Happy Tuesday everyone!
I’m super excited today because I’ve been nominated for ‘The Adequate Blogger Award’ by James over at James Proclaims.
I just want to take a moment to thank James for nominating me. He has a super awesome blog which has poetry and haiku and limericks and poems and also some really brilliant art. You should totally check out his blog now.
Although this is actually his blog, and I am James, so you are checking it out now. If indeed you are reading this.
Because, until today, there was no such thing as ‘The Adequate Blogger Award’.
But there is now. Because I just made it up. And yes it is, essentially, just one of the logos that I already had on my blog, but you’ll note I’ve changed the colour to denote that ‘The Adequate Blogger Award’ is the ‘gold standard’ of blogging awards.
I’m working on the assumption that people who read my blog are other bloggers and have some idea of what blogging awards are. Because I can’t imagine why anyone who isn’t also a blogger would ever bother with my gibberish. Sometimes my family and friends in the real world do deign to read my nonsense, but mostly, I think, because they feel sorry for me.
But if you are a non-blogger, or possibly a very new-to-blogging blogger, then you might not know what a ‘blogging award’ is, and consequently may be wondering why I appear to be mocking them. So perhaps I should explain my perception of what a blogging award is (and it is only my perception, people are always at liberty to disagree with me. People often do. They are always wrong of course, but they are free to be wrong if they so choose).
Is is not, as far as I can make out, an actual award at all. Blogging awards, as I understand them, are sort of like chain-letters. If someone nominates you for an award, it always seems to be a precondition that, in order to ‘qualify’ for the award, you have to nominate a predetermined number of other bloggers. So they sort of exist in perpetuity and although there are, apparently, an infinite number of bloggers in the world, most of us only follow, and are in turn followed by, a much smaller number (than infinity) of other bloggers. And we tend to follow bloggers and be followed by bloggers that are, in some respects, of a similar mindset to us. We’re all weird and wonderful in our own ways of course, but I very much doubt that if you’re someone who enjoys the collective works of Richard Littlejohn, Jan Moir and/or James Delingpole (who is a very different James to the one who proclaims on this blog) then you’re unlikely to find much to enjoy here. In all honesty, regardless of your political and societal views, you’re unlikely to find that much to enjoy here in any case, but if the content of my blog is likely to appeal to anyone, it will be more likely to appeal to people who think that the only appropriate use for the Daily Mail is as an emergency solution to the kind of problem which may occur should there be some kind of pandemic which results in the unnecessary stockpiling of toilet paper by idiots.
Anyway, the point is that many of the bloggers I follow also follow each other. Consequently there are only ever so many people that one could nominate for an award. So it’s not especially unusual to be nominated for the same award multiple times. There isn’t a cash prize associated with the award or anything that one could tangibly claim to be prestige. So the value of the award really depends on whether you like playing along with this kind of thing or not. I don’t tend to want to play, but equally, if a blogger who I follow does like to play along and then they don’t choose to nominate me as one of their chosen recipients, I do, of course, get incredibly offended. Because I am nothing if not a hypocrite.
Personally I think, as long as everyone accepts that some people will play and some people won’t, then they are harmless enough. I’ve heard tales of people who have been incredibly offended by a chosen nominee refusing to ‘accept’ their award, but mostly I think people are fine if you don’t want to play. And while I don’t want to play, if someone has taken the decision to ‘nominate’ me, then they have effectively posted a link to my blog on their blog, which might and occasionally does, result in a few more readers coming way. Which is nice, because while I have no shortage of bots following me, they don’t give me the kind of positive feedback that real people do (although to give the bots their due, they don’t give me the negative feedback or ‘constructive criticism’ that real people are prone to do either). So I do generally try to say thanks for a nomination on their blog, even if I rarely so much as acknowledge the existence of other bloggers on my own blog. In all honesty one of the main reasons I don’t tend to link to other bloggers is that I worry about offending all the bloggers I wouldn’t be able to acknowledge. There are just too many of them out there. Plus I’m really too caught up in my own head most of the time to ever worry about what anyone else is doing. I’m not the best at reading and commenting on other blogs at the best of times. I’d like to be more engaged but sometimes life gets in the way. I try not to hide behind my toddler in this regard (mostly because she is tiny and I am quite big so she makes for a rubbish hiding place) but being a parent of a toddler has rendered my free time rather precious and while I probably should spend more time reciprocating the attention of the lovely people who read and comment on my blog, sometimes I would just rather watch Star Wars in those rare free moments – and in a way everyone wins because there’s no way I could have dedicated a whole 31 days to blogging about nothing but Star Wars in May if I didn’t generally watch a lot of Star Wars.
