Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Culture Clash

An interesting discussion of how appropriate it is to tell people of your eligibility for popularly-voted SF awards like the Hugo Awards and the Locus Awards. There are clearly people convinced that even mentioning those awards is Evil Campaigning And Must Be Stopped At All Costs, while others see any level of begging for votes as appropriate. There is certainly a middle ground, which is where I stand.

Actually, in my opinion pimping yourself too much tends to backfire -- people get annoyed and vote for other candidates or No Award. But simply saying something like "I'm eligible; if you want to vote for me/my work, here's how to do so" seems fine to me.

Now I've been involved in a number of elections. Talk of "pre-filled-in" ballots reminds me a lot of the so-called "pink" ballots from the 1993 Worldcon site selection election held at the 1990 Worldcon at The Hague. As some of you may recall, that was the year of the write-in election for Hawaii. This was not a joke, but a very serious bid launched because a bunch of SMOFs were convinced that the three bids that had made their way onto the ballot (San Francisco, Phoenix, and Zagreb) were a disaster. The Hawaii bid had distributed a copy of the site selection ballot on pink paper with "Hawaii in '93" pre-printed in the write-in space. Distributing ballots is perfectly appropriate -- any sensible bid does this -- but the pre-printed write-in bid was not. Now they hadn't printed number on the spaces, but I still felt that Hawaii's pre-printing their name into the write-in space was a bad thing, and had I been administering the election, I'd be sorely tempted to disqualify any such ballots. (I was of course biased in that election, being San Francisco's "legal representative" to site selection.) The administrator counted the ballots, but San Francisco managed to win anyway. (Hawaii ran second.) For the sake of the integrity of the process, I'm grateful that the "pink" ballots did not make any difference in who won, because if they had, there might have been an ugly scene at the Business Meeting the next morning.

Comments disabled here; go post on SFAW on the subject of promoting yourself for awards if you're interested.
Tags: awards, hugo award, locus awards, site selection

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