It seems that my post of yesterday, asserting “foul play” in the blog award voting, has touched some sort of raw nerve among other J-bloggers — especially those who are contenders in some of the same areas.
To review: I was up late on Monday night, for various good reasons that I have not blogged. I decided to see how we were doing. And I caught a stunning leap in votes for hirhurim over a two-hour period, one that seemed inconceivably high.
I do not believe that I could possibly have stated more emphatically that I did not imagine that the beneficiary of all these votes, Rabbi Gil Student, was in any way involved. I would also have wondered what on earth was happening if we had gotten all those votes. But that didn’t matter — one blog asserted a “slugfest” between our blogs, while another insisted that I had in some “backhanded” fashion said the very thing that I had said absolutely did not happen.
Perhaps I should have ignored the vote jump. But I decided (upon consultation with two other CC writers) that mention should be made of this interesting development, as an excuse to get our readers to vote. As various commenters pointed out, our readers are probably among the least likely to do things like vote in blog awards. But apparently my writing wasn’t nearly as good-humored as it was intended to be.
Again, to review what happened — we were right. This wasn’t the result of an email petition, a group effort, or any other legitimate “campaigning.” This was two kids loading up the voting screen on two computers, opening the vote screen twenty times, issuing votes, then resetting their browsers and trying again. They were quite upset to find their shtick on the front page of Cross-Currents — and apparently fessed up as a result of my post.
Now I absolutely agree that the voting is kind of whimsical anyway, as are the awards. Voting early and often is usually reserved for Chicago politics. But we were (and still are) hoping that a win will mean more to those who don’t normally read blogs — but who will pay attention to the results.
Remember, most other blogs just want to be a voice among blogs. Cross-Currents, in some way, is trying to be a counter-voice to the often anti-religious tenor of the secular and Jewish “dead tree media.” Forgive us for taking the results seriously — even as we agree that the whole “ballot-stuffing” initiative was funny to begin with.
Oh, but I will say one thing — with that post drawing more attention than a flagpole in an electrical storm, our visit counts will undoubtedly hit a new record today. It would seem the JIBs really are serving their purpose, one way or the other!