This is the second time I’ve had a Kindle Competition, and the first one went off without a hitch. Folks voted and the winner was chosen by popular vote.
I used the same system this time, and the vote counters (yes, I meant to add an “S” to counters) were manipulated to give one participant an unfair advantage over all other participants.
How do I know this?
Each day I checked the counters to see how each story was fairing. The numbers stayed pretty much within the same range, even though some stories were getting more “yes” votes than others.
Then about five days ago, I checked the counters again, and one story had jumped from about 25 “yes” votes to 190 “yes” votes overnight.
The problem is that my site visitor stats didn’t match that much traffic, and the way I had the filters set up on the vote counters meant that there should have been at least as many visitors as there were new votes. Keep in mind that other participants were getting more votes, too. Their votes, however, had not spiked to such unbelievable numbers, though.
I removed that vote counter, but I didn’t deactivate it. I simply put another vote counter in its place, and kept the original counter active to see what would happen with it once it was removed from my site.
At first, the second vote counter on this particular story went up little by little, and two days ago it jumped up from about 15 “yes” votes to 118 “yes” votes overnight. Again, my site visitor stats did not support that much traffic to my site.
In addition to the “yes” votes jumping up on the new counter, the original counter, which I only removed from the site but did not deactivate was at 230 “yes” votes, not its 190 “yes” votes, which was the number when it was removed from my site.
Obviously, something wasn’t right, and this wasn’t happening on any other vote counters except these two; one of which hasn’t been on my site in the last five days.
This is why the Kindle Competition was terminated.
I have, however, decided to enlist the help of five judges to finish the competition. People worked hard on their entries, and I gave my word that I’d be giving away a Kindle, and I plan to keep my word.
I will have more Kindle Competitions in the future, but I will not ever use the previous method for choosing a winner. That process has been tainted.