The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tossing It Out Tuesday: Barriers That Block Progress


        Life is filled with things that hinder progress.  Sometimes we just have to deal with those roadblocks as we encounter them and improvise a new plan of action.  The unexpected surprises are something we should all learn how to deal with calmly and rationally.  Fits of rage rarely help.  If we just sit down in defeat and do nothing we will make no progress unless someone just happens to come along to save us.  Until that lifesaver appears on the scene we are wasting valuable time.  If they never show up then we don't move forward unless we get off our butts and do something.  Clear, patient, rational thinking is the best way to keep making the most steady progress in life.

        Then, there are the little things.  Traffic tie-ups, household emergencies, long waits, or whatever else comes along to interfere with our plans.  It's a good idea to be ready for emergencies and to plan ahead .  The goal that I'm talking about is to toss out stress caused by frustration over things you can't control.   Maybe you can't control the unexpected complications that arise, but you can prepare for them.  If you have to be somewhere at a special time, schedule your time properly so that you can be early.  That way if you do have traffic, you have made some compensation for it. 

         I like to try to have reading material nearby whenever I am doing something so that if something happens to bring my life to a standstill then I can read.   Or what about situations like having to wait in line?  You could nervously go through nervous gestures, exasperated sighs, or impatiently looking around with a snarl on your face.  I like to start up a conversation with someone near me.  After all, we're both in the same situation and the conversation can help pass the time, introduce me to someone new, and toss out some stress.  You're shy you say?  Then it's good practice for you.  Just say anything--like "Long line isn't it?"  Conversation will come unless the person you're addressing is a total jerk.  Then you can always just people watch or make up jokes in your ahead about the jerks around you.  Worrying and getting exasperated will not make things move any faster and it will only make you feel worse.

                                        Detour

           But now to the topic I really wanted to address today.  This post could have been immensely long if I had wanted to very cautiously broach this topic in a delicate way so as not to offend.  And hopefully readers will fully understand that I am not setting out to offend anyone, but merely to study upon this topic and hear your thoughts to know how some of you feel about this.

           The topic of which I speak is Blog Awards.   It is so flattering to receive recognition from peers about one's accomplishments.  To have ones name and blog link touted on another's site for all to see is an image builder and can help bring traffic and potential new followers and readers to your blog. 

           When I first started blogging I began seeing these awards on blog sites and felt a certain sense of envy.  I wondered where these awards came from and how a blogger received an award.  Then I received my first award:  The Friendship Award which was given to me by one of my earliest followers, Judy Harper of Sixty Is Just the Beginning.   I was so excited.   Then I received another, then another, and then many more.  I had an award winning blog.

            Soon I began to understand the networking concept behind the blog awards.  It's a great way to get one's blog known around the community and bring visitors to one's site.  I don't know where the idea originated, but it is a clever networking technique. 

             As the stream of awards poured in I realized the other side to them--they can take time to administer.  According to proper blog etiquette, one should post the awards with attributions, follow the rules that accompany the award, and save them to display on one's site.  Bottom line:  it can add up to considerable extra work if you get very many.

           Also, there starts to be a good deal of repetition.  I have received some awards many times.  The acknowledgement posting has provided me with some good blog fodder, but it also means I could be posting an awful lot about myself.   It also can become a challenge to find new bloggers to give the award to and avoid giving the same bloggers the same award.   I think most of you who have dealt with the awards know what I talking about.

           What I want to know is how you feel about Blog Awards.   I've seen some sites that announce that they do not accept awards.   What do you think about the bloggers who take this stance?  Do you play along with the awards?    If not, why not?  If so, how do you feel about them?  

            Sometimes when I'm behind schedule I just post the awards without following the rules, which means I don't pass them on.   How do you feel about that?   If you do the same, why?   I frequently don't let my recipients know that they've been given award so that if they don't read my post they might never know.  Do you think that's appropriate?  Do you always notify your recipients?

              If Tossing It Out chose to be a no awards blog site would you think that I was Mr. Sour Grapes?  Does it bother you if you pass on an award and it is not acknowledged?

               Please tell us your honest opinion about Blog Awards.

                If you haven't completed the poll at the top of the page, please click on your answers so I can get a better idea about what my blog focus might want to be.

        
        
        

28 comments:

  1. I was actually surprised by how much hard work it took me to honor the award's rules on Friday. I'd expected an easy, breezy post on Friday over at my blog, but getting the award definitely detoured my intent. It was definitely a worthwhile experience however as I am finding myself as of late needing to learn more about html coding to make sure pictures post properly on my site.

    Good post, Arlee!

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  2. I am all for awards, to me it is boost to what I am trying to achieve on my blog, Whether a person prefers not ro recieve them is purely their own preference.I have a few and I'm very proud of them and proud of the people who awarded me them, If people don't accept an award I give well again that's up to the person I will and/not upset by it.
    Good post Lee,
    Yvonne.

