Should we continue to pass blogging awards on?

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I have been fortunate enough to have received lots of lovely blogging awards recently, but after writing the summary below I had the dilemma of who to pass them on to.  I have noticed that an increasing number of people are no longer blogging about the awards they have received, and so wonder if people don’t appreciate receiving them. I’d hate to annoy someone by giving them something which is intended to please them, and honour the hard work they put into their blog.

I love recieving awards. It is a lovely feeling to have been singled out by another blogger, but I sometimes wonder if displaying the awards you have received is a bit like showing off, the equivalent of showing your blog stats to the world.

Suey  recently asked a similar question – she had seen someone describe awards as being the blog equivalent of chain mail. I often feel that the number of people nominated for each award is too high. The chain letter effect begins to take place when 10+ people are awarded each time.  The specialness of the award is reduced if everyone gets one eventually.

So my question is: Should we continue to pass these blogging awards on? Do you think that most people who you give an award to already know that you appreciate their blog, as you visit and comment on their blog regularly, or are blogging awards that extra special treat which they deserve from time to time? 

Do you feel jealous when other people get lots of awards? Do you think it is impolite to wave them around in front of people who may not have as many?

I’d love to know what you think on this subject, as the more I think about it, the more confused I get!

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  1. Liyana says:

    For me, I think it’s good to let people know you appreciate their blog. And maybe the number may be too high, but there are hundreds of great blogs out there.

  2. Dorte H says:

    Hi Jackie.
    I came by to tell you I have received The No 1 Ladies´Detective Agency, thank you very much :)

    I got stuck and had to dwell on this post, however, because I have also been thinking along these lines.

    In the beginning I was so happy to receive awards, but after some time I could also see it created some problems. First of all, some of my blogging friends never post about them. Some because they don´t have time, others (I think) because they are not really comfortable about awarding some blog friends and not others.

    And, as you say “I often feel that the number of people nominated for each award is too high.” I agree that it can easily turn into a chain letter thing so what you do, basically, is to search for bloggers who have not received THAT award the last few days.

    In the beginning I did exactly as I was told, now I sometimes change the rules – award a particular group of bloggers, award my friend feed room, award blogs I have come across recently – or leave out the number so people can feel free to award one or hundred blogs.

    I have seen many other creative solutions (along the lines of your award cavalcade), and I think we could do ourselves a favour by avoiding strict rules attached to awards. I should like to have a stock of awards ready for special people, special bloggers etc – and maybe I should just begin to use them that way???

  3. Christina says:

    I’ve received one award in the year and a quarter I’ve blogged about books. The award had something to do with bringing another culture and ethical values to your blog. I had no idea what that meant, and when it came time to pass it along, I picked the last fifteen people to comment on my blog to give it to. Seems like a bit of a wash, don’t you think?

    To me, awards themselves are a bit of a wash. I know what blogs I really enjoy reading — otherwise they wouldn’t be in my Reader feed/blogroll — and I try to leave meaningful comments on their blogs rather than “nice review” or “this looks good.”

    I’ll be honest, though. I do get a bit jealous when others continually receive “awards.” Some bloggers have never received one, and I know I ask myself “what’s wrong with my blog?” when I see others receive one award after another.

    The number of receivers, like you said, is too high, and they are becoming like chain letters, passed along from blog to blog until someone says “thanks but I won’t gift them on to someone.” But I feel like the same people win the awards over and over again, so decreasing the number won’t help “spread the love.”

  4. Jackie says:

    Liyana – I agree – there are hundreds of great blogs out there. Being able to recognise the best, without offending the rest is an almost impossible challenge.

    Dorte – I’m pleased you received the book – I hope you enjoy it!

    I have never followed the award rules. In the beginning this was because I didn’t follow 15 blogs, but more recently I have found it really hard to decide who I should give it to. I think your idea about creating your own awards from time to time is great. That way they don’t feel like chain mails, and are more special, as they have been thought of just by you.

  5. Jackie says:

    Christina – I have only recently discovered your blog, but I really enjoy reading it. I can see no reason why you haven’t received any awards, as in my opinion it is definitely worthy of them.

    The only thing I can think of is that people have considered giving you awards, but then checked to see if you’ve blogged about any – seeing that you haven’t, have avoided giving you them as they felt that you didn’t like blogging about them/thought of them as annoying – this means you get a vicious circle where you don’t get any. Does this make sense?

    I thought it might be the case where some people feel left out at not getting them all the time. The question is how to balance accepting them graciously, without rubbing it in the noses of those that don’t get them.

