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December 28, 2006



My IP reads Sacramento California...but only for another week. I will be home to Missoula very soon. So you can add one more to your count of "montana bloggers."



Wulfgar, THANK YOU for taking on this project - regardless of results, it's a very cool thing to do, and I appreciate you going to the trouble of organizing it.


Tip o' the cap, my friend. Very well done.

Gee Guy

I've said it a bunch, but I can't say it too much: Thank you Wulfgar for working your ass off on this.

Eric Coobs

Cool project.

Your weblog awards is an original idea. It's not like the Emmy awards, or Peoples Choice awards, but kind of an inter-blogger award.

I'd still like to see it expanded next year if you can figure out a way to do it.

If 1/2 of 1% (.005) of Montanans are bloggers, that would mean 4750 of them.

a 10% voter turnout would be about 500 votes.

It's your blog, what do you think? Would expanding it change your original concept?


I'd like to thank you for putting this on as well, and thanks for the vote!

Perhaps next year you could get together with Ed and have the Billings Gazoo organize and advertise, that way perhaps it would gain some credibility with Eric. Face it, a large percentage of the people that read blogs, also write them, it's just a fact of life. Even if there's loads of people out there that perhaps read one or two blogs, they probably couldn't give a rat's patootey about filling out a ballot and voting for the ones that they like, they just click around when they get a few extra minutes and look for something catchy or funny or informative to read. Of course there's exceptions to the rule, but blog awards will likely always be somewhat "incestuous" by nature, just for that reason.

Judging popularity entirely on comments, or even on hits, addresses an entirely different concept however. Obviously a blog concentrating entirely on backcountry photography and hiking and cross country skiing locations like "Out There With Tom" will likely never be as popular as a blog dealing with something as polarizing as politics because it appeals to a narrower audience, but does that make it a "lower quality" blog? Hell no, I'd rather look at pictures of scenic vistas and wildlife any day than argue about which politician got caught humping a billy goat this particular week. Popularity is seldom a good indicator of quality. There are, after all, still people that think the New Kids On The Block made good music. ;)


Eric, you go into the awards with the voters you have, not the voters you might wish you had. Your expectations of how many people in Montana blog (or should blog) aren't realistic. Take a look at the Big Sky Blog blogroll. There might be a hundred sites listed, but at least 20 (more like 30) have gone dark. It's not untoward to imagine that there are about 30 weblogs as yet undiscovered out there, but that's still only about 100.

You're also underestimating the percentage of those who blog who would also vote. If you imagine that we have about 75 active blogs in Montana (not a stretch) and 25 votes from Montana bloggers (factual) then it isn't out of line to expect about 33% to vote ... or more.

One failing of this year was the timing. It's hard to be concerned with such an event while also dealing with the Holidays. That's my bad. I waited too long to start this party.

Also, please consider this: The two most notorious political blogs in Montana did not promote the vote ... nor did their multiple front page contributers cast ballots. I am, of course, talking about Left in the West, verifyably one of the most popular websites in the state, and WWiM, self-proclaimed 'most popular website in the state'. Awards like this thrive on promotion. Which leads me to note how very odd it is, Eric, that you would be concerned about growing this effort when you willfully failed to do the bare minimum to promote it. The WWW runs on links; it's that simple.

In part, however, I'm glad that these awards were *not* promoted at WRiM. My greatest dread is having to deal with the multiple incarnations of Don Mellon, and the Stormfront devotees that that website attracts.

It's for that reason that having a true online vote, such as the Gazoo does, is kind of useless. If your voter pool is numbered in the tens of thousands, it's pretty difficult to game or spam the vote; possible, but difficult. When your voter pool is numbered in the hundreds, corrupting the process and making it meaningless is unbelieveably easy. So I really don't know what to do for next year, whether to keep it local or farm it out. It's pretty hard to decide.

One final thing to clarify, these awards may have been my idea originally, but some things you just can't own. If anyone wants to suggest different venue and altered procedure, I certainly won't fault them for it. This kinda belongs to us all, now.


Wulfgar, fantastic job with the awards. I would say that even if I hadn't at least tied for one of the awards. I couldn't have asked for a better blog to tie with, btw, Sharon. :-D

Since the # of ballots cast this year was almost double the number cast last year, I'd say your methods (and those of the nominated bloggers who promoted the awards) were successful. that's great growth. i would hope we could again double the votes in 2007, the same way you did this year.

other than that, the only suggestion i might make for promoting the blog awards (and thereby promoting Montana blogs in general) would be to consider doing something with the local newspapers ... most already have blogs. Why not promote blogging in Montana newspapers?

Thanks again for taking all the time and effort to put together the blog awards. It was fun. Now I'm off to play around the winning blogs.

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