Response to #MadBlogAwards – is it a Fair Process?


Response to #MADBlogAwards blog – Is it a Fair Process?

This was a response I had from one of the organisers of the #MadBlogAwards and this are my thoughts.  I’d love feedback from other people on the subject if anyone could spare the time to comment?  Click here to view my previous post on the subject if you like!

Hi Kay

The great thing about blogging and the Internet is it’s big enough for you to pick and choose the bits you like – if something doesn’t work for you, then don’t worry about it, just pay attention to the other stuff. And for what it’s worth, I’m very much in favour of opinions on blogs (even if people don’t agree with me) providing an opinion is consistent and genuinely held – which isn’t always the case, sadly.

Not everyone enters awards. By definition, if someone wins an award, someone else doesn’t. For some people that’s not what they want their blogging to be about – which I can totally respect and understand.

For others awards are a fun way to learn about new blogs and share the blogs they love, while potentially being able to attend a fun awards ceremony and have their work recognised. And those people do enjoy the MAD Blog Awards, which is equally valid.

As I’ve said to others, with around 300-500 blogs nominated per category and 15 award categories, it simply isn’t practical to ask any judge to look at all the nominated blogs in enough detail to make an informed decision on which is ‘best’ in each category – you’d be asking someone to do nothing but read blogs for six months! And that’s if you could find a judging panel that everybody agreed was fair – not easy in a community where feuds and fall-outs happen on an almost weekly basis!

We have what we consider is the best possible (but certainly not perfect) in place for nominations and votes, it is very carefully monitored, and I personally am confident that the results are not skewed by cheating or automated voting.

It is certainly true that popularity is part of what would lead a blog win a MAD Blog Award. The same applies, incidentally, to a film that wins an Oscar – they are voted on by a panel of 6,000 film fans and critics – not dissimilar to the 10,000 or so bloggers and blog readers who nominate and vote in the MAD Blog Awards!

Thanks for the feedback and the post – great discussion!

Sally
The MAD Blog Awards


I’m carefully considering a reply, and really appreciate the feedback from someone who is actually involved in the organisation. Just as a quick response, you say there are 300 -500 blogs nominated per category? I’ve done a very quick reckoning (my figures may be a little out, but not by much hopefully).

You have 113 nominations for the Family Fun blogs – 81 nominations for the Pre School blogs – 43 nominations for the Pregancy blogs – 72 nominations for the Craft blogs – 87 nominations for the Innovative blogs – 187 nominations for the Family Life blogs – 82 nominations for the Food blogs – 154 nominations for the Inspirational blogs – 145 nominations for the New blogs – 75 nominations for the Business blogs – 170 nominations for the best Writer blogs – 68 nominations for the baby blogs……….and then I got bored of counting. And I failed Maths GCSE more times than most, so this is challenge for me (I am quite prepared to be pulled up on my figures…)

The point I’m making is that the figures you quote don’t seem to make sense unless I’m missing something. In addition to this many of these blogs figure many times in the nominations, so that immediately reduces the number of blogs you have to take into consideration.

Anyway, that’s not the only relevant point I could make, but I thought it was the first one worth raising. I’d be interested to hear your or anyone else’s thoughts. I think it’s great that you are actively involved in this discussion, thank you!

Ps. You made a fair point about the Oscars, they may well judge in that way and I agree my analogy at that point may well bite the dust…but we aren’t really dealing with the Oscars here are we? We are dealing with what looks to be about 1731 (ish) blog nominations, with about a half of the nominations repeated throughout the categories – leaving you with say….865 blogs, which I agree sounds intimidating.

