Beauty and the Best

Last night I was not in the best of form.

It may have been a bad pint, or I may just have picked up a bug somewhere but I was a bit achy, with a sore throat and generally felt a bit washed out.  It was not a night for going out, that was for sure.

As usual there was fuck all on television, so in honour of Earth Hour, I left it switched on, but tuned to a blank channel.  I didn’t feel like reading or talking.  Herself had come out in sympathy with me and was complaining of a sore throat too [but of course her throat had to be worse than mine], so the silence was mutual, and punctuated with the occasional moan from Herself.

I switched the laptop on, and put it on the table beside me.  I had the Twitter thingy running so I could see what was going on.

For the laugh, I first tuned into Earth Hour to see if anyone was saying anything about it.

There were quite a few people prattling on about it, and the level of intelligence displayed was about on par with a cabinet meeting of our government.  There were actually fuckwits out there saying how amazingly romantic Earth Hour was.  Do these gobshites not realise that it is possible to switch off a light anytime they like?  Do they have to be led like fucking sheep all the time?  I despair of the human race sometimes.

I got bored with that and switched over to the Blog Awards.

I reasoned that with the Blog Awards, I would at least find a modicum of intelligence, and at first I was not disappointed.

Eventually, the awards got underway.  There were a lot of categories, so progress was slow.  I played a wee game with myself, placing bets on the winners.  I really did very well.  I now owe myself over €400, which will come in handy for the holidays.

There were a few winners that truly delighted me.  I gave a wee whoop when Eolai picked up an award for Bicyclistic and gave a loud yell when Xbox4NappyRash also won his category.  There were quite a few other winners that cheered me immensely too, I might add.

The night was ruined for me though.

There is a certain blog that has irritated me for a very long time.  I avoid it like the plague, as I find it insufferably shallow, pink, fluffy, and quite frankly, insulting to women.  If I didn’t know better, I would say it was written by a twelve year old, during detention.  What is worse, it has an enormous following, and the following seems to be as shallow as the site itself, judging by the comments [the last time I looked – I daren’t go in more than once a year for the sake of my sanity].  Are we really breeding a generation of girls whose primary objective in life is to find the right hair conditioner, and who have nightmares about their skin cream?

This site consistently picks up awards.  My argument [with some justification] is that they always win in the one category, which is a corner of the market they just about hold for themselves.  If there were a category for cranky old pensioners, doubtless I would win fairly consistently too?

There is no love lost between us, particularly since the time I beat them to the Best Blog Golden Spider Award back in 2007, which they bitched about for quite some time after.  Heh!

Up until now, I have been quite happy to leave them in their little corner of the Interweb, while I stalk mine.  Fair’s fair.  If they have a readership then someone must like them.

Last night all that changed.

They won Best Blog of 2010!

Best    fucking    BLOG?

BEST?

What in the name of sweet suffering polecats were the judges thinking?  Were they on crack cocaine?  Were the judges all pre-pubescent airhead girls?  What the fuck is going on?

Without thinking too hard [in fact, without thinking at all] I could pick thirty better sites from the finalists.  Actually, I could pick 110 better contenders from the list of finalists [I am not counting my own entry in the interest of fairness].

I am baffled.  There are sites out there that are innovative.  There are sites that are insightful.  There are sites that show intelligence.  There are sites that give hope in a dreary world.  There are sites that are extremely well written.

Yet that wins Best Blog.

Fuck!

Irish Blogging may not be dead, but it needs one hell of a blood transfusion.

-oOo-

The award winners.

and

Bock the Robber

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Comments

Beauty and the Best — 85 Comments

  1. Grandad

    If it is at all possible, I respect you even more with each blog you post!

    Consider yourself Highly Regarded.

    Your fish and loaves are feeding the multitudes.

  2. Quiet Reader – I blush.  *blush*.  I think there may be one or two who may not like this little brain fart though?  Heh!

  3. Ouchy ouch. See there now Grandad, I’ve had to go and have a look at this controversial blogsite to satisfy my curiosity about it. Am in agreement that it’s not a blog per se. But that just raises the question as to what exactly a blog is. If a site has a bit of blogging on it, does that make it a blog? How big does the bit have to be?

    Just realised I haven’t blogged in far too long, maybe there’s a blog post in what exactly is a blog?
    .-= charmed´s last brainfart .. Men and women =-.

  4. Brianf – Fancy a job as a judge next year?  [I doubt I'll be allowed enter, incidentally!!]

    Charmed – Yes.  I think it is about time you put pen to paper finger to keyboard?  It’s a good topic – I may have a bash at it myself at some stage.

    Not Twitter – I don’t have any zits to send them – my manly facecream sees to that.

    TT – Hah!  The one time I expected an argument!!  Mind you – it’s early days yet?

  5. I’m glad I didn’t go this year. That would have pushed me over the edge.

    ‘OMG buy this lip gloss NOW!’

