If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me for a t-shirt, I’d have at least enough for a new Zune HD (how’s that for a shameless product plug?) So rather than all of you being at the mercy of my random whims and free time where I can actually respond to said requests, we’re going to start something a little new here at Bing Ranch.
Every Friday we’re gonna do two things: First, I’m introducing “Viewer Mail” whereby me or someone else from the team (I seem to be traveling a lot) will take a few questions from the community forums, the Twitter, and Facebook and answer them live. That’s right – no script, no adult supervision, all danger. You want your question answered? Make sure it is something that has an answer (no fair asking me to prove that the universe is expanding or Fermet’s Last Theorem), that it is conforms to the usual morals of our society, and doesn’t involve trade secrets (like what kind of Pomade I use to make my hair so spiky). Tag it with #stefquestion on any of the social media channels so we can find it. Sorry if I don’t get to all of them but for the ones that I do answer, it will be epic.
Second, we’re starting “Free T-Shirt Friday”. It’s pretty simple: after I get done with my Q&As, I’ll throw out a theme. Think “Summer Vacation”. You all use the Twitter to hit @bing back with a query string that best exemplifies the theme (something like this: click here). We will pick the top 10 using no other criteria than we think they’re funny, cool, unique or just because they are generally awesome. We will broadcast the winners in some way or another, most likely twitter, possibly facebook and if your answer is really awesome we may give you a shout out on the Bing Blog. If you do intend to play, which we hope you do and you would like to know you have won…make sure you are following us on Twitter so we can DM (direct message) you so we can get your snail mail address and t-shirt size and then through the magic of US Mail, you’ll get a Bing t-shirt.
Because this is technically a contest, I called my friends over in legal to ask if there was anything I needed to do. It went like this:
Stefan: Hey Mary Kay, Stefan.
Mary Kay (The smartest and best looking person in the entire legal department at Microsoft): Oh no.
Stefan: No no. I didn’t do anything yet.
MK: [Silence] (I think she does this because she knows I keep talking and eventually say something dumb)
Stefan: Look, I didn’t know the kites were aluminum. Who does that? Seriously. But in any case, the power outage only lasted for a day and the city said that transformer needed replacing anyway, so no harm no foul except for Mr. Johanssen’s baklava. But, I digress.
MK: What do you want?
Stefan: I want to give away t-shirts. It’s not a contest – so I don’t need a bunch of legalish rules.
MK: I read your email – it’s pretty much a contest.
Stefan: [silence] (seeing if that works on her….Nope)
MK: Hello? I’m pretty busy here.
Stefan: Sorry – flossing.
MK: I’ll send you something you can post. Don’t forget to do it. Seriously.
Stefan: Did I eat a salad for lunch?
And so as a result of this interaction, below are the rules for Free T-Shirt Friday. Read them. Love them. Make Mary Kay’s work worthwhile.
Until Friday, keep on Binging.
*UPDATE: We are listening…and have heard the screams from across the pacific and atlantic and are opening up #FTF to non-50-states-residents. So any of our followers on Twitter are now able to play!!
MICROSOFT FREE T-SHIRT FRIDAY CONTEST
COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES:
These are the official rules that govern how the Microsoft “FREE T-SHIRT FRIDAY” Contest promotion will operate (“Contest”).
In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of this Contest. “You” refers to an eligible Contest entrant.
WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES?
The Contest will begin on Friday, [date], and will continue each subsequent Friday (beginning at 12:10 am PT and ending at 11:59 PM PT) until cancelled by Sponsor.
CAN I ENTER?
You are eligible to enter this Contest if you meet the following requirements at time entry:
· You are a Bing Twitter follower, and are 13 years of age or older; and
· You are NOT an employee of Microsoft Corporation or an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary; and
· You are NOT involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Contest; and
· You are NOT an immediate family (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or household member of a Microsoft employee, an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Contest.
This Contest is void outside the geographic area described above and wherever else prohibited by law.
HOW DO I ENTER?
Each Friday, Sponsor will conduct a Contest by inviting visitors to respond to a prompt via http://twitter.com/bing. Visitors will have until 5:00 PM PT to respond via a “tweet” to @bing with the #fsf tag to be considered in the Contest. The entry you submit must be your own creation, and must not infringe on any 3rd party copyrighted materials.
We will only accept one (1) entry per eligible person per Contest. Non-winning entries will not be included in subsequent Contest; you must enter each Contest separately.
We are not responsible for entries that we do not receive for any reason, or for entries that we receive but are not decipherable for any reason.
We will automatically disqualify:
· Any incomplete or illegible entry; and
· Any entries that we receive from you that are in excess of the entry limit described above; and
· Any entry that in the sole discretion of Sponsor, is offensive or contains any sexually explicit, disparaging, defamatory, libelous, obscene, or other inappropriate content, or any content that would Sponsor, in an unflattering light.
WINNER DETERMINATION AND PRIZES
At the close of each Friday, all entries will be judged based on originality, humor and creativity, and at least 5 winners will be selected to win a Microsoft Bing branded T-shirt (Approximate Retail Value $10). Sponsor reserves the right to select fewer than 5 winners if there are not enough entries to meet the minimum judging criteria.
If you are a potential winner, we will notify you by sending a direct message to you via the social media site where you entered within seven (7) days following completion of judging. If the notification that we send is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable for any reason, we may award the prize to an alternate winner.
If there is a dispute as to who is the potential winner, we will consider the potential winner to be the authorized account holder of the social media account used to enter the Contest. If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release and a W-9 tax form or W-8 BEN tax form within 10 days of notification. If you are a potential winner, but are considered a minor in your place of legal residence, we may require your parent or legal guardian to sign all required forms on your behalf. If you do not complete the required forms as instructed and/or return the required forms within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select a runner-up.
If you are confirmed as a winner of a Contest:
· You may not exchange your prize for cash or any other merchandise or services. However, if for any reason an advertised prize is unavailable, we reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value; and
· You may not designate someone else as the winner. If you are unable or unwilling to accept your prize, we may award it to a runner up; and
· If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize; and
· If you are otherwise eligible for this Contest, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf; and
· Unless otherwise noted, all prizes are subject to their manufacturer’s warranty and / or terms and conditions.
WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS AM I AGREEING TO BY ENTERING?
By entering this Contest you agree:
· To abide by these Official Rules; and
· To release and hold harmless Microsoft and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees and agents from any and all liability or any injury, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Contest, or any prize won; and
· That Microsoft’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Contest; and
· That, by accepting a prize, Microsoft may use of your proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Contest, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law.
WHAT LAWS GOVERN THE WAY THIS CONTEST IS EXECUTED AND ADMINISTRATED?
This Contest will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Washington for any disputes arising out of this Contest.
WHAT IF SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS AND THE CONTEST CAN’T RUN AS PLANNED?
If someone cheats, or a virus, bug, catastrophic event, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, (also referred to as force majeure) affects the fairness and / or integrity of this Contest, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Contest. This right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Contest, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Contest.
If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Contest by hacking or by cheating or committing fraud in ANY way, we may seek damages from you to the fullest extent permitted by law. Further, we may ban you from participating in any of our future Contest, so please play fairly.
WHO IS SPONSORING THIS CONTEST?
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052