Jan 27 2009
Andrew wrote a short post last Thursday (with a picture attached) criticising people who are proudly declaring that they have received a nomination for the Blog Awards in February. For those readers who are not involved in the Irish blogosphere, the nominations list is a comprehensive list of everyone who received even a single nomination. It is neither a shortlist nor a longlist. The post subsequently gained a lot of attention – mostly negative, it’s fair to say. Andrew is a good friend of mine, so I think I know him better than many of readers and reactors on the post. I didn’t think the post was worth the attention it received, but in retrospect I’m glad it has given a lot of people a sounding board for their thoughts on the nominations.
Yesterday evening, he published a longer, more considered post on the subject. This is one I felt deserved a comment from me. I started writing my reply which began as a sentence or two and expanded into a lengthly oration. So, rather than leaving the comment and sounding more like a castigation of Andrew than of the negativity towards the Blog Awards, I decided to put my views across here.
My thoughts on blogging and the Blog Awards are simple – I’m a social animal – I love the drinks and fun side of blogging. I’ve said so many times how many people I have met and good friends I have made through the medium. I was first introduced to blogging at the Blog Awards last year and all I saw was people who wanted to meet and chat and share ideas. How anyone can find that negative is beyond me. And I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t even consider coming down and joining the rest of us for a piss-up.
As Rick said in his comment on Andrew’s first post, so many people will never make that longlist, never mind the shortlist and this may be the only time a tiny little spotlight shines down upon them. I am very fortunate to have had a brighter light shine upon me when I started blogging – I had some blogging friends who mentioned me and gained me a instant reader base. Most bloggers don’t have this and if they can gain even a few readers by being mentioned in a nomination list, then why not throw up a logo, why not thank their readers, why not shout it from the rooftops?
Andrew says it’s not personal. Both he and I understand that the online persona and the offline counterpart are not always the same, but others may not see it this way. When criticising the people who use the ‘Nominated’ logos in their sidebars (some of whom would consider Andrew a friend), it is taken personally and saying “it’s not personal” does not change that.
So, I suspect that is why he got such a reaction to his ‘throwaway’ post. When I first read it, I just shook my head at it because I thought it relatively pointless, but now I’m glad he published it, in a way, because it has allowed a lot of people react to the negativity in one place.
As for the politics of the whole thing – it’s posts like Andrew’s that create the ‘politics’ – opposing sides and criticising the acts of others. In the comments there was a mention of the clique element of it. Last years awards drew 400 people, I believe. This year is likely to gather more. That’s one hell of an impressive clique. In truth, I think one of the greatest parts of blogging is the arms-wide-open welcoming aspect. No one will shut you out or put you down and all comments and viewpoints are accepted. Blogging certainly has its niches (I don’t read too many of the female oriented beauty blogs, for example) but to call that cliquish is daft.
But then again, we are all entitled to our opinions, Andrew included.
To get worked up about all of this is, in my opinion, a waste of time. Some people like the idea of the awards, some people think it’s contrived. Personally, I think it’s a lot of fun. If everyone stopped taking it so seriously and just enjoyed a great night out, it’d be a lot better all around.