Deutsche Welle Weblog Awards: Don't vote for the talking dog

I just found out via Technorati pingback that my Chinese blog, 在北京找不着北, has been nominated in the “Best Chinese Blog” category in the Deutsche Welle International Weblog Awards. I’m not sure who nominated me, or when — I didn’t get any notification of this — but it’s very flattering indeed. The blog is currently in last place, which I think is probably just about where it belongs: on top of the fact that I am a lousy blogger — I update my Chinese blog once a week at best, I hardly ever have time to respond to commenters, and most heinous of all, I hardly ever read other blogs (this post probably has got more links than anything else I’ve ever written) — there’s the issue of why people even bother reading me. This is made perfectly clear by the summary of my blog, which says: “A foreigner writes about his experiences in excellent Chinese.”

I mean, I don’t flatter myself into thinking that most of the people who read my Chinese blog are doing so out of any real interest in what I have to say. A simple trip through my referrer logs shows that the majority of inbound links are from blogs and bulletin boards saying things like “who’d have thought that a foreigner could learn Chinese?” and “clearly this means that China’s on the rise.” That makes me uncomfortable. It’s nice having people read my blog, and people say a lot of awfully nice things in the comments, but nobody really wants to get popular by being the talking dog. Or at least, I don’t.

Anyway, here are my voting recommendations for the Deutsche Welle awards, at least in the categories and language groups where I’m competent to be any kind of judge:

Best Weblog:
花花世界 - 鼠尾草 (A Colorful World: Shuweicao’s blog) looks pretty good. The blog seems to consist entirely of food porn, which can only be a good thing. I like food.

Best Podcast:
The Show with Ze Frank is one of these things that I keep meaning to watch regularly, but never do. That’s not a comment on him — I’m just lousy about reading blogs with any kind of regularity, and am generally too lazy to make use of RSS readers or anything else that might normalize my blog reading habits. He’s consistently funny, which can’t be easy on a day to day basis.

Reporters Without Borders Award:
曾金燕博客 (“Zeng Jinyan’s blog” – for some reason they don’t provide a translation) is fully deserving of your support. The inimitable ESWN has a translation of one of her posts here, for non-Sinologues. (Note: for some reason, this blog doesn’t open from the mainland. I can’t imagine why. Use a proxy.)

Blogwurst Award:
I’m not really sure what the hell “Blogwurst” is supposed to mean, but anyway, Zeng Jinyan is nominated here, as well, and New York Hack looks like it could be interesting.

Best Russian Blog:
Not that I speak Russian, but Magazeta left a comment on my Chinese blog at Bullog asking me to support them, and the guy seemed pretty nice, so why not.

Best Chinese Blog:
It looks like Shuweicao, who’s also nominated for the “Best Blog” award, is going to win this one, but I’d encourage people to vote for Lao Luo, the laoda of, who was kind enough to invite me to Bullog a couple months ago. I’m in there too, but like I said, I don’t want to be a talking dog, and I don’t deserve it anyway.

Blogs that didn’t get nominated:
I don’t put a whole lot of stock in this sort of thing anyway, because there are so many really enjoyable bloggers who never get mentioned. The best thing I’ve read lately is Idle Words, whose author Maciej I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with recently. Also, for a long time, I’ve really, really dug Rain’s stuff over at Hipstomp, and would encourage everyone who hasn’t read him to go over and check him out.

Comments (8)

  1. Absurdfool wrote::

    Brendan, your not to vote for the talking dog recommendation doesn’t seem to justify
    I think all dogs or cats love very much to talk
    the problem’s most can’t
    Many chinese can talk/write pretty good english/french/whatever
    But it shows no peculiarity as people are taking it for granted in an english dominant world
    Yet someone like your good self who can write formidable chinese do amaze chinese
    and foreigners in particular
    Afterall I do apprehend your I couldnt care less attitude ;p
    Ive no idea what sort of benchmark’s set for all those bestwebvote
    Or no benchmark is the benchmarch
    Who actually takes them setiousely
    I couldnt care less

    Sunday, October 29, 2006 at 8:07 am #
  2. Your site will definitely get my vote!

    Really enjoyed your writing and sense of humor. Just added your feeds to my reader, they are too good to miss…

    Thursday, November 2, 2006 at 5:07 am #
  3. bellevue wrote::

    So DW is still doing that. Somehow they have kept a keen sense of what’s going on in China. The nomination of Muzimei in blog year 0 is a sound proof.

    I wish there were a category ‘best maveric blog in Chinese’ so I can vote Brendan in. Not for a talking dog, but an animal with insight.

    Saturday, November 4, 2006 at 11:00 pm #
  4. al wrote::

    yours is better because you’re honest, and in a honesty way which is hard in China…does that matter which one is the best? many of them are, including yours…

    Sunday, November 5, 2006 at 5:20 pm #
  5. Hey guys — thanks for the kind words.

    Sunday, November 5, 2006 at 5:25 pm #
  6. Daphne wrote::

    i think your command of the chinese language is fantastic! i’m malaysian chinese, and i speak the language terribly.

    i’m in beijing now – have been for a week, and will be for the next few days. i wish i had more time to learn more about the language, culture, history of china.

    you’re such an inspiration! i hope one day i can blog in chinese too! =)

    Friday, December 15, 2006 at 12:18 am #
  7. Annie wrote::

    DW is a cool site… I used their Warum Nicth and Wieso Nicht when I learnt Deutsch.. pretty good programs too. That’s cool that you’re nominated there… I missed it though.. but I am just happy to read that you are there.I definitely like your writing. :-)

    Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 7:05 pm #
  8. AlwaysKoke wrote::

    Depressing Update:

    the Winner of this competition

    鼠尾草 just passed away this morning due to untreatable cancer.

    Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 11:28 pm #