Posted in General

Announcing… an Award!

Nope, I haven’t won the Golden Quill Award. In fact, nobody has as yet…

Back when I wrote a post about accepting blog awards, I explained my reasons for declining two that were bestowed upon me in quick succession. In that same post, I also suggested that I might try and design a new award with rules for nomination that didn’t lead to the sort of ‘chain letter’ progression that many current ones employ. It has taken a while, but I finally got around to coming up with something.

Anyway, the basic idea behind the ‘Golden Quill’ is that will be bestowed upon only one blogger at a time with the result that nominees can give some real consideration as to whom they will in turn nominate and not be stuck with having to come up with a whole bunch of names. In addition, I have also proposed some temporal rules so as to limit the number of awards per year to a reasonable number. Here is my idea so far…


  • Nominees must, within 7 days of the first day of the month following the month in which they received their nomination, write a blog post announcing the fact;
  • The post must commence by displaying the ‘Golden Quill Image’ , which appears at the beginning of this current post;
  • Nominees must thank their nominator and, in the body of the post, include a link back to that person’s blog;
  • The nominee must then re-nominate another fellow blogger, provide a link to the blog in question, and write a brief paragraph explaining why they feel the new nominee is worthy of nomination;
  • The current nominee may now, at his or her discretion, display the sidebar award logo available here ;
  • In the event that any re-nominee has not accepted their nomination within the 7 day limit mentioned above, the current nominee may make a fresh re-nomination by simply re-blogging their original acceptance and substituting the name of the new re-nominee in place of the old;
  • The acceptance post must include a copy of these rules as listed;

A little help is requested…

I am not yet ready to choose a nominee for the first award yet as I would first very much like to get some feedback from some of my readers on the rules so far.

It occurs to me that, with only one nominee at a time, the chances of the award lapsing at any given time are quite high and seems a little onerous to expect a recipient to have to keep making successive posts just because of repeated failures to accept. I probably have also neglected to consider other possibilities as well, I expect.

Finally … does anyone find the rules a little too… how shall I say… formally legalistic, or complicated?

Any thoughts greatly appreciated… and, if anyone would be kind enough to try downloading the images and let me know if there is a problem I would be most pleased!


I am a lawyer by profession and my practice is Criminal... I mean, I specialize in Criminal law. My work involves travelling on Court circuits to remote Arctic communities. In between my travels I write a Food blog at

24 thoughts on “Announcing… an Award!

  1. I downloaded the image, no problem. I will have a think about the rules, but I think this is a great idea. I am new to the WordPress blogworld, but I think if the award is focused on people who are not fly-by night bloggers it should have a good life…

  2. I downloaded the images, too, everything seems all right.

    The award is a good idea, I don’t find it complicated, though I may add another week or something like that as a longer deadline, just to give time to consider.

    1. One of this issues is to also not have nominations come at too quick a frequency so as to limit the number per year… the way it is set up now, a blogger may actually have up to a month before making the nomination. Still, the time limit thing definitely needs some careful thought.

  3. Good that you are trying to resolve the chain letter issue as well as the ‘dying out’ issue, which is I’m afraid what happened to Conor’s noble efforts with his “Two Chances” award.
    The phrase “within 7 days of the first day of the month following the month in which they received their nomination” is a bit legalistic and might make this a very slowly propagating award if the nominees actually use this time limit. The nominator may have to wait a month each time before knowing he has to nominate someone else. And you are right, the burden on the nominator seems too high.
    A simple change is to simply change the time limit to 7 days, i.e. not after next month. You could separate accepting the nomination and nominating the following blog by requesting the nominee to accept in a comment on the nominating post, and granting a further time to nominate the following blog.
    That leaves the issue of non acceptance, to which I will get back later because I’m about to arrive at work…

    1. I was a bit unhappy with the wording of the time limit too … One of my concerns, though, was to limit the number of awards to a small number per year. I had thought about having the nominations go through me and then I would post them, but I would like the award to be self-propagating if possible.

      1. If I were you, I’d be more worried about the award dying out than about too many awards.

        I’ve given this some thought, and could only come up with the idea to let the nominator check in with the blogger (s)he’s going to nominate first to check whether the award will be accepted or not. This could happen through e-mail or a message left as a comment on the “about” page of the blog that is about to be nominated. The nominator would then only post the nomination on his/her blog after having received confirmation that the award will be accepted. It does sound a bit complicated I know, but it’s the best I could come up with. (An alternative would be that only blogs that have signed up to be eligible can be nominated, but that seems even more complicated.)

        I’ve also been wondering whether you should restrict the award to food blogs only. For the award to have meaning it should be known within the blogging community. If there are only a dozen blogs or so awarded each year, it might remain very unknown in the larger blogging world. By restricting to food blogs only, it would be easier to get recognition.

        Anyway, this was just my $0.02 worth. I hope you’ll be able to make this work!

