A pretty quick, free download from the Shop channel is all it takes to get the "Mii Contest Channel" running on your Wii.
On starting it up you will be asked to choose a Mii character as your "Artisan" - generally I presume people are going to choose the Mii's that represent themselves best here and so with all that underway you are brought to the main menu.
Essentially the "Mii Contest Channel" is an extension of the "Mii Channel" in that it allows the versatility of sharing your Mii's on a much wider scale. By selecting the "Posting Plaza" you can browse through a particularly varied lineup of "Popular Mii" characters that have been submitted by Wii users from around the world. You can also select to view the popular Mii's from just your particular region if you prefer.
While shortlived, it's pretty amazing to see some of the Mii designs that people have come up with - some of them are simply stunning. There is one in the Top 50 at the moment of Mr. Bean and I'd say the likeness is extremely uncanny. Some people have obviously gone to a lot of trouble designing these Mii's based upon real-life celebrities and cartoons.
From within the posting plaza you can choose to submit your own Mii or download one. You can also "Add Your Favourites" which allows you to come back and look at them anytime. It's all a bit MySpace to be fair.
The second option in the Mii Contest Channel is the "Contests" area - in which a weekly contest is submitting asking you to create a Mii based upon a specification. This weeks contest is to create a Mii that is akin to "Mario Without His Cap". You can submit your entries for just 7 days and then when that times up the best will be selected and everyone will be able to vote on the winner.
It's not exactly the mind blowing channel that people on forums are constantly speculating about but to be honest there is really no reason to complain about the Mii Contest Channel. The contests give reason to revisit and the creativity of some peoples Mii look-a-likes had me giggling and downloading.