Monday, August 18, 2008

An Open Letter To My Readers

Readers and Friends-

First of all, my sincere apologies for what happened to last weekend's scheduled contest. The topic announcement [previous post] had some series issues, which I will address shortly. Possible participants may have been driven away by the confusing nature of the post as published. Others, who may have somehow pieced out the meaning, may have considered the topic "Why I ride side-saddle" beneath contempt [actually, it came from a 50's American TV show with a similar concept]. At any rate, there were no entries. No entries - no prize.Sorry. Please understand that none of this was my intention.

Since this happened, I've been trying to figure out what went wrong. Here's what I've come up with so far:

-the contest was poorly conceived. Very possible. It certainly wasn't set up like most contests of late. There was no required series of things to do to acquire "points". But there was a reason for that. I wanted a contest that didn't require you to do things you really didn't want to do. Hey, I'd love it if you subscribe to this feed. But only if you're really interested in reading it, and don't want to miss any posts. Otherwise, it's just "invited spam" and, quite frankly, who needs it? Is it really possible that people prefer jumping through hoops to doing a bit of creative writing? Another question I've been mulling over. The jury is still out on that one.

-it was poorly publicised. Again, very possible. One thing that requiring contestants to blog about the contest does is to spread the word quickly. And certainly anyone could have written about it if they so chose. But it was not a requirement, and, looking back, I don't think I'd make it one even now.

-did running a contest on my blog violate some arcane Blogger regulation? Uncertain, but I doubt it. I don't know anyone who carefully reads every word of the Blogger rules before creating a blog. I know I didn't. If that is the case, my bad. Again, sorry.

That's what I've got so far. I'm sure there are other factors that may occur to me, as I replay the events in my mind. But there is one element that I didn't have total control over that may have contributed to this fiasco; the incomplete nature of the topic announcement post. Here, I frankly have no idea. I sent it as a "scheduled post", only to discover that, in its published form, certain portions were masked [that is, some of the post appears invisible. If you want to read it, just mouse over the blank sections while holding down the left mouse button]. This happened to me once before, a couple of years ago. You can look into the matter at: To be very honest, I'm still not exactly sure what happened there. And, while I'll admit that parts of that post [not the masked parts, oddly enough] touched on sensitive issues of different religions, I've yet to figure out how a contest announcement fits into such categories.

Blogger has said on more than one occasion that it does not censor posts. Okay, why were these posts "edited"? There is probably somewhere to go to get a clarification, but I've yet to figure out where. I tried Blogger Help Group, but the only answer there says it was probably "Satan". Now, I do believe in the existence of that being. But I also believe his plate is a bit too full to worry about blog contests [unless he's running an EC scam on the side].

So, now what? I don't know. Right about now, I don't know if I want to bother with any of this. Maybe I should move from Blogger. I just don't know. But I did feel you deserved an explanation. I'm sure I'll be back. I just don't know when...

-Perplexed, a.k.a. Mike Riley

3 comments: said...

Hi, was wondering if you'd like to exchange links with me?
If yes, please leave your blog url as a comment at:
I'll link to you first, then when you have time link back k?
Thanks, Michael
BTW--I'm michaelwong38 on digg. If ever you want something dugg, just send me a shout anytime.

Laura said...

I don't know if Blogger did something to your post. I've had poor luck with contests on blogs, even when I used the EC blog to announce it. In my own case I just never saw the post about your contest until today. I've been away.

I still don't get the side saddle thing. Haven't read all the posts about the contest/ Blogger yet though.

Deb on the Rocks said...

I think contests are on the decline in general. Who knows, though. I've never been censored by Blogger...