    Oh brilliant…have an award.

    Do fuck off won’t you? (not you GD)

  6. Jennikybooky – A little extreme surely?  Can’t we keep that kind of carry on for governments and bankers?  Pitchforks should suffice in this instance.

    Martin – Heartiest congratulations.  :)  If you show me yours, I’ll show you mine.

    Lyndsay – Welcome [even if you do think of me as 'that old fart']!!  Congratulations – you are actually the firat person to mention a specific site.  Hah!

  7. Forget about clerical sexual abuse. Forget about the theft of our children’s futures by crooked bankers. Forget about how we rebuild our country. Forget about global warming (or not). Forget about literature, music, art, science.

    The main thing is this: did you put on the right foundation this morning?
    .-= Bock the Robber´s last brainfart .. limerickscape023 =-.

  8. I’m still trying to pick up who is who and what is what in the Irish blogging scene but I was with you when Eolai won. He was humble and funny and I was so happy to hear his name called out.

  9. K8 – I am really sorry about that.  Under health a safety regulations I didn’t put in a link for fear of eye/mental damage claims.  I don’t think there is a clause in my insurance for teeth though.

    Bock – Of couusre I did.  I got a great recommendation from them [under the username 'fluffypinkbunny'].  I am just so happy that people are taking life seriously again.

    White Rabbit – Welcome, and congratulations on your win! :)  You have just found the Granddaddy of the Irish Interweb.  Hah!   Yes – I was thrilled when Eolai got his gong.  Very well deserved.

  10. Hey Grandad, My domain name is registered in Ireland and my site is hosted in Dublin so doesn’t that make my site an Irish blog? I think it does. I’m going to apply for a judgeship in next years awards. :)
    .-= Brianf´s last brainfart .. Idealism vol. 1 =-.

  11. Pingback: Picture the scene | Twenty Major – Still smoking in Dublin bars UNITED STATES

  12. Interesting take there Grandad, but I’d have to disagree. First off, just because the subject matter of a blog does not interest you, it doesn’t make it redundant. I’d also argue that beaut.ie is an extremely well-written blog, and intelligent at that. As a woman and a feminist, I don’t find it insulting, but an entertaining and informative read. Incidentally, while I wouldn’t call the search for the right hair conditioner my primary objective in life, it is cheering to know that Be Curly will tame the worst of frizz. I’m just sayin, Grandad.

  13. Argh Grandad…..sports and art can be seen as being just as pointless and shallow as beauty/fashion, but you wouldn’t begrudge one of those blogs winning Best Blog. I say, Fair Play to Beaut.ie, cos they’ve put so much work in! Who cares if it’s not life-changing stuff as long as it’s interesting and fun!

    Tis a wee bit unfair to any other fashion and beauty blogs though in that category cos they really don’t stand a chance *sigh*

    What DOES interest me about this is the discussion as to whether or not Beaut.ie is actually a blog. I’m undecided and can very much see both sides of the argument, and while I’m really happy that the girls won Best Blog, I wonder if maybe in future there should be an in-writing definition as to what qualifies as a ‘blog’.

    I brought this up during a discussion on Twenty Major’s Beaut.ie post, as some bloggers had mentioned it to me and then I saw other bloggers mention it here, but he pretty much told me to shut up as he thinks it’s a blog and so does everyone else and I’m just making it all up. *sob*

    Lol!

    I do think it’s important to talk this out though, so what do you think?
    .-= Hermia´s last brainfart .. Said I wouldn’t call but I lost all control and I need you now =-.

  14. Brianf – Good point!  Though I fear you would only award points to supporters of Sarah Palin?

    Fiona – Welcome to my wee spot!  Maybe I expressed myself badly, and for that I apologise to the girls.  What I do say is that I think there are a lot better sites out therethat deserve the award more.

    Hermia – Yes.  This discussion as to whether they are a blog or a website is an interesting one.  They defend themselves by saying they use WordPress, which is a load of crap [I run a website which is definitely not a blog, but it uses WordPress].  I would prefer to use the expression ‘commercial blog’, as it is fairly obvious that most of their content is sponsored.  Again someone defended this by saying that most sites carry advertisements, and that income is required to run a self hosted blog – nonsense – Blacknight will host a blog for €50 a year, which is hardly major capital investment?  It is an entirely different matter to have suppliers banging stuff over to you for you to write about.  If they aren’t paid, and paid well for those posts then they don’t have much business sense.

    I must say I am very surprised at Twenty.  Recently, Irish Bloggers were accused of being cliquish, incestuous and afraid to criticise each other, yet the moment I stick my head above the parapet, he is the first to prove the critics right.

    Incidentally, I am getting just a little pissed off at being labelled a ‘begrudger’.

    Definition of Begrudger – To envy the possession or enjoyment of.

