And the winner is…

Thanks to everyone who entered to win a pair of free tickets to Batman Live. The person who designed the Batmobile for the show was Gordon Murray, legendary sportscar designer who also has the iconic McLaren F1 road car under his belt.

The winning entry, selected at random (using was from Kylee Bell.

Congratulations Kylee, I hope you enjoy the show. Commiserations to everyone else – but keep an eye out for any future competitions on the site.

Win a pair of tickets to see Batman Live [competition]

This competition is now closed.

Last week we told you about the upcoming UK tour of Batman Live, the live action stage show starring the caped crusader. Now we’re giving you the chance to go along…

See Batman the world’s most popular DC Super Hero as you’ve never seen him before, in an all-new, live-action arena adventure, set to take the world by storm. Join Batman and Robin as they battle their nemesis The Joker and other super-villains such as The Riddler, Catwoman, The Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, set on destroying Gotham City. Totally authentic, bold and awe-inspiring, BATMAN LIVE will be a completely new way to experience the world of Batman. This is one adventure you do not want to miss!

We are offering you the opportunity to win a pair of tickets to the opening night of Batman Live at the venue of your choice (past venues excluded, obviously).

To be in with the chance of winning this fantastic prize, simply answer the following question:
Who designed the Batmobile for the Batman Live show?

Sorry, this competition is now closed.

Entries must be received by 23:59 on Sunday 24th July. The winner will be announced on Monday 25th of July. The winner’s details will then be passed on to AKA, the promoters of Batman Live, for the purposes of the winner and AKA booking tickets at the venue of the winner’s choice. Non-winners’ details will be destroyed, and not passed on to any third parties.

AKA’s Terms and Conditions: Tickets valid for the first night in your chosen city. No alternative date. Transportation to and from the venue is not included in the prize. Tickets subject to availability. Winning tickets will be reserved at the Box Office for collection on the day of performance. No cash alternative, prize is non-transferable. Entries are limited. The prize is as stated and is non-transferable. All entries must be received by 23:59 on Sunday 24th July. Each correct entry received will be entered into the draw. Regretfully in the event that the event/concert is cancelled by the artist/promoter, tickets for alternative event/concerts will not be provided to winners. The Producers of Batman Live have the right to cancel this promotion at any time.

Have fun, and good luck!

What can competitions do for your blog?

Post image by European Parliament

When Geek-Speak turned two, I ran my first online competition. There were several prizes, and all people had to do was to answer a question correctly to be entered into a random draw. My main aim was to say thanks to the people who had read the blog over the last two years, but there was an unexpected side effect:

My e-mail list grew tenfold in a week.

I was stunned – I’d always believed it was hard to get people to hand over their e-mail address and here they were doing so without being specifically asked to.

The next time I ran a competition I decided to make membership of the mailing list one of the requirements for winning. After all, I figured it would be interesting to see whether there was an even bigger increase if you actually asked for people to sign up. Oddly, there wasn’t. The response was much smaller and I’m not sure whether that was because it was obvious I was after people’s e-mails this time, or because it was a smaller competition.

Still, the lesson is clear: running competitions brings short-term traffic increase and can encourage people to sign up to your mailing list if you have one. The benefits are obvious then and, assuming you can afford do it, there’s no reason for not running contests on your blog. Just be sure to have the “rules” clear in your mind so that there’s no opportunity for people to argue over the choice of winner.

Competition Hunting…

Here’s the part that I really want to tell you about, though: a large number of the people visiting your site, and signing up to your mailing list, are only interested in the competition. Some will decide to stay on your mailing list and see what pearls of wisdom you’re prepared to cast their way, but don’t be surprised if some unsubscribe straight after you announce the competition winner. After all, if they’re only there to win, why stick around afterwards? Don’t be surprised either if some unsubscribe over the next few weeks or months, or perhaps don’t open your e-mails at all.

There’s an upside and a downside to running competitions then, the traffic will die down again, some e-mail subscribers will leave, but competitions are still brilliant for getting some publicity, getting people to take a look at your site, and having that chance to grab people’s attention so that they sign up as subscribers and stay signed up.

I’ve had great fun running the few competitions I have, and I definitely plan to do more. I want to encourage you to think about whether you could run a blog contest. If you’re worried about prizes, don’t be: they don’t have to be massively expensive and you might just want to offer the latest bestseller from Amazon… but whatever you do, it’ll gain you experience and publicity. Neither of which is a bad thing, is it?

If you do decide to run a competition, leave a comment here and let us all know about it!

Unlap competition winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition to win an Unlap t-shirt. The winner has been chosen using‘s random number generator and I’m pleased to tell you the winner is… (drum roll)

Alex T!

Congratulations Alex. I’ll drop you an e-mail today with details of how to claim your prize. And thanks once again to everyone who took part!

Unlap competition – closing Wednesday

Happy Monday all – just a quick reminder today. The competition to win an Unlap t-shirt closes at 00:01 on Wednesday morning, so if you haven’t entered it and you’d like a free motorsport-themed t-shirt head on over and get your entry in.

That’s all :) Have a great day, and a great week.

Competition: Win an Unlap motorsport t-shirt

This competition is now closed – the winner will be announced shortly.

As part of the Geek-Speak 2nd birthday competition (last February), motorsport artist Luke Pollard donated a fantastic print of Jensen Button in his championship winning Brawn GP car. Well, that proved massively popular, and I thought it was high time to have another competition.

As well as producing those great prints, Luke also produces some wonderful motorsport-themed t-shirts, bibs, and bags. They’re for sale on his Unlap site and mix a great style with fun sense of humour. I especially like how Luke has taken events from the last few Grands Prix and made t-shirts that comment on them.

Well, here’s the deal. Firstly, go and have a look around Unlap. I will buy one person a t-shirt from the site… could it be you?

