After missing a year, the SIAs return for 2010, slightly renamed.
Recently, the Software [nee Shareware] Industry Conference unveiled a brand new web site design, which is much improved from the previous web site. Kudos to Sue Pichotta of Alta Web Works for a job well done (and no disrespect for the previous designer, who I also know).
Perhaps lost in this story, though, is the fact that the updated web site quietly announced the return of the Shareware, I mean, Software Industry Awards and a new (hopefully improved) process for awarding them. According to the Process & Rules page of the site, the awards are now determined by a score of unidentified “software industry insiders”, rather than by the whole of the industry, which should reduce the amount of bizarre results (from either manipulation or voter laziness) at the risk of making them less prestigious, no longer being truly voted by peers. I do not know who any of these people are, only that I am not one of them and that I hope they appreciate our games.
One definite positive in the new procedure is that “nominators are asked to consider only software and services offered by MicroISVs“. This means that products like Google Earth and Windows Live Messenger (Microsoft), both 2008 winners, should no longer be eligible, getting the focus back to the independent developers the awards were originally meant to recognize. (We also go by the title, “the developers formerly known as shareware publishers“.)
The only obvious omission is a list of categories for which the awards will be presented, and specifically, whether any game categories are included (and if so, how many). The last time games were recognized was 2007, when our own Pretty Good MahJongg won the SIA for Best Non-Action Game. Hopefully, the list of nominees (and, hence, categories) will be announced prior to the conference; that would almost certainly increase participation in the “Gala Networking & Awards Dinner”, which attendance was reportedly dropping.
In any event, all questions should be answered in Dallas, Texas, where SIC will take place July 15-17, 2010. Perhaps I will see you there.