Blogging Insights — Blog Awards

In her latest edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya ask wants to know how long we’ve been blogging and what we think of blog awards. She asks…

How long have you been blogging? Can you remember the first blogging award you received?

I’ve been blogging on and off since 2005. I did take a two year break from blogging in April 2015. In May 2017, I returned to blogging when I started This, That, and The Other. I had never received a blog award nomination until I moved my old blog from TypePad to WordPress in mid-2013. And I believe it was in December of that year, on my previous blog before this one, when I received my first blogging award nomination.

Do you still accept blogging award nominations or is yours an award free blog? If your blog is award free, what are your reasons for this?

I still do get blogging award nominations even though I have unofficially declared my blog to be award-free. I do appreciate it when someone recognizes my blog by nominating it. And I will usually write a post in response to the award nomination, in which post I will answer the questions the nominating blogger has asked. But I do not pay the nomination forward by nominating other bloggers for it. Instead, I invite any bloggers who wish to do so to write their own posts with the answers to the same question the nominating blogger posed to me and the others that he or she nominated.

My reason for declaring my blog to be award-free is that each blog award nomination comes with a detailed set of rules one must follow to “pay it forward.” These rules are similar to those of a chain letter. Someone nominates your blog for an award. To accept the nomination, you must designate a specified number — seven, ten, fifteen, whatever — of other bloggers you wish to nominate for that award. They, in turn, must do the same.

Now let’s do some math related to blog awards. I know you hate math as much as I do, but bear with me a minute while I illustrate my chain letter point.

Someone nominates you for an award and, as part of the rules to “accept” that award, you must nominate, say, 10 others. Each of those 10 bloggers that you nominated must, themselves, nominate 10 more. So just twice removed from your blog being nominated, 100 other blogs (10 x 10) will have been nominated.

If each of those 100 bloggers follows the rules (i.e., doesn’t break the chain) and nominates another 10 blogs, just three degrees of separation from you having received a nomination, another 1,000 will have received one (100 x 10).

And then 10,000. And then 100,000. By the time you reach Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, one million blogs will have been nominated. Those million nominations will beget 10 million. And those 10 million will beget 100 million. ONE HUNDRED MILLION BLOG AWARD NOMINATIONS!

These 100 million nominations can potentially be generated just eight iterations down an unbroken chain from the blog award nomination you received if everyone pays it forward as instructed.

And that’s just for one blog award. Think about how many different kinds of blog awards there are!

I read on the internet, so it must be true, that WordPress hosts around 60 million blogs, which is 40 million fewer unique blogs than the 100 million awards that just a single blog award nomination has the potential to generate!

I am truly honored when another blogger thinks highly enough about my blog to nominate it for an award, so please don’t think I’m trying to diminish the significance of being nominated for blogging awards. To be recognized by one’s peers is the best achievement possible. I truly believe that such recognition is highly valued and greatly appreciated by those who are nominated.

That said, mine is still an award-free blog. I’m just happy and grateful when people like my posts, comment on my posts, and interact with me on WordPress. No awards necessary.

You’re Only As Beautiful As Your Blog

Sara, who blogs at Relax, It’s All Write, nominated me for the esteemed Beautiful Blogger Award. Thank you so much, Sara. Mine is an award-free blog, but who doesn’t like being told they’re beautiful?

Sara asks us to write seven random facts about us and to then nominate seven other bloggers for the award. I’m happy to do the former, but I think all bloggers are beautiful, so I’m going to skip the part about nominating just seven others.

Anyway, here are seven random facts about beautiful me.

  1. I voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the presidential election.
  2. I have worn a full, albeit neatly trimmed, beard uninterrupted for the past 46 years. My wife and kids have never seen me without my beard.
  3. When I was a freshman in college I briefly held the world’s record for continuous time in a shower — 102 hours. It was for charity.
  4. Over my lifetime I have lived in nine states plus the District of Columbia. My wife likes to say that we don’t take vacations, we relocate.
  5. I retired at the end of 2016.
  6. At no time in my life have I not had a pet. Mostly dogs, but I’ve also had a cat, tropical fish, two rabbits, a snake, a chameleon, a hamster, and an ant farm.
  7. I used to be 6’1″ tall, but due to aging — and gravity — I’ve shrunk about two inches from my peak height.

Now, if any of you wish to share seven random facts about yourself, consider yourself to have been nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award.

Double Your Pleasure

Blog Award NominationsWith all of the crappy news and the requirement to stay at home in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, I am happy to say that two bloggers have nominated my blog for awards.

Riya Gupta, at World of My Thoughts, nominated my blog for the Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award, which is, quite honestly, one I had never heard of before. Turns out that Vincent Ehindero is a self-identified “online influencer and inspirational writer who gives awards to bloggers and blogs to support their good works.”

I also received a nomination for the Mystery Blogger Award from DebbySEO, who apparently offers a complete range of low-cost SEO services.

Thank you, Riya and Debby, for the nomination. I do appreciate the recognition. That said, mine is an award-free blog, but not a question-free blog. So I’m going to answer the questions that Riya and Debby posed.