    I do not envy the girls.  If I had been in the running for that award, then yes, I could be labelled a begrudger, but I wasn’t and therefore felt free to express an opinion.

    Apparently I wasn’t.

     

  15. People are absolutely free to criticise, as are those who wish to criticise the criticism. And surely if I’m criticising you and others then I’m not proving the critics right.

    If you see what I mean.

  16. There are some truly lovely Irish bloggers there, but in some cases, I can see where that “clique” accusation comes from. As for criticising, well there’s no criticism of “the elite” allowed, but little ‘uns like myself and the ‘outsiders’ are fair game *sigh* …I’ve learned over the last few weeks where it’s safe to leave a different opinion and where it isn’t!

    And it is a little frustrating that any negative opinion on the awards is shouted down as being given by “bitter begrudgers”. I know you don’t have a high opinion of Beaut, but I happen to think they’re a great site, and while I don’t read them (make-up and beauty products aren’t my thing…I’m more of a clothes girl) I can appreciate they’re great at what they do! But my only problem was whether or not they were a ‘blog’ and then all of a sudden, I’m made feel I’m only saying it because I’m secretly jealous.

    Lol, you were kinda harsh about the girls, Grandad, but you’re entitled to your opinion and I just think people need to put down the pitchforks and have a healthy debate!
    .-= Hermia´s last brainfart .. Said I wouldn’t call but I lost all control and I need you now =-.

  17. I said it would all end in tears (ok I didn’t exactly say tears or that it would end, but you get the idea) if something wasn’t done to make sure the process was as transparent as possible and look where we are now. If no one knows how any of the results are arrived at then there is always going to be a problem with the outcome. Electing a pope is more transparent.
    .-= Daniel Sullivan´s last brainfart .. Congratulations to Slugger O’Toole =-.

  18. Dear Grandad, it heartens me that some people go out of their way to rally against content that is insulting to women as you do. Keep up the good work. (ps – love the tits at the top of this page)

  19. This has nothing to do with bitter old men, hating women, as was stated on another site. As a woman and a realist, some people may enjoy the winning site, BUT the point is, Compared To The Other Blogs, Does It Deserve To Win?

    Besides it being a blog or not, I think another question to ask is, what criterion did the judges use to determine a best blog? Or, what were their motives?

    Show some depth, get some self-respect, and don’t put such a high priority on split ends and glossy lips. Then maybe men would have more respect for women. – If it is indeed lacking.

    To top things off, there is an effort being made to demonize men and to stop them from voicing themselves, as they will be accused of macho-ism etc, when they do speak.

    Ladies, you are not oppressed. – Stop playing the sex card.

    Not a Ms !

  20. I think beaut.ie is terrific. It does exactly what it says on the tin and does it very well, chatty, down to earth, very girlie but there’s nothing wrong with that. And if a product sucks, they say so.

  21. But cosmetics have toxins in them … isn’t anybody going to think of the children? I mean, just the other day I saw a woman take a small bottle out of her bag and spray some perfume on herself.

    This was in a public place!! And no Gardai arrived to charge her with ‘Shortening the Taxable Life-Span Of Others’.

    ‘Tis all gone to hell in a handcart.

  22. ( johnie :) )

    Apparently I’m not done. -

    To the Superficial and the Artificial,

    Don’t you realize that the cosmetic, hair, nail, etc, industries are playing on Your Insecurities?

    You are being manipulated, and quite easily so, into handing over your hard-earned money ( as I’m sure you bring home the bacon And fry it up in the pan…)
    to some company most likely owned by the very type of men you despise, and yet try to impress with your false beauty. And the products, most likely produced by slave workers in some poor country. Doesn’t all this go against your fight for ‘Social Justice’?

  23. Twenty – Criticising a criticism is fair enough, but criticising the critic is different.

    Hermia – I think I have adequately proved that there is a clique.  I have violated the First Rule of Irish Blogging [never mention The Elite].  I am frankly amazed at the reaction to all of this.  I think I even saw the word misogyny somewhere, which is a laugh.  Aparently to an express an opinion is to open the floodgates for all the insults and name calling.  Just as well I don’t give a shit!  ;)

    Daniel – Ending in tears?  I don’t think so.  I would like to know the critera though that the judges used.

    Martina – Thanks. I do my best.  And I’m glad you like the tits.  ;)

    Quiet Reader – It is amazing how many people are missing my point entirely, and thank you for getting it.

    Johnie – Not quiet.  Not dull.  :)

    Emerging Writer – In the main, I agree with you.  How many times do I have to say this? – They deserve the Best Fashion Blog.  For what they do, they are a great site, BUT are they the best blog in Ireland?

    Con – A nice little bit of lateral thinking creeping in there!!  :)

    Quiet Reader – I’m not sure if Johnie was referring to you or the site?

     

  24. Twenty – Criticising a criticism is fair enough, but criticising the critic is different.

    So it’s one thing to criticise the writers and readers of a blog but another to criticise said critic? How does that work?