  6. Sandy says:

    Good for you Jackie for bringing this up. I have a few comments. First, I do what I want with the awards. Sometimes I only pass them on to one or two people, but rarely do I pass them to a dozen. I’m not the least bit offended if someone doesn’t post on them; I just want them to know I love ’em.

    I display my awards on my blog, but never did I ever imagine it would be perceived as showing off! Now I am second guessing myself. I put them up as a way of honoring those that gave it to me. I definitely don’t want to be perceived as a show off…going to have to think about this!

    As a new blogger, I would get almost (pathetically) depressed when I would see all these bloggers get awards, and wondered what I had to do to deserve them too. That is why I will always pass the awards on (at least the first time around) because I know how it feels to be left out. I don’t consider myself to be awarded when a blogger says they pass it along to all their readers. I’m interested in hearing what other say on this topic.

  7. Jackie says:

    Sandy – You’re right – I never feel awarded when someone says they are passing an award to all their readers, it is being singled out which makes the award special.

    I also think that a lot of people, myself included in the past, don’t pay much attention to what the award is before giving it out. There are special ones for commenting, or humor etc, and I often wonder why some people who are great commentors don’t get the commenting award, or people who are really serious on their blogs get a humor one.

  8. Pam says:

    I have a couple of rewards but I don’t blog or put them up. I don’t like to break my design. I think its a bit spammy. I know someone appreciates my blog simply by popping by and saying “Hey that was a good post”, or even twittering it. I don’t think we need to create loads of buttons where feelings are hurt when you don’t pass on or blog or put them on your site. It makes me feel awkward and bad for maybe hurting feelings of the person that passed it to me. I do always leave a comment thanking them for the award but that’s as far as I go.

  9. I don’t really know how I feel about awards either. I made an award page for my blog, but it’s sort of buried, but I try to acknowledge all awards there because I do appreciate them. I occasionally pass awards along, but I always feel weird singling people out to give awards to.

    When I was a new blogger getting awards made me very excited — it’s nice to be recognized by other bloggers that you respect. But, I think it’s better to show recognition to other bloggers by pointing to their great posts or recognizing great comments. That seems like a way to show people you appreciate their blog without feeling weird about passing on an award or not.

  10. Jackie says:

    Pam – I agree that a great comment, and especially a twitter (or a highlight in a link round up) is often better than an award. I’m beginning to think that awards are hurting more people than they are pleasing.

    Kim – I think making a separate page for awards might be a good compromise. That way you can still acknowledge the award, without showing off about it to people who aren’t looking. It still leaves the awkwardness of passing it on though…

  11. Karen says:

    I have to admit that I do like to receive awards when they are thoughtfully given or passed on – gives me a little thrill for the day! But on the other hand, I think everyone has started their blog for their own personal reasons so I think they should pass on awards/not pass on awards if they feel that fits with their blogging philosophy. I’m easy just to go with the flow on this one I think!

  12. Wendy says:

    I am always flattered to receive a blogging award, but I am also always at a loss as to who to pass it on to. Usually I cop out. I read so many blogs – and I love them all. I never want to hurt anyone’s feelings and sometimes I think these awards make people feel bad if they don’t get nominated. It is always a huge dilemma for me.

  13. Jackie says:

    Karen – That’s a great philosphy! Ultimately everyone should do whatever they think is for the best.

    Wendy – I didn’t realise how many people struggled with who to nominate. This post has been a big eye opener for me.

  14. Christina says:

    Thanks, Jackie. Your theory makes complete sense to me. It’s a vicious cycle.

    As for how to accept them graciously, I think your previous post did a good job of that. You thanked the person who gave it to you and linked back to their blog, which could possibly increase traffic for them. Like Wendy, I think passing them along is hardest. I choose the last 15 people to comment on my blog, but I have close to 55 blogs in my Google Reader. How do I pick one without leaving another feeling bad?

  15. DebD says:

    I haven’t read all the responses, but just wanted to say: I stopped blogging about awards I received a year or so ago because I had to pass it on. I wouldn’t mind passing it on to 1-2 blogs – but 5-7!! It was quite stressful for me. I felt torn, because I was very honored to receive the awards, but frustrated that it came with a hitch – although I see the wisdom & kindness in passing it on since I also love discovering new blogs.

    Anyway, honestly – I don’t like receiving awards anymore and haven’t since I stopped blogging about them.

  16. Beth F says:

    I haven’t read all the comments yet — because it took me all day to figure out my own thoughts and I don’t want to be influenced.

