Tuesday, June 26, 2007

In the home straight

We are in the final approaches now to the Blogpower Awards ceremony next Sunday.

The venue is ready. Those who plan to attend have set up their accounts, designed their “avatars” and are all set. The only mysteries in this respect are James and Ellee. Both have been in SL. Ellee is planning her birthday party there, but neither has made contact. It seems that Ellee, sadly, will not be able to make it to the awards.

As the founder and guiding spirit of Blogpower, I am expecting James to make a suitable entrance "on the night".

The "Blogpower" group in Second Life (search for "Blogpower" and join, if you haven’t already) now numbers 26. I have met all of them in SL and spent a little time with most, helping to familiarise them. Most will "attend" the awards, as will some others I know. My glamorous lady neighbour in SL (who kindly donated the DJ's (tuxedos) for the Blogpower men to wear) is getting up at 6am her time to do so (thanks, Zhu).

Some Blogpower members and guests still struggle a little. Since this link (and others around the Blogpower blogs) will take them straight to the venue, they need no navigation skills. They need only master the basics, which of course include communication. The first three buttons from the left at the bottom of the SL screen are the most important for this, "IM," "Chat," and "Friends."

The first message most Blogpower people received in Second LIfe was an instant message (IM) from me, (LastDitch Writer) welcoming them. The next was an invitation to be my Friend (and thus to be added to the list brought up by my "Friends" button). The third was to join the Blogpower group that I have set up in SL.

Clicking the IM button allows you to send a message to your friends. I should be on your list. Add me if I am not. If you have accepted my invitation to join the Blogpower group, you can also IM the whole group at once, which may be useful if you are in trouble. IM's are forwarded by email if someone is offline, so it's worth sending one anyway. Someone may log on just to reply!

IM’s are for distance communication. One common mistake is to use it when in the same space with the people you are talking to. Only the person or group you send your IM to will see it on screen. To talk to everyone "in the room" you need to use "Chat". This mistake has caused some confusion when we have had large groups assembled, as those not receiving the IM's struggle to understand half a conversation!

When you get to the awards venue, just click on "Chat" and type away. Everyone in the room will "hear" you by seeing the text (prefixed by your name) on their screens. Find a place to stand (out of the way of the incoming teleporter please). You can close your IM box.

Some of you have become adept at using SL gadgets. Bag Writer set off some fireworks on my airship last night. Very pretty, but please don't do things like that on the night. Our region of SL will have more people than usual in it, and we may suffer from server lag and other problems - even a crash - if people run too many "scripts" (little SL programs) to use such devices. No weapons please, of any kind. The security bot will eject you if you pull a gun! If we DO have a crash, don't panic. Simply restart SL, making sure to ensure that you are set to return to your last location. You will resume your place in the room.

If you have questions in the next few days, please IM me in SL or email me direct. I want this event to be a huge success and will do my very best to help. I will be devoting my blog to adverts for the event for the rest of this week. Please email me for suitable graphics to use for this purpose if you would also like to promote it. Please link the graphics to this URL, so that people can teleport to the location in SL directly from your blog. I would appreciate all the help you can give .

I have hired an SL and general tech guru, Abramth Asp, to be my estate manager in SL (I have a real life and a blog to run, you know!). He will be on hand to help out anyone who gets stuck or lost during the event, when I may be a bit too busy to do so. By all means add him to your list of SL friends. If you are in trouble during the event, just send an IM to Blogpower and one of us will help out. I look forward to seeing you all on the day. It's not to late to set up a free account and join us. Don't leave it too late. You need a bit of practice in advance.

Cross-posted to The Last Ditch, Nourishing Obscurity and the Blogpower Express

Good news!

Welshcakes Limoncello's popularity and influence in Blogpower is rivalled only by that of Ellee, Ruthie and of course "Mr Blogpower" himself. Since she first registered her SL identity (Welshcakes Rossini) a number of people have told me they were "hanging around" in SL in the hope of meeting her. I am delighted to report that last night (my time) we finally met!

She made it to the bar of the airship named for her, where the Blogpower SL'ers will meet before and after the ceremony (and where you are all welcome to join us).

She is looking good, but her computer is still struggling to cope with the demands of the graphics-intensive SL software. Still, she made it and we can now all hope she will be there on the night. I am just sorry that I was so excited to see her there that I forgot to capture the moment with a snapshot.

Cross-posted to The Last Ditch and The Blogpower Express

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wherefore, Blogpower? Fare ye well.

Really wise words from the likes of Colin Campbell and others. Thank goodness we have such as these in our little association. I call it "association" because we're so loosely affiliated.

