An Explanation of Best Of

Drumroll, Please

It’s here—our annual Best Of issue, our most exciting and eagerly anticipated issue of the year.

This year our reader participation was off the charts, with waaay more readers voting than ever before. Thanks to all who cast votes in this year’s Best Of contest, making it our best yet. Some results may surprise you.

We re-invented the Readers’ Choice poll this year, turning it into a two-pronged contest to generate increased reader interest, not to mention a little friendly and more visible competition among the nominees. It worked.

As we have in prior Best Of contests, we invited readers to our website to weigh in on their Alameda favorites via an open-ended online poll with 143 categories, from Best Bakery and Best Bar to Favorite Notable Alamedan and Most Kid-Friendly Restaurant.

That portion required voters to nominate their Alameda favorites by typing the names of the nominees on the online ballot—a Herculean, time-consuming task for sure—by a specific deadline. But we didn’t end the contest there, as we have with previous Best Ofs.

Instead, we scrutinized the list for the top five vote-getters or so in each category. These became our Best Of finalists, and we launched a second poll pitting them against one another. In this phase, nominee’s names were listed on the online ballot on our website. All voters had to do was select the button next to their top choices, by a specific deadline. Simple.

Voting was fierce—lots of vote-courting on Twitter and Facebook. We extended the deadline to give even more readers an opportunity to participate. And finally, we tallied those results. The nominees who received the most votes were named our Readers’ Choice winners, and they are listed in our Best Of coverage beginning on page 33.Our Best Of coverage wouldn’t be a complete readers’ service presentation without also including the heartfelt Best Of honors as suggested by our talented and connected cadre of writers and editors. And with that, it’s a wrap.