To VOTE or not to VOTE – That is the Question

I wrote a blog about voting back in March originally and which was updated a couple of times in July. That piece was more about WHY we as fans might want to vote and how to be good ambassadors of our favorite show and stars. If you want to look back at that one here is a link WILL THE VOTING NEVER END?!?! I completely endorse voting in the various contests and do it as often as my weird internet connection allows me to.

I want to address something a little different here. Yet another way bullies are making themselves known and often they are the self-proclaimed leaders that are just supposed to be giving some ‘guidance & structure”.

Voting, like anything else in the fandom, is a choice. It is a personal choice and no one should feel brow-beaten or belittled for their choice. I can’t always vote as much as I’d like because of my internet connection or lack thereof. Sometimes I get so tired of being harped on I quit voting and walk away from Twitter and Facebook so I don’t have to see it anymore. I did that with one of Sam’s recent rounds – and was told rather snottily if I didn’t want to see the voting reminder to block or mute them. Wasn’t the reminders to vote that were irritating – it was their tone.

On both TW & FB I constantly see “We need HELP – why aren’t more people voting!!!!” then these people go out and make comments like “If you were really a fan you’d be voting!” I actually saw one comment that went something like ‘You have company over? Hide your phone under your napkin and keep voting.’

An often repeated idea in my blogs is ‘courtesy and common sense’. Be excellent to each other. Don’t try to dictate someone else’s personal choices. Appeal for help, state your case then let the people make their own choice. Making a wonderful meme that is fun and witty and gets people interested, then closing it with a command is a really fast way to lose people.

Why aren’t there more people voting? My personal thought is people in general don’t like to be told what to do, made to feel guilty about something or constantly nagged. Reminding people to vote with great memes, tweets and comments on social media is fine! It’s a good thing to put up voting links often with fun/creative pictures or comments. But nagging, being nasty, telling people they MUST vote – will tend to lose the very people you are trying to get to help you.

Many fans are just plain tired of all the voting. I’m one of them – but we keep at it anyway.  You finish one competition and start another or often have several going at once. Some people don’t want their whole time they have allowed for Outlander to be sitting and voting. Most fans vote when they can and a core group of really dedicated voters carry the main burden of winning these things. Every vote counts – every vote….we have had some really tight wins and losses where just a minor number would have swung things. What we need to do is get a much bigger and more diverse fandom to help when we have votes so it doesn’t fall on the same people over and over again.

A couple of tips:

Look at what you are RT’ing. Is it still timely? I’ve seen many contests where a frantic call for final votes goes out which is fine – but someone Retweets it when the vote has been closed for hours. This is true of any tweets really – pay attention to what they are asking for and the timeframe.

Don’t constantly say things like ‘panic’ or ‘mayday’ or make it sound like whoever is being voted for is behind or is in imminent danger of losing their lead. This happened a LOT in the radio times vote for Sam and at times he was literally MILLIONS of votes in the lead. I get that with the way the voting was going it was possible if we didn’t stay on top of it for that lead to be lost, but it wasn’t imminent. The problem with always ‘crying wolf’ is that when it really IS critical, people will ignore it because the scare tactic has been used too much when it wasn’t really true.

There were two votes going at the same time recently. Sam’s vote on Radio Times and Cait’s vote for E-online. Sam’s vote was really important – I get that. Big exposure, important deal in the UK because Radio Times is such a major publication. All good. What ticked me off was people so willing to throw Cait and her vote under the bus when it was not necessary. Sam was millions of votes ahead and people could have taken a little time away to make sure she was set in her race then keep them both in the lead. So much easier to maintain a lead than have to claw up from under 50%.

Radio Times

Not only was I sniffed at for suggesting in various places that we work on Cait’s vote some as Sam was more than stable, some people got just a little hostile. A friend got a DM from a ‘self-appointed leader’ chewing HER out for daring to promote Cait’s ‘fluff’ vote rather than focusing on Sam. That really, REALLY annoyed me. Not only was it hurtful, it made her want to just give up voting entirely. Sam was being well represented and she wanted to remind people of Cait’s vote – her choice and a good one.

First, free country anyone can promote any vote they want to. Second, I find it interesting that Cait’s is a ‘fluff’ vote – don’t remember anyone calling the ‘Alpha Male Madness’ a FLUFF vote (and the balance to the #GirlonTop vote Cait is in now BOTH of which are E-online with Kristin Dos Santos)…..oh right….we were voting for Sam so it was important. I adore Sam – I do – but he is not the only star on Outlander. He is not the only talent. He is not the only person on that show that works his butt to see it be successful.