We're not really a club and the warning not to get hidebound in regulations should be heeded. We could call ourselves a group if we wanted. We have no direction, no "type" of member, no affiliations, no political ethos, nothing which could answer the question: "What does Blogpower want?" It wants nothing. It simply is.

What we do have is a cozy friendliness and decency to all other Blogpowerers, a desire to be read and to read others. That's all. We're a nice little haven or oasis or an island in the blogosphere ocean. No one tries to hijack the organization because it's not an organization. It's an association.

Our admins are currently Ian Appleby [the Keeper of the Codes], Lord Nazh the Code Wizard, Tom Paine the pageflakes and events organizer, Mutley the Birthdays officer [and please send your birthdate to him] and our resident techies Ian Grey and the Thunderdragon. Motley collection indeed. Oh - and me.

We have issues.

1] Already having expanded during the awards, we now have three more who would like to join us [or at least who are carrying the banner]. Warning voices have been raised that we're getting too big. We have to make decisions after the Awards Ceremony.

2] The issue of Blogpowerers failing to visit other Blogpowerers has arisen and it's real. As one of the culprits myself, there must be some solution. Clearly we can't get round to more than twenty blogs in a day, if that and some of these, nay most of these, are likely to be non-Blogpower.

This calls Blogpower itself into question. The solution is maybe to rotate the BP blogs we visit, ensuring we cover the majority in one calendar week and this raises another problem - blogs we don't wish to visit. I can tell you now that there are two in BP I have no desire, as a Christian, to visit. That's just me. I imagine I'm off some of your visiting lists too. So be it. We can't be loved by everyone.

So let's just make an effort to get round to the majority in one week and try to vary it a little.

3] The question of refusal to admit members. We've never refused before. We might have to now. This is not going to be discussed until after Tom's Awards Ceremony. Absolutely. I think I can say all admins are at one on this. The man has put so much work into preparing for our ceremony, ably assisted by members, that it would be nothing short of wrong to derail this now, discussing an explosive issue unnecessarily early.

I'd like to finish with one last issue:

4] Do you think we might have a closed "BP only" awards in the Fall [in deference to our North Americans] - just our own little thing where we recognize each other for some characteristic or achievement? We needn't advertise or go through the hoops like we did during the open awards. I'll be guided by you on this.

I wish you a happy two weeks as you approach the Awards Ceremony, hope that you resolve all your first life matters and that you get some decent blogging in. See ya!

No one home :(

And I can't get my hair right or my 'beard' :(

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Shopping for the Awards Ceremony

Two of Blogpowers favourite bloggers are Ellee Seymour and Welshcakes Limoncello. Those of us plotting in Second Life for the Awards Ceremony are concerned they may not brave the new frontiers of technology to be with us. We have sent James as an emissary and we are sure he will use his charm. However, I can be sneaky when I want to. I have my own plans.

Tonight, Notsaussure and I took Ruthie Zaftig shopping. She had already bought her Awards Ceremony dress but I decided she needed some shoes. Why? Well I was brought up with two sisters, have two daughters and have been married for some decades. I know a little about women.

My goal? These photos. I know that when Ellee and Welshcakes know there are designer shoes to be bought in Second Life and Award Ceremony outfits to be thought about long and hard, they will want to get in there.

Ladies, these photos are for you.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Better stats than on my site

Rollin' and Tumblin'

So questions have been raised about the BP blogroll, and how we go about adding to it, or, indeed, taking people off it. I think James' suggestions are a great starting point, this post may make one or two of the implications slightly more clear. It is good to see that BP is growing in popularity : We have three requests to join Blogpower that have not yet been processed; the candidates have the dubious honour of becoming the first three names on the 'pending' list:
Deeply Blasphemous
UK News & Politics
James has requested that we leave any debate over the actual or supposed participation of the BNP until he retains from his hiatus, and I think we ought to respect the wishes of the man who has put so much effort into Blogpower. For now, please just take note of the prospective members, and drop in now and then to gain a fair impression.

It is my sad duty also to inaugurate a list of BP blogs which are no longer active. I hope that inclusion on this list will be striuctly temporary - the route is always open for a return to the active list.
Calum Carr
Cynical Chatter
Istanbul Tory
The Tin Drummer
There are some quality blogs on that list, I am grateful that they saw fit to join in Blogpower, even if only for a short while; they will all be missed.

Preparations continue for July 1st...

