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LET’S TALK — ABOUT BLOG AWARDS

CLOSE-UP WEB - SANDY # 1Hey, Blogging Friends, I’d like to do some straightforward talking about blog awards.  During my time at WordPress, I have been the happy recipient of a number of awards and have gladly passed them on to other very worthy bloggers. And just this past week two other blogging friends graciously nominated me for new awards:
Gerry at http://cobbies69.wordpress.com/  and
LubbyGirl at  http://remissionary.wordpress.com/.

I had just finished the very involved tasks of following the rules of accepting an award two weeks prior to that, and I simply did not have the time — with all my other online responsibilities — to accept and follow all of the rules accompanying those two new ones. I felt bad, but — you know what — the truth is that I should not have to feel bad, because the problem here is not of my making.

I’ve found that several of my blogging friends are in the same situation. And most of those people have felt terribly frustrated because they do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings by turning down the award or by explaining their own feelings. A few have already determined to just turn down any awards at all because they know they cannot deal with all the work involved. So I’ve decided that it’s time we see these facts in black and white here on our WordPress platform.

It’s not that we are not honored to be considered so kindly by our peers. It’s just that there is an inordinate amount of work involved in acceptance rules: answering all the questions, determining who should be a new recipient, visiting every one of their blogs to scour them carefully to make sure they do not already have that award, notifying them, and then making sure to put a link to everyone’s site on our own. It is not that those bloggers are not worth that effort. That is not the case.  The point is, quite frankly, that the awards themselves are not worth all that effort.  And here’s why I feel that way.

While I understand that the idea of passing on the awards and posting the links is based on the attempt to help us get to know more bloggers and interact with them, the truth is that if any person is worthy of an award — for any reason — then he is worthy of receiving that award without having to perform any other tasks in order to accept it. He either earned the award or he did not. Period. And there are many other ways to encourage bloggers to interact with new bloggers. Some of us have simply posted lists of several blogs that we find worthy of attention and encouraged others to visit them. Or we re-blog articles from other sites. That accomplishes the same purpose without causing the bloggers themselves to have to “work” for the honor we’ve paid them. They have already done that.

I’m never sure who originated these awards. And everyone who receives an award feels obligated to keep obeying every rule, so the people we have received awards from in the past year probably have nothing at all to do with making those rules. It’s worth stating again that I feel sure that the original awarders had in mind trying to get more interaction among folks in the blogging family. But people who become very popular in that family sometimes find themselves with so many awards that they have no time for their own blogging responsibilities because of having to do all the work involved in accepting those awards. Well, I think it’s time we admitted that this situation is based on faulty reasoning and needs to be changed.

So — hoping that all of you can understand my heart in this matter — I am announcing that, as of today, I am not going to be accepting any more awards that require me to comply with a list of rules and extra work in order to receive them. The problem  has to stop somewhere, and for me it stops here. However, I fully intend to continue promoting blogs that I find a blessing and encouraging others to visit them. And, frankly, I have in mind a couple of awards that I want to grant to others in the future, but they will be in honor of the fine work they are already doing — without requiring anything else of them.

Please know that I am truly grateful to all of you who have considered me worthy of an award. And please be assured that, if I nominated you for awards, it was because I genuinely believed you deserved them. However, I will not be accepting or passing on any future award unless it is one that has no strings attached.

Please feel free to comment in agreement or disagreement and let others know how you feel on the subject.
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28 thoughts on “LET’S TALK — ABOUT BLOG AWARDS”

  1. I am fairly new to blogging, so the talk of awards is something I am just learning about. I am not so worried about them, as of yet. All I hope for is that when people read my blog, and groups pages, that the people get something out of it. ❤

  2. You make an excellent point here. I have had great difficulty keeping up with award nominations, and it definitely takes away from my regular posts. That being said… I LOVE receiving them, and it gives me that extra bit of encouragement to continue pouring my heart out. I have noticed other bloggers grouping award nominations together, graciously thanking the giver, and providing a link back to them. I might follow in their footsteps in regards to award acceptances. It is quite an honor to receive an award whatever the circumstances may be, and I feel these followers that are recognizing your work need to be graciously recognized and thanked. Blogging is not a book that you read cover to cover, but rather a community of interaction learning and growing from one another! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in regard to my comment.

