The Comping Blame Game

Posted on: November 30th, 2011 by Jason

We stumbled on an interesting article yesterday by Sian Meades entitled The rise of the ‘extreme comper’. Sian is a blog editor and in her article she comments on how one winner received unpleasantness from others about their win and she also vents her frustrations about compers who enter for anything/everything and perhaps even then go on to sell their prizes. Of course this kind of view is not new, but it has opened up an interesting debate.

Some agree with Sian’s comments, whilst others are annoyed about being tarred with the same brush.

The key fact to this debate is that there’s in fact nothing to stop anyone entering any competition that they so wish to enter (provided they do so within the rules). This fact is why automated entry services exist – it’s not illegal for them to spam a competition if the rules don’t exist! In essence anyone/everyone can enter competitions as they so please.

For some compers that isn’t right. There are unwritten ethics or moral codes within comping that you don’t try for tickets to events you can’t make, or enter kids competitions if you don’t have kids and perhaps family holidays should be avoided if there’s just 2 of you. That kind of thing is usually the source of many a disagreement within the comping community.

However, remember these are unwritten codes and have no weight! How I comp, you comp or a.n.other comps is a personal choice. For some doing creative competitions is “comping”, for others the thrill of just winning is important and for some perhaps a prize to sell on is a massive difference to their day to day living. Who are we to judge what is right in those situations?

So who can judge? It has to be the promoters! If a promoter doesn’t want automated entries they need to add rules. If a prize is specifically for a family of 4 it should be in the rules. If a prize can’t be put on eBay then get in in the rules! In fact anything of importance should be in the rules – Louis Walsh would have a field day!

Compers won’t change! There will be people who look down on people who use one site over another, there will be those who cheat or bend the rules, and there will be those who just don’t give a toss and carry on comping in their own way.

So if things are to change, then it’s promoters who need to wake up to change. They need to think about how their competition runs, what it’s purpose is, what are they trying to achieve! Are they attracting new traffic or rewarding loyal users? Are they being social or are they just setting up users to be Facebook/Twitter spammers! The latter is something we’ve blogged about on OneLittleDuck and also here on Loquax (Time For Twitter To Improve Contest & Competition Guidelines.

The wonderful thing about social media is that there are passionate compers who are willing to engage promoters to improve things in the comping world! There’s a wealth of experience amongst compers, bloggers and even the odd siteowner/blogger/comper that can and should be utilised.

What we don’t want is for compers to be disqualified just because they’re a comper or because they happen to be a regular user of one site over another. That would be unfair and promoters/brands need to be careful if that is a line they adopt or have adopted.

As people who enjoy competitions we should all be in this together, not always agreeing, but working with promoters so that they can go about running good and fair competitions!

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