So its time for my yearly Irish Blog Awards post. This is my 6th one now to write, and it seems my last.
The awards took place up in Belfast much to the delight of the northern contingent who have been campaigning for it to cross the border for years, and fair play to Damien he delivered. The Europa hotel was the venue on the night and the “blogosphere” (I hate that term) went from all corners of Ireland.
Now before I continue, I should add that for the first time in the blog awards history, I could not attend, and what annoys me more is the fact that Damien Mulley, organiser of the awards, announced that he would not be organising the Irish Blog Awards again. Will someone else step up to the mark?
Well offers have been made according to Mulley’s twitter account, but personally I hope he hangs on to the brand and maybe resurrects it in a few years time……
I am happy Damien has done this and if the truth be known I kinda expected it, but actually thought it may have happened 1 or 2 years ago. Every year has had its fair share of people moaning about the night, moaning about the venues, moaning about the judging etc. Normally I laugh at the ignorance of these moaners, but this year proves exactly why it’s the right year to finish. In many ways it has gone down the same route as ICAD did years ago, but after a break, the ICAD awards came back stronger then ever. Maybe the same could happen for the bloggies.
I have read 2 blog posts today, thankfully these sorts of posts are in the minority, scathing the organising and structure of the blog awards, one of these posts was written by someone who I dont know but I was disgusted by what I read and I don’t even feel like linking to her post to give blog love her way. As for the commenters on this post, the majority of them do the usual thing of jumping on the bandwagon just to be cool, but with no knowledge at all in what they are talking about. But why do I get so het up with all this? surely thats for Mulley to worry about.
Well this post starts saying its the first awards she has attended, so knowledge of previous awards does not come into play, yet she harped on for over 1000 words like she is the most knowledgable event organiser around and like she knows so much about these particular awards. Not once did she commend the awards which she was nominated in and which she advertises on her sidebar, which I find so contradictory.
People are very quick to begrudge, especially the Irish, and unfortunately over the last three years this has become more and more prevalent.
These people don’t realise the work Damien has put into these awards over the last 6 years, the hotel organising, the website hosting, the PR, the gathering up of judges, the selling of the awards to sponsors etc etc. All they see is the night itself the majority of the time. Yes Damien has a load of people helping, take Rick O Shea, who has hosted every blog awards since the first 100 or so people gathered in the Alexander Hotel in Dublin, then you have Ryan Whalley who has taken photos for the awards over the 6 years and then Brian Green who has provided entertainment after the awards for, again, the last 6 years. There are loads of other names who have contributed, myself included, all because we have seen that this event cannot be organised by just one person, and people want to help where they can.
When it comes to the judging people think its just the usual suspects winning awards, there is a perception out there that these awards are the twenty major awards or nialler9 awards, has anyone ever thought that maybe these blogs deserve it for consistant good posts etc, oh no it all boils down to a clique supposedly that exists in the blogosphere and if you are in said clique you win awards! I have even been told myself that I belong to this clique!
Well let me make it clear, I don’t, cause this clique does not exist, if it did I would have won a photoblog award over the 6 years surely? I have won nothing at the awards because my blog is not up to the standard of so many others, and I fully accept that, Twenty Major has not won a blog award for 2 years now for Twentymajor.net, seriously its been 2 years! so again all this clique talk is proven to be unfounded. Nialler9 is an amazing writer constantly, and deserved to win, so, tough fucking luck! Personally I saw so many winners this year that I had never heard of, surely if they were in the clique I would have.
Judging is a bitch, many people have commented elsewhere over the years about why, a photographer say, is judging a political blog or even a beauty blog, and why not judge what they specialise in. Well for starters if I was to judge just the Photoblog category, I could not be fair in my judging, many of the photographers have become good friends over the last 6 years so that idea can’t run. What Damien has done though is totally fair, he has over 100 judges (who volunteer) each year judging the awards and every judge may get 20 random blogs to judge, obviously whittling down once it gets towards the finalists, so each blog is judged at least 5 times in general. I can’t see a fairer way to judge then that honestly. People talk about transparency for the judging, my response to that is, why? I have not seen any other awards I have been to, have to explain why such and such won an award, there is no need for it, you accept it, congratulate the winner, cry in the toilets, come back out and get pissed.
I am so glad to see so many people say thanks to Damien for holding these awards for the last 6 years, I have many many fond memories from each one I’ve attended, I have met some fantastic people and encountered some horrible people too who shall remain nameless, but overall, my blog awards experiences have been amazing, and I know I am not alone with this thought but am I shocked the awards are over not at all. Thank you Damien for everything and best of luck with your future endeavours.