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Book giveaway

Claire Fuente
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2004
Posts: 35
I just notice when there are book giveaways, usually people with more knowledge in that topic wins regardless how many times he/she won in the past. That is because, they usually can think of many questions therefore leading to more chances of winning the book.
How about beginners who can just think of just a few questions due to lack of knowledge in that topic but is very interested to learn more? They have less chances of winning. And they want to win a free book to enrich their knowledge.
And at times, same person wins due to persistence and bec. maybe he like the fact that he/she won before. I don't deny the fact that he/she is intelligent enough to be able to figure out so many questions to win the book giveaway.
I just hope there will be chance for others who have not won yet, let's say, for the last 6 months to 1 year. I hope past winners would give chance to others . I also wish there will be a book giveaway at Job discussion forum.
[ March 06, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

Originally posted by Claire Fuente:
That is because, they usually can think of many questions therefore leading to more chances of winning the book.

Well, we send out a mailing about each promotion, and most times post a book review as well; we also provide links to the amazon page, and sometimes the publisher's home page, for the book. It seems to me that most anyone should be able to come up with some good questions based on those resources.

I just hope there will be chance for others who have not won yet, let's say, for the last 6 months to 1 year. I hope past winners would give chance to others .

This really isn't something that's been a problem in the past. Participate in the next promotion, and your chances will be as good as any.
Do you know the old joke about the good and pious man who complains to God, "God, I don't understand. I go to temple on every Shabbot, I give tsedakah until it hurts, I perform mitzvot every day of the week, all I ask is that you let me win the lottery one time. But I never do?"
And a voice from the heavens says "Maybe you could buy a ticket?"

I also wish there will be a book giveaway at Job discussion forum.

First a publisher would have to contact us with a book about jobs that they'd like JavaRanch to promote.


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Just to prove a point, I participated in last weeks book promotion in the JSP forum. i would guess that I posted more times than anyone that week regarding the book promotion. And guess what..I didn't win. My name just wasn't drawn. No big deal. I'll just try the next time I see a book I want to win.
So it doesn't always pay to post the most times. I'm happy for those that won. And regardless, I got some really good information from the author. So I really don't feel like I lost anything.


GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
Andres Gonzalez
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 1561
this problem has been around lately. Ranchers complaining about it. From what I know, there's this famous program that randomly picks a user that has posted when the giveaway is done, and that's the way it is.
so, in "theory", chances are the same for everyone that participates (otherwise ask Pradeep B. ).
In conclusion, keep posting, someday you'll get to be the lucky one...
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Andres Gonzalez ]

I'm not going to be a Rock Star. I'm going to be a LEGEND! --Freddie Mercury
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Andres Gonzalez:
this problem has been around lately. Ranchers complaining about it. From what I know, there's this famous program that randomly picks a user that has posted when the giveaway is done, and that's the way it is.
so, in "theory", chances are the same for everyone that participates (otherwise ask Pradeep B. ).
In conclusion, keep posting, someday you'll get to be the lucky one...
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Andres Gonzalez ]

It's not a problem and there is no theory. There is a program that randomly picks 4 winners. The more times you post, the better your chances are of winning, but posting a lot doesn't guarantee you will win. Your posts also have to be on topic with the promotion.
It's really not that difficult to grasp IMO.
Michael Sullivan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 26, 2003
Posts: 235
Gregg,
Your missing Claire's point: More experienced people can just pluck questions from the air, meaning they can ask away and really increase their chances to win. Less experienced persons may not ask as many questions, and will have much worse odds at winning.
I did not know (before reading this thread) that multiple questions would improve chances. That seems a bit silly to me. Is one well formatted question really worth less than 10 quick and dirty attempts? Seems to me like your promoting towards those with more experience, or those who just want to play the game by your rules.
(IE: flood the board with questions in order to increase odds of winning)
Let me link to the 2003 winners page: http://www.javaranch.com/pastwinners2003.jsp
Between July 2003 and December 2003 (six months timeframe), one particlular member won 11 times. When one member wins that many times in six months, it shows a problem with the system.
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Sullivan ]
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Michael Sullivan:
Gregg,
Your missing Claire's point: More experienced people can just pluck questions from the air, meaning they can ask away and really increase their chances to win. Less experienced persons may not ask as many questions, and will have much worse odds at winning.
I did not know (before reading this thread) that multiple questions would improve chances. That seems a bit silly to me. Is one well formatted question really worth less than 10 quick and dirty attempts? Seems to me like your promoting towards those with more experience, or those who just want to play the game by your rules.
(IE: flood the board with questions in order to increase odds of winning)
Let me link to the 2003 winners page: http://www.javaranch.com/pastwinners2003.jsp
Between July 2003 and December 2003 (six months timeframe), one particlular member won 11 times. When one member wins that many times in six months, it shows a problem with the system.
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Sullivan ]

