Friday, August 29, 2008

Judging: Round 1

Judging is serious business. We've even got training to make sure our judges know their duty. They didn't have to raise their right hands, but they did have to read a bunch of paperwork.
Oooh, official.
Then, they signed their lives away, pledging to uphold the rules of the contest and the integrity of the judging criteria. What a bunch of pros.  They handled it with such bravery. 
After all that mumbo jumbo was finished, the real fun began.  The judges looked at all the submissions that had made it past the initial screenings with one purpose in mind: to narrow down a whole load of entries to just fifty.  They knew it would be tough but, whoa.  They had no idea just how difficult it would be to choose only fifty favorites out of so many great submissions.

They divided all the entries into "yes," "maybe," "probably not," and "no" piles. Then, they debated about whether the entries met the judging criteria (red, sendable, unique), whether the designs would look good next to photos (since that's one way they'll be sold during the holidays), etc..

When it got too intense, the judges decided lunch outside by the fountain would be in order.  A little sunshine and fresh air (and eating out) gave them new perspective and energy to keep going in the afternoon.

By the end of the day, they had done it (and boy, were their brains fried).  They picked fifty to move on to the next round of judging.  But that round would have to wait until the next day . . . 

p.s. More pictures of the Bowling Alley coming soon. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

While Judgy's Away the Elves Will Play

>Speaking of decorating Judgy's booth . . .

You all gave us so many fun, festive ideas that we couldn't resist. We just had to welcome our dear Judgy back with flair. All day long, she was in a winter wonderland, thanks to your quick thinking and the plentiful attic of one Judgeroni Underpants. Teamwork, at its finest.

And a note from Judgy herself...
Thanks, people, for the warm welcome back. And for all of your crafty, clever, conniving ideas to help "decorate" my booth. I didn't realize what a mischievous group you all are. I'm impressed. :) Also, I'm totally going to fork someone's lawn sometime. Soon.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

WOW. You guys are GOOD.

I know that Wordy is going to update you with more details soon on how our whole judging process works and is going, but I just wanted to send a little shout out to everybody right now because we just finished looking at everything -- with our celebrity judge from (RED), two other (RED) experts and our Hallmark team and... EVERYONE WAS SOOOO IMPRESSED.

You guys rocked our socks off. It was really, really, truly very hard to land on the top tier and the alternates.

Thank you for such a wonderful problem. Thank you, thank you.

And congratulations on contributing to a great cause, whether or not you wind up being one of the finalists. This all feels so good, don't you think? We hope you feel as good and as proud of yourselves as we do of you.

Your fan,

p.s. Nice booth surprise on Monday. Wordy will fill you in on that tomorrow, I think. You all have prankster tendencies of which I was entirely unaware. ;)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Confusion Runs Amok

We've heard from lots of you, and we're glad you're excited for this week.  There's just one thing: this is NOT the week we start revealing finalists.  This IS the week we start judging submissions.  Are we clear? Crystal clear?  Okay.  

This week, we'll all gather in a  room called the "bowling alley," where we'll post the submissions on the wall so we can get a real good look at 'em.  Then, we'll use our judicious powers to narrow down the entries, getting closer and closer to the twenty finalists.  Those finalists will start being revealed on September 8, after all the judging is finished.

Stay tuned for updates.  And stay excited.  

Election Week? Close Enough.

We're not gonna get all political but we will say we need your votes.  Or rather,

the Funny*ness finalists need your votes.  Those card-creating friends of funny have lobbied, campaigned, shaken hands and kissed babies (okay, so we don't have proof).

And this is your last week to elect the funniest of the funny.  Yep.  One week of voting left.

Next Monday (Labor Day), the Grand Prize Winner will be announced (and showered with prizes).

So get to it, pollsters.  Funny*ness depends on you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Real Holiday Treat!

As soon as the YourHoliday contest opened on July 28th, submissions started pouring in (okay, most of the pouring happened in the last 24 hours of the contest).  We were checking every day to see if we had more entries to review.  The suspense was  too much for us.  We were like little kids, shaking our holiday presents.  Then, from time to time, when we had a good-sized group of submissions, we'd get together to "oooh" and "ahhh" over them.  We even plugged in our miniature tree for ambiance.

