What we learned from your feedback on the contest, and how we will do better next time

We got a lot of great feedback on our “Why didn’t you enter the contest?” post. I want to talk about some of the things that came up, and talk about how we can make it better for you in our next contest or project.

I went through every comment and email that y’all wrote and I sorted them into a few broad categories. I know some of these are not a perfect fit for what you actually said, so I apologize if I rounded your comment too roundily. (:

9: Shyness / intimidation / fear

9 people said “I’m reluctant to ‘put myself out there’ because of shyness, intimidation, or some other reason.”

This was the biggest one, and I totally underestimated it. It’s a really embarrassing case of the usual error, because the exact same thing happened to me with the Revolutionary Tuesday videos! I had a ton of discomfort about ‘putting myself out there’. And I totally forgot. I totally forgot how scary it was for me. I’m sorry about that.

8: Too busy

8 people said “I’ve been super busy with other stuff / procrastination / apathy / not a high priority”

It’s all good. (: We aren’t under any illusions that the Freak Revolution is the #1 priority in all your lives. Remember that we don’t want you to feel guilty or that you’ve let us down for not entering the contest. Our goal here is to make you feel awesome, not crappy.

8: Who, me?

8 people said “I couldn’t think of how I’m changing the world / I figured I wouldn’t win”

*nods* That’s what yesterday’s post was about, so I don’t have anything new to add here.

7: I can’t, or don’t know how.

5 people said “I don’t have access to a webcam or camcorder.”

2 people said “I don’t know how to produce/edit/submit a video.”

This was the usual error again on my part. I’m sorry. I overestimated how many people have webcams or camcorders, and I also overestimated how many people know how to produce, edit, and share them.

5: I’m just not into you. (Where you = video)

5 people said “I’m not into videos.”

*nods* Now that we did expect. I remember from when we were doing Revolutionary Tuesday and Freaky Thursday that some people just aren’t into videos. We knew this contest wouldn’t be for everyone.

3: I’m just not into you. (Where you = prizes/contests)

3 people said “I’m not motivated by prizes and/or contests.”

*nods* Cool. We knew this wouldn’t be for everyone.

1: Onesies

1 person said “I figured nobody would even watch my video, so why bother?”

We did say that we’d post all the entries, even the ones that didn’t win. Next time we’ll be sure to communicate this more clearly, because it sucks to feel like you’re putting a lot of work into something that no one might even see. (Kind of feels like being a blogger sometimes.) (:

1 person said “Perfectionism.”

I hear you, sister! (: As an aside, have you seen Michelle Russell’s site, Practice Makes Imperfect?

1 person said “Too busy changing the world to make a video about how I’m changing the world.”

Ha! You rock. For some reason, that reminds me of the Chinese proverb “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”

We miscommunicated. A lot.

Everyone we heard from assumed that we expected you to film yourself giving a speech about what you’re doing to change the world. As an eternal student of communication, I’m curious to discover how you got that impression so I can learn how to communicate more clearly with you in the future.

In the first contest announcement on the Freak Revolution newsletter, we said:

“We want videos, approximately one minute in length, telling us something about what’s wrong with the world, how you’re making changes, or what you want to see more of in the world. Something along those lines.”

In the first contest announcement on the blog, we attempted to clarify a bit and said:

“Submit inspirational and uplifting videos, approximately one minute in length, telling us something about what’s wrong with the world, how you’re making changes, what changes you plan to make in the future, what you want to see more of in the world, or something along those lines.”

When we realized that people were generally getting the impression that we expected you to film yourself giving a speech about what you’re doing to change the world, we attempted to clarify further, saying:

“Be creative! You can sing an inspirational song, talk about your philosophy, share an uplifting story, use sock puppets… whatever!”

We actually miscommunicated twice. Firstly, we accidentally gave you the impression that we expected you to film yourself talking. How did you get that impression? In fact, we would have been totally great with you creating a video of a funky Flash animation, a bunch of text scrolling by, or even filming a tomato with eyeballs. (:

Secondly, we accidentally gave you the impression that the entries must be about what you are doing to change the world. We actually intended the range of topics to be much broader than that. If, for example, you wanted to talk about your philosophy about changing the world in general or share an inspirational story about some other world-changer, that would have been totally cool with us. How could we have communicated that to you more clearly?

Thanks for any insight you can give. We always love learning to communicate better.

How we will do better in the future

In addition to communicating more clearly in the future, we’re going to listen to your suggestions and have our next contest be a writing contest! I’ll talk to Kyeli and we’ll work out the details.

If you have suggestions for the upcoming writing contest, for example what sorts of prizes you’d be most excited by, please let us know now!

Thanks very much for your feedback. We appreciate you a lot!

Feel clear and confident about your direction in life!


Do you wish you could follow your heart, but it seems impossible? I can help you find the clarity and courage you need.

In other words, I can help you find your path.