You must have a problem with a lot of competitions then. Raffles, for example, work off the same principle. So I guess those are unfair because people with more money and can buy more raffles have a better chance to win?
The problem, IMO, is not with the system but with the number of participants in the promotions. If we could get more people to partake in the promotions, then the spread would be a bit wider. As it is, there are maybe 6 to 10 people that will participate the whole week.
Now, the reason we do it the way we do it. If multiple posts did not increase your chance to win, then how many people would come into the promotion, post a single question, and then never come back, crossing thier fingers hoping they might win.
The book promotions have a greater cause than just allowing members to win books. It helps promote an author and his/her book. It helps members get a feel for what the book is about before purchasing the book. How many forums do you know of that allow you to actually discuss a book with the author before buying it? That, to me, is the most amazing part of this whole thing. Winning the book is a bonus. If I am participating in a book promotion here at Javaranch, it probably means that I plan on purcahsing the book. If I win it, great. If I don't, that's fine too. I'll support that author and buy said book.
Now, I know there are people who are just in it to win the book. 2 people come to mind right away. And that is their perogative. But that really isn't the point of the Javaranch Book Promotion.
We've been doing it this way for about as long as the book promotions have existed. I've been a member since 2001. And this is only the 2nd time I can remember someone having an issue with it. So I don't think the system is as bad as one might think.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Interesting bit of statistics.
Number of posts from Claire Fuente during the last promotion: 0
Number of posts from Michael Sullivan during the last promotion: 2
Number of psots from Gregg Bolinger during the last promotion: See below..
Well, I counted 34 threads I participated in. I would say an average of at least 2 posts per thread. So I should have had at least 68 posts go towards the promotion minus however many weren't counted because they were off topic.
Anyway, I would say 68 posts is a lot. And I didn't win. So the system seems to work better than one might think??
Claire Fuente
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2004
Posts: 35
This is my 2nd and NEW ID under Javaranch that is why I have 0 post at the book promo, hehe.
I have tried to join 2 book promos under another name but lost interest due to my observation that almost same people wins.
No wonder you are out defending the system, Gregg, 'coz ur one of the people who frequently wins, hehehehe
:roll:
I just wish the system will give chance to others who have not won yet to have the happiness of winning.
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

Originally posted by Claire Fuente:

I have tried to join 2 book promos under another name but lost interest due to my observation that almost same people wins.

But that's precisely the point. Some people don't lose interest. They participate very actively in every single book promotion. That's why they win often. People who aren't interested enough to participate at all, don't win.
It sounds like you really, really want to win a book. All you have to do is get in the game, keep trying, and you'll win eventually. There's no requirement that the questions have to be brilliant, insightful, or pointed. They just have to be on-topic. No one who has any genuine interest in winning a book should have any trouble coming up with acceptable questions.
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

Now, I know there are people who are just in it to win the book. 2 people come to mind right away. And that is their perogative. But that really isn't the point of the Javaranch Book Promotion.

I know, One of the two is me.

Between July 2003 and December 2003 (six months timeframe), one particlular member won 11 times. When one member wins that many times in six months, it shows a problem with the system.

