The Disappearing Act by Contest Trucker

A Disappearing Act

Do you have friends in real life whom you only ever hear from when they want something? Maybe they want to borrow your lawnmower? Maybe it;s a serving plate or some other kitchen utensil? Maybe they just need $10 to cover gas. Maybe they are on Facebook and just require a vote and you have never talked to them or spoke with them before and the only time you see them is when they require a vote. Perhaps you know the routine they now play and when they are in a contest is the only time they are around.

Is that the real person?

I have many friends on Facebook. Some of whom I know are quite real. They talk with me, they chat with me, I see them win and I see the sponsor post their names’. There are also times when I feel I am being used by those I know whom “disappear” conveniently after they have their vote from me. I will send them a message for a vote and my vote request will go unheeded. I will send an event invitation and they will remove it or delete it. I will post statuses on my account and they will be ignored. So how do I know if the person asking me for the vote is a real person? How do I know when I am being taken advantage of?

The signs

There are of course many signs to look for to tell if you are the fish on the hook or a true friend. Does this person chat with you? Do you know this person in real life? Do you know any of this person’s family? Do they respond to your requests? Do they attend your events or vote from you on your wall? Do they consistently “like” your status updates? Do they respond to messages? Now of course I am not suggesting that everyone should be online all the time, but at least if your online, pop on over and say hi to your friends. Put out status updates so we know your alive and what your up to.

A lot of times, those who are just using you will disappear for long stretches at a time and reappear only when they have a new contest. You will not hear from them, they will go unnoticed, they won’t chat, they won’t make themselves visible to anyone. But….yet when they have a contest, you will see them more frequently, hear from them often and you will see them on Facebook more regularly until the cycle repeats itself and the contest has ended.

What can you do?

While generally I do not unfriend people because of this, I have made it a habit to keep a wary eye out when I am being asked to vote. I notice who is asking me and I keep a mental note that I have voted for this person. When the same person consistently asks me for a vote after a few votes, I will tend to just ignore the vote request until such time I have a vote request that needs fulfilling and expect that my vote request will be complied with. After all it is give and take right? We cannot always ask and never give. If they do not give a vote back then I will delete them as a friend. Not because they did not vote for me, but because “voting” friendships are based on trust that we will help each other out.

If I really wanted to be that persons’ true life friend then I would expect that we would chat and that I would come to know this person or they would come to know me. If all I ever did was vote for them and got nothing in return then the friendship would be one-sided and I would be feeling used. So there you have it my friends. If you are a voting friend you know how I will operate so that the next time you ask me to vote, stop and think about how many times you have asked me to vote in the past and how many times I have asked you. Tit for tat. If you disappear quite frequently and only show up to ask for votes when you need them consider passing me by on the vote request until you know me better or have established that trust with me.

So I ask you friends, have you ever felt used or betrayed by those who disappear from your friends list only to hear from them when they require something?

Thanks for reading. If you like my blogs, please follow me by email.

Contest Trucker

Using Facebook to get votes

Facebook voters are like weeds

Have you ever wondered why you get so many messages and so many requests and get invited to events you have never heard of before? Friends whom you rarely talk to will send a message or invite you to an event of which you may be wondering why am I being included in this? Well the reason is simple. These people are looking for votes. Unfortunately, if you are not a vote getter this can be extremely aggravating, but on the same token, if you are entering contests based on the wall of these friends then in reality you are giving and receiving new leads to enter more contests. So being grateful sometimes requires a vote.

How do we get Facebook Votes

Facebook voting requires nobody who is shy. You have to be aggressive and you have to be a talker. Whether it is hitting people up through your chat or using an event or putting out status updates and messages you will be dealing with others with whom you hardly interact with. Don’t let this discourage you though. There are many whom I don’t interact with on a day to day basis, but I see them entering the same contests as I. I also see them via newsfeed.

Chat Option

The chat option is the most important option. Being aggressive in a social interaction requires asking for votes from people whom you don’t even know but share a passion with. It is as easy as opening up your chat feature and copying and pasting the same message to a number of friends. These people will in turn either vote for you with no requests of their own. They will vote and ask for a vote in return or they will turn off their chat and disappear as if you hadn’t asked them. Effectively they have told you to piss off in a polite manner. If you feel offended at the last option join the crowd. I certainly would rather have someone tell me they won’t vote and that they would rather sponge off my random contest entries so I can give them the boot than having them plain Jane ignore me!

