iPod Giveaway #5: We (Almost) Have a Winner

Mike Industries Poll

What is your favorite site from the list below?

Ask and ye shall receive.

In an act of laziness and borderline stupidity, I set the theme of August’s iPod-A-Month Creativity Competition to “submit the best site I’ve never seen”. I did so because I was about to leave on a trip and didn’t have the time to cook up a proper contest.

Seven days and 486 entries later, I had a real judging mess on my hands. Apologies for taking until today to get this entry up, but I spent 10 straight hours on Sunday afternoon/evening going through each entry and picking the best of the best. Brutal, brutal work. I also had to delete about 130 entries because they were either duplicates or had no business being on the list.

Originally the goal was to put the top five up for a vote, but I just couldn’t get the list down below 15, so I am presenting the top 15 sites for everyone to vote on. The person who submitted the site which receives the most votes by the end of next Tuesday (September 13th) will receive a free iPod Shuffle from me and a pair of $150 Etymotic ER-6i earbuds from iLounge.

Can I also just take a moment to say how much I love every single regular reader of this blog? The quality of the first 150 or so entries was SO much better than the last few hundred… the cause being that the last entries came from people visiting via MSNBC, Metafilter, and a few other sites which covered the contest. Nothing against outside visitors… I love all visitors. But the regular peeps here really know their stuff. Many thanks.

So without further ado, I ask you to take a quick look at all 15 sites in the poll to the right and place your vote. Please either view all the sites, or click the “Show Me The Results” button. I don’t want to skew the results with people who have not checked out all 15 sites. I know 15 sounds like a lot, but it’s less than 486… and they are all very good.

Happy voting and may the best site win.

In addition to the finalists in the poll, the sites below all receive honorable mention:

Important Note: Any campaigns spotted on the net aimed at pumping up votes for a particular entry will result in the disqualification of that entry. Mint knows all.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Glen C. who has just won this competition! Glen nominated the excellent AvalonStar and received the most legitimate votes in this competition. Note: Pixel2Life was unfortunately disqualified for voting irregularities.
60 comments on “iPod Giveaway #5: We (Almost) Have a Winner”. Leave your own?
  1. andrew says:

    seems the poll is down.

  2. Mike D. says:

    andrew: Yes, thanks to Movable Type’s lack of “publish to preview” functionality, it was broken for the first few minutes after launch. Should be fine now.

  3. Dave Simon says:

    Mike –

    You might consider saving yourself about $20 on the Etymotic 6i earbuds.

    They’ve been on my wish list for a while. :)

  4. Neave.com gets my vote… loved the jello flash

  5. Jay says:

    my entry in the top 15… absolutely awesome :)

  6. Bryan Veloso says:

    This is lunacy! How did I get up there. o_O?

  7. Glen C. says:

    Thanks to me Byan! You’re welcome :P.

    Oh man, I’m so anxious now.

  8. Jay says:

    Your not the only one Glen!

    I reaaaally need those headphones, my current ones had the wires strip off and eventually break the other week, so i’m headphone-less at the moment :)

  9. Collin says:

    This is lunacy! I thought my site submission would make the cut! Or some of the others that I liked such as Rasterbator.

    Stock.Xchng is the best of the bunch though. As far as usefullness goes. I have posted some photographs up there and they have a better selection then some pay sites like photos.com! Best of all most of the images can be used for any purpose without paying a dime. Great Resource!!

  10. Bradley says:

    Stock Exchange is my #1.

    As a designer, it allows me access to great photography from around the globe.

    As an amateur photographer, it places my photography in front of many people, which is huge in this everybody-has-a-digicam kind of world.

    Lastly… the community that Stock Exchange has and continues to build is testament to the lives being impacted. It’s not just some “cool site.” Just like here on MikeIndustries.com, it’s the community that makes it just plain “better than great.” SXC has a far-reaching impact.

