I was up early this morning to get my VW serviced. Lately, I've begun to read RSS feeds from my cell phone – totally geeky, yet one of the better uses I've found for cell phone Internet access.
As I waited at the dealership, I read TravMonkey's latest post entitled Blogging Awards, Do We Really Need Them in reaction to the Blogger's Choice Awards. I had a strong reaction (great strategy Paul!), having been nominated myself, so I would like to share my thoughts on why blogging awards are a positive force.
“Now do we really need these awards? I mean surely people vote for your blog by visiting and becoming a regular reader? What other recognition could you need?”
Yes, I consider every new reader, whether a first-timer, or regular, a vote of confidence in my writing and future travels. Still, being nominated for an award is like receiving recognition at work. Sure, I appreciate a pat on the back from my boss for a job well done, however I feel more motivated to work harder when he shares his recognition of me with his boss too. Suddenly, the bar has been raised! Being nominated by, and voted on, by fellow bloggers motivates me to work harder, and produce higher quality posts. It's a win-win situation, as my competitive desire eggs me on to get more votes, ideally resulting in better content which readers are more likely to enjoy. It is human nature to want to feel appreciated. Being nominated for an award, though cheesy as it may sound, helps fill that need.
“Do the readers of the blogs really care about yet another award? Or is it just a self-gratifying process run by blog writers?”
I think the readers of blogs do care about awards because they help consolidate and categorize the best of the best. By reviewing blogs rated higher than mine, I can learn from both a content and design perspective. I may even find a new blog I start to read regularly (a rarity outside my niche of long term travel). In addition, I receive a new source of exposure. I know at least one Rambling Traveler agrees with me!