I’ve never liked the Niblets

July 8, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 10:27 pm   Category: Bloggernacle

Ok, I’ll come out and say it. I never really liked the Niblets and was disappointed to see them claw their way out of their rotting grave again this year.

I have some right to say such a thing since if I remember correctly it was my Mormon Archipelago pals and I who started and named the stinky little awards at the end of 2005. (You can mostly blame Ronan).

To me the Niblets are like another tradition I don’t like — white elephant gift exchanges. The odds of hurt feelings (especially when there are desirable gifts) makes the risks of ruining the party higher than the potential fun of the game. See this thread to decide for yourself how the latest iteration is panning out.

What say you? Do you love the Niblets or are you with me on this one?


  1. I love white elephant gift exchanges precisely because of the chaos and mayhem…

    so I use that answer to respectfully decline on answering how I feel about the Niblets as a newbie to them.

    Comment by Andrew S. — July 8, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

  2. White elephant exchanges work best when the stakes are basically zilch. Gag gifts and whatnot can be fun. But when there are really nice gifts involved feelings get hurt almost inevitably. The problem with the Niblets is that being nominated and getting lots of votes is actually desirable. In the end fights almost always break out and the popularity contest aspect of it ends up mirroring parts of middle school none of us should want to relive…

    Comment by Geoff J — July 8, 2009 @ 11:07 pm

  3. They’re a terrible idea and that thread is such a train wreck that it is almost painful to read amidst my laughter, but I have to say that every time someone does the niblets I get pointed to some posts that are really great and which I had missed. That’s the reason I like them.

    Comment by Jacob J — July 8, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

  4. Yeah, I think the best posts and best comments are the only parts that really work. Some posts and comments deserve the widespread attention the voting provides for them.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 8, 2009 @ 11:12 pm

  5. So, hmm…would the solution be just to have a kind of nomination process, and with enough nominations, instead of voting, we have a showcase? And then narrow it down to select categories (e.g., best post, best comment)?

    Comment by Andrew S. — July 8, 2009 @ 11:37 pm

  6. You know what would have solved the Niblet goat-rodeo clusterfark this year: have a round of nominating the nominations before voting. The Powers That Be can implement this next year. And when the aunts and cousins wise up to this and start blitzing the nominations of nominations, we’ll just nominate the nominations of nominations before voting, ad infinitum. How is this a bad plan?

    Comment by Bryan H. — July 9, 2009 @ 12:58 am

  7. The first Niblets were awesome, Geoff. I seem to remember you won something too, you ungrateful git.

    Comment by Ronan — July 9, 2009 @ 5:31 am

  8. The Niblets have had terrible timing. Especially this year. JULY?!

    Comment by Eric Nielson — July 9, 2009 @ 5:37 am

  9. The first Niblets were indeed awesome, Ronan. As shall be the last.

    Comment by Steve Evans — July 9, 2009 @ 7:04 am

  10. I understand the criticisms and critiques surrounding this year’s Niblets. Perhaps it will be a lesson learned for next year, should any blog be insane enough to host the Niblets. :-)

    Comment by Brian Duffin — July 9, 2009 @ 7:09 am

  11. I forgot all about the hand-wringing and arguings part of the Niblets until the current thread. As long as I’m outside of it, the drama is actually sort of entertaining.

    Comment by Ben Pratt — July 9, 2009 @ 7:13 am

  12. It’s incredibly entertaining. But yes, this is why people only host it once.

    Comment by Steve Evans — July 9, 2009 @ 7:43 am

  13. We love the white elephant party so much we even play it online.
    We have done this for the past 3-years with all our dispersed family.

    The difference is that we share real gifts and support each other with great banter. Just like we would if we were all together in one room!

    Niblets are OK by me..

    Comment by Bruce Christensen — July 9, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  14. Just like we would if we were all together in one room!

    But without the cheetos fingers.

    Comment by Peter LLC — July 9, 2009 @ 9:07 am

  15. Well you certainly did a much cleaner job of it the first time around Ronan. But even then I felt a bit guilty about the hurt feelings that arose from the unavoidable cliquie-ness of the whole affair.

    I would suggest if they must come back again next year (I thought we had escaped them this year) nominations should be made for bests posts and comments (in categories) and a panel of judges drawing from the four corners of the bloggernacle should be set up to choose the best 8-10 in each category for the ballot. That way the choices can at least be filtered to be sure they are part of the ‘nacle.

    Things like “Most popular blogs” should be judged based on raw numbers rather than who campaigns the hardest in the popularity contest. Leave that number crunching to Ziff I say.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 9, 2009 @ 9:09 am

  16. I like white elephant gift exchanges where everyone is told to bring something they don’t want anymore.

    I don’t like the Niblets because each year it reminds me of something I already know: no one visits our blog anymore.

    Comment by Kim Siever — July 9, 2009 @ 9:18 am

  17. “the unavoidable cliquie-ness of the whole affair.”

    That somes up my reaction to the current event.

    Geoff, I really like your proposal in #15.