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  3. I think they're a nice gesture. I'm flattered to receive them, but I think it's more rewarding to pass them along.

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  4. I'm with Alex. Awards are a nice idea...I'm tickled when I get them. I like to pass them along...but as you say, sometimes I struggle to find appropriate blogs to pass them on to. Perhaps they are more helpful to newer bloggers who are trying to build an audience. This is a tough topic. Good for you for trying to tackle it.

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  5. People say I never panic and that I'm extremely calm in crises situation so tossing out stress isn't a problem for me, and I have a feeling that you're like that as well, Lee.

    When it comes to awards, 80% of them are given without deeper meaning, and it's a bit crazy when you get an award from someone who never commented on your blog, but, hey, everyone likes awards and I always accept them and I'm happy about them. But everybody knows that I don't pass them forward, because as you know, I have my own gala award ceremony in January when I give my own awards and it's an emotional and deeply thoughtful event because I gave awards really to people whom I love, respect and who have proved their friendship and love in the previous year. In that way, an award is prestigious and it's really something that people respect and cherish, because it was given with love and criteria.

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  6. Its a a free country. No worries if you have a No Blog Award Zone. I receive them. Even give them. The Awesomous Maximous Award and the Meat and Potatoes Award are ones I started and give out from time to time.

    But I do not collect and post awards I won on my blog. Just don't have the room. Maybe someday I'll post them. But for now I don't.

    Stephen Tremp

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  7. I think I'm on the same page as you, Lee, about awards. They are a lovely networking tool, but as you said, it begins to get very time-consuming. I don't post the awards I've won on my blog on a permanent basis. I have chosen to not pass along awards and just said anyone can claim them. I don't think it would harm your blog if you became a no award zone - I know others who have done so.
    Karen

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  8. Jeffrey -- It took me some time to figure out the Html codes and other things necessary to put up the awards and add links, etc. It was good education. Thanks for your thoughts.

    Yvonne -- You have been one of my favorite award recipients and you have bestowed awards upon me as well and I have been very pleased about both sides. It is a nice honor to get an award from another blogger and I really do appreciate that.

    Alex -- I'm always flattered to receive the recognition of an award. I also like recognizing other bloggers, but sometimes passing an award to 15 bloggers can get pretty heavy duty. I'd rather do a story that cites particular bloggers and their accomplishments and not pass on an obligation to someone.

    Liza -- Thanks for saying so. I also think that the awards are much better for the newer bloggers in order to give them a boost, provide incentive, and help them become more a part of the blogging community. Once we've received a lot of awards it becomes more of a repetitious event that is not needed quite as much.

    Dezmond -- Yes I tend to be calm, sometimes more outwardly than inwardly, but I try to do paced breathing and focused meditative exercises when the inner turmoil begins to stir.
    I think you are right about the spirit of the blog awards. I like your idea about the yearly awards.

    Stephen Tremp -- Your Awesomous Maximus award was another one of my earliest awards that I received back when I didn't quite get what was going on. But I was thrilled to receive and and thank you again. I want to put my awards on a separate page once I learn how to do that--another thing that takes time.

    Karen -- Thank you for your vote of support and I understand your thoughts on the matter. I'm testing the waters by tossing out this idea to see how readers respond. I don't know if I'll become an official No Blog Award Zone, but I may continue to be progressively more lax about following the rules.

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  9. I agree with Alex, Yvonne and Karen. Since I probably have least amount of followers here I must say I do the Award thing and do try to follow the rules. I do love the fact it allows me the knowledge someone remembered my blog. But YES they are a lot of effort.

    Very good post/topic Lee. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  10. HA!
    Oh, my... r-LEE-b.
    You already know where I stand on the Awards. (Well, I don't stand on them so much as stomp on them.)

    Some time back a couple of other bloggers offered Awards to me and I politely declined them. Then seeing how big this Awards and Tagging fad was getting, I put a little notice in my comment section submission window that says, "Just say NO! to Awards and Tagging". No one has tagged me or offered an award to me since.

    I don't have a problem with all that if it's what people want to do, I just prefer not to be involved. The Tagging thing is just a game and it could be fun, but I have other blogging related things I'd rather spend my time on.

    The Awards thing I'm a bit more down on. For the most part, I see it as a superficial obligation. When a person receives an Award, now they must scramble to try to find 5 more persons to pass it on to, so just how meaningful is that? If someone wanted to present me with a heartfelt Award, that would be appreciated, but when I suspect that I'm getting it only because I was just one of five bloggers they were able to locate who hadn't received it yet... well, sorry, but that's a pretty empty gesture. I'm about being "real", not necessarily about going along with the In Crowd's pseudo "honors".