You started the MAD’s nomination a month ago? And your awards ceremony will be in September? Is that right? If so, you have given yourselves 7 months total to accrue and evaluate the list. I don’t know when this 2nd voting stage finishes, but I’d be interested to find out. This is because throughout the voting stage, you quite literally do nothing except promote the MAD’s themselves and ask people to vote – that is your priority as far as I can see.   None of that time (I’m presuming) is spent evaluating, however briefly, the nominated blogs. It’s all promotion at that time.  I’m saying that without knowing for sure, obviously I’m just another blogger.  I don’t know how you run the MAD’s, this is just how it seems to me.  Please do correct me if I’m wrong.   I may be stroppy, but I’m also reasonable (unless you nick chocolate from me and then it’s a different matter – just ask the kids)

There are 5 judges?  So, erm…… 865 divided by 5 equals (frowns with concentration and bites top of biro) 173 blogs each. Ouch!  If you had 20 judges that would be 43 blogs each, not so Ouch!  Should you not simply increase your judging panel and spend more time evaluating the blogs – rather than simply leaving us bloggers to publicise the MAD’s for you over a period of months (effectively turning it into a popularity contest) – taking the reins again only for the final judging process.

You’ve said that it would be difficult to find a fair set of judges to take on that task, in an environment where people fall out constantly?  I think you’ll find the blogging community may have an element of that, but you’re soley mistaken if you think that there isn’t a huge sense of community and fair mindedness too.  Anyway, if you’ve managed to establish a set of 5 judges without Blogging World War 3 breaking out, then why would finding a set of 20 judges be any different?  Maybe you could say, finding that many people to judge would be an issue, but surely the blogging community is full of enthusiastic, knowledgeable people who would love to be involved in just such a process.

As for your assurances re cheating – huge established companies have had problems with voting competitions.  I don’t see why The MAD’s will be immune.  I’d really appreciate it if you could read this link from Loquax – it outlines my concerns far better than I ever could.  You’ll be very naive if you think you these issues will not affect your awards.  Voting Competitions and Surrounding Issues.

Another useful Loquax blog here.

At this point I’m going to stop and go have a cup of tea, because frankly life’s too short and my stress levels are high enough – I just don’t think what you’re saying is adding up.

P.p.S   (I think I’ve just written the biggest P.S, ever written.  Do I get a prize?  PSML! ;O)

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42 responses to “Response to #MadBlogAwards – is it a Fair Process?

  1. I read this post with interest. I am on the fence, though i have to admit the level of pimping intimidates me. it is a popularity contest, no matter what the organisers say, rather than about quality. Of course it is – otherwise i would feature more highly, ahem.

    M2Mx

  2. Interesting post. I think we’ve talked about this a little on twitter already, and I’ve seen various conversations about it all from various ppl.

    Thing is that there are blog awards all over the place that have been running for years, and pretty much all of them that I know of work on the same grounds – nominations (often by the blogger themselves) and then canvassing for votes on the blogs. Means that the most popular bloggers win, which could be said to be a measurement of how good a blog is, surely?

    I know I’m never going to win that kind of competition, not least because I’m not into the idea of begging for votes (though I’ll admit to grabbing a nomination from a mate this morning 😉 ) but I don’t think it means that the competitions aren’t fair. They are what they are. You don’t have to join in 🙂

  3. Unless the format has changed a bit from last year the 5 blogs from each category with the most nominations go forward to the voting round except for the MAD Blogger of the Year category which is judged by a panel.

    I was tickled pink to get through to the top 5 in the Photography category last year, even more so since the 5 finalists were only revealed at the voting stage and I hadn’t a scooby I’d even been nominated by one person.

    I was really uncomfortable “pimping” my blog in the run up to the awards (such a culturally alien thing for me) but it would have been a bit rude to ignore it so I did one post on the subject, showcased a few photees that illustrated my journey in getting to grips with my camera, thanked the ppl online who I’d learned everything from and that was it. Not a tweet!

    I didn’t win (perhaps inevitably!) but I did go to the awards, met lots of lovely bloggers and had a fab night out.

    I guess what I’m saying is that it is possible to take part, and even get quite far, with integrity intact and no need to take a shower iykwim 🙂

  4. First of all good for you for bucking the trend and speaking out about something that is extremely popular at the moment, but likewise I feel quite controversial.

