Vote for the Winner of the 2011 Blogging ScholarshipNovember 15th, 2011 by Amelia
The new voting page is here. Please ignore the below voting script on this page.
Our site had 2 polling scripts installed & it looks like this year the one that was enabled was the one that didn’t have all the anti-cheating features working. In years past some people would complain about cheating (whoever was behind) and then someone else would get in the lead (often a person who said someone else was cheating!) and then they would be labeled a cheater, however we were not able to detect any significant amount of ballot stuffing. This year with the wrong polling software it was far too easy to manipulate the results & some folks did.
We have spent the past couple days testing out & verifying an alternative solution, which uses AJAX, does result order randomization, tracks IP addresses, and sets cookies. We are satisfied that it adequately protects the competition from cheating & are starting the vote from scratch using it.
Here is a picture of the old results before we erased that poll
What makes us certain some folks were vote stuffing? Well numerous finalists had over 60,000 votes & the whole site has had less than 60,000 unique visitors since voting began.
[updated: confirming how absurd the above was, here is a example of what happened to web traffic after we changed out the poll
notice that while the number of unique visitors didn't change much from day to day, over 100,000 fake pageviews disappeared overnight]
To make up for this problem we are doing the following:
- starting the vote from scratch today. everyone gets a clean slate.
- extending voting 1 week. it now ends at November 30th at noon pacific.
- since some people might try to circumvent any limits that are put in place, we decided that allowing people to vote once per 24 hour period further helps level the playing field.
- closely monitoring voting for any suspicious voting patterns adjusting downward any votes that our programmer & system admin believes are driven by cheating. we will periodically rotate the field options in addition to the random order display to further nullify any cheating attempts.
We realize that the vote stuffing may not have even been done by any of our finalists, but by some friends who wanted them to win. Thus we are not really blaming anyone for this issue other than ourselves for using the wrong voting script. The new one has been rigorously tested. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Want to know who writes which blog? Please check out all the blogs here.
Voting ends at noon pacific time on November 23rd. Voting has been extended 1 week.