Origin of the “Plutus” in Plutus Awards

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked about the Plutus Awards is not who’s going to take the BLOG OF THE YEAR crown from Get Rich Slowly this year or which company told a large number of employees to vote for its product last year. The biggest question is regarding the origin of the name, “Plutus Awards.”

The “Awards” part is fairly easy to figure out.

“Plutus” may be a little more obscure. In modern English, the prefix pluto- is often used to mean money or wealth, such as in the word plutocracy.. The immediate thought may be that this meaning is somehow related to the Greek mythological god, Pluto (Πλούτων).

Pluto was the ruler of the underworld, and therefore keeper of all things evil. And as well all know, money is evil; therefore, there is a connection between our word and the Greek god. A second connection, or first connection if you’re not on board with the idea that money is evil, might be the fact that wealth, in the form of precious minerals, came from beneath the surface of the earth, the domain of Pluto.

These ideas lead people today to conflate Pluto with the lesser-known Greek god called Plutus (Πλοῦτος). Plutus, not Pluto, was the god of wealth. Even in back in ancient Greece, there was considerable confusion between these two mythological figures, so you have an excuse if you thought Pluto was the Greek god of wealth (as I did, before creating the Plutus Awards).

Through a trick of etymology, our pluto- prefix in English comes from Plutus, not Pluto. As personal finance blogs are generally focused on money-related issues, it was appropriate to choose the Greek god of wealth as an inspiration for this set of awards.

If the awards were named the “Pluto Awards,” it would sound more like we were honoring a Disney character or paying respect to the former ninth planet of the solar system.

Beginning of the Second Annual Plutus Awards Season

Welcome to the official start of the awards season! The Second Annual Plutus Awards are underway. From now until October, bloggers and their audiences will have the opportunity to nominate and vote for the favorite money-related blogs, while bloggers only will decide on their favorite financial products and services.

Since the Plutus Awards are designed to reflect the personal finance blogosphere, all personal finance bloggers will have input in the format of the Plutus Awards. In just a few hours, we will begin taking suggestions from bloggers and their audiences for the categories that should be included in this year’s Plutus Awards. We will start with most of last year’s categories, but some may be eliminated and others may be added after receiving feedback from the community. We will accept these suggestions until August 8, at which point we will finalize the categories.

From August 15 through August 28, nominations will be open. Any blogger or audience member will be able to nominate products, services, and blogs for both categories of Plutus Awards. The finalists will be chosen by a panel from among the top nominations in each category.

On August 31, the finalists will be announced, and voting will be open from September 1 through September 21. This year, to prevent ballot stuffing by employees of companies, voting for the first section of Plutus Awards, the best products and services as judged by the blogging community, will be open only to confirmed independent bloggers. This will help the awards for products and services better reflect the opinion of the community of independent financial bloggers rather than the employees of companies that offer those products and services.

The voting for the Plutus 2.0 Awards, the portion of the awards that includes the best blogs in a variety of categories, will be open to all — bloggers as well as their audiences.

The winners of the Plutus Awards will be announced live at the Financial Blogger Conference in Chicago in early October. Authors representing winning blogs will receive a small prize package, though they are not required to attend the conference in order to win an award or to receive a prize.

Welcome to the Plutus Awards!

Plans are underway for the creation of the First Annual Plutus Awards to celebrate the best of personal finance. These awards will have two main sections: The Plutus Awards and The Plutus 2.0 Awards.

The Plutus Awards will feature categories such as “Best Savings Account,” “Best Money Management Software,” and so forth. The Plutus 2.0 Awards are an extension of awards into blogs and social media. These awards will feature categories such as “Best New Blog,” “Best Investing Blog,” “Blog of the Year,” and so forth.

Nominations will begin Monday, December 21, 2009 and will continue through January. Once nominations are assembled, the top nominations in each category will become the finalists. The public will then be invited to vote for the winners.

In ancient Greek mythology, Plutus was the god of wealth. Much like wealth itself, Plutus was blind, offering his virtues without regard for the virtuosity or merit of the recipient. He was lame but winged, leaving much more quickly than he could arrive.