And The Award Goes To … The Sequel
Following yesterday’s post And The Award Goes To … it got me to thinking even more deeply on the whole subject of Awards and l wanted to explore that further with this post. It changed how l was originally going to respond to Awards from this point on, as well as allowed me to think of something new.
However the first post received some absolutely cracking responses and input from the readership and l will be highlighting some of those comments today. But first my thanks to the following writers for their valuable input…
There are many styles of Blog Awards out in the WordPress Blogosphere, and whilst l am not going to look at them all, l am going to look at some of them, and see what can be found as common ground, what do they stand for?
Blogger Recognition Award
[Thank you for making an impact]
Write a post to show your award.
Give a brief story of how your blog started.
Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.
Blogger Appreciation Award
[Thank you for what you do!]
Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their site.
Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself.
Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish.
Use the award image.
[Discover New Blogs]
Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award
Answer 11 questions that the blogger gave you
Give 8 random thoughts about yourself
Nominate 8 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination
Ask your nominees 8 questions
The Versatile Blogger Award [VBA]
If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award.
Thank the person who gave you this award.
Include a link to their blog.
Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
The Sunshine Blogger Award
[For Creative, positive and inspiring bloggers who spread sunshine]
Thank the blogger/s who nominated you.
Use the “Sunshine Blogger Award” logo on your post and list the rules.
Answer the 11 questions the selector asks of you.
Nominate 5-11 bloggers you want to give the award to.
Ask the following bloggers that you selected 11 questions of your own.
The Mystery Blogger Award
[For Bloggers with ingenious posts that captivate, motivate and inspire]
Thank whoever nominated you and include link to their blog
Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
Answer the questions from the person who nominated
Nominate 10-20 bloggers you feel deserve the award
Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one
Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
Okay, l think six is a good leading example for the purpose of this post, and these six are the main ones l have seen or continue to see on a regular basis.
Now what is common ground to them all? Well as l said yesterday, answer questions, random facts, ask questions and nominate other bloggers. However what else do they all have in common? Well, okay, they are about ‘other bloggers’, they are about community, they are about interaction and engagement, about notification, about communication and expression. But the one big unique thing really in truth in my eyes is the ‘celebration of another’s creativity’, imagination, inspiration and motivation to do what they do.
So really, the big word is Celebration.
These Awards ‘celebrate’ other writers and their blogs.
In the six, there were a few things that l liked:
With the Versatile Blogger Award l liked the fact that it doesn’t elude to there being some big pool of expectation, that we are being nominated into a huge listing of bloggers. It’s more direct, it says “If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award.” I think that is quite specific and direct. We have been ‘awarded the award. Not just nominated, but that Award is ours.
I think that is quite significant. There is technically no further obligation as in you ‘don’t have to select others’, however in the spirit of community it then requests that you do.
So with the VBA l liked the terminology – We were selected to receive an award by a fellow blogger.
With the Blogger Appreciation Award l liked this terminology Nominate and notify as many bloggers as you wish. Meaning, that if you only chose to nominate 1 or 2 bloggers you could. So the expectations from this award in further selection is not so stressful and overwhelming. It is not requesting you select anymore than you feel comfortable with. I like that no pressure approach.
With The Mystery Blogger Award l liked this terminology Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one – okay, now that is a nice roll off the tongue number – 5. I think that is a perfectly acceptable number of questions to ask a fellow blogger in an award as it is not time restrictive to the person receiving the award.
So really, the big word is Terminology.
Or if you prefer – interpretation.
So from the above we have three items of real interest.
Award is yours – you have been selected to receive this Award as a Gift for what you do. It’s a Gift of thanks or recognition.
No set figure to further select other bloggers – so no 5-11’s or 10-20’s, or 15’s or just 8’s. The selection choice quantity is for you to determine to your convenience and offers no pressure.
5 Questions to ask of your fellow blogger – interpret that as you wish, but principally, just 5 questions. That is more practical than having to struggle with 11+ questions which can be taxing and once more time restrictive.
These sit way better with me.
I like the fact that with the right terminology an Award becomes way less stressful and overwhelming and more importantly less intrusive on my time.
You see Time is a real biggie here in WordPress with many writers, as is indeed balance and what we don’t see with many of the awards is balance, they are in many respects all over the place. People have families, life committments and of course life itself as well as that thing called full time work. Blogging for many is a recreational activity, a way of burning off free time, and with the stresses and pressures of awards and all the blarney that travels with them, it can make that time dwindle away from what they really want to do and that is to simply write and create, to allow their imaginations to run free and without regulation or moderation. Long winded Award ceremonies can destroy that free time.