    No offense meant to anyone, but... it definitely ain't my thang.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    Postscript: Lee, you could have used this blog bit on a Thursday Debate Day.

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  11. Jules -- Thank you. Yes you would probably fit in that category of bloggers who can still use the boost that the networking oppotunities of the awards provide. They can be fun and sociable, but the work involved can lead one to evaluate if they should be taking the place of other things that one could be doing.

    StMc -- Mr. PartyPooper himself! I do know how you feel and I understand what you are saying. I think it is very appropriate to warn people that you are a scrooge. I share your concern about the time displacement issue created by the award activity. I just keep in mind that they are not real awards so much as it is a social networking device or advertising ploy intended mostly to add followers and build a blogging community.
    I may be even more anti-social than you sometimes make yourself out to be, but I have tried to be a part of the active blog interactions as much as I can in order to make my blog more successful. The time factor is an important thing to address in order to do more than just blog.

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  12. LEE ~
    >> I just keep in mind that they are not real awards so much as it is a social networking device or advertising ploy intended mostly to add followers and build a blogging community.

    I don't know how the whole thing got started, maybe in the beginning people really did think of them as "Awards". But, yes, a lot of those who participate now probably think of it in the terms you use above. But the Awards thing eventually became so prevalent throughout Blogland and got so out of control that whatever purpose it may have at one time served has likely been lost.

    There are so many Awards for so many things now, and most bloggers have their blogs so cluttered with these things that they've accumulated over time, that I really don't even see them anymore. Does anyone really pause to read them now? I mean, when I click on a person's blog and see 20 awards all in a column, I just scroll right past them without paying the least bit of attention. And I'll bet that's what most other readers do these days, too.

    There's such a glut of Awards in Blogland, that I doubt they still serve much real purpose in (as you say) "networking" or "advertising". (And I suspect that a lot of bloggers, when they receive yet another "Award", are probably secretly thinking: Oh, gee, not another one!

    Anyway, that's just one dogg's opinion. Over 'N' Out.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  13. StMc -- Are you trying to tell me that you don't scroll down to the bottom of my blog page every time you come to it and enviously drool over all my awards? I know you really want them -- go ahead take a few and pass them on.

    Someone should research the origins of the "blog awards" and do an article about it. Why heck they could even write a book and you could read it because it would be nonfiction.

    I have a feeling that they were intended for networking from the outset--or at least when conditions were attached to them.

    It's kind of a clever concept. Is there anything comparable to the idea outside of the world of blogging? If so it probably came from that. I can't think of anything though.

    I think your opinion on this is just as valid as anyone else who's a party pooper. Or any one else who's not.

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  14. ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    Postscript: Lee, you could have used this blog bit on a Thursday Debate Day.


    I could have used this on a Thursday debate as well as on a Monday blog topic day, which just goes to show you that any topic can be adapted to fit "themed blogging". Having a theme doesn't constrict one's topic as much as not having enough imagination to figure out how to fit a round peg into a square hole.

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  15. I'm flattered when I receive an award. I always try to say thank you and mention the blogger who gave it to me, but I seldom follow the rules and I don't pass them on simply because I'm not comfortable doing so. I use a video feature to display the awards.

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  16. Yep, awards take time but I appreciate them when they are given. I pass a few on but rarely the allotted number only because it takes so much time. I don't mind if people choose not to acknowledge the awards I hand out. It's purely up to them. I'm not going to force anything on anyone. I try to respect those who have no awards sites and I try to check if someone already has a certain award (not always successfully).

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  17. When I received my first award, I was so touched because it came from a dear follower. We've shared a lot and experienced a lot.

    Then, other awards arrived. I tend to see them as being genuinely given.

    Not in awards, but in followers, I have encountered people who followed me for the sole purpose of being followed back. Definitely mixed feeling there. I'll do it to be polite.

    I began blogging as a form of writing discipline. Do it every day. Well, I've proven I can do it. Now, I do it for me, to grow and learn and even meet.

    I don't blog to get followers. I started with none. Then, when I had about three, I actually wanted more. When I had twelve, I was perfectly content. Everyone after that is a bonus.

    I don't want people to follow me just to gain a follower back. If they follow, I want it to be because they find something they can relate to.

    I don't know if that answered your question...and you are so right about giving them back out. It is a job. And I try to give real thought to the people I give them out to.

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  18. Jane-- I think yours is a good philosophy. When I pass them on I either wonder if someone might be bugged that I passed it to them or someone might feel neglected or hurt that I didn't pass it to them. I like the video display, but I wonder if it affects loading speed of a site that has this.

    Lynda -- I've gone so far as to use the search tool to see if someone has gotten the award I'm passing on, which can really get time consuming. It does start to get difficult to keep track of.

