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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Best blog award + commentary

We congratulate the winner and finalists of the inaugural Air NZ* Blog awards:

For best blog

1st Cactus Kate

2nd Dim Post

3rd= No Right Turn & Whaleoil

We also congratulate the judges' special mentions from the short list:

Hot Topic, Not PC, Kiwianarama, Liberation, In a Strange Land.

And we thank the many nominees from the NZ blogosphere who provided us with their best work.

From the official press release:

The union launched the awards after another media awards competition, sponsored by a foreign budget airline that uses decrepit Boeing 767s for its Trans-Tasman services and doesn’t even have proper lie-flat beds in Business Class, failed to follow its own criteria in selecting its short list.

More than 30 entries were received by the deadline while all other top 20 blogs in New Zealand, as measured on the authoritative Tumeke! blog ranking index, were given wild card entries.

The judging panel consisted of:

· Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury, co-author of Tumeke! and a moderate-left media commentator and presenter;
· Regan Cunliffe, founder of Throng Media, a global network of television community websites and ffunnell, an advertising network for independent publishers;
· Matthew Hooton, managing director of Auckland lobbying firm Exceltium, and a moderate-right political commentator and columnist;
· Tim Selwyn, co-author of Tumeke! and creator of the Tumeke! blog ranking index, and a former political prisoner under the regime of New Zealand’s deposed leader Helen Clark; and
· Ricardo Simich, director of marketing and communications company One Agency and a prominent Auckland socialite.

As far as possible, the judges set aside their personal political views and interests and sought to reach their decisions by consensus.

In awarding the Supreme Award to Cactus Kate, the judges described the blog as: “Intelligent, persuasive and influential, with the sort of investigative journalism Metro should be publishing. This is a blog which has contributed to changes in the administration of some of New Zealand’s most important regulatory bodies, as well as providing a healthy degree of humour.”

In awarding the Runner Up Award to Dim Post, the judges described the blog as: “Genuinely world-class political satire on matters both weighty and absurd, delivered almost every day. While clearly demonstrating a centre-left perspective, the writer also has the ability to surprise with unpredictable ideas.”

The judges said they struggled most with the choice between No Right Turn and Whaleoil for third place.

Commenting on Whaleoil, the judges said: “While the writer’s vitriol can be distasteful and his spelling and grammar sometimes leaves much to be desired, Whaleoil is the ultimate right wing blogger, delivering scorching critiques of current issues every day, and undoubtedly influencing real political events.”

Commenting on No Right Turn, the judges said: “While there is some doubt about the degree to which the blog has influenced real events and the lack of a comments option could be seen as against the spirit of blogging, No Right Turn provides extremely well researched and well-written contributions – with a decent dose of hard-left anger – on a very wide range of political, social, constitutional and human rights issues.”

Go to the Award site for the full press release.



Cactus Kate
Persuasive and exhaustive critiques of financial systems and fearless business journalism make up a formidable blog portfolio (But what about the rest of her stuff!?) The NZX/SecCom thrashing was brutal - as was the thorough whipping of DML in the DHBs/Labtests contract tender dispute. —TS
Damn her to hell, but the woman writes a good blog. Most of the time reading her is akin to drinking lemon juice after being forced to swallow razor blades, but her critique of NZX is the sort of intelligent investigative journalism Metro would be printing if they weren't so shit now. She is good, very good and one of the few who are critically blogging on the financial giants of NZ. —MB

Genius - so very, very funny! Simply one of the best in the NZ Blogosphere. Cutting, brilliant, political satire at its best. Consider my hat tipped in your general area in the only act of respect I will give any other blogger. —MB
Ludicrous meets sarcastic with moments of the sublime. Whimsical without being lame - a very rare ability. Some very weighty issues treated with a refreshing disregard for blogging conventions. —TS

No Right Turn
He is simply the best referenced left wing blogger in NZ. Brilliant critique of urgency, original, well researched work on climate change, defence of political philosophy and values in the third post and his attack on Labour is sharp. —MB
Conscientious, solid, researched, thorough. Reactionary self-identifying 'proper' leftist with a well cultivated claim to some form of leadership, even if the chosen posts are straw men targets (great digs at David Farrar and Guyon Espiner nonetheless). —TS

The 3 posts are more like No Right Turn than Cameron Slater - so they are not really representative of Whaleoil at all... they are actually researched and perform a public service... WTF!? Something of a case study in how to stretch out a single OIA into a whole campaign. Nice work. —TS
First link didn't work, sadly the second one did. Thieving scum is what jumps out at me most, hate him or really hate him, Cameron is the ultimate right wing blogger: offensive, evil and often secretly sourced by the msm who never admit it. His denigration post against, 'Veteran Maori Trougher Shane Kawenata Bradbrook' would be funny if you thought Cameron was joking. His mix of vicious satire and political insight are however a devastating combination, as Veteran Maori Trougher Shane Kawenata Bradbrook can attest. I hope Cameron at least invoiced big tobacco for his last story. —MB

Hot Topic
One of the most highly regarded climate change blogs with many of the major proponents pro and against climate change arguing on site. —MB
Stinging, blistering attack on Ian Wishart - talk about scorched Earth! A combination of endless science and constant politics makes for some lengthy posts that often veer to the polemical in order to answer the skeptic/'denier' enemy - an angle however suited to blogging and probably the most palatable way to explore the debate. —TS

In A Strange Land
And what a delightfully strange land it is, I am glad I'm visiting and not staying. The 'most men are rapists' blog (I'm paraphrasing) was a sobering blog and a bit of a downer. The graph of the 'consent continuum' (I swear I am not joking), must be seen to be believed. Very well argued and intelligent post on not belting your kids, excellent critique of the old boys network (although I am highly amused the writer seems to think anyone listens to Simon Upton). I don't care about making jam. —MB
Well written and thoughtful, and very, very female. The post on why men who whinge their girlfriends into having sex are rapists is a classic feminist piece as is the anti-smacking post; the mediocrity of NZ, and how to make Quince jelly, less so. —TS

Really intelligent review of Green Party leadership and the challenges it confronts. Interesting review of Sue Bradford and the liberation post exploring neoliberalism and identity politics was fascinating. Academically well expressed and well researched, very good blog. —MB
Pol Sci essays - right down to the footnotes - making for stodgy, slow reading from which I was easily distracted. Points off for using banal quotes from establishment rightists (esp. David Farrar) as if they had any serious value in this type of discussion. —TS

Not PC
Classy pieces of writing marred only by the inevitable uncritical quotion of Ayn Rand - as if it were Bilblical scripture - rendering a few parts more sermon than secular commentary. Fortunately the libertarian karakia is transcended by solid and lucid prose, including an excellent exposé of the leaky building issue. —TS
How much can one person write about leaking houses and still conclude the free market works best? I may disagree with what Not PC says but I will certainly defend his right to blog about it on a site I don't ever have to visit. Ever. His second post is an attack on Journalists and sounded reasonable right up until he started referring to the tea party as "400,000 Americans taking up pro-freedom signs against their government". Hilarious, but I don't think he meant it to be. His post on punk is annoying in it's attempt to claim the entire genre in the name of Ayn Rand, best line, "Punk erupted at the fag end of Britain's failed thirty-year post-war experiment with socialism". I love how everything is the fault of socialism, did he submit his blog about the fall of the Berlin Wall? That post eclipses 'War and Peace' by 120 000 more words. His fourth post however is moneyshot gold, here Not PC declares we should give war a chance and let's rally the troops for having the guts to go into battle (mainly against Socialism I suspect). ANZAC day should be about honouring the soldier (not regretting the loss of life and questioning the insanity of throwing so many of our young people into war mind you). The perfect eye rolling moment? This line, "Take time today to remember those who lost it all for your freedom. They did more for peace than anyone who protests for it ever has." —MB

ERROR 404 - there's no way to access the posts. Going on the two sentences viewable for each post in the "More shit" column, perhaps they are? —TS
None of the links worked. Too bad, I've got 30-odd other sites to read. If you can't link properly you probably shouldn't be blogging. —MB

His unabashed plans to allow thousands of sick to die from his own alternative to Obama's health plan would have made Stalin blush. Good blog on ACC , excellent critique of TVNZ broadcasting standards. His Ayn Rand fantasy story in Zork needs to remain as private bed time reading however. —MB
Medical expertise, topical issues and research put in concise language makes for some solid material. The dose of right wing ideology that comes with it is enough to provide a sharp edge to keep it interesting. —TS

Harpus Bizarre:
"Horrific use of wordplay" - yip. "possibly the biggest misdirection of energy I have seen in my long, soul searching, wisdom gathering 27 years on Planet Earth" - she should come back in another 27 years when her wisdom might have allowed her to write something worth reading. —TS
Mildly amusing. Comedy for coma patients at first glance, but martial arts story was aggressively funny. Seems to date guys who play Xbox too much (very funny post on that), I liked making dogs eat light bulbs. —MB

