Best Blog Posts for 2006 – It’s on!!

Following its mooting on Troppo a few days ago, we’re planning to (hastily) compile a Best Blog Posts for 2006. Online Opinion has indicated an interest in hosting the collection (and we can cross post it with links on other blogs).

We’re e-mailing a bunch of bloggers inviting them to send us what they consider their best three posts in 2006. We’ll then pick around 30 of what comes in to make the inaugural BBP in this case BBP 2006.

In addition to e-mailing bloggers, we’re calling for nominations here. Given the very short time span available (we want to launch it before Christmas) and the limited time we all have we can’t promise to be particularly scientific or even very fair in our choices, but we can promise to do our best in the circumstances.

As the founder of Missing Link, Ken Parish will be the principal and deciding judge assisted by me and perhaps by anyone else who wants to chip in.

Criteria for choosing posts are that they
“¢ can be about any topic (other than amiphilic molecules, with one water-soluble end, and one hydrophobic end) and
“¢ should (but if they’re good enough don’t absolutely have to be) over 500 words and under 1,800 words. If you think a post is your best but doesn’t fit these criteria, please let us know if you’d like to do some editing or further work to bring it within the criteria.
“¢ generally should contain significant content of your own words rather than consisting mostly of links and quotes from others’ work.

If you don’t receive an e-mail from us, there are a few ways you can participate.

1. Comment below on a post (by you or someone else) that you think absolutely must be included.

2. Discuss with people in your own blog neighbourhood (either privately or on your blog) what post(s) from your blog you’d like to submit for selection and please submit.

3. E-mail us with the post at ken DOT parish AT cdu DOT edu DOT au

If we have time and if you request it, we’ll let you know if you’ve made the cut and give you a couple of days to do any redrafting, fine tuning or editing that you might wish to do.

This entry was posted in Uncategorised. Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Best Blog Posts for 2006 – It’s on!!

  1. Rafe Champion says:

    Fantastic, most of my Catallaxy posts went west in the great server crash.

  2. You should have backed up – your Troppo posts are safe – which reminds me – I need to back up!

  3. Barista’s classic illness-and-recovery post — it may be over your length limit, but who could possibly leave it out?

  4. Mal says:

    Grodscorp’s assessment of values in politics. Here.

  5. Robert says:

    Barista’s illness-recovery post is interesting at another level, especially in terms of a proposed Best Of blog post edition to be reproduced in book form.

    In that post, David Tiley appears essentially to be speaking to a community he himself has created. This is part of the essence of blogging/self-publishing. While the piece can obviously be read by someone with passing interest, the piece appears to be inspired by – or was at least deferential to; seemed written for – the significant Barista community. These are people who care personally for him.

    There was no hint of exploitation of readership in that process. It was pure, all about engagement and sharing, with the writer and blog-community brought up close and personal. Such a lengthy personal post is uncharacteristic of ‘Barista’, and was welcome and dearly appreciated, evidenced in comments response. The context of David’s work in building Barista’s uniqueness is important to the placement and regard for that particular piece – though this is not to say it is contingent on it.

    But how would that piece, perfectly and beautifully situated in the blogosphere, translate to cold hard copy? Would it appear indulgent, and received as perhaps worse? Would David be regarded with personal opprobrium, having lost the blogosphere context? Or would its personal intensity and beautiful writing survive translation into book form, and maybe even go on to highlight the particular qualities of self-publishing in the ‘sphere?

    In the hypothetical occasion that had the piece reproduced in book form, especially as a Best Of presentation, and was read by someone with no relationship to the blogosphere who felt it to be self indulgence without knowing its context, what harm could be done to David? That it might be regarded negatively is possible as evident by one online comment to that effect: someone who did have a relationship to the blogosphere and could have rather easily seen that piece’s context.

    What responsibility is posed by the proposition of a Best Of blogpost book?

    Obviously a Best Of book would have varied material, and when suggested here recently made mention of the quality of non-personal essayist posts (being a richer source of quality than msm), but the gentle question arises as to how online community pieces would translate and the consequences of it.

  6. Like Robert, I am not entirely convinced of the merits of pulling posts out of their original context. Most posts are reactions to something recent that will be largely forgotten by the time a ‘best of’ comes out, plus the problem of links that have died.

