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> Questions Regarding the YIR 2006-2007
Jaime
post Jun 8 2007, 01:45 AM
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If any of you have any questions about how the Year in Review works, please post them to this topic. And we'll promptly post the answer.

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nighttimer
post Jun 11 2007, 05:15 AM
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Some impressions after spending two hours voting in the Topics part of the YIR 06-07.

There are a couple of topics that don't deserve inclusion in the voting. The best topic in the Democrat (or should that be Democratic) Debate has nothing to do with Democrats. There are only two topics in the Libertarian Debate, three in the Republican Debate and none to choose from in the Independent/3rd Party Debate. This leads me to believe these threads don't present enough options to generate a meaningful vote.

Another thing, does a thread that generates little or no response deserve to be considered for a "Best of"? There should be a minimum number of replies/views before a topic can be nominated.

At the risk of being accused of self-promoting, should Members be allowed to nominate threads they began? I didn't see any restriction on this and I decided to nominate two threads I created. I'm slightly uneasy about this, but I honestly thought they were the best qualified for the nod. Perhaps next year this practice should be ended?

One category that I think should be added next year is The Topic of the Year. As constructed now what AD has are winners in categories for topics, but not a overall winner. This is as if "Spider-Man 3" were The Best Superhero Sequel of the Year" but not "Best Picture of the Year."

I don't know how to streamline the process, but as it presently stands it takes a LOT of time to vote in the nominating round. I've spent over two hours and I'm still not done. The length of time and the complexity of the process discourages members from participating in this round. I'm not complaining, just observing.

Finally, can a thread created by a banned member be nominated? Please advise.

This post has been edited by nighttimer: Jun 11 2007, 07:35 AM
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Jaime
post Jun 11 2007, 02:14 PM
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The Pet Food Recall had been in Current Events, which I periodically clean out when a topic is no longer a current event. I errantly moved it to Democrat Debate when I meant to move it to Domestic Policy. I have corrected this and removed your Democrat Debate nomination, nighttimer. I'm at my 'real life' job right now and don't have the time to address your other comments. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. smile.gif
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BoF
post Jun 11 2007, 08:34 PM
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I have some questions and concerns.

1. I also question about whether banned members should receive best threads awards. I think most people know who we are talking about here, but I'll play along with the game. There's an old saying here in Texas, the "buckle on the Bible Belt," as H. L Mencken called it, about "hating the sin but loving the sinner. The "sinner" has been exiled from the community, so should we honor the "sins." If we indeed honor the sins of the sinner, then I think there should be some consideration for lifting the ban and restoring the "sinner" to at least "restricted" status. Edited to add: Please follow the tongue-in-cheek, perhaps devil's advocate approach I was taking. I do think the staff needs to resolve the issue of thread award eligibility.

2. I don't think some people are taking things seriously. One example is found in the "Member You Wish Would Post More Often." One of the people nominated posts nearly every day, sometimes as often a dozen times. I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek involved in this nomination, but get real.

3. Out of a large active memberships, some of the categories received 40 votes or less last year. This isn't exactly American Idol statistics. What can we do to increase interest in the board's awards?

4. What makes a good thread? Certainly post counts are important. Does that mean a thread is "good" when perhaps as few as two people go back and forth bumping the same thread for months, or should threds be judged by the number of participants, the diversity of opinion and depth of opinion? Does skill in bumping one's own thread speak to quality?

BTW: I am going to take my time and make nominations in as conscientious a manner as possible.

This post has been edited by BoF: Jun 11 2007, 09:27 PM
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BaphometsAdvocat...
post Jun 11 2007, 08:46 PM
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QUOTE(BoF @ Jun 11 2007, 04:34 PM) *
I have some questions and concerns.

1. I also question about whether banned members should receive best threads awards. I think most people know who we are talking about here, but I'll play along with the game.


I do not know who we're talking about here. In fact, I didn't even know you could get banned! However, it would seem odd to award a thread started by a banned member as a Best Thread as it would make the banning seems foolish.
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nighttimer
post Jun 11 2007, 09:04 PM
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QUOTE(BoF @ Jun 11 2007, 04:34 PM) *
I have some questions and concerns.

