Well. So. Nominations are open for The 2008 Blotanical Awards.
This is not uncool of Stuart (Blotanical founder) to set up and everything, but it's surprisingly difficult at the moment. The categories are either very narrow (Best South American Blog, which has four candidates for five finalist spots) or very broad (Best Newcomer Blog, which is open to any Blotanical member: I'm not sure how many that is right now, but it's got to be more than 200, for five finalist spots). This is probably how it has to be (no way to put everybody on equal footing other than to make every blog a possible nominee, however absurd it might be to list Wicked Gardener as an option for Drought-Tolerant Blog or to put Plant Crazy in contention for Best Agrarian Blog), but it also means that the same handful of blogs that already win everything (you know who I'm talking about) are likely to win these as well, which makes the whole exercise feel a little pointless.
It's a little churlish ("of, resembling, or characteristic of a churl," says the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary) of me to be critical here, seeing as how I haven't put together an award thing of my own. I mean, it's hard to stack the bricks and mortar them together; it's easy to jeer and throw rocks from the sidelines. So that's not how I mean this (though to be honest, I am just as bitter about the lack of an indoor gardening category as I sounded above). I just mean that it would be easier to feel invested in the process if I felt like there was a chance of being nominated, and it'd be easier to feel I had a chance if there were narrower categories. I'm also a little unclear on what some of the current categories are in the first place: how is Best Blog Design different from Most User-Friendly Blog? Aren't user-friendly designs good by definition, and don't good designs have to be user-friendly? And, if we're all Newcomers this year, then how is Best Newcomer Blog distinct from Blog of the Year?
And then I feel stupid because they're only internet blog awards. Meaningful, yes, within the garden blogging community, and a good way for people to be recognized for their contributions and all, but it's not like there's a gold medal and a trip to Stockholm riding on this. This competitive thing of mine is silly and unattractive (like a churl!). So I should probably just go lie down for a while.
Or, when all else fails, go meta: I should start up a betting pool for just how many awards [insert garden-blogging behemoth of your choice] is going to pick up this year.
UPDATE: Mrs. Blotanical, in comments, says that Indoor Gardening is being added, "just for [me]." Which is both unexpected and appreciated.
Though wouldn't it be "Mrs. Robinson?"
Or is she actually married to the blog aggregate? Is that legal in Australia?
Also: so are we going to go with "Blotties," then? It sounds like a line of kids' clothing. Or possibly some kind of disposable wipe.
SECOND UPDATE: The rumors are true. Indoor Gardening (which also includes balcony/patio gardening and small-space gardening in general) has been added. Thank you very much, Stuart. In your face, Amy!
P.S. If you wondered: a churl is basically a hick/redneck, just nine centuries ago and in England.
P.P.S. You should still join Blotanical if you have a gardening blog. It's fun.
P.P.P.S. I worry that the intent of the P.P.S. was unclear. I was being sincere.