Based on 933,022 votes cast in 48 categories over seven days of voting in early January 2009, here are the winners of The 2008 Weblog Awards:

General Categories  
Best Blog Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Dish
Best New Blog ~ synthesis ~
Best Individual Blogger Driftglass
Best Humor Blog The Comics Curmudgeon
Best Comic Strip xkcd
Best Online Community Strobist
Best Liberal Blog Wonkette
Best Conservative Blog small dead animals
Best Political Coverage FiveThirtyEight
Best Celebrity Blogger Wil Wheaton

Topic Area Categories  
Best Technology Blog Ars Technica
Best Sports Blog Kissing Suzy Kolber
Best Military Blog Michael Yon
Best Law Blog Volokh Conspiracy
Best Business Blog Deep Capture
Best LGBT Blog Towleroad
Best Parenting Blog 4tunate
Best Education Blog Mike Falick's Blog
Best Science Blog Watts Up with That
Best Medical/Health Issues Blog Stirrup Queens
Best Religious Blog What Does the Prayer Really Say?
Best Pet Blog Cute Overload
Best Food Blog Cake Wrecks

Arts & Letters Categories  
Best Blog Design Our World 2.0
Best Photo Blog Strobist
Best Culture Blog The Cool Hunter
Best Literature Blog Neil Gaiman's Journal
Best Fashion Blog Go Fug Yourself
Best Travel Blog MyKugelhopf
Best Diarist Raymi the Minx
Best Gossip Blog Oh No They Didn't
Best Music Blog Hidden Track
Best Podcast EconTalk
Best Video Blog

International Categories  
Best Canadian Blog Ezra Levant
Best UK Blog Created in Birmingham
Best European Blog (Non UK) The Reference Frame
Best Asian Blog Ashin Mettacara
Best Middle East or Africa Blog Michael J. Totten
Best Australia or New Zealand Blog Tim Blair
Best Latino, Caribbean, or South American Blog Dolar Paralelo

Technorati Authority Categories  
Best Major Blog (Authority over 1001) c jane enjoy it
Best Very Large Blog (Authority between 501 and 1000) Jesus' General
Best Large Blog (Authority between 301 and 500) JammieWearingFool
Best Midsize Blog (Authority between 201 and 300) Israel Matzav
Best Small Blog (Authority between 101 and 200) Rumproast
Best Up and Coming Blog (Authority between 51 and 100) The Stupid Shall Be Punished
Best Hidden Gem (Authority between 0 and 50) The Pajama Pundit

Signup for our newsletter to stay up to date on all of the news about The Weblog Awards and get details on The 2009 Weblog Awards

Special thanks to all of the volunteers that help with The Weblog Awards! We couldn't put on an event of this magnitude without their help. 

Thank you as well to everyone who followed us on Twitter, sent e-mails, nominated sites, and participated in voting. 

Winners should send an e-mail to winners at weblogawards dot org to receive their customized winners logo. Please indicate the category you won and the name of your site.

Voting for The 2008 Weblog Awards is now over.  This year's turnout was simply amazing; 3.2 million page views, 2 million visitors, and 933,022 votes cast in 48 categories.

First, we'd like to apologize for performance problems today.  We really thought that the first day spike was going to be the biggest traffic day (one that we for the most part successfully navigated) and that traffic to the site would slowly decrease as the week of voting went on.  Up until Sunday traffic followed our expectations, but Monday and Tuesday caught us a bit by surprise, with traffic rising to the first day level again.

Next year we are moving to a cloud computing environment which will allow us to add load balancing, better content caching, and an (nearly) unlimited number of web servers to handle traffic.

On to more current matters.  For the next 24 hours we will be finishing our assessments of all of the vote logs in all of the categories.  To date there have been no votes subtracted, but that may well change before winners are certified.  In the event vote totals are corrected for identified cheating we will leave a note on the poll page where the change is made.   The certified list of winners will be published here on Thursday morning.  The winners list will include instructions for winners on how to collect their winners badges.

