Notes: November 2007 Archives
While the results in many categories now appear certain, there are still many that are too close to call. Here are a few of the too close to call categories:
Best Celebrity Blogger - Wil Wheaton vs. Gilbert Arenas. Agent Zero is closing quickly on Wheaton, the only question is whether he can pull off another buzzer beater.
Best Technology Blog - Gizmodo vs. Engadget. 40,000 votes between them, split nearly evenly.
Best Conservative Blog - Michelle Malkin vs. Ace of Spade HQ. A few hundred votes separate them.
Best Law Blog - Above the Law vs. The Volokh Conspiracy. A few hundred votes separate them as well.
Video of the Year - Hamm Nation DC Sopranos vs. Chocolate Rain. Very close between them. Note that you can watch all of the videos right on the voting page!
Of course you are encourgaged to vote in as many categories as you want; we just wanted to highlight a couple very close races where your votes in the final hours will determine the winners.
Rating: 3.7/5 (3 votes cast)
Given the enormous interest generated by The 2007 Weblog Awards it is perhaps no surprise that our system comes under heavy load at times. The good news is that the occasional service slow downs are (with the exception of Wednesday) very brief - usually 5 minutes or less. The database and web server are self correcting and will automatically restart themselves if error conditions exist.
With voting winding down we'd like to extend our thanks to all of the finalists for their participation and to readers from all over the world for embracing the competition and supporting their favorite blogs.
Special thanks to Sean Gleeson for the site design and Flash design and to Pete Holiday for last minute programming help the night before voting opened. Also I'd like to extend a very special thanks to the amazing team of volunteers who pored thought the thousands of nominations to help select the 490 finalists. Without their efforts none of this would be possible.
Throughout the day, and past the point when polls close I'll be validating the results. Where appropriate there will be adjustments to the displayed results with a note pointing to the reasons for the changes. We've only had a few isolated cases of excessive voting so far, so it's not been much of an issue to this point.
Rating: 3.4/5 (5 votes cast)
Yes we're having server issues. Yes we're working on it. Check back in a few hours when load is down.
Update (6:30 p.m. EST): The issues have been identified and fixed. Things had gone very well until the moment I stepped onto a plane this morning. Load had not been a problem (we handled 275,000 visitors yesterday and half a million or more page views), so I had no more worry about things going horribly wrong today than I do on any other day during the voting. In a nutshell there was a perfect storm of small problems with no one baby sitting the server when they occurred. Of course getting hit by thousands of requests a minute never helps when attempting to diagnose and correct problem.
Load is still high, but the polls are functioning. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Rating: 3/5 (8 votes cast)
We are announcing today that polls will close Thursday November 8, 2007 at 10:00 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is 5:00 p.m. (EST) and 2:00 p.m. (PST).
Since Friday approximately The Weblog Awards has had over 1.3 million page views and 615,000 visitors and that number keeps skyrocketing upward. Our Site Meter is wide open for readers to poke around in. If you want to see who is voting and where they're coming from there are lots of interesting stats there.
Yesterday we added poll embedding options for a majority of categories. Next year we plan to have a scoreboard widget available for sites to show a small running results listing of their favorite polls. We just ran out of time this year to get that built, and frankly it's a little too late to be of much value.
Finally, we get lots of questions and accusations about various sites cheating or encouraging cheating. We do investigate every complaint and take action where appropriate. There is a bit of a disconnect between our "one vote per day" rule and what is technically possible in any voting system. We are able to limit voters to one vote per day per computer. Historically we've not stressed out about this because, A) it's not a large issue, and B) trying to crackdown on that would disenfranchise large numbers of voters and violate the spirit of fun which is one of our guiding principles. If you want to vote on your home PC and your work PC we're not going to stop you. We've seen just about every trick in the book since 2003, and we know cheating when we see it. Pointing out that it is possible to vote once a day per PC in a blog comment isn't really on par with attempting to hack our polls, is it?
We concentrate on identifying and removing actual cheaters.
Rating: 3/5 (6 votes cast)
Check out the ecosystem categories this morning. All of the ecosystem categories now have code available for you to embed the voting poll on your site. We're going to monitor this today for performance issues then, assuming there are no major issues, start adding it to some other categories this evening.
Rating: 2.4/5 (7 votes cast)
So much to cover...
First, as with every year we get reports of sporadic problems loading polls. There appears to be no discernible correlations among the reports. What we do know is that all major browsers show the polls just fine. If you don't see text for a particular poll it *could* be a situation where our server is near a database resource limit. None of the our technical folks have seen this, but it is a plausible explanation for some of the reported problems. The good news is that coming back to the site a little later will usually solve a problem like this.
Next we meed to clear-up a misconception a few e-mailers seem to have. Some people have e-mailed concerned that a particular blog is way ahead in a category and that it's ruining the integrity of the awards. Here's the thing; a this point The Weblog Awards really *belong* to the finalists. Our only job is to make sure things keep working, find and remove the votes of any cheaters, and to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate. After giving voters 49 slates of 10 finalists that they could get excited about casting votes for I'm as much a spectator to the progress of the voting as anyone else.
This is a viral event, and sites that do a better job of turning out readers to vote tend to do better. We've seen all sorts of campaigning tactics over the years and based on what I've heard many of the same tactics are being employed again this year by various sites.
In regards to cheating, I've confirmed one minor instance and will be removing votes and posting notices in the forums. I'm sure I'll find a few more as the days go on, but overall things are going smoothly and cheating is nearly non-existent.
Finalist, if you notice any talk of cheating or speculation about how to cheat in comment threads at your site we'd appreciate if you would remove such comments and warn your readers about discussing such things. We encourage participation by everyone, but expect everyone to abide by our voting rules. Speculating about how to game the system only makes sites in which such comments appear seem to be suspect. We don't want that for you; we want everyone to have a good time and enjoy the experience of being a finalist.
To those visiting for the first time please explore all the categories and go read as many of the finalist blogs as you can. That's what The Weblog Awards is really about, it's not about who wins, it's about everyone who participates winning by gaining exposure.
Finally, I haven't tallied the number of votes cast yet, but my estimate is that it's somewhere in the 250,000 range. Pretty good for a weekend...
Rating: 2.4/5 (5 votes cast)