Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Ongoing Derringer Debate

I offer this response to various reactions to ongoing debate of the SMFS Derringer Awards. Any organization that gives awards constantly debates fairness. For now, the SMFS has tried to document its fairness with the recent rules change. In the continuing interest of fairness we may need to change things in the future, but we won't realize anything needs to be done if we stop discussion.

For example, the previous regular Derringer process was to sign up to a separate group just to read the Derringer stories, and voting involved e-mailing two volunteer vote counters. In the current process, the Derringer stories are posted to Shortmystery's Files section and the votes are counted by polls created in Shortmystery—allowing a greater portion of the group to find the stories and vote. The change would have never been made if no one brought it up. And if no one brought it up, I'm sure quite a few people would have stood by the previous process because "it's the way we've always done things."

So as heated as these debates get, I see them as ultimately helpful to the SMFS.