A Phenomenal Blaugust
The time has come and as I said in my original post this year, I would tabulate the results and post them on September 2nd. This month really was an absolute deluge of content, and there is really no other way to say about it. I know I personally struggled to keep up with it all. I have to say however one of the best moments for me was reading the many “last posts” of the challengers. They all seemed to have a theme of “this is what blaugust taught me” or “I am proud of myself that I survived”. Reading each of those was so amazing. As I remarked yesterday I feel like the bulk of the community is not quite sure if they want to give me a hug… or flip me the bird. It is interesting being both Hero and Villain at the same time. After reading the posts… I can be perfectly fine with either distinction because the end result was pretty awesome.
This year we had far greater participation, and I am still completely floored by it. In 2014 we had 52 folks participating, and of those 28 managed to “win” the challenge of posting something every single day. One of my frustrations however is that because of the way I was running the contest, it kept someone from joining late, playing catch up, and being eligible for the final prizes. This year I changed the guidelines to something I am much more happy with, which is simply getting thirty one posts during the month of August. We had a grand total of 88 folks who signed up and participated in the challenge, posting at least one blog post. From there I made a separate distinction to give folks some credit who at least made it to the half way mark with fifteen posts and in that group we had 76. The most impressive thing however is that we had 56 people who managed to complete thirty one posts during the month of August. For added benefit I also kept track of who happened to participate last year as well, and we had 24 who were returning. Without further stalling… here are the lists!
The thought of posting something every single day for a month is a scary prospect, so simply signing your name on the dotted line and participating is pretty awesome in my book. This list is folks that joined the Blaugust initiative and posted at least one blog post during the month of August. Some of them however got really damned close to the halfway point. So lets take a moment to recognize them. You have all earned the right to use this badge in whatever fashion you like! It is available in a full resolution version and a sized down version ideal for sidebars.
Of this batch, there is a group that I want to give special recognition to. These are folks that participated for the second year, and for them I have special versions of the badge also available in full resolution and sized down versions.
This year I made a special distinction for all of the folks that managed to make it through at least fifteen blog posts during the month of August. We had some folks in the group that barely crossed the line, and others that damned near hit the final mark. There were several that managed to hit fifteen only to decide that this daily blogging thing really was not for them. In any case posting essentially “every other day” for a month is quite the feat as well, and I wanted to acknowledge this separately. I’ve dubbed this group the survivors, and they have earned the right to use this badge and title in whatever form they wish. Once again it is available in both full resolution and scaled down versions.
Once again I wanted to recognize the folks who managed to “survive” the challenge this year that also participated last year, so we have a special badge for them available in full and scaled resolutions.
I hate the term “winner” for a challenge like this, because it doesn’t really encompass the purpose. Just the simple fact that you signed up and made an effort to be more active and create more content makes you a winner in my book. So when I was looking for a new term, I decided to go with Conqueror, because really every person on this next list did just that. They conquered fear, they conquered apathy, they conquered doubt, and they conquered Blaugust. I am so irrationally proud of every person on this list that I struggle to put it adequately into words. Once again they have a badge available in both full and scaled resolutions.
Once again we have a special group of Conquerors that returned from winning the previous year, to kick this one in the face. I find it pretty awesome that 13 of the 28 “winners” from 2014 returned. I feel like I also need to give special recognition to the Mystical Mesmer who managed to complete Blaugust on two completely different blogs this year. If that is not a microphone drop… I am not sure what is. Regardless this group also has their own special veteran badge in full and scaled resolutions.
So now that all of the acknowledgement is out of the way… lets talk prizes. Since not everyone that crosses the finish line can actually win the grand prize, we have to unfortunately rely on random chance. Last year I struggled with figuring out a good way to do this, and as a result this year I just wrote my own damned dice roller. This allowed me to type in the number of folks who managed to get thirty one posts during the month of August, hit the big Roll the Dice button and get an output stream with one result per line perfect for pasting into a spreadsheet. I sorted the thirty one club alphabetically and then pasted all of my results in a new column. If you are curious what the final numbers looked like, I am working off of this spreadsheet as a award prizes.
There was a slight monkey wrench thrown in my original plans as to how to give out awards. This was a good monkey wrench in the form of a bunch of prizes from Kings Isle entertainment. This actually gave me more “big prizes” to spread around which was really awesome as they gave me three prize packs from Wizard 101 and three from Pirate 101. Sometimes random chance is serendipitous. I had said from the very beginning that I would purchase a steam game for whoever managed to get the grand prize. It turns out… today is the birthday of this years winner. The dice were in the favor of Paeroka from Nerdy Bookahs. For winning the random number generator she got a Steam game of her choice… and she chose Valhalla Hills. Additionally since Kings Isle was so damned cool to chip in prizes, I also gave her one of the Wizard 101 and Pirate 101 packs.
That left me four more codes to hand out… so starting last night I messaged folks and had them give me their preference of Wizard 101 or Pirate 101. The next four in line were…
The Prize Closet
Since we had so damned many people manage to complete the challenge, I am going to try and give out as many prizes as I can. I have a stack of various game codes largely left over from humble bundles gone by. I have a spreadsheet that I am starting to circulate down the list of folks who managed to “conquer” Blaugust. I may not have enough codes to get through everyone, but I am going to try! So expect in the next few days to get a private message from me with a link, asking you to tag one of them items with your name. This was a pretty crazy month, and I want to thank all of you for participating. Next year I am going to start planning significantly ahead of time and am hoping to get more game companies to chip in goodies for the prize vault. I know at this point you are saying “What about Anook?”. Lonrem was up late last night tabulating the results, and since that prize is based on community participation on Anook I will be letting them make their own announcement. I am really happy that they have been so supportive of us essentially taking over a chunk of their website during the month of August. Blaugust will return next year and hopefully be even bigger than before!