So I won a Golden Spider and people somehow suggest (on their award winning Golden Spider “blog”) I’m a begrudger for it. Despite the dripping sarcasm in the other post some people think I’ve somehow rolled over because I showed up and accepted the Award. Some people suggest I was a hypocrite for taking a photo with Philip from Bebo. Er no. Apologies for missing Gavan’s sarcasm there.

Mulley taking the photo thing very seriously

Some even thought I’d pull a stunt at the event. I had threatened something like this before but after organising three Blog Awards and one Web Awards and other events I wouldn’t dare do that anything as insulting as disrupting an event. I know how much work and headspace goes into making an Awards show run well and by eck the Golden Spiders were a masterclass in how to do this. I chatted to a few judges too who exist and worked hard too to evaluate the websites they were given.

I’m very very grateful for the Award and for how I was looked after at the event. They covered the ticket too, not like I’d pay for one! The Golden Spiders staff were awesome and made sure everyone had a good time. 790 people were at this event. All at tables. That’s a hell of a lot of people to look after. Des Bishop rocked as MC too and was very gracious with picture taking and people pestering him, like us:

Ross Duggan, Damien Mulley, Des Bishop, Eamon Ryan, Danny and Vince Donnelly

The points I’ve always made about Awards shows still stand though. For the Net Visionary Awards, the Digital Media Awards and the Golden Spiders. Now, I’ve said I’m going to bring out all the second round scorecards for the Web Awards and I will once I’m back in the home office for more than three days (October and November have been chocka with work) and I’ve love to see more than vague suggestions of areas being marked by the Spiders and any kind of clarity from the IIA about how they rank their winners. I was told I won by votes at the Net Visionary Awards last year but Arseblog got more votes than anyone in the Podcast Category and didn’t win at the same Awards.

So that’s the transparency issue and the other issue is paying to play. I do not like it. The web is meant to be open and was built on open standards and using many open source tools. If you want to run a show honouring the hard work for developers and companies that invest in the web then the playing field should be level. It’s like having an Olympics but only for rich white men. Not going to be the same is it?

People say the Golden Spiders are good for business and they certainly are. I already got calls after the win but I’d never pay to enter them or advise a client to do so. Lots of things are good for business. If you do anything with the tobacco industry or drink marketing you’ll make a fortune too. I’d like to win an Award where as many others are able to win the same Award and it is out of ability and skill that will win it and not how much we can afford. That’s why I started the Web Awards and that’s why I turned down a buyout offer for the Blog Awards as the potential buyer would have changed them to pay to play and ignored some people. There’s plenty of room for both styles of Awards show and maybe even a few more types. I’m sure many of the people at the Golden Spiders would have had to breathe into a paper bag if they got teleported to the Web Awards and away from the safety of their tux. 🙂

So thank you to the judges, well done to Business and Finance and congratulations to all the winners even if I didn’t clap for some of you, like the OSI. Stop robbing people blind for maps. Give our data back to us.

11 Responses to “but”

  1. Grandad says:

    Well said.

    I have vociferously criticised the Golden Spiders myself in the past, and found myself in the same position last year when I was hauled up. It did cross my mind to make some kind of stance, but it would have been churlish to do so. The event is very well staged [if a bit sterile compared to the IBA!] and it was not a place to make political points.

    Mind you – I had to fight to get my ticket! Hah!

  2. Ken Stanley says:

    Transparency is absolutely key here. Particularly if the Golden Spiders expect people to pay to enter. I don’t expect to see the judiciary being held accountable for their decisions any time in the near future though, nor do I ever expect to see score cards released with a list of criteria and scores by each judge for each shotlisted nominee. That would just be too much to ask of the Golden Spiders it seems. And believe me, I’ve tried and was refused point-blank. Until this happens though, I’ll just assume that either the judges are winging it or they’re biased.

    Are the awards good for business? Perhaps… but if they’re dishonest and unfair (and you know it) then you’re selling out IMO.

  3. Tom Young says:

    Noli nothis permittere te terere.

  4. Ken Stanley says:

    I don’t really think it’s a case of feeling victimised, Tom. Just a matter of credibility on the part of the GS management.

  5. Aren’t the Golden Spiders planners trying to earn a little number on the back of the fees set for tables and entries? If so, some of the ticket pricing goes for profit margin. While I don’t like a monetary barrier in the face of deserving award winners, I can see how the Golden Spiders are a revenue play for event organisers and that means people have to pay to play.

    Like many readers here, I’m glad several industry groups have encamped in the web awards space so there’s less of a chance of an inside run by undeserving creatives.

  6. I’ll say this much (over and above the rant from the other day at the blog) — looking at the official photographs I noticed an uncanny correlation between the company names printed on the table cards and the ones which picked up awards.

  7. Eircom? Where did I hear that name before?

    Oh wait. Isn’t that the company that used to be a national asset but that the government gave away to one of its asset-stripping buddies who raped it and sold it to a crowd of Australian asset-strippers who couldn’t give a flying fuck about investing in broadband in Ireland despite owning a monopoly on the network?

    eircom – proud to play a leading role in the development of the digital community


  8. barry says:

    I am disgusted that you’d even consider attending anything where eircon were involved…..what sort of values do you have?

  9. Aisling says:

    Whatever about the arguments for and against the merits of entering or not, at the end of the day it is a PR excercise. When clients request that you enter on their behalf etc. it is not just about your thoughts and stance on the awards ‘circuit’ but helping them promote their site and business etc.

    I would agree with Bernie on the fees point and have to say that the food was very poor for the ticket price!

  10. Gavan says:

    Jaysus, the “hypocrite” comment was tongue in cheek in response to my previous direct tweet here http://twitter.com/gavan/favourites on the night and our subsequent chat at the bar about it…. you even took one of my cards 🙂

  11. And I didn’t tear it up. The power of a smilie. I’ll edit that so! Never saw that other Tweet.