Why The Big Secret?

CompetitionsGuide.com.au Stories

Why are websites (including competitions sites) so secretive about who's behind them? A couple of things have prompted me to write this blog ....

Firstly, around 4 years ago we featured in our first Today Tonight story. One of the large forum sites (not the paid one, who to be fair lists his own mobile number on the homepage) complained that they never get a fair go from the media, and should be featured in stories. Only problem is that it's impossible to know who they are, and they don't even have a 'Contact Us' page.

Secondly, not long ago another 'Aussie Competitions Site' was using Google advertising text that alluded to being connected to us. I managed to track them down, and found they were based in Malta. Go figure.

So, this being the case, again I wonder why more web publishers and editors don't stand up and say this is my site!.

Instead, go to most About Us Pages, and you'll get the usual we this ... we that .... we're Australia's favourite something or other .... but no 'this is exactly who we are'.

Putting a face to a website is a big call, but it's all about putting a face to a name. Sure, being identifiable makes you more accountable, but that's just part of the job. As website owners we happily take your details (though in our case not many), but when it comes to you finding out a little about the site in return .... nothin'

Magazines always identify their Editorial staff by name. TV and radio stations the same, so why not websites?

My feeling is that if privacy is an issue, don't start a website.

More importantly, what do you think? Should website owners identify themselves? Is this something you've looked for in the past? Does it make a difference to you?

As always, keen to know what you think!


Yours Comp-letely,

Craig Seitam 11/12/12

*P.S for those of you too young to remember, the cartoon pic is of 'Secret Squirrel' - very popular in the 70's :)

Comments

yep
site should be more open 2 da public and 2 know who's my details 2
Alison (Member Number: 190001)
Do I really want to enter?
Sometime the hassle of signing up just to win a competition isnt worth it! The amount of spam that hits your inbox from some competition sites is unbelievable. Always check to see if there is a box to opt out of communications, if not then be prepared to receive lost of junk mail!
Tina (Member Number: 177689)
Can we suggest competitions elsewhere?
I wondered if we can suggest competitions on other sites e.g. a manufacturer site that has a great competition happening?
Kim (Member Number: 183897)
Annoying
When I receive an email from Competitions Guide recommending particular competitions there is no link taking me direct to these competitions. I have to scroll through endless pages to find the nominated competitions.

Also, too much unnecessary personal information is requested to enter many of the competitions. I won't submit an entry where this is the case.
Sue (Member Number: 155774)
Feels like you're giving your details to ASIO
The first thing I check when I join a website is the "Contact Us" page. If there isn't any real contact details there (i.e. just a form) I give it a miss. ASIO already know enough about me. I don't need to spread the love further.
Simone (Member Number: 2251)
Agreed
Great post. One of the things I love about this site is the transparency.

I'm a member of the site you mention but have been visiting it less, because I feel it's been going downhill since last year.

The quality of the site has changed, in particular:
1- There are an increasing number of small blog/rafflecopter competitions that clutter the site (eg. 'Win a recycled garden ornament worth $10' etc).

2- While moderators in the past have been great, there are a couple now who aren't very good. And a lot of the mods/members who made it a great site have left.

Regarding the secrecy: Yes, I do see it as a bit strange. I imagine if you made a donation to the site you would be able to see the recipient's details via Paypal? But, yes an 'About' page would be nice!

