Thursday, October 15, 2009

On Being Tagged

A little bit ago I got tagged both for a meme and for the Kreativ Blogger Award. So, I followed the rules, more or less, and did my own nominating and tagging. I was pretty sure that at least one of those whom I nominated would NOT go on to do his/her own nominating. That's fine too. Not like the government is breathing down anyone's neck to have to pass along the praise.

However, a comment on one of the blogs whose author I nominated didn't resonate well with me. The comment is as follows (no, no public embarrasment possible with the reprinting as the author posted as anonymous).

maybe Im a cynic, but aren't blogger awards such as the one above, or the superior scribbler awards ( just glorified chain letters?

"Dear _____,
This is a chain letter. Everyone who is part of this chain gets put in the guinness book of world records! All you have to do is send it to 5 friends, (telling them that I sent you), who will then each send it to 5 of their friends, who will then send it to 5 of their friends, et cetera, et cetera)."...I fail to see a difference.

Your blog____ is excellent. You present ideas in clear and thought-provoking ways, and hopefully wake people up from their "slumber." However, the blogger award nomination means absolutely nothing- (the threshold criteria is that one person likes your blog. One.) It is nothing more than an illusion that the kreators try to perpetuate by gaining mass-acceptance. But that would be mass acceptance of the award, not that it specifically applies to your blog.

Well yes, there is an element of a chain letter present in a meme or award, in that you are asked to pass it along. However, there is also this, which is not present in a chain letter: there is an element of hakoras hatov, and an element of acceptance/approval. Someone, out there, has come to your blog, has read your blog and has chosen you to be part of a "thank you" system. The anonymous writer says that "the nomination means absolutely nothing--the threshold criteria is that one person likes your blog." So?

Those who blog learn pretty fast that if you are counting on the readers to give you impetus to continue writing that impetus may or may not come, and may not arrive steadily. People often read and leave no comment. Some comment once or twice and are never heard from again. Some people become your "steady customers" and are heard from often. Your favorite posting may not resonate at all with the readers. So yes, even one reader saying "I really love what you are doing here and please continue because I like it" is more than just an impersonal chain letter. Sometimes one person is all it takes to give chizuk to someone. Sometimes just one person is all that is needed to sit down and stare at the keyboard again.

The anonymous above paid a beautiful compliment to the writer of the blog. What I'm left to wonder is, would he have paid that compliment absent the prod that the blogger's getting nominated by me seemed to have given him? Would he have randomly decided on Tuesday to say "I like what you are writing"?

And are any of us, really, so blase about blogging that we don't feel a tickle of pleasure that someone out there likes what we are doing?

I am not so naive that I believe that being tagged or given a blogger award is on par with receiving a Pulitzer Prize or a Nobel Prize in Literature. What it is is a nice gesture on someone's part that says I like your blog, full stop. Nothing wrong with saying "thank you" in this way, even if it can be a pain in the neck to get everything you need together. Or maybe we can think of it as a way to remind people not to take for granted those who produce the blogs by recognizing them, if even for a moment, as providing something that one someone out there responds to.


Ruth said...

Given how the Nobel prizes are being awarded and for what I'm not so sure that a blogger award doesn't have more merit--at least you actually have to blog to get one. And unless I'm being naive there is no politics involved, just saying I like your blog, now pass this on to somebody else whose blog you like.

Anonymous said...

I like your blog.. :-)

G6 said...

Comments can also be deceiving in trying to ascertain the success of a post.
I find that some posts I enjoy the most, I do NOT comment on because the auther said it all and I have nothing to add....
It's a pity bloggers can't see the whisper of a grin or the gentle nod of a head in agreement from those sitting all around the world and reading their words.
One never knows.
Oh, and you know this already, but I like your blog too - A LOT.