Thank you for your participation in the 2014 Nigerian Blog Awards so far. It’s time to provide you with an update, so you know what has been going on since nominations closed on February 1.
In previous years, the shortlist of nominees was determined by the blogs that received the most nominations: after compiling the list of the blogs that received the most nominations by category, we would select the most appropriate finalists from each list. This time, we decided that each and every nominated blog, whether it received 250 nominations or one, should be considered in the category they were nominated in so that is what we have done. This decision quintupled (at least) the time required to compile the shortlist.
Because of the additional time needed to finalize the shortlist, voting will not begin on March 4 as planned. Although the shortlist has been compiled, it will now be sent to randomly-selected panelists to select the nominees. Each panelist will be assigned 10 categories. Voting is now expected to begin on March 23.
- There are more excellent blogs out there than we can recognize
That doesn’t surprise you, of course. Due to the constraints of the Awards, we cannot name every deserving blogger as a nominee; as a result those retained as nominees represent just a fraction of the talent out there. If you are not nominated it does not mean you are not a good blogger. We encourage bloggers who are creating amazing, original content to continue—your voice is needed and appreciated.
- Consistent blogging is important
Because of point 1 above, we had to look for blogs that posted new content in a consistent fashion, without large time periods between posts. It doesn’t mean that a blog with 20 posts is better than another with 10 posts in the same time period, but in some categories we had to use this to narrow down the list.
Note: we focused on blogging that took place in 2014.
- Diversity within a blog category is good
Some categories were dominated by one sex over the other (e.g. all the sports blogs nominated appeared to be written by males; while most of the fashion blogs were written by females), while in other categories there were similarities in structure (e.g. most nominees in the Book, Poetry, or Writing category were blogs telling multi-part stories. In situations where we could, we tried to include blogs representative of the different types of writing for that category.
- Jack of all trades, master of none?
If a blog can fit under more than one category, it often did not end up on the shortlist. Why? Because there were usually many other blogs focused only on the category in question. For example, a blog covering fashion, food, and fitness may not end up on the short list for any of those categories because of other blogs focused only on fashion, or food, or fitness that were deemed a better fit for the category.
- Different expectations for different blog categories?
To us, blogging should be about originality and uniqueness: sharing your ideas in your own way. While most categories contain an abundance of blogs that do this, some categories (e.g. Entertainment, Music, Nigerian News, Politics, Sports, and Technology) rely heavily on existing information. As a result many blogs in the aforementioned categories contain the same information, verbatim, making it difficult to determine the original source. We have a challenge for these blogs:
Take more time to add your unique spin or viewpoint to the existing information. Rather than copying and pasting the same information that your peers in the blog category have done, find your way to stand out. Your blog should give your readers a reason to visit your blog rather than your peer’s blog containing the same information.