    I’m on the fence, and I’ll say that because I’ve been nominated. However, I have been nominated because a couple of lovely people wanted to do this of their own volition, not because I begged them. I hate the begging that comes from the system used, it reeks of unfairness and a popularity contest. I’ve put the badge on my website so I qualify, but I will not ask anyone to vote for me, it is their choice, I will not guilt trip them. I do think it’s a bizarre system.

  5. I think their comparison to the Oscars is totally meaningless. Sally actually says the Oscars are voted on by a PANEL of 6,000 people. 6,000 people who are known to them and entitled to vote. If you, I or any of the vote-rigging syndicates that now exist tried to vote,we wouldn’t be able to.

    Opening up something to a completely public vote is completely different. Cheating in public votes has reached epidemic proportions with syndicates set up to swap and even BUY votes. People can advertise for voters on sites like this http://getonlinevotes.com/ or they can use methods like visiting the site thorugh a proxy server to hide their IP address and vote multiple times themselves in the name of eveybody they know.

    Unless the voting is done by a selected panel of users, as is the case with the Oscars, the winner nowadays is far more likely to be the most accomplished cheat rather then the person who is actually best at what they do.

  6. Hi. I’ve read through your 2 posts with interest and, at the risk of getting drawn into a scrum on the matter, I would have to say to you ‘Why are you letting this stress you out so much?’ Surely if you don’t like the way it works you could just ignore it and focus on what you do like about the blogosphere? My thoughts are to let the organisers do their thing and let the people who want to take part in it enjoy it. If you feel strongly enough about it (as you clearly do) why not set up your own awards based on what you believe to be fair criteria? It could be what the Bafta’s are to the Oscars…just a thought!

  7. I agree with you on this but am torn. I have had some nominations, but in the end, I think it is about how well you network with people on twitter and garner support through making connections rather than about what you post on your blog. I think the point about popular blogs being popular because they are good is true as well, but in the end, what is a fun thing seems to have become too competitive. I know the oscars do the same, but we are bloggers not film makers. We do this for fun not to make millions of dollars and tons of publicity by winning an award

  8. Here goes!

    Marketing to Milk – Fair point, succinctly made. An art I have never mastered, hence the huge wordy response in a comment box, lol!

    Liveotherwise, if a blog is very popular, is that really an indication of how good or worthy of winning a blog is? For example in the best writing category, or the most inspirational category – the popular blogs may be very good, but there are many unsung heros out there who haven’t yet established a massive following. They don’t even get a look in because of the voting process.

    The Boy and Me – Yep, I’d have done the same as you, except I can’t do that and keep my mouth shut.

    Nikkii Congrats on getting through to the second round of votes last year, sounds like it was very well deserved! You see, you sound to have behaved impeccably when it comes to voting etiquette, as Janesgrapevine has pointed out, not everyone is as honest as you, which is a shame.

    Kate Takes 5. I’m not really letting it stress me, I’m just letting the subject take hold a bit – because it’s interesting! Just because everyone goes along with something doesn’t make it the right thing to do. And you’re completely right, I could just ignore it and not take part (I’m fairly sure I’m not taking part now anyway ;o) – but I’ll be damned if I stand by and watch my fellow bloggers turn themselves into spammers for the sake of Blog Awards that claim to celebrate – ‘everything that is great about blogs – from beautiful design to inspirational writing, humour and innovation’ when in fact they are simply running a blatant popularity contest, tainted by a flawed voting system.

    Nazima, I see your point too, but if blogging is truly about how well we network, as opposed to what we post on our blog…. there may as well just be one category which could be called ‘MAD Blog Award – for the blogger who spends 24 hours a day wired to their PC and tweets in their sleep’. Surely that can’t be what blogging is about? Or maybe I’m the one that’s naive. I do wholeheartedly agree that blogging as a competitive sport is rubbish though. Besides I’ve just played an own goal apparently, so I must be really crap at it, lol! ;O)

    What concerns me, is the monopoly here, who runs the MADs? The Tots100, the Blog Camp, Bloggered etc? It’s all run by the same group isn’t it? (someone tell me if I’m wrong please!) – by taking nominations, they have a definitive list of a massive number of quality blogs. I’d say that was a mine of valuable information, wouldn’t you? If you worked in PR, that would be worth far more than an Ipad, a weeks holiday and 3 commissioned posts. From working in different organisations, I know people risk an awful lot to get hold of databases of information like this – and here we are handing it over, smiling and thanking them for publicising our undervalued blogging community. As far as I can see the MAD’s might not be doing us many favours after all, we’re doing a lot for them though.

