On Friday, the winners to the resident choice awards were announced; congratulations to those who won in their respective categories.
While some controversy surrounded the award (much like EVERY SINGLE Second Life award) its the most effectively ran award available, mainly because Linden Lab was the organizer. Unlike others, Linden Lab was able to make sure every resident knew about it, was able to tap into their large marketing pipes to the Second Life community, had mechanisms to prevent cheating and had an incentive for voting. Winning the Resident Choice Award provides a huge deal of marketing within Second Life and to the outside world. The Resident Choice Awards is no different than the Emmy’s, Oscars, Golden Globes, and Viewer Choice Awards; to an extent they are all popularity contests, not everyone is going to agree on a winner, and there’s always going to be fallout.
Some have suggested the Resident Choice Awards missed the mark by the exclusion of some categories; I disagree. I like the fact that Dance Island won the "Favorite Place for Live Music" award, it begs to ask the question, "what is live music," an argument I have with the music community within Second Life. Can a DJ, who performs with turntables and decks, be considered live music? Can it be called a live performance if a DJ is using his instrument, turntables? What if the location has both musicians and DJ’s, should they win? I digress.
The notion that categories such as clothing designers, shoe designers, and jewelry designers should be included and classified into male and female categories is redundant, long, and truly misses the mark. In the future there should there be some other categories (i.e. Favorite Fashion for Male, Favorite Fashion for Female); in many cases the Expos that cater to the smaller niches (i.e. the Shoe Expo, The Fashion Fair) should have their own awards to fill in these gaps. There’s a difference between the SAG’s, Oscar’s and Emmy’s, the same for the Grammy’s and MTV Music Awards. If one of the niche fair (such as the Shoe Fair, or Fashion Fair) had a award, it can include many of the niche categories that many not appear in something as inclusive of the Resident Choice Awards. Residents are never going to choose their favorite red colored hair in the Resident Choice Awards, but would in a Hair Fair Award.
The controversy around the Resident Choice Awards is a great thing! It pushes others to work harder to win next year. It pushes individuals to include it as a part of their marketing and promotional considerations.
On a personal note, I’m using this as a barometer. I didn’t win in the category I was gunning for (Best DJ). While I made an attempt in promotion, I need to do a much better job at it. I used it as indicators of my own promotional value, marketing and presence space within the Second Life community. I’ve been around for so long, I become complacent, it is a flaw. Although I’ve never heard of Roxette Mabellon (an owner of Dance Island, winner of two other awards), it’s clear that she has a phenomenal mechanism behind her and deserves recognition for the award.
I take this experience as an indicator of the areas that require improvement and my shortcomings. I suggest others do as well.