Best Blog Posts of 2007: Call for Nominations

Details below the fold.

Optional fanfare.

This time last year, regular readers may remember, Club Troppo sponsored a showcase of Australian independent blogging, which we called ‘Best Blog Posts of 2006’. From a large pool of nominations drawn from a multitude of Australian blogs, our committee chose forty posts; these Graham Young kindly agreed to re-post on On Line Opinion, where they were published over the course of January. This is how OLO readers saw them. The aim was to give seasoned blog readers a second chance to read some of the best material from the past year, and to show a broader readership the riches that blogs have to offer.

We consider ourselves well qualified because Club Troppo publishes Missing Link, a (normally) twice-weekly digest of new posts on Australian blogs. This means we read a very wide cross-section of posts, and flatter ourselves that we have a good feel for quality. On Line Opinion was a suitable venue because it’s widely read, including by people who visit blogs rarely or never, and because our best blog posts are typically short essays that are well suited to OLO’s format.

As you will have gathered, deeming BB06 to have been a splendid success, we are repeating the exercise. The time has come to launch BB07.

The objective, once again, is to gather some of the best blog writing in one place. For the cognoscenti, the collection will be both a celebration and a handy compendium. For the uninitiated, it will be a pleasant guided tour of what might otherwise seem a bewildering maze of interlinked web-sites. Finally, for the former vis a vis the latter, it’s an opportunity for seasoned participants to overcome the newcomers’ scepticism by presenting them with a mass of consistently good writing all at once. On this score, the expected outcome (any bureaucratic process worth its salt lists expected outcomes as well as objectives) is that an OLO reader unfamiliar with blogs will be smitten by the quality of one or more posts in BB07, follow the link to the author’s blog, become a fan and put the blog into his or her bookmarks.

The procedure will be essentially the same this time ’round. We will assemble a pool of posts from throughout 2007, and our committee will pick roughly forty of these, to be posted at On Line Opinion, two at a time on weekdays through January 2008. The committee members are Ken Parish, Nicholas Gruen, Helen Dale, Graham Young and editor James Farrell.

Posts will enter the pool by two channels. First of all, to ensure there is a decent sample, our committee will be reviewing the year’s editions of Missing Link to unearth the jewels in our own collection.

The second channel is you. We would like you to nominate your own favourite posts. This includes posts you’ve read and posts you’ve written.

As far as self-nomination goes, in case there are writers out there who are inhibited by modesty, we would like you to think of it this way: This is not a competition. It’s an anthology, an exposition. There is no winner, so we are not asking you to claim that any post of yours is the best post of 2007. We just want to exhibit your wares. You are good writers and good judges of writing, and you can remember much better than we can, or the other readers can, which were the best ones. (We have read and admired lots of your posts, and in many cases included them in Missing Link, but, as you can imagine, with the passage of months, they’re all a bit of a blur.) So please remind us which are the best ones. Please make our lives easier by supplying a list of the three posts you are most proud of.

You can make your nominations in three ways:

  1. List them in the comments thread below;
  2. If you are a blogger yourself, become part of the process and write a post with your nominations, and just link to it in the comments thread below;
  3. Send an email to: j dot farrell at uws dot edu dot au.

Rules:

  1. The authors must be self-identified Australian bloggers (though they may reside abroad).
  2. The posts should generally be from independent blogs, not MSM offshoots.
  3. The posts may be on any topic, from politics, science, and the humanities, to sport and cooking. Reviews of books, films and shows are also very welcome. The only other proviso is that posts should be of interest to a general audience rather than be purely for aficionados. For example, posts about hamsters, while not ruled out completely, have a low probability of selection.
  4. Posts should generally be of the longer, essay variety, as opposed to the short, link-and-comment variety, or posts that are three-quarters quotation. Preferred length is under 1,000 words but this is not a strict requirement and would not stop us picking a post that was clearly of a sufficiently high quality or interest.
  5. One individual may make up to six nominations, but not more than three for a single author.

When the committee has agreed on the forty best posts, we will endeavour to contact the authors, to give them an opportunity to decline or to make minor amendments if they wish.

The closing date for nominations is Monday 10 December.

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skepticlawyer
14 years ago

Please drop your faves in the comments, will make our lives that much easier :)

Niall
14 years ago

I don’t normally indulge in blogospheric silliness like awards, etc. but given this isn’t a ‘competition’…..I’ll ‘ave a lash!

http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2007/10/to_lend_or_not_to_lend.php#more
and
http://www.waddayano.org/blog/2007/07/porcine_posterior.php#more

skepticlawyer
14 years ago

Niall, can you pick out what you consider to be your best motor racing post as the third? Ta.

