think of a good contest to have (my brain is just too tired right now). I'm inclined to do another urban-legend/hoax haiku contest, since that was pretty fun last time. However, I thought I'd take suggestions first. If anyone can think of a fun contest, leave your suggestion in the comments. Otherwise, in about a week, I'll do another hoax haiku thing.
Miscellaneous
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 01, 2005


I think you should just give it to Charby for his "Home of The Strange" lyrics paraody from a few days back...He'd know where to find it... don't be modest, Charbs...step up, and recite that baby
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jun 01, 2005  at  11:58 PM
Alex, I think you should have a hoax contest. In other words, people would submit either an idea for an original hoax they'd like to see perpetrated OR information about a hoax they have already pulled off.

The submissions would be fun to read, just for starters. You'd decide the winner but keep it to yourself until you thought there had been enough entries. Then you'd announce the winner, setting off a firestorm of debate on the message board. It's a win-win!

I think all entries should concern hoaxes created by the submitter, otherwise you'd get a ton of entries about hoaxes we all already know.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  03:45 AM
How about a 'best hoax website' contest? Perhaps slightly exclusive but it might add some extra flair to Cranky Media Guy's idea above.
Posted by Chris 'Crispy' Philpot  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  04:17 AM
I was about to suggest the same as Chris... everyone try their hand at creating a hoax website.
Posted by PlantPerson  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  06:25 AM
It's a good idea.
Of course, it means I won't be in the running, but it's still a good idea.

It would provide some humour, anyway.
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  06:34 AM
I agree better with the your-own-hoax idea. That would be really fun to read all those submited crazy ideas from crazy minds... crazy times these days..
Posted by Bernardo Santos  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  07:23 AM
Well, we could all find Alex Boese in our toast. It'd be more of a craft competition rather than one of writing. But I can't be to blame if anyone burns down his or her house.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  09:28 AM
Perhaps the most fitting contest would be for each person to run a hoax ebay auction. Whoever's auction actually makes it to sale would qualify for the contest. The item that sells at the highest price wins.

Besides...you would have a lot of great additions for this site, as well.

Each person that participates would have to post their ebay user name and email here on hoax...along with the link.

Perhaps a less agressive contest would be to simply find the most outrageous item for sale on ebay.
Posted by redmond  in  southern usa  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  09:37 AM
I think the great contest would be to give a new name to Raoul's Chariot of Fire...she has a real name, that of Raoul's First True Love, but this I cannot tell you, for it would sadden me greatly, and make small the pedestal in Raoul's heart upon which she stands forever...no Lauras or Georgettes, por favor...Rrrraoul
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  09:58 AM
Ha ha ha...Raoul has given the hoax to you...I am too sorry, the Llamas made me do it, okay, so don't bet on it...ha hah ha...Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  10:15 AM
You're frickin' hilarious, Raoul...you dork...I have another suggestion for a hoax contest...since "Deep Throat" came out of the closet this week (read a newspaper, for cryin' out loud), I think we should come up with a new name for the person who will eventually narc out George W. Bush...no, Raoul, I won't submit "Deep Llama"...that's all yours, you shlub
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  10:20 AM
How about "Urban Legend/Gonzo Journalism"?
Posted by jc  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  11:07 AM
It should be a contest-idea contest, obviously. The winning contest idea gets used for the _next_ giveaway.
Posted by Raymi  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  11:56 AM
Do some osrt of Urban Legend/Hoax/Prank Story contest, the most convincing one wins!
Posted by Yaanu  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  12:55 PM
I like Cranky Media Guy's idea of creating a hoax more than creating a hoax site simply because I have no skills and I think the first would get more entries.

The later would be funnier, as would a photoshop-type contest of "things that don't exist - or do they?" contest where you create a picture of a hoax, but how many would participate?
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  01:56 PM
I like the idea of best hoax website. Just my two cents. Well, more like one cent, since I'm pretty much saying IAWTP.

joemono
Posted by joemono  in  Portland, OR  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  02:17 PM
Hey alex, I think you should do a photoshop hoax contest...With the originals included in the submissions of course smileIt'll be visual so it'll generate interest...and you can add it to your photo quiz.
Posted by LadyBug  in  Toronto  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  06:22 PM
Like worth1000.com, Ladybug?
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  06:27 PM
Or like what I mentioned? Sorry, feeling inferior
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  06:37 PM
Oops, sorry Chadds. I read yours as more of 'creating a hoax in general' than specifically photoshop.

