Thursday, 3 November 2011

Record of the Day Awards 2011 - Why You May Not Want To Vote For Breaking More Waves

A few days ago we found out via the fast moving feed that is Twitter that Breaking More Waves had been longlisted in the Best Blog category in the 2011 Record of the Day awards. Blogs are still very much an underground part of the music industry in the UK, so it is nice to see one organisation recognising their value and celebrating it.

The word longlist is no exaggeration; there are over 70 blogs on the list. Record of the Day’s website states “Please take time to look online at this fantastic selection of blogs we have been monitoring this year. As you may know, some of these outlets are attracting readerships bigger than ever before, so which one do you regularly check out? When voting, think about consistency of bands blogged about, other music content featured during the past 12 months and also the style, look and feel of the blog. This award is only for UK based blogs.”

In our view Record of the Day has simply listed every blog they have heard of. There’s little evidence to suggest that they have been monitoring the blogs named. For example some of the blogs are not UK based at all and it would only take a quick view of their front page to establish this. There are also some blogs that have posted very irregularly and infrequently this year. Tim from The Daily Growl (an excellent but not recently particularly active blog) tweeted his embarrassment at being on the list this time. If Tim won, it would be rather like when Annie Lennox won Best British Female at the Brits, even though she hadn’t released an album that year.

Irrespective of these inconsistencies in the longlist, ultimately the ‘best blog’ will be chosen by the voting public and the record industry. This method of ‘winning’ is unfortunately nothing to do with what is best but rather whoever is able to galvanise the most people to vote for them. The outcome is therefore an X-Factor style result – a popularity contest and not a true poll of the best. Popular and the best do not always correlate – the evidence of the likes of Joe McElderry, Matt Cardle and Leon Jackson show that.

However if we sound somewhat critical of Record of the Day we should also praise them for featuring blogs in their awards at all. In email correspondence to Breaking More Waves (when we questioned some of the issues raised in this post about the longlist with the organisers) Record of the Day stated “We want to give blogs the exposure within the industry they deserve and draw attention to the great work being done every day by bloggers and want to reward them and draw attention to their great work at the awards each year.” For this we salute them and it’s for this reason that we ask you as reader of this blog to vote in the Record of the Day awards. Despite the discrepancies in the longlist and the use of a public vote rather than a panel of independent experts, the awards bring important exposure for the winning blog.

However before casting your vote, we’d like you to consider the outcome.

The winning blog will get a variety of benefits, including:

*Recognition within the music industry and a stamp on the blogger’s CV. This is useful if the author is planning a career in the industry or another job that is related. We’re not.

*More traffic driven towards the winning blog. This is useful if the blog carries advertising as it can make more money for your blog. We don’t.

*Ego inflating and bragging rights for the winner if they’re the sort of person that requires that kind of validation. We don’t – our ego is already big enough thank you.

*Increased traffic to the blog means more listens to the artists the blog features and therefore potentially more fans (and eventually sales) for those artists. This is the sole reason why winning would be good for Breaking More Waves, because our aim is to bring attention to the music we're passionate about.

However if you think another blog could benefit better from the outcome of winning then we recommend that you vote for them. The 2010 winner for example was Ollie Russian who writes My Band Is Better Than Your Band. Ollie was working as an A&R man for Atlantic Records and then got made redundant. He started his blog to keep himself ‘in the loop’ with the music industry and winning the award no doubt raised his profile for potential employment. Was his blog ‘the best’? That’s irrelevant – it was the exposure that benefitted him.

That is why, it may sound a strange thing to say, but unless you think the music we cover deserves more listeners, don’t vote for us. There are bloggers who could do with the exposure far more than we could.

In the meantime, we’ll keep plugging the great new music we hear. Like this band - Coastal Cities, a young 5 piece who hail from Buckinghamshire. They create a jerky, yelping package of indie disco struts that lurches drunkenly onto the dancefloor with the likes of Foals, The Wombats and The Drums in its pocket. Keep an eye out for a single some time in December.

You can vote for Breaking More Waves or any other blog in the Record of the Day awards by using this link. You have to supply a name and email address once you’ve clicked on the vote now section. (You can just put n/a for the other sections) Use your vote wisely.

Coastal Cities - Night School


Tim said...

Interesting points Robin.

The long list of blogs is definitely not ones they have been monitoring as you say - some are from the US, some are less frequently updated, and others (like TBW) are on the list because we felt it would be nice and got people to retweet.

That said - it is definitely a good thing to have them even include it as a category. Blogs are very niche in the UK still (growing but niche) - and it is through thiong like these awards, 6Music tie-ins, and other similar stuff that we get the word out - so I'm very appreciative of that.

I'm less fussed about winning, and more wanted to just be on the list almost to prove we exist.

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

I agree Tim that the fact that Record of the Day are supporting blogs is brilliant. Although I make some criticisms of the way the longlist has been created these criticisms are voiced very much in the way as 'every criticism has a positive intention' - my intention is that next year it would be great to see the list being more relevant sifting out the irregular blogs and American ones.

Anonymous said...

I hope Record of the Day see this it's a very fair and intelligent analysis.

Couldn't agree more with the idea that popular isn't best.

Mark said...

I think we got dropped from the nominations this year. Cry :'(

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

I wouldn't cry (unless as I said in the post there was an outcome that was important to you). Just keep doing what your doing, that's what's important.