Blog of the Year 2012 Award Updates


I’m delighted to have been nominated again for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award by Aillin from Australian Genealogy Journeys and also Helen who writes From Helen V Smith’s Keyboard. It’s been very special to be nominated by bloggers whose work I really enjoy, not just Aillin and Helen but also Crissouli from The ‘Back Fence’ of Genealogy, Susan on Family History Fun, and Alona from Lone Tester HQ.

As I’ve nominated so many bloggers for awards in the past week I’ve decided not to offer more names. Instead I refer you once again to my blog links page where you’ll find many of the blogs I follow (I do need to update it though).

When I made the first nominations for the award a week ago, I was concerned at offending the many bloggers whose posts I enjoy so much. What I didn’t know was that there was a negative attached to making these awards. Aillin has written a warning post here in which she has provided a linked story which warns on the impact of blog awards on your stats and Google searches to your blog. So if I’ve played havoc with your search engines and stats, I do apologise…it had seemed like a nice way to give some recommendations to my blogging colleagues. I’ll certainly be far more cautious in the future…live and learn.

This is an extract from Aillin’s post and I recommend that you read the link to see why awards are a mixed blessing, or indeed none at all

Blogging Genealogy: Blog Awards & SEO – BloggingGenealogy.com
Caroline Pointer has very recently posted an interesting post at her Blogging Genealogy blog regarding the negative  hidden search engine optimisation effects of blog awards.

35 thoughts on “Blog of the Year 2012 Award Updates

  1. I didn’t know about the technical side of it but I do remember a few years ago when people began giving out awards. After awhile it was impossible to find someone to pass them on to. I remember visiting blogs with a plan to pass the award on and finding two other people had just beat me to it! I do appreciate it when people give my blog an award and I’m working on a thank you post right now. I think I will link to the post you mentioned.

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  2. Hmm, food for thought there. I was going to sit down and catch up with my own award nominations and thank-yous this weekend, but now I’m not so sure what to do. Time for a bit of creative thinking.

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    • I feel as if I contributed to creating a monster with this when really all I was trying to do was to say “well done” to blogs that support me, or who really stood out for me in 2012. I hadn’t thought of it as a chain letter thing, which I passionately loathe. Frances, I think just say thank you and leave it at that. Or maybe add a blog link page to our blogs, or for those with the commitment and organisation, a period post about particular stories they liked/learned from. Look forward to your creative thinking outcomes.

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  3. As one of Pauleen’s first nominees, I’m glad that Aillin has alerted us to this issue but I think the biggest problem with the “Best Blog of the Year 2012 Award” is that, rather than nominating different blogs, it’s spinning around and around largely within a relatively small group which sure would skew the stats incredibly.
    Others might like to do as I have and that is to check a blog, before nominating, in an attemp to prevent doubling, tripling, quadrupling etc… Although not perfect, it does help reduce “the merry go round” effect. Another strategy is to deliberately choose blogs which others may not be familiar with.This is GREAT because they’re most likely to introduce me to new blogs in their nominations :-) , e.g. Yvonne, who accepted my nomination for her amazing work re: her French/ Canadian Ancestry and the 3 blogs she nominated have opened up a whole new Ancestral world to me. People may also choose to do, as Aillin has, and advise nominees that there is no need to link back to their blog.
    With the intention of following up an another two nominations, I’ve been waiting until the hypo activity settles and my decision-making clarified. This is something you might like to do Kristin and Frances. As two of the people, whose Blogs I chose very carefully before nominating, I’d love it if you were able to introduce me to even just one blog which is new to me but, of course, you must do what is right for you.
    Cheerio for now and many thanks to Pauleen and Aillin for this info… “Knowledge is Power” :-)

