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The BOBs begin on February 13


That time of year has come around again. Starting on February 13, we’ll be looking for your suggestions for the eighth annual Deutsche Welle International Blog Awards – better known as the BOBs.

Like last year, we’re getting ready to accept your favorite sites in 11 languages. We understand: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesia, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

This year we’re also happy to announce that the BOBs site is back at full strength and available in all 11 of the competition’s languages — in fact, we’re putting the finishing touches on the site right now!

While there are some changes in store for 2012, including a couple of new faces on the jury panel (more about them soon), the BOBs will still feature a Jury Awards as well as User Prizes. The combination of online voting and jury-selected winners makes sure the BOBs continues to honor the best blogs, websites and campaigns on the Internet without turning into a popularity contest.

This year our jury of media experts, activists and bloggers will meet up in Berlin in May to debate and decide who takes home top honors in the BOBs. Patricia Cammarata, better known as das Nuf, joins the panel for German and Steve Vosloo comes on-board for the English-speaking world. We’ll be giving you a more intimate introduction to Patricia and Steve, as well as the rest of the jury members, in just a few days time.

Highly cultured and well educated

For the most part, the 17 categories in the contest this time around are the same as they always have been. Six categories are multilingual and feature blogs from each of the contest’s 11 languages mixing it up together for the right to call themselves a BOBs winner. Each of the remaining 11 categories is dedicated to a single language and a winner will be chosen among the finalists by online vote alone.

This year our “Special Topic Award” puts the spotlight on culture and education. This is also the focus of the 2012 Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn. While we will certainly continue to commend the bloggers taking a stand for freedom of expression, we’ll also be playing special attention to projects and initiatives that look at the right to education and promote intercultural dialogue.

Get your suggestions in!

We want to hear from you – but you’ll have to get you message to us between February 13 and March 13. That’s when the window is open for suggestions to the BOBs 2012.

You’ll be able to suggest candidates in all 17 categories after registering using Facebook, Twitter, VKontakte or Sina Weibo or using your OpenID. We’re hoping this helps open the BOBs up to countries where the usual social network suspects aren’t necessarily the most popular services.

And just as a quick reminder: 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.

Timeline takeaways

February 13 to March 13: Suggest the blogs, websites and projects that impress you.

April 2 to May 2: Look over the nominees and in each category and vote for the ones you think represent the best of the best.

May 2: Sit back and find out who won as we announce the winners.

June 26: Come to Bonn, Germany, and meet the Jury Award winners at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum.

CC photoby Jakeandlindsay