• A free mini-guide on how to blog a conference in detail, by Ethan Zuckerman and Bruno Giussani.

Search LoIP

  • Web LoIP

Get LoIP per email

  • Enter your email address:


Books by Bruno Giussani

« It takes some blogs and an amateur paparazzo | Main | René Berger's technocultural life »

April 26, 2006


Thank for this post on Swiss blog awards! Thank you also to use diplomatic terms in describing what is in fact a scandalous procedure that excludes french or italian-speaking swiss blogs. To call this conference Swiss (sic) blog awards is now meaningless. And I hope that the financial partners of this conference (like the Federal Office for communication or Migros) will strongly react and retire their support as soon as they can.

Les blog awards sont dans de très rares cas, le reflet de la réalité. Je serais plus direct, les meilleurs blogs en Suisse ne sont ni dans les premières places de Technorati, ni dans la liste ci-dessus.
Ils sont quelque part dans chacun de nos besoins et passions, et c'est cela qui compte.

"a scandalous procedure that excludes french or italian-speaking swiss blogs"

I have personally solicitated Romands participation quite a few times, but nobody wanted to join the team. Why not?

Dominique, I searched your blog; you have not once mentioned swissblogawards.ch. Why not?

Could it be that the Romands, at least in part, excluded themselves because it was not their idea?

I'm not blaming anyone, just asking a few questions :-)

"Could it be that the Romands, at least in part, excluded themselves because it was not their idea?"

Fortunalety are you just asking a few questions... but try to ask the right one!

The problem isn't the idea, but the manner! How many swiss germans read "welsche" blogs ? Mmmh nobody?

At least in a political vote, the laws subjected to the vote are the same ones for all Switzerland... and it can be, that a "Welsch" and a "Dütschschwiizer" have the same opinion!

Cédric, I do read "welsche" blogs. That's why I noticed there wasn't much activity to get those blogs nominated.

And it's not a political vote. It is also not a vote about "les Romands" against "les Suisse-Allemands" or vice versa. Unless you make it one.

BTW, my nominations are listed here: http://gutfeldt.ch/matthias/blog/singleblog.php?entry=1145716332

I voted for three Romand blogs even though I'm an Evil Swiss German Guy. How about you folks, who did you vote for?

i voted for 3 blogs romands. among these my top-spot went to pasta & vinegar on 1. place in the categorie best swiss blog.

this blog award was always conceived as a people's vote. a blogger event organised by bloggers for bloggers. the way we defined it, it was up to the bloggers to mobilise people to nominate them, and imho this is very much a reflection of how blogs work - well besides the long tail of course. a federalist approach with quotas is counter to that spirit.
we now sadly got the result that we did. but there are just so many possible explanations, and the easiest one is to point fingers at the organisers. "a scandalous procedure that excludes french or italian-speaking swiss blogs." is absolutely false. on the contrary, as i pointed out elsewhere, there are more bloggers per capita and even to the best of my knowledge in total in romandie than in the german part of switzerland. and 8 of the 12 top 100 blogs accoring to top100.blogug.ch are romands and ticinese. so if anything swiss germans were at a disadvantage here.

I think that if you expect people to campaign for their own nomination, you really skew things. Could a possible issue be hiding under there? For me, there is no way I would go and tell my readers "please nominate me for SBAW". If that's what it takes to be nominated, then being nominated means you're good at "selling yourself" -- not necessarily that your blog is good.

We know how inert people are in general. Only the very motivated are going to vote, unless you ask them to do it. This type of public nomination means (to me) that if you're ready to ask around and get your readers and friends etc. to nominate you, you stand a better chance than if you don't, and that (imho) will probably be a more decisive factor than "objective" (doesn't exist, I know) blog quality.

I hinted at a possible cultural issue: this is a wild guess, but how socially acceptable is it to put oneself forward (because this is what it is about) in the different linguistic regions of Switzerland? Is it easier to do on one side of the Roestigraben than on the other? We'd need a sociologist to step in to have an answer to that, but it could be interesting.

@ matthias: Even if french-speaking blogs have been nominated, the law of big numbers applies as Bruno said. However, I am sure that you or the Swiss Blog Awards' team never have the desire to exclude the "vilain" Romands. But your procedure was inable to take in account such an issue. After your nomination process, and facing the fact that no french or italian-speaking blogs were in the shortlist, your reaction should have been to postpone the whole process in order to correct the bias.