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  4. Pauleen. This needed to be said -I have long wondered why a company that specializes say in artwork or recipes would set up a Best Blog Award for example so that bloggers could nominate other bloggers and create links. I get these nominations from far and wide and am never sure what to do with them – other than to be very grateful to whoever took the time and trouble to name my blog. I usually do not respond to them in the format intended – i.e linking back etc. for one reason – that I simply do not have the time that all of this takes. I do feel however, that this may cause offence to some who have taken the time and trouble to nominate me, most especially if I d not know them very well. It reminds me a little of those Facebook posts requesting that you change your status if you know anyone for example who has been a victim or a survivor of cancer or whose family has had a ‘brush’ with it . They then go on to say that they ‘know’ the ones who will bother to do it . It’s a very subtle threat and it always makes me think: Hmm am I going to be the hard hearted one here or am I going along with this ‘chain letter’ ‘stuff’.. I am getting over it – I no longer respond to them and have not yet been struck by forked lightning. The Blog awards nominations are different of course in that someone has taken the time to put my ‘stuff’ up there for their followers to read and people may subsequently visit my site. I agree with Pauleen – keep the list of favourite blogs up there on the front page of the blog, read their posts, like them and or comment when you can, share on Facebook and on Twitter and that way you can promote the blogs that really are your favourite ones without the need to be promoting some obscure company selling recipes! Angela

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    • Well said, Angela. Thanks for expressing your view so clearly and agree with you re: those seemingly endless FB platitudes, requests, subtle threats etc. My position is to never repost those messsages on my “status”. For my FB friends who keep asking for info, requiring the use of a FB app, I send a private message giving them the info they request and advising that I don’t “do the app thing”, just in the same way that I don’t “do the google thing”. I know they appreciate knowing this, just as I do when someone chooses to not accept my nomination for an Award and tells me so. That’s OK. What I don’t like is when people “dilly and dally” and never respond to my genuine message of appreciation via an Award nomination. It’s like a big slap in the face, especially when I’ve looked closely at their Blog and it seems that they’d appreciate this type of recognition. Clear communication is what’s paramount, I believe, especially as we all learn how to best manage this relatively new, and powerful, phenomena the Social Media.
      Pauleen, I hope you’re not feeling too bad about your decision to pick up this award on the “Artwork” blog, which Angela refers to, and pass it on which then went “viral”. We all know that it was done with the best of intentions.
      Best of wishes to all and let’s keep on talking, eh? – Catherine.

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      • I agree that it can be disappointing when people don’t respond to your nomination though I guess sometimes our reading is a bit “behind the eight ball”., or they’re thinking about what to say -that doesn’t bother me too much. Yes I am feeling rather bad Catherine, I suppose for not thinking it through, or for being naive, but soothed by knowing the comments are not meant as against me personally. I think I’ve learned a lesson though. I guess when I first got a couple of awards last year (or in 2011?) I was just tickled that someone had bothered to think about my blog in the context of the award, hence my pay-it-forward view. Live and learn. Pauleen

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    • Thanks for your thoughts Angela and your comments are well founded. I guess I wasn’t concerned about the originating blog, more the concept of recognising effort…turns out I’m not nearly as cynical as I thought after all which is something of a surprise to someone who turns each thought over before putting it online. As to FB I agree with you, if I repost an image or whatever I do it because I want to or believe in it, not for the “lightning will strike” aspect and I’ve always loathed chain letters. Actually I loathed FB for a very long time and wouldn’t use it at all but with my daughter overseas it’s been one way to know what’s going on ;-). But what’s really made the difference to my FB attitude has been the interaction with my fellow bloggers and genies. I doubt I’d have got as involved with blogging or any social media if I’d still be working full-time. Too much time on my hands in retirement though I had a crisis of faith in whether it was all worth it when I returned from PNG and had the grandchildren to mind more. The huge plus for me, is that being isolated up here in Darwin, I no longer feel like I’m on my own -there’s a community out there who gives me support and communication. Strangely it doesn’t feel weird that I’ve never met most of these people. It’s a bit like those “friends for a reason” quotes. While I try to RT occasionally I prefer to dedicate my time to blog-reading and comments. Cheers Pauleen

