Let’s Talk About Giveaway Cheating

Date Fri, March 3 2017

When I got the idea to give away a Starbucks gift card to one of my readers, I wasn’t thinking that I’d have to write this post. In fact, I was mostly focusing on how something I had no use for was going to be good for others.

And good it was! This was a short giveaway but popular nonetheless. Despite being just $10, which I thought to be too low to generate interest, the giveaway was quickly shared. Someone posted it on Reddit, then it was culled into a giveaway listing. Nearly 3000 entries later, it’s over. I’m quite surprised how well it did, but this is good news. Because $10 is a small price to pay for more engaged readers, new followers and an increased network!

But the cost in time and effort was more than I was expecting. See, my giveaways are typically entered by people who follow Reviews by Cole, either via RSS  or on Facebook or Twitter. I’ve got some great readers, but because my giveaway was shared in certain places (and places where people saw only the Gleam form and not the blog post), I saw a lot of new entrants. And many of them were cheaters.

Yup. You read it right.

Cheaters.

I noticed this right away when I was how well my giveaway was doing. Imagine my surprise disappointment when I saw how many of those entries were fake. Because I logged into Gleam right away, I realized that I would need to do so daily to invalidate entries. Knowing this early on meant I wasn’t as frustrated as I would have been if I had gone through entries at the end of the giveaway. Yes, I did go through every entry in an attempt to weed out the fake ones.

It quickly became obvious the type of entries that people cheated on the most

  • Tweets: People would Tweet and then delete, so I’d see a 404 when clicking the link. Or they’d tweet from a private account, which may be an honest mistake, but doesn’t count if I can’t see it.
  • Blogging about the giveaway: People kept pasting my blog URL into the form. Um, nope. Lol! Talk about it on your blog. If not? No points for you. No blog? Sorry. But not everyone has Twitter, either.
  • Following RSS: If you sign up to my feed via email, I can see that. And I did get some new followers using this method. It’s impossible to tell how many people follow a feed if they don’t use email, but five times as many people said they signed up as I can prove.
  • Anything requiring feedback: Leaving a comment on the blog? Entering another giveaway (which you’d think would be right up their alley)? Telling me where you found a giveaway? Anything that required entering text in the form was ripe for cheating, even if there was literally no wrong answer as in the last question!

Fortunately, Gleam makes it easy to deal with those entries. I can invalidate them, so anyone who is cheating will see that they’re not getting points if they signed back in — a sure sign they shouldn’t cheat, right?

Except! Some of those people would delete a tweet that I would invalidate, and they’d come back and do the same thing again, even though their effort was clearly wasted the first time. Want to waste my time? Sure, you’re obviously an egghead. But to waste your own time? What a moron! Ha!

I guess I don’t understand why people would cheat and waste their own time when there are so many easy ways to enter.

There’s a chance that some of those cheaters don’t understand what’s going on because they don’t speak English. Many of these cheaters were from non-English speaking countries. Still, it’s a bit ridiculous.

Typically when someone cheated once, they cheated more than once. So I could get a feel for whether any/all of Tom’s entries were valid. But that leads me to wonder if I should allow any entries for cheaters? I think that I won’t in the future. Cheat once, get caught, and you’re out of here.

I only deleted all entries from one person, but I will likely be more strict next time. Why?

Let’s run the numbers, shall we?

  • At the end of the day, I invalidated over 125 actions.
  • 26 tweets were fake.
  • Of those, 3 people came back to cheat more than once!

Not everything was bad, however!

  • Entrants earned 73 extra entries for referring people.
  • One person referred 58 other people for the bulk of those entries.
  • And one of those referrals got 7 entries for his referrals.

That’s the kind of pyramid scheme that I like! ;)

While not cheating, I was also surprised at how many people were tweeting from accounts that were only for sweeps/giveaways. I considered making this against the rules in future giveaways but ultimately decided against it. See, some of those accounts have large networks, so the exposure is good(ish) for me!