CJ Lambert:
Intelligent and insightful minus the abuse, it doesn't seem like a blog at all. The debate on Twitter copyright was very well reasoned out. The launch of John Banks website is one of the top 10 posts this year. The critique of Burger King is funny but the last link didn't work. —MB
NOT 2009 - all 2010, ineligible. —TS

A decent mix of liberalism, or a liberal mix of decency - perhaps both. The humour has its moments, but ironically the style in these posts - in this day and age and in this medium - are not really that Gonzo at all. —TS
Best line "Scientists at CERN are reported to be "slightly annoyed but mainly overjoyed" at the discovery. " Good post on sniffer dogs and Iran elections. Genius renaming of Key's BFF, Peter Gluckman as Brofessor. —MB

Sport Review
Blokey mix of sarcasm and profanity. Amusing, entertaining and enjoyable - the only problem being it's about sports... and I hate fucking sports. —TS
I hate sports but like this site, I had no idea how many niche blogs bitching about advertising agencies directions on certain products were available in NZ! The sports stalking is very funny. The spoiler alert for a 1999 film was clever, this is another top 10 post. Vettori axing himself however was just wishful thinking. —MB

Media Darlings
OOOOOOOOh they are sharp aren't they? Very good demolition of ACT on campus, good chase on National's support of VSM, and excellent post on academic freedom. If this is the future of our news rooms, things are not as bad as they seem. —MB
Earnest, researched, sober - and being about tertiary education, very dull. Striking an almost neutral pose it reads more like a policy journal than a blog. —TS

Oswald Bastable
Channeling our (inner) misanthropic, angry, ultra-right wing great uncle. I don't know if it's supposed to be funny exactly, but it is. While many others attempting the angry-old-man genre resort to lengthy rants, he keeps it punchy, succinct and always shoots from the hip - usually aiming at the groin. —TS
Ummmmm how do I put this into polite language? His desire to keep prisoners from having any property whatsoever without any hint of humour seems more hate site than blog. His description of the National Party as Socialist for offering to fly relatives of those who died in the Erebus crash suggests some type of addiction to pain killers mixed with vodka. I'm looking at his 3rd link and I'm not sure 14 words technically amounts to a post, maybe a text message, and Osawald's defence of vigilantes in Hazard County Martinborough comes across a little grand cyclops for my liking. —MB

Wine Vault
I don't care about wine and I care less about Oliver Driver. —MB
It's video clips and so it's not a blog - ineligible. They might as well have been links to You Tube (and the video threatened to spazz out the computer too). —TS

UnPC Lesbian
Smutty old lesbo. Some variety in the posts provides a quim of interest, but the only going down on her she'll get from this 36 year old male is going to be of my opinion. Keep the curtains closed FFS. —TS
A lesbian who loves to be UnPC? Yep, this is going to be 10 minutes of my life I'm never getting back, It's like reading a black racist spout on about how bad non white people are. The first post on NCEA barely seems to be a post, more a whinge. Next post is another whinge about how much money IRD wanted to give her, next post is some fantasy she has for someone called Jillian Michaels and how large her hands are and the final post was about having sex with a boy with all her criticisms listed afterwards. Yep, 10 minutes of my life I'm never getting back, I'm angry at Penthouse for making me think lesbians were so much more interesting than this. —MB

Simon Pound
Well at least his blogs are better than the Ad Show. —MB
Too many words, not enough research. Almost naive in parts. Muldoon was elected in '75 not '76 - everything after that was even lighter on facts - and quickly became repetitive. —TS

Auckland Trains
Harrowing and infuriating real-life adventures of someone marooned in the Escher-esque madhouse of the utterly dysfunctional Auckland suburban train system makes for compelling reading. As activist/observer the commentary and his many pictures will be of historical and academic value. —TS
As much as I love to bitch about public transport, no one does it better and with more viscous humour than Tim Selwyn, these posts are a shallow comparison. Public transport humour needs to be as sharp as the resentment it creates, this has it's moments, i liked the bike protest blog. —MB

Quote Unquote
Informed writer and an informative blog. The literary topics were generally accessible (to this non-literary reader) and the writing crisp. —TS
It is humbling to even be allowed to read the great man's blog. CK Stead is an incredible literary mind, the NZ blogosphere is lucky to have him. —MB

Ben Gracewood
Not so much boingboing as boringboring. I had taken a quickeeze and was farting a bit when I read these tedious posts - and discovered my farts proved more relevant, and considerably more interesting than anything I read here. —TS
Bitching about a weetbix competition? Blogging a promotion advertorial for a Mercedes E Class? The sage discussions of children on the cost of 2 minute noodles? Wasn't Ben Gracewood a finalist in the bullshit Qantas awards? He was shit then and he's shit now. He is painful to the art of blogging. —MB

