The Guardian announces weblog competition winners!
September 26, 2002 12:35 AM   Subscribe

The Guardian announces weblog competition winners! and commends 30 in all, so at the very least there are some new and interesting places to have a little surf. I hadn't heard of any of them before and the ones I have had a look at are worth a second glance, although , at the risk of appearing a mite cynical, there seem to be plenty of Guardian links in a couple of them.
posted by Fat Buddha (21 comments total)
Congratulations, LMG.

*off to check them all out*
posted by emf at 1:08 AM on September 26, 2002

Hmm I wasn't going to enter, as I generally don't like competitions much, but when I noticed how some members of the 'blogging community' were protesting about it and getting childishly worked up I just had to take part.
I know, I know, I'm a bit perverse like that...
posted by malevolent at 1:31 AM on September 26, 2002

God. I may be old fashioned, but it seems to me anything but childish to question the motives of the media, challenge them when they're making mistakes and protest about things you think are wrong and damaging to your community.

As it is, the very best of congratulations to everyone who was shortlisted - particularly the winner Scary Duck and my particular favourites: LinkMachineGo, Anglepoised, Blogjam, Gina Snowdoll, Interconnected and Minor9th.

All the entrants are more than worthy, but that doesn't mean I can't make one tiny quibble... The Guardian's revised criteria now include a "sense of purpose". They describe this as, "whether you could see what the blog was setting out to do, and whether it fulfilled that ambition". Seems to me that the purpose of the vast majority of weblogs is exactly the same - revealing what its writer is interested in and wants to write about. It's exactly this confusion between a weblog as democratic publishing, self expression, writing what matters to you (what I believe makes weblogs so important - writer-side weblogging if you will) and the Guardian's insistence that a weblog should have a remit and a specialised purpose of some kind (audience-side weblogging if you will), that I think is the core of why I think they've so completely missed the point...
posted by barbelith at 2:00 AM on September 26, 2002

Maybe they've missed the point, maybe it was a stupid idea, maybe it's an evil media conspiracy involving alien DNA. Maybe it's just a competition that doesn't have any great significance.

I'm bored with bloggers getting protective and pretentious about their 'community'. It's an interesting form of web site, along with many others, why spoil things by dressing it up as a 'community' and going on endlessly about what is/isn't blogging, how it's going to change the universe, etc..?

(yeah, I know, this should be on Blogroots...)
posted by malevolent at 2:47 AM on September 26, 2002

Hah, I had a conversation with my brother a couple of days back about who we thought might win the competition. He suggested LinkMachineGo or Interconnected. I replied that LMG was all very well and good, and in fact it was one of my favourite blogs, but considering that a significant amount of its links pointed towards the Guardian, if they gave LMG the first prize there might have been a bit of trouble. As for Interconnected (also on my newsfeed list), I said that it was frankly beyond the ken of most people with its deep thoughts on game rules and so on.

Anyway, I got shortlisted so I'm happy enough.
posted by adrianhon at 2:48 AM on September 26, 2002

at the risk of appearing a mite cynical, there seem to be plenty of Guardian links in a couple of them.

Hello Mr Pot!

Joking aside, the Grundiad comp has probably given UK blogging a bit of a boost which is not a bad thing. And, anything that annoys self-appointed 'custodians of blogging' can't be all bad.

However, unlike malevolent, I think blogging communitiy/communities is a good thing. It may not change the entire universe but it's had an effect on mine...
posted by i_cola at 3:08 AM on September 26, 2002

I think it's a bit unfair to call anyone, including Tom, a self-appointed custodian of blogging. I've never noticed that sentiment in any of the 'big' UK weblogs. I doubt that the competition has given UK blogging any real boost since it was only publicised on page 5 of the Guardian's Online supplement, a place where they've mentioned weblogs many times before and probably very few people read anyway (it's a good supplement though).

But then, what the hell, it's just a bit of fun and I think that those involved in both sides of the argument may have gotten a bit off message.
posted by adrianhon at 3:22 AM on September 26, 2002

Surely barbelith, the point of the competition is to identify weblogs that people might enjoy reading - which implies ones where the writer has given at least some thought to their audience, rather than viewing it purely as a cathartic experience for themselves.

