Just needed to vent a little about the video contest. This idea came to me over a year ago. A way to reach non-snake people with a positive message about our hobby. A way to get people to go outside our community for votes and show how awesome our hobby is. I knew it was going be a lot of work, not to mention the close to $10k I would be giving away with really no actual benefit to my own business. But I believe that we need to keep growing the hobby and getting new people into reptiles, so it was worth the time and the money. When I started to approach sponsors it took a lot of convincing as well as sticking my own neck out with them to get them to join the contest. There were countless hours spent planning the contest, lots of opinions on the best way to do things and in the end we figured out what we thought was the best plan of actions. Never doing something like this in the past as well as not knowing what the participation was going to be, of course there were a lot of unanswered questions. But I still felt that it would benefit our hobby.
The contest went much better then we even could have imagined, with almost 200 videos entered and tens of thousands of votes on the contest. You guys all kicked some major ass! I was told it was the most visited page on the host website the entire time the contest ran. We were getting the positive message out that I had hoped for. With all that said, the contest ended and the ugly side started to show through. The sponsors needed to review the entries and although we all wanted to pick the winning videos as fast as possible, it was prudent to take the time that needed to go through all of them. We needed three awesome videos, ones with the positive message about snakes and from people that had worked hard to get votes and promote the contest. If it was just me, I could have got it done relatively quick, but of course we needed to include all the sponsors in the decision, after all they put a lot of time, money and energy in to this contest and it was important that they were happy with the winners as well. It seems that the positive message of our hobby turned into some people complaining about the time it was taking. While I totally understand that so many people worked so hard to promote their videos and want to know who the winners are, I also can not understand how they want to take a positive and turn it into a negative. Remember what the message was supposed to be, positive, right? Trust me, I put ten times the time and money into this contest then anyone that entered, and I can not express my gratitude for each and every entry, but I am a little ashamed that there is all the petty crap that is going on after all “your” hard work. Does it really make a difference if the announcement is made a couple of weeks later? There will still be three winners whether it’s today or next week? I was so proud of how this contest went, and now I have a bad taste in my mouth. I’ll try to take the positive view and hope that it’s just a small group of people. I understand everyone’s excitement and desire to know the winners, but remember that the people behind the contest have had to dedicate their time, money and more then you can imagine to pull this off. Please try to understand that we are doing our best, and to not ruin the message of the contest in the last days. With the way things ended, it might be a really hard sell to get my sponsors to do this again, which was my intentions from the start. Please think before you act, our hobby has enough negative without the people within our hobby making us look even worst. I will do my best to get the contest winners announced really soon.