Open Foot, Insert Mouth

I was going to leave this in the comments of my last post, but found myself doing so much fulminating until it seemed worth turning this into a whole nother entry.

So the ugly story: I get snarky below about the trackback ping I got earlier today from chachacha.co.uk, and opine that the proprietor of said site is using mine to campaign for his Bloggie. Said proprietor, however, shows up next in the comments, and is actually fairly nice to me despite my snark.

Man, I keep forgetting this whole internet thing is all networked and stuff. You can get here from anywhere. And if you got here once, it’s likely you could find your way back.

Well, James, welcome. And sorry for giving you grief, in what I thought was absentia.

And good luck with the non-campaign. I do have to say that the great thing about your category is the oddness of the clustering. If ChaChaCha and ChromeWaves and PopJustice are all, in some sense, a “weblog about music,” well, it’s definitely in different senses. 75 Words is fascinating, and is definitely about music, but is not so much a weblog, no? And Moby is of course mostly about Moby, and whether that’s the same thing as music or not is open to question.

All of which brings me back around to Liz’s post about the categorization of blogs, which clued me in to the availability of the nominations in the first place. I’m fascinated by the award categories, and particularly what’s there and what’s not, what’s been added this year and what’s been deleted. For instance: gone are the tangential-to-the-blog categories (Best Weblog Ring, Best Merchandise, Best Webcam, Best Reviews or Weblog about Weblogs), replaced by a couple of new geographical categories (British or Irish — which seems to me just asking for trouble — and African or Middle Eastern) and a category that I really don’t understand: Best Photography of a Weblog. Not on, but of. Are we talking about pictures one takes of one’s blog?

The ongoing categories are equally interesting. There are a slew of geographical divisions, which strike me as interesting in a “place” folks once argued was going to do away with the nation-state. There are categories like “best meme” and “best essay about weblogs,” “best weblog directory or update monitor” and “best web application for weblogs.” Those strike me as being something akin to the technical Oscars, given at a special banquet two weeks before — very important, but definitely behind the scenes.

But when we scroll down (way down) to the “categories” categories, we get:

  • best weblog about music
  • best weblog about politics
  • best web development weblog
  • best computers or technology weblog
  • best topical weblog
  • best glbt weblog
  • most humorous weblog

Arguably that last one should be considered separately from the “categories” categories, but it struck me as referring somewhat more obliquely to the “humor” category.

Anyway, what I’m interested in here is what’s left out — academic blogs, personal blogs, blogs about more than one thing. And how the categories singled out — particularly politics, music, and technology — wind up getting reified as most important, as we discussed a while back.

I’m a bit conclusion-free this evening, having clearly been caught out writing-before-thinking. But I wonder whether the divisions among genres in blogging have become so deep, as Clay Shirky suggests, make it impossible to name any one thing that blogging is anymore.

Which starts to suggest that naming the “best” ought to be equally impossible.

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