Friday, November 09, 2007

Third Place

The polls have closed for the 2007 Weblog Awards and Jon Swift has officially been declared the third funniest blog on the Internet. DUmmie FUnnies came in second in the Funniest Blog category and Sadly, No! took the top prize in a landslide. It was the second win in a row for Sadly, No! and the beginning of a decidedly upward trend for this modest blog, which came in fourth last year.

I want to thank everyone who supported me as well as the seven blogs I shoved out of my way in my ruthless pursuit of the bronze: The Nose On Your Face, Laurie Kendrick, The Sneeze, i am bossy, Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper, The Lawsons Do Dallas! and The Hatemonger's Quarterly, worthy competitors all. Please do me a favor and check out all of their fine blogs and leave them a nice compliment in their comments. I also want to heartily congratulate my friends at Sadly, No!, who won this battle fair and square, and thank them for being gracious and merciful enough to throw some votes my way toward the end, which was extremely generous of them. It's too bad for their side that their venerable vote-getting prowess is in inverse proportion to the Democrats'. And finally, I want to thank PJComix at Dummie FUnnies, just for being himself. I think he learned a valuable and important lesson from all of this, that winning isn't everything -- it's the only thing.

Now, third place often gets a bad rap. "First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado," said Alec Baldwin's character in the film Glengarry Glen Ross. "Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired." There is a perception out there that third place is for losers. But it was pointed out to me by my dear friend Kathleen Maher (whose blog Diary of a Heretic was the dark horse candidate in the Best Literature Blog category and did spectacularly well) that in horse racing third place is called "show," and according to Woody Allen, "Eighty percent of success is just showing up." And psychologists believe that coming in third is actually better than coming in second. According to a 1995 study of Olympic athletes, those who won the bronze medal were actually happier than those who won the silver. The silver medalists were frustrated they didn't win the gold, while the bronze medalists were just happy that they didn't come in fourth. And we all know about the psychological trauma Jan Brady suffered from being the Number 2 child. So my heart goes out to DUmmie FUnnies' PJComix, the Jan Brady of humor bloggers, in what must be a difficult time for him.

Some economists also believe that third place is often better than first or second place. According to James Surowiecki, sometimes as two titans battle for first place, they just end up hurting themselves. The competition between Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox for video game console supremacy, for example, has left both of them bloodied and their reputations tarnished, while the number three company, Nintendo, has actually been more profitable with Wii. Nintendo "has not just survived out of the spotlight; it has thrived," says Surowiecki. "It made close to a billion dollars in profit and saw its stock price rise by sixty-five per cent. Sony's game division, by contrast, barely eked out a profit and Microsoft's reportedly lost money. Who knew bringing up the rear could be so lucrative?" I can't wait until I get my profit statement. (Ironically, Playstation 2 was advertised with a bizarre David Lynch video called "Third Place.")

In fact, third place suits this blog just fine. In Ray Oldenburg's book The Great Good Place, which I have not actually read, he says that in addition to home, which he calls the First Place, and work, the Second Place, there is The Third Place. Third places are places where members of a community gather to unwind and interact, like bars, café's, bookstores, community centers and strip joints. You might think of Sadly, No! as your home and of DUmmie FUnnies as the job you hate, but Jon Swift is The Third Place; like a friendly neighborhood bar, it's a place where everybody knows your pseudonym.

Of course, there were other blogs competing in other categories and a number of my friends, some of whom are occasional guests in the comments here, were finalists. Congratulations to all the winners, especially to the blogs on my blogroll who won their categories: Crooks & Liars for Best Video Blog, Balloon Juice for Best of the Top 250 Blogs, Tbogg for Best of the Top 251 - 500 Blogs, Woman Honor Thyself for Best of Top 501 - 1000 Blogs, Echidne of the Snakes for Best of the Top 1001 - 1750 Blogs, Creek Running North for Best of the Top 2501 - 3500 Blogs and Simply Left Behind for Best of the Top 5001 - 6750 Blogs. There were a lot of great finalists on my blogroll (congratulations to all of them, which are listed here), but I owe a special debt of gratitude for all the support I got from Whiskey Fire, Bitch Ph.D., Nourishing Obscurity, skippy the bush kangaroo, Shakesville, Susie Bright's Journal, Writers Block, Self-Styled Siren, eatbees, Three Wise Men!, Robin Slick, Michael Van Der Galien, My Left Wing, Streak's Blog, Hot Potato Mash, The Galloping Beaver, Diary of a Heretic and konagod. I don't think of us as losers; I think of us as victory challenged.

And most important of all, I want to thank Kevin Aylward, of Wizbang, and everyone who helped him out, for putting these awards together. They did a great job and showed enormous grace under pressure.

While I didn't win the coveted Weblog Award this year, I did fulfill a lifelong dream: Jon Swift made the Billboard Charts! My post "Facebook Declares War on the Blogosphere" hit Number 2 with a bullet on Billboard's Top Blog Posts Chart (see the screenshot below; click on it to make it larger). Now the name Jon Swift will be forever immortalized, along with the names of other charttoppers like that guy who wrote "Tequila."

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Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

DUmmie FUnnies' PJComix isn't the Jan Brady of humor bloggers--he's the Cousin Oliver of humor bloggers.

Unknown said...

