Popularity Rules?

A little while back, after an alert from Lucy Gray, I reflected on the Blogger’s Choice Awards. At the time I wondered very much tongue in cheek why this very minor part of the blogosphere wasn’t in amongst the nominees. Rightly, Lucy did point out the worth of these awards in potentially highlighting previously unknown blogging gems with which I had to concur as I did find a couple of interesting blogs I hadn’t previously come across. I did also ponder on whether popularity awards such as these were valid reflections of a blog’s value.

It was interesting then when a member of a listserve that I, (and some other more prominent Aussie bloggers), belong to, began soliciting votes for his blog. In itself this wasn’t totally surprising. However as the email appeal extended beyond the initial notice with follow up updates to tell us said blog was now ranked higher than Steve Dumbo, (sic) and Will Richardson it became more than interesting. Now said emailer does have a strong website presence with lots of people who use it. The blog, in comparison to Steve and Will however, has only minimal, content or reflection on Web 2.0. As fellow Aussie blogger Graham W notes in a great post titled Reflective Connection, (the entry has only passing connection to this entry and should be read for the other content), the listserver’s blog is more Web1.0 than any other numerical annotation.

It has been interesting then to track the progress of the emailer’s blog as it has moved onto the first page of the award. Imagine my surprise when I logged in tonight to see that the Homeschooler blog that had been heading the pack for some days now had almost overnight been supplanted by Esoriano.Wordpress.com. The note attached to Esoriano’s entry

“Ask all your spiritual concerns to the most sensible preacher of our time”

suggests that the rest of the prospective awardee bloggers would be best to roll over now. This is especially so given that said sensible preacher is also in for the “Best Religious”, and “Best Celebrity’ blogs in addition to his quest for the Education gong. Oh and he is after the “Best Blog Of All Time” as well.

Interesting now if I self nominated this blog, went to school tomorrow and enrolled all 500 plus students with the award site, showed them how to cast a vote for me and got them all to press the VOTE button would that make me No.1?
For what it is worth Esoriano’s blog has a Technorati Rating of 1,098,324, Steve Dembo’s is 22,046 and Will Richardson’s is at 1,819 . (Oh for the record I am way back at 290,604 though even from there I think I have Esoriano covered, now what were those student email account details?) 🙂

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4 Responses to Popularity Rules?

  1. I also trawled through the bloggers choice awards to see if I could find some new ‘gems’. I’m pleased to say that I have come across some new authors that I am enjoying reading, but I was also amazed at how quickly some of the blogs rose to the top!

  2. John, I concur totally with your feelings in this post. The listserv vote solicitation really bugged me and I couldn’t really put my finger on why until I thought about it in terms of how the top popular blogs mentioned, Teach42 and Weblogg-ed embody Web 2.0 potential and both Will and Steve generate discussion and conversation across the edublogosphere. A blog that offers lesson plans and tips is useful and serves a purpose, no doubt, but the blogging platform offers infinitely more for professional learning. Taking the high moral ground, I like to think that reflective edublogging is not about popularity anyway but is actually a leveller that enables more people to join the conversation, as opposed to becoming an advice dispensing platform. I think that the Technorati rankings are a fairer guide than any awards as they measure linkage and impact on other bloggers – maybe I’d improve my own ranking if I remembered to tag my posts!!

  3. johnp says:

    Hi Graham and Jane,

    Damit more “real” Web 2.0 blogs should be in the BCA awards even given their shortcomings so I have taken a liberty with your’s Graham.

    Jane I see your two are already in there so I could only give you a vote, (and to be encouraging I gave one to every other one in the Education section, oh except for Esoriano)

    Hey now is this a meme like activity we might be instigating here, some form of antipodean movement that thrusts the downunder bloggers to the top? 🙂 What an evil thought.

  4. I’m thinking about starting up my own awards page, filled with dubious and hideous badges from all over the web – if there was ever proof that many teachers still need web literacy skills, being impressed by these sort of awards is it! Thanks for putting my blog “up there” but I won’t hold my breath – my 5% showing in the Edublogger Awards demonstrates that!

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