A blog dedicated to Birmingham’s creative industries has won a national award.
Created in Birmingham beat nine finalists in a public vote to be named Best UK Blog in the 2008 Weblog Awards.
The independent website aims to promote the talents of musicians, artists, designers and writers.
Editor Chris Unitt said the large online support and votes the blog received demonstrated the power of the internet. He said: “The way this award was won shows how much passion Birmingham has for creativity and what a fantastic community has grown around the site.
“Our aims have always been to promote and foster a more connected network of artists and fans. We’re reinforcing the city’s digital credentials by using online tools to reach this growing community as quickly, often and cost-effectively as possible.”
Created in Birmingham (CiB) which features daily updates and news from the city’s creative community, fought off competition from Spectator blogger Melanie Phillips in a close contest which saw over 15,000 public votes cast.
Online supporters gained momentum rapidly, spreading via social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and the campaign was followed by thousands of individuals city-wide.
CiB finished first by 900 votes and saw 2,000 daily visitors over the seven-day voting period.
The blog had endorsements from Birmingham arts organisations, such as the Hippodrome, and pledges of support from fellow Weblog award nominees.
CiB, supported by regional networking and representational body Creative Republic, was set up in 2006 by digital communications consultant Pete Ashton.
The founders were motivated after not being able to find out what was going on in the creative community. They wanted to show people inside the community how things like blogging can help them, from displaying portfolio websites to engaging in conversation.
The award is the second major accolade for the CiB team, after the joint win of a Media Guardian Innovation Award for best independent blog in March.
The open editorial policy of CiB is testament to the fiercely independent spirit of the creative professionals who live and work in Birmingham and the West Midlands.
CiB will continue to be run by Mr Unitt until February, when he will be replaced by incoming editor, Kate Spragg.
Ms Spragg said she is very much looking forward to taking on the site.
She added: “I don’t know of any other blog with such a loyal and vibrant community surrounding it. Awards like this are vital, to make people realise the important role blogs like CiB play within a city.”