Writers and novelists have awards to keep them happy.
Journalists get awarded.
Politicians win awards.
Fashionistas have awards to trail them.
Films have awards to link to.
Sportsmen rake in awards.
Even school children get a ‘Student of the year’ award to form memories.
Yes, they all deserve it all. In fact there should be many more awards that recognize and celebrate competence and excellence in different fields. Well, of course, even the botanists, zoologists, geologists, economists, and historians get them as do the barbers and the beauticians of this world. So why must bloggers be behind?
Blogging is not just becoming popular but is now getting populated with people who are very good at writing stuff. The best part is that blogging doesn’t restrict or repress your creative or investigative urges and surges. Blogging can make you incisive, insightful, humourous, satirical, cynical, poetic, prosaic, witty, precise, verbose, moralistic, newsy, and even a sycophant! I mean, the range of the way a person can blog or write about in the virtual world is simply unending. The scope for picking up topics to express your concerns is immense… no wonder, this form of activity has seen a phenomenal rise in the past decade or so. You don’t need a Press Card to reach out to people and you don’t need to shell out a fortune either. A blog can be created by spending a few hundred rupees or nothing at all. Your major investment is time… involvement… concern… and inclination. Bloggers, someone said, are the new sources of information for the conventional journalist. A post can be written and communicated even before a newspaper can dream of fitting it into its constricted and restricted space. So a blogger has the advantage of time, space, vehicle of communication, and a readership base! Blogs can be created fast, communicated speedily, read immediately, and reach out to millions in a matter of seconds.
So isn’t it time for the world to get up, wake up and recognise this new breed of professionals called bloggers? Renie Ravin, MD, IndiBlogger.in, says, “We started IndiBlogger.in 6 years ago as a place for Indian bloggers to connect with each other. Over the years, we have launched many blogging oriented tools such as IndiRank, the only organic ranking system for bloggers, IndiForum – a space for bloggers to discuss various aspects of blogging and exchange ideas; blogger meets, blogging contests, product sampling, et al. We realized that it’s time to go a step further and give formal recognition to this brilliant community of passionate bloggers.” Yes, both Indiblogger and Blogadda have decided to institute Awards for Bloggers from 2013.
- The IB Awards 2013… the Indiblogger Awards for bloggers
- Blogadda Awards 2013
Bloggers, as I mentioned earlier, pop up from little known areas of expertise… we can have people blogging about travel, politics, poetry, fiction, satire, humour, beauty products, gadgets, astronomy, crime, LGBT, medicine, gaming, social media, software, coding, finance, advertising, stocks, photography, wildlife, food, hobbies, religion, books, movies, music, comics, games, cricket, relationships, memoirs, self-improvement… then there can be the regional language bloggers, the community bloggers, the 60+ bloggers, and the under 18 sorts! The awards need to take them all in… without doing injustice to any of them. After all, they are all serving a cause and having a vital position in their own segment.
The IB Awards instituted by Indiblogger has over 50 categories and the most comprehensive Indian Blogger Awards ever. They have a jury consisting of people like Rajiv Makhni, Gul Panag, Judy Balan, Rashmi Bansal, Jamshed Wadia, Vikas Khanna, Kunal Daswani, Roshan Abbas, tara Sharma and others who are at the pinnacle in their own field of expertise. Renie Ravin of Indiblogger told me that these awards are ‘definitely not too pretentious – the blogs will not be judged by traffic. And if your content is awesome, the jury won’t even care if your widgets are upside down.’ He also added that they also have each of the 6000+ nominations open to ‘recommendations’ and testimonials where ‘the testimonials are by readers, not necessarily bloggers – they’ll have the option of authenticating themselves via Facebook.’
