Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Voting for the View from Valehaven awards - by Angie "Phoenix" Gray

[Editor's note: the following article was originally published as a special-edition article on Sunday, January 4th. It contains good advice, especially for newer players, and with the opening of this year's View Award voting, seemed particularly relevant and useful. Enjoy!]

Voting will soon for the View from Valehaven Awards. I've been helping Ian prepare nominations and prep for voting, as I've been doing it, I got thinking that we don't really provide much advice for newer players on participating.

I jotted my thoughts on the topic to share and encourage others to reinforce, add to, or provide contrary advice in the comments.

1. Vote- If you step back and think about it, an insane amount of work goes into the game each year and we have very few ways of recognizing and appreciating the quality contributers and events. The award system isn't without flaws but it is one of the best we have.

2. Make your votes based on YOUR opinion- Don't vote for a person/event/group because it is what it seems like "everyone" is doing, or because you are connected to that person or group unless you feel they truly deserve it. One frequent critique of the awards are that they are a popularity contest, and I won't deny that popularity does have an impact, BUT it is only as much of one if we as a community allow it to be.

3. Don't stress- No one in game gets to every event or knows everyone. We all end up voting in some categories where we haven't compared all the nominees. As I mentioned the system has flaws and something that is amazing can get overlooked if a smaller number of people are aware of it. It. If you do have some lesser known people or events you thought were great and ended up voting for, letting them know will likely be appreciated.

4. Don't be afraid to not vote. If you don't feel like you have a real opinion on it (for example if when reading the nominees for "best dish" you didn't try any of them), or you didn't feel the nominees you were exposed to are deserving in your mind just abstain from voting on that category.

5. Generally people are good about nominating those they think are really deserving but occasionally they get confused or have an opinion that would vary greatly from others. Don't assume that everyone nominated in a category are in a narrow range in regards to quality. Use it as one piece of information to help form your opinions.

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