it having been established on multiple previous occasions that i am a sucker

…I am entering Design Vitality’s WordPress Theme Design Competition even though:

  • it is quite the most blatant bit of PR-building I have seen since, oh, yesterday, when I was looking at my global tag links
  • I have no compelling reason to believe that the prizes a) exist or b) will be awarded. (I was there for the kcyap scam; if I wasn’t cynical, I’d be stupid.)
  • The fact that the public are voting and themes aren’t anonymous means it’s a popularity contest rather than a design one. (Actually, I don’t know whether they’re even checking IPs, so it could just be rewarding whoever has the most time to set aside for clicking on their own theme.)
  • Even if it were not for the above, I have not a cat in hell’s chance of winning anything because a) I’m not that good, b) I just can’t bring myself to do yet another design with a Big Blue Header, and c) I am lamely trying to do something different, and different never does well in popularity contests (or design contests, come to that)

because:

  • I am too lazy to do any theming nowadays without pressure of a deadline and faint chance of remuneration
  • I wanted to experiment with a ridiculous number of sidebars. I don’t know whether it works, but it was fun trying. If you can’t take risks, why bother?
  • On the same lines, it’s part of my campaign to free the wordpress from the stranglehold of the ubersafe Big Blue Header. (Also, enough with the ‘premium’ ‘magazine-style’ themes already. WordPress isn’t actually that great as a CMS. Go learn textpattern and save yourself the pain of screwing around with query_posts.)
  • ooh, imaginary iPhone! imaginary Wii! Shiny!

[I am a moron, aren’t I?]

28 Comments »

  1. “different” is the only reason i can ever find for designing things for public consumption these days. this is why many of my designs languish in “proof of concept” mode.

    after listening to one of the sndbx judges whine about entry quality, i’ve given up all hope of a decent competition involving mutual respect. popularity contests are a decent substitute, i suppose.

  2. also – i’ve poked textpattern, but i wouldn’t say “learned”. I don’t see any compelling reason to switch. sections just don’t make much sense to me. query_posts(), pre_get_posts() and get_pages() are powerful tools, and not having them is the fear that keeps me from trying drupal or something that’s supposed to do CMS better.

  3. drmiketemp said

    *chuckle* I say you enter a theme and I’ll have my clients vote for it. Let’s throw the competition. :)

  4. skippy said

    @sunburntkamel: Having now used Drupal to set up a variety of sites for $work, I can say that it is a first-class CMS. The number of modules available to provide workflows, actions, and other necessary features is stunning; and the Views module makes it easy to generate very complicated displays of data without ever writing a single line of PHP.

    It has a fairly steep learning curve (they’d prefer you have enough rope to hang yourself, as opposed to not enough string to tie your shoes), but as with most things if you start small and focus on the bits you need right now, you can digest things in relatively simple chunks.

    I can’t imagine making the sites I made for $work using WordPress. I’m sure it’s possible, but I’m also quite sure it would take considerably more effort.

  5. Scott said

    Sigh. I love Alister’s enthusiasm but wished he was less miserly with it.

    In principal I agree with Sunburnt. Look at Alex King’s (*gasp*) original WordPress ‘templates’ competition.

    Then again, look at the previous incarnation of the theme viewer. Double sigh.

  6. Mention the competition with a link to this page from your website or blog. The link’s anchor text must contain the words WordPress Theme Design Competition.

    I doubt there will be an entry with as clever a rule-abiding-post as this one. Nice job.

  7. i’ve given up all hope of a decent competition involving mutual respect.

    Yes; the big problem with having a judging panel is that being a designer doesn’t make you any less subjective in your aesthetic judgements. (It probably makes you more so, actually, because you care more.) And it’s probably next to impossible to find someone with sufficiently impressive credentials who isn’t going to be snotty about the large proportion of newbie and amateur entries these things always attract. With a popularity contest at least you’ve got a couple of hundred people making arbitrary decisions rather than a dozen.

  8. Scott said

    Maybe someone should apply the Hot-Or-Not model to a WordPress theme viewer. Heh.

  9. Andrew said

    Hey, you’re popular with us. Or at least, with some of us. At least, until you design something with a ridiculous number of sidebars…

  10. drmike said

    Maybe someone should apply the Hot-Or-Not model to a WordPress theme viewer.

    They did. themes.wordpress.net has it. (Unless it’s been removed. The site’s blocked from here so i can’t go and check.)

  11. drmike said

    Hey, I didn’t get akismet’ed. :)

  12. V2 said

    design something with a ridiculous number of sidebars

    I say you make your entry be all sidebars, who needs (nonexisting) content when you got 2 zillion widgets.

  13. drmike said

    They’ve extended the contest if you’re still interested.

  14. drmike said

    *sigh* Looks like I got Akismet’ed again. Wank, could you pull out my comment that I just left please? Thanks.

  15. Sent my entry in by the (second) original deadline. Obviously it’s incredibly unfair that everyone else gets an extra three weeks to work on their themes, but judging by Google and Technorati (not that this is ever wise) they were only going to get about five entries otherwise. Maybe now they will get a dozen or so.

    [waves farewell to imaginary Wii]

  16. drmike said

    Maybe I should do one then.

    (Thanks by the way for unAkismet’ing me)

  17. Scott said

    Good luck, Wank. I hope you win the Wii, though your work will merit the grand prize no doubt.

    Any chance of a sneak preview?

  18. drmike said

    Can’t. Rule #2 prohibits posting it they do. (OK, they don’t say specifically ‘preview’ but it doesn’t say that you can.)

  19. drmike said

    That’s “Rule #2 prohibits posting it before they do.”

  20. Ben M said

    This is quite the theme change! I thought I had come to the wrong site! Only thing wrong is that I got used to the recent comments section at the top of the page. But that is a minor detail that doesn’t really matter.

  21. I had this theme for Christmas last year. I’m sure it didn’t have the unstyled links then. They must have been messing with it and made it worse.

  22. links inside ul‘s were always broken. that’s why i didn’t use it last year.

  23. Were comment permalinks screwy as well?

  24. adam said

    don’t remember that. seems unlikely.

  25. All sorted now. Apparently the permalinks were broken by the fix for unstyled links. Thanks to Matt #2 the theme is now working to my satisfaction :)

    (well, apart from the lack of paragraph spacing, but that’s an aesthetic preference rather than a bug…)

  26. […] Lunarpages is launching a contest, overlapping with Design Vitality contest.  Not that many people were entering that one, I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought it sounded like a scam.  Lunarpages at least has a […]

  27. Kissing Bandit said

    You may want to reconsider this competition and head over to the Lunarpages one. Unfortunately, there is no iPhone or Wii, but you could surely buy them with the $1,000 prize money.

    -KB

  28. […] tradition, Lunarpages is launching a contest, overlapping with Design Vitality contest. Not that many people were entering that one, I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought it sounded like a scam. Lunarpages at least has a decent […]

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