The Thinker began his NRL tipping career as a solo predicting machine. Over the seasons, more and more people thought they could do better, and weren't afraid to try in the comments for each round. Soon people were comparing tips all over the place, but locating individual comments after you've read them isn't always easy.
It all became too much to keep track of, so Thinker's Little Helper grabbed his nail gun and some sheets of fibre cement, and set to work pulling together a better way for the site's regulars to share their instincts. The result was a small, buggy, error-prone site feature called the Guest Tipping Ladder that allows us to track and publish tips for a few dozen people each week.
How to appear on The Thinker's Guest Tipping Ladder
- First off, and most importantly - numbers are limited. The actual numeric limit floats up and down sometimes, but rest assured, it's a finite quantity of people who get in.
- You need to be a registered user on the site. That means creating a login, validating your email address and setting a password. You can visit the site when not signed in, and even add comments, but nobody without a working login can ever appear on the ladder.
- Old hands get preference. If you've tipped before, and managed to stick it out across most or all of the season, we'll reserve you a spot if you want it.
- Get in early. Normally we'll ask for expressions of interest a couple of weeks before round one of each season, for relative newcomers. Keep an eye on the site in February and drop us a comment.
- We'll call you. Actually we won't, we don't have (or want) your phone number. You'll get an email, or a comment reply, or something to confirm when we've upgraded you from a regular "I have an account on the site" user to a "Tipster" user.
What to do if you're new at tipping
So you managed to beg or bribe your way in... now what?
Each round, normally a couple of days before the first game, The Thinker will publish his tips, with a prominent link from the home page of the site. Sign into the site and view the round's tips article, and you should see a big link between the article and the comments, to the effect of "show/hide the tipping entry form". Click that, and follow your nose.
If you don't see the link:
- Check you're logged in, with the correct user. Visit https://the-thinker.org/user to be sure.
- Check your calendar. Has the round already started? Are you too early and The Thinker hasn't posted his article yet?
- Maybe something blew up. It happens, especially on this site's web development budget. Just add your tips in the comments and we'll fix it all later.
Frequently imagined questions
- Please, I want to join your tipping competition. See above - there's a whole lot of info I just went through.
- Is it too late to join your tipping competition? Probably. We make a few exceptions in the very start of the season due to the inevitable no-shows, but it really helps if you've already got a functioning user login, and if you've been here before and posted your comments with tips in them. This is a community after all, not some giant faceless, soulless corporate publishing empire (although we are ambitious on some days).
- Can I change my tips after I submit them? Sure. Just resubmit the form, right up to the last minute if you like (kick off for game one of the round). Good manners though, is to make a comment on the site as well to let people know you've changed your mind, in case somebody just plonked down fifteen grand on your earlier guesswork.
- When do the results appear? Each week after the final game, we'll update scoring for all tipsters and the ladder should grow over time. It might be ten minutes after the last whistle, it might be the next day. It really depends on what's for dinner, to be honest.
- This is a hassle. You're forcing me to do all this technology crap, I just want to leave a comment. I'm not jumping through your flaming hoops like some chess-playing border collie. That's fair enough, everyone is welcome to add their thoughts over and over in the comments. You just won't see your name up in as many lights.
- Does tipping stop once the minor premiership is done, or go through the finals? Right to the Grand Final.
- What about the SoO? The Rugby Sevens? The World Highland Games Championships? Can we tip on those? We prefer to keep things simple for the site itself. Quite often, informal games and comps crop up from interested regulars in the article comments, and we encourage you all to have as much fun as possible, but it's all your own pencil and paper in that case.