Nominations sought for Bloggies


Nominations have opened for the Bloggies – the 11th annual blog awards:

The rules are:

    • Any pages with dated entries that existed at some point during the year 2010 are eligible.
    • Only one nomination ballot and one finalist ballot may be submitted per person.
    • E-mail addresses are required to vote. You must use your own address and confirm the verification e-mail.
    • If you verify a second ballot, your first one will be replaced.
    • In the nomination phase:
      • URLs are required.
      • At least three different weblogs total must be nominated.
      • Weblogs may be nominated for multiple categories.
      • Nominees must suit the category they are placed in.
    • Weblogs may win a category over multiple years a maximum of three times.

Nominations opened on January 1 and close this coming Sunday January 16.

Next Wednesday (January 19) 200 randomly selected voters will  receive an invitation to choose the finalists from a list of the most-nominated weblogs in ten random categories.

The following Monday (January 24) finalist voting closes. The five (or six for Weblog of the Year) weblogs with the most votes become finalists.

On Tuesday February 1 finalists are announced and voting reopens to all to choose the winners. Voting closes on Sunday February 20.

A week later (Sunday 27th) winners will be announced announced and the Weblog of the Year receives the prize of 2,011 US cents (US$20.11).

Categories include best Australian or New Zealand blog.

Given the population imbalance between Australia and New Zealand it’s going to be easier for an Australian blog to win so should the New Zealand Bloggers’ Union, which was behind the Air NZ Best Blog Awards last year,  step in and co-ordinate a nomination?

Given the tight timeframe I’d suggest opening nominations today, closing them on Thursday then putting up the three which receive the most nominations for a vote which closes on Friday. That would give plenty of time for those wanting to take part to nominate the winner before nominations for the award close at 10pm on Sunday (EST which  is, I think, Monday afternoon here).

A Whale of a fight


What is it about writing that makes people think they can use yours without paying for it?

I once made the mistake of responding to a request to write a story for a magazine without negotiating terms first.

It was published word for word but when I inquired about payment I was told the editor didn’t pay because it was publicity for the interview subject.

This magazine had a tag on its cover about celebrating women in business so I asked the editor why she’d boast about that but refuse to pay a woman in writing.

I also pointed out that magazines which sold for a similar or lesser price paid between 40 cents and 80 cents a word for similar stories.

She eventually agreed to pay half what I’d requested and I learned a lesson about negotiating terms before supplying copy.

Whaleoil has come up against Richard Henry, of whom I’ve never heard, who is taking liberties with Whale’s writing with a similar reluctance to pay for it.

The NZ Bloggers’ Union, membership of which is compulsory, is showing solidarity with Whale:

Cactus Kate has a media release from the Union,  Kiwiblog  has a similar gripe and Quote Unquote also joined the fray.

NZ’s Best Blog Award goes to . . .


The very worthy winner of the Air NZ Best Blog Award is: Cactus Kate.

Cactus Kate ( has won the New Zealand Bloggers’ Union’s inaugural Air New Zealand** Best Blog Award Dim Post . was runner up and No Right Turn ( and Whaleoil ( were awarded joint third place.; In A Strange Land (; Kiwianarama (; Liberation (; and Not PC (

The union launched the awards after another media awards competition, sponsored by a foreign budget airline that uses decrepit Boeing 767s for its Trans-Tasman services and doesn’t even have proper lie-flat beds in Business Class, failed to follow its own criteria in selecting its short list. . . .

. . . In awarding the Supreme Award to Cactus Kate, the judges described the blog as: “Intelligent, persuasive and influential, with the sort of investigative journalism Metro should be publishing. This is a blog which has contributed to changes in the administration of some of New Zealand’s most important regulatory bodies, as well as providing a healthy degree of humour.”

In awarding the Runner Up Award to Dim Post, the judges described the blog as: “Genuinely world-class political satire on matters both weighty and absurd, delivered almost every day. While clearly demonstrating a centre-left perspective, the writer also has the ability to surprise with unpredictable ideas.”

The judges said they struggled most with the choice between No Right Turn and Whaleoil for third place.

Commenting on Whaleoil, the judges said: “While the writer’s vitriol can be distasteful and his spelling and grammar sometimes leaves much to be desired, Whaleoil is the ultimate right wing blogger, delivering scorching critiques of current issues every day, and undoubtedly influencing real political events.”

Commenting on No Right Turn, the judges said: “While there is some doubt about the degree to which the blog has influenced real events and the lack of a comments option could be seen as against the spirit of blogging, No Right Turn provides extremely well researched and well-written contributions – with a decent dose of hard-left anger – on a very wide range of political, social, constitutional and human rights issues.”

The judges recommended that Whaleoil consider investing in a more advanced spell and grammar check program and that No Right Turn consider opening up his site to community discussion.

Congratulations to the winners, placegetters and NZ Bloggers Union which took the suggestion of better blog awards and made it happen, with panache and humour.

And well done Air NZ on not being upset by having its name and CEO associated with the wards without their knowledge.

The judges comments on all 30 nominees are worth a read too in spite of – or some might say because of –  the comments about this blog.

Better blog awards close today


Entries for the bloggers’ alternative to the mainstream media awards, the Air New Zealand Best Blog Award close totday.

In a post, which typifies the spirit of the awards, we’re being urged to enter:

2. I sense an overwhelming preciousness from some bloggers about entering anything. I interpret that as you are all afraid of losing so lord knows how any of you are actually successful in life. Well get over it as apart from one winner everyone else will technically be losers. But not as bigger losers as good blogs that do not enter. . . 

. . . Harden up and enter.

It wasn’t fear of losing that was preventing me entering, it was lack of time to trawl through last year’s posts to find the best four.

However, since it was a post by me which inspired the NZ Bloggers Union to initiate the awards I decided that it would be churlish not to enter.

Guided more by haste than careful contemplation these are the four posts I’ve chosen to enter:

Should our greatest also be good?

Bloggers compulsorily unionised


The tentacles of compulsion are everywhere. NZ Bloggers have been compulsorily unionised and to make matters worse the union blog is red.

Just to show I’m not biggoted I drink red wine but compulsory association with a red blog is asking too much.

Hat Tip: Clint Heine

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