In spite of the accusations of  vote rigging and nepotism it looks like this year’s Irish Blog Awards are going ahead next Saturday night in Galway. The finalists for the blog awards have just been announced and so it is opportune to see what the best bloggers in Ireland look like.

The blogosphere in Ireland is inhabited by an eclectic mix of individuals expressing opinions and sharing thoughts on a wide variety of topics. This mix is reflected in the range of categories in which people have been nominated for the awards, including; popculture, humour, political, fashion, food, Irish language, journalism, business, sport, technology, photo, music and youth.

Over 100 blogs have been shortlisted in 20 such categories. These have been whittled down by around 120 volunteer judges from nearly 1,000 blogs that were initially nominated. This must have been a mammoth piece of work, ably orchestrated as always by a Mr. Damien Mulley. The air of conspiracy surrounding the awards deepens as the absence of the mulley.net or mulley.ie blogs from even the nominations indicates some level of tampering with the process.

That being said, a big congratulations goes out to all those blog authors who were nominated, shortlisted and have now been named as finalists. This achievement is not to be underestimated given the number of blogs in Ireland and the rigour that went into the judging process.

In addition to providing opportunities for self-expression many might wonder what contribution, if any, the blogging community makes to wider society. Former Government minister Willie O’Dea is well aware of the impact one tweet can have on politics and perhaps more than any other single event in the past twelve months his resignation brought the power of blogging  and social media into the public consciousness.

Bloggers have now an established role in debating issues of public interest and are seen as influential in shaping opinion. While bloggers do like to take some time out to talk about themselves, they do also talk about things that really matter, including autism, religious patronage of schools, fertility, passive smoking and even Ryanair.

The Urban Dictionary reliably defines bogger as follows:

Anybody from the Republic of Ireland that lives outside of Dublin City. They will also respond to Bog Worrior, Culchie or Red Neck. They will probably have the first name “Dan Jo” or “Jo Jo”

They will also regard towns like Navan as ” the big shmoke”

“Man there is a funny smell in this pub”. “it’s probably just the boggers.”

Coupling the disproportionate representation among this year’s finalists of bloggers from outside of Dublin and the suggestion that next year’s Irish Blog Awards will be held in London, is seems that there is a very strong bias against bloggers resident in the country’s capital.

If you are in Galway next Saturday night (as I will be) don’t be surprised if you overhear such conversations as “Man there is a funny smell in this pub”. “it’s probably just the bloggers.”

🙂