Pakistan Blog Awards 2010: Awards of a different kind

Published: May 29, 2010
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Salman and Yasir performing. PHOTO: CIO PAKISTAN

Salman and Yasir performing. PHOTO: CIO PAKISTAN

Salman and Yasir performing. PHOTO: CIO PAKISTAN The red carpet. PHOTO: CIO PAKISTAN Dr Awab Alvi, or Teeth Maestro, receiving his award. PHOTO: CIO PAKISTAN Panelists in one of the conversation sessions of the 'Unconference'. PHOTO: CIO PAKISTAN

The carpet was red. The set up was lavish too.

But these were not your regular glittery showbiz awards. Pakistan’s first Blog Awards were held at the Regent Plaza hotel on Friday, drawing some 300 cyberspace luminaries and guests to an event that had more of an intellectual air to it than glamour.

The First Annual Blog Awards 2010 Ceremony and “UnConference” were organised by Google Pakistan and CIO Pakistan, presented by Nokia and sponsored by DELL, Cannon, Supernet and CommTell Soft.

In the words of Rabia Garib, CEO of Rasala Publications and Editor-in-Chief of CIO Pakistan magazine, the blog awards aimed to showcase the many voices of Pakistan.

“Blogging has usually been associated with technology, but these awards were not meant to be just technology blog awards,” said Badar Khushnood, Google Pakistan Country Consultant, speaking to The Express Tribune. “The awards are for non-technology blogs too. The vision is to recognise bloggers and to bridge the gap between bloggers and media agencies.”

Accolades were handed out to a total of 41 blogs in different categories ranging from celebrity, fashion and gossip to politics, current affairs and technology among a host of others. The winners were selected by a panel of professionals from around the world after a rigorous selection process from 207 entries.

The blogs had garnered thousands of votes from internet users, after which the panel of experts from organisations like Cisco, Unicef, Intel, [email protected], DawnNews, DELL, Demotix.com and educationists from Columbia Journalism School and Harvard University picked the best blog for the award.

The event kicked off with a musical performance by Salman and Yasir, two techies-cum-musicians. Next in line was the first panel discussion of the “UnConference” a term used by the organisers to describe an interactive session in which the audience not only listened, but also posed questions and participated in the discussion. Panel sessions alternated with the presentation of the awards in three rounds.

The conversation sessions were on the topics “Innovation in the media”, “Selling 3.0” and “Engage and Converge” and drew on a panel of highly qualified IT professionals, journalists and popular media personalities like Naveen Naqvi, George Fulton and Sidrah Iqbal. The conversation sessions comprised discussions on wide-ranging topics such as the need for innovation and convergence in the media, citizen journalism, credibility and censorship, online advertising, viral marketing and increasing engagement with new media.

Panelists discussed how the age for single platform media companies is over and how blogging and citizen journalism is playing a major role in this, providing ordinary citizens an opportunity to have their voice heard and even being able to surpass the mainstream media in taking news to the public.

With 18 million internet users in Pakistan, it was felt that the internet provides a promising platform for bloggers to get their voice across and compete in a world where the traditional media no longer remains the only news provider.

The lengthy discussions that were part of the “Unconference” were one of the central features of the event that set it apart from the more conventional award ceremonies. This was indeed an event that gathered the digital-visionaries from society under one roof. The host Rabia Garib’s and the participant’s jokes now and then, helped keep the environment light and entertaining.

Appreciation for the initiative to provide recognition to Pakistani bloggers echoed among participants of the conference. “There is a great need for events like these,” said Dr Awab Alvi, popularly known among the blogosphere as Teeth Maestro, who won the Best Political Blogger award. “Bloggers feel honoured by the recognition they have received from the print and electronic media. The merging of traditional media and new media must happen at an integral level.”

“This kind of recognition is very important for people like me who have recently started blogging,” said Rai Mohammad Azlan, a new blogger. “I was able to meet the people whose work I read.”

Sana Saleem who received the award for Best Activist Blogger said, “It was overwhelming to receive recognition for my work and that too in a Jury Special category for best activist. For me my blog represents my voice and my struggle to highlight and speak about the most pressing problems of my people. So I take it not only as a recognition for me but also a realisation of the fact that these problems need to be highlighted and talked about more often.”

The Blog Awards displayed the best of Pakistan’s blogging and online community. Many of the winners and bloggers nominated for the awards were abroad and were unable to attend the event. However, they attended the event virtually as it was live streamed on the internet and Fariha Akhtar who received the Best Live Blogging award posted real time updates of the event on her blog.

