February 13, 2005

Results Are In!

This week Harvey had to run for the border (don't ask) so he found a suitable relacement in an ogre from NC.

Guest Judge: Ogre's Politics and Views

With Harvey away, partying in Florida, I get to be the stand-in judge for the King of the Blogs. Not having any idea what I'm doing, I get to completely make it up as I go along. So I shall.

Well, Ok, I'll start out with the standard boilerplate forms for electing kings, but I'm not going to write only between the lines, and I refuse to print only in black ink! I AM the judge, so I answer to no one! Now I'm wondering how that works with kings...Let the judging commence!

The Challenge Question:

"Explain the theory of blogativity."
The Hat-Laden Radical from The Radical Centrist: GOOD POINTS: Very detailed and scientific-sounding. Excellent, unquestionable, unchallengeable, and unprovable logic. Nice addition of "flavors" allowing for complete and total expansion of the theory in the future (sure to require government funding). BAD POINTS: So scientific-sounding that I actually fell asleep before completing the entire read. The fact that I had just finished a 6-pack of beer had nothing to do with that, either. Nothing about llamas anywhere. SCORE: 4.16

J.J. in Q from Unadulterated Arrogance aka Injinuity or something:
GOOD POINTS: Nicely arrogant for a king. Weak, but sufficient sucking up, including nice linky-love.
BAD POINTS: Uh...what? I like the my theories short and to-the-point, but I'm not seeing the point. The strange quote marks appear at the beginning and not the end. Was this intentional, or is the theory open-ended? Also zero mention of llamas.
SCORE: 3.47

Norrin "The Rooster" Radd from Silver Surfer 9090:
GOOD POINTS: Unusual sucking up, but obscure enough to count (extra points for good observation). Nice Chapman reference, I'm still waiting for him to show up and shut this entire silliness down!
BAD POINTS: Despire the various silliness wanderings, never really actually seems to answer the question, other than giving a simple definition. No llamas!
SCORE: 4.55

Unadulterated Arrogance/Injinuity with Automatic Gears - frills but no thrills:
INITIAL REACTION: I have to say that I found this post and read it before I knew this was a submitted post. Good thing I didn't comment on it, or someone would be screaming for a recount. And no, it's not cheating, because I AM the judge. Also, J.J. needs to get some new friends if the ones that he has don't have fun when sleeping with a prostitute -- or at least tell them that they're doing it wrong.
GOOD POINTS: His opionions here are correct, no matter what his "friends" say. Excellent sarcasm applied with the various politically (in)correct statements. Very good uses of the English language.
BAD POINTS: It's just one long run-on paragraph. The writing is good, but there's got to be room to break ideas up into paragraphs to save the reader's eyes. Watch that punctuation -- questions need to end with question marks.
SCORE: 4.26

Silver Surfer (is that one word or two?) 9090 with Hero of the day:
INITIAL REACTION: Do people really still eat cheese sandwiches?
GOOD POINTS: Notes tht he carries around a pocket fisherman everywhere, even in dreams. He did not gut the baby after reeling it in.
BAD POINTS: Kind of wimpy for one who wants to be king. He could have at least been made king for saving some other king's prince-baby or something. Or at least had some gorgeous women congratulating him for being such a hero. It sounds like he wants to be a hero to the press, and I'm not sure that's a good thing.
SCORE: 3.57

The Radical Centrist with Fascinating to watch a "blogswarm" in progress.:
INITIAL REACTION: Hold on, I'm reading various articles that were linked to from the submitted article, and following those articles to articles that are linked to from those articles...
GOOD POINTS: Very interesting read. Also fun to read the details of something that just happened in the blogosphere right after it happened. Very appropriate topic...for a blog, eh?
BAD POINTS: Extremely serious. I mean, there's nothing wrong with a daily dose of reality, especially with such topics as idiots who want American Military troops dead, but there's got to be something a bit light-hearted that could be mentioned. Like llamas.
SCORE: 4.43

(Mostly stolen from Harvey's Review List)
Here are some technical things I like to see on a blog:

