Running a Successful Woot Derby Campaign

Hi people. I’m relatively new to woot. I’ve noticed some designs tend to get a lot of votes very quickly. Though these votes are well deserved, I’m sure more experienced derby participants have a method to their campaigns. What are some good ways to promote your designs in the derby to get more votes faster? It’s tough to just ask around as you have to have purchased off woot in the past to vote, so for the most part my friends are no help.

There are three things the average wooter, or person at any contest site, uses to help boost their votes:

  1. strong talent and artistic skills
  2. hanging around long enough and being consistent enough to build a fanbase based on recognition of merit
  3. pandering like they’d sell their own granny for a farthing

If all else fails, though, you can always just create tons of fake accounts. It’s technically legal here.

One method that I just do not care for, but several people do it is to post multiple versions of your design the evening before the contest asking for thoughts on colors and such. Then when it is submitted, it has a familiar feel to people and it gets votes.
The best method, is to just have a kick-*ss design and the votes will just come on their own.

I think that’s more for soliciting honest critique.

I… wow. And here I thought designers wanted opinions on their art so as to make it and themselves better, both for artistic purposes and enhancing derby chances with better artwork once actually entered, when really they’re just trying to get one over on the community by sneak-hypno-indoctrinating forum regulars with questions and previews!! I see the light… and it’s making me sleepy… very very sleepy… goes and mindlessly votes for everything seen in pre-derby threads

Yeah, I gotta say that’s how I viewed it, too. Didn’t realize anyone looked at the practice unfavorably.

Actually, I think there are just a few people who do this with alterier motives. For the most part I don’t think it is as aweful as I made it sound (sounded aweful after I re-read it).
Posting and asking for advice is just fine in itself. But posting the design over and over again shown on every color available is kind of silly. But that’s just my opinion.

Ah, ok, I think I have a better idea of what you meant now. Thanks for clarifying.

One thing that I’ve found helps is using a vote graphic link in your footer, and then comment on your favorite designs.

If you give supportive, constructive comments you’ll start to forge some familiarity with the other artists, so that your not always the outsider. And if you have an image link in your footer, you’ll leave an easy trail for someone to follow back to your own design.

(I hope this doesn’t across as a shameless plug, as I’ll have my little footer images following this message… oh well)

And here are directions to add your derby thumbnail with link to your signature.

Note that you must have at least one purchase from any Woot site (excluding Deals) to display images in your signature.

Some people want critiques. Some people can’t design by themselves and need critiques. Some people post to “call” an idea and prove they thought of it first when the inevitable idea thieves scan through. And some people are definitely using the pre-derby thread to create even more buzz to boost their design’s popularity when they do submit it. There is no shortage to manipulation in the derby

I think this can backfire too. Some artists will post so many different versions of one design, and post all these tiny little changes asking which is better…that by the time the derby actually starts, I’m SICK of seeing the design already! lol

I’ve wondered about this too. Or if you post a design on 3 different colors, and one person says “great design, want it on blue” and another says “no way, I love the design, but it needs to be on green.” If you go with blue, have you lost a vote from the person who wanted green (who otherwise might have liked the design without options)?

You can usually tell who these are, because people will offer critiques, and the person will promptly ignore all advice given and submit the design as they originally drew it and as they intended all along not really wanting the advice.

But I think the prederby thread is still a decent place to hang out. Even if you’re not posting your designs but just taking an active part in the conversations at least people will come to recognize you.

I think posting the designs in the pre-derby thread with multiple color options can go either way in terms of gaining/losing votes. It seems that most of the time, one color gets a general consensus among those who reply.

All in all though, I don’t think there is much one could do on the pre-derby thread that would either guarantee a print or sink a design altogether.

Do you know these people have ulterior motives or are you assuming they are posting for these ulterior motives?

I can see how that plays out but is it a bad thing that the artist is looking for feedback multiple times? I’m not sure. That’s why I’m asking. Maybe the thread should be moved elsewhere for just the artists to view and post in if it causes some to feel so inclined by the dialogue and active critique going on.
just an idea? any others?

Well if posting in the prederby thread helps bolster votes, then I’m doing it wrong.


I have to say, for as long as I have been on “The Internets” and posting in forums you find out that everyone has an opinion. I’m no exception. But it appears one person’s opinion can sway how someone or something is seen and it amazes me. I read through this thread and was almost convinced not to post in the prederby thread ever again because actively participating in the creative process, getting active feedback and having that dialogue with other artists and consumers is viewed as sickening and silly. But I have to remind myself, theses are just a few opinions and not the majority. These are the few who had the courage to post their opinion and by that courage may sway how others feel.
I say keep on posting your designs in the prederby thread. Share your creative process. Get the input you need because no man is an island especially in life and the internet even if we act as if we were.
I wish there was more dialogue between artists because there is so much we can learn from each other and so much experience, I know for myself, I would love to gleen from.
And also that interaction inspires me.

But this is just my opinion posted in a forum on the internet.

My posting was just my opinion. I have had no prints here. I have zero quality post here.
I have not heard from other forum members that this was their opinion as well prior to this thread.
I in no way am saying that posting “What do you think about this?” is a bad thing in itself, because I have done that very thing.
I have just recently developed this opinion of a few artist here. And even with that, it is their right to do it, so I really wish I had not brought it up.
My intention was not to make anyone feel bad for posting in the pre-derby thread.

Don’t feel bad about it- you didn’t name names or anything. And I think most people who pay attention know that some of the people posting their entries a ton aren’t really looking for feedback.

It’s been a thing since day one of the derby, practically. Maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t, but it definitely happens.

To answer the original question, there are a few things people do to improve their odds and vote totals:

Post your design first. That’s pretty tough. Not only do you have to have your design done by Friday Noon but you have to beat all the other designers who are trying to post right at Noon. If you’re one of the first, you’re automatically in the fog even with zero votes.

If you can’t post first, you want to post during an upload “lull”. The lulls are usually late afternoon – look for hotness numbers in the single digits. This will increase your chance of getting in the hotness since your design will be sitting on top of the Date ordered page by itself for some time, giving it lots of visibility and you have 3 hours to get a handful of votes to make it into the hotness.

I’m sure there are other things people do but these are a couple of basic ones. Note that following these rules or any others won’t get a lousy shirt to print nor slow down an amazing shirt. But when prints can be decided on a single vote, a little bit can help.

Adding to what thatrobert said, another “trick” that could be efective is to have an image of your design with a link to it,on your signature, and then placing a strategic “nice” comment on every entry that´s on the fog or in the hotness zone. I believe that a large percentage of voters, (at least the ones that don´t submit designs), don´t take the time to go through every entry, so having your submission lost in the middle of all the other entries is the worst that can happen if you don´t already have a fanbase that will look for your designs.
Of course that, none of these tips will work if you don´t have a “good” design to begin with. I left good in between commas because the definitions may vary - it may be good because of its quality, or just because it follows what´s considered popular here, and a lot of times these two definitions don´t intersect…