Site outage

May 30, 2008

We are having a site outage due to a strange software bug. We are investigating the issue at present, one of the symptoms is emails being repeatedly sent in some cases. Thanks for your patience guys and we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience.

We have ended the trial of guaranteed contests, thanks to everyone involved. There was certainly more interest than we anticipated, I am still trying to catch up with all the payments! The good news is that guaranteed contests are here to stay in the near future. We are working away at 99designs HQ on automating the process and making sure it is fair for all involved. Watch this space over the next couple of weeks.

For those of you waiting for payments, I should have caught up on the backlog of payments over the next 24-48 hours. Thanks for your patience.

There was an issue with one of our servers which is causing problems when creating contests. This should not have effected other aspects of the site. We have the problem fixed and are investigating the cause. Thanks for your patience guys.

P.S. First time we have had a bug report via YouTube, the internet is a beautiful thing.

We are pleased to announce that we are sponsoring SitePoint’s giveaway of Corrie Haffly’s awesome Photoshop book: The Photoshop Anthology 101. It’s a great book, well worth a read!

The other major news is we are launching our first (of many) giveaways for designers. We are giving away a free MacBook to one designer who submits a winning design before June 20th. Any design that is submitted and selected as a winner before that date is in the running. We will be selecting a shortlist of 50 designs and then you guys will vote for the winning design.

*update* the site is back up

We are having problems with one of our database servers, should be back shortly.

Contest Health

May 8, 2008

You might have already noticed the new contest health badges on contests, which show contests as either “healthy”, “caution” or in extreme cases “unhealthy”. If you click the badges (or the more details link) you will get a brief summary of the contest details, along with some indicators of how healthy a contest is, such as when recent feedback was given or whether the contest holder has a history of prize awarded contests.

The system behind this has a long list of things it checks to determine this health score, but it basically all comes down to trying to determine if this contest is a good bet to enter. Initially it is just another piece of information that designers can use to help choose a contest to enter, but depending on how it’s used we might consider actually preventing entries for unhealthy contests.

The rules underneath the hood are actually fairly complex (seems my maths teacher wasn’t lying about needing stats one day), so we will be adjusting them over the next 24 hours or so. Let us know what you think!

Vote on features

May 6, 2008

Seeing as the blog posts have been a great way of getting feedback from you guys about what direction you want to see 99designs going in, we thought we would create a UserVoice page to let you guys vote on exactly what features take priority.

Forums are also on the way, plus some neat new ways of informing designers about the state of contests and contest holders past history. Keep an eye out tomorrow afternoon!