Retweet and win!

I’ve entered hundreds of sweepstakes, contests, and raffles over the course of my lifetime, and not once did I win anything.  Until now.  Last week, photographer Todd Selby called his followers to retweet the link to his new book.  One person would receive a free signed copy.  I obliged, and, a few hours later, received a personal message stating I was the lucky winner.  Wahoo!

First, I want to link you to Todd Selby’s website.  He’s an LA-based artist who takes photos of eccentric houses all across the globe and interviews the people who live in them.  His new book profiles hundreds more.  Don’t open it unless you have a few hours to spare—you might not be able to pull away!

Second, do you think promotional retweeting is tacky?  It annoys me when those I follow subject me to ad-like retweets in hopes of winning stuff.  If it happens too often, I unfollow them.  Yet I did the same with my Selby book retweet.

Should there be a restriction on ad-like tweets?  Could user-aided advertisements negatively affect Twitter in the way they have affected Myspace and other social networking websites, or do its character/image limitations safeguard against this?

3 responses to “Retweet and win!

  1. I’m not entirely sure, perhaps because I don’t use twitter. It does seem like you really like Ted Selby’s work (or why would you have wanted the work). If all the people retweeting because they hope to win the book are already fans of the artist, is it really different than recommending something you like to your friends? This seems like a form of advertising that might be less obnoxious than mass campaigns because it’s more specifically directed. If you like Ted Selby, a lot of the people you are following might to! I guess it just depends how prevalent these ads become. If they are pervasive, I imagine people would just ignore them altogether.

    I remember the first time I won something too! I was eleven and I entered a raffle where you could either win a boombox or a microwave. Even though I won the microwave which I had absolutely no use for, it was still exciting to win something!

  2. blindlights

    Congratulations! Like you, I really enjoy The Selby, mainly because it is a design/showcase blog without a specific niche so there’s a really dynamic range of styles, places, and people. Maybe that’s a niche within itself, like the Sartorialist?

    P.S. Definitely check out the Sartorialist. It’s the clothing equivalent.

  3. I think it all depends on how you want to use Twitter. If you use it to find out what your close friends are doing, this promotional retweeting may be annoying. However, if you are using it as something more–a tool for networking, a source of news, etc., I don’t really see this as being all that different from the sweepstakes that radio stations do in which they simultaneously advertise for an event while giving away tickets that to it that they probably received for free in exchange for the promotion. People still listen because it’s better than actual advertising and there’s something in it for them. In the long run, it seems that the worse harm is that you are momentarily subjected for a little advertising/self-promotion, while it’s possible that you could win fabulous prizes!