1. I also question about whether banned members should receive best threads awards. I think most people know who we are talking about here, but I'll play along with the game. There's an old saying here in Texas, the "buckle on the Bible Belt," as H. L Mencken called about "hating the sin but loving the sinner. The "sinner" has been exiled from the community, so should we honor the "sins." If we indeed honor the sins of the sinner, then I think there should be some consideration for lifting the ban and restoring the "sinner" to at least "restricted" status.


While we're waiting for Jaime to get home from work, kick her shoes off, enjoy a tall cool glass of Kool-Aid and boot up her computer, let me jump in here BoF.

If we're talking about a certain poster who was well-known for taking bedrock right-wing stances and modeled himself after a popular movie bad guy, my thought would be that despite being persona non grata the threads he created when he was a member in good standing should be eligible for consideration and nomination. Obviously as a banned member he would not be considered for any of the individual awards.

Regarding lifting the ban or changing the status to a restricted or limited status, I look at that in two ways. Most people leave boards like ad.gif because either they lose interest, move on and stop posting or they are sanctioned and banned from the board for reasons that are known only to them and the Moderators/Administrations. My guess is the individual in question has probably found another debate board to vent his spleen and wouldn't accept an invitation back if it came with red roses and a chilled bottle of wine.

Secondly, membership on ad.gif is a privilege, not a right. Act a fool as a guest in your host's home enough times and don't be surprised if you're not invited back. I suspect the individual in question went too far and wore out his welcome.

Getting banned from this board isn't easy to do. You get a lot of chances to cut your own throat before you finally run out of blood. rolleyes.gif
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Jaime
post Jun 12 2007, 12:12 AM
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QUOTE(nighttimer @ Jun 11 2007, 01:15 AM) *
There are a couple of topics that don't deserve inclusion in the voting. The best topic in the Democrat (or should that be Democratic) Debate has nothing to do with Democrats. There are only two topics in the Libertarian Debate, three in the Republican Debate and none to choose from in the Independent/3rd Party Debate. This leads me to believe these threads don't present enough options to generate a meaningful vote.


You caught me. blush.gif I use a template that I created for myself to make the nominations and haven't yet checked to see if every category actually has eligible nominees. In past years, Wertz used to catch most of my mistakes before they went public but his net access isn't the best now. So thanks for being Wertz this year, nighttimer. laugh.gif After I'm done with this post, I'll go in and close the topics that don't have eligible nominees. I appreciate the time you guys put into making nominations and I don't want you wasting any time in doing so.

QUOTE(nighttimer)
Another thing, does a thread that generates little or no response deserve to be considered for a "Best of"? There should be a minimum number of replies/views before a topic can be nominated.

I'm not so sure about this. How many replies would you suggest as minimum? Some of our better topics only go for a few pages while some of the more annoying ones go on and on and on... I'd like to hear from you guys as far as a good number of minimum posts.

QUOTE(nighttimer)
At the risk of being accused of self-promoting, should Members be allowed to nominate threads they began? I didn't see any restriction on this and I decided to nominate two threads I created. I'm slightly uneasy about this, but I honestly thought they were the best qualified for the nod. Perhaps next year this practice should be ended?
Why should it be ended? If you're the best, toot your own horn. This is just the nominating portion of the awards, we'll find out how everyone feels once the voting gets started.

QUOTE(nighttimer)
One category that I think should be added next year is The Topic of the Year.
Excellent idea. Consider it added for next year.

QUOTE(nighttimer)
Finally, can a thread created by a banned member be nominated? Please advise.

Yes, it can. This was something we considered the first year of our awards. What we reasoned, and still stand by, is that just because a now-banned member started a topic, not everyone who debated in it is banned and sometimes those debates turn out to be pretty darned good. A lot of times, the reason we ban a member doesn't stem from a good topic that person may have happened to start.

