Our first user contest: Tell us what you think!

(Here’s a link to take you directly to the survey, if you don’t want to read about the contest)

Well, Able Grape just launched its second beta, and it’s high time we had our first user contest. I have two goals for the contest:

There, that’s it, nothing complicated. I need your help, and I thought a contest would make it fun. Since Able Grape started as a labor of love, and remains a modest, self-funded endeavor, we don’t have a huge budget for fancy contest prizes. But I thought I’d dig into my own personal cellar for a few wines — hopefully there’s something for everyone on this list:

How the contest works

Here’s how the contest works. To enter, first sign up for Able Grape, if you haven’t already — it’s quick and free — and then fill out our short, 14-question survey. That’s all. There will be at least four winners:

  1. The person who sends in the most thoughtful, complete, and useful feedback. I’ll be judging these. I’m looking for frank but constructive criticism, specific examples of what you like and don’t like, and creative suggestions. I’d like to get more than just first impressions; ideally, you’ve run enough queries to learn Able Grape and get a balanced impression of its strengths and weaknesses. If there are enough great responses, I may award more than one “winner #1.”
  2. The person who sends in the most popular suggestion for a new feature or improvement (question #13 on the survey). This will be determined by a reader vote at the end of the contest.
  3. The person who referred winner #1 to Able Grape.
  4. The person who referred winner #2 to Able Grape.

These last two are your motivation to let all your friends and colleagues know about the contest, and encourage them to enter: if one of them wins, you win! (please register first, and have your friends/colleagues put your name in question #2; yes, blogs are eligible and I much appreciate your help). My plan is to give each winner, in the order listed above, their choice of one bottle from whatever’s still available. If you live somewhere where a contest like this might be prohibited by law, I’ll try to find something fun and equivalent. If you have any questions about the rules of the contest, please post them as comments here, and I’ll respond so that everyone can see.

I plan to close entries on 15 September. Good luck, and thanks for being a part of Able Grape!

15 Responses to “Our first user contest: Tell us what you think!”


  1. 1 Robert McIntosh July 31, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    OK, will get stuck in! Hopefully we can start the questionnaire and pop in and out to use the site as we complete it?

  2. 2 ablegrape July 31, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks, Robert! Yes, I’ve set up the survey so that you should be able to return to it and update it as you need during the contest period. Please let me know if you have problems with this.

    I’ve also set it up so that it doesn’t interfere with Able Grape’s “open results in a same second window” feature (worth trying). This way your Able Grape results window would be one window, anytime you click on a result, it will use the second window (without creating a new one), and the survey will be in a third window (or tab). Useful for those who like to work with multiple windows, and prevents your having to keep going back and forth or keep closing windows as they crop up. Likewise, let me know if you see any problems with this.

  3. 3 Terry Hughes August 7, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Doug, what are my chances of winning? It’s not like playing MegaMillions or something is it?

  4. 4 ablegrape August 7, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Heh heh, no (unfortunately) we’re definitely not at the MegaMillions stage yet! I’d say if you explored Able Grape, really thought about what changes or improvements would make your searching life oodles easier, and made some creative suggestions, you’ve got a great shot! Plus I see that a couple of people have come over from your (excellent, by the way, folks! if you haven’t read it, you must) blog… if one of them should happen to win, I’d thank you with a bottle as well.

  5. 5 Terry Hughes August 7, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Just did the survey and played with the search engine more. Damn fine work! No more Google wine searches for me. Ever.

    Thanks for the plug for mondosapore. ‘Preciate it.

  6. 6 Phil August 17, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Doug,
    It’s just a small thing but it occurs to me that it would be helpful to have a link to get back to the search screen once you have entered the blog area. Or if it’s already there and I’m too blind to see it, maybe it needs to be more prominent. Keep up the good work buddy.

    Phil

  7. 7 ablegrape August 22, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Hey Phil,

    There is an Able Grape button at the upper left of every page, but I agree, I’d like to have the blog better integrated into the site, and you’re not the first person to mention it. In the mean time, perhaps I should just make the Able Grape logo/banner at the upper right a little bigger and more obvious…

  8. 8 Alessandra Rossi September 18, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I’m busy for the harvest (off-line.. in the country, I mean) and I still did not have the time to enjoy as much as I like my last discovers, like Ablegrape, and put it on my site as it deserves. But as I made some research and I’ve find it great!
    Ahem.. what about a specifical VIDEO space ’bout wine in your home page? Ok, I’m obviusly interested in🙂
    Sorry for my english, I’m hurry (got to go back to the harvest in Maremma!).
    Hasta la vista.

    ale


  1. 1 Enobytes Wine Blog » Blog Archive » Able Grape Search Engine Pioneers Retrieval of Relevant Wine Information Trackback on August 4, 2008 at 7:05 am
  2. 2 Gastrolinguistica Trackback on August 6, 2008 at 12:48 pm
  3. 3 A nice update, and a message to our community « Able Grapes and Garbled Peas Trackback on August 13, 2008 at 8:42 pm
  4. 4 Besoin d’infos sur le vin? Cherchez ici (enfin, là). « À chacun sa bouteille Trackback on August 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm
  5. 5 Still a chance to win that ‘64 Gaja… tell us what you think! « Able Grapes and Garbled Peas Trackback on August 24, 2008 at 2:38 am
  6. 6 Last chance to help w/survey, we REALLY want your thoughts « Able Grapes and Garbled Peas Trackback on September 13, 2008 at 9:10 pm
  7. 7 Spiffy new update with lots of great content « Able Grapes and Garbled Peas Trackback on September 24, 2008 at 11:33 pm

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