Thursday, February 23, 2006

The virtual envelope, revisited.

The results for the 2006 Catholic Blog Awards are in. Many of "the usual suspects" were nominated, some in multiple categories. But there were a few surprises coming out on top. Commenting on the official results was Jeff "The Curt Jester" Miller, who observed the awarding of "Best Blog by a Woman" to Julie D of Happy Catholic, edging out Amy Welborn, which may explain why I felt the earth move in the last 24 hours: "It is nice to see another amateur blogger who came into the blogosphere with no claim to fame..." (Wow, ya think?)

Another eyebrow-raiser was The Anchoress as "Best Political Blog." (An anchoress commenting on politics would warrant a nomination for "Most Ironic." But, hey, that's just me...) Finally, in what may be a major shift in the tectonic plates of the Catholic blogosphere, three awards each went, not only to "usual suspect" Jimmy Akin, but also relatively-new-kid-on-the-block-former-Anglican-just-crossed-the-Tiber Al Kimel of Pontifications.

For reasons beyond this designer (hey, I do this for a living, so I'd know a thing or two, okay?), Danielle Bean won "Best Design." Well presented, but a bit plain vanilla, really. Guys, I'd introduce an "Erma Bombeck Memorial Award" next year, if that would help.

No, it wasn't the predictable mutual-back-slapping I expected, but I get the feeling I wasn't alone in my perceptions. So, if I'm wrong, at least I'm in distinguished company. And in that department, I've done a lot worse.

In any case, congratulations to the winners. Same time next year, eh?

(For the record, I have absolutely nothing against Amy Welborn. I met her last summer at the National Shrine, and found her to be a most charming woman. That, and she's also a very good writer. Besides, she's got enough people picking on her anyway. My point -- and I do have one -- can best be found here.)


Der Tommissar said...

I still say the biggest surprise was them letting me in to play.

And for the record, I pwned Jimmy Akin in the category in which I ran against him.

Say my name, Jimmy! Say my name!

Maureen said...

Hey Der Tommissar --

I didn't think about that you beat him in that category. Do you think he will congratulate you and stuff on his blog?


David L Alexander said...

You and a few other new players, Tommy boy.

David L Alexander said...

I can hear them all singing now: "Don't turn around (uh-uh), Der Tommissar's in town (uh-uh)..." How I miss the 80s.

Julie D. said...

If Jimmy Akin says your name will you lay off the cats, Der? I mean ... c'mon.

Nice post and I especially liked the past one you linked to.

Now I am going to join Jeff Miller in BEGGING you to turnon your RSS feed so I don't have remember to check your blog myself ... which I can't seem to do more than every few days (cuz it's all about US, right?).

Anonymous said...

Wow. I can handle whatever you want to say about my site's design, but the sneering comment about an Erma Bombeck memorial award "helping?" A little bit classless? Unfair maybe?

David L Alexander said...


Maybe a bit edgy, but I actually thought that was toned down a bit. It seemed preferable to pay tribute to a woman who gave us a glimse into the stay-at-home-mom side of life (I'm old enough to remember her raising small children), as opposed to... well, something involving homschooling and soccer moms. So I'm very sorry if you took it any other way.

Really, the design is okay, it's just not an innovation as those things go. There's nothing wrong with that.

Again, my apologies.

Julie D. said...

Danielle, you don't like Erma Bombeck?

I mean, I occasionally write about things like encyclicals and Catholic-Muslim relations so probably wouldn't qualify but Erma was beloved by millions as a mother who made things real for everyone from the POV of family ... which is the sort of thing that you write about.

It seemed to me to be similar to the idea of having a "mom blog" category that someone mentioned in the awards forum.

David L Alexander said...


Yeah, that's what I meant. The Catholic blogosphere could use a voice like Erma's was to many in the 60s and 70s. By the way, I have a feed now:

Anonymous said...

Danielle Bean, can you explain all those votes you received on Friday morning?

David L Alexander said...

Why does she have to?

Anonymous said...

David: Apology accepted. Perhaps I misunderstood.

Julie: I love Erma Bombeck. When Jeff compared me to her, it felt like a huge compliment. It just felt like David's comment was meant not as a compliment but as a way of poo-pooing my work and saying "Obviously no one thinks this person really deserves the award she won, but some people for whatever reason felt the need to vote for her for something." That's not so nice. I think a Catholic Mom category would be an appropriate addition to the awards. I'm surely not the only out there!

Alex: I have no idea what you are talking about, but I do resent your implication. My blog posts do get published to a widely distributed email put out by Sr. Patricia Proctor and Friday just might have been the day my announcement about the awards appeared there.

David L Alexander said...


Wow, you read all that into it?

I think your work was certainly worthy of consideration, but not for the category in question. If I was "poo-pooing" anything, it was the lack of imagination involved in the judging. This year is significant in that people are being opened up more to bloggers who don't already have a print or lecture-tour market, for which a weblog appears to be a sideline.

When someone with as formidable a reputation as Ms Welborn gets bumped for a relative unknown, to quote Dylan, "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."

Anonymous said...

D. Bean
Interestingly, it was the wee hours of the morning that you received hundreds of votes.
But, if you don't know where all those votes came from, no sweat.
Enjoy your Catholic blog award.

David L Alexander said...


That's pretty tough talk for a guy who doesn't have a profile. As long as we're inferrng things, I could infer that you're not who you say you are. Whatever the nature of my remarks, I back them with my name, and a profile. You'll do the same from here on in, or the matching Black Boot has a special place known as your @$$!

Anonymous said...

David: The more I think about it, the more certain I am that it was an awful lot of "reading into" and I apologize for bristling.

Anonymous Alex: Are you on the blog awards committee? How are you privy to information about when votes come through? Were you in charge of monitoring that kind of thing and if so, for what reason? Are people not allowed to vote early in the morning? Since you seem determined to insinuate less than ethical behavior on my part (despite your oh so generous "no sweat"), I suppose I should answer your original question: Yes, I can explain "all those votes" I received on Friday morning. People who read my blog and like it voted for it. Duh.

Der Tommissar said...

How are you privy to information about when votes come through?

For whatever it's worth, votes were displayed on the site in real time. I mean, it's not like no one could see the results of the voting until the voting ended or something. So I guess anyone who wanted to sit and constantly refresh the page could watch tenths of a percentage go up and down all day long. I did that or anything. I'm just saying.

M. Alexander said...

In your defense I would be thrilled to be compared to Erma Bombeck because of her wit but I think she is considered plebian by some. One small step up from Gretchen Wilson (who I consider my peer);).

But hey if you're not considered controversial in the blog world you're nuthin'! So you're doing all right. I think we should congratulate one another on not being nominated. Clearly we are way too edgy. And cool.

M. Alexander said...

By the way there is no relationship by family or marriage. I'm married to a very nice anglo-Indian man from Bombay.

I think David's a plain ole anglo-saxon.

David L Alexander said...


Actually, my ethnicity is, for the most part, Franco-German.

My mother's maiden name is "Rosselot" (pronounced "ROSS-uh-low" as the "t" is silent), from Belfort in the French province of Alsace. My father's side was "Alexandre" before leaving the Lorraine province, also in France, in the mid-19th century. The region of Alsace-Lorraine has been subject to disputed claims by France and Germany over the centuries. France has dibs on them for the time being.

As to the Alexandre family, they came to France by way of Scotland, where their original name was likely MacAllister. If your husband is descended in part from Scotsmen who moved to the lowlands in the 17th or 18th centuries, and Anglicized their name, we might be very VERY distantly related by marriage.

It would be a long shot at best, eh?