You won't care.The Political Weblog Project is a collaborative effort designed to encourage MPs, Councillors and other elected officials to communicate more effectively online via the intelligent use of weblogs. Elected officials who wish to take part in this scheme must follow these simple rules that exist primarily for your own benefit:

Rule #1 - You must own (or be ready to purchase) your own domain name.
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Those who pledge to follow these rules will be provided with all the necessary assets and expertise at an extremely competitive rate.

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August 11, 2005

New Statesman wins 2005 N00b Media Award

Allow me to introduce the N00b Media Award.

This is a special award to be granted to the individual or body that shows the most ignorant, witless or callous approach to political weblogs or the online community at large.

This year the shortlist included such luminaries as Mark Pritchard (who, despite having made no posts to his weblog, has archive links dating back to the dawn of time) and Stephen Coleman (the e-democracy 'expert' who doesn't even have his own website) but the clear winner is New Statesman magazine.

New Statesman - 2005 N00b Media AwardNew Statesman - WINNER - 2005 N00b Media Award

On July 5th 2005, a representative of the New Statesman announced to an incredulous audience at their 2005 New Media Awards that no award would be granted to an elected representative. They felt that none of the sites shortlisted deserved recognition and they gave their reason as follows: After much discussion and thought, they agreed that none of the shortlisted nominations deserved the accolade. Some of the elected representatives have made massive efforts in creating an interesting online presence. But it was recognised that they have done so with little official help, and mostly by being in a fortunate enough position to draw upon the technical and communication skills required.

Perhaps the shortlist was sub-par because the site with the most nominations failed to get shortlisted. Perhaps the judges felt they could not give an award to Steve Webb for his text-messaging initiative because somebody else had already done so. Perhaps the 100+ plus comments made on many posts to Boris Johnson's website are a figment of the collective imagination, as they clearly don't count as '(the best) new media technology to communicate with the electorate'. Or perhaps (as has been put so delicately here) 'a magazine of a certain political slant couldn't be seen to be awarding the editor of a magazine of another political slant'.

These are all interesting possibilities, but it's far more entertaining to take New Statesman at their word when they assure us that the real reason for their failure to grant an award was a general malaise in the sector.

In other words, if a growing ecosystem seems fragile and uncertain, the most constructive thing you can do is take a dump in the middle of it. (Some have suggested that this theory has something to do with a need for more fertiliser.)

For this brave and clear-headed decision, for inviting the nominees into London knowing they would be sending them all home empty-handed (to the point of even calling some up that afternoon to ensure they would attend) and for a spirited defence in the days that followed that involved more than one reference to the possible need for lawyers should they or their judges be called into disrepute, the New Statesman is more than deserving of the inaugural N00b Media Award.

Fashioned from the most readily-available metals somewhat reminiscent of silver, this soon-to-be-coveted award comes complete with detachable funnel and compass.

If they can work out how to use either, they may be able to avoid winning the award two years running.

Posted by timireland on August 11, 2005 9:11 AM in the category Fighting Ignorance


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