The blogging community (bloggers and their fans) are making their views known following the July 15, 2011 revelation of the results of the 2011 Nigerian Blog Awards (NBAs) on twitter, and the subsequent posting of the results on this site. Some have posted reviews of the awards process on their blog; others have asked questions on their blogs or on twitter. Some are ecstatic with the results, while others are furious. We appreciate the conversations that are taking place because it’s important to hear what people think of the awards so that we can develop something that meets the needs of those it has been created for.
For me, the most important aspect of the awards is its integrity. Last year was the first year the Nigerian Blog Awards ran under that name, and I worked hard to reach out to everyone who had a comment about how the NBAs operated. In my attempts to address everyone’s concerns, which I naively thought was possible, I quickly realized (and was reminded) that it is impossible to make everyone happy with every aspect of the awards: either the process for the Awards, or those who emerged winners, or the quality of the blogs, the bloggers themselves, or the organizers would be critiqued. For every person who is happy with the results but disgusted with the process, there will be someone whose views are the exact opposite.
I was (and remain) baffled that some think the organizer of the Awards would commit time and money into something that in the end is “rigged” or “fixed” to give a particular outcome. I struggle to determine what the point of that would be. After all:
- There is currently no tangible prize associated with the NBAs: no trophy or plaque to take home, no cash prize that is dispensed. Does that mean these awards are worthless? Absolutely not! The goal of the Awards is to bring bloggers in the Nigerian community together and facilitate connections. The awards strive to highlight bloggers who are creating content that deserves to be seen by the wider community and bring traffic to the blogs that might otherwise remain undiscovered. Following last year’s Awards, some proudly used the fact that they were the winner of the Nigerian Blog Awards to add more credibility to their work. We love this and appreciate it! It is my hope that in addition to the lovely badges that some winners are already displaying on their blogs, we are able to offer a more tangible prize in the future. My point is at this time, the winner does not receive a physical prize.
- If I wanted to declare a blog the best blog in a particular category, nothing prevents me from doing so. Nothing prevents you from doing so. There is no obligation on my part to set up an impartial process and directly seek the opinion of Seye Kuyinu, who worked on the voting processes of the Future Nigeria Awards, in addition to the professional judgement of those who are familiar with computer programming and databases and work in that area for a living, to develop the process that was used in the 2011 Nigerian Blog Awards.
- The process for the awards is clearly detailed on this website. It is my hope that anyone critiquing the Awards read it, but I understand that many visitors to this site came to fill out the nomination form and later to vote, and support the blogs they thought were meritorious. If you did not read the details of the process you participated in, and did not ask questions if there were any parts that did not make sense to you, it is unfair to expect the 2011 Awards at this stage to be modified to address those concerns. I strongly encourage anyone with questions to read the 2011 schedule of the awards.
Both the nomination and voting process were determined by those who took the time to register their email and weigh in on what was happening. All along it was clear that the blog(s) with the most nominations/votes would win. To discover people are surprised or disappointed that the winners were those who mobilized the most fans is baffling. It’s disappointing to hear critiques of a process that was laid out clearly and not criticized until after the fact. However, as always, the comments received will be used to improve on next year’s awards.
In the end, you have to make a decision regarding what you think about the integrity of the Awards: if you think the Nigerian Blog Awards are “rigged” or “fixed”, or feel the process was not transparent, no explanations or show of votes will satisfy you. After all, if I was rigging the awards, wouldn’t it follow that I’d make sure any numerical results that are released support the results?
Thank you for reading, and feel free to leave your comments. The next blog entry will answer the question Will the numerical results of the Nigerian Blog Awards be revealed?