Dont worry! I am not going to participate much this year.
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Pradeep Bhat ]

Groovy
Claire Fuente
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2004
Posts: 35
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

If I am participating in a book promotion here at Javaranch, it probably means that I plan on purcahsing the book. If I win it, great. If I don't, that's fine too. I'll support that author and buy said book.


But what if the participant (people like Kiibati Bankole
) doesn't have enough money like you to buy books? That's why they join bec. he/she is interested in winning to be able to enrich his/her knowledge? And if what he/she learns from the author helps in his/her career, he/she will most likely have enough money by then will learn to buy what the author will publish next due to the fact he/she is familiar that the author is good.
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

Now, I know there are people who are just in it to win the book. 2 people come to mind right away. And that is their perogative. But that really isn't the point of the Javaranch Book Promotion.


Is it written anywhere here at Javaranch the purpose of book promo? If there was, I shouldn't have started this post, hehe. I'm not really here to attack a specific person, I am just speaking for those who have never ever won in the past
I also think that if some people can't sample the book for free bec. almost same people win, then only a few people will likely patronize what the that author will publish next
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
Claire Fuente
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2004
Posts: 35
Originally posted by Pradeep Bhat:

Dont worry! I am not going to participate much this year.
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Pradeep Bhat ]

I like your sense of humor pradeep You made me laugh
Michael Sullivan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 26, 2003
Posts: 235
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

You must have a problem with a lot of competitions then. Raffles, for example, work off the same principle.
...
We've been doing it this way for about as long as the book promotions have existed. I've been a member since 2001. And this is only the 2nd time I can remember someone having an issue with it. So I don't think the system is as bad as one might think.


Greg, raffles where HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS of people BUY an entry are hardly a fair comparison to a small time event like the javaranch book giveaway, where less than 30 people enter for FREE... c'mon. Apples to oranges.
And because people don't question 'the way you've been doing it' doesn't mean that your method is fair to all. Claire clearly pointed out that the system is skewed towards the more knowledgible poster (who can easily post more questions), and I easily demonstrated how one particular member took advantage of that loophole to their own benefit.
I've probably only participated in three or four book giveaways, and I'd assume that I've never posted more than two questions. I'm not sure what your statistics on the JSF giveaway were supposed to prove, if anything. I'm not holding my breath to win a book, and thats not what this is about.
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Sullivan ]
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Michael Sullivan:


Greg, raffles where HUNDREDS or THOUSANDS of people BUY an entry are hardly a fair comparison to a small time event like the javaranch book giveaway, where less than 30 people enter for FREE... c'mon. Apples to oranges.
And because people don't question 'the way you've been doing it' doesn't mean that your method is fair to all. Claire clearly pointed out that the system is skewed towards the more knowledgible poster (who can easily post more questions), and I easily demonstrated how one particular member took advantage of that loophole to their own benefit.
I've probably only participated in three or four book giveaways, and I'd assume that I've never posted more than two questions. I'm not sure what your statistics on the JSF giveaway were supposed to prove, if anything. I'm not holding my breath to win a book, and thats not what this is about. Its about being fair to ALL of your members, which is what this thread started as.

Wouldn't it be cool if hundreds of thousands of people paid Javaranch to try and win something? Oh wait, then someone might complain that they have to pay and there are too many people participating so thier chances aren't good.
I understand what Claire is saying. But as Ernest pointed out, persistance is the key. The point my statistics were trying to make is just because you post a whole lot of questions, as I did, doesn't mean you are guaranteed to win, as Claire is concerned about.
Javaranch provides a free and powerful source of information for people wanting to learn more about Java and Programming. Javaranch has made arrangements with many publishers to offer 4 free books almost every week to 4 lucky winners. I guess I would give more merit to these kinds of complaints if someone were getting paid for all this.
Claire Fuente
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2004
Posts: 35
Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:

But that's precisely the point. Some people don't lose interest. They participate very actively in every single book promotion. That's why they win often. People who aren't interested enough to participate at all, don't win.

