Monday, January 28, 2008

UU Blog Awards - Nominations Closed

Thanks to everyone who took the time to show their appreciation for our UU bloggers by nominating their work for consideration in the awards. A special thanks from me for those who helped pre-sort posting by identifying posts you thought were good candidates for specific topics, and to all those who used the select features instead of writing in blog names.

Please take some time to review the nominations for the 2008 UU Blog Awards and let me know if anything looks strange, out of place etc. What sort of feedback am I looking for? Well, lets start with a great comment that came in.
Noticed that two cross-posted posts are listed separately. (CC's and Ministrare's.) Could they be listed together, since the content is the same? I think they have a good chance of winning, and it'd be a shame to split the votes between them.
Makes sense to me considering it looks like it was co-authored. I'll plan on combining those.
It would have helped me to read a reminder to click on the "nominate" button at the bottom of the page-----before I got there!
The page has been updated, thanks for the suggestion. I also noticed PeaceBang commenting that process seemed complicated. Any comments on making things easier would be appreciated.
I find it depressing that you have to check for irregular voting patterns. I know that's the way it works, but it's too bad.
Well, if it's any consolation I have never found anything noteworthy in those reviews. The comment is their primarily to discourage any activity along the lines of ballot stuffing.
Sad to see the Best Commenter go, but I understand why you took it down.
Well, there wasn't much feedback in support of the category. If others felt it was a good category I would certainly bring it back next year. I am sure if there are any particular commenter that you wanted to nominate they may appreciate you giving them a nod on your blog. One of the big benefits of the process is highlighting all the great contributions throughout the year - win or lose.
Thanks for doing this every year!
I think it's a worthwhile effort, glad it's appreciated.

So, are any blogs nominated in the wrong category? (Seminarian, minister, etc.) Any New blogs that are really old blogs?

Also, anyone nominated that would prefer to withdraw various nominations so that votes are not split please post here.


Earthbound Spirit said...

Could you please check the link to the list of nominations? I can't seem to make it work - tried three times. Thanks - and thanks for all your work!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a lot of work! Thanks, John.

I don't think Making Stuff should qualify for Best New Blog, as I didn't put up the first post until this month, and I thought we were doing these awards by calendar year.

And the "I Will Survive" YouTube URL nominated under Jess's Journal -- I have no idea what that might be! Perhaps the person who submitted it can enlighten us as to what post they meant. ;-)

I wonder on the the single post nominations if we shouldn't limit them to one post per blog, since there are so many? That way a person isn't competing with themselves. The best way to do this would probably be to let the author decide which post to keep in the list, maybe. Not that this applies to me -- but if it did I'd want to choose just one.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Radical Hapa (Joseph Santos-Lyons) got his preliminary fellowship at GA last summer, so isn't really a seminarian any more. Though I suppose he was for half of 2007. How should that work?

And Liberal Faith Development -- Steve Caldwell is not a minister, is he?

Anonymous said...

I think you should keep the Ministrare version of our cross-posted conversation.

I'd also like to withdraw, with thanks to the person who nominated me, my nomination for "New UUA Commercial" in the same category. I don't like to run against myself. I will probably go through and pick one nominee from the Chaliceblog for each other category later.

Also, I consider myself a UU blog.

Thanks for everything,


Chalicechick said...

That was me. Hit the wrong button. My bad.

Earthbound Spirit said...

Several blogs listed as new really aren't: Monkey Mind, Ms. Kitty's Saloon & Roadshow, Beauty Tips for Ministers, One More Step, uuMomma, Musings of Yet another Working Mom.

Also, I think that technically The Pageless Book is a lay blog, not a seminarian's (though I understand he's intending to go to seminary someday).

I think it's odd that I'm in the non-uu themed category, but oh well.

I had the same questions as Jess on Radical Hapa & Liberal Faith Development.

And I fear I may be the one to blame for the URL typo - I think I sent that video to someone as a joke about the same time I was nominating blog posts... it may have still been on the clipboard. Sorry. (hangs head in shame) Ah, well - I will survive the embarassment. ;-)

Stephanie said...

John, what's your understanding of non-UU themed v. UU-themed?

UUpdater said...

The site was down earlier today for a while, ISP issues. Very annoying.

"I will survive"

@Jess - Any author who wishes to withdraw multiple posts can certainly feel free, otherwise I would need criteria for dropping other nominations. I also will DQ Making Stuff.

Joseph was ordained in December, and we don't have a category for bloggers in preliminary fellowship. But I have updated his listing on UUpdates to reflect the change.

Steve contacted me, the minister nomination is withdrawn.

@CC - please double check which ones I marked as withdrawn.

@Earthbound Spirit - thanks for looking into those new blogs.

@Ms. T - Check out Philos explanation of the distinction

Lilylou said...

Joseph Lyons should be in the minister category, whether he's in preliminary fellowship or not.

And MsKitty's isn't a new blog; I've been around about 18 months now.

Thanks for all this hard work, John. Somebody said they thought the process was complicated----I thought it was really clear and simple, except that I was the one who had a hard time finding the "nominate" button!

And I think it's really fun that we have this little dab of recognition for being UU bloggers!

UUpdater said...

So if anyone is still following this thread. I understand the point regarding Joseph. So what would be the most fair, withdraw the nomination from seminarians (despite the fact he was one during 2007). Move it to ministers (despite the fact he was not nominated in that category)? Leave it as is?