  7. Jennifer says:

    The idea of home about a trip back to the country, from Pavlov’s Cat. I found it incredibly evocative.

  8. Bannerman says:

    Rather elitist, don’t you think? Blogging is, after all’s said & done, a personal affair conducted from within the halls of ones own mindscape. Hardly worth slecting or electing a ‘Best Of’ category in Bannerman’s books

  9. re David Tiley’s hospital post.

    Having posted it (with permission) to very experienced insiders, both carers and users, in hospital and health care I can say it was generally responded to as merely “spot on”, “brilliant” and “amazing” amongst other superlatives.

  10. Thanks Kerryn and FX – I’d already emailed David T. Haven’t got a response yet. Robert, people know it’s a blog post when they read David’s piece. They may or may not know him – I’m sure a few people read him on that post for the first time. And they can see that the essay is like a letter home. If I had to liken blog posts to any other existing genre it would be the letter. It is not as formal and polished as an essay, but because it’s a bit more than a letter – it’s a public letter which some hope might gain wings to fly to a few unusual and unintended places – they’re often buffed up a bit.

    This seems (to me anyway) a fairly reasonable response to Andrew N’s concern. We publish letters – because the best of them are of interest. But the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. I guess those involved want to give it a go and see what we can manage. Please let us know whether you think what we’ve done’s worthwhile when we’ve done it.

  11. Ken Lovell says:

    My god. Now blogs have their own Logies. Hey I got an idea, why not have categories? You know, best political, best quirky humour, most retarded comment, most promising newcomer (I’d be a shoo-in) … you could have a big awards dinner with Stephen Mayne as guest speaker. Make sure to invite ‘Rocky’ Milne.

    The mind bloggles.

  12. cam says:

    What format is it to be submitted in? Txt, HTML, doc, LaTeX?

  13. Ken Parish says:

    We obviously haven’t explained ourselves clearly enough here. I should clarify:

    (1) Unless Nicholas etc has a different intention, I don’t think we intend to confer awards as such i.e. “best” blog post etc. We are simply going to create a “Missing Link”-style compilation of the 30 “best” essay-style posts of 2006. Each reader will have a different evaluation of which of the selected “top 30” is the single best post (and personally I think that’s a meaningless concept – each essay/post will have its own attractive qualities). Personally I find the whole concept of awards for any creative endeavour (including blogging) meaningless and even odious, whether conferred by a judging panel or reader/viewer votes. While it may well be that physical beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder (as Andrew Leigh recently pointed out the research shows), literary and artistic merit certainly are. Awards are a stupid idea (as I observed recently when Kim chided me for hihglighting the 2005 Crieky “blog of the year” award on the Troppo masthead – it was Nicholas’s idea not mine).

    (2) It wasn’t my intention that bloggers would submit the text of their nominated posts at all, just the URL. Some of the text Nicholas created (indicating that bloggers can revise selected posts) seems to indicate implicitly that he had something in mind whereby the full text of each selected post (perhaps revised by the selected bloggers) would be submitted to Online Opinion. That certainly isn’t what I have in mind; in fact I certainly won’t have the time to engage in any such exercise and I also question its value. I had simply intended that we would prepare a links and abstracts post of the 30 selected essay-style posts, just like Missing Link. The links would simply point to the existing posts in situ on their respective blogs. Individual bloggers can certainly revise and refine their selected posts on their own blogs if they wish. This avoids any problems with file formats, compatibility, buggarising around with the inevitable formatting anomalies, transmitting 30 separate files to Online Opinion, having them insert the appropriate links into the “Missing Link” post we provide that point to the location of each post on OLO’s servers etc etc. I just don’t think we will have the time to engage in any such exercise, nor do I see the point. Simply creating a normal Missing Link-style post will mean that readers will retain the benefit of reading the selected posts in situ, including the comment threads they have generated which, as various commenters have pointed out, are often integral to the very nature of blogging.

    (3) We don’t want you to nominate posts that have/had only ephemeral value/interest.

  14. cam says:

    just the URL

    Makes sense.