Thank you again to everyone who participated, and especially to my team (listed in the credits) for helping to pull this off yet again.

And to those just now visiting for the first time, please go explore the nearly 500 finalist blogs in the 48 categories!

Thank you to everyone who have made The 2008 Weblog Awards a smashing success!  As of today there have been over 870,000 votes in 48 categories.  Polls close tomorrow at 5PM (US - Eastern), so there could well be over 1 million votes cast when all is said and done.  That's our biggest turnout ever by a substantial margin!

In other important news, we have shut down the poll embed code for all polls and are now redirecting it to a link to the poll page.  We are doing this because today the load on our servers spiked to a degree that sites without embedded polls were having trouble sending voters to the polls.  This would give sites with embedded polls an advantage

As much as we'd like to keep the embedded polls open, the only fair thing to do is close them and make access to the poll page equal for everyone.  Our severs have kept up with the load all week, and the first two days of poll embedding when well.  It was only today, when several sites failed to follow directions, that things noticeably slowed.  With the change made expect load times to improve.

Next year we will move to a cloud computing platform to allow for additional scaling during our voting period.  That's been on our roadmap for the last year, but to date we haven't been comfortable enough with the persistence and performance of the database to make the leap.  In the standard server hosting model we have to provision our servers in advance which makes it difficult to adjust to changes in load once voting starts.  If you're a provider of cloud computing and would like to get involved in hosting The 2009 Weblog Awards contact us at awards at weblogawards dot org.

In other important news, results should be certified by Wednesday night.  Winners will be officially announced on Thursday morning.  At this point nothing we've seen indicates that there will be any changes to the current vote totals, but of course that is always subject to change as events warrant.

As we make our way through the weekend voting for The 2008 Weblog Awards there's a few items we want to share.

First, embed code for all polls will be available by the end of the day (they're listed on the poll pages), along with brief instructions on deploying.  You don't have to be a finalist to host a poll, but you do need to follow the same rules outlined earlier.

Second, for sites that are trailing in their poll now is the time to make up ground.  Slow and steady daily vote totals can overcome many sites that have one day vote spikes.

Third, so far 620,000 votes have been cast since Monday evening.  There have been 1.2 million visitors and 2 million page views. 

Finally, enjoy the weekend and keep voting.

First a quick stats update...

As of Thursday evening we've had 950,000 visitors since The 2008 Weblog Awards began on Monday, of which 250,000 came today.  On the voting front, as of Thursday evening over 375,000 votes have been cast.  We're just about at the halfway point in voting so there's still plenty of time for sites that are down in the polls.

Readers can help by notifying finalist bloggers who have not asked their audience for votes, since we've found that often occurs because the blog owner is unaware they are a finalist.  We've got finalist badges and polls they can embed on their site if they want to participate.  In case you forgot, or hadn't noticed, details on embedding polls for The 2008 Weblog Awards on your site are available here.

Lastly, thank you to those who have take the time to e-mail of tweet to us about how much they appreciate our work on The 2008 Weblog Awards.  We keep doing this year after year because of the little compliments and the enjoyment others get out of The Weblog Awards.

Now go forth and explore the finalist sites!


Udpate:  If I can ask a favor...  Please stop e-mailing me telling "site X is in the wrong category" or questioning our placement of finalists.  I've heard your various concerns and we'll take them into consideration for The 2009 Weblog Awards.  It's too late to make changes to this year's finalists slates.

A couple short notes...

Details on embedding polls for The 2008 Weblog Awards on your site are available here.

We're posting interesting stuff we find on our Twitter feed throughout the day.  Kudos to judge Matt D. who is manning the reporting duties.  Sign up to follow us, and post your own info into the Twitter sidebar via direct message.

We smashed our previous records for votes and traffic yesterday.  Over 300,000 visitors and 165,000 votes cast.  If the site is slow or non-loading during the day just come back a little later.  From about noon to 6 P.M. (US Eastern) thing were occasionally sluggish.  Outside of those times everything was (and should continue to be) fine.  Based on our experience we expect that over the next few days site performance during those prime-time hours will stabilize and improve.

