tâ€™s that time of the year again. Tis the season of the blog awards in Pakistan, a tradition that began in 2010 with CIO & Google partnering to host the first blog awards of this nation. No they arenâ€™t some hokey pokey geeky awards given in the shape of graphics in an email to people no one knows about.This is the Pakbloggers version of the Oscars, we love it, we hate it, we want it, we fight over it and we complain like anything when itâ€™s over in the only way we know howÂ â€œall over the internetâ€. So I guess as far as the hype is concerned, we take care of that all on our own.
This yearâ€™s blog awards are being hosted by PCWorld which is an organization made up of some of the same forces that brought you the first awards. Jokes aside, the lineup of sponsors is impressive with presenter/Lead Partners YouTube/Google, Nokia, and Djuice alongside Dell and Intel, voting has just finished yesterday and the entire new media of this nation is now on tenterhooks.
Who are the judges, how will they vote, never mind the page long guidelines they have given us on the website! We want to know the inner mechanisms of the beast, how and what will decide who gets the legendry plastic/fibre globe on a wood base! Who will be the victors and who will exit this digital arena vanquished? There are a multitude of theories abound on Twitter and Facebook and this will continue till the day of the awardsâ€¦some say it is all part of a greater plan, some say itâ€™s to give credit where credit is due. I say why wait? So I am going to pick my winners list from some of the categories and give reasons as to why I think they should win in their respective slots. If it works, you can accuse me of being the punter of social media. If it doesnâ€™t, well then it doesnâ€™t!
Incidentally, some of us bloggers who form the dark underbelly of the shining social media landscape of this nation are also taking spot bets on how late jehanara will be, how much rabia will giggle, will awab carry a PTI flag on stage and so onâ€¦.spot bets I said NOT FIXING OK.
Before I put my foot further into my mouth, here are my winners:
Agents for change
The Pardigm House, Shazia yousuf
Well written articles exploring different philosophies ideas and issues pertaining to the youth of today, has nuance and ability to bring about change in a subtle manner. May not be as polished as some of the other entries but way ahead in content.
Tea break, Asim, Ammar, Hamza
Some of the other entries are up and coming as well but with 3000 registered blogs and a network comprising of 72% of our blogsphere in it..there is no beating this behemoth.
Best blog from a journalist
Journeys to democracy, Beena sarwar
Errr wow I couldâ€™ve nominated myself for this one no?â€¦well I am glad I did not because this blog would have left me in the dust like it leaves the competition. No offence this one is just too clear a winner
Best business blog
Life etc, Momekh
A subject I happen to know a little bit about other than star wars, a business blog has to discuss stratagems on varied subjects and momekh does that like a yoda,enough said.
Best celebrity profiling blog
Pakspice, Sameer nasir
Although I felt pakprofiles by FQ is the standout blog nominated in this category but itâ€™s the wrong category for it, this is about masala people, real celebs not inspirational leaders, models,actressesvavavoom and thatâ€™s what pak spice gives you, so it wins the race!
Best corporate brand blog
Progmic, Sheeraz alam
Just two nominees in this category? Sheesh which cocoon are all our grand MNCs with their billions wasted on ad departments sleeping in? In any case progmic wins this hands down because the other blog nominated is about development, that has nothing to do with corporate brand blogging, progmic is all about HP, a brandâ€¦hello.
Best current affairs blog
I will leave this one be as I am the co-editor on one of the blogs nominated, letâ€™s see if you can guess which one.
Crimson sky, Tazeen razi
A very very tough category to pick from as I thought there were at least three very close blogs in here, I gave it to crimson sky based on the fact that itâ€™s been around for a while since 2007 (stamina) and felt the most eloquent and personal, however AwaisAftab was a close second also.
Best Fashion Blog
Pnk 255, Amara javed
My very fashionable 8 year old daughter picked this to be the winner and thatâ€™s about it.
Best Food blog
Crazy chef, Tehniat aftab
Full of flavor and some startling recipes, great blog! Name has crazy in it but the blog has serious substance!
Bring the funny version 2,Â Sami shah
Itâ€™s hilarious, it has comments that have not been approved yet and it is the only blog out there belonging to a genuinely funny real stand up comic.
Desi writers lounge
Do I need to even explain this one? Well desi writers is a community portal for writers producing some of the best unheard of fiction and serious writing online.
Best online community
Voice of youth, Mohmal mushtaq
300 writers from all over the world, award winning platform, very good interface what else do you want?
Best photo blog
Basils photography, Basil andrews
Another category with truly mesmerizing content, basil stands out for his diversity, color capture and his eye for angles which only a true genius with a lens could manipulate
Best social activist blog
Shouldnâ€™t even be a category in my opinion because whoever does any kind of social activism or uplift work in this country deserves an award from all of us. Itâ€™s between sabahat and sanasaleem on this one, because I feel that as a downtrodden part of our society ie the female one.These two do a lot to raise voices about issues pertaining to this genderâ€™s problems. I canâ€™t pick, you tell me!
Best sports blog
Sports pulse, Abdul muqeet
Its comprehensive it came from an idea that two guys in Karachi had and it is really worth reading and following for up to the minute coverage and articles on a variety of sports.
Best travel blog
Iexplorepakistan, Danial shah
A travel phtographerâ€™s blog showing you Pakistan through his eyes as he travels all across it, really inspiring work.
Best Urdu blog
Abu shami,Â Fahad kethar
Lots of interesting entries in this section also but Fahadâ€™s blog still does it for me so will go for it. This won last year to but until there is something out there thatâ€™s better I canâ€™t pick anyone else.
Best video blog
247online.tv, Faisal qureshi
Itâ€™s not just a video blog, itâ€™s an on-demand channel for shows on news, current affairs, youth etc, nothing else even comes close in this category!
So thatâ€™s my list. The categories I have skipped over have clear winners in them hence I do not think they need bear more deliberation. I have to say though that after having gone over all of these sections and the blogs nominated in them, the judges have a tough ask this year as many of the blogs are very very high in quality and thus the field is very level. So seriously no pressure here at all!
Just a footnote though, the blog awards make a lot of very poignant sense to me as a blogger, the website hosting them however is another story altogether. May the best blog win!
As published in TFT on 2/12/2011