The Shorty Awards is the award ceremony for those who live on social media and have the craft of audience engagement down to a “science,” so why does it feel like it’s just a participation trophy for all those involved?
Let’s be real for a second here, ladies and gents: Social media is a tough gig. It’s an ever-evolving industry that for even the most basic engagement you have to be witty, entertaining, well-written, and well-versed in ongoing events and pop culture. It’s a job where you have to be able to talk to people while seeming frank and honest without offending them.
Social media is a goddamn minefield.
So why the hell are the awards for being able to achieve a veritable “cult-of-personality” an even bigger joke than the MTV Movie Awards when it launched?
Maybe it’s because it’s run even more poorly than Dashcon. Take for example, the nomination system, which lets you nominate anyone for ANYTHING. To prove the stupidity of this idea because the internet is a thing, my friend Ryan Farroki nominated himself for the “Brazil” category.
Farroki is not Brazilian, and only learned how to say ‘thank you’ in Portuguese last night. Yet he sits at 14th place, which for someone with very little audience to speak of, much less a Brazilian audience, is completely ludicrous.
Don’t let that stop you from voting for him though. All you have to do is tweet:
— Sara Parra (@Saragparra) February 9, 2015
Ah, but that just mean he places in the audience nomination category. Even if he gets top spot, Farroki would still have to be recommended by the mysterious “board” to be considered a real candidate. So, why the hell implement the voting system to begin with?
Speaking of the board, no one knows who these guys/gals are because even though the Shorty Awards’ website states it will announce board members soon, it hasn’t.
That hasn’t stopped them from picking their favorites from the nominee lists.
Not to mention that the “Academy of Short-Form Arts and Sciences” (yes, that is their full name), who have final say on who actually wins, is a melting pot of people that probably wouldn’t be in the same room together at any time, much less voting on the same things.
You’ve got Arianna Huffington, President of the Huffington Post:
And Charlie Sheen:
It’s like a collection of people selected after throwing their names into the Goblet of Fire. How did these people get into this Academy? What makes them qualified to quantify how talented someone is at social media?
Did I also mention that this show is partnered with Livestream, HBO, A&E Original, FYI, Barnes and Noble College, and Blue? Because that’s who’s sponsoring this deal and like them, you’d think after seven years of doing this, these guys would have it down. You, also like them, would happen to be wrong.
As a matter of fact, we here at NMR have compiled our own nomination list for our own made-up Shorty Awards. There’s almost no difference, really.
Joey Graceffa: Best Pet Care
Bernie Su: Best Hat Collection
Miranda Sings: Best Makeup
Alexis G Zall: Least Annoying Teenager On The Entire Internet
Curtis Lepore: Most Desired To Be Eaten By Bear-Wolves
Jenna Marbles: Most Consistent Day-Late Uploading
Flula: Closest Proximity To The Cast Of Pitch Perfect
Hannah Hart: Best Liver
Hannah Hart: Worst Liver
Connor Franta: Probably A Robot?
Laci Green: Actually It’s About Ethics In Gaming Journalism
Craig Dillon: Inability to Understand that Deleting Tweets =/= They Never Happened
GloZell: Pulitzer Prize
Sara Parra: Best At Taking This Award Show Totally Seriously
In all seriousness, people who are good at social media deserve awards for what they do. It’s a hard job that’s constantly overlooked, and the Shorty Awards only add salt to the wound.