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On resolving “Freeping” at the Canadian Blog Awards.

If you’re a blogger or a regular blog reader, you would know there has been a certain level of controversy swirling around this year’s Canadian Blog Awards. I’m not here to talk about that specific aspect of it – I’ve made my views on the actions of some rather publicly known, and I’ve also been participating behind the scenes on that same action, and I don’t think it would be appropriate to discuss that in public.

No, my little spiel on it today is related to what StageLeft talks about here. I agree with the concerns brought up about dedicated supporters of any one blog going out and mass rigging the vote so that their favourite blog wins. Some would say who cares; it’s just supposed to be a fun thing (though prior controversy seems to have messed with that a bit). Others though, get a tad upset about the manipulation of voting – and limiting it thru IP only works to limited degree.

The way to solve it is to take the voting out altogether from the general populace. Set up a “Awards Committee” or panel of well-known bloggers or blogging observers and let them vote on the nominees. That in the long run means mass manipulation of voting will not rig these. I would urge the organizers of the CBA’s to consider this.

16 comments to On resolving “Freeping” at the Canadian Blog Awards.

  • Well, it has been fairly quiet  recently, I must admit.. though I was attributing that to the holidays rather then the situation calming down. I haven’t seen many additional blog-postings of outrage in a few days.

  • I didn’t intend for it to sound so harsh, Bal. It’s just that there are far too many idjits who’ve gotten the impression that they’ve pushed me out of my own project; which I can’t figure out why they all seem to think my internet projects are considered public property.

    As for the recent brouhaha, Scott. I emailed Saskboy my recommendation along with some advice on how to handle these types of disputes. And the situation seems to have been resolved fairly well..

  • "just temps filling in because you’re too busy"?

    Way to motivate your fellow bloggers, there, bud.  😉

  • Hm. Well then, Robert, what’s your opinion on the brouhahah surrounding the categories, or lack of certain types. I know you’re probably aware of it, but I’ve yet to see any public reaction about it from you.

  • "I didn’t know you were still part of the organizing committee of the CBA’s"

    There is no organizing committee. The CBAs are my project and will remain my project until such time as I decide otherwise. This "organizing committee" you’re referring to are just temps filling in this year because I’m too busy.

    "several propagandist are brandishing their freeped victories as an endorsement of their views."

    I haven’t seen that. But even if that’s the case, it undoubtedly only comes from the political blogs which are a minor part of the awards.

  • Robert correctly draws a connection between the real purpose of the awards – to stimulate interest and to promote awareness – and its current methodology. Given that goal,  the CBAs are doing what they were set up to do.

    The problem I have, Robert, is that several propagandist are brandishing their freeped victories as an endorsement of their views. They’re treating the triumph of their network as though it were an indicator of political or writing merit.

    I don’t see why a system couldn’t be developed that maximizes wide interest and participation through an open nominations process, while providing a final evaluation based on analysis by a non-partisan panel of respected bloggers from across the political spectrum.  There are a few strategies that could stimulate input, including moderated threads for discussion of finalists in each category, etc.

    But whatever. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s only blogging.

  • I think Robert and Stageleft are both right on this one. The point is not the victory, but the competition. I think we are all anticipating that there will be particular blogs, who have large readerships and an ability to motivate their readers to participate, will be taking top marks in a number of categories, but I’m not worried about that. It’s the open nomination process that I’m more interested in, and the fact that the Canadian Blog Awards are expanding, widening their scope to encompass a large number of new blogs and apolitical blogs that the participants of the old Blog Awards might not have been aware of.

    Gathering a collection of blog judges would put paid to the popularity contest aspect of the Canadian Blog Awards, and there is no doubt that there are "serious" awards out there which do that (the Cybils book blog awards come to mind), but then you’d have to negotiate who the trusted judges would be, and there could be charges of elitism, et cetera. But most of all, I think it would end up doing away with the organic feel of these Blog Awards, set up by individuals and voted on by individuals, in a fairly spontaneous gathering wherein small sites have a chance to clamour for attention on roughly equal footing with the large and established blogs.

    The Canadian blogosphere might be at that apex of being big enough to be vibrant but small enough that a dilligent blogger can’t fail to get noticed, and there might be some question as to how long we can maintain this sweet spot, but until then, let’s just have our fun, okay?

  • Robert M. said:
    [quote comment="11678"]Let me elaborate on why I’m shooting this idea down cold. T[/quote]

    Well Robert, 2 things:

     a) I didn’t know you were still part of the organizing committee of the CBA’s, particularly if Stephen and Jason are on it… because from what I have gathered and from past history, I’m surprised everyone can function (bully for all of you if that’s the case)

    b) my understanding was that this was a committee who was running this, so even if you don’t like the idea, I’d like to see the reactions of the others.

  • Let me elaborate on why I’m shooting this idea down cold. The CBAs are not about winning some hollow award. They’re intended to expand the blogosphere by drawing new readers to the blogs that participate. This cannot be accomplished without the participation of the readers who go to the voting site to cast their ballots. A list picked by a committee and then published will draw nothing but flies to the blogs.

    As for freeping the vote. Who cares as long as there’s no blatant cheating.

  • "I would urge the organizers of the CBA’s to consider this."

    I’ll consider it…okay, I’ve considered it. The answer is no. The CBAs will be voted on by blog readers.

  • The notion that a person is incapable of fair judgement because of their own private beliefs is both false and depressing.

    Clarification: I didn’t mean to imply that.

  • The notion that a person is incapable of fair judgement because of their own private beliefs is both false and depressing.  Propagandists and ideologues can’t: but put James Bow, Andrew Anderson, and a few others of their integrity and intelligence on a panel, provide evaluation criteria, and you’d have an award that means something.

    But I suggest this year’s presentation run its course. Maybe a new format could be considered next year.

  • You may be right. Whichever removes the "popularity" contest and more accurately assesses real talent and dedication to good writing. It’s usual to see the same people win over and over because they get the most hits.

  • Raphael, Stephen Taylor was actually one who suggested this when he was talking about how the CBA’s could better work to me and Wayne Chu last Dec ’06 at the Liberal leadership convention when the bunch of us bloggers were there. I’m surprised he hasn’t tried to persuade the others that this would be the way to go.

    Anyhow.. there may be partisanship, but if the panel has equal representation from all the blogging community – it won’t be as bad as certain blogs mobilizing their dedicated reading base to outvote everyone else.

  • EdS

    Good post, and good suggestion.  Mine would be to invite each Liblogger, Blogging Dipper, Green Blogger, Blogging Tory, and Non-Partisan blogger to vote once, publicly.  This isn’t an election and there is no need for a secret ballot, let alone many IP spoofable secret ballots, unless one is deliberately running a fraud.  What is there preventing everyone from posting their choices on their own blogs and just adding it up?  Everyone knows the categories.  I hope it is not too late to consider this.

  • Consider as well that dialup users can vote under a different IP every time. I noticed that flaw in my own google polls. An Awards committee would be flawed because of the obvious problem of partisanship.

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