VentureBeat likened the Shorty Awards to the Oscars for Twitter. Lee Stacey thinks the awards are meaningless. I happen to think they are a fun concept, if not a bit of a popularity contest. These awards, which according to the official site "honor the world's top Twitterers," are open for nominations until midnight on Dec. 31. (Which means, of course, if you have no New Year's Eve plans you can hang out at home and nominate people, for kicks.)
The payoff? If you win a Shorty Award, you can forever be known for your ability to influence in bursts of 140-characters or less. While I hold no delusions of winning one of these strangely coveted awards, I am grateful for my modest amount of nominations. However, there are others who have gone as far as to put "Nominate Me!" badges on their blogs and Twitter backgrounds. Considering there seems to be a bit of confusion about the awards (i.e. concerns about re-categorized votes and impromptu category creation), I did a quick check-in with Gregory Galant of the awards team. So, for the sake of those eager Twits, let's clear up a few things:
Q. [Jennifer] As far as I understand, the top five nominated people in each category (by Dec. 31) will move onto voting? How will voting work?
A. [Gregory] We will take the top five nominees from each official category (user generated categories can become promoted to official categories, and some already have like #travel) and have a runoff in January. The voting will work the same way, though public tweets.
Q. There have been some people on Twitter who have been doing "mock" nominations (i.e. I nominate so-and-so in the #pimp category). Are you allowing these created categories? How will you discern which nominations to count?
A. We’re allowing those for-fun categories. Some are very funny and the humor’s not lost on us. But we won’t necessarily make those categories eligible for awards.
Q. What was your overall objective in starting the Shorty Awards?
A. To recognize great short form content creators by topic.
Q. What are you hoping to come out of these awards?
A. Currently, when someone signs up for Twitter they only know to follow their friends. But what if their friends are boring? Or if they want to learn about a topic like food for greentech that their friends know nothing about? Now we have a guide for who you should follow depending on what your interests are that was built by tens of thousands of people.
Q. Will the winners receive any prizes or just the glory of the award?
Winners will get a chance to give a 140 character acceptance speech at our Awards ceremony in New York. Date TBD.
Q. How successful has this been? How many nominations have you received so far?
A. It’s been successful beyond our wildest dreams. With no marketing budget it’s taken off in two weeks though viral growth. There are over 20,000 public nominations.
As you can see, the Shorty Awards folks are having a lot of fun with this, so you should too. Nominate your favorite Twit by Dec. 31. Why not?