Eish!!: SA Blog Awards - Reviewed

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SA Blog Awards - Reviewed

The SA Blog Awards has progressed to become a significant event in the online calendar year. The packed out venue last night attests to this, as does the fact that finalists and interested parties flew in from around the country to be there.

The event has sufficiently informal as one expects from this community and there was more than enough time before and after the 'ceremony' to mingle with fellow bloggers, media and those that had an interest in the web.

When the ceremony began promptly at 7:30, the finalists were surprised to hear that besides being able to sport the 'SA Blog Awards 2008' graphic on their page for a year, there were actual physical prizes they could take home with them. There was wine from Warwick Estate, an indigenous tree from Stodels, Dell sponsored some categories with a flat screen monitor and Microsoft gave away a Xbox360 to the overall winner. And suddenly things became just a wee little more intense!
Without a doubt the big winners were Durban's East Coast Radio who, along with the other big winner Mail and Guardian have embraced the blogging medium and it seems to paying dividends, not only at the SA Blog Awards, but by increasing their reach into South African society. While 'mainstream media' made a huge impression at this years awards, there was still more than enough space for the smaller guys to pick up awards. In fact, having the big boys doing so well made the victories of the others that much sweeter and it was great to see the excitement and genuine pride these winners exuded for the rest of the evening.

While there was the odd good natured murmuring about the mainstream onslaught this year, there was none of the vitriol that seemed to emanate after last year's awards.

All in all, it was a great evening. Well done to the winners, and to those who missed out, it's time to up the ante!

And the winners are ...

South African Weblog of the Year
The Best of the Best from South Africa

Most Humorous South African Blog
Witty, comical and written to induce uncontrollable laughter

Best Overseas South African Blog
Best blog written by a South African in any foreign country

Best SA Blog about Politics
The best SA blog featuring mainly a political theme

Best New Blog
Best blog which was started during the year of 2007

Recap of my prediction :

  • Not knowing too much about most of these finalists before this review, it's difficult to guage which of these blogs have the readership most likely to take the time to vote. My guess is the fact the ECR has bothered to publicise the fact that they are in the finals means that they will take this one. Honestly, I hope I am wrong though.
  • Eish's pick : vanielje.com/blog
Best SA Blog about Technology / Computers / Web Development
Best South African technology focused weblog

Recap of my prediction :

  • This is an extremely tough one to call, as while there are many finalists that have impressive readership figures, these readers do not necessarily have any stake in the SA blogosphere and will therefore not feel obliged to spend the couple of minutes required to cast a vote. Nudjit.com is going to take some beating next year, but I am going to suggest that BandwidthBlog will take the crown this year.
  • Eish's pick : Noboxmedia.com

Best SA Blog about Design
Best overall design and layout of a weblog page

Best SA Business Blog
Best blog about business

Best Website Promoting Blogging
Best South African blog content promotion service or blogging platform

Best Green blog
Weblog covering mainly environmental, organic or enviro-friendly related content

Best Undiscovered Blog
Due to these blogs being 'undiscovered' with limited readership, last year's winners will make a selection from the unknown blogs nominated for this category. The selected top ten with then go through to the final voting stage as per normal.

Best SA Entertainment Blog
Weblogs about movies, television, celebrities, theatre and topical issues with entertainment value

Recap of my prediction.
  • I suspect that chump-style, 2oceansvibe and imod are going to engage their readers and get a fair whack of votes, however the ECR Breakfast blog was very quick to marshal it's troops and has an obvious advantage over the others. I pick the ECR Breakfast blog to take this category.
  • Eish's pick : themuso.co.za
Best Post on a South African Blog
The one post which stood out in 2007

Best Original Writing on a South African Blog
Composition, attention to detail, advanced levels of subject investigation

Best SA Photographic Blog
The best SA blog featuring original photographic content

Best SA Blog about Food and Wine
The best blog written primarily about food or drink

Best SA Music Blog
Best weblog about news of a musical nature

Best SA Podcast
Best independently produced video or audio podcast in SA

Best Group Blog
Best blog with more than one contributor

Best Sports Blog
A weblog written exclusively about any recognised sport

Recap of my Prediction :

  • I have been unable to find any evidence of Keo.co.za mobilising it's readers to vote, otherwise I would say this category is theirs for the taking. The same goes with rugbydump.com, but I think they have fresh new appreciative readership that may just mobilise itself and pull them to the top.
  • Eish's pick : AfricanSurfer.com

Best Travel Blog
The best South African blog featuring travel related content.

Best South African Personal Blog
Covers diary type blogs of a personal lifestory nature

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Thanks for the mention and the support eish. And a thourough review and roundup. It's good to know what else is going on out there! African vanielje from Vanielje Kitchen

Thanks Eish!! for a good summary of a great evening, and it was good to meet man behind the exclamation!

Thanks Eish!

@ Vanielje : Glad you enjoyed the review series, hopefully I will be able to do the same next year.
@ Rouvanne : Great to meet you to, congrats again.
@ Chris : Well done. Had hoped to meet up, but couldn't get through the posse :-)

A couple of observations and queries...

Is Thought Leader a blog or a blog host? (Same applies to Blat, which appears as a single blog on Amatomu). If those are blogs, shouldn't Blogspot and Wordpress.com count as blogs too?

I didn't pay very much attention to the awards, mainly because most of the blogs I read regularly didn't fall into any of the categories provided, and so couldn't be nominated.

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