There has been much talk over the past month of Liberal Democrats, blogging and awards. Jonathan Calder has, by dint of giving the snowball a decently hard shove, started that debate and taken it on, helped by Jennie (made of awesome) Rigg, Alex (and to think I was his Returning Officer once...) Wilcock and others.
I haven't won any awards, although I wouldn't say no if I did, but I do have a BOTY here in the office at home - the one that Ros won in 2008 for best use of social media in a campaign. It's very nice, and remains shiny. Shiny...
But I digress.
I tend to think that awards should reward innovation, entertainment and achievement, and I tend to agree with Paul Walter to some extent when he suggests that blogging is dead. I wouldn't go that far, merely suggesting that, with the emergence of a whole bunch of other media, blogging isn't as exciting as it was, and I remain to be convinced that it is the best medium to convey ideas and information, especially in a political sense.
So, if I were deciding upon the awards, what would I like to see? How about;
- best use of social media in a political campaign
- most humorous use of the internet
- best blog post
- best blog
- best tweet/hashtag
- best new blog
- best non-Liberal Democrat politician on the internet
- best non-politician on the internet
I'd also consider restricting the role of the judges to picking a shortlist, upon which the decision would be handed over to those registered in the Forum to vote on. Indeed, perhaps we should elect some of the judges!
I agree that we should announce the categories at the beginning of the year, remind people about them from time to time, and open nominations six weeks before Federal Conference in the autumn, leaving time for judging and voting.
I'd happily promote the awards, although frankly, I should be doing that anyway.
And, as for the awards ceremony itself, we should get a 'personality' to hand them out, complete with glamorous assistant if need be. There's a lot of really good stuff happening out there, and the Awards should be an opportunity to celebrate that and have some fun. Because, ultimately, we do this because we enjoy it, don't we?