more pagerankchasing idiocy

via sunburntkamel, I learn that they are having yet another bloody theme competition.

I have no words.

Well, I probably will later, but right now I’ve just been stunned into silence by the sheer pointlessness of it all.

16 Comments »

  1. i’m still holding my breath as to whether ‘they’ is appropriate here.

    theundersigned has a good track record thus far, and we can only hope that he’ll be lending that pagerank to themes.wordpress.net, not his own site. but who knows.

    when you watch people make the same stupid mistake over, and over, and over, you have to acknowledge that there is a real want out there, it’s just that the unwashed masses have no idea how to get what they want. not that i know, either.

  2. wank said

    Would there really be anything wrong with letting, say, six months go by without a competition? Or waiting for the next release of wordpress (where widgets will probably be core, which is a major change to theme architecture)?

    The recent Six Apart contest was just as badly organised as the WP efforts, yet it was broadly successful. Why? Because there was a genuine need for new stylesheets that could be plugged into the default template (WP used the same model, until the developers were blinded by the shininess of Kubrick). Because the prizes were decent. Because the community hadn’t been fatigued by a dozen other competitions, and there was a whole pool of talent which hadn’t been tapped yet. Yes, there was a fair amount of crap in there, but people didn’t bitch about the crap at the expense of praising the good stuff, the way wordpressers do.

    Another unofficial competition will only harm wordpress theme design by trying to pump more themes out of a community that’s already exhausted and is rapidly becoming cynical about these things. My heartfelt, friendly advice to theundersigned would be to wait for the next release, then try to get Automattic on board. The only way this can succeed is if it gets official backing, which I’m not sure he will get right now because it’s just too soon.

  3. GAiL said

    hmm…not to be rude or anything, but maybe they should actually start sending the prices from the recently concluded contest first before setting up a new one? I’m sorry, but I STILL haven’t received any of the two I’ve supposedly won. Honestly, I’ve got to the point of just dubbing it as lost cause and let it be. I know The Undersigned has absolutely nothing to do with the previous ones, but I will have to agree with you on the premise that it’s way too soon.

    Three competitions based on one WP release and within the span of less than half a year too? I don’t know… Doesn’t that take out being “special”? I mean, see the competition Alex King held for WP 1. We know it’s THE competition for WP 1. But for WP 2, looks like we’re going to have three!

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love to make a new theme for this contest… I just think it might be best to wait a little, you know?

  4. @GAiL –

    see podz’ comment on sunburntkamel.wordpress.com: terry had no intention of doing anything other than chasing pagerank on the backs of our efforts.

  5. Collin said

    Just nodding in agreement. Do we really need yet another one? No.

  6. I just have to comment on this. Who are “they”? Is it “WordPress”?

    First of all, there has been made 1 competition, which was fake, noone received prizes or anything, and then Terry suddently “felt bad” and made a new – but he had the same intentions, only doing it for the backlinks and traffic – noone has received their prizes or anything.

    Where I really feel hurt is where gail writes “mm…not to be rude or anything, but maybe they should actually start sending the prices from the recently concluded contest first before setting up a new one?”. – Who the fuck are “they”? I am in charge of the new theme viewer, and we really need new and better themes in the community. The latest 200 released themes has all been “mods of K2” – I am making this competition because the previous two “competitions” wasn’t organized enough, and didnt do it for the better good. I am almost done writing the rules down for the new competition, and i must say that theme options, widgetized themes, semantic markup, valid markup etc etc is gonna be weighed in the decision, while also pre-released themes or themes based on another theme cant be submitted.

    “Don’t get me wrong, I would love to make a new theme for this contest… I just think it might be best to wait a little, you know?” – let me ask – has the new competition been launched yet?

  7. GAiL said

    Thomas:
    Isn’t it a bit obvious that the “they” I was referring to were the sponsors who actually promised the prizes? From where else would the prizes be coming from? I don’t see why you should be offended by that. Why, are you one of the sponsors?

    Strange that you’d generalize all the themes entered in the competition as “mods of K2”. If I took your comment seriously and didn’t actually try to understand the point of your comment, I should be offended by that when I myself have never downloaded K2, let alone modify it. I should be “hurt” when it seems that you’ve included my themes as one of those “mods of K2”, especially for somebody who find it easier to start from zero instead of building or modifying somebody else’s CSS structure.

    Your new competition hasn’t been launched yet, that’s true. But you are planning a third one for WP 2. That was the entire point of my comment.

    “My heartfelt, friendly advice to theundersigned would be to wait for the next release, then try to get Automattic on board.” — that’s what Wank said, and that was exactly what I was elaborating on.

  8. GAiL said

    Forgive me, I read your comment again and saw that you were only referring to the “200 themes” you received for the Theme Viewer.

    Re-reading before actually getting all worked up, don’t you think?

  9. “They” are also setting up a new competition – they could be anyone related to the competition. And I will have to tell you that the sponsors are confused because the previous competition maker didnt contact them with details on where to send prizes etc.

    I dont generalize last competitions entrees, i try to make a point that over the last year, we havent really seen anything new from the theme creators. We have seen k2 with 50 different header images, and in 50 different colors, and with rounded and hard corners. People download themes, changes colors and call it something else. People make a theme from scratch that looks like most other themes etc – we need renewal, and the themes i want to see from an organized competition, is themes that fully features WordPress’ functionality, semantic, valid markup, theme options pages, widgetized etc – a theme thats not in beta stage when its released.