QUOTE(BoF @ Jun 11 2007, 04:34 PM) *
1. I also question about whether banned members should receive best threads awards.
See above. smile.gif

QUOTE
2. I don't think some people are taking things seriously. One example is found in the "Member You Wish Would Post More Often." One of the people nominated posts nearly every day, sometimes as often a dozen times. I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek involved in this nomination, but get real.
I think you're being a bit harsh, some members might not be as observant as you, BoF. Besides that, I don't know if we want to become the sincerity police. The voting process will really speak volumes in response to what may be 'silly' nominations.

QUOTE
3. Out of a large active memberships, some of the categories received 40 votes or less last year. This isn't exactly American Idol statistics. What can we do to increase interest in the board's awards?
If I knew I'd tell you. I'd be happy to take suggestions on how to get better turn out, however.

QUOTE
4. What makes a good thread? Certainly post counts are important. Does that mean a thread is "good" when perhaps as few as two people go back and forth bumping the same thread for months, or should threds be judged by the number of participants, the diversity of opinion and depth of opinion? Does skill in bumping one's own thread speak to quality?
Ah, the most difficult question. One of the reasons we have not defined 'best' is because we want all of you to define that for yourself. Personally, I don't think post counts are important at all; partly for the reason you say, and partly because we get some amazing insight in topics that, for reasons unknown to me, don't garner much response. That's why we have avoided defining 'best' - it's so subjective.

QUOTE
BTW: I am going to take my time and make nominations in as conscientious a manner as possible.
A great idea and suggestion. We appreciate all your consideration and participation.

Whew. I hope I've answered everything. If not, you know where to find me - I'll be here drinking my koolaid shifty.gif flowers.gif
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BoF
post Jun 12 2007, 04:00 AM
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QUOTE(Jaime @ Jun 11 2007, 07:12 PM) *
QUOTE
2. I don't think some people are taking things seriously. One example is found in the "Member You Wish Would Post More Often." One of the people nominated posts nearly every day, sometimes as often a dozen times. I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek involved in this nomination, but get real.
I think you're being a bit harsh, some members might not be as observant as you, BoF. Besides that, I don't know if we want to become the sincerity police. The voting process will really speak volumes in response to what may be 'silly' nominations.


Point well taken. flowers.gif
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BaphometsAdvocat...
post Jun 12 2007, 02:20 PM
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I think, perhaps, it might make sense due to the nearly limitless choices in some categories for voting to be set up in a Poll like manner. The Mods could take a Top 5, based on their own choices and the year long Nominate Here Thread, and narrow things down a bit with the option to choose E - Other (Please list below in comments).

If you're a "front pager" you might not even know how many topics there are to vote on!
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lederuvdapac
post Jun 17 2007, 02:12 AM
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One award that I suggested in the nominations thread was for "Best Exchange" which would go to two debaters who went at it on a given topic. I think that is a real good one. So if you can't still sneak it in this year, should definately try for next year.
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nighttimer
post Jun 30 2007, 02:51 AM
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QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate @ Jun 12 2007, 10:20 AM) *
I think, perhaps, it might make sense due to the nearly limitless choices in some categories for voting to be set up in a Poll like manner. The Mods could take a Top 5, based on their own choices and the year long Nominate Here Thread, and narrow things down a bit with the option to choose E - Other (Please list below in comments).

If you're a "front pager" you might not even know how many topics there are to vote on!


I'm afraid I have to agree with BaphometsAdvocate. While it may be democratic to let the members pick the nominees, it is a very protracted process to do so by paging through all the categories. It bothers me that in most of the categories, barely half-a-dozen members have made nominations. Is that due to a lack of interest or a lack of time to go through the categories? I suspect the latter, but I can't rule out the former.

And is it just me or do the individual member categories garner more interest than the selected topics categories?

While it may be asking too much to ask the Moderators to take on the burden of choosing nominees, what about recruiting a group of interested members to serve on a Nominations Committee, make suggestions and narrow down a list of four or five nominees, present them to the board and allow one additional "write-in" nomination for each topic? Look at Bikerdad's recent "Top 10 Coolest Movies" thread. It's just a list of favorites same as the America's Debate awards, but because it's easy to think of ten movies, it draws a lot of response.

Trust me that I'm not being critical of the board Administrators and Moderators, but I think when people don't respond to something like the Year In Review it's because it hasn't been made simple and easy for them to participate. That's my theory at least.

