Yesterday was “Boost Your Vote Day” at Classic w/Style and I made a costly mistake – or two. The idea is that you can buy your way up the ladder by paying the contest organizers large amounts of L$ during specific times of the day. The pertinent part of the notice is here:
WAKE UP AND GET YOUR COFFEE AND IT IS TIME TO BOOST YOUR VOTE. 50 VOTES PER 500 LINDENS , YOU MAY VOTE FOR YOURSELF AND VOTE UNLIMITED.
In reading that, one might reasonably think that for every 500L added to the picture, one would receive an extra 50 votes. As usual, the devil is in the details. The attached card held the fine print.
– for each 500 lindens vote you will put to your picture you will get 50 votes (needs to be full L$500 per vote to get the full credit, meaning if you vote for L$499 you will not get the whole 50 votes credit) [Emphasis mine]
Unfortunately I didn’t read the card until I had already put 20 votes worth at 25L onto my card, figuring to get 500L, the 20 votes for adding the money, and the “boost bonus.” That 30 vote mistake cost me two places in the overall standings.
My first mistake might have been in entering this contest to begin with. I’m not sure what I’m getting out of this. Call me cheap, but there’s a reality at play here – especially for guys. What we seem to be working toward is a chance to be in the final pageant. The final pageant takes the top 10 contestants and puts them on stage in front of judges. I’m guessing, and this is just a hunch, the the probability of a male winning this pageant is something less than one in ten. More like one in a million. Sure the big money for this pageant is 100,000L and second prize is 50,000L but this is looking more and more like a losing bet.
For reference, there is another pageant that will finish this month. The amounts of money that are on the cards in that event are staggering. The first place person has 113,000L (10,000 votes), the second place has 117,000L (7700 votes) and the third place has 159,000L (5500 votes). Even the tenth place has 38,000L (1700 votes). Almost all the midrange field has at least 20k showing on the card. Some have considerably more. There’s one guy in that field and he’s spent almost 39,000L for his chance to win. If you’re keeping track, that means there’s over 600,000L just on the top 10 cards in that pageant with one more “vote boost” opportunity next week before their final. Given that the organizers will only pay out 200K in prizes, it seems obvious why they run the operation.
What is less clear is why we are playing along.
What is clear, at least to me, is that this voting process — and even the thrice-weekly contests — are a waste of time and money, in terms of advancing to the top ten. My mistake with the boost aside, it seems obvious that the correct strategy is ignore it all, save my lindens, and then spend them in big chunks during these vote boost events. Even at that, I have no protection against somebody joining the competition at the last minute, buying their way into the top ten with a single large vote, and bumping me out.
At the moment I’ve got about 5k lindens invested in this. At $20US, that’s not a lot of money but looking ahead at the probable pay off (2k lindens) for being male in the final pageant, I’m already in the hole. I need to figure out how much I’m willing to lose in real terms and I’m not sure that I’m willing to lose $200US, which is what the current indications are.
I asked one of the big spenders why they’re willing to go into the red for the chance to win when the top prize money is less than the amount it’s costing to get to the finals. Her response was, “Because it’s fun.”
Maybe once I get beyond the sting of my own stupidity for not reading the fine print in this contest, I’ll think it’s fun again. The experience of participating in the styling contests is, un-deniably, fun. It’s frustrating to see the same three or four people win all the time, particularly since I can’t see why they’re winning.
Maybe that’s my problem. I can’t see what they’re doing that the others are not and if I could, then maybe this would make more sense.