Thanks to overwhelming participation The 2008 Weblog Awards are off to an exciting start.  In less than 24 hours over 100,000 votes have been cast in 48 categories.

As expected traffic really exploded and our servers have struggled to keep pace.  This will improve this evening and should be stable later tonight.

As we start to roll out the code for poll embedding that may help with traffic, since a smaller amount of data is sent from our system.

We'll keep you posted...

With polls now open we need to describe one of the changes in the voting mechanism this year.

Every year review the vote logs and voting patterns from previous years to fortify our defenses against manual and automated poll spamming.  This year we've made changes to protect against a handful of savvy folks who take it upon themselves to try and ruin the fun for everyone else.

This year we've implemented additional defenses against poll spamming.  We can't go into all the changes, but we do want to alert you to one change that may affect a subset of users.

If there are multiple computers voting in a home, work, or corporate environment those voters should avoid voting at the same time or one right after another.  If you're not trying to cast votes in these situations simultaneously (or near simultaneously) then there shouldn't be any problem with them being counted.

Due to the sensitivity of this issue we can't really answer every question about our security measures, but know that we have multiple layers of security that are always balanced with providing open voting access to everyone.  The result is a secure, enjoyable experience.

Again, the vast majority of voters will never notice, nor be affected, by these changes, nor will the system ever drop a vote that they cast.  We just wanted to make sure everyone participating knows what's happening.

As we count down to the polls opening there's a few items of interest to pass on...

Polls will open on Jan. 5, but we don't have the exact time they'll open yet determined.  I know this may be an inconvenience to some, but we have to make sure everything is working before we get started.  All the polls are built, we're just running through our final tests to ensure the voting process is smooth.  If the polls don't open until the evening of the 5th we'll extend voting until Jan. 13 to give a full 7 days (and change) for voting.  We're shooting for an afternoon or morning kickoff for voting.

If you are a finalist and you haven't got you finalist badge, go here to get them.  We recommend changing the link to your poll page.

Embeddable polls (where you show the voting screen on your site) will roll out Tuesday or Wednesday.  We delay this to give traffic a chance to stabilize and so that we can phase the implementation of this feature.  Details on how to get the code and how to embed the poll on your page will be sent to the Weblog Awards New mailing list and published on each individual poll page.

To make sure our site is available for the crush tomorrow we have completely disabled comments to cut down server load they generate.  You can use Twitter, the forums, or e-mail is you need to reach us.

We'll see everyone tomorrow!

We know many of you have been waiting for this...

Finalist badges are now available here

To go with the logos, we've now published to poll locations for all categories here.

Finalist are encouraged to modify the link code provide on the logo page to link to their poll page instead of the main page.

Have a great weekend.  We'll have a couple more daily notes this weekend we hope everyone will read.

Don't forget voting begins Monday.

Every day we'll be updating the site with important information and observations about the progress of The 2008 Weblog Awards.

Today we're announcing that the permanent location of each of the 48 polls have been set.  The finalist polls can be reached via the main poll navigation page here.

All comments will be disabled later today.  Discussion is allowed on The Weblog Awards Forum.

Finalist badges will be available very soon - hopefully this evening.  We'll send that information to our e-mail list and update this post.

Update:  We were made aware of a finalist blog in the Best Sports Blog category that appears to be defunct.  Hugging Harold Reynolds was added from the standby list to the finalists slate.  No more changes are anticipated, nor will removal request be honored as the polls are being built now.  That is a labor intensive manual process that's very hard to reverse or modify.

A Note From The Host

By now most people have see the finalists. Following up on that listing there's a few issues I want to discuss.

Here is a complete list of the finalists for The 2008 Weblog Awards. Finalists badges (hosted by Imageshack) will be available Wednesday. Voting is scheduled to begin on January 5, 2009.

