I got an email about the BRICK Awards earlier today because I know one of the nominees. The awards are for outstanding individuals making a difference in the world and the twelve recipients of the Brick Awards seem to be making a serious difference. I know that Kimmie Weeks, the guy I know, has been doing amazing work in Liberia and Sierra Leone for years, and I think he fully deserves the award for his efforts. All twelve Brick Award recipients are finalists for the Golden BRICK Award, which involves another $15,000 prize to go towards their causes. I fully support what Kimmie is doing, so I wanted to cast my vote in his favour.
But when I got to the BRICK Awards website, I noticed something that got my hackles up. In order to vote, I needed to have a Yahoo! ID. I do have a Yahoo! ID, but I don’t know how I feel about Yahoo!’s need for voters to log in to their system. I really appreciate their support of the BRICK Awards, but I am not comfortable with the login situation. I can understand their desire to ensure the integrity of the votes they receive, but the true cynic in me sees the possibility that Yahoo! may be using the competition as a means of garnering more users. Once someone has a Yahoo! ID, he/she is in some way bound to Yahoo!. (Of course, he/she may never use it again, he/she will still be a Yahoo! member if he/she doesn’t close or cancel the account.) I can’t say that I think Yahoo! is being unethical or doing anything wrong, but I am definitely made uncomfortable by the necessity of using a Yahoo! ID to validate all votes that are cast.
Am I alone in feeling a bit put off by the situation? Does anyone else have a similar response?