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Scrapbook winner decision soon?

It says they'll announce a winner by April 1st. I wonder if they'll be able to stick to that deadline this year? Anyone placing bets on which will be the winning scrapbook?

Posted by
1504 posts

Enjoyed looking at many of them, but gosh darn it that Kristina Trainer trip to Ireland is one of the best, if not the best. She has already won 1st place twice before so maybe there should be a limit!

Posted by
1934 posts

My pick would be the Stephanie Botkin Village Italy scrapbook - luscious photography and excellently written text. With that said, there are many many outstanding scrapbooks to choose from.

Posted by
929 posts

I agree with you Tammy. It was that Scrapbook that made me realize in comparison, I had entered a pick-up truck in a tank fight.

Posted by
2904 posts

Allan, your reply made me laugh! I actually appreciate the ones that aren't so polished. I loved that you, and 59 others, took the time to share about your trip with the rest of us. Thank you.

Posted by
1835 posts

I agree Tammy, Carol and Allan. I am enjoying all of them but I, too, agree that when one winner dominates, maybe it's time to consider a limit? Her scrapbook this year is wonderful, as were her others, but other entries are just as wonderful. Most of us don't have talents that lie in the publishing/composition arena but enjoy the tours equally as much and take an equal risk in sharing our experiences in a down-to-earth way. I really have enjoyed having this time at home to read through all of the scrapbooks and hope find a tour or two to replace the two that have been cancelled this year...... I very much appreciate all the time, effort and love that has gone into producing each and every one of these works of art, labors of love so we can enjoy them.

Posted by
6018 posts

I not only appreciate but prefer the unpolished or less polished productions when it comes to scrapbooks. But then, I also prefer unaltered or non enhanced photos that people post. I like something to be a bit more like something I could do rather than a professional job. Just my preference and not expecting anyone to agree or disagree with me.

I haven't had the time, inclination, or patience to go through all of the scrapbooks from end to end, but the ones I have perused have all been interesting and informative, whether or not they were professional looking jobs. I hope when they are selecting a winner they are not just seeking professional looking efforts. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Posted by
929 posts

When you go through the limited criteria on the entry page it says that the photos need to be your own and RS gets to use them for free in their marketing. You consider that, plus that the Scrapbook page is well hidden on the website, I get the sense that RS doesn't really place a lot of importance on the contest. It seems to me that the company offers it to get some free publicity and free photos. Thus, not really a concern on their part if one person wins all the time. If you look at the comments about last year's winners; first place was best design, 2nd place-insight into first time travel, 3rd place-entertaining writing style, 4th place tie-humour/creativity for one and outstanding photos for the other. So they are trying to spread the wealth around but I would think that somebody who is really good at web design is likely going to win. Nothing wrong with that, and honestly, while it would be nice to win, my main motivation was ego because I thought it would be very cool if one of my photos made its way into his books. I'm glad I did it for the experience in putting together a web page, but based on the work involved I'm not sure if I'd do it again.

Posted by
686 posts

I have done two scrapbooks and my motivation is to give back to the forum.
I also like sharing them with friends and family and I like to go back and look at them.

Posted by
41 posts

I really liked all of the ones that I looked at but I didn't look at all of them yet. Allan, yours was great because it told me about one of the tours that I'm interested in and I liked your style. Kristi Trainer's is great as always. I really liked the two about the Scotland tour, too because there was tons of content in them that I could use for a future tour if I wanted to take one. I really like to get ideas out of them. Our next tour is the My Way Alpine one so I read those first!
The people who win aren't always who I would pick but it's not my company so I have to let it go ;).

Posted by
929 posts

I don't see a Vandabrud in the Scrapbooks, which is yours?

Posted by
929 posts

Taylan proved to be a skilled mother hen, taking excellent care of his
flock and even acting as the disciplinarian when needed. (Ask me about
that sometime).

Ok, I'll ask, is there a story behind this from your scrapbook?