The Event Option

The event option requires putting together and event. By looking at the left hand side of your main page you will see a create event tab. Clicking this you just fill out the required information and invite and guests that you want to invite. The only problem with creating an event is that very seldom do people attend these anymore. They have become annoying and severely overused. In my opinion they should only be used for emergency when you are behind in votes or when you have a quick one day contest that needs votes in a short period of time. The only problem is that as I have stated, everyone uses them so much that they become meaningless and discarded as soon as they arrive.

The Message Option

The message option is a little more direct and personable. It allows you to communicate with those whom do not use chat features. The only problem with this is that you have to do it daily and it can be time consuming not to mention irritating if people are off chat not to be disturbed or asked for a vote. Again this brings us back to why are they are on your friends list in the first place. If they really dislike voting competitions and are afraid to give a vote once in a while then they should rethink and revisit their friend list.

The Newsfeed Option through Sharing

One popular way to get some voters without bothering anyone is through the sharing option. This will allow your post to be seen on the newsfeed without interrupting anyone. It is an indirect approach and many will not see it, but at least you are not bothering anyone. Sharing frequently is the key to the success of this method. Now I am not suggesting that you spam the sharing, but a share every so often like once an hour will keep it visible for others to see.

Your Choice, Your Way

Whichever way you choose, may you enjoy your contesting and have fun. Thanks for reading Contest Truckers Tips and Techniques. If you have not done so yet, please follow me through email.

Contest Trucker

The secrets to success at winning Contests

The secret

Hey what did you expect? If I knew the secret do you think I’d be telling all of you? Then I would win nothing anymore! Haha, just kidding. Actually, there are many keys to success in Contesting and each step brings you a little closer to winning. Now I can’t say that you’ll win at all or even win one contest but, what I can say is if you follow these steps, the secret to success brings you that much more closer to winning.

A Winning Formula

A winning formula for contesters is essentially the basics that every contester must go through. It is much like a step by step guide in which all of us have traversed and if you are new to contesting you will go through also. There really is no secret to the formula, but knowing it makes your chance of success grow almost 100 percent over those who do not follow these steps.

Step 1

First step is finding the sites we want to use. Essentially there are a number of websites out there that allow you to find contests that you can pick and choose from. Sites which have contest sections

Coolcanucks has a great contest section to find contests and is full of friendly Canadian Contesters.  http://forum.coolcanucks.ca/cool-canadian-contests/

Smartcanucks is another great place to find a good contest section.  http://forum.smartcanucks.ca/canadian-contests/

Zwap is another cool site which is just celebrating it’s one year anniversary is another good place to look. http://forum.zwap.com/forums/contests-canada.5/

Step 2

Now that you know where to go (at least in Canada) the second step is to utilize your Facebook account. Why you ask? Because a lot of these contests and sponsors who are doing these contests run them on Facebook. If they don;t run them on Facebook currently it will only be a matter of time before they choose that method to do their next contest. It would be better to be there beforehand than to be left in the cold.

Step 3

You’ve found the contests, you have a Facebook account. What’s next. Step 3 is of course friending those who also contest. This means asking friends from contesting sites to add you. It means entering contests on Facebook and adding those who contest also. Not everyone will accept your add but you will have the majority of others adding you.

Step 4

Enter anything you can see that is contest related. As long as it pertains to your Nation, Province and Geographic region enter it. Statistics have shown that you will need to enter a large quantity of contests before you will win. Now this just doesn’t apply to you, it applies to everyone. We all have to enter a large volume of contests before we may win one, but the one we do win, we all hope is a nice one filled with Cash, Cars, Laptops, Digital Cameras, Diamonds, Gold and other more expensive items. Winning anything really is nice, but winning a Grand Prize is always sweeter.

Following these steps is not a guarantee that you will win anything. However, if you follow these tried and true methods, your chances of success will be much greater. You can ask any contester out there and they will tell you the same thing that it takes time, patience and it is almost a second or even a full time job. Whatever you choose, have fun stay safe and enjoy your contesting.

Thanks for reading Contest Trucker Tips and Techniques. If you haven’t done so yet, please follow me by email for the latest and greatest news.

