The Bia Awards: contemporary update of Bronzino's classic portrait of Bia de' Medici

Announcing The Bia Awards for blogging

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Medici University Provost, Isabella “Izzy” Medici, has announced The Bia Awards for blogging in virtual worlds. Nominations now thru 7 Feb, with voting thru 20 Feb, and awards ceremony on 22 Feb.

If you stop for a moment and think about it, it is remarkable that someone would have such a powerful experience as an Avatar that they would blog about it. That the experience can be so compelling that authors choose to create entire websites in their Avatar Identity is extraordinary.

I believe that “perception is reality,” and that it is time to honor our avatar bloggers. From my own humanist education so long ago, to the many forms of art I supported with patronage, to the Tuscan Language Salon I hosted, to Medici University here today, I have always sought to shine light where there is darkness. To fight ignorance with knowledge. To empower individuals with the possibilities of freedom and personal choice. Today I would like to announce the creation of The Bia Awards. The Bia Awards will celebrate the richness and diversity of avatar bloggers.

— Isabella Medici

Nominate someone today! #

Izzy has asked that the creation of The Bia Awards be as organic a process as possible. As of today there are no categories and no nominees. We leave it to you to help select what the categories should be, and who the nominees will be.

The Bia Awards: modification of Bronzino's Bia portrait featuring contemporary items such as a cell phone, purse, sunglasses, and a purple t-shirt that reads I heart Shoes, Bags & Boyx
2010 update of Bronzino’s Bia de’ Medici
by Mr Hankey

You nominations in the comments below will decide both the categories and the nominees. You can suggest a Category by itself, or also list 1 or more nominees for your category. Or just say “X” blog is awesome and should be nominated in some category. If an area is large, you could make sub-categories also. If there are a lot of fashion blogs, you could separate them into blogs by Designers and blogs by Fashionistas. You might offer even further sub-categories. Perhaps you’ll think frequency matters – blogs with 15 or more posts / month, and blogs with 4 or fewer posts per month. Let us know!

Given that the campus of Medici University is in the Virtual World of SL, SL may dominate the nominees.1 If you have a friend who blogs on other virtual worlds, or if you read other blogs, or write one yourself, please let us know. Like a “Foreign Language Film Award” we will feature as many worlds as we receive nominations for.

If you see that a Category or Blog that you support is already in the comments, please do “second the nomination”!

“Nominations” for “Nominees” are open NOW! Use the comments below to nominate a Blog, or a Category!

Nominate Yourself! #

You are highly encouraged to nominate yourself! If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you are a blogger. It’d be great if someone else happens to nominate you, but why wait for that – nominate yourself today! Don’t be shy or embarrassed or feel vain. If you’ve worked hard, we’d like to recognize that.

Bia Awards Timeline #

  • Nominations for Nominees: NOW thru Saturday 7 February.
  • Official Nominations announced Monday 9 February.
  • Voting Monday 9 February thru Friday 20 February.
  • Awards Ceremony Sunday 22 February.

The Bia Awards #

  • Sunday 22 February
  • 10am San Francisco Time / 6pm London Time / 2am Monday Hong Kong Time
  • Awards Ceremony live from the campus of Medici University
  • Awards Ceremony live streamed on Twitch.tv

About Bia de’ Medici #

The Bia Awards: portrait of Bia de' Medici by Angelo Bronzino. Painting depicts Bia at age 6 and was painted from her death mask
Bia de’ Medici, 63x48cm,
tempera on wood, Bronzino, 1545

As you may know, Bia de’ Medici was the sister that Isabella Romola de’ Medici never met. Bia was the first child of Cosimo I de’ Medici, Duke of Florence, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Bia died at the age of 6 on 1 March 1542. Exactly 6 months later, on 31 August 1542, Isabella was born. Many believed that Isabella was a gift from god to make up for the loss of Bia. Others went further in believing that Isabella was Bia reincarnated. We shall never know for certain. Still, like the road not taken, Isabella always wondered about the sister she never met. The sister whose place she seemed to take. About what her life might have been. About what adventures they might have taken together. Today Isabella Romola de’ Medici honors the sister she never met with the creation of The Bia Awards.

Vanessa Blaylock's signature


  1. Yesterday we learned that WoW is the most successful Virtual World (aka “Video Game” aka “MMORPG”) of all time. SL follows far behind it. Yet when you look at Flickr groups, there are only 259 for WoW, and 8,365 for SL. Popular Minecraft has 200.

    Since Technoratti stopped ranking blogs in May ’14, it’s harder to count the blogs out there. It’s hard to know what the results to a Google search mean, and they certainly don’t mean “total number of blogs.” Without a better source, we’ve used Google search to get a vague, relative sense of number of blogs out there. “World of Warcraft Blog” (with quotation marks) returns 68k results. “Second Life Blog” returns 67k results. “Minecraft Blog” returns 265k results. 

About Vanessa Blaylock

I was the Choreographer at Vanessa Blaylock Dancers and the Artistic Director at Vanessa Blaylock Company. Today my work focuses on Public Art projects. I'm interested in the mediation of perception and mixed reality performance works. I'm passionate about community and civil rights in cyberspace.

4 thoughts on “Announcing The Bia Awards for blogging

  1. i nominate Vanessa Blaylock for the category of “Creating the most inspiration in others”

    1. i should probably further explain that most of the blog posts i have posted since meeting vanessa have been pulled from the inner core of myself that have been at times, painful in getting out and necessary. Furthermore she continues to inspire me to step outside my comfort zone and continue to try new things

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