    Here we go: I love getting awards. Who doesn’t? I’m lucky enough to be one of those people who has gotten an embarrassing amount of awards. I still like them! Keep them coming (LOL!)

    I hate giving them out because I always feel that I’m playing favorites, and I’m not comfortable doing that. I decided not to blog about the last batch because I did so twice in the last two weeks.

    But I think I’m going back to my old ways. What I’ve tried to do in the past is turn the award around back to the person who gave it to me by telling my readers about that person’s blog and why I like it. And then encouraging my readers to go visit. That way I’m hoping to widen the circle of the community rather than narrow it. And I’m hoping that the people who bestow awards on me will be rewarded by getting more readers and maybe making a new friend.

    Am I ever successful? I don’t know. Am I hurting people by *not* passing awards along? I don’t know. I try to deal with awards in a way that makes me feel comfortable.

    Once in a while — like the Zombie Chickens — an award comes along that is just to good not to pass on to my fellow bloggers.

    Now I’ll go read the other comments.

  17. Beth F says:

    I made an award slideshow that runs in my blog’s footer. I’m pleased I got my awards, and the slide show acknowledges them but takes up less space!

  18. Marie says:

    I think we should continue passing along blog awards. I do not always blog about the awards I receive right away, but that does not mean I don’t appreciate them. Sometimes the work involved in maintaining daily (or near-daily) posts, commenting, Twittering, etc., takes up all the time I have to spend online, and I can’t do everything that everybody else wants or expects me to do. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it when someone gives me a nice compliment.

  19. shelburns says:

    I’ve gotten some, but when I got ready to pass them on, the people I would have passed to were already recipients, so I declined. I’ve been so busy reading/reviewing lately that I just haven’t posted the ones I’ve gotten. That’s my fault! I think they’re great, but it’s saturating sometimes.

  20. I’m very grateful for every award the I receive, but it’s become such a common occurrence that taking time to pass on all of these awards to other bloggers would seriously take away from my normal blogging. I also don’t want anyone to feel left out; if I’m visiting and commenting on your site, it’s because I think it’s a good site. I have over 200 excellent blogs in my reader, how could I possibly choose only 5-10 people from that?

  21. Molly says:

    WOW — such a good post and wonderful comments.

    I think I am in the majority here. When I first started blogging I must confess that I felt “jealous” of everyone receiving an award. I set a goal for myself to hopefully receive an award after a year of blogging. Well….I didn’t have to wait the year and I was absolutely ecstatic!! I think the blogging community is one of the few places where people freely acknowledge a job well done with something other than a pat on the back. It is refreshing and uplifting.

    Having said that – I definitely struggle with whom to pass along the award. My fear is that I will pass along to someone who has already received the award and it is more of a nuisance to them than a token of appreciation. Lately, I have tried to pass along to blogs that are new to me.

    I wanted to acknowledge my appreciation of the award (rather than showing it off) by putting them on my sidebar. I quickly decided that made my blog look cluttered – and I was afraid that a cluttered blog might turn away potential readers. I have since created a separate page for awards, and I have a link to that page on my header, if anyone is interested in viewing.

    Should we do away with awards? I don’t think so. It is one of the many things that sets apart this community as a caring, appreciative and edifying body. Perhaps there should be fewer stipulations and the receiver be allowed to pay forward in any way they see fit.

  22. I’ve only started blogging a few months ago and I’ve received a couple of blog awards. When I got these awards I was so happy, I really couldn’t believe someone wanted to give me one. And I still am happy when I get them.

    But, I’ve also noticed that some of the blog awards are doing a round robin. I received a couple of the same ones twice now and was wondering how I should handle it. Now, I’ve been agonizing over who to pass on the award to again.

    When I’m thinking of who to nominate for the award, I will admit, I consider the theme of their blog. Some themes don’t fit with some of the awards, so I hesitate, even though I would like to pass the award along to that blog. And I agree that the nomination number is too high for the blog awards, I think one to a max of three would be good.

    I like some of the ideas in comments, a blog award page or running a slide show. I’ve also seen where people post the awards on their side bar and mention everyone who has awarded them the award under the award itself.

    Thank you for this post. I feel better knowing other bloggers were having the same thoughts about blogging awards.

  23. Rebecca Reid says:

    My comments are like those of the others. It was wonderful when I was a new blogger. That first month or two I was hoping for ten readers on my google analytics page. And then I got an award! YEAY! I was real!

