Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On awkward awards

Okay. This might be a case of shooting myself in the foot, but I think I have to say it.

Awards are awkward.

There. Good to have it out.

I remember when I first started noticing blog awards I was curious, and in awe. How great these blogs must be, getting all sorts of "awards"! I didn't at first ponder over who gave the awards, or even why. Thus, when I got my first I was thrilled, and I proudly displayed it in my sidebar as I had seen others do. Someone liked my blog enough to give it an award!

That last part is the one thing still remaining in my opinion about awards from the first encounter. It is nice to be liked, and I do think that most people genuinely like the blogs they choose to give an award to. Which is nice. Also, it helps spreading the word about these likeable blogs, which is also nice. Nice, nice, nice.

Despite this, however, I have now decided to remove myself from the whole awardosphere within the blogosphere.

There are several reasons. First, and it's an important one, is that almost all the awards require quite a lot of work. You have to pass it on. Link to whomever gave it to you, to everyone you pass it on and their uncle Fredo. You have to display it in your sidebar, or on a different page, or in a post or on whatever metaphorical mantelpiece you choose (but you ought to pick one, or you'll feel bad and ungrateful). And often you have to answer 5-50 questions about yourself, write 17 lies and one truth, confess 3 sins or say a Hail Mary.

Because of all this work, I have for several months been slacking whenever a friendly "you have an award!" pops up in my inbox. I'm flattered, and I think it's sweet, but I also feel like pretending I didn't see it. Once or twice I simply forgot about the entire thing, and probably came out as the most arrogant, ungrateful person on earth. More than once or twice I have said I would put it up on my site, but still failed to do so.

A second reason I feel awkward about awards, however, is that while most of them are sweet, some of them have ulterior motives (or rather, the person giving them do). I have seen what I'd like to refer to as "spawards" - they are the award equivalent of spam. Many bloggers receive them at once, from a previously unknown sender, whose only intent is for each and everyone of us to display an icon with a link to their site on our blogs. They don't give us anything (other than fake credit), but we give them ads. For free.

I don't do ads on my blog, on principle. Similarly, I won't do spawards. Occasionally, however, they are hard to distinguish from "actual" awards. Recently I got one I suspect is a spaward, but rather than being from a company or organization, this was from a person, a single blogger. A clever way of promoting your blog, or an annoying and cunning trick to lure people you have no intention of networking with into visiting it?

Finally, and more shallowly, I am sick of the way the awards clutter up my sidebar. They made it look messy and disorganized, less pretty and less professional. So now they're gone. For good.

In the future, if I get an award, I will naturally still think it's nice (especially if it's from one of my blog buddies), and I will thank him/her, and I will mean it. But I will not pass it on. I will not display it or mention it here on my blog.

I really hope this does not offend anyone (as it is not intended to do so). It's really just a matter of giving myself an award I've been wanting for a long time.


31 comments:

Michelle Gregory said...

i applaud your not giving in to what's popular among bloggers. good for you. :)

Liza said...

Well said and well done.

Anne Gallagher said...

I jsut did an awards post on Monday and it will be the last one I ever do. For the above mentioned reasons. They're nice and all but I don't need anymore. I have more than enough.

Now a Pulitzer would be nice. I would accept that.

Hart Johnson said...

You've said almost exactly what I feel on the matter. I love receiving them... totally appreciate it... feel a little envious when a really cool one goes around that never reaches me, but honestly... the GIVING them really is a lot of work, PLUS I feel badly for all the people I don't give them too... I actually endorse the 'anyone who sees this award presentation can take it' as it feels fairer, but when people DO that, I rarely take it...

Jules said...

Standing Ovation! I so agree with all your points and reasoning. And you know what... I still like you :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Kal said...

I am a sad little person who needs the validation. I take them and hold them and love them and call them George but I rarely give them out because I feel bad about leaving people out. But to make up for that I do do (he he 'do do') a shout out post to all the cool blogs I follow once a year. That helps me with my guilt which is massive. Please don't take my awards away.

Cruella Collett said...

*phew* Okay, this went better than I thought...

Michelle - well, I guess what's good for me is that I have realized I can't keep up, and thus don't want to. I don't mind other people doing awards, of course, but I don't feel the need to do so.

Liza - thank you :)

Anne - *snort* I wouldn't turn down a Pulitzer either. Or a Nobel Prize. Or for that matter an Oscar (though how THAT would happen I have no idea)

Tami - true, leaving people out is another reason awards are bad in my book. But if everyone is getting them then they aren't given specifically to you either, so then that sort of defies the purpose. Bah...

Jules - yay! So glad people seem to understand where I'm coming from on this.

Kal - I won't take your awards away. In fact, you can have all of mine! Seriously, though, don't you feel that you get that validation from comments and interaction with your readers? (I'm not above that, by the way - I lurves my comments)

nonamedufus said...

I hereby award you the anti-award award. Don;t worry. There's nothing to display or refer to in your blog. I just support your stand on awards.

For me comments are my award. I don't need a pic, a link or a meme. Just a comment. And here's yours. Keep up the good work, Cruella. I enjoy visiting with you several times a week. ;)

A Heron's View said...

I totally concur with your point of view.

Cold As Heaven said...

I share your attitude on ads. I have no ads, by principle, and no reviews of commercial products.

Awards? I got one or two long time ago, but I never figured out how to display them.

Cold As Heaven

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I applaud your giving your opinion, I personally love to recieve an award and put it on my side bar but to each their own I say.
Hope all is well
Yvonne.

Mary Vaughn said...

LOL!!! I am not changing my A post on Friday because you wrote this.
Thrilled to know I'm in such great company.


Mary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's all right - blogger "Bossy Betty" says if anyone sends her an award, it becomes a dead rabbit.

Cruella Collett said...

John - That is quite possibly my favourite award yet! I will proudly not display it :)

Heron - I thought it was just me, but now I suspect this is a hidden worry among many bloggers. The anti-awarders unite!

CAH - I know some people blog specifically to earn money, and I guess it's as fair a way of earning cash as any, but for me that has never been the point. Plus, I wouldn't want to figure out the tax rules :P

Yvonne - as do I yours! I know you get a lot of awards since you're such a great blog buddy, and I think you really deserve them. As long as you enjoy it, then, I think it is awesome that you display them proudly :)

Mary - Seriously? I considered making this my post for Friday, but figured I wanted to get it off my chest right away... Great minds, eh? ;)

Alex - yikes! I'm not that anti-awards. Dead rabbits sound like lots of work too...

Nick Thomas said...

Well said. And when everyone gives/gets awards, they kinda lose their umpf factor, don't you think?

Cruella Collett said...

Nick - exactly! Then again, if everyone denounces awards, then where's the umpf factor in that...? *facepalm*

Melody said...

I so agree with you! I had a couple of awards that I displayed proudly for a while, but, honestly, they're more trouble than they're worth. I'm grateful, but not that grateful. :)

Liz P said...

I think you've stated very plainly what a lot of others think. I have had some of these thoughts cross my mind too, but then I feel kinda guilty. I appreciate when someone thinks of me for an "award", but then feel a little pressure when I have to pass it on and have to pick only X number of bloggers. But then you see the awards all over the place, and there's nothing really "special" about them.

I guess it's just for fun, but if it's more work then fun, then what's the point?

Good for you for addressing this topic. I like what you had to say.

Jan Morrison said...

Yay! The emporer is naked! Nah, tartlette, that's not what I mean! I mean our pal, Mari, has exposed the inanity of the awards thing. I hereby join your group (what you didn't mean to form one?) and will be removing my awards and adding a little thing on my sidebar saying that while I love comments of any sort - I do not wish to entertain awards! Except the Pulitzer or the Orange or the....

Jemi Fraser said...

I agree - the awards are sweet and I think most bloggers give them in the best spirit possible. But... they are a lot of work, and I always worry about offending someone I really like by not awarding them the award. It's hard!

