The JIBs- What I find Distasteful

The JIBs are in full bloom now. Throughout the Jewish/Israeli blogosphere there is ongoing and consistent discussion about them and I think that this is great.

Allow me to make it clear that I think that the JIBs are a good idea and important. I think that Dave deserves our thanks for getting them up and running. It has been a great resource for being exposed to blogs that are new to me. Some of them have been excellent.

A short time ago I launched my entry salvo in the comments or should I say complaints about the awards. If you are interested you can read that here.

The reason that I am writing about this again is that I was asked to provide more specific details about what bothers me about them. After some more thought I think that it comes down to a couple of things.

Part 1.

I think that the voting favors the blogs with the largest readership. That is not necessarily a fair criticism, at least not in that form. So let me expand upon that to say that I think that a large readership indicates that the blog must have something. It must be a quality blog or the readers would abandon it.

The issue is that there are other blogs out there that may not have had the same exposure as the bigger ones and may in fact be superior to them but due to a smaller readership they have almost no shot of winning.

I suppose that what I am saying is that I wish that there was some form of measurement that could be used so that we could level the playing field, but no such measurement exists. And in conscience I have to admit that this really does mirror life.

Sometimes the better product is not the more popular or more successful item. Sometimes the better product loses. That is just the way that it goes.

Part 2

I don’t like the way in which some bloggers are campaigning. It shouldn’t be a junior high school popularity contest, at least I would rather that it not come across that way. If you have to beg for votes then maybe you shouldn’t participate. Have some faith in your own material.

You shouldn’t have to ask friends/family/business associates who have never read your blog to vote for you just because you want to win.

And there you have my two shekalim on the matter.

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18 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack January 17, 2006 at 3:20 am

    Z,

    I still believe in the awards. If it wasn’t for some of the nominees these things would be perfect. πŸ˜‰

  2. Z January 16, 2006 at 10:37 pm

    I just saw the Best of the Rest category. I still maintain my feelings which mirror yours although I go so far as to say other bloggers pimp themselves for these awards. Good luck.

  3. Jack's Shack January 15, 2006 at 5:30 am

    PT,

    I don’t disagree with most of what you said. The nomination process has a few kinks in it, but I’d rather not go into that here. As I mentioned I am in favor of and support the JIBs, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot criticize them.

    Most of what I dislike is due to the actions of a few bloggers who seem to require awards for personal validation.

  4. PsychoToddler January 15, 2006 at 5:05 am

    I’m sure this is a learning process for Dave and the JP and if they decide to do it next year it may be different.

    Right now the situation is similar to running a battle of the bands, and pretty much anyone can get a spot to play (if they can follow the nomination rules, Jack). And a bunch of HS bands sign up and then Van Halen shows up to play. With about 40,000 fans. And the winner is decided by a show of hands.

    Cox and Forkum is outpolling fudge by a margin of 10 to 1. Are they really that much funnier than her?

  5. Jack's Shack January 13, 2006 at 5:31 am

    PL,

    A panel of experts might be an interesting idea.

    AT,

    I don’t have to, you’ll do it for me, I am sure. πŸ˜‰

    ZR,

    The Pro Bowl is in Maui. It is nice there.

    Orthomom,

    I don’t want to kill the awards. If anything I’d have them stay the same before I’d see them go. But a couple of changes would be nice.

    Chaim,

    It is a process and I suspect in time they’ll find a few solutions.

    Randi,

    People like to win things, they like recognition. If you go to any shul (Reform, Conservative or Orthodox)and look around there will be plaques recognizing the donors all over the place.

    Irina,

    You are correct, but the JIBs are also supposed to be a format for discovering new blogs and helping to build awareness so there is some utility to the voting.

    Robbie,

    πŸ™‚

    Ezzie,

    Knock yourself out. πŸ™‚

  6. Ezzie January 13, 2006 at 2:02 am

    Wow, Jack… I agree with everything in the post. πŸ™‚

    I think that for most bloggers, it’s just fun. I (and you’ve prob seen me right this a number of places) have discovered a ton of new blogs because of this, and when it first started added about 10 to my blogroll. Now, I’m afraid to add any more, I don’t think I could read them all.

    But I know who’s going to get my “Best of the Rest” vote… πŸ˜‰

  7. Robbie January 13, 2006 at 1:01 am

    Although my blog would probably lead you to believe otherwise, it’s not such a big deal for me – but it’s fun to make it sound like I’m going overboard…

    All for the sake of humor…

  8. Chaim January 12, 2006 at 8:24 pm

    Cruisin if you it makes you feel better I’m getting my little tush kicked (really bad) in most of the catg. especially new blog.

