Irish Blog Awards 2010
The Irish Blog Awards took place last Saturday in Galway. HRinI was a finalist for the best news/current affairs blog sponsored by Dediserve. The prize in that category rightly went to Maman Poulet, run by the irrepressible Suzy Byrne. We were ably represented by Liam Thornton on the night.
The IBAs were started by Damien Mulley fadó fadó (in internet time at least) and have grown from a relatively small gathering to a large and very fun annual event with numerous side events and the inevitable morning-after brunches. It is, as an event, a real example of how online activity can translate into meaningful off-line interactions and events. It is also an enormous undertaking organisationally for which Damien and the whole team deserve a great deal of gratitude. I was pleased this year to be a judge in the IBAs and I can attest to the quality of the many blogs I judged along the way, finding myself almost never in a position of awarding a poor mark.
Blogging is an important activity—it is a way for people to express their own views, a way to share emotions, a way to shed light on events or perspectives that perhaps do not make waves in the main stream media, a way to present news and current affairs with a different audience or perspective in mind. Academic group blogging is really beginning to take off in Ireland, with the charge perhaps being led by Irish Economy and now very ably joined by Political Reform. As a group academic blog, HRinI was conceived of as a way to do four things: (1) to aggregate information about Irish scholarship and events in human rights; (2) to provide quick-reaction commentary on what is happening in Ireland from a human rights perspective; (3) to create a space where the academy, practitioners, NGOs and all other interested parties can interact; and (4) to bring scholarship and legal commentary out of the university and democratise it to the extent that a dozen or so (mainly early career) academics can.
We certainly hope to continue to fulfil these functions over the next year. As always, we are delighted to hear suggestions and feedback from readers either in the comments here, on our facebook page, on twitter, or by contacting us (all our details are here).