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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

Whew!  It is a lot of work to host a contest on an external polling site, then have issues with the external polling site, then give people three ways to guess (predictify, comments on two different blog posts and direct email), and then come up with a decent way to display the guesses that make you go “hmm, that’s kind of sexy and interesting… that whall – he’s such a great blogger.”  This is almost as difficult as, oh, let me think, hmmm, maybe…. casting a horary chart to determine a winner?

This time around, there were 26 guesses ranging from 435 to 14368.  This was after I removed and adjusted the guesses that were over 20,000.

The correct answer was 13,551.  That makes the winner…. BEKAH from Eurekablyth!  She wins a $10 gift certificate to pretty much wherever she wants, or I’ll paypal her the money directly if she accepts that.  

Congrats Bekah!

Here’s how everyone fared:

Yes, that’s right.  My daugher had 13,551 text messages in one month.  That’s an average of about 450 a day, or almost 40 per waking hour.  If you take into account that she’s not supposed to have her phone during school, that equates to more like 75 per hour, or more than one a minute.

Fortunately, not only did we elect to have the unlimited txt messaging plan on our cell account, we also purchased “PDA addiction insurance” so that we could enroll our daughter into a 12-step program to eliminate her dependency on constant communication with her friends.

Some of you may recall the contest I ran last week asking people to guess how many TXT messages my 14yr old daughter had on the previous months’ bill.

Well, the contest ended this past Friday, the 5th.  I was pleased to see 10 predictions were done on the widget, and several were submitted in the post’s comments.  As I went to enter the winning number (aka “outcom”) at Predictify, I was perplexed as to where to update the information.

Surely I’m not blind, and I ain’t that dumb.  So I kept looking.  15 minutes passed me by like a quarter hour.  Still I couldn’t find it.  I clicked Results, tried to enter in text messages, blah blah blah but still nothing.

So I emailed Predictify support:

I’m looking for where I can update a question I posed – it simply says “awaiting outcome” even though the contest has ended. Where do I update that info? I’ve logged in and gone to my question and it just has the main page and a “results” page but I can’t find where I can update it with the right answer.

They responded pretty quickly (within an hour)

Unfortunately your question did not qualify to make it on the site because we do not accept questions of that nature. Also, our users currently are not involved with the scoring process, we do that for them.


So I stewed on this a bit, calmed down, and sent my response:

I still don’t understand. I got an email saying it wasn’t going to be featured on the main page or the searches, which is fine, but that the question was up and live. 10 people were able to make predictions. The status page says “awaiting outcome”. But why can’t I update the answer? You’re basically saying the question will never have an outcome since you refuse to update it for some unspecified reason, so that leaves people confused.

I’m unsure also what is meant by “do not accept questions of that nature” – all it is is a prediction of how many txt msgs a cell phone bill had. It’s verifiable by a scan of the cell phone bill, which I plan on providing on my personal blog. I’m wanting to update the question so I can provide a payout.

Should I just update my blog entry and say predictify is a useless tool that employs a bait-and-switch methodology? I suppose I could do that, but it seems to me a better outcome is to resolve the issue to my satisfaction. I brought awareness of Predictify to hundreds of readers, some of whom actually bothered to create an account and predict. Seems you’d want to preserve that enthusiasm

Ha!  that should show them.  I can compose sentences together like a lego set and shape them into a coherent and logical construct!  I even goaded them a little into solving my issue.  This, my friends, is how you talk to tech support and get results.

Or so I thought.

Thanks for the email and sorry we confused you in this process. However, since the question did not make it to the main site, we do not score those questions because not everyone has a chance to predict on them.

We do not accept questions that do not have a factually verifiable source available to the general public. Usually our questions are things that people can research and look up more data on, such as Will the 49ers beat the Cardinals or Will Bloomberg be in Obama’s cabinet, etc.

We appreciate that you sent the site to a lot of people and we really do value you as a user. We hope that you continue to submit new questions and predict on the site. However, as I mentioned earlier, we cannot score the question regarding the text messages because it did not fit the criteria of a deterministic question. I hope you understand and I apologize again if we mislead you in any way.

Drat those pesky logical tech support techs!  HE made an excellent move here, almost worthy of my composition.  This would be an excellent chess match if I only had the time to engage in this battle.  You see, he cooked up a thank you, an apology, a reason, an example, and a followup thankyou/apology!  That’s classic integrity with a dash of we’re-sticking-to-our-guns resilience.


However, I doubt that Predictify sees this as a win in my column. So I did the only thing I could do: take the supplicant role and plead for what I want:

Can I at least find out what the predictions were? There were 10 predictions and I can’t find how to see who guessed what. I was giving away a prize for the closest answer, but all I can see are groupings.

The only thing missing from my composition was signing it with Puss-In-Boots eyes:

I sent that email yesterday and have not yet received a response.  The bottom line at this point is – I cannot see the predictions people made using the tool.  Maybe they’ll be nice and email me the guesses but I can be a little impatient, like now.  NOW!

While I was waiting, I composed up a little bit of a “ok everyone who used Predictify, re-submit your guess”… in fact, here it is for your reading pleasure:

So I have no choice but to ASK YOU FOLKS WHO TRUSTED ME AND USED PREDICTIFY TO MAKE A PREDICTION – to either enter your prediction on the original post or this one, or if you don’t want to make it public, you can email me at whall@whall.org with your guess.