Tomorrow I'm planning to send out a few PM's to some of those who have not made any nominations to ask them why haven't they done so. I'll share whatever insights I can from them. thumbsup.gif
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Blackstone
post Jun 30 2007, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate @ Jun 12 2007, 10:20 AM) *
I think, perhaps, it might make sense due to the nearly limitless choices in some categories for voting to be set up in a Poll like manner. The Mods could take a Top 5, based on their own choices and the year long Nominate Here Thread, and narrow things down a bit with the option to choose E - Other (Please list below in comments).

Another option that I've been thinking of would be to take advantage of the newly created "multiple questions poll" feature that's been implemented. If there's a variety of choices to make, the first question would be which one you think most deserves the award, and the second question would be which one you think least deserves the award. Subtract the second number from the first, and I think you'd get a much clearer picture of what the membership's opinion is in any given category.

For example, a debater who's very good at raising people's blood pressure and developing a big cheering section of people who already agree with his positions anyway, is certainly a skilled rabble-rouser, but nowhere near as good a debater as someone who can really get people to reevaluate their positions. Both of them might get a lot of positive votes, but the first one will probably get a good share of negative votes as well. That's as it should be.
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BoF
post Jun 30 2007, 04:39 PM
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QUOTE(Blackstone @ Jun 30 2007, 11:26 AM) *
QUOTE(BaphometsAdvocate @ Jun 12 2007, 10:20 AM) *
I think, perhaps, it might make sense due to the nearly limitless choices in some categories for voting to be set up in a Poll like manner. The Mods could take a Top 5, based on their own choices and the year long Nominate Here Thread, and narrow things down a bit with the option to choose E - Other (Please list below in comments).

Another option that I've been thinking of would be to take advantage of the newly created "multiple questions poll" feature that's been implemented. If there's a variety of choices to make, the first question would be which one you think most deserves the award, and the second question would be which one you think least deserves the award. Subtract the second number from the first, and I think you'd get a much clearer picture of what the membership's opinion is in any given category.

For example, a debater who's very good at raising people's blood pressure and developing a big cheering section of people who already agree with his positions anyway, is certainly a skilled rabble-rouser, but nowhere near as good a debater as someone who can really get people to reevaluate their positions. Both of them might get a lot of positive votes, but the first one will probably get a good share of negative votes as well. That's as it should be.


There is possible merit in Blackstone's suggestion, but I have some reservations about negative votes. I think it is more important to keep this process completely positive. The yearly awards should be seen as a celebration. Two years ago, one of our now departed members, congratulated two members who had won, but not the others. If we are going to offer congratulations to winners, it should be all winners, even if in private you might roll your eyes at some of the results. One thought - keep it positive.

This post has been edited by BoF: Jun 30 2007, 04:52 PM
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nighttimer
post Jul 1 2007, 07:43 AM
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Jaime, I'm curious why topics from Election 2006 are not eligible for consideration (or are they?) instead of Election 2008 topics?

I was rereading Christopher's thread about the Mark Foley scandal and it I started wondering why are we nominating threads about next year's elections, but not the election from last year?

It's 3:41 in the morning. Maybe I'm a little sleep-deprived or just dazed and confused? blink.gif
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lederuvdapac
post Jul 6 2007, 07:53 PM
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I was thinking that maybe next year that the polls will not show who is in the lead/who is behind. It kind of takes away from the suspense for when the winners are announced. Just a suggestion...
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BoF
post Jul 6 2007, 10:12 PM
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I have an idea that can be implimented this year. In one of the major categories the leader has only 19% of the vote. The way things worked last year, this person will win by a plurality.

My suggestion is this:

If a candidate for any award gets less than 50% of the vote, then we need to have a runoff between the highest two. This would make winners by majority rather than plurality. A runoff could be done within a one or two week window period.

This post has been edited by BoF: Jul 6 2007, 10:40 PM
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Blackstone
post Jul 7 2007, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE(lederuvdapac @ Jul 6 2007, 03:53 PM) *
I was thinking that maybe next year that the polls will not show who is in the lead/who is behind. It kind of takes away from the suspense for when the winners are announced. Just a suggestion...

