BBC World News – The best of the web’s blogs – online diaries or websites where people publish their thoughts – have been recognised in the annual Bloggies.
Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things took the top overall blog prize.
The prize for the best British blog and the lifetime achievement award went to plasticBag.org, a site dedicated to musings about people and new media.
The winners from 30 categories were announced at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Texas, US.
Boing Boing is written by Cory Doctorow, Xeni Jardin, Mark Frauenfelder, and David Pescovitz, and started life five years ago as a paper-based magazine.
“We honestly didn’t expect this, and we are deeply moved and grateful,” Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin said on the site.
“There were many other deserving blogs up for awards, backed by talented folks who work very hard, and we raise our collective pirate-eye-patches in their honour.”
Blogs have been highlighted as a growing trend amongst net users over the last 18 months.
Most are easy and free to set up, require little technical knowledge. Many are blurring the line between journalism and online commentary.
Gossip and politics
Gawker Media, a blog publishing house, and Dooce, written by one of the first people to be fired for writing a blog, dominated the annual awards, picking up four prizes each.
Heather Armstrong, a web designer, gained notoriety when she was fired from her job for what she had written on her blog about her workplace and colleagues.
She helped coin the phrase “dooced”, which means to be sacked because of a weblog’s content.
Her site ended the night as the best US, most humorous, best taglined, and best-written blog.
Gawker Media, which runs several high-profile blog sites, won best entertainment blog for Defamer, a gossip site.
It also picked up the award for best technology blog, which was handed to Gizmodo. Gawker’s Wonkette blog was also named best political blog.
The site rewarded for its “community” efforts was technology blog Slashdot.
Flick, the photo sharing and community site which lets people upload, tag, share and publish their images to blogs, won recognition for the best “meme” – a “replicating idea that spread about weblogs”.
The organiser of the Bloggies, Nikolai Nolan, said there had been a lot more new finalists this year. Several entries reflected specific news events, like the Asian tsunami.
Blogs had a big year last year, with a top US dictionary naming “blog” word of 2004.
Technorati, a blog search engine, tracks more than seven million blogs and says that more than 12,000 are added daily.
But a recent Gallup survey revealed that only one in four Americans were either very familiar or somewhat familiar with blogs.
More than half, 56%, said they had no knowledge of them. Among internet users, only 32% said they were very or somewhat familiar with them.
Blogs in the annual Bloggies are chosen and voted for by the public.