It's that time of year again – the time when bloggers put on their finest templates and post their best photos and podcasts, and all for good reason… The BOBs (Best of the Blogs) are here! The awards, run by Deutsche Welle are the largest international weblog awards in 15 categories for blogs in 10 languages: German, English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Portugese, Chinese, Farsi and Dutch.
The goal of the BOBs is to present a wide spectrum of the world's blogosphere, making them quite possibly the most prestigious honor to be bestowed upon a blogger. Since these awards are for bloggers and chosen by bloggers, we thought it would be interesting to find out just what bloggers think about them. Here are some picks from those on the judging side, the nominee side, and every other side.
toot (“the Arab blog network”) is celebrating:
This year, our very own tooter Ahmad Humeid will be a part of the jury, which has the difficult decision of making nominations and deciding on Jury Award winners in each of the categories.
Mark Glaser of MediaShift, who will also be a judge this year, says:
While The BOBs does take light-hearted entries, the jury usually pays special attention to blogs that cover serious subject matter, whether that’s related to politics, human rights or personal stories that have universal implications.
A hot topic among bloggers regarding this year's BOBs is the lack (so far) of nominated African blogs (a map of the world marked with nominees can be seen on the BOBs website). Although last year's winner of the Best English Language Blog Award, was Black Looks (the founder of which, Sokari Ekine, also happens to be GV's founding Africa editor), there is currently an obvious dearth of African bloggers.
GV founder Ethan Zuckerman in his own blog, My Heart's in Accra, urges readers to nominate African bloggers:
So I was disappointed to visit the BOB site yesterday and see this map, which didn’t feature a single nominated blog from sub-Saharan Africa. The situation isn’t quite this dire, as it turns out – the map shows locations with two or more blogs nominated, and a version of the map that shows locations with a single blog isn’t quite so disappointing. Still, the overall message conveyed by a map like this is that there aren’t any bloggers in Africa, or at least none worth reading.
Blogger White African is concerned as well:
When it comes to how Africa is portrayed on the web, we are partly responsible for what the rest of the world sees. We have no right to be upset when Africa is excluded when we won’t even take the time to promote each other, the countries we come from and the ideas for which we stand.
So whether or not Africa falls in your area of blogging interest, the important thing is to get out there and nominate a blog that you love to read! Global Voices is co-sponsoring this year's awards in hopes of helping more voices be heard.