Aniblog Tourney II Feedback

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?! 

Hell no. Do you really think advancing from round one to last was easy?!

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.

Tourney Feedback

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~ 

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79 Responses to “Aniblog Tourney II Feedback”

  1. Namika says:

    Too bad I wasn’t around from the beginning, but the finale was definitely epic!!!! *O*

  2. Shey says:

    I’m really glad METANORN won! While the site may not be orderly-looking as some people mentioned, I love the bubbly feeling of it. I also don’t think it’s fair to say that this blog won because of cheating. As if you would be the only one who voted more than once… Even if it is not encouraged, people could still decide to vote multiple times if they have the means to do so; whether they voted for METANORN or for that whiner’s blog doesn’t matter. For all we know, (lots of?) people who voted for the runner-up voted more than once as well.

    Anyways, this blog simply deserved to win and I’m happy to be part of the reason you guys won haha. I voted for you every round :) CONGRATZ, and keep it up!

    • Kyokai says:

      Thanks for your support, Shey!

      With the multiple comments over our design, I literally was thinking, what the hell did we do wrong while our numbers of regulars increase with time? Jokingly, I even made up a tagline of: “Metanorn, proudly giving epileptic seizures since 2008!”

      About voting issue, it’s a thing that all of us took for granted and such thinking didn’t even emerge in any of previous tourneys and current matches except for the finals. Anyways, it’s over and time to move on. :)

  3. Tofu says:

    Forget about this, Metanorn WON!!! BRING OUT THE CHAMPAGNE!!!! WOOT! <3 <3 <3

    • Kyokai says:

      Lol! Thanks, Tofu for always supporting us throughout the tourney! Much appreciate it. Bring in that CHAMPAGNE to the party! XD

  4. Baka-Raptor says:

    This entire saga makes for an interesting ending to the Story of Trespassers.

  5. Ying says:

    I think you forgot to mention one other reason why the numbers may have gone up so much: people who didn’t vote before were voting now that it was the finals

    I am one of those people. I didn’t vote any of the other times before, but when the final was announced I checked out Whiners, didn’t like it as much, and voted for Metanorn so that was a vote you guys hadn’t had before. I doubt I’m the only one who did this, but whatever I’m just glad this is over XD

    • Kyokai says:

      Yes, that is a fact. Also, a lot of bloggers who didn’t care less about the tournament, still came up and voted for the finals because this is the last league after all.

      Anyways, thank you for your support and yes, on to the next post!

  6. kronius says:

    Well this is just sad to see. I have access to over 10 ip’s and that is without using Tor and I only voted once every round. It really pains me to see that someone won by cheating and is proud about it. Multiple votes is cheating that is irrefutable but actually encouraging to vote multiple times just reeks of desperation.

    • Kyokai says:

      Clearly you didn’t read the post. So, what’s the point of your comment?

    • Namika says:

      Thinking that none of the other contestants practiced this kind of campaigning is plain stupid, you know.

  7. JPNIgor says:

    I would normally say that justifying anything about ABT for a bunch of haters like whiners is unnecessary and meaningless, but it really relieved my mind, since I’m around here for a month, and I would be very disappointed if the aniblog I had chosen to vote was cheating. I was at a little unease, but it is gone, now.

    And, lol, what a bunch of hypocrite. There were lots of “can I vote twice or three times?” on Whiners and they did not said a single word about it.

    And if it’s impossible to Metanorn to reach 1000+ votes, so it would be to Whiners.pro to reach 900+ votes.

    And, FUUUUU!!! I’m so mad with D_S ¬¬ God, his votes here were so lame -.-‘

    Ahn… Oh, congratulations, Metanorn ^^ I’m looking forward to the improvements you are about to implement, and don’t let this kind of people steal the smile on your face away.

    • Kyokai says:

      I would have loved to completely ignore this issue but I saw some concerned tweets from regular followers, along with unsure comments from previous participants on what was going on. Rather than more BS creation, I thought it best to address this issue in a calm manner than going over at whiners and provide them with more delicious ‘ragefits’.

      DS is intelligent and the reason he does what does (nitpick subs), but pushing other people’s buttons and manipulating them to a reaction is his favourite hobby. How can he be a good troll if he wasn’t? I’m sure my lack of reaction made him stoop to the level of personal attacks. Either way, I’ve a very thick skin and these lame advances and such comments are irrelevant.

      I saw your supporting comment there and thank you for that. We will definitely work on getting even better with time with lots of improvements that are already underway. ^^

  8. Amutofan123 says:

    Congrats, guys! :D I wasn’t here to vote for you, but if I was, I would’ve voted for you in a heartbeat!