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  5. Interesting post and comments, Pauleen. I’ve received a couple of blog awards and although I was pleased (and very much appreciated) being nominated by my peers and follow-bloggers, the actual awarding ‘bodies’ slightly put me off because they are totally unrelated to my own sphere. So I haven’t yet passed any awards or blogged about them. I’d much rather that when people drop my blog, they leave a comment or a tweet on Twitter. Being a nosey-parker that I am, I love reading comments on other people’s blogs – it makes reading posts much more inactive and informative for all. And, I feel, is like a little thank-you note to the blogger showing them that you’ve read and appreciated (or maybe not!) their post. Blogging can certainly be very lonely without the comments!

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    • Thanks for dropping by Kate. I can see now why people are agitated about the originating source of the awards. I guess that didn’t bother me so much because I follow blogs across a number of topic strands as you might have seen from my Sweet Blogger post. I totally agree that comments are worth gold on one’s blog as it lets you know you’re not just writing into the ether. Also a return response from the blog author is important as that’s what gets the conversations going too. I confess I haven’t left too many comments on your blog for all that I think it’s superb-perhaps because? You have so much knowledge and content that there it often seems I can’t offer credible comment. Perhaps a “thank you” would do rather than an informed comment?

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  6. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions and above all, thank you, Pauleen, for your generosity in commenting on blogs.

    I always appreciate people taking the time to do so (even if I don’t respond as quickly as I’d like!)

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    • I think we all enjoy comments Rebelhand and that’s certainly why I like to make them. Of course when my blog reading gets snowed under, the comments fall away. I particularly like it when the blogger responds to comments and it doesn’t bother me if the responses are delayed. Life’s like that sometimes ;-)

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  7. Hi Pauleen,
    Just reiterating how I have appreciated the kind acknowldgement of other bloggers through blog awards. The system was at fault, not the people who gave the awards with the best intentions. I am grateful to Caroline Pointer for posting that article to her blog. I am definitely going to work on my ‘blogs I follow’ page and will link to it in a ‘Follow Friday’ post on occasion. Thanks again.

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    • No problems Aillin, I certainly appreciated being alerted to the potential problems. I love comments more than anything so that’s probably going to be my focus for the future in terms of supporting other bloggers.

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    • I can’t thank you enough Aillin for posting Caroline Pointer’s article re: Blog Awards and Search Engines. As I said above, “knowledge is power” :-) … I’m also very pleased you were happy to accept my Award nomination and pass it onto others but with an adjustment to the “rules”.
      It seems you may not be aware that others are also grateful you posted Caroline’s article and are now discussing how they best want to proceed re: Blog Awards. If interested, just go to: http://caiteile.com/2013/01/15/to-award-or-not-to-award/ Cheerio for now and happy blogging.

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  8. Thank you, Pauleen, for sparking such a thoughtful discussion on the issue of Blog Awards. I know that I am over the moon when somebody takes the trouble to nominate me. It is very motivational, but there are some aspects that bother me slightly. There is a tendency to recycle the award around a very limtied number of people. Fine with the first award, but where there is more than one on the go at the same time, I do find it difficult to pass it on when I only have a limited amount of time to keep track of postings on my reading list. I do like your idea of listing your favourite blogs on your side bar, or perhaps as a Page, which rightly gives a profile to blogs we admire. I must investigate this.

    I hope I always express my thanks to people who bother to comment on my postings, though sometimes this is a generic Thank You, unless there is a specific point which requires a personal response.

    I still have an issue on how to follow up responses to comments I make on other blogs – see my posting of August 2012

    http://scotsue-familyhistoryfun.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/help-how-do-you-handle-comments-tuesday.html

    Do you keep track of blogs you comment on? With blogs on my regular reading list, this is not so much a problem in remembering, but I often add comments to particular posts that catch my attention on the daily Geneabloggers Beat. Should I be keeping note of these in case I get a response, so I can follow it up?

