As the days tick over towards Dec 1st, the deadline for the ROSA award, things keep moving forward.

Today is election day in the USA. My twitter feed, facebook page, even most of the sites I visit are awash with updates on victories, injustices, platitudes, and threats.

The election is a big deal on the internet. Americans make up a large percentage of the English speaking web. Another example of this kind of effect is the recent hurricane sandy, which garnered more tweets, posts and updates then any other elemental force this year.

One day it’s likely that voting for national leaders will no longer be a requirement. We’re almost at the point where nations could chose to democratise their policy process. Politicians are, after all, representatives for communities from a time where distance played a bigger part in the communication process. Now, it’s perfectly reasonable to imagine a process where citizens can choose to vote on a number of referendums using something as simple as their phone.

As we get closer to the close date of the first award, there’s been a lot of discussion between myself and those helping me with the site as exactly how to administer the award.

An idea has been floated of removing the notion of judges, and having a popular vote for each award. I’m not opposed to the idea, but I also think it’s beneficial to use judges to avoid someone winning based purely on their ability to rally a popular vote.

Determining quality is no easy task. There are different measures for different folk. Some cases may  relying on marketing and the name of the author, a good dust jacket, or simply being the right book at the right time.

Our approach is different. Short list selection is in the hands of the site. That way, we can ensure high quality work for the readership to choose from. The readership has the ability to swing the vote through their comments on each story, all viewable by the judges. By sourcing judges from different areas of expertise, we can hopefully avoid a situation where a particular writing ‘style’ or genre is repeatedly preferred over another.

The ROSA award is open now, so head on over and check out the details then get writing.

- The Ed