I’m sorry to report that with just over two weeks to go, the Blog or Die! contest has fizzled out like a roman candle since that initial 8 day flurry of good quality entries. In a shameless attempt to re-light the fuse I humbly present a picture of the bulging prize package that awaits the category winners. The only thing missing are the three $50 E-gift certificates to Lego.com, I thought about scribbling out an I.O.U. with crayon but it looked pathetic, even by my low standards. had no idea that getting people to commit and compose their thoughts would be such a challenge, I thought that by the midway point we’d have double the submissions, I mean who doesn’t want the chance to score 50 bones to spend on Lego in exchange for a relatively small investment in time and effort? Rutherford theorizes that I didn’t advertise the contest enough and although he’s right that I could have done more, the advertising we did post on a variety of platforms generated a lot of measurable interest in terms of hits, favorites, and comments indicating a desire to participate. I think the time of year I chose to conduct business may have been a bad call, my thought was that people have time off of school and to a lesser extent work and would therefore be more likely to write two pages of material or assemble a simple comic but maybe the summer would have been the better call.
I”m hopeful that we’ll see a last minute flurry of entries like you tend to encounter in most contests involving the brick. Some people look at the 45 day time frame and think, “that’s plenty of time to bang out a few pages” and then they look up and it’s almost too late. So if you know anyone who’s got a strong opinion and a basic ability to string words together, please slap them on the back of the head and direct them this way, maybe you can inflame their passions with the magnificent SWAG.
Besides complaining about nobody coming to my crappy house party, this is a friendly reminder that each of the 3 category winners will receive the following treasure and that the deadline will be strictly enforced.
+ A SWAG pack of Manifesto promotional materials including a T-shirt, stickers and Vegas-style poker chips.
+ A copy of Jordan Schwartz’s The Art of LEGO Design: Creative Ways to Build Amazing Models, with chapter 12 personalized by yours truly.
+ A $50 e-gift card for use at LEGO.COM.
The deadline remains January 15, 2018, 11:55pm (Pacific Standard Time). Late entries will still be posted to the Manifesto, but they will not be eligible to win a prize. That gives you over two weeks to submit an entry and get in on the action. With only 8 entries to compete against (7 of them residing in a single category!), the odds of victory are prettydamn good, if you have the skill and the stones to throw down.
To the 6 brave souls who have stepped into the arena, The Manifesto thanks you, I’ve really enjoyed reading and re-reading your submissions. In turns I’ve been inspired, educated, and above all entertained and I think the readership has responded well in the comments. If nothing else the contest has met two of my goals even if it wasn’t to the degree I’d hoped. The first is a selfish one: to provide content for the blog while I try to get a big diorama ready for a convention, to help me keep the lights on while I can’t contribute as much as I’d like. The second and more important goal was to bring some new voices to our self-aware echo chamber, and we’ve added Price, Wolff, Jake, Barrett and Primus. That’s a victory because I’m not sure they would have bothered if not for the contest.
So let’s see some action these last two weeks! I’d like to have at least one entry in each category.
While I’ve got your attention with shiny objects…you may have noticed that I’ve begun the review process, with each entry receiving a standard-format response. I have NOT decided on the winners yet, I only have an informal mental ranking that I do not share in the reviews. I’m still hoping to see more entries to evaluate but I’m trying to keep the quality of each review high and the best way to ensure that is to not end up writing them all at once. I’m a big fan of quick and decisive closeouts when it comes to contests and pushing the reviews out there now will hopefully facilitate a speedy resolution and provide the good folks that entered with a little entertainment and feedback in the meantime. I do realize that some observers may see this as a way to gain a competitive advantage by seeing what I like and don’t like but I don’t see it having a big impact, you’ve still got to write a good article, build a good comic, or conduct a good interview. I will post all the reviews again in a single article for easy comparison, after the January 15th deadline.