Somewhere in the last 2 years I lost the plot. I thought I would share my experience in case it benefits other members. One of my goals in the past 2 years has been to get nominated for member of the year, but I have not been able to figure out what it takes.

The first metric I thought was important was participation. I addressed this by reading virtually everything that was published on the forum and commenting whenever I could contribute something useful. It definitely takes a lot of time to wade through all the material generated on the site. I also participated in the badges program and so far I have 115 badges. All this participation resulted in well over 100,000 points per year. 8 of my blogs in the last 2 years have exceeded 10,000 views.

Another metric I thought would count is participation in design challenges, which take a huge amount of time and require lots of blogs. I successfully completed 5 design challenges in the last 2 years, winning 2 of them.

A third metric I figured would count is Project14 participation. In the past couple of years I have participated in about 14 Project14 contests, winning about 3 of them. I don't really try to win all these contests, because I don't think that would look good, but I like to boost the activity in this corner of the forum.

A fourth metric I thought would count is road tests. In the past couple of years I have won about 9 road tests. (which is every one that I applied for) I have been refraining from applying for more, especially high-end instrumentation because I don't want to hog all the great free equipment.

Another metric which I like a lot, although I don't think it carries any weight, is circuit design. In the past 2 years my blogs have featured at least 27 custom PCBs that I designed.

It is clear that this level of participation is not adequate to get nominated, so either:

  • I am not doing the right things
  • I am not doing enough of the right things
  • I am not doing the right things with sufficient quality
  • What I do is not popular enough
  • I am doing something that is frowned upon

I have not received any feedback that I am doing something wrong and I cannot spend more time and effort on element14 - there just aren't any more hours available. Basically my current approach is not working, and I cannot do more, so I need to stop expecting better results. Which means I can stop doing what I was doing and how I was doing it.

It has already been quite liberating. I no longer feel obligated to read all content on the forum and I will be spending a lot less time generating videos and blogs, which will leave a lot more time to work on projects, even if they go unpublished. Imagine how much time it took to edit and publish 165 videos in the last 2 years.

I don't want to give the impression I have a complaint with element14 - it is the greatest forum, with a superb staff who do all the right things and I have enjoyed lots of success on the forum in the last 2 years. Really enjoyed it. It is just this one little goal where I screwed up, so if you have any insight into what it takes to get nominated for MotY, articulate them in the comments below.