Earth-List Contest: FINAL RESULTS!

December 6, 2010 by

Last night at 11:59 PM, the Earth-List: National Eco-Awareness Video Contest officially ended! Here are the results:

1st Place: “Earth-List Making Appliances Happy” by josbo26
Rated 4.4 out of 5 with 60 votes- iPad WINNER!

Below are the final results of the Earth-List Contest:

Place Username Rating Votes
1st josbo26 4.4 60
2nd ohinojosa1 3.9 12
3rd JayRomeo 3.7 20
4th Kimberly 3.5 25
5th baileybestful 3.4 10
6th airtalk 3.2 11
7th bfrost1313 3.2 17
8th JMKHLMNOP 3.1 23
9th arkivio 3.0 10
10th arkivio 2.9 11
11th feefeertr 2.5 11
12th ellusion67 2.3 17

Great work to all the contestants and thank you to who supported by voting! It was great to work alongside Earth-List.com and we were thrilled to see your great ideas for helping make the earth a better place each day.

Speaking of ways to help the earth…

New Contest: Friends of the Urban Forest Photo Contest

Just last week, our newest contest went live; the Friends of the Urban Forest Holiday Tree Contest! Hit the streets of San Francisco and take pictures of decorated trees or decorate your own for a chance to win some great gear from Friends of the Urban Forest.

To read all the details and to view/vote on submissions, visit the contest page.

Thanks for reading-
Brad and the SkillCount Team

Adding a Contest Tab on Facebook (using FBML)

December 1, 2010 by

Below is a step-by-step guide for setting up a contest tab on your Facebook fan page. In order to add the Contest Tab, you will need to add the FBML Application to your Facebook Fan page. Follow the steps below:

Note: If you have already used the FBML Application and it is already added to your page, you can go to the application and select “Add another FBML box” on the bottom of the application. Then, skip to Step 6.

Step 1:
Log into Facebook and select “Edit Page” under the user picture on your facebook fan page (SkillCount used in example). 

Step 2:
Select “Applications” from the menu on the left side of the screen.

Step 3:
Select “Browse More Applications” link on the bottom of the page.

Step 4:
Enter the text “static fbml” in the search box and press enter. In the results, select the “Static FBML by Facebook” link.

Step 5:
On the Static FBML page, select “Add to my page.” If you have more than one page, select the appropriate page when box appears.

Step 6:
Go to your Facebook fan page (Home > Ad and Pages > Pages > Appropriate page) and select “Edit Page.”

Step 7:
Select “Applications” from the menu on the left side of the screen.

Step 8:
Find “FBML 1” and select “Go To Application.”

Step 9:
Open attached file “fb_contest_tab .txt” and copy all the contents. Paste the contents into the box labeled “FBML.” Also, type a name like “Contest!” or “Win Prizes!” into the “Box Title” box. (NOTE: If you do not have the “attached file,” read the note below “Additional Step”)

[Step-by-step picture]
Step 10: 

Select “Save Changes.” A tan bar should appear that reads “Changes saved.” Your contest tab should be successfully added! Visit your facebook page to check.

Additional Step:

To make your contest page the first thing fans see when visiting your fan page, go back to “Edit Page” and select “Manage Permissions.” Under “Default Landing Tab,” select the name of the tab (from Step 9) in the drop-down list and press “Save Changes.”

Note:

This post was originally written for people hosting a contest using SkillCount. If you are using this tutorial for your own page, unrelated to a SkillCount contest, you will not have the “attached file” in Step 9. Instead, you can copy and paste the following HTML to give you a sample template for creating your own tab:

<table width="100%" cellpadding="7" cellspacing="0" border="0"><tr>
<td style="background-color:#f2fbea;border-collapse:collapse;border:2px solid #000000;" 
><center><span style="font-size:28px;color:#000000;font-weight:bold;">My 
Facebook TAB!</span></center><p style="font-size:13px">Here is a place 
where you can add all kinds of exciting information about your New Facebook Tab! Are you 
<span style="font-weight:bold;">new to writing HTML?</span> No worries! Below 
are some awesome links to get you started!</p><table style="padding:0px 0px 0px 
10px;"> <!-- Lists looked really strange on a Facebook Tab, so I used a 2 column tab 
with bullets --><tr><td style="text-align:right;vertical-align:top;">*</td>
<td><p style="font-size:13px;display:inline;"><a href="http://www.w3schools.com/" 
target="_blank">W3Schools</a>: This is literally where I learned everything I know 
about HTML.</p></td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:right;vertical-align:top;
">*</td><td><p style="font-size:13px;display:inline;"><a 
href="http://htmledit.squarefree.com/" target="_blank">Real-Time Editor</a>: a super helpful 
tool to learn HTML on the fly</p></td></tr></table><center><p 
style="font-size:18px;text-align:center;">Hope you enjoy- good luck!</p></center>
</td></tr><tr><td style="display:block;font-size:11px;color:a6a6a6;text-align:right;
">Template created by <a href="http://www.skillcount.com" target="_blank">SkillCount</a>
</td></tr></table>

