Had I not read Hoder's blog today I would have definitely missed the Deutsche Welle Best of the Blogs awards 2006 ceremony held in Museum for Communication Berlin a few hours ago. I knew about the awards but I was unaware of the time and place and whether it was open to public.
And there I was listening to 12 of the jurists (Manal from Egypt was absent) and a few more guests, who are blog legends in their parts of the world and also internationally known. It was really a learning experience hearing different views of the speakers who represented bloggers from different languages, nations and communities. The juries explained why they have chosen the particular blogs from each category. There was also a open to all question and answer session.
Internet users from around the world suggested over 5,500 blogs in 10 languages to the contest, more than twice as many last year. The international jury of bloggers, independent journalists and media experts created a shortlist of 10 nominees in each of the contest's 15 categories. The nominees were then opened to the public's critical eye for three weeks of voting.
The competition's Best Weblog awards went to an American blog, the Sunlight Foundation. PaidContent.org received the award for Best English Weblog.
Please click here for the complete list of the jury award winners.
A user prize was awarded to the blog with the most votes in each of the contest's categories.
Here are a few of the comments quoted from the various discussions:
Hossein Derakhshan (Iran): "Iranian bloggers show that this generation is much tolerant and open minded than the previous generation."
Michael Anti (China): "In China blogging has become a sensation. China is the largest blogging nation in the world. Almost all the celebrities (actors, journalists) have own blogs and those are read and commented by the fans. Democracy can be far away but the Chinese people can exercise democracy through blogs."
Gilles Klein (France): "Although there are millions of blogs in France, there are only small number of blogs which matters. The blogs are depended on the servers or platforms. If one ceases to exist, it will affect many bloggers."
Kaltmamsell (Germany): "In Germany one small shop owner started a blog and it got popular. Then it attracted a comment 'The next thing we will see that a toilette cleaner is blogging', and it divided the German bloggers. One half said 'yayee' we would love to read that. The other half opposed it and opined that Blog articles should have some literary value and have certain etiquettes. This shows the unique blogging trend in Germany."
Sonia Francine (Brazil): "Blogging is not yet recognized in Brazil as something noteworthy. However the best Portuguese language blog has influenced the bicycle activism which are protesting the uncontrolled growth of car ownership in Brazil."
Marina Litvinovich (Russia): "Football is important than politics in Russia" while announcing the best corporate blog 'Soccer Club' (Russia).
Julien Pain (France): "The pair of Iranian winners of Reporters Without Borders Award defends free expression in a country that extensively censors the Internet and jails bloggers who are too critical of its government."
It may be noted that Global Voices Online won the best English-language journalistic Weblog awards in 2005.