Friday, January 18

Blogger Awards & Outdoor Magic polls - of what value?

As I mentioned earlier in the month this is the time of year when the various 2007 Awards started to get divvied out.
From this blog's perspective as a commentator on outdoor based topics such awards can be largely irrelevant. But I do like to have a browse through with my blogger hat on to see who is doing what, and why. Its called learning.

Sometimes I see links I already know, which I take as favourable sign. But mostly they are a strange bunch. However as a source of populist reading material (as if I really need even more on-line stuff to take in) they can be instructive both for entertainment value, but also to give some ideas as to what others in the blog-o-sphere are doing. Best not to get too insular I find.

Last week the winners of the Performancing Blog Awards 2007 were listed. And except for this, this, and perhaps this occasionally, oh and the the mention a few times of Wordpress, I was totally bemused. The site mentions that there were 61,000 votes in one week, which whilst not being in the realm of numbers for TV Voting is still quite a considerable response.

But somehow I'm left with a feeling of being slightly violated. There's a whiff of a USA centred focus. and a sensation that I've just rubbed up against something a bit yukky. The touch of the corporate moneymaking venture. Perhaps that's not entirely fair as I've yet to work my way through in detail (Edit: I have now - that opinion stands!)

Try "The Funniest Blog of 2007" Or rather I'd suggest you don't if you have a sense of humour like mine. Nary a twitch of giggle muscle in JH Towers when I perused the sites of the winners and alternatives. And that includes Waiter Rant a blog which I regularly enjoy its insight, use of language, and keen observational content.

But funny? Not sure how that badge was pinned on the label of the serving staff.

Or try this award for example - "The Best Blog Community of 2007" Awards to Freelance Writing Jobs, Twitter, and Metafilter; Twitter - a community?

For the record my vote, admittedly selfish, goes to our very own amateur and extremely home grown "Supporting the Outdoor Blogging community".

With 4,500 posts related to the topic in question. That's 4.5 k in in 7 months BTW - this group didn't exist prior to that. Now just what definition of community is in use for these awards.

OK. Somehow I've switched into full on rant mode along the way. Which wasn't my intent when I sat down to tap these thoughts in earlier. Funny how these pieces sometimes take on a life all their own!

So while I'm controversial mode (supposedly one of the key tips to attract readers I have been advised) let's not forget the present poll running until the end of Jan on Outdoors Magic.

For me this remains a site with a valued and very knowledgeable readership. Another example of community if you like. But also in the past its been a bit of a tar pit for some of my OB colleagues with unfair and at times downright personal attacks (well perhaps tar pit wasn't quite the right metaphor there)
But whatever, the end result was that the "B" word tends not to get mentioned on OM, with some OBs avoiding the place like the plague. Bitten. Shy. And these are folk not exactly famous for thin skins and fragile egos. They are, if you like, normal. As in like you. Open to ideas; Interested in outdoor matters; Able to express their thoughts in a constructive manner.

But wouldn't it have been nice to have seen some recognition of the impact that the Outdoor Blogs have had on UK scene in 2007. Especially as OM embraced the concept earlier in 2007, and then dropped it once the fan started to get a little brown.

How about it OM - or too late for this year already?

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