Do You Need a New Site Design?

Does the name lifeBLUE Media ring a bell? If you’ve been a devoted reader of John Chow dot Com, then you may recall when I highlighted lifeBLUE’s Romance Cinema application earlier this year. Going back even further, I reviewed their win a free redesign contest in July 2007. After experiencing the John Chow Effect, lifeBLUE Media has clearly recognized the value of getting themselves promoted on this blog.

Well, they’re back and they ordered another review to promote a new contest that they are holding where you can win a new design for your website or blog. How do you win these free web design services? Read on to find out.

Does Your Site Look Like Complete Junk?

It makes perfect sense that this latest promotion from lifeBLUE Media is dubbed the I Need a New Design Contest. Catering to people who aren’t exactly satisfied with their current site designs, lifeBLUE wants to offer one lucky winner the opportunity to get a completely unique and custom look for their website or blog.

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While quality content is still king, having a good site design can go a long way in giving a good visitor experience. If a blog has a great ideas but looks like utter garbage, it’s unlikely that site visitors will stick around (or come back). This is why having a good design is so important.

Back to the Ugly Duckling

Just as with lifeBLUE’s first contest, the winner of the new “I Need a New Design Contest 2.0” will be the person who has the absolute worst site design currently. Yes, this is very much a matter of opinion, but it’s not the opinion of lifeBLUE that matters; it’s yours.

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After joining the contest, your site will be submitted to the Wall of Shame. The relative size of the block indicates how well that poor site design is doing in the contest. The larger the block, the higher the ranking. In this way, you get some free promotion for your site through this contest as well.

So Easy to Enter

With many contests that you encounter on the Internet, you may be faced with quite the lengthy registration process. For the lifeBLUE web design contest, you just have to fill three fields.

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This will take you all of 10 seconds to complete, but that’s not where the work ends. You’ve got to get people to vote for you.

Average Daily Votes, Not Cumulative Votes

Your goal is to get your audience (and other members of your online network) to vote for your site on the lifeBLUE website. Interestingly, the winner is not based on a cumulative number of votes. Instead, the winner will be determined by the number of average daily votes. The idea is that you have an equal chance at winning if you enter on the first day or the last day of the contest.

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I understand that lifeBLUE Media doesn’t want late entries to feel discouraged for entering late, but because the winner is based on the number of average daily votes, it almost makes more sense to enter on the last day and absolutely bombard the site with votes. If you enter on the last day (February 15, 2009) and get everyone to vote for you on that day, you probably have the best chance at winning. In this way, the system almost discourages early entries.

(UPDATE: I just got an email from lifeBLUE Media responding to this concern and they’ve decided to give two prizes instead. One prize will be awarded based on average daily votes, but another one will be given based on total cumulative votes. This second prize, which is of equal value, encourages you to enter early.)

Looking at the current standings, you only have to get about 11 votes each day to be the leader. That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? I just got a new design for Beyond the Rhetoric, so at least you won’t have to compete against me. 🙂

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE LIFEBLUE I NEED A NEW DESIGN CONTEST 2.0