So count this as a life lesson for both me and you. I’ll have stricter rules and clarify entries as much as possible, but I’ll waste less time with cheaters by deleting all their entries, and I may consider banning them from all giveaways in the future. To be honest, most of these people are drive-by visitors, anyway, so it’s not my loss.

But it won’t be their win if they cheat!

Work PAUSE Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career

Date Wed, March 1 2017

Work Pause Thrive by Lisen Stromberg is a book that delves into what it means to be a professional who is also a woman, how the current paradigm makes it difficult advance when you’re a woman with children, how only allows for one-half of a couple can focus on work when they have children and how changing the entire views and, thus, programs at both a company-wide and countrywide level will benefit not only mothers but also fathers, children and the company’s bottom line.

This book is not a light read, but it is worth it if you are currently or if you will be both a professional and mother or if you’ve already had to pause from your career after you became a mother and you’re not sure whether you can get back into the game (you can!), if it’s worth trying (it is!) — and then how — if you somehow are less than your working counterparts (you’re not)

Work Pause Thrive does this based on interviews that Lisen Stromberg with hundreds of women as well as 1500 responses from real moms who responded to the Women on the Rise survey. She talks to the very women who would have benefited from her book, had it existed prior to her writing it. Their experiences show how mothers are often treated and devalued in the workplace and how professional settings make it difficult to be both a mother and a career woman.

In this book, Ms. Stromberg discusses specific and actionable ways to deal with your work pause, starting with planning and figuring out the financial cost. She advises the reader on how to negotiate a pull-back from her job, how to stay relevant even when she’s focusing on her family, and how to create the on-ramp to get back to work.

The author reiterates the importance of parental leave in Work Pause Thrive, not just for moms but for dads as well. She points out how providing full, paid leave to any parents isn’t just fair, but it’s crucial to for families. And by providing on-site childcare, flexible schedules and other related benefits, companies don’t just improve morale, but they save money when it comes to employee retention.

Work PAUSE Thrive How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career

Work PAUSE Thrive How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career

Ms. Stromberg also does an excellent job at highlighting companies who value their employees, including those who are parents, and offers assistance or programs that allow employees to reach their full potential in every aspect of their lives.

Lisen treats professional mothers as valuable in a way that their employers and the world sometimes do not. I think that this enables women who read Work Pause Thrive to feel more confident when it comes to determining their roles at home and at work, and Lisen points out how crucial that confidence can be to finding the right life-work balance. After all, these are college-educated women who are good at their jobs. Why shouldn’t they be confident?

And while not the main focus of the book, the comparison between the United States and other countries regarding parental leave and universal childcare are not just interesting: the difference is sometimes astounding and even embarrassing for me to read as an American.

I’m not the demographic that Work Pause Thrive is aimed to. I’m almost fully positive that I don’t want kids myself. However, some of the women Stromberg quotes and discusses are similar to me as a freelancer. And all of them could have benefited from this book.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Work Pause Thrive to child-free folks, but it is eye-opening if you’re at all interested in mothers in the workplace, feminism, the shortcomings of the American dream or modern marriages, just to touch on a few things. And if you are the college-educate woman who is trying to have it all, you’re going to realize that not only can you find balance, but you’re certainly not alone in your feelings and experiences while you’re trying to not just survive but to work, pause and thrive.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

BustedTees Funny Shirts Awesome T-Shirts Cool T-Shirts

$10 Starbucks Giveaway

Date Fri, February 24 2017

It might be the middle of the night but my Facebook fans answered: they want a Starbucks giveaway! Fortunately for them, and you, I’ve got a spare code and can’t really stand coffee! LOL

Ask and you shall receive, right?

All you need to do to enter is to enter via the Gleam form below. First entry is always free! A few clicks and shares, and you’ve got more entries.

Don’t forget to come back daily to increase your chances of winning!

Good luck.

