As a hobby, sweeping predates the internet, and shares some DNA with couponing, the spendthrift pursuit that spawned a TLC reality show (a similar show about sweepers was filmed but never made it to air). Some of today's sweepers got their starts subscribing to print newsletters and filling out endless piles of carpal tunnel-inducing mail-in entry forms. But with brands both big and small trying to harness the power of the web, there are more sweepstakes out there than ever before.
You might be following some promising accounts, but there's still a chance you'll miss opportunities amid all the online noise. To avoid this, you can set up pings for keywords that will help filter your tweets and emails. When running a search in Tweetdeck, I generally include terms such as "giveaway," "RT to win," or "win tickets" that are most likely to be included in a social media manager's promotion message. You could also specify a target item, whether it's a newly released book, travel, or electronics.
I've been using their site daily since 2007, and I've hated the site the entire time. The people running it, especially in the forums, are a bunch of inbred, uneducated rednecks. If you dare criticize the site and ask for improvements or complain about issues, you are openly ostracized on the site and put on their blacklist. Many of the bloggers who advertise giveaways on their site are part of the clique, and if OLS blacklists you, you are also blacklisted on these blogs.
Sweepstakes websites usually give you pertinent information about the giveaways they list at a glance, including how often to enter, who is eligible to win, and when the giveaway will end. Most directories take additional steps to help you find exactly the kinds of prizes you want to win, by letting you sort by the criteria that matter to you, such as prize category or entry frequency.