Congratulations Jon! Perhaps when you're standing on the podium, the other two will be accused of doping.

Alexander Wolfe said...


If coming in third is good, then coming in third from last (as we did) must be the best!

Carl said...

Mr, Swift, I am sad that you placed third behind a decidedly unfunny blog, as well as S!N. You fought the good fight, and deserved a victory, if only to show those liberals at DuFu...yes, they are really liberal despite their sardonic self-denial...what-for.

And thank you for your kind words on my behalf.

Anonymous said...

I know other people have made similar comments, but I'm completely baffled as to why anyone would find DUmmie FUnnies funny. As far as I can tell, all the "humor" there just consists of copying something that a liberal wrote, and then writing in comments like "What a jackass!," or "This is stupid!" I mean, OK, I'll admit that I'm a liberal, but even if I agreed with the sentiments expressed, I don't see why I would find this even remotely humorous.

Actually, I found "The Nose on Your Face" reasonably funny, despite its right-wing orientation. Even when they made fun of something I believed in, they sometimes did it in a fashion that made me laugh. They also had some jokes that didn't make me laugh, because, given that I'm a liberal, I just thought the jokes didn't make any sense. For example, their list of the "Top 9 NYT headlines regarding declining troop deaths in Iraq," describing ways the NYT would spin the good news out of Iraq as bad news, I found unfunny, because the premise just didn't make any sense to me---the media coverage of the Iraq occupation has been painfully biased in favor of the administration. But the thing is, I at least understand why the list is supposed to be funny, and can imagine it might give me a chuckle, if I was a conservative, and thought that the NYT was horribly biased towards liberals. In contrast, I have no idea what anyone can find funny in DUmmie FUnnies.

Congratulations on your Bronze, Jon! You deserved the gold, though.

moneymonk said...

Congrats on your finish. Just don't pronounce "third" like the Irish and you'll be fine.

Anonymous said...

Brother Swift-
I'm a bit confused by this whole process. I thought being named a Weblog 2007 Finalist, and uploading the beautiful award sidebar picture for your very own Interweb, meant that you've won?

And when do they send us the prize?

I'm beginning to wonder if this is some charade-like ploy by the liberal MSM.

Weblog Award 2007 Finalist
(multiple categories)

I was laughing so hard at the Dummie Funnies the other day that I had to change my undershorts!!! LOL!!!

Unknown said...

Congrats on Third--you are officially the "Snapple" of funny blogs.

Hackwhackers said...

Congratulations and well done, Jon. New vote next year, and a higher place for you.

Unknown said...

first, thanks so much for your support in the voting for my category. as you so rightly admit, it was your hard work yesterday that put my blog two votes ahead of that slacker dave neiwert of orcinus for the coveted well-at-least-we're-not-in-last-place second-to-last place.

and second, if i can use a word over again in contingent sentences to prove how bad a writer i am, third place is not the same as losing. if that were true, there'd be no money paid for "show" in horse racing. it's fourth place and beyond that are reserved for the losers.

although as i write that last sentence i realize that that is exactly where i wound up (9th out of 10, and only by two votes, one yours, one mine), and so i just depressed myself.

but keep up the good work and keep 'em all guessing, jon.

Dave said...

Well done, Jon! Ya done good!

As for us, we won steak knives. Thanks for putting our name out there.

We'll have to break in the knives... as soon as I figure out how to cut a few steaks out of that cow over there.

Do you have to kill it first? Seems like a waste of a good fertilizer factory.


James Higham said...

Wonder what they'll give me for 8th place.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on third place.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your visit and comment, and like you said on mine: Congratulations from another third place finisher.

You really have a great blog Jon - I have to come her more often.

Wish you a great end to your week - celebrating :-)

Team Grind said...

I was hoping you would win, I voted for you a few times. We also didnt win (I think we finished 4th in the TTLB category). Anyways, keep up the good work. You speak the truth. ;-)

WomanHonorThyself said...

Congrads my friend..they hold a candle to ya!.bottom of my post hun:....Special huge debt of gratitude to my friend Jon Swift who nominated me and was a finalist himself!

WomanHonorThyself said...

typo!..They CANT hold a candle to ya..sheesh..I need a spellchecker!

Micgar said...

Jon-I personally think you deserved the "Gold." Congrats on the 3rd place finish though.

Chuck Butcher said...

Apparently there's no catagory for 341,000 ? Oh well, I might not have won, but I do congratulate the eminent Dr Swift, oops Jon Swift.

NYC Educator said...

You wuz robbed, Jon. Those other blogs aren't worthy to touch the hem of your garment.

Patricia said...

Well, third funniest on the all the Internets really isn't chopped liver, is it? Congratuations. It's well deserved.

Anonymous said...

Well, Jon, since you're so into noodle brain contests, there's always "Dancing with the Stars."

Unknown said...

how about the idea that the weblog awards were hacked, based on the premise that the winner of best blog was a blog that was never heard of by the guy who thinks the awards were hacked?

basically, it's the usual "my own ignorance is my proof" argument.

Harris said...

Congrats on third!

Gives ya somethin' to strive you

rock on


Unknown said...

I must say I only voted for you in your category Jon. DuFu is not anywhere near as hilarious as you and your wonderful commenter's.

No one jerks the chains of the befuddled better than you.

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The 2008 Weblog Awards