Sunday, November 18, 2007

Top Ten Sailing Blogs of 2007 - Nominations Requested

Dear Reader, I need your help. In a few weeks time I will publish the third of my annual lists of the top ten sailing blogs of the year. And I would like to hear your suggestions of which blogs should be included in the list for 2007.

I have a feeling that it will be tougher this year than ever before to select the top ten sailing blogs. This is why...

When I compiled the first such list for the Top Ten Sailing Blogs of 2005, it was comparatively easy. To be honest there weren't a huge number of sailing blogs around in 2005 and there were only a dozen or so that struck me as being of sufficient merit to warrant including as candidates for the top ten list.

Then in 2006 the number of sailing blogs increased dramatically, but even so there weren't too many high quality blogs that had been updated regularly for most of the year. I had to eliminate several blogs that would have been good enough to make the top ten list the previous year but, even so, I only had a relatively small list to whittle down to the winners in the race for Top Ten Sailing Blogs of 2006.

This year I have two kinds of problem...

Firstly the number of sailing blogs has mushroomed even more. I just can't keep up with them all. Every week I am discovering new sailing blogs and many of them are of a standard that would put them on the short list for last year's top ten. This is a good thing.

Secondly, it seems to me that the quality of the top few sailing blogs is now significantly higher than any of the blogs that made the top ten list last year. I could name three or four blogs that stand head and shoulders above the others, and set a standard comparable to the best professional sailing journalism in any medium. This is a good thing too.

But that leaves me with a quandary. I think I could easily name the Top Three Sailing Blogs of 2007. But my short list for the Top Ten would include forty or fifty names, and there are probably others of similar quality that I haven't even discovered yet.

So please help me. Let me know which sailing blog or blogs you think should be included in the list of Top Ten Sailing Blogs of 2007.

And another question. Here are the criteria I applied to decide whether to consider a blog for the top ten list last year...
  • It must be mainly about sailing.
  • It must have been in existence for most of the year.
  • It must be updated regularly.
  • It must be actually worth reading... it's interesting, entertaining, educational, funny, whatever... something grabs you about it.
  • The writer engages his or her audience, allows comments on the blog, responds to them, makes comments on other sailing blogs, is part of the community.
I think the first four are no-brainers. But what about the fifth one? Should I consider "blogs" for the top ten list if they don't allow comments? Are newsy websites that don't allow any feedback from readers even real blogs at all?

Please let me know what you think. I am all ears.


Ross Bennett said...

Me baby, me!

My blog has to be top 10 on some list, maybe top 10 most crazy...

Anonymous said...

I like and Both of these sailors updated their websites frequently during their busy Olympic campaign schedules. It provided us commoners a glimpse at campaign life.

It was particularly impressive that Anna was updating hers during the Olympic Trials.

Anonymous said...

I also think is one of the top blogs

Unknown said...

Rule 69 has got to be the blog of the year - irreverent, acerbic and totally on the money. Never afraid to put his opionion forward - Go Magnus!

Ant said...

On the subject of your criteria, then I think point 5 is very important to diffierentiate from an info-site to a blog in the sailing community...

We can all learn from each other sooo much and the conversations are as much a part of the blogging as our own individual posts..

Oh, and despite my fall from grace in the 2006 awards, I hope I might be back in 2007 now that I have a blogging purpose :-)


Anonymous said...

Rule69Blog is a great website that has seemingly come out of nowhere...but without comments I feel like we are missing more than half of its potential. Magnus seems to basically post one sided rants that would yield great comments. I have heard rumors that comments will be coming soon, but there are still no comments available.

JP said...

Why not post a poll for us to vote on? You could even include the Proper Course as an option!

Or rather than doing top ten have a set of top threes, with top blogs for:
- professional sailor
- dinghy sailor
- yacht sailor
- etc

Blogger said...

The line between blog and website is getting blurred. What is the definition? If you use a free service, does that make it a blog? If you have ads, does that make it a website?

Fred said...

Not an easy task Tillermeister, as one can see from the comments. I am at present more a reader than a writer or contributor. Therefore I like to give my 2ç.
Love the rants from Magnus but in my opinion it is not a blog in its true sense. To me a blog is an ad free website allowing comments and therefore the "community" to stay in touch with each other. Yours is my No 1 and second is Kimball Livingstone.
It is a bit like sailing with a "white" sail (not plastered with logos). The true amateur, as the majority of sailors are. Paying for our own fun.

