For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's our annual "tournament" of the best personal finance articles of the past year. They face each other in an NCAA-style bracket system, FMF readers vote for the winner, and at the end of it all, the best post is left standing. Here are some details from last year:
This year I'm collecting the submissions early, though the tournament won't begin until the first week in February. We may go beyond the end of the actual March Madness basketball tournament this year, but if so, it won't be by much.
64 posts in total will be allowed in the 2012 competition. Each one will be assigned randomly in a bracket set of "games" similar to the one used for the Men's NCAA basketball tournament. (If you want to see what one looks like, go here to download last year's bracket.) Here are more details:
How to Enter
If you're a blogger and have money-related posts you want to include you can email the following to me:
1. The name of the post you're submitting (must be from the calendar year 2012 or early 2013)
2. The URL of the post you're submitting
3. Two to five sentences on what makes this post so great (I'll be using this wording in the competition, though I reserve the right to edit it, so really "sell" your posts).
NOTE: IF ANY OF THESE ARE MISSING, YOUR ENTRY WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. AND I MAY NOT GET BACK TO YOU TO REMIND YOU THAT YOU SUBMITTED INCORRECTLY. I WILL GET BACK TO YOU IF I RECEIVE A CORRECT ENTRY.
Entries are on a first-come, first-served basis and all 64 spots usually fill up in a few days. So if you wait, it's possible you're not going to get a spot.
You can submit one post per site. If you have more than one blog, you can submit posts for each blog, though your posts will face each other in the early rounds so only one will ultimately get very far. This ensures that we don't have one blogger who's great at promotion facing himself or herself in the finals. :)
How Posts Compete
The posts will "play" each other with the winner advancing and the loser being bumped. They'll "play" in this manner:
1. I'll post the competing posts, listing who's playing who
2. Readers can leave comments on which they like better
3. The post with the most votes wins -- I'll break any ties
4. The winner will advance in the bracket to "play" again. Ultimately, there will be only one post left -- the "champion" for this season.
Criteria for great articles are as follows:
1. Practicality of the post
2. How interesting/provocative/unique it is
3. The "personal-ness" of it
4. Its impact on net worth.
What the Winners Receive
I eliminated the charity component from past efforts because 1) no one seemed to care about it and 2) I ended up on random lists of all sorts of charities that are now sending tons of mail to my home. So this year all participants will receive is tons of traffic, links to their posts, and bragging rights for the winner.
Why Readers Should Care
As readers, you get the chance to read some great pieces and help decide who wins this year's championship. It should be great fun and full of the best personal finance posts of the past year. Good stuff all the way around!