As I mentioned voting for the 2005 Weblog Awards begins tomorrow. Vote early and vote often!
Honestly, except for bragging rights the Awards are pretty small potatoes. And even the bragging rights are only important in a pretty rarified crowd. But limited as they are they’re a way of rewarding excellence. What’s “excellence”? It’s whatever you think it is, of course. And the best way that you can insure that your own personal notion of excellence is, in fact, honored is by voting.
In some categories I’m not familiar with any of the finalists so I can’t make an informed endorsement. Lots of the finalists are blogs I visit every single day. I plan on visiting every finalist with which I’m not familiar so I can form some kind of impression. Here are the blogs I do plan on voting for:
The finalists in this category include some of the blogosphere’s power-hitters and I read every single one of them each and every day. I was sorry that the finalists in this category were, by and large, so partisan. Boing Boing is pretty non-partisan—it’s largely although not exclusively a tech blog.
And then there’s Instapundit. Although some classify it as a right-wing blog, I’d say it was libertarian-leaning and very weakly partisan. Glenn’s blog is one of the indispensables. If there were no Instapundit, we’d be forced to invent one. I stand in awe of Glenn’s work ethic. However, I don’t honestly that Instapundit has been the best blog in the blogosphere this year.
I have genuinely agonized over this category and considered not endorsing any of them but I’ve decided to endorse Ed Morrisey’s Captain’s Quarters. CQ is a little too reliably partisan Republican to be entirely to my taste. But Captain Ed’s work in exposing corruption in the Martin government in Canada has helped to change the world for the better this year and that’s a lot for a humble blogger. He didn’t do it by hard-hitting analysis or clever research (although there was plenty of both). He did it mostly by being there—by making Captain’s Quarters a clearing-house where Canadians could get the inside scoop that their government’s censorship was able to keep under wraps. That’s worth an endorsement.
Best Blog: Captain’s Quarters
Best New Blog
Alexandra von Maltzen’s All Things Beautiful’s unique juxtaposition of fine art (frequently judiciously and skillfully Photoshopped) and commentary has created a distinctive niche in the blogosphere.
Best New Blog: All Things Beautiful
Best Group Blog
Blog-father Joe Katzman’s Winds of Change has continued its high level of political and foreign policy commentary with what is unquestionably the finest, most civil comments section in the blogosphere (which I envy). Its regular features including Winds of War, New Energy Current, and Hatewatch Briefing are all must-reads.
Best Group Blog: Winds of Change
Best Humor/Comic Blog
My pick in this category is Beautiful Atrocities. Jeff is one of the cleverest, rudest, funniest guys in the blogosphere.
Best Humor/Comic Blog: Beautiful Atrocities
Best Liberal Blog
I find Matthew Yglesias to be one of the most thoughtful, fairest, and most interesting bloggers on the left side of the blogosphere. It was a hard choice between him and Kevin Drum but I’m going for MY.
Best Liberal Blog: Matthew Yglesias
Best Conservative Blog
Fellow Watcher’s Council member Rick Moran is one of the finest essayists in the blogosphere. ‘Nuff said.
Best Conservative Blog: Right Wing Nut House
Best Media/Journalist Blog
Michael Yon is the Ernie Pyle of the Iraq War. His dispatches from Iraq should be must-reading for everyone.
Best Media/Journalist Blog: Michael Yon
Best Culture/Gossip Blog
This was a difficult choice since so many of my favorite blogs are finalists in the category. Daily reads for me here include Spirit Fingers, Go Fug Yourself, The Llama Butchers, Manolo’s Shoe Blog, and The Superficial. A tough call. I’m going with Steve and Robbo. I relish their combination of fine arts, music, pop culture, political and social commentary, and zaniness. And comely French newsreaders.
Best Culture/Gossip Blog: The Llama Butchers
Best Blog Design
The design of Coming Anarchy is attractive, witty, and highly consistent with the content and tone of the blog.
Best Blog Design: Coming Anarchy
Best Law Blog
Another extremely competitive category. I think that SCOTUSBlog is performing a real public service.
Best Law Blog: SCOTUSBlog
Best Business Blog
In this category I’m going for James Hamilton’s Econbrowser. His expertise as an oil economist is very timely and helpful.
Best Business Blog: Econbrowser
Best European Blog
A Fistful of Euros provides consistently sensible commentary on European politics and economics. Their posts on countries other than Germany and France are particularly helpful.
Best European Blog: A Fistful of Euros
Best Asian Blog
In this category I’m going for Simon World, one of the most reliable resources for China commentary.
Best Asian Blog: Simon World
Best Australian or New Zealand Blog
Silent Running’s war-gaming of a terrorist attack earlier this year was one of the most ambitious undertakings in the blogosphere last year and puts them in a class of their own.
Best Australian or New Zealand Blog: Silent Running
Best Latino, Carribean, or South American Blog
Another tough call. I’m going for Val Prieto’s Babalu Blog. His coverage of the hurricane was fabulous. And, as always, he keeps his eye on the Castro regime in Cuba. I wish he’d post more recipes.
Best Latino, Carribean, or South American Blog: Babalu
Best of the Top 250
This is category of the greybacks of the blogosphere. I’m going for my friend and colleague Dean Esmay’s Dean’s World. Dean is one of the true princes of the blogosphere. His blog is always interesting, timely, and varied and he maintains a vibrant and, for the most part, cordial comments section.
Best of the Top 250: Dean’s World
Best of the Top 501 – 1000
In this category I’m casting my support behind Jack Grant’s Random Fate. Jack’s thoughtful commentary and sensible opinion is one of the voices of sanity in the blogosphere. His coverage of the riots in France this fall was excellent and informative.
Best of the Top 501 – 1000: Random Fate
Best of the Top 1001 – 1750
This is a highly competitive category with many excellent blogs in competition. Please vote for The Glittering Eye.
Best of the Top 1001 – 1750: The Glittering Eye
Best of the Top 1751 – 2500
Blog-friend Mark Safranski is trying to raise the level of discourse in the blogosphere with serious commentary and solid scholarship. His recent seminar on globalization and war was a genuine contribution. I’m supporting ZenPundit in this category.
Best of the Top 1751 – 2500: ZenPundit
Best of the Top 2501 – 3500
In this category I’m supporting Different River for his economic, political, and social commentary.
Best of the Top 2501 – 3500: Different River