Earlier this year I served on a jury. The IDEA jury, (the Industral Designers Society of America /Businessweek)sponsored competition. It was a great experience and a well qualified jury by any measure. In that competition my company Brandimage, entered a design, a paper water bottle concept. (you can see it here; www.brand-image.com Or just Google it). It didn't win one of the big awards, ( I was recused from the judging by the way), but it did make finalist. Once the IDSA announced the entire list of winners, the concept was put onto the internet, more specifically, the blog-o-shpere.
Once into the blog-o-sphere, the concept was viewed and judged, not by a group of international jurors, but rather, by everyone. Many were big fans. So many infact, that the concept went viral. So many people grabbed the concept and then catapulted it to other sites and blogs. It became the single most effective P.R. piece we have ever experienced. Literally hundreds of posts seen by thousands.
I am struck by how the power of sharing, enabled by the internet, and the recognition of the idea by the many, superseeded the opinion of a few. Even, if you will, the qualified few.
My wonder is, is this kind of exposure an indicator of the future of judging good/great design. Are the days of passing judgement by juries, and the value of that kind of judging, the thing of days gone by.....