Over the past couple of weeks there has been a bit of buzz on Twitter about the Shorty Awards, a bunch of awards for the best short content available on Twitter. A really nice concept and definitely one that should be nurtured and developed. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a joke at the moment because the system can/will/has be/been gamed so easily.The first problem is that not everyone knows about the awards… In fact there are more that don’t know than there are that do. Marketing the idea hasn’t exactly been Twitter wide, it has just been kind of viral amongst a small sub set of users. Any more than a couple of degrees of separation away from where it all started and it will be well and truly below your radar. The second problem is the gaming of the system and I’m fortunate enough to have witnessed this. One particular user sent out direct messages to all of his followers telling them exactly what to tweet in order to take him straight to the top of the charts. He’s currently still sitting there and will probably win the award in that particular category. On top of that, this same user has used alt accounts to give himself that extra edge. Good work. The third problem is that in many cases people are just voting for their friends. The actual quality of the content they are voting for is irrelevant. Lastly, where’s the category for debunking badly planned awards?