    If I’m wrong, FFS tell me. I’m not the sort of person who doggedly refuses to listen to criticism. If I’m wrong, I will hand on heart apologise, grovel and dig holes to bury myself in. As it is, I think there are more than a few grains of truth here – in regards to fairness in general, voting aside.

    • You make a very good point. I am new to blogging, started in December, regiatered with Tots in Jan or Feb. I was so disheartened last poll to discover I’d fallen, as were most others. We are fighting it out to be top-dog on a poll and forgetting what blogging is about. And this from a newbie!

      Seems to me that what you’re saying is about going back to basics with the blog? Appreciating the content and not the stats?

  9. As a new blogger I am thrilled with my nominations and know hand on heart thats as far as I will get. I agree with you in many aspects as it is easier the more people you know the more people can be asked to vote so it then comes down to who you know although there are so many fantastic blogs out there to choose from. I would like to know how they sort and check the eligibility of the blogs nominated and that they are in the correct categories….?

    • I am so pleased that you’ve brought this up! I was looking at the categories earlier and saw a specific blog nominated in Best Photography. I went to look. The person started a 365 project and did 1 photo. There are 1 or 2 Gallery and Silent Sunday entries, I fail to see how that qualifies as a Best Photography Blog. There must be loads of others? What about best pregnancy? Do they stop qualifying if they give birth? Or if their baby gets older than 1 (best baby)?

      Shooting myself in the foot here, just interested in how they are deemed to qualify.

  10. As you say The MADS, Tots100, BlogCamp and BloggerEd are all organised by the lovely Sally… but BMB, CyberMummy, MumsNet and I’m sure lots more that goes on out there I can’t keep up with, aren’t.

    I honestly think you overestimate the PR power of the average MAD blogger if you believe access to a database of mummy bloggers is really worth all that much. When we sign up to the Tots100 we can opt into a PR database, access to which (for the PRs) is via a paid subscription. It’s an opt in thing tho, nobody gets access to my details without my agreement.

    I choose to support The MADS and the Tots100 and am active in BloggerEd because they are communities I enjoy being part of. Others? … not so much. I don’t look to these communities, or their organisers, for favours, why would I? Sally works really hard at what she does. It’s her job.

    I’m OK with the MADS being a popularity contest tbh, if an inspiring blog inspires loads of people why shouldn’t it win? If a wonderfully written blog is read by many why shouldn’t it win? The funny thing is tho, when you look back at the Tots100 last year and compare it with the MADS finalists last year it really wasn’t “obvious” who’d make the finals or who would win.

    At the end of the day the awards cost money. Realistically, you’re not going to persuade a company to sponsor a prize that goes to a blog read by 3 or 4 of the writer’s mates, no matter how brilliant it is.

    OTOH I know I’m nowhere near one of the 5 best parent blogging photographers in Britain – it’s laughable. Being a MADS finalist was no more a reflection of quality than the hundreds of link backs generated by weekly memes than ensure blogs’ placement in the Tots100.

    None of it is real – but it is fun.

  11. I take your point – say you had a lot of followers on Twitter and you canvassed for votes, you might go forward by weight of numbers. Would it be possible to have a secure system whereby nobody could vote more than once in a category, as in real life? Or is this already in place?

  12. You’d have to ask the organisers Phil, I don’t know. But if you read @Janesgrapevine comments, you’ll see it is actually very easy to cheat if you know how.

