Monday, January 15, 2007

Intent of the Blogisattva Awards and a Few Words on Selecting Nominees and Winners

The Blogisattva Awards are intended to get out the good news that Buddhist blogs make for great reading. The buddhoblogosphere can be helpful to one’s practice or in helping people face the stress and challenges of knocking about on this old planet of ours, in addition to being fun and interesting to read.

Blogs, bloggers and posts nominated for awards or selected for awards will not necessarily be the very best blogs/bloggers/posts in their category out there. I do not pretend to be able to discern with precision what is magnificent from what is merely excellent. Often spectacular blogs and posts will be overlooked. And sometimes some less-than-sterling stuff will get nommed or win an award. Also, certainly, the idea of best is muddy and uncertain in this realm where judgment is necessarily subject to individual preference and prejudice.

But because of care and interest in what might be wonderful in the world of Buddhist bloggery, I will be bringing to the fore a boatload of stuff, most of which is really great, world-class reading material that deserves blog-readers’ attention. I hope you will come, read, and decide for yourself what you like.

A criticism has been expressed that these awards might cause some bloggers to alter what they do for the specific purpose of getting an award. I doubt that will happen. For one thing, it is known that the Blogisattvas are truly just a tiny enterprise and that Buddhists are immune to hoopla, fanfare, wild enthusiasm and anything that might make them giddy. Hooray for that!!! Also, the blogging art is, in and of itself, already, so exquisite a creative exercise that it cannot be augmented with greater pleasure; it is absolute bliss, a hardened sphere of perfect enjoyment. But in a larger sense, we cannot nominate, we cannot award, we cannot hallow the buddhoblogosphere. The brave Buddhist bloggers who struggle here have consecrated the Internet far above our poor power to add or detract.

Selecting nominees and winners

Generally, what is sought in making selections is excellence appropriate to the category. A few blogs, bloggers or posts that are a little blinky about whether they are Buddhist or not can be at a disadvantage. Blogs that don’t welcome comments and bloggers who don’t respond to their commenters can be at a disadvantage in being selected for awards. It is considered bad form not to have either a blogroll or a favorite-posts widget of some sort on a blog. If a blog isn’t opening doors to other blogs, it will be noticed.

But all this is not to say that bloggers should conform to what is sought by the Blogisattva Committee. Rather, I am just letting y’all know what minor elements are considered excellent and the committee will be aware of when your blog is perused. Just letting y’all know, is all.

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Erica Shane said...

It seems that most of the blogs nominated are written by men. I wonder if Buddhist blogs written by women are somehow not getting seen or nominated. I happen to be female and Buddhist and a blogger, but I don't really care if you nominate me for a Blogisattva award. I just think there might be a lot more really cool Buddhist blogs out there written by women than have been perused.

Tom said...


I think you are right. For next year an effort must be made to see how the pool of blogs that are watched get restricted or narrowed such that they end up overwhelmingly being guy blogs.

There are probably a half-dozen reasons for this, but it seems to certainly be the case that certain wonderful styles of blogging are being underappreciated.

I will go through the nominees and do a count by gender, just to get a fix on where we are this year. While it may be the case that more men than women are serious bloggers, for the male/female ratio of nominees to be greater than, say, 5/3 would suggest something is seriously askew. And I would guess it is something like 7/1 this year.

Sujatin said...

Just looked at the blogs s in the categories - how does one vote?