The nominations for the first Swiss Blog Awards are just out:
The award ceremony will take place on May 5 in Biel/Bienne (the city has two names because it sits on the language border between the German and the French parts of Switzerland). There will be panel discussions (I will be in one) and social moments and a vote by the audience to determine the winner, based on a mechanism designed by idea factory Brainstore.
If you go through the nominated blogs, you will notice that they are very diverse in approach and content, but have one thing in common: they are all in German, except for two in English and a bilingual one (English-German). That's because of a flaw (or more likely an oversight) in the design of the nomination process. Anyone could nominate a blog, and the five blogs with the most nominations in each category have been shortlisted for the final round. But the German population of Switzerland is about 5 time bigger than the French population, and 15 times bigger than the Italian population (and countless times bigger than the tiny Rumantsch minority). It was therefore inevitable that German-language blogs would come out ahead, even just for the law of big numbers.
I'm not suggesting that the nominees are not deserving: on the contrary, at least some of them are great blogs written by smart and committed people. I'm suggesting that the organizers may want, next year, to built into the nomination mechanism a "federalist" layer (I know, that sounds very Swiss), for example by attributing spots in the final list the way we attribute them for the federal government: four nominees in German, two in French, one in Italian and, because it's becoming a sort of additional national "shared" language, one or two in English. That would make the Swiss Blog Awards a bit more of a national prize than it will be this year.
The award ceremony will take place on May 24 in Zurich.