  25. I think it was a much deserved win for Best Blog of the year!

    Bitter is a look that doesn’t suit ya! But check out the blog for tips on how to define those green eyes.

  26. rancorous, loud shouting begrudgers

    Does that refer to me or the critique?

    Do disagree witha critique is fine, but to start calling people names for making those crtitcisms is another thing entirely.

    And I repeat [ad nauseum] – I am not a begrudger. I could only be a begrudger if I had been in the running, which I wasn’t.  I am commenting purely as an outsider, who happens to have an opinion.

  27. Razzledazzle – For fuck’s sake!!  I am not jealous.  I am not envious.  I am not bitter.  What have I got to be bitter about?  They didn’t knock me out of any awards?

    I am merely stating an opinion.

  28. Hang on, you can’t dismiss name calling when you referred to the blog and all the readers of beaut.ie as ‘infufferably shallow’. And I stand by that comment as it was wide ranging, based on a couple of posts and their comments, and not specific to any one person.

    I think begrudge works because you clearly resent them winning the award. You can be a begrudger without having to have been a competitor.

  29. Ah!  So you were referring to Bock then?  That’s all right.

    Actually, I don’t resent their win, as such.  It is of no consequence to me.  However, I do think it is a bit of an insult to so many other excellent sites out there, where the material is well researched, well written and well presented.

     

  30. To each their own and other cliches. Beaut.ie is incredibly well researched, full of humour and wit and has a massive readership.

    Maybe all my makeup is fogging my little lady brain.

  31. I find a good facepack of cow-slurry [sun dried, of course] to be very effective.  It is additive free and fully sustainable too.

    Maybe I should open a beauty blog?

  32. However, I do think it is a bit of an insult to so many other excellent sites out there, where the material is well researched, well written and well presented.

    But so is theirs, that’s my point.

  33. Bock – Thanks.  Domain just registered.

    Twenty – I have been loth to mention any other sites, or allude to them because that might imply some kind of bias, but you have to admit that carefully researched articles about TDs’ expenses, involving FOI requests can hardly be compared to testing the efficacy of lip-gloss?

  34. Spit…So to put a pretty face on the Ire uglies we need to read the Best Irish Blog? No thanks, we have our own blog ugly pioneer gal with mass appeal to the shallow women of this country. Does it have something to do with the crazied interest in reality TV?
    Spit… I don’t need to admit that I really totally agree with you, so I won’t. In my OWN studied or not opinion that site is not a blog, and not a good one at that. So do they get free lip gloss for life?
    .-= Brighid´s last brainfart .. I’m supposed to be… =-.

  35. Razzledazzle – I thrive on it.  [And am receiving a good supply today!!]

    Brighid – I have no idea what the girls’ arrangements are with their suppliers.  I noticed with interest an article about them in one of the Irish National papers today that referred to their ‘website’, where it normally would say ‘blog’.  Heh!

     

  36. It’s a compliment to you, Grandad when the likes of Twenty calls you names. It’s not so very long ago since any one paragraph in Twenty’s blog contained the word cunt and other charming words. If you took those cusswords out each paragraph would have become a sentence which ideally suited the level of his readers. He probably thinks the The Beano and Bunty are great works of literature. Bless.

  37. Twenty – I have been loth to mention any other sites, or allude to them because that might imply some kind of bias, but you have to admit that carefully researched articles about TDs’ expenses, involving FOI requests can hardly be compared to testing the efficacy of lip-gloss?

    I don’t see the issue. There was no site up for best blog that covered TDs expenses and FOI requests. If you think that’s more worthy than fashion/beauty then fair enough. Entirely your prerogative. For me it’s just different material.

    There are those who like sports who would be in favour of a sports blog winning it but perhaps those who like fashion and beauty are just as dismissve of sport as you are of fashion/beauty. To each their own.

    For me the bottom line they have a very successful, very well written, well researched blog which is hugely popular not because it’s about lipstick. It’s popular because of the ladies who write it, their style, the community they’ve built and their talent. You or I couldn’t do it and I think the way you, and others, dismissed it as the pifflings of silly ladies was out of order. That’s all.

  38. Aw come on now, Twenty.  Are you seriously suggesting that testing cosmetics constitutes serious research?  I don’t deny they are very successful, and I am delighted for them, but as for the content – I am not criticising their writing in the least [who am I to do so?], but I am saying that there are blogs out there who were included in the shortlists where the writing is considerably better.

    I agree that make-up is not my thing.  Nor is sport, cookery or car maintenance.  That is completely beside the point.  What I am saying is that the granting of that award was dismissing the work of others which, in my opinion were more worthy.

  39. I am quite cynical about the awards so I am not really arsed about who wins or loses. I do however think the inevitable controversy is bloody hilarious.

