Thursday, April 06, 2006

2006 Best of the Fray Choice Awards

One of the less appealing aspects of blogging are the things you have to do to get noticed and generate traffic. The keys of course are writing well and writing regularly. If you don't do those, there's little point. BotF is nothing if it's not regular, and as for writing well, I think we manage just fine. In a perfect world, if you do those two things, gaining an audience would take care of itself. I'm an optimist on that score. But I'm also a realist, and in reality there are millions of blogs out there.

The accepted reality (and I say this as it applies to all but the already popular) of blogging is that you have to do something to get people to visit your url. This can be as simple as commenting on another blogger's blog. They read your comment, and ideally follow your comment back to your blog. After that, it's subjective. If you write well enough, they may return the favor, or if they're really impressed, list you as one of their favorites. It's all very hit and miss. But that's just one strategy, and I'm illustrating it in order to introduce you to what is considered normal, acceptable behavior. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

Now whether the outside world wants to value our high opinion does nothing to change the fact that although seemingly cloistered, beneath the surface we are, in fact, veteran web sophisticates. We've been around the block many, many times over. So just because we didn't decide to jump into blogging--preferring instead the up close and personal environment of the fray--doesn't mean we're not as discriminating as any blogger, and if anything, more discriminating seeing as we're not looking to have our backs scratched.

Thus, my first explicitly extracurricular effort to network bestofthefray to the wider blogosphere is to revise the last part of that last sentence. I'm revising it to read: …we're not looking to have our back scratched but once a year. You see, the insidious nature of blogging is such that the technology to know when someone links to your website not only exists, but it is a mainstay of most every blogger out there. The simple fact is, not only do people want to know what's being said about them, but it pleases them to know, no matter what it is that's being said. With that understood, I'm pleased to announce the first annual prestigious Best of the Fray Choice Awards.

This is where you come in. Your first task is to search your favorites and award a blog or online journal your 2006 winner. You name the website, you name the category of your award, and if you chose, you write a short blurb about them. When the Best of the Fray Choice Awards are posted, your winner, category and blurb are listed as awarded by you.

Once all the winners are compiled, we'll also hold a general vote of the overall winner where you'll endorse one of the nominees other than your own.

The only rules are: Only those posters who participate by awarding their favorite blog/journal can vote for the overall winner; and only those posters who participate in this, the first annual prestigious Best of the Fray Choice Awards will be recognized next year, when we do it again. The one caveat being, if say 12 of you award this year and next year one or more of you have dropped off the face of the earth, those vacant slots will be filled by worthy replacements (by mechanism yet to be determined). But you needn't concern yourself with that. All you need to worry about right now is which blogger's day you're going to make.

Today is April 5, 2006. The awards will be posted on April 15, 2006. You have until the 10th to decide who you give the prize to. We'll vote for best overall soon after, so between now and then, take the time to familiarize yourself with the other awardees.

In addition to being named in the awards post, winners will be linked to on the sidebar of bestofthefray until they are replaced with 2007's winners.

Lastly, although I've explained at length, I'm not asking you to agree or buy into this. Just think of it as me asking you who else you read that's not commercial and deserves a wider readership.

Category: laissez faire.

Blog: Marginal Revolution.

Comments: I don't quite share their economic philosophy (though I like Tyler Cowen's perspective on cultural globalization), but it's refreshingly different from the tired Dem-Repub, lib-con prattle. It's spunky, opinionated, informative and well argued.

On the minus side, they're big league in the blogosphere. I doubt they'll be interested in playing quid pro quo with a cyber watering hole. To be honest, a quick glance at the BOTF top page is unlikely to wow an intelligent visitor. One needs to stick around for a while to discover the nuggets and the social wonders.

Posted by Gregor_Samsa. To reply to this post, click HERE.

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Something of a quack (pekingduck) at times, but I like him.

Posted by Ducadmo. To reply to this post, click HERE.

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Personal Viewpoint - Category

RiverBend Blog About IRAQ.

One female's perspective about Iraq where she lives and what she is seeing right now as it happens. Stunning piece of realism journalism, as best I can get it, and believe it.

Posted by FastPaced. To reply to this post, click HERE.

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Category: Whimsy, Radical Politics, Travel

A plug for a friend (bobharris) and a funny, funny guy. I don't agree with his politics but who can resist this?

Posted by Schadenfreude. To reply to this post, click HERE.

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Politics/News: Needlenose, clear and insightful analysis from a liberal perspective. There are three authors, but swopa's the one to pay attention to. He's particularly good on Plamegate and Iraqi politics.

Literature/Culture/Personal: Open Brackets, personal essays and reviews by Gail Armstrong, a Canadian freelance translator living in France. Smart, wise, funny.

Posted by TheBrewmaster. To reply to this post, click HERE.

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politics, good solid writing...

and he's funny (iowahawk).

but some of his views are a bit... odd.

Posted by switters. To reply to this post, click HERE.

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extended) family pics are beyond annoying, but (one of each (colour, to keep it topical)):

a) an above-and-beyond math teacher's stats blog gets semi-hijacked apstatsac.blogspot.com

b) first move from home .. a continent away www.tabulas.com

both are astute observers, pleasant (not pleasant dumb, just pleasant nice) types

Posted by sydbristow. To reply to this post, click HERE.

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Kung Fu Monkey

Category: Time well wasted.

Posted by Ender. To reply to this post, click HERE.