In September of 2002, was nominated for an award in the Northern California web awards, also known as the Dotties. A sub-contest was the People's Choice award, featuring online voting. Online voting is not an easy system to keep honest, so contests use codes and email response to ensure they only get one vote per person.

My father complained that the voting procedure was frustrating, mostly because of the long ID#s used in the email verification process, i.e. D43DDE2A-1971-4501-B38FG73FEIEIO. To help people with this problem (and to coerce people into voting) I captured a series of screenshots at the Dotties website and created the "How to Copy and Paste" instructional site.

This was hugely successful, got tons of votes, and I went on to win this great honor and trophy. Of course, even with the finest "how to vote" instructions in the world, winning required the support of many, many fans, which I greatly appreciate.

At the beginning of April, 2003, I found out that had been nominated for a Webby Award, in the Category of Personal Web Page. This contest also has a "People's voice" component, so I quickly set about setting up another "how to vote for in the Webby Awards" Page.

This was working great, and quickly took the lead as the number one vote-getter on the Webby Award Personal website voting results page. The comments section has also been filling up with great feedback, which I appreciate.

On April 25th, Tara called and asked if I could load, a website that was leading the write-ins for the people's voice voting for the Community category. The site wasn't coming up on her computer. She wanted to see because of a curious comment left about it in the comments section (all-caps image below).

I visited the site, and found an interesting page that bills itself as a Non-Profit, Non-Partisan community action organization established to give a voice to the citizens of Prince George's County regarding issues of importance to their families.

Prince George's County is in Maryland.

After the flash introduction I discovered something funny. The webmaster at had also posted a feature on "how to vote for". The page used the same format and some of the same images as the version.

The text is nearly identical.

Where has:

Second, type in some information about yourself, including your name and email address. 

Those are the only bits that are required.

You may also include your Title, Company, Address, City, State, Zip, country, telephone, age, gender, income, education, number of years online, and how you heard about the people's voice awards.

Be sure to uncheck the box for "I want tons of Norton Anti-virus spam sent to my email address".

Click Submit.


Wethepeoplemd has:

Step Two:
This step involves giving some information about you. Enter your first name, last name and email address in the respective fields. This information is compulsory and has to be furnished to be eligible to vote.

You may also include your title, company, address, city, state, zip, country, telephone, age, gender, income, education, number of years online, and how you heard about the people's voice awards. This information is optional and does not affect your eligibility to vote.

Click the submit button.


Where has:

After you have voted, you will be able to view the current voting results for the people's voice awards.

Hopefully the orange bar under will be one of the longest. has

After you have voted, you will be able to view the current voting results for the people's voice awards.

Its up to you and others like you to ensure that the orange bar under We The People is the longest.

I was kind of angry, but also proud that my work had been imitated so closely. I poked around on their site, trying to ascertain who the webmaster was, who was responsible for the imitation.

I found the name of the webmaster, from Bowie Maryland, and thought he might be the culprit, then I realized that the location of wethepeoplemd sounded familiar... Prince George's Sound County...

Yes. It was the constituency of Jack Johnson. Subject of, leading Webby awards write-in candidate in the in the category of personal websites. My competition.

I visited the site and found another duplicate "How to vote for in the Webby Awards" at the top of the page. My amusement gelled into anger.

How could this politician from Maryland use my own how-to device to gather votes in direct competition against me? I guess the voting process is less-than-sacred in Prince George's County, even for, a site representing a man that calls himself a "a drum major for justice".

Please examine the two images below. On the left is my original, copyrighted version and on the right is the version that has posted. Note the cropping in the screen-shots, the removal of comedy and the addition of patriotic colors and icons. Click on these small versions to see view the full-sized image if you wish.


The Original

How to vote for in the Webby Awards

  The Copycat

How to vote for in the Webby Awards


I just need to dust the site for fingerprints, and I'll have a case.

I'm upset by this, and I hope Jack Johnson doesn't win. I also hope the other write-in candidates that hijacked the instructions do not win anything, including:, leading write-in candidate in the Community category., leading write-in candidate in the Activism category.


On the other hand, maybe I should look beyond this vote, and consider the bigger picture... How about a write-in campaign for Rob Cockerham - County Executive of Prince George's County, Maryland?
Rob Cockerham portrait


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Last updated April 28th, 2003.
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