$10 Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway

Ends 3/02

BustedTees Funny Shirts Awesome T-Shirts Cool T-Shirts

$100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Ends 3/7 [Dropprice]

Date Wed, February 22 2017

Welcome to the $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Dropprice is an innovative startup that rewards moms for being social. Essentially, they empower moms to drop prices of kids & baby products with a click. The price continues dropping as more moms click “Drop the price”. Every week new promotions are launched and moms drop prices by sharing them on social media. See the chart below to understand the power moms have and how important it is to share with other moms.

Amazon Gift Card Dropprice

In today’s promotion for the GUND Sound & Lights Whale, it started out at $40.00 and for each mom that clicks, the price drops a bit. The price will continue to drop for each mom that participates.

Amazon Gift Card Dropprice

You can choose to share on social media to get more moms to click “Drop the price”, or you can “Buy Now” at the current price. Keep in mind that when the price gets low, they usually sell out and you will no longer have the chance to buy that item. As an added bonus every item on Dropprice ships for free!

Do you want to give it a try? This is such a fun and exciting way for moms to save lots of money by collaborating with each other. If you would like to have a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, you can experience dropping the price by following the instructions below.

Giveaway: Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card

All you have to do is help moms drop the price of the Whale and you will be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Just click “Drop the price” on the entry form below for a chance to win. For even more entries, share it on your social media networks via the entry form — every time one of your friends also clicks to drop the price, you’ll automatically receive additional giveaway entries!

This giveaway ends on 3/7/2017; you must be a US Resident and be 18 years or older to enter. Winners are randomly selected and contacted via email; the winners will be listed at the top of the entry form when the giveaway ends.

Click here if you don’t see the entry form below.

Terms & Conditions | Powered by Dropprice

CLICK HERE TO ENTER TWO OTHER GIVEAWAYS: $100 TARGET GIFT CARD & $100 WALMART GIFT CARD

CoverGirl Professional Remarkable Washable Mascara

Date Tue, February 21 2017

If you do a search for “drug store tubing mascaras” because the only mascara you’ve ever tried that doesn’t leave you with raccoon eyes is a drug store mascara, you’re going to come up with a very short list. One of the products on that list? L’oreals Beauty Tube Mascara. And, yes, it’s the one.

The other item on that list? CoverGirl Professional Remarkable Washable Mascara. Which I’ve owned for the greater part of a year but had only managed to use a couple of times.

CoverGirl Professional Remarkable Washable Mascara

Can this simple purple tube turn heads and change minds?

You see, I’ve read a handful of posts that laud this mascara for not giving the dreaded raccoon eyes, and knowing how tubing mascara works (polymers shrink wrap around each lash rather than just painting on), I expected the same. So I was not-so-pleasantly surprised to discover that it did smear.. after wearing it for several hours on the first day.

I used it for a weekend while I was out of town, then gratefully returned to my go-to mascara once I got back home. Thus, my tube of CoverGirl Professional Remarkable Washable Mascara has sat, unused, for over half a year.

I recently decided to begin my search anew for a few more mascara options, and again this product popped up. One blogger swore by the lack of smudging, and she also liked how fluffy it made her lashes. So I decided to give it another go.

I wore it once, and the raccoon eyes returned, albeit not as noticeably as any other mascara. It’s doable but not preferable if you follow.

The next day I opted to use it with the lash primer that comes with the L’oreal mascara, which you can now buy separately, to see how it faired. I’ve been using it this way since then because it gives me minimal smudging. It’s good enough for a day look.

And as for lashes? They definitely are fluffier and more defined. My set of eyelashes seems more voluminous whereas L’Oreal Beauty Tubes tends to lengthen and might be slightly more clumpy. CoverGirl Professional Remarkable Washable Mascara creates a softer look. It does become stiffer if I wear a primer, however.

CoverGirl Professional Remarkable Washable Mascara

Brown black in natural-ish lighting

Be warned that it’s not at all waterproof, and I don’t know why they would claim that! Tube mascaras come off specifically with water, so enough moisture is going to wash it away — crying, swimming, even humidity in the air.

