About a month ago we decided to hold a "membership" contest on both Facebook and Twitter. We offered to give away free issues of Fiction International by offering what we thought were similar goals: When the Facebook fan page reached 500, we would give away 5 issues, and when Twitter followers reached 300, we would give away 5 issues. We saw that each entity was just over 100 fans/followers away from reaching their respective goals, so we reasoned that the contest was fair for both.
Wrong! Simple gamblers' math would tell us that five issues divided among 500 fans is not the same as five issues divided among 300 followers - but we are not gamblers, so.... However, some of the fans/followers are better at gamblers' math than we are, and Twitter's followers quickly pulled ahead of Facebook's fans. As I write this (12/20/2011) we have added 287 Twitter followers (out of 300) and 446 Facebook fans (out of 500).
But the contest isn't over yet, so we've decided to even the odds a bit, plus we will increase the number of free issues we will award: When Facebook reaches its goal, we will give away 50 free issues, and when Twitter reaches its goal we will give away 30 free issues. (50 for 500 versus 30 for 300). This means - we think! - that the odds of winning a free issue will be one in ten regardless of which entity you use.
Plus we have a wide variety of issues to choose from! Take a look at our website, because we have a lot of issues that are still relevant to contemporary cultures. Our themes have a loooonngg shelf life. One or more will certainly interest you. Plus you can sample most of the issues: We have added links to a few of the stories for nearly every issue we will give away.
And the free issues will be distributed on a first-come basis so if you are selected as one of the Lucky Fifty (or Lucky Thirty) and act quickly, you will probably receive the issue you want. Win-win!
We are also trying to "clean up" the Twitter followers a bit, because at least three people created empty Twitter accounts, where we were the only person the account was followed, and without any personal information or tweets, so - to be fair to other Twitter users - we deleted these empty accounts from the competition.
Though we are flattered that so many people want a free issue of Fiction International!