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

Without doubt this has to be nominated: AUSTRALIA’S DAY OF SHAME, by Ken Parish. To me, this is Parish at his formidable best. I think KP had a terrific year of writing; always researched and informative, and written with style to embrace the reader, rather than falling into the trap of attempting overall to exhibit the writer’s knowledge on a subject. But this one had real passion, and that gave it real power.

It was published within an environment of bland and weak MSM writing on the subject – some of it even confused – all of it wanting, and hit the table hard, just when people needed it. You can never really tell the effect of a blog post upon mainstream commentary, but no doubt Troppo posts are read by journo’s, and there certainly came some sharper and more courageous MSM commentary after this post. I think it cut new ground and led the way.

I enjoy nominating this for another more general reason, in that I don’t always agree with KP’s views in some areas, no doubt that’s returned assuming my comments here are even read, and that shows excellent writing: that knowledge, passion, experience, summation and ideas and all the rest of it – including that the piece is finished to conclusion – can enlighten and empower the reader beyond their natural persuasion. Much different, of course, from merely cementing one’s prejudice, or flat out putting the reader off.

This particular post nominated was followed in Troppo by other excellent posts worthy also of nomination of course, but this one being the passionate, courageous precursor to them here and elsewhere takes first prize.

nabla
nabla
14 years ago

G’morning. As a public servant and semi-professional lurker I’ve read my fair share of blog posts and, to be honest, they’ve all congealed into an unrecognisable mass in my head, like the rubber band ball I build when I should be working. This post on troppo itself stuck out for me – the post itself was fantastic, and it generated one of the better comments threads I’ve seen – comments which didn’t necessitate a Phd to decipher.
http://clubtroppo.lateraleconomics.com.au/2007/07/02/getting-positives-from-the-negative/

Cheers

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

Quick clarification respecting James’ statement: “this is not a competition”. The use of the term “first prize” in the comment above while it represents my personal first prize could have been better phrased by “this post is the stand-out”. Apologies, James – it’s understood this is not a competition. As remarked last year, Best Blog Posts is a brilliant initiative, as a showcase.

Yobbo
14 years ago

Lol Niall.

invig
14 years ago

How about mine on the Iraq strategy back in July, or more recently on drug policy?.

I’m proud of both, and believe the former made a difference while the latter yet will.

Niall
14 years ago

Best motor racing post??!! How long is that string, given I’m the only V8 Supercar follower I know who blogs it.

Let’s try the Oran Park round given it was a fantastic performance by a young driver.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
14 years ago

I second nabla’s choice – and if it gets up in BB07 it should definitely have a special reminder to readers that the comments thread is a major highlight.

trackback

[…] guys over at Club Troppo are calling for nominations for their annual “Best Blog Posts of 2007“. This is an opportunity to highlight exceptional posts from independent Aussie bloggers: The […]

nasking
nasking
14 years ago

Road to Surfdom…followed by Lavartus Prodeo…The Orstrahyun…Howard Out…YOUR NEW REALITY…Club Troppo…Anonymous Lefty…Antony Loewenstein…Catallaxy…Hoyden About Town…Bartlett Diaries

& of course Blogocracy

Those are the Aussie blogs I surf to each day…generally in that order.

This YouTube vid has a great song…& images that bring back ‘memories’ big time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVzO017lcA4

(John Howard – In Memorandum – The Howard Years)

spread it around…pass it on…:)

Ken Parish
Admin
14 years ago

nasking, we’re looking for nominations for individual blog posts, not best entire blogs.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
14 years ago

Firstly I’ll nominate 3 of my own posts and then come back later and nominate 3 by others (once I figured that out!)

Charles Murray, libertarianism and civil society

Smallville – one of my guilty pleasures

Economic development and freedom

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
14 years ago

Well I was going to nominate Helen’s equity piece too so thanks gilmae.

That leaves me some space to give some attention to Heath Gibson who is going to be too modest to nominate himself

Taxing virtual economies

In defence of the plastic bag

And to encourage Boris to write more, one of his guest posts (actually his only one so far) – right on January 1st 2007

Life in the USSR

nasking
nasking
14 years ago

You always were pedantic Ken.

Greg
14 years ago

I guess i will nominate one of my own posts as i was at the time quite pleased with how it came out

Best Day of your life

nasking
nasking
14 years ago

OK…some of my fave posts:

Cabinet: The Movie
Howard govt – 24 Comments

Don Arthur
Don Arthur
14 years ago

I’d like to nominate James Farrell and Paul Frijters for starting one of the most interesting conversations I’ve had all year.
 
James provoked a lively comments thread when he asked "What’s wrong with the Layard Thesis?" Before long John Quiggin joined in with a post at Crooked Timber (cross posted on his personal blog) and I wrote a reply to James on Troppo (which makes no sense on its own). James then wrote a reply to John and summed up the debate.
 
