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December 23, 2007

2007: Year of the New Association Blogger

As the days of 2007 start winding down, it's time for my second annual year-end superlatives for the association blogoclump. I'll try to stick as close as possible to the same awards I presented last year. Overall, I think 2007 could be called The Year of the New Association blogger. It seemed association blogs were springing up on a monthly basis. Choosing a best new blogger of 2007 could be challenging, but the choice is clear in my mind. Without further ado, here are my 2007 top picks:

For the second consecutive year, the best association blogger of 2007 award goes to J-Nott, also known as Jamie Notter, the author of and a contributor to and Jamie makes time to post to one of his blogs virtually every day, and his posts are almost zero fluff. From book reviews, to citing posts on ASAE & The Center's executive management listserv, to the Harvard Business Review, J-Nott covers important issues for association leaders.

The best blog about associations in 2007 was Acronym, ASAE & The Center's official blog. Regular postings from staff Lisa Junker and Scott Briscoe as well as this year's more prolific guest bloggers, Jason Della Rocca (a whippersnapper CEO from IGDA) and Virgil Carter (a veteran association CEO) have made this blog a true cornerstone of conversation in the association profession.

These next two awards are the hardest...

The best new association blogger. Sheesh! There are so many to choose from, and so many are good friends. Let me differentiate the criteria between this award and the next one, best new blog about associations. For best new association blogger, I'm looking for an elusive combination of association-specific content, ability to let personality shine through the blogged word, someone who gets the social aspect of blogging, and willingness to take on significant issues. Here are the nominees:

  • Matt Baehr (and don't forget 501(c)TV)
  • Cindy Butts
  • Jeff Cobb
  • Cynthia D'Amour
  • Kristi Graves Donovan
  • Lindy Dreyer
  • Joe Grant
  • Maddie Grant
  • Tony Rossell
  • Dave Sabol (new to association blogging, anyway)
  • Wes Trochlil
  • Peter Turner
  • Bob Wolfe
Let me whittle the list down to my top three: Matt Baehr, Maddie Grant and Wes Trochlil. In the final analysis, I think the edge goes to Maddie Grant, blogger at Diary of a Reluctant Blogger. First of all, it's nice to have a strong female voice back in the association blogosphere. She's unafraid of tackling significant issues, expressing a strong opinion, engaging in other social web stuff, and wearing a blog naked shirt in her profile picture. Heck, I even got a comment from her as I was composing this post.

Okay, best new blog about associations. This category is all about content: in 2007, who started the best, most useful, most frequently updated blog in the association industry? The nominees are the same as above. Again, I feel compelled to whittle it down to the top three, although I think there is a clear winner. My top three are Tony Rossell, Wes Trochlil and Peter Turner. Bottom line for me is that Tony Rossell at Membership Marketing Blog is holding both bloggers and the industry accountable. This year he went toe-to-toe with the anti-marketing meme at Acronym and The Decision to Join. He cites MGI client statistics and both secondary and primary research in his posts. For these reasons, he takes home the top spot for best new blog about associations.

Last year I had awards for the best and worst comments of the year. As the number of association-themed blogs has expanded this year, I've not been able to keep up with comments like I used to. Feel free to comment here with links to what you think are the best comments of the year. Moving on...

And now the most blogged and buzzworthy story/meme of the year. I'm seeing four candidates:
Seeing as the ASAE2007 mobile backchannel reemerged at the Great Ideas Conference, I hereby bestow the honor on the backchannel. In all honesty, we could probably have had a "best of" awards ceremony for the ASAE2007 backchannel, and I presume the GIC2007 backchannel was just as lively.

A new award this year: coolest new social media thing of the year. Hands down, Matt Baehr's 501(c)TV is the winner because he broke the vlogging barrier, if only temporarily, for the association blogging crowd. I hope to see something continue.

And finally, another new award for this year: the best blog post of 2007. I bookmarked this post the day it came out, and even called it the best post of 2007 when I first read it. The honors go to the Forum Effect's coordinating blogger, Jeff De Cagna for this post about reality.

Hopefully this superlatives list will inspire others in the association blogoclump to post their own. If you were a winner in this year's superlatives, feel free to grab one of the two buttons in this post and emblazon it on your blog. Well done!

Tagged: ; ; ;


Tony Rossell said...

Ben -- Thanks for your kind words. Coming from you, it is a true honor. As I have mentioned to you before, talking to you and reading your blog was actually the inspiration for me to get started with a blog. Thanks for your encouragement. Tony

Wes Trochlil said...

Aw, shucks, it's an honor just to be nominated. Thanks for this summary, Ben. Well done.

wes "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" trochlil

Maddie Grant said...

Dude - I have no idea what to say. You are the coolest cat around. I am not worthy! Especially considering the competition. Thank you so much!!!

Jamie said...

Two years running! Holy Cow! Now there's pressure. Is pressure allowed in the blogoclump? I hope not. Thanks again for the props, Ben. I will say what I said last year, which is the competition is not fair since you are not in the running. Jnott.

Anonymous said...

Great accolades. Thanks for the props. Though, wish I had more time to brain dump at Acronym...

Happy New Year!

Jason Della Rocca

ljunker said...

Thank you for the kind words, Ben! And thanks especially for your recognition of Jason and Virgil--both of whom we're honored to have with us.

Now we'll be even more challenged to raise the bar for ourselves in 2008!

Helen said...

I hope next year I can live up to the gold standard/A-list quality that I see among this crowd and join you. Maybe that will be part of my new year's resolution!

Pat Jones said...

Ben, I notice you didn't mention in your list Ann Oliveri's blog, The Zen of Associations. I confess I'm not a huge reader of blogs, but I find Ann's posts to be some of the most literate and thought provoking on the web. Pat

Matt Baehr said...

Thanks Man. I appreciate the kudos. I promise to get back on the wagon for 501cTV in the new year. As you know, lots going on in my life lately. Thanks again for the kind words and always for leading the way.

Ben Martin, CAE said...

@Pat: Ann got the nod for best new blog (shared with two others) last year, but her posts had gotten a little ADD for my tastes, even before acknowledging it on her blog.

@Matt: Cool. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

Jeff Cobb said...

As is often the case, it was Lisa Junker over at top blog Acronym that tipped me off to this post. Thanks for including me among your nominees, Ben, and Happy New Year! Jeff

Lindy Dreyer said...

Great list! I share Tony's sentiment...reading your blog got me started. Thanks for mentioning me in the nominees for new blogger.