The 2009 Bloggies have been announced.
One of the great things about the award is that it is all based on the readers. Everyday blog readers nominate blogs in different categories, choose the finalist from the top-nominated blogs, and vote in all of the categories. It's like choosing who out of your high school class to nominate and choose for "best smile," "most likely to marry," or "most likely to end up a serial killer." You get to decide.
Since we are looking at youth in connection to media, here's a rundown of the "teen" (as defined as "weblogs written by those 19 and under") category.
Topping the "Teen" Category of the 2009 Bloggies is:
Foodie at Fifteen (now 16)
Foodie at Fifteen (now 16) is the simple, clean, blog of a "now 16" year-old guy, Nick N, that very well could be the next Emeril, Alton, or (insert your favorite Food Network star here). Nick N is so passionate about food, he is current putting a foodie spin on the NCAA tournament (Mac and Cheese and Mangoes both made it to the next round) that he has even been grounded for losing his cool over some fish. Despite his passion and ability to cook complicated dishes, Nick N doesn't seam to be a food snob...he's a fan of a good grill cheese sandwich and even generously shares his ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. The writing is fresh and funny, and though there aren't photos with every post, but are used to illustrate an idea or accompany a recipe, and they look good enough to eat. Be warned, Nick N may make you hungry...or crave cake batter ice cream.
(aside: have you ever tried photographing food? and having it look edible? harder than it sounds. for example milk has a tendency to look blue in photos, so white glue in a glass often subs in a cookies and milk shot... moral of the story? if it looks too tasty, it probably is motor oil instead of syrup.)
Also nominated, were:
With a tag line of "if you are one in a million, there are six thousand other people exactly like you," and the image a purple-tressed goth chic, Sarcastica has used her blog as her journal since 2005. Be it sharing her thoughts on marriage and her unplanned pregnancy, telling girls "you don't need a boyfriend to avoid feeling alone" in response to the whole Rihanna/Chris Brown thing, or simply venting about the new Facebook redesign, Sarcastica lets us into her life and her thoughts.
Her name may be Clementine, but just call her Clem. A Canadian teen writing about everything from 9/11 and American politics, to cell phone dependency and being a teenager, her entries often include fun footnotes, or end with a question inviting comments from her readers.
Sea of Shoes
Judy and Jane, mother-daughter (respectively) duo obsessed with shoes, fashion, "living in suburban utopia and sea of soccer moms and Hollister hoochies, IE: living hell," and blogging about it at Sea of Shoes since 2007. Lots of photos of Jane modeling the outfits she's put together, fashion inspiration, and of course, lots and lots of shoes.
Kaylee, a Canadian teenager, blogs about her daily life at Reliquesce. With a honest style, she writes about everything from being offered drugs, the eco-unfriendliness of phonebooks, to trying to figure out what her talent is, and random thoughts on school, complete with random thoughts footnoted.
So, take a look and see what a sample of the best teen bloggers have to say for themselves.
Random things I noted:
*Only one guy represented...is blogging a female-dominated sport?
*3 of 5 were just basic journals, without a central theme (e.g. food or fashion)
*Fewer photos than I expected (discounting Sea of Shoes)
*Quite a few comments. They've found an audience -- people who care enough to not only follow, but to chime in themselves.
*This year's winner has a really simple (and free) blog...it's not all about the graphics!
*Nice, clean layouts, blissfully lacking the flashing, dancing and annoying.
*Not 100% sure Sarcastica is still 19...maybe when she first started blogging?
*The Canadians sure love their footnotes!
*Keeping in mind that the voters were all ages...who would have won if only teens voted?
What do you think?