Voter Funded Media results!

Posted by: | February 2, 2008 | 20 Comments

Due to a hole in WordPress, this post’s author is misattributed. The follow was written by former Insiders editor Maayan Kreitzman.

Well, here they are at long last!

The Knoll – $1600
UBC Insider – Election Edition – $1500
The Devils advocate – $1400
Cavalier – $900
Let Them Eat Cake – $725
UVote – $600
The Underground – $600
The 432 – $600
Plain title: Awesome Content – $75
The Radical Beer Tribune – $0
Maclean’s On Campus – $0

From the VFM administrator Paul Gibson-Tigh:

In the name of transparency, I am passing along the VFM results as they came to me, and then in the interpolated version (both in excel). The results were tricky to interpolate, as they made for a ‘case of discontinuity’ explained at the bottom of this page ( It was all planned for in advance by Mark. I encourage you to fill in the spreadsheets and see the wonders of interpolated consensus yourselves! I could try to explain the case, but I had to have it explained to me, so keep that in mind.

A total of 249 people voted in the UBC Insiders option (ranging from $0 to $2000) – which was the highest number of votes of any media. There’s no real way of knowing how many people voted total – but lets say that 100 people voted, and didn’t vote in the UBC-i category, that’s still a pretty dire turnout for a contest that’s supposed to raise the profile of campus elecitons. The consensus percentile, p, was 61. It seems that (acording to the spreadsheet I’m looking at) the number of votes for each media were not normalized to the total number of voters, but rahter to the maximum number of voters in a particular media (249, in this case). This means that the rule in the VFM code that states that not voting is the same as voting zero wasn’t followed (I think, anyway. not sure). You can take a look at the Raw Votes spreadsheet, and the Interpolated Consensus spreadsheet for yourself – see if you can make head or tail of it!!

My major disspointment here is Plain Title: Awesome Content. I think Ian did a great job with the mini-paper. It was the one entry, to me, that actually reached out farther than the insular AMS in-croud, to target everyone else. And he did it with hilarity, opinion, and information. S0 boo-urns to that result. Also the 432 still sucks. Alot.

On a personal note, I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you. It’s been a great ride, and that’s because of all the readers that have logged on, learned a bit, and maybe commented. The discourse generated here is really the thing that is wonderful to me. Pardon my moment of vanity, but it really is lovely to feel that our little blog is appreciated – so thank you!


20 Comments so far

  1. Anonymous on February 2, 2008 1:59 am

    Once again, the VFM awarded the incompetent. Four of the winning entries did not do serious coverage and yet they win with substantial amount of money. Sigh…

  2. Reka on February 2, 2008 2:18 am


  3. Anonymous on February 2, 2008 4:23 am

    not serious content = incompetence?


  4. Peter on February 2, 2008 6:03 am

    I’ll keep my opinions about the results for a later time.

    I’ll just note this: if the Cavalier had gotten a single vote more for either $2000 or $1500, we would have been awarded $100 more, per the spreadsheet. That’s just 1 person more voting in either category. One. That would also have avoided the discontinuity problem. What sort of model is this?! So much for single votes not mattering.

    So… first friend that I find that admits to not voting is having a terrible accident. Involving my fist.

  5. Patrick on February 2, 2008 6:21 am

    I voted friend :p

    Congrats to the devils advocate, run by two outsiders. Even if Aaron and Eoin are roommates with ‘insiders’ they are definitely outsiders and got involved in the contest. I think they had some of the best content possible, and Im glad they won enough to throw a major kegger.

  6. Patrick on February 2, 2008 7:03 am

    Sorry, Id be remiss if i missed the other members of the advocate. Serious Steve, Austin and Angelina and anyone else I forgot. All contributed amazing content, all surprised me at times with their amazing contributions.

