Awards or advertising strategy?

Since I have had my blog, I have noticed blogger created “awards” that are handed out to other blogs.  There are a lot of them.  In looking at the awards and the requirements listed, they all seem to have very similar components:

  1. Thank the person who “nominated/gave” you the award.
  2. Link to that persons blog
  3. Nominate/give the award to 15 other bloggers and notify them.  In some cases, people list the reason why they awarded/nominated that blog.
  4. Post the award to your blog with the image provided

The awards in some respects are fun.  Fun to hand out, fun to get, fun to then pass on and fun to post the graphic on your blog.  With the built in requirement of nominating/awarding 15 other blogs the awards also serve to generate advertising and traffic to all of the blogs listed.

There are also downsides to awards such as these:

  • They can be seen as nothing more than popularity contests; especially when the same people are consistently awarded/nominated for the same awards multiple times.
  • Some can see the awards as hypocritical.  For example posting about how important grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure is in society; then nominating/awarding someone who does not use good grammar, punctuation or sentence structure an award for that very thing.
  • They can be seen as spam.
  • Those that receive them, list them on their site, and do not hand them out to others, can cause ill will with those who gave them the awards, unless the person has a stated policy of not handing out or wanting to participate in the awards.

For awards to have meaning, they should have some sort of guidelines on how to be nominated for the award, and how to get the award.  A way for people to enter, or be entered, into winning the award, and a way to vote for the winners based on some criteria.  Otherwise, what meaning do the awards really have? They merely become a warm fuzzy marketing/advertising/spam strategy for the blogs that get them and hand them out.

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