Sunday, 29 January 2012

Random or Not?

Back in November, we announced that we'd use the Fan of the Week app in a fun way with a draw each month for £10 to spend on the website.  We'd take each weeks winning fan name, pop it in a virtual hat and present one lucky recipient with a £10 virtual voucher to spend on the website.

The Fan of the Week app automatically calculates who has interacted the most with our page over a 7 day period and posts the name of the person to the wall.  Whilst this may seem a little twee to some, we really do appreciate that people take the time to interact on our page and feel it's a fun cheerful way to say thank you.

As you may be aware, this was one of the many things that had to be put on hold after the fire at our business park.  Now I don't know about you, but I truly believe that we've talked about those events enough.  The Fan of the Week promotion was a bit of fun, so we will leave it at this and explain to our new friends who may not know; the competition was interrupted and now we're happily back in the swing of things we want to get the give away back on track.

Easy? You would think so. Now I must confess that I am no Facebook expert.  Less of an expert still on the (useful) many third party apps that provide a bit of colour and fun.  

Hurdle number one then.  How to retrieve the names of each week's fan?  Going back down the page posts right the way into history simply by clicking "more posts" at the bottom of the page seemed a bit ... well ... manual?  Surely the app would give up this information.  Sadly not... Let's hope it's a feature that's being built somewhere behind the scenes. 

After a bit of head scratching and some asking around, I clicked on Insights (on the left of the page for those of you who are page admins) 

Yipee!  Each and every post is listed here, along with useful statistical info.  Simply clicking on one reveals the whole post in a pop up box.  There!  Easy (When you know how. Note to self. Use the features on the page)

So now I have a nice spreadsheet containing a list.  There are dates and alongside each date is a person's name.  These have been divided into months.  So far, we have a complete record for November (5 entries) and December (4 entries) of the weekly fans as announced by the app.  January has 4 entries and this week will generate Fan of the Week number 5.  (Of course the number varies according to the length of the month)

Now all that we need do is randomly select a person's name from each month's list.

And this is where I am stumbling.

Call me what you will.

I cannot decide.

What is fair?

And by fair I mean truly random.

Oh yes. I will use a random number generator to select the winning name.  I can do this because I've assigned a number to each one.  I've simply numbered the weeks from 1 to 4 or 5 as appropriate and put that week's name alongside. Ah. There we have it. 

My question.  Should I also randomise the number assigned to the name?  That is possible I guess, if I use the generator for each name, assign that random number to that name and then use the random generator once again.

Have I lost the plot? What do you think?
Please do let me know, it seems my Sunday sanity might just be resting on this ... 

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