So, beyond my wildest expectations, I went to the UK Blog Awards as a finalist - amongst a small group who were whittled down from so many. Here is my story…
We start in the back end of 2017, when I added New Rising media to the list of nominations in the “Digital & Tech” category. And as the public vote opened, one thing was solidly assumed given the caliber of talent who I was listed with - this is probably where my journey will end.
I do not say this in a self-deprecating fashion, rather in a state of sheer adoration for these other blogs; many of whom I am a proud fan of. But yet, I made it to the finals, alongside seven incredible sites:
Be sure to read every single one of them, because they are awesome! But I get ahead of myself… After receiving my tickets, it was time to get a tuxedo - which, amongst clothing in general, is not my strong point at all. Luckily, the lovely bunch at Dobell Menswear sorted me out with a tux you see in the image up top.
The softness of the velvet blazer, the comfort of the classic Oxford shoes and everything in-between (including the super swift overnight delivery), never before had I worn clothes that made me feel more confident in myself. For years, I believed it was just something people with way more self-confidence than myself said. But, it turns out I was wrong. I felt great and looked good.
Plus, my girlfriend loved me in it, even though she had to outdo me in the outfit department.
The Big Night
Fast forward to the event on an incredibly hot April day, and the day was already off to a cracking start with the sighting of a gorgeous Golden Retriever on the tube. By this point, I was already a winner without even being at the event.
But of course, there was this amazing award ceremony that I had the pleasure of being invited to. Our evening began with an evening reception full of pro secco and canapés.
After speaking to a few of the bloggers there, we went through into the award ceremony itself - starting with an inspirational speech by Gina Akers (ITV This Morning’s beauty presenter and blogger), covering the importance of a strong blogging community.
Then presenters Dean McCullough and Hayley Marie-Sparkes got cracking with the awards.
While the award ceremony was great, and it was amazing to pass recognition onto many of these bloggers who do incredible work, it was slightly rude of many other attendees to talk loudly over the awards they weren’t entered in.
I understand you all have a keen interest in whether you’ve won an award in your own category, but we are all one community and should really respect one another.
But I digress, as the Digital & Tech category came up, the nervousness reached its peak. And a very well-deserved Elle May picked up Highly Commended. Speaking to this fellow BlogVengers group member, as she sadly couldn’t make the trip to the event, it’s fair to say shock & surprise were the primary emotions felt.
And the winner… Fellow Nottingham-ite 16 Bit Dad! I cheered hard, being quite the fan of his retro gaming content and unique family-man perspective. As he said in his wrap up piece, he didn’t quite realise for a few seconds, until going up to grab his winner’s certificate and have his picture taken backstage.
Luckily, I caught him before he took the very long drive home, and we spoke all about favourite old games & life in general. As a fellow PS2 gaming fan, look forward to seeing him on my Twitch stream soon. Fair to say I have made a great new friend alongside being inducted into the BlogVengers group.
After that, I went back in for the final half and bumped into the one & only Jay Mullings of Highly-Commended blog Written Mirror fame. He had a go with my Snapchat Spectacles with hilarious results and managed to look way better in them than I possibly could… Lucky git!
A few more beers and a bit of terrible dancing with the other half later, we picked up our goody bags and headed back to the hotel room after what was an unforgettable night.
While it’s true that I didn’t win, I made it to the final eight of blogs across the UK and that was all because of one reason - you. Thank you, every single one of you, for voting for me. It means the absolute world! Congratulations to every winner, highly commended blog, finalist and entrant into the UK Blog Awards. And a hearty pat on the back to the team at UK Blog Awards for putting on this amazing spectacle.
A quick update...
Now! With my Dad’s birthday this week, a Royal Rumble viewing party with my friends on Friday and many more goings on over the next few days, I’ll be going quiet over the next few days.
But fear not - I will not be silent. The Emotion Engineer stream will be kicking off again tomorrow, as I jump into a gangster theme of PS2 games including The Getaway. But beyond that, I’ll be taking some time to work behind-the-scenes on New Rising Media.
From improving my Patreon page and creating a firmer content plan, to working on an article that I’ve spent quite a while on, I plan to come back stronger than before with a blog any future human would find interesting to read many many years ahead in time. Because while a blogger’s work is to primarily inform and inspire the world around you, we are also working to catalogue the current world around us - and it’d be interesting to see how close I get with my predictions of the future…
And it is on that bombshell, I say a temporary farewell. See you all next week!
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.