This is what I love about blogging. Somebody writes something that gets you thinking. You comment, you write a post, somebody else joins in and then you do some more thinking. It’s not just one post, it’s the entire conversation. James managed to draw a whole series of posts on happiness together.
 
If you follow the links from post to post you’ll find a conversation on happiness research that’s been going on for years with contributions by bloggers like Ken Parish, Andrew Leigh and Andrew Norton (among others).

Richard Green
Richard Green
14 years ago

I am quite enamoured of the construction of this argument http://possumcomitatus.wordpress.com/2007/09/07/capitulation/

Nabakov
Nabakov
14 years ago

I nominate pretty much anything by David Tiley over 500 words over the past 12 months.

His most recent post is fairly indicative of what I’m talking about here. An v. perceptive obit of Norman Mailer that elegantly morphs into some acute observations about how a writer deals with a life as it is written.

Also Liveblogging my tax return. A great concept, beautifully executed…until she just ran out of steam.

That’s the trouble with women, no bloody stamina.

And can I also nominate for the brevity in punditry category, this.. Less than 30 words, presented without any fee, which pretty much sums up the conclusions eventually reached through hundreds of thousands of words by highly paid MSM commentators.

Nabakov
Nabakov
14 years ago

AJNOCK, I believe we’re currently talking earth-based blog posts here.

Of course, once this Best Blog Posts thang moves off-planet and beyond the lying straitjacket of Newtonian physics, Birdy should scoop all categories, even the ones that are a mistake.

Graeme Bird
Graeme Bird
14 years ago

Damn straight I should scope all categories. I shall think of other posts to nominate soon. But the above one is not bad since its part of the process of replacing the totally flawed WATTS PER SQUARE METRE paradigm that so bedevils modern climate science.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
14 years ago

Ah the Nietschean uber-mensch declares his candidacy.

And out of this hammer and anvil, a new science shall be forged, one purged of peer review and bully-boy-parasitism.

Ken Parish
Admin
14 years ago

How does he manage to dodge the spaminator so easily?

gilmae
14 years ago

Scope all categories? Is it that Bird has finally lost it with the LIARS and has bought a high-powered rifle?

Ken Parish
Admin
14 years ago

BTW Nabs, the URL for “Liveblogging my tax return” is missing. It sounds like an interesting post that I missed at the time, so if anyone can supply the URL (and author) that would be much appreciated.

Ken Parish
Admin
14 years ago

As you were. I found it by googling. Liveblogging my tax return was by Helen on the Cast Iron Balcony as well and can be found here.

saint
saint
14 years ago

I have to admit Zoe’s mum’s punditry is one of my all time favourites. Helen lived blogged her tax return.
And anything Tiley writes under 500 words should be included too.

swollenpickles
14 years ago

I’m not shy about shameless self promotion, so I’d like to submit this one:
Meg White sex tape fake but still “news” – it’s about the dodgy reporting of the fake Meg White tape by some of the Australian media.

Then there’s this one:

Safety Ratings – Dont fall for the corporate spin! – it’s about how people seem more than willing to buy into the corporate spin of car manufacturers without looking a little deeper.

Vee
Vee
14 years ago

Its a bit hard to go past Adrian Pagan’s post.

As is Quiggin’s Shedding Blood for Liberty.

I may or may not come back with more.

Vee
Vee
14 years ago

Here are some more:

These three posts on Hew Griffiths

http://larvatusprodeo.net/2007/02/18/the-case-of-hew-griffiths-and-the-reach-of-us-jurisdiction/

http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=2560

http://legalsoapbox.blogspot.com/2007/02/usa-says-youre-nicked-sonny.html

A rather lengthy earlier post by Chris White on the right to strike

Robert Merkel’s Broadband and Bad Decisions post

Awfully difficult to go past Mark Bahnisch latest post on ALPs IR policy

Darlene
14 years ago

I would like to nominate:

Skepticlawyer’s “This Old Man”:

http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=2363

Helen’s “It’s not just the moustache”:

http://castironbalcony.media2.org/?p=375

Audrey Apple’s “Hard to believe, but apparently feminists can be sexy”:

http://larvatusprodeo.net/2007/09/04/guest-post-by-audrey-hard-to-believe-but-apparently-even-feminists-can-be-sexy/

Audrey Apple’s “The Pelican Brief”:

http://audreyapple.blogspot.com/2007/08/pick-pelican.html

And that’s all I can think of for the moment (you know, a lack of stamina and all that).

Joshua Gans
14 years ago

Thanks to: everyone who’s made nominations; Meg for the plug; all the nominees themselves, for not clogging this thread up with thankyou notes (keep up the good work); Don; and Ken for your fine googling initiative.

Vee: you have exceeded your quota. I’ll keep your nominations, but for penance could you get me functioning links to the three LP posts.

Pickles: the link to your Meg White post doesn’t work.