    Regarding beaut.ie, it’s somewhere I visit every couple of months to see if there’s anything of interest on it but it wouldn’t be a blog I read often. Do I think it’s the best blog in Ireland? No but I wouldn’t slag off the writers/creators because it’s successful and obviously interests a great deal of women in this country.

    Still, everyone has the right to their opinion be it good bad or ugly so I have no problem with your post.

  40. The more comments and track-backs I read, the more I wonder if Twenty isn’t Aphrodite’s bitch? Not that I’d blame him, she’s a very fetching lady, if you don’t have a Sharon.

    Beaut.ie is heavily reliant on product placement, so it could be said it’s a commercial site… where would it be without its cash-generating chemistry? Could it be said that Beaut.ie is Hydroxyethylcellulose’s bitch? Ireland has one of the highest cancer rates in the world…

    Is Beaut.ie giving us cancer? Should we really be reading their blog while our kids are in the room?!?

    As a female, I don’t feel repressed by an aul’ lad slagging women, instead I feel repressed by women letting their side down. We’re rendered as a pathetic sex who can’t function properly with gloopy mascara or a slightly wonky haircut, so the slagging was deserved.

    As a female taxi driver, I found it tiresome having to claw my way back from the 50s every day, thanks to this public mindset.

    I was dissappointed at the Grand Prix award too – there are better blogs out there, that look forwards instead of backwards.

  41. Ive watched this post throughout the day with amazment on how anyone can diagree with Grandads point….

    http://www.google.com
    search “best irish blog”
    search result “winner best blog 2010 “beaut.ie”

    how in gods name did that happen?? best fashion blog, best special interest blog, best designed blog… best written blog…best fucking anything other than “best blog”

    this is now what we are offering up as our piece de resistance to the worldwide interweb.

    Give me strenght… there’s a thought…. do they recommed anything for…www.beaut.ie

  42. Firstly, it is essential to address this whole notion of the lack of depth of a fashion/beauty blog. This irks me immensly as a blogger in said field. I think it is pathetic and quite frankly lame of people to criticize such blogs – in the words of some blogger that i dont remember right now, isn’t everything shallow in comparison to say cancer research? All I’m saying is get off yer high horse here a sec, there is plenty garbage being written on politics, sport etc that won’t be getting a Pulitzer anytime soon. Clearly, those who disregard fashion blogs especially, are close minded stuffy so and sos who cannot bear to open their eyes or minds to something beyond their own closed fields.

    However, I see Grandad that this was not necessarily your point, but I could not help but notice a snobbish tone among some of the comments. One can only laugh when the idea of feminism versus make – up blogging is brought up, are we really saying this? It just seems like such a worthless, strained and tedious argument, that to be honest, I cannot even be bothered getting into.

    Now for the real problem. I am actually not a supporter of the beauty blog in question. I do not read it (only because I am not that into reading about beauty products) and think that is a far cry from a blog. In my opinion a blog should be personal and this whole crap with forums totally pisses all over the idea of blog. Seriously, why bother. Beaut.ie is a very good website, to be fair, and I respect those who run it – but blog, I think not.

    However, I do pose the question, Grandad, do you consider all blogs in the field of fashion and beauty to be unworthy among such witty blokey blogs as your own?

  43. Anon – Welcome to the lynching!  ;)

    Of course I have nothing agains fashion blogs, just as I have nothing against sports blogs [and I am not a fan of any sport] or any other sort of blog.  I marvel at the diversity that is out there, but naturally, through that diversity there are many sites that I don’t visit.

    I didn’t really want to get into the point that you address, as I thought it might be taken up as trying to throw in a red herring.  However, as you have mentioned it, I do have serious concerns about the nature of the site.  I agree with your premise that a blog should be personal writing, though I suppose an exception would have to be made about say someone writing about their business?

    Now this is purely an assumption on my part, but I would assume that Beaut are provided with the products to be tested?  As I said somewhere else, if this is the case then they should be charging the provider too.  If this is the case then the site is not so much a blog about a business, it is the business in itself.

    There is also a debate elsewhere as to whether the site is a blog or a website.  As an ex-web developer, I would be more inclined to describe it as a website that happens to use a blog format, and blogging software [Wordpress] to drive it.

    I read many Irish blogs, and quite frankly Beaut stands apart from the rest of the sites in that virtually every post seems to be promoting an item, which makes me very suspicious as to the source of these items.  I have written about items I have bought in the past, and have given them rave reviews.  However, this has only happened on a couple of occasions, and the posts were entirely unsolicited and unpaid.

    Is this really a witty blokey blog?  *blush*

     

  44. Those who organise the awards, and organising anything is a thankless task generally speaking, select the judges and the criteria. So, to an extent, their ball – their game.
    That said, and I know little about the IBA but bar the fact there were 120 judges and 8 judges assessed each blog in round 2, I can’t see references to who the judges are, what qualifies/disqualifies them to be judges, what marking criteria is set for selection of blogs and what disclosures of connections, links or associations those judging have to those ultimately short-listed in each category.