    1. Oh, I agree with you completely. That’s why I wanted to be sure and acknowledge the two people who nominated me this past week. They deserve to be recognized regardless.

      But after more than two years blogging, I have realized that many, many bloggers are feeling overwhelmed with the problem of having to follow rules with every award. Many have talked to me about that problem specifically. Because, technically, we cannot even “accept” any of these kinds of awards without complying with ALL the rules. (Although I’ve started encouraging people to accept anyway and post the award because I don’t want them losing out because they can’t think of 15 other bloggers to nominate.) And let’s get real: the question often hangs in the air as to whether everyone nominated us because they are really so impressed with our work or because they could not accept the nomination themselves unless they tagged 15 other bloggers for the award.

      So I feel we need to come to a place in this community that we all agree to freely offer awards and honors to those we feel deserve them — but ALWAYS with NO STRINGS ATTACHED. Thanks for taking the time to add to the discussion.

      1. Personally I feel if someone nominated you for an award you should accept (NO STRINGS ATTACHED), place it somewhere, thank the person, and from there do as you please. I did realize that you recognized the people, but I think you should place the award somewhere. You deserve it whether you choose to follow the rules or not. Besides… “If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere.”- Marilyn Monroe

  3. This is exactly why my acceptance of awards’ list keeps getting longer. I would rather spend the little time I have creating an interesting post than going through the steps that it takes to accept these awards. Maybe I will get to that list sometime in the future – or not. In the meantime, I continue to do what I enjoy – blogging without concern with awards 🙂

  4. Sandra, I confronted this same question several months ago when I received an award from someone I admire and whom I did not wish to insult or upset. I was not quite as eloquent as you but did hit upon one or two other considerations. My response is at Awards | Words & Pictures.(I hope that link works. if not, my response is on my blog under “Awards”.)

  5. I finally made it over to read your post – a little slow, but here I am! 😆
    I have to say, I agree with what you’re saying here. I’ve about decided in the future to do what pregoandtheloon suggested and accept with thankfulness, then move on. And it won’t hurt my feelings ONE BIT if you want to just accept and leave it at that. 😆

  6. I’ll be a fence sitter about this issue. 😀 Your point is well taken. 🙂
    As a personal solution, I made a list of bloggers who participate in the awards. How? I check the About page and read the comments. From there I could see who do not wish to be nominated. Of course, like in your case, I missed. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts,
    Blessings,
    belsbror

  7. I agree. I was nomiinated for one and the list of things I was required to do was longer than my leg. It came a week after I had done a Blog Tour where you find three other bloggers to feature on your site, and they in turn, find three more, etc. It was really difficult finding three people who were willing to participate and the blog award rules wanted me to find 10. I politely declined. I don’t think the person who nominated me has been back since.

    That’s too bad. But I’m in charge of my own schedule and I’d rather do something more creative and productive than answer silly questions and try to pass on a meaningless award.

    1. Hey, I am so glad you said something about this because it caused me to hop back over to that page and see for sure what I had said (it had been a while). When I got there, I realized that the text is in black, and for some reason it did not transfer colors when I changed theme options so that I could use this dark green background. Glad I discovered it, so I can change it and make it more easily readable.

  8. I agree with you all the way. All that you said here are true and are happening. In my case, I am barely 6 months in the field and I was entertained doing it. Do you agree with me that instead of 15 persons being passed on with the award it should be two (2) only and only one (1) question to be answered. Well, those rules should be renewed for a full enjoyment of blogging. Are the wordpress people the ones who penned the rules? Anyway, thank you very much for your time and happy blogging, ma’am.

    1. I think each award that’s out there right now was created by an individual blogger at some time in the past. There’s never been any indication that they come from WordPress, and a few that I’ve seen have actually named the creator.

