The Golden Paint Can Awards got started in 2008 as a way for Wetpaint to award wikis that performed exceptionally well. While they already had the 500 list at the time, this was a way to actually award wikis for their good organization and awesomeness, rather than their level of activity.
The first year, Wetpaint employees searched for wikis using a computer algorithm, Wetpaint employee input, and of course, community nominations from over 1 Million wikis!
This first year laid the groundwork for the awards which would last another five years, by introducing the Community vote and the Judge's Choice. This year also had the Stats Awards, a series of stats that rated user activity, site activity, and how many photos or messages were sent on a wiki.
After the first year, Wetpaint collected tons of feedback and finally formed the awards into what most people now remember it as. Many people commented on the categories that should be included, and this year introduced 15 categories most people now are used to, including a new Anime category, as well as a Sports category.
This year, they searched the same way as the first year, but through more than 1.5 Million wikis!
It was after the 2nd Annual awards that Wetpaint began working on their new entertainment platform and, as a result, they abandoned the Golden Paint Can Awards in 2010. In August of 2010, CaptainSpaz, one of the Wetpaint Central Community Moderators, petitioned Wetpaint to take over the defunt awards and his petition was finally granted in September of the same year.
Unfortunately, September left very little time for him to work with, so he had mere days to form a team of judges from Wetpaint Central and then start accepting nominations. As such, with the small amount of time, nothing changed with the overall format of the awards, or their categories. CaptainSpaz experimented by removing the Education 2.0 category, and adding several new TV categories.
In addition, the new judges, without the access to Wetpaint's servers, had to rely solely on nominations from users to choose between wikis.
Despite the changes, and the small time frame, this year's awards were still a huge success!
After the success of the 3rd Annual Awards, despite Wetpaint's departure and the short time frame, CaptainSpaz decided to spend the hiatus planning new things for the awards.
Some of the new things included the creation of the Emerging Wiki category, a revolutionary category designed solely for wikis created 30 days before nominations opened and 30 days before nominations closed. This allowed brand new wikis a chance for fame and glory as well. He also created the Character and Movie Categories, and brought back the Education 2.0 category as well.
Another new award to win this year was the Wiki of the Year Award, which pitted the winners from each category in Judge's Choice and the Community votes against one another to determine the best of the best.
Finally, this year a new Golden Paint Can was designed by judge Maxwilly.
This year was also fairly successful, however, people complained that the voting period was too long, and that nominations were too short.
This year, after learning the scheduling mistakes from the previous years, CaptainSpaz extended the nominations period, and shortened the voting period to a month and a half, with a full month for Wiki of the Year voting. He also introduced the Wetpainter of the Year Award to award members who performed admirably.
In addition, this year more judges were selected to help with the Judge's Choice selections.
None of the categories changed from the previous year, although a severe lack of nominations in multiple categories led to the end result of only nine categories being used.
Another problem cropped up near the end, with the Vizu polling system shutting down permanently, so the awards were forced to end two weeks early.
Earlier in these awards, users began to complain of flaws in the way the awards were run, and several wikis dropped out in protest.
Golden Paint Can Awards 2.0
6th Annual Golden Paint Can Awards
After listening to the complaints and suggestions of the previous year, CaptainSpaz immediately began to rethink the way the awards would be run. He started by removing several judges for their lack of participation, and then instituting more lines of communication between the remaining judges. Furthermore, he decided to fix the fundamental flaws in the awards by doing several things:
De-prioritizing the Community vote by renaming it Most Popular Wiki.
Splitting the Judge's Choice into six seperate categories that rate wikis on individual characteristics, rather than a host of things.
Also, a new Most Improved Wiki category was added to award wikis that improved themselves from the previous years. - It is hoped that this change will allow more wikis to gain fame and recognition by having more awards to win. In addition to the new award categories, the nomination categories were also changed. Instead of having more categories, the judges decided to have less, so the 20 categories were thinned down to 10. While many of the categories were merged into others, Gaming Gurus was removed due to the lack of nominations over the past few years. - Finally, with the change of format, more wikis can now be selected, so the nomination period was doubled in length this year. With all the changes already made, and yet to come, this is the biggest change to the format of the awards to date.
Late in the awards year, Wetpaint was purchased by WikiFoundry. As such, this was the last Golden Paint Can Awards.
In 2014, they were rebranded and reborn as The Golden Anvil Awards.