Well this is odd…

I have to admit I’m in a bit of a tough spot with the Reader’s Vote, which I had set to close at 8 PM tonight, but due to a glitch in my poll widget, kept running unbeknownst to me even after I checked it at 8 and started writing my post (announcing the winner, I thought…).  Just now I glanced at the blog again, realized the poll was still open, and then to my surprise discovered another person had galloped clear past the winner and won by 15 votes.  Well, that seemed like some shenanigans to me since there’d been a pretty clear lead when I checked it to write the post, so I closed the poll and went to investigate what was going on.  As best I can tell there’d been a bit of a twitter frenzy to rally the vote in the 11th hour.  Sooooo…I guess I’m just going to have to call this.  Since I want to go to bed and don’t want to rewrite my post, my apologies to those twitter pals who joined us late in the game, but I’m going with the person who got the most votes when I wrote my winner post.  I suppose that may seem unfair.  But I’ve got a busy day tomorrow and I want to go to bed.

* * * * *

UPDATE: Thank you for your comments.  I really appreciate that while it’s likely some of you may be seething in anger you are saving your hatred towards me for another day.  I did email Jenny (whose lovely gray ruffle top was the top that surged ahead in votes after I checked it last night, to apologize and while she was sad she was very, very gracious.  However, after reading some of the comments left here her patience is most likely wearing thin. So I want to be crystal clear here about a couple of things:

There were absolutely no “shenanigans.” It is perfectly fair for participants to rally votes through avenues such as twitter, facebook, desperate emails, etc.  Anyone who heard about this contest had a right to come and place their vote, for whichever top they liked the best. That’s part of the deal with internet polls, that participants can ask others to vote for their tops. This means that the only misstep here was my inability to close the poll properly.  I take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for this blunder.  I should have checked to make sure the poll was closed when I thought it was.  It also would have helped if I had found a better poll widget than Blogger’s (which not only has an incorrect time-stamp but leaves one unable to hide poll results as they come in, something some of you have suggested and I would have personally preferred.  Incidentally, there’s also no easy way to save poll data besides leaving the dead polls up, so you all had to take my word for the winners, something that left me a little uncomfortable as well).

The biggest apology here is owed to Jenny, who has been a complete trooper through all of this.  I’m just hoping someday she’ll forgive me for the grief I’ve caused her.  Can we all try to be nice about this, maybe say: “Rae you dork, next time get your act together, ya idiot!” and move on?  Thanks, friends.

29 thoughts on “Well this is odd…

  1. It's your poll, you can make the rules πŸ˜‰ Personally, I would have made the same choice you did, I think. Since you did say when the voting would end. Can't wait to find out the winner!

  2. Damn that twitter… whatever it is. I still can't really figure out the tweeting allure. Maybe one day I'll have my much younger sister explain it to me. Until then I'll just keep sewing circles around her!

  3. It's your call! Go with your gut, it's usually the right choice!
    P.S. I hope I can participate next year!

  4. As a fellow "retired" teacher myself (science teacher too!!) I say deadlines are deadlines, which are part of what makes it so fun to me πŸ™‚

    I can't wait to see who the winner was and just for fun could you tell us the second "almost" winner too??

  5. I think you are doing it the fair way since you had posted when the commenting would end. Now, get some rest!

  6. doesn't seem fair to have the person with the most twitter pals win! s/b about the sewing/best shirt. also definitely stick by the deadline. maybe next time don't show who's winning? keep it blind?
    very fun contest, glad to have made a shirt for it. thanks miss rae!!

  7. yes, that is crazy. Sometimes sticking to the rules can be a bummer to some, but it is only fair in the end!

  8. You totally did the right thing! I wouldn't want to win because i got everyone to vote for me. I'd want to win because everyone liked my shirt! I don't even think it was a tough call. It's your rules that the voting end at a certain time and you said it was obvious the other entry rallied twitter friends to vote. You did the right thing:)

  9. oops! I meant to also say that you really might consider next time (like another person suggested)not showing who's winning. Now that's suspense!

  10. I think you made the right call. The win should go to the best shirt, not the person who rallied the most votes.

  11. i agree with you decision. it was clear to everyone when it was supposed to be finished. anyway the best top should win and not the person that knows a lot of friends with computers to vote for them. i can't wait to see who won. i think you and your helpers did a great job on the spring top week contest. congratulations on your hard work.

  12. This month of tops was created to spur peoples' creativity and provide them a forum for display among their peers. A tremendous amount of work is freely done by Rae and all should agree with her call here. It's not like the winner is going to receive the latest scholarship to Parisian design school – and tsk tsk to anyone who tried to tamper with the voting !

  13. I agree with Barbara and Jennifer. The winner should be based on talent and creativity, not who has the most Twitter-y friends.

    I don't get Twitter either but love your blog. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  14. I don't understand the uproar about promoting one's top via Twitter.

    This is an excerpt from the contest rules: "I'd encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to "sell" your top."

    There was even encouragement to grab a badge/button to aid with promotion.

    Thus, wasn't part of the contest focused around publicity for one's top? If anything, it brought a substantial amount of traffic to your website and allowed for additional admiration of everyone's hard work… winner or not.

    Twitter is really no different than reaching out via a blog, Facebook, or MySpace. Heck, you can't even use badges/buttons on Twitter, so I would say you may even rally fewer "votes" that way. There's no initial, visual appeal.

    Regardless, all 5 of the tops were winners. Great work, everyone.


  15. yes, it's your contest – your rules. i'm bummed that my friends all rallied too late! i overlooked the fact that you're in a different time zone.

    and to all of you who are snarking about "getting all my friends with computers to vote," i say this: we were CLEARLY given the green light to promote ourselves and get as many votes as we could. i think it's really crappy of you to dump on any of us who did just that. i found a way to use social networking for this purpose, and i see absolutely nothing wrong with it. if you don't "understand" it, that's on you – it's not rocket science. i also specified in those posts that i would love their votes if they truly liked my top, and there were many comments that confirmed this.

    rae, thanks for a fun contest – i had a blast making my tops and look forward to next year, if you do a repeat.

  16. How is rallying your online friends, who support you & like what you do (no differently than your in real life friends), "tampering" with the voting?

    I agree with the idea that it's your blog & your call, but it's in poor taste for anyone to imply that a participant asking their online friends to vote for them if they like the shirt is cheating, especially when one of those is the one benefiting from increased traffic to their blog or increased publicity for their creations.

  17. FYI- Not everyone who was asked via social networking to vote cast a vote for the person asking.

  18. I think you made the right decision (and personally I preferred the top that ultimately won), but it seems like there are a couple things to make sure everything is completely fair in future contests.

    The easiest thing to do would be keeping the results hidden until the end of the voting period. If contestants don't know where they stand, they can't do any last minute rallying for a certain number of votes.

    Another thing is to make sure that each person who votes does so only once, perhaps by requiring a valid e-mail address or a word verification before a vote is accepted. Not sure if that happened here, but I think people finding ways to vote multiple times is what's really unfair, especially when other people do comply with the spirit of the contest and vote only once.

  19. This seems pretty clear to me…the contest ended at 8pm, the top that had the most votes at that time won. I think Jenny's top was really cute also, she has nothing to feel bad about…she just needed to rally her friends a little earlier, the vote was open all weekend πŸ™‚

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