I loved your page on the people of turkey. I've thought about shots like that many times in the past but I'm such an introvert I always decide not to bother engaging with people.

Posted by
686 posts

Allan,

Two of our tour members were not back to the bus in time to leave a site.
He calmly had our bus driver take us to another site that was close by, but was not on the itinerary. It was ruins of a Roman aqueduct. After visiting the extra site, we went back and picked up Taylan and the two wayward travelers.
One of them later mentioned that they received quite a talking to regarding their personal responsibility to be respectful to their tour mates.

At another site, one of these two travelers did not want to stay as long as he scheduled and asked if we could vote on it. He gave a humorous response that I won't be able to recreate, but basically that the tour wasn't a democracy. She would have been outvoted anyways.

I will say that this tour had a different personality than my other tours. We had one grump (mildly so), we had a member that did not do most of the activities and we had some shoppers. At first, I was worried that the shoppers would somehow taint the trip. But, it turned out that they were a lot of fun! I will also say that I was using a Hunger Hiker stick due to recovering from having a meniscectomy , and 2 tour mates told me at the end of the tour that they were worried I was going to slow everyone down, but I didn't. So first impressions are dangerous!

Posted by
686 posts

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Just so people that didn't have scrapbook entries know, I was acknowledged and thanked for my efforts by RSE, not once, but twice.

Posted by
929 posts

I received an email this morning as well, notifying me of the winners. The message also said all the entrants would be receiving a copy of his new book to be released this summer.

As a first time entrant I'm really surprised at the lack of fanfare regarding the contest from start to finish, not even a banner announcing the winners on the home page of the website. I wasn't even aware of the contest until someone mentioned it on this forum, and even then you have to search for the page.

In any case, the winners are deserving of the prizes.

Posted by
175 posts

Congrats to all the winners and many thanks to all the entries! I am not sure if the participants realize how much we all look and dream over these. You guys rock!

Posted by
4 posts

I do think it is a bit selfish for the same folks to continue to enter and win multiple times. Sure, they did a great job. However, if I managed to win once, I wouldn't submit again. Just because the company doesn't restrict the same person from winning multiple times doesn't mean that you should continue to submit over and over. Please, let some other folks have a chance.

Had I realized that's how this contest ran I wouldn't have wasted my time putting together an entry.

Posted by
595 posts

Thanks to all who made scrapbooks, I always love them! I have no problem with the same person winning - if they are able to produce what RS thinks is the best scrapbook, then more power to them! It seems unfair to suggest that because someone is too good at something they shouldn't do it anymore. Should our top sports players dial it back so someone else could have a chance at winning? Should Michael Phelps have quit some races so someone else could win? That doesn't seem to be how the world works. The winners had a writing style and presentation that RS likes, but they used the same tools everyone else has access to - photos from their trips and a free website maker. Well done to them, I don't begrudge them their winnings. In fact, I'm sort of impressed that RS let them win again if their scrapbook was best rather than rotating it for appearances.

Posted by
23259 posts

It does make for interesting feedback loop though.

Go on a trip, make a scrapbook, win.

Go on free trip, make scrapbook, win.

Go on free trip, make a scrapbook, win.

And repeat infinitely

Posted by
929 posts

Nigel, I was thinking the same thing, I wish I could get a piece of that action. I'm on the side that they can continue to enter as much as they want. It's up to the rest of us to up our game and unseat the champions. Game on!

Posted by
1934 posts

I do think it is a bit selfish for the same folks to continue to enter and win multiple times. Sure, they did a great job. However, if I managed to win once, I wouldn't submit again. Just because the company doesn't restrict the same person from winning multiple times doesn't mean that you should continue to submit over and over. Please, let some other folks have a chance.

I kind of agree with Kerri. To me, "scrapbook contest" implies a slightly amateurish endeavor; although the winning scrapbooks certainly look like they were put together by people with graphic arts/website-building backgrounds.

