The Weblog Awards are the world's largest blog competition with over 545,000 votes cast in 2007 edition and nearly two million votes cast in all editions since 2003.
I think it is a pity that the winner might be someone who views the USA as a colonialist power, which he sees as defending the post-World War I "Sykes-Picot/Balfour architecture" (described as "a colossal failure") against Arab nationalist or pan-Islamic challengers.
I also think it is a pity because Cole, who writes very engagingly, seems to have a marked inability to get facts right (see this post by poll competitor Martin Kramer, but note Cole changed his blog post after being corrected; he is notoriious for retro-editing of blog posts; he'll write something erroneous or outrageous, but eye-catching, and then excise it from the record, usually without note).
Cole seems to think the Weblog awards are rigged. "The 'Middle East' category is dominated by Neocons", he wrote, yesterday. "I think the initial nomination voting must have been orchestrated." Then the numbers shifted and, miraculously, so did his post. As he took the lead, his paragraph alleging "orchestrated nominations" are gone, replaced with an invitation to vote again. (See comparison image)
On the other hand, there are good blogs in the competition, such as Michael J. Totten, who won in 2007, IsraellyCool, which we mentioned was liveblogging the current conflict, Fundamentally Freund, at Arutz 7, and the Elder of Ziyon, whose web videos get a lot of response.
While not all of the blogs are about Israel (Muslimah Media Watch is a forum where Muslim women can critique how their images appear in the media and popular culture), there are none about non-Islamic Africa, which is a shame.
As for Best Blog, the leaders tend to be sites filled with anti-Semitism, but Hot Air is in the running.
Feel free to vote once every 24 hours. Polls close January 12, 2009.