  7. maayan kreitzman on February 2, 2008 7:12 am

    Peter, don’t you get tired of yourself? Have a bit of perspective. You just won a pretty good chunk of change, having produced almost no content. Can you stop the bitching and be gracious about it for one second? I think we all agree that this contest isn’t ideal – but the prize allocation is the very least of its problems. An you won for god’s sake. so stuff it.

  8. Blake on February 2, 2008 7:52 am

    I am somewhat satisfied with these results. The dollar amounts awarded this year much more properly reflect what was deserved over last year’s results. In my mind, there are still a couple surprises (or disappointments, call them whatever you want). Horray that Insiders, Devil’s, Cavalier, and Cake received decent recognition. The Knoll result confuses me. Yes, they did cover the election somewhat, but not continuously and comprehensively like the aforementioned outlets. As well, it sucks that UVote, Underground, and 432 did so well because they certainly don’t deserve a $600 cheque.

    Congratulations to UBC Insiders. Hopefully you’ll invest the money wisely. I’d really like to see this blog expand beyond it’s insider readership and maybe produce a couple print editions now and again.

  9. Peter on February 2, 2008 8:31 am

    Actually, UVote did do a fair amount of stuff. Though, since none of them were insiders, most of us never heard of them. I think their website is now dead (it probably expired on the 1st of the month), but it had a fair amount of background content. They actually had a booth in the SUB for a good part of the campaign period and seemed to be trying to reach the average student. I don’t know how well they did, but there certainly was effort there. Certainly in a whole different class than the Underground or the 432.

    The results in general are, well unrepresentative due to the small voter size (~300). My guess as to why the Knoll did so well is that they were basically part of a hidden “slate” (that’s not to imply that that broke rules, because it didn’t). Many people knew that Nathan and Stef were the “Knoll candidates”. Therefore, most of their social network and supporters (Knoll, Trek Park, Resource Groups, etc) would have known to vote both in the election and in the VFM contest. Besides, there’s the financial incentive. There’s $1600 more in the Resource Groups now.

    Maayan. This has nothing to do with perspective. If everyone just sat around being content with how lucky and great the world was, nothing would ever change. I’ll be happy in private, or with my friends over a few beers. I’m not going to go and blog my joy. I’ll blog my criticisms. That way things can get better in the future. I’m pointing out the failings of this model and this system in the hopes of improving it. If that’s so bad, then fine. I’ll stop. Maybe things will get better on their own.

    So: buttercups, puppies, lollipops, rainbows, sunshine, candy, and teddy bears.

  10. eatcake on February 2, 2008 8:26 pm

    congrats maayan
    this is definately a better representation of what the ubc insider deserves- rather than the results last year.
    i still think this system of voting was bunk though- lol oh well!

  11. Varun on February 2, 2008 8:28 pm

    Maayan, there’s nothing wrong with Peter’s observations. He does “bitch”, yes, but hey, so do you and plenty of other people, including myself. As far as I’m concerned, he simply made a comment about how close the voting was. Knowing him just a bit longer than you have, I can attest to this.

    Yes he won money, as did The 432. Thank you for your kind criticisms (“bitching”) about the newspaper; we’ve all been aware for quite some time as to the issues that have plagued the paper. We can chat about it privately if you want, because it seems like you do not have enough information to warrant the full-scale attack that you’ve waged.

    After you get some of the details, continue to slander it if you want. It will surely get great publicity this way, in the very least.

    Remember that it is supposed to be released every two weeks and there has been some very recent restructuring of the administration around the paper. You have a blog that can be updated at any time; I think is a good idea for the 432 as well, and I’m working towards it.

    Writing quality HAS declined, as have submissions, but I’m seeing a change here, so maybe wait for a couple more issues before passing judgement. This year’s publications people do care about the newspaper and trying to make it better. Yes, even Jacob, who commented about the quality of the paper in a comment to an earlier post, still cares about publishing a good product, and I sincerely appreciate having him on the writing team.

    To your credit, there have been a couple of good suggestions that I’ve seen on this blog that will definitely improve the paper.

