Halloween UGC ideas

As we head into the home stretch of this year, and strive to build audience, increase reader engagement with our products and build hyperlocal, online communities of geography and interest -- not to mention achieving our annual goals -- here's some ideas for the Halloween season, which is ripe with UGC opportunities. Remember, Oct. 1 is this weekend, so you need to be baking your ideas now and get them up and running by the end of next week to have any real opportunity at success.

First, some ideas from my previous life:

Accessorize Your Pet slideshow
Jack-O-Lanterns slideshow

Also, before I arrived, projo did a Halloween scream contest. The specifics escape me, and the pages went the way of the Internet stratosphere in 2001 when we switched from a local server to corporate hosting, but you could imagine a contest in which you had people call into a voice mail box -- or send you an mp3 -- with their best, blood-curdling scream. A week before Halloween, have the staff narrow down the entries to a half dozen of the best, and then open it up to the readers to vote for the winner. Collaborate with your ad departments so they can find a sponsor (and perhaps a prize donor).

An idea that never got any traction: Halloweens of Yore slideshow (and have a good laugh at my expense thanks to my baby photo, which I added as a way of seeding the slideshow).

Projo didn't corner the market on good ideas, of course.

Keene (NH) Sentinel: Pumpkin Festival Photo Gallery
Cincinnati Enquirer: Costumes photo gallery

I'm surprised I could not find a similar gallery out there for haunted houses. Seize that opportunity! There's people out there that are more nuts about decorating their house and lawn for Halloween than many are about doing the same at Christmas.

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