Personally the weblogs that I read most are predominantly ones that have some sense of purpose. People who have some key passion in their lives that they want to share are for me more interesting. Often it doesn't matter especially what that passion is - rebuilding cars, RSS, clown sex, typography, whatever - just that they have one. Endless wittering about whatever trivia happens to take the weblogger's eye that day is better served by a chat down the pub with your friends.
posted by kerplunk at 3:23 AM on September 26, 2002

I think the difference there is that you're talking about interests rather than purpose. I have a variety of interests. On my site you'll find posts about weblogs and weblogging, contemporary politics, online community, Buffy and science and technology. If your interests happen to coincide with some of them then you might find the site interesting. Most weblogs do this to an extent - they have interests, and a variety of passions, but the site in and of itself doesn't have a purpose.

In fact, what most of us do is latch onto weblogs that we personally find interesting or informative - which is more like finding someone you get on with than it is finding a magazine that appeals to you. And people have a variety of interests, a variety of passions.

Obviously everyone who writes a weblog is at least partially aware of the presence of the unseen readers - but most of us write about things that matter to us and assume that if we care about them, if we have opinions about them, then someone may share those interests as well. That's what I think makes them different from magazines - and why I think the Guardian misses the point...

As to being a self-appointed guardian - that's not the issue at all - any more than if the council were planning to put a road through a park and I protested. I'm a vocal citizen that other citizens are free to agree with or disagree with. I'm interesting in persuading people, not in representing them politically or in being their guardian.
posted by barbelith at 3:31 AM on September 26, 2002

I ran out of puff about half-way through.

Guys, I'm over 50. Lose the fine print already.

LMG is the best, but there's some wonderfully insightful stuff on those blogs.
posted by emf at 3:33 AM on September 26, 2002

I'd never heard of any of the blogs and I've been merrily adding a few to my bookmarks so, as far as I'm concerned, it's truly all good.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:46 AM on September 26, 2002

Probably the only really good thing about the whole competition was that it provoked a debate on whether such a competition was a good idea or not. That, surely, is the only benefit of comparing such subjective things.

In that spirit, I suggest that we have a contest to discover which colour is the best. My vote goes to red.
posted by Nick Jordan at 4:18 AM on September 26, 2002

I'm afraid, as a member of the colour-using community, I must question your motives in establishing such a competition...
posted by malevolent at 4:27 AM on September 26, 2002

Many congratulations to the winners. More competitions like this for Web logs would be useful if the judges are fair and the nomination process open. I just hope someone doesn't create a Web log for these competitions!
posted by boardman at 4:43 AM on September 26, 2002

I assure you that, although I use colour, I have no idea how it works and am in no way affiliated with any organisation having a hue-related agenda.
posted by Nick Jordan at 4:43 AM on September 26, 2002

adrianhon: Your right...I was a tad harsh with the 'self-appointed' bit. I blame malevolent for egging me on. ;-)

With regard to the 'boost', it may have been small via the 'paper in the UK itself but I think the bloggyverse as a whole will be aware of more UK blogs.

Plus the online grundiad seems to be quite widely read and the story was 3rd on the front page today.

All power to the duck...and Sky Blue for the colour
posted by i_cola at 6:15 AM on September 26, 2002

aaaargh! that's you're right.
posted by i_cola at 6:16 AM on September 26, 2002

i_cola: I agree that the bloggyverse has probably become more aware of UK blogs. Why, even our esteemed Miguel had "never heard of any of the blogs." So it is a good thing in that respect.
posted by adrianhon at 6:23 AM on September 26, 2002

barbelith writes:
All the entrants are more than worthy, but that doesn't mean I can't make one tiny quibble... The Guardian's revised criteria now include a "sense of purpose". They describe this as, "whether you could see what the blog was setting out to do, and whether it fulfilled that ambition".
excellent. i hope the grauniad will be generous enough to inform paul what his 'sense of purpose' is.
posted by methylsalicylate at 7:01 AM on September 26, 2002

Maybe with that thousand pounds, he'll buy off his blogspot banner?

Scaryduck does rock. And yay Gina: one of the best trannyblogs, in or out of Ingleterra.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:48 AM on September 26, 2002

I think I agree that there is no need for blogs to have a sense of purpose, but I suppose they can set the rules anyway they like. Ultimately it is a pretty meaningless competition as if the initial judge didn't like your blog you had had it, someone else may have thought differently.
Generally I think it is a good thing, I would never have heard of those blogs in all probability and now I have and that's a good thing, some of them are great.
Doubtless we shall all keep ploughing our lonely furrow regardless.
i_cola, I take your point but I don't accept it. I admit I link to the Guardian a lot, sometimes I even apologise for it, but my habits have nothing to do with the price of fish old cock. It was a flippant remark anyway, as I am sure yours was.
posted by Fat Buddha at 10:12 AM on September 26, 2002

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