  15. Alex says:

    I think a couple of posts from Peter Black’s Freedom to Differ are worth looking at:
    – what to do about racist Australian blogs –

    – his essay on FoxNews is a surprising explanation for its popularity

    – and his review of Jonestown

  16. 1. I didn’t propose and don’t think we should do awards. (As for their merit, coming from roughly the same place as Ken on the fundamental merit of awards I’m quite laissez faire about them. Our society is dripping with awards (and credentialism more generally) and there’s a lot wrong with that. I read an excellent piece in the Guardian about the time when a writer or scientist having won a Nobel would be a relatively small deal in their obituary to the situation now where it’s a pinnacle of their career and the sobriquet ‘Nobel laureate’ prefaces every casual mention of them.

    I obviously don’t regard Nobel Prizes as worthless or particularly tainted, but I still prefer the former state of the world where there was an attempt to assess the merit of people’s work irrespective of the gongs they get.

    All that having been said, I don’t go out of my way to fight or lobby for the way world that was. Awards are part of the way we do things now. They’re part of the marketing hype of our society and they provide a shortcut and an alternative route to respectability. So I’m OK with them. I didn’t think that Crikey’s award to Troppo in 2005 made us the best blog, but I was happy to post it on our masthead. I even have an idea for an award which I will share with Troppodillians at some stage. (Its called the William Dawes prize.)

    I think the ‘best of’ series of blogs can, in a similar spirit, be a good shortcut for people to find blog posts they can reread or (more likely) read for the first time because they missed them. Certainly lots of nominations point to posts that I’ll be interested to read. Some of the best reading on the net comes from links that people recommend

  17. Ken P said:

    Personally I find the whole concept of awards for any creative endeavour (including blogging) meaningless and even odious, whether conferred by a judging panel or reader/viewer votes.

    I agree. Excepting for Iron Chef but.

  18. I’ve got a memory like a goldfish so I’m pretty useless in a situation like this, but two posts stand out in my defective memory straight away: David Tiley’s, which has already been mentioned (I’d like to think it was essential to a ‘best-of’ list for 2006), and for sheer humour, this one by TeejMahal:

    I’m sure there are even worthier candidates, and I’ve got one more vote by your rules, so I’ll come back with it later when I’ve had a think.

  19. Sacha says:

    What have you got against amiphilic molecules?

    Oh, I dislike awards, as I wonder why I didn’t win them!

  20. Sacha says:

    Personally, I’m getting to the point where for my blog all I care about is whether I’m happy about it – whether it’s “internally self-consistent” with what I want it to be. If others don’t like it, too bad!

    I’m sure that most people have only very limited time to devote to blogging – the importance of blogging shouldn’t be overstated with awards and such.

  21. If it will help I’d be happy to get drunk, mix up my medications, shamble on stage and push nabakov off.

  22. My cruddy web-based email program is busted and won’t work from Sydney (I can read email but can’t reply or forward to anyone), so if you don’t mind I’ll nominate my three posts here, and put a separate post on Catallaxy with a view to catching our other staffwriters’ attention. I’m sorry to have to do this publicly but I’ve just had a very frustrating half an hour trying to make the rotten thing work, completely without luck.

    My three favourite posts (in no particular order) are:

  23. What’s the deadline, btw?

  24. Yobbo says:

    The explanation linked to about Foxnews is only “surprising” if you have never watched Fox but nonetheless believe it to be the media arm of the Republican party that the Lefty press howls it is.

  25. Jason Soon says:

    I think posts should be nominated on an individual blogger basis rather than the blog given a blog can have heaps of contributors and the blog is merely a centralised forum. People are also more likely to know where their own posts are. (Methodological individualism and division of labour:-))

    I’ll follow Helen and just nominate my favourite own posts here

    The value of freedom:

    Freedom of speech and freedom of action in the framework of several property:

    The insufficiency of the public choice critique of democracy:

    Supreme Power: Traditional and postmodern interpretations of the hero in comic books

  26. Bannerman says:

    “the importance of blogging shouldn’t be overstated with awards and such.”

    Well and succinctly stated, Sacha. Bannerman entirely agrees with your comment. Blogging, per se, is a highly personal endeavour. What others may or may not think is irrelevant. Awards and such merely serve to highlight the collective banality of those who gather to do so.