  9. BlackBriar says:

    Don’t worry, Kyokai. Let the haters continue to hate. In the end, just enjoy their idiotic frustration because they are causing themselves stress instead of you. It goes without saying that you know better than to use such tactics.

    Congratulations on you excellent victory!! I bet it’s sweeter because you went against a bunch of formidale opponents like Star Crossed and despite some inconveniences. I’m happy to be a regular on the blog that has won the Aniblog Tourney.

    • Kyokai says:

      That is how it is of course. Thank you for the continuous support, BB, and for being a regular. It’s definitely been an experience. ^^

  10. Joojoobees says:

    All of the dorama aside, I had a pretty good time with the ABT this year. I started blogging just a few months before it began last time (two years ago) and I learned about new blogs both times, so it did what it set out to do. I also had the added benefit of participating this time, which made me feel that like I had come into my own in a way.

    As to the final outcome, I was never in doubt. I have been a big fan of MetaNorn, and really respect all of the hard work that the team puts into this site. It was an easy decision. Even though I am a big fan of Psgel (and I think his win last time was well earned) it was still easy for me to vote for you guys over him in the previous round.

    Congratulations. And now it is time to party. :)

    • Kyokai says:

      I think both of us share blogging initiation time because I joined Metanorn just a few months before the ABT myself. Overall, just building this community and conversing with the fandom has been great. Through blogging or twitter, it’s been a good experience.

      Thank you for your kind words and support. Means a lot. ^^

      And I agree, psgel’s a sweetheart. Here’s a cookie from him: http://psgels.net/2012/07/04/the-semi-final-against-metanorn/#comments

  11. Rolca says:

    Congratulations again! Metanorn had legitimate chances to win, although I personally didn’t think you would actually go so far (I don’t mean to say you cheated, but that there were a lot of blogs that could pretend to the title and I don’t know the aniblog sphere enough to make a personal ranking anyway).

    As for the controversy (it’s here we’re supposed to talk about it right?), people tend to care and campaign more for finals so the rise in votes can be easily explained. Besides, voting multiple times is common so statistically the multiple votes for one blog should be compensated by multiple votes for another (it’s not an ip-grabbing war). We’re arguing over the tip of an iceberg. However, openly saying you do it, especially at the finale, was giving yourself a bad image (even more so with D_S’s cool-and-fair image). Furthermore, you did not have the justification you had at the semi-final. While I (and the tourney staff) find it trivial at small scale, it’s morally dubious as Mushyrulez said.

    There’s something D_S said that I found interesting and I would like to hear what you (and the tourney staff but that’s for later) have to say on it. The rest of the post is butthurt and trolling so I take it with a pinch of salt. Personal insults? Come on D_S, I thought better of you.
    Here is our DORAMA bait: “They knew the vote count throughout the tournament so they always knew what the scores were while others didn’t. And they could change the scores to whatever they wanted. Fun fact I heard from one of the people with access to the info: Against Star Crossed, Metanorn was down 250 votes. They somehow magically came up with over 250 votes in an hour to win the whole thing. Interesting, huh?”

    Unrelated to the tourney, but there are often fanarts in the Metanorn posts, yet I don’t remember seeing credits to the original artists. Uncredited fanarts irk me a lot. Moreover, credits are useful! If there’s a caption on a nice picture or if it has a small size, I can find the original thanks to the credits. Or do you draw them yourselves? Would a credits section at the end of the upcoming posts that use fanart be possible?

    • anaaga says:

      See Will’s comment below

    • Kyokai says:

      First, thanks Rolca, I saw you really trying hard in defending us even at whiners. I work on the concept of not feeding trolls so unless there’s straight talk about our actual fault, I don’t respond and ignore silly points. As I quoted from Scamp’s email above, multiple voting is nothing new and has been here though I only did in semi-finals due to so many voting errors reported by our regulars. That’s no excuse but I checked the rules before doing that. I told no reader to do it (you can check my previous tourney posts), and asked only one friend on twitter and one on IRC to do so during semi-finals. If I am not doing anything wrong, I don’t see why I should hide it.

      The drama bait has already been answered by Will below. I don’t understand why people believe in stats provided by trolls?

      About the credit part, I agree with you; though, we usually use official art of anime (you can check any of our season previews to see that), and for few cases where we do use art, we try to credit like I did here. However, there are times we have no source because we got the image out of zerochan or minitokyo so that remains uncredited.