First Riya’s questions:

1. What’s the best thing you like about blogging? And your advice.

The best thing about blogging is the community of creative, imaginative, passionate, and compassionate bloggers with whom I interact each day. My advice to bloggers is to be creative, imaginative, passionate, and compassionate and to write about whatever interests you.

2. What do you do to relax?

With a mandatory shelter-in-place/stay-at-home order where I live, I’ve been doing a lot of Netflix and chillin’ and trying to avoid watching the news.

3. What is that one thing you are very grateful for?

I am very grateful that, to the best of my knowledge, no one in my family or that I personally know has displayed any of the symptoms of, or has tested positive for, coronavirus.

4. What is your happiest moment?

My happiest two moments were when our two children were born.

5. Would you prefer a cat or dog?

We have one of each and I love them both.

And now for Debby’s questions:

1) Have you ever smiled at a stranger and then wished you hadn’t? Why or why not?

I’ve smiled, nodded, and even said hello to strangers, but I’ve never wished I hadn’t. Why would I?

2) What is your favorite SEO plugin for WordPress?

At the risk of sounding like a technological neophyte, I have no idea what an SEO plugin for WordPress is or what it would be used for. So, no, I don’t have a favorite.

3) If you could shop for free at any store, which store would you choose and why?

At this moment it would be any store that has a decent supply of toilet paper.

4) If you could make one thing illegal, what would it be?

Hoarding toilet paper.

5) Have you ever had SEO work done, and if so were you happy with the results? If you did the work yourself how did you do?

I know that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, but I really don’t know what that’s all about and I’ve never had any SEO work done or done any SEO work myself. So I have no SEO results to be happy or unhappy about.

If anyone else wishes to take a shot at answering Riya’s and/or Debby’s questions, now is the time.

I Almost Forgot About This

18F6E43E-9769-4E54-AD14-8A43141AD1C1Simeon Levine, over at The Levine Lowdown, gifted me with the Sunshine Blogger Award a week ago, but I’ve been so busy with this move to a new house, that I’m just getting around to acknowledging and responding to his generous gift.

Mine is an award-free blog, but I do appreciate the recognition another blogger bestows upon me and my blog. And it’s my pleasure to answer 11 his questions. But I won’t be tagging 11 other bloggers nor will I be posing my own questions. That said, I invite anyone who cares to take a shot at answering Simeon’s questions to feel free to do so.

Here we go.

1. Why did you start you blog?

Because I feel like I have something to say and no one would listen to me when I talked.

2. What is your favorite part about blogging?

The interactions with other members of the blogging community.

3. What is one of your goals for 2020?

To acclimate to living in the suburbs after having spent the last three decades being an urbanite.

4. If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

5. What is your favorite sport?

To watch: American football. To play: ping pong (table tennis) or pool (billiards).

6. If you could go back in the past to any year, which year would you go back to?

My philosophy is to never look back. Only to live in the present and look forward to the future. Thus, I would not want to go back to any year in my past.

7. What is one country that you would love to travel to?

I’ve always had a hankering to visit New Zealand.

8. What is one thing that not many people know about you?

I’m an open book, so there’s not much that people don’t know about me. Except, that is, who I really am, since I blog anonymously.

9. What has been the scariest moment of your life?

When my son had open heart surgery to repair a defective aorta valve.

10. When does bread become toast?

When it turns brown and becomes crispy. Duh!

11. What is your favorite song of all time?

This is tough because there are so many great songs. But if push comes to shove…oh forget it. Any song by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Chicago, Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Brown, Eric Clapton, Queen, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, Elton John, and, well, I could go on and on, but you get the drift, right?

Your turn.

Challenge Accepted

53BA6B46-C0AD-4337-99D0-188BD86AA2A9Kristian, over at Tales From the Mind of Kristian, was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award. Good for him, am I right?

Kristian did not nominate me for that award, but in his response to having, himself, been nominated, he wrote, “If you are reading this and haven’t had an award in a while, please consider yourself nominated.”

It turns out that I was, indeed, reading his post, but since mine is an award-free blog, I don’t really keep track of when I get nominated for awards. And since I wasn’t specifically tagged, I figured I’d just move on.

But then I wrote a comment on Kristian’s post. I wrote “Congratulations on yet another well-deserved award.” And he responded, “Thanks, Fandango. Why not have a go at answering the questions? 🙂”

Okay. Who can resist such a challenge? Challenge accepted, Kristian.

So here goes.

1. If you discovered the secret of eternal youth, would you share it with anyone else? If so, who?

I am already too old to have such a discovery do me any good. So if I did have knowledge of the secret to eternal youth, I’d sell it on eBay to the highest bidder and be financially set for the rest of my life.

2. If you could invent any device to help you, what would it be?

A device that would provide its owner with eternal youth and then I’d sell it on eBay to the highest bidder and be financially set for the rest of my life. Do you see a recurring theme here?

3. Have you ever looked into your family tree? Did you discover anyone famous or infamous?

Both of my parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe and the available records of their heritage are scarce, so I have no idea if there is anyone famous or infamous in my family tree.

4. What type of stories do you like to read?

As long as they are well-written and entertaining, that’s what matters to me. That said, I enjoy stories that keep me guessing. I am not a fan of predictability.

5. What song or tune always puts a smile on your face?