A few judges that have proven themselves to be fair and recognise each component of a cannon would be better than a poll
but there will be people who will consider them not to be fair just becasue they take competition too emotional etc.
what's wrong with having the forum decide the winners? Doesn't get more democratic than that
If it was the forum voting, I'd still want a point system as POLAND_SPUD described, but that would just create more problems then it's worth.
So if you have the froum voting you can either have a poll, which is too simple and cannons will be voted on for the wrong reasons. Or you can have a point system, which means every member who wants to vote needs to write out a complicated points tally of what they judge EACH cannon on. 4-5 classes, 2-3 cannons per class. That's 10-15 cannons every voting member will need to write a points table for.
Not to mention members can make more then one account fairly easily, they can 'bribe' or strike deals with other members to vote for their cannons and you are still left with inexperienced members giving inexperienced reviews of cannons. People wont be able to vote for their own cannons, and the points system will take so long to do per member, people who don't enter might not even bother voting.
The votes will need to be tallied and members cross-referenced for making more then one account, possibly PM systems checked to make sure members aren't voting for other members on purpose etc.
Members will start giving cannons ridiculous scores like 10/10 for power, or 1/10 for power just because they like/hate that person.
Now do you all see why forum voting is not a good idea? I can't explain it more simple then that, it seems quite obvious to me that there will be too much time and effort on mine and the other mods and PCGUY to enforce rules and restrictions to forum voting. If you have 20 people vote, thats 200-250 tables (which are made up of things like ergonomics, power, aesthetics, innovation etc) to count and tally.
Plus all the other reasons i've stated above.
POLAND_SPUD, if you think the judges will be too emotional or people will think it's unfair, then you probably don't realise who we would choose for a judge. If you are worried one of the judges may dislike you (when they're chosen), then PM PCGUY about it and we'll make sure thta judge doesn't judge your cannon unfairly (based upon the scores other judges have also given your cannon).
I can't see how judges will be unfair. If you (general) feel a judge has been unfair, PM PCGUY. But I cannot stress to you how controlled judges will be compared to a lose forum votes. And I also don't see how judges will be 'emotionally involved'. We will simply mark the cannon based on a criteria, not much more to it.
Now, if you still have more problems, please bring up some valid points and address the issues with forum voting I have made.
I'm thinking if there is a good college nearby, some of the professors from the physics department may be asked to join a panel of judges.
A college nearby the internet?
Aside from that, I don't think they would be good judges as they would only have expertise in the physics behind a cannon and may fail to understand what's basic and what's innovative in our community. They will also have to become members and vote online in a panel of judges etc.
They probably wont even know what they're trying to mark. They'll see a bunch of PVC and how will they know what that is in terms of power, innovation, ergonomics, aesthetics etc in relation to our community?
Good that you're bringing up some good ideas, though I don't think it'd work out.