Twitter too was abuzz with live updates about the Blog Awards with Twitter users using the hashtags “#PBA” and “#PBA10” to gather tweets about the event. Here is a collection of some of the tweets:

@Ammar_Haider: Once again Congratulation to each n every winner of #Pakistan #BlogAwards . U guys r future of#Pakistan#pba

@farihaak A huge shoutout to @rabiagarib, @salaina, @badar76and entire CIO Pakistan team for putting together a greatttt event!!#pba

@usman_latif hope they discuss the censorship issue at #pba10#pba – talking about online media & internet in #pakistan

@faisalkapadia a very hearty congrats to all the #pba winners :)

Below follows the list of some of the winners of the Pakistan’s First Annual Blog Awards 2010:

1. Best Celebrity Blog

Naveen Naqvi: naveenaqvi.com

2. Best Culture Blog

Yasir Niaz: yasirniaz.blogspot.com

3. Best Humor Blog

Tazeen: tazeen-tazeen.blogspot.com

4. Best Photo Blog

Awais Yaqub: www.photopakistan.blogspot.com

5. Best Current Affairs Blog

Adil Najam: pakistaniat.com

6. Best Diarist

Momal Mushtaq: mm89.wordpress.com

7. Best Travel Blog

Nabeel: eatntravel.pk

8. Best Political Coverage Blog

Ahsan butt: fiverupees.blogspot.com

9. Best Personal Blog

Salman Latif: salmanlatif.wordpress.com

10. Best Education Blog

Khurram Hassan Shafique: nextstepforward.net

To get the complete list of winners click here.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: May 29, 2010

The article has been updated to include corrected paths to the blogs.

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Reader Comments (36)

  • May 29, 2010 - 12:18PM

    Brill. article, just fix the paths. <3Recommend

  • May 29, 2010 - 12:32PM

    Links to the sites of winning blogs are wrong ;)
    double check the post before publishing!Recommend

  • May 29, 2010 - 12:38PM

    It was nice attending the first of its kind awards that can definitely become a stepping stone for the blogosphere of Pakistan.Recommend

  • May 29, 2010 - 12:43PM

    Congratulation to each n every winner of Pakistan Blog Awards.Recommend

  • May 29, 2010 - 1:12PM

    Congratulationssssssssss :)Recommend

  • May 29, 2010 - 3:35PM

    Many thanks for having the piece put up so quickly and making it so inclusive! That’s the best thing about this online media – it’s quick, it’s fast and it’s rapid.. ;-) On a serious note, it’s important to listen to what EVERYONE in the audience has to say since all of them invest THEIR time in listening to us, and hence, the “inclusiveness” attempt…

    I think we focus on the internal audience of 18 million so much, whereas the bigger picture reveals that there is ATLEAST a billion-person audience out there.. The more our blogosphere can generate content and push out, the better we will be understood in the global arena…

    Thanks again!Recommend

  • KD
    May 29, 2010 - 3:41PM

    Congratulations to all winners. Special heartfelt congratulations to Hamad Moazzam Dar and Faiz Moazzam Dar, the owners of Koolmuzone.com for running such a wonderful blog and for promoting the upcoming and new talent of our great country. :-)Recommend

  • May 29, 2010 - 6:48PM

    Great work guys! I won the best fashion blog! Wooohoo!Recommend

  • Haya
    May 29, 2010 - 7:04PM

    From the idea of blog awards to its coverage, I “Like” it all.Recommend

  • Haya
    May 29, 2010 - 7:06PM

    From the idea of these awards to its coverage, I “like” it all.Recommend

  • Atiffan1
    May 29, 2010 - 7:36PM

    Congrats to the Dar brothers: Hamad and Faiz for all the hard work they’ve put into koolmuzone.com , the hottest Pakistani music blog.
    Keep rocking!!!! :) Recommend

  • May 29, 2010 - 10:25PM

    coagulation to all who win this contest.Please would you like to tell me who is the winner of technical blog.Recommend

  • May 29, 2010 - 10:44PM

    Nice write up. Congratulations to every one. Recommend

  • May 30, 2010 - 12:06AM

    These awards are good i think we should have more of this kindRecommend

  • May 30, 2010 - 12:49AM

    Well, thank you for carrying this piece. It is this emerging trend of blogging which is now the latest in word.

