Lessons learned from the Philippine Blog Awards

Finally I have spare time on my hands to write about this, a looking back post on the past week in the run up to the Philippine Blog Awards awarding night.

Though much has been said, blogged, commented and done, about the awards and the awards night, today is Good Friday so a reflection would be best for a blogger like me whom instead of fasting on my worldly possessions are still enjoying it to the full. (Actually, I still have some work to do and there’s pretty much nothing else to do offline during this time of the Philippine calendar for the Christians.)

First off, Link loves and bunch of congratulations to all the winners!

Main Category Winners

Best Personal Blog: Misteryosa
Best Home & Living Blog: Wifely Steps
Best Socio-Political Blog: Philippine Commentary
Best News & Media Blog: Inside PCIJ
Best Fashion & Lifestyle Blog: Bryanboy: Le Superstar Fabuleux
Podcast of the Year: HappySlip
Best Technology Blog: Leon Kilat: The Cybercafe Experiments
Best Business/Entrepreneur Blog: Reflections of a BizDrivenLife
Best Entertainment Blog: Retzwerx
Best Sports & Recreation Blog: Who rides a Vespa?
Best Travel Blog: Ivan About Town
PhotoBlog of the Year: Señor Enrique: Wish You Were Here

For the Special Awards winners, we have…

Best Blog Design: Far from Neutral Notions
Best Free Custom Theme: Blu3zin3
Best Plugin/Extension: iPap
Best OFW Blog: Kwentong Tambay
Bloggers’ Choice Awards: MarketManila

And last but not the least, the Globe Broadband Awards winners…

Blog Achievement Award: The Mommy Journals
Pinoy Ako Blog Award: ederic@cyberspace
Family Blog Award: About My Recovery
Blogirl Award: Well Whatever
Deliblog Award: Dessert Comes First

Congratulations to each and everyone of you! Astig!

Everyone knows I did a pre-awards night interview with the finalists and it has been a wonderful experience right from the beginning. The idea dawned upon me when I wanted to volunteer to help out in the Awards. Since my geographical location prevents me from doing so, doing something online would suffice.

Once event mastermind Sir Yuga gave me the go signal I immediately went on a bloghopping spree, it was a thrilling experience sampling one of the best blogs in the Pinoy blogosphere one after the other. I had one thing in mind during that bloghopping stint, get in touch with the finalists so that I could invite them to do the interview with me.

Besides from adding more wonderful blogs to my Google Reader and blogroll, doing the interview has taught me some valuable lessons and opened my eyes more to appreciating the richness and diversity of the Philippine blogosphere.

From here, I made the following realizations:

Time was against me, literally. With exactly 80 blogs to visit and 80 bloggers to get in touch with, it meant that I was dealing with 80 posts (1 post per interview) with only 8 days to before the awards night. So once the first batch of replies came in, this blogger went into overdrive mode. I averaged 2 interviews posted each day and still, it wasn’t fast enough to beat the time. Sure there were some late replies but it was perfectly alright, the major killer to the series was when Globelines broadband screwed me big time.

Lesson learned: Plan ahead, really plan ahead. And get a better ISP.

I needed more research. According to Darren Rowse, research is very important in doing blog interview. Just as like in interviews by journalists, researching about the persons you’ll be interviewing would help in asking more relevant and intelligent questions. This would take care of confusion and misunderstanding. I learned this lesson the hard way, case in point the interview with Man-Blog Editor Mike Villar which follows:

1. How does it feel to be nominated for the PBA?

I feel much consternation as I stand only five foot nine and I am possibly the tallest one in our group, and I was never really good at basketball. I didn’t even know you could be nominated to join! I always thought you had to be some kind of gifted athlete or something. But yeah, I guess I do feel some kind of pride. I mean, someone thought enough about us to think we were fit for an institution that gave us Mon Fernandez and Senator Robert Jaworski.

2. Do you know who nominated you?

No. Possibly a lovestruck teenage girl. We have a lot of Young teenage girl fans. A pity none of them are pretty. We are hoping some of the younger ones are just late bloomers.

3. Why do you think your blog was nominated?

Because we display so much awesomeness online, someone probably thought it would translate to the basketball court. They are sorely mistaken.

4. Who do you think will win in your category?

Because we know how to play dirty. The only basketball we played were in the kantos, with the neighborhood drunkards, with a bottle of rum and coke as a wager. We may not have learned to be good basketball players but we certainly know how to deal some hurting on the court.

5. Why do you think you should win?

Because it’s been way too long. And because winning will most probably get us laid which is one of the main goals of our team. I mean, look at that James Yap guy, he banged a hero’s daughter and that girl named Hope!

6. What would you do if you win?

I just answered that. We’d get laid. A lot!

7. What do you think of the Philippine blog awards?

Wait. I’m sorry..what? Blog awards? We were talking basketball a while ago. I’m seriously confused.

8. Is there a blog that’s not nominated but deserves to be nominated in the PBA?

Blog? Blogs play basketball now? Jhay, you’re not making any sense. Are you ok?

I only realized then that by using ‘PBA’ as an acronym for the Philippine Blog Awards, I created confusion and some possible copyright infringements. 😆 Thanks though to Mike Villar, for teaching me this valuable lesson: Research, research and research.

Be more sensitive about the questions
. Most of the finalists obliged to be interviewed. Some did not and did so with reasons that really made and knocked some sense into me. They reasoned that the questions I asked were a bit presumptuous and a bit too ego-centric. It even goes ahead of the judges in assuming that they would win the award.

The next time I do another blog interview, it’ll be better, much more organized and it will be finished on time.

Have I missed anything of value? How did you find the interviews so far? I’m all ears for your suggestions and comments. 😀

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