      Each person who created an award made up the rules, and, of course, the idea behind it, I’m sure, was to encourage people to connect with other bloggers. But, as I said in my article, we can connect with other bloggers and recommend them — and give links to their blogs — without forcing them into a position where they are required to do the same thing. I have often posted a list of blogs that I recommend — along with links to them. In fact I did that again just last week.

      Some people now pass on awards and tell the recipient that they don’t have to follow all the rules. But personally, I just think an “award” is an “award” without any strings attached. If people want to start some kind of game where they link to other bloggers and ask them to link to more bloggers, they can do that, but they should not call that an “award.”

      I created one award for photography last year that had absolutely NO RULES whatsoever. I’m thinking about creating a couple more awards with no rules. I can then pass them on to great bloggers and give a link to their blog so others can honor them, but that blogger will not be required to do anything at all in response to the award.

      Maybe you could create your own as well. When you find a blog that inspires you especially, you can create an award that honors that blogger and pass it on with no rules. And then if you find another blog that you feel the same way about, you can pass the award on to them as well. There are a lot of bloggers who feel this way, and I’m sure they would appreciate that kind of honor.

      But there are still quite a few who give and receive awards with all the rules and who try to follow those rules. So you can feel free to go either direction.

      Hope this gives a little more clarity to the situation.

      1. I think awards should be governed by rules. But not to the detriment of the one being awarded. there should be some set of rules that would guide on who are qualified for the awards. Ex. He must accumulate a number of viewers for ,say, 2 months to be qualified for a certain award. He should have written a number of poems for 2 months….and so on and so fort…. Well, that needs to be debated….and requires time to have it going….

        1. Yes, I understand what you mean: you’re talking about certain criteria or standards that a blogger has already met in order to qualify for an award. And whoever creates a specific award would be the one to decide on that specific criteria. Maybe you could think about that and come up with an award that has specific criteria and then look for people to award it to. That would be fun.

          1. I honestly don’t think there’s a way to let the WordPress administrators know about it. It’s hard to even get the attention of a technician these days when we have problems with the blogs. And I’m sure there is no need to let anyone know. When I decided to create that photography award last year and award it to a fellow blogger, I just created the logo I wanted to use (I used a picture of a camera and put text on it with the name of the award. If you don’t have a good photo program that will add text to a photo, you can connect with PicMonkey, which is a free program that you use online. If you want the link to it, I can give it to you.)

            Anyway, I just created a post — with a picture of that logo — announcing that I was creating the award and giving it to that particular blogger for one particular picture that she posted. It was a funny picture and the whole award was done for fun, but it did honor her ingenuity as a photographer. In my post, I gave a link to her site where that picture was so that others could go there. Then I went to her blog and in the Comment window, I told her I was giving her that award and left her a link back to the original post on my site.

            She was so happy with it that she then did a post about receiving the award and linked back to my original post as well. Lots of people enjoyed the posts and the fun because she has a lot of followers and friends, and they appreciated her being honored as well.

            So I’d say if you ever feel that you want to do something like that, just do it. WordPress is very big on bloggers interacting and honoring other bloggers, so I’m sure they feel good about all the ways that people in the network help draw attention to the blogs.

            And, after all, you are the one in charge of your blog. WordPress is very liberal about what people can do and can post here. It’s very rare that they try to clamp down on anyone for what they post. It has to be something extremely negative and hurtful before they interfere. If you want to honor another blogger, I can’t imagine anyone feeling negative about that.

            I fully intend to do some more personal awards in the future, but my problem is time. I have four blogs, and I work three jobs, so I don’t always get things done on here quickly.

            If you need the link for the PicMonkey photo editing program let me know. It’s very easy to use.

          2. PicMonkey has a free program and one that you can pay for. The free program doesn’t allow you to do everything in the paid program, but it lets you do most anything you’d really need: resize, change color, add text, add other images, etc. Here’s the link. Hope you have fun with it.

            http://www.picmonkey.com/

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