Miami Beach 411 Wins Best News Blog Award
Above: From left to right, Gus Moore, Maria de los Angeles and Carlos Miller hold up their awards at the Best of Blogs Award Ceremony. Photo by Vanessa Montes.
Miami Beach 411 was named Best News Blog in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best of Blogs Awards competition in a contest that was ripe with contempt, conflict and controversy.
But it wouldn’t be a South Florida contest any other way.
Also winning awards were several Miami Beach 411 contributors, including yours truly for the controversial Photography is Not a Crime, which won Best Overall Blog; Maria de los Angeles for the hilarious Sex and the Beach, which won Best Humorous Blog; and Tere Tere for the insightful A Mom, a Blog and the Life In-Between, which won Best Family Blog.
It was those writers and several others, including the strongly opinionated Matt Meltzer and the wanderlusting Doug Eames, as well as our very own Jane Doe who penned a compelling three-part series on her personal battle with drugs that enabled Miami Beach 411 to win the award for Best News Blog.
Besides being a nice ego-booster for those of us at Miami Beach 411, the contest was also an indicator of how the mainstream media is beginning to recognize the blogosophere as a credible source of information and inspiration.
It wasn’t too long ago that the mainstream media would rather watch readership dwindle than give the blogosphere any credibility.
According to Sun-Sentinel Social Media Coordinator Chris Tiedje, the contest originated at The Baltimore Sun, which is also owned by Tribune Company, as a way to connect with local bloggers.
“It was also held by the Orlando Sentinel (The Orbbies) prior to us launching it here in South Florida,” he said.
While most us in the blogosphere welcomed the attention and the opportunity to showcase our blogs, some of us were also cynical of the Sun-Sentinel’s motives, accusing the paper of using the contest to beef up its traffic to look good for advertisers.
After all, the contest allowed people to vote at least once a day per blog per category, forcing bloggers to drive their friends, family and readers crazy by continually asking them to stuff the ballot box.
Towards the end, my readers were sick of the constant badgering for votes.
Tiedje says that because the contest is in its first year, we should expect some glitches. He assures that next year’s contest will be improved.
“My personal opinion is that the ‘vote once a day in each category for two weeks’ was excessive. Our goal with the contest was to engage the bloggers, not to get page views.
“I hope to change that for next year.”
Tiedje said that 152 blogs were nominated and 14,962 votes cast during the two-week contest.
Maria de los Angeles, who also pens the Silicon Beach blog for the Miami New Times, criticized the contest for promoting blogs that she believes were not worthy.
As the contest winded down, Photography is Not a Crime traded jabs with The Phinsider as both blogs fought for the top spot in the overall category for several days.
Matty from Phinsider called me “arrogant” and “self-righteous” because of the following sentence I wrote on my blog.
And once the contest ended, some chick who runs a food blog created her own awards, naming me the “biggest douche.”
And then some asshole got on Conservative 21, which won the Best Political Blog, and began impersonating me by insulting their blog under my name.
But on the other hand, I did meet new bloggers at the awards ceremony that I actually got along with, including Abby (pictured above) who operates Poetry by Abigail, which won Best Art Blog, and Nicole from Nicole Marie Photography who was competing in the photography category.
So the contest was a success because it served its purpose, even though it had its imperfections, including a short span of time when the contest site was infected with malware.
The winners each receive a banner advertisement on the Sun-Sentinel advertising their blog for 20,000 impressions, which is worth $220.
Click here for a complete list of winners.
Two above photos by Vanessa Montes
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