Contest Trucker

There can be more than ONE Winner! Contest Trucker tips and techniques

There can be more than ONE winner

I am a big believer that what comes around goes around. What you say or do will come back to haunt you later. Whether it is a new contest or am future contest, the ease and accessibility to what we say or do is but a screenshot away. This is why I advocate being nice to sponsors. Now I’m not suggesting that you suck up to a sponsor, but the reality is that if you are noticed, the chances of you winning are greater than if you sit in the back corner saying nothing. Take for example a few times that I have won by being helpful to sponsors.

I won a Clean Screen Prize pack from Clean Screen for promoting their page. I won a $100 Gift Card to the Keg for helping Langley Chrysler reach it’s goal of 1000 friends. Now I am not advocating that everyone should be nice to every sponsor. We all know that there are sponsors who should be boycotted because they refuse to listen to us. However, what I am advocating is that sponsors are like puppies. They need to feel good about their products. They need a good scratch to make themselves feel good. When they feel good, then you will also feel good if they start handing out prizes or promotional materials. Let me put it this way. If you were the start and cause of a sponsor giving away goodies, would you not feel happy or glad about it. Even if you didn’t win? Well I sure do. I didn’t win the IPAD that I have been trying to win for 2 years now, but I won an unexpected $100 Gift Card. It is these accomplishments which make me feel good.

Sometimes, we just need to show the other side to us. You see, sometimes people portray contesters as those whom will flock in like a bunch of gulls and make off with what they can and leave the sponsor high and dry. There are times when the sponsor may feel used. There are times when the sponsor gets frustrated at hearing any mention of this. A good example is in my first article where the “informant” claims that “my friends” will leave them in a heartbeat. Sorry to say erroneous informant that I am still a fan of the page! But imagine, if you were helping set up a company with nothing more than goodwill. Now granted, we all like to win something and we all like to be recognized for our efforts and contributions since asking friends to like a page is akin to asking for a vote.

But what harm does it do to us if we did it and expected nothing in return and were actually surprised if we won also? I know I would be excited and happy and of course it would be proudly displayed in my photo album of other wins. So what would you rather be the seagull or the start of the snowball effect? It doesn’t take very much effort to help others out. It doesn’t take very much time either. Asking a friend to sign up for a blog or asking a friend to like a page should not be a difficult thing to do.

We all need to let go of greed and selfishness sometimes and just do things because we want to help and not because we expect to win. There are of course those things we want to win, but if we expect to win every time then we will of course set ourselves up for failure. A good example is when you see a friend entering a contest. Be polite and if you got it from their wall or them, tell the sponsor that you are there because of that person. If you do this, then others will learn from it. It isn’t going to bother the sponsor that much if they have to delete all the comments later and in fact it is a good promotion to that company since your friends will then see it and their friends will see it and it then turns into a chain reaction with friends sending other friends. So instead of the sponsor choosing just one winner they may now give out many prizes. Now I am not saying that every sponsor will do this, but obviously I have had good luck with this in the past and know what I am talking about. It is all about word of mouth promotion and visual presentation which attracts us to a page. If I see 10 of my friends going to a page, well I am certainly checking it out also. So visual and sharing of a page works well.

In the end, just remember that no matter the winning or the losing, just feel good about your contesting and the effects you have on sponsors now and in the future. Thanks for reading Contest Truckers Tips and Techniques. If you have any requests for information, please send me an email. Please follow my blog if you don;t do so already and share the word. I need more followers to attract companies also for giveaways 🙂

Contest Trucker

Boycotting Shady Sponsors by Contest Trucker Tips and Techniques

Boycotting a Shady Sponsor

When we hear the word Boycotting we typically assume there has been some form of degradation in the materials they use, the use of child labor, the production of inadequate consumables that have been tainted.

There is however another form of boycotting which is derived from the Facebook population in regards to how they treat their patrons and customers through written means. Recently I had a request to do an article and in writing this it made me realize to what lengths people will actually despise, hate, or boycott a sponsor when they do not listen to their fans. Here is an excerpt of the email that I received:

“and some companies leave a bad taste in contesters minds due to their shoddy contests. I still see the word OLYMEL and it reminds me of their contest that they had on facebook that everyone complained about. And not to mention the Vector shit”

Now, I don’t know how many of you feel about things, but for me, incidents like the above are soon forgotten and placed at the back of the burner in my mind. They are things that I would never really think about now or in the future. Now previously if you read my articles, you will have known that people did bring up erroneous information about me to a sponsor and I did have to rehash certain events in my mind to clear the air up.

