After announcing the result on the Stories from the Field competition home page and then linking my Message to All Entrants to it, I emailed the message to every contestant because I wanted to be pro-active in communicating to them.
This resulted in their writing back to me directly, instead of posting blog entries. I have been responding to every issue raised by every person. I have responded to over 60 emails and have many more to go. This is not the most efficient way, I know, but I have already written an open letter on the website and I feel that the people who take the time to write to me deserve an individual response. Especially at this point I do not want anyone to feel that they are just "one of them."
So it's not as though we are just sitting in a warm viewer's chair. We are listening and talking to many people and working very hard to come up with some sort of a solution. We just posted another announcement to that effect here: http://www.design21sdn.com/design21/news/1239
Thank you, Daniel, for all your valuable opinions and observations. I very much respected your comments (even about flavored popcorn!) and promise that we will "take a dignifying stand for the participants who entrusted us with their time and creativity."