Random.org has potential for digital media

Random.org picture
Random.org offers news sites the ability to run unbiased drawings.

Need to inspire readers with an external motivation, but hoping to save time as well?

Try Random.org to sort lists of student names, and receive a randomly sorted list of winners.

For example, my students are trying to collect pre-orders for a Subway sandwich and meals fundraiser.  Our goal is to collect pre-orders, so we don’t lose any money.  However, we don’t get many pre-orders, so we decided to give away an incentive to those who do.

Rather than typing, printing, and cutting into slips of paper the names of students and teachers who pre-order, this website offers newspaper programs like mine a time-saving alternative.

By simply typing the names and asking for a random list, we have a winner.  If a winner is needed from a big list, it’s possible to cut and paste the list into the website.

The #1 on the list (or for that matter, #1 – #3, for example) might be the contest prize winner(s).  What’s better is that the staff has run an unbiased, efficient contest.

Many more options exist on the website, such as flipping a coin.  I like this for having fun in the newsroom, when I need to break up a serious talk and add some humor.

It’s definitely worth checking out.

An added value might come in the form of developing a weekly widget for a news site to draw consistent readers to it.  There’s tons of potential here.

 

 

 

Michelle Harmon

Michelle Harmon is in her 13th year of teaching and advising the school newspaper at Borah High School in Boise, Idaho. She is state director of Idaho JEA and President of the Idaho Student Journalism Association.

mharmon has 55 posts and counting.See all posts by mharmon

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