I promised a rainbow and here it is for super fun times!
It seems like for months we have been competing and reviewing new blogs in the second Aniblog Tourney. Starting April, till yesterday, things have been happening and drama has been going on till the end. What do you know. It has still not ended with attempts of looking for advertising space on Metanorn, slandering us as cheaters, calling our content generic to even personal attacks on my family roots, presumptions about my background and invitations to sex chats to get a rise out of me. It’s been super fun times dealing with idiotic irrelevance but my bright smile still hasn’t slid from my face: (◕‿◕✿)
Consider this as my overall thoughts on Finals with only facts from our end. It’s better to hear it from the source rather than out-of-context conversations and photoshopped screenshots that people are pulling out of where the sun doesn’t shine.
So, did we cheat?!
Alright… what’s all these screenshots we keep on seeing?
I was not the first one to report false proxy errors. Not to mention, competing against the clout of previous tourney winner, Star Crossed was overwhelming with each and every vote being logged. Half of our readerbase emailed, tweeted and commented that they are unable to vote for Metanorn, even when they are logging from their home/offices. With the numbers of voters dwindling from our end, I personally triple-voted, after making sure that it was not forbidden in tourney rules. Did I ask my readers to do that? No. Did I ask close anibloggers to do that? Yes, two of them (my twitter account is not private, so if you want, you can go ahead and check yourself). Did I do it for finals? Of course not, with all the comments flying about; neither I nor a team member encouraged this. For more clarity, let’s hear it from tourney staff and a neutral aniblogger discussion:
“Voting from multiple devices has been common practice across both this tourney and the last, and people have been pretty open about doing so. I’m rather baffled as to why it suddenly became an issue in the final match. I can’t recall seeing a single complaint about it during the many other times I’ve seen people saying they were doing that. Even if we were to ban it (it’s impossible to track, so a ban is rather absurd) we were hardly going to introduce that rule in the very final match.”
– Tourney Staff (via email)
But that 13 votes difference?!
Well, same happened with Whiners vs LiA match and it was expected to be such. According to sources, even after the introduction of secure voting, there have been intelligent proxy voting in most of the polls but the Staff only intervened in those, where the results were affected by the proxy vote number (case in point, 8thSin match). Now, I’m sure it was not 8thSin who used proxies but some enthusiast or troll. The reason, staff decided to hide the votes afterwards for more transparency and as I commented for more stress and campaigning by participants. I’m sure Scamp would elaborate more on this, when he posts his postmortem of second tourney.
There have been previous disqualifications?! Didn’t Metanorn do the same?
Are you out of your mind?
Personally, I don’t agree with CSW disqualification because even if the votes amassed within half hour, as it was polldaddy, there was no way to trace, who was botting. From the site’s staff reaction, I’m sure they were not at fault because well, there was nothing explicit defined in rules about ‘how to campaign’. About Jinx’s disqualification, well he wrote a whole article on how he used Tor and other proxy sites to increase his votes so I have no further comments about it.
Also, honestly, answer my question. Do we need to cheat? We have a very healthy community with regular interactions and comments not only on site but Facebook, tumblr and Twitter. We are socially aware and our participation in tourney didn’t have any connection to what we have kept on doing: entertaining our readers with our original content that we painstakingly work on regularly. From Day 1, we pledged for a fair fight till the end.
So, why would we do anything against ‘rules’? I wouldn’t have any problem of getting disqualified if we did. We played fair and square since the beginning with utter transparency. Let me remind you that Will’s voting system is secure discarding Tor/proxy voting with logs of origination, much more clearer than Polldaddy (though it can’t be called iron clad as every system is hackable as they say).
But Will is part of the Metanorn Team!
YES, HE IS. Does that make him a cheater? Seriously, people? Knowing him personally, I know he’s been too busy last few months due to work but looking at the polldaddy issues, he challenged himself and his coding skills to make a system from scratch. Coming from the Digital Marketing industry with knowledge of front and back-end development, let me assure you such coding is not everyone’s cup of tea. And no, there were no favours given to Metanorn as both willisite and ours run on different VMs if anybody was interested to know. Another fact: he’s not part of the organizers of ABT. He’s the Tech Guru, who built the voting system and implemented it. Quoting his out of context IRC convo doesn’t make it a Tourney rule.
BUT but, 1000+ votes!
It is a fact that last rounds always have larger audience than preliminary polls and truth be told, we really didn’t campaign properly until the Group 5 stage but even before that our numbers varied around 200+. With progress, we widened our campaign and involved our readers, who not only cheered us on but voted for us because they find our content interesting. Specifically, for finals, when it was dubbed as a crusade between Aniblogosphere and Fansubbers, both of which are not only different in mechanics but how they communicate. This matchup happened as a domino effect and both the parties did their best in talking each other down. Through the shitstorm, a lot of genuine feedback arose as well. Best thing now would be to move along rather than beating the same stick over and over again.
Drama aside, I appreciate the genuine feedback from a few first and old timers about our layout and content. Be assured we always strive to better ourselves. We have moved away from the formula-episodic to thought-share along with introduction of variety of content rather than just anime discussion. We will be working on a redesign soon along with navigation to be more user-friendly. As I said in the comment, we are not a perfect blog but we are passionate about getting better with time and I think this is what matters most rather than writing from silos and not taking in account what the community wants. Metanorn Team is super motivated to keep doing what we’ve been doing: producing good original content that people want to read and discuss as always.
Overall, this tourney had lots of chinks that could have been fixed early on. Even with that though, I salute the staff for filtering through the 500 something alive blogs to reach the 168 number and then the scheduling. There were a lot of times that a staff intervention was required (this post wouldn’t have been this long if they did). A lot of changes were done in the middle run but some of them were necessary (like switching from the unreliable polldaddy) and adding security checks to voting. In the end, we still had fun and more than enough dosage of dorama. I would have liked to leave a token like this after result announcement on Whiners but then it would be branded as butthurt ranging to multiple posts.
So, I’m done and if you have any more queries and concerns, you can comment below. Metanorn Team really worked hard for a friendly play of anisphere’s internet tournament in our best capacity. I would like to thank the Team to weather through these long days and become stronger under pressure. We have a long way to go but we’ll do this together. If anyone still have any grievances, we can take it outside, so come and find me.
Till next time, ja ne~