Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Ugly Side of Comping

My family have had the most amazing experience ever since nominating my wonderful parents for the title of Ultimate Family Superhero.  We loved making our home video which captured the very essence of our big, loving family.  I enjoyed the phone interview describing the thirteen talented, incredible grandchildren.  We thought the photoshoot of my parents was amazing...they felt like celebrities and deservedly so!! And as for the challenge itself, the party we hosted will be remembered forever by everyone involved.  We waited excitedly to see the final cut of the film and looked forward to sharing it with family and friends. I can honestly say that the prospect of winning a car was secondary to relishing the once in a lifetime oportunity of celebrating our family in such a unique manner.

When the site finally went live it was great to hear the reactions and responses from all our loved ones.  The messages of support and the sharing of the link was heart warming.  But very quickly I realised that this old school approach was not the way that this competition was meant to be played.  We are meant to court this new fangled social media and enter blogs and comment on trending tweets all in the name of promotion.  I am very naive and thought that people would look at three videos and vote for their favourite on the merit of worthiness, entertainment or that all elusive X Factor.  I was happy to be judged on this criteria with a level playing field.  However, when the result is going to depend on computer savvy, "going viral", stalking opposition to look for weakness and adding links direct to your own entry on Comping Forums thus by-passing the other two videos, I can not compete.  My parents are 78 and can't switch a computer on, let alone promote themselves this way.  I enjoy what I do on a computer and simply could not compromise my enjoyment by trying to infiltrate blogs and forums for the sole reason of self-promotion.  I know that my refusal to enter into this will result in my parents losing...but my integrity is more important than this dangling VW carrot.  I will continue to talk to friends and my fellow comping friends...who are few but wonderful.  I will talk to the schools who would benefit from the prize money.  I will occasionally tweet.  I will let the local papers run stories that celebrate my parents.  I will print flyers for my parents to hand out to the other OAP's who live in the bungalows next door to them...knowing full well they will not have access to a PC.  I will invite anyone who reads my blog to watch my parents' film and if they like it they can vote.  I will continue to respect the Mummy Bloggers and not turn their sites into "Vote for me" advertisements.

And do you know what...I feel so much better for having articulated this.  I've had a miserable, tearful day thinking that people have made assumptions about me and concluded that I am not worthy of winning because I am a "serial winner" of cars which 1: I am husband spent six hours in a cold shopping centre with his hands on a Hyundai and won on a tie-break question.  This was not my doing, I've NEVER won a car and probably given what I know now, never will. And 2: Have only been entering competitions seriously since August this year.  And 3: Entered this because I believe my parents deserved to be honoured never believing it'd get this far.

So...I'm basically happy to enjoy this ride to the end...but on my terms!  The joy of the adventure will not be tarnished by my feelings on this desperate scrabble for votes.  I want my voters to vote for me because we were the best candidates not because I invaded their cyberspace relentlessly. I have loved being a part of VW's Ultimate Family Superhero Competition but I am happy not to win the final prize if I can't achieve that without compromising my beliefs!


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