Well it seems someone isn’t too keen on The Guardian’s blog competition. Tom argues that the compo goes against the essence of blogging; that we shouldn’t be judging people’s outpouring of thoughts, emotions and ideas. On the face of it, this may seem a sound objection. But those of us in the blog community judge web logs all the time; there are some we visit regularly and others we’ll visit once and never return to. We are inherently making judgments on subconscious or conscious criteria – we love /loathe the design, the tone of voice, the insightful writing, the links, the dog photos – we have our own (maybe mental) lists of blogs which are ‘good’ and forget about blogs which are ‘poor’. Is The Guardian not just bringing this into a public arena?
Yes, the judging will be highly subjective. A blogger constantly slagging off the paper or the competition judges is surely less likely to win. But I find it hard to believe that people will be tailoring their blog content in an overt attempt to impress the judges; it’s certainly pretty sad if they do. I do concede that folks may pay more attention to their blog – keeping it updated more regularly, may be even checking the spelling – not really such as bad a thing.
You can position your cynicism of The Guardian’s motives anywhere you like from a benign celebration of British blog culture, to a shallow attempt to get more readers and ad impressions, but I for one will be entering the competition. Not because I think I could win, or even that I want to (£1000 aside) but because I want more people to read my blog. That’s what it’s there for.