  27. Liam says:

    And it’s probably saying something about how important you think you are when you take this as an opportunity to plug yourself twenty-nine times.

  28. Ken Parish says:

    The problem with comment threads is that lots of commenters don’t actually bother to read them before commenting. That’s certainly true of “Bannerman” and Sacha, who both bemoan the inappropriateness of blog awards despite Nicholas and I both explaining earlier in this thread that this is NOT an award at all, just an attempt to collect a web-based anthology of 30 excellent blog essays. If you don’t want to nominate any of your own posts for the anthology for whatever reason, that’s perfectly OK. Like Missing Link, the purpose of this exercise is to make blogosphere writing more accessible to a general audience which doesn’t have the time or interest to go browsing through a multitude of blogs looking for interesting and well written posts. I think that’s a worthwhile project otherwise I wouldn’t be devoting time to it. If you don’t, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, however much some (like me) might think you’re just indulging in the quintessentially Australian sport of knocking for its own sake.

  29. gandhi says:

    Personally I think this is a very good idea. It should provide some inspiration for bloggers and it should help Aussie blog readers get to know some new voices of quality. What’s wrong with that?

    I spent a few hours trawling my blog(s) looking for something worth nominating. It was an educational experience: I never realized how crap my stuff was! No wonder nobody ever reads it! I decided to quit blogging then and there.

    Then I went downstairs and started flicking through my Mum’s weekend newspapers (both Murdoch press) and realized that my stuff is not as bad as I thought.

  30. MrLefty says:

    Did I run over your dog or something, Liam?

  31. JC says:

    That’s funny, Liam.

    I never thought Lefty took himself so seriously. I thought his passion was to amuse his readers. I guess I’m wrong.

    Ken’s right. Most people prefer to duck straight into the comments section and start arguing. It can be a Melbourne Club type arrangement that Nick would prefer or the Western saloon style where people get bounced out of there for making silly comments.

    How do i nominate the famous thread of doom? That does have to be the most gothic/satanist inpired thread of all time. Even David Friedman made a few guest appearances.

  32. Ken Parish says:

    Just paste the post’s URL in a comment and I’ll have a look at it. The primary post will need to have substantial merit not just the comment thread it generated, although that raises a dilemma already discussed – a significant part of the essence of blog posts lies in the comments and linking i.e. in many ways blogging is a dialogue rather than a standalone writing genre.

  33. JC: Maybe you’ll have to dig up the original post that set off the Thread of Doom, although Jason did a good post that set off Thread of Doom II. I dunno…

  34. JC says:

    Damn, Can’t find it SL. I think was lost in the chicago fires or something.

  35. Bannerman says:

    The problem with comment threads is that lots of commenters don’t actually bother to read them before commenting.

    B-man wonders on what basis Mr Parish deigns to make such an ill-informed and elitist comment.

    Knocking you, Ken? There’s plenty of others much more qualified and capable than the B-man. Consider the objections and why they are made, rather than simply labelling the utterances as some form of sour grapes because they don’t conform to your own belief. By coming out as you have, you’re merely belittling your own stance.

  36. Alex says:

    And it’s probably saying something about how important you think you are when you take this as an opportunity to plug yourself twenty-nine times.

    I’ve got two things to say, Liam. Firstly, perhaps it’s a vestige of my high school years as the toughest kid in school, but gee I have an urge to hold you upside down and continuously flush your head down the toilet.

    Secondly, I agree that nominating one’s for anything reeks of narcissism.

  37. liam says:

    Perhaps it’s a continuing tradition of my own high school years that so many people constantly threaten me with physical violence over the internet, Alex.
    Then again, perhaps it’s the beret.

  38. JC says:


    Just out of curiosty. Why do you refer to yourself in the 3rd person? There was once a Seinfeld skit with someone referring to themeseves in the 3rd and there was also a character called Bannerman, but I can’t recall if Bannerman and the 3rd person was the same.

    Seriously, are you just kidding round or is this a play on that Seinfled skit.

    Not kidding here. There was a Bannerman who Gerry hated and there was a dude always referring to himself in the 3 rd person.

