CCAs: Finalists Announced, Voting Begins

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Our call for nominations for the 2009 Community Choice Awards officially ended on May 29th. Our finalists were chosen from 47,887 nominations for 4,875 distinct projects, which is well over double the number we got in 2008. Voting has officially started, as of right now…so go vote at http://sourceforge.net/cca with the greatest reasonable level of urgency.

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I’m very pleased with this year’s finalists! I have become familiar with a lot of fantastic projects that I didn’t know before, and I hope you will too. Every single project in our list deserves to win.

Finalists like Sahana, a disaster management framework, TriSano, an outbreak management application for infectious disease, and AgepaBase, a tool that helps governments plan infrastructure for clean drinking water, are what I was secretly hoping to see this year.

The recently-infamous rtmpdump project is a finalist in Best Project for Multimedia. If you don’t know the back story, hit up Google…but let’s just say that I wholeheartedly appreciate the “screw the man” sentiment, even if “the man” includes us this time. The world is not a perfect place quite yet.

Finally, PortableApps.com is a finalist in a lot of categories. A lot. Those of you who were paying attention last year may be experiencing deja vu, but something tells me they’re not going to let it slip through their fingers in 2009.

Here’s a final graph of the nominations over time:

cca09_final_nominations_graph

You might be wondering why it’s taken so long for us to tally, and there are two reasons.

First, since we allowed nominations for any open source project, we couldn’t build a database ahead of time that was comprehensive enough that people could nominate projects by searching for them. Instead, we asked our nominators to provide URLs and names for their projects. Piles and piles of random perl scripts, a bunch of SQL code, and an awful lot of processing by hand ensured that we knew when http://foo.sourceforge.net, http://sourceforge.net/projects/fo, and http://foo.org were all the same project (and, incidentally, ensured that we removed spam and non-FOSS projects.)

Second, we wanted to do something a bit different this year with the voting process. Instead of just a bunch of select boxes where voters could pick their favorite projects, we wanted it to be a way for them to discover something new! So we asked each of our finalists (and a couple of alternates per category) to send us a bit of information about their project and, optionally, to record a video that would introduce you to their team. A lot of our finalists did, too!

(As an aside, I wrote a Rails-based mini-CRM to keep track of which projects were finalists and alternates in their categories, collect all the data about them, and generate the hundreds of emails I had to send during the process. I had to do something to keep it from being tedious, didn’t I?)

Best of luck to all of the finalists!

Cya,
Ross

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