Best of Boise 2003

Welcome to our annual Best of Boise issue. This time of year always brings us joy to share with you the best our city and surrounding valley can offer. This year we made a few changes to the process. Our Reader's Choice winner categories do not also have an Editor's Choice selected as they did last year.

All Reader's Choice winners were determined via online voting and in two published ballots that appeared in BW in July. Last year we counted 526 ballots, this year we only counted about 175 printed ballots but we had almost 1,000 readers vote online for a total to 1,200 ballots. We decided to go with online balloting this year to try to reduce ballot stuffing. Every online-voter could vote once per computer. Yes, some people have two computers and, technically, they could have filled out a printed ballot too, but we relied on the honor system.

There were some complaints that some businesses did not see themselves on the online lists for specific categories. Here's how that worked. Once someone suggested a business or individual for a category (they could do this on each question online), then they appeared on the list. Conversely, some businesses were upset that they appeared in certain categories they didn't want to. Obviously there were some jokesters out there nominating them for best strip club or, we liked this one, Guy Midnight's Dude Palace for best tattoo parlor. We tried to weed these out when we caught them, but some made it through. Just as with any election, businesses and individuals wishing to win convince their friends, family, patrons and dogs to fill out a ballot with their name. An election is a popularity contest and the winner is the one with the most votes. Statistically speaking, however, the larger the number of participants, the larger the accuracy of the poll. We also decided to tell you who got second and third in the Reader's Choice categories. In conclusion, we believe that this year is the most accurate overall polling to date.

What you love about BW is not that we follow the herd via focus groups, reader polls and test marketing, but we lead the herd. That's why we also have Editor's Choice Best of Boise items. You rely on us to be the experts. Human experts with our own faults, but experts nonetheless. We hope you use this issue to celebrate the Best of Boise 2003.

BEST OF BOISE CONTRIBUTORS

Bingo Barnes, Bug, Nicholas Collias, Joe Carberry, Bill Cope, Rachael Daigle, Jennifer Gelband, Jennifer Hernandez, Chuck McHenry, Andrea Potochick, Erin Ryan, Cynthia Sewell, Natasha Wilson