January Jumpstart Rules: An Explanation

January Jumpstart Rules: An Explanation

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Maxwell Ryan
Feb 11, 2008

Dear Readers (particularly those that are bent out of shape by Sklose's electrical tape headboard in this post), we totally understand your confusion and wanted to address it. This is what happened...

Basically we sent all the top vote getters to our judges panel with the instructions to elect one winner in each of the four basic categories:

- Best Hack
- Best Fabric
- Best Decorative Painting
- Best Paint or Finish

This is what it looked like to them:

Now, it is true that our intention was for the judges to ALSO award the last two out of this top vote getting group, but we did not make it very clear, so that THEY thought they could award these last two categories to anyone in the contest.

- Biggest Wow Factor
- Most Likely to be Copied

To their credit (and to our poor communication), they followed the contest closely and pulled out some dark horses, and three of them REALLY thought that SKLOSE would be the most likely to be copied - which is, after all, what we asked of them.

Now, we have - after a number of years - settled upon a bicameral decision process (like our Founding Fathers), which doesn't really make sense if you REALLY TRUST THE PEOPLE, but we found that our results were MUCH BETTER when we made this shift, and you, the people, have actually liked the results better too (believe me, we got a lot more negative email when it was ONLY a reader popularity vote).

So, we think that even despite the fact that we (the organizer) communicated poorly, those that made the first decisions (the readers) did a really good job, as did the final decision makers (the judges). Otherwise, we'd be far less happy with our January Jumpstart than we are, and we think it was a really great month.

In addition, we were heartened by the fact that in the end out of our SIX POSSIBLE WINNING SPOTS, we really did get six clear winners and runners up. While nothing is perfect, all of these folks, readers, judges and contestants did a great job and produced a really rich group of solutions to problems, all of which got your sweet attention.

We hope that even if you don't feel like making a black electrical tape headboard, you gained something NEW and WONDERFUL from all of these entrants and judges, and we promise to be even clearer and more foolproof next time.

Best, Maxwell & Co.

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