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.

5 thoughts on “The (new) blog awards

  1. I need to brush my teeth now from this dollop of syrup. You intentions are admirable. But really, who cares?

  2. Heather, I think your input is well thought through and most valuable, and I’m in complete agreement. I won my category in this year’s awards, which was nice of course, but I reckon that if I felt the judging criteria were more stringent and well thought out, I’d value the award a lot more. I hope the organisers take note of your points here.

    The other thing I’d like to suggest is that instead of getting corporate sponsorship for prizes, to try to source prizes from within the blogging community. I’m a textile designer and illustrator and although it was never my intention, my blog has been an incredibly useful business tool for me, growing my business’s reputation all over the world. I’d love to sponsor a prize from my online shop for the next blog awards, and think that this kind of thing would be much more appropriate than getting a goody bag mostly full of pointless branded stuff.


  3. I look forward to your post after the SA Elections, when it seems clear that the most popular candidate will… er… “win”. Does that make him the best? I don’t know, but these are the rules by which these things are run.

    Re the SABAs: By making this a totally public vote, you make it a popularity contest. By making the vote totally oligarchic, you make it easily manipulated and potentially unrepresentative of general opinion.

    The shared voting between judges and public is the most transparent, open and fair method. All credit to the organisers.

    The rules were there and upfront from the start. Don’t like it, don’t get involved – simple as.

    Double finalist and er… double runner up. *sigh*

  4. @Skinny maLinx – Totally agree re. the actual judging process — the competition should make it really clear what criteria they’re using to judge entries (whether that’s in terms of popularity, sustainability or innovation etc). ‘Best’ is not always very helpful. And I also really like the idea of prizes from the local blogger community. In fact, the whole thing is best organised from within – if only we could find a way to get more input into the actual process beforehand. Like we’re doing now, I guess.

    @6000 – If it’s only a popularity contest, then why have judges at all? In fact, for this award, I’m left feeling that the judging is really superficial (because someone somewhere thought that there should be some degree of judging) rather than a real understanding of why there should be such an intervention.

    Also, it’s not actually a matter of ‘don’t like it don’t get involved’. I don’t think anyone involved in the awards thinks that they’ve worked out the complete and best way of designing it. And it’s a community-driven process – which means that this process of debating the best way forward – is exactly part of being involved. It’s as important as agreeing with it – perhaps more so.

    At the end of the day, another community might choose to start their own blog awards. Or manage the next blog awards. In both cases they will be different, but they’ll only be better if more people do get involved.

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