I am the author of an as-yet-unresolved question, How can I prevent applications from running on startup? that has now become part of the Kindle Fire Contest.
I'll admit straight up - I'm not very active on this site. So I was a bit surprised when I saw 3 new answers to that question. I was even a little excited - for a very brief moment, until I actually read them.
My question was hardly complicated or unclear; its only notable characteristics were:
No mention of the underlying motivation (which was intentional, as there might be many different reasons to want to prevent auto-start); and
A request for solutions other than task-killers.
So it was rather annoying and depressing to find that all 3 new answers seemed to blatantly ignore or misrepresent the content of the question. Each new answer very pointedly (a) explicitly assumes that I am worrying about RAM and (b) leaves the advice not to kill tasks to save memory. Thanks for nothing, guys. I understand that maybe there is no good answer (with mobile devices, we're used to it) and would certainly upvote/accept a well-substantiated answer explaining why it can't be done, but I didn't even get that.
Afterward, I noticed the kindle-fire-contest tag on my question and read about the contest, and quickly realized why I was receiving these duplicated, half-assed cookie-cutter answers. To that point, I have some concerns about the way this contest is structured; what I definitely don't want (for me, or for this site) is a bunch of low-quality non-answers posted by people who just registered for the contest and don't really understand our philosophy or expectations here on Stack Exchange - in particular, the expectation to answer the question.
So to get to my point, and I apologize for the long-winded nature of this post: I don't think that this contest should be open to anyone and everyone. That turns this contest into more of a sweepstakes where people are encouraged to shoot from the hip. A major contest like this should be rewarding active contributors, not bounty hunters. In other words, it should have been/should be limited to users with at least some history of participation on the site, probably in the form of minimum reputation.
No entry requirement encourages people to answer only the contest questions (often sloppily), and quite possibly fade back into obscurity after the contest is done. A minimum rep requirement would force new or casual users (like me) to contribute properly for at least a few days in order to be eligible, increasing the chance of retention and benefiting the site more even if they don't stick around.
I would propose a minimum 200-rep eligibility criteria and a 2-3 week contest duration instead of 1 week. That would give people who are truly worthy of the prize plenty of time to make themselves eligible if they aren't already. If 200 rep, which is just 20 upvotes (10 for associated accounts) seems like too much effort for them, then there's no way we want to reward them for their apathy.
Any thoughts? Do others agree that the incentive structure here is a bit unbalanced? Would a minimum reputation help or are there better ways to control for the unintended consequences?