Wednesday, May 11, 2005

More Ultimate Blogger remarks.

My recent gripes about The Ultimate Blogger received more comments than any other post in my blog's history. I can hardly let that go without comment.

Two comments basically agreed with me. The other two responses, I think, are summed up pretty well in one:
while i agree with some of your assessments, and i think we may definitely tweak the rules for a second edition, it was never intended just to find the best writer. we always wanted a strategy element, and wanted to make the competition fair for more people who do photoblogs or videoblogs or mp3blogs and the like. we select winners based on what we think is the most entertaining entry that fits the challenge and that we would want to show other people.
I have no problem with making the contest more of a multimedia creativity contest than pure writing. The "blogger equals writer" preconception is all mine. The worst I can say is that the contest description might have been ambiguous.

I'm also not questioning the criteria for placing immunity.

I found a strategy element interesting at first, but the more I look at it, the less it appeals to me. First, it adds no entertainment value. What's entertaining on Survivor (which, I should mention, I've never watched) isn't here because it's behind the scenes. Second, as a "viewer," strategy spoils the results. As the contest goes on, I see the players with the winning strategies (or luck) as much as those with greatest skill, but I really only want to see the greatest skill. Not only that, contestants who know their strategy will save them need not strive for immunity (i.e., they don't have to write anything good).

That you talk about tweaking rules for a new contest is interesting to me because I had already come up with some alternate rules for a post I hadn't published. I might as well put them here.
  1. Everyone who enters pays a small fee (say, $1).
  2. Actual contestants are selected at random from entrants.
  3. Entrants, not contestants, vote on who advances from round to round.
  4. Winner takes all the entry fees.
The game would need someone to run it. This person would collect the entrance fees and tally the votes. Contestants could try to get cooperation from voters, but they'd have no way to verify the results. Nobody in a position to gain any money ever has control over who gets it. The only incentive for players is to win over the audience. I'd use the condorcet method to see who's voted off to make strategy voting even sillier.

The problem would be taking payments from everyone, and you'd want software to handle the voting. Also, the fact that you're selecting contestants at random might qualify it as a lottery under some laws and require you to follow state gambling regulations. Finally, I wouldn't be surprised if someone's already found a good way to do what we want, and I'm just reinventing the wheel here. Research might be in order.

Anyway, thanks for the remarks, and thanks for the contest. It's certainly given me something to write about.
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