Yes, you're right, but some people do lose interest too because of how the system works.
Since you're an author, I would like to get your opinion. Would you like your books (to be written in the future) to be patronized by just a few people who usually wins the book giveaway? Most likely, just a few will patronize the next book you will write and promote next time. And if you promote again the same book, and the usual winners will win, they will have duplicate books and might just sell it anyway to others and earn from it.
Preferred Book promo condition:
1. If winner for same book
then not eligible to claim prize if chosen as winner
Reasons:
* To prevent selling of free books just to make profit out of it
* Give the author a chance to make another person patronize his future writings/book.
2. If winner for last 3 months
then not eligible to claim prize if chosen as winner
Reason:
* To give chance to other ranchers actively participating at JavaRanch book promotions.
BTW, I read your previous post here before
http://www.coderanch.com/t/39909/md/Make-dad-happy
and voted so your dad will be happy but unfortunately that really didn't help
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 07, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

And if you promote again the same book, and the usual winners will win

I dont think a book is promoted more than once and if it is previous winners should not get the book.
Michael Sullivan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 26, 2003
Posts: 235
Greg, I'm not trying to be rude-but if you cannot find merit in these posts, please stop responding. The 'noone is getting paid, so why should I care' attitude isn't productive, but it is dissapointing.
Its always going to be difficult to 'randomly' give away prizes, especially when someone can easily manipulate the results reliably and repeatidly. If you do not see this as a problem, thanks for your time-I'll let it be for the time being.
Pradeep bhatt
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

when someone can easily manipulate the results reliably and repeatidly

What do you mean by manipulate?
Claire Fuente
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2004
Posts: 35
Originally posted by Pradeep Bhat:

What do you mean by manipulate?


Could mean that contest organizer will grant the free book to either chosen relative / friend.

[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
Ko Ko Naing
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 08, 2002
Posts: 3178
Originally posted by Claire Fuente:

Preferred Book promo condition:
1. If winner for same book
then not eligible to claim prize if chosen as winner
Reasons:
* To prevent selling of free books just to make profit out of it
* Give the author a chance to make another person patronize his future writings/book.
2. If winner for last 3 months
then not eligible to claim prize if chosen as winner
Reason:
* To give chance to other ranchers actively participating at JavaRanch book promotions.

Hi Claire,
Why don't build up a site that is similar to the Ranch so that you can set up your conditions out there... This is Trailboss(Paul Wheaton)'s site and he is the one who can set up the rules and conditions...
One of the important rules of the Ranch is "be nice"... So why won't we be nice and try to win books by posting eligible posts? I do believe if you are nice and your posts are eligible to win, you will surely win one day... I suggest you not to be discourage...
All the best...


Co-author of SCMAD Exam Guide, Author of JMADPlus
SCJP1.2, CCNA, SCWCD1.4, SCBCD1.3, SCMAD1.0, SCJA1.0, SCJP6.0
Claire Fuente
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2004
Posts: 35
Originally posted by Ko Ko Naing:

Hi Claire,
Why don't build up a site that is similar to the Ranch so that you can set up your conditions out there... This is Trailboss(Paul Wheaton)'s site and he is the one who can set up the rules and conditions...


Hi Ko ko!
I just started this post because I thought that the purpose of this category is...
"This forum is intended for questions and comments about this web site, www.javaranch.com."
I can set up a site very similar to this if I really want to. But why do I not do it? Simply because, I don't want to compete with JavaRanch as this is one of my favorite(I placed this site on my desktop already for easy access) and I respect the organizers of this wonderful website . I give constructive criticism only to make the site better and more inviting to visit. And I do hope the trailboss will appreciate me taking time to give constructive criticisms.
Maybe you're one of the frequent winners too that's why you don't wanna change the rules, heheh


One of the important rules of the Ranch is "be nice"... So why won't we be nice and try to win books by posting eligible posts? I do believe if you are nice and your posts are eligible to win, you will surely win one day... I suggest you not to be discourage...
All the best...

