Are questions considered a contribution or is only the act of answering other peoples questions?
There is no trademarked formula being applied, but I take comments, questions, and answers into account when picking a winner for the contest. Comments and answers get more weight than questions when it comes to a single thread, depending on the content. For instance, if someone posts a question and then the thread continues with the original questioner continuing to respond to answers with more questions, that does not weigh as heavily as the contributor that keeps giving answers.
That's not to say questions do not count - they do, but I look at the overall effort that is put into participation, since it is the purpose for awarding prizes. I typically give away four prizes each month - two on the forums and two from a random selection amongst people who order my spreadsheets and Visio stencils. Depending on what the winners choose for a prize, it costs between around $60-$90 per month (about $700-$1,000 per year). That's a significant chunk of change for an operation like RF Cafe, so I cannot just hand stuff out to everyone who posts.
I do value everyone's participation. Since its inception about seven years ago, the raison d'etre for RF Cafe has been to service the RF community and foster interaction between engineers, technicians, and hobbyists. So far, it is working pretty well. Thanks to everyone for helping to make RF Cafe a success.
- Kirt Blattenberger
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster