Why, oh why, are people so obsessed with notoriety? Even more to the point, why are so many obsessed with only notoriety? I have no end of respect for people who are so good at what they do that they naturally rise to the top of their field and are therefore well-known. This isn’t what people want any more. No, they just want fame. Look at Paris Hilton. She’s a perfect example. Has she really done anything at all?

I started thinking about this because of something Kim wrote:

But when I looked at the finalists for Best Individual Blogger of 2007, I had to ask myself whether I was inhabiting the same blogosphere (the term invented, lest we forget, by Bill Quick) as everyone else.

I too went to look at the list of finalists, and while he’s heard of two of them, I’ve heard of only one, and never read any of them. I still fail to really understand why people want to win these ‘awards.’ The winning blog is only the best in the sense that more people voted for it than for any other. It’s a popularity contest, and nothing more. There’s no examination of the relative merits of the blogs, no comparison, no nothing. Just a vote count.

Looking through the categories, I noted an award for best Canadian blog. I’ve heard of none of them. Wondering what kind of blogger would actively court this type of thing, I just had to look. The first runner-up, with 2874 votes, 30.7% of the total, is raymitheminx.com. As a sample, here’s the first paragraph of her latest post:

we are going to be eating dinner at one of our favourite restaurants tonite all day long it’s all i have been thinking about and i’ve been going into my flickr food sets looking at pictures of the foods i plan to be eating hi i am emily i am fat and i read nancy drew books alone in bed with my cat charlie please be my friend.

She’s also got an entirely separate blog serving as her ‘about’ page. There she boasts of the three awards she won in the 2006 Canadian Blog Awards: best blog, best humour blog, and best personal blog.

I think personal creativity is wonderful, and certainly people should feel free to post anything they want on-line if they have a place to do so. Her site is certainly not my cup of tea, but I would never suggest she not be allowed to post it.

But is hers really the best blog in Canada? Seriously?

This brief look into some of the winners of these awards reinforces my decision that I would not enter such a contest, and if someone else nominated me and I won, I would not accept. Such a win, in my opinion, is a dubious distinction. An award only means something when it means something.