Every year this is the hardest post I have to write - the one where I explain why your nominated blog was not selected as a finalist. First, the odds are heavily stacked against you. This year we received over 5,000 nominations in 49 categories, of which no more than 500 will be selected as finalists. That's only one in ten...
Second, it's worth restating the guiding principles of of The Weblog Awards; ones we've used since the inception of The Weblog Awards in 2003:
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
An operation of this magnitude will never be without its share of controversy or problems. There's one part of The Weblog Awards that will never get any easier - the finalist cut down. Explaining why many nominated blogs are not finalists is always the trickiest part of The Weblog Awards.
To maximize participation there will be as little overlap in the selection of finalists in the categories as possible. There are a couple notable exceptions to this edict [Note: It's a guideline, not an iron-clad rule], the Best Blog, Best Design, Best Political Coverage and Best Podcast categories. Finalists in those categories may appear as finalists in other categories. Even with that general guideline there will be several thousands of nominated blogs that for one reason or another will not be finalists in any category.
Please understand that the constraints of the number of categories and the maximum number of finalists per category really ties our hands. The goal is to get the most representative slate of 10 finalists per category. We're under no illusion that (even with unlimited time) we could prune each category to a list of the 10 blogs that everyone would agree were the absolute best 10 blogs that category has to offer. We do what we can under incredible deadlines to pick the best slate possible. In the process we know that many excellent blogs were not selected...
This year we used the "me too" button to nomination comments. The idea was to eliminate duplicate nominations. As we said in advance this was just another piece of information for the judges to look at. We knew that there may be sites that confused this with voting, but thought it was a valuable feature to add anyway.
If your blog was nominated, but is not selected as a finalist I want you to know how much I appreciate your participation in this years awards. With several thousand blogs nominated this kind of disappointment is an unfortunate consequence of the success of The Weblog Awards - one which will repeat every year. The prospect of anonymous and closed nomination, while it might lessen the disappointment of those not selected as finalists, is to my mind far less appealing than the open nomination process of The Weblog Awards. Prolonging or expanding the voting likewise would detract from the festivites.
I wish it could be another way, but unfortunately it cannot...