So I know there are some who take this one step further and actually will refuse to buy a sponsors products based on their interaction and in how they deal with contesters. But, let me ask this question. Will boycotting a company via Facebook interaction be enough to make a company stand up and take notice? The answer to this is “YES”!

Stand up and be heard

How you ask? We are but one of millions online and one of but thousands of contesters. The reason is quite simple. Negativity begets negativity. Sponsors don’t like being criticized. Sponsors don’t like negativity associated with their products. As a matter of fact, Facebook sales now account for billions of dollars in annual sales if combined. If a company has too much negative publicity they will lose sales, the customers they have will take notice about what is being said. Simply put they will close up shop as in the case of Olymel who removed their Facebook Page because of so much negative publicity. What does this mean? No fan interaction. No free word of mouth advertising. No attraction through Facebook to get new consumers. Aside from this, the only feedback received will be word of mouth negative advertising as people share their opinions vocally and written on a sponsors page.

So thus in the age of mass instant communication we are all connected globally and information spreads faster and with greater ease more so now than it ever has before. So what can you do if a sponsor refuses to justify their position? What can you do if a sponsor refuses to reason? What can you do if a sponsor fails to pay in a contest? Whatt can you do if you feel cheated? The answers to these are obvious. Stand up and Be Heard! Make your opinions known. Make your stand for what you believe is right. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion on the matter and tell your friends to do the same. It is like a snowball effect. Once it gets going it will build and build and grow larger until the sponsor has to react. Now I am not suggesting to use foul language. Language that is direct and to the point in telling a company how you feel is best. I am not saying to say their products suck, but I am saying you can advise your friends to boycott products which in your mind are trying to sponge off those who have liked them because of you. Your opinion matters and for every friend you tell your story to, they will in turn tell at least one other friend and so on.

So my fellow readers I ask you. Have you boycotted a product or service? Are you boycotting a product or service today from a past event? What did you do to boycott the sponsor? Has the sponsor come back later to make amends?

Thanks for reading and remember to follow me for great tips and stories.

Contest Trucker

Work gets in the Way :( Contest Trucker Tips and Techniques

Work gets in the way 😦

Contesting is extremely fun. It is addicting. It is enjoyable and it is very rewarding. Now I don;t know about you my reader or what your situation is or even what type of work you do, but in my line of work, work definitely does get in the way!

I drive a truck and lately with greater consistency I have found that my job gets in the way of my contesting. Before I worked yes, don’t get me wrong, but at least I had the night to contest. Then I decided to take care of my children as a stay at home dad for awhile and that was great I had the whole day! The only problem there was no money coming in 😦

Now I guarantee you, the other half was not pleased. I mean it wasn’t as if I needed to find a full time job. A part time job would have sufficed. Except the job that hired me seemed to require me consistently, often, and usually out of town. Now generally I have no problem going out on the town, but the problem therein lies the fact that my contesting routine is severely affected. So thus work gets in the way. So here I sit in Kitimat at a work camp room for the night, possibly two depending upon the weather. If the weather cooperates then I escape tomorrow. If not and the storm that is brewing off the Bering Sea comes in which is oh…about 700 miles away and Alaska is 300 miles away, hits us tomorrow then I am screwed. So fortunately, I have internet tonight. Fortunately I also had internet in New Hazelton when my co worker rented a hotel room for the night. He happened to pass me the security code to access the internet. Great guy!!

So the journey is not done yet. I am still up in Kitimat waiting to be unloaded and then I start the trek back home as safely as I can. There is of course a 2 day drive to return home, so I am now due Tuesday and when I get back I will have a hearty few days off to recuperate from this trip. But in the meantime, my contesting is severely impeded. There are of course a number of reasons.

#1 I need to buy a power invertor so my battery lasts longer than 1 hour

#2 I need Wireless Internet somewhere and lots of times people have them password protected now.

