The awards ceremony for the Eddies was on Saturday night in SecondLife. I’m not much of a SecondLifer, and besides, spending my Saturday night in a virtual world is probably grounds for divorce, so didn’t attend.
I was up in the Best Ed Tech Support category, which was won by El Tinglado. Congratulations to them, I think it’s great to see a non-English blog winning – there is a tendency to first of all be North-America-centric about blogs and then English-speaking centric.
I thought I’d reflect on the experience of being nominated. One of my informal roles at the Open University is blog evangelist, and as part of this I see one of my aims is to get blogging recognised as both a valid scholarly activity and also beneficial to the organisation as a whole. Having three OU nominees up this time (me, Tony and Peter Twining’s Schome project) has been the first concrete indicator I can use that there is external recognition for this sort of output. It has also given me an opportunity to raise the profile of blogging across the university, and particularly with senior management.
This to me is the real importance of the Eddies – they provide an opportunity for blogging activity to be recognised. We can talk about how great blogs but if it’s only self-validation then it’s easy to be dismissed. As soon as there is some form of external validation then people tend to pay more attention.
The other very useful thing has been that it has introduced me to some other blogs, and by being part of the nominees, the bloggers behind them. I’m going to use the ‘C’ word here – yes, I feel a bit more part of a community. And that’s got to be a good thing.
The only downside is that, as Tony has highlighted, the voting process seemed a bit unreliable. I don’t think this matters too much for the Eddies since one can truly say, ‘it’s the being nominated that counts’, but if we wanted to really vote on something serious we’d need to find ways of addressing these issues.