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Best Coaching Blogs Solution?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Coaching BlogsI must say, I feel a bit better about the Best Coaching Blogs snafu.

Based on the comments, it seems the rules need to be clearer and the "vote down" option needs to be removed. Plus we need intelligent protocols for checking what's going on. Otherwise, the competition is too tempting for some and too demotivating for others.

I think maybe, just maybe, I've found the solution. After a Google search (gotta love Google), I found  www.strutta.com, which has some very intelligent looking contest software. I enquired about their security system for ensuring fairness and here's the speedy reply that I got:

'Hey Julia, 

I'm glad you asked. This one is a point of pride for us. Here's the official company line on our voting system and fraud prevention. First, quoting Mike Holly, our Senior Developer: 

"Our users are required to verify their accounts (by clicking an activation link sent in an email) before voting. All new votes and entries are kept in a "pending" state until the user clicks the email verification link. When the verification link is clicked, the user is notified that their votes have been made permanent and finally redirected back to the contest site. Once at the site, the user can clearly see that their vote has been recorded.

By default our software will allow one voter, per user, per entry for the duration of the contest."

So Julia, some voting software will only allow one vote per IP address to prevent more than entry coming form one computer or physical location. We understand that often times several employees of one company or members of one family might wish to vote from the same IP address with different emails, so we've installed filters to alert our staff and the contest creator whenever "suspicious" activity takes place. Wherever multiple votes are cast from a single IP, they are caught in a "filter." Once one of these filters catches a pattern and alerts us to potentially suspect voting, we review each case and evaluate it using a number of other criteria to ensure that all voting is fair, and that no cheating of any kind has taken place.

In the event that fraudulent voting has taken place, the contest creator is given the option of dismissing any and all fraudulent votes. It is up to the descretion of the contest creator (you) to decide whether entries should be disqualified, bearing in mind that it is not always the entrant that is responsible for the fake votes, it could just be one bad voter apple in the barrel. 

I hope this is helpful. If you have other questions, you can send them to us directly using http://www.strutta.com/contact.'
 
Given that helpful explanation, I've set up a "test" or "mock" contest and I invite all Best Coaching Blogs contestents to enter this test contest and votes with impunity. It is live until 2:30 Eastern/NY Time, tomorrow, Sunday, June 21st. There is no winner.
 
The point of this test contest is to get a feel for how the contest software works and how it may be confusing and to try to 'break' the security system.  Go ahead and dump your cache, close and reopen your browser, vote from different computers and with different email addresses. I want to see what happens. In other words, break the "rules". Please don't invite your readers, though. This mock contest is just for testing purposes.
 
The layout and look is very different. You will be invited to enter "text". Enter an engaging description of your blog and a link to it. Also enter "tags", title and a short description.  You must set up an account to do this. It's easy and fast. Please add comments about the mock contest to this post.
 
Ready?

Topics: Coaching, Best Coaching Blogs, blogs, blogging, blogosphere, Coaches

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