I saw a long and engaging conversation on the interwebz and thought I would address that over here for all of the artists.
First, I’m glad you are engaged and passionate about driving participation in the Derby! I am, too! We talk about the Derby and winds of change frequently and have some cool ideas floating around to make it more accessible (hint: it involves small screens) but that does not have a date guarantee, yet. I am encouraged to see the posts that were shared to drive your fans to the Derby; that is exactly the type of grass-roots efforts that will increase Derby participation in both votes and participants. We need more of this! Your followers have a personal connection to you and your artwork, and when you promote it (and even offer rewards like free shirts), they come. It is even better when they become customers instead of just voters.
Admittedly, we have opportunity to connect with customers directly once they have voted by letting them know when the designs they voted for won or were curated and are available for purchase. That will take a little time because of old technology, but we are working on it. You can help by continuing to campaign on your social channels.
Second, some of you long-timers may remember that we had a thriving and welcoming community. As we add new artists organically or otherwise, it is important they feel that connection to our community. I encourage you to welcome them. Do not harass them or make assumptions or accusations because of a few bad eggs; there is always at least one and we will find them or karma will. Recognize that they might bring a zillion followers and fans with them which will naturally increase their votes in the Derby; that does not mean they are automatically cheaters. We watch Derby behavior closely to look for shenanigans of the worst kind and we appreciate your sleuthing to increase our awareness. If you have a concern, that tattle button is there for mashing to share your concern(s) with us.
Lastly, I am grateful for you and that you share your talent with us at Woot! We may have lost our glasses (I’m old, ok?) for a while, but know that I [have had lasik] am working around the clock (as are all of us at Woot) to innovate for our customers. That means that things will change, cheese will move, even it if isn’t as fast as we’d like, and we will all get better together. We invite you to stay and keep the lines of communication open! Just like winter is coming (sadly to a close), change is coming.