SA Blog Awards Need a Better Nomination Process

I must admit, I did only enter in to these awards when someone nominated me and I received an email from SA blog awards that I had been nominated. It only came 5 days before the closing date for nominations so I did not have much time to advertise my nomination so this post is not complaining about the fact that I did not make it to the top 10 (maybe next year) but more about the fact that the categories seem to contain blogs that have nothing to do with their category.

How do SA blog Awards nominate ?

To be nominated one needs to just add a URL and a category telling SA blog awards about your site. This can be done by the owner of the site or any person that feels the blog is worth nominating.  The more nominations sent in of any source for any particular blog result in that blog making it to the “Voting” phase.

Why does this nomination process not work?

As fas as I know, no other ranking factors are taken into consideration apart from the amount of nominations you get so it seems that the blogs that nominate themselves and request their friends and networks to vote for them in the short time period become the top contenders. This to me is not enough criteria to class a blog as “best in SA” …. best according to who? the amount of friends  the owner of the blog has?  The bloggers reaction time?

Why not take Alexa ranking, social media presence and other figures into account? There was an article last year with the same issues at hand so it seems not much has changed since then. You can read the “SA Blog Awards 2009 are Meaningless” article where the author explains in detail the flaws in the nomination process.

What is wrong with SA blog awards categories?

I have taken a look at the finalists in the “The Ogilvy Best Media and Marketing Blog” section to find that only a handful of Media and Marketing Blogs (SEO Blogs) actually made it to the voting phase. Many of the blogs listed are not even media or marketing blogs. Some of the blogs are random, talk about everything blogs but only a few like IntegralWebSolutions (fantastic marketing blog, I will be voting for them), Memeburn, Expanda Blog , Fundamental Displays , 10and5 and maybe Urban Ninja actually belong in the category. Some even admitted that they were in the wrong category like TheGiven but hey, what can they do.

Now I only looked at one section so it may be that SA blog awards are just having a hard time categorising some of the “I post on everything” blogs. Maybe they should come up with an uncategorised section to dump all those blogs but if you are going to give away an award for a blog in a category then they should be sure that the finalists are indeed about that category.

Conclusion

I also do understand that a lot of volunteers work on the SA blog awards but if these awards are going to hold any credibility then a little more thought needs to go into the nomination process. The judges need to take a little more time and go through the pages and agree if a blog belongs in the category it is nominated for.

21 Comments

  1. The Given September 1, 2010 Reply

    I was told that my blog had to go into the Media and Marketing section after they Cancelled the “Best blog about Design” catagory. I was rather upset about this after I thought I stood a pretty good chance of winning it this year. Today I see that I made the nominations phase, I also see that they brought back the design catagory. WTF? I sent them multiple emails about this and they told me the catagories couldnt change. So today I find myself in a catagory I dont belong and the catagory I wanted to be in full of blogs that shouldnt be anywhere near the words “Best ” and “Design”

  2. Galen Schultz September 1, 2010 Reply

    I totally agree that they should take Alexa ranking, social media presence and other figures etc. into account. There also seem to be a few categories lacking. Particular writing styles could have formed a couple more unique categories for bloggers who don't neccessarily fit into any of the chosen categories.

    I also think that no blog should be allowed to get more than one award per year. Look at how many 2oceansvibe scooped up in 2009. This really limits the scope with regards to the finalists and over-exposes just a few blogs. No doubt they will receive at least one award this year. The 'rich' just seem to get 'richer' *sigh* 😛

  3. Ashraf September 1, 2010 Reply

    Tell me about it! Almost all the people who wanted to nominate my blog had no idea how to do it.

