New Award Nominations (and a decision)

When I returned from Court circuit to Qikiqtarjuaq a week or so ago, I was most pleased to discover that Sybaritica had been nominated for two new awards. The first nomination came from the very excellent blogger over at In Her Chucks, whilst the second nomination was made by Julie, who writes the lovely blog, Outtakes on the Outskirts.

My first order of business is to extend my very heartfelt thanks to these two writers, both for their nominations, and for their very kind words. It really is an honor to have fellow-bloggers select one’s own poor efforts for recognition and I very heartily recommend that my readers take a look at the blogs written by these two accomplished writers…

Having said all that, however, I feel bound to offer some explanation as to why I have allowed over a week to elapse before responding to these nominations. This is not a case where I have been too busy to attend to such things, nor is laziness the cause. Rather, having had taken the necessary time to give very serious and considered thought to the issue, I have, for the reasons outlined below, decided to decline the awards… 

Both of my reasons for declining the nominations relate to the rules for acceptance. These current nominations, as with my two previous awards (and all those I have seen thus far), require that nominees must, in order to accept the awards, nominate anywhere from 5 to 15 other bloggers in turn.

For my first award, choosing 7 bloggers to nominate, as I was required to do, was not all that difficult as I was able to select the names from my blog roll, which already only contains links to blogs that I think are excellent enough to deserve recognition. My next award also required a further 7 nominations but, again, I didn’t have too much difficulty in making choices as my ‘bookmarks’ also contain links to blogs that I visit frequently and very much enjoy.

Now, however, these two latest nominations, coming so quickly on the heels of the first two, are straining my ability to make new recommendations considerably. At first, intending to accept the new awards, I began searching the net for new blogs I liked but, after a brief period, it struck me that this was really a little artificial. Even though several blogs I came across were very good, none were ones that I have followed and enjoyed for any length of time and, as such, nominating them just for the sake of making a nomination really seemed contrary to the spirit of the whole award process.

My second reason for declining these two nominations is really a function of mathematics. It occurred to me, after the first nomination, that the method of conferring many of these awards is a bit … well, generous. Without getting into a complicated analysis, the geometric progression of re-nomination has quite a bit in common with chain-letters and it is easy to see that, if 5 nominees re-nominate 5 more, and those people each nominate 5 more in turn, it doesn’t take too many ‘generations’ until the number of persons being nominated for a particular award exceeds the considerable number of all the bloggers on the Internet. Again, it now seems to me that this is a bit at odds to the whole idea of giving awards and I have been thinking that some other method might be a good idea…

Anyway… I have been very much conscious of possibly coming across as churlish, rude, or even arrogant in declining these new nominations, but I hope that my readers will accept my reasoning. I have seriously been thinking about creating a new award with different rules for nomination and acceptance and I will be considering different ideas over the next little while. I often ask my readers for comments on various posts, but this one where I would REALLY like some feedback.

Hoping to hear your thoughts…

39 thoughts on “New Award Nominations (and a decision)”

  1. Hi John, I too find it extremely difficult to always find new / different bloggers to pass awards onto as I don’t just want to willy nilly forward the award on. I usually pay the award forward to people I have not nominated previously. Over and above that I also find it quite a task when the award requires me to share facts about myself that people don’t know etc.
    I have in the past “amended” the rules for paying the love forward by reducing the number of people I pass the award onto, also if I am given an award a second time around, I graciously thank the person and add a link to wehre I was previously awarded.
    The acknowledgement is fantastic and this is a great way to “meet” new bloggers but it can also bring us to your points above.
    I reckon if all awards get passed on to a maximum of only 3 people, it could help resolve the problem even if we re-acknowledge certain fellow bloggers.
    Haev a happy weekend.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. I actually like the idea of having nominees do certain things (like listing facts, etc). I would like to see that continue but just limit the number of award that would be given over the course of, say, a year….

      1. I like that aspect of it too as it is always nice to learn a little bit more about the blogger outside of what he or she blogs about (ie. food, architecture, etc.).

        I also like the idea of paying things forward and nominating those who haven’t been nominated before. However, it seems to be increasingly more difficult to think of people who have not been nominated before!

