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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The best construction blog competition: Discovering (and fixing) the glitches

Yesterday, on the other Construction Marketing Ideas blog, I posted the early voting results from the Design and Construction Report's Best Construction Blog competition.  The results caught me off guard.

In the contest rules, I had said you could vote as many times as you like, for as many blogs as you wish.  Unfortunately, I didn't read my own rules closely enough -- the tabulating software I use requires you to provide your email address and, once you've given it once, it won't allow you to vote again.

One contestant, appreciating the published rule "you can vote as many times as you like", then began testing with fake email addresses.  These, gulp, were successful.  The trick if you used this method would be to create an infinite number of phony email addresses and vote again, again and again some more.

While you could argue that allowing individuals to vote more than once is questionable, clearly it is even more questionable to allow voters to fake their identity.  This sort of "voting" occurs in countries without a democratic tradition, like Afghanistan! 

My solution?  I amended the rules.  You can only vote once, and you need a valid email address.  If you are fortunate enough to have more than one valid email address, yes, you can vote multiple times -- but your addresses have to be real!  (This may encourage some abuse but at least the process is manageable.  I doubt even the most assertive individual will have more than five or six valid email addresses and the time and effort to set up and establish additional addresses on your server just to enter the free competition is hardly worthwhile.)

Anyways, the results are arriving and I'm sure the competition will heat up in the weeks ahead.  In the meantime, feel free to vote and encourage friends, colleagues, employees and complete strangers to vote as well -- as long as they have unique, valid email addresses.

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