    I’ve had my photography used in 2 major magazines and more, all because of the SXC community. That’s portfolio for me—even if I did not create the article or advertisement, I can show that my photos have been used by the bigger players.

    So I may have a personal bias… but of course! Best thing to hit the net.

    Mike, I’m not sure that the vote should be your final decision maker—even I am voting based on my own experience and familiarity with a site. Most will just vote for the sites they know; I doubt many will open their minds to test all of the finalists out and pick the best. But I guess it’s just a poll and a giveaway… not rocket science and it does not have to be perfect.

  11. Collin says:

    Well the man said the vote would be the vote. Would be to hard to go back on that now.

    I suspect foul play here.. Why is everyone voting for Avalon Star? I don’t get it. What am I missing?? To me the site looks to busy, what is the appeal? Mike picked it out for some reason, I am just lacking that reason. Yo Mikey, what is the dealio?

  12. Mike D. says:

    Collin: Yeah, although I like the site a lot (obviously), I wouldn’t have expected AvalonStar to take the gold here. Not because it’s not good enough… just because I would think it’s not the right type of site to win. Kind of like why certain types of films are nominated for Best Picture and others aren’t.

    I will definitely look at all of the IP addresses of the winning entry, but I think things are fine so far.

  13. Bryan Veloso says:

    To tell you gyus the truth, I’m surprised that I’m even up here, let alone being #1. I don’t know if there is foul play, but if there is, I want no part in it. Mike, if you feel that my site should be taken down for any reason, go ahead. I would feel bad for Glen, but I do not want to recieve this mention if I don’t deserve it.

    I mean Mike, if you are already thinking on the first night that it doesn’t deserve to win, it shouldn’t be up here then. Which confuses me, because why did you put a “nominee” up here that didn’t deserve the “best picture oscar” in the first place.

    But come on, you didn’t have to mock it Collin. Don’t make my baby cry. :p

  14. Miko says:

    I remember Orisinal from a while back. Great site to spend some free time; some of the games are hard!

  15. Nick Cowie says:

    Mike, I am surprised you did not know about Stock.Xchange, it has been a very useful source of images for a few years for me (I also contribute).

    Got to admit the first 150 links or so where very interesting, I spent a lot of time exploring sites I had never heard of. Thanks to all the contributors.

  16. Mike D. says:

    Bryan: That’s not what I meant at all by my comment and I certainly didn’t mean for it to come off that way. Let me try to clarify —

    With regards to the Academy Awards, the types of films that win Best Picture are your love-stories, your big-budget dramas, and your James Cameron productions… that’s what *the academy* tends to pick. That doesn’t mean that’s what *I* would pick. I’m just as likely to pick Happy Gilmore as my favorite film of the year as I am The English Patient. The parallel to our situation here is that I nominated the 15 sites that *I* thought were the best… yours being one of them. If I thought any of the others were better than yours, the list would have been 14. So what I meant by my statement is that the type of site I would expect the public as a whole (the Academy, if you will) to pick would be a site like Orisinal or Forests Forever, for instance, that was really heavy on the Flash wow factor. Either that, or a ridiculous humor meme like Jowlers. You know what I mean? It could be that your site just strikes the right balance of humor, design, and subject matter that people just really love it. I know I do.

  17. Bryan Veloso says:

    I guess I was just afraid of stepping on people’s toes. I don’t want to be the person on the blogosphere known for having won a contest unfairly. Still if you do see unfair play towards my site, then take it off.

    But I do appreciate the comments and they mean a lot coming from you. It’s still only a few hours into it, so who knows what turn this could take. At least we’re all on the same page now. :]

  18. Why *I* voted for Avalonstar. Avalonstar is one of the first blogs I have ever actually felt connected to. I remember seeing it on CSS Vault, then getting a kind email saying thanks for the comment from Bryan. I soon started visiting frequently because I was very connected to the quality content that was written there. The design is another story (love it!). I have become a daily commenter on Avalonstar and a friend of Bryans since. This is one of the strongest blogs I have ever been to, and if others feel that it shouldn’t be on this list, I’m sorry that you feel that. It is an inspiration and it fully deserves my vote. I am sure others feel the same way. Good luck, Bryan :)

  19. JBagley says:

    Damn, what a tough decision.

