It’s the time of the year when the liberal blogosphere takes a breather from waging the War on Christmas to pause and hand itself some awards. The Koufax awards, in particular — named after one of the greatest left-handed pitchers of all time. The reason for separate awards for the liberal blogosphere is simply that, a couple of years ago when blogs became popular enough to start giving awards to each other, the sphere as a whole had a decided rightward tilt, and conservative blogs would always win all the awards. Liberals have by now caught up, and the recent Weblog Awards witnessed lefty blogs dominating in all the interesting categories. But it’s still fun to pal around with our friends here in the attractive and friendly half of the blogosphere, so the Koufax awards are continuing to go strong.
The awards are run by the selfless folks at Wampum; anyone can submit nominations, just by visiting Wampum and looking for the most recent “Koufax nominations post.” Here are my own nominations. I am too shy and self-effacing to nominate CV for anything, although in principle we would fit into various categories: Best Blog, Best Expert, Best Group Blog, Best New Blog. (Nothing to stop anyone else from nominating us, I suppose.)
- Best blog: Majikthise, Ezra Klein, Bitch, Ph.D., Michael BÃ©rubÃ©, Crooked Timber, Pharyngula
- Best writing: Michael BÃ©rubÃ©, Feministe, Shakespeare’s Sister
- Best group blog: Crooked Timber, Lawyers, Guns and Money
- Best expert: Pharyngula, Chris C. Mooney, Brad Delong, The Decembrist
- Best series: Obsidian Wings on torture.
- Most humorous: The Poor Man, Fafblog!, Girls Are Pretty, Fanatical Apathy
- Deserving wider recognition: 3 Quarks Daily, Deepen The Mystery, The American Sector, Dynamics of Cats, Caolionn O’Connell.
None of my entries for “Deserving wider recognition” have a snowball’s chance, with the possible exception of 3 Quarks; the others are just my idiosyncratic favorites. I largely agree with Ezra’s take on the whole affair; the winner is determined by who funnels in the most votes, not necessarily which blogs are actually the best. But it’s very fruitful to peruse the nominations, as you might uncover some hidden gems. The blogosphere is (happily) by now so large that there are just too many good blogs out there, and even those of us who read quite a few of them basically find some favorites and stick to them. I’m chagrined to see that I didn’t have any worthy nominations for the “Best New Blog” category. Feel free to make nominations in the comments.
Speaking of good blogging, you probably know that Daily Kos is the most popular blog on all the internets, with somewhere between 500,000 and a million hits per day. (We’re not at that level yet, but we’re young.) In addition to Kos himself, there are numerous diarists on the site, and every year a handful are chosen to be front-page posters. This year promises to see a significant uptick in the science content (!) of Daily Kos, as DarkSyde of Unscrewing the Inscrutable fame has been chosen as one of the front-pagers. He’s already instituted a “Science Friday” feature, and the first installment is a well-written tour through the powers of ten.
Finally, if you find all these blogs kind of overwhelming (and you don’t already use an RSS reader such as Bloglines), you can get a collection of physics blog content all in one place at Mixed States. I have mixed feelings about these things (although I use Bloglines myself) — on the one hand, it’s a vastly more efficient way to read multiple content sources; on the other, you lose the individual presentations of the sites themselves. It’s the wave of the future, though.