Derby Preview #731: Teenage Dirtbag

I agree with acraigl’s comments. I have no way to even begin to compete with someone that can get 60 FB votes in one hour. It is clear that the vast majority of FB votes are just friends/family/coworkers who are being badgered into voting a second time. :frowning:

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Thanks for the clarification.
So each week, we should submit as normal… Then scour FB for any group that might be interested a given design. Join that group and post our design, asap. I guess this is one way to increase your marketing team without increasing your budget… Is that called monetizing your assets? Or perhaps Guerilla marketing… lol

I can’t speak to any one persons personal feelings on this particular Derby mechanism, except maybe @kg07, we’ve had a pretty open dialogue on this topic. What I can tell you anecdotally is, I have seen a more diverse group of winners on a week to week basis after starting this Facebook voting than I have ever seen in the year I’ve been running point on the Derby.

Do I think some people that were winning more before we started this are going to be unhappy about it, yes.
Do I think that artists that didn’t stand a chance before because they aren’t original Woot artists are getting a fair shot now because of this change, yes.
Do we still exercise Editorial control when Facebook votes are a factor, absolutely.

There are lots of other self marketing avenues out there to use. Social platforms, email marketing, digital advertising, word of mouth. You don’t need to rely on Facebook to get your designs out there. You can drive your audience to vote in the derby on the Woot page.

Facebook is not the only avenue where we advertise to customers to vote in the derby. We publish banners in our other marketing emails, we publish social posts directing customers to the derby page and we spread the word internally and through our artists.

Right now the positives for the wider community outweigh the negative experiences so we are going to continue using this as part of the derby on an irregular basis.


Yes our relationship is symbiotic, but it’s in your interest to promote yourself. Our marketing efforts are spread across all of our artists, you are fighting for exposure with us. Whereas you own your own business and can control your own marketing efforts and surface your own designs that are relevant at the time. You can be much more nimble that we can and take advantage of timely occurrences and chances to sell shirts.

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No worries… I get it. The landscape has changed. And it will continue to change. I think the derbies have always been fraught with uncertainty. I am sure that there has been far more variety since this change and randomness. It will be interesting to see the fruits of this experiment a few more months down the road. Whether it will be a net gain or loss for woot will be of great interest to us all. I think what worries most is the disruption of the process.

I know that I bring my work to WOOT because of the reach, I can’t get any traction on Teepublic or elsewhere. That group of people that woot reaches is not what it once was. However, it is still larger than I can get by myself… I think many of us do not believe that the extra FB votes will translate into sales. You and others at woot feel otherwise. It will be neat to see which is right…


For me, I like the extra voting from Fb. I don’t get a lot of social media turnover in votes. I treat it as “look at this really cool mention on Woot’s page” and that eventually resulted in more sales than I think I would have had otherwise.

I think what matters is the attitude you bring into this. Are you designing for fun or profit? Not every shirt is going to be a winner, but hey, someone out there is walking around with a shirt that I drew, and somebody else gave me money for that effort. That’s a win.


I appreciate the positive attitude that you bring to the derby and am trying to keep an open mind about the changes. It feels odd being labelled an established artist in the above comments resisting change when I have only been drawing/contributing since 2016, but I guess perception becomes reality at some point.

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When you started, what was the average 1st place vote count?

I can only say that my first shirt that placed got 74 votes and third place in a math derby. That was when you had to be an actual woot customer to vote, so the votes were actually (mostly) independent voters who had an interest in the derby and would actually buy shirts.

I wouldn’t call you an old-timer… Unless I did, unintentionally, lol.
I’ve been playing since early 2009. The first place in that derby was 1444 votes.
I think during my time here it has been as high as 2600 I think? Maybe during a hallowoot? I’m not sure.

I would love to see a graph of how rapidly the vote counts dipped. Was it quickly? Was there ONE event?

2,000 votes.

The votes tapering off was gradual and coincide with the multiple events since 2012 that caused the sales to taper off too.

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You still do have to have an account to log in and vote. But yes, the purchase barrier was lifted.

I’ve been around 5ish years I think? I wouldn’t even consider myself an old timer. When I first started derbies, winners usually had 800+ votes.

Around 5 years ago, votes were around the 250 range already.

My highest was 533 votes in 2012, it was my first win. I think the decline gave me a foothold, TBH… It’s like this FB debate is a mirror to some of the panic in 2012 and even though it gave some of us a fighting chance to print, I am not sure the overall effect was to woots benefit, considering that woot hasn’t came back to those numbers of voters.
Now sales-wise, I have no idea. I know sales per an individual design is not as high… but the diversity of designs may make up for some of that…
Like I said, it will be neat to see if this new issue will equal a wider variety of purchasers.

The major competition leaving meant more opportunities for other artists.

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It feels like the same thing is kinda happening now. Maybe not from exodus, but from introducing more wildcards into the equation… which may in turn cause some vanishings.

Given that there’s editorial decisions involved now, I don’t feel that the FB voting is going to turn everything upside down just as of yet. It’s not like it was with the cheating family that was manipulating the voting here with their multitude of accounts and no legal alternative to override their “win”.

Going back on the then-versus-now, one aspect that has been a huge level-the-playing-field boost to newer artists is the earlier derby theme announcements. In the early years, it was announced on Thursday and entries are submitted on Friday. 24 hours is not a lot of time, so many entries were rushed and those who worked quick would mainly reap the benefits.

Remember how there were criticisms comments along the likes of ‘it looks like you spent all of an hour on this’?

“I took even less time for some designs.”

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I find it ironic that even thought more time is given, I cannot honestly say that the quality has DRAMATICALLY increased. I’m sure you can point to bad designs from before and show me amazing art pieces from today. But I have not seen a design quality increase proportional to the extra time given… IMHO