Earth-List Contest Standings

November 29, 2010 by

Time is running out on the Earth-List’s National Eco-Awareness Video Contest. There are only 6 days left for contestants to get the 50 votes needed to win the Apple iPad!

Here are the current standings:
(as of Monday, Nov. 29 @ 9:30 AM)

Place Username Rating Votes
1st josbo26 5 21 *
2nd echozenuk 4.7 14 *
3rd Kimberly 4.3 16 *
4th JayRomeo 4.1 15 *
5th arkivio 3.8 4 *
6th airtalk 3.8 4 *
7th arkivio 3.7 3 *
8th baileybestul 3.5 2 *^
9th bfrost1313 3.2 13 *
10th JMKHLMNOP 2.7 13 *
11th feefeertr 2.7 3 *^
12th ellusion67 1.7 12 !

* A submission must have 50 votes to win the Apple iPad
^ Extra videos uploaded by users to correct titles have been removed. The video with the highest average and most ratings ratings (in that order) were kept.
! Videos without “Earth-List” in the title do not qualify for a prize.


If you haven’t done so already, be sure to visit the contest and give all the submissions your vote. All the videos are great videos and we want to make sure someone can reach the 50 votes to win the Apple iPad!

Earth-List Contest Deadline Extended!

November 8, 2010 by

Earth-List has decided to extend the deadline for their contest, “What do you do on a daily basis to make the Earth a better place?”

There have been some great submissions so far, but none have reached the 50 vote minimum to receive the first place prize of an iPad. Earth-List has decided to push the deadline back to December 5th to give contestants a chance to earn the votes they need.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to visit the Earth-List contest and support the awesome submissions by voting! Or, if you were meaning to make a video, now’s your chance to submit a video for your chance at an iPad!

Visit the Earth-List Contest here!

Also, don’t forget to check out the Bay Area Girls Rock Camp Contest to share your most inspirational musician and to help a great cause.

Thanks and enjoy the week-

Brad and the SkillCount Team

Halloween Office Party!

October 29, 2010 by

It’s Friday! Hooray!

I hope you have all made some Spooky plans for your weekend! We just finished our office party- complete with pumpkin carving, costumes, food and Halloween music! Here are some of the exciting highlights:

1st Place in Pumpkin Carving Contest! By Mike


2nd Place in Pumpkin Carving Contest! By April and Amy


1st and 2nd Place in Costume Contest! 1st: Wonder Woman by Kim; 2nd: Sookie Stackhouse by April

Have a great weekend!

Visit us on Facebook to see more pictures.

New SkillCount Contest: Bay Area Girls Rock Camp Video Contest

October 6, 2010 by

Today, we launched our newest contest: Bay Area Girls Rock Camp Video Contest!

Bay Area Girls Rock Camp (BAGRC) wants to know what female musician has inspired you or made an impact on your life and how? Whether she inspired you to learn an instrument, motivated you to achieve  your very best or encouraged you through a difficult time, BAGRC wants to hear your story in their new contest.

The first and second finishers will receive some awesome gifts from BAGRC and all videos are eligible for a chance to appear on the BAGRC homepage!

Be sure to take some time to visit the contest details page to learn more about BAGRC and the ways you can help. BAGRC is always looking for people willing to donate and participate in their mission to empower girls through music education. BAGRC is in need of volunteer instructors and donated instruments to help support their Summer Camps and After School Programs. Visit the links on the contest page to learn more.

We are very excited to be working with a local nonprofit and this contest is sure to be fun and inspirational. Please take time to watch and rate the submissions or upload your own- your participation will make this contest a success.

Also, don’t forget to checkout the Earth-List Contest to see how others are helping the environment each day.

Thanks!

Bay Area Girls Rock Camp: New Contest

October 1, 2010 by

We have just teamed up with Bay Area Girls Rock Camp to host a new contest and you can expect to see it shortly!

