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Are the book giveaways truly fair?  RSS feed

 
octavyn pittman
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I like the book giveaways a lot. Understandably this is to raise posts, membership and morale, and a great mechanism to do it. Not to raise any heckles over something that is free, just a question to set my expectations...
I read in a post back in around September or so about a formula used to determine the winners and it involved:
proper name
proper config of preferences
# of posts in the given forum
whether or not post was a question or an answer
random selection
no concern for global location
Are these the factors used to determine recipients? Is there a filtration mechanism used in the process before the pool of names is weighted and selected from, eg. types of posts, content of posts, previous posts by participants in other forums, race, color, left-handedness, etc? Do people agree that it is a pretty fair way to do it?
Just wondering,
OP
 
Peter Pascale
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I agree that the weighting should be as fair as possible. But I don't mind an incentive for answers. These forums would be worthless if qualified, experienced folks weren't lurking to answer questions and discuss.
 
Thomas Paul
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The post must be on topic (can't post about your sick cat), and you must be properly registered. There isn't anything else. Random selection is the way it is done. We have been looking at possible ways to get more experienced developers to participate. One possibility is that one book will be held back and voted on by the admins for the most helpful poster.
 
paul wheaton
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Bill Compton wrote a program that will scan a forum for all entries that fit the date range and show ten random winners. The program shows the user name, e-mail address and the selected message text.
Carl Trusiak will run this program and examine the winning entries. The first four out of ten that meet the selection criteria are the winners.
 
Andy Ceponis
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The current system sounds good to me. I mean the ranch doesnt have to give anything away at all, but they do. I think its damn nice of them to do so. Randomness is the way to go.
 
octavyn pittman
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Thanks Paul(s) for the response, OP
 
Carl Trusiak
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I think everything was pretty much summed up already The only thing I have to add is... The only other disqualified people are those who can influence the out come. Paul, me, the Author and Publisher Personnel.
 
Peter Tran
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I've looked through the program and it's a pretty impressive. Take it from me that it's very fair.
-Peter
 
ryan burgdorfer
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Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
Bill Compton wrote a program that will scan a forum for all entries that fit the date range and show ten random winners. The program shows the user name, e-mail address and the selected message text.
Carl Trusiak will run this program and examine the winning entries. The first four out of ten that meet the selection criteria are the winners.

Paul, does the text in green above mean that every message from the user within the date range is displayed, and they all have to be read to be sure they are on-topic?
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Jim Yingst
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No. To choose one winner, one message is picked at random from all those in the taget date range. If that message is on-topic, and the user name and e-mail are valid, that person wins. Otherwise, another message is selected (most likely from someone else). Repeat until you have the desired number of winners. So, people with more on-topic posts have more chances to win. Off-topic posts don't actually count against you, but they don't help either.
 
Guennadiy VANIN
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Jim,
does picking depend on the size of post, i.e. is it picked over heading or content of message (in this latter case the time of scanning the post scanning will influence result and will also depend on fragmentation of post on hard disk).
In other words, is there preliminary stage of choosing posts and cutting the internal context?
Then, Javaranch's search gives for total only 1 found message per thread independently on the number posts inside. So, does it mean that there is no sense lingering inside the sam thread?
[This message has been edited by G Vanin (edited November 14, 2001).]
 
paul wheaton
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The size of your message does not matter.
Bill's program selects ten winners at random from the forum restricted to a date range. Carl looks at the first message and decides if it meets the criteria or not. If it does, it is a definite winner. If it does not, it is skipped.
If the message is really short and offers no substantial topical contribution, it will never win.
Writing lots of fluff actually decreases your chances of winning. If you take that same time and write a few good, substantial messages, you increase your odds of winning.
 
Fei Ng
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"Bill's program selects ten winners at random from the forum restricted to a date range. Carl looks at the first message and decides if it meets the criteria or not. If it does, it is a definite winner. If it does not, it is skipped.
If the message is really short and offers no substantial topical contribution, it will never win. "
I see....
Paul, What happen when a person purposely posted 2 posts with somewhat a similar question or one question divided it into two posts?

thanks

[This message has been edited by FEI NG (edited November 14, 2001).]
 
Carl Trusiak
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Originally posted by FEI NG:
[BPaul, What happen when a person purposely posted 2 posts with somewhat a similar question or one question divided it into two posts?
[/B]

I try and catch these before the selection process. The Moderators are watching for this type of thing constantly. One usually gets closed, though, some get missed and in that case, both are eligable. Though, if someone is trying this tactic, it is STRONGLY discouraged.
 
Guennadiy VANIN
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I do not want to cite but I saw many consecutive one-phrase posts from the same users... that takes the time and space of the others, draws unduly attention with a lot of posts...
I beleive the policy should be clear and clearly written
Sometimes, I remebered, I repeated a post just because this cite has some incoviniencies in visibility (especially if it appears as 1, 2,3,...)
 
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