Q: What are The Weblog Awards all about?
The 2005 Weblog Awards continue the traditions of the previous two editions. What sets The Weblog Awards apart from other awards (such as the Bloggies) is:
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
5) Fun, fun, fun...
In a nutshell The Weblog Awards is about honoring hundreds of blogs (over 550 this year) versus the same couple blogs over and over. Blogs are generally limited to appearing as finalists in one category (though they may also appear in the design or podcasting category), ensuring that the same blog doesn't sweep the awards from top to bottom. The Weblog Awards is about expanding your blog reading horizons by exploring the hundreds of finalists you may not be familiar with.
Q: Who can vote?
A: Anyone. You must have Macromedia Flash version 7 (or greater) installed or you will be prompted to get the latest version.
Q: What if I don't want to install the Macromedia Flash plug-in?
A: You won't be able to vote. Sorry there's no alternative means of voting.
Q: I can't vote. The system says I've already voted, but I haven't. What gives?
A: We've spent a great deal of time testing the voting system to ensure that it works on all sorts of platforms and browsers, so errors should be extremely rare. Are you sure you haven't voted in the last 24 hours from the machine you are on now?
If you are running some piece of privacy software which anonymizes your browsing session it is possible that you might be prevented from voting. In such cases (which are very rare) you typically won't even see a poll. We haven't tested the voting system with every piece of privacy software, mostly because the voting system does not use browser cookies in any way. Your browser cookie settings have no effect on the operation of the poll.
Q: I can't vote with Firefox. The system has some error message I don't understand. Can you help?
A: We've receive a single report of this so it's unknown how widespread the problem is. Using IE allowed the user to vote. We've tested the polls with Firefox 1.0 and 1.5 and had no problems, but it is possible that a Firefox extension the user had installed was preventing Flash from working properly.
Q: It's been over 24 hours and I can't vote again. Can you help?
A: Not that we doubt your memory, but are you sure about that? There was an issue isolated mostly to day 2 (Tuesday Dec. 6) related to a server hardware failure which might have affected a few folks for a few hours. That issue cleared itself up auto-magically. Other than that minor blip (which was isolated) things appear to be working fine. See this entry in The Weblog Awards Notes for a full discussion.
Q: When I try to vote on a poll it asks me to "Allow" or "Deny" storage to weblogawards.org. What should I do?
Most people will never see such a prompt. If you do, click "Allow" otherwise you will not be able to vote in The Weblog Awards.
Q: What about cheaters?
A: There is no such thing as a perfect security system, but we have multiple levels of security and everything is logged and inspected. Were someone to manage to massively cheat we will: block their access; report them to their ISP, university, or employer; then remove their votes from the totals. In both 2003 and 2004 we had to deal with scripting attacks, so it's something we've planned for. It's also a reason why we note on every poll that results are not final until certified.
Q: What about cheaters?
A: There is no such thing as a perfect security system, but we have multiple levels of security and everything is logged and inspected. Were someone to manage to
Q: Why are the comments "unmonitored?"
A: Because I don't have time to monitor them. I did want to give a people a small forum to discuss polls, the awards, etc. and the Haloscan hosted comment service was good way to do that.
Q: How were finalist picked?
A: To understand how 15 finalists were picked in each category you first have to understand how they were nominated. There was a call for nominations early in November for all of the categories. There were on the order of 3000 nominations for the various categories. The list of nominees was pared down to 15 by me and a team volunteers. For the most part if a site was not nominated it wasn't even considered as a finalist, though in categories with a small number of nominees we had to do some research. For everyone who complains that we "missed" one site or another, my question to you is, "did you nominate them?" We don't have ESP here at the Weblog Awards, though I'm looking into that for next year...
Q: I nominated XXX, but don't see them as a finalist. Why is XXX not included?
A: Several thousand blogs were nominated. Of the hundreds nominated in each category there's at most 15 up for voting.
I had volunteers looking at 2 categories each. They didn't know which category they would be assigned. Their directions were to look through the nominees and make two lists of 10. Their top ten and a bubble ten. They were allowed to add suggestions, but those had to be marked with stars. I was free to take all, some, or none of their suggestions. I took all those lists, validated them against the category requirements, and in some cases added and removed sites based on my knowledge of each category. The amount of data available to work with consisted of the nominations, some good regionalized blogrolls (on some of the nominees blogs), and the TTLB ecosystem snapshot (for ecosystem based categories). The guideline that blogs would appear in only one category made the process much harder.
You are, of course, free to disagree with the choices I've made, but denigrating the sites selected will not be tolerated. Calling such and such site "shitty", "lame", etc. is a pretty cruel thing to do, especially since many of the sites nominated didn't even know they would be included. If you don't like the choices available don't participate. Better yet resolve to participate IN THE NOMINATION PROCESS next year. Come back here in November 2006, we'll be doing nominations again, just like the last 3 years.
Also it's to late to suggest a site that we "missed." I know it might seem helpful, but the polls are the polls.
Q: No offense, but who picked the Best Blog Design? Those are not the best designs... XXX and YYY are much better.
A: See the previous entry. Offense taken. There is some debate going on about what constitutes "good" or "best" design, but throwing backhanded insults at the finalists is not a good way to enter the debate.
Q: Can my site be removed from The Weblog Awards poll in the XXX category?
A: Short answer: No.
Long answer: I will not be removing sites from the polls or the listings. Mostly this is due to the time and expense involved in creating the Flash polls. In case you haven't noticed there are a lot of them. The process of building those polls was time consuming and labor intensive - a process no one is eager to revisit. There approximately 550 blogs included as finalists this year in 37 categories (polls), which equals lots of work to put together. Time and money was budgeted to creating the polls, not rebuilding them while we try to run the contest.
Q: But I object to awards and really don't want to participate. Why won't you remove me?
A: See previous answer.
Why do you have a blog? Is not part of the goal of blogging (or podcasting) to build a readership? Can you pick your readers? If so you'll have to share how you are able to selectively choose your readers with the rest of the blogosphere - the rest of us serve our content to readers world-wide without regard to where they come from. If you really want to block access to your site from The Weblog Awards there's technology out their capable of doing that. If that makes you happy, go for it, but you'll still be listed in the poll (for the reasons explained above) for the duration.
Q: How do I contact you via e-mail to complain?
A: kevin at weblogawards dot org
Tag: Weblog Awards