The Annual Begging

Yes, Dear Reader, it’s that time of year again. The time when Total Politics magazine polls for the Blog Awards 2011, and I write a nice(ish) post asking you to vote for me.

As you can see from the right hand side of this page, last year, I managed to get into the top 100 Labour blogs, top 100 Left-wing blogs and top 300 political blogs. To be more precise I was 35th, 88th, and 225th. A lot’s changed over that year. Then I was living in Newcastle and working for a University daydreaming about working in Westminster in a political job. Now I’m living in SE London and working in politics in Westminster. Also, as well as writing for my own blog here, I do a lot of writing for the Christian Socialist Movement blog.

I love every minute of every day now, but don’t get the time to blog as much as I used to. Or at least I haven’t until quite recently. I’m trying to make a bit more time to write, because I enjoy it a lot. I’m also planning to upgrade the site a little in the autumn to make it work better for what I want it to do.

Anway, I’d really really love to get your vote and see if I can get in those charts again. Partly as an ego-boost, partly because the awards make the right hand side of my site look pretty, and partly because it helps with my job. So accept my thanks in advance for your vote. Go on, you know you want to!

There are lots of ways of measuring how popular a blog is. You can compare the number of people who visit it. You can use complicated formulas and maths to plot the different variables. You can map its range on social media.

Or you can just ask the people who read blogs what they like best. That’s what the Total Politics Blog Awards is all about. There are no shortlists and no pre-selection. You can vote for any blog you like, large or small.

This is our sixth Blog Awards. But this year, we’ve made a couple of tweaks to the way it’s going to work.

Instead of sending your choices by email, you can enter your votes on this survey and choose the categories you think each blog belongs in.

We’ve also added a new element to the awards for individual bloggers. The blogosphere has changed a lot since the awards first started, and it is now much more common for bloggers to contribute to a number of different websites rather than maintaining their own personal blog.

Here’s how it works. Say you’re a fan of Iain Dale. You follow him on Twitter or through RSS and like reading his blogs. So you read him on his old blog, on his new Dale and Company site, on Total Politics, at the Telegraph and others. There’s no one site you can vote for to reflect your preference for one particular author. So now you can just vote for authors, independent of which sites they write for.

Of course, you can still vote for whole websites. So if you like the mix of authors and content on a particular blog, you can vote for it in the same way you always have.

This year, Twitter has continued to rise in influence in politics, so we’re also asking you to nominate your favourite political tweeter. We can work out who has the most followers and most influence, but we also want to know who is your favourite to follow and why.

Here are the rules in full. Voting opens at 9am on Monday 8 August and closes at midnight on Friday 19 August. Any votes submitted after that will not be counted.

The rules are simple.

  1. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. The higher you rank a blog or author, the higher up they will appear in the aggregated results. You must enter a minimum of five names for your vote to count. If you don’t want to enter more than five, just write ‘blank’ in the remaining boxes. Every box must have some text in for the vote to be submitted successfully.
  2. Only submit your vote once. If you vote more than once, it won’t be counted.
  3. Only blogs based in the UK, run by UK residents and based on UK politics are eligible. However, this does not mean blogs hosted outside the UK, or blogs with contributors who don’t live in the UK aren’t eligible.
  4. Anonymous votes left in the comments on the Total Politics website or emailed to members of staff will not count. You must submit your vote via the survey and you must enter a valid email address when you do so.
  5. Do not publish a list of ten blogs on your site and try to persuade readers to vote for them. Any duplicate voting of this nature will be disallowed.

Any queries, contact caroline.crampton@totalpolitics.com

If you have your own blog, we’d love for you to encourage your readers to take part. Just download the code from the ‘related documents’ tab at the side of this post and copy it to insert the blog awards logo with an automatic link to the survey.

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