Winners announced for verification contest

We've been verifying users left and right since Rex made the announcement on Dec. 22.  When we started this process, I honestly was skeptical that many people would be willing to participate in our experiment of an open, verified community online. You guys have proven me wrong. As of today, we have more than 450 verified commenters and 64 pending applications.

And, as promised, those 450 verified commenters were entered into a drawing today — a token of our thanks for taking the time to get verified early. We are pleased to announce our winners:

  • Michael Blais, of Lewiston, has won a $100 gift certificate to Best Buy
  • Marc A. J. Jalbert, of Lewiston, has won lunch with Executive Editor Rex Rhoades
  • Joe Gray, of Auburn, has won a police beat ride-along with reporter Mark LaFlamme

Thanks so much to Michael, Marc, and Joe, and everyone who has been verified.

Have you put in an application for verified status? You can check your profile here to see if it's gone through. Everyone who has been verified has a cool green badge when they comment, and in their profile like this:

You have until Feb. 1 to apply for verified status if you have not done so already to continue commenting on After Feb. 1, commenting privileges will be shut off for all users that have not gone through the verification process.

It really has been a pleasure to speak to you all on the phone and read all your profiles. Thanks again for being a part of our community.

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PAUL ST JEAN's picture

When my son was in his

When my son was in his adolescent years he took guitar lessons from Denny Breau and Marc Jalbert, both guitar legends in their own time. I wonder if the Marc Jalbert who will be joining Rex Rhoades for lunch is the same "Guitar Man".

Roger Castonguay's picture


I would enjoy the police beat ride with Mr.LaFlamme.He appears to be quite an entertaining character, it would definitely make for an amusing time.

Ron Dexter's picture


Was hoping for the Best Buy gift certificate! Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Congrats!

Mike Wendell's picture

Maybe next time

I was too actually. Need a new external hard drive. :)

AL PELLETIER's picture


A lot of the posts I have read in this forum got nasty, mean spirited , and down right threatening when it comes down to political issues. I applaud SJ for this move that makes those who post accountable for the content of their contribution.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Some are still pretty nasty,

Some are still pretty nasty, fern, except now, the "Bouncers" can act with greater authority.

Mike Wendell's picture

Not to make light of this but....

What's sad about this is that one of the winners has actually commented previously.

edit: Try #2 on the Captcha....

Jack Tetreault's picture


What's neat is that I know two of the winners. I have never known winners of like drawings.

Mike Wendell's picture

Spam spam spam spam and more spam

I have a feeling that 90% of those accounts are actually bot created with the plan to use them at a later date for spam runs. I consult with a number of online communities ranging from basic blogging sites to more web 2.0 social networks and that's the general thought.

I think it was blogger that had been estimated that 78% of their accounts were spam.


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