lonelypond


quality posts: 422 Private Messages lonelypond

The divergence in these two things is fascinating me as a let's have a behavioral or whatever branch it is of economics discussion. The derby seems to be becoming an ever smaller seed inside an increasingly bigger fruit full of shirtwooting options. Is shirtwoot! evolving beyond it?

benjaminleebates


quality posts: 5 Private Messages benjaminleebates
lonelypond wrote:The divergence in these two things is fascinating me as a let's have a behavioral or whatever branch it is of economics discussion. The derby seems to be becoming an ever smaller seed inside an increasingly bigger fruit full of shirtwooting options. Is shirtwoot! evolving beyond it?



I would argue that the votes have been shrinking since the change in the way in which the derby shirt winners are selected. Think about it, your vote means far less than it used to. Only one vote has any potential of meaning anything if the vote helps the first place shirt win. They other two shirt selections are completely arbitrary.

kevlar51


quality posts: 46 Private Messages kevlar51
lonelypond wrote:The divergence in these two things is fascinating me as a let's have a behavioral or whatever branch it is of economics discussion. The derby seems to be becoming an ever smaller seed inside an increasingly bigger fruit full of shirtwooting options. Is shirtwoot! evolving beyond it?



I hope the derby doesn’t go away. Nevermind woot tradition, etc., it’s an invaluable way for artists to grow and receive feedback on a weekly basis. No derbies would make it even harder for new artists to break in.

But from a business standpoint, I imagine the logistics involved in running the derby are annoying to say the least and probably involve significantly more resources than a typical daily print, which can be planned well in advance. And if they get to the point where they can make just as much money from a daily as they would a derby, and the derby isn’t drawing the traffic it used to, then why have the derby at all? I hate to think of that though because it’s such a great vehicle.

tjschaeffer


quality posts: 7 Private Messages tjschaeffer

I've actually gone through the voting results and looked at what sort of numbers the winning design pulled in as far as votes are concerned, going back to March 2011 (completely arbitrary as a date).

I then looked at all of the major events Woot has gone through (2012 was a big year for changes) and noted where it occurred in relation to derby vote changes.

What I found was that the biggest influence seems to have been the site redesign.

Prior to that you would see at least one derby per month where the winner would crack 1000 votes. The last one was the Open Spaces derby in May. Since then, not a single derby has seen a winner break 900 votes. Only 2 have broken 800 votes, only 7 have broken 700 votes.

I think that what's happening is that every change woot makes either a) drives away customers or b) causes customers to spend more time looking elsewhere.

Let's face it, voting in the Derby can be somewhat time consuming. Woot's new model requires spending a lot of time on other parts of the site. Between all the main sales, sides sales, the full shirt catalogue, I think people have decided that it's not worthwhile to spend a lot of time on the derby.

j5


quality posts: 63 Private Messages j5
tjschaeffer wrote:I've actually gone through the voting results and looked at what sort of numbers the winning design pulled in as far as votes are concerned, going back to March 2011 (completely arbitrary as a date).

I then looked at all of the major events Woot has gone through (2012 was a big year for changes) and noted where it occurred in relation to derby vote changes.

What I found was that the biggest influence seems to have been the site redesign.

Prior to that you would see at least one derby per month where the winner would crack 1000 votes. The last one was the Open Spaces derby in May. Since then, not a single derby has seen a winner break 900 votes. Only 2 have broken 800 votes, only 7 have broken 700 votes.

I think that what's happening is that every change woot makes either a) drives away customers or b) causes customers to spend more time looking elsewhere.

Let's face it, voting in the Derby can be somewhat time consuming. Woot's new model requires spending a lot of time on other parts of the site. Between all the main sales, sides sales, the full shirt catalogue, I think people have decided that it's not worthwhile to spend a lot of time on the derby.

LOL!
I've done this exact analysis, even posting the graph here a few times. My conclusion was the same, based on these criteria. What I didn't factor, however, was the time it took for the effects of the blank change to propogate, and the consumption of all the AA stock.

move along

tjschaeffer


quality posts: 7 Private Messages tjschaeffer
j5 wrote:LOL!
I've done this exact analysis, even posting the graph here a few times. My conclusion was the same, based on these criteria. What I didn't factor, however, was the time it took for the effects of the blank change to propogate, and the consumption of all the AA stock.



Well, if I had known that I certainly would have saved myself some time and effort!

But I too did not look into the amount of time for Woot to make the full changeover. In my opinion, I don't think there was much of an effect insofar as derby votes are concerned. If the initial blank switch itself didn't change things, then the relatively unpublicized completion of the switch probably didn't have much effect either.

I think the fact of the matter is that the newly designed site, with all its side sales and busy-ness has caused wooters to have less time for the derby.

On a side note I agree with Kevlar's point that it would be a shame for the derby to disappear.

j5


quality posts: 63 Private Messages j5
tjschaeffer wrote:Well, if I had known that I certainly would have saved myself some time and effort!

Yeah, sorry. Things get buried fast here and search sux.

But I too did not look into the amount of time for Woot to make the full changeover. In my opinion, I don't think there was much of an effect insofar as derby votes are concerned. If the initial blank switch itself didn't change things, then the relatively unpublicized completion of the switch probably didn't have much effect either.

