For those of you not familiar with eBay Matchups, www.ebaymatchups.com, it's a great way to display your wares and keep people engaged. I've made several hundred matchups myself and observed thousands more, and there is definitely an art to getting the most views & votes.
1) Brainstorm and be creative
For example, "Coke vs Pepsi" with pictures of cans will get you some hits, but its been done a million times already (see below). Also, think about things that may be:
- opposites or rivals--NES vs Sega Genesis
- funny--Best Bond Girl Name "Pussy Galore vs Dr. Holly Goodhead"
- rhyming or sound similar--Who is cooler? "Aflac vs Affleck"
- pop culture references--If you fought Chuck Norris how fast will you die? - "Right Now vs Immediately"
- and best of all, things that will inspire discussion--"Toilet paper over vs under" (Props to tmfvideo for inspiring such a heated debate)
Your best bet are pop culture references that make a good pun or word play, like Grills (for cookouts) vs. Grills (diamonds in your mouth)
Conversely, you want to avoid things that are inside jokes, or things that require highly specialized knowledge to get. Unlike Google AdWords, being long and specific won't bring you selective, highly qualified traffic. Being popular, creative, and funny will bring you many more page views.
2) Do them at the right time of day
Look at the Most Recent column. If new entries are being put up every few minutes (or seconds) that means lots of people are on the site and you will get more votes. If there are long stretches or even hours between matchups, not as many people are surfing and you'll rack up fewer votes. If you're just voting and not making MU's, take advantage of speed voting.
3) Find a good picture
People click on matchups from the pictures they see in the mosaic banners at the bottom of the screen. If you have a recognizable picture, or something funny or interesting, it will attract more attention than a less known picture of the same thing. For example if you want to post a matchup with Outkast, many people recognize the Stankonia album cover with them in front of the American flag, as opposed to a random picture of them on a fan webstie. You can find pictures with http://images.google.com, or yahoo's image search.
The pic on the left will attract more attention.
4) See if it has been done
This is the least important, and even if you come up with a good one don't get too emotionally attached to your epiphany--rest assured someone will think of it later. It's good to do a search and check ahead to see if a previous poster had your idea and if you can make it better (by, say, using any of the aforementioned points).
5) A tip for loaded questions
All things being equal, voters click on the right side. If you have a loaded question, or some MU where you want to favor one choice over the other, put the one you want to get more votes on the right. There is a cadence and rhythm to the way people tell jokes or read MU's and it often makes the second option the punchline.
What does your Chinese tattoo say? Peace Love Happiness or Gullible Fad Follower?
And one last note....
Coke vs Pepsi
Love vs Money
Paris vs Nicole
Nintendo Wii vs Playstation 3
2Pac vs Biggie
OSU vs Michigan
boys vs girls
Target vs Walmart
McDonald's vs Burger King
Angelina Jolie vs Jennifer Anniston
boxers vs briefs
Mac vs PC
Simpsons vs Family Guy
cable vs satellite
Internet Explorer vs Firefox
Meg Whitman/Bill Cobb/President Bush/Hillary Clinton vs anything stupid
If you do any of these, you deserve negative points for being unoriginal. But it happens--I'm just as guilty.