Some of those planning to attend the ceremony have set up their Second Life accounts and stopped by to visit the sky-borne Blogpower Awards Hall. Here is NotSaussure, relaxing by the pool on the roof of my "sky-box"

More details over at The Last Ditch and the Blogpower Express...

Tom Paine

Regarding membership enquiries

It's usually pretty straightforward - we're a very open bunch but with "open" comes a certain "easygoingness" in processing the business. We're trying to speed things up and as you'll see from the sidebar, the way to join is to:

1] Display the Black Knight banner [top right]. You can do this yourself by copy and paste but please embed it with this site's url. Or you can send for the html code to "lordnazh at lordnazh dot com".

2] Send to Lord Nazh to be added to the Provisional Roll [currently not displayed but will be later today, we hope].

3] At any time the Provisional Roll is visible to members and though we don't openly canvass members about it, they can see who's on it and if there are any objections, they e-mail "jameshigham at mail dot com" and express their concerns.

4] If no one's objected within one week, then that person goes to the current roll. If there have been substantial objections, then the matter must come up for discussion between members who have sent their e-mails to James Higham or whose e-mail he currently has [except between June 18th and 29th].

5] Nature of objections. In principle, we never object [often we're too busy or apathetic to do so]. This principle was established during the Blogpower Wars earlier in the year. However, if there is a fair bit of objection, [much more than "I don't like him, he doesn't like me"], then, as stated, it must come up for discussion [except between June 18th and 29th].

That's it and sorry it took us so long to make it clear.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Provisional banners for you to display

We're having a little trouble getting those banners made and so we're offering an interim solution [which may turn out to be permanent]. Here are variants on the original banner, to be copied and pasted thus:

If you won your particular category.

If you placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in your category. The idea is that some winners might not wish to have "winner" displayed.

If you were one of the 10 finalists in the vote.

If you are in the Category post as having been nominated, even if you didn't make it to the final 10.

BP Members - time to resolve these matters


[Click above]

It would be remiss of me not to thank people. If I concentrate on one name, I hope you'd forgive me - Ian Grey, of Shades of Grey. Many other BPers and non-BPers gave valuable advice along the way too, esp. Not Saussure but it was Ian who must be mentioned in dispatches for the stalwart way he was at hand to bounce ideas off and to consider which direction to go. I'll buy these gentlemen and some others too a drink at the Awards Ceremony.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Final Placegetters in all Categories

So here they are, ladies and gentlemen, subject to protest and Blogpower review but you can pretty well take them as read. Final decision Thursday evening. Congratulations to all these and to all the others who participated.

1 Best Britblog or Column

1] An Englishman's Castle (226)

2] Mutley the Dog (175)

3] Not Saussure (137)

2 Best North American Blog or Column

1] Jonathan Swift (157)

=2] Lord Nazh (152)

=2] Zaftig (150)

3 Best Blog or Column outside North America and the U.K.

1] Sicily Scene (197)

2] Lady Macleod (105)

3] The Last Ditch (76)

4 Best Fisker

1] Mr Eugenides (135)

2] Devil's Kitchen (114)

3] Unity Ministry of Truth (72)

5 Best Ranter

1] Devil's Kitchen (146)

2] UK News and Politics (123)

3] Mr Eugenides (119)

6 Best Political Blog or Column

1] Bel is thinking (194)

2] UK News and Politics (126)

3] Stumbling and Mumbling (122)

7 Best Blogpower Blog or Column

1] As a dodo (72)

2] Shades of Grey (68)

3] The Last Ditch (62)

8 Best Layout and Style

1] Honeysmack (65)

2] Devil's Kitchen (59)

3] The Cityunslicker (51)

9 Best Blog Name

1] Shades of Grey (119)

=2] marymaryquitecontrary (85)

=2] All About My Movies (83)

10 Best Little Blogger [i.e. under 100 uniques a day]

=1] Sicily Scene (278)

=1] Crushed By Ingsoc (277)

3] UK News and Politics (109)

11 Most Articulate Wordsmith

1] Chipendale (106)

2] Crushed By Ingsoc (80)

3] All About My Movies (77)

12 Most Under-rated Blog or Column

1] The Last Ditch (158)

2] Crushed By Ingsoc (135)

3] UK News and Politics (124)

13 Most Over-rated Blog or Column

1] Guido Fawkes (83)

2] Iain Dale (71)

=3] Wife in the North (47)

=3] Oliver Kamm (45)

14 Most Politically Incorrect Blog or Column

1] Theo Spark (238)

2] Mutley the Dog (151)

3] Devil's Kitchen (103)