Anyway, sorry. I didn't mean to make you feel belittled or anything, I just thought you were making a different suggestion and/or point.

If it makes you feel better, I liked the idea of a general hoax better than photoshopping only.
smile
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  06:46 PM
I like the idea of a hoax bid on e-bay. Everyone that gets bids and actually completes the process should qualify. But it has to be a "legitimate" hoax, not something like the Toast of Felt. It should be something like the "air from a UFO crater" or "mermaid urine".
Posted by Big Dave  in  Hell  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  06:46 PM
Boo - I just, i just, i - can't talk right now (so small)
Posted by Chadds Ford Prefect  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  07:07 PM
Maybe you should eat a biscuit or drink a drink that someone anonymous has left on a table down a rabbit hole?
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  07:17 PM
Here, see how this idea grabs you:

We have a contest where each participant has to tell the true story of how they started a well-known urban legend. This is a double-recursive hoax contest--not only will it be about urban legends, but it will give each contestant a chance to create his own bullcrap tall-tale origin story for how the legend got started! The story that Alex likes best wins.

"I remember back in the seventies, my uncle Roger died. He had lost his hand in the war, and for some reason he left his prosthetic hook to me. I sat their at the funeral, looking at the hook in the box at my feet, wondering what the hell I could do with it. That night, I went out to the local Lover's Lane...."


(I'm weird, which results in creativity.)
Posted by Barghest  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  09:52 PM
I think the contest should be posting a forum or blog comments entry that is funnier than a Hairy Houdini post. You may think that this is discriminatory against Hairy Houndini, but once you consider how crazy Hairy is, it shouldn't be impossible for him to outdo himself. Anyway, whoever posts something funnier than something that Hairy Houdini would post would win the book. That's my idea.
Posted by BugbearSloth  in  earth, 3rd planet, sol system  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  11:03 PM
Bugbear, I don't think it's possible that anyone can be more funnier than Hairy.
Posted by Smerk  in  to mischief  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  11:06 PM
I think it should go to the first person who points out that you don't actually posses said book and that this whole contest is a hoax perpetrated by Alex.

So I guess I win... nothing.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Thu Jun 02, 2005  at  11:09 PM
Hmm, a hoax-photoshop contest is a bit too obvious for this site (more of a fark or worth1000 domain).

However, what if it had a twist?

People submit an image to Alex, either a photoshopped fake picture, or real picture, of an improbable person, place, object or situation. They also tell Alex if it is real or fake (with proof if possible). Alex then posts only the images (no names) on a page allowing people to vote whether they thing the image is real or fake. Whoever fools the most people wins, hoax master.

A contest worthy of this site. IMHO.

It could also work with the story contest, but that is harder to prove either way. I once got arrested for paying for a taco with a $2 bill...
Posted by Splarka  on  Fri Jun 03, 2005  at  02:46 AM
The problem with a Photoshop contest is that not everyone has Photoshop (or an equivalent program). Photoshop is pretty expensive, after all. Also, not everyone who is creative at hoaxing is necessarily good at graphics.

As for an eBay auction contest, you have to remember that there's a fine line between a clever auction and breaking the law. An item listed on eBay has to be exactly as advertised or the seller could be in trouble with the law. I'm not saying an eBay auction contest is a horrible idea, just that you truly do have to be careful with what you claim to be selling. As they tell you, an eBay auction is a binding contract.

If you advertise "air from a UFO crater" just as an example, if you couldn't prove that it truly WAS air from a UFO crater, you'd be guilty of false advertising and the buyer could sue. That was just an example, so please don't pick it apart, OK? You get my point, right?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Jun 03, 2005  at  03:53 AM
Expensive??!! Come on, everyone knows you can download software like that...shall we say...slightly less than legally. Not that I'm encouraging this type of online befowlment, but google the words 'P2P' and 'client' together and you might get some interesting results....
Posted by Alun  in  UK  on  Fri Jun 03, 2005  at  06:44 AM
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