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.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
74 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tony Harris
15 years ago

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

Alex
15 years ago
Kerryn Goldsworthy
15 years ago

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

Mal
Mal
15 years ago

Grodscorp’s assessment of values in politics. Here.

Robert
Robert
15 years ago

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.

Andrew Norton
15 years ago

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.

Jennifer
15 years ago

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

Bannerman
15 years ago

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

Francis X Holden
15 years ago

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.

Ken Lovell
15 years ago

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.

cam
cam
15 years ago

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

Ken Parish
Admin
15 years ago

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.

cam
cam
15 years ago

just the URL

Makes sense.

Alex
Alex
15 years ago

I think a couple of posts from Peter Black’s Freedom to Differ are worth looking at:
– what to do about racist Australian blogs – http://freedomtodiffer.typepad.com/freedom_to_differ/2006/10/what_do_about_r.html

– his essay on FoxNews is a surprising explanation for its popularity http://freedomtodiffer.typepad.com/freedom_to_differ/2006/10/foxnews_at_10_e.html

– and his review of Jonestown http://freedomtodiffer.typepad.com/freedom_to_differ/2006/11/jonestown_the_p.html

Francis X Holden
15 years ago

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.

ampersand duck
15 years ago

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: http://teejmahal.blogspot.com/2006/10/im-going-to-get-gunned-down-by-someone.html

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.

Sacha
15 years ago

What have you got against amiphilic molecules?

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

Sacha
15 years ago

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.

Francis X Holden
15 years ago

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

skepticlawyer
15 years ago

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:

skepticlawyer
15 years ago
Mark Bahnisch
15 years ago

What’s the deadline, btw?

Yobbo
15 years ago

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.

Jason Soon
15 years ago

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: http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=1873

Freedom of speech and freedom of action in the framework of several property:
http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=2147

The insufficiency of the public choice critique of democracy: http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=138

Supreme Power: Traditional and postmodern interpretations of the hero in comic books
http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=859

Bannerman
15 years ago

“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.

Liam
Liam
15 years ago

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.

Ken Parish
Admin
15 years ago

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.

gandhi
15 years ago

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.

MrLefty
15 years ago

Did I run over your dog or something, Liam?

JC
JC
15 years ago

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.

Ken
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.

Ken Parish
Admin
15 years ago

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.

skepticlawyer
15 years ago

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…

JC
JC
15 years ago

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

Bannerman
15 years ago

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.

Alex
15 years ago

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.

liam
15 years ago

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.

JC
JC
15 years ago

Bannerman.

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.

Bannerman
15 years ago

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.

David Jackmanson
15 years ago

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

http://letstakeover.blogspot.com/2006/11/justice-for-mulrunji-rally-queens-park.html

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.

Anna Winter
15 years ago

Anna Winter wishes to nominate this post.

Alex
15 years ago

Liam,

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.

JC
JC
15 years ago

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.

Alex
15 years ago

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.

JC
JC
15 years ago

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.

skepticlawyer
15 years ago

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

Pretty simple stuff.

David Jackmanson
15 years ago

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.

http://letstakeover.blogspot.com/2006/05/humphrey-mcqueen-says-we-must-confront.html