Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: somewhere beyond the sea
Device: kindle voyage
I was thinking about how we could possibly figure all this out about categories easily but fairly. This may sound slightly complex but it's only because I'm taking the time to explain it well and I think this could get us definitive decisions with the least amount of hard feelings or argument. It is somewhat like the way we decide monthly selections. Here’s my suggestion:
First, we need two groups -
Group A) Categories we’re considering eliminating/combining
Group B) Categories we’re considering adding
We have two options for coming up with those groups -
1) We could take everything suggested in this thread.
2) Tom starts two nominations threads at the same time, one for Group A and one for Group B. Like regular book nominations, it could require three nominations to make something “fully nominated”. However, each poster would have unlimited nominations to use. The nominations would last until a specific date and would end up with as few or as many get fully nominated. The nominations for Group A could last say one or two weeks. The nominations for Group B, starting at the same time, could last twice as long since we won't need the results of that group as early. We could even start these nominations soon, since the process might take awhile with the longer periods for nominating/voting. And though it might crowd the stickies for a bit, all these nomination/voting threads should be stickied while in progress because they’re important for the club and so no one misses any of them.
Second, once groups are decided, we need to vote on them. I suggest we break it apart into two sections, voting on Group A first and then voting on Group B once everything about Group A is decided. Here’s what I’ve thought of as the easiest, fairest method -
For Group A, we’d use a different poll/thread for each suggestion, all started at the same time and running concurrently. This way there’d be no confusion (unlike if they were all in one poll) and would let us discuss in the threads each one separately as voting is going on. I would imagine there wouldn’t be that many options in this group, probably just a few and maybe even just one, but even if there were say 12, I think it’s important to keep a separate poll/thread for each.
There’d be no “maybe” or “I don’t care” options, just a yes/no on each poll. If people don’t care or aren’t sure then they don’t have to vote; maybes and don’t cares just cause a muddying of the waters. All the polls for Group A would be HIDDEN for maximum fairness (though, like usual, still able to see who voted for what after the poll is over). They would all last say one or two weeks, all running simultaneously.
For instance, taking what's already been discussed, one thread/poll might be “Should we eliminate the second Classics month?” and the options be “yes” or “no”. A second thread/poll might be “Should we combine Mystery/Crime and Thriller/Suspense into one category?” and the options be “yes” or “no”. A third thread/poll might be “Should we eliminate the Humour category?” and the options be “yes” or “no”. And so on. And they'd all be started at the same time (or within minutes of each other since you can't start them all at the exact same moment I don't think) and so all end at almost the exact same time.
All results of these polls will be final and binding for the next year.
After polls for Group A are over, we will know how many months are now free. If no months are free, then we’re done. But if some are free, now it’s time for voting on Group B (this is the point at which nominations for Group B should be ended). This one is simpler. We’d create one MULTIPLE CHOICE poll with all the options for new categories, and posters can vote for as many or as few as they like. This one would also be OPEN and not hidden since with multiple choice we can vote for as many as we like so no need for hidden. This would last say one or two weeks. Once the poll is over, however many new categories we need, that number of top vote-getters is in (for instance, if we end up with two categories removed from Group A, then we'd take the top 2 vote-getters from the poll for Group B). All results final and binding for next year.
If there is a tie for the last lucky one(s) chosen, then we could have a run-off for those tied for that last spot that is NOT multiple choice. This could last one or two weeks.
If this run-off ends in a tie, then I say Tom chooses which is used. Why not? He runs the show and we’d have to decide the tie-breaker some way. Oh yeah, and Tom should be able to vote on ALL of these polls too like the rest of us since he’s a member as much as the rest of us. So in this run-off scenario (or with a tie in any poll from Group A), I suppose a tie would mean whichever one he’s already voted for would be the winner. Again, all results final and binding for 2013.
So depending on the length of the polls, this process could take anywhere from two weeks to two months. After that, we're basically done with the categories for next year but if there’s any disagreement over which categories should go with which months we can discuss it then, after we know which categories we’ll actually have next year. And if there’s any other possible changes to discuss or vote on for the book club separate from categories, we could do it separately while this is going on.
Again, this is all just a suggestion so it's up to if you guys want to do it or not, and it can be tweaked if there's something a majority want altered with the plan, but I have put some thought into it and tried to come up with some way to fairly and easily sort this out with so many various category removal/addition options to contend with and with trying to minimise the potential for argument or hard feelings. I know the post is long but that's only because I was explaining carefully - I think it would be pretty straightforward and easy to understand if we did it. It may seem like it could be an unnecessarily drawn out way of doing it, and things have been going fairly mellowly so far, but discussion really just now started in earnest for it for 2013 and I remember how it ended up last year and I already see a little heat in posts here and there so I think some more precise process like this could be best for us. Anyway, it's a thought. What do you guys think?
Last edited by sun surfer; 10-06-2012 at 02:00 PM.
Reason: refining a sentence