    Without that, and I can’t think of any major reason why these things shouldn’t be disclosed for the sake of transparency, then people are going to speculate about closed circles and worse.
    Think Irish politics.

    It may have been that one of the criteria scored was page hits in which case a commercially run entity with multiple daily posts from multiple authors and a forum to boot that the website acts as a landing page for is going to be at an advantage. Ditto comment count/interaction.

    There are people who seem to be free with their opinion on all things and yet seem unable to let someone have a differing opinion from them acerbically stamping out dissent, they transform into some sort of blogging Silverback seeking out confrontation, chastising others for talking in a way that is, in fact, their own modus operandi and language when anyone sees fits to disagree with them. Pot, kettle and all that.

    All in all though, it’s a piece of perspex we’re talking about and probably worth less than that if that’s possible.
    People do more worthy things in their own lives every day than anything any of them has written in any of the posts in any of the blogs up for award or nomination.
    Doing trumps writing, always.
    Yesterday’s newspaper is tomorrow’s fish supper wrapper. Blogging doesn’t even have that.

    Wherever you’re coming from on the Best Blog winner argument yesterday or today succeeded in causing divisions in what there is of an Irish blogging community and I predict, though no bookie would take the bet, that next year’s awards will do the same.
    Ultimately though it’s less important than the cup of tea I’m about to make.
    .-= not twitter´s last brainfart .. Welcome to British Summer Time =-.

  45. Thanks very much for the cheers and nice words about my site. I’m still very surprised that people rate my quiet little space in the internets as, not better than other sites but, any way decent at all. Wish I could use stronger words to describe it, but really nice is how it really feels.

    Like anyone I read some blogs, and I don’t read others. So I have likes and dislikes. But I don’t compare, as not only do I find it pointless, I think it’s impossible. To that end from time to time I’ve been disappointed that Blog X or Y didn’t get an award – but not so cut up about it that I got off my lazy arse and volunteered to be a judge.

    And in wishing some people got awards it doesn’t mean in the slightest that I wish others who received theirs hadn’t – even though I can see the mathematical weakness in that opinion.

    I blog about painted over graffiti on garage doors, the cobblestones of Smithfield, and paintings of birds on wires, because it’s my world. It’s not important, let alone more important than the subjects on other blogs, and doesn’t pretend to be. That’s the beauty of blogging – it can be about anything.

    For me subject is irrelevant and I’d like to think I could judge a blog fairly that isn’t my cup of tea. If a blog about matchsticks won Best Blog at the awards I’d be happy with that (arsonist past), so long as it was good enough. I think Beaut.ie is more than good enough.
    .-= Eolaí´s last brainfart .. It’s not Yogurt, it’s a Camera =-.

  46. Not Twitter – There are two things that greatly amuse me about this whole buiness.

    The first is that I wrote this article yesterday and quite a few people read it.  If it had been left alone it would have died the death apart from one or two visits.  The fact that Twenty took umbrage only added fuel to the fire, and it was also taken up by Culch.ie.  As a result, my little article has received enormous exposure, so I’m not quite sure what Twenty was hoping to achieve?

    The other thing that amuses me is that not that long ago, someone wrote an article attacking Irish blogging as being full of cliques, incestuous and afraid to criticise one another.  Of course there was an almost unanimous roar of denial from the blogging community.  I think I may have proved a point somewhere?

    You are spot on about awards.  At the end of the day, I write because I enjoy it, and not for anything material that may come my way.  As it happens, I was shortlisted this year but knew I wouldn’t win.  That didn’t bother me.  The piece that was nominated was not my best and I would have been truly horrified if it had been held up as the best piece of writing on the Irish blog scene in the year.

    I can’t agree with the doings trumping writing though?  Never underestimate the power of the written word.  ;)

    Eolaí – Congratulations!!  Herself will confirm that I gave a loud yelp when your win was announced.  I was delighted.  I hear the announcement was well received in Galway too?

     

  47. Grandad, where’s this article “attacking Irish blogging as being full of cliques, incestuous and afraid to criticise one another”? I know you’ve mentioned it a few times here, but I’ve never heard of it before…sounds like a good read though!

    Oh and Not Twitter….I applied to be a judge for the awards and was chosen to take part. I don’t know how much I’m supposed to give away, but I do think it was fairly done up until the final round, which I don’t know anything about! Round 1 sees judges, eh, judge a random collection of blogs and you’re to abstain for voting on any blog you might have a connection with. The same applied to Round 2 when you were given specific categories and asked to rate them on four different aspects. I thought it was really fair and very thorough!
    I think the reason it isn’t really transparent is, as Damien mentioned, judges have been approached in previous years and by keeping the judges secret, it keeps things fair. Also, if you publicise what specific aspects are being judged, you risk a previously ‘blah’ blogger fixing these specific things for the judging time period, which isn’t fair!

