Conflicted about the Edublog Weblog Awards

James Farmer has taken up the challenge and created a site to vote for the Inaugural Edublogs Awards. I fell pretty conflicted about this:

– on the one hand, it’s great to recognize excellence and all of the hard work some folks have put in.

– on the other hand, this feels somewhat antithetical to the sense of collaborative community that some feel is emerging through the blogosphere. I placed a few votes, but as I did so I kept feeling I was highlighting one piece of good work at the expense of another. Also, this feels like it is tapping into a part of the blogosphere I’m really less interested in – people reinforcing their meatspace connections, status and networks through their blogs. Clearly, that’s inevitable, but it rubs me the wrong way, and it feels against the original spirit of ‘meritocracy’ on which the internet was built.

I think I’ve placed all the votes I’m going to place, and have now decided to mostly ignore this. The potential for harm is greater than the potential for good in this sort of thing. There are plenty other ways to indicate what you like in the blogosphere, indeed the ‘blogosphere’ is in some ways simply an emergent conversation that displays an interconnection of p/references. – SWL

Conflicted about the Edublog Weblog Awards

4 thoughts on “Conflicted about the Edublog Weblog Awards

  1. Fair comment & concerns (ones I share too)… however, I’d like to thinkl of this as just kinda fun, a bit of a fun celebration and, in a way, an acknowledgement of the ‘edublogosphere’. Perhaps.

    I appreciate your balanced perspective though, very much so, thanks for sharing it.

    Cheers, James


  2. I agree with James. The prizes have been, so far, a good means to know blogs I didn’t in a friendly environment.

    I prefer thinking we’re all in it for fun 🙂


  3. Hmm – interesting issues. When you “vote” for someone, it is assumed you have a reasonable amount of information about all the canditates. I am a member of a lot of associations and get material asking me to vote for office holders; in most cases I don’t vote, simply because I don’t know who they all are and why one is better than the other. I might know about one or two, but the lack of exposure to the others means there is no basis for electing one who can then claim to be more representative than the one who I didn’t vote for because I hadn’t been exposed to them. My view is that no vote is better than the donkey’s vote.

    In a roundabout sort of way, what I am trying to say is that without knowing all blogs, voting for any one is like voting for the best song of the century – the result is meaningless. Who has heard all the songs!?

    On another tack, voting implies a winner; and winning implies some sort of responsibility. But for what? Will they represent us in congress? Will they be our spokespeople in the blogosphere? I think not! If the sole point is to produce a shortlist of the “best”, the question might be, best for what, for whom, and for when?

    Networks are the best evidence of success and just getting an idea out there has got to mean it’s a winner (of something). If you think it’ll make a difference, by all means, vote. But if it’s a fanciful exercise like the competitions for best online course or best website etc, leave it alone; it adds no value to the world of blogging.


  4. Thanks for the dialogue on this. I just went back and looked at the votes again. Wow, do people not realize how gauche it looks to vote for themselves? Anyways, hope people have fun with this exercise, I am now going to actively ignore it.


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