Yes, there’s an award for that…

You can now cast your vote for the best digital projects and contributions to the field of DH in 2012.  Voting is open to anyone.  To learn more about these new awards, see the slate of nominees in various categories, and ultimately cast your vote, go to:

But the ballot is good for more than just voting, it seems to me that it could also serve as a nice introduction to current work in the field.  The slate of nominees was distilled from public submissions by a nominating committee, and includes MITH’s own Amanda Visconti as well as the Bamboo DiRT project.

The voting is open to anyone, and it will be interesting to see how the awards play out, given that there is no way to enforce that voters actually look at all the nominations (ah, democracy…).  The question of this being just a popularity contest is confronted in the Awards FAQ (

Doesn’t that just turn it into a popularity contest? In some ways, yes, it does. The other alternative would be to have the winners decided by a shadowy oligarchy. DH Awards was set up intentionally as a community-nominated and community-voted form of recognition. If we start controlling who has the right to vote it undermines this.

This is, I think, a conundrum worthy of some further discussion. Are there really only these two choices (= popularity contest or shadowy oligarchy)?  What are awards determined by this procedure likely to reward?  Is there a better way to choose projects for recognition?  What additional importance does this selection procedure lend to the social aspects of DH?

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