That's what matters most beginning next month with Funcoast.com magazine's Readers' Choice Awards sponsored by Firelands Regional Medical Center.
No one knows better than readers what is best in these parts. It's the ultimate way to determine who serves the best perch sandwich or who offers the best place to watch the Super Bowl rather than relying on the three dozen or so people who work on the third floor of the Register building. Who cares what a bunch of reporters and editors think?
Do you really know your barber? Do you like him? Then fill out a nomination form to give the recognition he or she so rightly deserves. Did your hairdresser turn your big hair chic? That person needs your vote too.
Does the ancient symbol for peace and tranquility you had stenciled on your backside bring out your best side? Then nominate your tattoo artist. Or the person who pierced your ...
That's what makes the Readers' Choice Awards unique -- you have the power to nominate and vote -- and tell the owners and operators of local businesses what makes them special.
I tried convincing the fun people at Funcoast.com to include a "best editor" category.
"Is that a good idea?" I asked.
"Not so much," they said.
I could have had a decent shot at that one.
There are 36 categories this year ranging from food and fine dining to life and leisure. Last year more than 68,000 votes were cast via the Internet at Funcoast.com and in ballots that appeared in the weekly print edition of the magazine.
The nominating period runs Jan. 23 to Feb. 6, and the three businesses in each category that get the highest number of nominations will go on the ballots for Round 2, with final voting taking place Feb. 13-27.
Winners will be announced at the RCA party for readers and area businesses March 4 at the Kalahari Nia Center, with the Funcoast.com magazine Readers' Choice Edition publishing the next day.