Smashing Author Contest: Results

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One month ago we announced the guest author contest1, with the main prize being an Apple MacBook Air. We received 252 submissions. The choice was tough and time-consuming as we wanted to have a nice mix of various articles participating in the contest. In the end we have selected 15 articles and published them last week.

We have considered various details to determine the winner of the contest: in particular, we considered the degree of utility, traffic, the quality of comments, the quality of backlinks and the poll results. The final decision was not based upon our personal preferences, but on the decision of our readers and their activities.

Apparently, discussion articles had bad chances to win the main prize. However, we are confident that top-10-articles took more time to compile. We’ll definitely contact some of the authors and ask them to develop their ideas further, for an extensive single post.

Winner

All articles have been heavily commented and rated. Some of them were viewed by over 50,000 readers. Among them is also the winner — R. Christie with his article Top 10 CSS Table Designs2. The article was not only extremely popular in various social networks, it also had the best score in the poll and only a couple of negative comments — apparently, it perfectly fits to the concept of our magazine.

Top 10 CSS Table Designs 3

Congratulations, R. Christie! We hope you’ll enjoy your new Apple MacBook Air — maybe you’ll use it to write some more smashing articles for our magazine?

All finalists will get small gifts

All authors whose articles were published in our magazine will get a prize. In particular, five authors will receive designer laptop sleeves, the other five will receive web-design-related books and one will get a special prize — Luxeed Dynamic Pixel LED Keyboard4 displayed below.

Keyboard5

Here are the finalists in a brief overview:

All winners have already been notified via e-mail.

Regular writers are still welcomed!

We’ll contact some participants to agree upon test-articles for Smashing Magazine. We have found a lot of talented writers and we hope to cooperate with them to keep the high quality of the magazine and enrich it with new ideas and concepts. We are always looking for creative writers and we pay well — if you are interested, just drop us a line20!

Authors of the articles which haven’t been published in the magazine may be published somewhere else — we won’t use them in any way.

We express sincere gratitude for all participants of the contest! Stay tuned, we are going to smash you with further contests and prizes soon!

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/07/17/write-a-guest-post-and-win-apple-macbook-air/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/13/top-10-css-table-designs/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/13/top-10-css-table-designs/
  4. 4 http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/input/a85c/
  5. 5 http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/input/a85c/
  6. 6 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/15/ampersands-with-attitude/
  7. 7 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/15/executing-our-ideas-its-in-the-details/
  8. 8 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/15/top-10-creative-ways-to-display-time/
  9. 9 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/14/will-horizontal-layouts-return/
  10. 10 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/14/10-awesome-contemporary-character-designs/
  11. 11 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/14/designing-websites-in-photoshop-illustrator/
  12. 12 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/13/who-do-you-design-for-clients-or-users/
  13. 13 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/13/top-10-killer-photoshop-combo-moves/
  14. 14 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/12/my-secret-weapon-to-getting-contracts/
  15. 15 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/12/top-10-usability-highs-of-the-mac-os/
  16. 16 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/11/top-ten-web-typography-sins/
  17. 17 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/11/how-to-stop-being-a-lazy-designer/
  18. 18 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/11/design-and-independence/
  19. 19 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/08/10/10-beautiful-things-for-a-beautiful-life/
  20. 20 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/contact/index.php/form

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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, Smashing Books, eBooks as well as Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

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  1. 1

    that article whats really usefull for me

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  2. 2

    I think it’s been good having more content. Guest writers should post more often.

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  3. 3

    Excellent, I am glad to see that the Top 10 CSS table designs posts was the overall winner. This was my favorite post of the series, and the prize is surely well deserved :)

    Congratulations to all of the winners! We’re all looking forward to more competitions in the future!

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  4. 4

    Congrats Christie!

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  5. 5

    Congrats to all the winners!

    That LED keyboard look dead sexy!!!

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  6. 6

    Good contest and great prize

    Congrats to the winners

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  7. 7

    Congrats! I really think it was the best article among the others. Well, at least the one with the most potential of being a “real” smashing post. Great work!

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  8. 8

    Congrats everyone but I must say the contest was still unfair to those who wrote “plain” articles and no top 10. One writing a top 10 article had much more freedom over one writing any other type of post as they did not have a 1200 characters limit to cripple them, if I may say.

    Seriously, how can you make anything interesting with only 1200 characters, or is it even possible that a well-written

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  9. 9

    I have enjoyed the more frequent content. Loved the CSS/Tables post! Deserved to win!

    Keep it coming!

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  10. 10

    Congratulations :-) That was fun. I’d pick this one as the winner too.

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  11. 11

    Well deserved it!!! Congratz!!

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  12. 12

    14 winners…. 11 prizes? (the macbookair is out of this)
    wait, what?

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  13. 13

    Congrats, all! Great prizes, too.

    My suggestion, unless you do it already and I’ve missed it, is to start to make multiple rss feeds as you publish more content. I like the article-a-day feel of smashing… but could have a back-up feed for when i’m bored ^_^

    Dave

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  14. 14

    #12 JP: I guess you’ve missed that part..

    “Congratulations, R. Christie! We hope you’ll enjoy your new Apple MacBook Air (…)”

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  15. 15

    congrats! that article deserves it.

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  16. 16

    I must say, that article is memorable. Simply written but leaves you to be unafraid of tables. Congrats R. Christie, you got a new Apple MacBook Air, cheers!

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  17. 17

    Tables are used to be a Pandora’s box in CSS or a designer’s magic tricks, whatever that is, you must first know its sole purpose.

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  18. 18

    Congratulation to R. Christie and also to the finalists…Btway, cool small gift. ^^

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  19. 19

    Congrats to the final winner and the runners-up!

    But I must say, I am disappointed in your comment where you said “Apparently, discussion articles had bad chances to win the main prize.”