Sorry to say that again, but the Swiss Blog Awards are not Swiss at all if the Romands or the Ticinese are not represented or, better, in an inability to be represented. The day you published the winners, I am not sure that medias in Romandie or in Tessin will really appreciate how the choice was made.

Jury (suggested by the vision libre blog): Right after the very first SBAW posting, the squabbling over a seat in the jury started. I got some e-mails from one person who thought he was entitled to a seat in the jury and got really nasty because I didn't offer him one - even though we didn't even know whether there WOULD be a jury.

So a jury wouldn't really change much; there would be a lot of politics involved and people would just complain about the biased jury instead of the team. Plus, a jury of maybe 4-10 people is MUCH easier to manipulate than hundreds of bloggers.

Bias and big numbers: It didn't take thousands of votes to get your blog nominated. And in my opinion, as the maintainer of one of the bigger Swiss blog aggregators, there are far more French-speaking blogs than German-speaking blogs in Switzerland. It seems the suisse allemands are just better organized. Surely you're not going to demand an Award for your inability to lobby??

Jan will probably kick my butt for being so undiplomatic. But as I'm no longer really part of the team, I'm taking some liberties here :-).

@ Matthias: you are absolutely right on the fact that the Romand are unable to lobby, in particular at the federal level. I follow your advice. See my first lobbying experience (trackback), hope you will appreciate :-)

A follow-up post on all this discussion:

@dominique: You seem to be proud of all the energy you're investing to destroy the event. Why did you not offer to join the organisers a year ago, or even six months ago, and use your energy to make this event a success?

@ matthias: I do not have any kind of interest to "destroy the said" as you said. One year or six months ago, I did not have a blog. However, I have some experiences at the federal level to be suprised, if not shocked, by such an amateurism, reason of my (very diplomatic) letter to the sponsors.

Dominique, in your comment you wrote:

"And I hope that the financial partners of this conference (like the Federal Office for communication or Migros) will strongly react and retire their support as soon as they can."

You know as well as I do that without financial support the Award is destroyed. So you do want it destroyed. And that is despiccable.

As far as "amateurism" goes, I have to repeat myself: This is a blog event, not a federal political event. It was organised by people who blog as a hobby as best they could, not by political federal lobbyists with fat purses and big expense accounts. If that's a problem for you and your fellow Romands, blame yourself for not joining the team and offering your professional expertise when there still was time.

I havie see ! Mathias reed welshe-blog ! (en tout cas le miens) ;)
Dites voir, on parle de blogosphère Helvétique, du soucis des langues nationales et là que vois je ? vous parlez tous en anglais ! Alors oui je le comprend un peu et je le parle, mais jamais au grand jamais, il ne me viendrait à l'idée à un suisse de parler en anglais !
Je ferrai l'effort de lui parler en allemand, weil ich kann auch ein venig in Dutsh sprechen, auch wenn grüzig meine dutsh ist. Ich mache so viel fäller, egal, mann kann verstehen mich, nein ?
Quand à l'italien, je le comprend seulement, mais ne le parle pas...(bon le romanche on en parle même pas)... Enfin bref, pour moi tout d'abord un vrai blog suisse, c'est celui qui contiendra une de nos 4 langues nationale, après s'il le traduit également en anglais pourquoi pas....

Pour un "vrai blog suisse", on doit être Suisse pendant combien de générations?

Sorry, just a joke :-).

if you born in switzerland, if you like the fondue, for me, you are swiss ! (you knows i'm only 75% swiss, the other 25% of my blood come from Italie !)
It's not the passeport the most important for me, is where you live, what you eating, et dans quel langue "NATIONALE" tu écrits... il y'a beaucoup de suisse vivant à l'étranger qui ont un blog mais qui continue à écrire dans leur langue maternel (Exemple Mia Pia, la journaliste romande vivant à NY, elle écrit en anglais et en français !) pour moi c'est un blog suisse.

I think that for Emma I'm not a real suissesse: born abroad, didn't like fondue until recently, and I speak English to my fellow concitoyens ;-)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Upcoming conferences