The Best Is Back
Best Of Regina 2011: fewer voters, better results
by Stephen Whitworth
Welcome to prairie dog's 2011 Best Of Regina, the definitive guide to the Queen City's greatest stuff as chosen by real, actual PD readers with Internet access. This year's edition was beautifully designed by prairie dog designer Paul Klassen. Please take a moment to marvel at Paul's lovely graphical constructions. They reveal the incomprehensible molecular secrets of this editorial feature.
Or something like that. It's pretty!
So: you know how this works by now. Every September, we run an online poll and prairie dog readers pick their fave Regina people, places, events, activities, shops and services over the last 12 months. This year's poll featured 134 categories. Too many? Pshaw. Readers only had to vote in 25 of those to be eligible for our $1,000-value
bribe grand prize. Not really that intimidating. We like to think of it as an embarrassment of riches.
Still, this is the ninth Best Of Regina and at this point we've got more categories than we could sanely run on any given Sunday (let alone Thursday). So we're taking a page out of the Guinness World Records and rotating 'em. For example: this year we take a break from Best Activist, substituting Best Hippy - which one might suggest is not dissimilar. We're also working our way through the health care system: this year the Best Of wheel landed on "gynecologist". Next year, you might be voting for Best Oncologist. See how we roll?
Best Of Regina is always a blast because it gives us an excuse to talk-up Regina's positives. It's not all sunshine and rainbow-sparkle unicorns, though. Sad tale of woe: voting was down a bit this year! Oh nooo! The likely culprit? Our new voter authentication system that forced people to take AN EXTRA TWO WHOLE MINUTES to register before they could vote.
Yes, I know, two minutes is a lot of time to spend on our website when you could be watching YouTube vids or playing Angry Birds.
But seriously - SRSLY! - it's not a huge tragedy. First, voting was still robust - just slightly less robusty than last year's. Second, the way I see it, this isn't a tragedy. Sure, we had fewer total voters, but the ones we did have - the ones who took us up on our onerous, two-minute registration challenge - voted in an average of 28.5 categories. Compare that to last year's lazy bunch, who averaged a measly 17.1 picks.
I like to think we haven't lost voters: we've frightened off the wah-wah-wah crying babies. Which means the winner of the $1,000-value prize - to be announced next issue! - will be drawn from a more deserving group.
(By the way, our sister paper Planet S runs a Best Of Saskatoon feature using the same voter registration system we use, and they had more than twice as many voters as we did. Draw your own conclusions vis-à-vis Saskatoon awesome vs. Regina lame.)
Speaking of conclusions, that's it for this introduction. We hope you enjoy this special feature. As always, you may e-mail comments to email@example.com. We'll print the cleverest ones next issue.