    Its between Hybridworks and Forests Forever…
    Im giving it to FF. The tranquility of the forests are captured beautifully. The sound also adds to the calmness that you would experience if you were there.

    The photos are amazing….

  20. JBagley says:

    lol. the leader in the poll at the moment is – Just Show Me The Results

    Awesome site Mike. Who submitted it?

  21. Chris says:

    Am I crazy? I didn’t vote for the site I recommended. Too many great websites to choose from.

  22. Faruk Ateş says:

    I just want to say hats off to you, Mike, for going through that much sites just for this little contest. :-) There’s a dedicated blogger if I’ve ever met one! ;)

    (oh wait, I’ve not met you yet…)

  23. Jay says:

    Looks as if the vote is pretty close, lots of good sites, although I do wonder why a few are there..

    Theres still plenty of time for this contest so i’m sure we’ll get a fair result at the end of it :)

  24. Dean says:

    oof! – so many Flash sites…I got annoyed with all the window spawning and browser re-sizing going on. I ended up voting for the Drexel site just because they are local (Philly).

    I’m a user of the Stock Xchng site – nice to see that in the running but they will suffer even more from the server load problems they have had with all the publicity here!

    I found it interesting that a couple of my regular reads ended up in the honorable mentions (top left pixel and chromasia).

    Thanks for the contest and new links to check out.

  25. Leo Kennis says:

    I chose “Flash Earth”; it’s one of the few sites that perform well on my PC (a P3 800Mhz with 256megs of RAM), and it’s innovative too, though not too useful but that wasn’the aim of the contest. This site does what it claims without much ado.

  26. Shane says:

    I’m totally psyched my wife’s site got an honorable mention. I know it’s not because of my stellar web design skills (being facetious here), but because of her great work. I’m just very happy for her.

    Thanks for the honorable mention!

  27. Glen C. says:

    I’m sorry if you guys think I’m up to something. I’m not. This might sound like a lie in this (text) context, but I wouldn’t even know how to cheat the system and wouldn’t be that stupid as to hurt my chances and soil Bryan’s good name inadvertently.

    To be honest, I didn’t expect this to make the top 15 let alone the top 1/2/3. I figured either Mike had already seen it or that people wouldn’t take the time to read the entries.

    Good luck to everyone, especially Pixel2Life which is a damn fine site.

  28. Marla says:

    I like to think of those of us who voted for Avalon Star as the Anti-Academy. My stomach churns at every “Loading … please wait” message, and I’m absolutely delighted to see that a well-designed site without Flash — but with humor and smarts — can compete with the razzle-dazzle. Thanks Bryan for one of my newest “regular reads.”

  29. Donna says:

    Can I just confess how shocked I am that Stock Xchng is on there? I feel so in the know…

  30. John says:

    I like Forests Forever. It reminds me of this site I can not for the life of me find again: You can add a leaf to this big tree with a message, and for each message company x will like plant 1 tree or something? I know it’s a standalone site from some big company like BP or GE or VW or something.

    Anyone know this site? This is where search breaks down: the site has some name that is either too common or to unique to the point that Google is useless at finding it unless I already knew the name.


  31. Collin says:

    Bryan: I DID NOT mean to use mockery. I didn’t even notice that it was your site when you said “this is lunacy” I just read past it and figured that one of the sites listed was your submission! I feel like an ass now because I didn’t associate your name with Avalon Star. Just proof that I didn’t give your site a very fair chance.

    Your site obviously has appeal to the technically minded web developers who frequent this blog. If you end up winning then I have no doubt that your site deserves to win.

    ::kicks self in the head::

  32. Bryan Veloso says:

    Bryan: I DID NOT mean to use mockery.

