We just want to start this post by saying a huge thank-you to everyone who entered this competition, talked about it online and shared it with their friends and followers. We swore that we wouldn't resort to the tired old cliché of saying what a difficult job it's been making our final selection - but it's absolutely true!
After hours and hours of reading through all your blogs and chuckling away at your Twitter streams (you're a funny bunch, aren't you?) we eventually had to whittle it down to just five shortlist-ees.
So, without any more rambling and in no particular order, congratulations to the following:
1) Kate Arkless Gray is a freelance radio producer and journalist with a passion for multimedia. She documents her various travel adventures through her audio diary and writes about them on her blog. She won an award for her social media outreach work on the BBC project Save Our Sounds and has just returned from a week in the Mojave desert reporting on NASA's Spaceward Bound programme. If Kate becomes your ultimate winner, she'll be audio blogging the entire trip so we look forward to reading and hearing what she has to say!
2) Rick Nunn is a young graphic designer and passionate amateur photographer. As well as writing his blog and being highly socially active on the web, Rick has also just launched a dedicated site for his photos. Last year he undertook a '365' project, shooting a different image every day of the year and posting to his Flickr stream. If Rick wins, he says he'll comprehensively document the whole trip from a photoblogging angle and we're sure the results will be spectacular.
3) James Ward runs a number of blogs and projects which document his obsessive interest in the seemingly trivial and overlooked details of everyday life. For example, James is currently on a quest to find out how many free ballpoint pens a certain retailer gives away yearly, and he has also spent a fair chunk of his life detailing the availability of his favourite chocolate bar in excruciating detail. Actually, we're fairly convinced that James might unintentionally become Britain's next big comedy star by mistake. We've no idea what will catch his eye in New York but we're pretty sure his droll take on it might be hilarious.
4) Siân To has just been officially diagnosed as a social media addict by a Harley Street doctor! One of the all-powerful and ever growing ranks of 'mummy bloggers', her blog documents the daily ups and downs of being a mum of four. Not content with jetting off to last year's BlogHer conference in Chicago, she is now taking the bull by the horns and putting on her own blogging conference, CyberMummy, in July 2010. If Siân wins, she'll be bringing you her wise words and wisdom from the Big Apple with a slant towards family travel.
5) Charlotte Smith-Galoul is a fashion-obsessed New Yorker who left her home city in the summer of 2001, giving up everything to live the hippy life and follow her dreams. She ended up in North Africa and stayed for two years, before heading to Paris for a further four years. She's now settled in London and helped set up the Style Cartel blog which has grown into a must-read for a whole network of fashion and style bloggers. If Charlotte wins she'll be covering the trip like a native and will help budding fashionistas spot the Big Apple's latest trends.
How to Vote and A Few Brief Rules
So, our five shortlisted bloggers now need your help. Until 1pm on Friday 16th April, you can nominate your favourite on Twitter. It's very simple. Just tell us who you want to vote for and include the hashtag #vbloggerin your tweet.
For example, you could say "I vote for @radiokate to win #vblogger" or "I nominate Rick Nunn because he's amazing! #vblogger" You can only nominate one blogger. Multiple tweets for the same blogger will not be counted. Re-tweeted votes will not be counted. If you have a protected Twitter account, your vote will not be counted. Here are our bloggers' Twitter names:
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About the author: MaxineMaxine Sheppard
Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.