    Anyways good luck to those who made it through 🙂

  4. Galen Schultz September 1, 2010 Reply

    PS: Also wrote a post regarding voting tips and suggestions. Just my 2cents on what questions voters should ask before voting for their favourites: http://www.witnessthis.co.za/2010/08/26/witness

  5. Henno Kruger September 1, 2010 Reply

    This is quite interesting. I agree with some of your points. It's truly meaningless in my opinion too

  6. AntonRSA September 1, 2010 Reply

    Agree 100% with you

  7. Galloe September 1, 2010 Reply

    Alexa is definitely not the right tool to use as a barometer of presence. Especially not a south african blog.

  8. Bryan Casson September 1, 2010 Reply

    I did not say it should be the only tool but it could play as one of the considerations. I agree that it is not the most accurate tool in SA, I actually think myScoop has the most accurate ranking factors

  9. Robert Bravery September 1, 2010 Reply

    Have to agree there Bryan.

    BTW thanks for the vote of confidence in Integralwebsolutions.

    I find that a lot of the multiple author blogs seem to get a very high number of votes. Purely because of the reach they have. If they have 20 authors that have a similar reach to me, then its curtains.

    Having said that though, voting is still voting, a democratic way of letting your voice be heard. Voting also gives the underdog a chance.

    As far as the categories got, I think they can be very vague at times. Better thought needs to go into creating the categories.

    As far as the ranking goes, Yes I agree, other factors need to be taken into consideration. Like Alexa, social presence, traffic of some sort, comments on the blog, style of writing, content (most importantly) presentation.

    As far as the amount of categories a blog can be nominated in is a tough one. Because blogs are so unique we have nothing to compare. But look at the music awards, care is take not to include a band with a single artist in some categories. But in others it's a free for all. However the Band and single artists are still viewed as a single entity.

    With multi author blogs, this is not so. What is the answer, I don't know as yet. Have not applied my mind to it.

    I think that when a blog is nominated, then the judges need to read that blog and then decide if it is in the correct category based on the style and content of the blog. Obviously categories like Best new blog and best design won't fit that mould.

    Take you blog, what categories is best. Science and tech, or Media and marketing. It could probably be in both

  10. Robert Bravery September 1, 2010 Reply

    Myscoop is good. But sometimes not as accurate as you might think. Though not entirely their fault.
    For example, I don't have a ranking on myscoop purely because I have not embedded their ranking code in my blog. Not a negative sign on their part, but that's just how it is.

    Then what if you're not listed on myscoop, does that then mean you should not be ranked?

    Ranking sites on the internet is a lot more sophisticated than we might think

  11. Catherine September 1, 2010 Reply

    Thanks for your vote of confidence *schew* glad to see FD on your list. I really like your blog and I'm surprised you are not through. I have no idea how it all works. I am just happy to get Visual Merchandising onto the marketing map! Keep blogging the good stuff.

  12. Monty September 1, 2010 Reply

    I agree!

    Although it's pretty cool that there is an awards competition for blogs, I think the process will probably only be refined in another 3 – 5 years.

    A nomination process is a little bit dated to begin with, and there are many other ways to get the info for an awards system… Also, it would be nice to standardise these awards to the same time of the year… This year I missed out getting my blog nominated purely because of the short nomination process and the shift from last year's March/April to this years August/September award dates. Mental note to self, never take a sabbatical!

  13. Werner Wichmann September 1, 2010 Reply

    I also agree here. I went through the category listings and most of the blogs I looked at did not seem relevant at all to the category they where listed in.

  14. Marie September 1, 2010 Reply

    One of my blogs – 66 Square Feet (the Food) is a finalist for Photography as well as Overseas. I understood that it had been nominated for Food and Wine, which would make more sense.

    My main blog, plain old 66 Square Fete, which gets lots of traffic, and is suited to those categories, didn’t show up, even tough many people told me they nominated it.

    I believe SABlogAwards mixed up the urls of my two blogs – which are similar – and listed the wrong blog. Here’s my post about it.

    http://66squarefeet.blogspot.com/2010/09/sa-blog-awards-2010-is-anybody-out.html

    I have asked them to look into more carefully. and am waiting for a response. I’m happy to have made it into the finals, but concerned about the sloppy mistake I believe they made.