    I was just kidding with you Collin… hence the “:p”. I don’t mind though, I’ve gotten a lot worse from a few people at StyleGala. :]

  33. Although I’m a regular reader here, I somehow also miss the entry part of the iPod giveaway and manage to come in at the end when the results are being tallied. Like Collin, Stock Xchng has my vote from a usefulness perspective. Although Avalonstar was a close runner-up for me. I spent a lot of time there as opposed to the flash sites that I pretty much immediately ctrl-w’d right away.

  34. Collin says:

    Michael, that’s what’s great about Google personalized home pages. about 80% of the content I added are blog feeds so I can keep up with some good developer blogs. I just realized that MSN lets you add RSS feeds as well but once you go Google you never go back.

    I think we can go ahead and assume “Just Show Me The Results (you will lose your chance to vote)” is the winner. That’s funny that 20% so far don’t care to even voice an opinion.

    I wish this contest could have been a month later to give me time to get up my Katrina’s Angels web site. The design is my usual desperate attempt of a programmer to be a designer but the purpose of the site is pretty great. Everywhere I look I find people who want to offer up a home or a job for some of the hurricane survivors and they have no idea how to do it. I think we will have FEMA’s help promoting the site when it’s completed at the end of this week.

  35. Mike D. says:

    Collin: I don’t think it’s that people don’t care enough… it’s that people are heeding the request to please choose that option if they don’t have time to visit all 15 sites. That’s a lot of sites and I understand people not wanting to check them all out. I expected “Just Show Me The Results” to be the “winner” ahead of time.

  36. Rodrigo says:

    My vote goes for Orisinal – one of the greatest productivity-eaters here at work.

  37. Blaine says:

    Pixel 2 Life all the way if it wasnt for them i wouldent even know what html,php, and sql is thanks P2L!!

  38. Fred says:

    My vote was for the Lana Landis website. It is quick loading and I like the layout and the way the viewmaster gallery works.
    She’s easy on the eyes too!

  39. Collin says:

    That’s why I love tabbed browsing.. Ctrl+Click on 15 links and just run right through the list across the top after they load in the background.

    I think one of the biggest hassles with checking out so many sites are new browser windows opening up and having to sort through a mess of open windows or having to wait for a page to load then click back and forth in the same window. Even with broadband a couple laggy servers is enough to pull your hair out.

    Speaking of pulling hair out. sIFR is a great tool. I have made server side scripts where I create a flash movie of a specific size and change the text through a function call. There are more accessibility issues that way but it always looks how I want it to since the flash clip is a set size and the font/size is defined inside the swf itself. The JS replacement method sIFR uses is genius but I am losing a lot of hair ‘tweaking’ the text. I think I almost have it the way I want for KatrinasAngels.com, but for my company redesign I am not having much luck yet.

  40. AnnMarie Johnson says:

    I’m having a hard time deciding between Forest Forest and Orisinal. I’m leaning towards FF just because I can’t believe it came from a corporation (FujiFilm if you didn’t notice). It’s gorgeous! But Orisinal is fun (and I’ve only tried one game so far)!

  41. David Robarts says:

    Yeah, I used tabbed browsing. Some sites had their tabs closed quickly after a visit. (I was a bit annoyed at how many used flash – I think I was harder on them because I think if you use flash to deliver your primary content you have to make it worth it.) I think avalonstar is doing so well because it is such a great example of a personal website. I didn’t vote for it and was also surprised to see it winning, but it was one of my last runner-ups. I like that personality of the author comes across immediately.

  42. Jay says:

    wow, there must be a few Pixel2life visitors viewing this blog, as I never expected to be winning this close to the end…

    *crosses fingers* come onnnn!

