I'm starting to wonder if I'm the only person who's been scrutinizing the nomination process for mtvU's College Radio Woodie Awards this year.
Today I checked back on their website just to verify the deadlines for the various rounds within "Round 2" of their complex voting schema and noticed that the rules page had recently been changed (it's now dated October 2nd).
Previously they had planned to have 5 rounds of voting within Round 2. Last year they broke those rounds down by region, so that in the final 5th round one was voting for a winner from regional finalists from the West, Midwest, Northeast and South. This year, however, the regional aspect of the competition was hard to get a handle on from the very beginning; as finalists haven't been evenly dispersed across the regions.
For this year, round 2 has recently been simplified, with the current round of voting (September 29th to October 26th) determining the final nominees out of the 25 stations still vying for the award and the last round (October 26th to November 9th) electing a winning station. This change in the rules seems like a good move to me, especially since I never felt like the 2009 competition was an even playing field when examined regionally.
However, changing the rules mid-way through is another red flag on a long, strange path to the College Radio Woodie Award ceremony on November 18th. I still don't know how many nominees will be announced on October 26th and it's also unclear how many times one is allowed to vote. As you read through various station testimonials, it's seems like many believe that people can vote as often as they'd like.
Ultimately, though, I suppose these college radio awards are better than no college radio awards at all. At least mtvU is acknowledging and applauding college radio stations all over the country. For that I can't complain. It's also comforting to see the displays of college radio pride all over the Woodies comment board, as folks from various stations post their passionate testimonials. And that is really what it's all about: supporting the stations that we love.