Try as you might, it’s unlikely that you will ever become an expert in everything. For example, I’ve decided to specialize in freelance writing and John knows how to make money online, but neither one of us is particularly proficient in the visual arts.
It can get expensive to hire a web designer to completely create your website from the ground up, but thanks to a contest from lifeBLUE Media — the company that ordered this ReviewMe review — you may have an opportunity to get your blog or website completely redesigned by professionals and it won’t cost you a penny. With the right look, concept, and a little perseverance, maybe you can be a dot com mogul too!
Ugly Duckling Syndrome
The I Need a New Design Contest is actually quite simple. You have what you consider to be one of the ugliest and worst designed websites on the net, and lifeBLUE wants to help you turn that mangled mess around into a work of web 2.0 art. They want to transform your beast into a beauty.
After submitting your website, you must then tell as many people as you can to vote for you. Place a badge on your website, spread the word through email and IM, and
spam post in forums that you frequent. The crew at lifeBLUE will keep track of all the votes and a winner — that is, the person with the absolute ugliest and worst designed website based on number of votes — will be announced some time after August 8th, 2007 when voting will end.
It’s terribly ironic, really, because you’re trying to convince your readers that you have a website with a ridiculously poor design. It’s butt ugly and you’re not at all proud of it. With this web design contest, “it’s good to be bad!”
Slim Competition Increases Your Chances
At the time that I wrote this review, there were very few contestants vying for the very lucrative prize. In fact, when I checked the current standings, the top vote getter only had five votes. I’m sure that with very little promotion and the help of a few of your friends, you can easily topple the five vote mark. Submitting your website only takes a few seconds, and the actual voting process is even shorter.
When a random visitor clicks on the badge on your site or navigates to your entry page on lifeBLUE, they need not enter any sort of personal information whatsoever. What’s more, anyone can vote once a day for their favorite (or least favorite, depending on how you want to frame it) site. Not that I’m encouraging you to do this, but if you were to vote for yourself every day between now and August 8th, you’d rack up a solid 30 votes. And that’s just you.
Brilliant Linkbait (For You Too)
Ultimately, this contest is designed to be one big linkbait for lifeBLUE, a Dallas web design company. By placing the voting widget on your site and promoting the contest through your blog, they are receiving some valuable linkbacks and plenty of exposure. Ordering this ReviewMe was naturally also a very good idea.
But they’re not the only ones to gain from this. Even if you don’t win — there will only be one winner who will receive the grand prize — you also get to reap the benefits of some free linkbacks. If you manage to stay near the top of the standings, everyone visiting that page will see a screenshot of your site, as well as the URI. From your specific entry page, there’s also a direct linkback to your website. Hence, there’s a little bit of link love for everyone.
Beyond the Contest
This web design contest is unique because it’s puts a positive spin on having an ugly website or blog. That’s why it’s “good to be bad”. If you’re the winner, this is great, because you get a whole new professionally designed site or blog, as well as lots of linkbacks and exposure. That said, if you lose, it means that you are openly saying that your blog is ugly or your site is poorly designed. And then it’s going to stay that way.
On a side note, if you’re interested in what else lifeBLUE has to offer, here’s what their website says:
Good luck to all the ugly ducklings in the audience. Hopefully you’ll win and emerge as a beautiful swan.