Keep them coming.

Vee
Vee
14 years ago

Oh, well that will teach you to put that point at the bottom of the list. ;)

Those links function fine for me. Instead I’ll just withdraw ALL nominations as I had more coming.

And I had not even covered Club Troppo yet.

I do not know if I will narrow it down to six or not. If I do I will post again by the closing date. If not, I am sure you will have more than enough to keep you company.

lauredhel
14 years ago

My stand-out nomination is Jane Simpson’s “Gunboat Lip-gloss”. Jane saw the real agenda of the Northern Territory intervention – moving Aboriginal people out of remote communities altogether – long ago.

Next up: bluemilk’s “Smug married guy, you dont know anything about single mothers”.

And “Another Pseud-Apology”, at matjjin-nehen, a semantic analysis of the phrase “I’m Sorry.”

I’ll pull out three of mine based on those that have been most linked, and/or that I’ve had the most positive feedback about. Here goes:

1. “Anti-feminist-Bingo! A master-class in sexual entitlement.” Still used around the femmobolsho traps as a collective troll resistance strategy.

2. “Stop and think: invisible access for invisible disabilities.” My personal coming-out as a person with a chronic illness that others can’t see.

3. “Passive Aggression: Foregrounding the Object” Rape and the language of agent deletion: How the language of sexual violence differs from the language used to describe other violent crimes, and the effects this has on the listener or reader.

skepticlawyer
14 years ago

Keep ’em coming, people. Good to see the response so far.

Nico
14 years ago

It wasn’t one of the ones in missing link this year, but guide to writing a confessional memoir is my favourite of my own pretty lean year of posting.

Robert Merkel
14 years ago

Well, the piece I was happiest with from the year so far was this one about Enrico Fermi.

nasking
nasking
14 years ago

Hopefully not being too parochial…but as we live in Sth East Qld…& Kev 07 is a QLD lad, i found this to be a thoughtful and memory stimulating post from Mark Bahnisch on Lav Prod:

Urbanism and ideas and blogging
Published by Mark on 9 July 2007 at 1:54 pm in Australiana, Blogging, Brisbane, Culture, History, Life, Photography, Sociology, Urbanism.
39 comments.

http://larvatusprodeo.net/2007/07/09/urbanism-and-ideas-and-blogging/#comments

Jozef Imrich
14 years ago

IMHO, an entry worth czeching (sic):

This post on Problogger.net has been submitted by Karen Andrews from http://www.miscmum.com I am no stranger (nor are you, probably) to how the wider media sometimes depicts bloggers: as closeted wannabees who add to the rise of faux journalism. Books are currently being published on the subject. How do You Sell Your Blog?

Cheers

Jozef

Jozef Imrich
14 years ago

CODA: The first Australian social news site might help us decide what is the best blogging read … MARGARET SIMONS – author of The Content Makers: Understanding the Media in Australia What’s worth reading? ;

Nabakov
Nabakov
14 years ago

Can I give you a useful tip here Birdy.

Never mind the quality of your thoughts, what about the quantity?

No one online has got the patience to scroll through more than several inches unless a genuinely brilliant writer has riveted you to your mouse.

So firstly why not restrict yourself to 400 words max per comment? Itll give you a disciplined framework in which to organise and present your points.

Secondly, grab Clive James’ books of TV criticism – Visions Before Midnight, The Crystal Bucket and Glued To The Box, either available on their own or compiled as Clive James On Television.

300 plus columns with which he made his bones in moving from Grub to Easy St and a master class in how to write a compact yet exuberant 400 word piece that makes a piercing point while also playing up for the sheer hell of it along the way.

It’s all about structure. Open with a pungent and provocative para. Avoid alliteration. Slide away from the main topic for the next para to let your readers know where your currently coming from – in my case now, drinking Grace Jones while listening to 12 year old Glenmorangie – which also sets up a delayed gag/final punch line.

Now you’ve got your readers aware of your wavelength, then you swing back into several paras about your central point.

But build them so the premise arrives as irresistibly as a chain of railway carriages on the Paris Metro, only 30 seconds late but making up for it with some brio braking. Throw in a reference or two here that imply your observations are grounded in a truly worldly perspective.

Then you pounce and make the point you’ve been wanting to make from the start. Which for me now for you is structure, structure, and structure. No matter how original your vision or how carefree and dementedly original you are with the written word, you still need to lead others down the garden path you’ve walked so often in your head. Not everyone else lives inside your head too.

To sum up, establish the mise en scene, seed some long term setups, build your main point to an unstoppable conclusion, sum up. Abed then hit em with a final gag or two youve set up earlier. That’s what makes a true online Demolition Man.

And remember, no more than 400

Nabakov
Nabakov
14 years ago

Also eye check for typos befor hitting submit.