Monday, September 24, 2012

The Celcom Cupcake Challenge - Do your votes really matter?

Democracy is a funny thing. On one end it is supposed to reflect the people's voice and the power should belong to the people themselves. On the other end, it does not fully reflect the majority of the people's choice. One's sensible choice would be illogical to the other. 

Same goes to voting contests. How do we dictate who has the best entry for a particular contest? It is easy to use the 'people's vote' as it guarantees transparency and lifts the heat a little of the juries' shoulder, as it is very easy to blast them if they make a decision that will not please the majority. But do think again, does highest likes actually reflect one's entry as the best among the others for something this subjective?

Take this scenario, assuming there is no right or wrong answer. The contest question goes like this... "What do you think would be the best way to promote tourism in Malaysia?" The most voted and most creative wins RM10,000!

Participant A : Restore heritage buildings to utilize it to its fullest potential & attract tourists at the same time.
Participant B : Cupcake

Remember, there is NO right or wrong answer. Sensibly, which one do you think is the winning entry and that would keep the integrity of the contest itself? Now, let us look deeper into the scenarios. Assuming that Participant A is a 30 years old cashier who works shifts and comes online periodically, that is when she is not attending her to her family's need. Participant B is a 30 years old stay at home unemployed man who goes online at least 12 hours a day. Participant A relies on sensible voters who does vote for the integrity of her entry. Participant B can pull off 100++ votes by exchanging votes around the world, creating proxy accounts to vote for himself and pulls strings to support his entry.

Remember, there is NO right answer, and by the end of the contest, Participant A manages to pull 200 votes whilst Participant B pulls 1230 votes. Now is Participant B wrong? Not unless he is being caught!

Celcom Cupcake Challenge, despite numerous oppositions to the method of choosing its finalists (Most Voted 55 will be deliberated by the judges), they went along with it as it is an 'inconvenience' to change the contest mechanism. After all, who likes admitting to flaws that they have?

The thing being stressed out here is, with so many strong opinions against it, how would Celcom ever escape from this sticky situation?

"Why use the most ‘Liked’ cupcakes as the 55 finalists? Well, because we want your say! Only at the finals will the top 3 winners will be selected based on creativity, uniqueness, design and 100% match to the submitted picture. So continue to vote for your favourites and let’s have fun in the togetherness this contest has brought us!"

If Celcom INSISTS of public votes, fine, they can have public votes for all they care, just don't make it a heavy determinant factor. The public has very strong opinions for Celcom, but I doubt that they are being heard at all. 

As the saying goes, if you can't beat them, join them! Same goes to this situation. Celcom don't give hoots on what you people got to say, if you want to join, join, if you don't want to join, complain all you want, it does not make a difference.

At the end of the day, I predict that the finalists who makes it all the way to the top would be the sensible winners, e.g. that has the ability to produce a stunning impact through their entry. However, imagine the travesty of many good entries being sidelined just because mediocre entries excels better in voting rigging obtaining. Such a shame it is not a battle among the best, but c'est la vie, as long the people knows how to play the game, it's an all fair battlefield. Now, like I stress on earlier, the votes are subjective, but not necessarily sensible.

I actually enjoyed reading a comment from Najee Razak, one of the commentators on the Celcom Cupcake Page.

By the end of the day, what can be done has not been done, what has been said might not be taken into account at all. Social awareness goes a long way, and this is just my two cents on how has the contest reflected itself to me. I am not a participant by the way, just an observer in this case. It is very interesting to see the actual winners when this contest ends. 

One more thing before you shut your browser tab/window, let's play a game. The following images are taken from the Celcom Cupcake Challenge page, I won't reveal the pages and participants name, they are public information for you to find out. I will however, reveal the votes obtained by those entries as per September 24, 2012 - (249, 555, 681, 715), try matching the votes with the images below, the higher the votes, the better the entry supposed to be. The next time you see me and if you guessed the votes correctly, cupcake is on me :) Have fun! 

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