Please note that the names of the Technorati Autority categories have changed, and two of the categories were merged into one.  The master list of nominations posts is here.

I'd like to thank my team of volunteers who helped look through the thousands and thousands of nominations to come up with the best slate of finalists we've ever had.  For those who were nominated but not selected as finalist, please read this.

A Note To Nominees

Every year this is the hardest post I have to write - the one where I explain why your nominated blog was not selected as a finalist.  First, the odds are heavily stacked against you.  This year we received over 5,000 nominations in 49 categories, of which no more than 500 will be selected as finalists.  That's only one in ten...

Second, it's worth restating the guiding principles of of The Weblog Awards; ones we've used since the inception of The Weblog Awards in 2003:

1) Open and public nominations
2) Categories that allow blogs of similar readership levels to compete
3) Real time vote totals
4) Quick turnaround of the results
5) Fun

An operation of this magnitude will never be without its share of controversy or problems. There's one part of The Weblog Awards that will never get any easier - the finalist cut down. Explaining why many nominated blogs are not finalists is always the trickiest part of The Weblog Awards.

To maximize participation there will be as little overlap in the selection of finalists in the categories as possible.  There are a couple notable exceptions to this edict [Note: It's a guideline, not an iron-clad rule], the Best Blog, Best Design, Best Political Coverage and Best Podcast categories.  Finalists in those categories may appear as finalists in other categories. Even with that general guideline there will be several thousands of nominated blogs that for one reason or another will not be finalists in any category.

Please understand that the constraints of the number of categories and the maximum number of finalists per category really ties our hands. The goal is to get the most representative slate of 10 finalists per category. We're under no illusion that (even with unlimited time) we could prune each category to a list of the 10 blogs that everyone would agree were the absolute best 10 blogs that category has to offer. We do what we can under incredible deadlines to pick the best slate possible. In the process we know that many excellent blogs were not selected...

This year we used the "me too" button to nomination comments.  The idea was to eliminate duplicate nominations.  As we said in advance this was just another piece of information for the judges to look at.  We knew that there may be sites that confused this with voting, but thought it was a valuable feature to add anyway.

If your blog was nominated, but is not selected as a finalist I want you to know how much I appreciate your participation in this years awards. With several thousand blogs nominated this kind of disappointment is an unfortunate consequence of the success of The Weblog Awards - one which will repeat every year. The prospect of anonymous and closed nomination, while it might lessen the disappointment of those not selected as finalists, is to my mind far less appealing than the open nomination process of The Weblog Awards.  Prolonging or expanding the voting likewise would detract from the festivites.

I wish it could be another way, but unfortunately it cannot...

Sunday (Dec. 28) Monday Dec. 29 we'll be announcing finalists in all categories.  The list is done now except for one category we're working furiously to finish.  Check back Monday night for the names of the 500+ sites selected as finalists.

Voting begins Jan. 5.  Stay tuned for details... 


Update:  Let me explain the delay.  What happened is we ended up with two Technorati category without enough nominees, so we've been working today to combine Best Large Blog and Best Mid Major Blog into one category.  The combined category will be called Best Large (Authority between 501 and 1000).  The remaining midsize category; Best Mid Minor Blog (Authority between 301 and 500) will be renamed Best Midsize Blog (Authority between 301 and 500).  All of the finalists are now selected, we're just doing a few more checks to make sure we've got it all correct before publishing the 500+ finalists later this evening.

Thanks to a record number of nominations, nearly 5,000, the finalist selection process is going much slower than it has in previous years.  Right now we're on track to finish within the next week, however that really pushes the voting closer to Christmas than we would like.

In previous years we've not had time to fully populate things like RSS/Atom feed links for all 500 finalist blogs and we've generally not had enough time after completing the finalist slate to do things we'd like (such as notifying finalist sites, scheduling press releases, and poll testing) before voting overtakes us. 

