Monday, September 1, 2008

The . . . Blotties?, or, Don't Call Me Churly

2008 Blotanical Awards

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.

And there is, of course, no category for indoor gardening, because there is never a category for indoor gardening. Because indoor gardening is somehow not serious. (I blame Amy Stewart.) Nor occupational gardening, either, as far as that goes. (Read the updates at the bottom of the page.)

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.

Maybe "Blotanies?"


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.


Anonymous said...

Hey there, Mr Subjunctive I am actually the wife of Mr Blotanical. I for one am glad he is not offering a gold medal and a trip to Stolkholm. I guess having garden blog awards is the closest thing you garden bloggers have to a competitive scandal. So enjoy the ride and maybe I'll see Mr Blotanical a little when it's all over....

BTW Mr Blotanical will add indoor gardening tomorrow just for you. So it does pay to be churlish!!!

Anonymous said...

Little award-winner badge coming soon to this blog's sidebar. Finally, some respect, huh?

mr_subjunctive said...

Well, we'll see.

Anonymous said...

I'm no "churl"...just "Shirley!

You have my vote for indoor plant blog. Who else?

Frances, said...

Hi Mr. Sub, you are a shoe in and how did you rate a comment from mrs. blotanical, that is the first I have ever seen of her! That should get an award in itself, or maybe that is the award~! I agree the numbers of contestants here but those are just the nomination so everyone can choose their favorites. Did you make your picks yet? Churlish becomes you.

mr_subjunctive said...

Well, I know this is just the nomination phase. Still. There are so many blogs to look through. I feel bad if I skip somebody, but if I look at them all, then I lose my job and all my plants die because I'm looking at blogs all day long. So it's kind of a no-win.

I suppose I should just trust that any deserving blog will be picked by enough voters to make it to the finals.


I've made some of my picks: thirteen categories out of the twenty-three so far. Though most of those could still change. I'm realizing that although I recognize a few dozen blogs by sight, or blogger name, I don't necessarily notice the name of the blog itself, especially if it's got some variation of the word "Garden" in the title. (There are exceptions. I know Faire Garden, Garden Rant, Esther in the Garden, The Manic Gardener, etc. But even so, Rock Paper Lizard, Tales From the Microbial Laboratory, Heavy Petal, etc., are a lot easier for me to picture in my head.)

Also, if churlish becomes me, then this means I look good in petty, uncouth and hick? Hmm.

Frances, said...

Hi again Mr. Sub, maybe petty is not that attractive, but uncouth can be and hick, well I do live in Tennessee!

Frances, said...

I just discovered that there is a direct link to this blog post on the nomination form! Just click on the words underappreciated and overlooked that are underlined under the indoor category. That does seem like quite a bow to you now, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Well, darn it, mr s, now I had to go join Blotanical just so I can vote for you. Which means I will uncover a whole new world of garden related things to try to keep up with on the internet. I can barely keep up with ONE garden blog (yours, naturally). And to top it all off, last week, I went and joined FACEBOOK, even though I am at least two decades above the median age on there. I really need to get a life.

Esther Montgomery said...

Murdering your neighbours and having to make speedy exists stage Mars has its disadvantages. One of them has been to miss this post.

It's wonderful; and I'm glad Stuart pointed us to it in his comments on the Blotanical Award Winners.

And things become clear . . . that little comment about indoor gardeners being under-appreciated - I didn't 'get' it. It puzled me. I read it several times, trying to divine its meaning - and failed.

And to discover a comment by Mrs Blotanical! Maybe we should all have voted for 'Lawnmower News', then she might, at the very least, have been offered a weekend-saver break in Stockholm.

Another congratulations.