Wicked Ortega posted a comment to Jaybarkerfan's current contest to award the/a title of 2011 Blog of the Year. If you haven't read his comment, please do so. He makes a great point.
That got me thinking: what makes a great trading card blog? Is it the fact that they've been around for years? Is it that they post in depth arguments for or against certain releases?
I can't give you an answer, because your favorite blog might be different from mine, or your reasons for choosing it might be different. I'm not writing this post to tell you how to think, or what to think. I'm writing it to express my thoughts on the issue.
So what blogs do I like to read? Really, any blog in my reading list is worth reading. But what puts them on that list?
I like blogs that aren't team-centric or that focus on a single player. Your writing may be the best in the world, but if all you're doing is talking about the Giants or Nationals all the time (are there any Giants or Nationals blogs out there?) I'm not going to read it. It's just not what I'm interested in. Just like most of you probably aren't interested in reading a blog about transit every day. Which I do, oddly enough. I just don't have a passion for your team or player collection. Sorry! I do read some team and player collection blogs, as evidenced by my blog roll.
I like blogs that are mostly baseball. I don't have interest in basketball, football, or hockey. There are some "multi-sport" blogs that I follow, because I know when baseball comes back around they'll meet my interest again.
I like blogs that provide some commentary - more than just "look at my cards!" It's impossible to avoid "look at my cards!" posts, and I have them myself. It's what you do with it that matters. 30 Year Old Cardboard and Core Contrarian have really short posts with single cards, but they provide a little commentary that make the posts good for a quick read.
I don't care how old your blog is, though I recognize the greats. Night Owl received a nomination, and he's been around since 2008, but there are others who have been around for longer than that. Dayf has been posting since 2006. But blogs change. Dayf's blog is great and I love reading it, but it's a bit different from what it was four years ago. And like a grizzled veteran, some eventually fade off or disappear all together - their interest fades, life throws a curve, or they just don't have time to write anymore. Blogs that may have had fifty or more posts per month just a couple years ago may not have that many all year. Again - they're still great blogs and hopefully someone might start a real Baseball Blog Hall of Fame at some point to recognize ones that aren't (as) active anymore. (Dayf and Night Owl do NOT belong in that category - the not-active thing.)
There are many blogs that shine for a short while and disappear. Some come back, some don't. It sort of mirrors collecting for many of us. I started collecting in '89, stopped in '98, returned in '03, and pretty much stopped towards the end of 2009. But I came back again last October, and blogging really helped with my love. But there is a lot being tossed around in my head about collecting next year. I want to stick with it, but like 1998 and 2009, I'm going through a major life change that could tear me away from cards. I love writing this blog, so I don't see myself leaving - there is more than just collecting involved. It's more now - I love being able to share my thoughts about the hobby and my cards with everyone.
Okay, back on topic. What makes a great trading card blog? As Wicked Ortega says, a passion in the writing. But all of the nominees on that list show passion in their writing. What makes one of those (or any other) blog of the year? Who knows. I can't wait to see this play out.
I swear somebody else has run a multi-subject series of awards for best blogs (best trader, blog of the year, best new blog, so on) in the past. What happened to that? Can we get a whole series together to vote on next month? Anyone interested in running this? Anyone care? Anyone? (AHH, FOUND IT. Chris of Stale Gum ran it last year.) Chris is probably too busy to do this, but I'd love to see the Gummies return.
And last, while we're talking about this, thank you Eric for nominating me! I don't deserve blog of the year, but "I'm just excited to be nominated!" Isn't that how all the award nominees put it?
Thoughts, below. Please!