SA Blog AwardsNETucation has been nominated as the Best Business Blog for the 2007 SA Blog Awards. So please click on the logo to the right and scroll to the bottom, look for the Business category and select and vote.

Here’s the full article reprinted from BizCommunity:

Industry support for SA blogging community


The 2007 SA Weblog Awards are moving from an enthusiasts-only event to a credible competition, thanks to Storm Telecom’s sponsoring of a Mac Book Pro, worth over R17 000, which will go to the winner of Best Overall Blog. “In previous awards the prizes were essentially little more than public acknowledgement,” says Jonathan Cherry, MD of Cherryflava Media, who is hosting the awards.

“This fantastic first prize lifts the profile of the awards dramatically and adds credibility. Now the SA Blog Awards are becoming a major event in publishing, thanks to the support of companies like Storm,” continues Cherry.

Now in its third year, the awards showcase the best of South African independent web publishing, as nominated and voted for by the SA web community.

Bringing people together

Explains David Gale, new business development director at Storm Telecom, “As a major Internet service provider in South Africa, we are interested in the development of online communities and technologies that bring people together.”

“Blogging is pretty new in South Africa. It’s an adventure for bloggers and an adventure for us. We want to stimulate the professionalism and quality of blogging in SA by giving bloggers incentives to put effort and value into what they do.”

Blogs are a mixed bag: they can be a source of information or analysis on niche or obscure topics; they can be a news media that operates outside the constraints of the traditional publishing establishment; they can be a source of amusement and deep satire. They can also be irrelevant personal narratives, random diatribes and barely-literate scrawls.

Bubbling to the top

“There’s an awful lot of rubbish, which is the nature of user-generated content, but the good stuff bubbles up to the top,” comments Gale.

“Internationally, blogs generally don’t last more than a few months, many just limp for years in a twilight existence, but some have become major media with millions of page impressions a month. To succeed, bloggers need to be driven by a purpose, to have a passion,” comments Gale.

Companies are becoming more aware of blogging as a way to communicate with their customers, and a way for their customers to communicate with each other, either to provide support, or to slam bad service or products.

Nasty surprise

“Companies that ignore bloggers could be in for a nasty surprise when they discover themselves being pilloried across many blogs on the Internet. At the same time, they can be a powerful ally in marketing, as they’re often perceived as being more credible than online sales blurbs,” says Gale.

The SA Weblog Awards were created to give recognition to people that have dedicated a lot of time to their blogs, and to give them the exposure they need, drawing more readers to their sites and to blogs in general. Blogging is “power to the people” for those with a passion, whether it’s broader topics like current events or politics, or personal subjects like fertility or philosophy.

“Bloggers are usually not beholden to advertisers, so it’s real raw opinion,” concludes Cherry.