What makes an award winning blog

I’ve won one award for my blog: The ecto Blog of the Week, which, bless Adriaan’s busy heart, ended up lasting for more than a month. Thanks to his mention, I spiked in traffic. Ah, the halcyon days of being hit over 100 unique times per day! Since then, my stats on site hits have dropped off a bit, not to critical levels or anything, but the ‘new car smell’ of regularjen seems to have worn off a little. I do get plenty of RSS subscribers in addition to site hits, so no worries- my self-esteem is alive and kicking. πŸ™‚ I am a happy girl.

Now, to answer the burning question that titles this post: Fuck if I know.
I recently stumbled into The Weblog Awards 2005 site and in an unfounded stab of ridiculous optimism, I clicked onto the UK Blog section. Of course I’m not listed, (nor did I think I would be), but I was kind of hoping that there would be several familiar site names in the group. I knew one of them. (Londonist, for the prying.) In an unconvinced sneer, I brought up four of the nominees at random. I won’t tell you which ones I checked out, because I’m not here to tear down anyone’s expression, but good golly, I found four fairly dull blogs. Now, before you get all finger-waggy at me, I know I’m no tap dancing wonder bunny when it comes to blogging, but perhaps I just had higher expectations for web sites up for an award. I suppose that in my eyes, a ‘Best Blog’ should engage me on several levels. It’s not necessary for me to discuss what I find attractive in a blog like it’s some kind of match-making effort, but for goodness sake- I expected more from an awards site. But that expectation in itself is flawed…

Perhaps knowing what it takes to build an ‘authoritative’ site is my curse. It’s easy to create a site and to post polls. Anyone with a limited amount of knowledge and generous bandwidth can do it. So I guess my question can’t be answered. I did find this on the site FAQ for The Weblog Awards:

Q: How were finalist picked?

A: To understand how 15 finalists were picked in each category you first have to understand how they were nominated. There was a call for nominations early in November for all of the categories. There were on the order of 3000 nominations for the various categories. The list of nominees was pared down to 15 by me and a team volunteers. For the most part if a site was not nominated it wasn’t even considered as a finalist, though in categories with a small number of nominees we had to do some research. For everyone who complains that we “missed” one site or another, my question to you is, “did you nominate them?” We don’t have ESP here at the Weblog Awards, though I’m looking into that for next year…

Upon further reading within the FAQ, the creators of this award seem to understand that it’s an imperfect system. Fair enough. Most awards are. So why should we care? I guess the one thing these awards are good for is the generation of site traffic. I got plenty from the ecto nod (which I’m still flattered and grateful for) and I’ll bet that the sites listed (willingly or not) in this Weblog Awards thing are getting more visitors too. So although we may all differ in opinion as to what the magical formula is for an award winning blog, we can at least all agree that no matter how meaningless and disputed the recognition, we all like traffic and we all like to be noticed. If that wasn’t the case, we’d type our thoughts into a private database, text file or hand-written pages of a diary.

So, did I end up casting a vote? Yes, but not in the UK category. I supported a blog I subscribe to in another topic. Further proving the shortcomings of an awards system, I only recognised five of the fifteen listed in that group. I didn’t even bother checking out the others first.
Flawed indeed, but I just can’t resist clicking those cute little buttons. πŸ˜‰


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2 thoughts on “What makes an award winning blog”

  1. Hi Adriaan!
    I think my calendar is very similar to yours… lol! In the end, I’m so grateful that you were busy! I gained quite a few regular readers thanks to your site’s attention.
    Cheers for that friend!


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