When it comes to scrapbooks, I prefer the entries submitted by the regular people.

Posted by
686 posts

I don't think there is any such thing as a "fair" contest.
I think if winning is the only motivating factor for some to enter, then it might seem like too much work for them when they don't win.

I was motivated by winning for my first entry. But then, I saw the very high level entries and knew I wasn't likely to win.
My second entry I did for fun and for the thanks given by forum members. That is plenty motivating for me.

Posted by
929 posts

My second entry I did for fun and for the thanks given by forum members. That is plenty motivating for me.

I agree, some of the comments I received about mine were very nice and it was rewarding. I wonder, is the frustration because they're not winning or is it the lack of appreciation for the scrapbooks? I keep hoping someone from RS that is in charge of the contest would read this post and weigh in on the motivation to hold this contest, because as I've written before on this post, I'm really surprised by the lack of fanfare from start to finish. Why isn't a bigger deal made of it? Even a sloppy attempt like mine (compared to others) took a lot of time and effort and yet the contest is well hidden within the RS website.

Posted by
595 posts

Allan, I've made a few scrapbooks in prior years, and from what I remember a few days after they announce the winners by email, they make an article about the scrapbooks on the main page of the site and they put information about the scrapbooks in his monthly email newsletter.

Posted by
631 posts

To Allan, we've been following. It's not always our place to interject in the forum. The "authoritative" word of an employee can sound like we're trying to override others' contributions. It sounds like you're expecting an answer from us, though. So...

I understand that you feel like we don't make enough fanfare because you didn't hear about the contest until you saw mention on the forum. The choices behind how something is promoted are complicated and elaborate. We don't typically put it on the homepage because that's not necessarily effective. Your expectation is that this is where most people enter the site, and many do, but the percentage of all website users that come through the homepage is actually in the single digits. Also, the homepage is visited by those seeking TV shows, radio, the forum, DIY travel info, audio tours, and many other things that aren't tour-related. It's a crowded space, so we try to be selective about messaging there to get people to the right part of our site for their interests.

Our primary promotion method for the contest is via our Tour News monthly emails. This serves past tour members and those who have shown interest in taking a tour. This is a well-targeted and appropriate place. It is brought up several times there in advance of the contest. We also announce winners there, on the main Tours page (year-round!), and in social media. We're putting it in front of well over a hundred thousand people. ;)

We think it's a big deal and we love to see how our tour members commemorate their trips. We know others do too. I hope this makes more sense as to our approach!

Posted by
929 posts

Thanks Webmaster, that answers my curiosity.

Posted by
36 posts

Please don’t make assumptions about the lady that won. She absolutely is not in the computer/graphics/web industry. She’s a nutritionist. So a “regular” person.
She was my tourmate on the GAS Rick Steves tour in 2017. She spends hours journaling on these trips and when these entries appear in her scrapbooks, she really makes you feel like you were there with her. It’s literally just her personality and it also comes through on her pages.

Understand the feeling about not allowing repeat winners.....but when it’s good, it’s good. I’m glad she’s getting recognized for the amount of time and energy she puts into her photography, journaling and scrapbooks.

That said, so many of the scrapbooks this year are excellent! I love looking through them all and being transported to somewhere beautiful, historic. I love reading the pages as well.....some people’s storytelling is amazing. I’m thankful to all of you that invest so much of yourselves into these memory books!

Posted by
419 posts

The winners (1-4) great work. What happens when you do great work? You win. Everyone had an equal chance. Yearbooks from the past are posted year round. Easy to review and study them- what works and what doesn’t. You want the trophy, you work for it.

Winners placing 1-4 your work shines through.

Those who didn’t win but contributed- thank you!! Your efforts are appreciated and enjoyed by many.

