My Problem with the BBAW awards

11:49 AM

I've held off in my thoughts on the BBAW awards partly because I wanted to get my motives for doing so clear in my mind. I also wanted to step back and look at the entire event objectively and make sure it wasn't just sour grapes on my part. At this point I can honestly say that's not the case.

I had a problem with how the BBAW awards were done. Some blogs had lots of time to get in their posts for judging while others barely had 24 hours to pull them. It was also not really clear what judges were looking for. The judging was very subjective and even though there were guidelines, it still fell under each judges personal opinion. It also seemed like the judges were part of a small clique of bloggers.

Was I upset I wasn't one of them...not really. My schedule is pretty full and I'm not sure I'd have had the time to give it. Although I did offer to help more than once and was seemingly ignored.

It also wasn't clear what were categories and what were just awards. It said you could only be shortlisted in one category...

I know that a lot of people were completely offended by the idea that someone would self nominate themselves. HELLO! Blogs were allowed to self nom so nobody should get high and mighty about that. It was also a way for lesser known blogs to maybe get themselves in the mix a bit. Unless it's in the rules that you can't...nobody should get upset when people do.

If you want to really divide things up...

  • commercial book blogs vs personal blogs
  • Publisher hosted giveaways vs. personal giveaways
  • self hosted blogs vs hosted blogs
You all get the idea. While it sounds picky...all of us know these things do make a difference in the blog.

This wasn't about who the blogging community clearly thought was the best, but WHO we were allowed to vote on was chosen by a select few. Why not take the top ten people who were nom'd and let us vote between them - that would have made an issue of 'the people's choice'.

I think anytime you have a group of people who 'select' who is worthy of being voted on, you lose something.

I found this quote by the founder of the event on the listing of winners:
"I want to sincerely thank everyone who voted my blog as most Altruistic Blog. I considered declining this award, but someone on the Awards Committee reminded me that the community has spoken." My Friend Amy
Now don't get me wrong, I like Amy and she has a nice blog. BUT if she really didn't want to be considered for winning why send in her posts? Why not pull her blog BEFORE the shortlist came out?

In my experience, when you plan an event like this, you take yourself out of the running for prizes. If you're judging, you take yourself out of the running. Right or wrong, it creates an atmostphere that is clique free.

I've found some wonderful new blogs to follow from BBAW and for that I'm very grateful. I'm working on getting everyone added to my reader so I can keep up with them. I think it's a wonderful opportunity for people to be introduced to the new people on the block.

I also think that a lot of revamping needs to be done, rules made clearer, etc. for next year. This is a great idea and a great way to bring bloggers together, but this year there were definitely some moments when it seemed like it was about to self destruct.

If it were me (control issues I know ;)

  • I'd open up the noms in August and leave them open for a month...let everyone campaign and get their friends out there voting for them.
  • Then - pick the top vote getting blogs in each category( Possibly 10 of them) ...and have final voting the week before BBAW.

I don't think the problems were a reflection on Amy - this was a huge undertaking last year, that just exploded this year, and when an event gets that big that fast there will be growing pains.

Congrats to Amy for her awards ( well earned) and congratulations on surviving another year of BBAW!

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Every year we lose more people to AIDS. It hasn't disappeared and it's not going away anytime soon. I urge you to seek out and support your local AIDS Organizations. Encourage everyone you know to practice safe sex and to get tested once a year. Even if you don't think you are at risk, get tested. I didn't think I was at risk either, and I almost died before I was diagnosed.

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