Our America's Next Top Car Blogger competition, a writing battle writ large for the chance to win a $10,000 six-month contract as weekend editor for Jalopnik, started with hundreds of competitors. Now we're down to the final two.
First, I want to thank both everyone who submitted an entry into the contest as well as all of you for reading and voting for your new weekend champions. They all deserve a round of applause from you, the commenters, for the amazing job they did. Most of the entries were excellent and I wish we could hire everyone, but sadly, it's impossible.
That being said, the very close semi-final voting just finished moments ago and the two finalists, as determined by you, our Jalopnik readers, are:
1.) Vinny Minchillo — 11.02%
2.) Tom Joslin — 9.71%
So what happens next? Well, since Vinny came in first, he's allowed to choose whether he wants to blog this weekend or next. Vinny informed me earlier that he wants to blog next weekend. Therefore, this weekend we'll be seeing the automotive prose of Tom Joslin.
So how will we choose the winner? Here's the hard part. Since there's a one week gap, the person going next weekend will have a likely insurmountable advantage over this weekend's contestant if we run a vote starting next weekend. That hardly seems fair. Other ideas, such as comment counts and voting up or down individual posts, are either easy to game or difficult to implement.
So, as we initially said, we'll be using new unique visitors as the metric (like we used in the first round), but with two added twists. First, the new visitors will only be counted until that upcoming Monday morning at 8:00 AM EST. Second, we're creating a check and balance against poor writing. We, as the editors, reserve the right to subtract the new unique visitors from posts that we deem to be inappropriate traffic whoring or completely off-topic. We'll call it the "no boobs" rule.*
And, if the new uniques are within 100 from each other, we will run a tiebreaker vote taking place next Monday morning until that Monday evening. Either way, by Monday night at the latest, we'll know the winner.
As always, our standard contest rules apply. Good luck to both Tom and Vinny!
*Caveat: Unless, of course, said boobs are "relevant" and on-topic.