Many of the die-hards left around that time, and were very vocal about it. So if "voters" were lurking the boards and followed, it would make sense.

I think the fact of the matter is that the newly designed site, with all its side sales and busy-ness has caused wooters to have less time for the derby.

I still subscribe to this theory. I find myself in the same predicament, and after all, everyone is like me aren't they?

On a side note I agree with Kevlar's point that it would be a shame for the derby to disappear.

Indeed. Maybe a marketing campaign along the lines of "Don't like what we print? Choose your own adventure!" would boost interest.
Maybe.

move along

Narfcake


quality posts: 287 Private Messages Narfcake
tjschaeffer wrote:... On a side note I agree with Kevlar's point that it would be a shame for the derby to disappear.


I feel that from the business perspective, the derby is here to stay, as it helps shirt.woot gauge what folks like and dislike on an ongoing basis. I believe in general, the sales (revenues) of derby shirts have been much better than the dailies too.

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
j5 wrote:Indeed. Maybe a marketing campaign along the lines of "Don't like what we print? Choose your own adventure!" would boost interest.
Maybe.



what the derby needs is MORE COWBELL.



also moar panda, but that should be obvious.

sittle


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sittle

Crappy blanks... and diminishing returns on votes.

Perhaps if they allowed the top 3 vote getters to print, and print a "directors" choice as a third option, the votes would return... but a lot of people (me included) feel burned by the bad blanks.

lonelypond


quality posts: 422 Private Messages lonelypond
kevlar51 wrote:I hope the derby doesn’t go away. Nevermind woot tradition, etc., it’s an invaluable way for artists to grow and receive feedback on a weekly basis...

And if they get to the point where they can make just as much money from a daily as they would a derby, and the derby isn’t drawing the traffic it used to, then why have the derby at all? I hate to think of that though because it’s such a great vehicle.



Agreed. Even if I don't enter a derby design, sometimes a draft of an idea will find its way into a cartoon/comic. And the derby is what drives my visits to the site. I like seeing what artists come up with.

And it used to be gratifying to see a dark horse design I liked nab third place. Only the top vote getting printed has freshened the mix a bit, but it does make the votes matter less, as sittle points out.

I think the j5 and tjschaeffer site redesign theory certainly seems to be a factor. Starting with the price change, we had dominoes falling waves of change, with increasingly vocal and unhappy customers.

j5 wrote:Indeed. Maybe a marketing campaign along the lines of "Don't like what we print? Choose your own adventure!" would boost interest.
Maybe.



I was wondering about strategies woot could use to boost interest in the derby. It does seem difficult to run across if you don't know what to look for.

Maybe we need a derby to heighten awareness of the derby ; )

JenDupre


quality posts: 19 Private Messages JenDupre

I have to say I agree on many points here about the derby. My first 3 years or so I followed and voted in the derby all the time.

I think the whole WOOT Explosion has caused the decrease. There were only 4 when I started, sellout (yahoo), wine (I don't even think Wine was daily then), shirt and main Woot.

Add all the other sites, side sales for each site, and the whole "deals" thing too, and the derby gets lost in the shuffle.

There's just too much "woot" for our short attention span theater brains at this point. 8-P

j5


quality posts: 63 Private Messages j5
JenDupre wrote:There's just too much "woot" for our short attention span theater brains at this point. 8-P

+1 for the SAST refrence.

move along

tjschaeffer


quality posts: 7 Private Messages tjschaeffer
Narfcake wrote:I feel that from the business perspective, the derby is here to stay, as it helps shirt.woot gauge what folks like and dislike on an ongoing basis. I believe in general, the sales (revenues) of derby shirts have been much better than the dailies too.



I would agree with this, especially since it doesn't seem to be the case that daily sales are necessarily outpacing derby sales.

benjaminleebates


quality posts: 5 Private Messages benjaminleebates

Can anyone explain to me the underlying reasons for the derby change? (selection vs. votes) And then can someone explain why it should stay as it is now compared to before? Fiscal? Participation? With real number? Just curious as to whether there is a good reason (factual) to stay the course vs. revert or new method?

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
benjaminleebates wrote:Can anyone explain to me the underlying reasons for the derby change? (selection vs. votes) And then can someone explain why it should stay as it is now compared to before? Fiscal? Participation? With real number? Just curious as to whether there is a good reason (factual) to stay the course vs. revert or new method?



here's the post where they announced it.

seems like it may have been in part a response to people complaining that the prints were nearly always (with a few exceptions) from the earliest entries. this sort of scheme has also been previously suggested to address issues of voters picking sucky designs, whereas shirt.woot art directors and knowledgeable regulars would presumably pick better.

incidentally, iirc, for derby #279: food, the voters picked:

1. candy empire (261 votes)
2. food of the future (256 votes)
3. continental breakfast (239 votes)

and the voters/editors/guest picked:

1. candy empire
2. food of the future
3. continental breakfast

lonelypond


quality posts: 422 Private Messages lonelypond
no1 wrote:here's the post where they announced it.

incidentally, iirc, for derby #279: food, the voters picked:

1. candy empire (261 votes)
2. food of the future (256 votes)
3. continental breakfast (239 votes)

and the voters/editors/guest picked:

1. candy empire
2. food of the future
3. continental breakfast



"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"