15 Most Sadly Missed Blog or Column

=1] Cassilis/Liam Murray (46)

=1] Newmania (46)

=1] Istanbul Tory (45)

16 Most Consistently Entertaining Blog or Column

1] Bryan Appleyard (201)

2] Rilly Super (178)

3] Mr Eugenides (131)

17 Prettiest or Tastiest Blog or Column [refers to food or domestic bloggers]

1] Sicily Scene (382)

2] Sallyinnorfolk (308)

3] Finding life hard? (70)

18 Award for Services to Blogging

1] James Higham (156)

2] Iain Dale (53)

=3] 18 Doughty Street [inhuman] (52)

=3] Central News [human] (48)

19 Best Post of All Time

1] Captain Smack Special Edition (183)

2] Bryan Appleyard Science and Religion (166)

=3] Eugenides Pay Scandal (76)

=3] Tony Sharp Zimbabwe (76)

20 Most Unintentionally Humorous post

1] UK News and Politics Immigrants (93)

2] Lord Nazh Climate Porn (48)

3] Terry Kelly Far Right (30)

We invite you to our Awards Ceremony on 1st July, 2007

Tom Paine writes:

Where in the world, we asked ourselves, could we hold the awards ceremony for the Blogpower Awards 2007?

Our nominees are from all over the world. There is simply no convenient place for them all to meet. So I suggested to James Higham, founder of both the awards and of Blogpower itself, that we hold the ceremony in another world entirely; in Second Life.

For those of you who don't know it, Second Life or "SL" is a virtual world hosted on the servers of Linden Labs in California. Linden Labs provide the landscape. All the buildings and objects to be found there were built by SL "residents." Anyone can get an account, download the free software and wander about for free.

You only have to pay if you want to own "land". For this purpose that's entirely unnecessary as you will be my guests. I invite you to join me for the ceremony in my "sky box", 500 metres above my SL "home", "Last Ditch House".

The award ceremony will be on Sunday 1st July and will begin at 0900 New York time (1400 in Britain, 1500 Central Europe Time, 1700 in Moscow and 2200 in Australia). Please put it in your diary and come along. The drinks are free and you will be most welcome. Please tell all your friends.

If you don't have a Second Life account, please download the software, register and set one up entirely free of charge. You must select a surname from SL's standard list, but you can choose a meaningful first name. My SL name is "LastDitch Writer" and that's my "avatar" you can see in the pictures (click to enlarge). If you can also choose a first name that corresponds to yours, or to that of your blog, it would make things easier in a crowded room at the ceremony.

Between now and the ceremony there is plenty of time for you to set up your account, change the appearance of your avatar to suit your taste and work out how to get around. Don't worry though. On the day, you won't need to navigate to find us. There will be links like this one here and other Blogpower blogs which will launch the software and connect you directly to the venue. You will materialise on the welcome mat you can see in the picture, so step quickly away before the next guest arrives!

Send me a message in SL when you have set up your account. You are more than welcome to visit the venue in the meantime and take a look around. The right hand teleport on the balcony leads to my home on the ground. The left one takes you to my office in another sky box nearby. Make yourself at home, but watch out for the security robots!

The drinks robot will provide whatever you like so ask away. It's free but also virtual and (sadly) tasteless. I look forward to meeting you - at least virtually - at the awards.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

1 Nominations so far for Best Britblog or Column

Updated 08:06, London time, Wednesday

These are the final results. The ten top nominations will be placed in a Freepoll today, in alphabetical order. Some URLs might be missing from 11 onwards below:

1] UK News and Politics[8]

2] All About My Movies [8]

3] Notsaussure[7]

4] As a dodo [6]

5] The Spine [6]

6] Wife in the North [6]

7] An Englishmans Castle[5]

8] Mutleythedogsdayout [5]

9] Westminster Wisdom [5]

10] Ellee Seymour [5]


Chicken Yoghurt [4]

Fabian Tassano[4]

Bryan Appleyard [4]

The Cityunslicker [4]

Theo Spark [4]

Joeblade [4]

Lazy Laces [4]

Devil's Kitchen[3]

Dr Crippen[2]

Political Umpire [2]

The Cynical Libertarian [2]

Tony Sharp [2]

Chase Me Ladies[2]

Paul Linford [2]

Iain Dale [2]

EU Referendum [2]

Croydonian [2]

Guido Fawkes [2]

Praguetory [2]

Rullsenberg Rules [2]

James Hamilton[1]

Harry's Place[1]

Walking the Streets[1]

Tim Worstall [1]

Dr. Rant [1]

