Voting for the Weblog Awards 2005 ends tomorrow. And I didn’t even know that until The Straits Times reported that three Singapore blogs — mrbrown, xiaxue and Mr Miyagi — are up again for the Best Asian Blog award.
Gee, I thought, and surfed over to mrbrown, and there was the banner, The Weblog Awards Finalist 2005. Clicking on the banner led me to the full list of 15 contenders for the Best Asian Blog.
Actually, it should be called the Best East Asian Blog. Apart from the Singapore three, there were several from Hong Kong as well as blogs from China, Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines — but none from India, Japan or Malaysia.
My uninformed guess: Maybe Indians in India, at least, don’t follow one another’s blogs as loyally as Singaporeans. For going by the quality of writing alone, some Indian blogs deserve far more attention and ought to be running for the weblog awards.
But I am surprised that Screenshots, the Malaysian blog which is quoted even by the mainstream press in the region, does not rank among the Asian finalists.
I don’t know how the finalists are chosen — for there is a selection process. The Weblog Awards 2005 web site says:
"To understand how 15 finalists were picked in each category you first have to understand how they were nominated. There was a call for nominations early in November for all of the categories. There were on the order of 3000 nominations for the various categories. The list of nominees was pared down to 15 by me and a team volunteers. For the most part if a site was not nominated it wasn’t even considered as a finalist…"
Maybe some of the blogs I like were not even nominated. I, for one, didn’t even know about the awards — which apparently are different from the Bloggies — until that report in The Straits Times.
I like mrbrown though I don’t have the time to read it as often as I would like. But only one of the Asian finalists is currently listed in Technorati’s Top 100 Blogs — xiaxue. The only other Asian English-language blog in the Technorati Top 100 is Kennysia.com. The Technorati list is based on the number of links to each blog, so that gives a fair measure of popularity.
Maybe the Weblog Awards folks use their own criteria to shortlist the finalists, after which they throw open the vote to the public. Fair enough. Most of the blogs one usually reads about in the international media are up there in the various best blog categories — there are 37 in all. And I discovered two new blogs on the Best Asian list which I really liked — Frog in a Well and Our Man in Hanoi. Asiapundit, Simon World, and some of the rest are old familiars.