If you already made a prediction in the comments, that still stands.  You guys have until this Thursday the 11th to make your predictions.  Remember, there’s still $10 up for grabs.  I’ll also throw in a code for an AT&T Ringtone if you want it.

NEW FACTOR:  Now that I don’t need to use Predictify, I’m going to make the contest a little easier and instead of accepting guesses between 1 and 100,000, I’ll allow everyone to modify their original guess (once) and put the range to be between 1 and 20,000.  This may or may not cause people to re-guess.

and I’m all ready to click Publish and then what comes into my inbox?!!?!?!?  ANOTHER FRIENDLY RESPONSE FROM PREDICTIFY! DO THEY EVER LET UP!?!?!??!

Hi Wayne,

Sure, let me run a query and get you all the predictions and usernames who predicted on your question. I should have some results in the next couple hours.

ARGH! I can’t win!  And sure enough, the guy sent me the original 10 predictions already! HE’S TOO GOOD…..


  • If you had a previous guess, either in the blog comments or on predictify and want to let it stand,  you may do so.  No action required.  If you don’t remember your prediction, I can email it to you.
  • The new range for guesses is 1 and 20,000.  I recommend the 3 folks who guessed > 20K change their guess.  Think of it as a second chance at life, but instead of “life” it’s “$10”.
  • If you’d like to change your prediction, you can do so either on a comment here, on the original blog post, or via email.  I will take the latest timestamped guess before midnight central time Thursday morning, period.
  • I *WILL* accept new predictions as well.
  • In the event that the person who would have won before I changed the rules doesn’t still win, I’ll give them a prize as well.
  • That one person who knows who they are is ineligible to guess since they’ve been told the answer.  I won’t disclose who that is other than to say he’s, well, ineligible.

Have fun!

6:57 pm
Post Meta :

Today on Twitter I posed a question asking

How many text messages did my 14yr old daughter have on last month’s cell phone bill?

Well, that’s approximately what I asked.  Let’s go back and look:

After two replies, I decided that I wanted to make a Predictify question and give away a prize!  I opened up the contest to everyone, but only readers/commenters of my blog can actually win.

So what you need to do is predict an answer – I’ll keep the contest open until Friday the 5th.  The closest answerer who’s commented at any time on any post on my blog before the 5th will be declared the winner.  

Yes I think it’s stupid that it allows decimal answers, and NO, I don’t know what half a txt message is. The answer is a whole number.

Now I just gotta figure out what the prize will be.  I haven’t been the best person at keeping up on the prizes people win around here, so I’ll make this one easy.  The winner gets a $10 gift card for whatever they want that I can purchase online with paypal.

Sorry, all. I need to make an apology.

Yesterday I was all in a panic. Here’s how my brain works: because Nobody was following me on Twitter, I equated that with the world ending. How narcissistic is that??!??! I mean, who am I to think that the entire world’s existence depends on some part of MY life? Do I really expect the. entire. world. to. schedule itself based on what happens to me?

In short, yes. Yes I do.


Heh-HA!  Now I’m confident the world will at least stay around until October 28th, 2011.

(thanx, person-who-knows-who-they-are)

And that’s not ALL the good news either.  Now, please don’t think I’m just bragging and stuff, but it looks like I’m… oh man, this is so exciting!  I’m poised to win… I CAN HARDLY CONTAIN MYSELF! it seems that I’m smack dab in line to ….


I’m going to WIN $100,000!!!!!

That’s right!  Just look at this – Predictify teamed up with Rock the Vote and made a new contest called the $100,000 Election Showdown!

All I gotta do is make 15 accurate predictions – the overall popular vote winner and the winner in 14 battleground states – and I win!

But the win is empty without you.  Specifically, I mean without your help.  See, I can’t get my money unless a lot of people make predictions.  They add $1 to the pot with every prediction (up to a hundred grand), so I need YOU to go there and donate your prediction to my winnings.

You might ask yourself – how do I know I’m going to win?  Well that’s an easy answer – because I’m the only one honest and brave enough to predict McCain winning all of those states!  AND the popular vote!  You might think I’m stupid for giving out my winning strategy but I know that no-one will copy me.  They’ll all start off copying me, and then they’ll say “eh, what are the chances he’ll will ALL of them – maybe he won’t win THIS one or THAT one” and then they’ll make their own customized vote combo.  Which leaves all the money to me!

Man.  Just THINK of the DITL’s I can make with $100,000…

10:22 am
Post Meta :

I was reading a Scott Adams blog entry recently and he mentioned Predictify.  I hadn’t heard of it, so I clicked and browsed about a little, signed up, did some predictions, etc.


And now just a few days later, I actually got an email saying I “won” 10 cents as part of one of my predictions.  So far, I’ve only gotten one prediction right and the others were off:

predictify results

Now, I’m totally unsuprised at getting sports stuff wrong.  I don’t feel bad.  For example, the Peyton Manning touchdowns, I guessed 2 and the right answer was 3.  No biggie.  I’m surprised I was within 50 of the right answer.  I *am* surprised at getting the Yankees Manager correct, because I just guessed.  As far as I know, the guy I chose was thrown in there as bait for bad guessers, and maybe he was dead or something.

I’ve put in some more predictions and will continue – in fact, I feel confident to predict that I will be using predictify on a regular basis.  I don’t think I’ll be able to make a living at it, at least not until people start paying for predictions on things I actually *know* but it’s fun in the meantime.

In the meantime, I can take that dime and apply it towards Jaden’s college fund.  And doing as many guesses for the “paid” predictions as I can.

tsk tsk

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