With many bloggers now focusing on their blogs fulltime, blogs have moved from a fun sideline project to a lucrative form of business. Keeping in line with this trend, the SA Blog Awards have also matured and bloggers will see statistics from their site forming part of the evaluation criteria for the judges in each of the categories in 2010.
Now in its fifth year, the awards will take place on 25 September, and will feature more judges per category than in the past. The judges will also be experts in their respective fields with a keen interest in social networking.
Given the past success of the awards and the increased interest in the 2010 event, The SA Blog Awards warranted the addition of a new member. JP Naude, Cape Town businessman and radio personality, takes on the role of CEO for the Awards. One of Naude’s focus areas will be raising the profile of the awards ensuring a heightened sense of credibility in 2010.
Naude has already implemented a partnership with Afrigator, one of South Africa’s foremost blog statistic measuring companies, whereby it will act as an independent auditor providing accurate and up-to-date information on the nominated blogs to the judges.
Naude will be working alongside the original SA Blog Awards team with organiser Chris Rawlinson being the backbone of the awards, and Huddlemind CEO Dave Duarte, adding strategic value.
News24, South Africa’s leading digital news brand, has been confirmed as the headline sponsor this year. Says Naude: ‚Having News24 on board will help us take the awards to a new level. Last year alone, the event attracted more than 5 000 blog nominations and over 100 000 individual votes. With News24’s commitment to showcasing content from the nominated blogs to their audience of more than 2 million online South Africans, we expect these figures to increase impressively.‚
Karen Dempers, Head of Marketing at News24 believes the sponsorship is a natural fit. ‚Many South Africans are referring to blogs for updates, opinion and insight into what is happening around them. We have seen a significant increase in the popularity of user generated content across the News24 network and have watched the number of blogs grow year on year as more South Africans embrace this platform to voice their opinions.‚
Bloggers in the country will be given recognition for their contribution to the ever growing blogging community. During the nomination process for the awards, the public is requested to nominate their favourite blogs before being judged by a panel of industry experts in 24 different categories.
This year the awards categories include the newly introduced SA Tweeter of the Year ‚ acknowledging the best Twitter account, Best Company Blog, and Best Fashion Blog. The entry criteria state that only blogs written within South Africa and/or blogs written by South African citizens are considered eligible for the awards.
Nominations will take place between 2-27 August 2010. Thereafter, the top ten nominees in each category will go into the public vote phase from 1-17 September. The results of this vote will then be passed onto the judges who will cast their votes thereby deciding the category winner. The overall winner of the SA Blog Awards will be chosen by the judges from the selection of category winners.
The following categories are available this year:
The News24 South African Blog of the Year: The Best of the Best from South Africa.
The Ogilvy Twitter Micro Blogger of the Year: Best SA Twitter account.
The Ogilvy Best Media and Marketing Blog: A blog which comments on design, branding and marketing would also fit into this category.
The Kulula Best Travel Blog: Blog featuring travel related content.
The Old Mutual Best Green Blog: Blogs covering mainly environmental organic or environmental friendly related content.
The Evox Advanced Nutrition Best Sports Blog: Blogs written exclusively about any recognised sport.
The UCT Graduate School of Business Best Business Blog: Blogs about businesses or business education. This is by an individual who writes about business.
Jameson Best Fashion Blog: Best blog about fashion/style.
Havana Club Rum Best Blog Design: Best designed blog.
Olmeca Tequila Best Music Blog: Blogs about news of the musical nature.
Best Parenting Blog: Blogs about the trials and tribulations of living with little people.
Best TV/Radio Blog: Best blog by a South African TV or Radio show or personality.
Best Personal Blog: Diary type blogs of a personal life story.
The Best Company Blog: Best blog by a corporate, small business or non-profit organisation.
Most Controversial Blog: The blog which caused the most amount of discomfort in 2009.
Best Indigenous Language Blog: Blogs written in an indigenous with a slight bias toward the culture of that language.
Best Group Blog: Blogs with more than one author. This includes mainstream media.
Best South African Podcast/Video Blog: Best online audio/video shows.
Best Science and Technology Blog: Blogs primarily focused on science, technology, computers or the internet.
Best Food and Wine Blog: Blogs written primarily about food or drink.
Best New Blog: Blogs which were started during the year of 2009/2010.
Best Photographic Blog: Blogs featuring original photographic content.
Best Blog about Politics: Blogs featuring mainly a political theme.
Best Overseas South African Blog: Blogs written by a South African in any foreign country.
Best Entertainment Blog: Blogs about art movies, celebrities, theatre and topical issues with entertainment value.
In addition to News24, category sponsors this year include advertising giants Ogilvy Cape Town, kulula.com, the leading low-fare airline, Old Mutual, The UCT Graduate School of Business, Evox. Olmeca Tequila, Jameson, Havana Club Rum and Atmosphere Communications, a PR agency that has successfully used social media campaigns for its clients.
For more information on the awards and the nomination process, please go to www.sablogawards.com