And the winner is…

Someone finally uncrowned Ridgely Griffith and afterthegoldrush.

Until late Sunday afternoon it looked like the music-based website would cruise to its third straight title in my Best Local Blog contest. But supporters of Delmarva Progressive dropped well over a half-thousand votes on the poll and enabled that site to snatch away the victory.

With a record 1,001 votes cast, the results came in as follows:

  1. Delmarva Progressive, 788 votes (78.7%)
  2. afterthegoldrush, 205 votes (20.5%)
  3. Chesapeake Journal, 8 votes (0.8%)

Chalk it up as a rare liberal victory about these parts. In fact, the 1,001 votes ended up as a figure just a few tallies higher than the total of all nine preceding rounds (six first-round battles and three semifinals.) It’s a definite surprise given the fact Delmarva Progressive only picked up 10 votes in its semifinal – but it is what it is.

So congratulations to the crew over there for winning the contest, and moreso thanks to all who voted.

Drawing the curtain on this year’s contest does allow me to share a couple other thoughts, though.

First of all, the other day I was speaking to a blogging friend of mine from another part of the state who commented on the lack of websites in her area, particularly in comparison to the number of websites in this region. Obviously many of us deal with politics here but there are a number of other interests represented as well – just look at the contenders I had as evidence. If I were to classify the eighteen websites I selected this year, seven deal mainly with local news, three cover politics, and three could be described as personal journals. There were also blogs which covered sports, local history, music, food, and a fairly miscellaneous site as well. And I’m sure I don’t link to every single local website – there may be another couple hundred out there I don’t know about or just don’t get updated frequently enough for me to link to.

As for the contest itself, I based the original concept on the Mobbies, which is a similar popularity contest among Maryland-based blogs conducted by the Baltimore Sun. For the first two years of the contest’s now-three year run this site was among those nominated in the political category. (The political category disappeared in 2011, swallowed up into the formerly-separated news category.) For a site based on the Eastern Shore, I thought I placed rather respectively when I competed.

In my opinion we have a thriving local blogosphere, but one where civility and useful information is on the endangered list. Maybe a local media outlet needs to step up to the plate and have a contest similar to the Mobbies but concentrating on the Delmarva area. It would be a way to reward worthy websites and encourage the general public to visit them, and perhaps it would be an incentive for others to clean up their act.

Like it or not, the blogosphere is here to stay, and it’s up to all of us to determine its direction. Needless to say, I had my own personal favorites among the eighteen I featured but I left it up to the voters to decide who moved on. There’s a logical next step which should be taken, though, and it should feature those sites Delmarva can be proud of.

4 thoughts on “And the winner is…”

  1. After living in Baltimore for a few years, I am amazed to discover they, to quote Jeff Foxworthy, also have a comparable ‘lack of glorious sophistication.’ The Eastern Shore may well still dominate them in the blogosphere-Baltimore ain’t got much game other than on the football gridiron.. I don’t see myself staying in this state much longer because, well, the ‘big city’ also went to the craphouse during the last decade. I am pretty sure Detroit has more charm and growth potential {no…I’m not joking..}.

    Congrats to your new winner-may this breed younger, more plentiful, blog voices. Let it demonstrate that NOBODY in your finals was a blog of hate. Open up the gig for ALL of Maryland/DE next year. And maybe throw a bone to a blog with ES/local roots that may be operating out of other distant states soon.

  2. Thanks for the Mobbies mention and for your thoughtful remarks on how such contests can connect communities.

    You’re right. On their face, they’re popularity contests. But in many respects, voting is just a means to many more worthy, longer-term ends.

    Good luck with the “next step.” If you think of it, let us know how it goes.

    Best regards,

    Steve Earley
    Community Coordinator
    The Baltimore Sun

  3. Thank you-I could use the confidence/re-inforcement. In the words of Dr. Sidney Freidman {sp??} from MASH, many ES bloggers would benefit from ‘pulling down their pants, and just sliding on the ice.’ If you are aware of the classic tv scene, at least you would likely appreciate how simple {not perverted}, yet imperative, it is that we regain a sense of humor. The ongoing future alternative is unthinkable. May there be peace, and your songs, to fill the air..

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