    Words Crafter -- I guess any answer is an answer and your answer is pretty good. I've often spoken about the follower issue on my site. The way I see it, the higher follower count makes the blog look more appealing and more important in a sense. Also, my theory is that the more followers, the more potential readers. Over the course of the life of this blog the increase in comments seems to have a direct correlation to increase in followers. So I don't mind the ornamental followers to dress up the follower section. It would be nice if more of them would visit more often--then again I don't think I could handle all of the comments. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

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  19. Interesting.

    I never really knew what these awards were for and how they were distributed.

    For all I knew there was some sort of Academy Of Bloggers holding an awards show. Since I knew I'd fail the swinsuit competition, I was not holding my breath.

    Like a few above have said, I do not blog for followers. If I had a boatload of followers on my political blog, I would probably try to turn that into a gig writing a column for a conservative rag.

    I've got a bunch of friends on MySpace, where I starting blogging (CD reviews) in the hopes of getting free promotional CD's. Not so many promotional CD's to show for it. So now, my blogging is totally self-indulgent. I'm like the Todd Rundgren of blogging (which is a totally self-indulgent allusion).

    While I would not find an award objectionable (not a request for awards, gang), I probably would not spend the time moving it forward.

    Kind of sounds like a chain letter to me.

    I enjoy the comments, especially when there is meat to them (whether or my blog or someone else's). The awards do not make me any more or less likely to read.

    What was the question again?

    Larry

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  20. I like awards, but they can be time consuming to post and pass on. But I think they help build a little more friendliness and such in the blogging community. I suppose it's best to leave it to the blog author to decide what they want to do.

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  21. Larry -- At first I also wondered upon whose authority these awards were distributed and if any money was involved. After I started understanding the concept, chain letter was my next thought.

    Karen -- You are right about that. And it can be a fun gesture when you have the time to deal with it. I'm not complaining about any of the awards that I've received, in fact I feel honored.

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  22. Funny, this post is timely~ Hubby comes home early, yesterday, eats and within a hour is completely covered with hives. I get the Benadryll and give him two, cover him in Calamine lotion. He wants to go to ER...I said, well, no breathing problems, you aren't sick to your stomach, do you feel like you are going to pass out,"NO". So, off we go and you bet, I packed drinks and books. I have gone and been there for hours. He gets signed in and it starts, 5 ambulance arrive, man with blood hand goes right back. He looks at me and says, "Let's go home". The meds are working....

    Yeah, life sure does get in the way...

    Awards, I love them, but think it is sad when they are rotated like Wheel of Fortune. I have given many that were never received. I am behind now, I have 3 I need to list, but sometimes I just want to post something and then I get behind. I do think sometimes it is fun; other times it is a long post, a lot of work! I love Dez's idea...

    GREAT POST!

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  23. Ellie -- My dear, you've described one of my worst nightmares. You poor folks. I've had to go to the emergency room several times for either my wife or I over the past 12 years. The experience there is more traumatic than the event that put me there. Once in there I start feeling better and am ready to leave. I hope I don't ever have to go again.

    And isn't Dezmond's idea a great one? I may have to use that one myself. I started doing all of my awards on Saturdays since I really don't plan that much of a post for that day. That works better for me but still it takes a lot of time and effort.

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  24. Blog awards are fun but they do take up a lot of time to respond to. I try but end up minimizing the response and not passing them on. I do respect those blogs who post no award badge. To each his own.

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  25. Hi Lee .. early on I realised they put me off my stride .. so I didn't react. I've since had one or two from people whom I really respect, or from whose blog I particularly like .. and then I say a grateful thanks .. and one I brought in 3 'new' bloggers .. but not the 10 that the etiquette asked for.

    There are too many just 'have an award' posts out there .. and that's all they comment about - it doesn't do anyone any good - as far as I can see - but may be I'm cynical!?

    I'd rather have a good repartee with a few ... than lots of 'have an award' .. it has no value - Thanks .. Hilary

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  26. Carolina -- Thank you for that thought and I do agree with you, and may follow a similar course in the future.

    Hilary--You've expressed what I think many of us feel. Thank you.

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  27. I'm honored to receive awards, but do not pass them on. My blogging time has decreased, so I'd rather use the time to read blogs and write. I do thank the "giver" of the award and show a link to their blog on my blog...sort of like a blog roll, I guess.

    Everyone is different, so I say why not have fun with the awards if you want to. And if not, you shouldn't have to.

    If the content of a blog is interesting to certain people, they come back whether you post the award or not. And if they don't, then...so be it.

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  28. Anita -- Your thinking on this is good in my opinion. The awards are nice to receive but each blogger must decide how it fits best with their style and their time. I don't judge a blog on the awards and how they deal with the awards. I'm there to read something or look at something, not to admire awards.

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Lee