What's up with DHSOTM?


All right I was going to let this slide because I just entered into the DHSOTM for fun and to maybe get a few new eyes to look at my website, it’s a great way to get some feedback and learn what other designers think of your site. I’ve gotten some good tips in the past when I have entered other sites. But I just need to know. For July 2008 http://www.smartmarketmovie.com had the highest average vote total. I probably should have won. No disrespect to the site that DID win, it was a really nice site. But my average vote total was 0.47 higher.

I’m not trying to be a sore loser…I’m just trying to figure out why I was penalized as written in the July08 newsletter:

“You see, there is a bubbling controversy about DreamHost’s website-rights record when it comes to this contest. Some claim that in the past sites have been brutally teased, witheld the award for no good reason, and even unfairly detained with no award for weeks.”

I didn’t tease anyone, I didn’t vote dis-respectfully against others. What I DID do was ask all of the people I have signed up for DreamHost to log into their accounts and vote for me. Most logged in themselves but two asked me to log in for them and cast their votes (they aren’t the most tech savvy). Am I being penalized for asking my customers to vote for me?

I guess DreamHost should be penalized for asking their customers in that same newsletter to vote for them in the Best Corporate Blog Competition just a few lines down in the same newsletter:

“Speaking of Web Hosting competitions, I was wondering if you had a second, you could go to http://blog.dreamhost.com/ and click the “This site nominated for Best Corporate Blog” link? And then vote for us? We won last year without deserving it, and I’d like to keep that tradition going.”

I still love the service DreamHost provides. You guys are second to none. I’m just trying to make some sense and hopefully grab a little clarity as to what is going on with how winners are chosen for DHSOTM.


People subscribe to Dreamhost’s newsletter and want to receive messages from them. Someone using your affiliate link or promo code to sign up here is not subscribing to anything. That would be a pretty big difference.

I’d also add that if you needed to login and vote for yourself through other accounts, they weren’t planning on voting for you. That does look a little desperate.

If you won by that small of a margin, then you probably lost with any votes they thought were suspicious removed.

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I don’t think you’ll get more clarity, but I do think that you’ll eventually have a chance at winning in a future month. :slight_smile:

I think the judges have a bias towards winners that provide grist for a funny newsletter article.

But I also suspect that the unbiased winner gets on the short list to win at some point in the future.

Patience, grasshopper!

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I think the comments about teasing, detained, etc, was just some humor not necessarily directed at you. Why, did you complain to them? However, the main point is that it appears that you lost because you voted for yourself.

However, I’m sad because I’ve yet to get the July 2008 newsletter. I’ll just keep standing here by my emailbox until it arrives.



I have a builder and a roofer that have DreamHost accounts but only check their emails once a month (I know…it’s insane). I sent them an email in my monthly newsletter aboutvoting for us in DHSOTM and they called me individually to ask me to put in a 9 each with their comment because they are completely inept at the computer but wanted to vote, they just don’t have the time to. I had a total of 21 votes you probably could have taken those 2 votes away and it probably wouldn’t have mattered. About 15 of my other customers logged in themselves to vote.

I also asked my customers via my monthly email newsletter to vote…so does that make it okay?


Thanks Lensman! I was just trying to figure out if there was a rhyme or reason why. I’ll just be patient, but I didn’t know exactly what that wording was implying. I also admit I was getting a little excited because I thought I had won after checking the votes.


Sorry sdayman - didn’t mean to spoil the fun for you :slight_smile:


I should clarify that the people I asked to login and vote for me are “customers” of mine not someone who just clicked on an affiliate link or promo code.

I talk with most of them on a monthly basis either in person, through email or by phone…many of those who voted I see every week. They’re not just “loose” affiliates, these are people I network with and do business with frequently. I don’t have any idea how to get in contact with someone who just clicked a link on my website to sign up…I probably wouldn’t need to.


I don’t think there’s anything particularly “illegal” about this. I do think that the intent of DHSOTM is for folks to nominate their sites and to have their peers decide which ones they like.

