I have an interesting idea for a promotional event/contest. Please feel free to advise for it, against it, suggest variants or anything.

The gaming site recently ran a contest about new questions related to two game releases- this contest really enhanced the community membership and quality of good content over there. In a similar vein, I propose a contest here where people ask questions about an exciting history book or documentary/biography that is set to release soon. If there are two such books (one could be an older book with popular or controversial findings), we could encourage new questions on these and award awesome prizes based on how many people read/view the tagged questions for each (most popular questions would win).

  • What are history books or documentaries/biographies that you are excited about?
  • What are your thoughts on the effectiveness of this contest idea for history?
  • Are there popular history events/studies/books forthcoming that other people are excited about?

2 Answers 2


I like this idea, especially as our views number is pretty low, in spite of many and good questions.

Concerning a good topic/book to ask questions on, I would suggest

Collapse - How societies choose to fail or succeed (Jared Diamond), translated in many languages, also some blogs discussed this topic once again in recent past.

It's a very interesting and still actual topic about societies dealing with sustainability (decline of Easter Island, Maya civilization,..) A topic interesting to probably everybody (whatever age, nationality), unlike regional topics (european/american) and ancient history, many questions are currently about.

The topics discussed in this book are still matter of current research and historians don't agree in their interpretations and explanations. It also shows how interdisciplinary historical research can be (climatology, archeology, geology, even NASA contributed to the Maya research)


Games are always being developed and released, often required detailed information to succeed in the main or side paths of the game especially if you want to be complete. History has questions that can be asked, and some that should not (and we have some of those), while it'd be nicer to get more of the types of questions that add to the wealth of knowledge I don't see any sort of give-aways doing that in the History forums. This seems rather similar to the recent contest among the sites that did not really work, so I am not sure what the difference here is going to be. Winning stuff is nice, but either I have a historical question to ask or I don't a free book is not going to sway me one way or another.

With my Devil's Advocate side out of the way, I'd like to see something like this succeed so we get more traffic or something, perhaps something more along the lines of good historical questions in a certain period of time. Don't limit to a certain book or movie, otherwise we end up with multiple variants of the same question being asked. That at least would put us on the path some additional wealth of knowledge for the site.

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