Bay Area Girls Rock Camp is a nonprofit located in Oakland, CA. They host a Summer Camp each year and also have after school programs throughout the year. Their mission (as found on their About Page) is to:

… empower girls through music education, promoting an environment that fosters self-confidence, creativity and teamwork. The BAGRC strives to challenge gender stereotypes, encourage collaboration and tolerance among peers, and provide a comfortable space for people of all backgrounds to express themselves. Through music lessons, workshops, group activities and performance, girls acquire skills that will help guide them throughout their lives.

We are very excited about the new contest and to be helping a local nonprofit. Although the contest is still being planned, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some instruments involved!

You can expect to see the new contest from Bay Area Girls Rock Camp within the week and don’t forget to visit the Eco-Awareness contest to see how you can win an iPad! There are now 4 submissions for the Earth-List Eco-Awareness Contest- visit to see what others are doing to make the Earth a better place!

New SkillCount Contest: The Earth-List Eco-Awareness Video Contest

September 16, 2010 by

We have launched our newest contest: the Earth-List Eco-Awareness Video Contest!

This contest is being hosted by Earth-List, an eco-informational resource site, and they are rewarding the first place finisher with an Apple iPad!

We have been working very closely with Earth-List representative Bob Afsari on this contest. Bob sees the Eco-Awareness Video Contest as more than an opportunity to win an Apple iPad. “Earth-List believes there are many people making their own personal contributions to sustainability that are rather effective,” Bob stated. “However, these individuals may not have the platform, the soap-box, or the means to share it with the world; this SkillCount contest is their opportunity to do so!”

Bob encourages contestants to upload footage by whatever means (camera phones, webcams, handhelds, high-def equipment, etc), stressing that it’s not the production value that is important but showcasing your positive impact. As for the public, Bob is confident that watching and rating the 30-second video submissions will educate people about everyday eco-friendly tactics and ways to incorporate them into their own lives. “As simple as it sounds, this contest could generate a profound impact towards eco-awareness and creating a more sustainable future,” Bob said.

We couldn’t be more excited about the Eco-Awareness Contest and partnering with Bob and the Earth-List team. Be sure to check out the complete contest details on SkillCount. And, don’t miss the introduction video on the Challenge Details page made by Cory Osborne, winner of the first SkillCount contest!

Thanks for reading and we can’t wait to see your videos!

Brad and the SkillCount Team

Interview with Cory Osborne: 1st SkillCount Contest Winner

September 9, 2010 by

Last week, I called Cory Osborne (aka Cory O. or coryocincinnati on Skillcount and YouTube), the first place winner of the SkillCount Promotional Video Contest. I spent sometime getting to know him better and learning how he became interested in video production. Enjoy!

Brad at SkillCount (SC): How did you get interested in Video Production?

Cory Osborne (Cory): Video Production basically started with me through High School. I did two years at a JVS Career Center and did Graphic Design and everything… kind of got into the whole thing. Then, after I graduated, I went into radio broadcasting- did radio and TV through college. So it been video production pretty much from High School on.

SC: I could tell from your voice in the video… and this phone call- you definitely have a good radio voice.

Cory: That’s all I do. I actually have my own studio here at my house. I did three years on air for a large market here in Cincinnati, a country station called B105, it’s like huge heritage station- it’s been here forever. But then the economy hit me and I lost my job there and I’m still trying to battle my way back up, so I have my own DJ business right now.

SC: DJ, huh? Cool! So what kind of tools do you use when making videos?

Cory: I have After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Photoshop… most the Adobe programs. I mean, that’s all I’ve done since I was in school, so that’s my niche.

SC: What film or director inspires you and why?

Cory: Directors, definitely would be like Tim Burton, Steven Speilberg; lo-LOVE their movies. Their imagination is just crazy. Anything can be made, its just putting your mind to it and doing it. That’s one of the things I really like about film is you can take something out of your life and put it into a movie and inspire other people to do things like that. Kind of makes me want to do what they do… once I get out of the cornfields here in Ohio.

SC: What is your favorite part about the filming process?

Cory: Definitely the production. Being able to take a piece of something tiny and make something really awesome out of it- where it’s just like- when someone watches it they are like “Whoa- how did you do that?!”

SC: And your least favorite part?

Cory: Uh, I wouldn’t say there is a least favorite part… OK- maybe forgetting to hit “Save.” That might be the worst part- is not saving something and having to go back and do it. Have been there many of times.

SC: Of the films you’ve made, what is the one you are most proud of?