    JC’s asking and honsest question here dude.

  39. Bannerman says:

    Bannerman and Seinfeld have nothing whatever in common…….dude. In fact, Bannerman can quite honestly state that he’s never seen or heard anything of Seinfeld’s. He’s not considered in the least amusing.
    As for why the 3rd…….B-man is sure you’ll figure it out sooner or later.

  40. I nominate my post on the November 18th 2006 ‘Justice for Mulrunji’ rally and march in Brisbane.

    Grounds for inclusion/why it has lasting value above and beyond the issue of the day:

    Original reporting, photographs and sound recordings made at the rally and march.
    Reporting on small details often missed by reports on protests.
    Action shots of the police closing off roads etc.
    Photos of the march taken from 8 different points along the route.
    Map of the march route included.
    Photos are linked to flickr, where you can use the mapping feature to see exactly where each photo was taken.

  41. Anna Winter says:

    Anna Winter wishes to nominate this post.

  42. Alex says:


    don’t make the mistake of ever taking me seriously!!! Goodness, the closest I’ve ever come to flushing someone down the toilet, was an awful day in 1986 when having made the awful mistake of mixing drinks on my 16th birthday, I slipped and hit my head on the porcelain whilst in the act of producing what can only be described as the most colourful of technocoloured yawns!!

    Oh, and I like berets.

  43. JC says:

    I’m confused here, Bannerman. There’s too many Bannerman’s in those short sentences to solve this riddle. Yea, I recall that Bannerman and Seinfled had nohing in common seeing Gerry hated Bannerman for taking back the suit Bannerman had given him. I can also relate to the fact that Bannerman had never heard any of Gerry’s stand up routines seeing Bannerman was a little jealous of Gerry’s comic abilities. So yes, I agree, Banneramn would never have thought Gerry was in the least amusing.

    But Jc’s still confused here. Are you taking off Bannerman in Seinfeld? Or is this a Post- Seinfledian self reference.

    I like it by the way. It’s new and refreshing. No kiddin.

    Help JC out here, Bannerman. JC’s very confused and needs a little help.

  44. Alex says:

    I’d like to further nominate any post in which Joe Cambria is exposed as an evil troll sock puppet. Though there are so many to choose from, I couldn’t possibly decide.

  45. JC says:

    I would say threatening Liam with sticking his head in the can and then immediately apologising is pretty sinister too, alex. Certainly coming from someone who makes his income from violent behaviour modification as your profile suggests.

    Should I not take you seriously too seeing I was joshing around as well.

  46. Get over it people. Either nominate those of your own posts that you consider particularly good, or pick someone else’s.

    Pretty simple stuff.

  47. I also nominate my 1100 word report on a seminar that Marxist academic Humphrey McQueen gave at the Brisbane Social Forum in May.

    The seminar discussed what the best way is for anti-racist struggle to be effective, and thus has long-term significance beyond the social forum.

  48. Fyodor says:

    Ken or Nick, following up on Mark Bahnisch’s question at #26, what is the deadline for nominations?

    Also, much as I’d like Teh Thread of Doom [or, to give the thread its original – and hilariously innocuous – title, “Regulation and the Future of Payment Cards”

  49. Ken Parish says:

    We really need to receive your nomination today (Tuesday 19 December) to give time to assess and compile the post/anthology and convey it to OLO in time for them to publish it before Christmas.

  50. Mark Hill says:

    Fyodor is right.

    Nothing compares to the grotesque majesty of “Teh Thread of Doom I and II”.

    It actually had some pretty good discussion about banking and monetary

  51. JC says:

    Painfully I have to agree with Fyds. Lifetime enemies and friends were made as a result of those two threads. Of course it’s understandable seeing monetary economics and central banking invokes such raw emotions in normal, regular people. I was going to have it book bound and send it to participants but unfortunately it was lost.

    There are T-shirts we could get made up “Thread of doom veteran”.

    Damn, that’s a fine idea. I might just get a few done and send them out.

    Fyds, we left out supper.

  52. Bannerman says:

    JC: ‘Bannerman’ is a family name pertaining to the writers ancestry. The name has nothing to do with Seinfeld. When Bannerman says he’s never seen or heard anything of Seinfelds’, he means precisely that. 3rd person presentation is merely a form of expression. Nothing more, nothing less.

