Need to organize a giveaway or challenge with random, selected or voted-for LinkUp winners?
InLinkz now has the capability to pick the winners either randomly, by votes or manually and still let you have total control of the process. This feature is lovingly dedicated to Kathy from thedailymarker.blogspot.com. Thanks Kathy!
A new item has been added on the collections panels “Challenge options“.
Challenge parameters contain options regarding winners (and later, design teams).
Any collection can be turned to a challenge at any time.
It works on both thumbnail collections and text ones.
Free accounts have full access to the tool too.
Draws are done in the backend every 1st and 31st minute of each hour. This is done like so since most (if not all) collections end either at xx:59 or xx:00. So, winners appear immediately (or blog authors get informed immediately, we’ll see the options in a while).
A quick explanation.
The options are as follows:
1. Number of winners.
This is the number of winners that will be picked. It can be one to six.
2. Winner draw method.
None is for normal collections (where nothing happens when they close). All collections default to this unless changed.
Random pick, uses a well tested random algorithm to pick the number of the submitters requested on (1) as winners. The algorithm is as random as the one from the frequently used random.org.
By votes, will pick the top X voted submitters (X is the number in (1) again). You will have to have the voting feature enabled for this one to work.
Manual will let YOU pick your favorites by displaying a list of all the submitters where you can select the winners and their position in the winner ranking.
(both votes and manual will be available REALLY soon).
3. Winner email text.
This text is what the email notification contains. It is sent to the winners and you can put there whatever you want.
Remember to put your blog address and your email so they can contact you.
If you put a ## symbol, this is replaced at the actual email with the position (numeral) of the winner. E.g. if you write “You are no: ##“, the first winner will receive “You are no: 1” while the 3rd one will get “You are no: 3” in his email and so on.
On most browsers, you can pick the lower right corner of the textbox to make it bigger.
4. Winners’ graphic.
There is a small graphic that depicts the winners, above the actual collection that depicts the ranking of each winner and makes the winners stand out.
There are two options here. For light-background blogs, the best choice is the transparent bitmap as it blends with the rest of the blog.
The darker-background blogs can use the non-transparent option which will render the graphic using a white background.
5. Validating winner selection.
This switch will let you get notified BEFORE the winners. When the winner draw is done, you will receive an email at your registered InLinkz email address where you will be presented.
And this is what the email contains. The winners link to their respective blogs (entries). If you are satisfied, you just click RELEASE and the winners get notified immediately.
Since for now the emails originate from a non-reply address, make sure you include contact information in your notification text (4).
Of course if the Preview switch is off, winners are automatically notified without any need for your feedback.
6. Displaying winners.
Clicking on display (6) will bring up a window that will not only display the winners but will let you manipulate the ranking if you wish to. Again, if you want to be completely fair about the randomness of the winner draw, you should refrain from tampering with this. But then again, random.org draws suffer from the same bug. You can keep asking for numbers from random.org until you land on the ones you want. Nobody guarantees that the blog owner will not be biased.
Changes take effect immediately, being registered in the database. You can also have the collection display two #1 and one #2 if the need arises.
(back will take you to the “Challenge options” page).
7. Reset !!
This, as the name implies, resets the draw. The draw will be repeated the next 1st or 31st minute (whichever closest time-wise).
If you want to stop the collection from drawing winner, you can set “Winner selection method” to none.
8. Save changes.
This commits the changes made to 1-5.
The redraw button, will force the winner draw to be made immediately (this is usefull for voting and manual draws).