I just wanted to offer a HUGE thank you from both myself and Jon Dragonette, who's contest i posted about yesterday.
Unfortunately, my intentions were misconstrued and tarnished Jon's image within the admin department of that website as I was accused of helping Jon cheat because there is "no possible way Jon could have got that many votes without cheating". Jon bowed out of the contest after numerous attacks from the admin department and from other contestants pointing the admin department to ME. Jon feels strongly enough about the situation in Laos and his project that he would rather not have that VISION tarnished, regardless if he won, by people accusing him of cheating to get to pursue his dream. Jon can actually say it better than me, so here is Jon:
"This is where I bow out. This competition was never about me, but the idea I really wanted the world to recognize. It seems that this has turned into more of a popularity contest, and less of an outlet for people to pursue their dreams. I don’t need the help of a big corporation to pursue this project, although I saw this contest as an opportunity that would help me to get a head start on a project that I believe in. I really appreciate the positive feed back and help from all my friends and family who voted for me. However, I feel that it is best for me to bow out of the competition as I just cant have this idea dragged through the gutter because people are angry. I don't want my dream assignment to be attached to anything less sincere than was originally intended. I am still going to continue to work hard to support this cause and make it to Laos eventually.
Thank you again to everyone for your support and especially my wife who I know will continue to pursue this assignment with me. I know that even though I did not complete this competition, I hope that I have at the very least opened your eyes towards the situation in Laos.
Best of luck to everyone out there who aims to make a change in the lives of those who are in need.
There are things I understand about the outrage of the other competitors/admins and things I don't.
First off, Jon had NOTHING to do with me campaigning for him. I simply got his email saying that he was a part of it and asking his friends for support. I read about his project, and i thought "Holy shit, this is amazing, I want to try to help as much as i can." I had no idea the positive (but ultimately negative) effect that my campaigning would have.
I agree, when I phrased my excited encouragement in my blog post as "already voted yesterday? re-register with a different email and re-vote! i DID!" i was naively encouraging spam. However, Jon got an UNCANNY amount of votes yesterday, and yes, i would imagine that there were a COUPLE of re-casted votes, but in every one of these "vote for me" contests, the CONTESTANTS' sole purpose is to USE their RESOURCES to GET FUCKING VOTES. So let's take a look at what I (only ONE of Jon's resources) DID TO HELP POINT PEOPLE TO THE WEBSITE:
I posted it on my numerous blogs, including my website, my MySpace (30,000 friends), Twitter, Facebook, Upper Playground's blog, DeviantArt (3500 subscribers), my clothing company's newsletter (2900 subscribers), my personal email list, and the front page of one of the most popular web-comic sites, Snafu-Comics. On top of that, I encouraged everyone I sent it to to also post it on their blogs, etc. I did all of this in ONE DAY. Hell, Snafu-Comics ALONE is ranked 14,091 on ALEXA (the leading web "ranking site which means out of the millions of websites there are, only 14,000 of them are more popular than Snafu) versus the contest's shitty website being ranked down at 111,358.
So, to all you whiners who think there was "something shady going on" when Jon's votes skyrocketed in one day, here is something to think about:
MAYBE the fact that in ONE day, a few hundred thousand people were simply NOTIFIED about Jon's cause, AND this shitty website, and a few HUNDRED of them actually AGREED that Jon's cause was worthwhile enough to vote for??
Jon's "dream" project of going and photographing and helping the villagers in Laos because the United States dropped 2 million tons of mines in the Vietnam war is so fucking amazing, do you honestly think that out of the hundreds of thousands of people that saw this post, that no one would think this is cool enough to vote for??? That's INSULTING both to Jon and to the integrity of the project!
OF COURSE his votes are going to go up! Even if i didn't encourage anyone to vote for him and simply put a link up, his votes STILL would have increased rapidly simply because of statistics.
With that being said, the sole purpose of running a website that is based on USER-GENERATED content and advertisements is to USE their registered users to GET NEW PEOPLE TO THE SITE. These kind of sites, like threadless, or cafe press, etc would not exist if the users DID NOT CREATE CONTENT AND THEN TELL PEOPLE TO GO THERE. That's why these kind of sites can't afford to SHIT on the people, like Jon, that are actively using their site and BRINGING NEW USERS ON BOARD! When you have to register to vote on these sites, and with Jon's votes increasing by 1000, that means that THAT WEBSITE GOT 1,000 NEW REGISTERED USERS in ONE DAY! Nowadays when there is so much oversaturation on the internet, 1,000 new registered users is probably worth 50 grand by itself, so here's Ray Liotta to say something to you: "FUCK YOU, PAY ME.". And I'll pay Jon and send him to Laos, and together we will propose a new "dream" project that will LOWER AWARENESS of this website and the people who fucking whined about him getting votes.
I hate you.
I think it's noble of Jon to bow out, and I understand why he did it, but I think that you fuckers who contributed to his guilt and his withdrawl should learn how to use the internet for things other than complaining. Amazon's got a sale on cribs. Buy one, cry-babies.
Jon is still going to be working on this project regardless, so go check out http://www.dragonettephotography.com/ to both check out his work and to further support his dream project.