QUOTE(BoF @ Jul 6 2007, 06:12 PM) *
My suggestion is this:

If a candidate for any award gets less than 50% of the vote, then we need to have a runoff between the highest two. This would make winners by majority rather than plurality. A runoff could be done within a one or two week window period.

Megadittoes to both suggestions. If both were implemented, it would greatly reduce or eliminate the tendency for "strategic voting", that is, voting not for the person you think most deserves the award, but for the person you think has the best chance of beating the person you don't want to win.
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Jaime
post Jul 7 2007, 05:35 PM
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QUOTE(lederuvdapac @ Jul 6 2007, 03:53 PM) *
I was thinking that maybe next year that the polls will not show who is in the lead/who is behind. It kind of takes away from the suspense for when the winners are announced. Just a suggestion...


I don't know if this is technically possible with our forum software. Mike would be the one who can clarify this. Mike?


QUOTE(BoF @ Jul 6 2007, 06:12 PM) *
My suggestion is this:

If a candidate for any award gets less than 50% of the vote, then we need to have a runoff between the highest two. This would make winners by majority rather than plurality. A runoff could be done within a one or two week window period.


My initial reaction to this is that I don't agree. This is for two reasons. First, this is a popularity contest and really not much else. There are no actual benefits to winning other than the personal satisfaction of winning. No one's lives or democracy is at stake, so what would be the point? Second, the time involved. I spent nearly two full working days preparing these polls alone. I am not inclined to create even more work for myself when a single poll will do the trick.
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BoF
post Jul 7 2007, 06:26 PM
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QUOTE(Jaime @ Jul 7 2007, 12:35 PM) *
QUOTE(BoF @ Jul 6 2007, 06:12 PM) *
My suggestion is this:

If a candidate for any award gets less than 50% of the vote, then we need to have a runoff between the highest two. This would make winners by majority rather than plurality. A runoff could be done within a one or two week window period.


My initial reaction to this is that I don't agree. This is for two reasons. First, this is a popularity contest and really not much else. There are no actual benefits to winning other than the personal satisfaction of winning. No one's lives or democracy is at stake, so what would be the point? Second, the time involved. I spent nearly two full working days preparing these polls alone. I am not inclined to create even more work for myself when a single poll will do the trick.


I guess we'll just have to disagree about runoffs. In Texas we have a rather unpopular governor, who won reelection by 39% of the vote. There is no runoff in state races in Texas, something I've written letters and made phone call about.

I do, however, understand and appreciate the hard work you do in getting all this together. flowers.gif

I had no idea how much work putting the ballot together took.
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Wertz
post Jul 9 2007, 09:51 PM
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QUOTE(BoF @ Jul 7 2007, 02:26 PM) *
I had no idea how much work putting the ballot together took.

Yeah. I assisted with this in the past (unfortunately, my internet access is not reliable enough at the moment for me to be of much use) and it can be very time-consuming. Every nomination has to be hyperlinked, every link needs to be checked, new threads need to be created with polls for every category, all of the nomination threads need to be archived; then there's proofing plus the less typical set-ups (like the Best Quotation poll) and so on - it adds up. I can well understand Jaime being reluctant to add another layer to the voting process, not just due to the amount of work, but because there's no guarantee that the "electorate" would be consistent. We could get several dozen voting on the first ballot, but only a handful returning for the "run-off" - or vice versa. Either way, it would be impossible to ensure that the "majority" is being represented in either vote.


I agree with BA and nighttimer that the nomination process can be a bit grueling, but in effect we already have a Nominations Committee: those five or six people who do nominate threads for nearly every category. thumbsup.gif I suppose we could discuss making a formal Committee - though we should probably leave membership open to anyone who's interested, lest anyone feel excluded. Perhaps we could leave the individual nominations up to the full membership and leave the topic nominations up to those willing to put the time into reviewing all the forums. I must admit that I quite enjoy that process as it gives me an annual excuse to catch up on threads I may have missed (or in which I lost interest fairly early on).
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