In selecting the short list of blogs for this category, I really had to push myself outside my comfort zone -- that is to say, I specifically chose not to focus on the blogs I read and enjoy every day (though some of them did make it in, anyhow). I surveyed my art blogger, artist, and curator friends to find out what they were reading, took the analytical approach and compared "top blogs" by traffic and page views, reviewed the content and took a look at the blogs' greater social media presence, at their commenters, etc. In short, I did my homework. What I ended up with was a list of some 15 or so blogs from every corner of the world, representing several different approaches to "art blogging."
I excluded from this list blogs affiliated with any print publications, foundations or museums and chose to focus exclusively on those efforts that were designed to be nothing more than what they were: professional art blogs. One thing many of the people I surveyed and I agreed on was that a truly great art blog should facilitate conversation about contemporary art. Discourse--not only with fellow bloggers and critics, but with the general audience--therefore became a key measure of "greatness". Also, this being the internet, I took a look at how the blogs engaged with media: were they experimenting with podcasts? making good use of video and hyperlinks? did they have active commenters participating in smart discussions? and did these bloggers then extend these conversations to other online portals such as Facebook, Twitter, and various other social networks?
The final list of nominations reflects a group of art blogs that excel in all these areas and more. They are not only providing smart and witty commentary, reporting and criticism about contemporary art, they are comfortable enough with the medium they are working in (namely, the internet) as to be setting the standard for what an art blog is and how it might function. But, perhaps most importantly, they inspiring great conversations about art both on and offline.
Julia Kaganskiy, the ART BLOG nomanation jury head