[EDIT 2]: Ok, first off polls reopen at 1PM PT and close at 9PM PT on April 2nd. The total changes in vote totals are as follows:
All the votes from an IP address were removed if 5 or more votes were received in under a second. No more votes can be received from that IP address moving forward. If you have IT issues with voting, just send me an e-mail or leave a comment below. I will be keeping an eye on things moving forward and will delete any fraudulent votes on a daily basis.
Also, for my own sanity, I will be reviewing previous rounds prior to the Final Four to make triple sure fraudulent votes didn't impact any results.
[EDIT]: Hi everyone! First off, thanks for being super kind in your comments and e-mails. And I've done a review of the voting and DID find some strange activity across ALL FOUR polls. So I've temporarily closed these while I determine the best course of action. Rest assured, the closed polls you see below are NOT the final results.
For a little background, with my paid account this year I can see every individual vote linked to its IP address on each poll. Typically I see bursts of 25 votes from one IP address with each vote separate by one to two seconds. These two polls were showing bunches of three (and sometimes as high as five or six) votes within one second at a time from the same IP address. And this issue appears coming from multiple addresses. I created a test fake poll to see if my fingers could move fast enough to vote the quickly, and every so often you can slip in two votes within one second but that's it at most.
I need to go through the full list of individual votes (which on the larger polls are over 100 pages) to determine which IP addresses are the problem. I do have the ability to permanently block these addresses and delete the votes the entered. I'm leaning towards that route, but welcome any input you may have.
Of course, once polls reopen the end date will be extended.
Thank you again to everyone who reached out.
And the polls are OFFICIALLY OPEN! Notes for this round:
And the polls are OFFICIALLY OPEN! Notes for this round:
One of the things I've enjoyed the most is seeing all the fun recipes you've been posting in the Ship Bracket this year. You can find all the recipes under the "Read More" below. Kelly would have loved this.
As promised, here's a master list of all the recs that have come from you guys in the ship bracket below the "Read More." I haven't read these yet, but feel free to leave your own comments below!
[EDIT 3] It seems like some of the polls ended early, but I have no way of telling which ones. So I'll be reopening all the polls for three hours starting at 12PM PT/3PM ET today. Then the next round of polls will open tomorrow at 12PM PT. Thank you to those of you who have reached out with kindness in their hearts, I can't tell you how appreciated it is. This podcast and website was started with one of my best friends, and we came up with the ship bracket together as a way to create a more interactive experience with our listeners. Since her passing, ALNM is one of the strongest connections I still have with her. This first round has been rough for me, but I'm working to remain open about the future of the bracket dependent on how the rest of it goes. So I will not let myself make a final decision about next year until the bracket is completely over.
Some things to look forward to in the rest of the bracket:
[EDIT 2]: This will be the final year for the ship bracket. Reminder that first round of polls close at 9PM PT. There are no bots I can see, no cheating that I can see, and only so much control I have through a third party site running the polls. Friendly requests for help I will continue to respond to and assist via e-mail and comments below.
[EDIT]: We're about an hour into the ship bracket, and it looks like I'm already getting hate mail and threats in my inbox. So I've removed CAPTCHAs and I guess I'll just add them to polls if people start cheating. I'll figure out if I'm going to put any different restrictions on it tomorrow. Just leave a comment if you have any other problems with the polling, cause I'm going to ignore the inbox for a bit for my own mental health. Thank you to everyone in the comments being nice about everything.
And the polls are OFFICIALLY OPEN! A couple notes:
Good luck, have fun, and share your ship love/recs/anything else you think of in the comments!
Click image to view larger version:
Welcome to the opening of Ship Bracket 2020! The final list of ships will be posted this evening with polls beginning tomorrow, but I wanted to level with all of you first. After the last few months I do not have the energy nor the emotional capacity to deal with anyone being cruel to each other or the threatening messages that often get sent to me in the later rounds. Kelly and I had talked about this very ship bracket in one of our last conversations. We wanted to keep it going because it seemed to bring a lot of people so much joy. The vast majority of people participating are those who bring only positivity and I don't want the few who don't to ruin it for everyone. So please please be kind to each other. We welcome all your comments of positivity, praising your ship, sharing your favorite recs, stories of how you came to love your ship, and forming connections with your fellow shippers.
Thank you and here's to a fantastic ship bracket.
This year's schedule:
Round 1: March 2-6
Round 2: March 8-12
Sweet Sixteen: March 14-18
Elite Eight: March 20-24
Final Four: March 26-31
Championship: April 2-7
Just popping on here to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2020.
I don't know what the future holds for this site. I have a few episodes in the can that have never been posted, and was working on some "Best Of" episodes over the summer that are languishing half-finished on my desktop. Whether or not I'll ever be emotionally ready to post them is the bigger question. I still intend to run the ship bracket this year, because I know how much joy it brings people and I love to watch fandoms rally together. When it came to fandom, Kelly was always the first person I'd run to to talk about breaking news and our latest theory. I think I may continue to post articles here to let me keep the conversation going with her.
For now, I'm leaving you all with DJ Earworm's Decade of Pop mashup. Checking YouTube for his year end mixes was a tradition of ours that I'm now sharing with you. Love to you all.
I’ve never been good at things like this, and I still wake up hoping this is all a bad dream, but I know you enjoyed a good social media post for important moments. So here it goes.
I love how we can stay on the phone for hours, barely speaking but just wanting to know the other was there. I love geeking out with you over every fandom news story and ship development. I love how you want to be Suzie’s favorite auntie so much that you let her sit in the passenger’s seat of my car and lick your Starbucks cup. I love how you pick my drinks at the bar and then take care of drunk me with Cheez Its and Aaron Tveit albums. I love our yearly trips to San Diego. I love our podcasting dates. I love our inside jokes (#porklet, #dayofrest, #bugsinmystarbucks). I love your laugh. I love when you cheer for the Giants or the Sharks or the Warriors just to make me happy. I love keeping each other company during our commutes. I love our memories from college, like watching horror movies for Valentine’s Day or resting on your futon with instant mashed potatoes when I was sick or watching that Jonas Brothers concert movie over and over. I love when I text you breaking news and you call me to shout about it. I love that even when you can’t talk, you find a way to let me know what you really think about my hair (good or bad). I love spending all day with you at Disneyland acting like kids. I love all the wonderful people you brought into my life (especially you). I love when you call me CME, the Dean to your Sam, your favorite co-host. I love that even when we’re arguing, I know you’ll have my back. I love how much you love our origin story. I love your strength. I love how much you love.
I’ll miss you. I love you.