Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Know Your Jewish Community: The JIBs

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
Jewish Athiest
Menachem Wecker of Iconia
Steve of It's Almost Supernatural
Tzemach Atlas of
Ted W. Gross of Help! I have a fire in my kitchen.
Jewish Blogmeister
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.


Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know if high traffic = quality, but there is a certain truth to the concept that people vote with their feet- or in this case...their keyboards.

Jack's Shack said...

Feh on all this JIB stuff.

ck said...

No one should ever vote for us because we are Mormons. That having been said I would have voted for your blog. If I voted. But I didn't.

What I loved most about this years JIBs was the attempted cheating and the profusion of orthoblogs.

Of course the JIBs are solely a measure of how effectively one shnorrs for votes - everyone knows that the best Jewish blog on the Web is Gawker.

Ted W. Gross said...

I am actually not sure what the attempt at cynicism is about or your attempt at whining. If this Blog was famous, then possibly your comments may or may not have merit.

I don't mind you putting Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen up here. Hell I could not care one way or another. But your attempt at humor coupled with your childish whining needs to be really taken to task.

The blog that I did say to vote for, is Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen, and it is the winner of the Weblogs Best FoodBlog of 2007, which is considered a fairly prestigious award. Actually much more than fairly prestigious. And when that award was going on I did ask people to vote for it as well. It did not stop Google from picking it as a Blog of Note. (Didn't notice you got that either..but then again whining is oh so much better and easier than producing something worthwhile... isn't it?

Got news for you. Blogging is a serious business, and though it is a hobby for me... when I see your blog even make it to the Weblog finals next year, then maybe your comments may have some merit.

As to the JIB's. Well they were good and bad. Actually the sidebar on Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen was taken down way before it ended.

BUT it is totally legitimate for someone to ask for others to vote for their blog. And it is important to have contests. But it seems those that whine the loudest are those whose blogs are the least visited.

Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen has over 2500 hits a day from all over the world. When you get there..let me know.

Until that point in time...whine away. It works for some. But then again it is always good to keep a pacifier around.

And lets see if you have courage to publish this one...cause either way I am going to have fun with your post in my blogs..

Teddy @ Help! I Have A Fire In My Kitchen

harley said...


Congratulations on your win!


P.S. That chicken recipe was to die for, seriously.

Ezzie said...

I've long argued that traffic is a sign of at least some quality, though I can think of many exceptions, particularly in the smaller Jewish blogosphere. Most of the big blogs I read are actually pretty darn good.

michael said...

I'm trying to think of the right word for Mr. Gross. "Ludicrously, deludingly self-important" seems slightly too verbose...I think what I want rhymes with "lock-mucker."

I've got news for YOU, motherfucker: there is no such thing as a prestigious blog award. And I'm right, because I contribute a blog that gets more than 2500 hits a day. Which, clearly, makes me a better person than you. And certainly more qualified to express an opinion.

May the fire spread to the rest of your house.

Chris said...

"And lets see if you have courage to publish this one...cause either way I am going to have fun with your post in my blogs.."

Oh, fuck you, Agnes. You're threatening to make fun of someone on your blog? Is that what passes for ominous in Limpdick Springs? "Raise the drawbridge! Lower the portcullis! Pray to the Virgin for succor! Some prim, pompous turd is going to flame us in his glorified livejournal!"

Jacob Da Jew said...

First off, thanks for the link.

Interesting point about the traffic re: more votes.

More traffic most definitely equals more votes. Look no further than Muzzlewatch(where the fuck did they come from?) and Dry Bones.

I have seen more traffic during the voting period because I nominated myself in the JIBS . I discovered a few new blogs that I like such as Shlemazl.

I do think that the way it was run was shoddy but not because the commitee was. These guys have regular day jobs and do the work on their spare time.

Some blogs competing should have been thrown out or at least bounced into different categories.

That didn't happen, perhaps for lack of balls. Don't know.

I believe blogging is also about networking, getting others to read my crap and the JIBS afforded me a chance to do so. My bizayon(To quote Sholom the A-Rabbi) is pretty new.

You girls sound pretty cool and I'll be stoppin' by in the future. And y'all are welcome over at Da Jew's joint.


(Sorry for the long comment).

Annie said...

Ami- absolutely.

Jack- eh, probably. I am actually participating in what I hate most about the media: reporting on reporting. Oops.

CK- I absolutely agree. Gawker should win the JIBs. Although since they're professional, doesn't that mean that they can't compete, like the olympics.

Ezzie- I agree, most big blogs are big for a reason; they provide content that people want to read, which was the point that I was trying to make. Maybe a bit clumsily.

Michael and Chris- thanks guys, if possible, my blog crush on you has grown. Thanks for the defense against my first ever troll! Now I know that I have arrived as a blogger, I have a troll! Hooray!

Jacob- thanks, we'll definitely try to stop by your site in the future.

Ari Kinsberg said...

thanks for the link!

Ari Kinsberg said...

make that jewbiquitious

Ari Kinsberg said...

woops. that was supposed to go on jacaobs blog