How I Raised a Hullabaloo! aka Cheated…

My closest friends know how much I don’t like popularity contests. They seem to pop up all over the Internet, they waste a lot of time, and they aren’t too productive. C’mon – Ashton Kutcher has one of the biggest followings on Twitter. The only thing I remember him doing (besides Demi Moore) is “Dude, Where’s my Car?”.

PS: The Kutcher’s recent social media campaign to eliminate child slavery is a great one, though!

So – when a new popularity contest popped up and I was nominated for it, I decided I was going to win… at all costs. The Hullabaloo 2010 was started by local CRM company, Address Two (developer of a great CRM tool for small business). I didn’t mean to pick on them… but I just couldn’t help myself.

Address Two put up a page that has some voting links on it so that people could vote for how they believe are really making a noise in the Indianapolis community. The page is somewhat protected… it tracks your IP address and only let’s you vote 3 times.

I hesitate to say that I rigged the contest… I’d rather say that I leveraged technology to exploit the opportunity to publicize myself.

Ok… I cheated.

And… I suckered Scott Wise (of Scotty’s Brewhouse fame) into betting dinner and $100 donation to Race for a Cure… right before my votes started to really take off. Evil? Yes… yes it was.

How to Cheat an Online Voting Contest:

  1. Don’t copy the link to the page and solicit your social network. Instead, copy the actual voting link and distribute it. That way, anyone that clicks the link actually winds up voting for you without knowing it.
  2. Pay a service like Blazing Traffic or Buy Hits Cheap to hit your voting link. For about 20 bucks, you can get thousands of unique hits. Thems a lotta votes!
  3. If you don’t like spending money, you can always generate your own 1 pixel by 1 pixel iframe with JavaScript in a website page that’s traffic’d heavily. Since you can vote 3 times, I made the iframe three times.

Here’s the code:

<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
function makeFrame() { 
ifrm = document.createElement("IFRAME");
ifrm.setAttribute("src", ""); = 1+"px"; = 1+"px";

Whew… that was fun! I hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings – and I’m guessing that this might cause one heck of a hullabaloo here in Indianapolis. I just couldn’t help myself when I found the big, gaping hole in the voting logic.

Scott doesn’t have to buy my dinner and I’m going to donate the $100 to Race for a Cure either way. I believe about 20,000 votes are going to be rolling in for me over the next month with all the services I paid for… I’m over 2,000 votes ahead now. (Scott smelled a rat when I got about 500 votes in an hour).

There were no terms of service with the contest, but if my punishment is to be stricken from the contest I will gladly oblige. Good luck to all those who did it the honest way!

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