New Procedures for 2005 Readers' Choice Awards: Send Us Your Nominations Now

by Don Marti

It's almost time to begin the voting process for the Linux Journal 2005 Readers' Choice Awards, and we've been listening to your comments and suggestions about how to make it work better. First of all, the big Web form is gone, and both nominations and voting will take place by e-mail this time. Don't worry, we won't spam you. But, we will take reasonable precautions to make sure there's only one vote per e-mail address. We'll simply count the last vote per address, so if you make a mistake simply send in a new version.

We require plain text e-mail for nominations and votes, so no HTML or attachments.

Step One: Nominations

We're making the most important change first: the nomination process now is open to our readers. You can add nominees right at the beginning, instead of doing write-ins later on, and you even add suggested categories.

Send your nominations to, one category and nomination per line, in category: nominee format. For example, if you want to nominate coffee for your favorite programming beverage, send us the line:

programming beverage: coffee

You can use our existing set of categories, make up your own or send some of your own and some of ours--it's up to you. The only rule is a category name cannot have a colon in the middle, because that's how we separate the category name and the nominee.

Yes, you can nominate your own project or your own company's product. Keep in mind, too, that you're more likely to get votes if you nominate a general product or project, such as NiftyServer Series or L Desktop Environment, than if you nominate the NiftyServer 4242A or LScreenShot DooDad 15.9.

Our latest list of categories is:

  • e-mail client:

  • distribution:

  • desktop workstation:

  • database:

  • LJ column:

  • Linux book:

  • backup utility:

  • audio tool:

  • desktop environment:

  • Linux web site:

  • Linux training:

  • distributed file sharing system:

  • programming beverage:

  • embedded distribution:

  • web hosting service:

  • development tool:

  • text editor:

  • system administration tool:

  • server:

  • network or server appliance:

  • portable workstation:

  • processor architecture:

  • office program:

  • programming language:

  • instant messaging client:

  • graphics program:

  • Linux game:

  • web browser:

If you want, you can cut this list and paste it into an e-mail message right now. That address again is .

Category names are not case-sensitive, but nominees' are. Please capitalize your nominees' names as their official sites do.

We will consolidate category names or nominations if we feel that doing so would make voting more fair. For example, if ImageMagick's convert and mogrify both got nominated for best image-handling tool, we'd consolidate them into ImageMagick.

The categories that receive the most nominations will go on to the next round.

Step Two: Elimination

The nomination period closes on May 25, 2005. On May 27, we'll publish the ballot for the elimination round of voting. The categories receiving the most nominations and the top nominees in those categories will be on the ballot. Vote for your favorite in each of the categories and mail the ballot back to us. You will be able to do write-in votes at this stage.

Step Three: Final Run-Off

This step is what it sounds like, the final vote. It will be like the elimination round, but only the top vote-getters from the elimination round are eligible. No write-ins votes are allowed in the final voting.

We want to hear from you, so let's see some nominations. Remember, send your nominations to

Don Marti is Editor in Chief of Linux Journal.

Heather Mead is Senior Editor of Linux Journal.

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