Personally, I don't like "Best Of" contests. For the most part they're not even popularity contests. They're races to see who can stuff the ballot box the most. I've seen some pretty bizarre results come from the few contests that I've actually known anything about. These experiences have soured me on these sorts of contests.
One of the big problems with these contests is this: unless you're registered with the contest, you can't even see who's nominated. I'm more sensitive to online privacy than some, and the registration forms I've seen for some of these contests ask for - require - information I'm not willing to hand over just for the privilege of being able to vote in a contest.
A while back we added Shane Burcaw's "Laughing At My Nightmare" to NEPA Blogs. He was our first blogger from the Lehigh Valley - technically outside of NEPA - and we realized that there were probably many more bloggers in the Lehigh Valley. It seemed possible that someday, if we gathered together enough blogs from that region, we could spin off a whole other site - "Lehigh Valley Blogs" - as a sort of counterpart to NEPA Blogs.
Or we could just wait for the Morning Call to run a contest and do the work for us.
Allentown Morning Call: Best Blogs of the Lehigh Valley
The Allentown Morning Call ran a poll for the Best Blogs in the Lehigh Valley. And what they did, unlike other contests, was list and link to all of the blogs nominated in each category. In effect, they published the first draft of Lehigh Valley Blogs.
So is this contest any more legitimate than the others I've seen? I have no idea. But I do know this: the Morning Call has done a massive service for dozens of blogs throughout the Lehigh Valley by providing them with a huge amount of publicity just for being nominated. This is the way to run a contest, and I hope other publications take notice. For what it's done for the Lehigh Valley blogging community, I think it's the Morning Call that deserves an award.
Here are the blogs they have listed as nominees.
- Creating a Family Home
- dezignrogue blog
- Jenn Likes Yarn
- My Morning Coffeee
- Outside Agitator's Notebook
- Touchstone Backstage
- Touchstone Civil War Project
Entertainment and Nightlife
Fitness and Health
Misfits: Defying Categorization
- A Garden in Bethlehem PA
- Hayefield: A Pennsylvania Plant Geek's Garden
- His Nibs
- Hope Street
- Kleiner's Blog
- LauraLee in Paraguay
- Lehigh Valley Transplant
- Me Cry Idiot
- Noise Nation's The Horn & Bell Blog
- Prince Law Offices, P.C.
- The Corner Seat
- The Daily Cocca
- The Mani-Logues
- The Mutant Mouse Chronicles
- Waiting for Merlot