Vote for the Winner of the 2011 Blogging Scholarship

Posted on 15/11/11 7:11 PM by Amelia

Hi Everyone

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.

Who Should Win the 2011 Blogging Scholarship?
View Results

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.

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124 Comments on “Vote for the Winner of the 2011 Blogging Scholarship”

  1. Joe Morris Says:

    The kid is fantastic. He deserves this.

  2. Bill Goldthorp Says:

    Camille deserves this win.
    And she is a babe.

  3. Paul Jun Says:

    I would love to know how this was judged.

  4. Brittany Says:

    Kendra rocks….brains and passion in action!

  5. Carl Facé Says:

    Ben Swanson works very hard and definitely deserves this.

  6. Joshua Priemski Says:


  7. Camille? MORE LIKE CHEATILLE Says:

    Camille Beredjick is CHEATING!

    And I quote from her Facebook…

    Bianca Rosen Siegel
    How often can we vote?!?
    Like · · about an hour ago

    Camille Beredjick I don’t know! Looking into it!
    about an hour ago · Like · 1
    Anne Ciccarelli If you have a smartphone/different computers, you could probably vote different times because of that. I know that because I just DID. #iphone
    about an hour ago · Like · 1
    Nina Rogers also different browsers
    37 minutes ago · Like
    Camille Beredjick phones work. different browsers have not yet worked for me but they may for someone else.
    36 minutes ago · Like
    Anthony Fat Tony Ashfield I tried on a different computer but it didn’t work 🙁

    35 minutes ago · Like
    Ariel Drehobl Probably has to be on a different IP address..
    16 minutes ago · Like


  8. Jasminder Says:

    Good work Miraj! Well done!

  9. no one Says:

    CardboardGerald’s got this

  10. Jane Gomez Says:

    Delana, Good Luck you deserve it!!

  11. Calvin Says:

    If karma exists, Ben Swanson will win. He deserves it.

  12. Andrew Says:

    #TeamBenSwanson #TeamFairPlay

  13. Me Says:

    Any competition like this where people vote, and the quality of work isn’t really considered, kinda raises some eyebrows….

  14. Rufus Says:

    So Chelsea Long went from 51 to 650 votes (and counting) in 25 minutes? Check your systems, foo.

  15. Jacob Smith Says:

    Ben Swanson deserves it, nobody works harder. (#TEAMBENSWANSON)

  16. Arjun Chandrasekhar Says:

    vote for ben swanson. he’s a great guy, hard worker, and really knowledgeable and passionate about the subject.

  17. Anne Says:

    Camille is amazing and totally deserves it! Good luck, Cambam 🙂

  18. Hori Says:

    Camille developed her blog through TUMBLR. very grass-roots; Through hard work and dedication she has gotten 15k followers. Not through a built-in fanbase or bigger, companion website; all on her own. CAMILLE DESERVES THIS!! PLUS SHE GOES TO NORTHWESTERN, GOOGLE OUR TUITION, TIMES ARE HARD MAN.

  19. Go 'Cats! Says:

    Camille’s extraordinary work should get rewarded. #teamcamille

  20. @ASternWarning Says:

    Ben Swanson, that cat is bobbing his nose in front and deserves it.

  21. Ray Says:

    RTJR ROCKS!!!! @rayguy0

  22. Erika Says:

    Kendra Lay is a dedicated and hard-working functional medicine graduate student who carves out what little time is left in her schedule to go above and beyond in sharing what she is learning with others in her blog…a gift of knowledge and information with heartfelt genuineness. Vote Kendra!!

  23. Ariel Says:

    Camille puts her whole life into her blog. She works so incredibly hard on it and it really is her passion and her life. If anyone deserves to win a prize for their blog, it’s definitely her. Not only is her blog phenomenal, she does it all herself. And she’s writing about one of the most important issues this country faces today – Gay Rights. She has helped countless teenagers find hope through her words, and I really admire all the good she does through her work.

  24. Liz S. Says:

    Ray Sanders works incredibly hard on his blog, performing Outreach programs for Arizona States astronomy program, teaching kids in low-income schools about astronomy, constellations and how to work telescopes, running the planetarium presentations, organizing Yuri’s night events, etc. etc. etc… the list goes on for what he does! When he’s not doing outreach and studying, he’s doing research or helping to get ASU’s radial telescope functioning, and then on top of all of that, he does his blog to help people learn about the stars without all the mumbo-jumbo scientific jargon.

