The (new) blog awards

Ok, so this is my last post about the matter. There were so many wonderful ideas that came out of this little storm today that I can’t help put them forward so that something constructive comes out of this. Maybe this will mean that next year, we will have more input into the process, or maybe it will mean that there will be a new SA Blog Award. Whatever happens, this is what came out of conversations today:

  • Big first step is to develop some core principles that will underpin the competition, its process, winners etc. We should know what values the competition stands for.
  • Next is to house the awards with a credible, trustworthy organisation that doesn’t have a vested interest in the awards – either a new media department at a university, perhaps, or a large company like a local bank who can put some cash into the project. Choice of host will probably be determined by the principles.
  • Thirdly, judges should not nominate themselves – they should be chosen for their particular experience in the subject (e.g. photographer if it’s a photography blog etc), perhaps a star blogger from another country etc. and there should be a very specific (limited) number of judges.
  • If this is going to be a national award about representative, good quality content, then I’d say that the public should nominate the blogs and that, in order to go through, the sites should have to meet certain criteria (including user numbers). The chosen judges should discuss the nominees in each category and make the final choice. Peoples’ choice awards are very simple to decide – you just have to look at local user statistics – but quality, representative material needs to be decided by people talking together.

And no, I’m not writing this because I want to be a judge, nor do I want to enter the awards, nor do I want to get the contract to organise the next awards.

I’m just interested in making things better – not because I’m trying to save the world or because I have a halo around my head, but just because.

Oh, and thanks, Seth. I made so many new friends today :) Thank you for caring so much.

The real conversation

Anyone could have predicted it. Make a comment about the state of blogging in South Africa by refering the winner of the SA Blog Awards and you get this:

- insults about my blog and how boring it is;
– reaffirmation about why the blog in question is so incredibly fabulous by its gang of aggro readers;
– reaffirmation of my own worries that this conversation is (again) taking place among a very small demographic of South Africa’s population and with no recognition of that fact.

All (again) diverting us away from what the real conversation should be about – and that’s where the South African blogging community is heading.

Again, this is not a 2oceansvibe bashing. I appreciate that we need diversion; I appreciate that Seth has worked really hard on his blog; it’s not my thing but that’s just me – and that’s the great thing about blogging: we can all have our ‘thing’. What I’m saying, though, is that, if we’re using the measure of happy advertisers, or most loyal readers, or even most readers, then our choices would be different. These awards shouldn’t be about blogs with the most readers. If it was, we wouldn’t be able to notice more innovative sites – that may not be raking in the cash precisely because they’re new and innovative.

I mean, surely just by looking at the awards, the people who attended the event etc, you can’t honestly say that blogging in SA is in a healthy state of diversity and growing among new audiences.

Or maybe I’m just being boring. Maybe I should just get a ‘good shag’ or go back to the ‘beach’.