3 Quarks Daily philosophy blogging prizes awarded
October 1, 2012
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For the fourth consecutive year, 3 Quarks Daily has awarded $1,000 cash for the best philosophy blog post of the year, $300 to the second best, and $200 to the third best. You can view the winners here. They were chosen by Justin E. H. Smith (Concordia University of Montreal), and his explanation of his choice of the winners contains a discussion of the difference between blog entries and publications.
Increasingly, though, I am finding it difficult to say what counts as a blog post, and in this respect I do not think that the substitution of older, more familiar terms such as ‘piece’ or ‘essay’ should always be met with derision. Surely, it cannot just be that a piece of writing is disseminated by electronic means, to screens rather than paper, since if this were the case then it would follow that (probably) within the next decade or so, all philosophy writing will be philosophy blogging. So then we must search for other, narrower criteria for identifying a ‘piece’ as a ‘blog piece’: non-password-protected, perhaps, or smattered with hyperlinks. One common criterion for identifying a piece of writing as a piece of blog writing is that it be relatively informal, conversational, or fun. Relatedly, it is often supposed that blog writing should be unpolished, cranked out at a rapid-fire pace, unedited. Finally, blogging is often held to be relatively ephemeral, to be launched out there like some quasi-utterance, and then to fade as the days pass and it slides further down the blog wall (or whatever that’s called).