  25. Hina Says:

    go miraj you deserve it

  26. -FT Says:

    GayWrites deserves to win just because of the fantastic pun.

  27. caroline hyneman Says:


  28. Atique Virani Says:

    Ben Swanson blogs like Kobe juts jaws.

  29. Al Harrington Says:


  30. NBA Says:

    Our NBA twitter Community has gone thru alot this past summer with no basketball, Community most likely getting cancelled, and Lori,Andrea,and Carl ruining the Walking Dead. So we deserve CardboardGerald to win this!!!!!! RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Louie Says:


  32. JP Says:


  33. Hamad Says:


  34. Alex Adelman Says:


  35. April Says:

    I tried clicking the link below the name to vote, but nothing happens?


    ed response: You have to click the radio button then click on vote.

  36. Denise Tansey Says:

    Kendra is sincere and dedicated, and has worked hard. She is deserving of the scholarship.

  37. L'Orange Says:

    Mr. Swanson all day.


  38. Karl Malone Says:

    Ben’s got this all day err’day

  39. Mac G Says:

    Ben Swanson willingly spends his time following all things Bobcats. That is award worthy in itself. He defended an ego maniac like MJ’s stubborn self absorbed lockout stances recently and his well expressed arguments even had me sold for more than a sec, that is talent. Plus now he has to write about Kwame Brown instead of Stephen Jackson. That should seal your vote.

    Elect Ben Swanson cuz he looks after the honey badger.

  40. Alvin Says:

    Go Ben! Pinoy Supporter from Singapore!

  41. Rabea Says:

    Thumbs up for KEVIN FLORA! I’m sure everyone on this page deserves it – but he deserves it most 😉

  42. Edward Bubeneck Says:

    Good cause: deserves it.

  43. Ben's Dad Ron Says:

    Just give Ben all of the clicks and votes you have. Wait, wait. I worry what you just heard was, “Give Ben a lot of clicks and votes.” What I said was, “Give Ben all of the clicks and votes you have.”

  44. Conrad Kaczmarek Says:


  45. Kevin Cary Says:

    As a former sports reporter with more than 15 years of experience, I’ve seen many bylines of young writers. Yet, Ben Swanson’s passion for sports writing (through his Rufus on Fire blog and other projects) illustrates an uncommon potential. Ben doesn’t just write – he’s knowledgeable, engaging, and understands just how to present his content in an ever-changing media landscape. Vote for Ben – he’s earned it.

  46. Tyson Says:

    Good luck Kevin!

  47. Parker Says:

    You got this!

  48. Judith Chambers Says:

    Camille’s blog is superb,a perfect blend of intellect, imagination, and humanity.

  49. Ginny Deckelmann Says:

    Good Luck, John!!! Your blog was fantastic!!!

  50. Gary Says:

    Heather Cohen: Science Rockstar!

  51. judy Murphy Says:

    Masters misses you!Good luck.
    Mrs. Murphy

  52. Southern Fried Scientist Says:

    Shiffman for the win!

  53. Richard Simon Says:

    John’s writing is as thoughtful, humane and honest as he is. And what beautiful photography! Thank you, John, for sharing your journey this way.

  54. Dot Montgomery Says:

    Kevin Flora really deserves this. He has put in many long hours and time away to achieve his goals. We are very proud of him and would love to see him recieve this honor.

  55. Sharon Peppers Says:

    Best wishes, David. I enjoy your writing. Sharon

  56. applescotch mcguillicutty Says:

    Philip tancredo’s blog has a clever visual pun of the highs bosons as pac man.

  57. Matt Turner Says:





  59. Dr. K.R. Patel Says:

    Wow! Go Miraj. You truly deserve the scholarship! My family enjoy your writing style. Wish you all the Best Beta!

  60. Betty hubbard Says:

    Delayna has had a desire to write and be creative for years and has such a flar with ideas and words that turns your imagination loose and brings such wonderful happiness of feelings or depth of thinking—shes a genious when it comes to words because shes a sincere, loving, and most talented young woman with, as you can see many responsabilities to care for and shes raised up to meet the challenge so eloquently . ….PLEASE VOTE FOR HER…she DESERVES all our support—Shes trying so hard to be self suffecient & how can we not support her for that….


