So much to cover...
First, as with every year we get reports of sporadic problems loading polls. There appears to be no discernible correlations among the reports. What we do know is that all major browsers show the polls just fine. If you don't see text for a particular poll it *could* be a situation where our server is near a database resource limit. None of the our technical folks have seen this, but it is a plausible explanation for some of the reported problems. The good news is that coming back to the site a little later will usually solve a problem like this.
Next we meed to clear-up a misconception a few e-mailers seem to have. Some people have e-mailed concerned that a particular blog is way ahead in a category and that it's ruining the integrity of the awards. Here's the thing; a this point The Weblog Awards really *belong* to the finalists. Our only job is to make sure things keep working, find and remove the votes of any cheaters, and to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate. After giving voters 49 slates of 10 finalists that they could get excited about casting votes for I'm as much a spectator to the progress of the voting as anyone else.
This is a viral event, and sites that do a better job of turning out readers to vote tend to do better. We've seen all sorts of campaigning tactics over the years and based on what I've heard many of the same tactics are being employed again this year by various sites.
In regards to cheating, I've confirmed one minor instance and will be removing votes and posting notices in the forums. I'm sure I'll find a few more as the days go on, but overall things are going smoothly and cheating is nearly non-existent.
Finalist, if you notice any talk of cheating or speculation about how to cheat in comment threads at your site we'd appreciate if you would remove such comments and warn your readers about discussing such things. We encourage participation by everyone, but expect everyone to abide by our voting rules. Speculating about how to game the system only makes sites in which such comments appear seem to be suspect. We don't want that for you; we want everyone to have a good time and enjoy the experience of being a finalist.
To those visiting for the first time please explore all the categories and go read as many of the finalist blogs as you can. That's what The Weblog Awards is really about, it's not about who wins, it's about everyone who participates winning by gaining exposure.
Finally, I haven't tallied the number of votes cast yet, but my estimate is that it's somewhere in the 250,000 range. Pretty good for a weekend...