King of the Blogs javascript thingy in the sidebar Comments enabled Permalinks working E-mail contact info available Blogger's name/pseudonym prominently displayed Site search feature enabled Link to an "About Me" post on the sidebar Blogroll Readable font style & size Readable color scheme (I am a HCI computer design expert) Divisions between posts clearly marked Paragraphing in entries (NOT just writing one fat block of text) LLamas Overall good use of space vs. content vs. whitespace
Ingenious Adulterated Arrogance: NOTES: Overall a quick load, but then again, there's not a whole lot to load. Looks like a pretty much boilerplate standard layout, but then again, that sort of layout tends to work well. GOOD POINTS: Only one of the three contestants to actually have a link to me, one of the judges! Good design, no difficulty reading any parts or finding most everything needed to see what's going on. I'm not sure about the tiger picking it's nose with it's tongue as his individual picture, but hey, he's from Qatar. BAD POINTS: Email's there, but you have to dig a little. Strangely enough, there's a link to add HIM to YOUR blogroll, but there's no blogroll of his own. Jinu, here's a tip -- links are the currency of the blogosphere: be generous. I'm confused by the blog title of "Unadulterated Arrogance," but the address including Injinuity (in case you couldn't tell by now). No llamas. SCORE: 4.34

Silding Silverfish 9:
NOTES: Ahhhh! I'm blind! Warn a surfer before they get assaulted by hot, sweaty, naked men! I'll be sure and let Tammi and Machelle know he's there.
GOOD POINTS: Nice touchup to the Blogger setup, including the "Only Punks Visit, and don't leave commments" at the end of every post. Nice integration of pictures into the text, good intelligent writing with appropriate silliness.
BAD POINTS: The blue works well on the black background, but the grey text is a little too dark for me. Got to keep that contrast up -- lighter would be a little more readable. Nice to have archive links, but it's getting long -- perhaps shift to monthly archives now -- I know blogger can do that. Not one llama.
SCORE: 4.89

Grand Central Radio Station:
NOTES: Designed for content, as is the purpose of blogs. Clean, fast load, right to the content without cluttering advertising first.
GOOD POINTS: Good layout and design. Content is clearly king, as it should be. Excellent use of space, white space, and linkage. Nice subtle division between post and day dividing lines.
BAD POINTS: The blocks do not line up -- the post block (with white background) follows all the way to the bottom of the page, but the sidebar (with white background) stops, creating an uneven divider a little over halfway down the page.
SCORE: 4.88


> From unabashed bribing, linky-love, and obscure references that actually

show the contestants know who the judges and other contestants are.
Radical: -1 for not recognizing there was a substitute judge before posting bribes and links -- and not editing said linky-bribes. Ever.
Silver Surfer: +0.5 for notable observation in sucking up attempts.
Injinuity: +1 for linking to the judges and obscure attempts at arcane flattery integrated into a post.


Smarter Cop

The Radical Centrist


Mr. Centrist's choice for select post in this competition is an accomplished combination of navelgazing, punditry, and frequent updates. I enjoy the instances when bloggers describe a blogging phenomenon and promptly begin to demonstrate that imitation is both the sincerest form of flattery and the most obvious form of exposition. I haven't followed the Eason Jordan affair too terribly closely, but he gives a good overview and analysis of the whole deal.

4 points.


The only problem I had last time was with the extended entries, which have remained the same. He's vastly increased his biographical information, and blamed the judges for forcing him to include this seemingly
trivial detail (can't blame me, I purposely ignored it). I've got no complaints. Holds steady at...

4 points.



The varying nature of Blogs is thought to be determined by the mix of their constituent particles, dubbed "Quirks". They come in seven "flavors", Left, Right, Upward Gazing, Grounded, Military, Mindless and the most common form, Naval Contemplative. We realize that seven flavors are a lot less than Baskin Robbins but Blogativity is a young theory. Be patient!

Well done! Score another one for the Centrist... a good mix of links, inside jokes, and a little bit of internet history and physics, and you've got one heck of an entertaining post. Now, I don't mean to be selfish, but I sense an absence of the usual suckups and obligatory links. I guess that means he thinks he can win without brownnosing those of us who have his fate in our hands (makes a good game of hot-potato, if
I may add). You know what? He may be right. I did, however, detect a logical flaw. His disdain for the alternative theory of blogativity underestimates the power and speed of the Perl programmer. Shame on him.

5 points.



Hmmm... original, I must say. But very creative and unique. Excuse the brevity, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the image of a baby being pulled up by the pacifier. I admit, this is unlike anything I've read in a blog before.

