The fourth annual South African Blog Awards were held last night, Wednesday, 2 April 2008, in Cape Town and for the first time, traditional media - albeit those publishers embracing new media - pretty much swept the board. Dominating eight of the 22 categories were East Coast Radio and the Mail & Guardian Online. [Video]
Comments Matthew Buckland, GM of the M&G Online, "We are honoured to have picked up four awards, including the coveted 'SA Blog of the year' for Thought Leader. It's an award for all our very special Thought Leader contributors and readers who have contributed more than 3 million words to the site over the past six months of the site's short existence. It is certainly a sign that Thought Leader has become accepted as a premier destination for opinion and comment in this country.
"Personally, I'm honoured to have picked up the best business blog award for my namesake blog, matthewbuckland.com. It makes all the hard work and effort, especially those late night blogging sessions, all the more worthwhile."
"We are just so proud of our talent," says Trish Taylor, MD of East Coast Radio. "They continue to demonstrate that radio has new relevancy and new life in this multimedia world we are living in and rather than preach about theory, East Coast Radio people are putting it into practice and being recognised for it, and winning audience as a result.
"Our blogs and podcasting over the last year and half have added a whole new level of interaction and accessibility to our audience. When we had the big waves that pounded our coastline last year, residents turned to our website and blogs to keep them up-to-date hour by hour. Traditional media like print and even traditional radio for that matter, hard a hard time keeping pace with the story - but our team managed it with ease, offering reporting, photos (many from residents) and video from the scene."
Anice Hassim, head strategist of immedia, the consultancy responsible for ECR's digital strategy adds, "It is really obvious in hindsight that radio and online synergise so well together, given their complementary nature and immediacy of both media. It wasn't at all obvious when ECR embarked on this journey several years ago."
Due to these blogs being 'undiscovered' with limited readership, last year's winners will make a selection from the unknown blogs nominated for this category. The selected top ten with then go through to the final voting stage as per normal. Winner: http://livinglifebreathlessly.blogspot.com
The awards ceremony itself last night was short and sweet, punctuated with humour - the controversial Sunday Times columnist David Bullard was initially announced as the winner of the blog best promoting blogging in SA.
Winners walked off with a potted indigenous sapling from Stodels Nursery (promoting Green-consciousness) and a bottle of Warwick Estate wine. Cerebra sponsored an iPod Nano, Dell certain categories with four flat screen monitors and the overall winner scooped 2008 cents and an Xbox 360 from Microsoft (since that was Thought Leader, one wonders how the team consisting of Buckland, strategist Vincent Maher and online editor Riaan Wolmarans are going to divvy up the spoils with their contributors...)
For the latest blog posts concerning the awards, see the SA Blog Awards widget on the Bizcommunity.com Breaking News blog, http://blog.bizcommunity.com.
Simone Puterman (@SimoneAtLarge) is currently editor-at-large at Marklives.com and deputy chair of the Sanef online editors subcommittee. After majoring in psychology and linguistics at Rhodes University, and then completing her honours in psychology, she has been in the world of B2B publishing since 1997, with 7.5 year stints at both WriteStuff Publishing and Bizcommunity.com (March 2006-August 2013). Email her at moc.sevilkram@enomis.