So blogging awards are not real awards but they can be a nice way of building a bit of blogging camaraderie if that’s your thing and if, like me, interacting with other people is both confusing and difficult then you can opt out and just accept that if someone nominates you, it is a sort of compliment.
Apparently, if you really don’t want to play along, then the ‘done thing’ is to declare your blog to be an ‘awards free’ blog. Some bloggers have a little badge on their homepage declaring just that, while others go further and have a page with a whole spiel justifying their non-engagement with awards. I sort of get why they do this but I also live in an imaginary utopia in which people who are not bloggers do read my blog and I just wonder what sort of message I might actually be sending out by claiming my blog is ‘awards free’.
And this stance is even more confusing because there are, from what I can tell, actual awards for bloggers that do supposedly constitute some degree of ‘industry recognition’. If one can consider blogging to be an industry. Which maybe one can. It’s not an especially lucrative industry for bloggers like me, but someone who has a blog like mine and expects to make money from it is probably a little naïve. Or I’ve been missing a trick for the last five years. Both of those statements are probably true.
Anyway, the awards which are actual awards are really not for the likes of me. And the prestige of such awards is relatively questionable anyway because even those supposedly legitimate awards seem to rely on a voting mechanism, so it would seem that having lots of followers is more likely to get you an award than actually producing high quality content on a regular basis. Some people might believe that people who produce high quality content would naturally have lots of followers, but that isn’t the case in my experience. I don’t, of course, refer to my own blog, when I speak of high quality content, but I follow plenty of blogs that should, based on content alone, have lots of followers, but in reality they can only count me and a few vitamin pyramid schemes among their loyal readers. And I’m skeptical about whether the vitamin guys are really reading anything.
Still, regardless of the merits of awards, be they the weird chain-letter types, or the still possibly quite dodgy but nonetheless arguably more prestigious ‘industry’ awards, I find the notion of declaring my blog ‘awards-free’ to be sending out an unintentionally pessimistic message. I’d rather let the work speak for itself. You only have to read my blog to know, with absolute certainty, that is deserves to be ‘awards free’.
But I’ve been thinking about the chain letter style awards, and it occurred to me that they must have originated somewhere. And while I wouldn’t want to suggest for a second that all of these awards weren’t created with the notion of sowing the seeds of joy and friendship amongst the blogging community, they always do come with a set of ‘rules’ attached. And sometimes (not always but definitely sometimes) one of the the conditions of ‘accepting’ the award is to not only post a link to the blogger who nominated you, but also to post a link to the person who created the award. So presumably the creators of these awards have, through the action of creating the award, somehow established a way of getting lots of other bloggers to post a link back to their blog. Which must have resulted in an improvement in their stats. And we all know how important stats are if you’re a blogger.
So it occurred to me that if I came up with an award of my own, and if it caught on, then I too could reap the rewards of this game.
But I didn’t want to create just any award. I wanted mine to be special. So I created The Adequate Blogger Award. Because if you can achieve consistent adequacy in the world of blogging then in my view you’re definitely ahead of the pack.
However, not all bloggers will be able to become adequate so I’ve also come up with a silver standard and a bronze standard for those bloggers who are less than adequate but who you might still want to give an award to.
And so to the rules of these awards. Because they are nothing without their rules. I didn’t want to do anything too original here, because there is little point in reinventing this particular wheel. So my rules are largely the same as all of the rules for all of the other blogging awards.
Create a post about the award and in it do the following things:
- Thank James for creating this award and post a link to his wonderful blog James Proclaims
- You might want to thank the person who nominated you. It’s up to you. As long as you have thanked James, then that’s the main thing.
- Answer whatever stupid questions the person who nominated you asked you to answer.
- Write your own stupid questions for the people you nominate to answer (don’t overthink this bit, it’s really just a box ticking exercise)
- Nominate quite a lot of other bloggers to receive this award; the more the merrier really.
- Harass all of your nominees repeatedly until they ‘accept the award’ by writing a post on their blog which may or may not answer the stupid questions but which definitely does include a heartfelt tribute to James and a link back to his earth-shatteringly brilliant blog James Proclaims
All that remains for me to do is to nominate the first ever recipients of all of the above awards. But this is the really clever bit. As the ‘creator’ of the awards I don’t have to nominate anyone at all. All I have to do is write a redundant statement like “I nominate all of my readers to receive these awards” and then, if you’ve read this far you are legally and morally obliged to start the ball rolling.
And so, I formally give notice than anyone who has read this far is officially a nominee for whichever of the above awards they think is the most appropriate for their level of blogging ability. Don’t lie to yourself though, at least some of you will be ‘Basic Bloggers’ and it’s important that you acknowledge that if you want to experience personal growth.
Oh and if you want some arbritrary questions to answer then try the following:
Right, let’s get to work spreading the joy and happiness that can only come with a made-up award.