Thursday, October 15, 2009

ON BLOGGING ~ A Major Award...

Welcome to our weekly BlogAnon meeting where we confess a particular blogging sin and turn to you for support, suggestions and that blogging bond so we know we're not all alone. Don't be shy. Read along and let us know if you identify with us this week.

Here's a tricky subject. AWARDS. Those pretty little baubles that delight some enough to show off on their sidebars. Then again, just the sight of an "I've got something for you" comment makes others cringe. Here's where I stand. I like that others think enough of our efforts here to bestow them upon us. I don't like that I then have to follow specific rules for linking to a ton of other bloggers. That's probably because in general I don't like to be told what to do. But mostly it is because the time and effort involved turns the nice award into a chore.

As Linda @ shoreacres mentioned recently, sometimes the awards don't really even make sense. What are they for? Because I'm lovely? They think our blog is pretty? We weren't really going for pretty. We were going for clean. But whatever. Maybe our personality is lovely? We try to be friendly but I wouldn't use lovely to describe our Fantasy Football posts.

So that leaves me with the conclusion that these are essentially link love disguised as a nice gesture. I appreciate links. But the fact of the matter is, I put plenty of links to other blogs in our posts all the time. I don't need an award to be forced to do that. And sometimes I have something really exciting that I want to share instead of posting about an award. And then there's the fact that other than the award recipients, no one else seems to read or care about the award posts.

But it is rude to turn away a gift. Or free advertising. So whenever we receive an award we give sincere thanks and do our best to pass it along to someone else in a creative and entertaining way. We use them to spotlight one blog, sharing snippets from their posts or describing our relationship to them. We try to make people care enough about our recommendation to go check them out and get to know them. Because that's what I think doling out an award should be all about.

Do you have a policy for or against awards? Do you enjoy collecting and displaying them? Do you hate them? Do you refuse to pass them along? Or do you have a creative way of handling them? Or are you looking to receive your first one and think we're being obnoxious Bumbles for complaining about them? Don't be afraid to share - your blogger thoughts are safe with us.

**UPDATE - Last week's post about Photo Pirates led Kaye to seek out official permission from the original artist to continue using her beloved Hobbit Header. Good News - she received word back that she could keep using it and now can sleep at night with proper permission and credit in order!**


Little Ms Blogger said...

I'm horrible with them. I hoard them until I have too many and now I have an Awards Sunday...a day where not too many people blog and only give one away.

I appreciate the award and do try to really think about who is going to get the award. Sometimes I choose a certain genre, other times it could be because of a great post that week or to help someone gain a following.

However, because I hoard, I have many Sunday posts in my future.

The Bumbles said...

Little Ms = I like your way of thinking! Using them to help a blogger build a following is a very nice idea - completely in line with proper award spirit. I tend to post them when I'm uninspired with other posts and writing about someone else always gets the creative juices flowing.

Little Ms Blogger said...

Bumbles, I was doing that as well, using them when I have nothing else, but I would try jamming several into one post and it drove me nuts.

Now, if I don't feel like posting because I have nothing, I don't. Like today. No post.

stacybuckeye said...

I remember how excited I was when I received my first one and I like the idea of passing that excitement along to someone else. Now, if they do not get excited about it, there's nothing I can do, I tried and I'm okay with that.

I do tend to use them when I've got nothing else, so sometimes they do accumulate. I would put them in my sidebar, but they don't fit with the style I'm using.

I will say that I don't always follow directions. I usually only pass the award on to one, sometimes two paople. At the beginning I linked to so many paople it was silly. I'm over that :)

The Bumbles said...

Stacy = We sat waiting and waiting for someone to pass one of those awards on to us and were just the happiest bloggers on the planet when it finally happened. We turned that award post back around in 2 seconds flat. Whenever I see one now I look anxiously for our site to be named, excited for the recognition if it is there. And then I wonder what to do with it once I've got it!

Alyce said...

I think some of it is honest appreciation and some of it is link love. I too remember how excited I was when I received my first awards, and how cool it was getting some exposure on larger blogs.

But at some point it does get to be too much work. I decided to emulate a few other bloggers who have awards pages. So now there is a link in my sidebar labeled "awards." It takes you to a page with all of the awards that I have received and links to those who have given the awards to me. I plan to update it about once a month without any fanfare. So, I will be able to recognize those who have given me the awards, but without having to jump through all of the hoops of passing the awards on to others. I'm hoping that the blogs that I like know that I appreciate them, and I try to show the love by linking to their reviews in other posts, like Friday Finds.

graywolfie said...

To be honest...I never received an award I do not have your 'problem'...
Found this post interesting b'cos I was just thinking where did these awards came from...who pass them to whom..& then I happen to see your blog...hahaa..

Sandy Nawrot said...

This is an important topic I think! I try to remember that when you are new, these awards mean everything to you. First, it is validation that SOMEBODY is reading your blog and they like you, and second, it gives you some much-needed advertising. Early in my blogging days, when my favorite blogs would bestow awards, I would use the awards to meet new bloggers. About half my blogroll came from awards.

I have taken your approach and usually pass the award to only one person, not 10 or 20 or whatever. It allows you to truly honor them. I post awards only on Saturdays. And I try to add a video clip to make it fun.

I recently took my awards off my sidebar. If I knew how to make another tabbed page on my blog, I'd put the awards there. But enough already. I didn't want to seem like I was bragging.

shoreacres said...

My recent post about the Honest Scrap award (thanks for the link!) has left me thinking about awards in general, and I just made the decision to do as Alyce has - make a page for them.