I just found a far worse issue – and sadly, I found it on the Radio Times story about Sam’s win.

harrassment wiped

Not only was what happened here totally out of line, it is now known to not only our fandom but anyone who reads comments on the article. Much as it pains me to say this, I believe it happened and that there were probably others. Please….do not put up with stuff like this. Call these people out. Don’t stand for bullying and let the rest of the fandom support you.

Radio Times

We have some wonderfully creative people in the Outlander fandom. See above.  The encouragements to vote are mostly fun and motivational. If you ASK for votes, explain why they are needed without making every request into a panic situation, and don’t constantly nag….I’m far more likely to vote. There are certain people on Twitter that, honestly, during a vote I simply ignore because of how they come across. ASK for votes, make it fun, make it easy for people to do it then leave them alone to make up their own minds.

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4 thoughts on “To VOTE or not to VOTE – That is the Question

  1. tealrose1 says:

    Well put !! These people who are constantly saying ‘You HAVE to vote, you aren’t a real Outlander fan if you can’t make the time to do this ..’ type of thing are actually bullies. And as you say, it puts people who are already tired of voting on so MANY sites off from voting at all any more. I would actually much prefer a ‘ one / 5 votes per computer ie IP address’ type of system. ie .. just one or a few votes allowed. We would all get to sleep and stop getting Repititive Strain Injury to both our fingers and .. our brains. Not sure how you feel, but I think it would make for a fairer and more clear way of finding out just WHO is the favourite actor etc.

    Re your ‘fluff’ vote comments. Oh how I agree wholeheartedly! Sometimes women ( and it is mainly women who are voting it seems ) are their own worst enemies.

    As you say .. ASK .. nicely .. for votes and you are likely to get them. Bully and you push people away. You catch far more with honey than vinegar !!

  2. Abigail Adams says:

    I understand your feelings, but I belong to a great group and we encourage people to vote, there is always the “Sam’s behind–Vote!” plea and as for Cait, she is included equally and sufficiently. People are asked to vote for both and both races are watched and considered equally. We back both, without issue. I tried to put the voting sights on Outlander Series and was told by admin, “Don’t do that”. Oh…I was trying to help. Evidently removing those that were into the voting to another site, vote friendly, was not wanted. My feeling was confusion. I went to and utilized the voting site exclusively because I wouldn’t want to offend people that complained, loudly, about the voting and people encouraging others to vote. There is a conundrum here. Who wins? Everyone? No one?

    • rynawolfe says:

      Abigail – thanks for your comment. A great deal of what I was talking about took place on Twitter and people sending direct/private messages. There were a FEW people WAY out of line and SOME that just come across with their comments and tweets very aggressive and a bit ugly. THIS is the behavior I was trying to address. Most of the fandom has a great time and the pages on Facebook specifically around voting tend to be ok and people seem to have a lot of fun. I did find it funny how they tended to spend time chatting when they were frantic to get votes in but whatever on that. It’s a choice. Many of the FB pages dedicated to Outlander allow ONLY ONE thread for voting at a time as that is not the focus of the group – so the pages for voting ARE. My hope is that the people doing this right and just having fun will speak out and not allow bullying to continue on any level. People should be able to enjoy this process and have fun interacting with other fandoms when there are comments sections.

  3. Sarah Meyers says:

    I think these polls can do damage to a fandoms reputation at times and with these last few polls I believe some was done not just within our fandom but with others looking into it. The way we seemed to push Cait aside at times to promote Sam was wrong. I read comments from other fan groups saying “Oh they don’t care about the girl they’re just worried about the guy” and what not. I get our fandom is probably made up of 90% women but what does that say about us? It’s a bit sad and I agree with you when you say Sam is not the only star on the show. I think lots of people tend to forget this.
    When both votes were going on at the same time I put equal effort into them. When it was the last day for Cait’s vote, in the semi-finals, I put extra effort into hers knowing how tight of a race it was, at the time, Sam was clearly very much ahead of his competitor.
    I noticed a lot on twitter how people would say forget Cait’s vote and focus on Sam. They would state things like how if Sam won how much it could promote the show, as you stated. But why couldn’t both win? To me that was not right at all. It actually upset me a bit. What I found most upsetting was that when Sam’s poll was over how many of the Sam voters decided to neglect Cait’s final simply because she wasn’t Sam. I get it Sam’s hot but why must we ignore the other talents on the show? I don’t know I just feel people focus on him too much, sometimes. Some of the things I saw on twitter where a bit overboard. Do not get me wrong I have met many wonderful fans but I have also met overly aggressive ones too. I guess all fandoms have their good and their bad. I think these polls just point them out more.

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