We’re Number… Four!

I’d like to thank the thousands of loyal readers who voted for the Blork Blog in the Montreal Mirror’s annual “Best of Montreal” alterna-rag marketing campaign. Thanks to you I have achieved the coveted position of number four in the category of “best blog.” To handle the resulting surge in readership, Typepad has granted this blog its own dedicated server, which will be paid for via that popular cash cow: Google ads.

I can’t wait for the phone call from the Mirror’s sales team, who will offer me the opportunity to pay an extra charge for a “BoM” flash on the ad they’re ready to sell me in their very truthful paper.

On the other hand, I may never get such a call, as the “Best Blog” category is probably one of many that the sales team doesn’t bother with. Those are the categories that function as “hip-sounding stuff thrown in there so people don’t realize this is really just a trick to sell ads to restaurants and retail stores.”

No matter. After all, it is enough of an honor to be listed in the same survey that ranked Domino’s and Pizza Hut (in that order) as two of the “best pizzas” in the city.

So far, Buffet Maharaja is the only one to buy an ad with the “BoM” flash (page 34), but that’s probably because they were already familiar with the pitch from last year. Watch in the following weeks to see how many other businesses — who are clearly and unequivocally the best the city has to offer — fall into line and buy BoM-branded ads.

Alternative journalism at its finest. Now please click on one of my Google ads…

8 thoughts on “We’re Number… Four!

  1. The BoM survey is fun for a little diversion but, as you say, it isn’t something other than an advertising gimmick.

    Like any “Best of…” list, the outcome is entirely dependant on who votes and what categories they choose to vote in. That’s why I think some of the “Bests” are voted mainly by students from out of the province who haven’t really taken time to get to know the city so they stick with what they know.

    Best Pizza: Dominos? Come on. There are frozen pizzas better than Dominos. Hell, they at least could have said Donini. Most Desirable Woman: Mitsou? Not that she’s not attractive but it’s always her, year after year, isn’t it? And who else would someone from BC name if they didn’t know much about what was going on here?

    The blog category was a bit of an exception as it was obviously voted by other Montreal bloggers and they’re all excellent sites.

    Not as excellent as MINE, of course, but special in their own unique way.

  2. Dirty little secret? They would have called you before the issue came out to sell you the ad.

  3. Howdy!

    Next year you and Martine gotta work together, if you didn’t split the vote you could’ve beaten me!

  4. I put in the blog category something about how
    blogs weren’t really a new thing, just being
    a variant of ‘zines in science fiction, and
    ComCo in San Francisco in ’67. The concept
    of self-publishing is only “revolutionary”
    if you don’t have a history with that sort
    of thing; otherwise, blogs are just a specific
    format of self publishing.

    Yes, when you look at the answers they often
    do seem the work of people who don’t know
    the category, so they pick something they’ve
    heard (Margie Gillis in the dance category,
    the pizza question) even if they don’t directly
    have any interest in the topic. I fear this
    is going to get worse, since last year the
    Mirror made it mandatory to have 25 categories
    filled out. An attempt to eliminate ballot
    stuffing, but it just increases uninformed
    answers. I had to stretch to get 25 answers,
    and some of them were “stuffing” in that I put
    people I knew rather than a judgement of
    who was best.

    Oddly though, if something is obscure enough
    it seems easy to get something on the list.
    I’ve had my answers appear, and given that
    they were obscure I assume they simply didn’t
    get many voting in that category.

    Blogs may still be too new so the people who
    voted were indeed people judging them.

    I am disappointed by the increasing level of
    lobbying for votes. It used to be the rare thing,
    but Kate and Zeke and the Fringe, and someone postering
    for “best kook”, were there along with the traditional
    “Folk Roots/Folk Branches”. And interestingly, the
    Fringe was lowest on the “Best Festival” than they’ve been
    during the life of the category.


  5. It is pretty weird. I’d like to think that the blog category was reasonably well informed, athough it was probably lobbied-for and to some extent stuffed. The fact that Julie from La Cabane got Best Waitress (well-deserved) is likely a direct result of plenty of YULBloggers voting that way.

    At the end of the day, I have only two problems with this kind of thing: (1) the immediate bullshit factor of it posing as a survey done to legitimately find “the best” when it is in fact an advertising campaign, and (2) the fact that there are too many categories, which leads to people voting for things they know nothing about.

    Oh, there’s one other thing that bothers me: the doe-eyed naïve people who think the results of this survey are in any way meaningful.

    That said, I really do appreciate that people voted — unsolicitedly — for the Blork blog, which means they’ve at least heard of it.

  6. What independent media? The Mirror is owned by Quebecor, or hadn’t you noticed? :)

  7. Sorry, I didn’t hear the “air quotes” around the word the first time!

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