Hyperventilation Friday – winning 'best organizational blog 2011'

I know I’ve been a bit rude about the contrived acronym of the ABBAs (Aid Blogger’s Best Awards), but I just want to say that I think it’s an incredibly rigorous and accurate reflection of opinion in the online development community. This has nothing to do with the fact that this blog just won one of the categories – best organizational blog. Here’s the commentary from Tom Murphy, ABBA host and the thinking wonk’s Ricky Gervais:

“The heavy hitters came out in full force with a race between the Center for Global Development, the World Bank and Oxfam (UK). Two group blogs against Duncan Green’s From Poverty to Power ended in the triumph of the individual.

Center for Global Development – 27.8%
USAID Impact – 2.8%
Oxfam UK (From Poverty to Power) – 31.8%
Peace Dividend Trust – 3.4%
CGAP – 4.7%
Global Voices by American Jewish World Service – 12.5%
World Bank Development Impact – 17.0%

What stands out is that the blogs are of a much more academic bent. There were no nominations for blogs from the big NGOs. FP2P is an exception of sorts, but it is largely Green’s wonky musings that make it much more similar to CGD and Development Impact. This illustrates what I have observed to be a gap between the social media community represented by these nominees and the traditional NGO world.

Looking at the ABBAs as a whole, there are very few NGOs represented. That is in part due to the half where I reside which then has an impact on who this is reaching [no, I don’t know what he’s on about either], but it also shows that there is a significant audience who does not care for or is unimpressed by what NGOs are offering through social media.

There are people who crave understanding more and getting into the wonky debates that are not limited to academics. Practitioners participate in the space just as fluidly, but are nearly always in a personal capacity. What links the nominees in this category is that they talk less about their organization and more about aid and development at large. FP2P and PDT talk about themselves from time to time, but their bread and butter posts are looking at the industry. Is it possible that is why people go to read the blogs by these organizations?”

Heartfelt thanks to Tom, all those who voted for FP2P and to Oxfam for giving me the space to do this (and putting up with the occasional own goal…). As for the rest of the acceptance speech, I leave it in the euphoric hands of Cuba Gooding Jr at the Oscars. Mental.

And here’s some Abba. Worth it for the flares and stack heels.

Still to come, best overall blog, where FP2P was also shortlisted, but I reckon Chris Blattman has that one sewn up.

Update: yep, Blattman cruised home in the overall best aid-blog-in-English vote, but at least this blog came a distant second. Results here. He teaches, he has a new baby. How many Chris Blattmans are there? It’s time we were told.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please see our Privacy Policy.

We use MailChimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to MailChimp for processing. Learn more about MailChimp's privacy practices here.

Comments

16 Responses to “Hyperventilation Friday – winning 'best organizational blog 2011'”
  1. Pete Cranston

    Congratulations. ‘Wonky musings’: has anyone ever said anything as nice about your writing?

    But well deserved, I think: you maintain pretty much a personal voice from within Oxfam Towers, no mean task, and the content’s rich

  2. Lee

    Congrats, well deserved.

    The lesson for comms people here is that BLOG is short for WEB LOG, which essentially means “diary”: people want character and honesty and individuality (and sometimes swimming pool gossip). Not boring corporate press releases or traditional tearjerker fundraiser guff.

  3. Tom

    Also, poor editing on my part: “the half where I reside which then has an impact on who this is reaching.”
    It should read “this not being an NGO blog.”

    It is a terribly written attempt at recognizing that there may be some bias in my own audience given that I am an individual blogger. So, it is possible that the lack of love for NGO blogs may be due to my blog hosting the contest rather than audience preference.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.