Lee John Barnes [1]

The Overnight Editor [1]

Matt Sinclair [1]

Nothing to Do With Arbroath [1]

A Welsh View [1]

Scary Duck [1]

Crushed By Ingsoc [1]

Smokewriting [1]

The British Bullshit Foundation [1]

Neuearbeitmachtfrei [1]

Criticalfacultydojo [1]

Shuggy [1]

Mr Eugenides [1]

Filmick [1]

Blognor Regis [1]

Flying Rodent [1]

Melanie Phillips [1]

Normblog [1]

The England Project [1]

Laban Tall [1]

Old Knudsen [1]

Rilly Super [1]

Bel Today [1]

The World as it Should Be [1]

Benedict White [1]

2 Nominations so far for Best North American Blog or Column

Updated 08:08, London time, Wednesday

These are the final results. The ten top nominations will be placed in a Freepoll today, in alphabetical order. Some URLs might be missing from 11 onwards below:

1] Zaftig[9]

2] Lord Nazh [8]

3] Maggies Farm[3]

4] Jonathan Swift [3]

5] The Dilbert Blog [3]

6] Clusterfuck Nation [2]

7] Gates of Vienna [2]

8] Nobody Important [2]

9] Al Franken (Huffington Post) [2]

10] That Med School Guy [2]


Scientist Blog [2]

Mid-Atlantic Blog[1]

Vox Day[1]

The Debatable Land[1]

Small Dead Animals [1]

PostSecret [1]

Ashok Karra[1]

Nobody asked [1]

Jesus' General [1]

More about Movies (and More) [1]

Reel Fanatic [1]

Jules Crittenden [1]

FP Passport[1]

Jihad Watch[1]

Queering the Aparatus [1]

Hammer [1]

The Monarchist [1]

The Conscious Earth [1]

Andrew Sullivan [1]

Post Secret [1]

All About My Movies [1]

More About Movies [1]

Reel Fanatic [1]

Rantocracy [1]

3 Nominations so far for Best Blog or Column outside North America and the U.K.

Updated 08:10, London time, Wednesday

These are the final results. The ten top nominations will be placed in a Freepoll today, in alphabetical order. Some URLs might be missing from 11 onwards below:

1] James Higham [19]

2] Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe[11]

3] The Last Ditch [10]

4] My Marrakesh [8]

5] Sicily Scene[6]

6] Honeysmack [5]

7] Lady Macleod [4]

8] Jim Bliss /The Quiet Road[3]

9] Tim Blair[3]

10] This is Zimbabwe [3]



Russian Wolfhound [2]

Remittance Man[1]

Yascha Mounk[1]

Sam and the City [1]

Le Blagueur a Paris [1]

Blogzira [1]

Kitchen Connection [1]

Tao Of Defiance [1]

Gorilla Bananas (Zaire) [1]

Muchadoaboutsomething [1]

Keiser [1]

4 Nominations so far for Best Fisker

Updated 08:14, London time, Wednesday

These are the final results. The ten top nominations will be placed in a Freepoll today, in alphabetical order. Some URLs might be missing from 11 onwards below:

1] Devil's Kitchen[6]

2] Unity Ministry of Truth [5]

3] Mr Eugenides [5]

4] Reactionary Snob [4]

5] Obsolete [2]

6] Five Chinese Crackers [2]

7] Bags Rants [2]

8] Praguetory [2]

9] Mr.Angry [1]

10] Longrider[1]


Visions of Bradford[1]

Blairwatch [1]

Benedict White [1]

Ben Goldacre [1]

Hell's Handmaiden [1]

5 Nominations so far for Best Ranter

Updated 08:16, London time, Wednesday

These are the final results. The ten top nominations will be placed in a Freepoll today, in alphabetical order. Some URLs might be missing from 11 onwards below:

1] Devil's Kitchen[12]

2] Mr Eugenides [6]

3] All About My Movies [6]

4] A Mama's Rant [6]

5] Reactionary Snob [4]

6] UK News and Politics[4]

7] Blairwatch [3]

8] The Tin Drummer [3]

9] Muchadoaboutsomething [3]

10] Visions of Bradford[3]


Ubermouth [3]

Mr.Angry [1]


Bags Rants [3]

Dr. Rant [1]

Nanny Knows Best [1]


Picking Losers [1]

Shiraz Socialist [1]

The Traipsing Gypsy [2]

Blairwatch [2]

Bryan Appleyard [1]

thatssopants [1]

Scientist Blog [1]

Daily Referendum [1]

Crushed by Ingsoc [1]