Bloggies Showcase Talents, Styles

You have until February 3 to vote for the best blogs in 30 categories. I haven’t yet had time to scan all 150 nominees, but the ones I did click to left me humbled, amused and inspired. I’m talking of course about the Bloggies, which will be announced Monday, March 14 at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas.

Here’s a few entries to whet your appetite.

In the best-kept secret category, I visited Teaching the Indie Kids to Dance Again, the blogspot of 21-year-old Keith Causin of Queens, New York. He likes to upload and write about MP3. The day I visited, Keith began a review with these words: “Dick Valentine is a Hyper-Sexual Dance Cyborg on a mission to forcibly shake the ass of every man woman and child on this planet.” The posting linked to a butt-shaking tune. Amazing!

Under best photography weblog I chanced on The Narrative, a photo-essay site by Matt O’Sullivan of Toronto. Not a lot of words there for obvious reasons, but lovely images and an inspiration for those who want to add a visual dimension to web posts.

I was pleased to see Jane Perrone of The Guardian newspaper in London nominated under the best article about weblogs category for her piece entitled “Random Reality Bites.” The story talks about a British paramedic who blogs about his experiences and observations. A workmate alerted me to the Guardian’s Newsblog and I’ve bookmarked the site ever since and have used Jane’s how-to articles to get my own blog running.

And I was utterly amused by Dooce, the weblog of Heather B. Armstrong, who was nominated for most humorous, best written and best American weblog. Heather’s bio reveals her to be a lapsed Mormon who drinks (or at least drank) tequila, curses like a sailor, has a boob fixation and was fired (dooced, says she) for indiscreet blogging. “I started this website in February 2001,” Heather writes. “A year later I was fired from my job for this website because I had written stories that included people in my workplace. My advice to you is BE YE NOT SO STUPID.” If you’re feeling unappreciated at work read her post, The Proper Way to Hate a Job.

For now the Bloggies are about glory, not riches. But in a media-centric society, starving bloggers must hope that fortune follows fame.

On that note, Online Media Daily has a piece about New York blogging entrepreneur Nick Denton. He backs the well-known Gawker and Wonkette, also nominated for numerous Bloggies. The article says Denton will launch two new sponsor-supported blogs, “Gridskipper, dedicated to travel, and Lifehacker, which will examine software downloads and time-saving Web sites. Both blogs already have corporate marketers on board: Sony Electronics will sponsor Lifehacker, while Cheaptickets will likely sponsor Gridskipper” By taking the sponsorship route, Denton takes his cue from the early days of television, when advertisers such as Geritol sponsored shows like Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour.

Of course Denton is not alone. More on the business of blogging, and the bloggies, tomorrow.

Tom Abate
“Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re MiniMedia”