To say that I was pleased that one of Marcellous's posts, E M and 'The Macropoulos Secret, had been selected for publication in On-Line Opinion as one of the best independent Australian posts of 2008 would be an understatement. I was absolutely thrilled.
I have often spoken of the clarity and power of M's writing (M always uses initials!), so that was nice. More importantly, it was recognition outside the small group that tends to dominate the selections.
I am a strong supporter of the need for recognition of better blog writing. However, I do not think that the present system works very well.
I make two suggestions for improvement.
First, self-nomination should not be allowed.
Last year one of my posts, Why I am not a conservative, was selected. It came like a bolt from the blue. I was pleased.
This year the process seemed to have a bias towards self-nomination. And, no, Marcellous did not nominate himself.
I think it far better if the nominations are made by other bloggers. This comes far closer to peer recognition. If we bloggers cannot select a wide range of other peoples' posts for nomination, then there is a problem.
Second, more time needs to be allowed for promotion and nomination. There should also be a formal opening and closing date.
I suggest the closing date should be early to mid January, with the selected posts running from 1 February. January publication is, I think, too early.
Nominations might open from 1 December. Publicity should start a month before that date. Australian bloggers could be asked to promote. I, for one, would do so.