I recently joined a competition wherein I became a finalist. It has all to do with being a “Wanderer”. A word that has never crossed my mind in all the time that I have been travelling, until now. Apparently the competitions aim is to find a “True Wanderer”, whatever that means.
I have not joined a competition like this before and I’m really not sure how to best approach it. But I really wanted to know what it feels like to write and document for someone or for something else. All my travels before were for my personal satisfaction, I was free to travel and write without worrying about conforming to a certain label. I have a feeling that this time it will be different, or will it?
Someone from my Facebook told me about the competition and asked if I had already passed an entry, I guess knowing that I document my travels a lot gave her the impression that I already knew about this competition. I told her that I have not heard of the competition before but I’m very interested in checking it out. I did not pass an entry immediately as I felt that I have to at least prepare something decent and have something written specifically for the competition. So I gathered some of the good photos that I had and started writing something that relates to my experiences on the PH tour and that became entry.
When I found out that there’s going to be some voting involved my hopes slowly dwindled. I’m not “Mr. Congeniality” a lot people consider me as “suplado” and perceive my posts as “negative”, worthy of being “unfollowed” in Facebook, that’s who I am. At times I can be a ray of sunshine and my thanks to the PH tour that I did I’m less cynical now than I was before. Then I checked the votes, people on the top 10 are already on the hundreds and I have around 30+ votes.
I had admitted to myself early on that I cannot reach that amount of votes, so I’m just betting on the content. Luckily this competition is not really based on popularity unlike some of the other social media related competition that I have seen. They do consider the votes but that’s just 10 percent of the whole criteria, I told myself “That’s new.”
I started sharing the link on my Facebook but that didn’t really help much with the votes as most people will just go over it in their feeds and knowing that it came from me people really didn’t bother. I just told myself that if I’m going to this might as well do it seriously. That’s when I started to campaign for myself, I began sending private messages to people in my Facebook, not the “copy and paste” kinds of messages, but I addressed and talked to them one by one. I explained to them about the competition and what I have been upto for the past couple of months and how I ended up joining a competition like this, now take note this is not something that I usually do, so some people were actually surprised to receive a message from me. I did it for the competition but there was something about talking to people that I have not talked to for a long time that made an impact to me, some of them were actually interested in what I did, people that I did not expect to like it, actually asked details about my PH tour and they wanted to know more. I did not expect that.
But I did not tell them to vote for me, rather I asked them politely if they would like to check out my entry for a competition. I don’t like bothering people (I guess it’s because I don’t like being bothered as well). Often times when someone sends me a “copy and paste” private message asking me to vote for something I would just ignore it and wont even bother clicking on the link to find out what it is about. Some of the people that I messaged were a bit busy with work and said that they will check it out once they are free which I completely respected and if they said “No” then that would be the end of it. If they voted for someone else I’m cool with it. What I’m not cool with is coming off as a person who’s shoving something down their throat and becoming an “attention whore”. Yes, I do need the votes, but only if they truly believe that my entry is worthy of their vote. Mind you, the way to vote is quite annoying so a vote from someone was a really, really big deal for me.
I managed to get around 76 votes which landed me on the top 17th spot. I’m cool with that, believe it or not I’m really not interested in the prize the KTM Duke 390 is not really a bike that I dream about and I can’t figure out what I’m going to do with a 100,000 php worth of Wrangler Apparel. The prize for me would be the experience.
After my short campaign, it’s then up to the judges if I’m worthy to be included in the top 10.