|Last night I noticed there had been a spike of eight votes in one photo that before that before that time had only had one vote. I contacted the owner of the image and he told me he was just promoting his image on FaceBook and a bunch of his friends had come over to the PFRE Photographer of The Month group and were helping him win the contest. This surge of 8 votes now makes him the current front runner. If you look at the voters profiles most seem to have no involvement with real estate photography.The fact is this photographer is just making good use of social media. Knowing this group of readers tastes in real estate photography as I do, my guess is that if you knew this was happening the majority would not choose this image as the winner.Frankly, I should have anticipated this. I have a proposal fix for this issue:
The bottom line is the underlying assumption (that's never been explicitly stated) of this voting is that the voters are intended to have some connection to real estate photography. The idea is the best real estate shot is being chosen by your peers, not by just anyone.
I will use the poll to the right as your final answer to this question. What's your decision? I'm also open to any other brilliant ideas you may have.<
Update 1/25/2012: Thanks everyone for all this great advice. You've confirmed my feelings are on this subject. Open voting doesn't make much sense as this competition grows. I doubt that there was very much like went on this time in past voting.
I'm going to attempt to create a panel of distinguished judges that are a collection of past winners and PFRE contributors that I know. Otherwise this competition will mean little.