    So, a database like this isn’t worth so much after all then? You see, I’m no expert so that feedback is really useful to know. I know it’s very different when it concerns customer details, purchases etc – I worked at a company where details were sold on (big drama!) for a considerable amount and sackings were in order. I’m presuming this must be different for blogging info then. I’ve only gone on experiences I’ve had before.

    So you agree it is simply a popularity contest then? In a nutshell, if you know someone with a brilliant blog, who only has a small readership, there’s no point nominating them. I just think that’s a bit sad, and yes I was naive to think that it could be any other way I suppose.

  13. What happens to the nomination lists after the MADAwards have ended? Are they passed onto PR’s or used for PR, and do we have to be informed if that is the case?

  14. What a discussion with interesting
    points made. Most interesting is the dealings
    Behind the scenes as to how to make something
    Like this pay, as its a job, and must be thanklees.(there was a really well to do
    Ceremony last year at Butlins Bognor Regis
    So that must take a lot of organising.As Nikkkiii says above
    This must be a full time job!!! Thank you for discussing
    these things to be freedom of speech.

  15. WP deleted my previous reply so this may be brief!

    So, the awards system is openly a popularity contest then, with no hope for the lesser known blogs (unless they cheat or canvas their little hearts out).

    A voting system known to be flawed is used as a selection process, which also turns bloggers into spammers and advertisers for the MAD’s.

    There appears to be no moderation in regards to entries and categories (unless I’m mistaken).

    The MAD’s also seem to have taken on board companies who have no interest in fresh new talent on the blogging circuit, as they immediately eradicate anyone who is not thoroughly networked and established already, because of the voting process.

    Sausage is actually climbing on the keyboard so I need to go. Just a few observations from the comments above.

  16. Quick aside, so while we advertise the MAD’s for them, it appears the organisers sit back and do nothing? When in fact they could use that time to set up a fair system, which by the sounds of it, they’re not interested in doing?

  17. Hang on there. I thought the main idea was to make friends and help each other. Surely that means commitment to help new starters…?

  18. Hi!

    This is a great post and you raise lots of really interesting points! Good for you.

    Last year, whilst I was incredibly flattered to have been nominated and then become a finalist, I had pimped myself and regretted it. The whole thing started to make me feel really uncomfortable and so I withdrew my blog. This year I have neither asked for nominations, but have personally thanked anyone who has nominated me; it’s flattering that people think my blog worthy of ANY award, for ANY reason.

    Sadly though, I also feel it’s a popularity contest; seeing the hundreds of begging tweets and posts makes me feel a little nauseous for lots of different reasons. “Popular blogs” and “award winning blogs” are two very different things. I don’t think I could honestly say my blog belongs in either category by my own statement. If I win awards? Lovely. I stick them on my sidebar. If it’s popular? Nice. I’ll, um, get round to checking my stats one day and exclaim wonder over a bunch of numbers.

    If people recognise my photography and see it as award-winning (which would make me fall over, to be honest), regardless of memes, link backs, rankings, indexes and all the rest of it, I’m pretty sure that’s worth something. 😉

  19. If it’s all just a bit of fun, then the awards themselves are fairly meaningless aren’t they, as are the Tots100 if you go by the same reckoning?

    ‘Being a MADS finalist was no more a reflection of quality than the hundreds of link backs generated by weekly memes than ensure blogs’ placement in the Tots100.’

    I know that’s just your quote, but if we’re using that as a benchmark…

    Maybe I’m wrong, but it just looks that way to me.

  20. Some great comments here, really interesting debate, thanks for sharing your views, Kay.

    Just to clarify and reassure anyone who might be concerned, any data submitted to the MAD Blog Awards is handled fully in compliance with the Data Protection Act and our own privacy policy, which you can find here:

    http://www.the-mads.com/privacy-policy.htm

    In short, no personal information supplied to the website is shared with any third party under any circumstances without your consent, for example, we may ask for your address to send out a prize, or if you would like to receive information from our lead sponsor.

