I really do appreciate that people are excited about the Top Kids Music Albums of All Time Poll and are e-mail folks and putting it on Facebook, et cetera. But as I review submissions, I'm beginning to wonder if some artists are starting to cross the line.
For better and for worse, I tacitly accept the craziness of the KidVid Tournament, where encouraging folks to vote for your video happens (and, you know, it's a competition).
But this poll is something different -- it's not a competition. Look at it this way -- rules for public radio business support are pretty clear -- you can't have qualitative language (e.g., award winning, leading, Pulitzer Prize Winner, etc.) or state facts that cannot be proven, you can't use comparative language (e.g., better, best, oldest, largest, etc.), and you can't have a call to action ("Visit our store…"Call xxx…etc.).
The announcement in Bill Harley's latest e-newsletter was just about perfect, I thought:
For those who are just looking for a fun family-music activity, Stefan Shepherd... is looking for your list of top 10 kids albums of all time! Here's your chance to make a wonderful list of all the family music you love and share it with other! It's easy to do and will certainly be fun. Check out the details here!Anything more than that, and I think you've crossed the line. Sure there's qualitative language and calls to action, but none of it is directed at Bill -- it's just a heads-up about the poll. It's like a public service announcement.
So, kids music artists, please don't encourage fans to vote for you. It cheapens the poll, I don't like it at all, and it makes big-eyed puppies very sad.
And everybody else without a stake in the end result, please do vote -- the more people who vote, the better the result will be.