Response to #MADBlogAwards blog – Is it a Fair Process?
This was a response I had from one of the organisers of the #MadBlogAwards and this are my thoughts. I’d love feedback from other people on the subject if anyone could spare the time to comment? Click here to view my previous post on the subject if you like!
The great thing about blogging and the Internet is it’s big enough for you to pick and choose the bits you like – if something doesn’t work for you, then don’t worry about it, just pay attention to the other stuff. And for what it’s worth, I’m very much in favour of opinions on blogs (even if people don’t agree with me) providing an opinion is consistent and genuinely held – which isn’t always the case, sadly.
Not everyone enters awards. By definition, if someone wins an award, someone else doesn’t. For some people that’s not what they want their blogging to be about – which I can totally respect and understand.
For others awards are a fun way to learn about new blogs and share the blogs they love, while potentially being able to attend a fun awards ceremony and have their work recognised. And those people do enjoy the MAD Blog Awards, which is equally valid.
As I’ve said to others, with around 300-500 blogs nominated per category and 15 award categories, it simply isn’t practical to ask any judge to look at all the nominated blogs in enough detail to make an informed decision on which is ‘best’ in each category – you’d be asking someone to do nothing but read blogs for six months! And that’s if you could find a judging panel that everybody agreed was fair – not easy in a community where feuds and fall-outs happen on an almost weekly basis!
We have what we consider is the best possible (but certainly not perfect) in place for nominations and votes, it is very carefully monitored, and I personally am confident that the results are not skewed by cheating or automated voting.
It is certainly true that popularity is part of what would lead a blog win a MAD Blog Award. The same applies, incidentally, to a film that wins an Oscar – they are voted on by a panel of 6,000 film fans and critics – not dissimilar to the 10,000 or so bloggers and blog readers who nominate and vote in the MAD Blog Awards!
Thanks for the feedback and the post – great discussion!
The MAD Blog Awards
I’m carefully considering a reply, and really appreciate the feedback from someone who is actually involved in the organisation. Just as a quick response, you say there are 300 -500 blogs nominated per category? I’ve done a very quick reckoning (my figures may be a little out, but not by much hopefully).
You have 113 nominations for the Family Fun blogs – 81 nominations for the Pre School blogs – 43 nominations for the Pregancy blogs – 72 nominations for the Craft blogs – 87 nominations for the Innovative blogs – 187 nominations for the Family Life blogs – 82 nominations for the Food blogs – 154 nominations for the Inspirational blogs – 145 nominations for the New blogs – 75 nominations for the Business blogs – 170 nominations for the best Writer blogs – 68 nominations for the baby blogs……….and then I got bored of counting. And I failed Maths GCSE more times than most, so this is challenge for me (I am quite prepared to be pulled up on my figures…)
The point I’m making is that the figures you quote don’t seem to make sense unless I’m missing something. In addition to this many of these blogs figure many times in the nominations, so that immediately reduces the number of blogs you have to take into consideration.
Anyway, that’s not the only relevant point I could make, but I thought it was the first one worth raising. I’d be interested to hear your or anyone else’s thoughts. I think it’s great that you are actively involved in this discussion, thank you!
Ps. You made a fair point about the Oscars, they may well judge in that way and I agree my analogy at that point may well bite the dust…but we aren’t really dealing with the Oscars here are we? We are dealing with what looks to be about 1731 (ish) blog nominations, with about a half of the nominations repeated throughout the categories – leaving you with say….865 blogs, which I agree sounds intimidating.
You started the MAD’s nomination a month ago? And your awards ceremony will be in September? Is that right? If so, you have given yourselves 7 months total to accrue and evaluate the list. I don’t know when this 2nd voting stage finishes, but I’d be interested to find out. This is because throughout the voting stage, you quite literally do nothing except promote the MAD’s themselves and ask people to vote – that is your priority as far as I can see. None of that time (I’m presuming) is spent evaluating, however briefly, the nominated blogs. It’s all promotion at that time. I’m saying that without knowing for sure, obviously I’m just another blogger. I don’t know how you run the MAD’s, this is just how it seems to me. Please do correct me if I’m wrong. I may be stroppy, but I’m also reasonable (unless you nick chocolate from me and then it’s a different matter – just ask the kids)
There are 5 judges? So, erm…… 865 divided by 5 equals (frowns with concentration and bites top of biro) 173 blogs each. Ouch! If you had 20 judges that would be 43 blogs each, not so Ouch! Should you not simply increase your judging panel and spend more time evaluating the blogs – rather than simply leaving us bloggers to publicise the MAD’s for you over a period of months (effectively turning it into a popularity contest) – taking the reins again only for the final judging process.
You’ve said that it would be difficult to find a fair set of judges to take on that task, in an environment where people fall out constantly? I think you’ll find the blogging community may have an element of that, but you’re soley mistaken if you think that there isn’t a huge sense of community and fair mindedness too. Anyway, if you’ve managed to establish a set of 5 judges without Blogging World War 3 breaking out, then why would finding a set of 20 judges be any different? Maybe you could say, finding that many people to judge would be an issue, but surely the blogging community is full of enthusiastic, knowledgeable people who would love to be involved in just such a process.
As for your assurances re cheating – huge established companies have had problems with voting competitions. I don’t see why The MAD’s will be immune. I’d really appreciate it if you could read this link from Loquax – it outlines my concerns far better than I ever could. You’ll be very naive if you think you these issues will not affect your awards. Voting Competitions and Surrounding Issues.
At this point I’m going to stop and go have a cup of tea, because frankly life’s too short and my stress levels are high enough – I just don’t think what you’re saying is adding up.
P.p.S (I think I’ve just written the biggest P.S, ever written. Do I get a prize? PSML! ;O)