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?

A: Anyone. You must have Macromedia Flash version 7 (or greater) installed and Javascript enabled or you will be prompted to get the latest version.

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


While I am not objecting to the nomination itself of "the Confluence", I find it odd that it is classified as liberal when they spent the election advocating for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

We'll end this all right now.

Is "The Confluence" exactly the same as the other blogs in their category? No. Hillary Clinton supporters spawned a movement in parts of the Democratic party to rebell against the system and the nominee. Also, it should be noted that there were conservative bloggers who supported Obama. For us to ignore some of those blogs just because other blogs or readers don't like them wouldn't be fair. We'll leave it to voters to sort out the winner.

In previous editions of The Weblog Awards we've had complaints about the conservativeness or liberalness of various finalists, so this isn't really that different. If they're not your cup of tea there are 13 other finalists in that category - more than enough to choose from.

Some blogs are hard to categorize, The Confluence is one of them. We'll take the feedback and use it to sharpen our focus and try to do an even better job next year.

For this year what's done is done...

Also, it should be noted that there were conservative bloggers who supported Obama.
Show me one conservative blog with a writing staff over 5 whose authors publically proclaimed their intention to vote for Obama.
Then add it to the list of finalists for Best Conservative Blog.
Then you've ended it.

No, we did NOT do that. As a blog, we never advocated FOR them. We even broke from some other blogs that were actively campaigning for McPalin because we did not want to tell people how to vote.

We DID say we would not vote Obama, and some of us ended up voting for McPalin. Others stayed home or voted third-party.

It's bad enough that some people are wasting their time bickering over our blog designation. But to deliberately spread lies like this is ridiculous and a waste of time.

Golly gee, I thought PUMAs were so insignificant. Why are people even wasting their time smearing the Confluence?

I assure you that The Confluence is a liberal blog. Check out our Credo at the top of our page. We've had that up since we started. In fact, I might argue that we are the one of the only liberal blogs on the list by definition. Our site was formed based on our principles and we have not strayed from them in the entire year of our existence. Not for popularity's sake or political expedience. We have championed downticket Democrats as well as Hillary Clinton. It is true that we have been critical of Obama but that is because the president elect has shown us little evidence that he is a liberal or intends to govern as one. We intend to hold him accountable to his liberal base.
So, yes, I think we belong in this category and we are very honored to be nominated. But if others disagree, they are free to vote for one of our opponents. Liberals approve of freedom of choice. ;-)

Thanks again.

Yes, The Confluence is a liberal blog. Many of us--like me--are very far left, some of us are more centrist, but we are definitely liberal.

Since Barack Obama is far from liberal, I could not support him. For me, issues of equality and individual rights come first. I could never support someone who uses misogyny, homophobia, and race-baiting as a campaign strategy.

If "Kathy" doesn't care for the liberal views at the Confluence, she shouldn't spend so much time hanging around there.

Given your security measures to prevent cheating, it's a shame that you weren't running the democratic caucuses. We may have had a president -elect who is working rather than one who vacationing (again).

Hey Kathy K, my definition of a liberal includes those who march in gay pride parades. It excludes fauxgressive panderers who seek the "blessing" of influential homophobes.

Interesting comments here - I'm new to blogging - I didn't even know what it was until this past summer.
I tend to be liberal in my thinking and found that the Confluence writers were savvy, honest and most liberal in their thinking as I started looking for blogs that I could learn from.
So I'm not sure what this discussion is about - the Confluence certainly felt most liberal and open to a variety of views in the way it read - more so than other sites I went to.
Oh, and they have a "credo" that defines their "liberal principles" - and they really stick to it.

Anyone who is questioning The Confluence’s bona fides as a “liberal blog” is invited to read our Credo . Post for Riverdaughter of The Confluence, who can't seem to log in here:

The Credo has been at the top of our site since the inception of The Confluence. The Confluence was founded on liberal principles and this is what sets it apart from some of the other blogs in our category that were based on the thoughts of individuals. We are a liberal blog.
Once again, we would like to thank those who nominated us. We are honored to be included in this category with so many other noteworthy and excellent blogs.

My comment has been in moderation now since January 1, 2009 5:18 PM.
I used typekey, as usual. What's up? Is this a blog, or not?