Cory: I’d have to say that video I did for you guys because that’s like the first time I’ve done something and actually got something back out of it. Other than that, I mean its just been stuff that I’ve made here-and-there… Well, actually, no- I had a video on America’s Funniest Home Videos through our radio station- I forgot I did that last year! We had our higher-ups from Utah come out [to Cincinnati] so, it’s the main owners of the entire company is in this huge meeting. My buddy was kind-of like the stunt boy for the morning show at the station and we rented a cow and donkey suit, ran into our higher-ups meeting dressed as a cow and donkey and crashed the meeting. And then we ended up taking the suit and going out to one of the DJ’s farms. My buddy was in the donkey suit and he tried to get on a miniature horse and when the horse took off, it clotheslined him on a tree. It knocked his head off [of the costume] and everything. I had the video and sent it in and they actually put it on the TV. So, it was pretty sweet. Not that it’s a film I made- I just happen to catch it on camera.

SC: Is Video Production something you aspire to make a career in?

Cory: I’ve always wanted to. Really, when I got of High School, I wanted to move to California, go to USC. Problem is- didn’t have the money to do that and financial aid was not working out. I’ve always wanted to do radio too, and radio is a big thing that inspired me and I found a school that was around here that was cheaper and I was like “You know what? Lets do that.” I did that, next thing you know, I’m at large market station- Market 28. Loved it, but then there’s always that part of me that’s wanted to do video. But it’s hard out here- where I live at, like I said, I look across the street and I see a corn field right now!

SC: What are your current projects?

Cory: I’m trying to find some work. I’ve got the DJ business, so trying to work on that. My camera actually broke, so I’m in the process of finding a new one.

SC: What advice do you have for someone participating in a SkillCount contest?

Cory: Just use your imagination, take something small and make it big. Because, it’s always the smaller things that make the biggest stuff. I got to thinking, your whole site is about the site and getting people to do it- so why don’t I show people what the site is? So that was the whole thing. I was like, “You know what- I’ll throw my voiceover behind it, short, sweet- to the point.” That’s something I didn’t like about the other videos- and I’m not downing the other videos. But- and I learned this from radio and through commercials and stuff- whenever you are actually promoting something; people don’t like to sit there for a long time. Their attention span is zero. So you always have to hit it quick. That’s why I did mine really short, 30 seconds in-and-out because that’s about the length of a commercial.

SC: How do you plan to spend the money?

Cory: Haha, actually, it’s already been spent and it’s on bills- paying for the car payment! And I used a little bit of it for a family vacation when we went to Mexico.

SC: Congratulations on a great video and thank you for taking the time to talk!

Cory: Oh no problem, and if you know anyone who’s hiring, let me know- I’d be happy to move to California!


Cory runs his DJ/Video Production studio, My Core Productions, from his home outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. To read more about Cory’s experience, you can visit his bio at My Core Productions. When we last spoke with Cory, he had just received a lead through is video on SkillCount and is currently working on a new project. Below you can find Cory’s contact information:

Thanks for the great video Cory and we wish you the best of luck!

The SkillCount Remodel

September 7, 2010 by

After several weeks of development, the new and improved SkillCount.com is now live! Here are the most recent updates to the site:

Categories Changed

We have simplified the categories into the media type. Now, instead of challenges being categorized by skill (Graphic Design, Photography, Writing and Video Production), they will be categorized by their medium: Image, Text and Video.

New Homepage

Our biggest change was remodeling the homepage. With our new system of displaying challenges, you can now easily navigate to any challenge on the entire site! The filters allow you to quickly browse by category type. The new layout shows the 5 most recent submissions for each challenge. Once logged in, you can quickly see which challenges have new submissions, making it easy to navigate and vote.

SkillCount Altered

We made several changes to the SkillCount. Most noticeable, the SkillCount is now a number between 1 and 500 (previously 200). Also, you will now only have 1 SkillCount for the whole site (previously 4, with one “Default”). To read all the details, check out this recent blog post.

Other Changes

There are also changes to the rating system and a new notifications system. Using the feedback given during our first contest, we changed the rating system to only allow one vote per IP address. With the new notifications, you can now customize when you are contacted by SkillCount about updates happening on the site and in your portfolio.

We are very excited about the site’s new features and we hope you take some time to visit! Feel free to comment with your thoughts below or you can use the feedback link on the lefthand side of SkillCount.com. Also, our forum is a great place to discuss these changes or suggest your own improvements for SkillCount.

Thanks for reading!

Brad and the SkillCount Team


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