Anonymous said...

testing - the last comment I wrote was not allowed to be submitted due to a blog/server error?

UUpdater said...

h - Feel free to e-mail if it doesn't work, I have no control over blogger's servers so no idea about the error.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so let me try again. My comments were eaten last time, so I'll try remembering:

1) Unless there is a category for prelim fellowshipping, or a category that includes people on the journey to becoming ministers (regardless of the stage), I think a person who was a Seminarian last year (for most of the year) should remain in that category, as there is no where else to put them. I don't think anyone nominated Radical Hapa for Minister blog because it wasn't available in the drop down menu.

2) It would be nice to see some standards for "best visuals." I think I was nominated in that category last year and it puzzled me because I just had a generic blogspot layout. The page looked okay, but it was nothing special. Given that most (but by no means all) of the blogs are templates, I don't know what it is that category is praising - easiness on the eye? clarify of text? photography and images? extraordinary layout? interactivity? widgets and features? Some guidance here would be helpful.

3) One thing I'd have found tremendously helpful is some sort of "Nominate this post" button that people could attach to all (or selected) posts. In this way, throughout the year, readers can nominate posts that strike them as excellent.

There were a number of mind blowing, life altering posts I read in 2007 that I could not, despite search attempts, find. I cannot shake the feeling that some amazing writing is being overlooked this year - not just in the blogs I read, but others that I've never looked at.

I think a button like this - that bloggers could choose to add - would help readers, and bloggers - and the contest. Instead of a last minute scramble, the nominations would trickle in throughout the year. If bloggers were aware of this feedback, it might influence them to elaborate on a provocative issues, and just generally know what people considered their best writing.

A consequence might be more nominations, but if they come in well ahead of time, it might help you and any others who work on the contest to come up with solid categories that represent the work that's out there. It might also allow more time for people to revisit the nominated posts and read them - if there were a lot of nominees, then maybe one week, people could vote on these (for example) four categories, then next week vote on these four categories.

Or, the awards could be broken into two parts - all nominations, then final nominations.

Just some thoughts. I think I said it better the first time.

Thanks for your work!

Lilylou said...

I see what the situation is regarding Joseph. I think Hafidha is right, he should stay in Seminarians this year and move to Ministers next year.

Debra W. Haffner said...

Thanks for all your work! I think it's great that we have so many UU folks writing blogs! I think my blog is non UU themed, as I write for a multifaith audience. (Of course, my view as a UU minister is central to how and what I write, but if I have to choose, I think the audience determines which category.)

Debra W. Haffner

Earthbound Spirit said...

Since we seem to have settled on where the Radical Hapa blog belongs...

Although the blog is listed as a seminarian's blog, John at The Pageless Book is not in seminary.

What are the standards for being considered a seminarian's blog?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all this amazing work. I wonder if next year we could think about having the top five nominees in each category and then a "best of UU 2007" which would go to all nominees. It is just impossible for most people, I think, to read all the posts nominated in each category. Just my thought for now.

Thanks for all the great work.

UUpdater said...

In general it looks like clarification of categories is in order. Is a seminarian someone entering the process? Thinking about it? Only when they are actually in a seminary? What about visuals? Are those images thrown into posts? The blog itself? I am working on a longer response to this topic, or more accurately a broader question I would like to pose.

@h - suggestion for a nomination button is a good one, I will have to figure out the best way to handle some of the technical aspects of that.

Looks like Pageless book should be withdrawn, with my sincere apologies for having the blog show up in the wrong spot for nominations.

Top five idea has been thrown out before. I had planned on carrying only the top 5 most nominated, but there was no really fair way with the number of noinations that came in to whittle it down.

Many process questions and suggestions. More on that in a new post.

Steve Caldwell said...

FWIW, when I was browsing the blogs listed in the various categories, I noticed that my blog was listed in the "Minister" category and not the in the "Lay" category.

I do notice that the UU blog aggregator has a "religious professional" category but it lumps all professionals together (ordained and non-ordained).

My blog used to be listed in the "religious professional" category even though my professional RE work is limited to a few weekends a year (OWL trainings, youth camp, etc).

Perhaps we need an "ordained professional" blog category and a "non-ordained professional" blog category?

jules said...

oh, I really like Sofia's suggestion of a button or some sort of method for capturing favorite posts throughout the year.

Seems as though Elizabeth is on to something as well with listing the top five.

I wonder if Pageless or Looking for Faith could enlighten us on whether it could be done using StumbleUpon or one of the other social networking sites like de.lic.ous or Digger. John?... Shelby? Do you think that could work? Is there a way we could send a post to some sort of common area in the blogosphere?

Chalicechick said...

Yeah, a couple of us have tried sites that aggregate really aweosme posts that are submitted by nomination. So far, Jess is the only one who has done it succesfully.


UUpdater said...

At this point I think the nominations are finalized, unless i here from others about withdrawals. Still several bloggers with multiple nominations.

@Steve - I am thinking about just ditching my categories and going with Philocrities annontated guide. My categories were designed to break things into 6 for a specific layout I had in mind, which never really worked. I think that would make things clearer. And should get reviewed prior to nominations.

Looking at the current list it's a total of 297 radio buttons on the voting page. That's a lot. I think it probably is a good idea to work towards a process that has a set of final nominees.