After being nominated for the “One Lovely Blog” award by Stan Stewart over at Muz4Now, I feel the need to address the pay-it-forward element of blogging awards like “One Lovely Blog” and “Stylish Blogger.” There are several awards of this nature around the blogosphere. The basic set-up is that after nomination a blogger accepts the award by passing the award on to several other blogs and sharing something about themselves on their own blog.
There are positive elements embedded in these awards. Acknowledging the blogs that have meaning for you is part of building a sense of community. Telling writers that you like what they have to say is a worthy task. Pointing readers to quality blogs provides a service to the readers. And, sharing about ourselves in our writing gives our readers an opportunity to feel a personal connection to us and helps develop community.
The same good effects can be achieved through less manipulative means by engaging with other writers on their blogs and by linking to good quality posts from your own blog. By sharing freely and engaging without manipulation, we invite a positive response and trigger the natural human instinct to reciprocate gifts that is key to community building without triggering the ick factor that comes when we feel coerced.
There is an ick factor that comes from the emotional manipulation at work in these awards. By offering a reward you want, the pat on the back in the form of the award, the blogger who passes on the award to you is dictating the content of at least one post, which may not be something you want to incorporate into the overall look and feel of your blog. But, it takes a strong-willed person to turn down recognition, especially when it comes from members of your tribe.
That said, I know that the people who have nominated me for these awards, have been people who genuinely engage with me on my blog, who I have reason to believe are acting on entirely good motives.
I will not be passing on the “One Lovely Blog” award, but I will be spreading the link love in some upcoming posts.