When we looked forward to comping in 2011 we wrote that we expected that our 13th year would be a tough one. We were pretty spot on with that. The site has been incredibly busy over the last 12 months. Despite the added competition from the likes of Facebook and Twitter plus the multitude of comping services that keep springing up we’ve managed to keep plodding along, growing and developing.
But, after 13 years sometimes the grass does look greener elsewhere and the direction of Loquax has never been under more scrutiny than in the past 12 months. This year there’s been a lot more competitions and they’ve come from all directions. Keeping on top of hundreds of competition is a tall order, even more so within our free site set up.
More competitions and more competition services means more compers. What we have noted this year is just how widespread compers are. Some do make their way to the promised land of Loquax, but intriguingly some are happy paying subscriptions or making do with sites that offer them a few competitions daily. Others prefer to go privately into smaller groups on social networks rather than share on a community site.
When Loquax launched as the UK’s first competition portal we had an easier life – we just listed competitions. Now comping covers a broader church. We’re not just about listing competitions. Because of social media there’s more interaction with our competitors (not always in a good way either) and then there’s speaking out about automated entries, running competitions and compers…. it’s all a bit hectic at times!
All this has made us question whether there is need for a site like Loquax in the comping sector or whether our time has passed. Whatever happens in the future no one can ever say we haven’t done a good job. Going in to our 14th year as a top competition portal is testament to that!
And the good news is that it’s not “time up” for this duck just yet. Over the last year we realised that it’s vital we keep reinventing ourselves. It’s good for you, but it also helps keep us motivated. One thing we think we’ve been pretty good at over the years is keeping the site familiar but making changes so that it moves forward. For example, during the last year we’ve made changes to the forum structure, looked at our Twitter and Facebook set ups and implemented some new innovations like the fade out tracker too.
They’ll be more of the same in the next year!
So what does 2012 hold in store for compers?
Social media will no doubt again dominate the comping world. A competition is a quick fix to get some followers! We hope that Facebook finally get their act together and force promoters to follow their guidelines. However, with a private messaging system between user and brand page on it’s way that may result in “follows”, “likes”, “tags” and “shares” still being used by brands to run Facebook competitions.
We hope that Google+ don’t ever allow competitions. Mind you, they might need to get some users and contests, sweepstakes and competitions are a sure fire way to boost user numbers!
Voting competitions will continue to spark debate. On one hand you’ll still get people who’d like to see the back of them, on the other you’ll still have people wanting them to work in their favour. A recent article on State of Search was quite interesting as it’s written from an entrant’s perspective.
We use the word entrant as the writer probably wouldn’t describe himself as a comper. The fact is compers aren’t always appreciated by promoters as you’ll see via Totally Money and Beauty Geek. Sadly, we expect more of these articles in 2012!
Even more so if the media (TV, newspapers, magazines) etc start to feature compers and comping. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the programme makers searching for interviewees in 2011 do deliver a finished article. One thing that would be nice to see next year is more good press and blogs about comping and compers.
As ever, we’ll be doing what we can to help compers and promoters in the comping world. We’ll be carrying on our fight with automated entry services. We’ve not blogged so much about it lately but that doesn’t mean we’re not sending out emails or keeping an eye on them. In the past few weeks we’ve made a number of agencies and brands aware of the problem.
For Loquax, we’ll focus on providing the best service we can. Our position is fairly unique as we have experience of entering comps, running them, writing a blog, running a website and being a business. We just need to shout a little louder next year about how good we are… we also need your help for that!
We also hope that 2012 is a more fun and relaxing year of comping. 2011 has been way too hectic and we’re all in danger of losing the fun and community elements of this hobby in favour of cramming in some extra Twitter or Facebook entries.
Finally, let’s all hope The Mayans are wrong and the world doesn’t end in December 2012 otherwise come 2013 our forum will be full of “will I get my advent prizes now” type posts!