Seattle Bubble Withdraws from Blog Contest

This is just a quick note to let everyone know that I am withdrawing Seattle Bubble from the “Blarch Badness” blog tournament. If you would like to read a more detailed statement, click below.

First off I want to thank Dylan W. and the Seattle Metroblogging crew for putting on this tournament. It was a fun way to learn about new and interesting blogs that I haven’t previously known about. I enjoyed the good-natured contests against Eugene Cho and versus food blog Accidental Hedonist, and through the contest was introduced to the delightful Vintage Seattle.

Unfortunately, the good-natured competition of the tournament was poisoned in the quarter-final round as the match between Huskies Fan and Lookout Landing degraded into a contest of who could cheat the best. When both blogs were allowed to continue to the semi-finals against Seattle Bubble, I had hoped that the over-the-top cheating would be left behind in the quarter-finals, and that we could have a fun, easy-going, and above-the-board competition like those we experienced in the previous rounds.

Regrettably, as the saying goes, bad company corrupts good morals. I don’t know who was responsible for kicking off the cheating in this round, but it would appear that both sides are equally guilty of some serious monkey business in the semi-finals. It seems likely that there were no more than a handful of cheating individuals on either side of this match, but even one determined cheater is enough to ruin the contest for everyone. Previous rounds were entertaining and fun, but with all the cheating and personal attacks that have been flying around, this round has been about as enjoyable as a fistfight.

Therefore, for the sanity of our readers, and in the interest of fairness to the blogs in the Coyote bracket that appear to be keeping with the spirit of the competition, I am withdrawing Seattle Bubble from the tournament. I have removed the poll from our sidebar and the vote links from the top of all our pages, and will no longer promote the contest on Seattle Bubble. It’s simply not worth putting this much effort into a competition that has clearly degraded into a cheat-fest, and would end up being decided by who has the most people pouring in multiple votes in the final hours of the contest.

Thanks again to Rain City Guide and Seattle Real Estate Professionals for their support, and thanks to everyone that voted in any of the rounds of this tournament. It’s been fun.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1
    WestSideBilly says:

    Honorable, Tim.

    I thought it was a bit odd that after winning the first couple rounds with ~100 votes, we had 2000+ and were losing in this round.

    I found a couple interesting blogs to read when I’m bored, so I guess the mission was accomplished.

  2. 2
    AndySeattle says:

    I wonder if ‘SoftwareEngineer’ was one of the cheaters… being a Software Engineer and all. ^__^

    Just kidding!

    Good on ya Tim for pulling out on these terms. Like WSB I was curious as to why we had so many votes!

  3. 3
    Grubbie says:

    What a joke.

  4. 4
    The Tim says:

    I was curious as to why we had so many votes!

    I still think we could have legitimately gotten quite a few votes (though there were numerous surges on both sides that were clearly not legitimate). Our traffic stats can be publicly viewed here or here. According to Google Analytics, which doesn’t have a way to view publicly, we had over 5,500 “absolute unique visitors” from Monday through today. So we should have been able to easily pull of thousands of legitimate votes, especially with the plugs on RCG and SREP. But once somebody starts cheating, it’s all downhill from there.

  5. 5
    Grubbie says:

    Hey Tim,

    I’m sorry to say as a reader of LL and SB, that in a straight up fair vote, SB would have been crushed. Not one other site was pulled in to help get votes. LL has enough sister sites, that they can pull in thousands of votes with a little help (see USSMariner vs LL last year).

  6. 6
    MisterBubble says:

    Bunch of knuckle-draggers….

  7. 7
    vanderleun says:

    To paraphrase Henry Kissinger, “Why is there so much cheating in blog contests? Because the stakes are so small.”

  8. 8
    The Tim says:

    Apparently Dylan over at Metroblogging is getting some angry emails from some people over the way this contest turned out. If any of you are sending such things, please stop, seriously. This was by no means Dylan’s fault, and it was great of him to put on such a tournament in the first place. I don’t envy the task of trying to enforce fairness in something like this.

