Monday, January 16, 2006

Melinama - Bloggies panelist??

I got a surprise email from a guy I don't know. I hope it isn't some crafty kind of spam because I dutifully did as it asked.
Congratulations! You've been chosen as one of the 150 panelists to vote for the finalists in the Weblog Awards. Here's what to do:

Download the attached HTML document which has the nominees with the most votes in ten of the 30 categories. Then choose your five favorites for each of the categories you have (six if you have Weblog of the Year) and e-mail them back to me by Wednesday, January 18.
Where did this guy get my name? Why did he choose me?

Here's what I've learned about "judging" these webblog awards.
  • I had about 250 blogs to look at;

  • Some of these are in languages I don't know;

  • Some of these categories are far from my expertise (I'm certainly not an expert on GLBT blogs, and I'm not even going to try the Podcasting category I was sent);

  • No judging criteria were forwarded to me.
So as a consequence:
  • Since I couldn't spend very long looking at any given blog, I looked at the first page, all of it, and if there wasn't much there, I poked into a few links, but I certainly didn't have time to plumb the archives, nor was I inclined to linger at blogs that post only "teasers" with READ MORE buttons at the bottom. Maybe these bloggers think they'll get more hits that way, but I rarely follow their links;

  • I was influenced by my prejudices. For instance, I detest blogs with lots of ads, or blinking stuff, or music that can't be turned off, or extremely conservative politics, or lots of obscenity, or three columns full of tiny tiny print. Or READ MORE buttons;

  • If I couldn't understand what a blog is "about," that was a problem given the short time I had for the project.

    Hmm, so if I were visiting my own blog and didn't have all day to look at it, what would I think it was about? I wouldn't have a clue. (Maybe I don't, anyway.)
Most dishearteningly: I couldn't understand why THESE blogs (the ones on the short list) were chosen, when there are so many others which are better. This sapped my enthusiasm and makes me question the whole proceeding.

And, I want to ask you: how do you compare a blog like this to a blog like this? They're on the same short list!

I went back over the five blogs I chose in each of my ten categories and realized I didn't really like most of them. They were simply better than the other choices I'd been given. But here are a few I actually liked:

When I used to root for a Miss America candidate, she always, always lost. I have tastes which are deeply out of synch with the norm.

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At 10:30 AM, Blogger Badaunt said...

That sounds like an impossible task to me. And I'd be repelled by the same sort of blogs you are, obviously. You may be out of step with everybody else, but you're in step with me!

And, while I'm here... something weird has happened for me with your blog - it won't display properly. Don't rush to change things though - it might just be my antiquated system and browser - check it yourself first, in other systems.

The symptoms are disappearing text from the top of the page (I can't see your top two or three blog entries, it's just white page) and the sidebar has slipped down to the bottom of the page. I can still read by clicking on individual recent posts in the sidebar - they come up fine individually - but can't read from the main page. It's very weird.

Mac OS 9.1, Mozilla 1.3.1. I haven't checked with my other browsers (old versions of Netscape and IE) or with Mac OSX and Safari (I don't run it very often) but will do at some point and let you know.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger coturnix said...

OK, Dooce is a legend. But of all the other blogs, the only one I know (and like very much!) is Living The Scientific Life in the Best Whore category. I skimmed through some of the others and mostly did not like them.

At 4:16 AM, Anonymous Kimberly said...

Last year I looked at lots of the blogs up for Weblog Awards, BoBs, etc. I rarely found one that I liked enough that it became a regular read. This year I haven't yet bothered to look.


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