  15. Amy September 2, 2010 Reply

    Thanks for the mention regarding my blog. (http://www.expandasign.blogspot.com) I'm a blogging newbie and know that, although my content is good, some of the other competitors' templates, imagery, etc is far more advanced. A few barely have any copy, but their blogs are hugely impressive. At the end of the day, I'm not entirely sure what works regarding pulling in more SA Blog Award votes. Cheers

  16. Dave Duarte September 2, 2010 Reply

    I'm involved in organising the blog awards, so I thought i might be useful for me to chip in from an insider's perspective…

    Basically, we're aware that the nominations process has some flaws in it. We've been noting everything so that we can fix it up next year. I don't think we'll ever please everyone, but there are certainly some very valid issues for us to resolve. However, while the voting process is cumbersome, we believe the results it gives us are valid – the community of voters determines the categories, and expert judges in the various categories will have weighted votes to add a level of relevance.

    This is the first year that the blog awards has a formal management structure (under CEO JP Naude), and we've sought to find venue, media partners, judges, hosts and sponsors that will add to the level of prestige of winning an award.

    Ultimately our objective is to acknowledge the best bloggers in SA, provide an incentive and encouragement for more people to aim to be better bloggers in SA, and to raise public awareness of the significance of blogging in the media mix in SA.

  17. Bryan Casson September 2, 2010 Reply

    I would have to say that the expert judges are not very “expert” then as there is almost no relevance for some of the blogs

  18. Marie Viljoen September 2, 2010 Reply

    My post below sums up the major issue I had, which was that they listed the wrong url for my blog that made it to the finals…

    My second quibble is that now you can vote EVERY 24 hours for the same blog. This is ridiculous. This puts the onus on your readership to hit that button every day, and confirm via an email link. They are already being blasted by awards spam. This alienates the readership, who are the backbone of a blog.

    http://66squarefeet.blogspot.com/2010/09/sablog-awards-2010-back-on-track.html

  19. Marie Viljoen September 2, 2010 Reply

    The voting process has been compromised. Now that you are saying that every 24 hours you can vote again for the same blog you voted for yesterday, the blog that wins is imply the blog that gets the most repeat voters? I refuse to ask that of my readership.

  20. Shaun March 13, 2012 Reply

    why don’t we start a new one?
    Just because an agency tags there name to the awards doesn’t mean they are more credible and the industry standard..there intentions are the same ..they want web traffic!
    The ranking process seems flawed from the get go, and what qualifies a blog as a blog…is it independents? is it a corporate giant? ….”the man”?..or some guy/girl with an iphone doing what he loves and providing good content
    I think it needs a shake up….
    I think were onto something here…anyone?

    Shaun

  21. Stix May 29, 2012 Reply

    “Why not take Alexa, ranking, social media presence and other figures into account?”

    I’ll tell you why. Alexa ranking is mostly based on traffic. Using the amount of traffic a blog gets is not a good way to see if a blog is any good. I know another SA blogger personally, he is a good friend. His blog gets about double the traffic mine is getting at the moment. But he has been blogging there for about four years. My blog has only been running for about a year and a half. My point is that just because a blog gets more traffic than another blog doesn’t make the blog with more traffic a better blog. Blogs should be judged on quality of content, not traffic.

    I love my friend but I also know that he is not great writer. His content is mostly bland and regurgitated stuff from press releases and so on.

    I think a blog should be named to be reviewed by judges. Every blog that gets named should be reviewed by judges. From there judges should decide what blogs go into what categories. Them let the public vote, public votes count as 50% and judges votes count 50%. From there the winners can be named.

    I agree that the the categories need serious review. But using traffic and social media standing is very narrow minded. Not only does it does that completely disadvantage young blogs, it will also discourage new blogger to try and compete in the SA Blog Awards.

    Wow, what a mouth full. That being said I didn’t agree completely with the category I was placed in last year, but I was surprised when I was runner up.

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