      2. I’ve had 3 more ideas:
        1) to limit the number of awards, you could attach the month to the award, as in: the Golden Quill award January 2013 goes to… Naturally, Jan has to nominate Feb, etc.
        2) you could stipulate that nominators should send you an e-mail with a link to the blog post with the nomination, so you could maintain a list of awards on your site
        3) with a combination of 1) and 2), you could bestow upon yourself the right to nominate the award for a particular month if no blog has been nominated by the 21st of said month (to prevent the award from dying out)

      3. The month idea is worth thinking about. I have considered having nominators advise me of their nominations but I’m a bit reluctant… I really wanted this to be self-perpetuating. Still, it might be the only sure way….

  4. Oh, I thought you are giving me an award! Of course it’s a joke! The badge looks nice. If anyone can design an award, I will design one later! Just curious how you did this one…like cooking? And why called it golden quill? Because bloggers write? It is kind of Classical. Not bad. The problem is ” for blogging excellence”. Whatever award you give out, I don’t like to regard it as a competition. The word excellence is like a teacher giving out his grade of “excellence” . I rather like awards that represents inspiration, learning opportunities, sharing, appreciation. I know there are lots of them out there about these qualities.

    About giving award to one person, again it is like Oscar, Nobel prize …? You need to really think that blog Is the best. But nobody is the best! When I read all the freshly pressed posts, some are good , some aren’t. Of course everyone has his/ her own opinion. There are also cultural differences, and geographical differences , political etc etc. the easy ones are travel posts with lots of nice pictures. The more difficult ones are humorous posts or debates, or controversial topics.

    What I really like are those blogs that have personalities. I do find a few. Also many bloggers like to share with others that have similar interests. I am not a cooking peron, but I created a food blog and become your follower , because your blog has personality. Ok, that is …I will create a Personality Award soon…wait till I return from vacation. Bye for now.

    Whatever we do or award or write.., just do it for fun. No need to be too serious. I have got three awards in 6 months,and fourth nomination, which I don’t have time to write yet. One person said, oh you are popular…not at all. I don’t so social media stuff except blogging. This is no way to increase readership like what I am doing. But what is the goal? Why am I doing all these? Do awards mean anything to me? Yes, they do. And I truly respect all those who nominate me. I blog because I like to try something new, to learn and to share.

    Alright, just do whatever you like to do. Since you cook, perhaps you should design something like “iron chef” award, something like that. Like this suggestion? Goodnight!

    1. Actually, I specifically didn’t want to limit the award to cooking blogs. I read other sorts of blogs too and I wanted something that would be open to all bloggers regardless of interests. I also think most people will appreciate that an award for excellence is not neccessarily about being the ‘best’, rather that a given blog is being recognized for being well done in some way, which I is why I specify that the nominator say why they think a given blog is particularly worthy of being looked at 🙂

  5. “The party of of the first part…” is hereinafter called: “the party of the first part…” and “The party of of the second part…” is hereinafter called: “the party of the second part…

    Groucho and Chico in A Night at the Opera (Movie)

    Hehe! I think is a good idea and it does reduce the rippel effect of some awards. Maybe the time to write the acceptance is too long; imagine that you are nominated the first of December, the acceptance is due after more than a month later…
    And one or another may totally forget about it!
    But again, is a great idea! 🙂

  6. Stellar idea all round John. I like the idea of paying it forward to only one person but don’t think you should get too hung up on the rules and regulations – what you have is more than sufficient and covers all bases. You could possibly change the time limit though to a shorter period? Great looking logo too.
    🙂 Mandy

  7. I like the idea and the graphic. The rules of acceptance are a lot of rules; almost like a divorce decree, lol. Only kidding!! Possibly a little more at ease 🙂

  8. I really like the idea, but I have a question, what parameters does one need to have to be nominate ? ie. good pictures, good ideas, good recipes, funny, original, . . . .

    Also, I think that it would be cool if you had a page on your blog or a separate blog where you keep track of those who have been awarded and who have accepted the award . . . it might be a way to avoid all the “spam” keeping it “public” . . .

    just ideas . . . I haven’t been a good blogger lately . . . just catching up now . . .

    1. The criteria would be up to the nominator really …. Obviously, they would have to find the blog admirable in some way, the only requirement would be that they say *why* they think it is.

      I am beginiing to think maintaining the award records myself is the only way to go…

  9. I see the idea of an award is well-liked here. I’m not really a fan of them personally. Here’s the thing. From my perspective as a blogger, one of the things I like about the activity is that nobody tells me what to do. As soon as you give this to somebody, you’re hitting that individual with a rule book. I’m awarding you so now you have to do something.

    I see a blog as a little hive of activity out there in cyberspace. You can visit if you like, and you can come back, or not. A good blog is one that maintains its space, that is full of life and imagination. One way or another it’s going to find its audience, its community, big or small.

    An alternative to an award is to link to a post on a blog you really like that says hey look what I found. Check this out.

    I don’t mean to dissuade you….just offering a different perspective.

    By the way, I’ve become a fairly regular visitor here. I enjoy your blog quite a lot. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks very much. I was a bit ambivalent towards the whole idea for quite a while but it does seem that the process helps foster a sense of community in the blogosphere in a way that mere links or casual mentions don’t quite manage.

Comments, thoughts or suggestions most welcome...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s