I am trying my best to post nicely everytime. Haven't you notice how many times I edit most of my posts? hehe
I already tried posting eligible post in the past book promos. (Read above post)
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
Ko Ko Naing
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 08, 2002
Posts: 3178
Originally posted by Claire Fuente:

Maybe you're one of the frequent winners too that's why you don't wanna change the rules, heheh

I didn't win a lot in the last year... But I won only one book, HF EJB... Once I also thought that there is something wrong with the selection process in the program... But in this year, I think that my posts in the book promotion are more-related to the book's topic, compared to the posts last year...
For example, you might see that nicholas chueng also posted a lot in many book promotion... But he won two times in this year... That's a good example... Don't be discourage... I do believe that the algorithm in the prorgam used to select the posts is not designed by the newbies and it is mantained by the best programmers in the world...
So I wish you all the best for your participation in the next book promotion again...
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Claire Fuente:


Could mean that contest organizer will grant the free book to either chosen relative / friend.

[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]

I can't wait for Thomas Paul to see this post.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Michael Sullivan:
Greg, I'm not trying to be rude-but if you cannot find merit in these posts, please stop responding. The 'noone is getting paid, so why should I care' attitude isn't productive, but it is dissapointing.

So you can voice your opinion, but I cannot voice mine?
It's not that I don't care Michael. But there is a point to be made about the fact that we ALL give our own free time to help make Javaranch what it is today.
And yes, as Claire stated, this is the place to voice your concerns, opinions, complaints about Javaranch. But this isn't a suggestion box. The powers that be don't just take all these suggestions and discuss them at the next board meeting. There is only one person, as Ko Ko stated, that really makes the rules. He does take suggestions from his Staff and members but he has the final word.
I'm not trying to sound like "This is the way it is, period" even if that is how I am comming off. The point I have been trying to get accross is that there really isn't anything wrong with the system the way it is.
The problem is not with the people that participate regularly in a book promotion. The problem is with the 40,000+ members who don't participate at all.
Ko Ko (example) doesn't win every week because he posts the most or there is some glitch in the system. Ko Ko wins because he participates every single week in every promotion he can.
And back to Claire's original complaint. If you can't think up questions to ask about a particular book, it's not due to lack of intelligents. It's more likely a lack of imagination. I don't consider myself to be nearly as bright as most people on Javaranch. But I can sure make up questions to ask about a book. As Ernest said, the questions don't have to be all that envolved. They can be very simple. But you have to keep trying.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Let's understand what the purpose of the book promotion is... it is to have an opportunity to discuss a book with the author. The give away is a bonus. If you really only want to win a book then why bother? Why try to win a book when the author is standing right in front of you and you have nothing to say to him?
But what about the rules? The way the give away is structured is to promote on-topic posting. We don't want a person to pop in, ask a single question, and then disappear. Other wise we end up with this:
Javarancher: Could you explain the section on technology x a little more?
Author: What aspect of technology x are you interested in?
Followed by no response because the Javarancher aleady has is one entry
As far as excluding people from winning, I love to see regular contributors win! Pradeep wins a lot because he participates a lot. That's a good thing. (tm) We had a couple of promotions where the authors barely showed up but Pradeep was always there answering questions and helping out.
As to the idea that it is hard for a novice to ask questions... I asked my wife (a Registered Nurse) to look at the table of contents of the last book and to read the review. She was able to come up with a dozen questions within 3 minutes. Some of them were generic... why did you want to write this book? What was the hardest chapter to write? to more technical questions... which patterns are most useful in the implementation of JSF? (The last one she got by reading the description of the book on the Wiley site).
Now once the author answers she could ask another question based on his answer. If you can't think of a question to ask then you probably wouldn't be able to understand the book anyway.
We never promote the same book twice unless it involves a huge bribe from the publisher.
Gregg, you came in 6th for that promotion.
Finally, here is a little secret... a really popular promotion has about 75 threads for the week. Assuming an average of 4 posts per thread, that means that there are 300 posts for the week. That means your chance of winning with only one entry is about 1 in 75. What other contest has that kind of odds? Post 3 times and your odds are 1 in 25. Post 5 times and you are looking at 1 in 15. Those are amazing odds. A regular participant in the book promotions is virtually guaranteed that they will win at least one book each year.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
As I see it, the purpose of the book promotions is not to give people free books. The purpose of the book promotions is, as the name indicates, to promote a specific book. That means exposing people to what the book is about by giving them the opportunity to discuss it with the author(s). Obviously, the more people who participate in the promotion, the more successful the promotion should be for the author and the publisher. As an incentive to get people to participate in the promotion, the publisher agrees to give away a certain number of copies to participants.
The only fair way to distribute x copies of a book to promotion participants is to make it random. The most sensible way that has been determined to do this is to randomly choose from the on-topic posts that were made in that forum during the promotion. Any other method calls for too much subjectiveness on our part (eg, "Who posted the best questions", "Who is inexperienced versus who is experienced") which would then make the picking of winners inherently not fair. In order to help keep the system from being abused, certain posts are rejected. Posts that are rejected include those that are off-topic, those that are blatantly trying to milk the system (eg, a post that simply states "I agree" would fall into this category), and posts made by people who are not in compliance with JavaRanch's naming policy. Additionally, posts made in the "Welcome" thread that is posted for each promotion are not considered.
Keeping in mind what the purpose of the promotions is (that is, to promote a book) as I discussed it previously, in what way can we possibly be more fair in doing this? Limiting the number of times a person may win does not seem like the correct answer, since it would only discourage people from participating, which runs counter to the purpose of the promotions.
[EDIT: I see Tom got his post in before mine. He's the authority on promotions so he has a better perspectove than me.]
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20572
    ∞

