|An undefined designation, which has been filled in various polls. The IPO Polls in the SF FAN found Don Wollheim top fan twice; from the NYCon I to the end of World War II Ackerman was #1 fan; Tucker, Redd Boggs, and Walt Willis have occupied the position at various times thereafter, tho since about 1952 polls to determine Top Fan have been of dubious validity due to the difficulty of getting proper poll cross-sections.
The criteria on which different voters base their choices differed seriously, so Speer thought that the effort to lay down the law here might be of some value. In the first place, ideally the list of top fans for one year should be good, by and large, a year or so later. Choices should be based on probably future value to fandom, estimated of course from past performance. It follows that no stfnist should be considered for one of the top places until he has been active for at least two years; many may run thru the cycle of fanac and make a big noise for a moment, then fizzle out. In addition to beneficial effect on fandom, it is usual to consider prestige and weight carried in organizational activities and the formation of opinions. It is not a popularity contest; the twenty-odd top fans are probably the ones without whom it is supposed that fandom would not be what it is.