    This isn’t in any way meant to “bitch” at you. I’m feeling quite stoic as I write this, so consider that before you start setting off firecrackers under my feet next. THAT will be pointless “bitching.”

    Congratulations on your VFM earnings. It was well deserved! =)

  12. Anonymous on February 2, 2008 11:45 pm

    Wow Varun, as SUS D of Publications, I’m impressed by how well you’ve handled Maayan’s criticisms. Good on ya!

    Here’s my two cents. If you happen to be a Science student, and are currently disimpressed with our newspaper the 432, then why not get involved and try to change something instead of complaining? Even if you have your own media source, it would still be great to get submissions from people who have differing views on how things should be done.

    – Sonja

  13. a Science student on February 3, 2008 2:47 am

    I stil think the 432 is being terribly irresponsible on this issue. As the Publication person, Varum, if you know you can’t do the election coverage due to HR issues, time, stress and school work, that’s fine. Then don’t participate the VFM and scam the system. You are taking Mark’s money away and his whole ideal to a mockery. Writing an article about Sarah’s boob is NOT an election coverage!

    I really wish to see the 432 staff can admit to their irresponsible behaivour. Return the prize money if they were still to be seen as a group of dedicated science students who care about getting students involved, who still want to set good examples of leadership on campus.

  14. Anonymous on February 3, 2008 4:39 am

    Dear science student,

    It’s quite clear that by asking “Varum” (sic) to withdraw the 432 from the VFM race, you show what little respect you have for democracy. Such an action would show a huge disrespect for the basic electoral rights of those who voted for the 432. It would be akin to saying that their opinions don’t matter. Then you might as well decide to ask select executive candidates to withdraw, and redistribute the votes they have gained amongst other candidates. Nonsense. People voted for the 432 because they wanted to vote for the 432, and it’s ludicrous to suggest that their prize money be redistributed to other media outlets – it’s not like voters weren’t given a choice of voting the others.

    Also, quite frankly I have no idea how you made the connection between obliterating voters’ rights, and setting good examples of leadership on campus.

    I might point out that the 432 wasn’t the only VFM entry that covered the elections in a less-than-serious manner.

    – Sonja

  15. Anonymous on February 4, 2008 6:14 pm

    Congrats, Insiders! How many pink ties will Tim buy with his share?

  16. Mark Latham on February 6, 2008 12:01 am

    I agree with Sonja’s comments about showing respect for voter decisions.

    To me, VFM has never been only about election coverage. For both of the last 2 years at UBC, I wanted to launch VFM in September, to encourage media to cover AMS issues for 4 months (including the election) and then get rewarded for it in a January vote. This incentive can work even before VFM is formally launched. So those media groups that have been connecting with students all year have earned the extra support they get.

    The mix of serious and humorous content is of course up to media and voters to choose as they wish.

    I’m also glad to see that VFM has induced a healthy debate on the quality of competing media. I hope the debate and the incentive to build reputation for voter support will encourage a steady improvement in both new and established media.

  17. lilyness on February 7, 2008 4:04 pm

    I voted! :)

  18. Spencer P on February 7, 2008 9:26 pm

    Considering this blog doesn’t incur any costs and the general aversion to print media in these here parts, what do you folks plan to do with the cash?

  19. maayan kreitzman on February 8, 2008 8:12 am

    Good question spencer p. First, paying ourselves back for the entry fee and printing costs for the paper edition we did. Then we’re either going to devise some method to split it up and spend it on normal stuff (rent, beer, books), or put some of it away in a fund for future UBC Insider bloggers to use to improve the blog, and spendthe rest in some frivolous fashion. We’re open to suggestions.

  20. Anonymous on February 8, 2008 9:18 pm

    Buying a video camera to start doing CPAC-style coverage of meetings and issues – this could likely be done in collaboration with UBC Rec and their lame UBC-TV. Similar to how CPAC is a conglomeration of cable companies, this could be done through a conglomeration of established campus media, VFMs, etc.

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