May 10, 2008

How to Win a Woot Derby: Flexing the Hotness

I submitted some entries at shirt.woot. Then I figured out their system. So for the second time, I'm removing myself from future contests. I conducted an experiment, and although I could use to to my advantage to win, I've decided not to be... somewhat dishonest?

Here's the post I made all over.

I'm no expert, but here's the dilly.

1. Design something cute or clever.

Here's the KEY!

1. Hotness is integral to maintaining momentum. If you can stay there, people will disregard all the junk to sift through and make judgement votes mainly on the hotness.
2. Submit at 12 noon Friday.
3. Have multiple accounts or have a few friends in your pocket.
4. Immediately, use your multiple accounts or friends to put you in the hotness.
5. Then at regular intervals. Have your friends, or using your multiple accounts, take your votes back. Then give them back. This will refresh your status in the hotness. If you have more than the others, you will be on top! WOW!
6. Provided you have enough votes, you can actually DOMINATE the hotness.

If so inclined and intelligent or resourceful, it would behoove you to find a scripter who could use a list of logins/passwords, a list of your derby entries, and have it automatically flex the votes for you.

I tried it this morning.

Last night, woot off blessed me with $5.03 Kites. So I signed up everyone in my family.

Then this morning, in the still of the rising sun, I flexed my votes. And VOILA! I was in the hotness.

Now, I can't say this will automatically help you to win, but it will certainly give you a fighting chance.

I came to this conclusion from several subtle sources.

1. comment once that essentially said "its not a fair fight when one person can have 30 votes to give and take"
2. comment once that said "whoever is refreshing the votes. stop"
3. i submitted a decent entry. NOTHING. i submitted a joke entry. within 15 minutes, I had 30 votes.
4. in the latest cyerpub, people spoke of playing with the votes.

I dont make accusations.

I dont point fingers.

I dont even think its all that wrong, I just think its too much trouble to deal with when I can go compete elsewhere with a little more rigid control of voting and printing.

Here's a funny. In signing up my family, Ive already commented under my family's account thinking I was under mine. LAHOHAOHOAHHAOHOAYIH

I'm just telling you how the Matrix works.

I'm Unplugging from the derbies. This time I wont waffle, cause I know I only have a small chance unless I go the way of the dark side.

So Look for my art, Real art, with heart and soul poured in, Elsewhere.

Now.... go work on making the playing field a little more level for yourself, if you want to put forth the effort.




Shig said...

Thanks for the info Jimi. I suspected this might be happening, but not to this extent.

I don't think this is the only factor to winning. I've won twice without employing any such "dark side" methods. But, I suspect since this derby has such high stakes many will stop at nothing to win.


Eden said...

I knew it wouldn't be difficult to juice the system...but didn't know it would be that easy.

Thanks for sharing.

jimiyo said...

Shig. I won as well, and I think the main reason was, I was unaware at the time that I had one of the experts supporting me.

I suppose it's OK. I mean, it works. It keeps the different teams with their own experts coming back to put their king on top.

An yes, there are wildcard winners. Designs that actually get momentum because of wooters actually liking the design. So congrats on your win.

I don't mind losing there, now that I know how it works, I could possibly start to gather voters to support my cause,

Im more bothered by the fact that they squashed my thread exposing how to do it in their forums. That's a reason to revolt, and show them that their system is weak.

Jake said...

This might explain how Edgar's design got 3rd in the Mother's Day derby but only sold about 575 shirts.

There's probably a simple fix for this -- just remove the Hotness. Woot loves useless stats but they can do without that one.

If they really want to level the playing field, track the shirt.woot purchases separately from wine.woot, etc. so you know how many SHIRTS each person has bought. Then, make their votes count as that number. So a person who has purchased 1 shirt can vote for any number of designs but their vote only adds 1 point, while a person who has purchased 100 shirts adds 100 points to a design when they vote for it. It might seem crazy but keep in mind that almost nobody will buy 100 woot shirts, even those idiots who buy every derby shirt out of some kind of misguided Woot brand loyalty. The idea is that a person who has purchased only 1 shirt isn't as likely to buy that weekend's Derby winners as someone who has purchased 15 shirts, so the big spender gets more influence in the voting. In your case all those family accounts wouldn't get votes because kites wouldn't qualify. Even someone trying to rig the vote by buying one shirt from 30 accounts would only rack up 30 total votes, the same as one person who has purchased 30 shirts on one account.

These two things wouldn't eliminate voting scams but it would come pretty close. Even buying extra votes by buying unwanted tees wouldn't really give someone an edge since any honest voter is also likely to build up a sizable voting block over time. With thousands of legitimate voters having real influence one Youth Minister and his wife (for example) could never make a real dent in the voting with their shenanigans. The Youth Minister could submit the same basic design over and over and over, but that's a different problem.