The DoFollow plug-in is installed (so now, every one of your links counts as a real link).

My linkback/postback policy is now in full effect. I’ve already talked about how I reciprocate linking and writing blog posts about your favorite posts here on your site/blog, in which I mentioned a commenting contest.

Let me clarify, then, what I consider a comment, before we get into cash/merchandise prizes. Pay attention because this one important point could help you win.

Rules

Writing about me on your blog with trackback, I consider both a link and a comment. It only counts once.

Linking to me from both a blogroll and a post I’ll count as another comment, because I believe the sites you link to from blogrolls that are on every page of your site are a transfer of trust. You’re saying to your readers, “you’ll benefit from going to this site”. This also only counts once.

Real Comments on this site count as many times as you make them. I consider a real comment to be a relevant contribution to the conversation at hand. If I smell bullshit/spam I won’t count it. I reserve the right to decide, but I’m not a tyrant. You’ll probably be cool if you say something more than “great post” or “hey, visit my site” and things of this sort.

So those are the contest rules. In case of a tie-breaker we go to sudden death.

I’ve always wanted to say that. The Sudden death rules will be determined by me at some later date if it comes to that, or looks like it will be close.

Reciprocation

Commenting on a site is much harder to reciprocate. If you comment on me and I see it, I’ll do my best to comment on something on your site within a week. I have a lot of time on my hands as I do my withdrawal from Internet Marketing, but as the popularity of this site continues to grow, that could get out of hand fast.

That’s why I’m having a contest instead.

Prizes

Top commenter will get $100 USD in cash.

The person whose comment is exactly in the middle of all the comments after today will get a $100 Amazon gift certificate. The comment I consider to be the most helpful will get $250 in cash.

Some other person I pick at random will get $50 in cash.

The contest is from now until midnight on my reveal day, April 14, 2007. Comments will be added up and tallied and spot checked by some other impartial party and annouced a week from that day. (Also making it easy for me to deliver the prizes because I’ll no longer be anonymous.)

Note: The first 8 people who commented on this site who left their real information will get an Amazon gift certificate for $25. I think that’s only fair because the contest started after they got here. They were all instrumental in sparking interest in my site, so that’s my thank you to them.

If I can mail them and still be anonymous, I’ll send them next week. Otherwise, on April 14, 2007, my reveal day. So, Dane, Mark of 45n5, Scott , Josh, Ibnu, Faith, Matt, and Mark of bloglyne, please contact me at im@imtellall.com so I know where to send your certificate.

Why Money?

  1. You will be more likely to take my commitment to you seriously if I back it up with cash. I think.

    At least, you’ll pay more attention to the site.

  2. I wanted to be different.

    In other blogs I’ve done, I’ve reciprocated for people linking to me or talking about me with return links, etc. That’s not bad and I’ll still do that, but with a new blog, it seems like you as the commenter wouldn’t get much more back than a free link to your site, and my appreciation extends farther than that.

    One could argue all the intrinsic social benefits, but since this contest is an experiment about that, the point is moot.

  3. I wanted to have a good reason to do a press release on Tuesday that people will really pay attention to, not one of those “Hey, Gots Me A New Blog” announcements.

    I’m thinking of the title “Crazy New Blogger Gives $500 in Cash and Prizes For a Common Blog Practice.” Maybe Crazy Anonymous Blogger. Which is more sexy?

  4. I achieved the traffic goal of this site in TEN DAYS without leveraging on my name or spending a thin dime.

    I figured this will give me extra motivation. After all, I have to keep writing or you’ll have nothing to comment on.

  5. I want to know what the reaction of the Blogosphere is going to be, if, that is, they pay attention to this experiment.

    Will people think it’s unethical to give away money for commenting? It’s not like pay per post, it’s a contest. But is there a difference in people’s minds? If so, what’s SO bad about pay per post? *pulls tongue out of cheek*

  6. I’m curious to see who wins.

    Will it be someone with four comments, because everyone thinks I’m bullshitting and won’t enter?

    Or will it be a person who is smart enough to leverage the attention I’m paying for in a smart and ethical way, making 100 comments, a blog post about me, and a link back from their blogroll, all of them useful – even funny and entertaining?

    Will the money make the quality of the comments better? Or will it skew them in the opposite direction? Will people forget about the contest as they begin to enjoy participation in a community and visiting each other’s sites?

  7. It’s all part of my overall marketing research.

    And my plan to take over the world, Pinky.

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