Weblog Award FAQ
Q: What are The Weblog Awards all about?
A: Fun! The 2008 Weblog Awards continue the traditions of the previous three editions. What sets The Weblog Awards apart from other awards (such as the Bloggies) is:
1) Open and public nominations
2) Categories that allow blogs of similar readership levels to compete
3) Real time vote totals
4) Quick turnaround of the results
5) Fun, fun, fun...
In a nutshell The Weblog Awards is about honoring hundreds of blogs (nearly 500 this year) versus the same couple blogs over and over. Blogs are generally limited to appearing as finalists in one category (that's a guideline not an absolute rule), ensuring that the same blog doesn't sweep the awards from top to bottom. The notable exceptions to that rule is the Best Blog and Best Podcast categories, where finalists may appear in other categories.
The Weblog Awards is about expanding your blog reading horizons by exploring the hundreds of finalists you may not be familiar with. Each poll includes links to the finalists as well as RSS or Atom feeds, if available.
Q: Who can vote?
Q: What if I don't want to install the Macromedia Flash plug-in?
A: You won't be able to vote. Sorry there's no alternative means of voting.
Q: I can't vote. The system says I've already voted, but I haven't. What gives?
A: We've spent a great deal of time testing the voting system to ensure that it works on all sorts of platforms and browsers, so errors should be extremely rare. Are you sure you haven't voted in the last 24 hours from the machine you are on now? If you are running some piece of privacy software which anonymizes your browsing session it is possible that you might be prevented from voting. In such cases (which are very rare) you typically won't even see a poll. We haven't tested the voting system with every piece of privacy software, mostly because the voting system does not use browser cookies in any way. Your browser cookie settings have no effect on the operation of the poll.
Q: When I try to vote on a poll it asks me to "Allow" or "Deny" storage to weblogawards.org. What should I do?
Most people will never see such a prompt. If you do, click "Allow" otherwise you will not be able to vote in The Weblog Awards.
Q: What about cheaters?
A: At The Weblog Awards, they never prosper. There is no such thing as a perfect security system, but we have multiple levels of security and everything is logged and inspected. Were someone to manage to massively cheat we will: block their access; report them to their ISP, university, or employer; then remove their votes from the totals. In both 2003 and 2004 we had to deal with scripting attacks, so it's something we've planned for. It's also a reason why we note on every poll that results are not final until they are certified.
Q: Site XX is cheating, why won't you remove them from the contest?
A: First of all, upon what evidence are you basing your assertion that a particular site is cheating? Do you have the logs, are you monitoring the polls? Of course you're not, that's our job and you can ask any of the participants in previous editions where there were close call contests we check and double check everything.
Before you accuse other sites of cheating, I suggest you do some research.
Sometimes finalists vote totals spike up when they get a link or endorsement from a high traffic blog. You can look things like this up by checking who is linking to the poll page with Technorati. Often that's a useful way to investigate who is sending traffic to a particular poll.
Our Site Meter is open, and you can use it to see the last 100 referring sites. Somewhere in that list may be an explanation of where voters are coming from for a poll you care about. Also, don't discount the effects of campaigning via e-mail lists or forums some sites have done in the past to drum up support. In short there are lots of ways for sites to get voters to the polls. Don't assume that just because you don't understand how they are getting votes that they are somehow cheating.
It's a seven day contest - surges and spike are to be expected.
Q: How are finalist picked?
A: To understand how 10 finalists are picked in each category you first have to understand how they were nominated. There was a call for nominations early in October for all of the categories. There will be thousdands of nominations overall for the various categories. The list of nominees will be pared down by myself and a team volunteers. For the most part if a site was not nominated it wasn't even considered as a finalist, though in categories with a small number of nominees we had to do some research. In some cases blogs nominated in one category were shifted to other categories we felt were more appropriate.
Q: I nominated XXX, but don't see them as a finalist. Why is XXX not included?
A: Several thousand blogs will be nominated. Of the hundreds nominated in each category there's at most 10 up for voting in most categories. Volunteers will be looking at 2 categories each. They dodn't know which category they will be assigned. Their directions will be to look through the nominees and make two lists of 10. Their top ten and a bubble ten. They were allowed to add suggestions, but those had to be marked with stars. I was free to take all, some, or none of their suggestions. I took all those lists, validated them against the category requirements, and in some cases added and removed sites based on my knowledge of each category. The amount of data available to work with consisted of the nominations, some good regionalized blogrolls (on some of the nominees blogs), and the TTLB ecosystem snapshot (for ecosystem based categories). The guideline that blogs would appear in only one category make the process much harder. You are, of course, free to disagree with the choices I've made, but denigrating the sites selected will not be tolerated. Calling such and such site "nutsty", "lame", etc. is a pretty cruel thing to do, especially since many of the sites nominated didn't even know they would be included. If you don't like the choices available don't participate. Better yet resolve to participate IN THE NOMINATION PROCESS next year. Come back here in October 2008, we'll be doing nominations again... Also it's to late to suggest a site that we "missed." I know it might seem helpful, but the polls are the polls.
Q: Can my site be removed from The Weblog Awards poll in the XXX category?
A: Short answer: No. Long answer: I will not be removing sites from the polls or the listings. Mostly this is due to the time and expense involved in creating the Flash polls. In case you haven't noticed there are a lot of them. The process of building those polls was time consuming and labor intensive - a process no one is eager to revisit. There approximately 500 blogs included as finalists this year in 48 categories (polls), which equals lots of work to put together. Time and money was budgeted to creating the polls, not rebuilding them while we try to run the contest.
Q: But I object to awards and really don't want to participate. Why won't you remove me?
A: See previous answer. Why do you have a blog? Is not part of the goal of blogging (or podcasting) to build a readership? Can you pick your readers? If so you'll have to share how you are able to selectively choose your readers with the rest of the blogosphere - the rest of us serve our content to readers world-wide without regard to where they come from. If you really want to block access to your site from The Weblog Awards there's technology out their capable of doing that. If that makes you happy, go for it, but you'll still be listed in the poll (for the reasons explained above) for the duration.
Q: How do I contact you via e-mail?
A: awards at weblogawards dot org