Voting in the Coachella Valley Independent’s Best of Coachella Valley has begun! Find the ballot here, including rules, dates and a complete list of categories.
I am intimately familiar with “Best Ofs”; I ran them or helped run them in newspapers in Reno, Las Vegas and Tucson before I moved here to launch the Independent. I’ll be completely honest with y’all: I have mixed feelings about contests such as these.
On one hand, “Best Ofs” are mere popularity contests, and what’s most popular is not always what’s best. (For example, Taco Bell is popular, but only someone with mental damage would claim that Taco Bell’s food is truly great. In every “Best Of” contest I have ever done, Taco Bell gets some votes in the Best Mexican Food category. Ick.)
On the other hand, “Best Ofs” themselves are popular: Readers and worthy businesses alike enjoy properly done “Best Ofs,” because they help spread the word about some of the community’s best businesses, places and organizations. Any time I travel to an unfamiliar city, I use the “Best Of” from that city’s alternative newspaper to help me pick where to go and what do to.
As I mentioned previously, our Best of Coachella Valley will indeed be properly done. Advertisers will have no say over who wins our readers’ picks, nor will the Independent staff: It’s the votes of you, our readers, who will decide the winners and finalists, period. (The staff will throw in some of our own picks—but they will be clearly marked as “Staff Picks” and will not in any way conflict with what readers choose.)
We’ll also do our best to make sure the contest is fair. We’re allowing readers to vote only once in each round, and we’re requiring that readers include a real email address with the ballot. We’re watching IP addresses, too, in an effort to eliminate as much ballot-box stuffing as we can.
Of course, this is our first Best of Coachella Valley, so there will be obstacles that arise. As always, if you or anyone else has questions about Best of Coachella Valley (or anything else related to the Independent, for that matter), my figurative door is always open: Call me at 760-904-4208, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks in advance for voting in the Best of Coachella Valley!