  2. I think you are very honest and genuine. I am glad I “follow” a good blogger. I started to blog in mid may just among my family and friends and just released my blog to the world. You are the first few who read my food blog, which is really very elementary. After knowing that you did get a few awards already, I read some of your old posts. I found that you are genuinely interested in Asian food. I am sure you make good food since you are so interested to learn. PKeep blogging. I am sure one day you will accept more of those awards.

    1. Thank you very much for those words. Actually, when I first got these two new nominations I initially started to consider ‘re-nominees’ and I ended up following a couple of new blogs as they were genuinely enjoyable… Trying to come up with 14, though, is really something that would take *way* longer….

  3. I understand your reasoning. I’ve taken to saying my thanks and not carrying on with the task of further nominations. ultimately it is all about what you are comfortable with.

  4. I see what you mean. Is not a bad idea to create a new One with new rules, because at the end all the awards have the same…

  5. Having just finished reading your entry about awards, I have been enlightened by your explanation of the process of giving and receiving them.Awards become meaningless when they are so loosely given. If I were in the position of having to make a nomination, I would like to have a set of criteria against which to measure a bloggers entries. If everyone is using the same “yardstick”, then an award has more meaning and value. I’d be very interested in what you can come up with. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

  6. I UNDERSTAND. At least you are being upfront and honest and not burying your head in the sand about the situation. I have received many nominations and not yet dignified my nominators with a response, other than to thank them and tell them how honoured I was to be chosen. I feel much guilt about this, and am going to do a post about it. I am both flummoxed about the awards and complimented. Good for you for taking your own personal stand–whether it be different than how others handle it or not. We all have to follow our own dictates.

    1. I sent my nominators personal thanks immediately after receiving the nominations. I actually thought of just letting the whole thing just quietly go away by taking no further action but this ultimately didn’t seem to be the best response. In the first place, I thanked my nominators in such a way that suggested I would be ‘complying’ with the rules of acceptance, and also, I recognized that I might well be facing the same dilemma in the future anyway…

  7. I completely agree. I also chose to turn down awards/refused to nominate others since, as you also put it, the resemblance to chain-letters is a bit too obvious.

  8. I am new to blogging myself and I follow only a few blogs – yours is now one of them. I too, had a hard time understanding the nomination process as I have been educating myself in the “blogging world”. I appreciate your honesty and your authentic viewpoint. I am excited to enjoy your upcoming blogs. Laurie.

    1. Thank you very much Laurie … I just came across your blog the other day. Good luck with it. I hope you find the find the experience as satisfying as I do!

  9. Well … here goes nothin’. I am not – nor have I ever been – a blogger. In fact, until I began reading your blogs, I have rarely even read one. I apologize if my input may strike you and other bloggers as naive or uninformed. Perhaps it is. On the other hand, maybe the opinion of a total neophite may help point out the forest for the trees.

    It seems obvious that the reason for being nominated for any award is for one’s excellence in what one does – excellence over and above others who do the same. Were I to be nominated for any award, the acceptance of which nomination held the caveat that I had to nominate five or more others before I would even be considered as a candidate … and were I to ultimately win this award, I would never really feel totally honoured or deserving; always wondering if I had been truly nominated for my own skills or whether I had been nominated simply because the one submitting my name did so as he/she just threw my name in the hat because they themselves dearly wished to win and was running thin of others to nominate.

    I am sorry if I have offended anyone with this outsider’s view of this process – but if I, as a blogger, were to receive only one award where the nomination of others was completely optional and not mandatory – it would be worth a thousand awards with ‘strings’ attached.

    I’m very proud of you for what you’ve done, John – and even more proud that you’ve taken it upon yourself to draw attention to this ‘I can only win if I nominate you first’ approach to ‘winning’.

    No offence intended. That’s just how I see it.

  10. Congrats that’s awesome and from what see well deserved. Working hard myself to earn a higher popularity on the blog. Always good to see success.

  11. I think many of us here agree with your take on blog awards. While it is nice to “feel the love” as it were, it is very difficult to come up with the requisite number of nominations who either: haven’t been nominated by you, or haven’t been nominated for the award before. I think it is a nice way to boost a new blogger’s ego, but may not be truly reflective of that blogger’s merit.

