Sitepoint Marketplace Adventure

Well, not really an adventure, but I’d just like to tell you about a contest I entered at Sitepoint’s Marketplace. The contest ended yesterday and today I found out I had won it. Yay! Here’s one screenshot (just the “task view”) if you want to take a look-see.

These kind of contests always seemed a bit risky — you invest time, possibly a lot of time, and could very well end up with nothing. Nada. Zero. And that feeling, when you get it, sucks. I figured I’d give it a go because this contest looked interesting: design of an index page and a simple interface for a task manager. Plus, I do like contests. I had a bit of spare time, a couple of afternoons when I was not at home, so I made a few (not so good) mockups on my laptop. I enjoyed working on it so I polished it up in the evening, on a proper tool, my desktop computer.

During the contest, the contestants send their mockups, which everyone is able to see. There are also discussions, comments made by contestans and the contest holder. That’s where all the fun is. Yesterday, one of the contestants sumbitted an entry, which obviously borrowed heavily from my early layout (which the holder fancied). His comment on his entry was a cracker:

…But its a copy of the other persons page… But this is what you want eahy? And I’ll make a better one. Im drunk and have too work tomorrow, but I’ll upload something before the contest is over…

I very nearly pissed my pants when I first read that.

A quick private message, reminding him of the contest guidelines and this thing called morality, sorted him out. His next entry was less similar to mine. Perhaps he drank less.

Another of the contestants was more polite and only stole one of the elements from my design. He incorporated my idea into a Bartelme-inspired layout and followed that with a comment:

On the images i used the same images from the one you showed me because i cant get the images to work that i downloaded.

You gotta love that. He couldn’t get the images to work, the same images the front page of the contest is bursting with, so he decided to steal mine. He got PM’d too, said he didn’t realize what the fuss was about, but fixed his entry anyway. I realize these are most probably just kids acting like kids, so I didn’t get mad. But they shouldn’t be able to do this — a moderator should act promptly. Sitepoint, get one please.

I don’t mean to be particulary harsh on these folks, the boys and girls in the contest, but what they’re doing is wrong. Wrong. Being inspired by someone’s work is OK, borrowing too much isn’t. Period.

The icing on the cake was a comment by another contestant, a fan of the modern web design. Here’s his suggestive message to the holder:

Here comes a revisions with other colours. Note that I’m using 2.0 colours only.

A cracker.

So, there you have it… And what have I learnt and rediscovered during the past two days?

  • Working on a laptop is generally not pleasant.
  • Working on a laptop is generally not pleasant, but Lenovo’s keyboard is awesome. I love it.
  • I hate web 2.0 colors.
  • Contest can be fun.

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