First of all, thanks goes to all of you who read my begging post this week and plugged in a vote for my inspiration board on the Weddingbee.com contest. Thank you!
My bridesmaids and I were so gung ho and really had a great time pumping ourselves up for this contest. Really, it’s just a silly contest, but it would have been fun to win. So we plotted and planned and tried to brainstorm allllllllllllll of the people that we know that we could ask to vote.
I asked my whole family to vote. They asked their friends and co-workers. I tried to get my whole staff at school to vote. I contemplated sending home a link with my students to vote at home even, but quelched that idea as fairly unprofessional.
I went through my email contacts and send everyone that I know an email asking them to vote. I even asked our photographer and our wedding planner to vote.
I went on Facebook which (admittedly) I rarely use anymore. I was big into it when I was in college, but I just have let my account lie dormant for years. But I was so excited to log on and realize that I had a couple of hundred friends who all agreed to vote. So why do I deserve to be in a jailcell?
Over the last few days, I’d become an ADDICT. Certifiable addict. I checked the vote count for this contest hourly…minutely…not MINUTELY as in a little…I mean “minutely” as in each minute. I just made that word up.
I’ve literally made a promise to my fiance that my laptop will be put away for quite a while when we are home together in the evenings because I’ve been glued to the screen for the past two weeks.
Anyhoo, the end of the contest was Wednesday night…er rather 2am CST. As all my bridesmaids and our families are at home trying to scrounge up more votes so that we could catch up to first place, I get a message from the webmaster of Weddingbee who tells me…
“We have been carefully monitoring the votes, and have noticed many of the votes for your board are coming from proxy servers. These proxies are commonly used for fraudulent voting, and to circumvent IP restrictions. I wanted to let you know that we will be carefully re-counting all votes, and eliminating fraudulent votes from proxy servers (for all the boards – not just yours). I am greatly disappointed that this contest resulted in so much fraud. We will be posting more about this shortly.”
I wrote back, “So noted.” Literally, I was speechless. I wasn’t sure what to say. My contest balloon was popped and was deflating while making that whiny crying noise that dying balloons do…
I forwarded the message on to my bridesmaids and turned off my computer.
In case you don’t know what proxies are…they are like alternate names your computer can go by to sneak around blocked sites. My students use proxies to get into Myspace at school.
So…apparently our vote count (which ended up at around 560) was frocked with “fraudulent” votes. Apprently, someone was proxying to find votes for us. Obviously, the webmaster of Weddingbee.com is very annoyed with me right now. He stated that they are going to have to go through all the boards and all the votes of all the rounds to evaluate them for proxies or not. Considering the fact that there were 5 rounds with between 200 and 1600 votes and then the final round that had well over 2000 votes, this is no easy task.
I have no idea how this happened. I mean I know how it happened, but I don’t know WHO made it happen. If the webmasters at Weddingbee.com (who happen to run a very nice little website of which I have become increasingly fond) weren’t so pissed, I’d congratulate this person for a brilliant move in “strategery”. As it stands, though, we’ve put these people in a precarious position, and I don’t really know what to do to fix it.
So, friends, that is why I am in a jailcell with my bridesmaids…I apprently am a calculating criminal who definitely came in second place in the contest anyway. I’ve tossed this around in my head, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to walk away and leave this situation be. I’ve done the shock thing, the investigation thing, the guilt thing, and the appologizing thing. All unpleasant things.
I’m gonna go to my happy place now…bed. Feel free to leave me any advice or what not below. I’m kinda lost right now…