STATEMENT BY TRIBE OF INFLUENCERS:
Thank you so much for all your support during this edition of the Zimbabwean Blog Awards. Through creating content, submitting a nomination, retweeting, liking, sharing and also casting your votes, we appreciate every little thing you did to be a part of the Zim Blog Awards. We received 412 nominations which was incredible. From there we embarked on the public voting where we received over 8,500 votes. From there, we shortlisted the blogs with the highest votes for expert judging and that’s how we came up with this year’s winners of the Zim Blog Awards.
The Zim Blog Awards were created to showcase and recognise the talent we have in the content creation industry. They are also a way for us to inspire more people to join the content creation industry through blogging, vlogging or podcasting. There are endless untapped niches in Zimbabwe just waiting to be explored. Hopefully next year, we get to see a lot of new names stepping onto the scene to develop the content creation industry in Zimbabwe.
We had a lot of feedback during the course of the awards and thus, we would like to take this opportunity to clear the air about a couple of things.
- What makes the award have traction, what standards do you bear as award givers?
Firstly the people! People are at the very foundation of any award or award ceremony and as such who are we to argue with 5 000+ content consumers who have entrusted us with aggregating their voices and feelings towards their favourite Bloggers, Vloggers and Podcasters. Nominations are done by the public, the public then votes, the highest-ranking nominees get forwarded to the expert judging phase. Our judges are seasoned veterans in the content creation industry who look for 5 critical things when adjudicating:
- Design (What does your blog look like?)
- Content (How engaging/consistent is your content?)
- Marketing (How do you publicise your blog?)
- Usability (How user friendly is it?)
- Analytics (The statistics for your blog)
We are also held accountable by our partners and affiliates who are also stakeholders in the content creation industry of Zimbabwe. We are developing an algorithm to automate the adjudication process and leave less room for human errors.
- Why can’t they just win based on the public voting?
It’s one thing being a popular content creator and it’s a whole new ball game making the cut with the judges. We want to test both your popularity and dedication when it comes to the craft. You might have a great blog, consistent content but no followers/readers. On the other hand, you might have a horde of followers and your blog is basic but you’re charismatic. What we want to know is, have you built a following, would they vote for you and can you impress the judges with the professionalism and structure of your blog.
- What were the judges looking for?
- Is the blog by a Zimbabwean (local or abroad)
- Had the blog been updated at least within 3 months from nomination
- Was the blog open to the public
- Did the blog have a registered domain
- Quality of content on the blog in relation to their niche
- Aesthetics and structure of the blog
- User experience
- Marketing and follower engagement
- What’s with the sign-up process to vote?
This was a step we put in place in response to feedback received from our last awards session on fears of bots and artificial votes. By requesting people to sign up we could verify human efforts on voting and limit the chances of artificial automated votes. It also allowed us to track and control the number of times each voter could cast their votes in a transparent and auditable manner. We then removed the ‘create an account’ prerequisite on the 23rd of March.
Fun Fact: Most of the votes which we received were from the ‘create an account’ phase.
- Are people with Facebook/Instagram links considered bloggers?
According to Wikipedia, Microblogging(Tumblelogs) is an online broadcast medium that exists as a specific form of blogging. A microblog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically smaller in both actual and aggregated file size. Micro-blogs “allow users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links“, which may be the major reason for their popularity. These small messages are sometimes called microposts.
Fun fact: Did you know that Twitter is a microblogging platform?
In light of this, we decided to let them be eligible to compete for this year’s edition of the Zim Blog Awards, this did not go down well with the ‘traditional bloggers’ who felt that the two cannot compete in one category. The voters agreed, numbers do not lie. The microbloggers did not rank well enough to make it to the expert judging phase. This is, however, a key learning for us and in the next edition, we will have a better representation of these platforms.
As much as we call these awards Zim ”Blog” Awards we have recognised that the art of blogging has evolved into people also expressing themselves through audio and video ie Podcasts and Vlogs. We have included these formats in our judging.
- What’s with limiting a person to one vote per person per 24 hours when there are 24 categories? Is that one vote per category or what?
Last year, we had unlimited voting and a live leaderboard, once again, there was a backlash. The argument was, someone can see that they are losing and vote for themselves a million times which is rigging. So this year, you could only cast one vote per day for each category.
- There were glitches, what happened?
We had staff changes, 4 people who were managing the Zim Blog Awards before moved on. This then resulted in 5 new people being added and this became a constant learning experience because we had to hit the ground running.
Also, we revamped our website and not just a new template type of revamp. Our resident coder had to build the thing from scratch. Everything from the interface, nomination platform, and the voting platform. It was trial by error. We wanted to build something that we own, that will stand the test of time and we are constantly tweaking it as the need arises. It’s an amazing monstrosity, wait until it’s finished.
Without further ado, here is a list of this year’s Zim Blog Awards winners:
|Best Arts & Culture||EarGround||https://earground.com/|
|Best Business & Finance||StartupBiz||https://startupbiz.co.zw/|
|Best Creative Writing||Munashe Chakaonda||https://inherthoughtszw.blogspot.com/|
|Best Fashion & Style||Elsie Mutsaka||elsiemutsaka.com|
|Best Food & Drink||Just for Foodies||https://justforfoodieszw.food.blog/|
|Best Hair & Beauty||TeteHumba||https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZRzuNKA_YHHe50ge4Sv3sQ|
|Best Health, Fitness & Sports||Fitness Bae||fitnessbaeint.wordpress.com|
|Best Lifestyle||Brayzz Africa||https://brayzzafrica.co.zw/|
|Best Media & Communications||zimtrending||https://zimtrending.co.zw/|
|Best Personal Blog||Yvonne Feresu||http://blog.yvonneferesu.co.zw/|
|Best Photography||Remy Shoots||https://remyshoots.tumblr.com/|
|Best Relationships & Dating||Mind of a Boyfriend||https://mindofaboyfriend.co.zw/|
|Best Self-Development & Motivational||Nkosinosizo Mkhwananzi||https://beyouandbeusefulbecauseyourebeautiful.wordpress.com/|
|Best Social Issues & Politics||Leo Muzivoreva||https://leomuzivoreva.wordpress.com/|
|Best Spirituality & Religion||Hallelujah Magazine||https://hallelujahmag.com/|
|Best Tech, Digital & Science||Africa Blockchain Media||https://africablockchainmedia.com/|
|Best Teen Blogger||Zothile||https://zoezulu.wordpress.com/|
|Best Women & Girls||Evolving Perceptions||http://percywroteit.blogspot.com/|
|Blogger of the Year||Beaton||https://becomingthemuse.net/|
|Podcast of the Year||Sadza in the Morning||https://iono.fm/c/3181|
|Vlogger of the Year||Vongai Mapho||https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxonCbqcCgJ4DqyjWXmYcdg|
Congratulations to all our winners, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for your certificates and winners’ badges to be emailed to you.
Let’s do it again next year, starting in September 2020.