thiagi.com Freebies Email Games 101 TIPS
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Specify the skill area. You need tips related to a specific (but broad) skill area. To decide whether your topic is really a skill, see if you can state it as a "how-to" phrase.
Create a set of categories. To make it easier for players (and the facilitator) to keep track of the tips, create an initial set of categories. Keep your category system flexible so you can add, delete, and modify categories later. With most skills, your categories may be related to different steps, stages, or phases of a procedure.
Example Skill Area: How to conduct training games
In some cases, your categories may be based on the types of problems or challenges.
Example Skill Area: How to deal with difficult participants
Generate sample tips. Write 10 tips to illustrate the range of length and style that you prefer. Try to cover as many different categories as possible. You will use a few of these tips in your first e-mail note.
Create three web pages. You need a page for each of these functions:
All three web pages are to be updated at the end of each round. Create these web pages now.
Use Template 1 to help you design the website page for your player instructions. In this template and all the following templates, the marked parts apply to a specific skill area. Replace them with suitable content related to your skill area.
Use Template 2 as an example to help you design the website page for the Current List of Tips. This particular website page is completely dependent on your skill area, so you will probably not be able to reuse any of the content from this template.
Use Template 3 to help you design the website page for the Hall of Fame.
Select a suitable time period for each round. Basically, you play 101 tips in different rounds until participants send in 101 tips. At the end of each round, you update the current list of tips and your Hall of Fame. Each of your rounds can last for any period, from one day to one week. We prefer two rounds per week, the first one closing on Wednesday night and the second one on Sunday night. This means you have to update your records (and web pages) on Thursday and Monday.
Write the invitation letter for for Round 1. Use Template 4. This includes an overview of the game and an invitation for people to participate.
Send the invitation letter. Send the invitation letter to all potential players.
Save tips from players. When players send their tips, save them in a convenient location.
Acknowledge players' tips. Send them an e-mail note thanking them for the tips, reminding them of the website pages, and encouraging them to participate in the next round. Use Template 5 to help you write this acknowledgement note.
Identify new tips. Compare players' tips with the current list of tips. Identify tips that are different. (Players' tips may duplicate one another but as long as they are different from the tips on the current list, they are considered to be new tips.)
Award points. Give 10 points for each new tip submitted by each player. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of players' names, points for today's tips, and total points.
Award bonus points. Ask your panel of judges to identify the top three tips. Give 70 bonus points for the best tip, 30 bonus points for the second best, and 10 bonus point for the third best. Add these points to the spreadsheet record.
Identify winners. From the spreadsheet, identify the players with the five highest total scores. In case of tie, identify the names of all tied players. Send each winner a note of congratulations, encouraging them to continue playing. Use Template 6 for generating these congratulations messages.
Update the Current List of Tips. If there are duplicate tips in the set you receive, select the tip that is worded the best. Decide on the suitable category to which each tip belongs. Add the tip to the list in that category. Create new categories when needed.
Update Player Instructions. Change the Round number and the deadline date at the end of the first round.
Update Hall Of Fame page. List the winners on the Hall of Fame page. Be sure to include the names of all tied players.
Prepare a note. Since some players may not be visiting your website pages regularly, prepare a note announcing the end of the first round and the beginning of the second. Use Template 7 for generating this note. List the top three tips in this note and refer participants to website pages.
Repeat the process. Use the same procedure for saving, acknowledging, and scoring the new batch of tips. At the end of the deadline, update your website pages.
Announce the conclusion. At the end of the round when you have collected at least 101 tips or at the end of the last round according to the original invitation letter (whichever comes earlier), announce the end of collecting tips. Use Template 8 to help you in writing this note. Template 8 also includes other information.
Update your website pages. Update Current List of Tips and Hall of Fame to incorporate the new information.
Announce the results. In your e-mail note, list the three best tips for the most recent round and refer the players to your website.
Ask for votes. Invite players to review all the tips and select the five best ones. Use the last few paragraphs of Template 8 for writing this note.
Identify the winning tips. Create a spreadsheet to collect the votes. Identify the top five tips that received the most votes.
Announce the final results. In a "final" e-mail note and in the Hall of Fame page, list the names of the players whose tips were voted to be the top five. Also identify the player who sent the most tips. Use Template 9 for help in writing this note.
Copyright © 1999. Workshops
by Thiagi, Inc. All rights reserved
Revised: October 4, 1999