    Both Flea Enterprises Ltd (the organisers of the MAD Blog Awards) and AOL UK (the owners of Parentdish UK) take our responsibilities in this matter very seriously.

    Secondly, I would like to take the opportunity to reassure you that there is moderation of entries. This happens before short-lists are drawn up. A blog that is not eligible for a category, or for the awards in general, will be eliminated at this point. You can see more about the rules of eligibility in our Terms and Conditions:

    http://www.the-mads.com/terms&conditions.htm

    I’m always happy to answer any specific questions anyone may have about the MAD Blog Awards, the Tots100 or my two non-profit projects, BlogCamp and Blogger.Ed, but I can assure anyone that we would apply the same privacy and ethical standards to any project we work on.

    Thanks again!

    Sally

  21. Someone has to be top dog lol, if your projects are non profit making can you explain how you
    Get a profit from the other 2? Do you anser questions a
    About this? Can you tell us more abot Ceremony at Butlins Bognor Regis. Is this
    A prize this year? I love butlins lol,will it be there again??

  22. Thanks for that, so we have info on what happens to our details now at least.

    By the way, I didn’t mean to point a finger at Tots100, just at ratings and competitions in general. I’m a newbie really, so I’ve only ever come across Wikio and Tots100 & the Tots was the first one that came to mind, and the one that was used in that last quote by Nikkii.

  23. Mollie, you’d have to ask someone from the MAD’s, I’m afraid I don’t know. :O) thanks for your comments x

  24. Thanks for your responses – I still think that blogging can mean what you want it too though. If you want your blog to be a work of art read by few but ‘critically aclaimed’ then go for it, if you want to pimp your blog and get awards and free stuff from PRs then go for it, if you want your blog to become a business and earn money from it then go for it etc. Brand new blogs can’t expect the instant readership of hundreds – we all have to start somewhere and earn our stripe as we go (and this comes from a relative newbie – I started around Sept last year). Interesting discussion but I’d sum it up as ‘each to their own’.

  25. Bang on Kate 🙂 I used to be a bit precious about advertising and reviewing on blogs, watering down the writing – won’t somebody think of the writing?!!

    I got over it 😉

    I’m pondering this “flawed” voting system and don’t see what more can be done to deflaw it. By voting for winners, the community takes ownership of the process as far as it can. If it were all judged by a panel it would be less transparent I think. When I made the finals last year my OH voted for me (no threats involved – honest!). He “encouraged” my kids to vote too (they like food) but since we all use the same wireless connection it was a no no – he tried proxies, he tried hiding his IP – no cigar. I guess if you had your own web server and could issue yourself with a new IP address over and over again…. that would work. Or you could wander around with your iPhone visiting Starbucks after Starbucks and vote several times…. if people are really that dedicated to winning at all costs I’m happy to leave karma to balance that out.

    Attendance at the MADS awards ceremony last year was open to finalists, invited guests and sponsors. At the event we received goodies bags, welcome drinks (very welcome) and the ceremony itself was a dinner reception (3 course meal – wine – all that). We also got a room for 4 ppl for 2 nights at Butlins Bognor Regis and a spa tester treatment – as a finalist I got all that for £50. Since Parentdish are this years sponsors I can’t even guess where the ceremony will be 🙂 Since I’ve not blogged all that much this past 6 months I don’t expect to be there unless I can bag myself an invite…..

  26. Nikkii I’d advise you have a quick look at the link @Janesgrapevine posted where you can join organised voting groups, and have a look at the links I posted from Loquax earlier – http://getonlinevotes.com/ and http://blog.loquax.co.uk/competitions/by-jove-jeeves-changes-their-vote-competition-rules-too-984.htm and here http://blog.loquax.co.uk/news/more-facebook-voting-competitions-issues-1007.htm

    Need to go do stuff with the kids. :O)

  27. Maybe you could tell us how the Monster Heart of Gold competition that you won with 47% of the nearly 7000 votes was run? What made it a fair vote compared with the MADS? If you believe there is a fairer way please share!

    http://www.monsterpriceforgold.com/feeds/news/monster-heart-of-gold-competition-winner-is-announced.aspx

  28. I won through persistance, and spent many hours a day for a fortnight asking for votes in aid of the RNLI and all £250 was immediately passed to them. If you had been following me, you’d have seen how hard I worked at that. As for their voting system, I have no idea. I did not use an organised voting group as it was all for charity and would have been completely out of line with the whole sentiment behind what I was doing. I tweeted for support, and asked FB friends, that was it.

