This post from Lair reminded me that blog awards season is almost upon us. And as the founder of the JIB awards, you are probably possibly wondering what I have in store for this year. The answer is….nothing.
As you know, I handed over hosting duties to the Jerusalem Post last year, but still spent much time setting up the rules, helping gather the nominations, and playing a consulting role. And while it was satisfying to see the JIBs publicized in the print and online versions of one of Israel’s major newspapers, the meanspirited criticisms from blogs such as the inappropriately named Tikkun Olam, and the appropriately named Mentalblog, left a bad taste in my mouth.
Furthermore, you may recall the main purpose behind the JIBs.
The word JIB, besides being an acronym for Jewish and Israeli blog, also represents the small triangular sail of a sailboat, as compared to the main sails. The jib’s role is to direct the wind into the main sail, just like a role of Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel bloggers is to direct world opinion in favor of Israel. And to really stretch the metaphor, the object of these awards is to direct new readers towards Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel blogs. While weblog awards of this kind mean little in the grand scheme of things, they are a fun way to increase blog readership, and, in the case of the JIB Awards, promote Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel blogs.
The exponential growth in the J-Blogosphere has been accompanied by a large increase in the number of J-blogs that do not do much to promote Israel or Judaism. Some even do the opposite, either explicitly or by virtue of petty interblog arguments. And do I even need to mention the instances of bloggers taking the whole competition element too far, feeling the need to badmouth other participants?
All of this, plus the not inconsiderable fact that I hardly have time to sneeze these days, means I will not be associated with the JIBs this year. In fact, given that my Jerusalem Post contact has left the Post, the JIBs may have run their course.