    Having said that, I love all of the awards I have received, and will try to come up with new people to give them to, since it is, after all, a nice feeling.

    1. I see some people just decided to accept the award and then unilaterally ‘changed’ the rules and only nominated a few people… that’s not a bad response either.

      1. If I can’t come up with the right number; I just nominate a few. Since they’re all blogger-driven, I don’t see the harm. Congrats on being nominated, though; you definitely deserve them.

  12. I am siding with you on this one.. at first it seemed a fun sort of “game” and I accepted an award and did a post with the “answers”, “nominations”, etc, but (I guess I’m a bit slow on the take) I soon realized they were a “chain” sort of letter.. and that I didn’t want my writing to be directed by an obligatory award response. Having said that, I do try to thank the person nominating me in the comments sections (I may have missed a few) and politely decline.. I’m sure you’ll find the best way to handle this. I just think it’s lovely that someone likes your blog enough to share with their friends… 😀

  13. I share Smidge’s thoughts regarding this topic. I feel very honored that people think of us but maybe we could start a different way of meeting new people and sharing recipes. Take Care, BAM

  14. I have had similar considerations when I have been nominated for blogging awards. I want to be sincere in nominating someone and felt challenged to find enough to make my “quota.” On the other hand I want to be gracious when receiving a compliment in the form of an award. I decided to take it very unseriously and do whatever seems fitting at the moment and then not worry about it. I am much more thrilled and honored if someone decides to post a link to my blog somewhere such as on their facebook. I always check out the recommendations my friends suggest.

  15. Excellent analysis! I find the awards a challenge, too, but have gone to a new method of passing them on…I create an “honor roll” and I mention those that I would like my friends to find…yours would be an example of one I might list in an honor roll…then the rules are this…”there are no rules.” If you choose to pick up the honor and roll with it, fine, but if not, that’s more than okay! I think as bloggers we should be free to take the spirit of the award and adapt accordingly! 🙂 Debra

  16. This was a great blog post and something that I think is really good to talk about. I have been nominated for a few awards (including by your very dear self!), and have felt really guilty for not finishing the draft of the post in which I nominate blogs I love in turn.

    First of all, I want to say that it’s not because I don’t feel really honored or touched that someone likes my blog enough to recommend it to other readers — I do and I am — it’s just that I don’t really take making recommendations lightly. As someone mentioned earlier, I want to try to pay the award forward by giving it to new bloggers or people who haven’t been nominated yet. However, as you pointed out, this is increasingly difficult to do as it is hard to find a new blogger who doesn’t yet have enough output to assess, or someone who has been blogging for longer and has already been nominated.

    The first time I was nominated for an award, I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know 15 bloggers, and I felt a little strange lurking around random blogs trying to find someone to nominate. Yes, it is a great way to get to enlarge your community, but it left me feeling a little weird and kind of wishing for a more organic process — kind of like how you and me became blogging friends! As a result, that most sat in draft limbo too.

    Maybe changing the rules is the way to go? After all, these awards are by bloggers, for bloggers. It’s not like the blogging gods will smite us for nominating less people, or revealing more or less about ourselves!

    Again, great post. I applaud your honesty and thoughtfulness, which shines through everything of yours that I read.

  17. The awards are more like fan memes amongst bloggers who know each other’s blogs. If it is done sincerely, it’s simply a nice way of stimulating ongoing reader loyalty and visits.

    But yes, not to get too caught up in the circular exercise of nominations and awards. Blogging should be for the love of it, not for just increasing traffic.

  18. I think that your view of these awards is quite noble. I don’t know if I could or would be so honorable! lol I’m such a praise whore when it comes to my writing! lol If you start a legitimate contest, we will all support it, John! Hats off to you, dude! xo Julia

  19. Hi John,
    I was recently nominated for my first blog award, and I recalled this post you had written awhile back. I’m curious to know if you were able to determine the origin of any of these awards, and if any “nominations” actually result in a real award? You can reach me at alison.hein@mixerupper if you like. Thanks!, Alison

  20. Always a nominee, never a winner. I spend enough time cooking and blogging, and I’ve had to spend hours writing one “award”post. I’m seven behind now. Please come up with something new and different!

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