Friday, March 15, 2013

Blog Awards - Yes or No

On Monday, I posted about having received the Liebster blog award and I mentioned being slightly overwhelmed at the list of rules for accepting this award. Eleven questions to answer and eleven new questions to create. Eleven random facts to come up with. And, not only eleven other blogs to pass the award along to, but eleven blogs with less than 200 followers.

My first thought was to politely decline. But since the purpose of this particular award was to attract readers to less followed blogs (like mine), I decided to take the plunge. It took the better part of a day, mostly spent checking through the blogs I follow, searching for ones with less than 200 followers. In keeping with the spirit of the award, I visited my fellow recipients and I discovered less than half had "accepted" the award. Of the eleven I gave the award to, fewer than half responded and most of those said it would be difficult for them to accept, i.e. abide by the rules for accepting.

When I first started blogging, as Linda Leszczuk, I was delighted to receive my first Blog Award. The requirements were easy to fulfill and I proudly posted the award on my blog and awarded it to one or more others bloggers. Time passed and I received several more. It still tickled me to get them and I dutifully did whatever was required, posted the awards on my blog, and passed them on. But some of the bloggers I passed awards onto said thanks but no thanks. Accepting an award, with its usual list of questions or facts to be given and selection of new recipients didn't fit the blogger's schedule or simply took too much time. And the time needed to accept an award was growing. From "answer five questions", they'd gone to "answer ten questions."  From "give this award to three other blogs", it was now ten or more. 

When, at the prompting of several professionals, I opted not to write under my own name but to use my maiden name, I started this blog. I was successful in carrying over some items from my old blog but I left the awards I'd received behind. When someone is gracious enough to give me award for this blog, I am pleased to accept it and do whatever is required but I've become uncomfortable giving the award to others because it feels as though I'm actually placing a burden on them they may not want. Several of my blog friends have asked me not to give them a blog award.

So, let me ask you, how do you feel about blog awards. Do you enjoy getting them or are they just one more thing to do? Have the rules for accepting an award gotten too time consuming or cumbersome?  Does giving or receiving blog awards generate blog traffic? If you could change anything about blog awards, what would it be?

Thanks for your input and have a great weekend.

Quote for Today:


mooderino said...

I only accept awards that have no requirements because of the time it takes to do all those things. If there was an award for laziness I would have to turn it down for that very reason.

Moody Writing

Mike Keyton said...

Linda, I'm one of those who responded to you with the caveat I wouldn't guarantee finding eleven others. I appreciate your own ambivalence about this. Of course I'll respond, we are both in a community to a large extent based on generousity. And besides, part of my job is soliciting writers to contribute to OFW. How could I not respond? But as you said, the follow on is a bit onerous for the recipient and those he/she next makes contact with, and that does make me a bit uncomfortable - so - not as generous as you with my time, but again, thanks for the 'award'

Linda G. said...

I'm always flattered to be included on someone's list of awardees, but I have to admit I more often than not break the chain these days. As you noted, participation has become more complex and time-consuming, and time is something I never seem to have enough of. :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

I don't mind receiving awards, and doing some of the stuff on them (answer questions, that is) as long as it doesn't take a lot of time, but I HATE it when I have to pass it on. I did it once and I think maybe one person accepted. I felt imposing and I hate feeling that way.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I graciously accept, but you're right they used to be simpler. (I've received most of the awards now as well.) Whatever the requirements, I usually shorten them. Sometimes I don't mention them because I just don't have the space in my post.

LD Masterson said...

Mood - Perhaps we need a lazy man's award. Pretty picture and no requirements. *grin*

Mike - You're welcome, Mike. I was really torn about giving out that award because of the "requirements" so please just do as much as you're comfortable with.

Linda G. - That's where I am. Nice to get but too much to pass along.

Stacy - I'm sensing a trend here.

LD Masterson said...

Alex - Maybe we need an unofficial limit on requirements.

Maria Zannini said...

I don't do blog awards. Much like I avoid blog hops. I even avoid reading those posts unless I happen to be good friends with the author or it's really, REALLY interesting.

Some might accuse me of being anti-social (ha!), but I simply don't have the time. I have to draw the line somewhere.

I keep hoping midnight-elves will come in to finish all my chores while I sleep, leaving me to frolic with my friends in the light of day. But alas, elves are lazy and I'm left to do it all myself.

Damn elves.

Anonymous said...

Love the pic! Classic. I haven't seen awards in a long time. I wouldnot want to jump through receive or give one. Seems like a lot of work.

Karen Walker said...