    We didnt stand a chance against the mega’s anyway πŸ™‚

  9. cruisin-mom January 12, 2006 at 8:23 pm

    Chaim…I can see what you’re saying about how it’s the voting that really gets people looking at each other’s blogs (and by the way I’m not annoyed at all)in fact I think it’s kinda fun…it’s certainly gotten everyone talking. And I have no bitterness that no one thought to nominate me for best new blog, I really don’t, really…really, I don’t.

  10. Irina Tsukerman January 12, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    As a non-participant, I’m a bit confused over why there’s so much emphasis over who does what to get on the list. It’s just a *virtual little picture*, for goodness’s sake! It’s supposed to be FUN! Why get so frustrated over who wins or loses; that’s not the point at all! I mean, the whole point of a blog is not to win awards or create giant readership but for people to express themselves. : (

  11. Chaim January 12, 2006 at 3:56 pm

    Cruisin, it makes it a more active thing. When people talk about it, and vote, and get excited you see more back and forth, and you see which blogs that YOU like, which blogs THEY like and it just creates an atmosphere of exposure.

    Sure you could just gather a giant list in their respective categories, but that isn’t very interesting, in fact I can tell you my numbers didn’t increase the first three weeks while the nominations list was up. It was only this last week that I really saw my numbers spike.

    Truth is, it’s “supposed” to be light hearted and fun .. those who take it too seriously should be the focus of your annoyance.

  12. cruisin-mom January 12, 2006 at 3:37 pm

    Everyone keeps saying that the purpose of the blog awards is to provide an opportunity for people to read more blogs. Why not just make a great big list of blogs under their respective category and leave it at that. Why does there need to be voting? If I’m looking for a new type of blog, I could go to the list and start linking away.

  13. Stacey January 12, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    I cannot wait until these awards are over. Everytime I see the word JIB, I hit the “next blog” button.

  14. Chaim January 12, 2006 at 1:26 pm

    Jack, excellent points. I didn’t partake in this first hand last year, although I basically started reading blogs because OF the awards.

    This year as participant I felt that if I was nominated, I should at least provide a resource for those who will come to my blog from the awards page. After all, the purpose of these awards is that new people should read new blogs. So if someone visits my house, I try to serve them my best.

    Sure I’d love to win something, or even make it past the first round for that matter, but most of the new readers is what makes me happy.

    As far as the actual voting process. I think they were on the right path by dividing things like best overall, and best over mega. This should be divided like boxing, lightweight, middle weight and heavy weight. If someone gets 450 readers every day, then a blog that gets 80 readers a day has no shot. They had the right idea, but need to make a “lightweight” division too.

    There are some great blogs out there, (not including mine of course lol) that aren’t doing well in the voting because they don’t have nearly the exposure as others. Dry Bones and Cox and Forum, both great blogs are powerhouses compared to my and Psycho. This happens in all the categories. Someone like me has no shot in Best New Blog, because again, Dry Bones is there and I can only imagine his huge numbers.

    Anyway, like you say, if the material is good, people will come. In the end you can’t get upset, because if not the for Jibs I wouldn’t be reading blogs, and I certainly wouldn’t have started a blog.

    i won’t beg for votes, but I may hint at it πŸ˜‰

  15. orthomom January 12, 2006 at 1:19 pm

    I totally agree with your criticisms. Though overall, I think the awards are fun and I wouldn’t want to do away with them alltogether, it can be frustrating for a blogger to see the totals of a competing blogger with a higher readership skyrocket. Also, the system certainly favors bloggers who are not anonymous or pseudonymous. Clearly, someone who is protective of his/her identiy (like yours truly) is not going to be sending out any mass e-mails to friends and family.

  16. Tovya January 12, 2006 at 12:58 pm

    yeah i wrote about this too.. i love the awards, i just think it’s kind of more like the pro-bowl of jblogging rather than the superbowl it was setup to be.

  17. Air Time January 12, 2006 at 12:49 pm

    I agree completely Jack. (Uh Oh, Jack, you better go write something disparaging about Detroit now) There was an email on our shul list asking people to click and vote for their son-in-laws blog, and I saw someone asking for votes at the end of his column in Arutz Sheva’s daily news email.

    It just creates a playing field that is not level.

  18. Passionate Life January 12, 2006 at 10:01 am

    Great Post!

    I am completely with you. That’s why I opted out of this years contest. If they had a panel of “experts” judging based on content that might be more interesting. But then they wouldn’t have the mass participation which they want.

    They should have twenty to forty bloggers who are known for their integrity voting in each category and it should be transparent who voted for what. In addition each judge would write a blurb or short essay on why they voted for a particular blogger over others.

    Then of course people could comment on each judges decision. Which would have bloggers judging the bloggers who are judging the bloggers!!!

    Now that would get interesting!

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