Jo Blogs
Inspired fashion commentary and accent analysis bordering on poo-fucktion, but the topics skirt off to the frivolous and find themselves wedged between the cheeks of the prosaic. —TS
This is actually a VERY funny and VERY clever blog.I never thought a review of Top Model could be so bloody funny. Office face is a take on smile face (Yes I think I saw that same CNN story) and how the recession would change movie plot lines is original and wonderful. A top 10 post. —MB

Offsetting Behaviour
Some fascinating discourses - as much for the aloof economist-cum-robot perspective than the dry mechanics of the argument itself. The defence of sweatshops was disturbingly compelling. The reason for not supporting murder - "I care about the external costs. " - less so. —TS
Really good technical blog on Inuit design (seriously). His defence of sweat shops was amusing, I'm surprised he included such a debunked critique of BERL's harm of alcohol which BERL responded to by claiming 1) it misinterprets the study’s brief and, on this basis, employs an inappropriate framework for its analysis, 2) makes some simple, factual errors about our method and the information used and 3) uses assumptions with a cost-deflating bias, reflecting their own world view. His post on ticket scalping was genuinely fascinating, top 10 post. —MB

Ozy Mandias
The Mills and boon romance novel is pure brilliance, best line "his chest rising and falling with the regularity of an Aussie scrum. The bed sheets loosely hung around his waist, exposing both his rock hard abs and his Webb Ellis Trophy, as Stacy affectionately called it.". The obesity epidemic "Currently we rank behind Mexico and the United States. I believe with a concerted effort and more swine flu cases Mexico is definitely within our sights." His desire to catch swine flu is admirable and his application to NZ cricket for the coaching job sounded reasonable. Impressive blog. —MB
Occasional flare mired by wordiness and sports fixation. —TS

Worldly and serious political analysis from credible left wing commentators. A good mix of subjects, handled in an academic fashion... but there's nothing like re-packaging the all-men-are-rapists topic (in layers of feminist assertions and then leaving it all open-ended) to score a few comments. —TS
This is the 'most males rape blog' referred to in In A Strange Land blog, it's amazing how commuting can lead to the conclusion that most of the other gender sexually force rape. I think we need to start handing out board games or reading material during commutes if this is the remarkable conclusions some are reaching. Excellent critique of the bitter left and their Maori bashing (that said the Maori Party certainly deserve bashing), high brow smart humour with the Bennett post on privacy and a very interesting post on Asian values. —MB

Waitakere News
Solid, sober liberal/left commentary on the usual menu of liberal/left issues. Thoughtful, but not particularly gripping. —TS
You forget how important trees are, I'm glad I read a blog on them. Good use of making reference of me in a blog on those dumb pro smacking clowns, nice post on David Farrar's position on Palestine and excellent critique of the attacks on legal aid. —MB

Lisa Lewis
Unreadable self-absorbed vanity - could scarcely be more hideous. Would give Emma Hart (Public Address) a run for her money for the most gratuitous over-use of personal pronouns in a blog - quite some feat. Everything that is wrong with 'typical' female blogging: I, I, I, me, me, me. Ugly, ugly, ugly. —TS
She writes blogs as well? Damn. The first one is a solid steak and three vege opinion piece on getting tough on crime while cheerleading Whaleoil complete with Oprah Winfrey, "I too have been abused" confessional. Lisa moves onto a blog about how big her breasts are, and how much she loves them being big. Her third blog is why she decided not to prize fight another woman from a similar themed naked news TV brand and her fourth blog was about losing her virginity. Was her blog called the Vagina monologues by any chance? —MB

Phil U
A stream of unconsciousness. If you read it like Sam Hunt was reading aloud one of his poems it makes it a lot easier to persist with what is essentially a ticker-tape of disjointed rambling shit dribble. —TS
Phil is the 'Mad as hell and I'm not taking it anymore' kinda blogger. His frenetic machine gun musings on the ills of a world gone mad are a soul preserving antidote to the banality of so much that passes as opinion. His 'but Helen is at the UN' is a joy. —MB

Keeping Stock
I didn't get the point of the first post at all. Second post was about gay people bleating about homophobia, the third is an embarrassing 'memo to John Key' begging him to legalize beating kids and the fourth one is about a soccer game. There was a mention in the fourth post about retiring from blogging. That was the best bit of the four posts. —MB
Subdued, pale and grey - in content, style and personality. Appealing to the same audience that reads the sodden newsprint of a free paper pulled from the letterbox on a rainy day: only the elderly would bother. —TS

