Like Me? Follow Me.
If the turnout was any indication, blogging is indeed alive and well and taking on a range of subjects. It's my understanding that every year the list of nominations grows, and thus it is becoming increasingly difficult for the judges to choose shortlists for each category. You can find the list of winners here.
What exactly is the appeal of blogging?
There is a lot of lip service paid to the idea that bloggers are wannabe journalists presenting inaccurate, badly researched and subjective news stories, but I would contend that the role of blogging is complimentary to that of good journalism, and that any decline in the newspaper is more down to a lack of good journalism and a reluctance to modernise (but that's another subject entirely).
Blogging is about opinion, and it's about people. So what bloggers do, if they do it well, is provide a mass of unique voices giving their personal - and often very stilted - take on subjects they feel passionately about.
Anyone taught to read critically should understand this, but should also be able to see the value in reading blogs. You can find a blog about anything these days, should you wish to, and the majority of them offer highly alternative views. Blogs can act as a barometer of public opinion for instance, the mainstream news may present a particular story as important or a particular viewpoint as definitive; if bloggers are saying something different then it's a clear indication that the public isn't in complete agreement with the press.
Blogs can also be extremely useful from a commercial perspective. If, as a company, you do something very right or you have a product that people are going to want to know about, if you can get bloggers on board you can often make a bigger impact than with traditional marketing methods - because nothing is more powerful than a recommendation from a trusted source.
If you accidentally do something wrong, however, they'll also be the first people to take you to task for it - so it's best to keep the bloggers on-side. Take RyanAir's example - a blogger made a post about their online booking system and they responded by calling bloggers "lunatics." Have a look at the negative PR this has generated - as well as the bad will within the blogosphere: