Topic: 2010 Digital Photography Competition – case study

Topic type:

Auckland City Libraries held a Chinese New Year photo contest on the Chinese Digital Community in February and achieved great success in terms of attracting new content and site visitors.


The Chinese Digital Community was a kete-based wiki that was created in partnership between Auckland City Libraries and the NZ Chinese Association. Launched in July 2009, it serves as a repository to preserve the heritage of the Chinese people in New Zealand.

The idea 

In February, Auckland City Libraries celebrated Chinese New Year and wanted an online component attached to the programme. This is so more people could be part of this major New Zealand festivity. 

ACL decided to promote an online competition on the CDC -- see the group set up specifically for the promotion.

The objectives of the promotion were:  

  1. To enrich the site with content
  2. To increase traffic to the site
  3. To teach people how to use the site and participate in the online community 

Content type 

CNY content by other community librarians etc was repurposed for the wiki

  1. Chinese astrology predictions

2.       Symbolic foods of Chinese New Yea

3.       The 15-day celebration in detail

4.       Huichen calligraphy that anyone could print off and use as decoration during CNY.


However, the mechanics of the competition turned out to be trickier than anticipated. 

Here are some questions asked:

  1. How would people enter the competition?
  2. We wanted people to upload the images themselves –  but how do we make this process quick and easy?
  3. How would we easily differentiate the competition entries from other general images that were uploaded?
  4. When the competition finishes, would it be easy to group all the images for judging purposes?
  5. We also wanted the winner to be the people’s choice – does the CDC (a) provide a polling tool? (b) allow polling on its pages?  

Here were our solutions to the questions above: 

  1. We created a public-access (as opposed to private) group for the competition and called ‘Chinese New Year 2010’. Ben Yuan designed the skin, and Katipo loaded it into the wiki. You can view the group page:
  2. Comp entrants were required to (1) register on the Chinese Digital Community (2) join the Chinese New Year group (3) upload their own photos. To ensure the photo upload process was easy, we created a foolproof step-by-step slideshow to show how people can (1) register and (2) upload their photo.
  3. To ensure the images are easily (1) categorised as comp images, and (2) easy to locate once the competition was over, a condition of entry was that the entrant MUST tag their photos with the word ‘competition’.
  4. Once the finalists were chosen, a poll was created using a free poll generator (we easily found one online just by googling for one) and embedded the code onto the CDC page so anyone could vote for their favourite finalist photo. 


Once the competition was up, we promoted it via: 

  1. Facebook – personal, advocates and ACL fun page
  2. Twitter – personal profile, with help from advocates
  3. SkyKiwi – posts by Ben
  4. Google Adwords – cost us approx $77.31 (24/2 – 7/3). 54 clicks total, so that’s $1.43 CPC.
  5. ACL website homepage
  6. Council intranet homepage plus ACL’s intranet section
  7. ACL customer and staff newsletters
  8. Links on NZCA site
  9. Email communication – internal


  1. With 130 entries for received for the competition between 13 February to 7 March, the CDC now has 130 great Chinese New Year photos from 2010 for site visitors’ viewing pleasure.
  2. The CDC’s stats went through the roof: 


Monthly avg

During competition + voting (12/2 – 16/3)


Unique visitors



Increased 700%

Page views



Increased 950%

Time on site

2 min

2 min 40 secs (monthly avg)



 Going forward 

The poll generator did not let us restrict entries in any way e.g. by cookie or IP address – this meant people could vote multiple times by clearing cookies. We didn’t restrict this process in our terms and conditions, however, so multiple voting was technically okay. 

A better way would be to use an internal poll (within CMS) and not a publicly generated one, so votes can be restricted by cookies or IP. 



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