    Im not planning a new one for WP 2 – if the prizes are in place before 2.1, forward compatible themes will be rewarded. And for widgets in the core in 2.1 – as far as i have heard, that isnt decided yet. And for the record, I have Automattic on board.

  10. Rephrase of “Im not planning a new one for WP 2 – if the prizes are in place before 2.1, forward compatible themes will be rewarded. ”

    Im not planning on a new competition for WP2 – if the prizes are in place before 2.1 is released, the competition might start before – but in that case, forward compatible themes will be rewarded.

  11. GAiL said

    Glad we had that cleared. But really, I think it’s better if you wait a few more months before actually launching this thing if you really want to hold one before a new major release from WP is made. Take this as a friendly advice… The “trauma” of the first two contests is still a bit raw. Even if you haven’t really launched it (you’ve only just announced it), don’t be surprised that there will be people who will say, “no, not another one!”

    Just a suggestion (don’t go get offended again now)… but it might be better that you lie low about it for now. I understand your cause, and I will fully support you on it, and even help you organize it if you need help… but now (or even a couple of months from now), might not be the best time to do that. Let “the wounds heal” first as they say.

  12. I am just trying to notice people with the linked preannouncement, to let theme designers know that it will be coming, and wont accept pre-released themes, so when it is launched, noone can complain about lack of time.

    I am also waiting till i get prizes in place etc, and it will surely take some time🙂 I want a great prize pool, so people should be motivated to do their best.

    I might need some help somehow, I will be in touch with you.

  13. James said

    Just to clarify.

    1. Gail wrote: Isn’t it a bit obvious that the “they” I was referring to were the sponsors who actually promised the prizes?

    As one of the sponsors we would like to point out that we have been very confused by this whole ordeal and have indeed, been waiting to hear from Terry as to how to go about giving the prize to the category winner. However, as it seems no prizes have actually been sent out, we are not sure what is the best solution here. Perhaps we should simply get in touch with the winner and give him the prize. The only reason for not doing so sooner, is that we have been waiting to see if things actually moved forward and we could then act accordingly.

    There has also been some innuendo tossed around the varying discussions that the prize we offered, namely webhosting and support, is not something that a designer would often take up on. We understood this but offered it anyway, as a token of our appreciation to their hard work in theme design. How they choose to use it – whether as a promotion on their own site or otherwise – is always open to suggestion.

    James [Shadow] – on behalf of Freshlypressed.net
    ————–
    And for my own thoughts on the whole theme competition – http://erraticsouls.com/Shadows/601/setting-it-straight-for-one-last-time

  14. yikes.

    i’m glad i put ‘they’ in quotes from the get go. because trying to lump thomas (theundersigned) in with terry and justin doesn’t seem right. nor does lumping shadow/podz/flipstah/et al. in with them make sense.

    @shadow re:setting it straight:
    i know it sucks to be digging all this up again, but if nobody clears the air on the last two competitions, that left over bad blood is going to hurt any new competitions. (see bloggingpro’s attempt)

    @thomas: i’m ecstatic to hear that automattic is on board. i do have high hopes for your competition, and it’s important to set yours apart from the previous farces.

  15. timethief said

    As a newbie who’s as far from a geek as one can get I’m amazed another competition is being held before the prizes from the last one ahve been received and before the bad experience has faded from memory.

    Setting that aside the “they-ness” and the unhappiness hangover from the last fiasco IMO the only way to assure the next competition doesn not culminate in a simliar result is (1) delay it, distribute the prizes, let the bad feelings dissapate (2) formulate sound objectioves and criteria.

    In regard to the latter this caught my attention- quoting Thomas – “we need renewal, and the themes i want to see from an organized competition, is themes that fully features WordPress’ functionality, semantic, valid markup, theme options pages, widgetized etc – a theme thats not in beta stage when its released.”

    No kiddin this is exactly what I just blogged about http://coyotes.wordpress.com/2006/07/07/customizing-templates-wheres-the-functionality/

  16. GAiL said

    Dang, one “they” word could have spawned this long a discussion?😀 Seriously though, sorry it went out that way. But really. I hate to think of Terry as another KCyap, he had such good intentions, but like all of you, it seemed to be just another page ranking strategy. After he announced the winners, he moved on. I’d have to agree with Adam on his blog when he said that he felt cheeky asking the sponsor himself for the prize. Did Terry really expected us to go up to the sponsors and say, “hey, where’s my prize?”

    The prize itself isn’t my problem (heck, a site badge saying that my theme won would have been enough… bragging rights would be enough actually), it’s the feeling that you’ve been duped that bothers me. Terry just announced the winners, then that’s it. The site gets redesigned, but sponsors and winners are left to wonder what the hell happened. Left me wondering for a couple of months if there really WAS a competition in the first place. And reading Shadow’s blog about it… I’m left to wonder even more.

    Thomas: Sure, count me in. And I do hope the criteria will be one of the priorities in the planning… I actually emailed Terry about that before. I’ve asked him why there wasn’t any list of criteria for judging. He told me that he was working on it, but that never came. It’s a good thing that you’re going to think this through first. And REALLY plan it. I think the community has already had enough of competitions in disarray😛 Slowly but surely as they say.

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