I was giving it some thought about how I would run a contest similar to this one as not to promote spam but at the same time intend for high user participation.
I think a way that works, at least with regard to forum posting is such:
Just choose a random number, it could be 1, 10, 100, 1000 or whatever. Dont disclose this number, keep it secret. Tell users to participate on the forums as they see fit. When the contest is over, take each users number of posts and take the absolute value of the difference between your “secret number” and the user’s number of posts.
Give every user a starting point total and subtract that absolute value number from the point total. The user with the most points is of course the winner. Users can increase their point total prior to forum points adjustment by means similar to the ones you have included (add-me on facebook, add-me on twitter, subscribe on youtube, etc.) but the forum would have the most significant effect and the scoring would certainly thwart spam and influence participation.
Pick your number, lets say 67.
A user who posts 10 times, very poor participation, has a score of 57 (67-10).
A user who posts 200 times, borderline spam, has a score of 133 (abs(67-200))
A user who posts 55 times, standard participation, has a score of 12 (67-55).
A user who posts 67 times, standard participation, has a score of 0 (67-67).
So if you give everyone a start score of 50…the guy who posts exactly the 67 posts would win… (50 to 38 to -7, to -150). It adds a certain random selection element to the process, yes, but that is where the participation in other bonus ways comes in. So the guy with 55 posts who adds you by facebook and twitter for 10pts a piece would be at 70…and then would win with a score of 52.
It would make things rather…interesting…keep everyone guessing as to who is the winner. It would be also very scientific :-D.
What do you think?
Certainly too late to change the HDX competition .