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The FUSSYlittleBALLOT 2.0 is Coming

April 1, 2011

This is no April Fool’s joke. This is deadly serious.

Every year around this time the Times Union opens up their Reader’s Choice poll for the Best of the Capital Region. And today is the first morning you can vote. Even though the poll runs for three weeks there will be some people who are chomping at the bit to get their ballots submitted today.

Last year Mr. Sunshine got his vote in early, and wasn’t able to participate in this initiative.

I don’t ask much of you, and I don’t ask often: Please do not vote until you read my post on Monday morning. On Monday the FUSSYlittleBALLOT 2.0 will go live, and I will ask that you give it your serious consideration before casting your vote in the Times Union poll.

Let me explain what this is all about.

There are many polls about the best of the Capital Region. But this is the big one. This is the one that really counts. And for years it’s been mired in mediocrity. In a town full of good sandwiches and Italian food, to have Subway and The Olive Garden come out as top picks is just embarrassing.

The problem is that all of the good little places split the vote. For example, everyone has their favorite Italian deli. And neither Andy’s, Perreca’s nor Ragonese will be able to get enough votes on their own to beat the mediocre place that feeds the masses on a daily basis.

But if enough people got sick of seeing Subway in the top slot, just maybe they would consider swallowing their love for their favorite Italian deli, and vote instead for a different one they know to be among the best, for the sake of the common good.

This is the operating principle behind the FUSSYlittleBALLOT.

By Monday, I will have consulted with a close cadre of advisors and cross-referenced categories with past winners and online chatter. The result of these machinations will be a slate of excellent local businesses that we, the food-loving people of the Capital Region, would be proud to see proclaimed, “The Best” by the Times Union poll.

When it comes out, I will ask you to consider voting for the full FLB slate in the Times Union poll. You may not agree with all of them, but this will work best if we all stick together. I will also ask you to relentlessly pester your friends, colleagues and loved ones to do the same thing. If you have a blog, I will ask you to blog about it. If you tweet, I will ask you to tweet about it.

And it doesn’t stop there. After the slate is released, I will spend the days and weeks that follow explaining why the FLB is endorsing certain businesses, and what it is that makes them the best. Hopefully those arguments can bring the uncommitted over to our cause.

Last year fewer than 19,000 votes were cast. The first FUSSYlittleBALLOT received well over 1,000 impressions on my site alone, and it seems like it may have had some effects around the edges of the 2010 results. But since that time the FLB has grown. More local bloggers have come on the scene, and I hope that means there will be more people to help spread the word.

And while the biggest battle was lost, I did not feel nearly as despondent about the poll as I had in years past. Because, dammit, at least I tried.

Together we can make this happen. I’m serious. Some of these categories are decided by the slimmest of margins. So get excited. Tell your friends to hold their votes. And then when the slate is posted on Monday, please help me in making sure people all over the region know about our efforts.

Thank you.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2011 11:18 am

    How deliciously devious. I love it!

  2. April 1, 2011 3:10 pm

    Okay, I’m waiting, anything to not see Chuck E Cheese or Friendly’s on the list of kid favorites again!

  3. April 2, 2011 6:06 pm

    Daniel, I hope you’ll consider adding All Good to the list! We’re opening our retail shop next weekend at 160 Quail St. I’ll be sending out a press release as soon as we complete our code inspections on Monday.

  4. Karin D. permalink
    April 5, 2011 6:26 am

    I am new to the area and have fallen in love with many restaurants up here (thank you yelp for helping me find them).

    If I don’t get the Times Union, is there a place online to fill out the poll? I, too, come from a town that had a lot of great stuff but then Olive Garden and Red Lobster won in the polls. sigh.

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