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Friday, July 31, 2009

Winner of the "How Many Posts in the Jar?" Free Tee Contest!

8 pennies earned

Okay, so who gave you people access to our very secret and private posting details?

We're no statisticians, but there's no way in heck that two out of nineteen people were able to guess exactly how many updates we've had at Shirts on Sale since our inception on October 1, 2007 -- but low and behold...they did.

On top of that, two other people were also within spitting distance --ten updates in this case-- of the correct answer: 2985.

That's right, we've written 2985 updates on our website since inception including all the t-shirt sales you could possibly shake a stick at as well as Shirt.Woot statistics and the occasional winner notification like this one.

Wait? What's that? You want to know who the winner is? Well, first we've got to tell you who was in the running:

Cameron Williams and Robert were both right on the mark with 2985 updates, RRRaul swooped in with a guess only one off, and Tim L. Walker's guess of 2992 makes him eligible to win.

Amazingly enough, the randomatomizer agreed with our editorial opinion on who should win...the first person to hit the bullseye.

Congratulations Robert, on your perfect aim and winning a free teextile t-shirt from this week's lineup!

Of course, if you already read our Uneetee update you'd know that we have a whole bunch of Uneetee gift cards to give away. That's why we're happy to also offer Cameron Williams a $6 gift certificate as a consolation prize for guessing on the nose.

Thank you, everyone, for playing along. Don't forget that we're excited to give away at least one other free t-shirt next week.

8 pennies earned:

Coren said...

Interesting - I went back and did an exact count after the fact and came up with a little over 3000 (in fact, I got dimitri's 3003).

Don't know about them, but google gave me some nice stats to estimate at first, and then a fairly accurate count up til october 2007 when I went back later

Eden said...

I went through our Blogger stats and saw that the contest-starting post was our 3,000 -- with 15 unpublished updates.

Would love to hear more about how you counted them out...

Coren said...

Well google reader (how I get my SOS updates most of the time!) has a nifty little feature that tells you how many posts you average a month - but I wasn't sure how accurate it was, and how much it took into account. But I figured 666 days at 22 months, and it said about 42.something posts a month, so (which is about 2845 or so). I rounded up, I like round numbers (and what's the fun in using statistics for the whole thing?)

Then I went back and used google reader which accurately got the updates til about Halloween. Excluding the updates since then, and counting every update after Halloween (well, before Halloween, but I get to see them in reverse order). And then it wouldn't show any at all for September so I had to sign on and count them myself - all those statistic and coupon and whatnot updates that were really long. I may have counted some twice!

<3 Google Reader

Tim L. Walker said...

Ahhh... so close, yet so far away...

Eden said...

That's a pretty neat function of Google Reader. I've been using Netvibes to get my RSS feeds, but I read so much about Reader that it might be worth another look-see (especially since they seem to have growed it up a bunch since I last checked it out).

Thanks for the explanation!

Since we're both using automated methods to figure this out with a little human intervention, I'd like to think that the computers are imperfect and not us.

And great guess Tim! Come back next week to see what sort of contest we'll come up with next week for another chance to win.

Victor said...

I used google search to find how many posts you had per month and added them together but... it was pretty far off :(.

Robert said...

Some of you may be wondering my secret. How did I get the exact number?

Here's how I did it: I used no programs other than my web browser (Firefox) and a simple text editor.

I used the SoS search field in order to get access to the archives. By manipulating the URL of the results page, I was able to browse through all the posts in chunks by counting off a certain number of posts per page. From there, I counted how many pages I went through, marking milestone posts using my text editor. When I got to the last page, I subdivided the last posts into smaller blocks until I could count the last posts on my fingers.

Sure, it took more than a few minutes, but using a little creativity and some technical know-how I bypassed more complicated methods to get to the heart of the problem--counting, not estimating. By allowing the user to specify the parameters of their query, a blog allows its users to discover the post count; this is a law for all blogs, and I took it to heart.

RRRaul said...

haha can't believe i was ONE OFF! eh you win some and you lose some (yet haven't really won hehe) still interesting competition...

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