Friday, January 19, 2007

No sour grapes ex this buttercup

So the best blog posts of 2006 have been selected by Ken Parish at Troppo with assistance from a committee including Ken Parish, Nicholas Gruen and Helen Dale. Having co-operated in producing a shortlist, Ken then chose the best blogs with Nicholas acting as a ‘sounding board’.

I didn’t get a prize – indeed I didn’t get a nomination - so I’ll try again this year. I’ve already run off copies of the winning posts and I’ll try to imitate their style, humour, depth and lack of snarkiness.

The committee gave awards to, well, themselves (Ken Parish 1, Nicholas Gruen 1, Helen Dale 1). Others from Troppo such as Rex Ringschott and Don Arthur also got prizes. There were no prizes to anyone on the conservative side of politics except for Helen Dale – and yeah, she too was on the committee!

At the ANU in 1975 I recall a mathematician who described one of his earlier papers in a later paper as a ‘seminal contribution’. I always wondered whether this is the type of complimentary remark you best hope others will make of your work.

But blogging is a bit more free-for-all so I assume that the Troppo moves are proper – if you are a good blog poster you just got to be a good judge of what else is good out there, otherwise you would not have the power of judgment. Or something like that.

Indeed, I’ll try to mimic this process myself during 2007. If others would like to join me on a ‘best blog post’ selection committee I promise that they’ll get at least one award. But they do have to satisfy my strict selection criteria and agree to vote for at least a few of my posts. Maybe, 2007, I should also circulate a best blog posts of the week feature just so you all know what you must read in the lead-up.

By the way I did glance through the Troppo award winners and a few were worth the megapixels. Apart from one by Robert Merkel however they did not overflow with specificity and content. They were (if anything) artistic rather than informative with one really bitchy feminist rant about how awful it is to get up the duff.

The debate rages on in an anarchic way at Catallaxy.

12 comments:

Sinclair Davidson said...

I did come and trawl through your archieves to nominate something. You were mentioned in dispatches this afternoon (that post got eaten when catallaxy upgraded). But I was looking for slightly longer pieces and yours are slightly shorter. so sorry. I did like the one where you described what you ate in Cairns, but didn't want to over do it.

rabee said...

I think it's important to be recognized. Best of luck for 2007.

Sir Henry Casingbroke said...

Don't mimic those intellectual mice! Let down their tyres. You're an original H. 2007 will be your year. Mark my words.

conrad said...

I wouldn't worry Harry (about the prize or what others do for that matter). I don't think I've ever won a prize judged by other people for anything, but its never stopped me at what I do.

Given the unsexy nature of conservative right wing politics, I'll assume it will be no easy feat for you either -- but it shouldn't stop you publishing in top economic journals, which I presume is a slightly more important goal for you! I'll look for forward to that Nature paper written by you this year on decision making and judgement...

hc said...

Thanks fellas, I am just taking it one day at a time but your words add comfort and help me through this difficult phase of my life.

Quentin Tyler said...

Who on earth are Ken Parish, Nicholas Gruen and Helen Dale? What special stuff does Ken Parish have to select and Nicholas Gruen have to be a sounding board? What qualifies them to judge blogs? Are the writers, or just attention-seekers? Blogs and the web are not about self-appointed wankers big-noting themselves, its an environment of free expression and debate, in which 'demand' determines who gets read and taken seriously. We neither need nor want academy awards here. Someone tell me which blogs they liked, so I can make sure not to read them...

Sir Henry Casingbroke said...

If I may be so bold as to offer an opinion, I think you could make your threadstarters a bit more provocative. (As you do from time to time.) Problem is you are not punching through the blogosphere cacophony of me-me-me. Indeed, Yobbo has characterised you as a "left-moderate". I guess, coming from his perspective you are, albeit from mine you are a coherent (as distinct from raving looney) lift-music right winger. I think you have to lose that MOR, feel, Harry.

Yobbo said...

I don't think Harry is a left-moderate. I classify him as a conservative paternalist.

derrida derider said...

Yeah, it'd be fun to see a Harry Clarke post written in the style of Graeme Bird (though more seriously I wish Graeme Bird would wrote in the style of Harry).

I reckon it would make an amusing (and instructive) post sometime to get a competition going where we try and parody well known commenters' styles while maintaining our own political positions.

Sir Henry Casingbroke said...

Bird's commentary is nasty, racist and so illogical it verges on deranged.

Because of his scatological notoriety, many blog administrators chop off his comments at entry point or have him on permanent moderation.

Nevertheless, it seems he serves as form of amusement for people who treat him as a blogosphere village idiot. As a blogger who comes from the right on most topics and issues, he is also a very easy target for left-wing and green-left bloggers, who feel superior in publicly humiliating him.

I'm in two minds about his output: on the one hand, he argues ad hominem in a particularly vicious way (witness his recent attack at Larvatus on Kim which was extraordinarily gratuitous and gross). Should this be tolerated on a blog for the sake of free speech? Such personally hurtful invective does tend to spoil and intimidate people from having a full-range but fun discussion.

On the other hand, by recognising him as a "personality" blogs may be offering him an outlet and a social life/notoriety he may not otherwise enjoy. Denying him this opportunity may be a disproportionate "punishment" for some form of tourettism, whuich he may not be able to help.

A true dilemma.

Anonymous said...

Harry it was a fairly pragmatic process - limited as the cover contribution introducing BB06 said but who nominated. We advertised the exercise on Troppo, Catallaxy and LP. There's nothing hugely representative about that - but then we decided to do it at very short notice. I think it's achieved what it was supposed to which is a first attempt. Various people have commented that it will give them a bit of incentive to really make a post the best they can in 2007. I know I'll hope to get one in. And as for putting our own stuff in. Well we nominated, and no-one chose their own stuff.

Really I think it was worth doing, but wouldn't for a moment pretend that the process was flawless. It was hurried, but we got a result that I think was worth it.

I hope we see some nominations from you in 2007. And btw, some right leaning writers have made the 'late cut'. We left nominations open until the process had closed given the limited exposure of our call for nominations.

Nicholas Gruen (Not anonymous - It wouldn't let me log in!)

Chou Mi Pu said...

Hi from Beijing! Think award is great idea. How about expand it next year international?