  53. Jennifer says:

    Here’s my favourite two of my own (already nominated one of Pavlov’s Cat’s)


    Why don’t women make partner?

  54. Liam says:

    So… any chance of demoderating Fyodor’s comment? I know I’ll be disappointed having waited this long, but I’m still curious to know what it was.

  55. Ken Parish says:

    It’s probably been automatically consigned to the spam bin through having too many links. Now that I’ve finished Missing Link I’ll go and try to find it and rescue it.

  56. Ken Parish says:

    There are currently 630 spam comments in the bin, all from the last 15 days. There are 150 on the first page, all from the last 24 hours. Fyodor’s isn’t among them. I don’t know how to turn back to earlier pages, and can’t be bothered finding out. So Fyodor’s comment is probably gone forever unless someone can tell me how to find earlier entries in the spam bin in WordPress.

  57. Here’s Fyodor’s contribution.

    I nominate the following posts for your consideration.

    I think &Duck has already received a couple of nominations, and here are some more: first, the recent post about her near-pregnancy experience,

  58. Geez – what a business getting these nominations. I’ve just posted Fyodor’s comment – emailed to me – but it went into the spam – I’m just going to get it now – though it’s a more complicated process on account of the fact that de-spamifying only works in my non default browser. Ie in IE, not FF.

  59. Fyodor says:

    Thanks muchly, Nick. It’s entirely my fault, as the comment is heavy with linky goodness.

    Sorry to put you to more bother, but could you complete the URL links for Crazybrave and Kate at M2M? The links don’t work as they are.

  60. I hope I’ve managed to do it now.

  61. Minotaur says:

    For Your (Late) Consideration:

    The `Aboriginal Problem’

    Private Kovco: A Tragedy of Errors

    Sheiking the Multiculturalism Debate

    What’s UnAustralian?

    Morally Wrong

    Modia `Marisa Tomei’ Minotaur

    P.S. I’ve posted these despite the deadline having already passed because I’m just enjoying both reading the nominees and reading back over my own posts for the year. In a sense, this is more in keeping with the spirit of blogging than a peer-reviewed publication or prize, n’est ce pas?

  62. Alex says:

    When are you going to reveal the best posts of 2006? I thought you originally hoped to have them up by Christmas …

  63. We hope to publish a couple a day on Online Opinion through January. Something done as quickly as this involves a fair bit of improvisation along the way.

  64. NG: has Ken got email access back yet? I’m just hoping he got my stuff for BBP2006, that’s all, and he was having some mighty big email troubles. I sent what he needed to Jen’s address but haven’t heard back.


  65. If you sent it there, it should have got through. I’ll ask Ken to acknowledge.

  66. Ken Parish says:

    Yes I received Helen’s stuff and no I don’t have email access back yet. I have however completed the BBP2006 list (Top 40 rather than 30, it turned out) and posted it in draft here at Troppo. Thus Nicholas is able to access it and deal with OLO. I understand they want to publish two articles/posts each week day through January in full text (rather than just a Missing Link-style annotated links list). Thus I imagine Graham Young or someone else on behalf of OLO will be contacting selected authors soon to seek the full text of your article in an appropriate format. Apparently OLO agree that Troppo, Catallaxy and LP will also be able to publish the selected articles (or at least links to them) simultaneously with OLO publication. I don’t know how or when we’re going to be told what order OLO will be publishing articles in or on what days. Presumably Nicholas will be liaising with Graham Young about that. It’s worth accommodating their publication wishes, I think, because OLO has quite a big audience, and a significant part of the motivation for this exercise was to expose the best of blog writing to a new and larger audience.

    Anyway, Merry Xmas everyone.

  67. Thanks Ken. I suspected they’d want to host copies on their own site as well as provide offsite links, which is fair enough. I do want to thank you very much for all your trouble, especially with your email going AWOL like that. Would I be able to grab a copy of the list? I put a fair bit of time into coming up with my selection, am hoping it was all okay. I’ll flock off now before my typing ability goes completely up the spout as a result of Christmas boozing ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.