Developer community building and hackathons go hand in hand, but it is not often that the community gets a say in the final results in a hackathon. Allowing the public to vote for their favourite project in the hackathon is a great way to empower your community and start a conversation with them. To help, here is some information on:
Public Voting Feature on Devpost
Similar to the Judging Period on Devpost, you can enable public voting and set a time range for it. Before we get too far into turning it on, here are the highlights about using Public Voting on Devpost:
- Voting will occur on the hackathon’s Project Gallery. For more information on this, check out What is the project gallery.
- Only Managers of the hackathon will be able to see the results throughout the Public Voting Period.
- Likes <3 of a project do not count as a vote. Once the Voting Period starts, each project will have a button added to their project page to vote for it. Here is more information on Voting for a submission.
If that sounds like it should work for your hackathon, you can set your Public Voting Period in the Public Voting tab under Edit hackathon on your manager dashboard.
Downselect On to Enable Public Voting then add a start and end date so that Public Voting starts after your submission due date and before the winner announcement. Devpost will automatically schedule an Update to go to participants when the Public Voting period starts.
Other methods of public voting
If you want to get creative with public voting, we suggest the below:
Picking the right tool. Based on your requirements for public voting review available tools and their features. There are a lot of options out there like using your own public forum, posting a Twitter poll, or hosting a google form. List out your requirements for public voting and then start reviewing these options. Your requirements may include only showing specific submissions to be voted on, allowing multiple votes per person, etc.
Communicating the voting process. Before launching your hackathon, be sure you outline the process for public voting in your rules and include links to the chosen public voting tool’s terms of service if relevant. When you open public voting, don’t forget to tell your participants about the voting process and timelines.
Community Choice prizes awarded through public voting are a great way to amplify publicity for your hackathon and engage the larger community. Participants will have an incentive to promote their submissions to their personal networks and grow your hackathon’s reach. However, there are drawbacks to releasing your control over judging. To reduce risk and increase engagement of the community, here are some pointers:
Share instructions throughout the voting period. Participants in online hackathons could be anywhere doing anything so they may miss an email or two before taking it seriously. Be sure to remind them of the prize at stake and the process to win.
Encourage projects to share on their channels. This prize is up to the public, so encourage your participants to share their project with their friends and network to try to grow their vote count.
Make the prize value small. To reduce the temptation to cheat or act fraudulently, don’t make the prize value too large or equal to one of the overall category prizes. If there is a lot of money on the line, there is a chance things might get uncomfortably competitive, spammy, or drive a participant to build a vote bot. We can usually tell if something is fraudulent, but best to avoid the situation altogether than someone being ineligible because they cheated.
Don’t show the results live. Similar to why we suggest a lower prize value, don’t show the results live to reduce cheating or uncomfortable competition. This also allows you to then review the votes for any fraudulent behaviour.