The amazing adventures of Doug Hughes

Last Monday I announced the Reactor Design Contest. There were actually two contests, one to design a logo for Reactor and one to create a new skin for the Reactor Blog sample application.
The Blog design contest is still running and I will be clarifying it a bit shortly.
On Monday I closed the Reactor Logo contest and posted the various logos for voting. As of 4:30 today I’ve stopped counting votes and I’ve determined the winner!
Before I tell you who won, I thought it would be nice to tell you what they won and who made it possible.
The winner of the Reactor Logo contest will get all the following stuff:

  1. Licenses for the Alagad Image, Captcha, and Zip Components
  2. 6 Months of hosting for ReactorBlog with This is a $120 value. For details see
  3. $125 in free stuff at (donated by myself and the contest sponsors)

That’s roughly $400 worth of stuff!
The Reactor Design Contest was supported by the following companies and people:
Alagad – Alagad is my own company. Through Alagad I sell the various ColdFusion components and contract and consult clients in ColdFusion (and other) development.
SystemsForge – Generating custom web applications. With the SystemsForge active application generator you can generate close to 100% of web applications including persistence, business logic, facades and UI. Easy re-use of metadata across n-projects, and the ability to change anything in the application. Product launch September 1st, 2006. Best of all, we’re going to tell you how we do it, so you can build your own generators for free! Sign up at SystemsForge ( to keep up with the latest ideas – for free.
Jabico Enterprises, LLC – Jabico is a well rounded company, offering highly maintainable web-site and web-application development, search engine optimization and marketing, and information security consulting services. In addition, Jabico provides developer-centric web hosting solutions inlcuding Cold Fusion, PHP, ASP.Net, ASP, MySQL, MSSQL, etc… through it’s subsidery Sasquatch also provides DSL and Dial-up services throughout the western United States
Chris Blackwell
And another person who wishes to remain anonymous
There were seven people who submitted designs for the contest:

  • Josh Tynjala
  • Brad Sorensen
  • Barry Whitley
  • Rachel Maxim
  • Trond Ulseth
  • Christopher Smith
  • Laura Arguello

I want to say thank you to all of them! I really appreciate that they took the time to contribute to this framework. I think all the entries are fantastic!
I also received some late entries from a few other people. I’d thank them publicly too, but like a bonehead I lost (deleted – oops) their emails. Thanks to them too!
Judging the contest turned out to be a bit of a challenge. There were three competitors who quite clearly were the most popular. A lot of people, it seemed, wanted to express first and second (and sometimes third) opinions. Others wanted to create a mashup of two of the logos.
There was also a touch of drama added to the contest. There was speculation of ballot stuffing, email campaigns requesting votes for one of the contestants, and more. Heck, there were even some harassing comments added that I had to delete. Eek!
Initially I figured everyone would line up and orderly say which one they liked. Nope! That was a little short sited on my part. People are people. Most people voted for one logo only, but a lot of people were a little ambiguous in who they were voting for (or if they were voting at all).
In the end I made two tallies. The first tally is for clear and obvious votes. I counted a vote where someone clearly stated, "I vote for X". In the case that someone had a first and second choice I counted their first choice only. So in the case where someone said something like, "My first choice goes to X and my second to Y" or, "X is best, but Y is a clear second" I counted only X.
The second tally was for secondary choices or ambiguous choices. For example, one person voted like this:

1) Brad Sorensen
2) Barry Whitley

Yes. Clearly Brad is the winner of this person’s vote. However, they’re also saying that they like Barry. Shouldn’t that be considered at least a little too?
Or here’s another good example of an ambigious vote:

actually rachel is a friend, and i dig her logo idea.
im not sure i dig the top half of her logo as much as i like the lettering of the bottom of it.
so, id say that i like josh’s idea of colors/layout, brad’s radioactive symbol, and rachels lettering. replacing rachels symbol with brad’s

Who did this person vote for? I don’t know! Furthermore, later on it turns out that he was confused and didn’t mean Rachel, but Barry.

In cases like this I counted them as what I’ll call "votes of confidence", but not actual votes.
I’m not sure that if I counted the votes again that I’d end up with the same numbers, so forgive me (please!). In my estimation, this is how the votes broke down:

Contestant Votes Votes of Confidence
Josh Tynjala 18 11 or so
Brad Sorensen 23 8 or so
Barry Whitley 5 2 or so
Rachel Maxim 23 3 or so
Trond Ulseth 1 0
Christopher Smith 5 4 or so
Laura Arguello 0 (sorry Laura!) 1

Based on Votes only, Brad and Rachel are tied and Josh is a close second. However, if you read the comments you’ll notice that there are lot of comments that really favored a coupling of Josh’s and Brad’s logos.
All in all, Josh and Brad had quite a few more votes of confidence than Rachels. If each vote of confidence counts as half a vote (for the sake of argument) then the numbers would break down like this:

Contestant Votes
Josh Tynjala 18 + 5.5 = 23.5
Brad Sorensen 23 + 4 = 27
Rachel Maxim 23 + 1.5 = 24.5

This put’s brad out in the lead. Now, I voted for Josh. Maybe I’m biased, but his logo looked quite a bit like a logo I designed for my wife’s photography studio before I married her. Brad’s was my second favorite. I said that if there was ambiguity that I would make the final decision.
With all that in mind, I believe that Brad Sorensen has won this contest. This is Brad’s logo: Reactor For ColdFusion
To say thank you to the other six who participated, I will also be giving each of them a license to all of the Alagad Components!

Comments on: "Hanging Chads – or – Who Won The Reactor Logo Contest?" (5)

  1. Rachel Maxim said:

    Whew, this sure turned out a lot more complicated than we all thought 🙂

    Congratulations Brad – great job!


  2. Trond Ulseth said:

    Congratulations to Brad! And congratulations to Doug for getting such great logo for Reactor! And a thank you to Beth Bowden for giving me a vote (even though I don’t agree that mine was the best).


  3. Paul Carney said:

    Nothing that is truly worthwhile is ever simple or uncomplicated. If it was, then everyone would be doing it. You can relate that to technology, personal relationships, or whatever aspect of life you want.

    This is also the reason why many managers shy away from using a public forum (even if that “public” is a group of colleagues) for decision-making. You lose control over the process at times and it will get dramatic. But you seemed to have managed this well and minimized the possibility of any hurt feelings.

    You got a logo that you are happy with and that is the best part. Great job on the use of your blog to make this happen – it sure beats trying to do this through email! 🙂


  4. Jeff Lester said:

    So now that you have a clear winner do you have a page tag I can use for “Data Powered By Reactor” Or something similar to that?


  5. Doug Hughes said:

    Jeff – Nope, not yet! Man I wish I didn’t have to sleep. You’re welcome to use the logo however you want though.


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