**** COMPETITION WINNERS ****
I'm sure you are desperate to know who the winners of the 1000th ChocolateMission post competition are, so please let me reveal all ....
Starting with our 3 runners-up we have ....
... each winning a Hotel Chocolat Sleekster Selection box ...
Daniel Ness, Plymouth
Coleen Allison, Leeds
Emma Reid, Berkshire
... and our winner ... taking home the Hotel Chocolat Mini Chocolatiers Table ....
. is .......
Paul Marshall, Oldham
Congratulations to the winners, and thank you all for your entries (more than 10,000!). If you didn't win don't worry ... there will be another competition coming very soon!
*** READER SITE SUGGESTIONS ***
During my 1000th post I asked you readers how I should change the site to make it better. Through the mediums of Twitter, e-mail, Facebook and on-site comments I received plenty of suggestions. Here are my comments in regards to the more popular/realistic suggestions I received.
1. "ChocolateMission Chocolate Shop" - I announced at the start of the year that the wheels were motion for me to set up my own shop. Unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to dedicate enough time to make this a reality as yet. I don't want to make promises, but this is still very much something I would like to have set up and functional by the end of the year. All I can say is keep your eyes and ears open for news in the near future.
2. "Create a Chocolate Swap Shop" - In the coming month I will be creating a section on the site for people to do this. It will be as simple as me creating a page where you guys can leave comments stating where you are based, and what sort of swap you are looking for. I will not be taking responsibility or any governance role over these chocolate swaps, though I will be recognising successful traders in the main body of the post on that page.
3. "Can you review more things we can buy in the UK" - I understand that not being able to buy some of the products I review may be frustrating, however the website is visited by people from all over the world. In order to keep these interesting and to appeal to a wide audience I will have to continue reviewing products from a widespread distribution.
4. "Create a ChocolateMission Forum" - Personally this is something I'm not keen on doing, however if there is widespread demand I will seriously consider it. Currently I think the 'Comment' functionality is working quite well for the site, and the number of posts a day seems to be ever increasing. Whilst I can see the benefits of having a forum, I can also that this would be a lot of additional work for myself what with the upkeep and maintenance demands that such functionality would demand. My suggestion in the short term would be that if you want to create discussions, or debate things ... use the 'Comment' button. If this isn't meeting peoples needs I will happily reconsider my stance.
5. "Improve the website design" - This site is by no means perfect, but I quite like the rough around the edges presentation style. I think if I was to get a snazzier looking design people might think that I am taking myself a little bit too seriously as a 'chocolate critic'. If anyone knows/is a website designer I could possibly be swayed in to changing the design if they could spoon feed me how to make the changes (or want to design it themselves ;) ). One thing I will be changing soon is adding some 'popular brands' buttons to make some of the more popular reviews easier to find. Again any further suggestions on how to improve the site functionality are very welcome.
6. "Make your competitions worldwide" - Yep ok! I promise that by the end of the year I will have at least one competition that is open to EVERYONE. Message received loud and clear :D
7. "Make a thumbs up functionality for the products" - Currently there is a stars rating available under each review. I will be adding a Facebook 'Like' button in the next few days as well.
If I have missed out your suggestion please drop me a note with what it was and I will gt back to you.
A big thanks to everyone who had nice words to say about the site, there were so many of you I was very surprised by all the love. Please continue to read, who knows I may make it to 2,000 posts :D
Have great weekends