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I’m a Winner!

Posted on 3rd May, 2005 at 10:40am by joel

headline image for “I'm a Winner!”“Jiffy” and the Jiffy logo are Trademarks of Chelsea Milling Company, Chelsea, Michigan.

Have you ever noticed that bloggers really enjoy posting contests on their sites, 99% of which are over before your RSS reader even knows something is going on?

I spend a lot of time reading web sites these days. I finally climbed upon the RSS bandwagon last fall and haven’t gotten off. I read blog postings that shouldn’t interest me, I follow links I have no intention of reading, I absorb useless facts and interesting information that will likely get filed away, never to be used. In all this random reading, I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers like to hold little contests on their web sites for the audience to enjoy. I’ve also noticed that the contests are either so bizarre I don’t stand a chance to participate, let alone win, or they are over before I get a chance to visit the site. Usually.

Before I get into my story, here’s a quick example of what I mean. Mike Davidson, Firewheel Design, Dan Cedarholm, and Matthew Haughey are just four examples of the “let’s see if you can figure out what I’m up to” blog quiz. I’ve got nothing against this, save for the fact that I’m never going to win one of these “contests” no matter how hard I try. Like I said, it’s either over before I show up (Firewheel’s “Pixel Trivia” was done in 10 minutes, I swear) or far too “out there” (Mike’s “Create an iPod shuffle out of food” contest is, admittedly, doable, but seriously…). And, if neither of those circumstances is true, then the contest is probably far too hard for me (some of Dan’s SimpleQuizes (which he seems to have retired) were real mind-benders).

But not yesterday. No, no, no. Yesterday was my day. In my random reading, I found a link to this little “contest” on Signal vs. Noise (right about now if you’re thinking that all these links are to get people to click through so my site shows up in referral stats, you’d be partially correct. They do serve an illustrative purpose for this story). Let’s consider my “truths” of blog contests as I explained above.

First of all, the contest hadn’t ended already. Some how, some way, it had been posted [on what I’m presuming to be a very popular blog, judging from the mother web site] several days prior and no one had answered it yet, even after two pictorial and several textual clues. Secondly, this wasn’t all that “out there” and relied on the powers of observation, rather than some arcane knowledge���though the latter certainly would have helped. To top it off, considering that I’m an artistic, detail-oriented person who works in marketing, I tend to notice logos and check out interesting design and color features of just about everything around me. This was the perfect contest!

If you read anything on that page beyond the four little logo images, you already know the outcome. I stumbled across this in early evening yesterday and I did a little digging. I carefully read all the clues and responses to guesses in the comments. I started visiting any site I could think of that had anything to do with Pillsbury and Al Unser, Jr. (go read, it will make sense). Eventually, I decided that I had a pretty good guess and I’d see if I was close.

Lo and behold, I wasn’t just close, I was right! I won! I’m a winner! I’d like to say that I carefully weighed all the evidence, researched for hours, and dug up interesting tidbits of knowledge that had long been lost, but none of that is true. I shuffled around some clues, browsed a few [dozen] web sites, and went with my gut feeling. And what did my gut win me? Absolutely nothing but pride and a few click-throughs to my web site, which is fine with me. Honestly, I’m just glad I didn’t make an ass of myself. Oh, and I won. SWEET.

And yes, for the record, I do have “Jiffy” Mix in my cupboard. Nothing, and I repeat nothing, beats waffles on a Saturday morning. Mmmmm…

Filed under: graphic design, ramblings, rants

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