3.5 points.


I guess I'll start with the bad news. Why are all the image links broken? I guess I decided to drop by at a bad time, because those blogger images are completely, 100 percent, not there. I knew Blogger had some
nasty tricks hidden up its sleeve, but it's enough to be a distraction.

There's not a whole lot of pizzazz here, just a basic 2-column template with white-on-black. He's got the comments and trackbacks, but where are the archives? Did blogger destroy those, too? The most captivating piece of this blog was the endless cycle of pictures on the Blogfaces ad. There are a number of improvements that seriously need to be made for this blog to be King-worthy, I'm sorry to say. Norrin's got the style and writing talent to make it work, but he's got to find his stylistic niche.

2 points.



In essence, the Theory of Blogativity states "if one blogger knows it, all bloggers will know it, if the information has legs of it's own". Like when I slipped in the shower, breaking my leg. The paramedics were called and later I had to explain why I was in the shower in my mother's dress(It was for Halloween, I swear). It was a difficult time for me, but the rumors about the hamsters were just uncalled for But, through the Theory of Blogativity, and my no-good cousin, the news spread like a wildfire.

I like to think of this challenge answer as the return of Short Attention Span Theatre. Norrin goes from one wildly eccentric topic to another within the context of a single sentence, using some pretty effective (and somewhat disturbing) self-effacing humor in the process. In the span of 6 paragraphs, we learn that Norrin dresses in women's clothing, reads about cats, sports mild retardation, and likes handymen and guys in green uniforms. And how does this relate to the Theory of Blogativity - are we to spread this salacious gossip elsewhere? Anyhow, when the Eagles finally win a Super Bowl, Norrin, maybe there's hope for peace
in the Middle East. Oh yeah.. your post! Loved the oddball nature, humor, and the personal references.

4.5 points.

Unadulterated Arrogance


What happened? Peering in-between the runon sentences, I see an attempted analysis of automatic vs. manual transmission. I really didn't get into the post, though one small portion struck my attention - "I
digress, but I hate killing animals, killing two legged homos err homo sapiens would be more to my taste." And this means? He'd rather be an equal opportunity murderer? I realize that this is just an analogy, but it's a very disturbing one at that. Also, I note that Jinu mentioned in the same paragraph 'I digress' even though he was on point, and after the apology of sorts, he actually does digress, if for just a brief moment. Reading this post was like traversing a deep, dark jungle with a machete and your trusty chimp Cheetah. It was hard to get through, especially with that monkey on my back (i.e., I drive an automatic and tolerate it).

2.5 points.


I suppose I should just start calling this competition 'King of the Blogger', since everyone seems now to be a) using it; and b) even worse, sticking to its default templates. Learn some CSS, people! Anyhow, it seems that the broken links to pictures problem is confined to most all blogger users, as Unadulterated Arrogance is having the same problem as Mr. Surfer did with images. This guy Jinu's not afraid to live up to his blog's namessake... he oozes self-confidence and egotism. Jinu doesn't tell us whether he's a native of Qatar or serving in the military from HQ Centcom, but that's irrelevant to his blogworthiness.

It's too bad the opportunity to provide his entries with trackbacks is missing from his posts, though comments are activated and permalinks appear to be in place and working. Though he prominently displays the KOTB banner, he has no blogroll to speak of (I'm assuming, of course, that he thinks in his arrogance that everyone links to him but not vice versa). Archives are intact, there's the handy search feature, and I'm ever appreciative of the recent posts shortcut. Bonus points for cruelly sarcastic disclaimers as well - here's a man who if he ever lived up to his expectations would be a King of the Blogs Dynasty.

4 points.



So when one blogs at the speed of light, you see before you think. As your thought is based on the little voices in your head and since light is faster that sound, you will see before your hear. Hence the mathematical probability of you seeing wrong is 99.63%; for your cognition process would be initiated before the little voices in your head have time to form the right image that you ought to see which results in irrelevance i.e. R=0; in other words relevance becomes zero. Thus the hypothesis is tested successfully and the professor's theory is proven accurately.

I see Jinu has every intention of living up to his blog title, already assuming that he will be crowned before the fact. I like that in a king, though I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the idea that the king knows more than I do, since I'm the one who's standing between him and the throne. His gracious (though blatantly unintended) proppage in the first paragraph shows everyone who the puppetmasters are, however. Is there a related corollary for comment posting?

