One of the websites that I follow through it’s RSS feed is Mediashift by Mark Glaser. In yesterday’s entry, he reports that last Friday in Berlin he participated in the jury that selected the 15 Best Weblogs in the World for 2006, or “the BOBs” (Best of the Blogs), from among the 5,500 that had been nominated from all over the world. His entry explains the various categories from which the winners were chosen and the difficulties attendant with doing so. The competition is sponsored by the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
The weblog that won the first place overall was Sunlight Foundation that was founded as a 501 (c)(3) educational organization in January of 2006. This quote from their “about page” summarizes the essence of their mission:
The Sunlight Foundation was founded in January 2006 with the goal of using the revolutionary power of the Internet and new information technology to enable citizens to learn more about what Congress and their elected representatives are doing, and thus help reduce corruption, ensure greater transparency and accountability by government, and foster public trust in the vital institutions of democracy. We are unique in that technology and the power of the Internet are at the core of every one of our efforts.
It doesn’t surprise me in the least that the top blog was more than a one-person review of technology, a recounting of the events of someone’s daily life, a biased political rant with an idealogical ax to grind, or just a digital version of a vanity press for someone’s purple prose. The top blog, it turns out, has a purpose that is actually worth achieving.
Naturally, I have added Sunlight Foundation’s RSS feed to the list of feeds that I monitor daily. Perhaps I’ll learn something about blogging from reading it. And if not, perhaps I’ll just end up being a better-informed citizen. Either way, I think I’ll benefit.