Blogadda mentions on its website that ‘the awards aim to find the best blogs in India, recognise and honour them. If your blog has been dormant for a while, the time is right to dust off your computers and login to your blog dashboard.’ They also ask the bloggers to nominate their own blog/s. Their jury will go through each of the nominations and reach a final decision after evaluating both design and content. They also mention that ‘if the jury scores you high, you will be chosen amongst the shortlisted blogs that will be open to voting. Your friends, family, fellow bloggers, everyone can vote and help you inch closer to the trophy! Remember though, the weightage for every blog would be 80% jury votes and 20% public votes.’
It all sounds good except that I personally do not favour of any sort of voting to decide any matter. Just look at the mess and mockery our elected representatives have made of the haloed institution of legislation! I am very sure that voting never leads to good governance of the nation… nor the awards. However I wish Blogadda and Indiblogger all the best because they have dared to recognise the blogger!
Sakshi Nanda, a blogger from Delhi, has a pertinent query in her mind: ‘Will it be considered too pretentious for newbies like me to enter? You see, I can count my total ‘hits’ on my fingers, and my ‘followers’ with the fingers of one hand. I am yet to figure out what a ‘gadget’ means or who Alexa is!’ Poonam Khanduja admits that though her ‘blog is just 2 months 12 days old, I really appreciate this initiative.’ Bloggers are happy, curious, confused, and full of questions. Ankita Sinha from Bangalore asks in a forum: ‘My blog is on travel and adventure sports. But I do not see any such category as adventure sports. Where shall I tag the second category to? First is travel.’ These and so many other queries on both the award sponsors website are testimony to a ripple of excitement that is sweeping the world of blogging these days.
Shahrukh Khan, the Super Star from Bollywood once said, ‘I’ve won many awards and I want more. If you want to call it hunger then I’m hungry for awards.’ Well, very soon we’re surely going to have hundreds of bloggers hungry for more awards. And what’s wrong with that? If film stars, journalists, writers, sportsmen, businessmen, and so many others can get a Padma Award, why overlook this new phenomenon of blogging? Blogging has come of age and is sprinting hard to out-race every other creative field. David Baldacci wrote in ‘The Christmas Train’: ‘All you have to do [to win a Pulitzer Prize] is spend your life running from one awful place to another, write about every horrible thing you see. The civilized world reads about it, then forgets it, but pats you on the head for doing it and gives you a reward as appreciation for changing nothing.’ And this is quite an apt description of what even a blogger does… except that the pats are just beginning! Indiblogger and Blogadda have taken the initiative and I hope this will carry on and take blogging to new heights.
As I wrote this, Specky asked, ‘Awards generally have a purpose. For instance, the book trade invented literary prizes to stimulate sales, not to reward merit. Do you think these blogging awards will end up having some such motives?’
I was stunned. I never thought about the entire awards bandwagon from this perspective at all. To say the least, awards are certainly linked subliminally to some advantage in the world of commerce and trade.
‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘Even a national Award ends up bringing the audiences flocking to the cinema halls. The lure of the box-office is certainly there. I’m sure both Indiblogger and Blogadda are going to end with a lot more sponsors to excite even more bloggers to flock there and also help in promoting commercial interests besides serious blogging.’
However, besides this noise about commercial interests and promotional blogging going up, I’m sure these awards are going to bring in more bloggers who will blog to communicate great ideas. I believe, it is blogging that is ultimately going to benefit because of the buzz that awards build up… and in coming times we will certainly see more convergence happening between conventional journalism and blogging. There will be blogging taking place even while a person is on the move. I know a few bloggers who write short posts on their smartphones even as they commute to their place of work… and even upload the post because a fast 3G enabled phone make it all possible. Blogging is a techno-dependent creative art form – and its future has just begun.
It is a great moment to find awards for blogging now becoming a reality. It is so encouraging to discover that blogging is what is going to finally emerge from its days of doodling on the net to becoming something that provokes thought! Will a blogger ever get a national Award? Well, blogging is already something that the net-savvy population recognizes and loves… so they cannot be too far behind.
Article published in Bluzog: Click here to read the essay on Bluzog
Written on 29 July 2013