    No idea what happens in the final stage of judging though, so can’t help you there!
    But I’ve no criticism of the Blog Awards Committee….it’s a tough job and they do brilliantly, all things considered!
    .-= Hermia´s last brainfart .. Said I wouldn’t call but I lost all control and I need you now =-.

  48. Christ, blogging, serious business, eh?

    Still, if I was ever up for an award at the IBA (which will never happen, to be honest) I know that I would be be…eh…’peeved’ to say the least seeing an incredibly niche blog winning the prize like that.

    I agree with people saying that there would have been no problem with Beaut.ie winning a ‘best beauty blog’ category or something but it winning best overall blog just says everything that needs to be said really. What next? Exposé on TV3 winning an IFTA?

  49. I think that the rumour about judges being ‘approached’ needs to be viewed with a somewhat jaundiced eye. I suspect those claims come from around the same time he was claiming that he was himself being ‘harassed’ by people when that was not the case. I know this because I was one of the people he claimed was harassing him (by reading his blog!). It was a stressful time for him with the hassle of organising the awards along with the diagnosis of his MS so flying off the handle isn’t entirely unexpected but false claims are false known the less. And I’d not use claims from that time to support the idea that judges for the final rounds must be always anonymous. Indeed, I recall reading last year that the scoring sheets for the Web Awards were to be made public too and than thought that the same might happen with the blog awards in response to the point raised last year but that idea seemed to fade away too.

    “Also, if you publicise what specific aspects are being judged, you risk a previously ‘blah’ blogger fixing these specific things for the judging time period, which isn’t fair!”

    The problem is that aren’t people meant to be judging the blog over the course of the year, it’s the best blog from 2009 not the best blog for June and November of 2009. And certainly not that people would up their game for Jan-Mar of 2010 when their content is off limits for the judging period, as I thought people were judged on what they had done not what they were doing.

    I would have thought there were more than 4 aspects that a blog would be judged on, not 15 or 20 maybe but more than 4. Hermia, I don’t wish to drag you into defending or having to stand over a process that you were participating in with the best intention of contributing to a worthwhile awards process but there is so little information in the public domain about what the process actually is.

    Competitions that have judges usually make them known, at a minimum after the fact but normally before. The current IBA process is like e-voting you have to take it on trust. Judging is hard and time consuming and I think it does a disservice to those who do it that no effort appears to be put into ironing out any flaws that people point out in the process year in year out.
    .-= Daniel Sullivan´s last brainfart .. Congratulations to Slugger O’Toole =-.

  50. Quick question (and an honest one). I get what you’re saying about blogging needing to be relevent and deal with the big issues of the day and age, but doesn’t that exclude everything but politics or journalism or civil rights blogs? Could a photo blog win? A pop culture blog? Or have I misunderstood, and it would be better had any other fashion and beauty blog won except beaut.ie?

  51. Wow!  This is getting complicated, so I can’t reply individually.

    First of all, let me say that I think Damien Mulley is fantastic for organising the awards every year.  It is no mean feat, and I doff my cap to him.  In no way am I attacking him or the individual judges.  I would like to see some kind of openness in the method by which the final scoring was done though.  I know some may argue that this leads to site rigging to impress the judges, but I would argue that knowing why a blog failed to qualify may help the author to improve their site.  The Irish Blog Awards are not the be all and end all, and some of us just like to have a site that works.  If my site doesn’t work, I would like to know why.

    Hermia – As far as I remember there were a few, not only in blogs but also the print media.  Probably the most widely quoted is Una Mullally’s guest spot on Twenty’s site.

    Darren – Welcome!  No.  I’m not necessarily sying that blogging should be relevant or deal with big issues.  For example, if a bee-keeper ran a blog where he gave a well written and  fascinating insight into the lives of bees, accompanied with good photographs I would have no problem with that winning.  My problem with Beaut.ie [and the gloves come off here] is that I see it as a semi-commercial website, promoting cosmetics.  I cannot see what it has going for it apart from a very high readership.  I saw a comment somewhere along the lines that voting Beaut.ie as Best Blog was like Vogue winning the Booker Prize.

    As I said somewhere above, I have nothing against any kind of blog, and any kind of blog is fair game for the Big Prize, but I do object when I get the impression that the posts are being done as much for commercial gain as for any personal reason.  I am not saying they do gain commercially, but I certainly get the impression.

  52. @grandad: Thanks for clearing that up and it’s a nice place you got here (I’m just ambling around the blogosphere now). I can see where you’re coming from, and I’ll concede I’m new on the block and I don’t know much about beaut.ie or how they do business (I know they published a book – well done for them), but I’m not so sure that it’s so easy to draw the line between blogging and blogging for personal gain. I run a small (tiny) movie and pop culture blog. At the moment I pay to see movies, because I’m in full time employment and can’t make press screenings. However, if my blog allowed me to see movies for free (by getting me into the cinema free or getting me free DVD’s), I probably wouldn’t hesitate.

