The acceptance speech I never gave
On Wednesday, we at IT World Canada were thrilled to be recognized at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards for the Best Community Feature in the Business-to-Business category. This award recognized Blogging Idol. In its third year, Blogging Idol offered a high-profile voice to our reader community, stimulated discussion, and provided us with a ton of fun. The COPAs are a briskly moving affair — no speeches, get 'em out of there by eight — so there was no opportunity for an acceptance speech. Which is all good and well, since, for unforeseen reasons, I was the only one available to accept the prize. However, had I been pressed to, I might have said this:

Thank you. I apologize for my late arrival, but I had to walk from Bathurst. That guy on the streetcar just would not keep his legs together, and I found it disturbing.

After arriving, I had to follow the standard protocol in order: register, get a receipt and a drink ticket, get to the bar, and immediately begin Tweeting whether I knew what was going on or not. It's called New Media; you may have heard of it.

I think you'll find I was the most prolific Twitterer at the awards, if you count my typographically erroneous hash tags #copas, #copam, # copat, and #whatthehellamIdoinghere.

In any event, I was head-down in my BlackBerry, wondering atweet if the three nominations for Truck News in the category of Best Video would split the Academy's vote and give us the prize – because, let's face it, anyone who says it's an honour just to be nominated is a flat-out liar or has never been nominated for something and lost – when I heard it announced that IT World Canada had won something I hadn't been paying attention to. I'm new to the BlackBerry, so I was still trying to find the final question mark for my tweet when I got to the stage.

So, what did we win here? Best Community Feature. Oh, that would be Blogging Idol. I am thrilled that Blogging Idol, in its third year, has been recognized for its role in building community, offering a high-profile voice to our readers, and providing a valuable source of user-generated content. I'd like to recognize, most of all, the readers in the community who participated in this six-week contest, and who continue to provide content to our blogs. I'd also like to pretend this was my idea, but it wasn't. I'm just the only one handy to pick up the hardware.

No, this was a brainchild of our editor-in-chief Shane Schick, who can't be here this evening, and our president Fawn Annan, who wasn't told this event was going on. It's grown every year since its inception, and I've been pleased to interact with, meet, and, at our end-of-contest party, drink and have coaster fights with, the members of our community who take part.

Seriously, though. This may be the most important category for these awards, and not just because we won it. Though that makes it important, too. No, this award is about engaging the reader community, and that's where the future of online publishing, nay, of publishing period, lies.

And besides, I see we just lost to Truck News in the category of Best Video. Oh, well, it's an honour just to be nominated …

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