Showcase Winners & Data Cleanup

So folks: are we having fun yet?
Yeah, me neither.
OK, so here’s where we’re at: after this weekend’s charlie-foxtrot, we find ourselves with Monday upon us, and that means there’s a Weblog Showcase to finish. Sounds simple enough, don’t it? But wait: it’s a close match in the political category, with a liberal blog just barely edging out a conservative one.
But it gets worse. After a weekend of debate over duplicate blogs and overzealous links, there’s talk of duplicate votes in the Showcase.
And duplicate votes they are. Let me explain.
Here’s the dirty little secret of the Ecosystem, folks: my data-maintenance self-service interface sucks.
Sucks, sucks, sucks. Not for y’all: it’s relatively easy to submit a change request. But for me.
Every request that is submitted, I review personally by hand, and try to figure out if it makes sense or if somebody is trying to screw with things. I built myself an interface to wade through the requests, but it — you guessed it — sucks.
So the net result? I am dreadfully, oppressively, mind-numbingly behind on requested changes to Ecosystem data. I periodically manage to clean things up a bit, but the stack of changes grows faster than I can clear it out.
Which means that more than a few blogs have duplicate URLs in the Ecosystem. Through absolutely no fault or deliberate intention of their own. Just because they’ve tried to request a change, but I haven’t gotten to processing it yet.
I haven’t reviewed the questionable votes in this weeks Showcase in detail, but I’ll wager quite a bit that none of them were meant as deliberate deceptions or fraud. I don’t see any evidence that anyone’s trying to cheat. It’s noise in the system; bad data that needs to get cleaned up, nothing more.
But, we still have a contest to judge. I don’t relish wading through the questionable votes tonight, and frankly fear that there will be some which will require judgement calls as to whether they should be fairly counted, or not. And even more frankly: I’m friggin’ tired, folks: its been a long weekend, and a long day at my real job.
And so I’ve decided to make an Executive Bear decision. The two front-runners in the political contest both win today. I’m calling it a statistical tie, and awarding both Damage and Joe’s Thoughts the shared prize as joint winners of the political category this week. And don’t forget Psyche’s Knot and her power tools in the non-political category!
Congratulations to all three winners, and to the League of Liberals which — despite the nonsense of the past few days — still managed to hold together enough to maintain their winning streak on the Showcase sponsorship.
I will make an effort at data cleanup, Real Soon Now, honest. Be patient, and we’ll get there. I’ll figure out some way to streamline the bloody interface — or chain myself to my desk until I catch up…
PS – OK, maybe I’ve had a little fun….