Notes Archives

Weblog Award Notes (Thursday)

Today is the last day of voting in The 2005 Weblog Awards. As noted in the rules, results are not final until all polls are reviewed. The official announcement of results will occur no later than Monday December 19, 2005.

There's a couple more hours left for voting - get to it!

Weblog Award Notes (Tuesday)

All quiet on The Weblog Awards front for Tuesday.

Of course there's been lots of e-mail to read and polls to look at. There's less than 48 hours to the finish line at which time my real work starts. Remember the vote is not official until all the polls have been reviewed. I personally check the logs of every poll for cheating and make adjustments as needed. Some of the work has already begun, and I checkpoint the logs as I do early reviews on them.

In regards to vote removal, I've decided only to officially not the larger vote removals. Smaller (less than 100) removals will still be made, just not publicly noted. I keep a record of all of the vote changes, so you can contact me at kevin at weblogawards dot org if you have a question about poll anomalies.

Keep the votes coming!

Weblog Award Notes (Monday)

Sunday and Monday were consumed with geo-politics at The Weblog Awards.

First the Best Asian Blog was hit by repeated voting due to a device used at a Singapore ISP. The device is not intended for use in The Weblog Awards, if just so happens to make a nice jump point for cheating. Votes skyrocketed, addresses were banned, votes were removed, etc. Thing are back to working again, but it leaves us with a dilemma. Banning the device leaves a large section of Singapore users unable to vote. That's a problem that I'm working on.

In other news, we had no idea banning IP addresses could be so controversial. Previously we'd made a point of identifying IP addresses banned, but a helpful reader pointed out that in some parts of the world with repressive regimes such information could be used to identify and punish individuals. In some of those countries you most assuredly do not want to run afoul of the government.

Needless to say publication of IP addresses that have been banned won't be occurring anymore. The IP addresses will still be banned, but the individual addresses banned will not be published.

And finally there's been some question about what we mean by "Polls close December 15, 2005." That means that the polls will close at 11:59 PM (US - Eastern) December 15, 2005 - give or take a few minutes since each poll must be closed individually .

Weblog Awards Notes (Saturday)

Saturday is a rest day for your host. No serious talk, no talk of cheating, complaining. link whoring, or any other controversial topic.

Today I want to talk about the 10 day voting period.

Some have wondered why the voting period for The Weblog Awards lasts 10 days and why people can vote once a day. Surely, they surmise, it is some evil plot by me to generate massive amounts of traffic, links, and revenue at the expense of the mental sanity of the participants. While I can't speak to the collective mental state of this years finalists at this point in the competition, I can address the length of voting issue.

The reason The Weblog Awards is 10 days and the reason one vote a day is the rule is to level the playing field. I'll admit that I stumbled onto the formula in 2003 while trying to devise a system that would give blogs with lower daily readership a chance against blogs with much higher daily traffic. Call it the InstaPundit influence... I surmised that someone like InstaPundit's Glenn Reynolds would probably link to the inaugural edition of the awards only once. If the voting period was one day and he linked to the poll how, I figured, would a site with 1/10th of his daily traffic be able to compete?

The answer, of course, was to extend the voting period and allow for multiple votes, thus giving determined challengers a chance to send members of their smaller audience back to the polls repeatedly in contrast readers from other blogs who might only visit once or twice. The idea behind The Weblog Awards has always been to level the playing field in as many of the categories as possible. That idea is what lead to the creation of the Ecosystem categories. I figured that blogs in proximity to each other in the TTLB Ecosystem would be aligned closely in readership as well - making them natural competition for each other.

I'm fully aware that there are many other ways to conduct the voting. Each year I review and refine the voting (and nomination) process after The Weblog Awards have ended. Perhaps there will be changes next year, but as of now it ain't broke so it doesn't need fixing.

Nominations, on the other hand, are due for a major overhaul.

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.


Weblog Awards Notes (Thursday)

It's RSS day at The Weblog Awards.

First we're nearing completion of the task of adding RSS or Atom feeds (depending on the blog) to the listings for every poll. So far we've found only a handful of blogs with no discernible feed of one flavor or another. The last task in the RSS'ification project will be to create an OPML file of all the finalists that you can importing into most newsreaders and online feed readers.

In other topics the number of reported errors have dropped to a trickle. The FAQ has been updated with additional details for commonly reported errors.

More updates this evening...


Weblog Awards Notes (Wednesday)

There's many topics to cover today.

First up, poll lockouts. From my response in the support thread (with clarity edits):

OK here's the deal. We never trusted users local time, since sooner or later they would have figured out to set their clocks back and vote again... We use the server time.

The server time (due to full hardware replacement Monday) was mistakenly set to what I'm pretty sure was GMT. That puts it 5 hours ahead of the time on the old server (EDT), and I didn't catch it until Tuesday evening. Now that the time has been changed to the proper time zone on the server there's a 29 hour lockout for SOME people - JUST FOR TODAY. New voters aren't subject to it at all. Both Pete and I have tested this and the polls do appear to unlock at the 29 hour mark.

Of course that hasn't stopped the reports of extended lockouts. We've made one last change on the off chance that Monday's server failure did more damage than we could see. The poll software version was upgraded meaning everyone should now be able to vote.

We're not talking votes, just the time stamps locking people out from voting. As a result of the upgrade, everyone gets new 24 clocks on every poll. Again I'm not sure if it was absolutely necessary, but the boatloads of panicked e-mails indicate that it was an issue to those who have already voted. I want to error to the side of inclusion rather than exclusion, so the change was made.

Next up, RSS/Atom feeds. Have a look at the Best Blog or Best Group Blog categories and you'll see feed icons next to the finalists. Kind of cool, huh?

I'd like to get feed links on every category page, but to do so I need some help. If you've got a few minutes to spare drop me a line at kevin at weblogawards dot org and I'll send you the formats I need and the category to work on. It's mostly a cut and past work, with a little bit of sleuthing (since some sites don't prominently identify their feeds) mixed in. Don't bother sending me individual sites feed links, I need entire categories. If you're up for that challenge see below for examples of the exact styling I need.

Read More »

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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