First it's worth restating the guiding principles of of The Weblog Awards, since it's inception in 2003:
1) Open and public nominations
2) Categories that allow blogs of similar readership levels to compete
3) Real time vote totals
4) Quick turnaround of the results
An operation of this magnitude will never be without its share of controversy or problems. There's one part of The Weblog Awards that will never get any easier - the finalist cut down. Explaining why many nominated blogs are not finalists is always the trickiest part of The Weblog Awards.
To maximize participation there will be as little overlap in the selection of finalists in the categories as possible [Note: This is a guideline, not a rule]. Even with that general guideline there are bound to be thousands of nominated blogs that for one reason or another will not be finalists in any category.
There will be more written about the finalist selection process later, but in advance please understand that the constraints of the number of categories and the maximum number of finalists per category really ties our hands. The goal is to get the most representative slate of 15 finalists per category. We're under no illusion that (even with unlimited time) we could prune each category to a list of the 15 blogs that everyone would agree were the absolute best 15 blogs that category has to offer. We do what we can under incredible deadlines to pick the best slate possible. In the process I'm sure many excellent blogs are overlooked...
If your blog was nominated, but is not selected as a finalist I want you to know how much I appreciate your participation in this years awards. Many blogs will get caught in a numbers game when the finalists for this years Weblog Awards are announced, where there are too many nominated blogs for too few slots. With several thousand blogs nominated this kind of disappointment is an unfortunate consequence of the success of The Weblog Awards - one which will repeat every year. The prospect of anonymous and closed nomination, while it might lessen the disappointment of those not selected as finalists, is to my mind far less appealing than the open nomination process of The Weblog Awards.
I wish it could be another way, but unfortunately it cannot...