    I have since realized how much more I’d rather focus on content. I think new bloggers need to just keep blogging and not worry about the details — like how many people are reading. As long as you have good posts, the readers will come. I second Kim’s comment: mentioning a specific post is a much more meaningful tribute than sending on a chain letter (which is what it seems to me).

    I have stopped passing on “awards” but if I get a chance I try to mention the kindness of the person who gave it to me because then it’s a link back to their page. Maybe if we just comment on new blogs we find and/or share with our readers blog posts that are noteworthy, then those new bloggers won’t feel the “oh, no body likes me!” feeling when they don’t get an “award.”

  24. Anastasia says:

    I think I agree with a lot of people here when I say that

    a) I love getting awards.

    b) But I don’t love being “required” to pass it on to 5-15 people.

    c) That doing so makes me stressed out and even makes the award seem less special.

    d) That I’ve stopped blogging about awards I’m given and, when I do pass eventually them on, I’ll change the rules so they’re not so difficult to fulfill.

    That said, I do sincerely love every award I’ve been given (though I love the ones that put a little more thought into it, er, a BIT more than the others, truth be told) and I always make sure to thank the person who gave it to me, and link to them under the award, etc.

    I dunno. I hope these meme-y awards die out soon; I think a lot of bloggers would be less stressed!

  25. Suey says:

    Wow, I’ve come to this discussion late! It’s hard to keep up around here!

    But it’s interesting to see what everyone’s thinking regarding awards. It seems like most of us are of the same opinion… it’s fun to get them, but it’s hard to pass them on. It will be interesting to see if anything changes after this discussion. Maybe everyone will be even more confused about what they should do?

  26. Jackie says:

    Thank you for all your thoughtful comments. I think one thing we can all agree on is that there is no need to follow the ‘rules’ for awards. Feel free to pass them on to as many, or as few, people as you like. Try to make sure that you pick people out who deserve the specific award, ie. give the best commentor award to the people who write the best comments on your blog, not the person whose blog you like best.

    I’m still not sure how I’ll handle awards in the future, but I’ll put a lot more thought into it, and try to ensure that I make everyone feel good about blogging.

    Thanks again for your comments – you all deserve an award!!!!! LOL!!

  27. Jenners says:

    I saw the link to this award at Kittling Books, and this same topic has been on my mind. As nice as it is to get recognition, I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t want or need to get any more awards. I tend not to like reading those type of posts, and I don’t like writing them so I think I’m just going to skip them from now on … and hopefully no one will think of me anymore and I won’t feel an obligation!!! I do think it is a bit of a chain letter type feel … I’m sure the sentiment is sincere and nice, but it is lots of work for everybody. So I’m just saying NO to awards — the best “award” someone can give me is just to visit my blog! : )

  28. Jackie says:

    Jenners – Thank you for visiting my blog for the first time, and leaving such a thoughtful answer. As a reward I’m off to visit your blog!!!

  29. Jeanne says:

    I came over her from Kittling Books, because she posted a link to this post. I love it when people alert me to interesting things. The blog awards always strike me as a little bit like the popular girls exchanging whatever’s fashionable that week.

  30. Jackie says:

    Jeanne – Thank you for commenting on my blog for the first time! That is a really interesting analogy. I hadn’t thought of it like that before.

  31. Cathy says:

    Since I mentioned this post in my Weekly Link Round-Up, I suppose it’s only fair that I chime in with my own opinion. :)

    When I received my first award, I almost fell out of my chair from shock. And I was thrilled. And I felt as though my blog were somehow more “real” than it had been just a minute before. And it gave me the incentive to do more and to try new things.

    I still appreciate awards when they come my way, but I’ve long since made my own rules when passing them along. (I’ve never been the type of person who likes being told what to do!) Many times I just thank the giver and link to their blog–especially if the award seems to have “saturated the market”. I have a link to an Awards page in my header. Few people look at it, and I don’t blame them. When I’m visiting blogs, I don’t look for awards, I look for interesting content.

    I’ve forgotten who mentioned it first, but rather than awards, I’d prefer being mentioned in a Weekly Link Round-Up. One section of mine is for interesting book blog posts that I’ve found during the week, and I always like to see people clicking on those links and visiting other blogs. Sharing content and “link love” I think has more lasting value than awards.

  32. Cathy – Thank you for linking to me in your weekly post round-up, as you say this is nicer than an award, as it recognises good posts, and draws more traffic towards your site. I really should have more “link love” on my blog.

  33. I get a bit bogged down and can’t keep up with everything. I sincerely appreciate every blogger who thinks my blog is worth reading, but I can’t always post about the awards. And yes I feel guilty about it.


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