Is it stuck in mod due to the link? Here's the comment with a text link:
If, after 8 years of George W. Bush, you could vote for John McCain, you are not a liberal. Two of the three Confluence authors who commented above, bostonboomer and madamab, loudly and proudly proclaimed their intent to vote for John McCain in 2008. Riverdaughter didn't say who she would vote for, only that it wouldn't be Obama. I have the proof, madamab; don't deny it.
The Confluence was one of the most virulently anti-Obama blogs of the election season. Republican voters at the Weblogs will have great fun voting it "Best Liberal Blog" of 2008.
Nice work, Aylward. Here's a blog called Republicans for Obama (www.republicansforobama.org/) To be fair, make it a finalist in the "Best Conservative Blog" category. Either that, or pull The Confluence.

Barack Obama voted for FISA, stood onstage with a bigot in SC and will stand again with a bigot onstage to score political points, decried Universal healthcare meant that you made poor chose between rent and healthcare( a truly sleazy and dishonest assessment he used during the primary), and cheated in Michigan by not only taking delegates he didn't earn but by taking 4 delegates that his opponent HAD earned. Had I had the option of voting for a liberal that represented liberal values, I would have done so. As it was, I didn't. I instead chose to vote for the candidate I felt was better suited to the job. It wasn't Barack Obama. The fact that I voted John McCain and Sarah Palin does not make me any less a liberal than those who chose not to, unless we are now going to limit the definition of liberal to those who choose to rubberstamp the democratic party regardless of whether they stand for platform principles rather than engage in critical thinking.

All I can say is that I am thrilled that The Confluence was nominated in the Best Liberal Blog category. I am extremely grateful to have been a part of a blog that in less than a year has become a gathering place for Democrats whose voices were silenced at the big "progresssive" blogs because they dared to support Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

I'm not really sure what all this fuss is about, but it seems a little bit childish to me. Again, thank you to the Weblog awards for this honor.

The Confluence is certainly a liberal blog. I know Riverdaughter personally and attest to her liberal credentials. She is a free thinker who brings a heavy science background to bear, occasionally, on political and cultural topics. Personally, I think Riverdaughter is one of the most interesting writers on the scene, most particularly if you read her (as I do) for thought stimulation, rather than for reinforcement of your own opinions.

The Confluence as a site, however, can be tough going if you don't know the ropes there (I don't). They are vigilant in their fight against trolls, so you can't expect them to come to you, so to speak. You must gain their trust. This is something, unfortunately, I have had next to no luck in accomplishing.

For what it's worth, I think that the nomination for The Confluence is richly deserved. Riverdaughter is the real thing.

I am gratified to hear that the Confluence was nominated for "Best Liberal Blog" this year. As a person with a liberal viewpoint, I wanted to read a variety of material. Posts well are moderated, allowing a voice to differing viewpoints, yet preventing the abuse that is so common with many commenters. Liberality is embodied in the definition of the Democratic “Big Tent”. The Confluence is clearly and distinctly a liberal blog in a time when viewpoints, participation and assumptions are narrowing in others. Beyond that, the discourse is clear, invigorating, intelligent and even endearing. One has a close sense of the bloggers at the confluence, their strengths and measure.

It's not really a blog - it's an awards site...

It's substance, not snark. That's why I read The Confluence. There are just too many so-called "liberal" or "progressive" blogs disseminating deeply ignorant and intolerant beliefs that are only thinly veiled with snarkiness. I don't read The Confluence for amusement, but rather for imagery. It's based on the real and not someone's fantasized version of it.

About The Weblog Awards

The Weblog Awards are the world's largest blog competition with over 545,000 votes cast in 2007 edition and nearly two million votes cast in all editions since 2003.

For The 2008 Weblog Awards open and public nominations in 48 categories began on November 3, 2008.  Voting for selected finalists is expected begin in early December 2008.

Signup for our newsletter for press releases and to keep up to date on general information about The Weblog Awards. It's the best way to stay abreast of the schedule for this year and future editions of The Weblog Awards.

Once the polls open comments will be disabled on the site, but you are invited to join us in The Weblog Awards discussion forums if you want to talk about the awards, the nominees, or ask questions.

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  • It's substance, not snark. That's why I read The Confluence. There are just too many so-called "libe...

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  • I am gratified to hear that the Confluence was nominated for "Best Liberal Blog" this year. As a per...

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