How to enter and win an Unlap t-shirt

It’s simple.

  1. Sign up to receive my e-mail newsletter. You can sign up using the form in the sidebar.
  2. Leave a comment here saying that you’d like to be entered into the competition.

That’s it! The winner will be selected randomly from the comments left here. I’ll be checking the winning comment’s e-mail address against the newsletter subscribers, so please make sure you use the same address for both. If the randomly selected comment doesn’t appear in the email list, I’ll select another one.

You don’t need to pick your t-shirt now… wait until the competition closes ‘cos Luke will most likely be adding new designs before then.

The competition closes at 00:01 BST on Wednesday 18th August 2010, and the winner will be announced and contacted later that day.

Good luck!

V competition winners and series review

Thanks to everyone who took part in the competition to win a SciFi goody bag and signed V poster. The answer to the question is that the aliens in V are called The Visitors. The winners have been randomly selected from the correct answers and their names are:

  • Ross Drummond
  • Cathy Chambers
  • Natalie Henderson

Well done guys!

The series
V premiered last night on the SciFi channel (now SyFy) with a double-bill. I’ve mentioned before that I missed out on the original series, but how does this one look?

Series starts can be a bit slow sometimes, carefully setting up and introducing the major characters and plot elements. The pilot episodes of V manage to keep the audience interested while introducing lots of points that will, no doubt, end up being important as the series progresses.

There are certainly plenty of questions that we’ll want answered as we go along. What are the Vs here for? Do we know who’s human and who’s not? There’s a great quote in the V press release, “Only one race will survive but will it be us or them?” I wonder…

V is a visual treat, especially in high definition. The ships look lovely, although I think I can see when a green-screen has been used to add in a background. It doesn’t ruin the shot or anything, but it’s just a little noticeable. Morena Baccarin (Inara Serra in Firefly) plays the role of Anna, the V leader, really well – friendly in a sort of creepy, otherworldly way.

It’s early days for V, but I can already see this being one of the series’ I don’t want to miss out on. I can tell I’m going to enjoy a series when I get disappointed that there’s a week between episodes… and I am :)

V airs on SyFy (formerly SCI FI) every Tuesday at 10pm.

Competition: Win a Sci-Fi goody bag and signed V poster

This contest is now closed – thanks for visiting. Find out who won.

Win a Sci Fi Goody Bag with V! – coming to Sci Fi on Tuesday 13th April, 10pm
Geek-Speak have teamed up with the Sci Fi channel to offer three lucky readers the chance to win a Sci Fi channel goody bag, featuring an A4 sized V poster signed by Morena Baccarin, SCI FI drawstring bag, SCI FI Handwarmer, SCI FI Magnets, SCI FI 1GB USB key!

V is coming to the Sci Fi channel on Tuesday 13th April, with episode 1 and 2 being shown back-to-back from 10pm.

V is the smash-hit US drama series about the mysterious Visitors who come to Earth with a message of hope and peace. In their hour of need the human race find their saviour in the V’s, but are the Visitors all that they claim to be? Sceptical humans begin to develop an agenda of their own – resistance.

V stars Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) as FBI agent Erica Evans, Morris Chestnut as Ryan Nichols, Joel Gretsch as Father Jack, with Morena Baccarin (Firefly) as Anna, the beautiful V leader, and Scott Wolf (Party of Five) as Chad Decker.

For more info on the V series and to see preview clips visit:

This competition is now closed.

The competition closes at 22:00 (BST) on Tuesday 13th April. Winners will be selected at random from the correct answers using By entering you agree that your name and postal address can be passed to Holler PR, SCI FI’s agents, to allow them to send you your prize. I will contact winners by e-mail to obtain postal addresses from them and pass them on to Holler.

Watch the trailer for V below:

V trailer 2010 from laura norton on Vimeo.

Who won the Atomic Swarm giveaway?

If you read the last Geek-Speak newsletter you’ll have seen that I was giving away a copy of Jason Bradbury’s Atomic Swarm to a random subscriber. All they had to do was reply to say they wanted it and I’d randomly (using‘s random number generator) choose a winner this morning.

Well, job done, and congratulations to Pete Cattell who won the book!

I can’t promise that there’ll be a giveaway every time, but if you want to get the inside track on what’s happening at Geek-Speak, and participate in subscriber giveaways when I am able to do more, you can sign up for the newsletter here. I’m not one of those “e-mail a day” marketers, so you won’t have to worry about being overwhelmed with mails from me and, who knows, you might even find it interesting :)

Right, that’s me for now. There’s no “normal” article today as I was away all day yesterday visiting my 2-day old nephew (he’s brilliant!). Have a great day, and I’ll catch you tomorrow.

Win a limited edition Formula 1 print & a SciFi goody bag

I really don’t want to give this prize away… but then what would be the point of having a competition? The final prize in the birthday bash giveaway is a limited edition Formula 1 print by talented artist Luke Pollard, and a goody bag.

Luke’s print depicts Jensen Button in his championship winning Brawn GP car and comes mounted, numbered and signed by Luke. Including the mount it measures 40x30cm, and it looks amazing.

How do I enter?
Just answer the question below. I want to say thanks for being a Geek-Speak reader, so you don’t need to retweet or join my mailing list. Mind, I’d be more than happy if you did choose to do so! :) You can enter no matter where you are in the world.

The competition closes at 00:01 (GMT) on the 28th of February, with winners being chosen and notified later that same day.

How will the winner be chosen?
All the correct entries will be recorded in the order I receive them. When it comes to choosing the winning entry I will be using‘s random number generator to pick a position in the list… and the person at that position wins.

Enough already! What’s the question?

Which Formula 1 driver has started the most races without winning a single one?

This competition is now closed. Find out who won here.