4 points.

The Radical Centrist 13 points
SilverSurfer9090 10 points
Unadulterated Arrogance 10.5 points

News from the Great Beyond

Our first order of business... All Hail the King: Bird, of The Radical Centrist!  (King Bird sounds kinda funny, I get a mental image of Big Bird wearing a paper crown like Burger King used to give out.)

The crowned one was apparently rather surprised
at winning the tournament last week, so we shall see if the shock wore
off in time for him to defend his crown against this week's
pretenders.  On with the judging!

Overall Blog/Design

The Radical Centrist
In response to last week's comments, our friend R.C. has added an
"About Me" post, in which we discover that yes, he is male, and he does
go by "Bird" so we can call him that... and a good many other tidbits
that give us a good feel for Bird's perspective and a context for his
writings.  See how easy it is to make me happy?  My other
comment, regarding the banner graphic, I'm not sure if it's possible to
fix - it looks great in Firefox, but the graphic starts to repeat in
IE6.  Since Firefox is my main browser, I'll deal with it. 
Improved from last week's rating - I'll give it a 4.

Unadulterated Arrogance:  Hmmm... methinks I've seen this blogger template before in this competition.  As I said before, to David,

While more interesting than a lot of Blogger templates I've run across
(the little squares are kind of cool), I've got to admit that I'm more
drawn to sites with more personality and punch in their color scheme
and graphics.  This is pleasant in a rather neutral way, and I've seen
worse.  I'm also very fond of the way the quoted text displays - that
gives more interest to the scheme he's chosen.

David, Jinu is still using Blogger's comments feature, and does not
have trackback.  A hint we judges like to give all Blogspotters
who haven't discovered it before - try Haloscan for trackback and
comments.  Blogger's comments feature bites.  I absolutely detest the fact that I had to sign up for a Blogger account and start a weblog there in order to comment at some of the blogs I read.  Also unlike David, Jinu does

have a Google search box on his site.  Jinu also has a good "about
me" profile, stated with plenty of attitude as suited for a potential
future monarch.   Unadulterated Arrogance earns a 3.5.

Silver Surfer 9090
A nice, simple black background/white text with a splash of color... I
personally am fond of that color scheme, but I do know many folks
(including some of my regular readers) who have issues with white on
black.  Banner graphic gives personality... "About me" information
is good... Comments and trackback from Haloscan, plus Blogger's "e-mail
post" feature.  I do like that option.  No sidebar archive
search, but on a whim I tried the search in the Blogger bar at the top
to discover that it does search the site, so all is well there.  A
couple of picky notes - the sidebar gets a little busy down toward the
bottom (but then, so does my left sidebar, so I can't complain too much
about that)... some of those graphics are just out of proportion, or
distracting.  You do so well with the block of graphics under the
"Links" section, only to annoy me with the huge scrolling
"Blogfaces".  And the "Only Punks Visit, And Don't Leave
Comments!" thing - well... it's very repetitive, coming at the end of
every post... and it's really far too large for the text size on the
rest of the page.  It does stand out, which I
suppose was the point, but it's a mite tacky.  One hint - I'd put
the "e-mail us" links up by the contributors "about me" info, it's a
more logical order.  Otherwise, not too shabby - Silver Surfer
9090 gets a 3.5.

Submitted Post

The Radical Centrist

Another well-written effort from Bird this week... This selection from
his menu isn't as meaty and chewy as the last week's political
entry.  It's more of a smooth, creamy, easy-to-read observation
sundae with a cherry on top: a pat on the back for the blogosphere,
about to force another major story into the limelight after having been
ignored by the mainstream media.  In fact, Hubby informed me
tonight that Eason Jordan has resigned from CNN over the brouhaha.  Fabulous job, Bird - I don't see any reason not to rate this a 5.

Unadulterated Arrogance
I'm working on the assumption that English is not Jinu's first
language, and I'll be a touch lenient in his case.  However, this
post makes the English Teacher in me stand up and reach for her red pen
to start marking up this essay.  Punctuation and grammar issues
tend to detract from the message a writer is trying to convey, and this
post has a liberal sprinkling of them.  It could be worse. 
I've seen much worse, actually, but I don't want to
think about it right now because I've just finished a nice cup of
frozen yogurt and would rather not make myself nauseous.  One
small writing nitpick: Use of "lol" outside of a chat or IM program
annoys the heck out of me - especially when run into the sentence
without any sort of punctuation.  As for the content, ehh, I just
can't get excited about it (however much I agree with the
premise).  It's not really funny, it's not really all that
engaging.  Taking the language issue into account, I'm giving this
post a 2.5.