  43. Bryan Veloso says:

    GAH! I was soooo close… :p

  44. Jay says:

    lol @ Bryan

    great site by the way :) its deffinatly in my bookmarks now :)

  45. Collin says:

    Well Bryan, actually if Mike checks Mint and sees a good amount of traffic coming from Pixel’s website then you might be in it still. If they are promoting the contest to win then depending on the circumstances Jay might get robbed of his win over an internet campaign on the Pixels2Life site.

    I say robbed because it would be a violation of the rules technically but may not be Jay who started the campaign.

    I still say SXC! :-)

  46. Bryan Veloso says:

    Well, even though, I wouldn’t want to see that happen. But rules are rules right?

  47. Jay says:

    “I say robbed because it would be a violation of the rules technically but may not be Jay who started the campaign.”

    I have to say, i’ve not been on any campaign’s of the sort. And if its found that someone else has started a campaign that removes Pixel2life from this competition I think i’ll be having a few very strong words with the person/people responsible

  48. Glen C. says:

    WHOA, how did that happen so fast?! Eh, so so close :(

  49. Bryan Veloso says:

    I wonder the same thing. o_o
    *gets knocked off his pedestal*

  50. Nik says:

    Well, I hope that this competition is not decided by someone getting disqualified, that would be sad.

    Wither way, all sites listed up there deserve great recognition, no matter if they win or not

  51. Jay says:

    Honestly when your mum emails you to ask you whats happening, and you email back “oh my site got in the last 500 of a competition”, you don’t expect them to them go “oh right, hes in the lead, lets go get him votes after not reading the rules”

    Harsh words have now been said, and I think its fair you remove Pixel2life from the competition as i’m not one to want to win a competition unfairly.

    In all fairness if you’ve removed 20 votes for that topic (even though it looks like 5..), Pixel2life would still be winning. I’m really dissapointed i’m going to be to be disqualified from a competition it looked like I was going to win :(

  52. Dan says:

    Hi all!

    I am the owner of P2L and Jay has just told me his story, and I have to say that I can’t help but laugh at the poor guy. Anyhow, I just recently found out about this contest and I wanted to thank you guys for considering my site as a contender for this poll and that I was chosen from 500 other sites. Whether or not the site is removed because of Jay’s mom *lol*, I’m still happy we were picked in the first place. Good luck to everyone in the contest and I’m happy to hear some ppl like the site :)

    Take care and let this be a lesson to you younger folks – Your parents should not be allowed near your PC lol!


  53. Collin says:

    I’m really dissapointed i’m going to be to be disqualified from a competition it looked like I was going to win

    Jay, I don’t recall anyone saying that Pixel2Life would be disqualified. I was merely speculating as to what caused a surge in votes. But it was a front runner from the start so it is doubtful that Mike has any reason to suspect foul play as far as votes go.

    On the other hand, and I hate to mention it but.. If this was actually your submission and if your site shows that you are the lead developer for Pixel2Life then it seems to me that would be a form of self-promotion I would think. Looks like Mike may have overlooked your portfolio. :-X

    At least the votes show you have created a damn nice and very popular site. Some of us can’t even say that much.

  54. Mike D. says:

    Nope, Pixel2Life is definitely disqualified. It was running second before the voting “irregularities” kicked in, so I don’t think it’s accurate to say it would have won anyway.

    It was a good entry for sure, but AvalonStar was leading pretty much wire to wire in this one.

    No hard feelings toward you on this one, Jay, as I’m not sure you have any blame at all, but rules are rules. The competition is also not over yet with Orisinal creeping up on AvalonStar!

  55. Bryan Veloso says:

    GAH. First tutorials, now pretty flash games. The mass content chasing me will never end! o_O…

  56. Jay says:

    Its dissapointing to be disqualified, but as Mike said “rules are rules” and we all have to stick to them.

    Good luck to Avalon Star, who i’m pretty sure has won now :P

  57. Glen C. says:

    Jay.. I swear if you just jinxed me… j/k

    Anywho, really sorry, Jay. We were so close. I would have liked to see how it would have turned out in the end. Great site submission, I’ll be using it.

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