How many authors on the ballot have done blog tours? How many have websites that quote reviews from bloggers? How many have done interviews on blogs? How many, for the love of Tehlu, have only achieved the prominence and popularity they currently enjoy because of the enthusiastic, dedicated and unpaid work done by bloggers? AND YOU’RE TELLING ME YOU MAY NOT WANT TO INCLUDE BLOGS IN THIS CATEGORY IN THE FUTURE? For shame.
Seriously, the only justification I could see for this is to make sure the traditional fanzines don’t get overrun by blogs. So, let’s create a brand new category called “Best Blog”. Somehow they have seen fit to create a new category called “Best FanCast” this year, so it’s possible. The person with the gavel needs to consider this. Maybe he or she wants to go down in history as the person who brought the Hugos in line with the progress of history. We need a Best Blog category, or we need blogs to be included under “Best FanZine”. It’s one or the other. You can’t reasonably exclude the place where 90% of fan writing happens right now. Not if you want to be taken seriously as an award in this day and age. Hands up how many of you have read a fanzine this year? And now how many have read a blog? I rest my case.
So! Enough with the speechifying. I’m hoping that enough fans and bloggers and authors will include their favorite blogs in the Best Fanzine category. Personally, I’m putting only blogs on my ballot. I’m hoping that at least a few of the best ones will make it to the final ballot. And I hope that one of them will win the award.
Aside from the Fanzine/blog category, you can also nominate individual Fan Writers. Things are a bit more straightforward and less exclusive there: you can nominate anyone who writes about SF&F in any format. Including bloggers. You don’t have to use a Xerox machine to be eligible for Best Fan Writer. So, if you have a favorite blog, you can nominate “Aidan Moher” or “Adam Whitehead” under Best Fan Writer as well as “SF Signal” or “Staffer’s Musings” under Best Fanzine. Even if blogs don’t count anymore in future years, you can continue to nominate the people behind the blogs in the Best Fan Writer.
It looks like a few people have put my name on their ballots in this category. I am very flattered, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, but I want to make it clear that I’m not asking you to nominate me here. I’m asking you to support your favorite bloggers. If that’s me, great. If not, also great. Just support your favorite bloggers, whoever they are. Buy a membership and nominate them.
This is a subject that I’ve written about on a few occasions (like this, or this, or this). I think it’s integral to keeping the Hugo Awards relevant in the industry and among fans. You can read Raets full article, Love a Blog? Nominate It, on Staffer’s Musings or Far Beyond Reality.