Friday, 4 November 2011

Ruminating on the PixelX Polls


to ruminate:
1. to chew the cud like a ruminant (example: sheep and goats)

to chew the cud:
1. to chat in an aimless way. Cud is the part-digested food that ruminant animals bring back into their mouths from their stomach to chew at leisure. The image is a slow and meaningless mastication.
Pixie Panda
On her notorious, controversial, sometimes cruel and frequently funny blog, Rayven Baily made some interesting remarks about a much publicised Second Life (SL) porn-industry poll.
Tulsi Clown
The poll in question is hosted at the PixelX magazine blog and is run, at least in part it seems, by the infamous Jumpman Lane.

The winners of each of the categories get awarded real life dollar prizes (rather than Linden Space Bux).

From a drop down list, you can select who you feel should win in a particular category and your vote is counted.

So far, so good.

Except that anyone can cast multiple votes in any category, separated by a 24hour interval. Moreover, voting is open for another six weeks!

A recipe for....well, not "disaster" exactly but certainly "inferior quality".

I remember reading a notecard about this competition and, on seeing how the winners would be judged, deciding to keep at arms length from it. In fairness, however, I am not one for entering contests and I wouldn't have given the matter very much thought before concluding "not for me, thank you".
Rayven goes on to describe some rather strange voting patterns which on the face of it sound absurd.

Now, before we go on, it should be said that Rayven has an agenda of her own here which will be readily obvious to her regular readers - and which Rayven herself makes no attempt to disguise or hide, bless her cotton socks!

I am not particularly interested in Rayven's not-so-hidden agenda to be honest, except perhaps in the morbid sense of rubbernecking a train wreck.
But I *am* interested in the how the chosen election process for this contest has the potential to lead to seemingly weird and outlandish results.

And the way Rayven described it, the results were so bizarre, so ridiculous, unbelievable that Rayven just *had* to be exaggerating. Right?


I had go to look for myself.
This type of voting mechanism has prior form and is widely employed in such TV programmes as X Factor, Big Brother and many many others.

By allowing multiple voting, someone can feel they are really getting behind and supporting the performer they want to win. The production company get a small income from every vote. Its all good. Its all fun.

In these types of TV programmes, each broadcast episode could expect to generate tens or hundreds of thousands of votes. Some can generate millions.

The number of individual votes and voters involved is so vast that it would be near impossible to viably influence the result using various social networking or crowd sourcing techniques or indeed other forms of voting irregularities. It has been attempted, of course.

However, when such a voting regime is employed in that considerably smaller pool of resources that is Second Life, it becomes entirely possibly to influence the final result, given enough motivation.
When you look at the interim results that this contest has spewed out thus far, it is hard to escape the conclusion that some form of manipulation is occurring of the nature that Rayven describes. In fact, Rayven's reporting on the voting patterns appears to be disturbingly accurate.

This contest certainly has lost all credibility, imo, and I am glad I decided not to enter. It isn't something I think I would really want on my curriculum vitae!

Now, the fact is, this contest - or any other for that matter - has no obligation to be credible! It just isn't a requirement of competitions!

And if winning a contest that has no benefits in terms of personal credibility, respect or self-dignity is meaningful to you - then go for it, I say! Spam all your friends, drag out your alts and get the buggers to vote for you every 24 hours!

And if it isn't the "personal credibility, respect or self-dignity" that is motivating you but instead you are seeing dollar signs in front of your eyes - then, again, go for it! Spam and alt-vote to your heart's content!
While there I voted in each of the categories. I voted as I felt was right and true for me.

In some cases, that meant I didn't vote for someone on my friend's list. Sorry. But there is a simple matter of personal integrity at stake here.

I will not be returning to cast any further votes; I am done there. Nor will I be keeping abreast of developments

For anyone interested, here is who I voted for, and the reasons why.

Pornographer of the Year: Of the sixteen possible candidates, only two could I personally realistically consider -  Emanuelle Jameson or Serenity Juneberry.

Emanuelle's generous and enthusiastic coverage of other people's work on her extremely popular blog allows us to see work which would unlikely ever otherwise come our way. She doesn't have to do this but she does, in a most unselfish and encouraging way. Emanuelle is a great community leader.

Serenity has not only built up an enviable body of high quality work, she is also generous and unselfish as a person. As well as working on her own blogs (count 'um!) she is a regular contributor on Emanuelle's. You see her commenting on many films; she is widely liked and her opinions are highly respected.

It was a hard decision but, finally, I plumbed for Serenity because she has been the more active of the two in outputting new creations in the last year.
Porn Newcomer of the Year: I found this quite a lot easier than some of the other categories. I voted for Collen Criss

I am really enjoying the photography on Collen and Toran's blog. I like their style and the care they evidently put into their work.

Really good stuff.

Female Model of the Year: A tough category, especially as SL now provides so many attractive looking "off-the-shelf" and "generic" avatars.

What I personally find attractive and what I look for in the actors I cast in my films, is an individual "created" look. If I sense a "generic" or "off-the-shelf" look - even if it is attractive or beautiful as many of the "CherryGirl" and "Dr Life" avatars clearly are - I am less likely to be enthusiastic in offering a part.

Sexy and beautiful are "must haves" obviously, that's a given. But the avatar must also be capable of retaining that sexiness and beauty under different Windlight settings, different outfits and different hair etc. I am particularly interested in eyes, lips and facial shape.  I especially check that there is no shadowing around the nose and cheeks.

From a starting field of seventeen, under the above criteria, the numbers quickly get shaved to a more manageable amount.

