Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What I Gained From Losing

So I didn't win any prize in the Minute Maid Pulpy competition, that I had thought I had a chance of at least getting something for my design.  But it wasn't a design competition, it was a blog competition with the majority of the score going to the creative writing portion.  I'm not sulking in my loss.  I looked at the winners' entries and yes, they deserved to win, with good commentaries and a story behind the writing, with accompanying pictures.  I guess that's what the judges were looking for, not just plain text with separate, non-related pictures, as I had in my design.  A loss, somewhat, but I did gain some knowledge from entering this competition, which I hope to apply in my own personal blogs and maybe future online contests...

What I learned:
1)  I found other sites that provided free flash banners and other tools to add animation to a site, specifically Flashvortex.com

2)  Though I have about 500 friends on my facebook account (my husband and I share the account and more than half of these people I do not know), they were not interested in helping me out with the comments part of the contest.  I'm not sure if any of them actually commented on my site, though I did get one from an Anonymous.  Disappointing, yes, especially since I emailed some of them personally to ask for their support aside from the post on my FB wall.  I know most of them live abroad, but all I asked for was a comment, even a small feedback on the look and design of the site.  Silence maybe speaks louder than words and maybe they didn't think much of the site or didn't believe in the product, but I'm trying to look on the bright side... to at least boost my self-esteem.  So what did I learn?  To look at the bright side and just smile :)

3)  I was able to look at the different design options on blogger and created what I thought was a real pulpy background.  The background designs provided on blogger does not give us the ability to "tile" the background image, which you can do if you have a customized image.

4)  Yes, my blog post was mostly text, which is hard to read and rather boring as compared to those who won.  They actually had a story, like the one who went from being fat to a little sexier, showing actual images of her "before" and "after".  My blog was impersonal, I realize.  I'm not one to flaunt my picture on the internet.  But this is what blogging is about.  It's about the person, who we are and people want to actually see the person and personality behind the words.

5) I got a renewed spirit of creativity in designing the Minute Maid blog, so I decided to recreate my own personal blog and look into other ways of making it more attractive and useful for the readers.

It was a great experience entering this contest.  Going back, I may have changed things on my blog if I was a little clearer on what the organizers wanted.  It was the first contest I've entered online and even, offline.  In any contest, we take risks and I'm glad that I was able to gain valuable experience - even if I didn't win.

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