“It’s all work, it’s never fun. As I mentioned to others: 1% thanks, 9% moans, 90% silence”
It was to that tune – sung by the event organiser on Twitter – that we descended on Belfast for the Irish Blog Awards on Saturday night.
This was to be my first time attending the most controversial night on the Irish blogging calendar.
Most of you probably didn’t know this, because I refused to mention it here, but I was actually a finalist in the Lifestyle Category, formerly known as the Fashion/Beauty category.
Yes I know I’m not a Lifestyle blog.
Yes I know I was actually a Personal Blog finalist last year.
I was SO aware of this fact that I emailed the IBA contact email THREE TIMES after the shortlists were released, telling them I wouldn’t consider myself a Lifestyle blog and that there seemed to have been some mistake.
Did I get a reply?
And then a week or so later, I find myself in the Final Five of the Lifestyle Category.
“Are you excited?” people asked me.
“No,” I replied. “It’s not fair on actual Lifestyle blogs that I’m taking up a place. I’m a Personal Blog.”
“What will you do if you win?” they asked.
“I’ll hand the award right back to them,” I said.
Thankfully, whoever was judging the last stage for the category had some sense and I wasn’t forced to “do a Brando” as one of WR’s Belfastian Friends put it.
I wasn’t even the only one put in a position like that.
The Irish Language category had a finalist that hadn’t written an Irish post in a million years. She too emailed and although she was privileged to receive a reply, she was pretty much told tough and that she was going to be left there.
And then her blog was mysterious left off the list when it was read out on Saturday night.
And had now been scratched off the list on the website.
The Personal Category had what a lot would consider a cookery blog finalist and Best Blog by a Politician was won by Dylan Haskins….who is not a politician*…and whose first post was at the end of January.
Am I attacking these individual bloggers? Absolutely not.
You’ve got to respect anyone who works hard on their blog all year round and continues to write interesting posts (in fact I’ve gotten some lovely recipes from IMAIF).
I’m criticising the system that put them in the positions they were in.
In fact, I’m going to go ahead and say I’m criticising the whole bloody event.
There was nothing but moaning from Damien in the lead-up about how much hard work it was.
We were expecting the feckin’ Oscars with the way it was made to sound.
We walked into a very plain, boring room, with people sitting or standing awkwardly in almost-silences.
Was this it?