Since sifting through South Florida's blogs twice a day has kept me busy for going on five years, I always find blogging "Best Of's" to be interesting. For one, I sometimes discover new blogs that I haven't been following that I probably should be following. And two, I like to compare my choices with those of others.
For the third time this year, the New Times is determining the best blogs in South Florida. The first time was back in January when "Miami's Best Blogs" were selected. As I pointed out back then, whether these were the "best blogs" or "best political blogs" was unclear, but in the end, the New Times was recognizing outstanding blogging. Then in June, the New Times recognized Random Pixels as the Best Blog as part of their "Best Of" annual selections.
Billing their latest contest as their "first annual South Florida Web Awards," last week the New Times announced their New Times' South Florida Web Awards 2012. From the website...
We've spent the past few weeks scoping out South Florida's social media landscape in search of the best of the web. Our eyes are a bit bleary from staring at our computer screens and iPhones, but here it is: our first annual South Florida Web Awards. From the apps you can't live without to the blog you should be reading and the Instagram photos that put South Florida under a toaster filter, we're recognizing those who take the time to digitally document our area.Because I support any genuine and sincere effort to promote blogging in South Florida, I was kind of curious to review what criteria had been used to pick the finalists, especially since one of them doesn't even exist anymore. So I fired off an email to New Times Web Editor Jose D. Duran. According to Mr. Duran...
Now that we've decided on the finalists, you, the reader, can make your choice.
Our staff chose this year's nominees. We took into consideration what other local publications and sites have done for their web and blog awards. Next year, the process will definitely change.Mr. Duran also pointed out that "the term 'best' is subjective."
Indeed, I suppose picking the best blogs in Miami is subjective but some of the things that I look for are the quality of the writing, post composition and organization, unique content, consistent posting, relevancy, use of links, and interaction with readers. I'm still not sure what the New Times staff used in their selection process other than "consider[ing] what other local publications and sites have done for their web and blog awards."
It is a challenging proposition to come up with only a handful of stellar South Florida blogs and while I agree with most of the New Times selections, left on the cutting room floor were blogs like Critical Miami, Miami Beach 411, Discourse, Long Play Miami, Roy Black, and Redland Rambles, among others... and yours truly.
Like the defunct and highly forgettable Sun-Sentinel "Bob Awards," voting for the New Times South Florida Web Awards will be by readers which means that each finalist's social media machine will be cranked up and working overtime with "Vote for me!" recommendations that will link up and direct traffic over to the New Times site. There are no stated guidelines or limits for voting.
So, with that, get voting for your favorite nominated blog. May the best blog [and the blog with the best social media network] win.
UPDATED: Palm Beach Underground, the blog that wasn't, has been removed from the "Palm Beach Blog" category without explanation.