  61. Julie and Dan Stolzer Says:

    We, at the Stolzer family, are huge fans of Brian McElhinney and the “Raise the Jolly Roger” Blog — keep it up. Best wishes

  62. Cannon Says:

    Ben has more ambition and direction than anyone I’ve met his age. #TeamSwanson

  63. BEV KLEIN Says:

    THE BEST !!!!!!

  64. Simon Says:

    Good luck Brian !

  65. Gerald Wallace Says:

    Vote for Ben Swanson everyone!

  66. Andrew Says:

    How can you not vote for Brian McElhinny, he is the only reason half of Pittsburgh can follow the Pirates through the entire season. Great Blogger.

  67. Amita Patel Says:

    My best wishes,MIRAJ. You deserve.

    By Amita Bua. PA on november 16th 2011

  68. Arturo Betancourt Says:

    Chelsea is awsome! not only a great person, but also a great servant. I’ve seen her in action serving the poors in the Dominican Republic and followed her through her race around the world to the poorest countries of the world helping out. So, why not help her now. Go ahead, vote for Chelsea.

  69. Margaret DeYoung Says:

    #TEAMBENSWANSON Strikes again. He deserves it!

  70. Joy Fauth Says:

    I vote for Kendra Lay, she is most deserving of this award.

    Joy Fauth

  71. Patrick Driscoll Says:

    Mark — Pick a good seminary — TMS?

  72. Karen Says:

    I look forward to your blog posts… the next best thing to being there.

  73. Ryan Says:

    Mark, I’m prayin’ you pull ahead.

    God bless.

    HereIVote for HereIBlog

  74. kim dingess Says:

    Go Brian,
    The Pittsburgh baseball community needs you!
    Kim and John Dingess

  75. Mason Says:

    Whoever this “Team Swanson” is is cheating. I’ve watched that whenever Brian McElhinny gets a few votes, Swanson’s go up by about 50. Looks fishy…

  76. Julie Larson Says:

    I worked with Kendra Lay as she really discovered how to take her health into her own hands and while she weighed her decision to study Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. She has never looked back….it was meant to be her path all along as is sharing her growing wealth of knowledge through blogging. VOTE KENDRA!

  77. Frank Turk Says:

    There’s something pretty obvious happening here — at least two of the bloggers on this list have more votes than they have page views in the average week. I realize that all voting systems get gamed, but this is absurd. If the system is meant to be one viewer, one vote, them a little policing has to get passed down to what’s happening here.

  78. Patrick Harrel Says:

    #TeamSwanson Ben deserves this for sure.

  79. Sue Warner Says:

    Kendra Lay has an incredible blog for someone like me that suffers from Crohns disease and IBS. Her recipes are easy and delicious. Love them all !

  80. Shelleigh Moses Says:

    My vote is for Kevin Flora.

  81. Alpesh Says:

    Good Luck Miraj, i enjoyed

  82. Gerald Wallace Says:

    Ben Swanson FTW

  83. Terry Says:

    Sharks deserve a chance…

  84. Rollie Fingers Says:

    Ben Swanson is a gentleman and a scholar. Wait, he’s only a gentleman now and that’s why he needs your vote! His blog is awesome. Now if he could just grow a mustache…. #TEAMSWANSON

  85. andrea Says:

    Shannyn ROCKS

  86. Zack Says:

    Vote for Brian! By far the nicest kid in the world. He works hard and he would do anything to help you out! VOTE FOR BRIAN!!! #TEAMBMAC

  87. Dan Says:

    Brian McElhinny

  88. Rick Reynolds Says:

    Kendra has been doing an outstanding job with her blog!

  89. Andre Muller Says:

    Best of luck David!!!!!

  90. Rosie Montgomery Says:

    Good luck Kevin. Hope you win.

  91. truth Says:

    Isn’t it interesting how “Terry” posted a comment saying “Sharks deserve a chance…” and the name originally lined to a site that appeared to mask IP addresses, allowing multiple votes…and then magically overnight, the blog about sharks got thousands and thousands of votes. Incredible.

  92. James Says:

    I wasn’t aware sharks knew how to use computers…. Over 5000 votes in three hours? If you’re going to write a program to get yourself votes at least run it subtlety.

  93. Paul Crooks Says:

    Since yesterday’s votes there has been a great shiffman!

