Sunday, 10 June 2007

Withdrawing from Blogpower Awards

I have decided to withdraw my blog from Category 10 (Best Little Blogger) of the Blogpower awards.

There have been allegations of vote skewing against some blogs - not mine I hasten to add - about which James Higham has talked in various places. In addition, it appears that action has been taken against one blog, at least: the leading blog (in category 10) after 3 days has not increased its vote in the last 2 days. The overall vote total and my blog's vote have increased hugely in the last couple of days.

I appreciate the difficult position with which James has had to deal - rather him than me - but given that I do not understand, and am uncomfortable with, what has been done; why there have been vote surges and vote droughts I have no option but to withdraw from the competition. I guess the bottom line is that I don't know if the vote is now straight or if one skewing has been replaced by another. Withdrawing is easy because I was never going to win
(lying in 4th spot at withdrawal) but I believe it to be the correct decision. I hope I would have made the same decision had I been a contender. My withdrawal does not affect my commitment to Blogpower.

I thank all those who nominated and voted for me. To have been nominated is prize enough.

To James I offer sincere thanks for all his work in organising and trying to maintain control of the awards. My withdrawal does not reflect negatively on James in any way and I would be very disappointed if any saw it a such.

Finally, if you are minded to vote for me, please do NOT.


  1. If there is going to be a poll on voting who you like, then all votes should count as long as they are legal.

    I have yet to understand the problem that some people have with this, its not like we are getting a nice fat check when it's over.

  2. [This is also on the Blogpower site and e-mailed to Ian Grey.]

    This is your right, Calum but the imputation of foul play is wrong. Yesterday, and these gentlemen will confirm it, I wrote to Ian Grey and Thunderdragon on two topics:

    1] whether it was possible that someone could hack into the awards;
    2] I mentioned that UKN&P has stopped polling.

    These concerned me greatly because there were implications for the Awards, which Calum has now assumed, despite the disclaimer exonerating me personally.

    A visit to UKN&P would answer the 2nd question:
    "Blogpower Awards- Vote Early and Often!!
    I will be out of town from Sat 9 June until Wed 12 June and will be writing posts if (hopefully when) I have any free time. We are still doing well in the Blogpower Awards but need your votes to pull ahead of the current leaders! Thanks for all your support and keep voting"
    Now, here's Ian's reply to me, which answers the 1st and I've written to him, asking if he'd mind me disclosing part of a private e-mail:

    "It seems unlikely that the logs are accessible, as they aren't
    available to poll set-upperers. Seeing as they do a paid service as
    well, it is in their interests to keep it secure."

    That's the issue of "poll fixing". Therefore, the only problem is in the multiple voting. I stated on my site:


    "You see, behind the scenes I'm playing hardball right now and it's only fair they get their shot later. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. If they don't do it, I'll tell you about it anyway."

    So now it's time to tell you. There are three people close to me [one female, two male] who visit my site regularly. There are hundreds who don't. I haven't told the hundreds at all.

    I think it's fair enough for regular readers, and this can be seen from Sitemeter, to vote in this poll. I hve three. How these personal friends are doing this is their affair but it's allowed me to stop voting for myself because it was uncomfortable.

    They also know I'm hitting Categories 6, 10 and 12 and voting when I can to even up the balance.

    This is only logical. They're friends. We talk. I talk ad nauseam about the awards. They make their decisions. They're big boys and girls 35 to 47 years of age. Whether others are doing this, I don't know. How could I know?

    Then UKN&P simply stopped polling.

    This worried me. I was seriously thinking this morning of shoving my own vote his way and still might do that but that would have skewed the result. I was so worried about him yesterday that I went to his site and this is what I left in his comments:
    1 Comment - Show Original Post

    james higham said...
    No, you can vote more often than that. We dropped the notice about once a day when we discovered that the system allows votes sooner than that - it's working on IP addresses.

    Please don't stop voting for UK News and Politics.
    10 June 2007 04:20
    This is what everyone has been saying all along - they want a balanced result. I invite any person I've e-mailed to come forward and show where I have urged them not to vote for a specific person. I certainly had discussions with about 12 people about a political party and I named that party openly. They're welcome to reveal what I wrote to them, for all to see.
    Calum has come to a conclusion based on what he sees overall and that's sad but fine. I hope that this now has cleared the air a little.
    Now to me, myself, personally, in the polls. I'm doing well and yet I'm running the show. This is highly uncomfortable. Do I want you to stop voting for me? To "even things up"? That's your decision but of course I'd like you to keep voting. As Mr Eugenides said:
    "I'd like to win an award, but of more interest is to see what other people think."
    One nominee running against me in Wordsmith has alleged, half-jokingly, "a fix". I've been to his site and showed him how to maximize his vote. I voted for him yesterday - twice. I voted twice for Calum too. On Saturday, I went through on one of my votes, put up my five categories on the computer, checked the boxes of everyone except me and voted, just for the hell of it. I've especially been voting for one person, not me, in the Services to Blogging section. I'd like to think his vote ahs increased that little bit, due to me.
    All of this is the fun of the event, in my eyes but never forget we all have one vote only, every so often, for 200 people if we so wish.
    Much more serious is the charge that the admin running the show has urged people not to vote for someone. Look through my editorials here and come to your own conclusions on that.

  3. Maybe all his votes should transfer to me? I have naked ladies on my blog now....