    I suspect their voting system was similarly flawed.

  29. And I think an independent voting panel is the fairest way as I’ve said. I’m no expert on these things, I’m just pointing out voting is not fair – especially when it is connected to blog worthiness.

  30. Dammit, an independent panel of judges, lol! My head’s bashed. ;O)

  31. Actually the Monster Heart of Gold comp illustrates my point perfectly. As it was I tried to write a blog worth voting for, I could have written an appalling one and asked people to vote for it for the sake of charity.

    It was the canvassing for votes that got me that win, not the quality when all was said and done. Surely the MAD’s work exactly the same way? There really is very little difference, if any.

  32. No difference at all – which is exactly my point. You Tweeted it quite diligently and got @RNLI on board with retweets. It was a daily vote competition which allowed people to vote more than once, you bitly was clicked through on almost 3,000 times. All this activity is transparent. It’s easy to find out if people win competitions by being the best or by being the most persistent at garnering votes.

    You won with persistence.

    Which is why I don’t understand your problem with The MADS. If a finalist pledged their prize to a national charity they’d walk it and skew the results even more than the “normal” pimping of last year. And it would be fabulous exposure for the MADS and British Mummy Blogging in general. Not a bad idea actually…

  33. By the way, I think the Rules of Eligibility link might be missing, I can’t see anything that clarifies entrance into blog award categories? Am I missing something? They seem just to be terms and conditions re privacy. If you have another link, I’d love to have a read.

  34. Because it could very easily have been won by the other bloggers if they had been savvy enough to use other methods….. I could have done, but I didn’t. I fully expected someone to cheat and wipe the floor with me. I was lucky, simple as.

    It would make a mockery of the quality of the blog that won though? They’d simply be ‘the one that won because it all went to charity’ (which was me in the Monster Heart of Gold to be truthful).

    And no, it’s not always easy to work out who’s cheated and who hasn’t. Voting isn’t always done through twitter and bit.ly’s. It’s not transparent at all if you research the issue. As I’ve mentioned before @janesgrapevine and @Loquax are very knowledgeable on the subject – voting is hugely open to abuse.

  35. So getting votes from strangers using a charity is savvy and getting votes from strangers using a vote site is cheating? I’m not getting the difference tbh!

  36. I think very few of the votes were from strangers on Twitter, due to my hobby I have spoken to, tweeted, swapped with and have generally been a comping community member for about 6 years, way before I came to Twitter. A vote site can generate literally hundreds of votes and is a completely different kettle of fish.

  37. And I think I object to you implying I used a charity to get votes.

    Right that’s it folks, end of comments from me. I’ve made my point and said my piece and I’m not being drawn into further discussion and potentially arguments. I never intended this to become a fiery topic, just one for people to consider.

    Thanks for reading, and if you enjoy my blogs & thoughts, please do click on Sign me up for further updates! I chat about all sorts of things, not just the MAD’s. Feel free to have a wander around the site :O) xxx Kay

  38. No implication intended.

    I look forward to seeing you in the MADS finals with all those friends behind ya 🙂

  39. I’m not spending two weeks canvassing this time, it took so much time up it was ridiculous. I promised I’d never do another voting competition again, and I’m shan’t. That unfortunately, includes the MADs for me.

    Thanks for your good luck wishes, and the same to you! Despite all my questioning, I still think it will be a fabulous event. All I ask is that the voting system is maybe reconsidered. Many thanks to everyone for their constructive, friendly comments :O)

  40. By the way, some comments that were posted were later deleted. I have no idea why……

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