I read this article Microsoft World Champion and it got me thinking. Many of us have read How can I explain the meaning of LaTeX to my grandma?, How can I convert my TeX-illiterate coworkers to LaTeX?, and Showcase of beautiful typography done in TeX & friends.
However, after reading the Microsoft article, it dawned on me that the
TeX community should do the same. Trying to explain
TeX can be difficult and trying to get people to switch can be nearly impossible, but holding a competition would show the world what
TeX has to offer. In the amount of time it took the Microsoft competitors to typeset there document for the competition, those who are truly skilled in
TeX could do a lot more. There was
344,000 entrants I believe it said. Just imagine if that was for
TeX? This could be a way for
TeX to break more into the mainstream. This article about Microsoft is just free advertisement and it has younger people striving to be great at an inferior product (in my opinion).
Here's a link to the competition itself: certiport.com.
So far all the suggestions aren't what I am speaking about. They are all geared to people in the
TeX world through venues ran by
TeX or by a
TeX community. This only draws attention to those already in the loop. How would this accomplish increasing
TeX use when it is to the people who already use it? For instance,
certiport.com is promoting a competition for skills in a product they don't make. The competition is promoted to a wide audience base not just experts or enthusiasts in Microsoft products. Additionally, the competition is held at venue (think of the TUG conference) not just hey make something, post it, and vote on it (all online). There are high schoolers to professionals (barring they aren't Microsoft employees) who compete. That is much more diverse audience. The audience with
TeX is mostly university/college level and the population at the universities/colleges who use some form of
TeX isn't that huge (at least this is what I witness).