Long, Drawn Out Online Contests, Won’t You Go Away?
Throughout the year, individuals and companies alike will pose a question to the general public put things to a vote, or will try to get people to accumulate entries (like a raffle drawing) to gather a community to pay as much attention to them as possible, and become so invested in their product that the people will become invested in the company. Being a mostly baseball-focused guy, I will only see the contests that happen for professional baseball, so I can’t even imagine the things that the NFL, NBA, NHL, and NCAA do for their fanbase, which are probably all just as horrible as what I see throughout the year.
Right now, the current taking-too-long-contest looks like this:
— Reds (@Reds) February 21, 2013
Or his opponent:
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) February 20, 2013
It doesn’t always look like this, but imagine this times everyday in three weeks, especially if you hang out on social media like I do
sometimes all the time, so you can imagine how eye-roll-inducing this can get. These contests don’t always necessary come out with the “right” answer.
Exhibit A gives you ESPN’s “Battle of the Ballparks” where #24 seed Miller Park beat out #3 see AT&T Park for the fan-voted “Best Ballpark” when a horde of Brewers fans put their keyboards to work, and they did it in large, successful numbers. It is unfair of me to say I know Miller Park isn’t the best park out there when I haven’t been there, but you’re telling me it’s going to be better than two extraordinary parks I have been to in AT&T and Fenway? I haven’t even been to PNC!
Exhibit B of “possible wrong answer” is admittedly the All Star Game when fans are able to vote from mid-April for their favorite players to represent their league. Fan participation is so key when voting for a player, especially if you’re set in a pretty big market like New York and…
Wright vs.Sandoval: A city of 8 million was outvoted by a city of 800,000.
— Sandy Alderson (@MetsGM) July 2, 2012
Pablo did end up being the right answer for the Giants and the National League, but I remember knowing in my heart David should have got the starting nod (interesting to think how the All Star Game might have been different). Remember that Matt Cain was not decided by the fans, but by Tony La Russa and his influencers. Admittedly, fans will get plenty of answers “right” when it comes to All Star voting.
These voting contests are painful to watch because hardly are they ever fun, and after a couple days of rooting and rooting, I can’t speak for everybody, but my enthusiasm certainly takes a Frank Thomas-sized hit. You’re just waiting for it to end. Hoping it ends soon, just missing the way things were, even if it was nothing. When it ends, you breathe a sigh of relief, take a month off to enjoy the little things in life, and you forget these contests ever existed.