So what is the answer then? Well that comes down to terminology l think.
It’s like the word ‘Nomination’, that makes me personally think as l said to Fandango yesterday that l am in the long running of a big entry pool of my fellow writers when that is not the case at all. When l am nominated for an award, l am being gifted that award for whatever it represents. I am not being further nominated into a cache of x amount of bloggers. The Award stops with me, l don’t have to respond to the nomination itself. I do so as do many out of community spirit, graciousness and a sense of obligation.
This is why we do have blogs that are on long term sabbaticals and award free sites. But we mustn’t forget the other reasons why bloggers don’t wish to accept them … they might be shy, they might have very few followings and a small readership, they might be very new to the world of blogging, they might feel overwhelmed by the concept of the award, or they might lack confidence in accepting.
There is a host of reasons for non acceptance and l think this also comes down to the actual award being gifted to them. Of all the awards above there are two l think are really nice for new bloggers and that is Blogger Recognition and Blogger Appreciation and of course the only thing l don’t like about the Blogger Recognition is the extremely high expectation selection of 15 other sites.
I think we need to improve the terminology on these awards. I think the term ‘Gifting’ should replace the word ‘Nomination’ and l will be working that in to my own Award posts. I will not be nominating readers and writers anymore, l am going to be ‘gifting’ them the awards in question. Because it is ‘their’ award.
So in essence all l am really doing, is what l made reference to yesterday and that is complimenting both them and their blog for who they are and what they do.
I think furthermore that nominee, nomination, nominating are stress words to some and what l shall be writing now is “My choices for this [name of Blog] Award Gift are:”
Now we come to something else, and that was the comments received yesterday from my friends and they were all perfectly valid … we all receive these ‘Awards’ with thanks, but we may not always respond. Fandango wrote “I do think the proliferation of these awards has diminished their impact. I don’t believe I know of a blogger out there…at least one who’s been blogging for, say, six months or longer, who HASN’T been nominated for one or more blog awards.”
That actually in my eyes hit the nail directly on the head. I think Fandango is right, the impact of receiving an award and especially on a long established blogger is lost, because long standing and established bloggers have received numerous ‘nominations’ during their blogging residency.
Li wrote this, “I like having them for bloggers just starting out because 1) it makes them visible; and 2) it gives them a chance to say a little about themselves. I hesitate to impose them on well-established bloggers because I know they’ve been nominated so many times they are probably sick of them.” Again spot on, l totally agree l think for new bloggers some of these Awards are a real inspiration and motivation to continue blogging and they are a fantastic way of introducing themselves to this brilliant community. But also, something else Li said that was also spot on and that is the hesitancy of imposition on well-established bloggers.
But then, does this mean that we are not going to continue to show our support and thanks to those long standing bloggers? After-all, they are still totally deserving of the accolades found in the initial thought of some of these fabulous awards. They still write awesome posts, they still inspire and motivate and enthuse others to do the same. They are creative writers that need to feel the love if you wish of the community. But they shouldn’t have to feel pressured in their own routines and times about responding to ‘nominations’ in the usual manner.
So really, the big word is Compliment.
So, what l am planning to do is this … l am not going to create a new award that’s not my thing at all, but if l wish to compliment a fellow blogger of long standing with my gift of the Award. Then l am going to present them with this …
This is what it is all about for me with my fellow bloggers. I enjoy what they do so much, that l still wish for them to be able to enjoy the receipt of the award, but without all the routinal trimmings and obligations. This means, they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to. But l choose to ‘compliment them, celebrate their writing style and their blog and for me this is the right terminology and expression to display those sentiments to long standing and well established writers.
The cards l displayed yesterday will be updated to reflect how l intend to respond to Awards gifted to me from this point on.
I will only ever ‘Gift 5 Bloggers’ and l will only ever ‘Ask 5 questions’ whatever the Award title is, and if l wish to compliment some of my choices then l will do so with the above icon.
Heart to Heart asked whether the cards could be different colours? Of course they can, you can make the cards whatever colour you want, l am not copywriting any of these concepts, they are open to everyone’s interpretation, because that is always what is always about – interpretation.
My genuine and sincere thanks to you all for yesterday’s and today’s input.
Thanks for reading.