Here’s an update that will provide a few more details on motivation and plans for the 140 Characters Conference NOW Award.The NOW Award arose as an experiment in tracking Twittersphere merit and to supplement follower count as the measure of merit status quo. The relatively mild endorsement reflected in following someone leads to the quality versus quantity dispute. The NOW Award nomination process offers a mechanism for strong endorsement, because the nomination happens after the fact of following and requires the proactive nomination step (#140Conf vote @ <nominee>). As a result, the NOW Award creates a “best of” followers dynamic. Multiple means for assessing merit make sense in a context like Twitter where the number of options make trial and error navigation impossible. The growing volume of people active on Twitter meant a NOW Award along the lines of the People’s Choice Award rather than Zagat’s expert opinion route. The NOW Award team did not even attempt to shrink the pool of candidates via filtering phase as in the case of The America Idol.
Anyone can nominate anyone for a NOW Award. There have already been some surprising results as nominations seem as likely to arise for ordinary people with an active follower base as celebs with millions of followers.
The NOW Award team will identify trends in order to designate ten categories in which a NOW Award will get presented at the 140 Characters Conference first night reception on October 27, 2009. In any case, in context of refining 140Conf NOW Award experiment, please participate by nominating your favorites and forward comments or suggestions for improvement.