Each year, the editorial and management teams evaluate our list of categories for the Best of White Bear Lake survey, usually eliminating a few of the less popular ones—where fewer people voted—and adding new topics to keep things fresh. We also take feedback from our readers into account.
When we began publishing the Best of White Bear Lake as a separate issue of White Bear Lake Magazine two years ago, we expanded our list from around 30 to almost 50 categories, and added an Editor’s Pick section that recognizes special individuals or businesses.
Beginning on October 1 and running through November 15, 2014, we invited readers to go online to whitebearlakemag.com to tell us their favorites in the selected 50 categories. As in past years, it was a write-in ballot with no pre-selected choices from the editorial staff. We truly rely on readers to decide on the finalists and winners in each category.
Once voting closed on November 15, our editorial team began the challenging task of tabulating the results. To make the process efficient and fair, we do adhere to a few rules as we count the votes.
Readers cannot vote more than once from the same IP address; each device—phone, computer, tablet—has its own IP address. We automatically eliminate any additional votes from an IP address to control any possibility of ballot-stuffing.
Readers must vote in a minimum of 10 categories for their ballot to be considered valid; ballots with votes in fewer than 10 categories are eliminated. Again, this is to obtain a fair representation of selections by readers.
The top three vote-getters in each category become finalists, and the top vote-getter is the winner. At this point, our editorial team fact checks the address and contact information for each finalist. If the finalist is no longer a valid selection due to a closed business, etc., we then move to the next highest vote-getter, who then becomes a finalist.
When the 2015 votes were tabulated and finalists determined, we posted the results at whitebearlakemag.com. Winners were kept secret until the Best of White Bear Lake event at Kellerman’s Event Center on April 9; finalists and winners are also revealed in this special Best of White Bear Lake issue of White Bear Lake Magazine, which was distributed at the event and mailed with the May 2015 issue.
More Inside Scoop:
Community-centric: Occasionally, we get questions from readers about the inclusion on the finalist list of a business that is located just outside of White Bear Lake Magazine’s coverage area. In order to qualify as a finalist in the Best of White Bear Lake survey, the business or individual must be located in the community and/or provide services to White Bear Lake-area residents.
Spreading the word: Just as we advertise the Best of White Bear Lake voting in our print publications, online, and through Facebook and Twitter, it’s also become very common for local businesses, individuals and others to do the same and encourage their clients, fans and friends to cast a vote for them in a particular Best of White Bear Lake category.
Winning ways: Each winner receives a framed copy of this year’s Best of White Bear Lake cover design, which indicates the winning category and their business name.
Look for this Editor’s Pick symbol to learn about some of the special categories and winners chosen by White Bear Lake Magazine editor Nancy Eike.