One reviewer on Covergirl’s site also points out how heat can make your eyelashes wilt when you wear this mascara. That makes sense to me, since you’re practically applying a thin layer of plastic over them.

CoverGirl Professional Remarkable Washable Mascara review

You could apply a lash topcoat — I own one by Bare Minerals, but it actually makes smudging worse around my oily lids — if it doesn’t affect the texture too much.

Without a topcoat, all you need it soap and water to wash this off. In fact, it doesn’t come off in clumps like the L’oreal Beauty Tubes mascara, which some people might prefer.

I’ve found a way to make CoverGirl Professional Remarkable Washable Mascara workable, and there are things that I enjoy about this mascara, but I can’t rave about it like some others can. Furthermore, I am perplexed as to why it’s so different from the tube mascara I’ve already tried. Which one is more similar to other tube mascaras? I don’t know.. yet.

However, you can buy it for under $5 on Jet (or under $6 with free shipping from Amazon if you prefer), so it’s affordable and a real steal if it does work for you!

This post contains affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thank you for your continued support.

BustedTees Funny Shirts Awesome T-Shirts Cool T-Shirts

$100 Amazon Gift Certificate Giveaway Ends 2/21 [Dropprice]

Date Thu, February 9 2017

dropprice amazon giveaway

Welcome to the Dropprice $100 Amazon Gift Certificate Giveaway Ends 2/21

Dropprice is an innovative startup that rewards moms for being social. Essentially, they empower moms to drop prices of kids & baby products with a click. The price continues dropping as more moms click “Drop the price”. Every week new promotions are launched and moms drop prices by sharing them on social media. See the chart below to understand the power moms have and how important it is to share with other moms.

Dropprice $100 Amazon Gift Card

In today’s promotion for the Comotomo Baby Bottle & Teether, it started out at $37.00 and for each mom that clicks, the price drops a bit. The price will continue to drop for each mom that participates.

Dropprice $100 Amazon Gift Card

You can choose to share on social media to get more moms to click “Drop the price”, or you can “Buy Now” at the current price. Keep in mind that when the price gets low, they usually sell out and you will no longer have the chance to buy that item. As an added bonus every item on Dropprice ships for free!

Do you want to give it a try? This is such a fun and exciting way for moms to save lots of money by collaborating with each other. If you would like to have a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card, you can experience dropping the price by following the instructions below.

Giveaway: Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card

All you have to do is help moms drop the price of the Baby Bottle & Teether and you will be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Just click “Drop the price” on the entry form below for a chance to win. For even more entries, share it on your social media networks via the entry form — every time one of your friends also clicks to drop the price, you’ll automatically receive additional giveaway entries!

This giveaway ends on 2/21/2017; you must be a US Resident and be 18 years or older to enter. Winners are randomly selected and contacted via email; the winners will be listed at the top of the entry form when the giveaway ends.

Click here if you don’t see the entry form below.

Terms & Conditions | Powered by Dropprice

CLICK HERE TO ENTER ANOTHER GIVEAWAY: $100 TARGET GIFT CARDS

BustedTees Funny Shirts Awesome T-Shirts Cool T-Shirts

Did You Know ModCloth Has An App??

Date Wed, February 8 2017

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

ModCloth is having another Stylish Surprise event, starting 2/13 at 8am EST, and it’s set to be their biggest one EVER! Stock up on marvelous mystery items for $20 or less while supplies last — dresses, shoes, decor, and more. Which awesome pieces will you score? No coupon code necessary, simply add a Stylish Surprise item to your order and wait till untold treasures arrive! If that’s not enough thrill for you this Valentine’s Day, ModCloth is also offering an additional surprise deal, exclusively on their app. Download the ModCloth app by February 13th to be in on the fun!

BustedTees Funny Shirts Awesome T-Shirts Cool T-Shirts
Domain Name Registration from Namecheap