Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Eek! Action stations with Facebook

Tuesday 9th December

I just better explain a little about the Facebook for Good contest, as it's this weeks hilarious 5 minutes in our house. Facebook started a contest on the 06 October, the rules were quite simple;
Rules: "Enter an essay between 150 and 250 words telling a true, compelling story about how you have used Facebook to better your life, and/or your community, and/or the lives of those around you".
1st Prize: Up to five (5) Finalists per country will each receive a Flip Ultra Camcorder from Flip Video, a pocket-sized camcorder with one-touch recording and 2x digital zoom.
Grand Prize:
Each Grand Prize Winner can elect to either: i) accept 1,000 Euros or equivalent in local currency as of date of award, or ii) designate to award 3,000 Euros or equivalent in local currency to one recognized charity or non-profit organization operating in the winner’s country on his / her behalf.

Obviously the €3000 award for a charity would be really cool! So, on the 28th October [or October 28 if you're in the US], I submitted a story, with the vague notion that it would bring Ovarian Cancer to the public awareness a little more if nothing else - so many people use Facebook that it's mind boggling. No I don’t know the statistics, but it’s plain to see. Anyway - submitted the story, nagged everyone to vote and promptly forgot it, not expecting to get anywhere. Shriek!! While I was working in Portugal, I received an email from Facebook asking me to complete a load of Release Forms [what??] and send them back forthwith, as I had been selected as one of the five finalists for the UK contest [there is a contest in each country]. I was totally amazed!!

Major chaos, as the USA uses the dates backwards [not ideal for chemo brain types like myself!], and the time zone is five [?] hours behind us. Lucky for me, as it gave me time to check it out and fill it in after getting the Jones to give it the once over too. Sent everything back, and the next thing to arrive was a video camera. This arrived at home in the UK on the Thursday. I had to make a 'supporting' video for my story in order to qualify for the next part of the contest. So Jonesy had to investigate the camera pretty sharpish, as I would arrive home on Friday evening, and had to get the video in by Sunday evening. Uff! I didn’t expect to have to make a video, and actually have to move and SPEAK.

At any rate. I got home Friday, pretty shattered [travelling to Portugal via Gatwick is rather like passing through Hell I imagine] and spent Saturday trying to work out how to use the video program – the camera is amazing! The size of a mobile phone and you just point, shoot, plug it into the pc and there’s your video. Sorted a load of pics [as you’ve seen] and then came the worst bit as far as I am concerned - having to make a short clip of ME. Oooo - I think Andrew would quite happily have throttled me if it were legal, as I got so stressed about how I looked etc etc. Yes, yes, the old vanity again! But when I saw one of the other contestants videos after they were all posted I felt a total twit. She has Motor Neurone Disease and it must have been utterly exhausting for her to make the video she made - watch it and cry. I did.

Right. What? Oh - I sent the video off. Couldn't work out how to get music onto it either. Next thing arrived was a set of Release Forms that had to be filled in by each person in the video! And it had to be back the next evening. This was quite funny, how to get everyone’s signature on a Word document via the internet? Not everyone has a scanner. But eventually we succeeded, and that was all sent back too. Phew...now to sit back and see what happened next.

This is now:
ROUND 2: PUBLIC VOTING December 1, 2008 to December 15, 2008.
Then there’s:
ROUND 2: JUDGING TO SELECT 1 WINNER PER COUNTRY December 16, 2008 to December 22, 2008
Then finally there’s:

Pretty complicated way of judging.

In the meantime, on the voting page, every single day someone leaves an encouraging message - it’s incredible. People don’t just vote, they vote every day [this is allowed] and they leave remarks that are so kind. I actually don’t really mind whether I win or not, the actual experience so far has been really uplifting.

Thanks for that everyone!

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