Friday, October 22, 2010

...and here to accept the award...

argh. blog awards. beautiful blogger. happy thoughts. love it this week. someone gives you one of these things, and makes it sound like you're getting a prize.

what you're really getting is an attention-mooching chain-letter link-to-me pyramid scheme.

back in the old days when your homepage (yes, i'm talking angelfire and geocities) had no chance of being found if you didn't have links from other pages, there were webrings. you had to do what you had to do, because there weren't yet any search engines and if you didn't get connected to other sites you languished in the darkness.

and then some people got this brilliant idea: i will create an award and give it to sites that meet my criteria and maybe they will link to me!

i know this happened, because i had that idea, along with a bazillion other people. i had a few awards i gave out, including the "jelly jar", which i awarded to sites that i liked that had bizarre content. there was a site where you could click a button and remotely control a servo motor that waved a hand at a guy's cats, and he had one of the first webcams trained on the place where the cats napped. the site was called "wave at paul's cats", and that's all it did. there was another that listed the content's of tarin's fridge. that was it; no commentary, just the inventory, and some pictures.

it was a long time ago.

i just wrote to them and told them i'd awarded them the jelly jar and sent them the graphic that they could use or not. i told them why i had awarded them this prestigious prize and left it at that.

these days someone gives you one of these horrid little awards and they come with rules.  rules!  you must post this graphic on your site. you must thank me for giving it to you. you must link to my site. you must write back to me with seven chumps people you think should be nominated for this award. now you should list seven interesting things about yourself. and don't forget to link to me!


there are only two kinds of blogs if you ask me (and of course you did): blogs that are about content, and blogs that are about collecting readership. the first kind might collect readership or it might not, but it will at least stay true to its purpose and will be pleasing to its author.

the second kind will only continue to collect readership as long as the owner frantically connects to other bloggers who need to trade links as much as she does. the problem here is that eventually she'll run out of energy and resources; linked sites will drop off, or there will be a glut of sites selling cute napkin rings in etsy shops, and the whole system will collapse under the sheer weight of too many blogs that are nearly all cute replicas of each other competing for the same few tired eyeballs.

i don't even think when they give out these awards these days they even read the site they're giving the "award" to. or maybe they don't care. sometimes you see "happy thoughts" awards given to blogs that are definitely NOT happy, or "beautiful design" awards given to blogs that can only be described as failed design. the important thing, the really important thing, is the link to meeeeeeee!

here's a little award you can give yourself. go ahead, copy and paste this graphic wherever you want.


RW said...

Boy is that ever spot on.

Karen Kaye said...

OMG, flask! I LOVE you! I always feel like I have to have more readers but in order to get on most of those "blog rolls" I have to spend hours linking and commenting and cutting and pasting. UGH!

I started doing exactly that a few months ago but I gave up after a while. My kids have become used to eating dinner. I'm just going to comment on fun, funny blogs that I've actually read and liked and hope they follow me back. Anything else is just too much work.

flask said...

rw, thank you. you know how i admire the way you can string thoughts together.

and karen, you are too much of an authentic voice to fall into the needy readership trap. sure, it's nice to have readers, but in the end i think you know that it's better to be about what you're about than being about how many people you can get to click through to your page.

and really, why do we need tons of readers anyway? unless we're hoping to be a big commercial success, there's just no need.

you have a real life, with real people in it, and interesting things. you do not need a whole bunch of fictitious friends following you around that you can show off on your trophy wall.

one of these days i'll write a blog about authentic voices (it's on my to-do list) but for now i'm just sitting here taking potshots.

i don't comment on most of the blogs i read; it would just take too much time. but if you're the real deal (and you are) i read every entry you make, every word.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

excellent post!

I am catching up on my reading today at work - it's a bit slow thankfully.

I write to purge and bitch and talk because I spend 15 hrs a day working alone with my dog. She doesn't always get me.

If they read me, great. but you will never find a giveaway, or blog rolls or any of those things I read about and don't even understand like meme's. what the hell is that anyway? hell - don't tell me I don't want to know.


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