As I wrote about a little while ago, I am trying to win a scholarship for my umpiring. One of the facets of this was the 'people's choice' category, where you try to get as many votes as possible. I had a great response from friends and colleagues, but to really challenge in this you need to get out into the depths of the internet to find supporters. I had a great idea one evening, when the Test Match between England and Sri Lanka was delayed by the ever-present rain; the Cricinfo website runs very popular match commentaries, which are followed by thousands around the world. So when the commentary for this game was discussing stories about Aleem Dar during the delay, I saw my opportunity. I put in my two cents about my meeting with Aleem, and then linked it through to my blog piece about the scholarship, and my voting page. I wasn't too hopeful, but a few minutes later a friend let me know that they had seen my name on the page! Here is what came up:
What makes this even more remarkable is that the comment just above it was from my good friend, Avi! Seeing his comment published really reminded me that I was going to make the comment, and it was just sheer luck that our two comments were published right next to each other. Anyway, as the rain continued to fell, not many more comments came through and my links were near the top for quite a while. The results were remarkable.
Within about 5 minutes, my blog page had over 100 views. Within half an hour, it had passed 200 and by the end of the hour it was over 300. The result was that my stats graphs were rather dwarfed by this spike, as you can probably see in the right column of the blog. Naturally, I was quite excited by this! It was exactly what I had hoped for and I was just waiting for the votes to skyrocket.
They didn't. Out of the 300+ people who went onto my blog page, only about 5 went on to vote for me. I kept reloading the page, hoping that the votes would come through, but it stayed depressingly constant. After a while I gave up and accepted that it was a hope too far. I guess some people clicked the link but didn't really have time to read it. Or some people found the voting process too much like hard work. Or, heaven forbid, they didn't want to vote for me!!
Anyway, it was an interesting experience. I'm not really holding out for the people's choice award any more, but it has taught me some interesting things. It was still pretty cool to get onto Cricinfo and to get so many hits! So in its own way, it was a success and a failure, but a good learning experience all the same.