Following its feature on the Girls of Olive Garden,  Playboy announced its picks for Hot Female Bloggers a week or so ago (apparently this photo and this public/private online spat got the editors at the gentleman’s mag super excited). Whomever receives the most votes will be asked to pose for

Aside from the conspicuous absence of Lindsey Campbell (you’d think Playboy would like a girl in handcuffs), the list is comprised of usual suspects: Briggite Dale (who’s currently leading with 27% of the vote), Amanda Congdon, Sarah Lacy, Natali Del Conte, Xeni Jardin, Violet Blue, Veronica Belmont, Julie Alexandria, and Sarah Austin.

TecchCrunch reports that Playboy got permission from the candidates beforehand, but is doubtful that they’ll be any nude pictorials after a winner is announced (unless it’s Violet – you gotta think the owner/operator of a website with a “You must be 18 or older to enter” warning would be more than willing).

But I, and I’m sure most everyone, could care less who wins. What’s interesting is that the “Hottest Female Blogger” competition is a misnomer.  All but two of the nominated – Xeni and Violet –  have attained significant notoriety from web video, not blogging.

Wired’s Sexiest Geeks of 2007 was more encompassing in terms of online disciplines. It had YouTubers, online video stars, TV stars, bloggers, and bona fide nerds. But if/when that same contest takes place this year, will familiar faces from online video be more heavily represented? Web video viewing is up at least 60% in the past year, so is having a web show now the most necessary ingredient in the recipe for attention?

Maybe the intern at Playboy who decided which girls made the cut didn’t cast a wide enough net, maybe it’s because it’s a lot easier to tell if a lady’s attractive if she’s on camera, or maybe the choices are an indication of the growing influence of online video (or it could be that those not entrenched in the interwebs just don’t know the difference between a all this newfangled nomenclature). 

Whatever the case – and it’s probably a combination of all the above – it’s always cool to see new media attracting attention from mainstream institutions, even if it’s a step backward.  And for those that are skeptical of good-looks contests, I’m sure we’ll see web video stars better represented in lists of a more credible nature sometime soon.

Update: Sarah Austin asked the powers that be to remove her from the competition.  They said no.  Not cool, Playboy.  Not cool. (Thanks to Brad for the tip.)

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