KarenG said...

I went through the same process, so excited by my first awards, the sidebar posting, and finally the sidebar clutter that really needed to go. But like you, I appreciate the thought when someone I know gives me an award, and I'll thank them for it. Once in a while I'll do an award link if I can work it into a post of a related topic but generally it's a fad that isn't working for me now. And I think most of us understand because we're all at different stages of the blogging journey. So I doubt if this post offended anyone. I think it is very well spoken.

Cruella Collett said...

Melody - and it's not just that they are too much work, either, but if I am to do a proper post on them, it derives completely from my schedule (assuming there is a schedule).

Liz - I wonder if the people winning Academy Awards feel this way..? ;)

Jan - I suppose I'm the little boy in this analogy ;) And I may not have meant to start a group, but I don't oppose one being started. I am in fine company in this one :)

Jemi - exactly, which is why I felt bad about doing this. I really appreciate the sentiment, but perhaps there are better ways of expressing it?

Karen - I think you're spot on with your comment on different stages in blogging journey. Perhaps I have reached the stage where I realize blogging will not make me famous or popular, but I still want to do it for myself (and that the people I meet on the way is a much cherished bonus)?

Sophie Li said...

Oh good to know - I had no idea of these awards thingys .. Im SUCH a NOOB!

Sometimes I feel that on this path of "building our platforms" that it oddly feels more like a popularity contest back in school. Always trying to get more followers or 'Like' or whatever the next craze is.

I applaud you for not being swept away by it all.

Hannah Kincade said...

I'm the same way. I've stopped a while ago. I love that someone was thinking of me but it's not necessary to "award" me. I didn't do anything. I thank the person who gifted me and that's about it. LOL! I feel horrible but it's necessary.

LL Cool Joe said...

I actually like them. :D Simply because I keep them and then use them when I have writer's block and need something to blog about. All my awards are tucked away on a separate page anyway.

I like the fact that another blogger thought of me, but I don't like picking other bloggers because I know that always excludes someone.

Michael Offutt said...

LOLOL Party pooper! You have officially cut yourself off from any chain letters that I may have that promise you ten million dollars if you just pass it on to 100 other people by midnight and if you fail then your car will run out of gas leaving you stranded in Timbuktwo!

<3 much love XOXO

RosieC said...

Good points. I don't know if I've suffered from "spawards" or not. I suppose it's possible. But there is a lot of work that goes into them. It's generally very tiring. I also think it's nice, though. My very first award came from Jan, and was followed by an influx of now visitors (including you, I think), so I'm eternally grateful for it, and whenever I pass them along, I try to pass them on to new bloggers... you know, the ones who could use a few new hits and followers, and who aren't jaded with the whole award institution yet :)

February Grace said...

*hug* I understand.

when I get one I feel bad knowing I likely won't be able to post it for a long time (then the back log gets to me...) because of my limited eyesight. I can't pass them on and answer all the questions. It's just too much. I adore the people who give them but I too had posted awhile back (in a post I took down later though for other reasons- I have to re-post this again) that I wouldn't be doing the award thing anymore. Not because I don't appreciate every one but because I can't give every one the attention the giver deserves.

So just know you're not alone.

hugs
bru

chamki said...

Great! I agree totally with you, i even made a page in my blog about this long ago. Actually i am not as nice as you still thanking if you get one, i just don't want to receive any award, and if somebody is still giving it, in spite of the page saying awards? no thanks, it means he doesn't know me, didin't see my page, it is obviously a spaward. Ciao!

Pat Tillett said...

Awards have a valid purpose. It exposes blogs to new people. BUT, you are so right, they are so much work. I accept them, I appreciate them, but I don't follow the rules. I give them out occasionaly, but they are originals, without any rules attached.

The same thing can be accomplished by just posting some favorite blogs in a post. We should all do that more often..

Katie Rob said...

I think you made the right move. I'd like to award you with the "Right Move" award, which you must display on your sidebar with a link to my site that sells bananas.

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