As happens every year, from the time the December issue makes it to the web to the time that people get tired of beating me up around March or April, the suppliers gather with baseball- and brick-bats to discuss how badly I screwed up on the Top Fifty and the Readers’ Choice Awards.
It appears to be an annual ritual: get the editor. Similar in tone to “get the guest” from Edward Albee’s revolting but excellent play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, this game is intended, as far as I have been able to determine, to force the editor to “apologise” for “mistreating” the supplier in these listings by giving them extra, and more favorable coverage in the magazine or on the website, or in a podcast.
Every editor of Control has been through the ritual. I suspect it is one of the things that causes editors of this magazine to burn out.
One of the reasons I asked ARC Advisory Group to partner with us this year in doing the Top Fifty, and we set up (and printed) a detailed set of rules we went by, is to try to…if not stop the carping…at least bring it under some sort of manageable control. So we used ARC numbers where we had them, and asked when we didn’t, or pulled numbers from public domain filings when we could.
And, as usual, the Readers made the Choices, not the editors. All we did to score the survey was tabulate the write in votes.
I am aware that this post will likely be viewed by some suppliers as poor-spirited whining on the part of the editor. But it really isn’t my job to make suppliers happy. It is my job to be the voice of the end user, and to report to the end user news they can use and information they want, in all the ways they choose to receive it.
I do the best I can to do that job, without fear or favor, and if I am viewed as an equal opportunity offender, I’ll just have to make the best of it.