Oh, yes and I agree with the other comment about competitions that ask for heaps of details (particularly D.O.B). Even for competitions with age restrictions, surely the year and month would suffice?
Kaya (Member Number: 39524)
My first win
I just won a $500 voucher for Luxury Portraits. Unfortunately I can't get to Brisbane to have it done so my partner and I gave it to his dad and wife, but I don't care I won, I won! :-D
Amber (Member Number: 166032)
eGuide
The fantastic free competition e-guide has made me understand when to bother entering a competition and not waste my time.
Louise (Member Number: 90513)
An interesting thought!
I'd never really considered the idea that websites should have the identity of the owner shown - I know I do with my own business site, but I don't look for it on any other site I browse. A case of out of site, out of mind perhaps? I'll be keeping a closer eye on the sites I visit from now on.
Ashley (Member Number: 132113)
Awesome
This is great
Breanna (Member Number: 173348)
Spam
Im kinder over all the spam emails i recieve from thinking im entering competitions. I just got an email I registered with some hotel in America, this concerns me as you are asked for all your details including DOB, whos to say someones not using our details over seas
Kellie (Member Number: 164739)
I agree
I think you should have an owner/manager of a website identified with it and they should have a contact us section too.
One thing I really hate are all these comps are now starting to be on Facebook and to enter you have to like them. Well I very really enter one of those comps as I don't want to have to go to facebook and like them to enter.
I have been a member of competitions guide for a few years now still haven't won anything but hey I still try.
Thank you for your site :)
Marion (Member Number: 2145)
Agreed
I agree. I think it is important for website owners to identify themselves. I am definitely cautious about which websites I give personal information to. I usually try to remember to check out Contact/About Us pages and also read Terms and Conditions carefully.
Kim (Member Number: 146938)
this site
I haven't done much comping but I'd like to be able to search by prize. Is that possible?
Nell (Member Number: 24613)
Best ever
I always check for contact info, if I'm not 100% sure I don't give my details, competition guide is the only website I have come across that doesn't have a catch to signing up,thank you and keep up the great work
Denise (Member Number: 107859)
I won after a week!
A week after signing up with Competitions Guide, I won a Vuly trampoline from the first competition I entered! I love it and I'm telling everyone to check out this site!
Natasha (Member Number: 167579)
Contactless sites
I always read the Privacy Policy first then look for contact info, if I don't like what I find I leave asap!
Tina (Member Number: 136061)
Double Standards
True they should have to disclose who is behind the operation of the site and blogs, exspecially in circumstances where you have to enter personal information.
Zoe (Member Number: 170056)
GREAT SITE
I love Competitions Guide ,wonderful Competitions ,I enter as many as i can and i would love to win one.
Judith (Member Number: 45690)
Trustworthy
I am always very careful with sites I join and the information I give out. Can be quite dangerous these days and quite scary! It is always a breath of fresh air to know what exactly the site entails.
Sara (Member Number: 82082)
Now that you mention it....
Now that you mention it I do think web site should be accountable. I have never really thought about it in too mach detail but yes when we buy a magazine the editor etc. is listed, companies list CEO's etc. but is a name just enough? I think it is time to see some sort of Australian Website Registry where you can only be a member if you have fitted with certain criteria that validates you as a trusted site. This way people could safely converse with those approved members and stay away from others!
Rachel (Member Number: 55352)
Depends on what they want from me
I'm a member of the site to which I think you are referring. To be honest I'm not too sure who is behind it but since all I have given them is an email address and a password that is not used anywhere else I'm not particularly concerned about them. I appreciate my illusion of anonymity and understand why the operators might wish to do the same. I do understand though that this does make them less attractive as a contact point for mainstream media.

Who I am concerned about is all the free comp sites who want full address info, DOB, Mobile number, income details and more just to have access to enter a competition. So many times when I look at the Promoter details on the competition T&Cs it will end up being the same few company names (including one that is a family trust!). They seem to create websites willy-nilly just to try to harvest information. I steer completely clear of them.
Ross (Member Number: 5410)
who are you?
yes it would be nice to put a name to a face. Even then people may not put their real picture
Natasha (Member Number: 18083)
Once bitten?
Although I think websites should list all their details (not just a PO Box) under their contacts page, consumers also need to be really aware of the site they're on. I do know of someone who put all of their details including their Tax File number into a competition form! Think about the information you're being asked for and if it doesn't seem right get off there quickly!
Diane (Member Number: 131208)
The Personal Touch
Adding faces and names to a site or Facebook page adds a nice personal touch and works for me. Although I suspect a few dodgy sites and pages make that up too! Knowing whether a site is OK comes with practice
Fi (Member Number: 45472)
It's Good Business
If the site is being run generating income and collecting information, it ought to be a legal requirement in Australia to disclose real contact information and locations at the least due to our taxation and privacy and company laws which are meant to protect us consumers.
The fact that they feel the need to operate overseas indicates something fishy!

Elizabeth (Member Number: 111619)
I Agree
Look, i'll be honest, i dont check the details of every website/competition i enter, really who has the time? If you enter as many comps as me, you would be there all day. I do look at some of the details, & if it looks dodge, i just dont enter, luv your site btw :)
Kim (Member Number: 65678)
Absolutely!
They're getting our details - so why shouldn't we know who they *really* are? Love the "Aussie Competitions Site" being in Malta! Yikes!
Karina (Member Number: 168719)
It's a big Concern
I always check to see who is running a website or where it comes from and the majority you can't find who it is that runs it and I think it is a big concern.You don't know who you could be giving your details to.And as a rule I generally don't enter competitions where I haven't heard of them or are not a reputable company.And I may be over cautious, but I will always google to see if I find out anything bad about the website.If I don't see who they are or where they are from I don't put any details in at all.
Debbie (Member Number: 4163)
Disclosure for trust
In this day and age,if they want to have a good reputation,they've got to earn the people's trust by disclosing who they are.
Richard (Member Number: 139264)
Who are you?
I always check the "Contact" and "About Us" pages of a website. If a site doesn't have this information, then they don't get my information!
Merryl (Member Number: 56367)
agree totally
yep you are so right why hide behind a computer if everything is legal
Georgina (Member Number: 133829)
Christmas 2012
Looking forward to Xmas but I'm not happy at the moment because I can't do the christmas shopping because of huge bills to pay! :(
Gerard (Member Number: 156278)
Big Secret
I'd prefer to know who I am giving my details to for sure.
Mandy (Member Number: 3297)
Totally agree
I totally agree that websites should put a face to them, I like to know who I'm interacting with. There are too many fraudsters out in cyberspace and it's nice to know that you can trust a site who don't keep any secrets about who they are.
Christine (Member Number: 2053)
open sites
yes sites should be more open to the public
Anthony (Member Number: 163565)

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