  94. dt Says:

    Nobody’s ‘stache holds a candle to Rollie Fingers’

  95. Joe Morris Says:


  96. Bakulesh Patel Says:

    Good work Miraj. you blog was awesome

  97. Nazr Says:

    Ben Swanson’s writing is that of a more articulate mongoose. Although writing about a team that is diseased beyond repair, he provides the light at the end of a very, very, very long tunnel for this doomed franchise. Peace, love, and Bobcats. #TeamBenSwanson

  98. Ike Says:

    Go Ben!!!

  99. Joann Oleary Says:

    Delana Lefevers is a wonderful young lady. She is trying to support her 3 kids on her own while going to school full time. She can REALLY use this money

  100. Jared Says:

    I don’t know any of the bloggers taking part in this contest. So rather than casting a vote just to help a buddy out, I’m actually reading over each blog. I see several candidates worthy of a scholarship. However, as a fellow scientist (or scientist in training) I really support the mission statement of Jacquelyn Gill. Science works to better our understanding of the world. Sharing new knowledge and perspective with the general public is a noble cause, and that’s why Contemplative Mammoth has earned my vote.

  101. Boris Diaw Says:

    Votez pour Ben Swanson. Il est un blogueur légitime

  102. David Says:

    Brian McElhinny deserves this. He is a Pirate fan for god’s sake. He needs shown a little compassion.

  103. Rich Says:


  104. James Tampa Says:

    Ray you deserve it for all you do!!!

  105. Margaret Harrison Says:

    Kendra is the best. She deserves to win.

  106. Andrew Says:

    On Ron Swanson Thursday, Vote Ben Swanson, he will not use a dot com to get online votes. Dot com.

    He plays within the system. #TeamBenSwanson #TeamFairplay

  107. Mary Swanson Says:

    Vote for Simpson.. Sampson.. Swanson…. SAMPSONITE!

    No seriously, VOTE FOR SWANSON

  108. Mac G Says:

    Delana Lefevers is a cheater and should be removed from contention. Instead of using the true grass roots way by encouraging readers, followers and friends for votes, she used a service to bump herself to the lead.


  109. Truth police Says:

    Delana Lefevers is using this site to get votes Idk if thats legal but is sure is wrong to the other participants who are putting in hard work and hours into there blogs to get cheated like this. And she is still losing cheaters never prosper ….#TeamSwanson

  110. Andrew Says:

    On Ron Swanson Thursday, Vote Ben Swanson, he will not use a dot com to get online votes. Dot com. Unlike…

    He plays within the system. #TeamBenSwanson #TeamFairplay

  111. Sly Robbie Says:

    Good luck Brian, and best wishes to all of the candidates. Go Yankees! (And in Brian’s case, go Pirates.)

  112. Ben's Dad Ron Says:

    Just give Ben all of the clicks and votes you have. Wait, wait, I’m worried what you heard was, “Give Ben a lot of clicks and votes.” What I said was, “Give Ben all of the clicks and votes you have.”

  113. Michelle Says:

    I met Delana via a blog when I was only fourteen. Her understanding and non-condescending wisdom helped me through those hard, uncomfortable years. Almost nine years later, I’m glad she is still in my life. I am hoping to have the opportunity to attempt to repay her a little bit for putting up with me being a teenager. Vote for Delana!

  114. Phillip Epstein Says:


  115. April Says:

    I don’t see any radio buttons. Maybe someone else who’s on the same network as me already voted? Wish I could vote, too. 🙁

  116. Shaun @ Money Cactus Says:

    Wow, some big numbers up there! I’m voting for Shannyn, go read her story on her blog and see what you think.

  117. Derky Says:

    Ben seems to be cheating – hes not that popular

  118. Frank Turk Says:

    I reiterate my concern that the voting is getting gamed. When blogs than have fewer than 10,000 page views a week have 30K+ votes, someone has found a way around legitimate voting.

  119. susan collacott Says:


  120. Sissy Says:

    Yeah Kevin !!!!!!!

  121. Jackie Fernandez Says:

    Vote for Heather Cohen!

  122. Jasminder Says:

    Ben is definitely cheating.

  123. peg Indermaur Says:

    good luck

  124. Makayla Mack Says:

    Everybody should vote for KEVIN FLORA!!!! He works so hard and wants this sooo bad. Goooo Kevin!

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