The Dave Winer Big Ego Awards

I thought that moving to New York City nearly two years ago would kill the CamRants. And indeed, it almost did. I haven’t written a CamRant since October of 1999, over two years ago. I guess being in a happy job in a city I really love gave me nothing to rant about. I was wrong.

Dave Winer, a guy who runs a Web site called Scripting News, has decided to hold something called the Scripting News Awards. The what? You’d think that by the name, the awards would be specifically about scripting technologies like Perl, Python, or Javascript. Perhaps the awards would be for excellence in Perl implementation or cross-browser scripting techniques using Javascript. Instead, it appears that the awards are about excellence in weblogging, online journals, and independent online journalism and reporting. To Dave’s credit, there is a category for Best Scripting Weblog, but with only four nominees it gets overshadowed by the rest.

Let’s be honest here. These awards are not about excellence in scripting, excellence in technology, or excellence in anything but kissing up to Dave Winer and his software that only sometimes works (in my experience). These awards do nothing but stroke the incredibly large ego that Dave Winer already has. They are nothing but a disgusting display of self-importance from the man himself. They are also a thinly-veiled effort to show off the somewhat useful, but hardly robust, content management features of Dave’s Manila software, which runs many of the sites nominated. And guess who chose the nominees? Yup, that’s right. None other than Dave himself. Does the man know what the word biased means?

I was not surprised then, to find my own site (CamWorld) nominated in the Blogger of the Year category. I have a feeling that Dave wanted to include some non-Manila weblogs in his list of nominees, so as to appear less one-sided. Well, thanks but no thanks Dave. I don’t care one bit for this awards contest. My site has been around for a long time now, and I have never once asked for it to be nominated for any kind of award. Nor have I ever intentionally submitted it for any awards consideration. Even for awards that actually mean something like the yearly SXSW Interactive competition, where Web site excellence is actually celebrated by a large group of well-repected peers, and not by some overly self-important, egotistical, software programmer in Silicon Valley with a Web site.

These awards are a rather lame attempt by Dave Winer to shine some press on his company and their software. I want no part of this or any awards process that cheapens the whole idea of high-quality personal Web sites and online journals. I am confident that people will see past this blatant attempt at self-aggrandizing and ignore these awards for what they are.

Perhaps if Dave Winer really cared about the things that he says he cares about, he would have allowed other sites to be nominated, not just the ones he liked. Perhaps Dave should have allowed for write-in nominees so that all of us who are disgusted by this gross display can write in the Winerlog weblog, which accurately and ironically exposes Dave for the person he truly is.

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Don’t forget to run on over to the Scripting News Awards page and not vote for CamWorld. I want nothing to do with these awards.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at December 17, 2001 11:59 PM