Thought Leader commenter awards: The yays and nays

Thought Leader editor Aliki Karasaridis hands out awards to the best and the most notorious of the commenters who contribute to this thriving community.

Do blog commenters warrant a second thought, never mind an award? Thought Leader blogger and Bookmark Award winner William Saunderson-Meyer recently told me that writers need to ”grow a thick skin against the personal invective of those blog commenters who substitute abuse for argument”.

But he did also say that bloggers should ”at the same time, relish the unrivalled connection that a blog gives you with a world of clever, witty, blessedly opinionated people”.

So is it fair to say that no blogging or opinion platform is worth calling itself one if it doesn’t have its fair share of ”decent folk” and ”misfits” sharing the same mic time?

I guess not, which is why we’d like to acknowledge ours who, together with the bloggers, make Thought Leader the special forum that it is.

Juju Award: Dave Harris
Some bloggers, like Conrad Steenkamp, have dedicated an entire blog post to this commenter alone. Dave Harris is a mystery, loved and hated at once. At times he’s insightful but he mostly steers the discussion away from the topic of the blog post. Some bloggers have even suspected Dave of being an M&G invention to light fires and rile the commenters to fuel debate. (Note to boss: something we should consider doing when we have more hands on deck).

Stamina Award: X Cepting
X Cepting is the most frequent and perhaps one of the most reasonable people (not always) who read TL. Not one blog goes by without X cepting having lots and lots to say. Thank you.

Spam Award: Andre Gadfly
Andre has promoted and linked to his book over (and over) again. Not cool, we got the message the first time.

The -ism Whiz Award: Siobhan
Most highbrow of all. Not many people know how to appreciate or dare argue one of Professor Bert Olivier’s points on Slavoj Zizek or Jean Baudrillard, except for Siobhan.

Blacklisted Award: Atlas Reader
Atlas mostly ends up in the spam queue because some moderator had blacklisted him (and justly so) a long time ago. Give it up, we’re onto you.

Celebrity Award: Breyten Breytenbach
He has graced the TL comment section a few times. No greater compliment.

Honourable mention: MLH, David Brown, Spyti K, hds, Rose Morrow, The Creator, Mark Kerruish, La Quebecoise, Judith, Mike, Haiwa Tigere, Hugh Robinson, Rory Short

Serial offenders: Gareth V, Graham Johnson, Lesego, Larry Lachman, nzs

Visit Thought Leader here.

View more highlights of the year that was in our special report here:


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Aliki Karasaridis
Aliki Karasaridis is the Mail & Guardians Women and Thought Leader editor. In between juggling bloggers, trolls and running after her toddler, shes desperately trying to get some sleep. Technicolor films make her happy and she loves a good digital or home-made feed.

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