When another comes my way, I'll mention it at the bottom of whatever I happen to be posting that day, linking back to the giver, and direct folks to the award page. I do appreciate them and want to acknowledge them, and that seems a good way to do it.

I do have an award I give which already has it's own page. I call it Team Muse - whenever one of my readers inspires a post, they get a virtual tee shirt with my header image on it, their name and the title of the post they inspired, along with the phrase "Team Muse". I love that, and the recipients seem to also, because it's quite specific and related to this little endeavor we're all engaged in.

kaye said...

Goodmorning Molly,

My post today is about the experience I had regarding last weeks confession.

As for this weeks subject. I do love getting the little awards. It makes me feel all warm inside and it is exciting being acknowledged by bloggy friends. But then they sit and sit and sit and I start to feel guilty. So my guilt led me to the decision to declare myself and award free zone. If someone does give me an award, I visit them and leave my thanks, I mention it in my post of the day and why I enjoy that particular blogger's web site. I also offer them a thank-you button I've designed. I just don't pass the award along. I must also confess I've always been a chain letter killer. The post where I declared myself an award free zone is here.

The Bumbles said...

Alyce = I appreciate when bloggers make it easy for me to determine the awards they have received - it lets me know if they've already received what I have to pass along or not. I do try to research that first - I always visit their page especially to see if they just did an award post as I don't want to overload them.

Graywolfie = I do sound like one of those actors who doesn't bother showing up at an awards ceremony to pick up their trophy don't I? I suppose I prefer to acknowledge the bloggers I admire personally by having them do a guest post for us or featuring them in a post in some way rather than passing along an award that then requires them to do a lot of work passing it along to others who might appreciate it.

Sandy = I never thought of seeing awards on sidebars as bragging - but I can see how it could look that way now that you mention it. I never post them permanently because I felt it wasn't the look we were going for - too cluttered here already. Beth Fish Reads has links on the bottom of her blog to the code you can use to add tabs to your blog. I haven't had the time to look into that myself but I do intend to incorporate them in the future.

Shoreacres = That is a wonderful gesture and one I would love to emulate if only I knew how to create an image myself. Do tell!

The Bumbles said...

Kaye = I have noticed your award free zone and read that post before. I like your idea of a Thank You button and that you still acknowledge those that you receive. As for chain letters and chain e-mails and meme chains, I kill those too like they were the biggest spider ever to creep into my world.

Susan said...

Well, by nature I'm a non-imposer, so while it makes me smile when I receive an award, I don't pass them along and now I'm feeling a little guilty about that. I did display mine in my sidebar for a while to thank the givers, but took them down recently because of the bragging feeling.

I think I need to start featuring a blog friend occasionally, not with an award, but just saying why I like their blog.

I only tagged people once for a meme, now I just give my readers the option of participating if they want.

shoreacres said...

Bumbles, I'm the world's klutziest user of all things graphical - I learn precisely what I need to know to do what I want to do, and NO MORE!

I use three programs: Photoshop Elements 6 (and not much of that), Photofiltre (free) and Picnik (the pay version, $24/yr). You can do splendid effects easily, like the photo of the door in my current post.

I found your email address. When I get my next post up in a couple of days I'll take time to send an email with details on how I did the tee shirt. If there's some other kind of image you'd like to create, let me know and I'll see what I can find to get your started.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

It's a difficult subject. I think sometimes it's a popularity thing and sometimes it's an appreciation thing and sometimes it's to help newcomers, which it actually does! Readers might want to ignore the first but check out the others, if they knew which was which. Then the next problem is, as you say, what the recipient should do. I'm sort of embarrassed by it just out of an extension of general shyness, but also I would never want to pick out new recipients to pass it to because (a) I'm usually the last person on earth to get any given award and (b) I don't like to say I pick this person but not that person: it reminds me of how I felt when it was time to pick people for volleyball or softball and I never got chosen! In the past I have picked a day (on which I have no other post) and mentioned them, and then just passed them on "generally" to anyone and everyone. But I like Alyce's approach even better: update with no fanfare.

Rose said...

Most of the awards are just like memes. I have yet to receive a genuine award for my blog.

Amy said...

I didn't know about this topic in your blog until Cathy at Kittling:Books mentioned it and I'm so happy she did!
Awards, a very interesting topic. I think it's very nice to get them because I think people want to let the readers of their blog know what blogs they enjoy and what bloggers are important to them. It feel awkward to some to just post about it so awards are a good reason to and make it a celebration.
My concern with awards is offending the person who gives them to me if I don't make a big deal posting about them right away and take some time to post them or if I just want to put them on my sidebar and leave it at that.

I haven't done a lot of award giving in my short time as a blogger but the few I have given out I told the blogger that I wouldn't be offended if they didn't post about it or give it out to other bloggers etc. That I just wanted them to know I appreciate them.

As a new blogger, it's very nice to get awards because it's a way for other bloggers to find out about my blog.

Thank you!

Kaye said...

This really is a touchy subject. If you post about the award, some people might think you are bragging. I never looked at it that way but I'm glad Sandy mentioned it because now I see another side. I acknowled the giver in a post and passed them on but now I am no longer going to do that. I recently took all the awards off my sidebars due to clutter look. It was somewhat reluctantly because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings who had given me an award. I was always afraid if I didn't acknowledge the awards, the giver would be hurt. This is like a double edged sword. What to do, what to do.

For the new year I am going to emulate Alyce and make a link and update it if need be. Great discussion, Molly. The honesty expressed here is very much appreciated.