America's Next Top Car Blogger, Round One: Vote With Your Eyeballs

This week at the Paris Motor Show, our America's Next Top Car Blogger contest was arrogantly pooh-poohed by the automotive press intelligentsia. They self-importantly told me we'd never cull amazing writers from Jalopnik's readership. Let's prove those egotistical pricks wrong.

One highly-paid and highly-decorated auto writer (who's so highly-decorated, he may or may not plan to legally change his name to "Pulitzer") presumptuously told me our contest for a new weekend editor "reeked of desperation." He insinuated, as seems to happen any time we have a change in writers, that our site is sliding down a slippery slope to eventual irrelevance and death. Many automotive writers burstingly proud of their writing skills forget they were once mere readers themselves. And it shows — in their writing and most importantly in their subscription numbers and web site visitor counts.

Unlike many buff book writers — not this one writer in particular, but others — our readers weren't born with a pen twaddling between their fingers, a free pass to journalism school and a press card slipped under their hatband. Instead, Jalopnik readers receive their higher education toiling away in anonymity in the snarkiest, funniest and smartest commenting trenches this side of the Atlantic Ocean. That became abundantly true in the hundreds of submissions we received.

Our contest is designed to highlight, reward and educate — by way of a paid weekend gig — the best of those trench-fighters. Although next weekend you'll be voting, this weekend is still just as important. Since it's a weekend, there isn't a huge general audience — so there likely won't be a big variation between the top posts and the bottom posts in new unique visitor counts. So, that means when you find a diamond in the rough today and tomorrow, it'll mean a lot to share it with others who haven't found Jalopnik yet. You can make a big impact to help the good writers you find get a shot at becoming the next generation of great writers by sharing the posts that you like over IM, on Facebook, in the forums and by way of Twitter.

The winner here won't only be the winner of a contest, they'll be a champion to show the conceited auto-writing buff book blue-bloods you shouldn't be in an ivory tower to write about cars — you should be down here in the trenches.

NOTE: If you see a story that's headline-only when it posts, it means the submission was received without an image or had a lede that's longer than 40 words and I didn't have time to shorten it or hunt for an image. Sadly, as there's an absolute ton of these to go through, and I'll need to take a break sometime this weekend, we're stuck with what we received. So, if your post doesn't come through with your name on the front page — it's your own damn fault for not reading the instructions.

Photo Credit: James Steidl / Shutterstock