    Hell, if my blog were so popular I could sell advertising (never.gonna.happen) or offer sales through amazon for commission, I don’t think I’d turn that down either. It wouldn’t mean that I wasn’t blogging because I loved it anymore, it would just mean that I had found a way to turn it into my actual job. Which would be a dream (in my case, being paid to write on film). How many people get paid to do what they love?

    As I said, I don’t know enough about beaut.ie to really comment (ah, the fatal flaw of blogging – it allows those with no clue what is going on to comment amidst those with actual insight and opinion). It’s not for me, but then again Ulysses isn’t for me either (yes, it’s a ridiculous comparison, but different strokes for different folks, as they say).
    .-= Darren´s last brainfart .. Claudia Winkleman to Host Film 2010; Darren to Lose Faith in Humanity… =-.

  53. Darren – First of all, thanks for the kind words!!

    I think the distinction that you are looking for is whether a site is run for commercial gain, or whether the commercial gain is an added bonus?  Many blogs advertise and this is fair enough – it does NOT affect the content of the blog in any way.  For example, I could have ads for holidays, or cars or whatever plastered all over this site, but it wouldn’t affect my ramblings or even the subject matter I choose.  If, however I was being flown from hotel to hotel, and every second post was extolling the virtues of the latest hotel that had just given me free board and lodging then I would see it not only as a commercial site, but also very biassed.

    If you were given a free pass to the local cinema, then I don’t think that would affect your site at all.  You would be free to chose the films you viewed and your opinion would be impartial.  If however you were provided with free DVDs then I think there would be a bias in favour of that film simply because you got it free [or were paid to review it?

    HOWEVER

    I think we are getting much too bogged down in commerciality.

    Suppose for one daft moment that I were a judge for Best Blog and that I could use my own rules, what I would be looking for is a blog that is well written and is somehow inspirational.  It should make people want to start their own blogs.  It should have that je ne sais quoi that sets it apart from others.  It should add to the overall gene pool of the blog world.  There was a post in the finals of the Best Post category that struck me in that it could have been the starting chapter of a book.  I wanted to read more.  It was well written.  [It didn't win, though I'm not saying it was better or worse than the others]  I am mentioning it purely to illustrate the kind of thing I call ‘adding to the gene pool’.

     

  54. Perhaps it would also be a good thing if the best blog invited people to see things in a new way?

    Maybe it should break new ground? Create new thinking?

    Question people’s preconceptions?

    I think these are characteristics that won Best Blog awards for all previous winners.
    .-= Bock the Robber´s last brainfart .. limerickscape023 =-.

  55. @ grandad: Thanks. I definitely see what you’re saying and I don’t think my own criteria would be that much different from yours. That is the wonderful thing about a well-written blog: it lets you into someone’s life for a moment or several.

    Who knows, though, maybe the judges saw that sort of thing in beaut.ie? We didn’t, but it doesn’t mean that they didn’t. In a way it’s a shame the Awards don’t publish criteria or – more than criteria, which are arguably too formulaic and rigid – even just a paragraph about why the winner won.

  56. I would dearly love to know, Bernie.  There must be some kind of objective points system, but really it is down to the personal tastes of the judges at the time.  It’s a bit like judging Best Book of the Year.  There are so many genres and styles of books that it would be an impossible task.  The only difinitive measure there would be book sales, but does that make Cecelia Ahern a better writer that John McGahern?

  57. It’s a lot like the current search for the Greatest Ever Irish Person. The final 10 includes e.g. Stephen Gately, Phil Lynott, etc. Nothing against them personally, but they have hardly had a profound influence on the country or brought world-wide honour and glory to Ireland. Yet, Joe Public has decided on them. These types of competitions depend on the mindsets of the judges of the time – whether the judges are half a dozen people or an entire country.
    .-= Charmed´s last brainfart .. Tweeting for the movies =-.

  58. Charmed – That Greatest Irish Person thing was an embarrassing joke.  I believe Bono received the accolade?  Are we seriously expected to believe that that publicity seeking nonentity is greater that all the scientists, painters, writers and poets that have come out of this small country.  I think it nicely demonstrates how dumbed down modern society has become.  Fame and celebrity are all that’s important now, which is so sad.

    Incidentally, I’m told that is Jasper Beardly.  He’ll do until I can find something better!

  59. Interesting that you should mention scientists, Robert Boyle wasn’t included in the final ten. One of the founders of modern chemistry, but not rated apparently.

    Bernie, the core problem with this sort of awards process is that so long as no one wants to admit what the criteria are then it all has to be taken on trust. And we know where taking things on trust has landed us in recent years.
    .-= Daniel Sullivan´s last brainfart .. We’re a drunk blaming a step for breaking our faces =-.

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