  12. NovaJinx says:

    Just for the record, personally I used no cheating devices aside from also voting with my cellular. I lack the technical prowess to even use TOR and proxies. The whole show was arranged by my sort-of sidekick JTFish, who was going to do it with or without my consent. I simply decided to blow the whistle once he was done having his fun, but as mentioned on my post things got a bit more interesting than that since Kuriousity was also being padded.

    Lulz were had, mission accomplished.

    • Kyokai says:

      Ah yes, I should have been more clear about who done it from the Jinx side but yeah, you are right, LULZ were had. xD

  13. Shiiro says:

    I finally see why Random Curiosity refused to participate… I will admit that I desperately wanted to vote more than once, but couldn’t. I’m apparently not even smart enough to realize that I could vote with my phone, and far to lazy to go to a friend’s house or something to vote. Fan voting for the MLB all star game is limited to 25 votes per EMAIL ADDRESS. Dedicated fans, or readers in this case, will almost always take advantage of anything like this.

    Gratz to Metanorn!!! :D

    • Kyokai says:

      Yep, the reason Divine decided not to participate and curiously even asked me why I was. Well, I was all fired up then and gave a similar response but still, even after so much drama, we have made a clean break.

      And thank you for your support! ^^

  14. Will says:

    I’m tired of all these conspiracy theories, so here’s what I have to say about the tourney, especially the last round:

    I created Vote in response to the PollDaddy drama. I’m already over-worked and while coding and researching, there were times I hardly had one meal a day and 4 hours of sleep (if any). Though, that didn’t stop me as I wanted to do good for everyone by providing a secure and reliable voting platform. Researching and testing detection methods was lengthy and complicated and manually checking the polls for cheat voting was even strenuous. Quoting myself from an e-mail to Scamp, (do note that at that moment, nobody knew that I was planning to code this system):

    I want to let you know that even though I’m associated with Metanorn, this system will be neutral and I will be acting as myself and not Metanorn’s webmaster for the length of this project.

    I always had the scores, even in the secret rounds, simply because I had to. I had to know them in real time so I could monitor any sudden unexplained vote increase and investigate the matter. I thought that this was common knowledge as it’s just logical. I won’t hide it and I never intended to. However, I never shared this information with the METANORN team. Quoting from fact, METANORN was not down by 250 votes one hour before the SCAB poll close; they just started slowly with a gap of 90 votes and caught up after about 13 hours, then the match was really tight and mostly perfectly 50/50 until the end.

    Speaking of “cheat voting”, quoting myself from the #metanorn IRC channel:

    [12:55] < ~wiill> the rules should say one vote per individual

    Here I stress the “SHOULD”, so they SHOULD mention that but unfortunately they don’t. I think Dark_Sage misunderstood when he quoted me on his post, I wasn’t trying to say that it was an actual Tourney rule.

    Multi-location voting, if we can call it that way, has been around for ages. It is 100% impossible to detect even with manual checking. Also, I’m pretty sure that both sides used that method, because the mobile device page view stats were way too high compared to the expected averages.

    Everybody keeps on hitting METANORN and especially Kyokai, but there has been proxy and IP block voting for Whiners in last round, I have proof of that, but since it didn’t change the outcome I didn’t make a fuss about it. If I really did remove the votes, Whiners would be 90 to 120 votes down.

    Finally, in simple terms, that I hope everyone will understand, even the lowest life forms of all who used proxies on a friendly Aniblog tournament: I did not cheat nor did I help METANORN or anyone else. Both the parties tried their best to win the finals. Is that wrong? No? Now that the results are announced, let’s just chill out everyone and get a cup of whatever warm drink you like because it’s over already!

    • Miyu says:

      HI WILL I JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU. (*´・v・) Thanks for putting in so much effort even though you’re already busy and we’re sorry you have to deal with all of this crap :c We really, really appreciate everything that you’ve done!♥ *hugs Will*

    • Zabobinator says:

      Good job, bro. You did an awesome job.

    • JPNIgor says:

      There are people who still thinks that everybody in the world need to cheat. And it sucks, really.

      And seriously, how could he not see the “SHOULD” in the phrase -.-‘ Man, even a brazilian like me knows that SHOULD do not mean IS. And D_S is a fansub reviewer.

      And I would like to know how someone could know that Metanorn was 250 votes down against Star Crossed.

    • Namika says:

      Wow, you’re definitely the one who was stressing out because of the tourney. >> Thank you for putting so much effort into this! You did an amazing, gigantic job.

