The Manchester Blog Awards, held annually at the Deaf Institute on Oxford Road, have been renamed The Blog North Awards to allow people from further afield to be recognised for their blogging skills.
Whoopy-fucking do. I have a problem with the awards. I went to the last two and noticed some seriously off elements to the event.
evening includes a short reading of work from one of the bloggers,
chosen by the organisers. I think one or two of these readings were
from blog posts, to give an example of what has been nominated. This
is good. This works. However, when the reading includes fiction, it
becomes a different kind of night. Yes, you can write fiction and
slam it on your blog if you want, and yes, this may give your blog a
certain style. But there are countless fiction magazines out there
(thousands of the best of which can be found at http://duotrope.com)
that will publish that for you. But more to the point, some of these
readings were NOT from blog posts. If it’s the BLOG awards, why not
read out JUST BLOG entries? The blogosphere in Manchester is broad
enough to find an eclectic range of readable passages to show the
city’s blogging talents.
lot of the bloggers attending the awards are also fiction writers. I
think the fiction writers of Manchester are very cliquey, and
because a number of them also have blogs they tend to congregate and
become close friends, of what I gather. There’s nothing wrong with
friends, that is, until a certain us-and-them atmosphere starts to
develop. Bloggers who don’t write fiction start to feel left out.
This claim was widely debated last year over on The Manchizzle, Kate
Feld’s Manchester Blog about Manchester Blogs.
As Ikem Nzeribe says in the comments, ‘the Blog Awards fails to
embrace what is a new medium. It is essentially about writers
attempting to shoe-horn themselves into a sexy but ill-fitting new
dress called “The Web”.’ I concur. In the comments, people
suggest that bloggers are welcome to turn up to “blog meetups”-
bloggers’ social evenings where people can share their URLs
presumably. I wouldn’t know, being anonymous (my name is not REALLY
Patrick. Sorry to break that to you.) Meeting up and having drinks
with other bloggers and chatting away for the evening ISN’T WHAT ALL
BLOGGERS WANT TO DO. Blogging is a form of social media. It’s a
group of people connecting on the internet. We shouldn’t have to
know each other face-to-face to be in with a chance of receiving a
cliquishness was clearly punctuated last year when a 2010 winner Fat
Roland, who writes Fat Roland on Electronica,
landed himself a position as a judge. In 2011 that same award was
given to a fellow by the name of Benjamin Judge. The Ben and Roland are known to be friends. They are also bloggers,
and fiction writers, and suspected nepotists if the blog awards are
anything to go by. This exacerbates the feeling of us-and-them that
many bloggers, myself included, feel to be on the sharp end of.
is more than writing. It is engaging in the blogosphere, commenting
helpfully on other people’s blogs, offering links to other blogs,
incorporating sound, photography and video into your posts and
updating it all regularly. It’s also about having an effect on your
readers- making them interested in something and making them want to
get involved with whatever it is you’re writing about. With all that
in mind, is it fair to give two nominations and one award to
Skyliner, a blog updated a mere once a month? Granted, it’s well written and
interesting, but with it being a Tumblr blog there’s also no comment
function meaning it’s impossible to properly interact with. I
suspect that due to the judges being creative writers, they didn’t
know what criteria to use as a basis on which to judge-
“communicating and engaging with your readers” being an
important one they missed.
So, no, I will not be at the hallowed Blog North awards (despite throwing in a long-shot bid for Patrick Bateman’s Space as Best Personal Blog. Any slim chance of nomination I had, I have now burned up and extinguished in a glorious ray of piss). I think it better to find the cream of blogging, and to promote you own blog, in the place that does it best: the World Wide Web.