I’m not someone who wins contests. Games, sure. I can whoop some ass at Trivial Pursuit, make some extra beer money at low-stakes poker, and I even have my good days at a pool table (provided the other folks at the table also suck at pool). But contests… I’m never caller number ten. I’ve never held the winning ticket when it came time to draw the winners of a charity raffle, and I’ve never gotten anything from filling out a sweepstakes form.*
Today, however, I received email confirmation that yes, indeed, I was receiving a prize for being one of the first 25 readers to reply to this entry over at the website of GOOD Magazine:
GOOD readers, our friends at Design 21′s Social Design Network (read about them here) want to pose a challenge to you. They want to know how you define social design. It’s very simple and very broad. Let us know what you think in the comments. The first 25 commenters will get a GOOD t-shirt and a stainless steel Allumonde ring from Design 21. Make sure you’ve included your real email with your GOOD profile, or we won’t be able to contact you to give you your prize.
Define social design. Have a go at it.
So, I did it. I was just dicking around online anyway, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to 1) blather on about something, and 2) participate in the “online community” of my new favorite magazine (if it sounds familiar, that’s because GOOD was the source of this post, as well as being all over my del.icio.us links, and my links sidebar… okay, I’m obsessed). I didn’t really believe it when I counted and figured out that my reply was number 24. Within an hour, the contest was over… 25 replies ahd been made, and although it was pretty cool that people kept posting out of an interest in the topic (rather than the prizes), I was still wondering where my prize was! I hadn’t heard a peep. I checked and double checked, to “[m]ake sure [I'd} included [my] real email with [my] GOOD profile.” Hell yeah, I had. I counted and recounted to make sure I was really in the top 25. Yup. I got so antsy I went back and posted this comment to make sure prizes hadn’t been long ago distributed to the other 24 posters, overlooking me just because I don’t win contests. Of course, just to excuse my whiny prize-seeking, I prattled on about design, technology, open-source, etc. But we all know the real motivation for my post.
Today, though, I sat down in the computer lab, logged in to Gmail, and there it was… an email from Design 21 Promotions, congratulating me on winning, and asking for my t-shirt and ring sizes and shipping address. I haven’t so quickly and deftly composed a (coherent) email in my entire life.
I don’t know what it is about this contest in particular… I would have posted there anyway, eventually. I don’t really wear rings, and I hate wearing t-shirts that advertise for something completely unrelated to t-shirts. But the Allumonde ring is just so cool… and what it represents is such a good idea… Plus, a GOOD t-shirt? Did I mention it’s my new favorite magazine?
So… in a couple of weeks (days? months? who knows?) I should be sporting a shiny new Allumonde ring and a spiffy GOOD t-shirt… because sometimes, just sometimes… dicking around on the internet can make you a winner.
* Actually, this is only technically true. I actually did win a trip for two to a charming bed and breakfast in Williamsburg, Virginia, by filling out a newspaper entry form. This was when I was sixteen, and as the newspaper in question was the (now defunct) Baltimore Gay Paper, my christian fundie mom wouldn’t let me collect my prize. So, I’ve never gotten a prize, although I did technically win one… once… ten years ago…