Anonymous said...

you may want to look at this one, not a blog though:

EVK4 said...

Big Oceans.

This guy only updates weekly but it's fascinating to watch his rise from deciding to sail to Australia, buying a boat, learning to sail, struggling for funds, to actually starting his sail. He's made friends all over Europe as he goes and is doing it in an absolutely pure sailorly manner. I admire this kid and his blog.

And, reading your post, I think my streak of top-10s has come to an end. Maybe I'll go buy a Laser and start an Olympic campaign. Then you'll respect me.

Tillerman said...

Edward - your blog is unique and is certainly still on the short list for the Top Ten Sailing Blogs of 2007.

Anyone can buy a Laser and write a blog saying they are campaigning for the Olympics after next. That doesn't earn my respect at all (especially if the person concerned can't either write or sail very well).

EVK4 said...

My campaign has started. Long live the Laser...until they dump it as an Olympic class that is.

I am serious about that Big Oceans guy though. And I really like NeverSeaLand though I hope my wife never clicks the link and sees the naked mermaid pictures.

Tillerman said...

Edward - now you have started a serious Laser campaign you are a shoe-in for the top ten. Thanks for the tips about the crazy Aussie blog and the naked mermaids blog too.

Anonymous said...

Horse's Mouth. It's strangely and worryingly addictive

Intheboatshed. He is professional journalist but he does the blog for love and it shows

Capn JP. God I miss the Thames

Live Sail Die. I wish I was living in a land downunder

Tugster. OK not about sailing but worth an honorable mention. Who would have thought a blog about working ships in NY Harbor could be so damn captivating

Marine Blast. It's totally random but you never know what they are going to come up with and they are funny

Bruce Smith. His voyage from Seattle to the Caribbean was well-written and accounted some great adventures.

and oh yeah, Proper Course. Half the time I have no clue what you're talking about but that's probably because I am not that much of a dinghy racer. No one writes as prolifically as you do. You deserve to be in your own top 10 for the time and focus (And no I am not sucking up to get in your Top 10)

bonnie said...

It is a little mindboggling how fast the boat blog scene grew. I remember scouring the web for kayak blogs when I started & finding all of 2 - Kayak Quixotica (formerly Kayak Wisconsin) and Wenley from Spain (with the pinups and the James Bond fixation).

I can't even keep up with 'em now. I'll stumble across one, think "Oh, that's cool, I should add that" and then never get back to the site again. Honestly, the ones I'm following now are the same ones I've been following for a while, the ones that are in my boating blogs links.

Anyways, I'm not focused enough on sailing to start recommending top 10 sailing blogs - but I would say to definitely keep yourself (and some of the other oldies but goodies in the running!

Fun to see somebody recommend Tugster!

Christy ~ Central Air said...

Without hesitation, The Bloglet. It's real and irreverant and humorous, the writing is top-quality, there are cute kids, smokin-hot crew eye-candy, and pirate dress-up. Combine all of this with a fine product of Catalina Yachts, and you've definitely got a Top 10 sailing blog.

WeSailFurther said...

I also vote for tugster. Good blog, thoughtful and insightful, even if you do not share his affinity for the workers of the world. which i do.

EVK4 said...

I've been thinking of this little "hook" of yours and thought about writing a complementary piece on the top ten sailing posts of the year. This would allow those blogs that post infrequently but brilliantly to have a voice (I'm talking about Rapscallion of course).

The problem is you're really the only one qualified to do this; I'm pretty sure your blogroll is the most complete and I've yet to find a sailing blog that you haven't already commmented on.

One last thing, you need two divisions of sailing blogs: the Proper Course Division and the Rest of Us Division. Your blog is the best by leaps and bounds and not just because of your awesome choice of boats.

Anonymous said...

I second the motion on Gavin has it all -- boat design, lore, music, all-around Anglophilia. He is the real deal.

Thanks, Edward for the nod. As Gavin pointed out to me, mermaids are not human, so the concepts of 'nudity' or 'toplessness' or 'prurience' do not have meaning. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! I'd like my blog to have more sailing, but life intrudes...


Never Sea Land

Anonymous said...

Sailing Anarchy and Elaine Bunting's blog are my favourites. They have got a good mix of news and views.


Graham said...

Sailing Anarchy and Elaine Bunting's blog are my favourites. They have got a good mix of news and views.


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