In December two people decided they wanted to place higher on the top ten than they had before. Late in the month both Matt and Erica decided to just send lots of messages. They did this in different ways however.
Erica started sending me the names of her coworkers, crock pot recipes, she counted a few times, send a few random words, and various other gimmicks. But each one took some individual thought and work.
Meanwhile, Matt decided he really liked keyboard shortcuts. Based on one message as a template that he could reply to, he would hit the shortcut for reply a few dozen times, then the shortcut for send a few dozen times. Shooting off absolutely identical emails very very quickly. I was online when this started, and immediately called him on using automation, which is against the rules of the contest, and is not counted. He explained his little keyboard method, and insisted that it was manual and not automated, and required work for each email. I was not overly impressed, but grudgingly admitted that some manual work had occurred. They were however completely identical emails, sometimes with many coming in a single second. There was no way to distinguish real emails for extra duplicates created by a filing error or various other things. I informed Matt that his actions were borderline, and he needed to be creating like other people who have tried over the years, and like Erica this month.
The final verdict after much deliberation was to not outright disallow all of the messages, but to consider any emails that were completely identical, including the time stamp (to the second) as duplicates, and I would only count one of those. If I had counted all of his emails, Matt would have had a count of 304. Removing the same second duplicates he drops to 179. This is the difference between a #2 placement and #4. He is lucky I even counted that many. His method is so close to automation it might as well be!
Other tricksters beware! Feel free to send me lots of crap, but it needs to be individual items with individual content, with personal effort on each email! Got it? K? Good.
Anyway, Erica and Matt make the top five for the first time ever. Congratulations guys. Ron makes the list again after a bit of an absence. And Kelly and Ivan drop off the bottom of the list. Bye guys! Come back soon!
Oh, and how can I forget. Brandy wins again, with nobody even close. Congratulations Brandy!