Welcome Back Facebook (plus news/info for Twitter too)

Ok first of all I have to welcome all the people on Facebook back to being able to access this site through Facebook. It’s been a long 9 months or so since Facebook blocked links to the site because it apparently breached their community standards (it didn’t) but we seem to be back up and running! Especially if you saw a link to this post on Facebook

I wanted to take the next few minutes to run through some stuff I’ve already mentioned to the people on Twitter but the people on Facebook may have missed. Twitter peeps don’t worry there may be new information for you as I’m going to go into a bit more detail.

The first thing I want to talk about are my plans for how I will source the spoiler depending on a number of scenarios. At the moment we know that Strictly will go ahead with a shorter than normal series. Also the Prime Minister announced the other week that audiences will be permitted in situations such as Strictly from October.

If Strictly goes ahead with an audience as it looks like it may be able to do so there shouldn’t be any change to the spoiler or how it is sourced and posted here. Though I will stress the importance that if you are part of the spoiler community and are lucky enough to get tickets please offer your services as a mole especially if the audience isn’t running at normal capacity as moles could be harder to come by this year!

However I also have a contingency plan for if there is no audience. Regular visitors to the website will know that I run polls every week. If there is no audience and therefore no moles my plan is to freeze the polls at a time when the the spoiler would normally be released and then plug the results of that poll into the scoring system in order to generate a result. I’ve done this with historic data for 2016 and 2017 and the results were promising with the elimination being correct a majority of the time.

I will not lie. This does not produce accurate results 100% of the time. But it does most of the time and given a choice between shutting up shop and giving up my job for a year or trying to get you guys a spoiler result even if that result is occasionally wrong there is no choice. Asking me to rest the spoiler for a year would be like asking any other employee to not work for a year and to do it with no pay. Not even furlough pay. I cannot do it! And it’s not like my self employment income support scheme grant will cover my bills as due to the years they use to assess it it isn’t anything close to the 80% of my income it is supposed to be but I’m getting political now so I’m going to move on.

I also mentioned the other week, but Facebook will have missed it, that I wouldn’t be able to run regular competitions this series and just wanted to expand a bit more on that decision and the reason behind it.

Every year for the last 5 years or so I’ve run some kind of a competition for all you guys getting involved in the discussions here and on social networks. Thousands of pounds worth of prizes have been paid out over the years with those prizes being paid for out of my income as a way to reward the people who help to make this site and the community what it is.

I am really sorry I will not be able to run a competition during the 2020 series and that’s going to be the case whether it happens socially distanced or happens normally. There’s just too many variables going on at the moment to allow me to accurately predict my income and budget for prizes. Advertisers have lower advertising budgets right now which means the income for many websites which depend on adverts is reduced and my income is down for this time of the year. I have no idea what it will be like when things start to pick up in a couple of months time.

Plus what I don’t want to do is promise and even award prizes only for my income to dry up and me not be able to pay them out. That would be a massive PR disaster and I’d rather say there won’t be any competitions and then maybe do the odd spot prize if my income and budget permits it rather than make promises I cannot keep.

The majority of you have been understanding of this decision and it is much appreciated. The competitions after all are a bonus. The majority of you are here for the spoiler!

One final thing I want to discuss is something that’s been a bit of a burning topic on Facebook and Twitter lately and that is the monetisation on this website and on my social networking channels. This year more than ever I am going to have to push the monetisation especially with the series being shorter and there being no Christmas Special so my income is already going to be down 33% and that’s assuming advertising pays the same as it did last year. Which it wont because advertising budgets are down as everyone is tightening their purses.

I also understand that those of you who would previously help me out directly with a financial donation to help towards my costs may not be able to do so this year as this pandemic has hit many people’s pockets hard!

One thing I will be pushing more and that’s been true the last few weeks on Facebook/Twitter are the energy switching links because they are a really good way to support me for free whilst earning yourself £50 and getting cheaper bills in the process. Please, please, please if you are based in the UK and are responsible for paying your energy bills just take two minutes out your time to check your prices using my link. Octopus energy have cheap green energy with 100% of their Electric coming from renewable sources.

If you have a smart meter and drive an electric car they have a fantastic tariff called Agile Octopus which has prices changing every 30 minutes allowing you to choose the best and cheapest time slot to run energy hungry appliances or charge your vehicle. I don’t have an electric car and I still save on average 40% compared to a regular electricity tariff just by doing things like running my washing machine and tumble dryer in cheaper time slots. Plus if there is surplus energy on the national grid on this tariff you can even get paid to use electricity!

Don’t worry if you don’t have a smart meter though as they offer normal tariffs too. Plus there is no lock-in and no early exit fee should you ever decide to leave them.

If you are lucky enough to be able to support me with a direct financial donation you can do so using THIS LINK or the button below to make a one off donation. In the current pandemic and with my income likely to be down significantly this year your donations are appreciated more than ever but please only make a direct financial donation if it wont cause you any hardship!

Or why not make a regular donation and get a warm fuzzy feeling by signing up to my patreon page. You can pledge various levels of support from £3 per month and if enough of you sign up I can start looking at exclusive patreon content!

While we are talking about monetisation if you guys have any ideas of the sort of things you’d like to see, perhaps something you’ve seen on other sites, let me know and I’ll look into implementing it here. You can get in touch in the comments or over on the social networks.

We should be just a matter of days away from the contestant announcements although there is a chance they will be delayed. Either way as soon as the BBC start to reveal them I will post them here at the home of the strictly spoiler too! Until then keep safe and keep dancing!

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