Announcements Archives

Weblog Awards Notes (Friday)

Our dirty little secret has been exposed!

Several e-mailers, in the course of thanking me (which is sincerely appreciated) for the thankless job of organizing this contest have noted sentiment similar to this, "I have discovered so many great new sites by visiting the finalists!"

Busted! The dirty little secret of The Weblog Awards is that it's not really about who wins, it's increasing exposure for all of the blogs in The Weblog Awards. Every year I get messages about people finding new sites via The Weblog Awards. At the end of the day that's the real benefit of the whole thing.

Newsroom Coming Soon

Are you blogging about the results of the various polls? If so visit this post at Wizbang and find out how you can become one of the authors in the forthcoming Weblog Awards Newsroom. Starting this weekend we'll be crafting press releases recapping the competition, and the next one could feature you!

Cheaters Never Prosper

We've had our first deductions for cheating in the Best Blog Design category. Oddly it's not on behalf of the leaders in the category. The changes are listed in the Summary Of Poll Changes and noted on the poll page. Please note that there is no inference that the affected blogs have anything to do with the voters banned for cheating.


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Weblog Awards Notes (Tuesday)

Before I forget there's been some rumblings about the vote totals in the Best of the Rest of the Blogs (8751+) category. Indeed it is odd that My Election Analysis has more total votes than even the leaders in the Best Blog poll. I checked the logs and the voting is clean. A little more digging lead to the answer. The blogger has scored an endorsement from Tucker Max - proprietor of a very popular online forum.

And on a less serious topic: The rumor is not true - the top prize is not a lifetime suply of ramen, though if a ramen company want to get on board as a sponsor perhaps that can be arranged...

We get hate mail about The Weblog Awards. Rather than obsess over them (which I don't), I'm just going to publicize the oddest or wackiest of them. Here's one of my personal favorites:

Read More »


Weblog Awards Notes (Monday)

Monday afternoon (December 5, 2005) our server had multiple hardware failures. No data was lost. The site is back to normal operations. Thank you for your patience...

The following e-mail exchanges with the NOC that hosts this server indicate just how painful Monday was...

There may or may not be complications in regards to the RAM upgrade. Engineers are looking into it now.

We are replacing all hardware on the server. There appeared to be problems with multiple parts.

Full hardware swap. Server coming up well now. It's going back on the rack and should be up for good in about 5 minutes.

To mitigate the chances of high server load (which doesn't appear to be an issue anymore) I have opened a comment thread at Wizbang to handle your support or technical questions - rather than hosting it here.

Fixed: We became aware that some sites with longer names were obscuring their vote total display. All of these names have been shortened so that their totals now display properly. The actual vote totals were not affected, just the display of the total.

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Summary Of Poll Changes

Per the contest rules the following changes to vote totals have been made to eliminate confirmed cases of rule violations by voters. The blogs that have had votes removed are not responsible (either directly or indirectly) for the actions of voters. This listing is provided only to explain changes in poll vote totals that have been made during and after the contest. History has taught us that being open about vote changes creates much less confusion than simply removing the excess votes without noting the change.

All polls are scrubbed during and after the contest for excess voting. Changes are noted below. To reduce the number of entries in this listing, only adjustments of more than 100 votes have totals listed. Other smaller adjustments will continue to be made and noted. We hold a record of all such changes for affected parties to review, if desired. Changes are listed in the order in which they were made; with the most recent changes appearing at the top of the list.

Best of the Top 5001 - 6750 Blogs

In addition to the change noted previously, the total votes for The Hole Card have been further reduced by 131 votes for for excessive voting from a handful of IP address.

In addition to the change noted previously, the total votes for Mazurland Blog have been further reduced by 108 votes for for excessive voting from a single IP address.

Best Humor/Comics Blog

The total votes for Dilbert have been reduced by 9615 votes for for excessive voting from two IP address.

Best Group Blog

The total votes for Hit and Run have been reduced by 1440 votes for for excessive voting from three IP address.

In addition, minor adjustments were made to Pandagon to remove excess voting.

Best of the Top 5001 - 6750 Blogs

The total votes for The Hole Card have been reduced by 156 votes for for excessive voting from five IP address.

The total votes for Mazurland Blog have been reduced by 105 votes for for excessive voting from three IP addresses.

In addition, minor adjustments were made to Random Yak to remove excess voting.

Best Blog

Minor adjustments (i.e. less than 100 votes) were made to the totals of Daily Kos to remove excess voting.

Best Sports Blog

The total votes for Athletics Nation have been reduced by 3588 votes for for excessive voting from a variety of IP addresses.

The total votes for Blue Gray Sky have been reduced by 174 votes for for excessive voting from three individual IP addresses.

Best LGBT Blog

The total votes for Brat Boy School have been reduced by 160 votes for for excessive voting from five individual IP addresses.

In addition, minor adjustments were made to the totals of Shades of Gray, Pam's House Blend, and Towel Road to remove excess voting.

Best Asian Blog

The total votes for Xiaxue have been reduced by 5048 votes for for excessive voting from the 220.255 subnet. Nine individual IP addresses have been banned.

The total votes for Mr. Brown have been reduced by 9944 votes for for excessive voting from the 218.186 subnet. Three individual IP addresses have been banned.

Best Middle East or Africa Blog

The total votes for Regime Change Iran have been reduced by 572 votes for for excessive voting from a single IP address.

The total votes for This is Zimbabwe have been reduced by 305 votes for for excessive voting from a variety of IP addresses.

In addition, minor adjustments were made 6000 miles from civilisation to remove excess voting.

