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Thread: Please help a rabbit rescue group by voting online!

  1. #1

    Please help a rabbit rescue group by voting online!

    A friend of mine in St. Louis, Missouri is very active in a rabbit rescue group there, and through April 22nd there is an online contest sponsored by Monsanto to award money to St. Louis charities that receive the most votes. The group has been bouncing from 1st to 4th place, so there's a good chance that they may actually have a shot at winning one of the three prizes ($15000, $10000 & $5000). If you can vote for the organization once per day (there's only 7 days left in the contest), it could do a lot to help them win.

    Here are the vitals:

    Website: http://monsanto.com/stlouis/Pages/gr...ting-form.aspx

    Organization name: House Rabbit Society of Missouri (just start typing rabbit into the quick search box on the upper right, and it will show up. They have the slogan (at least for the contest) of "Growing through care and education" that shows up in boldface.

    Some additional information:

    1) As I said, the contest is sponsored by Monsanto (a St. Louis based company), and because of some of Monsanto's (not too popular) corporate practices, many website warning applications may tell you the site is not safe. However, if you look at the actual comments, people who downgrade the site are complaining about Monsanto's business, not about the site itself (more recent comments seem to reflect this). I've visited the site and my anti-virus programs are not warning me of any suspicious code on the site. So if you are politically okay with visiting Monsanto's website in order to help an organization that has nothing to do with Monsanto (other than they're both in St. Louis), then please go and vote.

    2) The site requires you provide a legit email address, and the first time you vote, it will send you a confirming email (to make sure you're using a legit address). So far, I've only received the one confirming email, and I'd be surprised if Monsanto would spam people in the future. Monsanto is a big multi-national corporation, and most of the people voting will be from St. Louis, and I'd guess there would be a lot of local complaining if this contest caused spam emails to be generated. But if you're concerned, you can always use a throwaway address (like a gmail or yahoo address). Just make sure to check it the one time to reply to the confirmation email.

    3) While it would be great to also encourage your friends to vote (the more the merrier!), please don't create multiple email addresses in order to stuff the ballot box. The rules explicitly state one email address per person, and if such ballot stuffing were somehow detected, it's possible that this could invalidate the legit votes by that person (for example if you voted twice in a day with two different email addresses, and it were detected, both votes might be thrown out). So vote once each day, and get everyone you know to do so as well! That will do a lot more than trying to fake out the contest.

    4) Here's the rescue group's own website, if you want to read more about them than just the contest entry: http://www.hrsmostl.org/

    Thanks in advance for anyone willing to help out!
    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 04-14-2012 at 10:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    36,723
    I am not sure whether I voted or not - I tried to, but each time it told me my "validation text is invalid" though I know I typed the word that appeared!
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Karen,

    Two possible reasons for your error message.

    1) Have you replied to the confirmation email (there is a link to click)? The system needs a one-time confirmation in order to allow the votes to count (according to their website, it keeps track of your votes but doesn't count them until you've replied to the confirmation email).

    2) If you've already done the above but still get the error, then you may want to check your cookie settings: You can either simply allow both regular and third party cookies, or try allowing cookies from the following two sites: monsanto.com and paradowski.com (the advertising company that administers the contest-specific part of the website). Cookies from googleapis.com also needs to be allowed, but most people have those allowed anyway, since many, many sites use googleapis.com cookies. However you set things, I'd recommend that you tell your browser to delete all cookies whenever you exit the browser, but that's a general rule that I follow, having nothing to do with the contest.

    Once you get things working, you'll get an onscreen confirmation each time you vote (or be told that you voted already that day).

    Hopefully this will get things working, let me know if it does or not. Either way, thanks for the effort!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    36,723
    My browser is set to accept cookies. It never emails me the confirmation - I get the screen to vote, and it gives me the "validation word" and a place to type that in, and then a field to type in my email address. I fill in both fields, hit the Vote button and it says "The validation text is invalid."
    I've Been Frosted

  5. #5
    All I know (from trying things out myself and going through the same issues you did) was that if you are allowing cookies, then you also either need to specifically allow paradowski.com or generally allow "3rd party cookies" (3rd party cookies are those that come from a site other than the site you are visiting).

    Here's the FAQ page from the website, it addresses the issue you have, but mainly says what I've already said (but maybe in a different way that will be more clear): http://www.monsanto.com/stlouis/Page...ting-faqs.aspx

    If none of this works for you, then don't sweat it, I really appreciate simply the effort. I know other people have had similar problems, and I think the company administering the website should have made things more straightforward.

    If I come across a simpler fix, I'll post it here.

    Thanks again!

    EDIT: If the cookies are set correctly, you should receive the following text (within the green box) after you vote:

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