Silver Surfer 9090
Ahh, Norrin.  *shakes head*  Such an opportunist.  I was
amused by the scenario he's cooked up for us here - rescuing a baby
from a well with the least possible effort in order to become a hero
and receive recognition and accolades.   Since I'm being
nitpicky today, I should mention that you really can't "hear a cry in
the distant" since "distant" is an adjective.  It would be like
"hearing a cry in the adjacent".  The distant what? 

</English Teacher>  Otherwise, well-written and imaginative,
humorous, and a great mental image.  Norrin earns a 3.5.

Challenge Post

The Radical Centrist
<standard gripe>We still have the "Hey, the King of the Blogs
challenge question is this, and here's my answer" intro.  Putting
it in italics doesn't really help.  Really, if your regular
readers are going to be that thrown off by a sudden bit of nonsense,
try putting the explanation in a separate post and linking something in
your response back to it.  If they don't get it, they can follow
the link... or they can just scratch their heads and figure you've lost
your ever-loving mind.</standard gripe>  Without that intro
(ahem), this would be just about perfect.  Bird has presented a
scholarly paper, complete with jabs at The Puppy Blender and Hugh Hewitt, catbloggers,  the Democratic Underground,
and Creationists.  Bird has obviously thought this one through
pretty thoroughly, and it is entertaining as well as very
well-crafted.  I could get into some nitpickiness with spacing,
punctuation and word choice (its vs. it's, rationale vs. rational,
etc.) but overall they are rare and do not detract from the flow of
this challenge response.  If I had to venture a guess, I'd say
Bird has successfully defended his crown.  The Radical Centrist
earns a 5.

Unadulterated Arrogance
Jinu's intro is slightly more imaginative (i.e., imagining that he is
already the rightful King of the Blogs), but still earns the standard
gripe.  See above.  According to Jinu, the Theory of
Blogativity is pretty basic - it boils down to "the faster you blog,
the less relevant it is."  I can see that... however, the
presentation didn't wow me (I like creativity in both concept and
packaging), so this challenge response gets a 3.

Silver Surfer 9090
*The judge's bench erupts in cheers as Norrin launches right into his
response without the standard lame intro*  Oooh, and a
picture.  I like pictures.  And sucking up to the judges - I
like that too.  It'd be even better with links to the judges and
the others that are being addressed - Sherman, for instance, or the one
with the cats.  I don't like having to get the English Teacher back out to gripe about word choice issues (more of the its vs. it's, here vs. hear, when vs. win, etc.) or spacing problems(especially relating to parentheses).  Norrin has taken Nick's

advice (Remember, it's meant to be absurd and off the wall. Think
creatively.) to heart and crafted a very amusing response.  The
mental pictures here are both absurd and off the wall, and
priceless.  A duck!  Ha!  However, as a cohesive
response, it was a bit meandering.  We don't have one definition
of the Theory of Blogativity, but two (Norrin's, and other bloggers'),
and then the statement that there really isn't just one
definition.  I'd have preferred it - as a response to the question
asked - if he'd stuck with one definition... but overall I do like how
it turned out.  Since it made me laugh, I give it a 4.

The Queen's Rulings

The Radical Centrist: 14

Unadulterated Arrogance: 9

Silver Surfer 9090: 11

Judge's Totals:

The Radical Centrist: 39
SilverSurfer9090: 35
Unadulterated Arrogance: 32.5

Poll Totals:

Who Should Be the Next King?

Unadulterated Arrogance 41
Silver Surfer 9090 13
Radical Centrist 5

There were no trackbacks this week.

Bonus Totals:

Unadulterated Arrogance: 3
Silver Surfer 9090: 2
Radical Centrist: 1

For a Grand Total of:

The Radical Centrist: 40
SilverSurfer9090: 37
Unadulterated Arrogance: 35.5

Which means Radical Centrist holds onto his throne for another week! Congrats!

Posted by Nick Queen at February 13, 2005 10:39 AM
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