Wow...The Bloggies scandal is exploding.
Judges are openly admitting collusion (Bother clicking it because it's a 404 error now which makes me wonder if that person took down their site because they were getting yelled at). Four judges voted as a bloc and as only 23 judges responded, that was about 20% of the vote right there. One person has already pulled herself out of contention from running.
I agree with John who said that some people felt it was their job to promote the blogs that they personally liked instead of the ones that were the most worthy. As a judge, I knew many of the sites that were listed and had visited them often, but I took my role as a judge seriously and looked at every nominee I didn't know and made an informed decision. It doesn't matter if ThinkDink.com believes in every site that they voted for. What matters is that there are people who didn't get the consideration that they were due and owed prior to voting thanks to people like ThinkDink.com and their crew.
As Michele ever so elegantly put in her request to be removed from consideration from this year's Bloggies, this is not Nikolai Nolan's fault. The fault lies in those who used this forum to push themselves or their friends into positions that they might not deserve. Perhaps this will be an impetus to have an overhaul of the system and find a way to make the nomination process fair to all potential nominees and avoid collusion.
Part of me has been wondering for the past few days whether or not I did the right thing in posting the list of potential nominees. One friend said that I broke the confidentiality of the process in doing so and compared me to the French figure skating judge at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Granted I think that's overstating it just a bit but it could be true -- five judges admitted collusion voting for the final nominees (all from the Texas region) and there are rumors that even that number is grossly understated, one nominee in the Gay/Lebian/Bisexual/Transgendered category is actually straight, and people are growing ever more dissatisfiedwith the idea of the Bloggies in general.
Part of me is glad that I did it because it ultimately, and sadly, exposed what everyone had suspected -- fairness and objectivity lost out entirely. Part of me is sad because yet another bit of innocence is lost. To see a fellow judge make the following comment:
I was one of those mysterious 50 judges. So was my boyfriend. I had 4 days to go through several hundred websites (the majority of which I'd never heard of before) and decide who was the best in their category. In some of the categories I voted only for weblogs I knew about. Sorry, but I really didn't have the time to look at every single website. For the major prizes, and for a few other categories, I did look at every site. Like most things where people's feelings can get hurt, I took this as a serious responsibility.
Well if you took this as a serious responsibility, you would have looked at every single nominee and voted accordingly. It is because of things like this that piss me off. I took the time to look at all of them and you should have as well. You volunteered to do something that you didn't do. At least you made a half-assed effort, but an effort nonetheless. At the very least, from what we can tell, you weren't part of the Texas Collusion.
As you can tell, I'm pretty upset over this. I've gotten some pretty mean emails from people telling me that I was stupid for publishing the list. I've gotten emails from people thanking me for publishing the list. I'm in an odd place. I want to be glad that I helped do something that ultimately will have a positive effect but right now I'm not really feeling it.