Krysta Anderson, Gleaner Writer
Blogging is the platform for freely expressing one's views, whether personal or otherwise, on various issues. Local bloggers were publicly acknowledged and shown appreciation at the third staging of the Jamaica Blog Awards last Saturday. The function was held at South Beach Café in Kingston.
The event scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. started out as a pre-award tweet up. South Beach Café's parking lot, the designated location for the pre-award ceremony, slowly but surely grew into a tweeting frenzy. The official awards ceremony, hosted by Lauren Dunn, commenced shortly after eight, with event organiser Corve DaCosta giving his introductions. He explained that the bloggers went through a series of steps in order to become blog-award nominees. About 950 blogs were nominated by the public, and about 175 blogs were selected as finalists. Some categories were entered in the voting logs and were voted on by the public, while others were decided by a distinguished panel of judges consisting of local, regional and international professionals. The winners were then unveiled on the night of the awards.
The awards for outstanding blogs were separated into 19 distinct categories, with a few of the blogs and/or bloggers walking away with multiple awards.
Kimroy Bailey, who won Best Personal Blog, was also awarded two exclusive prizes: Top Blog Post for 2012 - 100 per cent Renewable Jamaica, and Jamaican Blogger of the Year. Jomarie Malcolm walked away with three awards for the night: Best Twitter Micro Blogger, Best tumblr for her blog 'Lace and Zippers', and won the HASHCON2012 contest for her piece titled 'She Rose'. 13th Street Promotion dominated the entertainment categories, winning both Best Music Blog and Best Entertainment Blog.
Entertainment was provided at different intervals by Stephanie Maxwell, Nickeisha Barnes and Angel Smith. In other categories, Natalia Oh won the award for Best Beauty and Fashion Blog, while the blog 'Maximize My Life' was awarded Best Lifestyle Blog.
NOT ENOUGH SEATS
Awardees, nominees and well-wishers were advised to dress comfortably, and the reason for this dress code was later revealed. Patrons were subjected to standing for the duration of the ceremony, as there was not enough seats. The venue was also inadequately lit (a spotlight would have been sufficient) and a stage was necessary for an event of that magnitude. A projector highlighting the different nominees and winners would have been an asset to have at an award ceremony that consistently encouraged the importance of utilising technology.
The awards ceremony, which is a great concept, would benefit from some improvement especially since the committee is planning to integrate Caribbean blogs in the line-up of nominees at its fourth staging.