Hatchwise is now like a million times faster! Hurray for us!

Ever since we launched in the spring of 2008, Hatchwise has been gaining popularity and visitors, which is a good thing. The downside to this was that as use of the site increased, so did the time it took to load just about any page on the site, and people were stuck in front of their monitors for hours (literally, apparently it took 127 seconds to load the main page if you had a 14.4k connection, which it seems some people still do) trying to use the site, and we were getting frustrated emails from people on a daily basis.

We tried many things to speed the site up, including moving to a new server last summer, all to no avail as the site grew slower, and slower.

Finally, yesterday, we started ripping the site out by the roots to get to the bottom of the problem. After pretty much working through the night, we figured out what the problem was.

It was a really, really, simple programming error, so simple that we’re not even going to tell anyone what it was, as those of you that are programmers would just laugh at us, and we’re not huge fans of being laughed at.

Suffice it to say that the site is now faster. Much, much faster. Like, Nascar fast. Bullet train fast. It’s truly spectacular.

Thank you so much to everyone that stuck with us through thick and thin, you’re the best!

Thanks again for all your support!

George, for the rest of the Hatchwise team.

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There’s a new sheriff in town – Design Court is now in session

 I’m happy to announce that the loonnnggg awaited Design Court feature is now live.  Extensive testing has been done on it but bugs are sure to pop up as it is a fairly complicated feature. If you notice any bugs/problems with the reporting part of the process or with the actual Design Court itself please report it here, as a comment on this blog post, not in the forum, and not as a PM.

A Message To “The Cheaters”:

Plagiarism and cheating have been running rampant for quite a while, but our very strict and detailed rules have been in place longer than that.  Each and every design submitted to the site has been submitted AFTER you (the designer) read the following rules:

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Any entry you submit must be:

Completely, 100% your own creation. No exceptions. If you did not design it yourself you can’t submit it.

NOTE: We regularly monitor Google Images, iStockPhoto, popular Logo Design Portfolios and anywhere else you may be thinking of lifting a design from. If you submit work that is not your own we WILL find out about it.

.

It must NOT (read carefully):

1.

Contain clipart of any sort (licensed or not)

2.

Be a copy or “rip” of a logo already submitted to this contest by another designer.

3.

Use or incorporate any prexisting image, logo, photo, graphic design or trademark.

4.

Be anything other than a design YOU came up with.

 

A MESSAGE FROM HatchWise STAFF: We think that the above instructions are very clear. If you have a question about them please ask us before submitting any artwork. We reserve the right (and will probably exercise it) to permananently ban any designer who submits a design that violates the above rules. We’re naturally good natured people but we tend to get upset about plagiarism.

 

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Now, I paste that there before I state the following: The reporting feature is RETROACTIVE, which means that any design you submitted to a contest before can be reported by any designer who still has access to that contest (anyone who participated in it with you). I don’t want to hear any complaints about this. You had PLENTY of warnings. Every time you submitted a design there was a warning. If your past actions get you banned now, so be it.

 

If you have never cheated (as the majority of you haven’t) than please disregard the above.

 

Now, on to how the system works:

 

1. You can’t vote in Design Court unless you have previously won a contest.

2. Any registered designer can report an entry, but unless you have previously won a contest you can only have two open cases at a time.

3. If one of your designs is found “guilty”, it is withdrawn and you are issued a warning point.  If you accumulate a total of three warning points you are permanently banned and any pending winnings are frozen indefinitely.

4. If you report a design and it is found “not guilty” YOU are issued a warning point. If you accumulate a total of three warning points you are permanently banned and any pending winnings are frozen indefinitely. The warning points for submitting a design without reason are not the same as the warning points in #3, they accumulate separately.

5. Withdrawing a design that has been reported is a nice gesture, but does not stop the Court Case, or the warning point if you are found guilty.

6. There are 11 votes taken on each case, each designer can only vote once, you cannot vote on your own case. The majority wins.

7. The decision by the crowd is not negotiable. Do not email us complaining about it.

8. If you are banned because of repeat offenses then that is it. There is no arguing or pleading with staff over it, so please don’t even try.

 

So that’s it. To report a design simply log into your account and click the red exclamation point next to the entry you want to report on the contest detail page.

 

Many thanks to all of you who have waited so long and so patiently for this. Please leave your comments, suggestions and criticisms in the comments below.