It seems like once a year this discussion pops up: how to improve the giveaway process to be more fair.
First, I think the current process is perfectly fair because we state clearly who can win and whatnot. It would be unfair if it were announced one way and conducted another.
But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't consider an alternative approach. The big advantage that we have with the way we do it now is that it's pretty good and is working. I guess if we're going to think of a different way, we should explore the areas on how the current stuff isn't working.
Saying "I've played three times and have yet to win, but these other guys have played the same three times and won twice!" is a valid argument, but without a bigger sample set it can be hard to judge whether this is fair or not. If you say "I played 50 times and didn't win, and this other guy played the same 50 times and he won 40 times" - well, we might then have a real issue.
Of course, there is one way to make sure you win. Go to amazon and buy the book. I think that's what most folks do.
As mentioned earlier, I think the really cool part is visiting with the author. Plus, a sort of "focus of the week" for all of the participants. Winning a book is nice, but when you look at the odds, you have to do a lot of posting to win a book. If you value your time at minimum wage, I think buying the book would be cheaper.
I know that in the early days when I ran the book promotions, that some of the people that won it was their only post ever on JavaRanch. So it does happen.


permaculture Wood Burning Stoves 2.0 - 4-DVD set
Claire Fuente
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2004
Posts: 35
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

I can't wait for Thomas Paul to see this post.

I just explained the meaning. My intent was not to accuse anybody.
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
Mike Firkser
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Joined: Oct 21, 2003
Posts: 247

Is there really a fair way of picking winners for the books. Any simple method (which is best, so we don't have to wait until the technology is archaic to find out the winner) has ways around it. For instance, if a rule is made that you have only one chance to win, no matter how many posts, then people will create many memberships with different email addresses (easily done with Hotmail or Yahoo! etc.)
If we want a perfect system that nobody can work around, let's call the guy who came up with the NFL QB Rating system--nobody will be able to do anything questionable, because nobody will be able to figure it out.


Mike Firkser
Rutgers '84
Claire Fuente
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Joined: Feb 07, 2004
Posts: 35
Originally posted by Mike Rutgers:
Is there really a fair way of picking winners for the books. Any simple method (which is best, so we don't have to wait until the technology is archaic to find out the winner) has ways around it. For instance, if a rule is made that you have only one chance to win, no matter how many posts, then people will create many memberships with different email addresses (easily done with Hotmail or Yahoo! etc.)

