I don’t think it is possible to predict what will be nominated as finalists for the Dragon Awards. There are far too many unknown elements not least of which are:
- We don’t know how many people nominated last time.
- The number of finalists per category isn’t fixed – last year it was 6 to 8 per category.
- The press release describes the finalist process as “The best and most popular of the nominated properties in each category will then be offered for a second and final vote” suggesting lee-way by the organisers in what gets nominated (as it isn’t just ‘most popular’).
- The ‘rules’ have vanished – which is weird as every one who votes has to agree to abide by the rules which are now a link that just goes to Dragon Con…*
- More seriously there is no way to know what kind of ‘organic’ non-campaign related vote there will be, who might be that kind of voter or what they will vote for…
- The nominating system is easily gameable.
However, I’ve got a good idea now as to who has campiagned for what in public. I’m collating that information and also giving a ‘power’ value to nomination. In particular we know that the Rabid puppies can mobilise significant numbers. From Sad Puppies 4, we’ve also got some idea of how many people will vote for at least one of the Scrappy Doos.
So from that collated list I think I can create a ‘what to watch for’ list. I won’t publish that until nominations have closed of course. The point of the list is a way of seeing how much of an organic vote (or intervention by the organisers) there was. If the lower ranked projections make it that will suggest it was easy to get on the ballot, but if none of the Rabids are on the ballot that would suggest a very high organic vote. More generally, the closer the ballot is to the projections the more campaigning was worthwhile as a tactic to get nominated for the Dragon Awards in 2017.
I’ve also got some other empirical things to try out.
*[You can read the old rules here http://web.archive.org/web/20160409041231/http://application.dragoncon.org/dragon_awards_terms_conditions.php ]