Earlier today, I offered a few comments at Paul Chaney’s post wherein he questions the reliability of blogging award programs (he particularly mentions his disapproval of the 2005 Weblog Awards). His main reasons for disliking blog awards:
1. Readers typically determine the results, so there is often a great amount of bias.
2. The awards "don’t really mean anything except to the award site owner, who benefits from enhanced traffic."
3. Many excellent sites never get nominated, while poor-quality sites somehow make it into the running.
Paul hits the nail on the head when he says that "the joy of blogging comes not from receiving an award, but from engaging in meaningful dialogue with readers and participation in this ever growing phenomenon of personal publishing called the blogosphere."
I posted the other day about the current Weblog Awards. (See the finalists for the Best Business Blog award finalists.)
Darren Rowse says, “There’s a lot of quality blogs in the list as usual, I always enjoy these awards for finding new blogs that I’d not stumbled upon before.” I think that’s a good, positive way of looking at the awards.
Meanwhile, Jane Genova says that "awards ... are so 20th century" and that mainstream media has used them for decades to hold consumers' attention, but that the Web and split-second attention spans are quickly making awards obsolete. Jane recommends that bloggers - and I would add by extension, business bloggers - should not accept blogging awards or award nominations.
I personally am still sorting out my views on the subject, but I think there must be a way to have some good awards programs without the negative aspects of oversaturation and marketing gimmicks.
I'll close by asking all of you the same question I asked Paul: If it were possible to run a “good” blog awards program, how would you do it? I've got a few ideas, but I want to hear yours. If Business Blog Wire ever hands out awards for the best corporate blogs, for example, how could we do it?