  9. 9
    CG says:

    Methinks that The Tim’s initial enthusiasm for this “contest” exhibited the same kind of silly boosterism that he decries when he uncovers it among the real estate professional class. But, hey, we’re all susceptible to wishful thinking!

  10. 10
    biliruben says:

    What was the prize?

  11. 11
    The Tim says:

    CG@9 – Hah, could be. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a contest.
    Bili@10 – These were the prizes. Honestly though the only one that interested me much was the free night at the downtown hotel. I would have given the rest away in some sort of “closest guess” type contest on here. I was just enjoying the good-natured competition among Seattle blogs.

  12. 12
    MisterBubble says:

    There were actual prizes involved? Who knew?

    Gee. With something on the line other than pride, you’d think that they’d use a poll service that tracks votes by IP address. This ain’t rocket science.

    In any case, I would like to extend and revise my remarks, by noting that Mariner’s fans are more likely to cheat, just to experience the rare thrill of victory. Poor things…they must be starved!

  13. 13
    Mike says:

    What a pity — since I come to this site exclusively for its updates on blog popularity contests.

  14. 14
    Cougar says:

    Tim – have your own contest here on SB! You have alot of traffic and it could be fun. The prizes could be donated from your loyal bloggers, I know there would be a couple of free t-shirts ;)

  15. 15
    Frederick Frederickson says:

    you mr the tim are a pregnant female dog

  16. 16
    eugene says:

    i was looking forward to saying:

    “I lost to the eventual champion.”

    well, you’re still the champ in my book.

  17. 17
    WestSideBilly says:

    In any case, I would like to extend and revise my remarks, by noting that Mariner’s fans are more likely to cheat, just to experience the rare thrill of victory. Poor things…they must be starved!

    What are you talking about? They win 70 times every season. :)

  18. 18
    Jason says:

    Thank you. Blog “tournaments” are shameless self-promotion to artificially inflate page views by adding meaningless articles over and over again. “Vote for us!” “Vote for us again!” “We need your votes!” “Vote for us!”

  19. 19
    JC says:

    This is an excellent blog.
    Does the blogger, or any of his readers monitor their northern, and apparently as yet unscathed, neighbour Vancouver, a city Shiller dubbed “the bubbliest in the world” in 2006?

  20. 20
    disbelief says:

    Good for you Tim, this contest stuff to see who’s blog can get the most votes was/is completely meaningless.

    On a side note: I think that’s it’s an unfortunate truth that the more popular a site becomes, the less it’s worth reading. Look at those “national” bubble sites for example and how many maniacal posts you have to wade through just to get to something insightful.

    There are already enough freaks who have found their way over here to spew thoughtless garbage along the lines of “Seattle is special” or (if you want housing prices to drop substantially), then you must be some kind of “anarchist” of “sore looser”.

    I wouldn’t blame you for pursuing a housing related site that does not function like a blog, but rather like a newspaper in that you act as the editor and post only a few pro/contra views.

  21. 21
    disbelief says:

    Just reading that term “Blarch Badness” make me cringe. “Juvenile” is about all I can say.

  22. 22
    Shawn says:

    good move Tim. The greater goal is to preserve your good name. Just a note that most sites have usage agreements and to actually “cheat” is an illegal action. Not that anyone is going to jail, but who wants to be the first?

  23. 23

    Can you elaborate on “cheating?” What were these folks doing? I can’t imagine how you could cheat at a blog off. I would be interested to hear.

  24. 24
    Everett_Tom says:

    Can you elaborate on “cheating?” What were these folks doing? I can’t imagine how you could cheat at a blog off. I would be interested to hear.

    It came down to ballot stuffing. By performing some simple actions, a user could vote for their favorite site 60, 100, 1000, etc.. times. Which was happening.

    (In case you missed it, a 3rd party website was holding the voting, with the winning sites going on to further rounds against other winning sites. by following the links in the story above, you can get to the site which is putting on the contest…)

  25. 25
    explorer says:

    I don’t need no stinking contest prize to know this is the best source of fair-minded analysis on the facts and issues for the topic!

    So, it’s not a beauty contest, and the prizes are not worth the effort. So who decided cheating gets you ahead in the Social Darwinism game anyway?

    You still have us Tim!

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