Ten years ago last month, Pat's Football Blog first saw the light of day. A lot has happened in that time. Not much here, admittedly, but in the weird and occasionally world of social media, and not least of all in that tiny corner of social media saved for football blogger. Ten years is a long time in blogging, it would appear; for many and varied reasons, most of the blogs around when PFB was created no longer exist.
But, some are still around in a social media environment full of bells and whistles, podcasts and vlogs, many of which feature (groups of) individuals with little original to say, but who charge monthly subscriptions to fans of particular clubs, and who will pompously come down heavily on anyone who dares go against their opinion. I should know. I've been on the receiving end more than once. Some of those at the forefront of this new media were once bloggers, too, you know.
A number of years ago, the Football Blogging Awards were born, something to reward individuals writing blogs of quality. In the intervening years, bloggers have been pretty much cast aside in favour of podcasters, vloggers and "content creators", whatever they are.
It is time for bona-fide bloggers to fight back, I say. Now, I'm far from being the best blogger the world (or, probably, even my street) has ever created, nor would I ever claim to be. Compared to some bloggers who continue to write, I don't have many followers, and I'm comfortable with that. But, I feel sorry for those bloggers who write articles of substance but are left out in the cold, struggling to make their voices heard, so to speak.
So, to a little idea which has been on my mind for some time: why hasn't anybody created an all-new set of blogging awards for those who, above all, want to write? Well, welcome to the Pat's Football Blog Blogging Awards, a one-off event with no physical awards or trophies, but more a chance for bloggers to become acquainted with each others' work, a chance for them to find new audiences (and vice-versa), to showcase their work, plus, of course, the extremely dubious kudos of winning a Pat's Football Blog Blogging Award. (And, I'm always interested in reading new, original stories.)
I sat down and tried to work out some categories in my own, inimitably and admittedly unprofessional, manner, and the below list is what I've come up with.
UK and Ireland Non-league
International interest (blogs concentrating on football outside the UK/Ireland)
New blogs (created since 1 January 2020)
Non-FIFA/Minnows (especially created for those with a love for football in the smaller countries of the world)
It's my little creation, so I make the rules. That's the first rule. I'll try and give as much leeway as possible, but if you would like to nominate blogs, please make sure that you nominate one blog per category. You can still nominate a blog for more than one category, but kindly make your choices clear, whatever they may be.
For example, if I was to nominate my own blog - you can nominate your own blog, you know, don't be shy - I would nominate it for General, International interest and Non-FIFA/Minnows. It would be a bit silly if you nominate yourself for a category when you might have only written one article on the subject, though!
So, please bear in mind that these "awards" are meant for those who cherish and use the written word, and for them only. If you're a vlogger or podcaster, you've missed your chance. The FCAs were a couple of days ago. Subscription sites will not be considered as blogs; if you demand monthly subscription fees, you're no longer a blog. You're a business.
DO'S AND DONT'S
✅ Written blogs only
✅Photos and short films of a particular match or event you've attended can be included in a blog, but without commentary
✅Everyone is welcome to nominate as many or as few blogs as they see fit, but only one blog per category per person, please. If someone else nominates the same blog as you, well, it shows you might have good taste in blogs, but you've wasted a nomination.. If you nominate two blogs for the same category, the second-named blog will be dropped, regardless of whether or not it has already been nominated..
✅Blogs about women's football, LGBT football, walking football and kids' football are more than welcome. Blogs written by women and members of the LGBT community, too, of course!
✅Long-form, short-form or anything in between
✅Blogs written in a language other than English are also welcome, but must be reasonably easily translatable via Google Translate. They will go into the Non-English language section.
✅You can nominate your own blog
✅Check the list of those already nominated before you decide to nominate someone!
RED CARD OFFENCES
❌Podcasts (also if you're mainly a written blog, but use podcasts here and there)
❌Vlogs (see Podcasts)
❌Major football leagues (think EPL, Football League, La Ligue, Bundesliga, La Liga, Brazil, Argentina and so on)
❌Blogs on clubs
❌Blogs on individual players
❌Blogs on betting
❌Blogs purporting extreme views, whether political (left or right), racial or (ir-)religious
❌Don't nominate two blogs for the same category; only the first-named will be accepted, and then only if not already nominated. The second-named nomination will automatically be refused.
If only one blog has been nominated for a particular category, no award will be made for said category. I'm not expecting thirty nominations per category, but at least two per category would be a good start! The winners will be determined by public vote on Twitter; there won't be semi-finals or anything like that. If you're going to vote for a particular blog, it won't matter who the other blogs will be.
I'll put a list of nominated blogs up every day until next Thursday night, when nominations will close and voting can begin.
Kindly pass on your nominations via a Twitter DM only. Nominations made below a tweet or in a thread are no longer being accepted after 12 December.
I'll probably end up making more rules up as I go along, which adds to the fun. Don't take all of this too seriously; I've never done anything like this before, and it's all terribly ad hoc. Regardless, there will hopefully be a decent amount of nominations from across (most of) the football spectrum, and something new blog-wise for all of us to read and enjoy this Christmas. Spread the word, brothers and sisters, and show some love for your local (and not-so-local) bloggers..