The Linesman
Thin. The images were the real weak point - as none of the drawings looked like their subjects - which is a problem because there wasn't any text to accompany them. If a line had to be drawn anywhere it would be right through this nomination - go back to your day job. —TS
So much effort and so little reward, it's like 7 days on TV3 without the constant dick jokes. —MB

Home Paddock
It's a farmer's attempt to be angry at things - and it ends up sounding like a slightly mild gripe in the form of a polite letter to the editor of the Geraldine Advertiser. Like listening to a mildly middle of the road rural radio station, Mantovani FM - available only in mono - and only in the Mainland, sponsored by a brand of sleeping pill for the elderly. —TS
Luke warm weak soup for starters on the need to set up an awards for blogging, crappy entree that turns out to have been horribly wrong as the Labour Party have used the Maori Party's connection with the Emission Trading Scam to good political effect, the mains is a shitty 67 word thing about how cold it is and the desert is a bitter and petty attack on Helen Clark for being awarded the member of the Order of NZ. Jesus some people hate Helen don't they? I will not dine at this site again. —MB

Firstly, what a shit website. Secondly, this is just a series of motel industry memos. Thirdly, what a shit website - who puts an annoying jumping cartoon in their own sidebar? Like trying to sleep with a flashing, buzzing 'No Vacancy' sign right outside your window. —TS
A blog about motels? NO WAY? I'm so in. Let's see, fascinating blog about tourism accreditation, one about hotel owners and their rights to ban an entire town, 3rd blog is about dodgy Aussia hotel scams and the 4th is about travel guides. I never thought there could be so many issues in hotels - I think I may become a secret fan of this site. —MB

The Standard
Snarky and somewhat hacking in tone the Labour/Unionist line is held taut by anon party shock troops who can cut through Tory spin with ruthless precision. The view from one side of a great relentless maul of a political street brawl - with David Farrar's Kiwiblog as the always present (if sometimes unmentioned) opponent. —TS

The Hand Mirror
Righteous, leftist, feminist anger in measured terms. The problem with the sort of female blogging (and writing) typified here is that it's all: I, I, I, me, me, me. It is as if the only way anything can be explained or analysed is by having the author insert themselves into every aspect - so unnecessary and such a detraction to otherwise meaty opinion pieces - fuck I HATE that style, I personally find that for me, I guess it's one of my pet hates, I'm saying that's just me - I know. —TS

*Yeah, yeah, Air New Zealand is not really sponsoring the award - if the other media can make shit up we can make shit up, so a special big thanks of course to Air New Zealand (and Rob Fyfe) for not setting the lawyers on us and therefore taking the contest in the spirit it has been intended.


At 10/6/10 2:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I have said before intelligent readers simply read one angle on an issue then go to another blogger who has the opposing angle and then can make up their own minds.

At 10/6/10 3:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury, co-author of Tumeke! and a moderate-left media commentator and presenter"

Bomber is a moderate left winger.

Gotta be blazing up hard to believe this.

At 10/6/10 4:36 pm, Blogger Peter Cresswell said...

Thanks for setting up the competition, and for your efforts and comments, guys. Nice to think of Bomber being hip-deep in Ayn Rand quotations, even if only for a weekend. :-)

At 10/6/10 9:05 pm, Blogger Barnsley Bill said...

Looks like a lot of effort went into this guys. Well done.
It must have been a close call between cactus and dim.

At 11/6/10 6:00 am, Blogger Danyl said...

Thanks for your comments guys - and thank's for all the work you put into the judging. Sounds like some of it was grueling.



At 11/6/10 7:49 am, Anonymous rhi said...

I really enjoyed reading your comments, more than some of their blog entries. A good outcome too. Thank you both for making it happen.

At 11/6/10 12:15 pm, Blogger Gareth said...

Yes, thanks for setting it up and doing the hard work. Congrats to all the winners, especially Danyl.. ;-)

At 11/6/10 9:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good work with the awards, but perhaps you should stop pretending to post the blogosphere rankings considering the last time they were updated was before Christmas last year.

At 13/6/10 1:25 am, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

Anon 9:34PM: Go to www.nzblogosphere.blogspot.com and see the latest post. Surveys will be quarterly. The 2010Q1 01/01/2010 - 31/03/2010 report will be posted before the end of this month - unless something of greater importance than ranking 200+ blogs occurs - in which case you may have to wait a bit longer.


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