Posted by
20 posts

As a good friend of Kristi Trainer, I can assure you she's not a graphic designer, or professional photographer, or web designer (she currently works for a non-profit as an admin & operations coordinator and used to be a nutritionist). I can understand people feeling frustrated that someone has won multiple times but maybe direct that frustration toward the Rick Steves team that decides these things? Personally, I can't believe they aren't offering her a job!!! (hint hint)

Kristi is the most lovely, kind, humble, passionate and selfless person. She delights in reliving her trip through the dreary NW winter months and just happens to be pretty darn great at putting together a fantastic scrapbook (Like many of you...I love looking through all of your beautiful work! Y'all are so creative!). I guess I just wanted to pop on here to shine a light on my very gifted friend...who I'm SO EXCITED for!

Let's cheer each other on, shall we? :-) And keep the scrapbooks coming! They get me so pumped up for where I want to travel in the future with Rick Steves Tours.

Posted by
929 posts

I guess I just wanted to pop on here to shine a light on my very
gifted friend...who I'm SO EXCITED for!

This is my favorite post on this thread. She played by the rules and won. If you don't like it, point your pitchforks at the scrapbook committee not at Kristi. As her friend said, she's clearly creative. I think with a little practice any of us are capable of formatting a website like she did, but it's her creativity which is the standard that might be tough to beat. I'd mentioned earlier in this thread that because of the work involved I'm not sure if I'd try another scrapbook, but I'm now motivated to unseat the Queen, game on Kristi!

Posted by
686 posts

I look forward to Kristi's scrapbooks. She looks like she would be a great friend and tour mate. Maybe, I will be on her next tour and ask her for some tips! In the mean time, I will keep doing scrapbooks to share.

Posted by
595 posts

Katykrip - I didn't see a contact link on their scrapbook, but I love their scrapbooks each year! I'm kind of excited each time they win because it means they will be going on another trip and (hopefully) making another great website! So hopefully I can pass my good wishes and congratulations on to her through you. They seem like lovely people that I would like to know!

Posted by
308 posts

Her scrapbook is so very amazing. It makes me want to go to Ireland! I love all aspects of it. I'm glad she won so she'll go on another trip and make another scrapbook for me to enjoy. Thanks, Kristi!!

Posted by
20 posts

Loving all the love for my friend! I'll tell her to come back to read these sweet words...I think she was a bit saddened by some of the initial comments. Love the spirit Allan!!! :-) And I think anyone who has the pleasure to meet, and especially travel with Kristi (and her awesome hubs Neil), would indeed be blessed.

Everyone stay safe and keep dreaming of the next journey!

Posted by
64 posts

Another fan of Kristi’s scrapbooks here ... I can see why she wins each time she enters. Her perspective is unique and it is obvious that she is truly “present”. She captures thing’s ordinary people would overlook, such as signs in airports and restaurants that embody her travelogue theme. I like her books too because they aren’t perfect but they are easy to navigate in both big and small bites. There are always great tips (just when you think you’ve thought of everything, she finds something new). and she brings insights from fellow travelers. It amazes me how she constantly reinvents her books in terms of design, narrative, and theme. They aren’t cookie cutter ... and it’s clear she isn’t just reusing a winning template. Kudos to her!

I understand the sentiment about the same person winning again and again ... it deflating if you have taken the time to put together a scrapbook in hopes of winning a trip only to see someone take top prize yet again. It similar to watching the Yankees in their heyday, or Venus Williams, or the Patriots. It’s human nature to root for the underdog. But hard to deny a champ their due.

I am grateful to Rick Steves’ & team for offering this contest at all. I rely heavily on the scrapbooks in determining where to go and in planning once I book my flights. To me, anyone who took the time to create an online scrapbook is a winner - imagine only 60 out of thousands of tour members did so this year. That’ really cool.

Posted by
41 posts

Katykrip-you were one of the girlfriends in the GAS trip, correct? I loved that one! I wrote all kinds of notes down from your pre-tour planning. You looked like you had such fun and I figured that my husband and I would be able to do that ourselves as well.
Kristi is so creative :).