Let me begin with the most hilarious example of instructions misunderstood during a contest. I was a part of the NDTV-Volvo Adventure Challenge that involved 12 teams of two drivers for each Volvo XC60. On the second day we had to read clues and reach three destinations within the city of Bhopal. We started from a large football field and because the first two cars had turned right as they hit the road, I did the same.
After driving for nearly a kilometre I stopped and asked, ‘Are we going in the right direction?’
My partner answered, ‘No idea. I thought you knew.’
We laughed. We read the clue again. We got out and asked the locals. Yes, we then turned back to head in the opposite direction towards our first destination.
This is what happens when rules or instructions are either misread or misunderstood. I have been reading the discussion going on in the indiblogger forum for the blogging marathon and I’m sure that many over there are horribly bad at navigation when it comes to grasping contest rules. The discussions are zest and peppy no doubt, but their final impact can leave them all huffing and puffing and lost in a treacherous forest.
To start with they are getting nervous about the tally having crossed a thousand posts and that even the ‘valid entry’ award of Rs 350/- per post might not be for them anymore. Don’t worry guys, the rules specify that one blogger is eligible for a maximum of 10 posts for this reward. There are plenty who have written more than 10 and so there is still space for more. By the way, even Renie has clarified: “…we have 1000 vouchers to give, so it doesn’t necessarily stop at 1000, since many people are submitting more than 10 entries. Also, you’ll need to take into account that moderation hasn’t even begun, many entries may get rejected.”
The discussions on the two Tata Zica cars to be given away as prizes are the funniest. There are people assuming that it is the greater number of posts that brings them nearer the goal of winning the Zica. Well, this is a misconception… as the rules for the two top prizes states:
- …for the blogger with the best blog post, judged on quality
- …for the blogger with the best quality across multiple entries
Quality is anyway not the feature that is going to be overlooked… so if you’re the sort who is galloping away and thinking that a large number of spammy or unrefined posts will matter, you’re bound to be hurt when the results are announced.
The real impact shall be of how well you’ve written.
And in case the rule for the second car confuses you, let me clarify that it will pay to write posts (brilliant posts, of course and not run-of-the-mill stuff) that ultimately end up covering all the keywords given. I mean, if you write great posts on one keyword only, you’ll probably not even qualify for the race for the second car.
Remember, it is quality that will have a lasting impact on the judges… and numbers sometimes do matter.
Aha! So numbers also matter?
Well, I know this fact as a photographer because the probability of getting a larger number of best shots is always more when I click a greater number of shots. Even if I go by the 80-20 rule and want at least 2 of my posts to be worthy of impressing the judges, I may need to write at least 10 sensible posts that are a notch above being mundane. However, don’t rush into writing 40 posts in three days because then even the 80-20 rule will mean 20 useless posts and 80 utterly meaningless!
What matters most, however, is that a contestant always reads the rules calmly to participate with the right impact.
27 January 2016