Friday, October 9, 2015

Nickfluence Animation Challenge UPDATE

HEYYYYY, everyone!

So a lot has happened in the Nickfluence People's Choice competition since my last post. I almost don't even know where to begin!

I encourage you to read my last post if you want any context, or
 my thoughts and opinions on the Entries themselves.

I'll start with my interactive Leaderboards (I update these daily).

The first graph is the most interesting, because it shows the rate of increase for each Entry in the contest.
Let me give you a play-by-play so you can understand the highlights so far.

   October 6th is when the People's Choice competition went from being a game to a war. This is the day when Priscilla (Don't Give Up) made the first power-move and gained over 300 votes in one day. This is a turning point in the competition because Priscilla gained such a substantial lead that even front-runner contestants like Christina ("Thank You") showed a loss in votes because of discouragement. Who could compete with her then when she had such a lead? It seemed impossible.

(Meanwhile, I continued to walk along, and I managed to emerge from the rabble of lost souls under 250 votes. That is where the majority of Entries remain.)

Over the next couple days, things got even more heated. On Oct. 7th, a new short appeared-- "Stages of Life" by Abby (the short must have been late because of moderators approving the short late or something). Abby managed to garner over 400 votes in her first day, which is terrifying. I had only managed to get to 271 that day, and she surpassed me very quickly.

Now here is when it gets crazy.

I was walking to my job yesterday obsessing over this (I have fun obsessing over things like this even if I know it's mostly a nebulous competition. Just humor me here. ;P ) And I was thinking about the sheer amount of votes that these contestants are able to garner in so short a time.

For the record, I want to mention that I have NO real reason to believe that any contestants are "cheating" by changing their IP addresses and voting multiple times. I don't believe anyone is cheating because 1) I spoke with another contestant and she divulged how she was truly able to do it, and 2) I was able to garner votes myself so I know that the most efficient way to get votes is to "go viral" within a circle of influence. Meaning if you can get 300 people to click on something simultaneously, then you just got 300 votes. So if a boss sends a company email, for instance, than you've got a viral spike on your hands.

I thought to myself, "How am I going to compete with this? If I actually want to challenge these guys, then I can't just "play games". This is make or break. This is not a game, this is going to have to be a war or I have no chance. I am going to have to make my own power-moves if I want any chance of seeing 1st place." And so from then on, I resolved that I was all in. I was going to make some serious moves. Because according to the numbers, I could never get along with 50-60 votes per-day. I was going to have to get hundreds  of votes every day. More like 300-400 at least.

So what did I do? Well, the funny thing is I don't feel like I did much.

I wrote out a comically inspirational (but totally sincere) speech and directed it to my Facebook and Google+ friends. Then both of my brothers solicited their large fan-bases and circles of influence for support. Soon enough, within several hours of doing so, I was going "viral" and I made over 200 votes that night. And that's when I realized: that's how it's done. These are the weapons with which this war is fought: inspiration-fueled solicitation shared from person to person. And that is the power that can get you hundreds of votes in a couple hours.

But during the same time, another player was making their move.

During the course of Oct 8th, Ellen (Of Dragons and Men) made probably the biggest move yet--making well over 500 votes and continuing the next day until she was well into the 1,000's. Whatever dark powers she invoked, I do not yet know. Ellen, if you're reading this, I'd love to hear about it.

And that leaves us at today. Today Priscilla is over 2,000, Ellen is into the 1,000's, and I am almost in the 1,000's myself.

Is this what the "People's Choice" competition was meant to be? No. But is that what it's become? Absolutely yes. This has become an entirely different game. And if it's a war my competitors want, it's a war they'll get. ;)

So best of luck to all of you.

And if you're not voting for yourself, make sure to vote for my short!

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