The shortlist for the 2009 Manchester Blog Awards is now available for your perusal on the MBA website.
I had a lot of fun picking this year's shortlist. As much as I try valiantly to keep up with blogs in the city, I was totally unprepared for the sheer number of new blogs out there - in many cases, of a very high quality indeed. It seems to me that people have really figured out what blogging is for and how to make it work. There were so many good blogs this year that I had to expand the shortlist to five in each category.
I'm especially happy about how many great newcomers there are in the city and neighbourhood category. We added this in 2008 after seeing an uptick in blogging about Manchester, but this really exploded this year. I love how all of these folks are offering up their own highly personal takes on different aspects of life in the city.
Perhaps this has something to do with the rise of hyperlocal content and citizen journalism. Maybe it's because we're losing local media outlets right and left, and bloggers are stepping in to fill the vaccum. Or maybe we're just lucky enough to have a healthy online community who enjoy Mancunian life so much they want to share it with people. I think it's probably a little bit of each. Long may it continue.
Another big trend this year: Mommyblogs ... erm, and Daddyblogs (congratulations Mr. Jones) Perhaps I should just call them "parenting blogs" and have done with it, but this sounds far too serious and worthy to me. I'll have to come up with something, though, because there are getting to be so many of these things that I'm going to have to add a new category on the blogroll soon. Some lovely writing on there. And a just-emerging trend: foodie blogs. Yes, we're finally getting more of these. Look for some additions to the blogroll soon.
Anyway, enough blathering from me, go and read the shortlist. And if anyone is wondering what happens next, or who will be choosing the winners, you can learn all about it over at the blog awards site. Winners will be announced at the all-singing, all-dancing blog awards evening at Band on the Wall October 21.