Hi, everyone! I posted the following comments as a footnote to the recently released Practice Bakes Perfect Challenge #49 recap. They're pretty important, so I wanted to be sure everyone sees them and takes a moment to respond. The future of Cookie Connection and our challenges depends on your input!
Here's essentially what I said in that post, with a few contextual edits . . .
The New Year is always the time that I sit back and reflect on the past year - what's been working well and what's in need of re-thinking - and that's exactly what I'm doing right now with our Practice Bakes Perfect challenges. With participation as low as it was this month (just 13 entries), I have to question whether our challenges are continuing to serve your needs as cookie artists. And given the large amount of time they take for Christine and me to prep, I have to question whether that time is being well spent. Christine has created what I think is a super, knock-your-socks-off challenge for our #50. I'll be using it as a litmus test to a certain extent. If participation isn't off the charts for that one, then it's probably a sign that it's time for some changes or something brand new.
In the meantime, I ask that you help me out with some feedback. I'd like to know:
(1) If and how you think participation in the challenges could be improved? At their height, the challenges had 30 or more entries each time, just for a reference point.
(2) If you think these challenges should continue in their current form, be tweaked, or be transformed into something completely new? (Please elaborate on any changes you'd like to see.)
(3) And, thinking beyond the challenges, what new or different features, if any, would you like to see on the site in 2022 that would really grab you and make a difference for you as a cookie artist?
I'd love to hear from you, ideally prior to January 22. Please feel free to leave your comments and ideas under this post. If you'd prefer to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) in private, that's certainly fine too.
Again, thanks in advance for your input. I hesitate to act without complete input from all of you, as I firmly believe that communities like ours remain their strongest when members' opinions are heard and when members are happily and wholeheartedly engaged.