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What are the best ways to keep track of the posts made by forum members in a post contest? What are the hazards of this type of forum posting contest?
On some forums that use posting contests, they create a thread for the contest and then ask anyone wanting to participate in the contest to post their start post and end post count. Of course, you will have trouble with this type of contest if you have members who are creating hundreds or thousands of posts just to win the contest as some of those could be very short or not quality. Be sure you have extra staff on duty to watch out for spammers/cheaters who are trying to win at any cost.
A posting contest can work if the prizes are attractive. Let's say the prize is just a title of Best Poster of the Month, I don't think it will be taken seriously. As with monitoring, what @Beverly said about creating a thread for the purpose would be easiest or maybe a board dedicated for the contest. And if your forum has a large community then a posting contest would be hard work. My husband did that to their office forum and they had to hire a hand for full monitoring.