    Unfortunately, today’s Tribune KARACHI main page carries my photograph of Saylani Welfare Trust from where a goat is looking out. It has been incorrectly attributed to Raja Islam, winner of Best Photo Blog category yesterday. I hope Express editors will carry a correction in print as well as their digital version. For verification, link is provided below:

    http://ameerhamzaadhia.blogspot.com/2010/05/feeding-50000-people-daily.html

    Regards,
    Ameer Hamza
    http://www.flickr.com/ameerhamzaRecommend

  • May 30, 2010 - 8:35AM

    Its a great step towards independent journalism and free media. Its high time we should encourage our writers and analysts, in the present age of fast communications.Recommend

  • May 30, 2010 - 11:19AM

    I feel nice when i read about the ceremony of blogs award in pakistan it permot blogers from pakistan and we can compete in the world .Recommend

  • May 30, 2010 - 9:25PM

    Loads of congratulations to all the winners :)
    Really wanted to be a part of the party :(
    I hope such events would be a regular occurence from now on – we really need them :)Recommend

  • Farigh
    May 31, 2010 - 12:03AM

    Nice start, though many bloggers are awarded are not even based in Pakistan. There was also one category for Urdu bloggers, totally ignored by the writer. Recommend

  • Tarique
    May 31, 2010 - 12:33AM

    After reading this news,I took time to visit all the mentioned blogs and was deeply surprised and happy that so much is now happening in Pakistan that is constructive,cultural and comical.Our news channels do not reflect the cultural image of our homeland as in my view this news should have been in the news channels.

    I would like to congratulate Adil for his effort that he has put in pakistaniat.com.
    I am also thankful to Khurram Hassan Shafique for giving such an informative and constructive piece named nextstepforward.netRecommend

  • naureen.aqueel
    May 31, 2010 - 11:02AM

    The category for Urdu bloggers was not ignored. If you click on the link giving the complete list of winners, you will find the Best Urdu blog there. It was not possible to include the complete list within this article.

    Recommend

  • maryum
    May 31, 2010 - 11:19AM

    Congrats to all winners i personallu love Naveen’s blog.Recommend

  • Ali
    May 31, 2010 - 2:47PM

    Why on earth the category of Urdu bloggers ignored… It just needed one line to mention it. Can’t get it.Recommend

  • May 31, 2010 - 5:31PM

    Brilliant coverage of the event …. Congrats to all winners! Recommend

  • Sajjad Bangash
    Jun 1, 2010 - 1:51PM

    Congrats to all winners and best of luck for the next time to remaining participants, I must say events like that inspires the youth to come forward and share their useful ideas with other people.Recommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 10:46AM

    GoodRecommend

  • Jun 2, 2010 - 11:36AM

    NiceRecommend

  • farooq aslam
    Jun 2, 2010 - 4:25PM

    i wish if rai azlan had also won…he works hard and provides good info in his blog…i wish 4 him to win an award nxt tym…bst of luk buddy…Recommend

  • M, Jamshaid Sabir
    Jun 5, 2010 - 7:15PM

    I am based in Lahore but recently frequantly going to Karachi and attended above. It was nice and really aprreciated.Recommend

  • Jun 8, 2010 - 10:09PM

    Thanks for this

    informationRecommend

  • Jun 12, 2010 - 5:21AM

    great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you.Recommend

  • Jun 15, 2010 - 2:48AM

    excellent work man, maintain writing the same mannerRecommend

  • Jun 17, 2010 - 4:59PM

    Kool guys,,,Koolmuzone won the best music blog (hamad dar),,where i am a featured music blogger;;;Well done everyone….Congrats everyone
    http://www.koolmuzone.com/author/sadafRecommend

  • Aug 10, 2010 - 3:35PM

    nice work dear.Recommend

  • wasim watio
    Aug 25, 2010 - 3:42AM

    These awards are going to courage blogs to do better in future. People of Pakistan are going through the worst flood of history are increasingly impatient over a lack of food ,water,shelter and other relief goods, criticizing Pakistan government for mismanagement. The government has failed to live upto the expectations of the people in providing relief. Now the People are looking towards Pakistan army, international, privately help worker and NGO’s instead of government The Prime minister and president of Pakistan look very much relaxed after mere visits to areas affected by flood including fake relief camps.Recommend

  • Sep 14, 2010 - 2:55PM

    It’s a awsum blog…i can’t stop myself to comment here….keep it buddy….
    http://fashion2pk.blogspot.comRecommend

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