    The Sepia Saturday site – http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.co.uk, in particular genertes many comments and likewise I try to comment on fellow blogger postings, but it is almost impossible timewise to go back into the 30-40 entries ech week and see if there is any follow up to my comments. This is not from lack of interest or discourtesy but a simple question of time.

    At the end of the day though, comments are the lifeblood of our blogging activity – so let’s all keep them coming .

    /2013/01/sepia-saturday-160-19-january-2013.html

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    • ScotSue, I subscribe to the comments when there is a discussion I want to follow. With most blogs you can subscribe to comments at the same time as you comment. I would never remember all the comments I made and some don’t require any follow up either, thinking about Sepia Saturday.

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    • Thanks for your thoughtful and considered post Susan. It’s been useful to air the issue so people can reach their own conclusions. Like you I”m so thrilled when someone nominates me for an award and I know what you mean about it circling around -I was getting a tad giddy. I tried to invent my own (subjective) criteria for why I was nominating the award and to a degree mindful of who had also been awarded them.

      In terms of follow up comments that each of puts on others’ posts, there’s sometimes an opportunity to tick a box to see follow up from the blog author. In other cases, not. Where I see the reply emailed to me (I guess in my case mainly WP blogs), I reply if I think it merits it. If not, and it was a comment I particularly think might have generated a response I’ll try to go back and look but I don’t go back to all and every one I comment on. I read over 100 and comment on about 25% regularly so it would be fairly difficult to keep in my muddled mind.

      I think what’s important is acknowledging that our readers have commented and replying to them as appropriate, even as you say with a simple “Thank you”.

      I’m enjoying Sepia Saturday now I’ve made the plunge so thanks for your encouragement with that.

      Cheers

      Pauleen

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      • G’day Susan, To answer your question as clearly as I can. I have absolutely no problem in responding to people who comment on my blog because WordPress does all the work for me. :-) However, following up comments I’ve made on a non WordPress platform is far more problematic and have given up trying to write down the blog names in order to follow up. Sometimes when the blogger posts again I’m reminded that I did make an earlier comment and will go back to see if there’s been a response.
        So although WordPress is the blog platform for me, regarding this matter, I’m not recommending it because there are aspects of WordPress that don’t please me at all. Hope this helps. Cheerio, Catherine.

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      • But at least it doesn’t have those wretched CAPTCHA machinations Catherine and their spam elimination is usually excellent:-) I’m curious whether Blogger and Blogspot let their own bloggers request a reply within those platforms just as WP does for us.

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  9. I’m one of the people who don’t accept awards–though I’m always very honored when someone nominates me. It sounds like this discussion about awards has been bubbling up for awhile–but I just became aware of it tonight as I’ve been reading your post and related posts on several other blogs. I’m trying to get my head around all of the issues.

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    • Hi Sheryl, For you awards just don’t fit into your blog’s theme. Like you I’m honoured if someone nominates me, and very grateful for their recommendation. On current indications I won’t be passing on awards either but finding a better way of recognising those I follow…more comments etc. Don’t worry too much about it Sheryl -it will all blow itself out eventually. I suspect that Down Under we were a bit behind on the negative implications (well I should only speak for myself really!)

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  10. I am quite dizzy here… as one who has both received and passed on awards, I have found it hard to keep up with all as well. I have gained, by reading other’s nominated blogs, and finding what I consider to be some absolute gems. We are all pushed for time, we are all pursuing so many interests and all doing our best to achieve our own goals, so taking the recommendations from friends with similar outlooks has broadened my reading.
    I have also very much appreciated having others nominate my blogs, as I do, when they comment.
    I don’t need the badges, as happy as I am to have them. The ones I have will stay… as I do value them.
    For now, I agree with what seems to be the general consensus… I will list the blogs I follow… the ones I try never to miss, as well as the ones I catch up with when I can. Perhaps we can all use the same graphic to lead to the list of blogs we follow, that way we will all recognise what is where.
    I truly appreciate the open discussion among friends… and I look forward to a great year of sharing and caring ahead.

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  11. Pingback: TO AWARD OR NOT TO AWARD???… | Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

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