      Otsukare-sama deshita~!! ^O^ *gives Will a cookie*

    • BlackBriar says:

      Just ignore the conspiracy theories, dude. There will always be those slandering people who’ve worked hard to get where they are. Sit back and enjoy the victory you and the rest of Metanorn so deserve. After all, you shoulder a big responsibility in the blog and maintain it with effort. Good job.

    • Kyokai says:

      Thanks for telling your side, Will. I’m sure with this all doubts have been cleared? Though, if there are still ANY MORE questions, this is the place to ask.

  15. anaaga says:

    Since kyokai mentioned Char in IRC, so here it is

    It’s a CHAR!

  16. Reaper says:

    No Champagne! Don’t let underage teenagers drink!!!
    (Cookies if you get the reference :P )
    I’m glad Metanorn won (I didn’t have much of a gander of the other blogs so I might be biased… :D ) over Whiners, especially after the tumult that coaxed out my first WordPress comment, yay! Subjectively clunkly, potentially, but much more bubbly as Shey noted, much more conducive place for anime lovers/enthusiasts to unite! (Metanorn=Cloud 9? :D ) Conspiracy theories? Really? Wow, I thought we grew up from those a long time ago to just enjoy our anime but I guess some people will just never learn.

    Hats to Will for all of his effort throughout this tournament; wouldn’t be an understatement to say it wouldn’t have happened without his technical skills and commitment being one of the main driving forces behind the Tournament (though, felt a bit of a Holy Grail War at times…). Now, in conclusion?

    CONGRATULATIONS FOR WINNING!

    • Reaper says:

      Uh, sorry about the double posts, please delete the one above at your morbid pleasure :)

    • Kyokai says:

      Hahaa, I don’t get the reference but your message was loud and clear. Apple juice? xD

      Thank you for supporting Metanorn throughout and even commenting on the tourney site. We sure faced lots of stress during this run but it has been an experience and all of us came out of it wiser.

      Anyways, cheers and keep rocking on! xD

  17. D-LaN says:

    Shiki using Yuno face

    EEEEEE don make her even creepier!!!

    -On topic-
    Wow nvr thought there something so vicious going on….. Or its just me not interested. Anyways, congrats!!! I tempted to use dat Eva video again but it seems repetitive…..

    Anaaga, I don get the ref….Is it a Gundam one?

    Oh, and HATERS GONNA HATE

    • anaaga says:

      Yeah, it’s a Gundam reference. The hell no picture has Quattro Bajeena
      Kyokai was all :< thinking I didn’t notice Quattro Bajeena, so I commented here to show her that I noticed.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Any character sporting a Yuno stalker face should be considered a flight risk, a potential health hazard. No good can come from such an expression.

    • Kyokai says:

      Lol! That pic was ‘needed’, guys~ :3

      But thank you for the support and I loved your video and pic too. xD

  18. skylion says:

    I was never much for the blogs when I was into anime about five to ten years back. Didn’t really have the time. I don’t really have the time now, but for this sort of inviting, engaging, and well tempered community, I make the time. I only really feel welcome here and over at Seven’s place. That really is saying something. I know that other blogs don’t really make it seem like you’re part of a big fight to comment or suchlike, but if feels like that at times.

    Thanks for making an old fart feel welcome.

    • anaaga says:

      Silly skylion, you’re the (old) wise sage. Like Gandalf

    • Kyokai says:

      We appreciate your comments, skylion! Also, as anaaga said, what do you want your special title to be? Gimme two words and I will make it happen. ^^

      • skylion says:

        Holy Crap! No, wait, those aren’t the two words! Those aren’t the two words at all……

        Middle-Aged Otaku. That should about cover it.

        or. Motherfoshing Gandalf!

        • Kyokai says:

          Hahaa! Forget about your age, I put up the second. Enjoy~ :3

          • skylion says:

            Look at what you inspired, anaaga ^^

            Thanks, Kyo!

  19. Highway says:

    Congratulations on your tournament success!

  20. Alec says:

    Dark_Sage is saying Metanorn was disqualified, and that he wins by default.

    So who won in the end, really?

    • Joojoobees says:

      The real winners were all the people who discovered new blogs to read that they had never heard of before. If YOU learned about a new website to check for thoughts or news or image spams or whatever by looking at the contenders, and you find yourself checking out the new site every now an then YOU can consider yourself a winner.

    • Kyokai says:

      You should not believe trolls. Also, JJB has made the strongest point yet.

      If still in doubt, check the tourney post.

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