#piamg – changes afoot!

#piamg is in it’s fourth season of competition, and in all honesty – it’s become a bit of a beast to run!

When we first started, we managed 24 entries in our first week, and that was only after we badgered a few friends to enter!  In comparison, this week we had nearly 40 entries in the first 5 minutes!

As the holder of a full time job (that I would prefer not to be fired from!), I am finding it increasingly difficult to run the competition in its current format.  Everything is done manually at the moment in a monster spreadsheet and so each entry takes time to process.  In addition, I know it is frustrating for folks who have to try and enter multiple times before they can get a number that nobody else has taken.

Long story short, change is coming!!  We’ve been doing some beta testing on a new automated process for #piamg in the last week or so and the time has come to move it into a production run.

So from this coming week onward (predictions in the weekend of 6/7 October), what you need to do will change…

New process

  • As usual I will put a tweet out saying that the competition has opened. The tweet will tell you how many games and provide a link to enter.
  • DO NOT REPLY with your guess on twitter – it will not be accepted
  • Click on the link in the tweet and you will be taken to a short form. You need to:
    • Type in your twitter username
    • Select your guess from a drop down list
    • Hit enter
  • The list of choices will only reflect the numbers that have not yet been selected
  • If someone else picks the number you chose while you are in the form, it should tell you and ask you to pick again
  • At the bottom of the article are some screenshots to help explain the process as well.

Some dos and don’t

DO NOT enter multiple times. People found doing this will get

  1. First occurrence – a warning and I will pick which entry is the real one
  2. Second occurrence – all entries removed for that week
  3. Third occurrence – all entries removed for that week and a ban from entering in the following week
  4. Fourth occurrence – banned for the rest of the season

This may seem a bit harsh – but by entering multiple times, you are removing options for other people who haven’t entered yet.  Unfortunately, the only way to  stop multiple entries from the same account is to add a requirement that only people with a google account (and who are logged on to it) can enter – I don’t want to have to go down that path as we want to keep this as simple as possible.

If you realise you have made multiple entries by accident, I will be more forgiving if you contact me and ask to have one removed before I find it myself.

DO check your twitter username is correct before entering. If you do enter the wrong twitter username by accident (e.g. a mis-spelling) – contact me via direct message on twitter and I will correct for you.  Do not enter again under the correct username (this will count as a double entry)

We appreciate this process will take a little longer than just sending a quick tweet back to enter, but my beta testers have said that it’s not too bad and has the definite bonus of only showing you which numbers remain which should avoid the frustration of having to enter again and again in order to get something against your name.

The last thing I want to do is have to give up the competition altogether because I can’t cope with running it anymore. So I hope everyone gives this new method a go and accepts that there may be some teething problems to start with.

I will very much welcome constructive criticism or suggestions for improving the process – you can contact me via DM on twitter or via email (482days@gmail.com).

Lastly – a massive thanks to the group of beta testers who helped me out this week with running tests and giving feedback.  Much appreciated guys.

Below are some screenshots of the process (taken using an android phone – but pretty much the same whatever the device/operating system)

When you click on the link you’ll be taken to a screen like this – first thing you should do is enter you twitter username

Now click on the little down arrow next to ‘Choose’.  You will be taken to a (long) list of numbers

You can see that the list of numbers here already has some gaps where other people have selected a response (e.g. 212 and 217-222 are all missing from the list).  Click the number you want to enter.

You’ll be taken back to the main screen which shows what you have answered.  Double check everything is correct and hit submit.

You will get a final screen saying your response has been recorded.

That’s it – you have just entered #piamg!




September 29th, 2018 by