Popularity contests haven't done much for personal web sites; we should have realized something was wrong when Chunk.com won big award one week and discontinued her site the next. Awards also lead to bad feelings and ill will; nobody wants to lose a popularity contest.
But Fairvue's awards are unusually thoughtful, with well-chosen categories that are actually interesting. Things like "best merchandise": tchochkes are an important community-making tool. What was the year's weblog meme: Kaycee, or tourist guy?