Thus, it is promotion itself that is a bit iffy. Now on the other hand, as we see from Dreamhost’s “promotion” of their corporate blog, there’s nothing wrong about making it known that one’s site is in the competition. The newsletter certainly does poke fun at the whole situation:

[quote]P.S. Speaking of Web Hosting competitions, I was wondering if you had a
second, you could go to http://blog.dreamhost.com/ and click the “This
site nominated for Best Corporate Blog” link? And then vote for us?
We won last year without deserving it, and I’d like to keep that
tradition going.

P.P.S. No? Well, maybe you’ll at LEAST go unsubscribe from the
newsletter at:[/quote]
“We won last year without deserving it, and I’d like to keep that
tradition going.” is particularly farcical! :slight_smile:

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What DreamHost did in their newsletter is EXACTLY what we did with our newsletter. I informed all of our customers that we were in the DHSOTM competition, so if they were a DreamHost customer and had nothing better to do…we’d appreciate their vote. No big deal and no pressure. Several decided to login and vote.

It is an incredibly funny and ironic situation that I seem to have been penalized for doing EXACTLY what DreamHost did in their own newsletter. Ah well…c’est la vie!


You forgot the very significant part about how you logged in as yourself and submitted two votes on behalf of two of your customers. I don’t remember Josh making mention about him voting for the blog multiple times. Anybody who stuffs the ballot box deserves to be disqualified. Hopefully you’ll be more careful next time.



True, but after three phone calls explaining to my two customers how to log in and vote because they REALLY wanted to but STILL couldn’t figure it out…I think even Josh would have given in and said “What vote do you want to give me and with what comment?” How is that really cheating anyway? If I had logged into their account without letting them know and voted for myself…that’s cheating. If I changed their vote…that would be cheating. But they ASKED me to vote for them, because they couldn’t figure it out.

Besides if how I treat my customers makes them want to vote for me even if they can’t figure out how…what am I going to say no? That’s fine, I can live without winning the contest. My conscience is clear. It’s not the end of the world, I just wanted clarification was all.


No… what you did seems a little desperate, but what they did was funny because it seemed to be making fun of what you did. :smiley:

I’d just let it go. Logging in and voting from other accounts is going to look pathetic no matter how you explain it. If your story is going to be that your clients are really too stupid and/or lazy to login and vote by themselves, even with instructions, then I’d probably either get smarter clients or live with less votes.

The DHSOTM really brings out the drama. The guy that got disqualified before you still has a post on his site claiming himself as the official winner, even though he wasn’t.

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If I really was hell bent on cheating I guess I would have voted for all 30 or so of my customers rather than asking them to do something fun and login to vote for themselves. Shame on me for helping my 2 customers vote, shame on my 2 customers for being too inept with the computer. If you took those two votes out I probably would have lost anyway.

I wasn’t desperate to win just having a little fun. Definitely wouldn’t go as far as that other guy and post that I was a winner, when I was not. That’s just crazy. All in all, the DHSOTM gave us a couple helpful ideas. Cheers!


You still sound like you’re trying to put a spin on it…

You weren’t just helping them vote, though… you were helping them vote for you. If they didn’t know how to vote, they didn’t know how to check out the competition and see if they were really voting for the best site.

Then why register an account on the forum just to complain that your “fun” didn’t work out the way you wanted?

Do you think it would seem like the right thing to do if you were to create multiple forum users here, one for each friend/client, then post here under those names to agree with your original post? Sounds silly doesn’t it? Yet you could use the exact same logic for doing that as you used for voting from their accounts.

Or look at it this way… How many other sites are listed in the panel? How many sites were disqualified for people voting from multiple accounts?

Which of these seems most likely to explain that:

  1. Pretty much everyone knows not to vote from other accounts.

  2. No one else has a single friend/client that can’t figure out how to vote.

  3. Everyone else hates their friends/clients and refused to log in and vote from their accounts.


You’d probably get more votes from fellow Dreamhosters if you were to focus on the quality of the site, then have a sig link and contribute to (not spam) the forum… then you will from begging for votes or voting from other accounts.

That way, you might attract people that have a genuine interest in your site that might vote for it without even being asked. Or if it’s a business site, maybe even gain a few clients/customers/etc…

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Thanks for your help…but I’m good…really. I was just looking for a simple answer, clearly I’ve gotten it.