LD, this is such an important post because none of us wants to hurt or insult another blogger by refusing to accept an award. The idea of a blogging award is just lovely, but as others have said, it is an additional time-consuming blogging activity. We have to make choices in how we spend our time. I have decided to decline blog awards for this very reason. I am cutting back the number of days I post, etc. It's purely a matter of time.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I was tickled pink when I got the first award, and dutifully provided all the requested info, and even had fun with it. But I learned early on that most people didn't want to be bothered with fulfilling the requirements, especially if they were particularly burdensome. So it got to where I'd say something along the lines of... if you want this award, help yourself. And if I don't have the time to do all the stuff required, I politely thank the other blogger for the offer, and decline to accept. So much stuff, so little time.

(And I don't remember having to do all that stuff when I got the Leibster award. I guess it's mutated.)

LD Masterson said...

Maria - If only we had blog awards that came with their own elves.

Stephen - I had to toss in that picture. I've have teenage grandkids and all they do is text.

Karen - It is a bit of a Catch 22. It's lovely to give and receive appreciation but who has the extra time?

LD Masterson said...

Ha! This is the second time this morning I finished respnding to comments and found a new one had slipped in while I was typing.

Hi Susan - Except for this last time (with the Leibster), I've also gone the "help yourself" route. But, of course, it's not quite the same.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

They were a lot of fun 3-4 years ago, but there are so many now. I think it's more special to a new blogger than to those of us who've been around a while. I usually don't repost when I get one now.

Maryann Miller said...

I agree with so many that the awards have become time consuming and cumbersome. I'm also not sure if they mean as much any more as they used to. With Twitter and Pinterest, I think we can help our fellow bloggers out by Tweeting, sharing on FB and Pinterest as much as possible. Almost every time I visit a blog I try to promote it on a social site or two. I think that is more effective in driving traffic to a blog than the award system.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm a bad blogger. Like you I used to love receiving and passing on awards. I proudly listed them in my sidebar.

A year or so ago, I moved them to a tab. Now I no longer show them at all. If someone awards me, I accept, acknowledge the giver, and do the requirements. But I offer it up to anyone. But my blogs are mostly scheduled in advance, and it may take a while for me to acknowledge it.

It's strictly a time thing for me. I'd happily do it all if I had the time. But certain things have had to go as I've become busier. Blog awards are one.

Karin said...

Hey Linda! I know how you feel about these awards. It is kind of how I respond to those pesky chain letters. I hate to let down friends who send them to me but I hate imposing on friends who will receive them from me. Guess I would vote for opting out altogether.


Clarissa Draper said...

I used to get them a lot but not much any more. I don't like answering so many questions. It really makes blogging tiresome. Maybe a question or two should be the limit.

Liz Fichera said...

While it's always so nice and thoughtful that bloggers recognize other bloggers, it seems as those the blog awards lately come with too many instructions.

Damyanti said...

I'm iffy about blog awards, I get many but don't really accept them-- so I don't get them much anymore. I hate answering questions, especially if they are about myself.

Eve said...

Hey LD! I used to really appreciate getting awards...and it's not that I don't appreciate them now, it always feels good when someone thinks you're worthy of an award, but you're right, they have gotten a lot more complicated and time consuming over the years. I've noticed that many people are politely declining awards and I might start doing the same thing.

Sarah Allen said...

Interesting thoughts. I guess I haven't thought much about this because then I realize what a dilemma it is :) Perhaps my approach isn't the best, but I usually just say a polite thank you and leave it at that.

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah With Joy)

LD Masterson said...

Diane - I agree on awards being more special to new bloggers.

Maryann - That's a good point. Promoting someone's blog on another social media site is probably a lot more effective.

Carol - This seems to be the progression most of us are following.

Karin - I hadn't thought of comparing blog awards to chain letters but I see the connection.

Clarissa - I agree. One or two would be enough for me.

Liz - Sounds like we'd all like awards with fewer strings attached.

Damyanti - Yours is a slightly different take on the issue. I never mind answering questions about myself, just the time it takes to do it. I can see where award questions could be intrusive.

Eve - That seems to be the majority opinion.

Sarah - Yup, still the majority opinion.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I accept them, then bend the rules to suit myself. I'm an unapologetic rule breaker. My blog; my rules. That's just how I roll.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

I love that your top ten were classics. I'm adding the Desk Set to my list of movies to watch.

Anonymous said...

I seem to be in the group of people that struggles to "pass it on." When I did the Next Big Thing blog hop, it was so much work to find 3 writers who also had blogs and who HADN'T already participated that the chain stopped with me. To find 11 blogs that fit the criteria - all while holding down a day job, chasing kids, and trying to find writing time - is, well, you get the picture.

I'm trying and I am honored. I can answer all the questions and come up with the facts, but finding others? Yeah, that's the hard part.

LD Masterson said...

Whoops. I missed the last couple comments on thi spost. My apologies.

Elizabeth - Works for me.

Jenn - I'm guessing this comment was actually for my Top Ten Movie post. I hope you love Desk Set.

Mary - I agree. Finding 11 bloggers to pass it on to was nearly imposible and took too much time. I almost dropped that rule before passing it along but those weren't my rules so I didn't feel it was my place.