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Best Bloggage

Let the backlash begin...

December 18, 2003 in Weblogs | Permalink

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I am underwhelmed.

Posted by: Vaughan | Dec 18, 2003 12:01:15 PM

You should have entered, Vaughan.

I must confess to a moment of surprise upon opening the newspaper this morning...was it an issue of good writing from Belle de Jour, or was it subject matter? Fair enough, I don't know of another blog that is even vaguely similar, nor many that seem to do what they set out to achieve so well, but I do think I know a good couple that, *in my opinion* are better written. But then again, they may not have entered. I do think in the discussion of the winning entries in the article, they focus more on the subject matter and how different it was, rather than on the writing.

Just a thought.

Posted by: Stuart | Dec 18, 2003 12:49:19 PM

Well - as I wrote the piece, and I was just dropping by, I can't help but respond.

Actually we thought about nothing but the writing. I think one of the things that helped all three blogs we mentioned in this category was that they not only contained good writing (and Belle de Jour's writing style is exceptional) but they also had very tightly focussed subject matter, which made them very readable.

Each of them had a (apologies for crap lit crit here) consistent narrative....which ultimately gave them the edge over a lot of other blogs which might well have good writing in, but didn't work as well as a whole. It wasn't meant to be that way, but I can see how it happened.

It's something we'll think about when we're doing the categories next year.

As for being underwhelmed, I think that's a great injustice to the winners: all of whom are producing great blogs. It's not that there aren't other great blogs out there (this being one of them), but we were really pleased with the overall standard of the winners.

Posted by: Simon Waldman | Dec 18, 2003 1:02:44 PM

Much as it pains me to shatter my own ego here I am forced to agree that Belle Du Jour and Call Center Confidential are very well written sites that happen to be distributed through blogging software. Look at Mil Millington for instance. If he used blogging software we'd all be falling over one another to add him to link lists and sidebars.

So many people use the technology for so many things, everyone seems to read different meaning into what a blog is. Is it a site that logs web browsing activity? Is it a personal journal? Is it a book that's being slowly divested over the web? A collection of random thoughts?

You can't fault the Guardian for attempting to bring it more into the popular consciousness, something I felt Tom and Jane had a hard time agreeing upon at the meetup. We all want that recognition, that legitimisation, the book deal, the daily column in print, otherwise we wouldn't be doing it out in the public forum.

Of the three contenders for best written, I've sat and read through every post of two of them. Pepys I'm unfamiliar with but will certainly give a try.

Posted by: D | Dec 18, 2003 1:21:20 PM

I wasn't criticising the decision, I was wondering upon what basis it was founded because of the percieved emphasis in today's article. Call Centre is consistently excellent, and I do read BdJ, although I have to say, more through a compelling interest in the subject matter than an appreciation of the style.

It's given me a grin that Simon has commented in response, mind.

Posted by: Stuart | Dec 18, 2003 1:46:14 PM

I really wish I didn't have so much work to do today and had the time to marshall my thoughts enough to write properly on this, but I don't, so I'll just say that I'm glad I didn't enter, and I'm glad I wasn't a judge.

Posted by: pix | Dec 18, 2003 1:49:21 PM

See, she claims she isn't Alist, but she posts one line linking it and Simon defends it. You weren't trolling were you Stuart? We'd have to throw you to Gert if you were.

Posted by: D | Dec 18, 2003 1:55:46 PM

She's, like, totally the uberblogger.

Posted by: Karen | Dec 18, 2003 2:23:04 PM

Nope. Just popped by as per the usual reading rounds!

And of course to see what today's picture was. Becoming a bigger and bigger fan of Pix's photography every day.

Posted by: Stuart | Dec 18, 2003 2:44:48 PM

That's a hell of a photo, too.

Posted by: Karen | Dec 18, 2003 3:21:27 PM

It is isn't it!

Posted by: Dragon | Dec 18, 2003 3:26:53 PM

As backlash goes this is all pretty tame. Can't we have a few indignant people stand up and say they'll never read the Guardian ever again?

Posted by: D | Dec 18, 2003 4:16:16 PM

i'll never read the guardian ever again! it doesn't come around these parts, but even so... someone has to be indignant, don't they?

i s'pose i could visit the website...nope. indignancy runs high!

as an aside, i totally thought someone was putting you on with waldman's comment. but the lack of irony and humor in the comment made me think otherwise.

Posted by: unmute | Dec 18, 2003 4:22:15 PM

I wasn't intending to start the backlash, merely commenting that the inevitable backlash would now begin...

Gawd, I'm not only a crap rebel but a worse revolutionary...

Posted by: pix | Dec 18, 2003 4:56:08 PM

Oh the irony of it! The full delicious works.

I didn't enter, mainly because I thought that even if anyone read my site they would never consider it a 'weblog'. Because it's not linky or newsy or techie, it didn't have comments (at the time), it had relatively narrow subject matter and it had a narrative of sorts, a Jamesian operational centre as it were.

A site like that would never win, would it?

Anyway congrats to B de J (BJ?), which is, IMHO, pro's writing at its best.

Maybe next year.

Posted by: robin | Dec 18, 2003 5:51:32 PM

Sorry. I think I meant:

'a Jamesian operative centre'

back there.

Posted by: robin | Dec 18, 2003 5:53:39 PM

Actually, I'm not in blogging for a book deal. I'd like to point that out now.

I'm in blogging because.. um...

Does anyone REALLY know why they do this??

Posted by: Graybo | Dec 19, 2003 10:02:37 AM

The champagne, the beautiful women, the fast cars?

Sorry, I'm confusing blogging and spying again, aren't I?

Posted by: Mark | Dec 19, 2003 10:11:19 AM

It strikes me that most of you are gnashing and whining simply because The Guardian has failed to recognise anyone in your little circle wank.

And having looked at your site D, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that you will never get a book deal. The best chance you have of any recognition is if The Guardian introduces an award for the blogger with his head furthest up his own arse.

Honestly, you bloggers slay me.

Posted by: The voice of reason | Dec 19, 2003 10:53:06 AM

Remember folks, no feeding the trolls...

Posted by: pix | Dec 19, 2003 11:15:36 AM

You obviously don't get around the blogosphere much. I'm fairly low on the scale of monumentally egocentric and elitist bloggers. I don't even have groupies.

I have to wonder what sort of person trolls blogs... sorry, trawls blogs simply to chime in with a comment like that. I guess you're feeling a lot more unfulfilled with your lot in life than any of us.

Posted by: D | Dec 19, 2003 11:18:08 AM

Unfulfilled and proud of it!

Posted by: Dragon | Dec 19, 2003 11:33:28 AM

Voice of reason? Sounds like the voice of jealousy to me. I mean, I'm jealous of D. Who wouldn't be?

Posted by: Graybo | Dec 19, 2003 1:55:51 PM

Mark. Mark's got no reason to be jealous. If there was a prize for "person most likely to end up writing a daily column having started off doing it for kicks on the Interweb thingy" Mark would win. I'd probably end up second with my luck.

It occurs to me that the comments in this thread are very unbitter about the results. We haven't been bitchy at all, we haven't lamented or lambasted, in fact this has overall been probably the most favorable backlash the Big G could have hoped for. Which just makes the troll stand out.

Posted by: D | Dec 19, 2003 2:27:46 PM

It could be apathy!

Go on - ask me how much I care.

Oh - and another cracking pic pix!

Posted by: Dragon | Dec 19, 2003 3:11:23 PM

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