    Comment by Chris H. — July 9, 2009 @ 10:19 am

  18. I will preface by saying I love the Niblets.

    Here’s my take:

    Going with analogies, the Niblets can be related to Prom and a High School Reunion.

    Prom is all about popularity and cliquishness. Thus, the Niblets are all about the biggest/most popular blogs and writers, and the most well-known blogs and writers (for better or for worse). That’s the nature of the Niblet beast.

    However, for me it is also like a high school reunion because I find stories and posts and threads that I had either forgotten about or never bothered to read, and thus, I think it has the potential to showcase the “must-read” for the past year.

    And about the timing…either have it at the end of the calendar year, or establish a “year” period. That way, when the Niblets roll around, we’ll see everyone’s best work. Kind of like sweeps week for TV ratings.

    That’s just my $0.02

    Comment by brandt — July 9, 2009 @ 11:45 am

  19. Geoff J,

    The bloggernacle can be a lot like a dysfunctional family sometimes, especially when the Niblets are in progress.

    I’m happy for the nominees and will be equally happy for the winners. There are some very deserving nominees, and unfortunately, some people/blogs were arguably overlooked. And, as has been argued, some not so deserving people/blogs were nominated.

    My longevity in the bloggernacle is largely due to my lack of active participation. I learned early on that there is life outside the bloggernacle. I like lurking and working behind the scenes at M*.

    Comment by Brian Duffin — July 9, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

  20. Btw- I’m nominating this post for best navel gazing post of 2009. ;-)

    Comment by Brian Duffin — July 9, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

  21. As I recall, the first bloggernacle awards given were actually the Bell brothers’ Blogscars. It’s pretty much been downhill from there.

    Comment by Eric Russell — July 9, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

  22. Accolades are only legitimate and nice when you are receiving them. So because Mormons and Science did not make the cut, I am with you on this one Geoff.

    Niblets suck! Unless their the scrumptuous little red Niblets candy that you eat. Hmm? I got a hankering for some right now. Gotta run!

    Comment by Dave C. — July 10, 2009 @ 11:04 am

  23. Dave C,

    This difference between you and me is I have won Niblets before and I still am not a fan of the process (for the reasons I mentioned in #15.

    Comment by Geoff J — July 10, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  24. Geoff,

    Congratulations on winning a popularity contest, then.

    If the NIblets are based on popularity then I shall never win because I espouse views on mormonism and science that are apparently too conservative for the moderate to left leaning community of LDS bloggers. Nevertheless, I am more concerned about truth than popularity, so no worry.


    Comment by Dave C. — July 10, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  25. Anyway, I propose that the 2009 Niblets be hosted by New Cool Thang.

    Comment by Matt W. — July 10, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

  26. It might be helpful if at the end of a year, each blog did a study of its own posts throughout a given year and then presented its own in-house ‘best of our blog’ nominations and allowed people to vote about them.

    Doing a truly Ziff-like scrutiny of year’s output from a group blog like BCC: or T&S or FMH would be a lot of work. I also suspect that doing such a scrutiny might bring up some surprise nominations. Going by the random memories of those who happen upon a nomination post might leave out some good nominations.

    Just as important, if a blog limits itself to its own in-house best-of nominations, then it eliminates the acrimony/competition that rises by comparing to other blogs and simultaneously ignoring other blogs.

    Comment by danithew — July 13, 2009 @ 4:04 am

  27. Vote for me.

    Comment by BHodges — July 14, 2009 @ 11:14 am

  28. For the thin-skinned, easily offended (Geoff?), I’d say you are all welcome to stay away from the things which offend you most.

    White elephants of any distinction should not offend anyone. And if they do, such individuals should go cluster in a cave and do their best Ebenezer impersonation (Bah! Humbug!) away from the Christmas carolers and Jimmy Stewart look-alikes.

    Let those who joy in the Niblets enjoy it to the fullest. And for those who are easily offended, because they obviously don’t get what they think they deserve, I hope they get exactly what they deserve. ;)

    Comment by rameumptom — July 15, 2009 @ 9:29 am

  29. Speaking of easily offended — sorry if my dislike of the Niblets has offended you rameumptom.

    (Ok, I’m admittedly not really sorry if you are offended by my opinion of the Niblets. I just wanted to point out the irony of your huffy response to this post)

    Comment by Geoff J — July 15, 2009 @ 9:33 am

  30. Geoff, without you here, where would I go? :)

    Comment by Kent (MC) — July 15, 2009 @ 10:38 am

  31. Rameumpton:

    Careful there tiger, as the 2009 Official Spokesperson* of the blog hosting the 2009 The Only True and Living Niblets**, Geoff probably should not be provoked, as then he’ll exclude you from our awards ceremony. (Ceremockery?)

    *- the 2009 Official Spokesman is not responsible for any content here, which is merely the opinion of the auther.
    **- the 2009 The Only True and Living Niblet Awards will only accept nominations written on the backs of $100 dollar bills.

    Comment by Matt W. — July 15, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

  32. I like #5’s idea. I thought the same thing this year as I was reading all the great stuff from the nominations.

    Comment by annegb — July 19, 2009 @ 9:24 am