However, I do feel that I should throw y'all a bone...you know, give you a little bit of insight into what goes on behind the scenes and what you can do as a participant to ensure the whole process goes smoothly.
For starters, all of the nominations are double-checked. The first check happens when you submit your ballot; the code checks to make sure your URL has an http:// and that it the form hasn't been spammed with multiple entries for one site. The second check is a human check - we go through each of the nominations daily to make sure the URLs submitted are valid. We bring up each URL into a new browser to make sure it goes to the actual site. Now you can imagine that after a while, this process becomes fairly quick, as we can spot these URLs from a mile away if they're correct.
There are a few things you should know though, before you submit your nomination:
1. We do not correct misspelled or malformed URLs, so make sure that when you submit your ballot, the URL is correct. In this age of computers, copy and paste is your best friend (it's certainly ours). So please, do not put any apostrophes, commas, spaces, equal signs, yellow moons, purple hearts or green clovers in your URL; those make the URLs invalid, and they will not be counted.
2. If the blog is just part of a larger website, make sure the URL you submit is directly to the blog. This helps us out IMMENSELY so we don't have to navigate through a bunch of cruft to find the actual blog being nominated. For example. if the site is "http://www.MYSITE.com" and the blog is at "http://www.MYSITE.com/blog", put in "http://www.MYSITE.com/blog" as the URL for nomination. This is especially important in the "Best Blog Post or Best Post Series" category.
3. If the blog you're nominating has more than one URL, make sure you are using the ACTUAL URL and not a domain redirect, because we count those nominations separately, not together. Let me give you an example. Say you have a Blogspot blog, but you also bought a domain - mydomain.com, for example - to redirect users to your Blogspot blog. Technically, both domains go to the site, but the Blogspot.com address is the true blog URL because that's where the content is originally created and hosted. Each of those URLs are counted, in the system, as separate blogs, and we will NOT combine those nominations. However, if it's a case where one person enters a URL as http://www.MYSITE.com and another enters it as http://MYSITE.com, that's fine. Just make sure it's the actual URL, and not a redirected domain name.
We will only use those nominations of the original host blog. We explained the example to our PHP programmer using Muhammad Ali/Cassius Clay, to which he replied "His mamma named him Clay, I'mma call him Clay."
Ah...back in the days when Eddie was funny. We won't even TALK about "Norbert"....
4. Above all else, make sure you read the rules and the categories before you submit your nominations. Reading is fundamental, y'all.
Alright, that's my piece for today. If you have any questions, feel free to let us know.