Isn't it users can be tracked by their IP adresses? But I know IP addresses is not constant but it's a way people use to block users.
Anyway, whatever the owner/organizer decided is fine with me. I started this post just out of curiosity and NOT WITH THE INTENT to demand things from the owner / organizer of this wonderful website.
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Claire Fuente ]
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Mike Rutgers:
Is there really a fair way of picking winners for the books. Any simple method (which is best, so we don't have to wait until the technology is archaic to find out the winner) has ways around it. For instance, if a rule is made that you have only one chance to win, no matter how many posts, then people will create many memberships with different email addresses (easily done with Hotmail or Yahoo! etc.)
If we want a perfect system that nobody can work around, let's call the guy who came up with the NFL QB Rating system--nobody will be able to do anything questionable, because nobody will be able to figure it out.

Better yet, lets apply NASCAR rules.
We will have promotions for 30 weeks. Noboday actually gets a book right away. After 20 promotions, we'll take the top 10, start all over, and let them them duke it out for all the books at week 30.
Mike Firkser
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Joined: Oct 21, 2003
Posts: 247

Better yet, lets apply NASCAR rules.
We will have promotions for 30 weeks. Noboday actually gets a book right away. After 20 promotions, we'll take the top 10, start all over, and let them them duke it out for all the books at week 30.

And in the end, Dale Earnhardt Jr gets all the books.
Michael Sullivan
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Joined: Dec 26, 2003
Posts: 235
Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

So you can voice your opinion, but I cannot voice mine?
The point I have been trying to get accross is that there really isn't anything wrong with the system the way it is.

You can say anything you like Greg, but when you state that you don't care because you don't get paid to, you lose credability in my eyes. If you cannot care about something simply because there is no paycheck attached, perhaps you need a small vacation.
Your opinion is that it is totally fair, and mine is that it is not. Lets agree to disagree, shall we?
Michael Sullivan
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Joined: Dec 26, 2003
Posts: 235
Paul,
I hate to split hairs... but because you state who wins and whatnot, hardly makes a contest 'fair'. Giving participants equal opportunity to win makes it 'fair'. If the only way to have an equal chance to win is to post as many questions as possible (especially against those members who seem to know 'how' to win), then I'd rather not.
I'll stay with one or two questions that I personally DO want the answers to, for the contests containing content that I'm interested in, and I'll let the people abusing the system continue on building their book library out of your loophole.
But at the end of the day, I won't agree that it is set up fairly. And again, I'll agree to disagree politely, and move on.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Michael Sullivan:

You can say anything you like Greg, but when you state that you don't care because you don't get paid to, you lose credability in my eyes. If you cannot care about something simply because there is no paycheck attached, perhaps you need a small vacation.

I would gather that you are comming to this conclusion from my following statement.
I guess I would give more merit to these kinds of complaints if someone were getting paid for all this.
While I can see how you came to this conclusion, I feel that you have missunderstood my point. If anything I said came accross as rude or any kind of attack on you, Michael, then I sincerely apologize. However, I don't think I can explain my point any better than I have so....
Your opinion is that it is totally fair, and mine is that it is not. Lets agree to disagree, shall we?
Agreed.
[ March 08, 2004: Message edited by: Gregg Bolinger ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Michael Sullivan:
Giving participants equal opportunity to win makes it 'fair'.
Every participant has an equal chnace to win based on the number of on-topic posts they make. I don't see what could be fairer. I don't see why giving every participant an equal chance would be fairer.
Personally I think this whole issue is way overblown. Give me a choice between winning Bill Dudney's book or having four days to ask Bill Dudney a bunch of questions, I would take the latter every time.
Mike Firkser
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2003
Posts: 247

Fair is everybody knowing the rules in advance, and sticking to them. No matter what the rules are, people will try to work around them, for instance, they can create multiple identities. But to reiterate what was said in the last post - it is a great chance to personnally ask the author about his/her book. Winning the book would just be a bonus.
Now can't we all just get along?
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Give me a choice between winning Bill Dudney's book or having four days to ask Bill Dudney a bunch of questions, I would take the latter every time.

100% agree!!
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Mike Rutgers:
Fair is everybody knowing the rules in advance, and sticking to them.
The rules are on our book promotion page where everyone can read them. They haven't change in the year that I have been running the promotion.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: Book giveaway