Scott Hardie | March 15, 2002
I feel a certain sense of disappointment these days over the failure of my Oscar contest to attract players. The past two years, there were 7 and 9 players. This year there are only 4 so far, though Matt and Jackie have both said they'd sign up before the show, which airs in nine days.

I tried to make the contest better this year. The site is significantly cleaned up and beautified. The prizes are more diverse and appealing, and there are more of them. The entry form is guaranteed to work if you follow the simple instructions - better than the last two years, when numerous people complained to me that they filled out the whole form and sent it and I got nothing in the mail.

The only thing that got worse this year, imo, is the degree of complication involved in entering the contest. The text form this year is not difficult, but it is more hard to use than a drag-and-drop mailto form. Next year, PHP ought to solve the problem.

So any ideas why it's failing? I tried advertising it, both by putting it in my email signature and by directly mentioning it to friends & associates on IM programs, but the former has had no effect and the latter only seemed to piss people off. If there's anything that can be done to improve the contest in the nine remaining days, I'll do it.

I look forward to this all year long. It was great fun in previous years, and rather popular - players would IM me just to talk about it. This year I went all-out in setting it up, but response has been mild, and I'm very disappointed. I'm grateful to the four people who have played so far, but nobody else has entered it, and very few people, it seems, will enter it before it closes. I'm sad.

Jackie Mason | March 15, 2002
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | March 15, 2002
Nope, not at all. I don't know anybody who has seen all of these movies, nor would want to see all of them. You do have to predict a winner in every category, whether or not you've seen the movies.

D. R. | March 15, 2002
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | March 16, 2002
Rock. Do as you like, but I hope you two enter separately - better odds for you, and more players for me. :-)

Matthew Preston | March 17, 2002
The feeling of who is going to win for each of the categories has changed so many times over the last few weeks. I am going to wait until the last minute before submitting my guesses, but trust me, it'll be in on time. I am hoping to get a higher score than you Scott this year.

Also, I have added a link to your game on It's not much, but a lot of strangers are signing up for my TV Themes game, so I am getting some traffic. I hope this helps!

Scott Hardie | March 17, 2002
Cool. I thought of one improvement for next year: A list of links to sites like and that summarize the Oscar race and argue for who's in the lead. I read stuff like this all the time, so predicting movies that I haven't seen is second nature to me, but I've noticed a strong trend for players to only predict movies that they've seen because they don't know anything about the other ones. This plan could backfire, and people might only predict the ones that the web sites argue for (it's not that clear cut), but hey, anything that helps.

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