I finally voted for Arwen Juneberry.
Male Model of the Year: Many of you know I hang out at Old Lars House. The thing is, you see, in my personal life I have a penchant for polite, mature gentleman.

The young stereotypical SL "male hunk" just don't do it for me. 

So, there was really only one choice....Philip Sidek

Photographer of the Year: The single hardest category imo. So many good photographers are in amongst the twenty-three candidates.

I eventually ruled it down to Jeanne Sahara, Jinx Jiersen, Philip Sidek and my eventual choice....Debra Stine.

Female Machinima Performer of the Year: I could happily cast my vote to Quinn Ying, Serenity, Arwen but after a lot of deliberation finally decided on Aurora Bentham.

The reason is because Aurora created the one adult machinima that I have watched over and over again this year - Disturbia. I loved that film but unfortunately it isn't on NaughtyMachima any more.
Male Machinima Performer of the Year: I haven't voted yet. I am waiting for Philip Sidek to be added to the list for this momentous performance.

Machinima Director of the Year: I voted for Vanhelsing Svoboda because,  with the possible exception of Quinn's, I like his films more than the others listed,  .

However, after some reflection I wish I had not cast a vote at all.

The list does not include Serenity Juneberry (or Rysan Fall for that matter) and is therefore inherently flawed and incomplete.


Since publishing the above there have been two major developments significant enough to justify an edit:

1) The polls have been changed to only permit one vote per IP address. This is much more sensible under the circumstances but likely too late to repair the damage already inflicted on the contest's reputation.

2) Arwen and Serenity have withdrawn from the competition entirely. See their formal announcement here. At the moment of their announcement, Serenity was leading in two categories ('Female Model of the Year' and 'Female Machinima Performer of the Year'). My feeling is that if the organisers had not removed her name from the 'Machinima Director of the Year' category (whether deliberately or accidently is far from clear) then she would be heading that category too.

Arwen and Serenity really are a class act, both on and off the stage.

Their withdrawal from the contest effectively renders any result from this contest worthless.
Now I really want to leave this whole sordid matter behind and recommend we all do something more pleasant and light hearted - like dressing up in tiny avatars and re-enacting the electro-convulsive therapy scene from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!

Bagsy I be Jack Nicholson! Serenity and Arwen can fight over who will be Nurse Ratched!

The pictures used on this blog-post were taken by Tutsy and I in our tiny avatars at Madcow Cosmos and Lorin Tone's fun and funny 'Through the Lens of Dreams' region.


  1. Thank you Pixie, i agree with the whole tone and the content of your post.

    I was nominated in the director poll, then they rolled it back to an earlier time where they "forgot" to add me, so i remain out of it. Even though i am listed on the site as a nominee.

    Does anybody know the term "Pornographer" involved in this thing? Emanuelle's blog is the purest example of a blog that offers porn to the community. Anybody in that category should at least run a well known blog distributing SL porn. Or a website like Kittyshack, or SL Porn Tube maybe? How can this category not feature the people who distribute all the imagery and movies? That's why Emanuelle was Nominated by Pixel X there from the outset. I co edit with her, so i was there too.

    One things for sure, this is a extremely negative concept, mixing sensitivities and ego's all up together with big cash prizes is a recipe for disaster. Now it's one vote per IP address. I don't really see the distinction between physically voting yourself numerous times, and begging others on another IP address to go and do it for you.

    It will not carry an ounce of the prestige The Sexiest awards carried for its winners. Can you imagine the Oscars run like this? At least The Sexiest awards modelled itself after a well respected format.

    There is only one fair and untainted category i can think of for the next Pixel X awards. "Pornstar with the most FB friends, biggest SL friends list, and biggest personal SL group".

    These are not the thoughts of somebody bitter and getting their butt kicked in the voting either. Not yet anyway. Although i don't for one moment think the amount of people who have enjoyed our projects can be numerous enough to compete with ongoing PR campaigns and IM's right through to Christmas Eve.

    Thankyou everybody who voted for me so far, and for my nominations. :)

  2. As usual Pixie, you speak a lot of sense. Such contest whatever thier formate usually invoke a lot of drama and the set up of this one does lend itself to abuse. Someone kindly nominated me for a couple of categories but I have since withdrawn

  3. I had people who I told to vote for Serenity the first night say they can't vote again. I have had another person who is in the contest tell me the same thing after reading my blog.

    This is what happens when children try to run a adult themed poll.

  4. I don't care who wins any of the awards caws I only personally nominated Timorhy Morpork and I don't like him!

    The point of the whole contest is and remains to find out who is who and what is what in the Adult Industry of Second Life. We're finding out plenty. From the outset we've declared that the fans will decide the winners and they will. They did the nominating, they are doing the voting. Cheating is negligible as part of the polling software removes votes outside the parameters every 36 hours automatically. By design cheating is obviated.
    Djquad asked that serenity be added to the directors category after nominations were closed and I considered it even adding her to the list on the site but changed my mind. Fair is fair. Nominations were closed.

    We at Pixel X and at Slut Mag before it NEVER SHRINK FROM DRAMA. If Ravin Whoever didn't exist we would create her. Weakness compels strength. We will meet our enemies in any forum and vie for their destruction to the last!

    In the end winners will be declared and they are welcome to decline!

  5. Oh and NO ONE will be removed and NO ONE BANNED from voting! Lol 1 vote from 1 ip per 24 hours! Always been the rule :)

  6. "The point of the whole contest is and remains to find out who is who and what is what in the Adult Industry of Second Life. We're finding out plenty."

    You aren't finding out crap. Go crawl back under your rock.