Need to inspire readers with an external motivation, but hoping to save time as well?
Try Random.org to sort lists of student names, and receive a randomly sorted list of winners.
For example, my students are trying to collect pre-orders for a Subway sandwich and meals fundraiser. Our goal is to collect pre-orders, so we don’t lose any money. However, we don’t get many pre-orders, so we decided to give away an incentive to those who do.
Rather than typing, printing, and cutting into slips of paper the names of students and teachers who pre-order, this website offers newspaper programs like mine a time-saving alternative.
By simply typing the names and asking for a random list, we have a winner. If a winner is needed from a big list, it’s possible to cut and paste the list into the website.
The #1 on the list (or for that matter, #1 – #3, for example) might be the contest prize winner(s). What’s better is that the staff has run an unbiased, efficient contest.
Many more options exist on the website, such as flipping a coin. I like this for having fun in the newsroom, when I need to break up a serious talk and add some humor.
It’s definitely worth checking out.
An added value might come in the form of developing a weekly widget for a news site to draw consistent readers to it. There’s tons of potential here.