A few days ago, several MEFA participants came to me with concerns about the new ratings system we'll be using as part of the 2012 awards. You can see their original letter at:
and my initial reply where I explained the motivation behind this change here:
Because we're so close to the 2012 awards' opening, it's really too late to change the policies for this year. It's not that I don't understand these peoples' concerns; I'm simply too busy in the first part of the awards, where we're accepting new nominations and sorting them into categories, to do anything except run the awards. However, I did promise (and I mean it!) that we can discuss these issues in September, once we're through this busy part of the award.
That conversation will happen right here, at the mefas LJ community in early September. At that point we'll discuss how to improve the way the MEFAs handle ratings, and hopefully people will have some good ideas how we can accomplish the goals I mentioned in my reply (the second link above) while addressing all the concerns people have about this new policy. I really do want to find an approach that works for most people, and if the one we're using in 2012 isn't it, then I'm all for finding a better one.
One thing I do want to emphasize: I know a lot of people think they're being forced into a whole new system, but that really wasn't my intent. (Several other volunteers helped me design the system, but since I signed off on it I'll take responsibility.) I saw it as a finetuning of the old ratings system - which worked pretty well in most ways, but there were some situations in the 2011 awards that we needed to avoid - rather than something completely new. Of course, intent doesn't matter nearly as much as reality, and that's why I'm more than willing to work with anyone interested in this topic, once we're through the crazy-making parts of the awards and I'm able to think about policy.
In the mean time, I encourage everyone to think about this issue as they're using the 2012 site, and think in particular about how we can improve the way we handle ratings. You might want to jot down thoughts over the next two months about what works well and where you think we can improve things.
I know some people may not be comfortable competing under the current guidelines. I hate to see anyone go, but of course I will respect any member's wishes not to participate. Please email me at mefasupportATgmailDOTcom.
In light of the fact that the 2012 awards will be starting soon (which means that I and most of the other volunteers are really very busy right now) I don't want to debate the new system just now. If you're confused by what has changed, I'll do my best to answer your questions. However, if you think certain things need to change, please hold on to those thoughts until we can discuss things properly in September.
On a realted note - and this is IMPORTANT:
As some of you probably know, the 2012 awards were scheduled to start tonight. That's not going to happen. This is mainly because of technical issues that Aranel and I are working hard to straighten out. (It's been an interesting few days in MEFA-land!) We plan to start on Tuesday July 3 and the rest of the awards will proceed as scheduled. Specifically:
- July 3-July 31: Nominations
- August 7: Deadline for authors to finish up their nominations