    If I had known this beforehand, I would not have written an article. I would have sent in a top 10 list. I am sure others would have too.

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  20. 20

    Congrats to all the winners! ^^

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  21. 21

    Damn, no laptop… ;-) Oh well, congrats R. Christie, that was quite a good article. I must say I was just glad just to have the opportunity, it was fun! I didn’t mind the short post length limit myself, good exercise in choosing your words. All the emails were cool too, got to meet all kinds of different people.

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  22. 22

    Congratulations to all the winners!! :D

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  23. 23

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 20, 2008 11:20 pm

    @GetWizdom (#19): what we meant was that it turned out in the end that discussion article had bad chances of winning the main prize. Anyway, we’ll have more contests in the future, so we’ll make it up to you! ;-)

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  24. 24

    Great Css tables.Keep it up!

    Regards,
    Rene` Zammit
    http://www.dotnetmushroom.com

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  25. 25

    Congratulations to the winner (very useful article) and the contest (great idea). I loved to have the opportunity to participate (though not being published).
    For future contests, I suggest you limit the choice to one possibility with the same limitations for anybody. This would prevent people from feeling disappointed.

    @Michael Fortier (#8): I think that it actually is possible to say something interesting in 1200 characters, it’s like newspaper articles. But it takes a lot of rewriting and re-editing, for sure.

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  26. 26

    Congratulations to the winner. It became obvious early on last week that the short discussion articles didn’t really stand a chance. Many readers, it seems, misunderstood these articles and the nature of competition, as reflected in their comments, many along the lines of “Nice topic, but too short”.

    I think it’s a shame you didn’t separate out the two formats, since they are so significantly different that entries in each cannot really be compared. Having said that, I guess this all very much depends on your aim and which articles you are likely to publish in future. It would be interesting to see a series of short, concise articles, but it feels like you’re going to stick with the ‘top 10 list’ format, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

    Have you ever considered hiring guest editors?

    “One month ago we have announced the guest author contest with the main prize Apple MacBook Air.”

    “One month ago we announced the guest author contest, the main prize being an Apple MacBook Air.”

    “However, we are confident that top-10-articles look more time to compile.”

    “However, we are confident that top-10-articles took more time to compile.”

    :-)

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  27. 27

    For all of us who watched the guest author contest from the sidelines, I think we should feel inspired to participate in the next one.

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  28. 28

    Congratulations to the winners! It’s been excellent having so much daily content on Smashing!…however some of the articles were nowhere near the usual Smashing! standard :(

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  29. 29

    Congratulations to the winners. This article is so useful :D (and easy to read)

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  30. 30

    Congratulations! I’ve one of the solutions of the Top 10 CSS table designs on our site. Thanks!

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  31. 31

    @Bobby Jack (comment #26) I agree with you that Smashing Magazine leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to spelling and grammar. They get away with it thanks to a generous helping of eye candy. The risk, as you suggest in your comment, is that they will end up catering to an audience hooked on bright lights and cool graphics, because much of the substance will have fallen by the way side. If that’s how Vitaly and Sven want to play it, fair enough, but it’s part of the reason why I go to tech crunch and mashable for my fix of geekery.

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  32. 32

    Thanks for clarifying Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz.

    Tell you whut…give me a Mac laptop and we will call it even, ok? LOL

    Thanks for responding. I will keep my eyes open for new contests. Meanwhile
    keep the content coming!

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  33. 33

    Thank goodness. The stupid article about how wonderful Mac OS is exemplified everything that is wrong with design blogs and the internet at large.

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  34. 34

    spongepuppy, I think mean-spirited comments from behind a veil of anonymity exemplify everything that is wrong with the internet at large, your comment included. Everybody who contributed an article to this contest is almost certainly a devoted reader of this site — and more importantly, they’re our colleagues — yet nobody seems hesitant to publicly bash them and their work.

    The hostility, malice, and sheer spite found in many of the comments on these articles is a black mark on the integrity of our profession — you would never see architects, composers, copywriters, or other creative professionals tearing into each other that way. If the web standards community can’t muster a sense of ethics and professional courtesy in our dealings with each other, we’re in pretty sorry shape.

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  35. 35

    hear hear

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  36. 36

    not talkin about macbook air winner…
    i was talking about other finalists and prizes..
    there are 14 of them…

    * Huw Wilkins
    * Joel Eby
    * Haroon Baig
    * Edison Morais
    * Hagit Hashimshony
    * Andy Brown
    * Brian Haught
    * Tom Giannattasio
    * Hollis Bartlett
    * Juul Coolen
    * Steven D.
    * Jänis Lanka
    * Nic Pretorius
    * Irina Lyakisheva

    and the prizes for them are 11

    5 authors will receive designer laptop sleeves5
    5 will receive web-design-related books and..
    1 will get a special prize — Luxeed Dynamic Pixel LED Keyboard

    that´s what i was talking about 14 finalists, 11 prizes

    =)

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  37. 37

    Thank you so very much.

    It was a wonderful contest, and I want to take this chance to thank everyone, especially smashing magazine for making this contest. The finalist articles are all great, kudos to all the finalists!

    Congratulations, R. Christie! We hope you’ll enjoy your new Apple MacBook Air — maybe you’ll use it to write some more smashing articles for our magazine?

    I definitely will enjoy my new MacBook Air – and I will definitely write again. Thanks guys.

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  38. 38

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 22, 2008 10:30 pm

    R. Christie please reply to my mail.

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  39. 39

    R. Christie please reply to my mail.

    Done! Sorry for the delay.

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  40. 40

    i love you smashing magazine

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  41. 41

    No wonder the 10 table css style is the winner. Great explanation and example. And very useful …

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  42. 42

    congratuliation

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