100 Hours of Humo(u)r – Hour 8: Beware Bogus Writing Contests!
By Dave Fox
“Exhausted as hell” doesn’t even scratch the surface of how delightful I’m feeling at the moment. I’m writing this at 2 a.m., to be uploaded for the 5 a.m. time slot, which is why I feel it’s an appropriate moment for a curmudgeonly rant — about a sad new trend in the writing world.
They’re growing more and more popular: bogus online writing and photography “contests” that work like this:
1) You submit a story (or photo).
2) Readers vote on their favorite story.
Simple enough? On the surface, it seems like a fine idea — until you realize you have just, at the urging of the “contest’s” organizers, spammed every person you know on the organizers’ behalf.
It was bad a few years ago, before Facebook had taken over ownership of the solar system. Now, it’s out of control. Your friends aren’t just supposed to vote for you. They’re supposed to “like” your story on the organizers’ Facebook pages. Whoever pollutes the Facebook-o-sphere with the most “likes” gets to then run around pretending they wrote a great story — which, maybe they did, but how will they ever know?
While this “100 Hours of Humo(u)r” debacle might be a sick, sad cry for attention, I’ve got to argue it’s not as lame as these other “writing contests” — which aren’t even worthy of being called popularity contests. They’re spamming contests. You spend time entering those contests? Good luck scoring that Pulitzer you’ve been dreaming of.
That’s why I’m bringing in real human beings to be old-school, dictatorial-style judges for my piddly little contests. It’s my hope more people will really like me (as opposed to “like” me).
So please, tell your friends about Globejotting because you think it’s cool, not because you want a bogus writing certificate. I don’t have any of those to give away this week.
You want to become a praise-worthy writer? Excellent! Then here’s an extremely helpful tip: Spend your time writing instead of spamming your friends.