This year will be different.  We'll announce finalists a full week before voting and have all of our finalist feed links populated when voting opens.  One of the major goals of The Weblog Awards is to expose the world to a wide variety of blogs and to increase readership of all finalist blogs.  By giving ourself a little extra time we can better publicize the finalist slates and make sure that more people are aware of the voting period and the selected finalists blogs.

Last year we introduced embeddable polls in selected categories a few days into the competition.  This allowed sites to include Weblog Award voting polls on their own pages.  For us this was a fairly revolutionary step.  This year we plan to offer embeddable polls in all categories from day one.  Since we've not conducted a full scale test of the poll embedding, on December 30 we will make available a special test poll "Best Blogging System" that we will ask other sites to embed on their websites for a few days.  This should be a fun experiment for any site that wants to offer a real-time poll to it's readers and will help us ensure that the system is ready for the deluge of traffic that embedding polls will generate.

As you can see there's lots of work involved in making The Weblog Awards the biggest and best blog competition in the world.  We're committed, just as we have always been, to making our competition as open, fun, and inviting as possible.  Sweating the details is a big part of past success.  This year we're giving ourself an extra week or two to make sure every detail is sweated, making things as rock solid as possible. 

Here is the final schedule for The 2008 Weblog Awards:


Finalist Announced - December 28

Finalist Logos Available - December 28

Finalist Voting Page Available* - December 31

Finalist Voting - January 5 through January 12


We know that the delay is frustrating, it's frustrating for us as well, but we also know that we've set a high standard for excellence in the past; a standard we strive to exceed every year.  The new schedule allows us to make The 2008 Weblog Awards bigger, better, and more excellent than ever before.


* The voting page for all polls will open several days before the poll becomes active.  This allows us time to publicize the voting page link (which will be the link that readers use to get to the voting screen) prior to the beginning of voting.  This will help finalist blogs setup sidebar links directly to their poll.  It will also allow us to pre-publicize the embeddable poll code.

Thanks to everyone who nominated blogs this year!  We had a record number of nominations - over 4,800 at last count.

We've closed nominations in nearly all of the 49 categories, but we've left a few open while we work on producing finalist slates for all of the categories. 

Here are the categories still accepting nominations:

Best Large Blog (Technorati Authority over 1001)
Best Mid Major Blog (Technorati Authority between 751 and 1000)
Best Mid Minor Blog  (Technorati Authority between 501 and 750)
Best Small Major Blog  (Technorati Authority between 301 and 500)

Nominations will close in those categories soon, so don't delay in nominating sites.  Also if our readers could spread the word to some bloggers in those categories.

We have been hard at work sifting through the nominees and building finalist slates.  We'll be posting here about the progress all week, this weekend, and next week.  Right now we're scheduled to start voting on December 8, 2008 and nothing,so far, has got us off course for that start date.

Keep visiting the site to get details on the finalist selection process, examples of the voting polls, news about embeddable polls this year, finalist announcements, finalist badges, and much more.



Nominations for The 2008 Weblog Awards have begun.  Click here to see the master list of categories where you can nominate your favorite blogs.  You can also get site badges, and learn how you can get involved in this year's festivities.

It's going to be bigger and better than ever, start spreading the word...

Nomination Index

Links to all of the nominations posts are available via this link.

About The Weblog Awards

The Weblog Awards are the world's largest blog competition with over 545,000 votes cast in 2007 edition and nearly two million votes cast in all editions since 2003.

For The 2008 Weblog Awards open and public nominations in 48 categories began on November 3, 2008.  Voting for selected finalists is expected begin in early December 2008.

Signup for our newsletter for press releases and to keep up to date on general information about The Weblog Awards. It's the best way to stay abreast of the schedule for this year and future editions of The Weblog Awards.

Once the polls open comments will be disabled on the site, but you are invited to join us in The Weblog Awards discussion forums if you want to talk about the awards, the nominees, or ask questions.

If you've enjoyed The 2008 Weblog Awards, don't be afraid to...


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