Changes To The American Wine Blog Awards
With the first American Wine Blog Awards complete, I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the way they came off, with the attention we were able to point toward wine blogging and with the amazing amount of participation that they elicited. They were a success. But they could be better.
I’ve had a chance to think about the AWBA and believe the following changes should be made. Any input from bloggers, voters or readers would be appreciated.
THE NOMINATION PROCESS
As you’ll recall, we had anyone and everyone offer up nominations in various categories. Over 600 comments were left nominating various blogs. I think this worked well. It offered the best opportunity to have all blogs put in the running. I don’t think this will change.
A panel of winemakers, wine marketers and wine writers were gracious enough to go through all the nominees and determine the finalists. I had them choose and rank their top four blogs in each category and from that we determined the four finalists in each category. Again, I think this worked well. I don’t think we’ll be changing this process.
DETERMINING THE WINNERS
This was accomplished by a vote open to anyone who chose to vote. Although the result of this process turned out to be far less of a "popularity contest" than I expected it to be, I’ve been thinking that I want to do what is possible to make sure it does not turn into that kind of competition; that the winners always represent top quality blogs. That worked out this time perfectly. However, the change I’m considering putting in place would be to created a weighted combination of popular voting and judging by a panel. I’ve not determined what the weight might be. Perhaps 60% of the judgment from from the popular vote and 40% from a panel of judges. However, this sort of process is what I am leaning toward.
A number of folks have suggested changing the categories, dropping some, or adding others. This is certainly under consideration. I don’t want there to be more than seven categories. However, I would love any suggestions on what those categories might be.
What’s an Award without a prize. Actually, that was what the American Wine Blog Awards were this year. I felt bad about not having significant prizes. I worked hard on procuring something that would have really honored the winners or at least the "Best Overall Blog". That will change next year. I’m working diligently now to procure prizes for the Award Winners that will have real meaning.
Again if anyone has any suggestions for improving the American Wine Blog Awards, I’d love to hear them and begin a dialogue on just this question.