Best Blog Design

Minor adjustments were made to Mom2Mom Connection and Coming Anarchy to remove excess voting.


Per the rules, all of the IP addresses identified for excessive voting have been banned from the site completely. Their access will be reinstated Dec. 16th. Site owners may contact me at kevin at weblogawards dot org if they would like a copy of the logs used to identify the for excessive voting.

It's important to point out (again) that the blogs that have had votes removed are NOT cheating. They are simply the unfortunate recipients of some overzealous voters who were attempting to game the results.


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Weblog Awards FAQ

Q: What are The Weblog Awards all about?

Fun!

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

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Weblog Awards Support Thread

This post is deprecated - the official support thread was moved to Wizbang, due to early problems with server load. Do not use the Unmoderated Comments function to bring issues to the attention of administrators - we won't be monitoring that thread.

You can still use the Unmoderated Comments try to talk about the polls and possibly get help from other users...

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Status Update

Finalists will be announced Sunday, Dec. 4. Voting begins Monday Dec. 5 and ends Dec. 15.

Read More »


Get Your 2005 Weblog Award Logos

Link to The Weblog Awards with these spiffy sidebar logos. Feel free to use the header logo as well...

The 2005 Weblog Awards


The 2005 Weblog Awards


If you are selected as a finalist, feel free to use this logo on your site***:

2005 Weblog Awards Finalist


2005 Weblog Awards Finalist


*** Hint: Linking it to the poll page for your category is very effective...

Update: If you need the code to add one of these logos to your site, here's a sample:

<a href="http://weblogawards.org/"><img alt="The 2005 Weblog Awards" src="http://yoursite.com/wa150.jpg" /></a>

Save the graphic to your computer, then upload it to your site. replace http://yoursite.com/wa150.jpg with the actual path to the graphic on your server. Add that code to your sidebar and you're all set. If you want to center the graphic, put code above between the <center></center> HTML tags.


Terms of use

We've licensed The Weblog Awards logos under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.


Creative Commons License


The following additional terms apply to the Creative Commons license:

Attribution entails a link to The 2005 Weblog Awards site (http://weblogawards.org) or any individual pages within The Weblog Awards site.

Use by commercial enterprises is authorized for the purpose of promoting their participation in The Weblog Awards or The Weblog Awards in general.

The finalist graphic may only be used by those selected as finalists in The Weblog Awards. Use by anyone else is not authorized.

The only allowable modification is that you may choose to add the name category(s) directly below graphic in a modified version of the graphic. Any modifications should be consistent with the design of the original image.

A Note To Nominees

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
5) Fun

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...

2005 Weblog Awards - Nomination Support

If you have questions or need technical help with the nomination process, you can ask your question here.

Nominations FAQ

Nominations Frequently Asked Questions

Q:How do I nominate a blog for a Weblog Award?

A: Leave a comment in the associated nomination post with the blog name and URL.

Q:How do I leave a comment?

A: You will need to signup with SixApart's Typekey service, which allows us to verify identities and protect against spammers and automated comment bots.

Q:I don't want to use Typekey, isn't there another option?

A: Sorry no. A bonus to signing up with Typekey is that your Typekey identity will allow you to comment on thousands of blogs that require Typekey registration with little extra effort on your part. At the Typekey login screen there is an option to keep yourself logged into the Typekey service for up to two weeks - which means you won't need to present credentials on ANY Typekey enabled blog during that period.

Q:Will Typekey be required for voting?

A: No. Only the open nomination process is using Typekey.

Q: How will finalist be picked?

A: To understand how 15 finalists in each category will be picked you first have to understand how they were nominated. Since you're reading this you're probably aware of the call for nominations for all of the award categories. In 2004 there were about 3000 nominations for the various categories, and we expect more this year.

For the most part if a site is not nominated it wont be considered as a finalist in a category. For everyone who will complain that we "missed" one site or another, our question to you is, "did you nominate them?" We don't have ESP here at the Weblog Awards, though it a oft requested feature.

Q: I nominated XXX, but don't see them as a finalist. Why is XXX not included?

A: Several thousand blogs will be nominated. Of the hundreds nominated in each category there's at most 15 up for voting. Many, many excellent blogs are not going to be finalists, so prepare yourself for disappointment. It should be noted that

You are, of course, free to disagree with the finalists we choose, 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.

Q: No offense, but some of the nominations in Best XXX suck. Those are not the best XXX... YYY and XXX are much better.

A: See the previous entry. Offense taken. Throwing backhanded insults at nominees or finalists is not a good way to enter the discussion....

Q: I'm a finalist and I don't want to participate. Can you remove me from the poll?

A: No. Due to the complexities of the poll creation process it will be a one time only process. Additions and deletions to the list of finalists will not be made. If you don't want your weblog to be linked to there are way to block or redirect incoming traffic...

Call For Categories

Take a look at last years categories and the 2003 categories. Are we missing any? Should we drop any exiting categories?

Make you case. No guarantee that new categories will be added, but I am in the mood to consider additions and deletions.

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2005 Weblog Awards - Coming Soon

It's almost time for the 2005 Weblog Awards. The site is still under construction and soon suggestions for new categories will open. Early November will see the open nomination process get started, and voting will start after Thanksgiving. Everything will wrap-up by December 15th with the announcement of winners and (new this year) the awarding of special juried awards.

The announcement today is the opening of the Weblog Awards newsletters. The best way to keep tabs on what's going on with the awards, and the only way to volunteer as a member of the finalist selection panel, is to sign-up for the applicable newsletter at the Sign-up Page. Expect an initial message in the next few days.

In case you missed the last two years, you can look back on prior years awards below.

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