THE 2007 COLLEGE FOOTBALL BLOGGER AWARDS

Just like last year, only better!

It’s the return of the College Football Blogger Awards!

Last year’s inaugural edition of the CFBAs was a wild success despite numerous hiccups, false starts, delays, and other SNAFUs. If you were with us last year, you have an idea of what we’re up to. If not, start by perusing The 2006 CFBA Trophy Case.

Briefly, here’s the way things work:

Nominations

Nominations will open today and will continue through next Sunday night, January 27. We’ll have instructions on how to nominate bloggers and posts for the various categories later this morning. The week of January 28 will be spent culling the nominations into a list of three to five official nominees for each category. These nominees will be announced essentially the same way they were last year -- at intervals on Monday, February 4 at EDSBS, MGoBlog, Burnt Orange Nation, Dawg Sports, and Rocky Top Talk.

To cast the widest net possible, anyone – bloggers and their readers alike – can make nominations.

Orson Swindle at Every Day Should Be Saturday will be this year’s host. He will have the specifics on the nominations later this morning, but one thing bears emphasis by repetition here: the best way for a blogger to nominate another blogger or a post is to say something nice about him, her, or it in a post. Have a look at the links to the Award Presentations in the Trophy Case and notice that they contain a lot of quotes from and links to nomination posts. Yes, it makes the presenters’ task of writing the presentation post easier, but it’s also nice to be quoted and linked to during the presentation of the award.

Voting

Based on what we learned last year, we’re going to determine winners in three different ways this year, based on the category and what characteristics a winner of that category should possess. First, some of the more cumbersome-to-evaluate categories will be awarded by committee rather than by popular vote. It was evident last year that a significant number of voters either ignored categories that took too long to evaluate or voted based solely on popularity rather than taking the time to evaluate all of the nominees in that category. Tasking a committee with making an informed decision is really the best way to ensure that newer or lesser-known blogs have as much of a chance to win as do more established or more widely-read blogs.

Second, categories for which an off-the-cuff decision is actually the most appropriate means of determining a winner will be voted on by college football bloggers, just like they were last year.

Finally, we have added a new award category for which bloggers and readers alike are invited to vote.

For voting categories, a link to the voting page(s) will be provided as soon as all of the official nominees have been announced on February 4. Voting will remain open for one week, until the next Sunday night, February 10.

Award Presentations

Awards will be presented on Monday and Tuesday, February 18 and February 19. We’ll do it essentially the same way we did it last year, meaning that one blogger will post one award presentation first thing Monday morning and then direct readers to the blog at which the next presentation will be posted. Right now, the plan is to have last year’s winners present this year’s award. Presentations will occur every hour on the hour on Monday until half of them are done. We’ll do the second half on Tuesday.

A Reminder on the Purpose and Goal of the Awards

The primary goal of the CFBAs is to just have a blast. There are a couple of bloggers whose accomplishments have been properly recognized to the extent that they have been able to go pro on a full-time basis. For the vast majority of us, however, amusement is the only wage, so if it isn’t fun, there’s almost no point.

The second goal is to leverage the breadth and depth of the blogosphere in the nomination phase, to commission bloggers and their readers to identify the best blogs and posts of the 2007 season so that they may be rescued from obscurity in the archives.

The second goal can be at odds with the third goal, however, which is to bring attention to worthy but lesser-known blogs. We went into last year’s awards knowing that there was a very real probability that a handful of bloggers would win the majority of the awards. We did witness Orson and Sunday Morning Quarterback combine to win nine of the 22 awards, but we also managed to have 13 different winners. This year we aim to improve the balance a bit by making any winner of any category last year ineligible to win that category this year. Instead, as I said earlier, last year’s winner will present this year’s award.

So what about the impact of that rule on the second goal? Good question. We’re still brainstorming that one. Perhaps we’ll have a special 2007 Best of EDSBS post or something, but we don’t yet know.

The final goal is to rally the entire college football blogosphere into a concerted, intentional effort to promote itself to the uninitiated. Don’t kid yourself. Most people don’t have any clue that we exist. They’re still getting their sports information and entertainment from the likes of ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and their local paper. Yeah, the kind that leaves a smudge on your fingers. We have something to offer, and while we’re growing exponentially just by word of mouth and search engines, it behooves us all to take a few days to actively promote each other. When we get a new recruit on campus, we’ll have a nice shiny trophy case to show them in hopes that they’ll stick around and help us further develop the program.

One final thing. The CFBAs are quite different from most blog awards. We don’t just make a list of nominees, open the voting, and post a list of the winners. No, we blog the entire process. All college football bloggers are encouraged to write posts, and to encourage their readers to post comments, nominating their choices for each of the awards with the reasons they think their nominees are worthy. Winners will be announced not by list, but by the two-day ceremony described above. The entire process is intended to be a link-rich conversation from beginning to end. After all, that’s what blogs are all about, right?

I now hand off to this year’s host, Orson Swindle of EDSBS, who will list the categories for this year and explain the nomination process.

Attention all college football bloggers: please help get the word out by posting a link to this announcement. Thanks!

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