More comments have come in, both with new recommendations and some critiques. I’ve also had a few hours to think. So here’s a response on our selection process for the Voice of Innovation.
First, it’s an open suggestion board, but not an election. The idea is to introduce us to people we may not have considered, and to tell us why they’re so great. The fact that a couple of them have a lot of fans means nothing. (Chances are, they all do—even if most of them don’t leave comments on this blog.)
Seth Godin charges us with a ploy to drive traffic. That’s not true. It was a ploy alright, but one to drive suggestions and ideas, not traffic. Assuming for a moment that my motives were as base as Godin assumes, what would I gain from a spike in pure traffic? Not one cent. But I gain a lot from comments. I start my research with a list of people to consider. Many are new to me. That’s what I’ve learned to do over the past four years: I assume that readers know things that I don’t, and I ask them questions.
Now, in terms of traffic and buzz, it is true that BW stands to gain a bit. More people will have been participating in this process, and they’re more likely to pay attention to the profile that emerges from it.
So, how are we going to pick a “Voice” from all of these suggestions? Well, I don’t yet know. As I say, it won’t be a vote. One commenter, Wally Bock, suggests a Bayesian analysis. I don’t think we have the statistical chops for that type of approach. In the end, we’ll go through the names, learn about the people, read their blogs and testimonials, and do some interview. My inclination would be to keep much of this process public, but I’m open to other ideas.