The Philippine Blogging Awards is an annual event organized by a non-stock, non-profit organization bearing the same name. The awards are meant to give recognition to blogs authored by Filipinos with quality content. 5 years in the running, the local blogging awards is meant to bring together the Filipino Blogging Community together for the single task of choosing the best blogs in various categories from food, to travel, to politics, etc.
Like most blogging awards, the Philippine Blogging Awards is more of a popularity contest where blogs can be nominated by anyone and winners are chosen through online voting. With nothing more than being authored by a Filipino, any blog can be nominated for any of the categories. Although the website did mention the awards being given in recognition for having quality content, nothing of that sort appears in the qualifying requirements for nomination.
And, although the PBA website has a link to the criteria for judging, not a single criterion was posted. Apparently, after a blog is nominated, the PBA committee has the sole discretion to accept the nomination or not based on requirements that are known only to them.
While this is a laudable endeavor with a laudable objective, it leaves much to be desired to truly be a genuine reflection of the sentiments of the local blogging community. Perhaps it will be more relevant if they base their selection on some metrics and not just arbitrarily set. Metrics can be easily obtained as any blogger with SEO experience will agree to it. Metrics can be an objective way of determining the clout and influence of any blog. It should not be solely by popular vote which as every Filipino knows can be rigged in many ways to favor certain nominees.
Besides, blogging has taken a new dimension and a new role. Blogs are now more marketing tools and bloggers are supposed to take the lead roles as idea influencers. The choice of the winners should therefore depend on how much influence it was able to achieve in the category. Content on the other hand should not merely be about quality, it should consider its relevance to keywords related to the category for which a blog is nominated to.
Blogging awards should go beyond choosing winners on the basis of the design of a website or by popularity votes. They should include criteria that will determine how well the blog performs as far as influencing others are concerned.
The claim that the PBA is a showcase of the best Philippine blogs with “quality content that engages readers from around the globe” will be an empty claim if not backed by solid metrics that objectively measures the blogs real reach.
Critical as these observations may be, they have to be brought out into the open so that the local community of bloggers can find measurable relevance to the Philippine Blog Awards. This is not meant to criticize. Rather, this is meant as a suggestion so as the awards can be raised to a higher level that will be meaningful to the greater lot of local bloggers.