Then, we got down to the holiday business.  We looked at each submission and asked ourselves (and each other) whether it met the judging criteria: Does it include red or (RED)?  Would it make a good holiday card?  Is it unique?  After answering those questions, we decided whether it would pass on to the next round of judging.

Well, we've finally seen all the submissions for the contest.  Next week, it's time for judging and we can't wait!  It's going to be a tough, yet really really fun job.  Are you getting excited?  We'll keep you posted on all the happenings, so we'll see you next week right here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Closed for Submissions. Open for Fun!

The YourHoliday submission period is over but don't be fooled.  The fun must (and will) go on.

You can still vote for your favorite YourFunny*ness and YourPets finalists
and buy their buzzworthy cards.  (Fun.)  Plus, you can still visit the blog
 to see what's happening behind the scenes and, while you're at it, talk to other blogging buddies.  (Way fun.)

Then, before you know it, the YourHoliday finalists will be announced. (What could be more fun than that?)

Glad you asked.  The finalists will be revealed one at a time, so as to give them each their very own day in the spotlight.  Because 15 minutes of fame just isn't enough, darn it.

Each weekday, a new finalist will be featured, until all twenty are revealed (in no particular order).

All the fun anticipation of the holidays, none of the fruit cake.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Three Day Countdown!

It's getting down to the wire.  You've got until Monday at 8 am

to submit your best card entry, so for those of you who like to live on the edge
(that's code for "procrastinators"), make sure your submission makes it in before that 8 o'clock mark.

Believe you, me, we want your card design.

For those of you who have already submitted your entries,
have a relaxing, feet-up, lemonade kind of weekend.
And for those of you who have a little card-making to do,
have an inspired, creative, sun tea kind of weekend.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What It's Like to Make Cards at Hallmark

Hey everyone, I’m a writing intern at Hallmark, for a little over six weeks. I just wanted to share a little what it feels like to me to make a card here.

It took me a while to get the hang of just what Hallmark looks for to make their cards. They don’t play- they really want to be the very best. Because you care enough to send it, right?

I may submit many ideas, but only a few might make the cut. When I got that first acceptance it was an exhilarating rush. And hey, when that happens, you’re allowed to be a little smug I think. When you and your friends/family happen to be perusing the cards together, you can point and say, “I did that.” And if you happen to catch a stranger buying the card you made… I mean, I haven’t experienced that yet, but I can imagine how great that would be.

Besides the show-off factor though, I always keep in mind that these cards are little pieces of art that people all over can look at and think, “This card expresses for me what I can’t on my own.” So, when someone sends my writing–my card—I could be personally responsible for some possibly very emotionally charged moments of connection.

And that’s what feels really awesome.

(Posted for "Semantically Yours" by Judgy)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Polls are Open! Hip Hip Hooray!

After a snafu or two (or twelve), we've got the site back under control and ready for your voting pleasure.  So don't waste another minute.  Go vote!  

You've got until the end of this month to vote for your favorite Funny*ness finalist.  Time's a-tickin'.  Spread the word and vote every day (once a day) to make sure your finalist comes out on top as the funniest of the funny.

Tick, tick tick . . . 

Time is of the Essence

According to our calculations, you've got just under two weeks left to submit your card design for the YourHoliday competition.  That's just enough time for some quality brainstorming about the holidays (You may need to stand next to the air conditioning vent to enhance the experience.) and a little time to enter your design (That's the easy part.).  

We're getting more and more into the holiday spirit as we see your submissions roll in, which is a great relief from the soggy heat of summer.  So if you haven't already entered, go for it.  Our holiday spirit depends on it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Submissions Back Open! (Wahoo!) Voting Still Closed. (Rats.)

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!! We've got things back in order, pieces back in place and most everything all sorted out. Once again, we are excited and able to receive your inc(red)ible card entries for the YourHoliday contest (ends 8/18 at 8 AM).

Due to "technical difficulties", we were unable to accept submissions for a bit there -- if you were disappointed, we know the feeling, possibly even more so. (Did you cry? We cried.)

Said technical difficulties are also causing us to put a hold on the voting and buying of the YourPets and YourFunny*ness cards for now. (Rats!!) We are working our tails off to get all of that back on track, too.

Thanks for your patience on that one. (Again, rats.)
And one more Hooray for the re-opened YourHoliday submissions!!


P.S. We are not blaming rats.