Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lo Maximo! Over the Top!

My friend Gary, who has been immersed in it since its beginnings, has concluded with a disgusted shake of his head that "The Internet is loaded with junk!" Having just spent a couple of days digging through the junk and jewels for some choice blogs for my linklist, I have to agree that much of it is either:
  • impossible to wade through because the sites are too busy with slapped-together graphics, the type is too tiny (four point! who's going to read that?) or too large, and there are too many crudely done flash animations and unrelated litter, or
  • nothing but text, sometimes without even paragraph breaks, for pity's sake! Or,
  • so blatantly dedicated to a single agenda, i.e. making money, that it neglects the principles of being entertaining, appealing to the eye and (hopefully) informative, or
  • assaulting the ear with raucous music, or
  • all of the above. With such a combination the visitor hits the back arrow button as fast as possible!
So it's good to see we can use some positive reinforcement, such as an award, to point out blogs that have achieved higher standards. As an example, Arte y Pico, an art-related blog, has created a special award, which we are invited to bestow on art and craft blogs, following these guidelines:
  1. Pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribution to the blogging community, no matter what language.

  2. Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog.

  3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that presented him/her with the award.

  4. The award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link to "Arte y Pico" so everyone will know the origin of the award.
And here's the award. Muy bonita, si?
So who is Arte y Pico and what does she do? A doll artist from Uruguay, she works in recycled materials. So, her awards will be going to craftspeople, artists, perhaps a few decorators. Perhaps anyone who just does a tasteful and valuable blog about aesthetic topics.

We're not all artists, but most of us know what we like, what makes our hearts beat faster and our pupils dilate: a pleasingly-arranged page with beautifully-detailed photos, harmonious color, easily-read type, judicious use of spell-check. My point is that artists and craftspeople aren't the only ones who create beauty; I've seen some exquisite blogs on the subject of antiques and décor.

When you visit
Arte y Pico you'll find much of it in Spanish, but there's English, too so don't be daunted if your español is poquito or none. Her award title, in English:

"...translates into a wonderful phrase in Mexico, “lo maximo.” LOL! It will never find its counterpart in English, but if it HAD to, it would be something like, Wow. The Best Art. Over the top."

So now I'm inspired to do some delving in the coming week and bestow the first annual Cochran's El Maximo awards to five antique blogs. In the process, I'll learn a lot more about what's appealing, what's genuinely valuable and what entertains, cybernetically-speaking.

Who do I think I am, presuming to hand out awards? My credentials may not be impeccable, but I've been in journalism 37 years, edited and published Cochran's Antiques and Collectibles monthly for 11 years, and have now been co-publishing Cochran's Collector's Guide for 20 years. Will that do?

I'm inviting you to spread the wealth, too. Following the guidelines above, you may choose five antique blogs you believe deserve the accolade "EL MAXIMO!" Send your list to me and I'll pass them on to my readers. And it would be only right to list them, on your own blog
as well, if you have one.

While we're all looking for the most deserving blogs, my partner Jim, the graphic artist in the family, is doing some delving of his own, looking into a new banner design for this blog. For a theme, we're thinking along the lines of Art Deco, maybe with a sleek 1920s Rolls Royce in the background. Hmmm, did they make Rolls in the 20s?

Oh, and I'd better ask him to come up with a design for the Cochran's award, too! He's going to be a busy guy.


Eseya, Muñecas con historia said...


I am Eseya, creator the prize ARTE Y PICO. I have to make a clarification, I am not from Ecuador, I am from Uruguay!

The prize is for all the arts. You give what to whom wants.

Congratulation for your award!


The Cochrans said...

Lo siento, Eseya! Uruguay it is!

I am from California, but now I live in Mexico.

Your blog award is a wonderful idea, and you've already made some deserving bloggers very happy.


Eseya, Muñecas con historia said...


No problem!!

This award has made me very happy.

Kisses from Uruguay!

KathrynAntyr said...

Thank you for voting for my digital collage on the Mind Wide Open contest. Yeah! I got a vote.