And the PayPal X Developers challenge gets a little murkier..

Thu, Mar 4, 2010 2-minute read

[Update: Within 12 hours of making this post PayPal made the voting stats public again, briefly, and then they dissapeared once more]

Some of you may wonder why I’ve stopped updating a previous post with the current percentage of votes PortaPayments has in the PayPal X Developers challenge. There’s a simple reason; PayPal have taken away the ability to see how many votes have been cast.

Whether this has something to do with a sudden leap of 1,000 cast votes over 24 hours a couple of days ago, or being able to see that even though they sent out an email stating they were aware of “Incentivized voting” they hadn’t actually penalised anyone for it, or it could be related to me pointing out that, at one point, the system was showing more votes than users (despite each user only suppose to be able to cast 1 vote), or possibly even if it’s because they don’t like the fact people are making stats about voting available, is completely unknown.

Still, what I can tell you is that I’ve been contacted by some other entrants who’ve helped me get an idea of the voting landscape, and there seems to be a common question amongst all of us and that is “Who is getting all the votes?”

I can count 5 featured projects in PayPals FOWA Presentation, and from the information I have I can tell you that two of the five have, combined, less than 3% of the votes. This to me raises the question; Were they bad projects to feature or is the voting process flawed? (I think you can guess where my money is).

Still, I hope PayPal will restore some transparency to the voting system, and what would be ideal is for them to show the total vote count for all entries after voting has closed, that way everyone can see if a few entries were “Incentivizing” their voters and as a result ended up with a very large proportion of the votes.