Now that the 2006 Weblog Awards are over (and congratulations to all of my favourites for wins or good showing), we are all warmed up and ready for the Real Deal - the Koufaxes!
First, and most importantly, go over to Wampum and hit their PayPal button (on the left top side-bar), or their Amazon.com donation button, and hit it with as much as you can. The way Koufaxes are done is real - no paperless voting machines there! And that costs. And it helps the community if the good folks of Wampum have enough money for the generator (yes, they make their own power!), servers, new hard-drives and everything else needed to do it right.
Second, go to this post and this post and answer some questions. What past categories need to be changed or eliminated? What new categories should be included (keeping in mind that every new category costs money and time)? Go tell them what you think.
I really like the idea of a "Human Equality" category that someone suggested, incorporating blogs fighting against inequalities based on gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, body type, etc., though I am afraid that the feminist and LGTB blogs would sweep the board - blogs like Pandagon, Shakespeare's Sister, Feministe, Echidne of the Snakes, Majikthise, Bitch PhD, Pam's House Blend, etc., are so well-known compared to blogs that deal with other equality-related matters, e.g., racism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc. Perhaps the two should be separated into two: "Best Gender/Orientation Equality Blog" and "Best Race/Class/Personal Appearance Equality Blog" categories. What do you think? Go tell it to the hosts and readers of Wampum.
Also, "Best Single Issue Blog" and "Best Expert Blog" have always seen a big overlap. People who constantly write about a single topic are, almost by definition, if nothing else due to time spent on it, considered "experts". On the other hand, experts on a particular topic do not necessarily write only about that (see my own blog - my expertise is in animal physiology/behavior/chronobiology yet I write about politics, religion and many other topics all the time). So, in the past, many blogs have been nominated in both of these categories. I'd like to see, instead, something like "Best Social Science Blog" for topics like law, history, philosophy, ethics, economics, sociology, cultural anthropology, social psychology, political science, archaeology, linguistics, education, etc., and "Best Natural Science Blog" for math, science, medicine, nature, environment, science education, politics and policy of science/helath/environmet, skepticism and skeptical analysis of religion. (That way Juan Cole and PZ Myers can each win one category instead of duking it out every year).
A one-year cooling-off rule for overall categories (but not posts/series) is fine with me - this means that last year's winners are not eligible in the category in which they won, except in categories of individual posts (best post, most humorous post, best series).
A way to set a precise criterion for who is "Deserving of Wider Recognition" is also a good idea as I agree with other Wampum commenters that some quite well-known and respected blogs tend to win that category. Perhaps Technorati rank is the best criterion, although imperfect. That is certainly better than the TTLB Ecosystem which many liberal blogs are boycotting.
Also, is the "New Blog" the same as the "New Blogger"? In other words, although I've been blogging since 2004, could I enter this blog (started in June 2006) as a New Blog or is that not fair to others because of my prior experience and name-recognition?
Finally, starts thinking now of blogs (and their individual posts or series) you want to nominate. Start making your own list and have it ready for the time the nominations open.
This will be the first year I will not have a series of my own to nominate (but I am thinking of nominating Echidne's statistics series and Sara Robinson's "Wall" series - still have to see how Dave Neiwert's new series will look like once it's finished). Unless you like my entire BIO101 class notes! As for individual posts, I will push Pledge of Allegiance as it appears to be quite popular, although you are free to check here or my current blog archives for something else from 2006 you may like better (re-posts of stuff originally published before 2006 are not eligible).