The winners in the Group A categories of the 2010 Nigerian Blog Awards have been revealed and as we anticipate the second round of awards, it’s a good time to review the process that led to the presentation of the winners.
As many of you know, the awards got off to a slow start: the first entry on this blog was posted in February, but there was no further activity until May, when the process for the 2010 awards was shared. During the early days of this site, Nigerian bloggers or people who blog with a focus on Nigeria were encouraged to submit their blog. Thanks to sting and co’s work last year, we had a list of bloggers to begin with. A decision was made to only include blogs that were public and had been updated in the last six months because if your blog is private, it really does not foster that sense of community that these awards are meant to build. Also, many people who don’t use feed readers to read blogs depend on sites with listings of blogs to find blogs from fellow Nigerians. A list full of abandoned or inactive blogs is not in keeping with the currentness of the web. Therefore, if your blog is listed on the right, please note that efforts will be made to review the list monthly and remove any blogs that have not been updated in the last six months. Once you have updated your blog, you are welcome to resubmit it for listing on the site.
We received some negative feedback on the awards from individuals who felt that certain key blogs had been left out of the process. There was a nomination process (everyone had two weeks to nominate any blogs they wanted and the top five nominated blogs in each category were named the nominees) and from the number of bloggers who contacted us asking for their blog to be added to the list after the nomination process closed, it’s quite clear that the number of Nigerians blogging is far larger than many of us thought or knew! Because of this, many worthy candidates were missed (which is not to say that the nominees that were presented were not worthy; far from it!). Whether or not a blog was nominated does not reflect on the inherent value or popularity of the blog, but rather on the number of fans of the blog who a) knew about this site and b) submitted the blog as a nominee. There is no doubt that a larger number of blogs will be submitted as nominees next year, and there will be even fiercer competition to be named a nominee in each category.
And most recently there was the infamous poll that was put on the site to see whether the numerical results should be shown for the awards. It had not occurred to me to show the results because the voting process was one that I trusted and I had put all the safeguards possible with the program I was using to avoid people stuffing the ballot. I didn’t just decide to put a poll up out of boredom: the first comment on the entry announcing the winners came from a nominee who was disappointed that the numbers weren’t posted for all finalists. My initial reaction was to reply and say that numbers were not being posted but I thought I’d put up the poll and see if more of her peers felt the same way.
I was surprised by the strong opinions of commenters. In fact I thought at one point that maybe the same person was posting comments just to create drama but a quick look at IP addresses has pretty much confirmed that wasn’t the case. Just when I thinking that posting the numerical results might be ok, I received several comments, by email and in the comments, saying that revealing the results would likely lead to a slippery slope, with people wanting more and more information and questioning every aspect of the awards.
But the “Nos” won, so the results will not be published on this site. However, if you are a nominee and you would like to receive the results for your category, I will send you the screen capture by email. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org from an email address recognizable as either your blog name or real name, and I’ll do what I can. I’m a bit concerned that some who want to see their results may be further disappointed by how their fared compared to their competition, but that’s part of the deal, I guess.
For those curious about the program used to manage votes, you can visit Poll Daddy. I have a basic (free) account and polls were tracked by both cookies and IP address, which prevented people from the same location using the same computer from voting (tell me if this wasn’t the case for you!). If you have any other questions about the polling system, leave them in the comments.
Back to the winners. The categories that received the highest number of votes were:
- Best Music Blog (946 votes)
- Best Fashion or Style Blog (874)
- Best Beauty Blog (840)
- Nigerian Blog of the Year (794)
- Best News or Magazine Blog (782)
- Best Daily Read (773)
- Best Designed Blog (755)
- Best Entertainment Blog (740)
- Best Science or Technology Blog (740)
- Best Food Blog (690)
Through tweets during the voting process, I tried to communicate to followers that getting your name out there will be key to winning. This is because I was able to see the results as they were coming in and there was some correlation between the bloggers who were mentioning the awards in their blogs, on twitter, or on facebook, and the categories that received the largest number of votes. While some extremely popular sites did no campaigning that I could see, their popularity served them well as fans were more than happy to vote for them.
Consistency was also key: one mention during the entire voting process was not a good strategy; appealing to your fans again and again seemed to be more effective. If you saw or know of any other strategies that could be helpful as we look to the Group B categories, please share them in the comments.
I hope you’re enjoying the awards so far. Your comments and constructive criticism is welcome: rather than saying the awards suck, tell us how we could do better. Instead of complaining about what did not work, share strategies that can prevent the mistakes and errors you see. Let’s use this as a learning experience to guarantee the 2011 awards are even better than this year’s!