#3 I dont have the time to stop and use the internet. I start early mornings and generally work until late at night and by this time I am too bagged to sit on the computer.

Whatever the reason and there can be many, they all limit my ability to contest. The obvious instigator in all this is WORK! That nasty four letter word that I would love to find out who invented it and shove it back down his throat!

Typically when I do get my computer usage, I spend hours upon hours at the computer. 4 hours could seem like one hour as I sit and enter contest after contest and play my Raging Bid Bouncing Ball Game….oooh so addicting that game is. I can usually waste a day away easily if no one was there to disturb me. And there is nothing worse than a spouse who complains all the time about never seeing me, coming to bed late, not helping her and saying that I am lazy or other hurtful things. But it is what it is.

So I ask you my friends, what type of work do you do? How long do you spend at the computer daily and when your not on the computer do you get anxious trying to find anyway you can to see what is going on? And on a sidenote, here is my tip of the day for all of you.

Free known WiFi places

Starbucks, McDonalds, Super 8 Hotels (use 88888), 28 Inn Hotel in New Hazelton, BC (use Sue8425077) If you know any other WiFi spots or passwords, please pass them along for our other readers. We all love staying connected and keeping up with our contests.

Thanks for reading. Stay safe and if you are not following me, please do so by email.

Contest Trucker

Contest Pains

Contester Syndrome

Do you suffer from numb arms? Numb fingers? Are your arms sore?  Do you get Cramps? Do you salivate over the thought of food? Do your legs get tingly? Do you smoke excessively or drink carbonated beverages or coffee frequently If you answered yes to any of these questions your health may be at serious risk!

Our health depends on a healthy balance. We rely on the proper amount of Sunlight. We require sustenance to fuel our brains and body. We require sleep. We require exercise. We need to move around. Getting cramps such as tingling arms or numb fingers from improper posture means you are straining the nerves and your body is telling you this in an indirect effort to change your posture. Your posture is very important. From strained necks to strained eyeballs or hunching over can have serious effects as we age in this life. Typically as contesters we usually have an incorrect body posture and incorrect hand placement positioning which puts strain on the nerves that run along the arms. The constriction of this nerve is alerted to us by a tingling or numbness sensation.

Along with the strain of our arms we can also suffer from debilitating cramps on our neck, shoulders and of course more obviously is those calf muscles that can become tense. I don’t know about you, but when my calf becomes tense it isn’t very pleasant. These different pains is our bodies way of telling us to go for breaks. Get up, take a break and stretch the muscles. Being hunched over a computer all day is not going to enhance your life or prolong it.

Another problem common with persons who sit at the computer all day long is eyeball strain. This is where your eyes can become red, watery or your eyelids can be sore. The effects of this are from the radiation emitted from the computer screen. Experts who have studied this suggest looking away or doing other things frequently to take your eyes off the computer.

A major problem that contesters share is our eating habits. Because of our longing to win and enter as often as we can we often go without eating healthy foods for longer periods of time. Why? Because making a healthy lunch or dinner takes time and time is something we are short of. It is much quicker and easier to eat a chocolate bar, drink a coffee, have a coke, or eat chips and cookies than it is to prepare a nice dinner. This also has a profound effect upon the lives of our children when we should be nourishing them and we say make a sandwich.

The last topic I want to touch on is smoking. A lot of people who contest are smokers and sit at the computer smoking. The habit is definitely hard to break as is the habit of contesting, but most definitely since the only exercise some get is finger exercises, smoking is profoundly more dangerous than one who would be doing other things than sitting all day.

The combined effects of all these different little factors will eventually lead to one thing which we all fear. A heart attack or a stroke. If we continue on with our bad habots, this is eventually what will happen. Now denial may certainly play a part here, you’ll say, oh but I don’t smoke. However, I eat lots and I am obese. So the risk is no different than that of a smoker. Or you’ll say I don’t smoke and I eat healthy foods. Okay, then you are prone to a thrombosis which can occur with those who sit for long periods of time. Whatever the excuse, the time to act is now. You may not have tomorrow to say, I’ll start tomorrow.

Whatever your choice is I wish you a happy healthy contesting and I hope to see you all for many years to come. Be Safe. If you like my blogs, please follow me by email. I promise I won’t give you a Heart Attack with laughter. Thanks for reading.

Contest Trucker