18:50, London time: Last votes, please!
18:45, London time: All results in Categories 3, 7, 8 and 11 will suddenly alter [upwards] at this time.
18:30, London time: Polls will be closed in numerical order, from 1 to 20, starting at 19:00. The closed poll will remain visible. The archived result [looking all pretty] will be posted tomorrow.
18:01, London time: Dead level in Category 19 - it's anyone's game. I'd like to suggest that unless there is a clear three vote difference at the end, that the result be declared a tie. North America is close - three votes in it. Be warned that all percentages in Categories 3, 7, 8 and 11 will suddenly increase at 19:00, London time.
17:17, London time: Well, I can't figure it out. 2124 hits so far today here and voting has stopped to a crawl. The categories where there's still any doubt are 2 and 19, where they are neck and neck and these two hours could alter the result.
For sometime the closed poll will remain visible but then an archived result will replace it tomorrow.
In other words, the results will be posted. Then I'll do the same for the other categories.
13:32, London time: I have just taken a snapshot of all polls, as of 13:30 and if any sudden surges or anything else seemingly untoward occurs between now and the close of play, the admins will decide whether that particular category will revert to the 13:30 result as the final result. Not expecting it, of course. Just a precaution.
I also plan not to accept first position in any category I happen to be ahead in at 19:00, London time, with the exception of Category 18. I feel it is better so, so that any speculation about the result does not arise. This therefore makes 1st and 2nd positions in Categories 3, 7, 8 and 11 more interesting.
12:43, London time: Very interesting and also puzzling. Voting has virtually dried up across the categories and yet Sitemeter says a lot of people are visiting. Have people given up and gone home or are they going to make a late run? Correction - North America is polling well and the three leaders are neck and neck.
08:34, London time: I've been asked just how often from one IP address it's possible to vote. This is what we'd hoped to avoid but I'll give a straight answer. It depends on the category. If it's really fast moving, like Category 17 was yesterday, quite often - even once an hour. It depends on total IP addresses between your votes. On a slower category, e.g. Blogpower, maybe only once in the day or possibly twice. As I say, it depends on the category.
I take the underlying concern of the question and will answer that too. When we realized how fast votes were coming in, 10 addresses were clearly an inadequate buffer. Fine on a personal poll on one's site but not with hundreds. That was an error. By the time the issue became an issue, it was not possible to pull out and start over, so we were locked in.
Is it possible to get a fair result in polls such as this? I say it's not. If we paid money for a poll which tracked IP addresses more thoroughly, the strategy would then have been to call in one's mates, on separate addresses. Advice received suggests that multiple IP address computers can still get past that blockage.
And what of the person who advertises on messageboards and elsewhere? Unity suggests that any voter must prove he's a blogger. So each of those voters is on a separate computer. Set up a temporary blog and you're in. We're suggesting for next time that the blogger must be of at least two months standing, from Archive details. But what of the MSM reader? We had nominations for MSM remember. What of them? Are they to be excluded?
Apart from that proviso, there seems no known way to prevent skewing, which is not to say we couldn't have done it better. It is saying that the business of polls is fraught. Which is why we're maintaining that the nominations were the key and the result many of us are taking most seriously.
1] Notice: could all Blogpowerers please e-mail James so that he can create an e-mail database for [occasional] messages. Those whom he already has in the address book need not worry. He'll post the names of those he doesn't have on Friday. Thank you.
2] Blogpower came into being because we felt that the small and medium blogger, who might have had a fine blog, was being unfairly cut out of the game. Plus there were other reasons.
These awards were an attempt to be transparent and to present less well known but nevertheless excellent blogs alongside the established bloggers and in the process to learn from them and improve our own blogs. You'll have to decide if we've achieved that.
The voting anomalies blighted the end of the competition more than the vilified political party did but this was a first run, don't forget. You can be sure we shall learn from this for next year's comp.
3] Banners. I'm putting it to all nominees, not just Blogpower, that we award banners with this wording:
# Blogpower Awards Winner
# Blogpower Awards Finalist
# Blogpower Awards Nominated
# Blogpower Awards Select Blogger
The latter is for the more egalitarian types and I can tell you it's the one I plan to display, feeling it's not right for me, in my position, to call myself a winner, should I be lucky enough to take any category.
Please send your feedback on this so that our Banner Boys know what to create.
4] At 19:00 this evening, all voting ceases and this blog is again accessible for any who have rights to post on it. Therefore, non-BPers might have to wade through some posts to get to the announcements.