Unofficial SSB vote instructions.

This voting program was thrown together off the cuff and has sharp corners; Normally I'd spend another day smoothing things out a bit, but I felt it was neccessary to push it out the door ASAP before everyone loses interest. So, please read these instructions and, most of all, don't panic. I'm logging all the votes in a way that I can fix errors, or malicious voting, without losing good votes.

You're asked to compare 10 ideas with each other and rank them from "worst" to "best." For each you'll be given a hyperlink to the SSB archives which should open a new window. There's a "Notes" area where you can jot a few short notes or copy the idea title to help you remember which idea is which. Those notes will not be recorded -- they are for your convenience only.

When you are done, you should have given each idea a different rank -- that is to say, no two buttons that are vertical to one another should be pressed. Don't worry, that does NOT mean that if a whole lot of good ideas just happen to be on the same ballot that they will suffer unfairly -- lots of effort will go into scoring this well.

If you have not done so, or if you make a mistake typing in the word at the bottom of the form, you'll be asked to try again. Your notes and current selections should stay intact.

Some idea numbers may be blank. Rank them worst. If an idea is funny, but not good, please don't rank it good. We are trying to find the best here, according to the rules we thought we were playing under when we entered them. Please keep it all about the ideas, not the author, author's state, political tone, or popularity in the reviews attached to the idea (though reviews sometimes have valid points.)

When you first check out a ballot, please take care not to use the reload button on your browser, because that will delete your work so far and start a new ballot. The one you were working on will have to be revoted by someone else later. (One of those sharp corners I talked about :-)

That's about it -- read on for more or click here to start voting.

Minutia and technicals.

Why a rank from 1 to 10 vote? Well, because it gives flexibility in determining how to make the cut for the next round of voting. After the ballots are collected, I'll generate various scores and we can discuss online which scoring system to use for the cut, and how many ideas to eliminate. I know a lot of people had a lot of different ideas on how to do this, but we could spend days finagling it or just run one round and see if people like the results -- which are what matters.

In total there are 7040 ballots, almost all ideas appear exactly 3 times -- a handful appear more due to some obtuse combinatorial mathematical realities. But not much more. More importantly, no two ideas appear on the same ballot twice.

Why can people vote more than once? Well, I'm not sure yet if we'll pick up enough steam to get 7040 people to vote. Since the ideas are a small random pick, the odds of seeing your own are very small.

What's this all running on? It's running on really damn old linux server off a wimpy cable modem and is a tenuous bit of Perl5 code that I'd be ashamed to release without a major cleanup. But on the bright side, it's my code, it's low bandwidth, and it's very, very small. So if it breaks, it will be much easier to fix.

Isn't this all a little haphazard? Yep. We'll just have to see how long it holds together. Try not to let it bug you -- I tried to pay special attention to not losing your votes, even if it does take me a couple days to restart the vote where it left off in the event of a meltdown.