The JIBs stand for Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards. You might remember them from our single post on the subject, or from the fact that everyone and his/her cousin has been talking about them.
My favorite post on the subject? Either of Michael's on whom G-d would vote for. Posted at Jewlicious, and Kosher Eucharist, I laughed twice. The best part of his post goes like this:
Lord: And you want my picks?
Michael: If it’s not too much trouble.
The Lord released a long, hissing breath.
Lord: Alright. JSpot.
Michael: Really, Lord? But I think they’re quee–
Lord: The Lord is down with downtown,
said the Lord, sweeping away 4000 years of religious certitude with one slightly inelegant play on words.
Michael: Okay then, Lord. But one more question. Since You’re a Buddhist now, what would You, the unfathomable entity who brought the universe into being, want to be reincarnated as?
Lord: Art Blakey. God out.
Michael: And His Presence left me.
On a slightly more serious note, Soccer Dad posts a criticism of the Awards, mostly centered around his own blog and efforts, but astute nonetheless. His main point is one with which I agree: "A certain blogger who's been impugning them [the JIBs} and saying that the vote should be about quality. The chutzpah here is that he complains that the JIB's are a popularity contest, but he benefits from that very fact. Since his is a high traffic site he wins JIB's each time out. I don't think much of his blog with its sloppy reasoning and poor spelling and general mean spiritedness. But he has the visitors, so he has the JIB's and will garner two or three more this year." That is the basic issue. When we're talking about blogs those with the highest circulation will win a vote-based contest. It is more a demonstration of who can best "get out the vote" rather than whose content is the best. Subjective as that may be. Yehuda of Jergames adds his criticism of the process (and his logic for why he didn't proceed to the next round), as well as some endorsements of other bloggers. He also acknowledges that because the awards are a volunteer effort that we should maybe give the organizers a bit of slack.
But, when you think about it, isn't the number of readers of a blog, in some ways, demonstrative of the quality (or perceived quality) of the blog? If you have 10,000 readers a month, then a certain number of people have chosen to read your blog, from all other blogs and media available. That means something. Is US Weekly a better publication than NY Times if it has higher subscription rates? No, but those people who buy US instead of NY Times find that it fits their needs. And that has a value too.
Ari, of Ari's Blog, takes the whole thing a little less seriously. His comment is that it is "a contest where there is no prize other than bragging rights... It’s actually funny, because many of the bloggers who have entered the fray are anonymous (like Jacob). So who can they really brag to anyway?" Meanwhile, he suggests two new categories: neighborhood awards, and humility awards. While I think that his idea is great, one of my critiques of the JIBs is that they have too many categories. Seriously. Especially in the first round. I have a short attention span and cannot be bothered to vote more than 15 times. For anything.
As I mentioned earlier, the contest seems to be mostly about getting out the vote, so I thought I'd give a short listing of some of the participant bloggers who have engaged in this practice most recently:
Rabbi Gil Student of Hirhurim
Beth of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Menachem Wecker of Iconia
Steve of It's Almost Supernatural
Tzemach Atlas of Mentalblog.com
Ted W. Gross of Help! I have a fire in my kitchen.
Brooklyn Wolf of Wolfish Musings
Mottel of Letters of Thought
Darnell Clayton of Isragood
And that's only May 9th forward. I am sure that if I went back to the date of the beginning of first round voting, that I'd find another flurry of request posts. This is, by the way, not to critique these individuals for their efforts, but rather to report on the state of the J-blogosphere.