And then, I SWEAR, that's IT. As in, it's over, the end, hallelujah.
The short of it:
Ignite kind of owned up to a poorly-designed and poorly-executed contest. They felt bad it turned into a mess, and offered an iPad2 OR $500 charitable donation to each and every contestant. I talked to the President of Ignite on the phone and tried to get something for my readers as well, but that didn't work out. So I just took the motherloving iPad.
The long of it:
(And, really, if you don't care, the rest of this post is going to sound HELLA pretentious, so just stop reading for both of our sakes.)
After my post yesterday, Adam put up his own post, one that articulated so well all the things I was having a hard time saying myself. Why didn't I say these things myself? I dunno. Chalk it up to anger. (Or incompetence. Probably both.)
ANYWAY, things got loud on the Interwebz, and I was kind of happy to see that happen. It was validating to see people rally behind my point of view. The bottom line is that it seemed to me that the rules of the contest were not being applied evenly to each of the contestants. On top of that, the rules themselves were vague.
SO I SPOKE UP. And others joined me because you guys are collectively THE SHIT.
Of course, there were SOME people that were all THE FUCK? and wondered why I was whining. I get that. I've felt that way about others as I've seen internet bullshit unfold before. I realize this is a petty issue to get charged up about in the GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS, but I don't think that automatically means we shouldn't address concerns. And I wasn't crying FOUL as an innocent party. I realize I put myself in a sketchy sitch, but ...
Oh, fuck it. I can't take myself this seriously. Here's a goddamn list:
1. I'm not an angel in this whole thing, I GET it.
I totally joked about IP addresses and proxy servers and computer labs and cookies and bribes and the fucking 80s. I'm a humor blogger. My thing is being facetious and saying ridiculous things that could potentially get me in trouble. In all honesty, however, I thought I was allowed to vote from as many devices as possible. So I didn't think I was being all that scandalous.
I get that not everyone thinks I'm funny. I get that maybe I crossed a line. But I'm kind of new at this, and honestly didn't think I was crossing any lines. I thought I was being funny, and while many people felt the same, others did not, and suddenly it was all OHMYGOD WHY ARE YOU GUYS NOT LAUGHING.
2. I believe the PR firm handled this poorly, and since this is relevant to my "job," I addressed it.
Other bloggers did similar stuff (told others to cheat from multiple devices, etc), but they didn't do it in the same fashion as I had. (Which, since they're not humor bloggers, isn't so surprising.) The problem is that those other people were given warnings or deemed "not as bad" as me, so they got to stay in the contest. This is what bothered me the most. I was totally winning the shit out of that contest, and it would be a lie to say I wasn't expecting to be in NYC in April. I was excited. When the rug came out from under me, I felt tremendously upset.
Many a curse words were heard that day.
3. I'm still totally fucking embarrassed.
I had family voting and sending emails to co-workers. I was texting close friends daily. I harassed the fucked out of you all on Twitter and Facebook. Then suddenly, I was out of the running with no explanation. I had to answer endless emails of "Hey, why aren't you on the voter list anymore?" with, "Oh, you know how it is, JUST POPPED ON A CHEATING PISS TEST."
As if this wasn't embarrassing enough, I knew that speaking up would make some noise as well, and that made me nervous. Was it kind of petty? Well, that's relative of course, but sure, let's say it was petty. I suppose I didn't feel that way because I needed some answers for all the people that were working so hard to support me in the contest. My family had practically put together a militia, for crying out loud. SHIT WAS GETTIN' REAL. I was embarrassed to speak out, but I also felt like I had to.
4. I felt like I needed to clear my name.
I don't think there was any way for this to end well, but ownership on Ignite's part would have helped. I'm still getting lots of comments like this one, copied and pasted from Adam's blog:
Oh I see. So a bunch of trashy moms with computers do what every other lazy person does and tries to get something for free. They encourage their readers to repeat vote in ludicrous ways (actually trying to target people who work at servers and computer labs??) and think this is actually a legitimate way to win. Then they scream about some technicality in the rules and now think they all deserve iPads as ‘compensation’???
Unbelievable how trashy and pathetic this group of ‘bloggers’ are.
Many of the bloggers involved have egg on their faces, and Ignite emerges looking seemingly incompetent. Of course, in truth, I don't think any of the women are necessarily bad people, and I liked (mostly) working with Ignite. But could they put me back in the contest without causing a riot? Probably not. Could they eliminate FOUR of the five contestants without looking like buffoons? Eh, no. So, when Jim Tobin, the President of Ignite, finally called me yesterday afternoon, I was at least happy that the shitstorm was coming to an end. That said, I also told him that this whole thing has created me more than a few enemies, and that wasn't supposed to be part of the plan.
Can he undo that? Probably not. But he offered an iPad for my trouble. He also said, that, if I didn't want the iPad, I could ask for a $500 charitable donation. And let me tell you, because there are already people waving the GREEDY BITCH flag, I feel absolutely NO REMORSE in saying I took the motherfucking iPad.
5. Live & learn, baby.
I learned a lot. I think I could've made better choices, but overall, I don't feel ashamed, really. I'm embarrassed by the attention, and I'm trying not to let all the rest of the bullshit get me down.
That said, I think we can finally, FULLY close the chapter on this book.
PS: Although I wasn't able to get Ignite to help me give back to my readers, I still plan on doing something for you all on my own. When I figure out what the hell that is, I'll let you know. Suggestions welcome in the comments :)