So the weblog competition that I don’t tend to get stroppy about is back and what a relief it is after all that Guardian rigmarole to have a nice award that’s nominated and voted for by members of the weblogging community itself and that vaguely reflects the culture and interests of that community. Yay! As we’d say over at Secret Santa, “Everyone gets a present! Everyone’s happy!” Because the Bloggies have returned!
There are some interesting shifts in the categories this year – Nikolai sent around an e-mail earlier in the year to see if he could improve them still further, and I’m delighted to say that this year there is no longer a combined “Europe and Africa” category, and that instead there are separate categories for Africa and the Middle East, The UK and Ireland and continental Europe.
In order to jog a few minds I’m going to make my usual yearly reminder of some particularly good sites that I’ve seen around the place which I think might deserve a mention. Feel free to ignore as you will, but these are likely to be on my initial ballot sheet.
If you’re looking for some good Aus/NZ blogs, then I can heartily recommend Loobylu, Brainsluice and Captainfez.com. For African/Middle-Eastern, I think I’m going to go with the obvious and cast my vote for Salam Pax, who has been the iconic weblogger of the year, at the heart of the largest news story of the year, and has been always honest, open and personal. For Best British/Irish, I can’t recommend CityofSound enough, and it’s not because Dan’s my employer or because we had a row and I feel guilty about it. Genuinely fascinating, well-written stuff. And for the European award, you wouldn’t go far wrong putting your pebble in the Tesugen urn when you’re voting.
In the topic-based categories, I’d like to recommend Coolfer, chachacha.co.uk and Share the Music – all of which I check up on regularly and find illuminating and passionate. The Best Political weblog will inevitably go to some foul warblogger, but I’d like to point you in the direction of the very British PolitX. In terms of the best gay weblog (always one of the hardest fought categories), I’m going to have to try and persuade you all to read trash addict more than you do. Otherwise, any of the classics would do nicely: Ernie, Bart or Sparky all come with the highest of recommendations. Best Group should (and probably will) go to Boing Boing and best community to either Slashdot, Kuro5hin or Metafilter.
As for myself – I pretty much think I’ve done my thing with regard to these awards enough times already. But that doesn’t mean that I’d be exactly upset if you decided to nominate plasticbag.org for Best British or Irish Weblog, or best GLBT weblog. One thing I would really like though (because I think it’s one of the best things I’ve written in a while) is for people to bear in mind (Weblogs and) The Mass Amateurisation of (Nearly) Everything when they’re looking to nominate for the Best Article or Essay about Weblogs category. Weirdly, it’s one of the things I’ve done this year that I’m genuinely proud of (despite all its clumsiness and deeply dodgy turns of phrase) and I’d genuinely like more responses to it.