Deutsche Welle Blog Awards -The BOBs start today

The BOBs round seven starts February 23

For the seventh year in a row, the annual Deutsche Welle Blog Awards - a.k.a. the BOBs - will begin searching for the diamonds that are hidden in the rough of the World Wide Web. And we're going to need your help.
Starting on February 23, we'll be accepting your suggestions for the best blogs and websites. We're looking for the people and projects that aren't getting the praise they deserve for informing all of us about events happening around the world - sometimes under the most difficult of circumstances. In light of events around the world, this year's contest will be putting a special emphasis on human rights and freedom of expression.

This year there are some important changes to the contest:

Before you can submit your favorite spots on the Web to the BOBs, you’ll need to log in via either Facebook or Twitter. After we're sure you’re not a bot intent on submitting blogs to the BOBs on your path to world domination, you can suggest sites in 17 categories and 11 languages (Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish).

Please remember, it doesn’t matter how many times a blog is suggested to the BOBs - once it’s in, it’s in. Unlike other awards, the number of times a site is suggested does not play a role in whether it advances to the next round.

After looking through all your suggestions, our international jury of bloggers and media experts will choose the 11 best blogs and websites in each category and subject them to public scrutiny via online voting. The jury will also meet at Deutsche Welle HQ in April to decide the winners of the Jury Award in each category.

But it's not all just jury members locked in a conference room. The BOBs also have a User Prize decided by the online public!

When the time for voting comes, you’ll need to login again with one of the networks before casting your ballot for the User Prize in each category. We’re sorry for the hassle, but it’s how we’re trying to keep the contest’s voting results honest.

There are also a few changes to the categories this year. Anyone who’s seen the BOBs over the past seven years knows we’re especially taken with blogs that promote freedom of expression, but this year we want to put that policy on the record: We’re particularly interested in projects that bang the drum for freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and other human rights.

Oh yeah, the BOBs site is getting a redesign this year, too.
Here are the dates to mark in your calendar:
February 23 to March 11: Submit your candidates for the 2011 BOBs in 17 categories and 11 languages.
March 12 to March 21: Take a break while the jury sorts your suggestions and comes up with 11 finalists in each category.
March 22 to April 11: Vote for the nominees that impress you most and help decide the winners of the User Prize.
April 11: The BOBs jury members gather in Bonn, Germany, to decide the Jury Award winners.
April 12: Come back to (where you are now) to find out who won in each category.
June 20: Follow the winners’ ceremony at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn

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